Monthly Archives: August 2013

Knucklehead’s First Day of School and Pvt. Cole Reports for Duty

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I know, you are wondering where my next DC Trip post is, and hold your horses, because it’s coming!  First, I had to take a couple of days away from the computer and spend it with my kids and get caught up on chores around the house.

The first thing I did was hug on these two boys!  I missed them while I was gone!

JT and Knucklehead

The Hubs is on 60 hour weeks, so with him only home one day a week, it’s just not feasible for him to do much around here.  He needs at least one day of rest with the schedule he is keeping so there were quite a few things to get done.

While I was gone, and enjoyed near perfect weather in DC, it rained here at home almost every day and my grass was so tall, the mower kept bogging down.  We had no choice but to bust out the tractor and get the heaping piles of grass up.  I was being smart and raking down hill!

Yard Work

Knucklehead had his first day of school on Monday, and you know we had to prepare for that, had to attend open house and get all his stuff ready and together.  Here’s the big 6th grader on that first morning.

First Day of School

Not a happy camper can you tell?  His stomach hurt, the grass was wet, he wanted to get down to the end of the driveway and wait for the bus even though he had 15 more minutes, and he did not want to smile.  AT ALL.  But I made him.  So then this is what I got.

First Day of School Smile

Totally fake, but at least it wasn’t that frown!  After I snapped the shot, he went right back to his frown and walked down to wait for the bus.  He did have a great first day though and was very glad to see his friends.  He has been getting his homework done easily enough.  So far, so good.

Then on Monday evening, the first day of school, and Justin’s last day at home before leaving for boot camp, we had a small, family gathering to say goodbye to him, and to say goodbye to my nephew William who is going back to Colorado for High School this year.

But first, I should back up a bit and tell you that Justin’s Dad drove all the way up here from Alabama to spend the weekend with him before boot camp.  He picked him up and they went to stay with his Dad’s family in Sherwood for the weekend.

Justin with his Dad

They came back on Monday and his Dad stayed and had dinner with us.  After we all had dinner, since Justin and William both were leaving we all decided to load up and head over to the Romance Cliffs to get good pictures of everyone.

This is my favorite picture of my family.  I wish The Hubs had been here, but he had to work. :(

Us Romance 2013

My friends David and Diane took this picture of all of us, and I think it turned out great. From left to right is Justin, Knucklehead, William, Mom, Dad, Me, brother John, and Addie.

This is a great shot of the boys.

JT Knucklehad William

I love this shot of Mom and Dad.

Mom and Dad

This is a great shot of my brother John, William and Addie.

John William and Addie

These are my friends, David and Diane.

David and Diane

Did I mention that I love these boys?

Michael and Justin

This is Justin with his Dad, Junior Cole.

Junior and Justin

And here folks, you are looking at a rarity.  One of probably three pictures of Junior and I together with Justin since we divorced, oh, I’d say about 15 years ago.  But Justin wanted a picture of us with him so we did.  Luckily, we get along great most of the time and it was no problem.

Junior Susie Justin

The next morning JT had to be up at the Armory in Heber Springs by 6 am. It was still dark when we got there and we took some last, going away shots.

Me JT Knucklehead

Junior and Justin

JT and Knucklehead

I have mentioned my love for those boys, right?  Yeah, I thought so.

Sgt. Gipson arrived and I got this shot, then they got in the car and drove off.  Headed to Camp Robinson where Justin would be processed in and leave from.

Sgt. Gipson

Justin’s Dad left to make the drive back to Alabama, I got knucklehead off to school and guess what?  I didn’t cry!  I made it all day without crying, and I was doing great. Then Justin sent me this picture from the plane that night as he was boarded and waiting for takeoff to Oklahoma City. I admit I did cry for a bit.  But, it wasn’t tears of sadness.  I’m so proud and happy for him.  This is what he has wanted to do since he was a little boy.

JT on the plane

He arrived in OKC about 8:30 and had a two-hour bus trip to Fort Sill.  I did get to talk to him last night, and he’s doing ok. It’s a lot more than he thought, but he is brave and strong and he’s making it.  From what I understand, he is processing in and the real deal boot camp starts on Monday, and then it will be three or more weeks before I can talk to him again.

