May all of you who are fathers enjoy a happy Father’s Day. Hopefully, you will get a chance to enjoy some R&R, and do something that you like. A special hat’s off to those of you who spend quality time with your children. They are the next generation of leaders, and need you to be good and positive role models for them. Be safe and enjoy this Father’s Day!
Happy Mother’s Day! (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)
Happy Mother’s Day to all mom’s and moms-to-be, today! Motherhood – and parenthood – are such wonderful blessings that are bestowed upon us. We have so many wonderful opportunities as women and mothers to be the role models, protectors, guides, teachers, nurses, counselors, religious, safety officers, and coaches (and so much more) that our children and family members need in our lives. As mothers, we wear so many hats in our lives. Motherhood is definitely a blessing for me, and a vocation in which I always strive my best, as with everything that I do.
May all women who are mothers remember, cherish, and practice with sensitivity, responsibility, compassion, and seriousness the gift that we have been given. Happy Mother’s Day! 🙂
My Krakowiak Family Ancestry, Including Drewin, Tomaszewski, Babcock, Spires, O’Malley, and Clark (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)
My mother, Anna Maria (Krakowiak) Babcock (born 1944) is from the Krakowiak Family; she was the middle child. Her parents are Wladislawa “Lottie” (Bulera) Krakowiak (November 12, 1914-December 13, 2007) and Janek “John” Krakowiak (October 24, 1907-December 1, 1967). Lottie’s and John’s other children include Peter Krakowiak, Maria Anna (Krakowiak) Spires Walker, and Larry Krakowiak.
Lottie’s parents were Wawryniec and Katarzyna (Mordka) Bulera, and John’s parents were Walenty and Jozefa (Stepnion) Krakowiak. Lottie had two sisters, Staca, and Marianna (Krakowiak) Drewin. Staca did not stay in touch with Lottie after her family immigrated to the United States in 1950, so I do not know what became of her. Marianna had three marriages, and had a son with each of her husbands. I only know the last name of her third husband, and not the names of the previous two.
Marianna’s sons have several children between them, and they likely have grandchildren and perhaps great grandchildren by now. Marianna and her family lived in Kielce, Poland, and I was able to visit and meet most of them (15 of them) when I studied abroad at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow Poland in 1992. Once Marianna died, no one remained in touch with each other, as only Marianna and Lottie communicated with each other at that time.
John is one of about 10 children from his family. As an adult, he had one glass eye. I don’t know what experience or situation caused him to get the glass eye. I do remember my grandmother telling about how John’s mother had told him that no one would ever want to marry him because of his glass eye. Once John married Lottie, and the family later moved to Germany, and then on to the United States, there were no further contacts or communications maintained between John or any of his family members.
From what I understand, both Lottie’s and John’s parents were farmers. When Lottie was a young girl, she herded geese on the farm – that was her job. In bare feet and on frosty mornings, she herded geese. My grandmother had about a third grade education, and was fluent in Polish and German. She took some classes in English upon coming to the United States, though never learned to write more in English than her name. She also did not drive and never had a driver’s license. She walked to her places of work (or was driven by others), and she walked to stores and businesses in the Village of Gowanda. She worked at the garden nurseries of Knowles and Fisher, and she also worked additional jobs, such as being a waitress at the local diner in Gowanda (now Olympia).
The Krakowiak Family came to the United States through Ellis Island, and to the Buffalo and Western New York State area, in 1950. Cousins to the Krakowiak’s were John and Josephine Tomaszewski of Gowanda, New York. John Tomaszewski secured a guarantee of employment for John Krakowiak at the Moench Tannery in Gowanda. Thus, the Krakowiak Family was guaranteed a sponsorship by the Tomaszewski’s, a condition that was required of immigrants for entry into the United States at that time. The Krakowiak Family (all but John) moved to Germany from Poland in about 1948. The reasons for the family’s move were to escape the effects of World War II, and to seek a better life in the United States. They did not want to experience another war in Europe.
