Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Minton Christmas!

I thought I'd do a little Christmas post this Christmas Eve as we begin to wrap up 2013. To see a sort-of scrapbook of my year on facebook, check out my facebook Year In Review Then check out our Christmas card from this year! Merry Christmas everyone!!!

2013 Christmas card
View the entire collection of cards.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Our time capsule - Book of Me: Prompt 8

I love the idea of this prompt. I considered making a time capsule about our houses history and our remodel/addition and our family in it and leaving it in the attic for a future owner to find. (I love house history, so I'm not ruling this out for a later project!) I considered a family time capsule of who each of us is and what we like right now, maybe with a letter or video to our future selves, that we could bury and plant a tree over to be dug up in 10 or even 20 years. (Also still a fun potential project.) I considered doing a yearly time-capsule-in-a-mason-jar as seen on this pinterest post here.

Right now I am leaning toward a decade time capsule. Working with timelines and scrapbooking has really gotten me thinking about how a person's life splits into decades. Just hitting the highlights of a decade with records, pictures, and personal items would paint such a unique picture of a person or family's evolution. For Dave and I a 2000s decade time capsule would probably include my high school diploma and senior pictures, a band picture of me and my drum major manual, a picture of me singing in my high school show choir, church choir, and with my band Soul Vacation, possibly a cd of a few of the very first digital pictures dad and I took with our very first digital camera, a circuit city shirt to remember my 1st (and only "real" job, and my college diploma. For Dave we would probably have a folder full of newspaper clippings from his high school sports, his green Fury t-shirt from rec soccer, some Saint Louis HS memorabilia, a picture of his Granny perming his bleached-blond hair, a picture of his station wagon and his broken arm, his high school diploma and senior picture of him at the piano, his bachelor's degree diploma, and some of the early brochures Dave made for Lonnie Harper & Assoc where he works. For "us" I think we would include a photo or maybe a recording of us playing in our friends Corey and Eric Tarver's praise band for 1st Church of the Nazarene, called Joshua's House; a picture of us at my senior prom; the video and maybe the silk flowers from our wedding and our marriage license; pictures from our trips to Disney World, Chicago, & New York; pictures or newspaper articles from Hurricane Rita; birth certificates and baby pics for Isaac and Zoe; pictures from the Curry and Chambers reunions in Arkansas; a Christmas or family portrait from each year; a picture of our 1st apartment; and the sales agreement for our home.

OK... that's a lot. I'll have to do research and find out what sizes and types of boxes are available. Should I get fireproof? Waterproof? Archival? Just a cardboard paper box for now? Before we finish and publish this Book of Me project by our 10th anniversary in May 2015, I'm going to make one of these time capsule things happen.

I'll keep you posted.

Journaling - Book of Me: Prompt 6

I'm behind on my entries AND going out of order, but I suppose as long as I'm still plugging away that's alright...

I have kept various journals and diaries since I was pretty young. When I was in elementary school, I loved those pre-made, fill-in-the-blank "about me" books. I'm sure mom still has at least one of them. I remember we made black and white photocopies of all the pages of one that had teddy bears on it, so I could fill it out again at a different age. Mom just gave me the blank copies recently so that Zoe could fill it out when she's a little older. I also remember having a pink, electronic diary with a password, although I never really had to hide anything since I didn't have brothers or sisters to spy on me.

Most of my middle school journals were about various crushes and got chunked when I got married along with a boot-sized shoe box of notes from boys and friends. As I got toward the end of high school and beyond, my journaling because more self-help-ish: to do lists, goals, projects, exercise and food journals, etc.

If a notebook is more than half full and mostly memory-worthy, then I usually keep it. My journals vary from beautiful store-bought journals to spiral notebooks and everything in between. I have at least a few entries in almost every notebook I've ever owned. I have a fair number of saved files from old computers, too.

These days my 2 most common forms of journaling are facebook/blogging and prayer journaling. My ADD leads me to really struggle during my prayer time with "being still" to listen to God. If I write as I pray, it keeps me from getting distracted. It's often much more clear when and how God is answering me.