Since he left, I’ve been just keeping up with the normal compound chores and duties and resting up from the trip and chores and stress of getting everyone where they have to be. Now, I’m back to the computer and settled into a routine with Knucklehead in school and I will get back to posting about my trip.  There’s still some sight-seeing, my trip to the National Archives, and my trip to Richmond, Virginia coming up so stay tuned!

Susie

Day Five of My DC Trip

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Up early again, on this, the 5th day of my trip, Tuesday, Aug 6th.  Leslie dropped me back off at the DAR headquarters on her way to work.

Same scenario, I milled around outside until they opened.

I got my pass for the day.

DAR Pass

The dot means, I’m a member, and the green means it’s Tuesday.  There were still a few things on my ancestors I wanted to print, and I had promised my friends David and Diane that I would look in their Ancestor files, and print the documentation for them as well.

So I headed back to the computer room and printed, printed, printed.  Then I took a brief lunch break to eat, and then came back and printed, printed, printed.  When I got done, this is what I had printed.  This does not include the prints from the day before.

Copies from DAR

Wowza, right!?!

That combined with what I printed yesterday, was 35.5 lbs, and $215 worth of copies.

Want to know how I know?

I weighed those suckers, and 25 cents a copy add’s up, y’all!

I’m also glad to report that a lot of that cost was David and Diane’s.  I’m not so sure they were glad though.  OK, they were. They were thrilled when I gave them the copies. You guys know, it’s always exciting to get stuff on your ancestors.

Oh, and I could only check two bags on the way home, each had to weigh less than 50 lbs, and after carrying all this paper around for the rest of the day, let’s just say I was concerned about getting all this home.  I had to borrow a suitcase from Leslie to do it.  Both suitcases combined, weighed 90 lbs when they weighed them at the airport.

Whew!

OK, back to the recap.

Then I bought a few things in the DAR gift shop and waited on Leslie.  She got off work early and picked me up and we drove out to Arlington Cemetery.

This was amazing!

We paid for the shuttle, and just let me tell you, “Thank Goodness!”  I would have never made those hills.  It just goes on and on and on.  Plus, it rained on us.  I had an umbrella though, so that was all good.

Arlington Cemetery

If you have visited here and this doesn’t move you, and make you understand or at least see the magnitude of the sacrifice that our soldiers and their families make for us every single day, then I’d be really worried about you.

Seriously.

Arlington Cemetery

Some of these have multiple family members in them.  Buried one on top of the other.

Arlington Cemetery

Then we headed to the Kennedy Memorial.  I’ve seen this on TV, but it’s a whole other ball game to stand here and see first hand the final resting place of John F. Kennedy, and think about the sacrifice he made on behalf of our country.

Arlington Cemetery

The final resting place of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline B. Kennedy Onassis., with two of their infant children.

Arlington Cemetery

Then we saw Robert Kennedy’s final resting place.

Arlington Cemetery

Just up at the top of the hill, above Edward Kennedy’s final resting place, is Robert E. Lee’s house.  There was one point when Leslie and I were driving through D.C. and I could see Robert E. Lee’s house way up on top of the hill, all the way across the city.  It looked as if it was looking down on everything.

Arlington Cemetery

And boy, was I right.  Here is the view from Robert E. Lee’s front yard.

Arlington Cemetery

Amazing!

This is a map of what Arlington Estate looked like back in 1860.

Arlington Cemetery

This is what it looks like now.  This is walking up the path toward the front of the house. You can see the garden, which is on the back side of the house.

Arlington Estate

This is the side of the house.

Arlington Estate

This is the front of the house.

Arlington House

This is a garden out to the side of the house.

Arlington Estate

And another one.  I’m not really even sure what this was used for.

Arlington Estate

This monument is near the Arlington Estate, and it is the Civil War Unknowns Monument. It was placed here in 1866, and is the first monument at Arlington dedicated to unknown solider’s.  This was the move by Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs that prevented Robert E. Lee and his family from inhabiting the house again.  He knew when he ordered the graves to be moved here, that would be the outcome.

