I’ve been blogging for about 5 years now (although only for a year as a geneablogger).

When I first started out, all of the badges and widgets in my sidebar were randomly placed. Some to the left. Some to the right. Some centered.  It looked awkward to me.

HTML code is scary though and I had no idea how to fix my badges and make them beautifully centered in the middle of my sidebar.

Somewhere along the way, I figured it out.  And it’s really simple.  Like, why-didn’t-I-figure-this-out-earlier simple.

And I want to share it with you fellow bloggers who might not already know how to do this.

All you need to do is go into the area where you add your widgets and open it up to where the HTML code for your button/badge it.

At the very beginning of all of that code, add <center>  and at the very end of all of the code, add </center>

That’s it.  Easy peasy.

  • Caroline Gurney - March 22, 2011 - 8:21 am

    Thanks for this very useful tip, Jen. Now could you please tell us how you created that awesome banner with the changing pictures?ReplyCancel

  • Jen - March 22, 2011 - 8:35 am

    Caroline,
    I wish I had the technical expertise to tell you how to make a banner like that, but I don’t.
    I made the 3 different banners in Photoshop Elements. I use a self-hosted WordPress site and bought a “theme” from ProPhoto Blogs (I actually bought it for my other blog, but was ale to use it for this one too). So essentially, it came with the theme. All I had to do was choose the “built-in flash slideshow” button and then upload my banners. There are so many choices and customizations with this theme, it’s a lot of fun to play with!ReplyCancel

  • Caroline Gurney - March 22, 2011 - 9:24 am

    Thanks, Jen. I love the folk art theme of your blog – eye candy :-)ReplyCancel

    • Jen - March 22, 2011 - 12:13 pm

      I just found a digital scrapbooking “kit” online and asked the lady who made it if I could use it for a blog. Then I designed the header and buttons and such with that. I loved it because it had a “family tree” sort of a theme to it. :)ReplyCancel

  • Shelley Bishop - March 22, 2011 - 12:46 pm

    Thank you, Jen for this great little tip! I love your blog design and really enjoy reading your posts. It gives me great pleasure to give you the One Lovely Blog Award. You can find the details at my blog, A Sense of Family: http://asenseoffamily-sb.blogspot.com/ReplyCancel

  • Shelley Bishop - March 22, 2011 - 12:59 pm

    Thanks, Jen, for this great little tip! I love your blog design and really enjoy reading your posts. It gives me great pleasure to give you the One Lovely Blog Award. You can find the details on my blog, A Sense of Family, at: asenseoffamily-sb@blogspot.comReplyCancel

  • Pat Kuhn - March 22, 2011 - 4:57 pm

    thank’s for the tip, I will give it a try!ReplyCancel

  • Cherie Cayemberg - April 5, 2011 - 9:58 am

    What about centering the pictures? I can’t add code to center the images I added on the sidebar (NGS member, the 2011 FTM blog award, etc) and I don’t know how to convert an image to html to add it and center it that way…any advice? Thanks! :)ReplyCancel

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Week 12: Movies. Did (or do you still) see many movies? Describe your favorites. Where did you see these films? Is the theater still there, or is there something else in its place?

This challenge runs from Saturday, March 19, 2011 through Friday, March 25, 2011.

I was born in 1976, so my childhood was spent in the 80’s.

I watched movies like The Goonies, Labyrinth, The Neverending Story, The Karate Kid, and the best movie ever made – The Princess Bride.  That movie has the best quotes ever in my opinion.  My husband and I use them often and we’ve passed them on to our kids.

We didn’t go to the movies much when I was younger.  I was the oldest of 4 and taking that many kids to the theater is expensive (trust me I know now that I have 5 of my own!).

I think that I was about 7 or 8 when we got our very first VCR.  The magic of VHS.  We could watch movies at home!  And we did – a lot!.  We would head down to the local movie rental store and grab a few on weekends, but we mostly just watched the movies that we owned – over, and over, and over again.

One thing that we did do once in a while is head to the drive-in.  Cheaper rates, you could easily bring your own food, and get comfy in your car (or more often in the back of a truck on a mattress). Plus, it was always a double feature, so more bang for your buck!

Amazingly, that drive-in is still open.  When I went back to visit my family this past summer, I took all of my kids to the movies.  I just made sure that I parked next to the bathrooms.:)  I wish that there were more drive-ins still around.  They seem to be dying out, don’t they?

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

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Dr. Elam Stafford was the brother of my husband’s 3rd great-grandfather, Eli Stafford. They were both sons of Thomas Stafford and Elizabeth Boswell.
undefinedDr. Elam Stafford died at the residence of his niece, Mrs. Dan Bradbury 815 Second avenue, February 26, 1899, aged 73 years; death resulted from a stroke of paralysis.  The funeral was held from the residence February 27th with interment in Forest Cemetery. Surviving him are his wife, Mrs. Sarah Stafford, and a daughter Dr. Emma Richardson.

