The first appearance of Fifi aka Curious George

Close to as promised. ¬†ūüėČ

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. ūüôā )

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. ¬†“‚Ķso 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. ¬†ūüôā ¬†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‚Ķ they did publish 7 Curious George books. ¬†ūüėČ )

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‚Ķ happy indexing! ¬†ūüôā

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


Meri’s Day

Meri was blessed on March 4th by her daddy.  She was blessed with strength and the gift of charity.  She was blessed to reach out to those in need, to learn and grow and eventually marry in the temple.  She was blessed that she would be raised in the gospel and healthy throughout her life.  Such beautiful blessings for a mama to hear.

My favorite photo from the day:

Here she is after, making happy eyes at her daddy.

That’s her pre-smile. ¬†If you see that face, you know you will soon be graced with this one.

Sunflower cake made by Mom Pipes

…and devoured by all.

Except Meri, poor girl.

It was her day after all.

Meri’s arrival

{Meri – having her range of motion checked just a short while after birth.}

When it’s time to arrive our babies like to come fast. ¬†This we know. ¬†It is a huge blessing in some ways and a little crazy in others. ¬†We have discussed the idea of a home birth before, but never felt it was right for our family until this last birth. ¬†There are risks that need to be calculated. ¬†We have always had low-risk pregnancies. ¬†Labor and delivery have never been complicated. ¬†We had our doctor do all the blood work and was on board if we needed to suddenly – or not-so-suddenly – have a hospital birth. ¬†We decided on two mid-wives we love and trust. ¬†Ones that insist on proper care and will transport at the first signs of need – no egos there. ¬†We¬†consciously¬†made the decision to have a home birth and there were so many ways our family was blessed by this decision.

A few reasons I loved a home birth:

We had a fairly relaxed atmosphere.  We were not rushing to hospital (it is a 20 minute drive Рquite a bit less when Katey was about to be born).

We felt prepared and learned so much along the way.  I learned which vitamins and supplements would help with a lot of my symptoms.  (flavinoids and cayenne for varicose veins; calcium and magnesium for charley horse cramps in my legs; overall better nutrition and exercise for arthritis; water, protein and walking for swelling; & bland diet and papaya enzymes for heartburn}  I loved learning about more natural ways to provide relief.

I took better care of myself.  Especially towards the end I reported weekly on my water intake, exercise (yoga and walking) and sleep.  It was my best pregnancy yet, in huge part to taking responsibility for my care.  I loved the personal care from my mid-wives.  Texts and phone calls to check in were common.

I also learned a lot about the birthing process. ¬†I learned how to tuck my chin to my chest to help curve the spine and help the baby along. ¬†We planned on a water birth and were able to have that at the end of labor and delivery. ¬†Barely. ¬†Labor is fast for us. ¬†By the time the pool was full Meri was almost here. ¬†The warm water totally muted my contractions and I was able to focus for the delivery. ¬†Huge blessings. ¬†I breathed through contractions and gave gentle pushes between contractions to allow time to stretch. ¬†Every other delivery I have torn – partly because of the speed of delivery. ¬†This time we were able to slow the process a little by breathing and waiting and the outcome was much better. ¬†A little nick, nothing more – and it healed up on it’s own.

It was wonderful to have Jim Bob deliver Meri. ¬†After the head and shoulders were through (the tricky part ūüôā ) Jim Bob took over and was able to place Meri in my arms. ¬†She was then wrapped in a towel and we enjoyed meeting each other face to face.

Pure happiness.

My home is a wonderful place to recover. ¬†Jim Bob made sure we were stocked up on¬†Cottonelle toilet paper, a¬†variety of cranberry and grape juices, and crushed ice from Fred’s.

There were a few things I missed about having a baby at the hospital. ¬†I missed the baby heart monitor. ¬†I love hearing the sound throughout labor. ¬†A baby’s heartbeat can be checked often at home, but it wasn’t quite the same for me. ¬†The nurses. ¬†I miss the nurses in our small hospital fawning over our new baby – often the only one there at the time. ¬†Our little ones would get three baths in the day we were there. ¬†It was always fun to watch the sweet, excited nurses.

I know not all women would be able… or would even want to have a baby at home, but it was wonderful for us.  We loved our experience and packed up our pool (minus the liner) for future use.

Meri a few days later:

Happy Birthday Mr. Dickens

February 7th was Charles Dickens birthday.  He would have been 200 this year!  Even Google celebrated:

Isn’t the doodle beautiful?

