My New Apartment

A couple of weeks ago I got all my belongings moved down to my new apartment in Provo. It is a very nice place that just opened up this spring so everything is new and practically unused! The apartments are called Central Park Station and are on the south end of Provo just a couple of blocks from the FrontRunner station. The apartment has a decent sized kitchen, living room, two bedrooms, and two full bathrooms. It also has a washer and dryer! I’ve set up my office in the second bedroom and it is so much nicer to have a separate space for work rather than a corner in my bedroom or the living room. There is a great view of the mountains, the Y, and the Provo City Center Temple from the bedrooms and the balcony. The place isn’t completely furnished yet, but I’ll be getting furniture for the living room soon. Rachel and Anthony gave me their old desk and some stools for the kitchen! Thank you! While I miss Logan’s atmosphere—it is much more my pace than larger cities—it is good to be closer to some friends and much more convenient for work (especially since I’ll be teaching that class at BYU in the fall).

This is the second bedroom I’m using as an office. It is so nice having a separate space for work!


The kitchen came with all the appliances, including a washer!


The living room is good sized and connects to a porch.


From my bedroom window I can see the Y and the Provo City Center Temple.


The closet in my bedroom is good sized and connects into the bathroom. There is a second bathroom in the hallway.


View of the mountains. You can see the top of the Provo City Center Temple on the left.


Here is the view at night. You can see the Y on the mountain and the Provo City Center Temple on the left.

Loveday Family Reunion

On the first Saturday in August (the 6th), I got to attend the Loveday Family Reunion! The reunion was held at Willow Park and was for descendants of Isaac Loveday and Hazel Winberg, so the descendants of Grandma Brown and her siblings. It seemed to me that the Loveday’s know how to do a reunion—it was low pressure, getting together for lunch, talking, a few activities for the kids. It was a good reunion! Though I didn’t really know anyone, it was still fun to meet some of Mom’s cousins. They were all very friendly and happy to see a new relative. I mostly spent time talking with Shauna and Scott. They were doing well and it was good to hear how their family was doing. I also met a second cousin, named Bailey, who is starting to get interested in family history. So we talked for a few minutes and we’re going to meet up sometime at the Family History Library and I’ll show her around and we’ll work on family history together. That will be fun!Loveday Family Reunion


Family History Conference

The last week of July I was able to attend and present at the BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy! Conferences are always a lot of fun—being with people who love genealogy too, seeing old friends, and making new connections, learning new things. The conference ran from Tuesday the 26th to Friday the 29th of July and I stayed down in that area with friends and the Cools—thank you for letting me do that—which made being at the conference much easier.

BYU Conference

Three of my presentation proposals got accepted this year: “Tools the Pros Use: Boosting Your Research,” “Midwestern Research Methodology,” and “Evidence Analysis Maximizes Research.” I was surprised at how many people attend the “Tools the Pros Use” class. I counted right before I started and estimated there were between 75 and 100 people, that’s quite a few considering there were 550ish registered for the conference. The other classes had a standard 20-25ish people. For the most part, people seemed to enjoy the classes and that is encouraging. I’m always surprised at the range of experience conference attendees have, some are very new beginners and others are quite advanced. That can make it difficult giving a class to suit everyone’s needs. Overall, the conference was really good and I am glad I got to be a part of it!


Homemade Cheese!

So a few days ago as I was laying in bed going to sleep I thought, for reasons unknown to me: “Hm, I wonder if I could make my own cheese?” Ha ha! Of course, I googled the question to quickly assess the plausibility of doing so. In just a few minutes I learned that making cheese at home was very possible–and I wouldn’t even have to let it age for months on end. The last couple of days I was in Salt Lake and Provo working, but this afternoon I looked into it some more. It appeared that mozzarella would be the quickest and relatively easy–it could be made and eaten immediately afterwards. (Who wants to wait for a few days, weeks, or months to see if their first cheese attempt was a success?)

I found a simple recipe and ventured out to find the ingredients. After two grocery store trips, a call to Mom, and some return trips to find a new pot (none of mine were big enough), I finally had everything I needed.Making the cheese was a bit of a process, but relatively simple. All that is needed ingredient wise is water, milk, salt, citric acid, and rennet (definition from Wikipedia: “calf rennet is extracted from the inner mucosa of the fourth stomach chamber [the abomasum] of young, unweaned calves as part of livestock butchering.”). Of course, Mom already knew about rennet and what is used for, haha.

After lots of slow heating, mixing, stirring, stretching, and folding, I ended up with about a pound (so says the recipe) of mozzarella! It turned out delicious and was a fun project! Here are a couple of photos:

Mozzarella Ball
Bob’s First Homemade Cheese – Mozzarella Ball
Mozzarella Snacks
Cracker Snacks – Wheat Thins, Avocado, Tomato, and Homemade Mozzarella



Memorial Day in Logan

This morning I woke up early and, remembering it is Memorial Day, decided to go visit the graves of Grandma and Grandpa Brown in the Logan cemetery. It was a beautiful, cool morning and the cemetery looked very nice with all sorts of flowers, American flags, and other grave decorations. I was there early enough that there were not very many other people (living ones anyway) in the cemetery, so it was quite peaceful and calm. Here are a few photos of the grave markers from this morning.


