Friday, December 31, 2010

Just for you, Dad, Merry Christmas!

If my laptop were working and I could access the photo editing software I prefer, it wouldn't look quite like this, but it's better than nothing!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Great American Melting Pot

I've been spending the last year or so playing around with researching my family's history. Growing up, I was always aware of how deeply my family (both my mother's and my father's sides) is rooted in this country. We had traced our roots back to the 1750s on one side (Troyers) and as far as the 1650s on the other (Fannings). I knew that before that, Troyers were from Austria/Switzerland and Fannings were from Ireland. I knew that the Eighmeys had lived in New York state for a long long time (Philip Emigh was the first to be born in the New World, in 1711). I also knew that beyond that, I had some Dutch and English and German and Irish blood in me. I knew that I have a strong Amish background, and that they originated from Austria. But the focus had always been vaguely on how long our history is here in North America.

Just recently I became aware of a pattern that I was ignorant of. I had all the pieces but I had not put them together. Tonight I saw it for the first time, and it changes so much how I see myself and my history. My family truly is a melting pot, in the classical sense, not just in the distant past. What I realized is:

my father married the daughter of an immigrant (England)
my grandfather married the daughter of immigrants (Hungary)
my great-grandfather married the daughter of an immigrant (Ireland)
and my great-great grandfather married an immigrant (Germany)

Somehow, I have never known how close I was to immigration history. What makes family history more fun is to put it all in historical context, too. To find out just why those people came to America (or the colonies!) when they did, and to learn what was going on in the world at that time. Hungary was in a period of upheaval when my great-grandparents left (1890s); WWI was about to start when my grandfather arrived (1912); my great-great-grandfather arrived from Ireland at the end of the Potato Famine in the 1850s.

Truly, my family is a mix of the old and the new. I have a brand-new perspective on history because of my personal ties to it. I have been watching the new show on Friday nights that is doing, called "Who Do You Think You Are," and in the first episode Sarah Jessica Parker is quoted (over and over in the commercials) saying "It changes everything about who I thought I was" and I thought that was so over-dramatic and corny. But now here I am, saying the same thing LOL.

I am still digging, and hoping to find more personal stories as well as to see how far back I can get. I am hoping to break through a wall where I am stuck now; hoping that persistance will pay off. Some days I regret not having an interest earlier, when I could still ask my grandparents about their backgrounds. It is such a loss that their knowledge was not recorded. I hope to have a lot more to pass on to my children, when they are older and become curious. It really does make history come alive.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

3 Years Old

Last week Jacob had his third birthday. He asked for a Thomas cake, of course. It feels like the 600th Thomas cake I have baked! lol. I guess I haven't made enough of them yet, because I was still disappointed in how it turned out; luckily 3 year olds aren't as picky, because Jacob loved it LOL.


The store didn't have colored icing, so I had to mix it myself. Ugh it is hard to make black! It was really more gray than it looks in the picture, but overall it's better than I expected it to get. I am also happy with the blue - very Thomas.

He requested chicken nuggets for dinner (I think Chris snuck off and ate something else!) and we had fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and of course the cake, for dessert. He got just a few presents, but they were what he asked for, so he was happy. Ah, 3! They are easy to please!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Last Saturday we got a huge snowstorm. The tv news had talked about it for 3 days before the first flakes flew; clearly there was nothing else to talk about LOL. By Friday morning, activities were cancelled for the weekend. We ended up with about 27 inches when it finally stopped Saturday afternoon. A pretty good snow in anyone's books; but wow they made a big deal out of it! I am too used to the snow we got up in State College, I guess. I think for this area down here, it was a big deal. In any case, the boys were thrilled. They've been complaining for 5 years that we moved them "away from all the snow." Saturday was our second big snow for the season, and we weren't done! Last night another storm came through and left us with over 12 inches more. And so, of course, I must post pictures. :-)

There was lots of drifting, so some spots in the yard were almost bare, but in order for me to get to the spot in the driveway where I took this picture of Levi, I had to wade through thigh-high snow.

While you could see in the other picture that the cars were almost clear of snow in the back, here you can see it all drifted onto the Pontiac!

Here is Caleb, wading out to the barn.

Samuel and Noah tried to dig a tunnel, but the snow was too fresh and it ended up collapsing.

On Sunday the sun was out and the snow hardened up a bit. Out along the road the plow had piled up a nice big bank of snow, and the boys dug a new and better tunnel. It actually branched inside, and part of it went straight through, and the other branch came back around and out the same side further down the bank.



Samuel, with Noah climbing on top


By Monday Chris had his car and the van dug out. We all had dentist appointments Monday morning, so we needed to be out. The sun was out again, and the driveway was clear down to the pavement. Well, except for the Pontiac. We didn't get to that. Here it is, just as the second snow started yesterday:
I'm thinking we won't be using it until Spring LOL

The snow was falling heavily this morning, and we had about 10 more inches by 9 am. It is still going strong, at 1 pm. The boys were eager to go out and see how much of their shovelling was undone LOL.

