Friday, May 28, 2010

FREE Friday: Edelweiss sheet music

So, speaking of Edelweiss, here is a link to download a free PDF version of sheet music for the flute for Edelweiss.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Edelweiss Flowers

I happen to really enjoy flowers.  They're gorgeous and each so unique.  It's easy to love them.  So, I wanted to learn about the unofficial national flower of Switzerland-Edelweiss.

First of all, you've probably heard the song "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music.  My family loves this song and my grandpa, whose family came from Switzerland, could whistle this and play it on the harmonica beautifully.  I sure loved hearing it and thankfully, he recorded himself playing it before he died, so all of his children and grandchildren can still hear him play it.  (Great family history project, by the way).  So, I think of my grandpa when I think about Edelweiss.

Anyway, Edel means Noble and weiss means White.  The flower is white with fuzzy petals and a yellow center.  It belongs to the sunflower family.  Here is a picture of what it looks like.

Edelweiss grows high up in the mountains and if you read about it in encyclopedias, you'll learn that it grows best in limestone at an altitude of 2000-2900 m.  While doing some research about this flower, I learned that because it grows at such a height, men would climb mountains to pick this flower for the woman they loved.  It was a dangerous feat and showed how much they loved the woman. *sigh*  I can't help being a hopeless romantic sometimes.  :)  On a side note, don't pick this flower if you're over in Europe-it is a protected flower and it's illegal to pick.  Good thing I learned that during the first few days of my internship trip in Switzerland because before going over there I thought it would be awesome to pick some to bring home.  That could have been awkward.  

Read more about edelweiss here and here.  

I'm also wondering if I might be able to plant these?  Hmmm....I think I may have to try that out and post about my experience, but if you're interested now, I found a pretty good link about growing Edelweiss right here.

Now what are the flora and fauna that grew in your ancestors' home towns?

Friday, May 21, 2010

FREE Friday: Free Books!

I am a reader!  I always have been.  I love getting sucked into a good book.  Now that I have three kids, let me tell you, the days of being in a book trance all day are gone and I mourn those days.  But then I remember that I get to enjoy reading great books to my sweet children.  And perhaps I'll pass along my love of reading.  I think I already have to my oldest daughter.  Here she is!

Believe it or not, this is not a staged photo and she's about one year old in this picture.  At least once every day I'll be doing my daily chores and cleaning of the house only to realize..."It's awfully quiet.  Where did my Sweetie Pie go?"  Many times I find a mess, but many other times I also find her by the bookshelf immersed in a good book.  It makes my heart sing!

So this is my connection to genealogy.  We share traits of our ancestors and it's fun to know with whom we share those traits.  My mother loves to read, my dad's father loved to read, and I need to ask my parents and my last living grandmother if they know of any of our ancestors who also loved to read.  It helps build a connection to those names in our family trees when we know a little bit about them and even more when we can find something we share with them.  And I love sharing a good book-even more when it's free.  And here are some ways to get some free books.

1.  Banes and Noble's Summer Reading Program.  When your school-age children (grades 1-6) read a book, record it in the downloadable passport.  When they've read 8 books, take the filled-out passport to a Barnes and Noble bookstore and choose a free book!

2. Check your local library for summer reading programs.  Most have them and most give away a book when you complete the program.

3. Enter On the Lap's blog giveaway for 4 books here.  

I challenge you to find a trait you share with your children and enjoy those traits together!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Versatile Blogger Award

Wow!  My very first blogging award!  The Versatile Blogger Award!  I am so excited.  Thank you Santa's Gift Shoppe and Ideas for honoring me with this award.  I'm excited to pass this on to other blogs who inspire me.  There are some rules for this award and here they are.

1) Thank the person who gave you the award
2) Tell 7 things about yourself (in your blog)
3) Pass the award along to 10 other blogs who
you have recently discovered & you think are
4) Contact the bloggers you've picked & let
them know about the award.

So here are 7 things about myself.

  • I love mountains.  They are inspiring and yes, majestic.  I feel such strength inside myself when I look at them and breathe the mountain air very deeply.  Try it sometime-it's awesome!
  • My favorite flowers are lilacs.  I love every thing about them.  The soft lavender color, the lush clumps of tiny blossoms, and the intoxicating smell.  Beautiful!
  • I am a mother to three children.  My heart feels like bursting when I think of those sweet children counting on me.  The responsibility is terrifying and the joy is unmeasurable.
  • One goal of mine is to get a Master's degree in Library Science.  I'm a nerd-I really, really like school!  :)
  • I resist the era of the cell phone.  I have one for emergencies, but I refuse to let myself be available at any second.  
  • I don't mind deep cleaning my house.  Honestly, I don't!  In fact, I almost like it.  However, I dread deep cleaning it when I know my little three year old tornado will have something else for me to clean up once I get something finished and in order.  It's never-ending.  
  • I come from a large family and we are all close and we love each other.  It seems like that is something rare in this day and age.  I am so thankful to have had such a wonderful family and great parents.
Okay, now it's time to pass along this award.  And it goes to 
  1. Good, Clean Food -
  2. Sugar Bee Craft Edition -
  3. Anne Strawberry -
  4. Penny Pinchin' Mom -
  5. Take a Mom's Word for It -
  6. Genealogy Gems News -
  7. Make It and Love It -
  8. Genealogy Geek -
  9. Dainty Couture -
  10. On the Lap -

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Twee Poppets Review and Giveaway Blog

I'm sharing my blog with others and today is Twee Poppets Review and Giveaway Blog.  Check them out!  And have fun seeing all the other blogs on their Tuesday Tag-Along posts!

