Warrior in Training

Practices are going strong.  Brendan has practice twice a night… once with the assistant directors and once for the main director.  Jacob has one practice per night – in the parking lot of the church.  They both started Tuesday and our family part started tonight, by the pavilion behind the church.

Jacob came home from practice last night with this happy news:

“We got to use weapons!”

This is the first year that Jacob gets to be a warrior in the pageant.  He is a Nephite Standard Bearer from the Book of Mormon.  He’s pretty excited about being a righteous warrior… and getting to wield a spear.

Me thinks his brother is looking forward to two years from now.

In other happy news:

I helped index the first half of the 1940 US census


Did you know that there are tools available to help indexers and arbitrators to get even better at what they do?  To sharpen their skills?

A whole page of resources is available.  There you can find a Frequently Asked Questions page, and Enumerator Instructions (for those gathering the information for the census = fascinating – like place of birth and number of children born to mothers – so very good for those seeking family history answers – and neat info like current occupation and years of education.  I love the glimpses into the lives of these people.)  There are also classes on the history ofhow to use and understanding the census.

Video trainings introducing the census, showing how to download the software, create an account, how to index and how to associate yourself with a group are all there.  So good for a visual learner such as myself.

So, there you have it.  Lots of good reading/watching inspiration and ways to sharpen the skills you have developed.  Or if you wish to develop these skills, head on over to the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project site and help by being an indexer or arbitrator.

On a personal note, Jacob had his first Court of Honor for Boy Scouts last night.  He loved it.  A scuba instructor brought his gear and told fascinating stories.  (Did you know that sea lions like scuba divers because their bubble trails tickle the sea lion’s bellies.  I sure didn’t.)

Jacob was also able to participate in the flag ceremony.  He told his scout leader he wanted to be the one up front calling the ceremony.  He memorized and practiced… and nailed it.  (Really??  The spotlight?  Is that my boy??)  Good on him.

This morning his dad presented him with a Swiss Army Knife.  Jacob loves all it can do.  And there is a neat connection to the 1940s too.  When World War II ended, many U.S. soldiers bought Swiss Army knives on military bases.  The german name:  Schweizer Offiziersmesser was too hard for most to say, so they called them “Swiss Army knives” – what they are now commonly known as worldwide.

Victorinox‘s website is so cool by the way – take a peek at their stories.

{As part of the1940census.com ambassador program this blog post enters me into a drawing for $100 Amazon gift card.}

Batches. Of indexing and brownies.

I dream of lazy days where I swing in a hammock, sip strawberry lemonade in the fresh air and index on my laptop.  Those days are not my reality.  Thankfully indexing can also fit into a busy life.  Here are a few of my tips.

Indexing for the busy soul:

Set goals.  I dig the goal setting area in the lower right hand side when you open the indexing application.  I like to take a week at a time and set my goals based on how crazy the calendar looks.  Watching the goals get accomplished is so rewarding.  And when they don’t, I’m motivated to get my goal the next week.  Goals can be set for any amount of time.

Schedule indexing right into your calendar.  This might work for you.  “Wednesday at 1 pm is my time.”  (Just an example.  I’ve tried this route and my schedule is a little too fluid to work just yet.  Perhaps someday.)

Deadlines.  I am a deadline girl.  Instead of downloading and indexing a batch right away I usually download a few throughout the week and tackle the one with the nearest deadline.  (Batches are usually available for a week at which time they “expire” and go to another indexer to finish up.) Take or leave this advice.  It’s not my most spectacular – just the way I know I roll.  Warning:  I have lost files I hoped to index before the week was up – not sure how that is decided, but it might have something to do with the states that are close to getting finished up.  Seven states are all the way done and even more no longer have files to download (like Idaho, *sniff, sniff*).  There are many more batches to download though so…

Take indexing on-the-go.  Download a batch of info and work offline.  Take a laptop to the park or index partial batches with a mobile app.

