Saturday, July 31, 2010

Find the Heroes in Your Family!

 A few years ago, I had the privilege of listening to a great woman speak.  
Her name is Vicki Jo Anderson.
She spoke on the subject of home education and teaching history, in particular.

 What she said, I have never forgotten.  She said to "find the heroes in your own family" when you study history.  Teach your children where and who they come from and how their ancestors fit into the world's timeline.
What an amazing way to help children (and yourself) really get history.

I plan this year to print out small photos of ancestors to have the kids add to their timeline books. They can then write a small caption about them or even an entire story!
The timeline books I use are found here.

I love working on family history.  It's not always easy, but the hours invested can bring forth some great finds.
For instance, I found out this summer that my husband's great- grandfather (times 7) was James Felix Mcguire.
Portrait from McGuire family tree
Who, you might ask, was James Mcguire?   Well, to be honest, I had no idea either.
However, I quickly learned something about American history I had never been taught.

James Mcguire, you see, was in the Battle of Blue Licks with Daniel Boone.
I had never before heard of the Battle of Blue Licks.

And yet, there is even a monument built there to honor the fallen men.
Yes, fallen.  James Mcguire lost his life during the battle, along with other men, including Daniel Boone's son, Israel Boone.

James Mcguire was with Daniel Boone when he explored and settled what is now Kentucky. He was with Boone when he blazed his Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap in the Appalachian Mtns.  

Here is a little history on James Mcguire and Daniel Boone:

James McGuire was born in Fermanagh Ireland in 1734. In 1753, he came to America and settled down in Albemarle country VA. In 1754, He married Margaret Black.
In April 1775, McGuire was part of Daniel Boone’s first expedition through the Cumberland Gap. McGuire was one of the first pioneers to travel the Gap. After his arrival at the Kentucky River, McGuire helps build the settlement of Boonesborough.
In 1778, McGuire participated in the Great siege of Boonesborough, when 400 Indians along with 12 former French soldiers of The French and Indian War began a siege outside the gates of Boonesborough. This was a half hearted attempt by former French soldiers to form a new French Colony west of the Appalachians.
 The French fired fireballs at the fort from their cannons. They were hoping to burn the fort down to the ground. After 13 days, the French and Indians gave up their attempt and retreated into the woods. The Indians suffered 40 killed and hundreds wounded. The Pioneers at Boonesborough suffered only 2 casualties.
 On August 19, 1782, McGuire participated in the last Revolutionary war battle fought in Kentucky. At the battle of Blue licks, several Hundred Shawnee ambushed 180 Kentuckians led by Daniel Boone. Boone met with the other officers and decided it was better to fight than be branded a coward. 72  Kentuckians were killed during the battle including McGuire.
 After the battle, McGuire’s body was brought back to Boonesborough and buried
close to their house. In 1810 Boonesborough became the first ghost town of the Western frontier. McGuire’s wife Margaret and daughter Christina moved to present day Whitley county where most of McGuire’s descendents live today.
And more about the Battle of Blue Licks:
Throughout history, the salt springs at Blue Licks State Park have attracted prehistoric animals, Indians and pioneers such as the legendary Daniel Boone. Many 19th-century southerners came to the area seeking the rejuvenation of the therapeutic, bubbling waters.  Blue Licks is more widely known, however, as the site of the last Revolutionary War battle in Kentucky. In 1782, Kentuckians engaged Indians and British soldiers near the Licking River. Outnumbered, Kentucky suffered great losses, including one of Boone's sons. Boone's words, "Enough of honour cannot be paid," are inscribed on the monument dedicated to the fallen soldiers in the Battle of Blue Licks. 

The Battle of Blue Licks happened on August 19, 1782; ten months after Cornwallis had surrendered at Yorktown. This bloody frontier encounter is usually noted as the last combat of any size of the Revolutionary War. It took place near a salt spring along the Licking River in Central Kentucky north of Boonesborough and Bryan's Station. It was the most successful part of the invasion of an almost 1000 strong combined army of Ohio Indian Nations warriors, British Regulars and Queen's Rangers into Kentucky and West Virginia.