As a result of their citizenship in Poland, Germany was the best route out of Europe for them. So, Lottie and her young family traveled on foot and by train to Germany where she worked at two or three large corporate farms, particularly in the kitchen. (In her later years, Lottie was able to secure a number of financial security payments from the German government due to proof of her work at the farms.)
For about two years, Lottie worked on the farms until the Polish government allowed John to leave Poland. Lottie and the children were forced to wait those two years because the Polish government had desired John to remain in Poland. It was a tense situation during the wait because the family worried that John might not be allowed to leave Poland. Once he died and reunited with his family, they sailed to the United States from Germany.
Once in Gowanda, the Krakowiak’s lived with the Tomaszewski’s until John was able to purchase a house. The Krakowiak Family then remained on Union Street in Gowanda, often experiencing flooding in the basements of the two different homes in which they had lived due to rising waters and/or flooding by the Cattaraugus Creek that runs through the center of town.
For about the last one to two years of his life, John developed and suffered from cancer. My family believes that the cancer was caused by John’s handling of the many chemicals at the Tannery without any protections. John died from the cancer in 1964 when he was 60 years old. My grandmother, “Babcia,” as we called her and is the word for “grandmother” in Polish, was healthy and well, living independently until she was 86 years old, at which time she was placed in the Gowanda Nursing Home. She died as a resident of the Nursing Home when she was 93, about seven years after moving there.
My father, Bruce Babcock, married my mother, Anna (Krakowiak) Babock in 1963. In 1971, I was born, and the following year, my brother was born.
My aunt, Maria (Krakowiak) Spires (and later, Walker) was already married to Eugene Spires (May 7, 1919-November 7, 1993) when I was born. Maria and Gene had two children, Desiree “Desa” (Spires) O’Malley and Phillip Spires. Desiree is married to Joseph O’Malley. They have one son, Joey, and live in Connecticut. I met Joey when he was a baby. Phil married Dawn (Clark) Spires on October 17, 1992. They have one son, Benjamin – named after his great grandfather, Ben Spires. Phil is a Corrections Officer.
After my uncle, Gene, died after struggling with cancer for two years, Maria met Roger Walker. Gene was 25 years older than Maria, and had been previously married. Gene’s first wife died from cancer. Maria then married Roger; they live in Florida.
My uncle, Gene, was also a veteran of World War II, having served in the US Army, fighting in France during the war. Gene worked for the State of New York at the Gowanda Psychiatric Center in the maintenance department, and as a painter. Gene and Maria also operated a farm; and Gene owned a gun shop for many years, being a licensed firearms dealer. My aunt also worked for the State of New York at the Gowanda Psychiatric Center, as well as when mental health patients were transitioned to community housing, then still being employed by the State through J.N. Adam Developmental Center. She retired from there after about 27 years of State service.
To my knowledge, Peter Krakowiak never married, nor had any children. Once he graduated from high school, he went into the Navy. Once he completed his service in the Navy, he moved to and lived in Chicago for the remainder of his life. My family has not heard from him in many years; he had kept in touch with my aunt, but she stopped hearing from him many years ago.
Larry also moved to and lived in Chicago for several years, where he was married to and divorced from a woman named, Pam. Sometime following the divorce, he moved back to Gowanda, where he has lived and worked since then. He does not have any children.
Much of the Tomaszewski Family still lives in or near Gowanda, though I am aware of John’s and Josephine’s oldest son and his family living in Chicago. John and Josephine had three children, including two boys and a girl. When the boys became adults, they married and had children. The daughter, Gloria, is single and does not have any children. The eldest son of John and Josephine is an airline pilot, likely long retired by now. He may have also served in the Vietnam War, as I recall. The Tomaszewski’s, therefore, are cousins, far-removed, from me; they would be considered my third cousins.
Other family related to the Krakowiak side of my family include the Covelli’s from Buffalo, New York, and the Turdly’s from Brooklyn, New York City.
John and Lottie Krakowiak, and John and Josephine Tomaszewski, are bured in Holy Cross Cemetery of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Gowanda, New York. Eugene Spires is also buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Gowanda.
