Monday, January 30, 2012

I Never Run-Out Of Ideas To Blog. Journal Prompts? I Could Swamp Myself With Ideas.

I was just thinking about when I do write in my blog it's never on the computer. I write all these little notes. Sometimes it's while I'm waiting for something or someone, or riding in the car, and heaven forbid, I wake-up and write something down (that's really insane information) and I dig in my purse, or desk, or glove compartment for a pen and just start writing. Really, it's so much easier to just open my computer and start writing. I don't need notes, but I want to remember and the 3X5 card system is a major habit. I'm never outta' stuff to write down. It IS just stuff, but it's my journal and not necessarily for the whole world to read. I've never felt the need to entertain, try and make money with a blog, write something profound, or even give advise. I do write-out a few recipes here and there, and also mention my ancestors... but all of the information on THIS blog is focused on my family. It does paint a picture of me and hopefully my dear family won't think that I'm too looney. I will save everyone that reads my blog the ramblings while sleep-writing and texting--Oh I've got a problem and have been known to write on Facebook while COMPLETELY asleep. It's so embarrassing.


One of my favorite papers to write notes for my blog happens to be Temple Ordinance Cards that are blank. Why? Well, I do lots of genealogy work and because my printouts are only 50 at a time, some room is left on each of the pink, blue, and yellow printouts that become cards. I never want to throw the blanks away, so while checking each entry--I will finally come to a blank. One side of the card has lines on it and the other-side is for taking notes for me, right? I always look on both sides in case I'm missing an entry.

I do check each one and do a lot of re-checking of all of my submissions. I'm so glad that I've done this because so far I've found at least three major mistakes. Two of the mistakes this time were probably done by myself and actually my mistakes make me much more patient with the mistakes other people make with my own family, like recently someone has put my dear grandmother with her ex-borther-in-law that ran a Missouri saloon? Okay, I can't undo that because I didn't submit the names. But, I've made sure the genealogy work for my grandparents is correct and my grandmother probably just lifted her eyebrows just a little when that sealing was performed.

One mistake was from Family Search itself. It's data entry done by volunteers and probably by a poor tired "indexer person" that sees names all day long... when two people have the same names and about the same birthdays, I suppose a volunteer after a long day, would likely place these people together. I wished they had looked to make sure they were in the same country. Again, since I didn't submit the name, I called Salt Lake City Family History Center and the Sister that helped me was so polite and so sorry. She listened intently as I explained what had happened. She said she hoped the mistake would be corrected very soon and me too, because my cousin was about to teach a class in St. George about genealogy and ordinance work and he wanted to use our "Wellman" line. Oops!

Happily, I can report that "poof" the child born across the sea and no relation to our family, disappeared from our line. I do have to look her up again and unreserved her, so that her family can find the child, wife, aunt, or mother and have her in her own family where she belongs.

Oddly enough, the mistakes I've made actually put me in touch with my cousin again. We do need each other and from above I can't say if it was meant to be, but I'm elated that we're working together because my dear cousin just sent me a whole big bucket of names to add to my family including ones that have surnames that I've never heard of before.

 ***caption to the picture above***The best thing I've read about the Mayflower is that am a descendent from about 12 of the people came to this country on the Mayflower. The facts are as of 1971, people in the United States that also are descendents... were already 35 million other people. The statistic was in the newspaper over 40 years ago, I bet there's a lot more people, now! Pretty humbling information, sheesh!...I'm not so hot.

I  learned that this summer my cousin is planning a trip out east to scour cemeteries for our family. The information at each resting place is valuable beyond measure. He doesn't know it yet, but Steve and I are planning a back-east trip too. I'm not only doing some Wellman, but looking up a bunch of family (my husband's included) information at newspapers, county deeds and wills, and of course, cemeteries. Sounds fun, huh? Only if you're a genealogy sleuth.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Well, This Is January! You Can't Touch This! The Best Ever

Jan. 23rd, 2012

I can only think the absolutely only thing that would've made this January better would have been if my daughter Larin and her family could've been with us. The Knapp Family was really "snowed-in"  all airports and roads closed around Laramie, Wyoming. But, it didn't keep her from our new technology having "face to face" time on our large Ipads and Tablets.