On August 2nd, one of the largest congresses of the Ohio Indian nations confederation was held at the principal Shawnee town of Chalahgawtha, then on the Little Miami River. Present were contingents from all the Ohio nations. Simon Girty, one of the principle organizers of the congress, learned that a group of 50 redcoats under Capt. William Caldwell in company with Iroquois and Mingoes led by the Mohawk leader Joseph Brant and the Tory Alexander McKee were headed south from Detroit to attack Wheeling. After riding long and hard to intercept them, he persuaded them to join the gathering at Chalahgawtha. There, speaking before a council of all participants, he outlined a plan that led to the frontier people south of the Ohio's worst defeat in their long war with the Ohio Indians--the Battle of Blue Licks.

The plan was to draw the Kentucky Militia into an ambush. The Indian and British force would invade; their immediate targets would be Bryan's Station and Lexington, just six miles apart in Central Kentucky. The Americans under Williamson were back at their more easterly settlements in Pennsylvania and Wheeling and they were alert to danger, he argued. Thus, he continued, an invasion would have more success attacking in Central Kentucky where it would not be expected.

Half or more of the expeditionary force would hide at Blue Licks, he proposed, while the remainder would proceed on to attack Bryan's Station, which Girty knew to be weak and undersupplied. They would watch the station until a few people were outside the fortification, and then they would attack, allowing the few outside the walls to escape knowing that they would run straight to Lexington for help; Lexington was strongly manned and provisioned.

No one doubted that Lexington would send out a rescue force; The rescuers would be who the Indians would really be after. The Indians' spies would know the rescue force's size as soon as it began to move toward Bryan's Station; if it was small enough, they would simply waylay the Kentuckians en route. If the Kentuckians were too many, the Indians would retreat making sure that the Kentuckians followed closely so as to lead them back to Blue Licks where the much larger remaining Indian force would lay in ambush. The value in the plan, Girty emphasized, was that when the Kentuckians saw as large a force of Indians as the Bryan's Station attackers would be, and seeing in addition that they had British soldiers with them, none would never believe that there could be as many more waiting in ambush.

The expedition was mounted. Half the invading force hid itself at Blue Licks and the remainder went on to lay siege to Bryan's Station, being careful to allow a few to escape and run to Lexington for help. The first rescue force was fifty men strong; it was quickly beaten off by the invaders. The Indians did not bother to use their ambush strategy; not enough attackers; they were after bigger game.

Next day 180 Kentuckians converged on the place only to find the Indians gone. This militia force was composed of several groups from neighboring counties and stations and, as was the usual case, the leadership consisted of the various militia leaders working more or less in cooperation with each other. Daniel Boone was leader of 45 Fayette County militia under the general leadership of John Todd, an upper class lawyer from Virginia who had served in the Vincennes campaign with Clark. The other major contingent was from Lincoln County and under the leadership of Stephen Trigg who was assisted by Hugh McGary of Harrodsburg.

The officers immediately held council to decide whether they should pursue the retreating Indians immediately or wait for Colonel Benjamin Logan, who they knew to be about a day behind them travelling in their direction with a force of several hundred. McGary was mentally unstable. He had lost family to Indian attack five years earlier and, since then, had become increasingly hostile and combative to virtually all who had to deal with him. All the same, he urged caution and spoke for waiting for Logan to catch up with them. Todd criticized McGary as being "timid" and stated that they could not afford to let the Indians get away. Finally, they decided to take up the chase the following morning. McGary, insulted by Todd's comments, nonetheless held his tongue for the time being.

Next day the Americans followed the Indian army's trail to within a few miles of the Lower Blue Licks. Boone grew increasingly upset with what he was seeing; the Indians were making no effort to conceal their passage; in fact, they were doing everything they could to make their trail easy to follow. They littered the trace with their garbage, they cut blazes on trees where they passed; Boone also saw evidence that they were walking in each other's tracks so as to conceal their actual numbers. He saw ambush in everything the Indians were doing.

Early the next morning, August 19, 1782, a Monday, the Americans arrived at the south bank of the Licking River near the Blue Licks salt springs. The river makes a sharp loop here around a bare, rocky hill on the side opposite the Americans. The Indian army lay hidden in a series of wooded ravines at the crest of the hill. As the Americans assembled on their side of the river a group of warriors appeared in plain view on the hilltop. They were the decoy.

Todd and Trigg called another officers' council; about fifteen men were there in all. Included were Boone and McCary.

Boone urged caution; he pointed out all the things he had observed. "They intend to fight," he said. McCary grew angry and defiant. "Them that ain't cowards follow me," he shouted leading a general charge across the river directly into the ambush and hand-to-hand battle that followed. The result was disaster for the Kentuckians and resounding victory for the Ohio Indian/British force. Seventy-two Kentuckians were killed in that fight; more than a third of their force. The Indians and British lost only three men and four more were slightly wounded. This defeat marked the lowest point in the Americans' fortunes in the struggle for possession of the West. 