Tuesday Tag-Along

Friday, May 14, 2010

FREE Friday: Free online lessons to get you started

I have so many people say to me, "I just don't know where to start."  And they are frustrated and rightfully so.  There are just so many things you can do with genealogy, so many records to decide to search in, so many websites to look can be very overwhelming.  So, if you're feeling like that, I hope to alleviate some of your stress.

Brigham Young University is the only school to offer a bachelor's degree in genealogy and as such, it has quite a large inventory of classes.  If you are near BYU and want to get your degree in Family History, I highly suggest you do!  :)  But wait a minute, college is expensive, so how does this work out as a FREE Friday post?  Well, the very fist Family History class, Introduction to Family History, has a set of six online lessons you can access absolutely free!  Just go to and you you have instant learning!  They're designed to help you logically and step-by-step, with specific assignments to help reinforce what you have learned.  They're also designed to be done in about an hour.  Nice, huh?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cyndi's List

Don't you wish there were an index to all the genealogical sites on the Internet?  There are so many sites.  In fact, it is estimated that genealogy is the second most popular topic online, coming in behind one topic that I will refrain from discussing...So, wouldn't it be nice to have an index to all those genealogical websites?  Well, there is!  It's Cyndi's List.  Got check out and you'll see an index to genealogical websites.  Cyndi updates her list almost daily and now has 270,000+ links for family history.  Wonderful!

Take it from Me's Welcome Wednesday

I found this really fun blog from my Sister-in-Law's blog.  It's called Take it From Me and it's great because it features all types of blogs.  I love that I can find all different kinds of topics to read about in just one place.  So, I put up my blog link on their Welcome Wednesday post this week.  Fun, fun!

Friday, May 7, 2010

FREE Friday-Free Downloadable book!

Well, I just got this in my email today and had to share!  I hope the link works for you and you'll want to get it fast because it's likely to expire soon since it's a Mother's Day promotion.  You can get a free book download for Getting Started in Genealogy Online By William Dollarhide.  Here is the description of the book. 

"If your mom ever wanted to trace her family tree online, this book will help her do it. The object of the book is to reduce the process of genealogical research to its most basic elements, enabling the raw beginner to be brought up to speed in no more time than it takes him to read a handful of pages. At the same time, it is a handy resource for the more experienced genealogist, providing in one convenient place the names and web addresses of all essential record repositories. In a world running on information overload, it's a relief to find all the right stuff in just a handful of pages!"

Here's the link! 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Family and Food

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  In honor of the holiday, I am making red enchiladas-the same recipe my mom made, which is the same one her mom made.  And those enchiladas were served to hundreds of people throughout California when my mom's family was assigned to help members of their church raise funds to build church buildings.  I love to remember my mother and grandmother when I cook these enchiladas.

It seems that so many times I am reminded of particular family members when it comes to food.  I think of my small, sweet paternal grandmother whenever I think of rhubarb or banana cream pie.  My great-grandma whom I was named after was known for her pies, so every time I roll out a pie crust, I imagine her being right beside me helping me perfect the craft.  My mom makes chocolates every Christmas and I think of her when I eat any kind of chocolate.  My dad loves caramel and toffee and when I make my Christmas caramels, I imagine him chuckling and smiling.  And some foods just don't quite taste right if they're not made the way my mom made them; like her paprika chicken or the above-mentioned tacos or enchiladas.

Well, when I took a cooking class for fun in college, I was delighted to be assigned to assemble a "Family Cookbook" for my Final.  I got to fill it full of all those treasured family recipes.  So how do you make a Family Cookbook?

Choose specific categories of food and then gather recipes for each category.  Then type up the recipes, print out the pages, put them in page protectors, and then put them in a binder so you can add recipes as you remember them.  I suggest starting small, just 2-3 recipes/ category and 5-6 categories to begin with.  If you start small, you will soon have your cookbook started and it doesn't seem like such a huge task.  Then, you just add pages as you can.  Here are some examples of categories:

  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Pasta, Grains, and Legumes
  • Soups, Sauces, and Salad Dressings
  • Eggs and Dairy
  • Poultry 
  • Seafood
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Lam and Veal
  • Quick Breads
  • Yeast Breads
  • Pies and Pastries
  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Candies and Confections
Have fun with this carrying on of family traditions and here is the recipe for my grandmother's famous enchiladas!

Red Enchiladas

1 lb cooked, chopped chicken or pork
2 c grated cheese-divided
1 chopped onion-divided
corn tortillas (about 12)
oil for frying
3 c meat stock
1 small can tomato sauce
1/2 c flour
2-4 T chili powder
1/4 t onion powder
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t cumin
1/8 t cilantro leaves
1/4 t each salt and pepper

Enchilada Filling: Mix meat, 1/2 c. onion, and 1 1/2 c. cheese.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Enchilada Tortillas: Fry corn tortillas in a shallow frying pan just until cooked, but still soft (approx. 10 seconds on each side).  Set aside.

Enchilada Sauce: Sauté onions.  In saucepan, mix meat stock, tomato sauce, and sautéed onion.  Bring to boil.  In a small jar, add cold water to flour, put lid on tightly and shake until the water and flour are completely mixed.  Whisk flour/water mixture into sauce.  Boil to thicken.  While thickening, add spices.  Change spice amount to taste.

To assemble and cook enchiladas: Mix 1/4 - 1/2 c. room temperature sauce into meat mixture.  Save some sauce for serving at the table.  Dip both sides of the tortilla in the sauce.  Put a spoonful of meat mixture into tortilla.  Roll tortilla.  Place rolled tortilla in 8x8 pan.  Roll tortillas until meat mixture is gone.  Cover rolled tortillas with some sauce and the rest of the cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese on top is melted.  Serve with lettuce, tomato, and sour cream.