April 30th, 2010 at 5:42 pm (Articles)
Recently I watched an episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” with Lisa Kudrow on NBC. I am hooked on this show and it is now one of my weekly “must-watch” shows. Set your DVR or just take the time to watch. So far I have not been disappointed at all with the interviews, guests or findings. Each week a new celebrity is asked to share what family history they know, which is usually not that much, and then a search is made to find their people.
On March 19th Lisa Kudrow was searching for information on her great-grandmother in Belarus which is near Poland. Lisa’s father had told a story of how his family was living in the U.S. during the reign of Hitler. When he was a small boy a cousin came to tell them that the great-grandmother had been killed and then they never heard from the cousin again. He was presumed to be dead. The family was Jewish and most everyone from the small town they were from had been killed. Or so they thought.
Lisa set out to investigate what had happened to her great-grandmother and cousin. She visited the small town and began asking questions. The local records keeper helped her find her great-grandmother in a list that was copied from records kept in Moscow. They found her great-grandmother listed as well as it told what had been done to her. Unfortunately it was very hard to hear. The soldiers had been very brutal. My heart broke for the Kudrow’s. It is one thing to know someone was killed, but being killed in such a way is heart wrenching.
Lisa follows a lead and then travels to Poland . She finds a listing of her cousin’s family and sees that he lived on and had a family of his own. From all the sadness there was finally some happiness to share with her father. She calls the listing for the cousin and was greeted by the grandson. Once she tells him who she is and that they are related he invites her to the house. There they meet and talk about what happened so long ago. There are tears and hugs and it is an emotional day for all. I found my eyes were welling with tears. What a bittersweet meeting for them all. Their story is a true testament to the strength of people caught in very extreme circumstances.
If you missed this episode or any others go to:
April 15th, 2010 at 8:09 pm (Articles)
Many of you are thinking spring is just around the corner. Well I am thinking that was also, but I am also thinking just a little further ahead, Christmas. I know, I know. No one really wants to think about Christmas this early, but some times it is necessary.
How many times have we gotten to the fall season and realized we should have started a project much earlier. Well if you are like me, you have done this. So this is my way of sharing a few little things that can be used for Christmas or for that matter, family reunions for summer. Let this year be the one that you not only finish Christmas presents a little early, but your family will love you for it. You can not get much better than that.
Here are a few suggestions:
Bookmarks-Some time ago a friend sent me a picture of some great bookmarks from off the web. I am sorry I do not have the site, but I think they are a fun idea. What a great way to share some family basics. The person that prepared the bookmarks used a basic format, one picture, simple and basic information. I love this idea and I will probably be doing this one myself.
Family Tree-There are many ways to do a printable family tree. Many of the popular software programs include the ability to print out a standard, fan, or fancy family tree. If you use one of the popular software on your home computer take a minute to check. This can same you a little money. If not there are several places that a family tree can be accessed online. Some are very fancy (and expensive) and some are more reasonable.
Picture Books-One of the hottest new gifts are the beautiful picture books. They can be made online. It ‘s all pretty simple. You pick a theme and upload your pictures. Most sites allow you to arrange the photos how you would like. There are templates that are available for you to use. Just follow the directions and there is usually a “Help” button if you run into trouble. There are many to choose from. Here are just a few Picaboo.com, MyPublisher.com, Shutterfly.com, Vistprint.com, SeeHere.com, and Lulu.com. (insert photo book picture)
I hope these ideas will give you inspiration and help you to get a jump on the gifts you will enjoy giving.