Sunday, November 4, 2012

Finding My Family

I have spend many hours indexing on the Family Search website. I have found it interesting and rewarding helping people connect to their families by typing data from census, ship manifests, military records (and more) and inputting it into a searchable database. It is an amazing privilege to do this work! Anyone can do it! Just try it!

After helping others find their families, knowing how much searchable information is out there, now... I thought, I should be brave and try to find my ancestors. It will be super challenging, I know. I believe I am the first one in my family trying to connect everyone! But, I also know that I will be blessed on my journey.

I know that the 1940 US Census has been indexed and has become a completely searchable database! I have found both my parents who were age one in 1940 and subsequently, their parents and siblings. I have attached a copy of the census records below.... here. I. go!! I can do this!!
Grandma Cecile, Aunt Doris, Uncle Terry, and my Mom Marilynn at the top of the page

Grandpa Leo Freedman is the Last Entry on this Page

 The Schieber Family beginning line 14, Grandpa Max, Grammie (Helen), Aunt Thelma, and my father, Richard

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The August That Came & Went... Wow!

I enjoyed every moment with my little girls until they made the move with their parents to Travis Air Force Base near Sacramento California. We are now relegated to Skype, iChat, and phone calls. Not quite the same as being here. But, feeling blessed that technology keeps us close. Greatful!
Sophee & Kamber

As a member of the Relief Society Presidency, it was my turn to teach the first Sunday lesson. I chose to review the talk by President Uchtdorf called Forget Me Not. The talk can be found here. I really enjoyed the participation from the sisters. I always learn so much. Inspiring!

I bid farewell to Doug and Neal as they flew to Pittsburgh and made the drive back to St. George where I was able to welcome them back in a record breaking 3 day journey.  They went to collect the rest of the stuff that Neal and Makensy had to leave in a storage unit. Safely!

Later that week, Makensy's Grandma and Grandpa Lee spent the weekend with us as they spent time with their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. So blessed to be part of a great family... through marriage. We had fun at Makensy's sister's family's special event. A baby blessing and a baptism all in one day! Beautiful!

I went with my staff to Provo for a conference. It was a great experience. I enjoy the people I work with and it was great to get them together. We went to Sundance and  saw a live production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I own the movie and it was fun to see the theater version in the perfect pine tree lined outdoor theater. Favorite!

I met a new doctor here in St. George. Dr. Hinkle is a medical doctor who practices alternative medicine. I have been so frustrated that I have been taking thyroid medication for 2.5 years and still have crazy low thyroid symptoms. I was impressed to find a doctor that actually listened to me. After $900 in blood tests later I learned the following: my vitamine D was super low, my cholesterol was high (no surprise... thanks mom), both my estrogen and progesterone were low, plus I need extra vitamin C. Finally, my numbers on my thyroid were normal... of course... so why do I still have low thyroid symptoms... hello Hashimoto's Disease. A note on Hashimoto's it's an autoimmune disease Hashimoto's disease does not have unique signs and symptoms. The disease typically progresses slowly over a number of years and causes chronic thyroid damage, leading to a drop in thyroid hormone levels in your blood. The signs and symptoms are mainly those of an under-active thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). The cure... hmmmm... nothing really going in the regular medical world... however, the holistic treatment and possible cure is an amino acid injection from Europe monthly. This was a little depressing. After a budget review, Doug and I decided to go for it. I'm starting the end of September. Spendy!

My dear daughter-in-law Shayna went to the temple for the first time. An adventure to the Manhattan Temple. Although I was not able to attend in person... my heart was with her. Shayna is a lovely example of a faithful woman. I know that Ian knows that he has been given a gift. So has our family. Looking forward to Shayna and Ian's sealing. Eternity!

We had our first fundraiser for work. It was to support a larger project to purchase a sound system for a performing group. The Don't Laugh At Me Players are a group of people with disabilities who educate the community about disability etiquette and raise awareness. The Players held a spaghetti dinner and dessert auction. They raised a total of $1,962. Success!

I've also been doing some entertaining. Friends and family over for dinner. I love it! We also have an activity at church called Dinner Groups. People sign up to participate in a dinner group once a month. Some people volunteer to host. When they get their list of random guests, they make assignments to the guests to round out the meal. It's a fun way to get to know our neighbors and share recipes. Delish!

The other thing that Doug and I have been doing is canning. We have a lovely fig tree in our back yard. We made 20 half pints of jam. We also bought pears for $0.60 per pound and canned 10 quarts. Domesticity!

 Now... on to September... August flew by. Farewell!

Monday, July 23, 2012

This and That

Welcome Home Makensy
So many things have happened since moving into our new home. Neal, Sophee, and Kamber moved back in with us to save some $$ waiting for Makensy to finish her Air Force tech school. So happy to announce that Makensy arrived in St. George on Saturday. The little reunited family is back together. We will be enjoying them until mid August. My lovely daughter-in-law collects Willow Tree Figurines. When I saw this one, I couldn't pass it up.
She is called Hero: So proud of my beautiful girl!
Serving in the Church
I've had so many wonderful experiences serving in the church. Being in a new ward is always a little exciting because I never know where I will be needed. I have had experiences when I have had some pre-inspiration regarding where I will serve in the future. That didn't happen this time. When I was called to serve as a councilor in the Relief Society Presidency, I was so caught off guard that I started crying in the Bishop's office! Why is it that when I tell all of my friends... they start laughing!? Not funny! I am working with a great presidency and a close knit ward. I'm sure the Lord will make up for my lack... He always has.
What's not to love about Relief Society?!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fun with Family!

