Monday, July 31, 2017

Best Family Reunion Ever!

As you know, we have had quite a few family reunions over the years. We started out having them at our homes. The numbers grew so we started having them at campgrounds. In the beginning we may not have called them family reunions. When Mom and Dad (Bernita and Ed) lived at the house on Sixth Street in Prosser, we would converge there on States Day (Prosser's Labor Day celebration) to watch the parade and go to the park where the carnival was set up and Bingo was played. Mom loved playing Bingo! We had one at Doug and Patty with a Y's house in Benton City one time. Another time, maybe more than once, at Aunt Donna and Uncle Jack's house in Forest Grove. That's the one when the police officer came because he found Godzilla hitchhiking and vagrant.

So we have evolved, each time we celebrated our large, diverse family, the numbers grew. I predict this Family Reunion will be the BEST one ever and we will have the MOST people ever! I am so happy family members from Missouri and Maryland and perhaps Colorado will be joining us AND I'm extremely happy because all but one of my children will be there!! The most we've ever had in attendance was two of them, I believe.

And with that, I will tell you that we have some fun scheduled - face painting, two or three different crafts for adults and kids, and games for all ages, too.

My daughter-in-law, Jessica Hoefer, Matt's wife, has her first published book coming out in mid-August. She won't be with us at the reunion but Matt plans to bring some of her books to sell if you are interested. Her pen name is Jessica Kapp and the book is Body Parts. If you want a little more info about her book, here is the link to the local newspaper's story: Jessica Kapp - Body Parts. Or you can go to her Facebook page here: Jessica Kapp at Facebook.  We're all so excited to have a published author in the family!! Very happy for Jess and Matt.

Watch this space for the agenda and other important news about the reunion.

Tomorrow I will be spending some time at the hospital so don't expect a post for a few days. But coming soon: the agenda and an updated checklist.

Ta ta for now,


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Family Reunion Fare

I've been busy working on the plans for the family reunion and I'm getting pretty excited about it in one way, but in another way, nervous. I always feel the pressure of trying to make sure everyone has a good time, that there are lots of fun things to do with our relatives but also making sure there is time for the families to do a little kibitzing with each other.  (I looked it up, that is how it is spelled, even though the root word is kibbutz.) I'm feeling especially nervous this time because, for one thing, we have relatives coming from Maryland, Missouri and maybe Colorado. I want them to have a good time for sure!

Another reason I am a bit nervous about it is my health. I'm having some difficulties and have had five medical tests/procedures in the last 2-1/2 months. I have two more appointments for tests coming up. There have been some findings but more procedures needed to rule out other possible reasons I am having difficulties. I won't go into it here, but I may be having surgery soon. Of course I will keep in mind the dates of the reunion and NOT schedule anything that would interfere with that!!

I am making a booklet with an agenda included. I plan to have it available in print form but parts of it will be available here or on Facebook. I'll let you know. 

On the right side of this blog there is a link to the Preliminary Checklist - be sure to check it out. Just a quick reminder to bring lawn chairs. I know some of you will be flying in so we'll try to get extras so you won't have to bring (as if) or purchase lawn chairs. To those who bring them, please mark them with your name. If you have extras, please bring them so our travelers have a place to sit.

I did a preliminary count and came up with 86 people planning to attend! Wouldn't it be awesome if this turned out to be the biggest and best reunion yet? I was trying to remember when the last reunion was held. I know it was at Barview Jetty Park, and I'm thinking it was in 2005. Anyone? It's somewhere in my files but I don't have access to them right now. 

We have surpassed the minimum for the tee shirts! I'm so happy! We still have two weeks to purchase more before the cut off date so if you have not ordered yours, please do so as soon as possible. 

Keep checking this blog for more information. 

Ta ta for now,

Sunday, July 9, 2017


Here's to the kids who are different.
The kids who don't always get A's.
The kids who have ears twice the size of their peers
And noses that go on for days.

Here's to the kids who are different.
The kids they call crazy and dumb.
The kids who aren't cute and don't give a hoot
Who dance to a different drum.

Here's to the kids who are different.
The kids with a mischievous streak.
For when they have grown, history has shown
It's their difference that makes them unique.

~Author Unknown~

(Found amongst my papers - I believe it may have come from my Mom.)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Genealogy Facts of Life According to Nancy

1. You stay up too late at night. You plan how few hours you have to sleep so you can get right back at it again in the morning.

2. You wish you didn't have to stop and eat instead of writing and researching.

3. You wish you didn't have to take a shower and get dressed so you could get busy writing and researching.

4. You buy way too many file folders. Or so you thought.

5. Your spare room is filled with file boxes full of folders - and they are all full of materials and photos.

6. You have to move the file boxes when guests come to stay the night because the bed is covered with them.

7. You start out in the morning looking for a certain fact for a certain person and by night time you end up with a totally different person on a totally different family tree.

8. You buy many, many ink cartridges until your husband says, "You're already out of ink? I just bought you four of them!"

9. You need to buy stock in a pen company.

10. You wonder how many trees were killed making all the paper you use.

11. You're glad there is a post office nearby.

12. You dig and dig and dig trying to find out who the person in that photo is because your ancestor didn't label the photo. (Times 50.)