At this exact moment I have 4 journals and a daily planner within arms reach of my bed. I'm sure I will continue to journal and keep my notebooks. I believe it is good for my soul.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Successful Husband-Arm-Twisting - "Book of Me" Prompt 1 for my better half

Woohoo! My sweet hubby let himself be talked into doing this project with me. On our mini-roadtrip to NOLA this weekend I go him thinking about the prompts and he read my posts so far. I even got him to complete Prompt 1! One down, only about 59 more to go! Lol! Without further ado...

My husband David is

... daddy of Isaac
... daddy of Zoe
... daddy of Brody
... husband of Jess
... an engineer
... a leader
... a manager
... a helper
... a Christian
... a soccer player
... a competitor
... a nerd
... legally blind
... a piano player
... awesome
... humble
... a snuggler
... a perpetual student
... an entrepreneur
... a hard worker
... an inventor

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

You Want to Know WHAT?!?! Book of Me: Prompt #3 (physical description)

Well... this prompt is a doozy, isn't it. Especially for women I guess. How to physically describe myself without being verbally abusive. I once had someone tell me to quit critiquing my appearance all the time, especially in front of my daughter, or she would grow up believing that always feeling not-quite-good-enough is how she's supposed to be. Anyway, I'm a work in progress on that front, so here goes.

I am 5'7". I'm about 190lbs and blessed with an hourglass-shaped figure that I got from my mom and "Martin women" hips. I wear a size 14 and I'm determined(ish) to drop at least a size so that its easier to shop. I've always felt like my weight was a struggle, but of course now I'd LOVE to be at a size that would've been unacceptable even 5 years ago, lol! Having 3 kids will do that I guess. I felt the most physically attractive my senior year in high school. Oddly enough, I'm much more confident now that I base my feelings about myself on how my husband and my Jesus see me, both of whom think I'm beautiful. : )

I have grey-blue eyes and brownish mid-length hair. I used to be blond. I kept it up artificially for a while, but I'm too cheap to get hi lights every 6 weeks, so now I don't.

My ears are pierced, but I don't often wear earrings or jewelry of any kind. I'm trying to dress better these days, wearing something besides yoga pants (which I wore to lunch today, and no, I don't actually do yoga) at least twice a week. I'm not super girly. I rarely even blow dry my hair, much less style it. And with 3 young kids I'm lucky to wash it more than twice a week. : |

I don't often wear make-up, but I like to get dolled up sometimes. The picture I have on here is what I look like now when I'm trying, hehe. It was taken in May 2013 at the Charleston Hotel in Lake Charles. I was sitting in at a fundraiser gig with my old band Soul Vacation.

When I'm just putting on basic make-up I use concealer under my eyes (which have BAD dark circles), powdered bronzer that I use as foundation, blush, and eyeshadow, and blue eyeliner on the inside on my bottom lashes. I hate mascara.

I have pretty big feet. I wear a 9 1/2. My hubby makes fun of my little toes by calling them "Quasimodo" since they're hunched up and have almost no toenail. My fingernails have ridges and grow in weird ways, which my Aunt Mary says I get from the Martin family. But when they do grow out they have very pretty natural white tips like a French manicure.

I have 7 birthmarks of various shapes and sizes, with the most obvious being an oblong tan one on the inside of my left knee. I have several moles, which I hate, and a few freckles. I also have a half inch scar under my chin from busting it open on our big claw-foot bathtub when I was a kid (twice) and not getting stitches.

I've always been told I have my Aunt Deanie's (my dad's sister) nose. My favorite thing about myself is that I have perfectly heart-shaped pouty lips.

*whew* That turned out to be easier than I thought. And quite therapeutic actually. Do any of you have a hard time describing yourself in a unbiased way??

Just FYI, I'm going to have to do a flashback to Prompt #2 about my birth later in the project as my mom is in possession of my baby book and is in the middle of a move right now.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Genealogy 101

Are you a family history beginner? Need a refresher course? Trying to knock down a brick wall? Check out these How-to articles I've posted. Happy Hunting!