John Todd, killed

Daniel Boone
Stephen Trigg, killed

Edward Bulger
Silas Harlan

John Allison
John Beasley, capturedJohn Bulger, killed
John Gordon, killed
Samuel JohnsonJoseph Kincaid, killed [Kinkead]
Gabriel Madison, killed
 William McBride, killed
Clough Overton, killed
Robert Patterson

William Gilvins, killed [Givins]
Thomas Hinson, killed
John Kennedy, killed
James McGuire, killed
Barnett Rogers, killed

John Murtry, captured [McMurtry]
Joseph Lindsey, killed

"So valiantly did our small party fight, to the memory of those who
unfortunately fell in the Battle, enough of Honour cannot be paid."
Daniel Boone
Monument dedicated August 19, 1928

Right side of Monument

"The men who fought in the Battle of the Blue Licks were as well qualified
from experience to face the Indians as any body of men that were ever
Robert Patterson

Privates who were killed:
Charles Black [Clarence]
Samuel Brannon
Israel Boone
James Brown, surveyor
Esau Corn
Hugh Cunningham
John Douglass [Douglas]
William Eades [Eads]
Charles Ferguson
Ezekiel Field [Fields]
John Folley
Daniel Foster
John Fry
Little James Graham
Jervis Green
Daniel Greggs [Gregg]
Francis Harper
Matthew Harper
William Harris
James Ledgewood, captured and killed [Ledgerwood]
Francis McBride
Isaac McCracken
Andrew McConnell
Henry Miller
Gilbert Marshall
John Nelson
John Nutt
John O'Neal
Drury Polley [Polly]
John Price
William Robertson
Matthias Rose [Matthew]
James Smith
William Smith
John Stapleton
William Stephens
Val Stern
John Stevenson
William Stewart
Richard Tomlinson
John Wilson [1]
Israel Wilson
John Wilson [2]
Matthew Wylie
William Shannon [ensign]
Archibald Woods
Thomas Farrier
John Jolly
Joseph Oldfield

Ottawas and Chippawas

Back Side of Monument

No names

Shawnees and Delawares

"To the unknown heroes who took part in the Battle of Blue Licks."

Bottom of Monument

This "Last Battle of the Revolution" was fought between 182 Kentuckians,
commanded by Colonel John Todd, on the American side, and about 240 Indians
and Canadians, commanded by Captain William Caldwell, on the British side."

Left Side of Monument

Wyandots and Mingoes

"They advanced in the divisions in good order and gave us a volley and
stood to it very well for some time."
Captain William Caldwell

Privates who escaped:
William Barbee
Samuel Boone
Squire Boone, Jr., wounded
Jerry Craig
George Corn
William Field
Whitfield Craig
Edward Graham
Thomas Gist
James Graham
Squire Grant
Benjamin Hayden
Peter Harget
James M. January
James Kincaid
Wainright Lea
James McBride
William May
James McCullough
Andrew Morgan
James Morgan, captured, but escaped
John Morgan
Benjamin Netherland
John Pitman
James Ray
Aaron Reynolds
James Rose
Lewis Rose, captured
Abraham Scholl
Joseph Scholl
Peter Scholl
Samuel Scott
John Smith
Andrew Steele
Jacob Stevens
Thomas Stevenson
Jacob Stucker
James Swart
Henry Wilson
James Twyman [Stephen]
Jesse Yokum, captured [Yocum]
James Elijah Woods, captured
Robert Scott
George Smith
Bartlett Searcy
John Searcy
Samuel Shortridge......NOTE 1
William Shott [Short]
Edmond Singleton
Anthony Sowdusky
Josiah Wilson
John Sumner [Summer]
Samuel Woods
John Hambleton
John Hart
James Hays
James Harrod
Henry Higgins
John Hinch
Charles Hunter
Jacob Hunter
Ephraim January
William Lam
John Little
James McConnell
Mordecai Morgan
Henry Nixon
James Norton
Matthew Patterson
John Peake
Alexander Penlin
Robert Poague
Elisha Pruett
Andrew Rule
Thomas Akers
William Aldridge
Elijah Allen
James Allen
Abraham Bowman
Thomas Brooker
James Colburn, wounded
Jacob Coffean
Joseph Collins
Edward Corn
William Custer
Richard Davis
Theodorus Davis
Peter Dierly
Thomas Ficklin
Henry French
Henry Grider
Jeremiah Gullian

Small Monument to the left of large one:

This memorial was erected to honor those individuals whose names were
omitted from the original monument. New research has provided these
additional names and corrected previous information regarding those
individuals who so gloriously served Kentucky at the Battle of Blue Licks.