To follow is a collection of photos that I have of the Krakowiak’s, Drewin’s, Babcock’s, Spires’, O’Malley’s. and Clark’s.
Author’s Note: Information and images identifying my brother have been removed from this post as of April 27, 2016 as a courtesy per his request.
Bruce and Anna Babcock, and Parents at Wedding, July 1963, Gowanda, New YorkThis is a photo of my parents on their wedding day in July 1963. From left to right are Emmett Sprague, Bernice Gale (Briggs) Babcock Sprague, Bruce Babcock, Anna (Krakowiak) Babcock, Wladislawa “Lottie” (Bulera) Krakowiak, and John Krakowiak.
This is a photo of me when I was about two weeks old, just after I was baptized at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Gowanda, New York. In the photo are: front, left to right: Phil Spires; Desiree Spires, Me (the baby), Maria (Krakowiak) Spires, and Eugene Spires; rear, left to right: Anna (Krakowiak) Babcock, Emmett Sprague, Bernice Gale (Briggs) Babcock Sprague, Wladislawa “Lottie” (Bulera) Krakowiak, and Fr. Rog. My dad took the picture.
All photos of my cousin’s wedding reception were taken by family friend, Alice Tschopp.
I hope that you have enjoyed my information and photo record of the Krakowiak side of my family!
Eighty-five: Valley Bugle (1985). Gowanda Central High School Yearbook. Gowanda, NY: Jostens.
Photos and information of Michele Babcock-Nice (2014), 1974-1992. Snellville, Georgia.
Photos and information of Wladislawa “Lottie” (Bulera) Krakowiak, 1950-2007. Gowanda, New York. Now the Property of Michele Babcock-Nice (2014). Snellville, Georgia.
Tschopp (1992). Photos of wedding reception of Phil Spires and Dawn (Clark) Spires. Property of Michele Babcock-Nice (1992). Gowanda, New York.
Other photographers of other professional photos, unknown.
Some Photos from my Briggs, Staffin, Ritter, and Gale Family Ancestry (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)
Nearly all of my vintage and antique family photos are from my dad’s side of the family. Because my mother’s family were immigrants from Poland to Germany to the United States through Ellis Island around 1950, I have fewer than a hand full of vintage photos from my mom’s side of the family, the Krakowiak side, though I do have a few. Photos and tin types from my dad’s side of the family include those from the following families: Babcock, Briggs, Gould, Hoyler, Staffin, Gale, McEwen, Crawford, Cole, Ritter, Henn, and Goetz. And, those are just the images, while there are other families who are part of my ancestry, including Rump, Rodgers, and others.
My direct ancestral heritage – in addition to that of Poland from the Krakowiak family – reflects people from England, particularly the families of Gale, Bulson, and McGee; the French and German ancestry of Adelia Staffin; and the German ancestry gained from the families of Gould, Rump, and Henn; and both Hoyler and Ritter (through marriage). The Briggs’ and Babcock’s were also from England, but had been settled in the United States prior to the Gale’s. My ancestry can also be traced back to England’s King Henry VIII, as a result of his many marriages; and Clement Briggs, one of my ancestors, who traveled to Plymouth, Massachusetts from England in 1621 on the Mayflower. The name “Briggs” has many variations; and is believed to have been derived from Saxon William atte Brigge of County Norfolk, England in the 1200s. That is the furthest back in time that I have been able to trace some of my ancestry.
The following photos and tin types are those that I have selected to reflect some of the many images of my ancestral heritage from the Briggs, Staffin, and Gale families, as I know it, so that the richness of culture, values, and family can be shared and enjoyed outside of my family, as well. The photos were taken in North Collins and Collins, New York, near Buffalo. I will make additional posts with pictures reflecting the other families identified in the near future. Note that for photos that have estimated dates, I have tried to date them as best as possible to reflect an accurate time of when they were taken.
This is the oldest tin type that I have that reflects ancestors of my family. The tin type was in the condition seen in the photo when I got it from my grandmother, Bernice Gale Briggs Babcock Sprague, so I have carefully preserved it as best as I can.
