Happy Thanksgiving

Is this not the most cliché post title in the whole USA right now?  Oh, wait, I forgot to add three exclamation marks to the end of that.  Am I being such a bubble burster right now, or what?  Well, out of the network of family and friends that read our blog and have their own, I probably am the first one to actually post this on Thanksgiving Day!  It’s just after 12:30am here.

Right now, I am enjoying a great cup of black tea (no cream and no sugar, of course!), looking forward to the day ahead.  Don’t worry, I’ll go to sleep soon enough…

For our festivities, we are simply going over to the Hardecker’s home, where it will just be us two, and the three of them.  We got a turkey that is probably way to big for all of us.  Also, Andrea is making cranberry relish (yes, I really do like it a lot, as seen here).  She likes it too, Mom!

Anyways, I hope and pray that thankfulnessis not just a word for everyone this day.  I heard someone say once that thankfulness is the ultimate form of humility and submission: by being thankful, you are admitting to someone that they have done something for you that you either could not or otherwise would nothave done for yourself.  That is what the Lord should be to every Christian: a God who gave something to us freely that we could never attain ourselves: the gift of salvation through Christ Jesus alone.  Therefore–through thankfulness–we admittingly show our God submission and humility.  This is not my “religion” or “conscience.”  It is my sincere belief based on Christ alone.  Nothing can we ever be thankful for, except there be a time in our own life, when we, through faith, were born again through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Only then are we in truth able to grateful to anything or anyone.

Another Ancestry.com Ad

I have found out even more about my family history through my birthday present, a subscription to Ancestry.com!  Here are a few updates:

  • My dad is definitely 100% German, making me 50% German.  However, most of his side came over before 1860, making them in the country longer before the huge German, Italian, and Irish immigration waves of the late 19th Century.
  • My third great-grandfather on my Grandpa Speckhals’ side was born in Hannover, Germany in 1837.  He arrived in New Orleans, then probably took a steamship to St. Louis, Missouri, then to Hermann, Missouri (where nearly all of my dad’s side is from, and still live near to this day).  He fought in a small skirmish in a Union militia regiment (54th of Missouri) near Hermann against General Pierce of the Confederates.  To make a long and very interesting story short, they won.  I even have a scanned copy of his military mustering slip…this is one of dozens of treasures I have found.
  • I found a neat picture of my 3rd great-grandfather on my Grandma Speckhals’ side.  His name was Carl Brunning.  He arrived in New York on the ship Rudolph from Hamburg, Prussia on May 9, 1857.  He then settled in the Hermann, Missouri area that same year.
Carl Brunning: Born in a village near the Rhine River in 1827
  • My mom appears to be mostly of British descent.  One direct ancestor (16th great-granfather) was in the second expedition to Jamestown, Virginia.  He and his wife were one of the first couple to have a child at the settlement.  Also, some ancestors fought in the War for Independence, War of 1812, Civil War, World War 1, and World War 2.  Quite the history of service to our country!

I look forward to sharing more with everyone!  Thanks, Andrea for an awesome (I know, awesome is a 7th grad word) and thoughtful birthday gift!

You know you are getting old…

…when you have to air out the house after blowing out your birthday candles!

Yes, yesterday was Dustin’s birthday!  Twenty-four years old!  We celebrated it with his family last week since we were out of town visiting them.  Mom and Dad Murdock gave Dustin a Kindle reader which he loves.

Well Sunday being the day of his birthday, I did a little here and there to make it special.  We had already planned to go to Cracker Barrel restaurant after church in the evening, but I had a few other little things in store as well.  With only two of us, there is no sense in making a big cake that will sit around for days, so I used a little ceramic bowl that is oven safe to make a little cake just right for the two of us.  Yellow cake with chocolate frosting, –his favorite!  I whipped together some frosting with powdered sugar, butter, cocoa powder, water, and chocolate chips, pulled the cake out, and let it cool a bit.  I then frosted it while we finished the rest of lunch, then put all of twenty-four candles into it.  They were a bit crowded since the whole cake was maybe five to six inches in diameter, but I lit them all, nevertheless, and sang Happy Birthday to Dustin just before he blew them out.  Then, of course, we proceeded to pull out the candles to eat the cake, but when the candles came out of the cake, they were melted on the bottom also!  The cake had been still warm, and it melted the candles on the bottom as well.  Then, cutting into the cake, it had some of the appearance of Funfetti cake with the colored wax melted into the inside of the cake!  Wow, never had that happen before!

Candles, burnt on the top, and melted on the bottom!

