Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Gratitude is something that most people appreciate as they go about their daily lives. However, although most parents would like to feel some gratitude from their children for the things we do, this shouldn't be the reason why we have and raise children. Parents will often run around wondering and complaining why children aren't more grateful for our providing the daily necessities of life, but you'll always feel somewhat cheated if you expect life to be fair and children to thank you for paying the electric bill or for putting gas in the car to take them here and there.

Someday, they might thank us, but I'm not waiting around for that to happen. I love my kids whether they recognize my efforts or not, believing that as they mature, gratitude will take root in their lives.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

FamilySearch.org: Doing Family History

My children often comment that my main hobby is finding dead people, and I guess in a way they are right. I have enjoyed doing genealogy or family history research for many years, and by learning about our ancestors, we learn more about ourselves.

On of my favorite Web sites for doing research is FamilySearch.org, developed and maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is free to use, and you can find all kinds of records to get your started. The Web site has a number of free online courses, its own database of articles, and information on how to get help at local family history centers.

Give it a try.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Value of Work

One of the things I have tried to instill in my children is the value of work. When I was growing up, I worked a number of part-time jobs including working on a farm, selling vegetables at a roadside fruit stand, delivering newspapers, flipping hamburgers at a restaurant, working as a waiter at another, ushering and selling concessions at a movie theater, and . . . .well . . . other jobs.

Now, it can be nice when things fall in your lap, but the reality of life is that things often don't come easy, nor are they meant to be. For that reason, we have encouraged our own kids to work, for which they have done: on a farm and at restaurants. They have also done volunteer work.

In all of this, there is nothing more satisfying that providing for yourself, at least to the extent that you are able. You might not feel that way, and I certainly didn't when I was delivering heavy Sunday newspapers during blizzard and freezing conditions during one particular winter, but those lessons and experiences are what certainly forge our character in many, untold ways.