Adelia was said to have been a short, but fiery and tough woman. It is possible that she was married through an arranged marriage to my great great grandfather, Wallace Briggs, because they married when they were kids. It does not even appear that Adelia is 13 years old in the first picture in this post, however it is believed that she and Wallace were married at about that age. Adelia and Wallace had five boys (Clarence, Howard, Harold, Sumner, and John); and while I am unsure about how Adelia died, it is possible that she died in childbirth. She would have been 26 when Clarence was born (the second oldest son) and 37 when John was born. The oldest boy was Sumner, born in 1879 when Adelia would have been 23.
No one in my family seemed to know how Adelia died, or if they did, they did not talk about it. I know that she seemed to have died at a young age (possibly under 40 years old), and Wallace married a second wife, Veronica, having four boys (Ivan, William, Lawrence, and Leo) with her. Therefore, nine Briggs’ boys grew up and at least seven of them (all but for Howard and William “Bill”) had families in North Collins, New York in the 20th century. Birth and death dates that I have, as recorded by my grandmother, for Adelia’s and Wallace’s sons are as follows: Sumner (1879-1939), Clarence (1882-1953), Howard (1886-1944), John (1892-1934), and Harold (1893-1965).
Sumner Briggs married Frances Creed, and they had four children, including Rexford, Emerson “Coon,” Harriet, and Buddy. Howard Briggs was a bachelor. John Briggs married Ella Rieckhof, and they had one child, Lois, who married Harold Rodgers. Lois and Harold had a daughter, Margo, who had a son, Eric, who would be about my age. Harold Briggs married Emma North; they had a son, James, who married Mabel Orton. James and Mabel had three children, including Beverly, Barbara, and Bruce Briggs. I know that Ivan married Louise Gullo, and they had three children, including twin girls and a son, David (who died in the Vietnam War). Bill married Ruth, but they did not have any children. I don’t know about descendants of Lawrence or Leo.
Adelia (Staffin) Briggs was the daughter of John Staffin and Phoebe (Wilcox) Staffin; and she was the sister of Mary Ann (Staffin) Smith (who married John Smith) and William Adam Staffin (who married Cora Wickham). John Staffin was born in 1830 to Adam Staffen (1804-1869) and Anna (Mathias or Mathis) Staffen (1807-1886), and was brother to 10 siblings. Anna’s father was Johann Mathis, who was a blacksmith, and her mother was Anna Maria (Schmitt) Mathis. Adam and Anna sailed to the United States through Ellis Island from France in 1840, purchasing land in Collins, New York. They had left their home in Saarlouis, Germany to sail from the Port of LeHarve in France, coming to the US with $800.
Adam and Anna were schoolteachers, teaching in a large room of their home; and Adam was also a stone mason and farmer. At that time, the Staffen’s school was the only one in the area, and young men traveled from miles around to be educated by them. They taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, and were paid in kind with raw materials rather than money. When Adam and Anna Staffen came to the United States, they spoke fluent French and High German. They were Roman Catholic, and are buried in the Langford Catholic Cemetery in Langford, New York.
Adam Staffen was one of three sons (Jacob, Adam, and Nikolas) of Johann Steffen (1748-1814) and Susanna Girlinger (1766-1833). Susanna’s parents were Phillip Girlinger and Maria (Bauer) Girlinger. Phillip was a farmer in Germany. Johann Steffen was the son of Simon Steffen (1716-1771) and Catharina (Schwartz) Steffen. In 1741, the marriage record of Stefan Simon (who changed his name to Simon Steffen around 1847) reflects that he married Catharina Schwartz, and that her parents were Franz Schwartz and Apollonia (Everhard) Schwartz. Simon’s parents were Dominicus Simon and Catharina (Corsain) Simon. Around 1838, Simon and Catherine moved from Longville, France to Ittersdorf, Germany, although rule changed from German to French rule at that time. It is possible that the move and name change were due to political reasons.
