Images of the past and memories of a special person. They all come together as a family history project!

Somewhere in Thailand. I recognize the building architecture.carousel 210

Mom reminded me yesterday of the value of the Family History project. Actually she encouraged me to keep going by reminding me why I started. Losing dad was tough. The first parts of the family history project were trying to relive and remember the things about dad that were important and share them. Now I am sharing things that are important about mom. The difference being and the value I missed was dad wasn’t alive when I started. So for those of you with stacks of pictures and your parents still around, start now! The value of remembering the family history isn’t that generations from now will read this and be happy to know their ancestors. Its that you can share your memories with your parents and they can share memories with you. Again to steal from the Carpenters. Don’t worry if its not good enough. Just write down the memories. Thanks mom for reminding me of the value!

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As I said this Carousel was one where dad put a lot of slide shows when he was changing them out. This one of my youngest sister with her friends at Halloween.

Mom used to make Halloween costumes. I remember the kids (all the grandkids) lining up for Grandma to make their costumes. We aren’t talking a little face paint either. We are talking lions with full manes and tiger outfits that fit from head to toe. Not wear once out for Halloween but costumes you wear for two or three years of Halloween. Plus use them as dress up and costumes for everything. The kids all loved the wonderfully constructed and amazing Halloween costumes. It was funny because when she got old enough Jakki worked with Grandma directly and they would never tell me what the costume was going to be!

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Somewhere in Thailand.

Quilts and Halloween costumers, it’s the legacy of a Grandmother. Grandparents are very important in our family. They are the connective tissue that reminds the parents they will survive being parents, and the tissue that reminds the grandkids that their parents were once young as well. Being that they are important parts of the larger family, Mom and Dad hosted most holiday events. You could, given the circumstances forgive mom for saying no mas. But instead she continues to bring all of us to one place for the holidays. We travel from Washington (the state) and Washington (the district of Columbia) now. So spanning this country. But we come home to celebrate the holidays at mom’s house. Why? Grandparents are important but so is keeping the family traditions going. Opening the first gift tether, sitting at the tables or in the chairs talking to each other and celebrating another year. Family are the people you know and don’t worry about. You may disagree with family but you accept them. Mom brings that all together still, her and the poodles continuing to host the family events.


Family Historian

Memories of the time we spent in Cincinnati Ohio. Or how we came to have Buckeyes in our family tree (not on our family tree).

This picture is from our house in Cincinnati (Willow Cove). We had built this house and moved in only to move to Indiana 13 months after moving in. Oh well. P0000328This is the Jakki face as she played the computer in my office.

There was a time when we had one work computer and that was it in the house. Then we added a word computer for Barb. Then we added a homework computer for the kids. Eventually everyone had their own computer. When Jakki was really little I found an interactive keyboard game called Baby Smash. It let her hit the keyboard and it changed shapes, colors and sounds.

Still my favorite all time early family computer story is the Macintosh laptop. I was the Apple Macintosh champion where I was working. In that role Apple used to give out PowerBooks every other year. As the champion I ran calls and supported the national sales team so I got a free PowerBook every other year. The first time I got one, I loaned it to Barb. She actually didn’t want to touch it, but I begged so she finally did. That particular year was the year the PowerMac laptop came out and Apple was P0000394going to give me a new PowerMac PowerBook. So I asked Barb for her laptop (that she hadn’t wanted) back. She said “ You can’t take my laptop away.” She has had her own computer ever since.

The hardest thing about having twins is that you have to buy two of everything. Luckily many people have children that are less than 2 years apart so many walking, running and strolling devices have two seats. This was the lunar rover we used for the boys when we lived on Willow Cove. The belts were not for their safety it was for the safety of the world. So the two of them could not rise from the stroller and take over the world.

It is hard to image the two huge people that live in the house now were once this size. Actually this was when they were getting close to a year old so in the end they actually were a lot smaller. Back then they were always happy. I guess sometimes life is fair.


