Friday, March 23, 2012

Dear Spencer,

Happy Twelfth birthday!!  Wow, I can't believe you are twelve already!  I remember the day you were born.  You were not in a hurry to come, I was at the hospital the whole night!! But it was worth it to be able to see you just after your birth early in the morning.   I was able to watch as your Dad gave you your very first bath.  My first born lovingly tending to his first born, my first grandchild!  What a tender moment for me.  

Then a few short hours later my heart was so sad to hear that you would need surgery and were being airlifted that very night to UCLA three hours away.   I know that was a rough first six months which you probably don't remember.  You were fortunate to have wonderful parents who handled the situation wonderfully.  The year 2000 was a challenging one for our family, but your birth was one of the few highlights.  It was so fun to see you grow and thrive.  I was happy you lived close so we could visit often and our home was again filled with baby noises!!  

You amazed me at three years old.  I would watch as you typed lists of words in alphabetical order on our computer.  My grandson was a genius!!! Oh, and you would play simple little tunes on the piano. That was amazing too!!

One of my other tender memories is helping you in Primary.  I bet you don't remember because you were only a "Sunbeam". I was asked to sign for you. I loved helping you learn the Primary songs in sign language. 

Now, here you are a young man.  Growing up so fast.  A twelfth birthday is so special for young men in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  In a few short days you will be ordained  a Deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood.  You will be able to help your ward by passing the sacrament and acting in His Holy name.  I know you will do an awesome job!! 

Here are some things that I love about you, Spencer. You have such a sweet and tender heart towards babies. You are an awesome big brother and older cousin to lots of little boy cousins!!  You are very seriously musically talented.  I loved hearing and watching you play your cello!!  I hope you continue with your music. I also love how you are so into your family history.  I love when you ask me questions about the family.  Even though I don't usually know the answer!!   I also love you just being silly.  It's fun to laugh together.

My wish for you in the future is that you stay close to the Gospel and the standards of Church.  If you do I know you will happy in whatever you do in the future!!  You have such good parents who love you very much and have worked hard so you could have the best life possible.  Always love and honor them and you will happy.  

Thank you for making me a grandparent.  I love being a Grandma!  I love being YOUR grandma.  You are special to me!!  I hope you have a wonderful day!  I am excited to see you in a few days!!

Here are just some of the pictures that I love of you!! 

Here you are just a few hours old!

You were the only great grandchild that Grandma Virginia was able to hold!!

Awe!!  What an adorable baby!!

Ha ha, it's a Spencer in a box!!

This is you on your first birthday, We had a party at the park. The little girl is Evelyn.

Do you remember going to see Thomas the Tank engine? That was a fun day!!

Oh, look it's Spencer Harry Potter.

You are so lucky to have a fun Daddy!!

Look at that face. I'm glad you love to eat!!

I love your hair in the picture.

You always have fun with Grandpa!!

You are an awesome "Cougar" fan! 

Just look how much your mom loves you!!

I just love your smile!!

For some reason, I just love this picture!!  I can NOT put my head on my lap! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Getting Everyones Ancestors Recorded

It's time to GEAR Up! Why?? You might ask. Because we need to 

Get Everyones Ancestors Recorded.

Recorded where??  You might ask.  Well, the 1940 US Census Index of course!!  The 1940 US census is soon to be released.  It will take an army of people to get the information indexed and recorded.  But, if we GEAR up and work together we can make it happen!! 

When I was a young adult I learned the importance of gears and learning to use them in the correct way.  My first car was a stick shift and I didn't know how to drive it or anything about gears for that matter. YIKES!  Consequently, I stalled a lot and was getting no where fast!  At one point I stalled in the middle of an intersection and had to be pushed out by a friendly policeman.  I was embarrassed!  So, I practiced and took advice from those who were more experienced and soon I was a pro at driving a stick shift and getting that car in the right gear!! 

Those are lessons that can be applied to being in the right GEAR for indexing.  As with anything there is a bit of a learning curve.  But, FamilySearch has you covered.  There are tons of places to get advice and help for Indexing.  You can start here with a test drive.  There is a Help page here, with tutorials and FAQ's, handwriting guides and even a "live chat" and contact info to get help directly from FamilySearch.  

