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!  🙂

communication of a 3-year-old

Katey did you go potty?



“I winked. That means yes!”

1940 in 40

Today it is only 40 days until the 1940 census will be available online.

The 40s have always been one of my favorite time periods.  I think it’s mostly about the music.  A little about the hair and fashion, but mostly about the music.  And the stories.  I love the stories.

On April 2nd the images of the 1940 U.S. Federal Census will be available as free digital images – something not available previous census years.  According to the website, “upon its release, the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project, a joint initiative between, FamilySearch,, and other leading genealogy organizations, will coordinate efforts to provide quick access to these digital images and immediately start indexing these records to make them searchable online with free and open access.”

“Here’s a chance for you to remember the spirit of volunteerism from the 1940s by adding your name to the roster of indexers for the 1940 US Census.” (1940 Census Blog)

And a related ambassador… my mother, a Family and Church History missionary at the Family History Library.  We received this photo in our weekly email (February 5th) with this info:  “On Friday night the FHL was open until midnight – so we stayed late.  We were encouraging people to sign up to help index the 1940 Census – thus would explain the dark lipstick and scarf in my hair.  FYI – it’s not too late to sign up to help index.”

Learn how to get started here.  (It’s easy!)  History is waiting.

Meri Jane

America Jane Pipes
born the 18th of January at 6:10 pm
8 lb.  19 3/4 inches long
red hair, blue eyes
Such a sweetheart!  🙂

photos captured by Jim Bob, how I love that man.

A short time ago in a land not too far away…

a fun event took place.  Our ward’s second annual chili cook-off occurred on October 21.  Thrilled that it happened for a second year – with bishoprics and Relief Society presidencies both having changed this last year.  Our bishop and counselors this time were also good sports and along with their wives gave beautiful performances as the “Squeeky Cheeks”.  A fine musical group with colorful bow-ties that played rousing renditions of ol’ time favorite songs – with their instruments of choice…balloons.  Sometimes the silly fun that causes tears to run down your face can be so bonding and downright enjoyable.

We once again tied two quilts and had a wonderful evening.

I decided to enter a new kind of chili (because I was feeling dangerous, spontaneous and decided – what’s to lose? – except the candy bar prize I suppose.  Luckily it paid off.  😉 ).  Introducing:

Buffalo Chicken Chili

I heard about Rachael Ray’s recipe and checked it out.  I’m sure it’s yummy, but I didn’t have some of the ingredients and I wasn’t too sure about lots of celery in a chili – although I do love bleu cheese.  And no beans?  I just couldn’t do it.  So instead I took my basic recipe:


Put four cups of beans in crock-pot.  Fill water to within an inch of the top of crock-pot.  Add palm-ful of salt, 3 oz. chili powder, 2 cloves of garlic, 3 liberal shakes Chicago Steak Seasoning by Weber, small handful dried onions and a dash of crushed red pepper.  Cook for 6-7 hours.  Throw in 1/4 lb. browned ground beef and tomatoes or salsa.

…And then substituted using 3 kinds of beans (white, pinto and red kidney) instead of just pinto as usual.  I then added a whole bunch of hot sauce, chicken chunks, and a little more hot sauce.

Ready for my award?  (we won’t talk about the fact that about half the pots of chili there win prizes.  😉 )

That’s right!  Thankfully I didn’t eat but a small nibble of my chili that night – there were too many other yummy ones to taste!  Not sure I would have wanted that result.  🙂

And the inside of the prize:


Maybe I’ll have to try a dessert chili next year…

Happy 12 years…

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

Happy Anniversary Mister!

{credits here}

Peekin’ Peepers

This is my lovely sister.  How I adore her!  Here is one of my very favorite photos from the photo shoot we did.

I saw a similar pose on Pinterest and knew I wanted to try it out -hoping to get a good shot of her peepers.  I think we did pretty good.  🙂

A CD of photos – senior photoshoot and graduation.  All in one place.

This hybrid project of CD label and case by Carina is easy to make – and so versatile.  It can be used for CDs full of photos, an adorable circle card and envelope, organizing family DVDs, a very thin cookie… oh the possibilities.

{Carina Gardner:  Hybrid Project Friday No. 5,  Daisy Jane borders & papers (solids and v. 6 – Bath Time), Ink blots from DESIGN 365 – Color Kit 1, frame by Rhonna Farrer}


Speaking of celebrations, here are a few more from the merry merry month of May.

First off (although it’s the end of the month 😉 ) – Mom Pipes’ birthday.  She is one of my favorite people in the whole world.  She is always showing us the most amazing home decor items that she got for a deal. For her birthday I made her this “Treasure Finding Queen” card.

We slipped some money in there for her to use on her next excursion.

{For card credits, go here.}

Also in May:  Liz’s graduation.  The youngest in the family and one of the sweetest!  We had so much fun on this photoshoot – just her and me running around town, trying to get as many photos as the evening light would permit.  We both even scouted out the same green truck on the edge of town before hand (we’re a little similar 😉 ).  Later I had a lot of fun making her announcement too:

{credits:  background from Mouse Paper Scissors:Mom class by Jessica Sprague and Heidi Swapp, photostrip, stamps and chalkboard label from House of 3}

Happy Day!

Did you?

Many thanks to all the men and women in the past who made it possible for me to vote today.  I am thankful for the chance to choose to vote.  Right behind me in line was one of my friends that got to vote for her first time today.  Her excitement was contagious.

p.s.  I love this series of photos taken today.  Want to vote on your favorite?  😉

To the moon and back

The first annual (don’t you love those 😉 ) Ward chili cook-off was this past Friday evening.  There were many delicious varieties of chili – 12 to be exact.  I’m always amazed at how each pot of chili tastes and looks so different – love that!  I tried three kinds – my favorite was a white chicken chili – yum!  There was a really yummy spicy one made by our newly-wed neighbors that was also delicious.  JB tried all 12 – can you believe it?  He did 3-4 in his bowl at a time, but that is still a bunch of chili.  There were also breadsticks, corn bread, salads,etc.  And the best carmel trifle cake with tons of whipped cream and broken candy bar on top.  So yummy – all of it!  Good company and entertainment too.  The bishopric showed us how they get ready on Sunday mornings – the classic other person “helping” routine.  They also sang/performed a song, “Cow Patti“.  What a riot.

Then came the awards for the chili.  There were five awards.  Each came with a coordinating candy bar prize.  The categories were:  Most loved (Hershey kisses), 5 alarm chili (cinnamon bears), Most treasured (Treasure candy nuggets), Most mysterious (not sure the candy on that one – maybe watchamacallits??) and Out of this World (Milky Way).  Funny, but the way it turned out – 4 out of the 5 awards were given to people at our table.  Here’s our award:

A fairly basic chili – but I added salsa and seasoned the meat with Weber Gourmet Burger seasoning.  It has a smoky, mesquite flavor that makes it taste like you’re eating chili outdoors, cooked over a campfire, while on a cattle drive.  (Or maybe it’s just the Pace commercial stuck in my head.)  Either way – yum.

We were also able to help tie two quilts.  That was Jim Bob’s first time and he did a mighty fine job.  A fun, festive fall date.

Here’s looking forward to next year (you know, the 2nd annual chili cook-off).

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