I still did not give Dustin my present, though, until we went to Cracker Barrel in the evening.  We sat down, ordered delicious food (love that place!), and he opened my envelope…paid registration in Ancestry.com.  Now, lest you think we have Mormon tendencies, let me clarify!  Over the recent months, Dustin has done some research on his Dad’s side of the family, who are all German.  He has found many interesting things including ship passenger lists of ancestors who have come to America from Germany, ancestors names, birthdates, etc.  So I signed him up for a free 14 day trial, then one or two months after that whatever he chooses on Ancestry.com.  Well, he has just jumped on it, and is loving it!  I am so glad I chose that as his gift, because, as he said, he wouldn’t have done it for himself, probably, but as a gift, he loves it!

He has found things from his Mom’s side, and even from my side of the family.  Would you believe this!?!  He found out that a distant relative on my Grandpa Leslie’s side of the family was a Baptist minister!  (And this is keeping to the name Leslie.)  Not only that, but I also have a relative who fought in the Revolutionary war and crossed the Delaware with George Washington!!!  Am I ever proud to be a Leslie!  Well, Dustin so far has traced that side all the way back to those who were not born in the U.S., but in Scotland!, and beyond that until the records ended in the 1600’s and 1700’s!

And if you think that is interesting, listen to this!  He then began with Grandma Leslie, and traced that side back to Massachusetts, England, and then to the Vikings in Sweden (is that where Sharon got her height?), and finally came to a dead end at 160 A.D.!  Isn’t that something!  I mean, of course, we all go back to Noah somewhere, right?  It is still very interesting, though.  I am related to the King of Sweden, Aun the Aged!  And I can trace my lineage back to my seventy-second grandfather, FINN the Trojan, a Viking!  Dustin said our family has around one thousand years of Viking heritage (not so sure that is something to be proud of –?)!(This should be an advertisement for Ancestry.com, right?)

William I of Normandy (circa 1010 AD): My 37th Great-Grandfather on the Leslie side

Well, all in all, I think it has been a good birthday, and am so glad I picked a gift Dustin really enjoys!

Coming soon…the Speckhals Family Tree…all the way back to Noah (or, almost –haha)!

Judgement Cometh

...and that right soon.

If you haven’t already, get out and vote!  Make it a priority!  Vote for freedom and prosperity!  Vote for conservative, Constitutional candidates!

…I had to get that little rant out.  I am especially glad I have done my part to kick out Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.  My vote for Pat Toomey for US Senator I give gladly!  On top of that I have given my vote to Tom Corbett for governor, and Todd Platts for Congressman.  Both Pat Toomey and Tom Corbett winning would be “pick-ups” for conservative Republicans.  With that said, here are a few humble predictions of mine for today.  We will see how right (or wrong!) I was by tomorrow.

  • Pat Toomey(R) will defeat Joe Sestak(D) by 5 points here in PA.
  • Next door, in Delaware, Chris Coons(D) will only defeat firebrand Christine O’Donnell(R) by 6 points
  • Far out west in Nevada, Harry Reid will be defeated by Sharon Angle, but probably by less that we would hope–around 3 points.
  • Colorado, I think, will not be all that close.  Ken Buck(R) will win over Michael Bennet(D) by 6 points.
  • In California, this may be closer than expected, but I still thing ol’ Barbara Boxer(D) will hang on by 2 points against former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina(R).  If she is losing by tomorrow in a narrow race, expect plenty of lawsuits.
  • Washington is a liberal state.  However Dino Rossi(R), will very narrowly win this after the week is over against Patty Murray(D).  There may be plenty of recounts here…
  • Also a place worth watching closely is Illinois.  I think that Mark Kirk(R) will get more real votes than Alexi Giannoulias(D).  However, this is the state where “Crook” County is found.  Complicating the situation, Chicago swindling and politics may just pull this one off for the Democrats.  I sure hope its a wide enough margin here for Mr. Kirk(R), so Chicago and Mayor Daley won’t be able to make votes come out of thin air, and rig this election.
  • The there’s West Virginia.  Unfortunately though, the Democrats have found their winning strategy here in Joe Manchin(D).  Mr. Manchin has come out as a conservative, “Palin-ite”, Democrat.  Even just yesterday, he said that he and Palin were “friends.” John Raese(R) has a tough one to pull off here.  I think that Manchin(D) will win by five points here, possibly more.

As a summary to all of that, I expect the senate to be broken up as 51 Democrats and 49 Republicans.  Perhaps this isn’t all that optimistic, but I think I am being pretty conservative in my estimates.  In the House of Representatives, though, GOP gains will be HUGE.  I honestly think that 65 seats is probable, possibly more.

Now, the Democrats are going to make this their victory somehow.  They will probably make anything less than a full Senate takeover as a GOP loss, and anything less than 60 seats as a victory for them too.  Just know, if anyone makes either one of those two points, just say that a turnover in this proportion has not happened since the Great Depression.

Oh, and don’t forget to vote!