Cora (Wickham) Staffin’s parents were Chauncey L. Wickham and Rosene (Spaulding) Wickham. Cora married William Adam Staffin – brother to Adelia (Staffin) Briggs. Cora and William had (I believe) four children, including Marion Staffin, Charleton W. Staffin, Burton W. Staffin, and Burnell E. Staffin. Somewhere along the line, I do not have an exact record of at least one generation of the family, somewhere in-between Anna Staffin marrying Edward C. Ritter. I do know, however, that Cora (Wickham) Staffin’s grandchildren included Sara Jane Staffin, Mary Ann Staffin, Robert C. Staffin, and Norman R. Staffin. I just don’t know whose children they were – Charleton’s, Burton’s, or Burnell’s.
Marion Staffin married, though I do not know what her married name was. I believe that they had a daughter or granddauther, possibly named, Anna, and she married Ed Ritter. Ed Ritter, to my knowledge, had several siblings, including Fritz Ritter, Herbert Ritter, Mrs. Hoyt Prince, Mrs. Guy Hickey, Mrs. Clarence Simmons, and possibly another sister and another brother, though I am unsure of their names. Ed and Anna Ritter did not have any children. To my knowledge, Ed was a butcher, and I have a tin type of him reflecting that.
This is a tin type that shows my great great grandfather, Clarence Briggs, as a young man, possibly around 1900-1910. I do not know the identities of the other young men in the image.
This photo shows my 15 additional tin types from my Gale, Briggs, and Henn ancestry that were accidentally discarded by my parents during my family’s move from Collins to Gowanda around 1992.
My great great grandfather owned and operated an ice carting business in North Collins, New York. He transported blocks of ice to people’s homes for their use in refrigeration, such as in their root cellars.
This is a photo of Clarence and Sumner Briggs, and possibly Howard Briggs, from North Collins, New York around 1890. It is the best photo that I have of them as young boys.
From what I understood from my grandmother, this photo was supposed to be a silly picture of three of these Briggs’ young men. They went on an outing and had several different photos made on this day, reflecting different backgrounds and venues.
This is a photo of my grandmother, Bernice Gale Briggs Babcock Sprague, as a baby in 1912 in North Collins, New York.
In this photo, my grandmother was about two years old.
This is a photo of my grandmother either on the day of her engagement or wedding to my grandfather, Charles A. Babcock.
This is the only photo that I have that shows both of my great grandparents, Clarence and Julia (Gale) Briggs, in the same photo. This was taken in 1946 in Collins, New York at the childhood home of my father, Bruce Babcock.
This is a photo of John Briggs, a brother of my great great grandfather, Clarence Briggs, from North Collins, New York in 1917 before he went off to fight in World War I. There were several Briggs’ brothers who fought in the War, and they all returned home alive.
This is a photo of identical twins, Marie and Veronica Briggs, from April 1941. They are daughters of Ivan Briggs and Louise (Gullo) Briggs of North Collins. David Briggs was the son of Ivan and Louise, and died while serving in the US Army during the Vietnam War. For many years, there was a memorial to David outside the front of the Catholic Church in North Collins, New York.
Here is another photo of the twins. They were about three-years-old in this picture. Veronica was named after her grandmother, Veronica.
I hope that you have enjoyed viewing these photos. I will make additional posts with photos that reflect the others of my ancestral families that I identified, shortly.
References and Sources:
Anna Emerling Spengler (~1980). The Emerling Family Tree: Chapter 7 – The Staffins. Springville/Collins, New York.
Family tin types, photos, and information of Bernice Gale Briggs Babcock Sprague from 1860-1987. Collins, New York. Currently the Property of Michele Babcock-Nice (2014). Snellville, Georgia.
The Name and Family of Briggs: Manuscript Number 341 (1984). New York, NY: Roots Research Bureau, Ltd.
Wentland Funeral Home (1968). Funeral Card of David I. Briggs. North Collins, NY: Wentland Funeral Home.