This article from LDS Tech explains the process:  “Just search for “familysearch indexing” in the iOS App Store or Android Market…  The FamilySearch Indexing app simplifies indexing by allowing you to transcribe individual names, or “snippets,” on your mobile device instead of downloading larger batches of names that must all be transcribed as part of a group. (You also have the option to view the entire document so you can see the name in context.) You can set a difficulty level and skip snippets that are too hard to read.  The app makes indexing fast and easy so you can do family history in smaller amounts of time. You can index while waiting to be seated at a restaurant, while on hold on a phone call, and many other times when you only have a few minutes.”  Or in mommy terms:  While waiting for the car pool, at the doctor’s office, during swim lessons, etc.

This article from the Church News talks about how this app helps fulfill Elder Bednar’s talk from the October 2011 General Conference.

The app was released just five months after Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve delivered his October 2011 conference talk inviting youth to participate in family history work.

He taught: ‘It is no coincidence that FamilySearch and other tools have come forth at a time when young people are so familiar with a wide range of information and communication technologies.’

He went on to say, ‘Your fingers have been trained to text and tweet to accelerate and advance the work of the Lord—not just to communicate quickly with your friends. The skills and aptitude evident among many young people today are a preparation to contribute to the work of salvation.’

Brother Flinders, who helped create the FamilySearch Indexing app, added, ‘We believe this app is a manifestation of [Elder Bednar’s invitation]. For younger people who have mobile devices, we think this is a way to draw them in to participate in the indexing program as a casual engagement as opposed to a larger chunk of time.’ ”

Wonderful for youth and other busy souls helping further the work.

Shortcuts.  I’m sure there are lots here that I have no clue about.  I do know that you don’t have to type the full name of many places and names if you have already indexed them in your batch.  Type the first part and the rest shows up.  Beauty.  Hit the tab button and move on.  Also, capitalizing many places and names is not necessary.  The program knows to do that too.  Stick to lowercase and index a little bit faster, making good use of your time.  A little personal side note here.  I’ve noticed I’m much quicker typing with two hands, but when only one is available (aka nursing) it works too.  And I’m a tad more accurate when one handed.

Indexing can fit into a busy life.  Even if it’s only a little bit at a time.  Every little bit helps.  Become an indexer and find out more info on the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project site.

Now, please excuse me.  I finished tucking my little ones into bed and it’s time to index a Louisiana batch over brownies.  Made from a mix.  I’m busy you know.  😉

{As part of the1940census.com ambassador program this blog post enters me into a drawing for a prize.  This week it’s an Amazon Kindle Fire.}

p.s.  I love that many answers can be found right in the indexing program.  A message was added on April 15th:  “States that are nearly ready to publish can still be held up by a few remaining, checked-out batches. For this reason, as a state nears completion, we will be reducing the amount of time that a batch can be checked out. Rather than the standard seven days, batches for nearly complete states will be made available on a decreasing scale from five days to three days to just one day as we get closer to the end.”  It’s so exciting to watch that map fill up.  Overall?  20.96% progress.  Sweet.

love connection: 1940s

The air was cool that evening in the small town of Ephraim, Utah.  It was 1941 and Helen had finished a day of teaching in a neighboring town.  She joined a group of friends to relax for the evening.  Roger, one of the young men in the group, offered up his dad’s key to the dance hall and the decision was made.

While dancing, Helen fell for Royce (who preferred to be called “Tommy”).  He stood out from the five other young men and he seemed to really like her too.  After a short while he was drafted into the Army along with his buddies.  Tommy made Helen an offer.  A move to Salt Lake City and marriage when he returned.  She liked the idea and moved to SLC to live with his mother.

Helen attended the LDS Business college that summer, where she worked on her typing and shorthand.  Typing came easily, but she never caught on to shorthand.  Not from a lack of trying though – she sure worked at it.

