Wasted day turned success?

I woke up this morning with an asthma attack. These are not uncommon as we go into summer and the weather starts to change. It is starting to warm up and it is just that time of year. When I woke up wheezing and whistling so bad that I sounded like a cat purring, I knew it was not going to be a great day to doing much of anything.

Lance and I played hooky from church as a result. I started the asthma medicines and the wheezing subsided a little bit but I was more tired than usual because of the lack of general oxygen. That was not good in general. Otherwise I felt okay, just coughing more than usual. The good news is that I feel fine. This is just one of those not so fun things of weather changes.

Since Lance spent a bit of the morning on the computer playing computer games and was a bit more grumpy than normal, I took his computer time away. He was even more grumpy. Wow! Who would have thought that taking away the thing that is making the child grumpy is going to make him even more grumpy. Anyway, it was time for something a bit more engaging than computer games.

Oh wait, to hear Lance tell the story, it is a bit more boring. Why? Well I made him actually work on something. I had him work on some of his Cub Scout stuff. He had a few things to work on to finish 2 more sections in his Bear Rank and then he would be completely done with his rank. Woohoo! My intention was not necessarily to make him finish his rank, but to simply get him to work on something. As we go into Cub Camp this week, I really wanted him to be able to pass off a bunch of stuff and get awarded those things at the next Pack Meeting. In order for him to receive recognition for his Electives, he would need to finish his rank. He was actually over 50% done because he had partials after I sat down and looked at the book with him.

The grumpy Lance, however, did not want to work on Cub Scout stuff that required work. Imagine that. If it required reading something, he was not in any mood to have anything to do with it. Go figure! Needless to say that was when Mommy put her foot down and insisted that Lance DO that particular requirement and get it done. No longer was Mommy being nice about it. Video games were off limits until he completed something in the Cub Scout book and his attitude improved. Since the attitude did not improve right away, he was there with his Cub Scout book for a little while – under duress. Poor Lance.

I am pleased to announce that while Lance’s attitude WAS improving, Lance completed the remaining things for his Bear Rank!!! Go Lance!!! He is 100% done! He even has enough Electives completed for 1 Gold Arrow Point and I believe he might have enough for 1 Silver Arrow Point. I did not go back and recount after he finished what he did in the end. Upon initial count when he completed his Rank Requirements, he was 4 Electives short of his Silver Arrow Point. He might have completed enough to get that.

The best part of that is, he is going to Cub Camp and there are several things that they are going to to complete at camp that they are not going to do in Den Meetings. They just are not. I know, I was one of the Den Leaders and there are things that are just easier for them to do at camp so we opt for them to do them there. They do not need to complete them in Den Meeting to rank so we just let them do them at camp and they usually count as Electives. Lance will rack up more Electives at camp and will probably collect more Silver Arrow Points than he thinks he will.

Even better still is that it is only the end of June and his birthday is not until October. He still has 3.5 months as a Bear to complete Electives. He does not need to worry about what he HAS to do, he can focus on what he WANTS to do. This also takes some of the “stress” off of the Den Leaders for meetings because there is nothing that they HAVE to complete with him between now and his birthday. All of the other Bear aged boys age up to Webelos this week. Lance is the only remaining Bear in our Pack. The only boy behind him is a Wolf and he will not be a Bear until the day that he ages up to be a Webelos. There is no overlap for those 2 boys. Since they have combined the Bears and Wolves, they can focus less on HAVE to do things and focus on FUN things for Lance. It is all Electives from here on out and I do not have to worry about him.

The only other thing he has left to do is complete 1 more thing for his Religious Knot. He has to do a Family Home Evening Lesson on Joseph Smith and the First Vision. That is not too bad. He has done everything else. We can get that done fairly easily and quickly. If anyone has some FHE lesson ideas for that, let me have them so I can help him finish this up.

Other things that I did was work on a little Family History. A little. I tried to focus on preparing for my new calling as the teacher of the Family History Sunday School Class. That being said, I found the manual online and my eyes just glazed over. There are 2 manuals – the student and teacher manuals. They are pretty similar, but obviously the teacher manual gives pointers. I still completely glazed over and thought, “What were they thinking when they called me to this?”

In all fairness, Ben and I have not been set apart for our new callings yet, so that might be some of that unsettled panic that sets in when I sit down and think about it. Still I just do not know how to teach this. Honestly?!. What were they thinking? I suppose I should be asking, “What does the Lord want me to learn?” Or rather, “What does the Lord want me to teach others?”

I know there are so many out there that are just like myself, that think that Family History is just another horse that has been beat until it is dead. It is beat so much it is beyond boring. I honestly do not want to hear another lesson on it. I do not want to be told about how I should be doing it. I already know that I should be doing it. I already have guilt. The problem is that to some degree is that I do not have the time or rather the desire to make the time. That is the largest problem. I do not have the desire.

