Thursday, December 25, 2014

Boston Tea Party

Dear nieces and nephews

Have you heard about the Boston Tea Party? It happened a long time ago in Boston (where I live). Some people were not happy with the government who wanted them to pay taxes on tea, so they had a big meeting in this building where everybody was able to share what they thought.

Some people weren't happy with the meeting and they went to the big ship where the tea was and threw it all overboard. Today we call those people Patriots (because a war eventually started and the Patriots won and America was born). We have some ancestors that were Patriots (Jeremiah Hatch & Nathaniel Hatch)

But back then, not everyone liked the Patriots. Some people still wanted the King of England to be their ruler. They were called Loyalists. We have an ancestor who was Loyalist too. (Thomas Sumner). Here is a statue of King George III, who was king then.

The Patriots and Loyalists were very mean to each other. Some Patriots drove Thomas Sumner and his family from their home and made them leave Vermont. They had to go to Canada. How would you feel if you were Thomas?

I went to a re-enactment of the Boston Tea Party and my part was to be a Loyalist. I thought a lot about Thomas Sumner and how he would have felt. I think he wanted the Patriots to obey the law and not throw the tea overboard. I was the first person in the meeting to share my thoughts as a Loyalist and to say that we should be loyal to the king.

Would you be a Patriot or a Loyalist? Why? How would you treat others?

Here are some pictures that I took when I went to the meeting and then watched them throw tea overboard.

photo credits: Old South Meeting House:
Boston Tea Party Ship:
Boston Tea Party Engraving: Copy of lithograph by Sarony & Major, 1846
King George III statue:

Christmas 2014

What a wonderful Christmas. My sister Shaunda and her family gave me 25 days of Christmas (see previous post), many friends gave me treats, and I had fun gifts from other friends and family members too (see below). My favorite part is sharing the love of Christmas with them and spending time with them.

Some treats from friends--Christmas cookies came later

My friend Amy makes earrings and gave me these--I love them

Had a wonderful time Skyping with my mom and dad today. Best part was watching them open the presents I gave them. I gave my mom a rendering of the Freedom Trail that she can hang on the wall. My sisters and I each gave my parents 2 date nights a piece (for a total of a whole year between the 6 of us). I gave them a night out to the Sunbird Restaurant and a night in with hot chocolate and treats.

They gave me Christmas socks (bear and music), blue leopard print slippers, a hand towel, chapstick and hand lotion.

When I was little I had a Raggedy Ann doll that was about as big as me. I love that doll--not sure what happened to her. My mom found this doll at at yard sale and gave her a seat of blocks to bring back that memory.

the necklace is an angel with my birthstone (topaz).

Right before I left for college, somebody came to visit. Video cameras were brand new back then, but he had one and made a movie of my family. I remember his visit and think I may have seen the video once, but not for years. We each received a copy for Christmas this year. Looking forward to watching it! Those who know my family may be amused by the pictures of each of us circa 1991.

Another sister put together a 60 page book of family stories--so looking forward to reading that as well.

And another sister gave me a calendar about sisters--it's beautiful and I am looking forward to reading the poems and thoughts

My birthday 2014

My birthday was over a month ago, but it was a great birthday and is worth posting about. As always, the best parts were time I spent with others. Skyped or spoke with my parents and each of my 5 sisters that day. Lots of well wishes on Facebook and at church.

My favorite gift was one that my mom spent hours making-- a wall hanging to go in my kitchen. It is beautiful. I love the colors and especially the splashes of pink. By request, it was red to match my wall.

It looks beautiful hanging in my kitchen

I also ordered some jewelry. I especially love the scarab earrings (they remind me of my trip to Egypt) and the necklace because it is so sparkly.

I ordered the necklace and scarab earrings from a friend. She threw in the Christmas bulb and silver girl earrings as a birthday gift.

The necklace is so sparkly and reflective that I had my own private disco show in my car on the way home from church.

In the afternoon I went on a tour of Puritan Boston (see separate post)--something I have been wanting to do for a while.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas 2014 (an early start)

When I was a child, we drew names for Christmas in our family. We only had to get a gift for that person, but we could get others if we would like. On Christmas Eve, we each got to open the gift from the person who drew our name. As we grew up and left home, drawing names became logistically challenging, so we just set up a system that for any given year, you have the person just younger than the person you had last year. If you had the youngest last year, then you have Dad this year.

Anyway, this year my sister Shaunda, just younger than me, has my name. She sent me a package that arrived December 1 with instructions to open it when it came. I Skyped with her and her family while I opened it. She and her sweet family have given me a gift to open for every day between Dec 1 and Dec 25, with each one labeled on the day it was to be opened.

Here are the daily gifts--I am totally loving this! It gives me something to look forward to each day. Now that it is over, I am going to miss it. It has been such a wonderful December. I really appreciated learning about some of her family's traditions and her sharing them with me. My favorites were the letters.

December 1: A recent picture of her family, and a personalized recording greeting message, along with popcorn and hot chocolate. Broke out the hot chocolate on December 7

December 2: Lifesavers

December 3 and 6:
letters from a niece and nephew

December 4: colored pens and notepads

December 5: Christmas socks

December 7: Marshmallows and cranberries to string during the First Presidency Christmas devotional tonight. Will pull out the hot chocolate and break out the Christmas socks too!

(added later)--the finished product

December 8: Going to make cookies this weekend!

December 9: Emergency stuff always comes in handy. Will go in my car for these cold New England winters.

December 10: letter from my niece who loves sports. The card is a baseball. On the other side she wrote a sweet note and drew  a basketball, a soccer ball, a football and a lacrosse ball and net, along with a baseball diamond.

December 11: Louisiana spice!

December 12: letter from a niece

December 13: 2 containers of hand lotion. The other is my favorite (vanilla lavender) and is already in use

December 14: This came with an email with a link to many Christmas stories

December 15: I thoroughly enjoyed the hot chocolate and doughnut

December 16: letter from a a nephew

December 17: Goodies to ring in the New Year

December 18: Letter from a niece

December 19: cute book for appetizer recipes. I never know what to bring either, so this will be very handy

December 20: letter from my brother-in-law

December 21: A really good Christmas movie

December 22: I love to share my love of sports with this family

December 23: These will come in handy for my thesis!

December 24: Letter from my sister with this picture of us at Christmas many years ago. She was even smiling in this picture. I love this picture too. Shaunda is just 18 months younger than me and we have lots of excellent memories of time spent together

December 25: Cards from my sister and her husband and my nieces and nephews, and some cash.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Blast from my childhood

My mom found this recently and sent it to me. I drew these as a thank you when I was 5 or 6 for some clothes my grandmother had sent. A flood had hit her area and there was a lot of damage, including to a clothing store that was filled with mud. They sold the clothes at a huge discount, so my grandmother bought several for her grandkids. She had to soak them in several tubs of water to loosen the mud. She didn't want to use her nice washing machine, so they brought out the old Maytag Wringer clothes washer and washed them several times. When they were finally clean, they were really nice clothes.