1920s and 1930s Football and Baseball Group Photos from Gowanda, Collins, and Collins Center, New York (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)
My grandfather, Charles A. Babcock, from Collins, New York, was an athlete and played several sports when he was a teen and into his early 20s. He enjoyed playing football and baseball, as well as softball and bowling. He was born in 1911, and had two sisters, Louise (Babcock) Heppel and Eunice (Babcock) McEwen Hembury.
The Babcock children were born to Jonathan M. Babcock and Bertha B. (Gould) Babcock. Jonathan was from Collins, New York, and Bertha was from the heavily German-American South Dayton, New York. Eunice moved to Pennsylvania upon marrying her first husband, and they had children. After her first husband died, she married her second husband, remaining in Pennsylvania. Louise was the middle child in the Babcock Family. She married George Heppel, and they did not have any children.
I have included some photos in this post that reflect Charles as a member of football and baseball teams; and I have included pictures of Charles and his sisters, Eunice and Louise, as well as a photo of Jonathan and Bertha upon their wedding.
This is a photo of the Gowanda High School Football Team from 1926. My grandfather is seated, second from the left in the front row. He would have been 15 years old in this picture. To identify everyone in the photo, they are as follows: standing: H. Ross, M. Tillotson, D. Smith, R. Rogers, P. Palcic, G. Crouse, R. Dorey, Gerald Donnelly (Coach); middle: P. Smith (Manager), C. Cunningham, D. Saunders, P. Hammond (Captain), H. Rupp, J. Belec, J. Mentley; bottom: G. Keyes, C. Babcock, K. Bentley, L. Klancer, A. Cheplo, B. Gladu.
The 1932 Collins Baseball Team is pictured here, with my grandfather, again, seated in the front row, the second from the left. The men in the photo, in addition to my grandfather, and in no particular sequence, include Clifton Cunningham, Ashley Richards, Charley Daniels, David Eschler, Harold Schrader, Donald Tarbox, Ginger Stevens, Walter Farnsworth, William Edwards, and Stewart Pingrey.
The Collins Center Baseball Team from 1934 is pictured in this photo, with my grandfather standing, the second from the right. In no particular order, the other men shown in the picture are Bret Ayaw, Andy Sykies, Rusty Hohl, Lavern Buckley, Donald Tarbox, Jim Galloway, Carl Betteker, Murray Potter, Charles Ayaw, Clifton Cunningham, Burton Staffin, Bud Hewitt, and Bill Ball.
Pictured are my grandfather, Charles A. Babcock, with his sisters, Eunice and Louise, in 1913. Eunice is the eldest child in the photo. My grandfather would have been about 2 years old in this picture.
My great-grandfather, Jonathan A. Babcock, worked as a railroad foreman and he was the Town of Collins Constable. So, it was only natural that my grandfather, Charles A. Babcock, would be pictured at the Collins, New York Railroad Depot. It was said that he was always a big boy, and he is pictured here in 1914 at 3 years old.
Here are my great grandparents on my dad’s side, Jonathan M. Babcock and Bertha B. (Gould) Babcock. This, I believe, is their wedding picture, and was taken about 1900. I got my height from my great grandfather who was 6’4.”
Family photos and information of Bernice Gale Briggs Babcock Sprague from 1900-1934. Collins, New York. Currently the Property of Michele Babcock-Nice (2014). Snellville, Georgia.
“A Golden Fifty Years of Marriage” (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)
What does it mean to be married for 50 years? My parents can tell you! This month, July 2013, my parents are celebrating their golden wedding anniversary! All I can say is, “Wow!”
My parents are a living and true example of what it means to be married to each other for fifty years. My parents were married in July 1963, very shortly after they both graduated from high school in Western New York State. They have lived and grown together in married life during these past 50 years. They have experienced many ups and downs in their lives, and have weathered and survived them.
My parents are a true example of people who are meant to be together. They seem to balance each other in personality; what one may lack, the other makes up for, and vice versa. It has always been interesting to me that they both share the same astrological sign, though they seem to get along with and understand each other very well.
I can say that, throughout the years, I have witnessed much love and forgiveness of my parents toward each other. This, I believe, is the glue that has held their marriage together. They have forgiven each other for the wrongs that they have done to each other – whether realized or not – and this outlook has helped them to reach such a monumental achievement.
