Friday, June 26, 2015

Grandee's Funeral and Changes in America.

Good morning my dears, I'm joining in with Five on Friday today, let's get started!
My husbands maternal grandmother "Grandee" passed away last week on June 17th at her son's home in Arlington, Texas. Her funeral was on Wednesday, June 24th at St. Mary Catholic Church in Eugene, Oregon. Her 83rd birthday would have been this Sunday on June 28th. Here she is pictured with Papa on a cruise in the late 1990's.
We weren't able to make it, but a lot of family on the West coast gathered in Eugene, Oregon for her funeral. Grandee's favorite color was purple, so everyone dressed in purple to attend her funeral. Afterwards, they went back to her home and released purple balloons with sentiments written on them. Here's a picture of my niece, nephew and father-in-law about to release some balloons.

Papa has been dealing with the death difficultly. He has Alzheimer's, so every few minutes he continues to ask, "where's Grandee?" and he has been told over, and over again that she's passed. I think he's finally accepted  it.
My mother-in-law said that he sat with Grandee in the visitation for quite awhile, and when they came back they asked "Papa, why is Grandee's lipstick all smudged?", turns out he had been kissing her! They left behind a legacy of sixty-one years of marriage, 4 children, 9 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.  
My husband is the spitting image of his Papa, and has his sense-of-humor. They also have the same love of swimming pools, here's one of Papa in the pool he built at their home of forty-six years in Eugene, Oregon.
With Grandee's recent passing I have been updating her page on with photos, documents and stories to preserve for generations to come. By 2013, at just twenty-seven I had lost all my grandparents and my dad. Perhaps, that spurred my interest in genealogy. We started with a few handouts from family members who hadn't done much research besides skimming the pages so we had a huge undertaking.
It has been such a wonderful journey, and has created such a stability in our family. We've been working on putting together our family history website, but there is still so many tweaks we're going to do before we can share it with family and friends.
Do you do genealogy, or preserve your family history? I love hearing other people's stories of how they gather all their research.
I also recently came across a good resource to help improve my family history research, and blog writing. BYU has free courses on family history and family life. Like me, you don't have to be LDS to take the classes but it's definitely something I admire them for - their love of creating a functional, intentional family.
Oh, and last but not least, did you read TIME magazine's recent article? In 2040 the minorities will be the majority of Americans. Currently, the minorities make up 37.9% of the population but more than half of under 5 year olds are now a minority.
Also, the white race in America has more deaths than births at a 3:1 ratio, and more millenials (1982-2000) than baby boomers (1946-1964). We are deemed the most diverse generation yet. I was surprised that only 155,000 white Europeans a year coming from Europe, like me! It's fascinating reading about the changes that are coming to America.
Many thanks for visiting and for praying for our family during this time,
~ Kiki Nakita ~
You can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Bloglovin'.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Good morning my dears, I'm joining in with the hodgepodge today, let's get started!
June 23rd is National Pink Day. What's your favorite something pink?

Pastel pink is one of my favorite colors. I associate it with sweet love and those who know me well buy me pink flowers, pink gift wrap and cards. Many of my childhood photos are also of me wearing pink, including this one I posted on Father's Day.

There's a story behind this dress. As I was growing up, my parents would go back to the store every year to buy me the same dress one size bigger. I was totally unaware of this until I was told a few years ago. Bless.

 What did you enjoy most about gym class when you were in school? How about the least?
My high school years were in England, so we had a compulsory 5 years of physical education twice a week. We had to try everything and pick our favorite classes for the last 2 years. In those years I learned I didn't have much hand or eye co-ordination.  
But, I was always willing to try and learned I had a quick reaction. So I played netball and field hockey and was good at running short sprint races or relay.

 What memory is brought to mind by the smell of roses?
My childhood village in the heart of England. Every home had an idyllic cottage garden with roses growing over arbors. My sister and I used to go to the church and pick roses and place them above all the graves.

 Do you prefer to read or write?
wish I could be a novel reader, but frankly my mind is always busy and it's hard for me to focus and read a book. I mostly enjoy reading books on cooking, baking, genealogy, home d├ęcor and biographies. Maybe that's why I enjoy reading blogs, as I get to see a snippet in someone's life and can read a post in a few short minutes.
I really enjoy writing, and am currently writing our family history, and hand lettering a book of my childhood memories. I also have a prayer journal that I write into when I read a quote, or find a verse that's on my mind.

 Sam Keen is quoted as saying, 'Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.' Would you agree? Is laziness ever respectable? How will you be lazy this summer?
In the Carolinas we've been enduring a heat wave of 100 degree days, so it's easier to slip into a lazier routine. It can be regarded as respectable so long as it doesn't hinder your day-to-day plans. We make our evenings after hubby comes home from work lazy time. We spend time swimming in our pool, playing with the dogs, gardening or simply cooking and eating dinner al-fresco, it always leaves me feeling much better.

 The Florida Keys, Disney World, or a resort somewhere on the Gulf Coast...which Florida destination would you choose (and why) if the trip were today?
I would choose Disney World. Mostly because I've never been to Orlando, Florida. We lived in Port Charlotte/North Port, Florida for 4-5 months while my hubby was on contract 2 years ago, so we got to see a lot of the Gulf Coast then.