Thomas Boone, killed
John Childress, captured but escaped
James Ward, escaped

This monument erected in April, 1999 by the Childress family
association and the Kentucky Department of Parks.
I will be posting more now and then on great family history stories.
In the mean time, go find the heroes in your own family!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

To Perm or Not to Perm....That is the Question!

I grew up in the 80's.

 What a great era!  

A few items I grew up with: 

Parachute pants
I had some in blue

'Flashdance' sweatshirts
(I wore a tank top underneath mine and it was cut by me)

Jelly shoes 
My sister and I had some like these. 
I also had turquoise jelly pumps! 
I sure wish I'd held on to those...

Biker shorts made of Spandex

Jeans with different color fronts and backs

Acid washed jeans 

Jeans with zippers down the back of the calf. 
I loved mine!

Tapered jeans (Pegged!)

Keds shoes
(I still love Keds)

Head bands

Banana clips

Gunne Sax dresses

These originated  in the 70's I think, but I had a blue one almost identical to this  in the early80's


In our town, the arcade consisted of two or three games inside 7-Eleven.

Leg warmers and Nike sneakers

Coca-Cola shirts

Rubix Cubes 
 Trans Ams and other muscle cars

Break Dancing 

 My brother hosted a few break dancing parties.  They were totally awesome!

Phrases like:
"Totally awesome"
  "That's rad!"
"Like, gag me with a spoon"
"Where's the Beef?"
"Whatch you talkin' 'bout, Willis?"
"Like, fer shur!"
"Grody to the max" 
  "Totally psyched"
"Totally tubular" 
"Make my day."
"You're such a spaz."

Ghetto Blasters 
Who can forget those?  I don't think I knew what a ghetto was back then, though.

My favorite games were Pacman and Vanguard

 Michael Jackson, Miami Vice (and the clothing style that came with it!),  windbreaker jackets, Wham's  'Choose Life' logo on t-shirts, Vans shoes.

Movies like:
Back to the Future
Ghost Busters
The Empire Strikes Back
Return of the Jedi
Indiana Jones
Better off Dead
Top Gun
Say Anything
Films by John Hughes like:
Uncle Buck
The Great Outdoors
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Christmas Vacation
Mr. Mom

And who could forget the big hair of the 80's?

Even some of the guys got in on this style.
  (I'm so glad that's over!)

I permed my hair from 1985 to 1994.  It's what you did back then.

I still recall the uncertainty I felt when I made the decision to go back to straight.

I was a mother of two and couldn't remember what my natural hair looked like.
But that's not what scared me.
I had grown up in the era of big hair.  Hair with lots of body.  Hair that did not, under any circumstance, lie against your scalp. 
It wouldn't dare.

As a teenager I wouldn't have left my house if my hair was flat or I was out of hairspray.
I lived in Oregon.  Oregon, where it rained a lot and the humidity was constant.
You needed all the help you could get!

Perming also added nice highlights to the hair, slightly lightening the color.  

I guess I should also mention the horrors of bad perms. 

Perms that were left in too long, thus burning and frizzing the hair.
Perms that were too tight, creating the poodle look.
The drying out of the hair, the trying to figure out how to perm the grown out layers.

So many perming considerations and possible catastrophes. 
You were always living life on the edge in the perming years!

And yet, when I see hair like this:

and this:

I begin to sigh and think about getting a perm.

My daughter got one a year or so ago and it was beautiful:
Content copyright © 2010 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

So while I don't want to be one of those women with dated hair, I would like a little more body.
It's not as if I would have the same massively layered hairstyle.

And for the record, when I was young mullets were called bi-levels....and they were cool!
(Not long bi-levels/mullets like Billy Ray Cyrus, of course)

I'll be contemplating my next move.  
In the mean time, I would love to hear your opinions!

Anyone?  Anyone at all?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Too Early

In church a couple of days ago, as the children were gathering together for singing time; one of the ladies remarked that it seemed we were getting our numbers back, now that summer was coming to an end and everyone was returning from vacation.