In this age when most marriages likely don’t make it to a silver anniversary of 25 years, my parents have doubled that! My marriage lasted 7.5 years, and the relationship, itself, endured for 9 years. I have said to my former spouse that my parents experienced alot worse things in their lives than he and I ever did in our marriage, and my parents have remained loving, committed, and bonded to each other. I asked my ex why we couldn’t achieve that, however it was just not possible. People have to be willing to be open, loving, understanding, and forgiving of each other; some people simply are unable to be that way, and so, their marriages do not last.
In good, strong marriages, those who benefit the most from the stable and loving union are the children and grandchildren. My parents have been wonderful role models for my brother and I, and also for my son – my parents’ only grandchild. My parents’ strong, loving union has served as a beacon of hope for our family, in good times and in bad. It is a great comfort to know that whatever happens in our lives, our parents (and grandparents in the experience of my son) are always there for us.
Thanks, Dad and Mom, for remaining loving, committed, and loyal to each other through these many years. You have achieved an amazing accomplishment, one that I never will and can only imagine and experience as an observer. Congratulations and best wishes on celebrating your Golden Wedding Anniversary; and may God bless you!
“Happy Mother’s Day!” (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)
This week, I was voted #1 mom in the world by my son! 🙂 Being a mom is a wonderful thing! It is an experience that cannot be replaced, and must be lived every moment of every day. I love being a mom to my son. As a mom, I do my best to invest as much quality time and care into him as possible. Each and every day, I feel and know that I have been blessed by God to be a mom. My child is the only one I will ever have; and I always do my best to act in ways that will benefit him.
Not only do I have compassion, care, understanding, and nurturance for my own child, I am concerned for the welfare and well-being of all children. Children live in a world that caters to adults, including adult interests, needs, and wants. Sometimes, people overlook what is most beneficial for children, and make decisions and take actions that best serve adults. As a society that I hope becomes more enlightened, I am one who encourages increased understanding, appreciation, rights, and protections for children. And as a mom, I believe this is imperative for the benefit and well-being of my child, as well as children throughout the world.
On this Mother’s Day, let us honor, remember, and appreciate our moms. And, for those of us who are moms, let us remember why we became moms. Each mother is a role model for her children, and has been given a great responsibility to raise, care for, protect, and nurture her child(ren). In our world of increasing adult self-interests, it is vitally important to remember and support mothers, so that they can provide for and do what is best for their children. Thank you to my son and extended family for remembering, honoring, appreciating – and most of all – loving me on this Mother’s Day. 🙂
“Two Days at Disney” (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)
During Spring Break 2013, in the first week of April after Easter, my son and I spent two days at Disney World. I have visited Disney world numerous times throughout my life, and have taken my son there on some occasions, as well. He and I enjoyed two wonderful days at this wonderful, get-away paradise, wishing that we could have stayed longer. For a single parent on a limited budget, even two days was financially difficult to do, though it was important to get away and enjoy some refreshment even for a couple of days.
On our first day at Disney World, we visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom. My son had not visited the Animal Kingdom for the past seven years, and I promised him that we would go there on this trip. I am so happy that we went because it turned out to be the absolute perfect day! The weather was great, and while it was toasty, it was not too unbearably hot outside yet. The shade of the many trees in Animal Kingdom also helped to keep us cooler.
The highlights of our visit to Animal Kingdom were going on the safari ride, eating lunch at the Tusker House Restaurant with some Disney characters, and viewing the Lion King Show. Each of these activities were wonderful, and we really enjoyed them! On the safari, we saw many animals, including elephants, lions, giraffes, monkeys, crocodiles, and more. During lunch, Mickey Mouse visited with us, as well as other Disney characters. And, the acrobatics, songs, and costumes of the Lion King Show were amazing! Additionally, in the African section, we did some shopping and enjoyed African culture, including music and singing.
