Monday, January 30, 2012


I am continually amazed at Evan's tenacity. His stick-to-itness. Yesterday was the Harmony in Health Concert. When Evan was performing his Star Wars solo there were several interruptions. But, he just stay focused and continued playing. I don't think I could have done that! I know I couldn't have done that!!

Enjoy the video!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

All Over the World

Some of my most cherished memories of serving with FamilySearch support involved working with patrons and missionaries from other countries around the world.  This morning I needed help from FamilySearch so I call the toll free support number.  The missionary helping me was a sweet sister with a Spanish sounding accent.  I asked her where she was from and she said originally Nicaragua.  Her answer to my next question, where she was living now, really surprised me.  She said the Middle East!!  How cool is that?  A FamilySearch missionary serving in the Middle East.  She is living in Abu Dhabi!  She told me they have a thriving ward there.  Wow!  I love our world-wide Church and FamilySearch.  Oh, by the way, she was very helpful!!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A New Generation

Isn't Maddalena Del Monte a beautiful name?  I love it!!  She is my great great grandmother!! I just found her today when I discovered my great grandmother Giacinta Laurora's death record.  I also learned Maddalena's husband name, Saverio Morlani.  Saverio is the Italian version of Xavier. 

It is amazing how much information you can learn on one record like this!!  For this one record, I learn that my great grandmother lived to the ripe old age of 80 years old. Now I know the approximate year she was born, 1823.  I learned her parents names and that they lived in Terracina, and that Giacinta was born in Terracina.  I also learned that Saverio was a contadino (a farmer) and the ladies were woman of the house or "donna di casa".  I love my peasant Italian heritage!  I wrote more about that here.   It is always wonderful to find a whole new generation!  I am so very excited!  Now I just want to learn more!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Grandma was Right

It's that time of year, cold and flu season.  Cough, cough, hack, hack!!  It hit our house last week.  Both Evan and I had stuffy noses, coughs and Evan had a fever for a few days. I have decided that "Grandma" was right!  Chicken soup and rest is what is best for colds.  All those cold medicines just really don't work, in my humble opinion. 

Here are some of my favorite things when I am sick with a cold.  

Warm chicken soup is great, awe that nice warm broth is very soothing on a sore throat.  If it's homemade it's even better.  We had turkey soup last week and it was awesome.  

Hot herbal tea with honey!  Awe, especially at night before going to bed.

Good quality facial tissue is a must!  We had cheap store brand sandpaper facial tissues that are fine if you blow your nose once a day.  My poor nose needed something soft.  Thankfully, my wonderful husband went out specially to buy some name brand super soft tissues.  What a difference!!  

At night I also like Vicks Vapor rub.  It brings back memories of my mom. When I was little and we were sick she would use this.  Awe, you just breath deep and can feel those nasal passages opening up!

Oh, and lots of rest of course and it helps to get TLC from family.  

What do you like treat a cold??  I would love to know.

Disclaimer:  I do NOT own stock or have any vested financial interested in any of the above products.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Once a week I volunteer at my local Family History Center. When I am not assisting our patrons I do my own research. Currently, I have been browsing the vital records on mircofilm for Terracina, Italy looking for family. I recently found this 1900 death record for Umberto Vincenzo Giannetti. Whenever, I see the surname Giannetti, I stop and try to read the record. While I don't really know Italian I have been able to learn from the FamilySearch website's many helpful guides, what to look for in Italian records to find basic information. In this record I saw the names of my great parents Silviano Giannetti and Rosaria Morlani. They were listed as the parents of this five year old little boy who died, Umberto Giannetti. I didn't know about him before. At first I am filled with sadness. Many things go through my mind. How hard would it be to lose your little child or a small brother? I wondered how he died. If the records states the reason I don't know how to read that part. I think back about my grandmother, Virginia. She was such a sad person. Did her brother's death have something to do with that? She would have been eight years old when he died. The family immigrated to America and leaving their little one's grave back in Italy. What sadness would that bring? 
Then I felt joy. Joy to have found this little one.  Someone, has remembered him on earth and thought of that family today.  I know that families can be forever.  That makes me happy!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Today we went to the zoo.  It's just a small little zoo not far away.  We enjoyed seeing all the animals.  Here are some pictures of my favorite exhibits today.  

These birds were in the walk-in aviary. 

I love the long legs on this little bird. 

And the colors on this one are so pretty. 

This is a Red River Hog.  He had really long ears that he flapped back and forth.  We didn't figure out if he was from the Red River or if he was a red hog at the river.

This is the face of an emu, it a face only a mother could love! 

The birds were the most colorful of all the animals at the zoo.

This frog looks like a a blob of slime!

I love, love the tigers.  Such a majestic animal!!

These were the scariest animals at the zoo!  Ha ha!!

And just for your information, the alpacas were mating so I gave them their privacy and did NOT take a picture.  I know TMI!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Getting Closer

Four years ago I wrote the following post, click here,  regarding my great grandmother Mary Finnicane/Finnochan/Finnegan Crowley.  I may be getting closer to finding her.
I found a record I believe may be her death record but there is just one little piece of information missing from the document that would identify her 100% as the correct person.  And, that is her husband's name, Jeremiah Crowley.   Here is the record.  Mary Crowley is line 24.

Click to make larger, save image to magnify.

