22 August 2014

Simple Pleasures

Simple pleasures in life:

•riding bikes with my kids to school

•playing volleyball, (especially when I hit the ball really hard, and it actually goes where I want it to go) 

•my dogs running to me each time they hear the ice machine on the fridge so they can each catch a piece of ice that I toss them

my boys giving me hugs when I pick them up from school

•chatting with neighborhood friends on a quiet evening at the dog park

•watching as my youngest son starts to be able to really keep up and do the same thins as his big brothers on our outdoor adventures

•being available to volunteer at school for the first time now that our "baby" has started kindergarten

•watching YouTube videos and trying out moves in our favorite new sport, parkour, with my boys

•those days when the kids have finished their chores early and I've kept the house tidy and it's just nice and clean (yes, that does happen every once in a while).   :)

•Saturday morning bike rides with my husband & my parents

•the boys being so excited about the piano we just found on Craigslist that they are actually arguing about who gets to practice piano first 

•outdoor adventures: camping, hiking, exploring new beaches with the family

•my husband and I putting all the kids to be and finishing whatever we have to get done at night and then sitting down to watch a favorite show together

•watching my boys climb higher and jump further off of playground equipment than most kids their ages, remembering when I used to be so proud that I could do those same kinds of things when I was a kid, and just letting them do it because I know they can

•when I plan a good dinner and it actually turns out really great

•being happy to finally be settled down in a home and a neighborhood where we can stay and watch out family grow up

•my sweet husband making little comments about how much he loves me

20 August 2014

Courtland's 1st day of Kindergarten

I picked Courtland up from his first half-day of kindergarten. He hugged me a couple times, then told me that they learned songs, he had at least 3 teachers today, and he told me about a book that a teacher read them. We rode our bike home, he wanted to play a card game with me, then he played on his own a little while before falling asleep like this on the couch:
(Now the only hard part is going to be waking him up in a little while to ride back over to the school to pick up his brothers. Luckily we have a tag-along bike for him that hooks to the back of my bike, so he doesn't actually have to do any work to make the bike go). 

The first day of school

Today was the first day of school for the boys: Kolby started 5th grade, Elijah 4th, Camden 2nd, Isaac 1st, and Courtland kindergarten. I actually have to leave pretty soon to pick Courtland up because. The kindergarteners have half day school for the first several weeks before they switch to full day. 

It took a little time getting everyone situated on their bikes with their school bags and lunch bikes this morning, but we got it all figured out. And Nana surprised us and rode up on her bike right when we came outside, so she got to go do the first day drop off with us. What a good surprise. 

When we got there we got all the bikes and helmets locked to a fence (the new school will have a bike rack, but they don't have one yet). And then took a picture of all the brothers outside the school together. 

Then we all went and dropped each boy off at his class.

No tears, everyone seemed happy and excited. I can't wait to hear how everything went today!

Last Day of Summer

We had a blast yesterday at Point Loma on the last day before school starts. Perfect way to end the summer!  (It's too bad we lost cell phone service there, and we never were able to meet up with the friends who invited us to the Tidepools in the first place, but we still had a lot of fun climbing all over the rocks and getting wet). 

18 August 2014

Beautiful Morning

Look at those pretty clouds after my morning run today. 

05 August 2014

Cousin Time!

We have one of our nieces and three of our nephews staying with us for the rest of this week. 8 kids age 9 and younger -- wish me luck!  :)


It looks like Michael is getting a little bonus at work (woohoo!), which should be just enough to pay for braces for the two oldest boys, pay off some debt, and allow the boys to do a sport this year.  So I got the idea that parkour would be a really fun sport for the boys to learn.  (If you've never heard of parkour, look up some videos on youtube -- some of the people who do it are really amazing).  I've heard parkour referred to as "urban gymnastics," with vaulting, jumping, flipping, and rolling over or under any obstacles in their path, and scaling walls or even jumping across rooftops.  And learning it can improve balance, strength, and general fitness.  And it looks like so much fun!

