Friday, August 30, 2013

family history conference

my sweet mom and i were able to attend the family history conference at byu this year and though it completely wore us out, and overwhelmed us, i learned an incredible amount and am so, so glad that i was able to miraculously go. (i wrote about getting some unexpected financial aid here to help pay the $180 admission.)

the conference went from tuesday-friday, 8 am to 5 pm. we never made it at 8 for the keynote speaker, but besides that, had a jam-packed week!! 

i have no idea how to summarize a weeks worth of classes into one blog post (i took pages of notes!) but in case anyone is reading this who may be interested in family history, here are a few gems of knowledge:

+ start with indexing! i went to a panel discussion with a bunch of youth who are family history consultants in their wards (how awesome is that?!) and this is what a lot of the youth are focusing on. it's fairly easy (deciphering old handwriting is the hardest part) and super quick! do it!

+ family history work can help with: understanding & emotional healing, realizing potential (love this one!), spiritual power, wisdom & perspective, and gratitude. 

+ one of the presenters i went to does the majority of her research on google earth! she was a little extreme, but i've never thought about looking up locations of ancestors on google earth and checking out the area that they used to live. kinda cool.

+ "nobody ever lived in the past." --david mccullough (to our ancestors, it was the present.) when putting together your family's story, ask yourself as many questions as possible (what was ____ like?, how did that affect ____?, what is significant about___?) and you'll slowly find their story coming together.

+ if you think "everything has been done on my family line!" (i hear that a lot!) think again. dig deep and do "descendancy research" where you locate all of the siblings in your relatives family. i just found a lot of information on the mckinley line by searching for our direct relative's brother, laughlin. i found WWI and WWII draft cards for almost all of the brothers in the family! jackpot!!

+ one of the days, my mom and i were feeling a little burnt out so we took a field trip to the byu family history center to check out their new photo scanner. it is AMAZING!! we took in over 300 pictures and had them all scanned, and saved to a cd in one hour!! that is unheard of people. they also are getting a new slide scanner (which they probably have by now), so if you are in the area, and have lots of pictures/slides that you want digitized, go to the family history library at byu!! plus, it's free!

+ and lastly, this tip has helped me a ton: when searching for people on either familysearch or ancestry, i haven't had the best of luck. i learned you can use "wildcards" in place of specific letters in a name. for example: normally, i would search, "david mckinley" but there can be a lot of discrepancies in the recording of names. SO, try searching for "david mck*" and it will search all last names with the beginning of "mck". this could bring up an entirely new set of results! or, if you think only one letter may be in question, you can use a question mark, like this: "david mc?inley" (someone may have mistook the "k" for a "g" or something else). 

this may not make sense to anyone (it's much easier to explain in person!) but let's just say i learned a lot. and i loved it all. thanks to my mom for being my conference buddy. i love you mom!!

and i love family history work with a passion!!

along with all that, my mom and i got started on project life! we didn't get as much accomplished as we wanted (when we got home at night, we ate, and lounged around! we were beat.) but i am so excited about it. i'm going to do K-12 in one binder and it's gonna be awesome. prepare yourself for lots of #tbt's on instagram :)

by the end of the week, i was ready to be home with my own family and i think my kids were ready too! saturday, i gave them each a "gift" from my conference and it was a huge hit! max especially loved it and drew in every single member of our family. he still has it hanging above his bed and is so very proud of it (as he should be).

so that's that. 
to top it all off, i just barely got a new calling in my ward:

family history consultant! 

and i couldn't be more excited!!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

paintchip art. it's tradition.

this is the third year that we have made a paintchip mural for danny's classroom. though it's so much work (and we always put it off until the very last minute!) i'm so happy that we have done this. we have a blast and i think (hope) that the students enjoy it too.

here is last year's creation for new testament:

(we can't leave dad's work without playing some ping-pong!)