I think I gave an involuntary gasp.  Summer coming to an end?!

How could that be?  We were still in July!

Well apparently, school districts decide when summer begins and when it ends. 
The sunshine and tomatoes ripening in gardens, warm nights and mosquitoes have nothing to do with it.
It matters not that here in Colorado, summer didn't even feel like summer until the actual day it officially began. 

Nope, around here summer ends somewhere between August 4th and 16th.   Some schools actually begin on August 4th.   I heard that information directly from the cashier at Walmart. 

What amazes me even further, is that parents think that's okay.  They just accept it.
Not only that, but I saw many ( in the frenzy that is Walmart- back-to-school-shopping)  who seemed excited to send their children back.

What happened, first of all, to three months of vacation?   What happened to families spending as much time as possible camping and watching the night sky together?    What happened to extended stays with grandparents and family reunions and days of blissful boredom? 

As I walked past the school supply aisles in Walmart, I felt a certain sympathy for these families.  Children with blank looks on their faces while their parents ask them which color folders they want.   Parents who are faced with the long lists of required supplies by various teachers.

I felt a small sense of glee, knowing that if I needed anything from that aisle for our upcoming school year, it would be a few boxes of  Dixon Ticonderoga no. 2 pencils...they really are the world's best pencil!
I will shamelessly plug for them and refuse to buy any other brand.  And if, by chance, an executive for the company should read this and wish to send me free boxes of pencils....well, I'd gladly accept them.  : )

Now, to be fair, I understand that many families have two working parents or a single parent who must work.  That summer is a difficult season for them and it's a relief to have some place for children to go.  I get that.  

I also think that if  you see this all summer long:
and if it's like this to get children to go camping with the family:
 Then I can see why parents are more than willing to cut summer short in order to send their children somewhere to do something more productive.

I believe strongly in education.   But I'm not sure I agree that our children must put in more and more hours in order to get one.   They say that we are falling behind other nations academically.  
My personal feeling is that there is so much information out there and so many distractions, that kids today have trouble absorbing what is important and leaving the garbage out.
   I also feel that Americans of my generation and earlier, who grew up without computers and massive hours of homework, could and can go back to school if desired and do just as well in today's college setting.   Simply because they learned the basics well.

And while I don't believe home education is for everyone...and I'm glad the public school system is in place  for those who need it.....I am so glad my eyes were opened years ago to other possibilities.  
I can take my children off-season to choose folders and supplies they enjoy.  I am at liberty to incorporate faith in God into our school curriculum.  
My children, at tender ages, do not have to worry about bullies or not being understood by the teacher.  
We can read great literature as long as we want...not cut off by the bell.  
The kids don't have to pay a nickel to their teacher for use of the bathroom.  (My daughter had to do so in second grade.)
  We can explore the world together in a more natural state- without buses and standing in line. 
And, we can enjoy summer while it's here  in all its glory, and begin school when we are ready.  Which, for us, means the day after Labor Day unless we choose to begin earlier.

I'm grateful for my freedoms!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Jess Cooks- Cinnamon Bun Pancakes!

This morning I was up at 6.
I spent some time outdoors, breathing in the glorious summer morning.
Enjoyed some quiet time for thoughts.
Fed and stroked the cat; listened to the purring.
Slapped at a few mosquitoes.
Slapped at a few more.
Headed back inside.

Once inside, I cooked up a wonderful breakfast for the family.
Normally, this is something I would save for a special fall or winter morn.
But this recipe was calling to me.

I thought of this great old cartoon:

I could already imagine the fragrance of this breakfast winding its way downstairs and throughout the house; finding the snoozing children and teasing their noses awake.

I'm happy to say it worked!
Okay, maybe I had to prod a few of the bodies and call them by name before they actually rolled out of bed.  But, they were happy once they were up.  
And that's always a good thing.

Here is the recipe:

  • 1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons White Sugar
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 2 whole Eggs Beaten
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Corn Syrup ( I used regular pancake syrup)
  • ¼ cups Butter, Melted
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla

Preparation Instructions

In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and cinnamon with a whisk. Whisk well to make sure everything is combined.
In separate large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, corn syurp, butter and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium/low heat. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto griddle. Brown on both sides.
Serve warm with icing drizzled over the top.

*My icing was a simple mixture of a little melted butter, powdered sugar, milk and maple extract.  (To go with the pancake theme)

This fabulous recipe is courtesy of Sapeylissy and can be found here.

Link Within

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