Arlington Cemetery

The inscription reads:

BENEATH THIS STONE
REPOSE THE BONES OF TWO THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN UNKNOWN SOLDIERS
GATHERED AFTER THE WAR
FROM THE FIELDS OF BULL RUN, AND THE ROUTE TO THE RAPPAHANOCK,
THEIR REMAINS COULD NOT BE IDENTIFIED. BUT THEIR NAMES AND DEATHS ARE
RECORDED IN THE ARCHIVES OF THEIR COUNTRY, AND ITS GRATEFUL CITIZENS
HONOR THEM AS OF THEIR NOBLE ARMY OF MARTYRS. MAY THEY REST IN PEACE.
SEPTEMBER. A. D. 1866

Then we decided to go see the changing of the guards and on our way to do so, we saw the grave of Audie L. Murphy.  Movie star, and most decorated WWII Soldier.  He received 28 medals during the war.

Arlington Cemetery Audie Murphy

Audie’s final resting place is across from the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater.

Arlington Memorial Amphitheater

This is where we saw the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Changing of the Guards.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard

Then after we watched this, we went over to where the Memorials were for the Challenger Space Shuttle, the Space Shuttle Columbia, and the Iran Rescue Mission Monument.

Arlington Cemetery

The Challenger Space Shuttle Memorial.

Arlington Cemetery

The Iran Rescue Mission Monument.

Arlington Cemetery

The Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial.

Arlington Cemetery

Then we took our obligatory selfie.

Arlington Cemetery

Then, we went back to Leslie’s apartment, had a little supper and then we went to see the movie “White House Down”.

Totally appropriate for me to be in D.C. and watch this movie.  The best part of it was the movie theater that we went to, has recliners.

Yep, recliners baybeeeee!

I’m so surprised I stayed awake throughout the whole movie, because let me tell you, recliners in a movie theater is the way to go!  I was comfy!

Anyway, the movie was good, and we went back to the apartment and crashed.

End of this day.

And the Winners Are…

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Congratulations to 1st place winner of the Fold3.com one year membership:  Michelle Harris who said, “I’d probably like to be my 6th great grandfather, who was a cherokee chief and diplomat and negotiated with the British government in the 1700s.”

Congratulations to 2nd place winner of the Newspapers.com one year membership:  Kookie Hemperley who said, “After giving this much thought, I would like to spend the day with my grandmother, Emma Pearl Bain Martin and her son, my uncle, Ray Houston Martin. I would like to know how Granny Pearl survived the Depression with an out of work ill husband that died leaving her with children to raise and no income. Uncle Ray was killed in WW II in Tunisia at the age of 27. I have to tried to obtain his service records but have been unable to do so due to the fact that the repository that housed them burned. Since they both died before I was 2 years old, I have no memories of either of them , I would like to know them in person not through documents.”

Congratulations to 3rd place winner of the $30 gift certificate to Blurb.com:  Ken Wilder, who said, “If I could, I would pick to be my great, great grandfather, James Banks of Georgia. He was a civil war veteran who had to file for his pension as being indigent. He was reported to have to depend on his daughters to support. I can’t even begin to imagine how he might have felt about having to do that.
If I could travel back and be James, my hope would be that there would be a way to have made it easier on him and his family.

I will be contacting you soon with your prize information!

FYI – I use a plugin that chooses the winners for me, it’s totally random and I have no say in it.

Blogiversary Winners

Day Four of My DC Trip

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This was a day I have dreamed of for a long time.

OK, just for about four long years, but Hey!  That’s a long time.

On this day, August 5th, the fourth day of my trip, I went to the Daughter’s of the American Revolution headquarters.

DC -DAR

I became a member this past year.  It took me four years to prove my line of descendancy from my 5th great-grandfather, Thomas Bullard down to me.  Since the first moment I found out that I had an Ancestor that was part of the American Revolution, I have wanted to find out more about him and his role during the American Revolution and I wanted to actively participate in keeping his memory alive for the sacrifice he made in order to secure our freedom, so I decided to become a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Little did I know then, I had four other ancestors that also played parts during the American Revolution, but I didn’t find them until just this year when I started working on my mother’s side of the family.