Oh, and there are other places to get help for Indexing. FamilySearch Indexing is on Facebook, here and Twitter, here.  Basic indexing help can be found at the Research Wiki here.  And the 1940 US Census Community Project is on Facebook here and on Twitter here.  
Once you download the Indexing software to your computer you can actually download a practice batch that will simulate what indexing the 1940 U.S. Census will be like.  And guess what, just for doing that you will be entered into a contest!  Who doesn't like to win things???  What could you win? You might ask. Well one lucky entrant will be chosen at random to win a $100 Visa gift card and two entrants will be chosen to win $50 Visa gift cards.  To register to win, first, visit the Games and Prizes page of the 1940 Blog to register for all project contests (there will be one every week). This weeks contest is here.  Then start Indexing, don't forget to give the 1940 U.S. Census a try on the simulation batch! 

Oh, and they have learned some things from the simulation already and make a video of common mistakes.  This will be helpful so we can GEAR up and be accurate.  

 Why is all this important you might ask.   Well, it is so much easier to find a name on a census when it's indexed.  This following video explains better than I can.

Please join me and let's GEAR up together and get the 1940 US Census indexed. Oh, and good luck with the contest

As part of ambassador program this blog post enters me into a drawing for an Amazon Kindle Fire.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Two Girls and Two Boys

This past week was Rachel's spring break.  So she flew to Katie's house and then they both drove up here to visit us, along with little Kyle and Joshua!!   We have had fun the past few days.  Tuesday we went to the boardwalk and walked to the butterfly trees.  The butterflies are mostly gone, but we did spy a flew stragglers.  It was fun to be out and enjoy the sunshine.

I could NOT get this photo to flip on Blogger. It is right side up on my computer.  Really weird.  But, it is cute and Kyle had fun walking and swinging!!

Wednesday was Pi day!  It's Rachel favorite day to celebrate.  Who can pass up an opportunity to eat pie!  We went beyond that.  Almost everything we eat that day was a circle.  We started the morning with made-from-scratch whole wheat pancakes, extra tasty with fresh-from-the-stand Central Coast home-grown strawberries.  For lunch, Katie, made us some very yummy home-made pizza.

Then we drove up to Atascadero and enjoyed time strolling the zoo.  Then it was off to music lessons with Uncle Evan.  It sounded like a fun idea to bring everyone.  But, poor Kyle.  We thought he would love it, but something about the building freaked him out, and he had a meltdown.  Oh well, Joshua had a blast.  We love Victoria, she is awesome and very patient.

Then it was home for a light dinner of tortilla wraps with all kinds of goodies.  Oh, I almost forgot pie.  We had a chocolate cream pie and a fresh strawberry pie with lots of whipped cream!!  Yummyness!!!

Thursday we went to Avila Beach.  It was such a lovely beach day.  Kyle loves the ocean!!  Did I mention that Kyle loves the ocean.  Playing chase with the waves was his most favorite thing!!

This was Joshua's first time at the ocean.  He had fun once he woke up!!  He loves his grandpa by the way.

Of course we couldn't go to Avila without stopping at the Avila Barn on the way home to visit the animals.  Kyle had fun feeding the goats.  Oh, he tried to eat the lettuce himself too!! 

Now our house is so quiet again.  I miss everyone!!  :(

Monday, March 12, 2012

I love modern medical technology! There are people in my family who wouldn't be with us today without the miracles of modern medicine and the people who bring these breakthroughs to pass.  

Did you know that demands of World War II brought about a new age of medical science? Well, it's true!! And we still benefit from many of these innovations today!!

Here are some medical science advancements from the 1940's. 

  • The first kidney dialysis machine.
  • World War II research efforts brought about the miracle drugs penicillin and the sulfonamides.
  • Rh factor in blood was discovered by a team of researchers at the Rockefeller Institute.
  • In 1941 Red Cross  begin the National Blood Donor Service to collect blood for the U.S. military and by 1949 the U.S. blood system is comprised of 1,500 hospital blood banks, 46 community blood centers, and 31 American Red Cross regional blood centers.
  • The first vaccine for influenza.
  • The first defibrillator was invented.
  • Acetaminophen was discovered.  
  • Plastic contact lenses were discovered.
  • In 1949 nitrogen mustard became the first drug to receive FDA approval as a treatment of cancer.