How to Know What You Know

Beginning the Journey: What I Wish I had Known

Epic Mommy & Son Family History Detective Trip

Finally, this post has a proper home! I originally posted this here at my Knowing William blog.

Last month my six-year-old son and I went on a family history road trip adventure!

It was a wonderful experience getting to hang out together, just the two of us, without daddy or his 2- and 3-year-old siblings. We learned all about history as we did some "detective work" on one branch of our Louisiana family.

While on our adventure, we took some documentary video footage and lots of pictures. He also kept a journal where he wrote and drew pictures about the things we did. Here are our finished products. Enjoy!

Click here to view our documentary video on YouTube.

Click here to view this photo book larger

The new way to make a photo album: photo books by Shutterfly.

You're never too young to start appreciating who your family is and where they come from. Check out my pinterest board "Family history for kids and non-genealogists" for ideas on activities and conversation starters for the future family history detectives in your life!

Who am I? Book of Me: Prompt 1

I'm copying this over from my Knowing William blog, as this will be the new home of my Book of Me project... enjoy!

Image taken from

Today on Mondays with Myrt, they discussed blogger Julie Goucher (of Anglers Rest) and her new 15-month-long series called the "Book of Me" Project. Weekly prompts will guide you to blogging, or privately writing, a "Book of Me." This is so valuable in our genealogy exploits and is so often neglected. Obviously 15 months is quite a commitment, but it can easily be done at your own pace. Even doing only a few of the prompts will leave such an important record for our children and grandchildren, as well as future genealogists. My hope is that I can talk my husband into doing it with me and we can publish a joint Blurb book in time for our 10th anniversary in about 21 months! Wish me luck on twisting his arm ; )

I am hoping that some of you will join with me in journeying through this project. After all the quest to study our ancestors and the quest to know ourselves have always been inextricably tied! What a wonderful gift to future generations and to each other! I will try to keep up with posting the prompts here, but you can also follow along on Julie's blog, the "Book of Me" facebook group, and

For week 1 the prompt was a commonly used psychology test. Ask yourself "Who am I?" 20 times.

Just to get us started, here is mine...

Who am I?

-I am a child of the One True King. Jesus is my savior and my life.
-I am the wife of an incredible man, David.
-I am the mother of 3 beautiful and very different children who challenge, bless, and amaze me everyday.
-I am a genealogist.
-I am a photographer, personally and sometimes professionally.
-I am a lover of books and learning.
-I am a total nerd.
-I am addicted to my iPhone.
-I am a proud owner of a brand new Toyota Sienna, the coolest vehicle ever, mini-van or otherwise.
-I am a procrastinator.
-I am a memory keeper.
-I am NOT Emily Post, June Cleaver, or Martha Stewart, housekeeping, cooking, thank you notes... not my strong suit.
-I am a recovering Kraft Mac-n-cheese addict (yeah, I had some yesterday).
-I am a singer, personally and sometimes professionally.
-I am a HUGE fan of Walt Disney World, the most magical place on earth.
-I am an imperfect perfectionist. Combined with procrastination, this can really be a problem.
-I am a blogger, facebooker, and pinterest pinner.
-I am chronically late.
-I am a lover of travel.
-I am a talker.

There you have it! Not sure it's supposed to be that wordy, but hey, I said I was a talker. : )

Until next time!


I've been blogging for just over a year now about one particular ancestor over at Knowing William, and I thought my other branches deserved voice, too.

Two of my four grandparents' lines are based exclusively in Louisiana back as far as I can prove. Of the two remaining branches, one is mostly in Texas, but can be traced all the way back to Jamestown, VA in 1607. On my hubby's side, two of his four are located in Arkansas. It's these "southern branches" that I'll be sharing about here through biographical sketches, brick wall struggles, and local history and research techniques.

I'm also planning on using this blog to chronicle my journey through the "Book of Me" Project being doneby Julie Goucher. I hope you enjoy keeping up with my genealogy journey, but mostly I hope you find something that will help you on yours!