My Steve is Holding an Ipad with Larin. Back Row second from the right

We started our year by inviting Kiely and Matt to come to California because the dorm at college was closed and needed maintenance. They both had been staying with my son-in-law's, family all through Christmas break, so we thought maybe they could be down here for a special time when my other daughter, Bree and her family decided to come to Santa Paula from a little town north of North Little Rock, Arkansas for Jane's 8th birthday. Jane wanted to be baptized in California with all the family and with her family and both sets of her grandparents, great grandmothers, and aunts, uncles, and her dear cousins.

Susan, Bree's new little baby girl, also was to be "given a name and a blessing" here in Santa Paula. I almost can't express my feelings of the day. The feeling of joy filled my heart and poured-out of my eyes. I felt that this was all part of Heaven to have them here with us and be able to join in the Baptism and Blessing. I was leading the music, but just barely.

The word, "surreal" describes the time spent in the Baptistry and the Chapel. I felt "swirled" in the moment and had my testimony strengthened as I listened to all the ordinances that were being performed and the strong presence of the the Spirit and Priesthood Authority literally wrapping around me. I was near my Steve as he gave the talk on the Holy Spirit and Confirmation.

Jane and The Dress That Our Daughter Made For Her
The Baptism of Jane
Jane was more than beautiful, she was a glowing angel and Bree had made her the most precious dress I had ever seen. Luana asked her if Bree could make a Temple dress for her out of the same material. Jane glowed.

Susan, our baby grand daughter, glowed also in her Blessing dress. It was handmade from the material from my wedding dress and filled with lace and ribbons. Bree wore my wedding dress when she was married. She found a wedding dress at the thrift shop that she thought looked like my wedding dress. It was exactly the same dress! So because even though my five daughters were all tiny when they were married, all have the chest, as in rib-cage and shoulders of Norwegian Vikings. So the two dresses were patched in without a stitch of evidence. The remainder of the dress was sent to family in Utah and one so dear, and she made a blessing dress from my wedding dress pieces that truly is a treasure, elaborate and royal.


It has taken me a long time to write this post or finish it because these days have been emotional and filled with such joy. I really had been filled that Sunday, with the Spirit and felt the presence of Angels there with us. Some that still live on this earth and those that were Heavenly Angels.


 I read this poem while everyone was being seated and still taking pictures. It was a quiet time with just the two of us and I'm grateful I was able to be apart of her baptism and give her a gift to remember. I didn't know that someone had taken a picture of us together.

My Baptism Towel
This baptism towel is to help remind you
Of your baptism day all the years through.
When you come out of the water all clean and pure,
Dry off with this towel and you can be sure,
That you are as clean as this towel is white.
And the Holy Ghost will be with you both day and night.
For the Holy Ghost is your gift after the laying on of hands,
And will be a comfort and a guide if you obey God's commands.
This CTR emblem will help remind you to be strong
As you continue to learn right from wrong.
When your towel becomes soiled, remember that we, too,
May sometimes make mistakes and we've been taught just what to do.
Just as you can wash your towel so it can again be clean,
The wrongs you make can be washed away and never again be seen.
Your Heavenly Father loves you, remember always to pray,
And He will be beside you for forever and a day. "

This January has been one month of memories I'll never forget.

It didn't occur to Steve and I that maybe my newly married daughter would be without a dorm and homeless after Christmas. The semester break is a whole month long and not a few days. They had been assigned to work as Resident Dorm Leaders in another building, but we didn't know they were homeless before the semester started again. The move-in date was late January. I was sad that she'd miss her sister, Bree and all her family and especially all that was happening this month. The visit here in Santa Paula, Jane's baptism, Susan's Baby Blessing on January 22nd and also going through the The Los Angeles Temple together on the 24th of January. It was going to be a special day for her aunt who was going to go through the temple for the first time. So of course we called her. Not like the old days when it costs money to call long-distance. We can talk anytime and they may not find that technology one of their favorites. I can see Matt now, "Hey Kiely!" "You're mother's on the phone, again!" We did call told her that her it was too bad she couldn't be here for her niece to be baptized on her birthday here in Santa Paula and how great it would be if they could be here for The Baby's Name and Blessing for her newest niece, Bree's baby Susan. It would be so wonderful if Matt as her uncle, could stand-in the circle for her blessing.
They Came and We Had A Wonderful Time
 Steve looked at me as we listened on the phone and he then looked as if they had both decided to be drop-outs. Big-eyes and a gasp came from him as he turned his head, I knew they could be here, tomorrow. If I could've jumped up and down I would've done it.