On our second day at Disney World, we went to EPCOT. It was another beautiful, yet humid day, and we often got refreshed in the air conditioned buildings or drank water or juice to cool down. At EPCOT, we visited different sections, including Canada, England, France, Morocco, and Japan. We were privileged to see and hear three marching bands troop past us. We also had our pictures taken with many characters, including Alladin and Princess Jasmin.
Also at EPCOT, we rode on the newly upgraded and more modernized Test Track, at which my son designed his own red sports car on the computers there. We extremely enjoyed the 20th Annual EPCOT Flower Show, particuarly with flowers arranged on the ground in the form of flowers and butterflies. While we did not stay late into the evening to see the fireworks, we still had a fabulous time!
My philosophy about children is that they grow up very fast, and it is important to provide as many fun, interesting, and memorable experiences for them as possible. Disney World is a place where I have vacationed very often, having first visited when I was about three or four years old. Now, I have the pleasure and satisfaction of taking my own son to Disney World for his enjoyment. I am happy to have the opportunities and ability to provide for such family enjoyment, and look forward to more visits there in the future.
This blog post is a tribute to all those who lost their lives or who were injured – especially children – in the bomb blasts at yesterday’s Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts. May God bless you all and keep you close.
“In Celebration of Spring and Easter” (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)
Spring has sprung, and Easter is again upon us! There is much to be thankful for in celebrating another Easter – Christ’s ultimate sacrifice in giving his life for us, dying a horrible death beyond words and resurrecting his spirit for us. Jesus is the God who continually forgives our sins and is our ultimate savior, unable to be replaced by anyone or anything. And, though there are many things in our world by which we may attempt to replace our Creator, what it all comes down to in the end is that God is the ‘be all and the end all,’ the first and the last, the alpha and the omega.
So, while many of us are spending additional time at church during this Easter season, reflecting, praying, and meditating on Jesus and his life, death, and resurrection, we must always remember that we are all His children. With that in mind, those of us who have children of our own must be mindful of not only teaching them about our religious values, but also participating in fun Easter events, such as getting pictures with the Easter Bunny, going to Easter Egg Hunts, or enjoying other fun Easter or Spring activities, including something as simple as walking in the park and viewing the flower blossoms on the trees.
I hope that everyone enjoys a beautiful, wonderful, rejuvenating, and refreshing spring. And, regardless of the religion that you may or may not practice, hopefully, you will take time to reflect upon and be thankful for all that has been bestowed upon you in your life. For me, as a Roman Catholic Christian, celebrating Lent with the culmination of Easter in spring is a wonderful time of reflection and renewal. I hope there are events and celebrations in your lives in which you experience the same! Happy Easter!
“Christmas Trees are Filled with Love” (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)
With the Christmas season in full swing, and with many continuing to celebrate the birthday of Jesus, I began thinking about all of the wonderful, festive, holiday trappings that accompany Christmas. In particular, I took some time to really look at, admire, appreciate, and contemplate my own Christmas tree and all that is on it. I viewed with love all of the many ornaments, decorations, and lights that are on the tree.
Though there are several ornaments of Lenox fine china on the tree that are of financial value, as well as many glass ornaments that I purchased from Disney World and Hobby Lobby, those that are most valuable to me are the ones created and hand-crafted by my son. The ornaments made by my son as those that have the most prominent places on the tree, particularly toward the top and in the middle, where all who view the tree and see and enjoy them.
During the year when the ornaments and decorations are not being used to remind us of and celebrate Jesus’ birth, they are carefully stored in boxes. I must say, however, that those with which I take the greatest care are those hand-made ornaments and decorations that my son has made. Those are the ones that are stored in the most sturdy boxes, signifying their unique and special place of love in my heart.
All of the ornaments, lights, and decorations that adorn the Christmas tree are those that are filled with and/or are a reflection of love – our love for each other, our love for Jesus, and Jesus’ love for us. Though ornaments and decorations may seem to be simple and perhaps insignificant to many people, for Christmas, they are outward symbols, expressions, and reflections of our love and happiness. Though we celebrate Jesus’ birth only once per year, it is important to remember His birth, life, teachings, suffering, death, and resurrection for us every day.