The other part of young children is having a backyard play set. There is no more fun on this earth and getting to push your children on swings. The laughter, the smiles and the sheer enjoyment make for a really good day. Jakki loved it and so did the boys. To this day we still have a hammock chair so they can sit and read outdoors.

We loved Cincinnati. We lived there for 8 years. It was the city we went to right before we got married and lived in through the birth of the boys. The boys were only a year and a 1/2 when we moved back to Indiana. Jakki was about to turn seven.  We lived in four different parts of Cincinnati. Fairfield was the first place, a north western suburb. Then we lived in Maineville, a North eastern suburb. Finally we moved to Western Hills (Cincinnati proper) and then Mount Airy (Cincinnati proper) before heading back to Indiana.

A huge thank you to Cincinnati for the three Buckeyes it added to our family.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Of children sleeping (don’t WAKE THEM). Of mothers and daughters…

Sometimes the adult concept time and place don’t apply. Like when it is nap time. Nap time supersedes any other activity. I love that about kids. They run and album014run until suddenly they drop where they are and sleep. Adult rules don’t fit. The funny this is we have this same picture a few years later of the boys doing the same thing.

Jakki was too active to sleep in her high chair. When she was done she used to go over to the couch and lie down. We knew she was sick when Free Willy was popped into the VCR.

Anyway we should be really quiet and let this poor thing sleep. Obviously exhaustion waiting for mom to serve dinner. Thank goodness we haven’t found pictures of me doing this yet. Then my ability to take the low-road and make fun of everyone else would go away. That wouldn’t be fun for me.

Funny thing – the other day in a conversation someone asked me do you miss teaching. I said no right away. I don’t miss not making any money. But I do miss the wonder of kids. When a kid struggling to understand something suddenly gets it, there is magic in the air. I miss that.

The great tragedy we have in this country is that we don’t honor our teachers. In Thailand they call their teacher Adjan which means honored teacher.


The bean and her stop taking my picture face. I think this one was of her doing homework. There was a time when the amount of time dedicated to homework was well less than optimal. Now she is a focused driving student trying to graduate. But for awhile that wasn’t the case.

Not sure what she was Queen of. By this time Francine had appeared on the scene and as far as I know Francine was always the queen. She (Francine) also often told Jakki that she in fact was the queen. It remains one of my favorite stories walking up to Jakki’s room and seeing the mess. It was mostly a mess from the time she was about 14 on. I walked over looked in and started to walk away. Fran looked at me, looked at the room and took two steps in. So I followed her not the messy room. Fran than to proceeded to point out all the hidden food in the room.

That happened a few more times until Jakki got smart and shared with Fran before she ratted her out. It drove Jakki nuts that her dog ratted her out so fast.

They had that kind of whose in charge now relationship.

I do so miss Fran.


We end with a picture of that little girl in the chair all growed up. This is Barb in her 20’s a picture taken by her Mother Joan Ralstin.

As the picture above of Jakki was taken by her mother Barb Andersen. I think Barb wanted the picture I know Jakki had her don’t take my picture face on.

They actually have the same cheek bones and the same smile although you couldn’t tell in either of the first two pictures that in fact they have the same smile.

Pictures are funny in the end. They are of a single moment in time. A slice of a second. Immutable they stand and sit and lie forever in that moment. That moment never existed before nor will it ever exist again. It is a tale flat on a piece of paper of what someone at one second felt was worth capturing – now captured forever.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

The faces of Jakki 2 (a continuation of yesterday’s posting)


Shortly after the boys were born the era of Jakki not posing for pictures came into being. Initially it was just jakki but she later got her cousins involved as well. Where yesterday on the faces of Jakki you saw the sweet and innocent faces she shared with the rest of us that time was gone.

Here she is hamming it up for her brother. He was so engaged in what she was doing he didn’t even notice that I was taking a picture so in the end like the birdie in the photography studio that was a good play.

The transfer of picture taking is already underway. Where once my dad took all the pictures the torch passed to me at family events and my dad focused on the flowers and landscapes he loved to photograph. I like to photograph geeky stuff (time lapse and high speed, in the air and underwater) so soon I will transition to Jakki becoming the family photographer at family events. It’s a bitter sweet change, after nearly 20 years of not being in pictures I will start appearing in them again.