So anyway, I started looking around and found that there is a parkour instructor who teaches a class at a karate studio just minutes from our house.  So I took Elijah with me on Saturday just to try out the class, meet the instructor, see the studio, and get a feel for what it's like.  (I actually thought it would be fun to take the class with Elijah, and they told me that the class is open to all ages, but for some reason there have been mostly kids coming to it lately, so I just let Lijah try it out this time).  Elijah was a little hesitant at first when he saw the boys who had been taking the class for a while doing their warm-ups, but as soon as the instruction began he had a blast for the rest of the class, and was asking right away when he could do it again.

(kind of blurry photos, but you get the picture)
Saturday classes aren't always convenient for our family, but the class instructor also offers private and group lessons, so I'm waiting to hear back more details to see if we might be able to have all our boys take a group lesson from him one weekday after school.  I'm hoping that works out, because since Saturday Lijah has been practicing and teaching it to his brothers and cousins, and they've all enjoyed it.  Today after we went to the science museum in Balboa Park we walked over to the playground for a few minutes and all the boys were trying out moves, while Lijah showed them how to do the parkour roll, and how to do some vaults.  It was pretty fun.

30 July 2014

San Diego House For Sale

Just in case anyone is looking for a house in the Del Sur neighborhood, the one next door to us just went up for sale. It's in an excellent location just a block and a half from the elementary school, and also within walking distance of the new K-8 school and the high school. 

The neighborhood has lots of parks and pools, there are plenty of hiking & biking trails nearby, a couple of dog parks nearby, and a new shopping center with a Target and a variety of small restaurants is supposed to be built nearby in the next year or so. The award-winning elementary school is the top in the district, and all the schools in the area are great. The neighborhood hosts some pretty amazing community events. We are finding that we enjoy the friends we are making in the neighborhood, and there are lots of kids here to play with. We've loved here a year now, and it really feels like home. It's a great place to live. 

(And I know that this house just happens to be right next door to a friendly family with kids who are always looking for someone to come out and play).  We would love for another family with kids to move in on our street!  

28 July 2014

Family Night at the Beach

Well, it's our first time hosting FHE at the beach tonight -- it was a lot of work to get the kids, gear, food, fire pit, and wood all to the beach, but now the boys are all having fun in the water and on the sand. And I can't wait for a beach bonfire -- one of my favorite memories of growing up in San Diego.  Next time I'll leave at least an hour earlier because it was so hard to find a parking spot. And all 7 boys had to pitch in and carry the gear from the car down to our spot in the sand -- Kolby left this morning to visit my Grandma in Utah, so we've got our other 4 boys, 2 nephews, and we brought our friend CT along too. But the kids were good helpers. And now some of the boys are boogie boarding, others are making sand castles, and Camden & Kyler have buried Courtland in the sand and made him a mermaid. :)  Although it was sprinkling yesterday in the evening, it's 4pm now and it still feels wonderfully warm out, so the weather is just right.  Just need Michael to come join us once he's done at work, and it will be an ideal evening. 


Jaden & Lijah

(In the center: that's Kyler on the blue boogie board on the left, and CT on the red board next to him). 

Courtland burying Isaac

Camden & Kyler with "mermaid Courtland"

Lijah, Kyler, CT, Jaden, & Courtland

Around the fire pit

25 July 2014

Translating Bohemian Records

I usually post things like this just on my genealogy blog, www.stephsgenealogy.blogspot.com, but I thought I’d include this one here too, just because this work has been a pretty regular part of my life for the last couple years (and we’ve worked on it off and on for several years now).  

I know I've neglected this genealogy blog for a while now, but the main reason for that is that anytime I find a spare hour or so to do genealogy, my mom and I have been getting together to work on our Bohemian genealogy research.  Since these records became available online relatively recently, there are so many "new" names to find and so much research to do that hasn't been done previously.  When my mom, my sister Michelle, and I started working on these records together in 2012 we found so much new information -- we were so excited that when Michelle was visiting San Diego the three of us would do research late into the night many nights in a row (often with one or two of us eventually falling asleep at the table as we tried to stay awake to find more).  We found so many new family members, that we would quickly write down the names and relationships, and which digitized book and page number where we found each one, and then quickly follow the clues on to find the next, and the next.  It was so fun, and so exciting to find so many new families.  But the result is that now we have a document that is currently 48 pages long filled with research notes, translations, and partial translations of the records. (I'm certainly not complaining -- what a blessing to be able to work hard and find so much!)