Levi on the side porch. The other boys were out sledding on the hill behind the garden.

Here is Micah coming back from the hill.

I just came back in after taking more pictures, and the wind has really picked up. The driveway is buried again, so the boys did all that work for nothing. Visibility is almost zero from all the blowing snow, and it's still snowing hard. Blizzard!

The snow blew up to the front door. I had to push it aside with the door to get out.

This fence is about 4 feet high, and borders the road.

Here's how the boys did shovelling. Just kidding, they had it down to the blacktop; it's all blown back over again. And just beyond the milk shed is the road. Trust me, it's there. Somewhere. The snow was really blowing like crazy; it was hard to take pictures.

And here's the Pontiac. The wind is from a different direction this time, so the front is blown partially clear. The boys ran their hands across the windows, so it looks a little like a mohawk ROFL.


Kim, over at Musing, Rambling, and all around Blathering (see sidebar for link to her blog), tagged me for a meme. This one is the Honest Scrap Award. I guess I'm supposed to tell you 10 things about myself? Hmmm, what would you care about?


1. I collect Barbies. I do this because as a young girl, my mother took a stand against them as being bad examples for girls to aspire to. I just figured if I couldn't have such a great wardrobe, at least my Barbie could! I never thought to try to be one. I didn't start collecting, though, until one Christmas when Chris gave me one as a gag gift. I was complaining that with all boys, I was never going to be able to indulge the little girl in me and buy Barbies for my daughter. (Trust me, Chris is reliving his childhood over x7 with all the boy stuff around here.) Well, I decided, since my nickname around here is Queen Mommy, that I would collect Princess Barbies. My collection is probably around 50. There are quite a few I'd love to have, but the higher end Barbies cost over $200. Um, not for me lol.

2. My hair is still very long. When I turned 30 I made an attempt to cut it to a "respectable" length, since, you know, I was now too old for "young" hair. But I hated it. I did cut it shoulder length one more time when Levi was less than a year old, and I admit it looked good, but I missed my hair. So I grew it out. And now at 42, it is past my butt. And I like it. :-)

3. I am currently working on my family's genealogy. I love all things old, and am fascinated by photos from the past. I hate that we lost so many photos and records from my grandparents when their house burned down, but I do have a wonderful pile of family history from my mother. I encourage my Dad to write down memories from his childhood and young-adulthood and email them to me. I had a lot of fun this summer researching into one of those memories. I hope to write up a blog post about that, once I have all the materials gathered to put it together.

4. I am NOT a "foodie." I don't like to cook, I don't like to try new foods, I don't like to think about food at all. I eat the same things all the time, because I know what to expect from them. I eat poorly because I eat what takes the least amount of effort to prepare. If that means opening a bag or wrapper, that's what I'll do. My mother and my older sister love(d) food, but ugh, I don't really want to talk about food!

5. What I do love is puzzles! Jigsaw puzzles, word puzzles, those metal chain type puzzles. I approach almost everything like a puzzle. I think that's why I like LOST so much. However, I have only so much patience, and then I am perfectly happy to get help, or even to cheat LOL.

6. I still want another baby. Ok ok, don't even bother to comment on that one. I know what you all think, and go away. You want what you want, and I want what I want. My good friend called last night from the hospital, to let me know her 14th child had just been born, and I could hear him crying in the background. I am so so thrilled for her, but I went in the bathroom and cried. I could practically feel a baby in my arms and I think my milk let down. Yes, my baby is almost 3 years old, and I am 42. What about it?

7. Ok, something less serious. My first car was a VW Rabbit. It was black with maroon interior. I only remember having it for one summer, the summer before I left for college. After that I drove an Audi 5000 (very used), then the first car I owned and paid insurance on was a maroon 1982 Honda Accord hatchback. I used it to drive back and forth to college. I liked that car. Next came a blue 1987 Toyota hatchback. It got great gas mileage. I traded that in for the 12 passenger van I drive now. Totally skipped the full size sedan and mini-van LOL. I like my van, though I won't go out if there is even a rumor of snow coming.

8. When I was little I had rabbits. I was not good at taking care of them; I am lucky my grandfather would come over and feed the poor things. He built them awesome hutches, and spoiled them with grass cuttings and garden veggies. I kept rabbits continuously from when I was 5 until almost 35. My favorite rabbit was Thumper, who I called Tumpie. He went to college with me. Now we have moved on to cats LOL.

9. Ok, I've run out. If you comment with a question, I'll edit the post and add more with whatever you want to know.

I'm not going to tag anyone for this. If you want to do it, feel free to do your own. Let me know if you do, so I can go read it!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy New Year!

I know a lot of people had a rough time with 2009, but honestly, it was a good year for us. In fact, it was one of our best years as a family. I am thankful to God for His blessings so far and above what we needed, and that we were able to share those blessings and help some friends.

May 2010 be full of blessings for all of us!