It's highly likely one of these innovators from the 1940's had an influence on a life you know and love.  A window into the lives of these people and millions of others will be open when the 1940 US Census is finally available to the public. Please consider joining the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project as we work together to index names from this exciting census. Click here for more information.  

As part of ambassador program this blog post enters me into a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Joanna Jean, our newest granddaughter. Isn't she beautiful?  

It is hard to believe but David now has four children, 2 boys and 2 girls!  It's been fun to watch our children have children.  I can't wait to hold this precious little bundle in my arms!  But for now I know sweet little Joanna has three siblings who are anxious to hold and help out with the newest arrival.  

Boy, do I remember those days.  How they go by so quickly!! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In the News 1940's: Computers

While the War took up much of the news of the 1940's a very important piece of equipment was being developed, the Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer.   This early computer was designed to calculate
ballistic firing tables during World War II.  It was so huge it filled a room.  
Isn't it amazing, now we have handheld computers!!  

Cpl. Irwin Goldstein (foreground) sets the switches on one of the ENIAC's function tables at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering. (U.S. Army photo)

Just think in your hand you can hold a computer and help to Index the 1940 US Census.  Without an Index, it would be like looking for the proverbial "needle in a haystack" to find names of family members.  Whose name will you find in the 1940 US Census?  Who will you be helping to find a name by making sure it is indexed?  I hope you consider joining me in the 1940 Census Community Project.  This is something that will  certainly be making the News!! Records will be released in 26 days!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hiking and The Gospel

Mike and have been trying to walk everyday and go for more strenuous hikes once or twice a week.   We live in paradise so it's easy to find beautiful hikes.  A week ago as we were trekking along the very rocky Froom Creek trail in the Irish Hills Open Space with our nifty trekking poles, I asked a question.  "What is a good analogy between trekking poles and the living the gospel".  We talked about how the trekking poles help us to be more stable, especially when the trail is strewn with rocks that make you slip and slide threatening to twist  an ankle, thus making the trail even harder.   Wearing sturdy hiking boots also helps give a strong foundation.  Our life on earth is like a trek.  Prayer and scripture study can provide a stable strong foundation when life on earth gets rocky.

Yesterday we walked the Sycamore Crest Trail.  After walking up a very step oak studded hillside we were rewarded with a beautiful view of the ocean.  There was a rocky trail along the ridge that gave more breathtaking views.  Here are some pictures from our hike. 

Trudging up the hill

View of Avila Beach

Phew, stopping to rest.

Slippery rocks on trail.

Beautiful oak near the crest.

Monkey Flower

Oak studded Trail

Danger, poison oak.

Beautiful red flower.  I wish I knew it's name.

When we got home Mike sat down a penned a poem.  I loved it and wanted to share.

The Hike
I start my hike with sturdy boots and trekking poles.
But why? The path is flat and easy.
The path is difficult now, winding and steep.
My boots provide a sure footing,
My poles support me,
Signposts show me the way.
The trail is a greater challenge now. Can I endure?
Finally, I reach the top.
And I can see forever.               

I live my life with faith in God and simple prayers.
But why? My life is nice and easy.
My life is difficult now, trying and tough.
My faith provides a sure foundation,
My prayers support me,
The Spirit shows me the way.
My life is a greater challenge now. Can I endure?
Finally, I reach the end.
And I can live forever.

By Mike Price 3/5/2012 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Day in the Life of Me

Yesterday, Saturday, was a very busy day.  We got up extra early to get ready to leave for Merit Badge Pow Wow in Santa Maria.  The Pow Wow is a yearly event that I have been helping out for the last umpteen years. It's so many I lost count! Several Boy Scout troops in the district get together and spend a morning working on many different merit badges.  I teach the Disability Merit Badge.  I enjoy this very much.  It is great to be in a really nice group of young men.  It gives me hope for the future!  For this merit badge they have to learn about advocacy, etiquette, accessibility, adaptations, occupations etc.  The fun part is going around the building and checking out the accessibility.  Most boys think it looks pretty accessible until they actually look around.
I also show a short video titled, I'm Tyler.  This video was put together as an Eagle project and is very inspiring. If you are interested click here to watch it. 