 What question do you hate to answer?
When are you going to have a baby? Or, are you pregnant yet? 
As soon as we got married two years ago we've been repeatedly asked about when we'll be starting a family. We didn't start trying until last Fall because we wanted to be settled first. Months came and passed and we had no luck. We went to see a fertility specialist and all of our tests so far have come back as healthy, and normal so we're in the "unexplained infertility" group. I haven't shared this with some family and friends (who don't read my blog), as few understand.

 Insert your own random thought here.
Hubby and I got to visit the peaceful and relaxing Wing Haven gardens this past weekend. Such a beautiful place to visit if you're ever up in the Carolinas.
Hope y'all have a good rest of the week.
Many thanks for visiting,
~ Kiki Nakita ~
You can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Bloglovin'.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Wing Haven Gardens

We had a relaxing Saturday meandering through the peaceful gardens of Elizabeth Clarkson and Elizabeth Lawrence at Wing Haven then a nice lunch afterwards.

Wing Haven gardens and bird sanctuary have been in Charlotte, North Carolina since their creation in 1927. Altogether, the pathways meander through 3.5 acres from woodland, to formal gardens to rose gardens.

A garden should inspire. - Elizabeth Clarkson

The gardens have plantings for birds, and bees. There's lot's of nesting areas, food, and water features. The plaques and prayers have a spiritual feel that encompass the still, still sounds.

It was a delightful day, and a recommended visit.

Many thanks for visiting,
~ Kiki Nakita ~
You can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Bloglovin'.

Linking up with:
Share your cup #154
Grace at home #160

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Grandee Passed Away

Today, at 7:03am my husbands maternal grandmother Marlene Dillon, nee Jungers passed away aged 83. She was surrounded by family at her sons home in Arlington, Texas.
She leaves her husband of 61 years Arthur, 3 children, 1 pre-deceased, 9 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
On her wedding day, November 14th 1953
I will be updating her ancestry page with photos and documents as a record for all our future descendants.
Thoughts and prayers for our family at this time are appreciated, thank you.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Story of the McAuley Family

The McAuley family is on my husband's paternal line, from Monagahn, Ireland. They came to the US in 1819 and settled in Ogdensburg, NY.

Reverend James McAuley
5th great-grandfather

b. Monagahn, Ireland in 1792
e. Emigrated to the US in 1819
m. Margaret in Ogdensburg, NY after 1821
d.  December 10th, 1867 in Ogdensburg, NY

This is the family history document I have detailing the life of James McAuley and his son Duncan Turner McAuley.

page 1

page 2
Reverend Duncan Turner McAuley
4th great-grandfather

b. May 16th, 1826 in Ogdensburg, New York
m. Margaret on January 1st or December 29th, 1845 in Randolph, IL
d. March 11th, 1892 in Americus, KS

The Reverend Duncan Turner McAuley and his beloved wife Margaret.
Location of the 40 acres of land that the McAuley's bought in 1848.

George Carroll McAuley
3rd great-grandfather

b. 1854 in Emporia, KS
m. Ida on December 31st, 1883 in Emporia, KS
d. 1911 in Americus, KS

George Carroll McAuley and his beloved wife Ida Ellon Flack from the group photo below. Their daughter Martha Caroline McAuley is the baby on the bottom left born in 1886.

Martha "Pink" Caroline McAuley
2nd great-grandmother

b. September 19th, 1886 in Americus, KS
m. Curtis on August 18th, 1909 in Americus, KS
d. March 5th, 1961 in Americus, KS

Martha is the last McAuley in the family tree as she married into the Wright family. She deserves a post all on it's own as she gathered much of the previous family history on the McAuley and Thompson family trees. We have hundreds of photographs, notes, diary entries and newspaper clippings that we've compiled.  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Story of the Thompson Family

On my husbands paternal line is the Thompson family. They came from Cork, Ireland.
Robert Thompson
7th great-grandfather
b. early 1700's in Cork, County Down, Ireland
m. Mary on Mach 17th, 1743 in Cork, County Down, Ireland
d. August 7th, 1772 in Abbeville, SC
The story of Robert Thompson,
by descendant H. C. McDill written in 1896
"They came from the north of Ireland and were of Scotch-Irish stock, staunch members of the old Scottish Kirk. There is an old story in our family, which I will tell you partly to fix the date as nearly as possible, but mostly to show you how narrow an escape you ran of not being born at all. Over in Auld Ireland, my great-grandfather, Robert Thompson, was very intimate with a family named McBride. When he came to America it was understood between them after Thompson got settled down and prospects appeared favorable he would write to the McBrides and they would join him in the new country.

Well, Thompson came over and settled in the Abbeville District, of South Carolina, and built him a little home. Then he wrote to the McBrides to come. In due time the McBride's landed in Charleston Harbor and found Robert Thompson waiting for them. Archibald Thompson, my grandfather, then a lad of seven or eight years went along. When everything was ready, Mrs. McBride said to Archibald:

'Take the little girl up on your back and carry her, who knows but what she may be your wife some day?' And so it afterwards turned out. Now this union of the families must have taken place about 1767, or 1768, and that is as far back as I have authority to go in fixing the date of the arrival of the Thompsons in this country. But from these facts I think it is safe to say that they must have come over some time near 1760, or 136 years ago.