I've had a great time in the past few months hanging with family and friends. Now that I have two kids in Alaska, (Kaycee and Jay), two in New Jersey (Ian and Shayna), one in  Texas (Makensy), and three in Utah (Neal, Sophee, and Kamber) I find myself really treasuring time with family. Just a few pix and notes about my recent adventures.
My best buddy, Cheryl. At the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point in Provo.

Getting ready to head south with Jay. We enjoyed the tulips and hit the road to St. George. So fun to hang with Jay before he headed to his new job in Alaska!

Mother's Day with my little beauties. Ummm... yes... I find that being a grandma is so much more fun than being a mom!

Memorial Day with my little peeps. Couldn't pass up the patriotic gear that said, "Mommy's Cutie".

I had to go to Washington DC for a conference. So fun that Ian and Shayna drove down from McGuire AFB in New Jersey to spend some time with me. Shayna calls this, "Ian with his two favorite women." Lucky me!

Here we are at Mt. Vernon. I miss you guys!

My mom and her husband Steve drove 6 hours from Spring Valley AZ to check out our new digs. Much to my surprise my mom had never been to Zion National Park. We fixed that!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Home Sweet Home... Finally!

Never mind about the Lava Flow home. It never really came together for us. We waited 60 days hoping it would happen and it never did. But, during that time, we found the Bloomington Hills home! We got the keys on Friday. Painted on Saturday... and Sunday. On Monday, we cleaned out the storage unit and on Tuesday we cleaned our stuff out of Mom Lefler's home. I'm pretty sure a part of her was relieved! So grateful she put up with us for the past five months! Thanks Mom! Can't wait to stop moving in and start living here. Kitchen and Master Bedroom are unpacked. Doug is getting the garage storage ready so we can get organized. It's coming together...

So, here's some photos of our new home!

Nice Landscaping

Must Have! Three Car Garage

View From the Front Door

Master Bedrrom

Master Closet... yeah baby!

Master Bathroom... a Little Dated but Livable

View to the Backyard from the Master. Just This Side of the Golf Course.

Double Fireplace. This Half in the Living Room... the Other Facing the Kitchen.

Very Functional Kitchen... Also Needs Some Updating... But it Works!


View from the Kitchen

The Pink Bathroom... I have Ideas!

Bedroom 2... Nice Size!

My Room (Bedroom 3). Build in Sewing Desk for Me!

Walk in Closet in My Room!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Everything Looks Better From the Back of a Bike!

I started a new photo album on my computer and iPhone. The album is named the same as this post... because everything does! Doug and I have been re-exploring our amazing surroundings. I'm no photographer. I just like grabbing my phone and snapping a few shots while we are riding... if we are going slow enough... heaven forbid my phone blow out of my hands doing 80! Doug is great about slowing down if I see a photo op. So, here are a few things we have seen as we have meandered around the countryside:

Gunlock Loop

Hey Mad Cow... haven't you ever heard of a fence?! Shooo!

A beautiful clear day except for the unusually low cloud cover over the back side of Snow Canyon.

More clouds. Mysterious.


In honor of Earth Day, our ride through Zion National Park was FREE!

Love how I captured the mirror on the bike:o)


Maybe I am a photographer after all!?

Can I go everyday? Love this place. So many great memories with our kids here.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Not Homeless Anymore... Almost!

Our home in Pittsburgh sold the first weekend that it was showed!

Before Doug got to St. George in February, we had decided that there were some specific things that we wanted in our last home. I was hoping for four bedrooms. Yes, it's only me and Doug. But, I love company! I also wanted my own space for a sewing/office area. So, bedroom four would be mine and bedrooms two and three would be for kids and company. Bedroom one was on Doug's wishlist. A master suite were we weren't cramped... had to have an awesome bathroom :o)! We have to have a three car garage because Doug needs his own space, too.  A workshop PLUS room for two cars. I can't imagine what it would really be like to park inside a garage! Also, it all had to be on one level. It is our last house and we didn't want to have to think about stairs in our older years. Finally, if it had a pool, it would be perfect!

So, on the hunt I went. One morning before I went to work, I stepped out of my mom-in-law's house and looked out at the red rocks in the twilight. I saw some streetlights burning in the valley below and took a drive. I wove in and out the the streets of the perfect neighborhood. Beautiful homes, tidy yards, lovely area. And there it was. The for sale by owner that we would dub the Lava Flow house, named after the major cross street nearby.

From the outside, I could tell that it had a three car garage and lot's of concrete... perfect for the anti-yard work Lefler's. Fully fenced. The landscaping was beautiful. When I called on it, I learned that it was a divorce situation. The price of the house was a little more than we expected to spend but the judge ordered the price. The ex-wife would not agree to a price and the agreement finally had to be court ordered. As soon as Doug arrived, I dragged him over to the Lava Flow house. The house had EVERYTHING on our list! But, because it was a little more expensive, and the inside needed some changes to meet our taste, we decided to really start looking.

We hooked up with a great realtor when Doug got here. I thought it was kind of funny when the realtor said that there are two kinds of home buyers. Those who look and look before they decide and those who find the perfect house and keep looking until they convince themselves that they found the perfect house. Who knew that we would be the latter? After looking in every corner of St. George, we decided that we would have to bump up a little in price to get everything we wanted in our last home. And if we were going to do that, we might as well go for the Lava Flow house!

We ended up using our realtor to help us even though it was a for sale by owner. We figured that the ex's had attorney's and we had better have someone representing us! It's hard to believe that we made an offer on the house on February 27th! It took until last Thursday when the judge ordered the ex-wife to accept the offer. So, the ball has begun to roll... slowly still. But worth the wait!
Lava Flow House Front View

Side View (Part of the garage is blocked by the current owner's trailer)