Helen wrote to Tommy often and received letters as well.  His letters came with inked out areas.  The whole part inked out so one could not even make out what the section was about.  It was years later that she learned he was serving in Italy.  She trustingly slipped her one-page mailers into the mailbox and knew they were most likely getting inked up as well on their way to Tommy.

At one point in 1942, Tommy’s mother decided Helen really needed a ring.  He sent the money for the ring and Helen went shopping with her mother-in-law-to-be.  They shopped down main street in Salt Lake City and ended up at two jewelry stores side by side.  Helen loved a ring at the first shop and decided to check next door as well.  After perusing the selection there she was even more set on the ring at the first store.  They went back and bought it.  A beautiful two-tone piece with a gorgeous diamond that sparkled in the sunlight.

Helen finished her year at the Business College and began to look for a job.  She had connections at a business office on 3rd South and waited to hear back about a position.  When things stopped looking promising she applied at Fort Douglas and was given a job.  The next day she received an offer from the business office.  No backing out of an army job though.  While Helen was at Fort Douglas she worked with CCC records.  She helped audit the records and wrote letters for waybills to be paid.  In three months time she had collected $22,000.

Helen had been wearing the ring for about a year when she received a letter from Tommy with the news that he wanted to cancel their agreements for their future.  The war was over and he wasn’t sure when or even if he would be coming home.  Helen was just fine with the new plan.  She stopped writing, moved the ring onto her right hand and didn’t shed any tears.

On a September evening that year Tommy showed up on her front doorstep.  They had a long conversation.  At one point Helen offered the ring back.  He told her to pawn the ring and buy a fur coat.  He asked if they could still be friends.  Helen said of course.  They went out to dinner one night, but it was too painful.  The next time Tommy called she was busy and the relationship died off.

Helen asked her mother to put the ring in a safe deposit box and forgot about it.  Later Tommy came back asking if he could have the ring.  She let him know that she did not have it in her possession and thought to herself ,”I’ve not giving that back Buster – you had a chance.”

Helen went on to work at a transmitting tubes plant in SLC, transferred to a California plant when the one in Utah closed and then moved back to Utah to finish her teaching degree.  After a rough winter she moved back to the warm weather promise of California.  She taught elementary age children there and eventually met the love of her life.  They had a sweet, lovely child Mary.  Helen gave the ring to Mary when she graduated from high school and told her she was welcome to use the ring however she’d like.  She wore it for awhile.

And here is where the details get hazy.  Helen said she didn’t worry too much about the ring after it was in Mary’s possession.  That’s okay though, because I can talk with Mary soon.  She’s my mother-in-law.  And that sparkly two-tone ring?  It lives on my left ring finger, passed down a few generations.  My husband was willing to place the diamond into a new setting, but I fell in love with the 1940 style when I first saw it.  It’s beautiful and it has history.  History now recorded.

p.s.  I had fun this afternoon looking online.  For a photo of Salt Lake City Main Street on April 1940 go here.  Click here for the Salt Lake Tribune from December 12, 1940.  On the left hand side you will see an ad for fur coats.  🙂

p.p.s.  Indexing continues to move forward.  If you’re looking to index a specific state you might want to jump on it.  A handful are nearing 100% completion.  If you have yet to sign up (It’s easy! … and help is always appreciated) click on the blue “get started” button here:  1940 U.S. Census Community Project site.  Keep up the good work all you indexers!  🙂  Also, the 1940 census blog linked to an interactive graphic from Family Search (https://www.familysearch.org/1940census/).  Here you can track the progress of each state.  If you click on the state you can also easily find the actual census records of the area you are looking for.  Beauty.

{This week’s blog ambassador theme is stories from the 1940s.  I knew instantly I wanted to write about my ring.  I photographed it sitting on some fabric from my mother’s mother.  I have a whole box of it.  After some quick research online about 1940 fabric I picked out some that closely resembled.  It may or may not be from the 40s.  🙂  As part of the1940census.com ambassador program this blog post enters me into a drawing to win a $100 Visa Gift Card.}

Top 3 reasons…

to visit the 1940 census blog:

(well, according to me.  😉 )

3.  History and info about 1940 time period

There is so very much about the history of this time on the blog. You can read about the famous people or culture of the 1940s.  My personal favorite is the News and Events section.