 Chip's father gave the baptism talk and my Steve gave the Holy Ghost and Confirmation talk. He used a friend's idea of using water bottles as a visual aid explaining how The Holy Spirit and our testimony (can) leave us when we don't follow the commandments and promises made at baptism. I think our grandchildren understand that particular visual aid, very well and they've heard it now several times.

 I see them scrunch-up water bottles and then look-up at me and explain, "That's not me!"  They've all had the talk given to them at few of our baptisms and confirmations for our grand children, but the speakers have all been different and the talks varied, but the point has remained with them, with the water bottle demonstration.

Our trip to the LA Temple was very rushed. We got-up in the dark and headed-out not far behind Steve's sister and the rest of the family. Fortunately, they missed the terrible traffic that we happened to merge ourselves right into a giant mess and we stopped. The Sepulveda Pass on the 405 is famous for creeping traffic, we even stopped.

We arrived just within 5 or 6 minutes too late, but went upstairs to the ceiling rooms. 
Our sealer happened to be President David O. McKay's son. I was able to talk to him about my step-grandfather's friendship with the Prophet and how they had a common bond of horsemanship. They were also close neighbors. **** I've found out after our trip to the temple,  that our sealer, Pres. McKay's great grandmother and my Steve's great great grandmother were sisters with the last name of "Underwood." It's not a coincidence that Steve owns and wears President McKay's leather 50's bomber jacket and it fits him perfectly.

It was a great blessing to have so many in attendance from our family at my sister-in-law's entrance and meeting in the Celestial Room. Bree and Chip were there, too. All of us dressed in white and greeted each other as if it had been a lifetime, of waiting. It was a very blessed day. 

 Chip, Bree, and the children took advantage of the warmer days here in January to do fun and obviously California activities. Jane wanted to fly in some-kind of "fanned flying tube" and  all headed-off to Universal City Walk to do that for her birthday. It was a bit sprinkling with rain, but nothing like freezing Arkansas. The little shower made everything everywhere sparkly.

The next day, the Watson's spent a long day at the beach and it was beautiful. I know they    enjoyed the harbor and "The Mother's Beach."

  The day was also spent looking and feeding fish at the fish hatchery in Fillmore.

 It's been forever since I've done that. I used to go there by the little stream that runs to the Santa Clara River and sneak over and fish in the ditch. Oh, boy...there were lots of fish, escapees that were always over a foot long. Trout is yummy and my dad and I enjoyed every single one. I'd get the question after each meal of trout, "Now when are you going over there again to catch me some trout?" He never knew I had to actually, "trespass" to get there. Ha! Maybe he knew!

And lastly, we went with Bree and her family to Disneyland. Do we ever pass-up an opportunity to do that? We had fun holding Baby Susan while everyone rode the rides and we watched.
My Steve and Our Grand daughter, Susan
Me, Susan and My Grand daughter, Susan
Susan Watson

Watson Family At My Favorite Part of Disneyland, Toon Town Ha Ha! Not...

I didn't really give her Dr. Pepper. It was just a joke, really!
 I know my Steve and Jane just couldn't quit riding the "Screaming Roller-Coaster" and as it turned to dusk we said good-bye.

The Watson family stayed another night and left for home after another great day at Disneyland.

Playing With Cousins At Shield's Park in Fillmore

Kiely and Matt had to return back to Utah to start their new assignments of being the dorm parents. Suddenly, our house that was filled to over-flowing was completely empty. We had a whole day and it started all up again with the Lazenby kids here from the beach and all of Marnie's kids running and playing.
Visiting Great Grandmother, Dune Lazenby

Steve will say, "What are they all crying about, now?" I laughed because it was squeals and laughter and he worries that they are all beating each other up or they've hurt themselves. I can truthfully say, it's never boring or quiet here on Danger Ranch
I think I'll add a little star on this month of January. It has been filled with great blessings that all together fill us with overflowing joy.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Diamonds Are Forever

