Saturday, December 14, 2013

One Of My Favorite Family Christmas Traditions

One of my favorite traditional family foods for Christmas is English Trifle.  My family always has Trifle on Christmas Eve.  It honors our British ancestors.  It was also my Grandpa Dana's favorite.  My sister Amy isn't going to be able to be home for Christmas this year (she'll be reuniting with her husband who has been deployed for the last 6 months Yea!) so when we got together last week I made Trifle for dessert in her honor.

I actually made it a little bigger and created it in a punch bowl this year since we have so many teenage boys in the family.  Trifle bowls make them look beautiful too though.  We've made other Trifle recipies at times, but our traditional one is still my favorite. I thought I'd share it with you here:

Carpenter Trifle

10 ounces frozen raspberries
3 ounce raspberry jello
Dissolve in 1 1/2 cup boiling water and let jell in the fridge.

10 ounces frozen strawberries
3 ounce strawberry jello
Dissolve in 1/12 cup boiling water and let jell in the fridge.

2 3 ounce packages tapioca
Make according to package and cool.

2 to 4 cups vanilla ice cream
2 sliced bananas
1/2 large angel food cake broken into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup broken pecans
whipping cream

Layer jello, angel food, jello, icecream, bananas, more jello, tapioca, jello on top.  Serve topped with whipping cream and sprinkle with pecans. 

On my first Christmas away from home I was invited to celebrate with some friends who served a very similar Trifle for desert.  It was a Christmas miracle to me that year--like a love note from home.  Even though I wasn't home, Christmas was OK because I still felt connected and secure. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Did you hear my interview on Genealogy Gems podcast?

I had a great chat the other day with my good friend Lisa Louise Cooke about our shared passion for helping your family understand their past.  You can check it out on her podcast at  Go to PODCASTS > GENEALOGY GEMS PODCAST and click episode 162.

Lisa does such great work with her podcasts.  After you listen to our interview, I'm sure you'll want to check out the others.  Thanks Lisa for including me!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Family ChartMasters Holiday Gift Guide

From our Newsletter.  Something for everyone on your list:

Family history gifts can be some of the most meaningful things you can give your family at this time of year.  Family History is something only you share together.  It strengthens self-esteem, creates resilience and gives your family members a sense of perspective and control over their lives.  Here are some  ideas for everyone in the family: 

For Grandparents and Parents:

Help your parents and grandparents leave a heritage to their descendants and strengthen their relationships with them. 

The gift A Family ChartMasters Custom Chart will:
            • Honor your heritage.
            • Honor their sacrifices.
            • Show them how important they are to you.
Give a gift of a custom chart.  Start with a free consultation and we'll take care of all the particulars. 

Zap The Grandma Gap Books The Zap The Grandma Gap Book and Power Up Workbook will:
  • Help them pass on their legacy.
  • Strengthen their relationships with their children and grandchildren.
  • Give them 100s of ideas for passing on the family legacy and values.
Order now at

For Children, Grandchildren, Nieces and Nephews:

Strengthen your family relationships and help them forge a stronger self esteem.

My Ancestor Activity Books
            • Fun puzzles, activities and stories to learn about their culture
            • Resources on how to learn more about your ancestors
Order now at

new blank charts  
Fill in The Blank Charts
  • A fun activity for the whole family
  • Keep the family history out in front of the family
  • Fill in more information as you find it. 
Order now at

For the Genealogist:

Creating Custom decorative charts or simple working charts is easy with Family ChartMasters' help. 

$25 and $50 Gift Certificates Family ChartMasters Gift Certificates

It is our hope that learning about your family's past together can be a fun and exciting adventure and you will have a happy healthy holiday season.