It is like Food Storage and how we all know we should have it, but we often do not do everything we should or could. I know that for us we could have more. We did for a long time, but we found that we could survive on a lot of what we had. I know now that stocking that back up is costly and important to do it correctly. I learned a lot of things from the process of survival off of it. The survival process was when my sister and her 3 kids were living with us. It was how things just worked out. In the meantime, it is still how things work out and everything is just fine.

I have also learned that needs change over time and it is important to continue to evaluate and even more important to rotate things as you go through your food storage. Suddenly we are faced with 3 out of 5 people that cannot eat peanut butter, not because of a life threatening allergy but because it causes other medical concerns – reflux and migraines. It does not mean that we will not stock peanut butter, it just means that we will not stock as much peanut butter and we will need to pay closer attention to the rotation of the large stocks of peanut butter we have. I will not be buying it as much so our rotation will be slower. The same holds true of many shelf stable items that may contain nuts or pork by products. We just cannot store them or I have to make sure that they are clearly marked so that those that cannot consume them do not partake. It has changed our purchasing habits a little bit and thereby changed our stocking habits currently until we figure out just what is safe and shelf stable for our family needs.

If you go back to the Family History issue, it is not that I am not interested in it because I am, I am just bored by the same old song and dance. Tell me something that I want to hear.

Last night I had my sister over for dinner because it is boring to cook for just Lance and I and she needed some burn cream for her sun burn she acquired when we went to our other sister’s house on Saturday. We sat down and I showed her the interesting stuff I had found. I thought it was interesting anyway.

I showed her the 1930 Census that had our Grandfather’s name spelled incorrectly on it. She that this was pretty cool. We were reading through all the information on the Census record. There is a lot of information about families on these records. The address of the house that they lived in for example. We pulled it up on Google Maps. It is still there. We cannot make any assumptions that it is the same exact house from the 1930s, but it is not unreasonable as many houses in some areas are very old. This did look like an older home. Did it look like a house that was nearly 80-90 years old? I am not sure about that, but it was an older home. It was a modest home. The record said that the home value in 1930, was $4500. We also found out that our Great-Grandfather was a Locomotive Engineer. His income was one of the highest listed on that page of Census Record. My Grandfather specifically said that they were not wealthy, however.

It was looking at that Census Record that we saw that one of his Grandparents was not USA born. His mother was listed as being from England. My sister said we should try to find the “immigration records” for her. We did go looking for her immigration records, however, we did not find them in our quick search. What we did find, however, where the WWI Draft Registration Card for his Father. That was pretty cool to look at – to see a real Draft registration card, signed and all. That was awesome actually.

We eventually did find the 1940 Census and that was interesting as some of the information on the Census records changed. Grandpa’s name was actually spelled correctly, for example. He said that his name was not corrected on his birth certificate until he was 17 years old. On the 1940 Census he was listed as being 12 years old. There is some difference in the story he told us, the one he wrote himself, and obviously what the Census says. We will have to find his Birth Certificates and see if we can find an original somewhere to compare to the changed one.

Oh and we did find out that there was cancer in the family in our search. We found it in Grandpa’s line – adenocarcinoma. It was right there on a death certificate. Even if you do not talk about health issues, it will come back and its story will be told in future generations. Something that has always bugged me is that health issues were seen as something taboo in certain generations – you just did not talk about it. Not any more. We need to know what is in the deep dark caverns of our family history because like we found out last night there really was a family history of cancer that we did not know about and a lot closer than we realized.

Anyway, there were a lot of things we did not find as we went looking for other death certificates and we could not find them. See we wanted to see if any one else had been listed as having cancer. See what doing a little bit of research does? It drives you on other trips down into crazy little “rabbit holes.”

Since Grandpa’s siblings were so much older than him (17-18 years), they were no longer listed on the 1940 Census as living at home. We went looking for them. We found his brother. They were living a few blocks away per Google Maps. He was listed as a Medical Doctor working at a private practice. This coincides nicely with the information we were told by Grandpa about him being a doctor. Grandpa’s brother and his wife had 2 children by the time the 1940 Census was taken.

All of that being said, I am interested in the stories. The names and dates mean nothing to me. I cannot even keep them all straight. I had to keep two tabs and windows open with all the information and flip back and forth with the various things last night when Jennifer and I were messing around with things. It was fun to see parts of that story that Grandpa had told us come to life. When we were looking at Google Maps, Jennifer and I both thought, “I wonder if Grandpa would recognize any of this and it would spark any memories.”

Of course, I am still not sure how to teach a class that has a curriculum how to embrace the excitement that is Family History – the stories. They are the fun part.

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