Ah the serious bean face. Heavily, deeply in thought. Considering who to ask to assemble the game/object in front of her. Mom only charged a tax on candy.

This face appeared first when she was very little. She would concentrate on the world around her and the focus would draw the world closer. Jakki has a great ability to focus for a time on one thing.

This one is from Christmas Day or Christmas Eve at my parents house in Bloomington Indiana. Mom and Dad took on the role of grandparents and loved that role. Mom once told me “had I known being a grandparent was so much fun I would have skipped all the parenting crap.” The person that made me eat my zucchini had disappeared replaced by a nice lady that loved children. And if her grandchildren didn’t like zucchini? Well then by all means they shouldn’t have to eat their zucchini.


Every parent knows this face the cheesy I see the camera but I am not making a face face. Yes it also represented the I am doing something I am not supposed to face but for the most part it was just a cheesy pose for the camera face.

Here Dangerous Dan has a plan, and I am not sure it didn’t involved blowing up the house. Dangerous Dan would always claim that she wasn’t doing anything. Ever.

Sometimes you just had to wade in and see what the plan was. Sometimes Dangerous Dan had a plan that Dangerous Dan thought was dangerous but in the end it really wasn’t dangerous. As a parent you just had to check. Taking the walker up the full flight of stairs – danger97s. Mixing ice cream, chocolate and sprinkles together to make Ice Cream soup – gross but not in the end dangerous.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

The many faces of Quilly, ne Jaguar, ne Jacqueline, ne Dangerous Dan, ne The Bean


The face of vegetation, relaxation perhaps even happiness. When Jakki was little we moved to our house on Shaffer Avenue. Jakki was just about seven months old when we moved. So for all intents and purposes she has spent the majority of her life living in one house or another. The first few months of her life she lived in an apartment but I doubt she remembers that.

Barb’s folks Les and Joan Ralstin came to visit us often. They needed a place to sleep so they picked out this sleeper sofa (and nicely paid for it as well). This became Jakki’s favorite place to be. When she was sick she would pop the movie “Free Willy” into the VCR and lie on the other end of the couch. When she wasn’t sick she would veg on this end of the couch (where she is now). The face you see is the first face of Jakki, happy and relaxed. As a young child Jakki says she was traumatized by car rides. We had a manual transmission car at that point. I used to do first gear (shift the car) second gear (shift the car) and third gear (shift the car) then on fourth gear I would tickle Jakki’s knees. unsorted012I never thought about that game until one day my mother called when Jakki was visiting her. She was concerned that Jakki may in fact be developmentally delayed. She counted one, two, three, five. In fact she refused to say 4. I explained the game to my mother and laughed. To this day in the car Jakki won’t count past three.

Here is the full relax and ba-ba face. For those times when the rough and ready Dangerous Dan had a long day and just needed some milk time. Same location on the couch but now instead of veg’ing/relaxing The Bean here is in full leave me alone I have my bottle I don’t need you people mode.

We knew better than disturb The Bean when the ba-ba face was there. Here she is watching TV and drinking. Probably watching Barney knowing the age and preferences back then.


This is the “that’s not dad in the hallway is it” face.  This first episode of young Quilly is from Shaffer Avenue (in Western Hills, a suburb of Cincinnati Ohio). Our star is between 2 and 4 years old in these pictures. Shortly after moving to Shaffer Avenue the Bean began to walk. That was the first appearance of Dangerous Dan, Dangerous Dan always had a plan. It was never a good plan, nor was it ever a good idea. The first Dangerous Dan plan was trying to get her walker up the stairs. Before there was a child poof gate and then over the child proof gate the second, third and fourth time.