Believe it or not Mary Crowley is a fairly common name in this part of the country at that particular time.  The reason I think this record may be a match is that I know that Mary was living in Chelmsford on the 1880 census and she had a child born in 1882 in Chelmsford.  The age of forty doesn't exactly match because she is listed as age 40 on the 1880 census.  Her father's surname is almost a match ( I have seen her surname spelled with several variations), but I have never seen another document with her parents name listed before.  The record also says that she was married.  Why, oh why, then does it NOT list a spouse's name???  The 1900 census lists Jeremiah as a widower.  So, I know his wife died before then.  The surprise in this document is that her cause of death was abortion!!  Was that a spontaneous abortion as in a miscarriage or did she try to abort a pregnancy later in her life??  I have searched for a obituary for this death record and found none and I have contacted cemeteries to find a burial record to no avail.  Many family members are buried in St. Patrick's cemetery in Lowell, but she is NOT there.  Can a woman who had an abortion be buried in a Catholic cemetery anyway?? Does anyone else have any other ideas on where to search?  Would this be enough evidence for you??  Any helped would be appreciated. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Gate

We spotted this old rusty gate on our little hike at San Simeon State Beach.  It intrigued me at first sight.  Why was it here?  What did it lead too?  Huge weeds were in the front and an even more humongous bush out the back.  It was a gate to nowhere from nowhere.   At one time, it looked like it was painted a pretty bright green color. I tried to imagine what it used to look like years and years ago.  Was there a farm house?  Or a barn?  Or maybe a garden?  Nothing was in sight.  A few yards on the other side of this gate lay a creek bed. 

What analogies does this gate share with life, I wondered aloud.   Mike thought, maybe addictions.  The path is filled with weeds and bad things and goes on to more bad things.  Broken promises might be another, that path would start with good intentions, the weeds would get bigger and on the other side, they would be huge.  Or how about man's inhumanity to man.  That has been on my mind since reading two books recently,  "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption" and "Someone Knows My Name".

What do you think this gate could represent?  I would love to hear.  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Central Coast Winter

Monday seemed the perfect day to drive up the coast!   First we stopped at San Simeon State Beach to check out the trails there.

The creek that sometimes flows into the ocean isn't quite making it all the way to ocean just yet.  (Not enough rain this season)  If was a perfect spot for birds to lazily float.

This boardwalk crosses a seasonal marsh which was still dry.  However, we still found things of beauty.

This plant with pompoms was one. 

There were bushes with pretty little red berries. 

And thistles ready to poke if you touched.

This old rusty gate seemed to lead to nowhere.

These little yellow flowers brightened up the dry landscape.

I am still just like a little kid when it comes to crunching leaves. I love the sound and couldn't resist!

 Next we headed to one of our favorite boardwalks at Moonstone Beach.  The ocean here is so beautiful as it crashes over the rocky coastline.

  And these beautiful red flowers reaching for the sky. 

There are birds galore.

I waited for this bird to stretch forth is long neck, but he did not cooperate.

There was lots of little bunnies hopping through the underbrush.  

What a treat!! Winter on the Central Coast is most lovely! 


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Isn't this a beautiful maypole nativity?? Katie's husband Brad made this for me as a Christmas present. I love it. I am touched by all the hard work made to create something so beautiful.Notice how the little baby Jesus is in the center. All the people are looking toward Him. It reminds me of this story I heard this early Christmas season in Relief Society.

The Camel Had Wondered

"Our family has always enjoyed a Christmas tradition of setting out a ceramic nativity scene—complete with wise men, camels, shepherds, sheep, and, of course, Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus. Each season the nativity scene was the same.
One year when my children were young, I carefully unwrapped each piece and set up an artistic display representing the first Christmas. The children gathered around to watch. We talked about the birth of Jesus and the visit of the shepherds and Magi. Then I cautioned the children, as always, not to touch the pieces, explaining that they were fragile and easily broken.
This year, however, the temptation was too great for my two-year-old daughter, Elizabeth. The day we set up the nativity scene, I noticed several times, with some irritation, that a camel had wandered from its appointed place or a sheep had strayed from the watchful care of the shepherd. Each time, I returned the piece to its rightful place, then tracked down the culprit and admonished her to leave things alone.The next morning, Elizabeth awoke and went downstairs before I did. When I walked into the living room, I noticed right away that the manger scene had been disturbed again. All the pieces were clumped together in a mass, as tightly as they could be fitted together.
Impatiently, I stepped forward to put things right; but I stopped short as I realized that some thought had gone into this new arrangement. All twenty-three figures were grouped in a circle, facing inward, pushed together as if to get the best view possible of the figure resting in the center of them all—the baby Jesus.
The spirit touched my soul as I pondered the insight of a two-year-old. Certainly, Christ should be the center of our holiday celebrations. If we all could draw in around our Savior—not only during the Christmas season but during each day—what a better perspective we would have. The love he offers to each of us would be easily shared with others who have not ventured so close.
I left the nativity arranged according to Elizabeth’s design that year. It served as a poignant reminder during the rest of the season of what Christmas is all about."
Janet Eyestone Buck, Dec. 1992 Ensign

I just love this story, and it is so true that we need to have Christ the center of our life. Not just at Christmas-time but all year long.

I also love what Elder Scott had to say:

"....resolve to make the Lord Jesus Christ the living center of your home. Be sure that every decision you make, whether it be of a spiritual or physical nature, be guided by the thought “What would the Lord Jesus Christ have me do?” When the Savior is the center of your home, it is filled with peace and serenity. There is a spirit of calm assurance that pervades the home that is felt by the children and adults alike." (Elder Richard G. Scott April 2010 General Conference address)

So, in 2012 this beautiful nativity will be the centerpiece on my dining room table as a reminder all year long that Christ will be the center of our home. The decisions we make, the things we do, need to reflect His teachings. Then no matter what is going on around the world we will feel peace.

Happy New Year
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