The Thompsons were blacksmiths. In 1772 Robert Thompson died and his sons continued the work in the shop and on the farm. Everything prospered with them up to 1776, when the Revolutionary War broke out. Then everything changed. Everybody took one side or the other. The Thompsons were active Whigs, or Revolutionists, while the McBrides became Tories, or adherent to the British King. This difference in political belief doesn't seem to have made much difference in the family relations between the two families.

All through the war one or the other of the families were generally in hiding. When the British, or Tories, came around the Thompsons would take to the woods; when the patriots, under Marion or Sumpter came that way, the McBrides would drop everything and break for the tall timber. Early in the war the Thompson blacksmith shop became noted for miles around as a place where patriots could get their guns, pistols, swords and pikes repaired at a very small price and spot cash. This of course led to very bitter feeling and their shop was raided and burned several times in a year or two.

About 1779 the Tories again raided the place, this time destroying everything, burning the shop home and destroying fences and crops. In this year their mother, Mary Thompson, died. And I suppose the family scattered. At least it is certain that Archibald, then 18 or 19 years old, with one or two of his brothers joined General Marion's army and served under him the remainder of the war."

John Porter Thompson
6th great-grandfather

b. April 4th, 1765 in Abbeville, SC
m. Mary Glasgow in 1793 in Abbeville, SC
d. before 1832 in Abbeville, SC

James Glasgow Thompson
5th great-grandfather

b. January 2nd, 1789 in Abbeville, SC
m. Margaret, his cousin on October 5th, 1817 in Randolph Co. IL Margaret was the daughter of Archibald Thompson and Mary McBride in the story above.
d. October 6th, 1872 in Randolph Co. IL

James Glasgow Thompson and his beloved wife, Margaret.

James taught school in Kaskaskia, IL for three years, and settled on a farm in township 5, range 7.

He commanded a company of militia in the Black Hawk war. He was a skillful surveyor. For twenty years he surveyed public lands for the United States government, and was county surveyor for several terms. In pursuit of his favorite occupation his foot probably left its impress on every section of land in Randolph county.
The Canal Commissioners hired James Thompson, a surveyor from Kaskaskia in downstate Randolph County, to create Chicago's first plat (or map showing proposed lots) in 1830. He laid out the town with straight streets uniformly 66 feet wide (the length of a surveyor's chain) with alleys 16 feet wide bisecting each block. Source
One of the first maps of Chicago, courtesy of the Chicago Historical Society
Thompson surveyed about half of McHenry County with his sons John and Archibald; later James and John surveyed parts of Kane and DeKalb Counties.
He was county commissioner in 1820, then later judge of the probate court from 1831 till the office was abolished by the constitution of 1848. 
James Glasgow Thompson's memorial
Margaret Caroline Thompson
4th great-grandmother

b. May 29th, 1826 in Randolph Co. IL
m. Duncan on December 29th or January 1st, 1845 in Randolph Co. IL
d. June 8th, 1902 in Americus, KS

Margaret is our last connection to the Thompson line. When Margaret married Duncan Turner McAuley, the line became McAuley and then Wright.

The [third man from the back left] is George McAuley (Margaret's son), on his right is his beloved wife Ida Flack McAuley, and the baby [on the bottom left] is their daughter Martha Caroline McAuley "Pink" who was born in 1886. That baby is the one who married into the Wright family.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

29th Birthday Trip To Charleston, SC

My dears, last week we got back from my 29th birthday weekend trip in Charleston, SC. We got to visit Boone Hall Plantation, downtown Charleston, the Edmondston-Alston House and Middleton Place. It was a nice weekend away.
Boone Hall Plantation is where they filmed scenes for the movie The Notebook among others. It's also where Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively got married.

There were magnolia's everywhere.

Strawberry fields, and other pick your own all around the 700 acres at Boone Hall Plantation.

This cabin is where Halle Berry filmed the series Queen.

Lunch at the Fish House which overlooks the Charleston Harbor and the USS Yorktown. Some of Cory's paternal ancestors arrived to the US at Charleston Harbor.


The Charleston Bridge.

Then we walked around Charleston.

The Pineapple Fountain in Charleston. I read that pineapples are a symbol of Southern Hospitality and are all around the city.

Charleston has flower baskets everywhere.

We went on an afternoon tour of the Edmondston-Alston House. This is the porch (no photos were allowed inside).

Cory on The Battery overlooking Charleston Harbor.

It was very hot, so we went for a walk along the beach at Sullivan's Island to cool off.

Our B&B was right next to the Boone Hall Plantation and had a beautiful dock, so we sat for awhile until the sun set.

My birthday dinner was at the Belmond Charleston Place Restaurant. It was very fancy and had a live jazz band playing in the background.
The next day we went to Middleton Place.


After visiting with swans, we travelled back home and spent the afternoon relaxing in the garden and dipping in the pool. It was a nice break away, even if it was just for a weekend.

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