Meet My Grandfather

There are a few things that bring me pure happiness, and one of them is when I can use my creative talents and artistic ability to share my love of family history. It makes me so happy. A seriously deep joy that brings me so much satisfaction. I wish I could do it all day long, every day. Continue reading


Thursday Thriller

Let me introduce you to Richard Ballantyne, my 5th great grandfather.  He was a Scotsman who joined the church and came to America to join with the Saints.  Little did he know what kinds of trials and adventures awaited him.  During the time of great persecutions of the Mormons, he was kidnapped by the mob and held hostage for over two weeks. Being an avid journal writer, he left many amazing stories for his posterity to enjoy.  Here is the story of his adventure being a hostage to the mob…. Continue reading

Workday Wednesday

Elmo Astle with New Garbage Truck

This is my grandfather Elmo Carling Astle. He died when I was just a few years old and so I never really knew him growing up.  My father took over his garbage hauling business when he passed away and so I grew up riding in this same truck, and helping my dad haul garbage.  I loved these journal entries we came across though as we were scanning his journal in to digitize it.  I think my father could express similar feelings of those that his father wrote. “Same old grind of hauling trash all day in Afton and Alpine, Freedom and Thayne….” Continue reading

8 Minutes a Day

Last year I took an amazing family history class. One week was focused solely on journal writing and recording your daily life as it happened. She gave some great examples, tips, and suggestions on how to do this for the year and gave us a goal to spend only 8 minutes every day writing in our journal.  8 minutes is not very long. You can fold a batch of laundry in 8 minutes, we often waste at least 8 minutes on social media, often we’re waiting in lines or for kids or something for 8 minutes. Continue reading

Family History Mysteries

One of the resources I love to use for home school is the Friend Magazine that is put out by our church.  It works great for short devotionals before we start school and the kids love it. This year they are doing a Family History Mystery every month.  It is a mystery challenge for kids to do about something within their family history. I thought this would be a great project to work on throughout the year together. They loved doing this and I had no complaints about having to do some writing. Continue reading

Having Dinner With My 2nd Great Grandmother

The other night my family and I were able to have dinner with my 2nd great-grandmother Helene Maria Anderson Soelberg.  She was not here in person as she has been gone for 66 years. I never knew her, and yet yesterday she was here in spirit, smell and taste.  We caught a small glimpse of her for a moment.  The grandma who stopped the Indians from stealing her baby became even a little more real in my children’s eyes. With the smell of nutmeg in the air and a hint of in it the dumplings, we enjoyed the new taste of dumplings for dinner with our chicken soup and experienced a small taste of her Danish heritage.  For a few moments she was alive with us again. Continue reading