Brown Grave Markers 5

Brown Grave Markers 2

Brown Grave Markers 1

Brown Grave Markers 4

Both Grandma and Grandpa Brown were good people and I am so grateful for the love they shared with me and their examples of gospel living. Being Memorial Day, I am particularly mindful of the service that Grandpa Brown gave for the country during the Korean War. I know it wasn’t an easy thing for him, but he did it anyways.


I’m Dreaming of a Green April…


This photo is from 14 April 2016. I took it from inside the library at USU while working on papers. Thankfully, the snow didn’t stick, but it sure was a disheartening to see the green grass being covered by the snow! It has been raining a lot the last few weeks, and this one day was just real cold I guess so it turned to snow. Most of the month has been green and the trees are blossoming so that is nice. The weather actually has been very nice and enjoyable overall!


Summer Hikes

This summer John and I also did a couple of short hikes. I don’t have any pictures of our first hike up past the falls in Battle Creek Canyon, but it was a beautiful hike with very lush vegetation all around. Our second hike—really more of a walk—was up to Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon. This was a fun activity and John had no qualms about getting wet underneath the falls! Here are some photos of the Bridal Veil Falls hike:
John at the Fallsbv falls 3Full Falls


Pioneer Day

What is a summer with Bob without family history?! Haha. This summer John humored me as we made couple of stops to visit some graves of ancestors. The first we went to were the graves of Cyril Call and his wife Sally Tiffany in Bountiful. On 24 July as we were milling around the apartment for the holiday, I realized that I had never been to their graves, so in honor of their lives and of Pioneer Day, John and I jumped in the car and made the trek to Bountiful. It was a fun little adventure. Of course, we stopped and got ice cream on the way home!
cyril call grave with bob

Bob at Cyril and Sally Call’s Grave

cyril call grave with john2

John at Cyril and Sally Call’s Grave

On the way back from Logan (8 August, yep this post is backdated, haha) after moving my stuff up to my new apartment, John and I made a pit stop at the Willard Cemetery. There we saw the graves of Omer Call and his wife Sarah Maria Ferrin. Many other Call relatives were buried near Omer and Sarah, including his twin brother Homer—with a fitting identical marker.

willard cemetery looking north

Willard Cemetery Looking North

omer call grave witb john2

John at Omer Call’s Grave

omer call grave with bob2

Bob at Omer Call’s Grave


Passed the Oral Review!!

Last Thursday, 16 July, I took the final portion of the Accredited Genealogist test. It was an oral review of the previous tests and of my four generation report that I submitted in April. It was just me and two interviewers. They asked me questions about areas that they thoguht weren’t clear in the report and about portions of the test that I missed. Overall, it wasn’t too bad–just nerve-racking because it is hard to tell what the interviewers are thinking. We discussed things for a little over an hour, and then they asked me to step out of the room. The interviewers talked for about ten or fifteen minutes together. After they talked, I was invited back into the testing room and they told me I passed! That means that I am now an officially Accredited Genealogist! Specifically, because the testing is done by region, I am accredited in Midwestern United States research.

It is a big relief to finally have it done, especially with getting it done before grad school. I started researching and writing my application in January and then submitted it in April, so it has been a very long process. This means that I can charge more for client research, get better jobs in the future, am more likely to have conference presentatation proposals accepted, and am considered a true professional.


Passed Level 2 of the A.G. Exam!!

On Saturday I took the second portion of the accreditation exam as conducted by The International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists. The first part was submitting the application and four-generation research project, which I did at the beginning of April. One thousand or more hours of research in your area of accreditiaton (I am doing the United States Midwest region) are required, which includes eighty hours per state. States in the Midwest region are Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri. For the research project, I researched Marshal and Hannah (Parker) Call’s family and some of their descendants. Marshal Call was a first cousin of Omer Call who actually settled in the Sycamore, Illinois, area in the late 1840s. Who knew we had early family connections to Sycamore!? The accreditation board took several weeks to grade that first portion, but I heard back from them a week or so ago.

Level 2 of the exam was different because it was a proctored test that consisted of four parts and lasted about 5 1/2 hours with breaks. Section 1 of Level 2 was a written test on historical sources where I had to answer questions about which sources to use for research problems and what sources are available for different time periods and states. Section 2 of Level 2 was about internet sources. Section 3 was a transcription and abstract of a document. And the last section was document recognition–I was given portions of documents and I had to determine what they were. Overall, the test wasn’t too bad. I was definitely glad that I had some of my study material though. Not to brag, haha, but the testing committee said that I did very well and really only missed a few minor things. Not very many people pass the test on their first try.

This coming Friday, 5 June, I will take Level 3 of the exam. If I pass that, then an oral review of everything will be schedule several weeks later before they award me the Accredited Genealogist credentials.