Here’s another of my favorite Dickens’ pieces of art:

{Dickens’s Dream¬†by¬†Robert William Buss, painted 1875. Donated by the artist’s grandson – 1931.”, PD-OLD-100}

I love all the characters surrounding him, with some in color. ¬†I know it’s “unfinished”, but I think it looks kinda neat that way. ¬†Like some characters are being developed for a story while others are waiting their turn. ¬†A lot of Dickens’ writings were made in monthly or weekly installments and he worked with a variety of illustrators. ¬†I love that this artist (Mr. Robert Buss) based the characters in his painting on sketches made by other artists‚Ķ a homage to them.

We celebrated Mr. Dickens birthday here too.  We read from this book:

(found here: ¬†Illustrated Stories from Dickens. ¬†This was one of my Christmas presents this year. ¬†ūüôā ¬†One story that is sadly missing is “A Christmas Carol” – although it is in the Illustrated Christmas Stories book.)

[Read more…]

Month of Love

During a lesson a few weeks ago at church we were challenged to show love everyday for the whole month leading up to Valentine’s Day. Simple or grand, well thought out or spontaneous – show love.¬†The sweet sister teaching the lesson talked about how “all people are our brothers and sisters, children of our Heavenly Father”. ¬†She said she might be taking it a bit literally – but how do children show love? ¬†There was a whole list on the board – children are so good at it! ¬†That was the other aspect of the challenge – share child-like love – whole-hearted. Cute notes on pillows, weed bouquets, prayers, hugs and big kisses‚Ķ a whole month of love.

Here’s my first week:
Made cherry pie for JB, explained gingerbread nativity and let little ones go for it (had all the parts for about a month – kept putting it off – no longer ūüėČ ), painted Katey’s nails, let Katey paint mine, made banners for Family Story Night with lots of help :), had a baby!, nursed, loved, snuggled, sweet-talked, repeat :), back rub for the mister, and shared my brownies.

The last one might have been the hardest. ūüėČ

I loved President George Albert Smith’s thoughts in the same lesson, “‚Ķ the more we give of that which is uplifting and enriching to our Father’s children, the more we have to give. ¬†It grows like a great fountain of life and bubbles up to eternal happiness.”

It’s been wonderful focusing on showing love in simple ways. ¬†Care to join me? ¬†It’s down to a little over a week now – but truly, anytime is a good time to show love.

Happy 12 years…

to the one who makes me laugh, cry and love with my whole heart…

Happy Anniversary Mister!

{credits here}

Merry Christmas Blessings

Our family’s Christmas card this year:

Sorry it took a little while to get it over here. ¬†Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas this year and are still celebrating in the afterglow. ¬†ūüôā

Much love from us!

{credits here}

Holiday Memories…a gift…

Yesterday was the beginning of this free class offered by Jessica.  I remembered to pin it to Pinterest and totally forgot about shouting out the happiness over here.  Thankfully, you can still sign up:

In Jessica’s words:

“Every year, I take the opportunity to give back to the community by offering a free class. Not only does it give you a chance to make a cute project and record some special holiday memories, but it will also give you a chance to take a look inside the online class environment available in ALL of the classes here at

In our class, we’ll be using cardstock and digital patterned paper to create a stunning, but EASY and REPEATABLE garland you can hang from your ceiling, drape around your tree, or hang on the wall. Each year as you create December memories, you can create a new garland. Even the storage box is a keepsake!

In addition to our amazing project, our week-long class will be filled with ideas to make your holiday memory making, and memory-keeping a little brighter and a little more fun!”

Go here to register and join in on this merry-making. ¬†ūüôā ¬†I *love* the memories/photo aspect along with the beauty of the holiday crafting. ¬†Merry-making and memory-keeping.

More happy news over at

To read more about the specifics of the sale go here. ¬†I love that the classes are on sale too – the one I am most looking forward to (that starts on January 9th) is the Digital Art Journaling class. ¬†A creative, introspective format‚Ķ I’m going to love it.

a little announcement…

This one deserves a post all it’s own. ūüôā

Yup, it’s a baby announcement. ¬†And‚Ķ it’s for our family. ¬†:)!

Photo inspired by the adorable print here.

{Credits: ¬†Meet & Greet Elements Pack by In the Making Design,¬†“You are awesome” mini kit by Splendid Fiins (thought bubble – recolored),¬†font: American Typewriter, “Just Love” and “Peace Man” actions on photo by Sarah Cornish, (}

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