Dr. Stafford was an old time resident in Oskaloosa and for a long number of years followed his profession, having a very lucrative practice.  He was also at one time auditor of the county. Failing health compelled him to go west, where after remaining a short time he again came to Oskaloosa. Of late months he has been living with his daughter, Mrs. Dr. Richardson, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He came to Oskaloosa on a visit last Friday evening and when he arrived here was not feeling well. He went to the home of his niece, Mrs. Bradbury, and during the night the family, hearing a noise, went to his room and found him unconscious. He died Sunday morning about 4 o’clock, not having regained consciousness.  His wife and daughter were telegraphed of his serious condition, but did not reach Oskaloosa until about three hours after his death.  They were compelled to return to Cedar Rapids Monday evening owing to the serious illness of Mr. Lafe Richardson. Many friends deeply symphathize with them.

I found it interesting that Elam’s daughter, Emma, was a doctor also.

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Week 11: Illness and Injury. Describe your childhood illnesses or injuries. Who took care of you? Did you recuperate in your own bed, on the couch in front of the television, or somewhere else?

This challenge runs from Saturday, March 12, 2011 through Friday, March 18, 2011.

The injury that sticks out the most in my memory is the time I broke my leg.

I was at the end of my 8th grade year.  It was lunchtime and after I ate, I headed out to the field to play some baseball.  I lived in Washington, so it’s no surprise that the grass was wet.  We weren’t on a normal baseball diamond, just grass.

I hit the ball and as I was running past first base, I attempted to slow down, but couldn’t.  I slipped on the wet grass, flew up into the air, and landed with my left leg underneath my body.

I got up and hobbled to the side of the field.  I wasn’t sure what was wrong with me, but I knew that something wasn’t right.  I wasn’t necessarily in a ton of pain, but I started to feel woozy and I definitely couldn’t walk.

Two friends carried me up to the front office of the school.  My P.E. teacher, Mr. Mauri checked my leg.  It was the 80’s and I was wearing some tight jeans.  My jeans actually had zippers on the ankles, so that they were easier to get on.  They were my favorite pair.  And he cut them with a pair of scissors. (I of course realize now that this was necessary.  At the time I was devastated to lose my acid-washed jeans).

Upon seeing my leg, it was very apparent that it was broken.  Thankfully, it wasn’t poking through the skin or anything gross like that, but there was a definite bump on my leg and it was beginning to swell.

They tried calling my parents, but there was no answer at home.  I think that my mom was at home, but didn’t hear the phone.  They called my best friend’s mom instead and she showed up at the school and rode with me in the ambulance to the hospital.  Yes, I got to ride in an ambulance.

By this time, it was starting to hurt.  Every bump of that ride was painful, but I made it.:)

When I got my X-rays back, it showed that I had broken my tibia completely and had cracked my fibula over halfway through. Yikes!

Bad news for a 13 year old at the beginning of summer (I think it was May when it happened).

I spent my ENTIRE summer with a cast on.  The first couple month and a half (or so) it was up to my thigh.  Bathing was hard.  Seeing my friends swim at the lake was even harder.  It was hot and uncomfortable and I was on crutches, hobbling around for weeks.

Then, the doctor cut it down below my knee.  I couldn’t believe how hard it was for me to bend my knee.  I was still on crutches, but I feel so free with only half a cast.

After that cast came off, another was put on – this time a walking cast.  I no longer needed crutches and I got around pretty well.

When that came off (right before school started again) I was put back on crutches.  I had to gradually put weight on my leg, a little at a time, until I could work myself up to walking normally.

Let me tell you that being on crutches for your first few weeks of high school was not fun.  I often hid the crutches in my locker and walked without them.  And when I returned to the doctor, I was scolded for it and had to stay on them even longer.  Darn.

I eventually did wean myself off the crutches though and ended up joining the basketball team that winter.  Now that was a good way to build those muscles back up!

The only other thing I have ever broken is my finger – playing volleyball.  I honestly think that the finger hurt more when it happened – but it healed MUCH quicker!!

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

  • Amy Coffin - March 19, 2011 - 8:50 pm

    Ugh, a cast all summer sounds NO FUN! I did enjoy your story though. Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

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First, I hope you all had a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day – Irish or not.:)I managed to take the kids downtown to the parade. It was crowded,but fun!   Here is one of my little leprechauns.

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One of the most interesting things about the parade was that there seems to be a tradition that women put on very dark lipstick and then run out and kiss the soldiers, policemen, firemen, etc. that are marching by.  I wonder how long this has been going on.  And do they do this everywhere or is it a Savannah thing?

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On to this week’s reads:

  • Donna - March 18, 2011 - 12:46 pm

    Love your leprechaun! I truly enjoy reading your blog and am pleased to award you the One Lovely Blog Award. Visit my blog at http:hangingfromthefamilytree.blogspot.com to pick up your award and find the rules. Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Greta Koehl - March 18, 2011 - 8:44 pm

    Thank you for the mention, Jen! And on the 1918 influenza epidemic, I didn’t have direct ancestors who were hit, but some collateral lines were, and the stories just break your heart.ReplyCancel

    • Jen - March 18, 2011 - 10:02 pm

      That’s just the thing, Greta. Most people probably don’t have a direct ancestor, because so many of those who died were young and had yet to start their own families. :( That’s the case in my family history at least.ReplyCancel

  • Andrea aka crazybabydaisy - March 19, 2011 - 7:12 pm

    LOVE your website! And Mocavo is awesome – so very quick! Thanks for following my blog – I look forward to keeping up with yours!ReplyCancel

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