2.  Contests

Weekly contests happen over on the blog – rewards for a rewarding work.  Beauty.  This week it’s all about indexing and perhaps winning an iPad.

1.  Up-to-date news on the 1940 indexing project

This was posted on the blog 2 days ago:

Here’s what’s been accomplished so far just in the first week:

  • More than 113,000 volunteers are working to index and arbitrate
  • More than 12.3 million names have been indexed.
  • More than 5.3 million names have been arbitrated.
  • 22 states have been posted for indexing.
  • 4 states are 75% or more complete
  • 1 state (Delaware) has been completely indexed and is ready for posting.

Isn’t that exciting?  Head over to the blog to stay in touch with the action as state by state is indexed.  (There are even videos to show how to help index.)  Feel free to visit, subscribe to the RSS feed, make comments, as well as share the site through your online networks – it’s all good!

Special bonus you won’t see on the 1940 census blog:

My mom as Rosie the Riveter.

{photo by Donna Teeples}

See the resemblance?

If you want to see another Rosie in the family, head over to my sister Anna’s blog – it must be in the blood.  😉

{As part of the1940census.com ambassador program this blog post enters me into a drawing for an iPad.}

The first appearance of Fifi aka Curious George

Close to as promised.  😉

The first edition of Cecily was published in Paris in 1939. The original title was Raffy and the 9 monkeys.  And that lovable monkey known as Curious George?  He was originally called Fifi.  In New York his name was changed to George because it was felt his name was too feminine.  An English version was published in London in 1941 in which he was renamed Zozo (the King at the time was King George the VI and I guess having a monkey named the same wasn’t looked upon highly. 🙂 )

I did not even know this book existed until I searched for 1940 children’s books and learned a little bit about the history of Curious George.  Here he is, with his family and Cecily G.:

I love the descriptions of the family of Monkeys.  What one word would you pick to describe yourself?   Curious? Clever? Good? Brave? Kind? Strong? or a different one entirely?

After a short introduction to the monkey family we meet Cecily, who is very sad her whole family is gone to live at a zoo.  She wants someone to play with.

One day she saw some monkeys that needed help crossing a deep ravine.  She became a bridge and the animals became friends.

I love the innovative ways the giraffe helps and the clever writing in this book.  A beautiful book of friendship and using our talents to help others.

Of all the fun images in this book, the next two are so very playful and my favorites.  Love the giraffe bed:

and who would have thought to give a giraffe stilts.

Makes me laugh.  “…so high the page isn’t big enough to show all of her.”

This book would not be complete without a giraffe-clef and monkey-note song to finish up with:

There is plenty more to the story – so check it out from your library and enjoy the fun-lovin’ nature of Cecily and Curious George.  I love that Curious George went on to become one of the most loved literary characters of the time – and ours!



The 1940 census records are now released and ready to index.  🙂  Hoo-ray!!!

Are you curious where we’ve started indexing?  Jim Bob is working on Kansas records (because they are highest priority) and I have a batch of records from New Hampshire.  (I’ve always liked states that started with New.)  I’m excited for when more Western States are added.

Are you curious how you can help?  Sign up to be an indexer here:  1940 Census Project.

Curious about this week’s contest?  Here are the details from the site – Weekly Contest – Week of April 2:

{  If you haven’t already, you must first visit the Games and Prizes page of the 1940 Blog to register for all project contests.  Then, follow the additional steps below to qualify for this week’s prize.

 Start Indexing the 1940 U.S. Census:

That’s all you have to do!  If you need a little help, check out this video about how to index the 1940 U.S. Census. One qualified entrant will be chosen at random to win an Amazon Kindle Fire.  }

I can personally let you know that the contests work.  I won a $50 Visa gift card last week… how fun is that?