This was the first time Mike also taught a class.  Nuclear Science was his subject.  Perfect for him!  His boys got to make models of of electrons and neutrons with marshmallows.  As Mike said, "something they could sink their teeth into".  I am sure the teachers in the class after him didn't appreciate the sugar highs.  

After the Pow Wow, it was time to head out to Buellton for lunch with a group of friends.  We had about an hour extra to spare so we took a little country drive.  We stopped in little Los Olivos to walk around a bit.  We have driven by so many times and  it looked charming.  So why not?  Well it was mostly wine tasting.  The buildings were cool but the wine tasting wasn't our thing.

On to Buellton and Gino's Pizza.  We were meeting some old friends.  All members of our spina bifida support group from when Evan was young.  It was great to get together.  But, sad to think about those who have passed on.  Evan was the youngest of the group and the most involved, at least cognitively wise.  It was an eye opener to me how all these young adults are still living at home and struggling still with medical problems and fitting into society with jobs and friends.  They just seem to fall into the cracks.  Due to Evan's cognitive status he qualifies for some of the California state programs for adults with developmental disabilities that the others don't. Makes me sad to see those with such potential not get the support they need.  It was great to be with other parents and chat about things that only parents of children with spina bifida can understand.  By the way, the salad we ordered was huge and very very yummy!!

As we headed home on the 101 we came to a complete stop. Not a good sign!!  Flashing lights were ahead and an ambulance coming from behind.  Then we see a helicopter that lands right on the freeway!!  God speed to those that are injured.  As we sat there I wasn't  upset that we were moving, just grateful we were safe.  We talked as we waited and played Mad Libs.  When we were finally able to move, wow, what a banged up van.  Looks like it rolled several times.  I hope the people had on their seat belts. 

When we got home I finished up an online project I was working on.  I am now an official California ServSafe Food Handler.  I think this means I can now flip burgers at Burger King.  No worries,  things aren't that bad, I'm not headed off to work in a restaurant.  This was just for crazy government regulations, so the food pantry that I volunteer for, The Five Cities Christian Women Food pantry, could get licensed.  We distribute food to the needy and now we need to be licensed. Something new for this 30 plus year old organization. Even though we don't cook food, we just give out groceries.  Someone in the group had to become certified, so I agreed to take the online course and test.  The course was a joke, most of it talked about safe temperatures for cooking and serving food, which we don't do. The test was even more of a joke.  The questions were multiple choice and one question about the proper way to wash hands asked if you would use boiling water!!  Boiling water!!!!  You would have to be an imbecile to make that choice.  Crazy!  Anyway, I passed the test and now I'm official!  So, that will help this wonderful group!

I fixed dinner. Yeah for leftovers!!  After cleaning things up we enjoyed a quiet evening.  Evan stomped his parents in a game of Farkle and then I headed off to bed early to read a book.  Before I fell asleep April called, needing some motherly advice.  It was fun to chat with her for a while, she e-mailed me some cute pictures of her sweet boys, Tommy and Corbin!  Poor Tommy has a swollen lower eye lid.  Hopefully, it is just a bug bite or something and will be better in the morning.

So, there you have it!!  A day in the life of me!! I actually love my life!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Dr. Suess!

Who doesn't love Dr. Suess??  I do!! My fondest memories of Dr. Suess come from reading to my little brother, Mike.  And also reading to my own six children.  There have always been Dr. Suess books in our house.  My favorite Dr. Suess books are "Hop on Pop" and "Green Eggs and Ham"!! 

Then again there was Wacky Wednesday, that was one of my children's favorite.  It's just chock full of wacky stuff!!

Dr. Suess also went by the clever pen name of Theo. LeSeig.  LeSeig being his real surname spelled backwards!  So silly!!  Here are more favorite Dr. Suess books.

Well, the list could go on and on.  What are your favorite Dr. Suess books???

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