If you don’t know this, when you apply to become a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, you have to prove who your parents are, who their parents are, and so on and so on, all the way up to the Ancestor that participated in some way in the American Revolution.  To do this, you have to submit birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, etc., anything that proves your tie to your Ancestor.  This is NOT easy when you get back to the years before states started keeping public records.

What a trip to the DAR headquarters means for either a non-member, or a member of the DAR is that you can search for your Ancestor and if you find them, you can look in their file.  Anyone, who has become a member under your Ancestor, has submitted all the documentation listed above, and then some, to prove their relationship to the Ancestor, and if it’s in the file you can make a copy of it!

So, what did I do? I made as many copies as I could, but you’ll learn about that in a minute.

First, Leslie dropped me off on her way to work, and since I was a little early, they had not opened  yet.

DAR Headquarters

I decided I would walk around a bit and see what all was outside the building.

Here, in the photo below this, I am trying to get a selfie with the building behind me, but it is so huge, just like my head, that I couldn’t get the whole building in the picture.  Probably, I should have gotten more building and less head, but then it wouldn’t be a selfie right?  And don’t even ask what’s up with that hairdo of mine, cause I thought it looked great when I left Leslie’s but this selfie proves I was sadly mistaken!  I’m pretty sure I walked around all day like this too!  I guess that’s what I get for not getting up early enough to do more to my hair.  You will actually see that throughout the whole rest of the trip.  It seems I could never get going enough in the mornings to do much with this mop I call hair.

Me at DAR

Righto!

Next, I walked around to where Memorial Continental Hall was.  I never actually went into Memorial Continental Hall, because Hey! I was here to look up Ancestors and I just wanted to spend as much time on that as possible.

DAR Headquarters

Then on around the building there was this lovely statue.

DAR Statue

Then I looked at my watch, 8:30 am!  Whooo Hoooooo!  Who cares what’s on the other side of the building!

So, I got a move on to the inside of the building.

On my to the research entrance, this was on the ground, so I did pause briefly to get this. Briefly though, I was on a mission!

DAR

Next, I secured my pass for the day.  The dot means I’m a member, and the red means I visited on a Monday.

Visitor DAR

I headed straight to the room where you can get on the computer and look at your ancestor files.  When you find a page you want a copy of, you hit the print button, and 25 cents later, that copy is in your hand!  I was able to find bible records, the burial locations of some of my ancestors, read obituaries and see some pictures of relatives, all these things that I would have probably never been able to find anywhere else because some of these were personal records submitted by a cousin, that are not public records.

Boosh!!

So, on my first day, this is how much I was able to print off from my Ancestor files.  I got information from the files of John Smith, John Roberts, Abraham Neighbours, William Hooks, and Thomas Bullard.

DAR Papers

Boosh Boosh!!!  Whoop Whoop!!

Oh, did I mention save your money??

Yeah, that’s 25 cents a copy there folks.

Do I regret it?  NO WAY!

Would I spend that much on copies again?  OH YEAH!  ABSOLUTELY!

I printed every single thing I could.  But guess what?  I wasn’t even done!  I had to stop because I wanted time to go in the library.  Plus, I was hungry.  I thought I heard a dinner bell, but my imagination was running wild, it was actually the phone of the girl sitting at the computer next to me.  When I realized it wasn’t, my stomach didn’t care it was growling and I realized it was already after noon!  I texted Leslie, and she brought BBQ (she only works a couple of blocks from the DAR), and we sat in the break area they have and had lunch together.

Then I went into the Library after Leslie went back to work, and Oh my!  I wish I had taken a picture, but I’m pretty sure since they have a strict, and I mean strict, rule about cell phones in the library, I shouldn’t push my luck.  It was amazing though.  Two stories, and I mean an upper and lower level in the library, of information just waiting to be looked at!