(they were such good helpers taking all of the fish off!)

and this year, for book of mormon, we made the tree of life. we finished it the night before class started, but made the most of it by having a movie night for the kids! they had a blast.

maebell's first haircut.

danny occasionally calls avery "maebell" and it's pretty darn cute.
(what is not cute, is our basement!! ahh. beware...)

avery/maeball got her first haircut a few weeks ago. i was terrified! (i have never cut a little girl's hair before) but surprisingly, it turned out pretty well. i wasn't super happy with how her bangs turned out, but hey! hair grows, right?!

she was very excited to be able to come down to the basement, sit on the stool, and watch a show on the iPod just like max always does.

my baby girl is growing up!!!




love you avers.

official family pictures

you may remember wayy back in june when i posted some outtakes from our family photo session.
i'm finally getting around to posting the pictures that our photographer took!! (two months later!)

she did an amazing job and i love how they turned out! family pictures sure are a lot of work, but looking back, i have (mostly) only happy memories :)



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

st. george getaway

we have got a pretty amazing group of friends who live two hours from us (and some even further!) since there are a bunch of us, a lot of time usually passes between when we can all get together. but, we've made it a point the last few years to get together at least once during the year and this year it worked out that we could all make it to st. george for a weekend getaway!

we left thursday afternoon and we could not wait! 

// "selfies" in the car! :) //

// love this handsome fellow so very much //

the weekend pretty much consisted of staying up wayyyyyy too late, eating lots of good food, swimming all day long, playing scum, ticket to ride, and new this year: corn hole. (it is all the rage, in case you didn't know.)

swimming was especially awesome for two reasons. 1) it was within walking distance (like, a two minute walk!) and 2) danny bought the kids goggles!! kids in goggles=the cutest thing. EVER. 

// cafe rio in between swimming sessions. so yummm //

// our sleeping beauty at the pool //

// love me some kids in goggles!!! //

// avery mistook this corn hole as a different kind of hole...if you know what i mean! oops! //

// max took the above two pictures :) he is turning into quite the budding photographer! //

// swimming and playing all day long can wear you out! the three oldest kids zoned out in front of elmo for a bit while we snuck a few more games in! //

friday night we all went out to dinner (all sixteen of us!!!) to anasazi. the presentation was really neat (they bring you partially cooked meat & a 700 degree "rock" to finish cooking it on)...but it's not the most child friendly place :)

and then, after dinner, danny & i snuck away to see mary poppins at the tuacahn amphitheater for our 5th anniversary!!! (our friends kindly put our kids to bed. thanks again!) it was AMAZING. the backdrop is incredible. the singing was wonderful. the entire thing! ahh. not to mention, i'd forgotten how great the story mary poppins is! i loved it.

// i stole this pic from lauren's instagram. thanks lauren! //

saturday night while the guys were out playing corn hole (until 3 am!) the girls were home chatting and at about 1:30 we decided it would be awesome to pull a prank on the guys. we tried to think of everything (it's been so long since i've thought about pranking!) and what we eventually came up with totally backfired, but we loved it. it felt like girl's camp all over again :)

// the idea was that they would have to come through the front door, since all other doors would be locked. we checked the garage door multiple times, but somehow half of them got in since it wasn't totally shut! the half who didn't make it in, went around to the front and were faced with shaving cream on the handle, a failed attempt at saran wrapping the door (that is hard to do!), and tons of cups, bowls, and pie tins filled with water. we piled up trees and furniture behind the water making it "impossible" to come in...but the guys easily jumped through.


oh well, we all had a good laugh (it was 3 am after all!) 

the next day, we cleaned up, said our good-byes, and were off.  thanks so much to dave & sarah for hooking us up with a place to stay! and everyone else who made it happen. we love you all!!

on our way home, the kids were antsy to get out and run around so we decided to stop at cove fort to stretch our legs. the sweetest lady missionary tracked us down and promised to give us a short "10 minute" tour (which turned into a 35-40 minute tour!) but it was actually really neat. the inside of the cove where they actually lived was beautiful (i wanted to move in!)

whew! and that is how we spent the weekend before school started!!
 can't believe summer flew by so quickly!