The big job now is to go back through our research notes, go back to each of those records we've found over the last two years, and translate, type, and enter all the source information for each record into our genealogy database.  Since neither my Mom or I are anywhere near fluent in German (or Latin), sometimes this process is slow going.  We have come a long way in our ability to "read" the records -- and figure out their meanings.  We have learned a lot about reading the old German Gothic alphabet and deciphering the old handwritings, and we are becoming familiar with more and more German and Latin words that were frequently used in those records.  So, we get together at least once a week to work on translating the records we have already found.  We have a page of sample letters in the Gothic alphabet that we frequently refer to, and we are always using Google Translate and other genealogy websites to help figure out unfamiliar words or town names.  Sometimes the hardest part is restraining ourselves to continue translating and recording the information from these records we have already found, instead of going on to the more exciting search for new information and new ancestors.  But we know now that saving the translation work for later results in a somewhat overwhelming backlog of work.  So once we get caught up and have translated all of these records, I think it will be easier to translate and record the info from each new record we find as we go along.

For now, we'll just keep translating.
This is the alphabet chart that we still reference regularly
when we get stuck on a word that is difficult to transcribe.

Just to give an idea of what kind of records we are working on:
This is a relatively easy record to translate -- good handwriting, short record, nice column format, nothing out of the ordinary.

The death record of [Johann] Fabian Panowitz, Archivni Vade Mecum [State Regional Archives in Litomerice website], , Book 120/10, website image 59/66 (left side of page), folio 68.  (Translation by Amy Spohr Chidester & Stephanie Chidester Bradshaw, July 2013).
“Died 7 June 1800, Place: House No. 48, town: Rasitz.  Fabian of Adalbert Panowitz master tailor young son from Rasitz.  Priest Antonius Leonard.  Religion: Catholic, Gender: Male, Age: 4 years, disease and cause of death: ‘blattern’ (smallpox).”

This is a pretty average record -- it's medium-long (the Latin records are often more wordy compared to the German ones), the handwriting is still pretty good in this one, and it's in paragraph format (not as easy as column format), and there were a few Latin words that we had to figure out because they weren't familiar to us.

Birth record of Joanne Wenceslaus Khol, Archivni Vade Mecum [State Regional Archives in Litomerice website], , Book 139/2, town: Hetov, website image 15/233 (left side of page), page 21, folio 12.  (Translation by Amy Spohr Chidester & Stephanie Chidester Bradshaw, July 2014).
“Of Hettov: [Apr 1762] 10 Born and 11 Bilina.  Baptized is Joannes Wenceslaus Wenceslai Khol and Rosalia Parents subjects of Mileschoviensi [town Mileschau in Usti Region] legitimate child, Godparent holding the child: Wenceslau Prazan from Rasitz, Witnesses: Wenceslau Haÿmann, Antonio Hook(?), Virgin Barabara Elisabeth Törrin, and Anna Maria Mrazin all from Hettov. a R: P:(?) Antonio Ritter chaplain.”

And some of them are a bit harder to read.  This is a German one from the 1700s.  Once you get back into the 1700s or earlier, many of the records get much more difficult to read than this one, and it is much less common for them to list women's maiden names (or sometimes they leave the name of the mother out of the birth records entirely).  But you can see we were fortunate with this particular record -- we could have had the one up higher on the page with the big ink smudge, or worse yet, the ones on the opposite page where the ink has bled through and made it twice as hard to read.  Counting our blessings.  :)

Birth record of Adalberth Panowitz Archivni Vade Mecum [State Regional Archives in Litomerice website],   (Translation by Michelle Chidester Conde, March 2012).  Razice book 120/2, image 64/202, page 121:
“Razitz (town): the 7th of April [1756] Adalberty Pannowitz was born.  Father: Francis Pannowitz.  Mother: Anna Maria.  Held child for baptismal ceremony: Christoph Pannowitz from Razitz.  Witnesses: Mathis Wegwerth, from the same place & Maria Koritz(?) from the same place.”