I found several things in the library in books that actually cleared up a few things in my genealogy!  Yay!!  First, I found a book called Dennard Heritage by Norris Dennard.  There was quite a bit of information in there about my 3rd great-grandfather John F. Ball and his wife Hellen Dennard Ball.  I also discovered that Hellen’s father Kenady Dennard was in the war of 1812, and his father Jacob Dennard served in the American Revolution.

Wait, what?

Another Patriot!

And guess what, I forgot to look in Jacob Dennard’s file while I was there!  Can you believe that??  I’m still kicking myself in the rear right now.  It’s totally bruised.

Anyway, I copied a few pages of that book, and then I looked through some books about Texas.  Then I looked in some Methodist Books hoping to find something on my 3rd great-grandfather, Rev. John J. Triggs but I just didn’t have enough time.

I soon realized it was almost 4 p.m. and I knew this was when they closed, so I wrapped it up and headed over to their museum to mosey on through it for a minute.  They had an exhibit on the timeline of women’s clothing and had many, many beautiful dresses on display.

Sometimes, I wish ladies still dressed like this.  Then I think about feeding my chickens in a dress and not NO, but you know what NO!

Clothes DAR

I found the Red Cross uniforms to be really interesting.

Red Cross Uniforms at DAR

Did you know the founder of the Red Cross, Clara Barton was a Daughter of the American Revolution?

Did you know the Red Cross is located right next to the DAR?  They have a beautiful campus!

Another interesting piece I saw in the museum was this Life Mask of Gen. George Washington, the first President of The United States.  This was made by Signor Auguste Lenci of Philadelphia and he made it from a mold that was taken by French Sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon at Mt. Vernon in 1785.   Emmanuel Leutze used it as a model for his historical paintings of Gen. Washington.  He’s the one that painted Gen. Washington crossing the Delaware.  Did you know that?

Life Mask of George Washington DAR

Amazing, right?

It’s almost like looking right at him.  How in the world did he sit still for that?

Then, I got kicked out.

Well, not really, but they politely informed me it was closing time so I went outside and hung out for a while until Leslie got off work and picked me up.  We went back to her apartment and she cooked steaks for dinner and we watched Netflix.

It was a great day, and have I mentioned how much fun I had just hanging out with Leslie? It’s the best!

Happy 2nd Blogiversary Our Families Untold Stories!

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I just can’t believe it’s been two years to this day since I started this blog and made my first post.

Two Years

My, how the time has flown.

I have made so many discoveries about my family and shared so many special moments with new-found cousins, and cousins that I met just last year that already it seems as if I have known them a lifetime.  Had I not started this blog, my life would not be what it is today.

I didn’t break a brick wall this past year, but I put some chips in a few.  I’ll keep chipping away and plugging on, and telling our stories here.  I guess it’s just what I do now.

I know you are chomping at the bit to find out what goodies I’m giving away this time, but first I would like to share some statistics with you from my site.

OFUS Stats second year

I know last year that I told you how many cousins I had met, and how many pictures I had identified, and it’s so much more over the past year, there is no way now to keep up with all that.  I have been blessed beyond words.

Without further ado, and just like last year, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking this journey with me.  I couldn’t have done this without the support of each, and every one of you.

So, to show you my appreciation, I’m going to be giving away some super prizes.  I know you are just itching to get your hands on them!

First up, a one year membership to Fold3.com.

fold3 membership

That’s right folks, the kind people at Fold3.com have sponsored this giveaway and are giving one of my lucky blog followers a one year paid membership.

Second up, a one year membership to Newspapers.com.

Newspapers.com membership

Yep, the kind people over at Newspapers.com have also sponsored this giveaway and are giving one of my lucky blog followers a one year paid membership.

And, last but not least, one happy camper will get from me a $30 gift card to Blurb.com where you can make a keepsake of your own happy memories.

blurb gift card

To enter the drawing, simply respond below in the comment section of this post to the question listed below and you will be entered.  Please leave only one comment, and you have until midnight on Sunday, August 18th to enter.

Winners will be selected randomly, and announced on Monday, August 19th. After the prizes have been announced, I will resume my vacation/research trip updates. There are lots more goodies to share from my trip.

Good luck, and here’s the question:

If you could be any one of your ancestors for a day, who would you pick and why?

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