To encourage your curiosity here is a little history.

Curious George (one of my very favorite books) was first published in 1941.  It is written by a husband/wife team:  H.A. and Margret Rey.  Although for a while only H.A. received credit because they wanted to distinguish themselves from the many female authors of children’s books at the time.  H. A. and Margret both grew up as Jews in Germany.  They later met in Brazil – H.A. was working there as a salesman and Margret had moved to Brazil to escape Nazism.  (Although some sources say they knew each other in Germany before and Hans originally met Margret as a young girl when she slid down the banister in her family’s home.  I kinda like that story.)  They married in Brazil and had two pet monkeys.  They moved to Paris in 1935 and wrote stories together.

In June 1940 the couple fled Paris on bicycles H.A. had made with spare parts.  While he assembled the bikes, Margret gathered their manuscripts and drawings.  They left Paris just a few hours before it fell to Nazi Germany.  They took the transcript of Curious George with them.  They returned to Brazil and then continued onto New York City, where Curious George was published a year later.  I didn’t know any of that history until I started looking for information about Curious George – knowing that it was one of the most popular children’s books in the 1940s.

I can definitely see why.  Who doesn’t know a young child that acts so similar to George?  That child-like innocence and curious nature are embodied in that little monkey.  I have also always loved the illustrations!

So carefree… always.

And oh-so-curious.

The floating over the city picture has always been one of my favorites.

Nothing like a friend in a yellow hat… and a happy ending.

(for now… they did publish 7 Curious George books.  😉 )

Did you know that there was actually a book by the Reys that came out before Curious George that featured him?  It was published in France and he was known as Fifi.  It was later published in the U.S.   Curious?  I’ll show photos tomorrow.

In the meantime… happy indexing!  🙂

{As part of the1940census.com ambassador program this blog post enters me into a drawing for a yeti microphone or gift cards.}


*Extra* *Extra* photos and prizes

Ready for the 1940 census release in only…  11 days?!?

My brother-in-law and his wife showed up at Meri’s baby blessing dressed to the nines.  Couldn’t resist getting some shots of this beautiful couple.


We decided… the hats make it!  🙂

The 1940 census blog is having an indexing practice contest.  The prizes are (2) $50 Visa gift cards and one $100 Visa gift card – to be given to three random qualifying people that enter.  You could definitely buy a dapper hat with a card like that.  Here’s the info copied straight across (so I don’t mess up any details).  :):

First, visit the Games and Prizes page of the 1940 Blog to register for all project contests.  Then, follow the additional steps below to qualify for this week’s prizes!

Gear Up To Index Game (March 19-30)

  • To qualify for this week’s drawing, you must download the indexing software.
  • Complete a 1940 U.S. Census simulation batch  before 11:59pm MT March 30, 2012.
  • To complete a practice batch, launch the indexing application from your desktop and log in. Click “Download Batch” and look for *SIMULATION* 1940 U.S. Census.

That’s it! If you have already completed a 1940 simulation batch in the last 60 days you already qualify. All you have to do is opt in using the form on the Games and Prizes page and you are eligible to win this week’s prize.

The full post can be read here:  Weekly Contest:  March 19 and more information about indexing can be found here on the 1940 census website.  Come get signed up as an indexer and join in the excitement.

{As part of the1940census.com ambassador program this blog post enters me into a drawing for an Amazon Kindle Fire.}

Licorice Sticks and Motorized Freckles


According to the North Carolina Museum of History that fun phrase was slang for “hello” in the 1940s.