13. You're considering a different place to live so there will be room for your family history/genealogy files. (Not really, but ... )

14. Every now and then you yell out "AHA!"

15. Your loved ones' eyes glaze over when you start to talk about ... well, anything about your conquest for facts.

16. You finally quit for the day when your eyes cross and blur from looking at the computer screen.

17. You cut your fingernails because you keep pushing the wrong letters and it takes extra time to input data.

18. Your floors need sweeping, the dishes need washing, and there are dust bunnies being ignored.

19. In spite of it all, you feel fulfilled and content after a day of good writing and research.

20. Now and then someone thanks you for the information you found for them because you can't resist helping someone with their puzzled past.

21. You know you will never be "finished" because there is always another branch on the family tree.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

In Memory of Roy Prince

Roy at 18 mos.
Roy passed away on June 9, 2017. He will be missed.
Rest in Peace, Roy. I'm glad I came to know you and meet you. 

Today’s guest on Focus on Family is Ernest Roy Prince. Roy lives at Miramar, Swainshill, Hereford, England. He would be my father’s cousin. His father was Cyril Ernest Prince, my grandmother, Edith Burnett’s, brother. Some of you may remember meeting Cyril when he came to visit in 1974.

Roy age 13. 

Roy was born September 17, 1926, in St. Weonard’s, Herefordshire. His birth was registered in Ross on Wye, Herefordshire. Roy is going to be 90 this fall.

As a young man, Roy worked in a bakery in Hereford until he joined the Army in 1943. Based in Maidstone, Kent, Roy was an instructor and held the rank of Sergeant. He served in occupied Germany during the war.

Roy and Myrtle. He is 25, she is 20. 

On October 18, 1951, Roy and Myrtle Bateman were married in Hereford, England. Two children were born to Roy and Myrtle. Sara Marilyn Prince, born August 5, 1952, and Robert Ernest Prince, born February 22, 1954, both in Hereford. Sara is married to Rob; Robert is married to Lynn. Robert was born at his grandparents’ (Myrtle’s parents) home. Roy’s loving family now boasts of three grandsons, one granddaughter, and three great-grandsons. Grandchildren: Chris & Claire, Kate & Mark, Dylan & Michael, Craig & Sian. Great-Grandchildren: Jack, Charlie, Jamie and Tom. 

Myrtle and Roy at Tenby. 2014.

Roy is retired but he worked in several different factories over the years. In about 1978, he went to college to train as a chef.  Although he never worked as one, it gave him more cooking skills and he is a wonderful cook.  He then worked at RAF Hereford as a general kitchen assistant.

Roy has always loved to fish. He still goes fishing frequently, and that is something he shares with his cousins “across the pond,”as they say. (Not me but my siblings, children and grandsons.)

Roy, Sara, Myrtle.

Roy is quite learned, a “fountain of knowledge,” says his daughter, Sara. He knows a lot of “interesting information about all sorts of things.” He likes castles…I can relate to that. He has access to them and I guess I do, too, but only on the Internet!

Roy with Great-Grandson, Jamie.

Roy and Myrtle have a lovely “garden” – we would say “yard” – full of flowers and trees. They have a tranquil setting out in the country which they can enjoy from their conservatory when the weather is inclement. Otherwise you might find them puttering around outside. 

 Roy with Great-Grandson, Jack. Roy 88, Jack 18 mos.

I met Roy and his family when I went to England and Wales to meet them in about 2008. Roy and I sat up and talked until the wee hours. He helped me find my Grandmother’s home in Mansell-Lacy and I’ll always remember that excursion. I was so tickled to find it.

Roy with Great-Grandson, Charlie, age 18 mos.

Roy is an interesting gentleman and I wish all of you could have met him and his family. Meeting them all most certainly ranks as one of the highlights of my life. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Kodak Moment of 1911

There are many copies of this photo floating around. I decided to put the names right on the photo so we would know "who is who." This is a photo of my Grandma, Henrietta Vanderzanden Dillon and her mother and sisters. She was the youngest child of Agnes and Henry (Henricus) Vanderzanden. There were two brothers in addition to the ladies.

Hmm. The printing is awfully small so I'll note it all here:

Front row: L - R
Nellie and Henrietta.

Center: L - R
Bertha, Mother Agnes Hendrix (Maria Agnes but she went by Agnes), Minnie.

Back row:
L - R Nellie, Mary, Anne

There will be more information about these lovely ladies in my book.

Ta ta for now,


Sunday, July 2, 2017



  • Quarters for the showers (if you are camping)
  • Knick-knacks/white elephants, etc. for prizes. These do NOT have to be new; just whatever you find lying around the house or at a yard sale. Please wrap and indicate whether its for a boy, girl, man, woman, anyone, etc. (I still have some from previous family reunions!)
  • Sunscreen
  • Flip-flops
  • Food for POTLUCK - please bring plenty because we ran out of food last time before everyone got to eat 
  • Lawn/camp chairs - you will have to drag these from campsite to campsite, down on the beach, etc.
  • Camera
  • Toys for dogs and kids
  • Wood for your campfire - there are lots of places along Hwy 101 to buy wood for $5 a stack
  • Stuff for S'mores - including the sticks or utensils to roast the marshmallows
  • Musical instruments
  • Trash bags
  • Matches or lighter (for campfires)
We will provide:
  • for the potluck: paper plates, napkins, plastic utensils, table cloths, drink cups
  • games for everyone to play
  • a craft project for kiddos
  • name tags
  • bags for the kids to put their loot in