Saturday Night Genealogy Fun! April 4 & 11

I always have fun playing along with Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Genea-Musings! You can check out his prompts on his blog and join in on the fun! I missed last week’s prompt, but here are both of them together.

The prompt for April 4:

The prompt for April 11:

The current series of SNGF is to respond to some questions on the topic of “When I was young…” from Alona Tester’s blog “LoneTester HQ“. It is a three week series, here are the first two weeks:

  1. Do you (or your parents) have any memorabilia from when you were a baby? (ie. baby book, lock of hair, first shoes etc.) I’m sure there’s plenty of photos. I’m fairly certain we have baby shoe Christmas ornaments. My mother made our christening gowns, so those are probably in a box somewhere.
  2. Do you know if you were named after anyone? I was not named after anyone. Since I am a twin, my parents decided to each choose half our name. My mom chose my first name and my dad chose my middle name, vice versa for my sister.
  3. And do you know of any other names your parents might have named you? My mom always tells me that at the time I was born she really liked the name Jessica. She also says she was worried about naming my sister “Molly” because she thought it would be too common and there would be a lot of kids in school with the same name. It turned out there was only one other Molly at school, and she became my best friend!
  4. What is your earliest memory? My earliest memory is probably when my brother fell down the basement stairs and my mom called an ambulance to check him out. I was really scared which is probably why it sticks with me. Apparently it was three year old me’s fault for leaving the basement door open. I remember hiding from the EMTs and that he got a big white teddy bear.
  5. Did your parent/s (or older siblings) read, sing or tell stories to you? Do you remember any of these? My mom used to sing Brahms’ Lullaby to us and I loved that as a child. She also used to read to us all the time. In fact, one of our favorite family activities was sitting around while my mom read books to us. She read almost every Roald Dahl book aloud on car trips. We also read The Hobbit. But my favorite was that she read all the Harry Potter books aloud to us with voices up until the 5th one. My mom was also known for storytelling. She and I went to storyteller gatherings and she actually came into school one time to tell stories and I got to help, very exciting as a 4th grader.
  6. When you were young, do you remember what it was that you wanted to grow up to be? In 3rd grade we read the “Amelia’s Notebook” series and we all got notebooks. I filled mine with ridiculous stories and drawings. I wanted to be an author and illustrator. Then I realized my stories weren’t very good and after that I wanted to be a children’s librarian. I even wrote the local children’s librarian a letter about how much I wanted to be like her! Then in middle school I wanted to work on a cruise ship after our family went on a cruise. I wanted to be the dining room manager. In high school I wanted to be a math teacher but after one disastrous year of math I decided I wanted to teach French. I put that on my college application and never looked back!
  7. Did you have a favourite teacher at school? I was a real teacher’s pet, I loved a lot of my teachers. My favorites were probably Madame Easley, my high school French teacher who inspired me to become a French teacher. I think of her almost every day that I teach. I also really loved my high school orchestra director. Most students thought she was mean but I could see that she was so demanding because she wouldn’t settle for anything less than our best. She pushed us to become better musicians and we did. I was never very good, mind you, but I could see that she really cared and I’ve always thought about that as I teach.
  8. How did you get to school? We lived in the ideal location in town. There was an elementary and middle school about 1/8 mile north of our house and the neighbors let us cut through their yard to walk to school. The high school was about 1/4 mile south. In fact, I didn’t get my drivers license in high school because I had no incentive to drive to school, it would have taken longer than walking!
  9. What games did playtime involve? Having a twin sister meant that I had a constant playmate. We played a lot of dress up. We also had American Girl dolls that we loved, my mom sewed clothes for them. We played a fair amount of Barbies too. There weren’t really any kids in our neighborhood but we played outside. Our back yard was up against a church property and part of a cemetery and there was what we called “the woods” between them. It was about ten yards deep of locust trees and honeysuckle but we loved it. We spent hours our there building forts and playing games.
  10. Did you have a cubby house? We built some stick forts in “the woods”, the top of the swing set where the slide was also became kind of a fort. We also were pretty good at building forts in the basement by draping blankets over the piles of old furniture left over from when my grandparents lived in the house.
  11. What was something you remember from an early family holiday? First of all, we had an invented family holiday called Nosredna Day (Anderson spelled backwards) on August 12th. We determined the date by taking the number day of the year of each family member’s birthday and averaging them. We didn’t do much but we went out to dinner and usually did something as a family. Edit: I realize the OP is Australian so “holiday” here refers to a vacation, in which case, here is my answer: When I was in first grade we went to Maine and stayed in a beautiful home right on the water. It was really one of my first tastes of what other places were like (aside from the standard Disney World trip). We walked down to a dockside dive for dinner and walked on the beaches. I fell in love with the beauty of Maine and for a long time I wanted to move there when I grew up.
  12. What is a memory from one of your childhood birthday’s or Christmas? Christmas for me meant three Christmases! We started early in the morning with breakfast at our house consisting of brown sugar coffee cake then opened presents. Then we were expected to get dressed and go to my grandmother’s condo for a lunch of finger foods and a couple more presents. Sometimes my cousins from Indiana would be there. Then we went home for a few hours before going to my other grandparents’ house for dinner and presents. Cousins would usually be up from Florida so after dinner we played for hours until we were exhausted.
  13. What childhood injuries do you remember? I never broke any bones, thank goodness. I have fuzzy memories of going to the hospital in the middle of the night as a child but I don’t remember much other than I came home with Barbie bandaids. I also lost my big toenail completely as a child when I didn’t want to go to my room but my dad shut the door after I stuck my foot out. Luckily it grew back.
  14. What was your first pet? We never had pets, my parents had a dog but they got rid of it when they had kids because my grandparents were allergic and they were over a lot more to see grandkids. It turns out I am allergic too.
  15. Did your grandparents, or older relatives tell you stories of “when I was young ..?” I didn’t hear a lot of those stories. I heard a few from my grandfather about growing up fairly poor in New Jersey. He talked about playing baseball, working at his father’s pool hall and learning to drive from a friend. But most of what I know about my grandparents’ childhoods has been pieced together from genealogy research.

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