Slang can also be used to describe or “name” new objects.  One such object created in the 1940s still holds mountains of fascination in our household.  Our six-year-old asked for a set for his birthday.  Instead of calling it a “portable, hand-held, two-way radio transceiver”, he called it by it’s slang term… walkie-talkie.  He wanted them so he would be able to communicate to his brothers – one in the bunk bed above him and the other about 6 feet away in another bed.  I can just imagine the conversations:

*Hey, psst… you sleeping yet?*  *over*

*no…  you?*  *over*

*Do you want to take a ride in my popsicle’s bathtub tomorrow?* (Because they will, of course, be on top of all 1940s slang and will know that popsicle=motorcycle and bathtub=sidecar 😉 )  *over*



And something new I learned – Roger comes from the radio alphabet used at the time for military and civilian aviation.  The radio alphabet was “…used to spell out words when speaking to someone not able to see the speaker.”  Roger was used for the letter R and in transmitting R stood for received.  Roger?

“The first radio receiver/transmitter to be widely nicknamed “Walkie-Talkie” was the backpacked Motorola SCR-300, created by an engineering team in 1940 at the Galvin Manufacturing Company (fore-runner of Motorola).”

It looked like this:

Try sleeping with that under your pillow.

“Motorola also produced the hand-held AM SCR-536 radio during World War II, and it was called the “Handie-Talkie” (HT).”

It looked like this:

And came with helpful instructions apparently.

“The terms are often confused today, but the original walkie talkie referred to the back mounted model, while the handie talkie was the device which could be held entirely in the hand (but had vastly reduced performance). Both devices ran on vacuum tubes and used high voltage dry cell batteries.”

Two others credited with working on the technology behind the walkie-talkie are radio engineer Alfred J. Gross and Canadian inventor Donald Hings.   They each developed and tested a device in the late 1930s.  Gross was recruited to help develop a “two-way, air-to-ground radio system for covert use by troops behind enemy lines during World War II” while Hings model was used in military service in 1942.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walkie-talkie)

Here is a photo of a walkie-talkie (technically a handie-talkie) being used by a US soldier- July 1944 in the Dutch New Guinea:

If I had a walkie-talkie and you did too… I would let you know there are only 18 days until the 1940 census is available.  Can you feel the excitement?  Head over to the 1940 Census Project website to sign up as an indexer and get in on this killer-diller (good stuff).

Those slang terms in the title?  licorice stick = clarinet and motorized freckles = insects.  If you got those right, then you should flip your wig because you’re cookin’ with gas!

** One of those disclosure statements:  As part of the1940census.com ambassador program (theme this week:  transportation, science and technology of the 1940s) this blog post enters me into a drawing for one of four $50 Amazon gift cards.   That would buy a lot of presentation paper, a few books on my list, or handfuls of jelly beans.  Maybe all three.  Join me as an ambassador for a chance to win similar prizes.  🙂  Okay, so the last half wasn’t part of the disclosure description, but it’d fun, no?**

behind the scenes…

Yesterday the post I wrote for the 1940 Census blog went live.

You swingin’?

The blog is all about generating interest for when the 1940 census is made public on April 2nd.  More about that on this post here.  🙂  Have you indexed? It is basically transcribing handwritten or typed images into digital images so they are searchable. My favorites so far have been draft cards – there were some fascinating questions in Ohio.  All types of records are being indexed so they can be searchable for family history. I’ve always been a people watcher.  I love the time period of the 40s – and I’ve been indexing for a few years and love that too.  It kinda just all came together for me to be a blog ambassador for the 1940 Census Project. 🙂

Here are a few back-stage photos behind the post.

My cast of characters:

By characters, I mean characters:


The fun backdrop:

I imagined a 1940s radio for my little ones to dance by, but wasn’t able to find one in real life.  That’s when I sketched one on a roll of butcher paper and hung it in our treehouse.

It works – and I think it’s kinda whimsically fun too.  Don’t you love when things turn out even better than imagined?

Could not have pulled it off without my man and his skills:

Although we didn’t need it, he knows how to work the reflector too.


We got some great shots:

And lest you think the whole shoot was frosting and sprinkles, I captured this fine moment:

To make the post have a more 40s feel I turned the photos black and white.  SO very fun.

Happy Indexing!  🙂

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