Jan 12th 2012
I was thinking about my friend's diamond ring, which actually is very beautiful, really...but it doesn't have real diamonds. I don't wear much jewelry. Maybe once in a while to church or an event. Mostly, very special times that when I need to dress-up more. I love the way I can remove all my jewelry and oh how I'd hate a tattoo because I would probably scrub it until it wasn't on my skin. Oh and braces would probably have made me crazy because of just the fact I couldn't take them out of my mouth every night. Jewelry isn't a part of me, but I do like it. Now, lipstick is apart of me, but that's only because if I don't put something on my fat lips they hurt and get a lot fatter. Oh, chapped! And that's not in style.

Diamonds, gems, and treasures are those things that give any regular person a reason to ponder, maybe to envy, or covet. My diamonds are worth more, so much more than anyone I know or know about. It's pretty evident that I'm not really talking about "rocks" My husband, children, and grandchildren are worth more than any sparkly, brillant, valuable object in this whole world. They are are rocks in that sense. 

If I were to have my lovely diamonds mounted on the most precious light metal and place it on my hand, I wouldn't  be able to have the strength to lift my hand. My total diamonds are many, with rubies and emeralds tucked in and around each one. I'm so blessed and  thankful and I can cherish these extraordinary diamonds beyond my ability to write the words to express my love for each one.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Today I "Channeled" My 3rd Great Grandmother For German Pancakes

My 3rd Great Grandmother Renata Meseck was a German lady that married Ferdinand Ortmann. They were parents of my 2nd Great Grandmother, Minna Ortmann Loepp. My grandmother, Renata, was born, 18 March 1821 and died 15 September 1901.

The book about her life included some of the meals that the family enjoyed. None of those are familiar in anyway and I look forward to my son-in-law that served his mission in Germany to translate some of the interesting facts that are contained in the small book that I'm blessed have about so many of my ancestors lives. I can only think that what I'm writing now in my journal/blog is somewhat similar to what she left for her family. Recipes, hobbies, and daily life. Hobbies weren't probably really hobbies, but necessities. Crocheting may have been a hard duty. I love the linen and crochet bedspread that her daughter made and sent to her niece, who was my great grandmother that I knew, Grandma Martha Marie (Loepp) McKean.

The only "Channeling" I did was look for a connection in my family history ... and because I'm one of those Americans that have many different national lines through-out Europe, I knew I had a dear German ancestor somewhere. Voila, I mean ...heir ist, my pancakes. Ta Da!

I really want to use our chicken's bounty during this hot weather so here's the easiest breakfast I've ever made and it's going to be used for many meals. It tastes very similar to a custard with a little crust and is fast without sugar. I topped my serving with a tiny sprinkle of powdered sugar and some good butter tasting "Smart Beat."

German Puff Pancakes
I used:
6 eggs
1 cup of milk
1 cup of flour
2/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of real vanilla

I broke the eggs in the bowl and whisked them thoroughly, but stirred the rest in because the pancakes are not made completely smooth--they need a few little lumps. I did preheat my oven to 420 degrees and sprayed a cupcake pan with "Smart Beat" non-stick, spray (it works really well) and after the ingredients were stirred enough, I carefully put 1/2 cup of egg mixture in each cupcake pan

I love how they raised-up and tasted so good. The ones that were in a colder part of my oven I placed back in. I was a bit discouraged because they fell flat on the counter, but as soon as the oven closed the little pancakes raised back-up and when they were done, stayed all puffy and cute.

The pancakes are more egg than anything else and I know quite a few families that have these during special occasions. Perfect for big crowds because they are soooo easy to make. We always have Grandma Loepp McKean's Eggie Pancakes, and they are exactly like crepes, even yummier.

The puff pancakes were used at dinner in the early 1800s without the sugar and maybe with any meal, then on the other hand, I can think that my family probably used  lots of berries, cooked sugared apples, or lemon flavored pudding for pie.

I could make this wonderful little pancake one of the most versatile foods for company, treats, grandchildren, and a whole lot better than a big steak dinner. I wanted to make something a little different for my mother's breakfasts. Seems I hit the jackpot with her too! Yay!

Wonderful Pancakes. Glad I'm German Today!