You could always tell when Dangerous Dan was around. Jakki got really quiet, which was never a good sign and her bottle would be on the floor in the living room. You had to find her quickly because frankly when Dangerous Dan was around there was always a plan, there was always danger and the combination was never good. You see no matter what I always knew Dangerous Dan had a plan.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Cheap Sun Glasses + kids with a bad sense of humor = fun pictures :-)

unsorted291Not sure why this picture caught my eye but it is pretty cool. During the scanning project of my dad’s slides I posted a picture of my sisters and I on the steps of the Royal Palace in Bangkok Thailand all wearing our cool sunglasses. Here are the three kids all wearing their sun glasses and of course giving the world the thumbs up sign.

Pretty cool kids.

The picture was taken with the boys and Jakki in the kitchen of our house in Greenwood Indiana. The wooden window shelf behind the kids is the dead give away as to the location.

I suspect this is a posed picture rather than a captured spontaneous moment. It would have been much harder to catch them doing this by happenstance.


Similar picture but in this one Jakki is posing with two rabbits. I don’t know where the boys went from the other picture of which was first – Jakki and the Rabbits or Jakki and the boys in cool sun glasses.

If Jakki ever decides to start a rock band she will have to call it Jakki and the Rabbits. That is the coolest rock band name ever.

Probably (again) a posed rather than spontaneous picture. Mostly because the boys never stood still long enough to take a picture when they were in motion.

Twins can be perpetual motion machines.


This one is ironic more than anything. A picture taken of Nick standing in front of the couch. Fran and Luke were lying on the couch. They are right under a picture of Jakki and Fran lying on that same couch. I guess in the end they were in the irony stage of development.

My original family history project was printing all the pictures I could and hanging them around the house. We don’t do that as much now as we did then. We have maybe 100 pictures on the wall. But for a time I would print them, rotate the pictures and hang them on the wall in the living room.

Those were the days I guess.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

“Candy pick a million?”

Jakki obviously moved towards the Danish/Dutch gene pool. She had blonde hair and blue eyes as a little one. Here she is on the unsorted372couch that grandma and grandpa Ralstin picked out. In the days of living on Shafer we didn’t have a guest room. We barely had three bedrooms. Jakki had a Paddington Bear room (it was wonderful). Barb and I were across the hall in a large room that served as the master bedroom.

That Paddington the Bear room was selling feature for the house. It was a Dutch Colonial in Western Hills Cincinnati. We moved the May after Jakki was born (November the year before). We rented a U-Haul truck and we had friends helping us. Before we could move into the house I had to go and clean all the carpets. The previous owners had cats so the carpet had to have all residual cat dander removed. I literally ran the carpet cleaner twice on every carpet in that house to make sure Barb wouldn’t get sick when she moved in.


It took 3 or 4 loads in that U-Haul truck to move us. But my friends and I got it done. Barb kept Jakki happy that day. She did, while watching Jakki manage to scrub the kitchen from top to bottom.

Back in the day (wow it really does feel like a long time ago now) Jakki could never pass the horse in front of the grocery store. You put a penny in and it shook like crazy. She loves horses to this day. They are majestic creatures.

The store was interesting. When Jakki was really little we started a program called “candy pick one?” well Barb and I started it by saying “Bean, you may have one piece of candy.” She shortened it to “candy, pick one?” That was done at the register of the store. She didn’t always get candy but often. She would however like any kid ask every time. One day while shopping with Barb the bean was a little older and she said to Barb “candy pick two?”

Barb came home laughing that day and told me right away. It ended the cuteness of candy pick one, but Jakki never did stop trying for “candy pick (insert largest number she knew at that point)?” We all still laugh about that today.


After the Barney and Shining time station craze died down the Bean hit her Blue’s Clue’s phase. Mostly I suspect because she loves dogs. But she was addicted to that show for awhile. Barb had come home from Optimum group around the time of this picture. The 100 hours a week required to be a video producer were more than any family could take. I had left The Future Now and was working for Microsoft.

Jakki and I walked around the block a lot back then. Well I walked and Jakki rode in her stroller. She was one to be pushed rather than risk the potential of sweating.

Candy pick one, riding the horse in front of Kroger, Barney, Shining Time station and eventually faded away into the memories of childhood. I couldn’t think of a better kid than the bean was back then. The really cool thing is she is an amazing adult as well.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.