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Rootstech 2015

February 23, 2015

Last weekend at Rootstech, Donny Osmond told us that practically his entire life has been recorded (since he’s been in show business since age 5) and then asked us if our life history had been documented, and if not, why not?

So it’s February 22, and I realize I’ve written a total of two blog posts this month.  I don’t know if it’s that fifth child that has sucked up all the time and energy I used to give this blog, or if it’s just that I’m still not much of a writer and writing is tedious even if it’s only about us.  Plus my good camera died, so I don’t even have as many good pictures to share.  But as I’m coming up on the 8th anniversary of the blog this week, I’m recommitting to the documenting of our life’s story.  I may not be a writer, but I do consider myself a family historian and I need to do more on that score.

I seem to remember feeling this way just about every year around this time.  It must be the Rootstech effect.

So let’s talk Rootstech.

I love family history.  And I love that the world’s largest family history conference is right here in Salt Lake City, or else I probably wouldn’t be able to go, at least not in this season of my life.  Although after last weekend, I’m really starting to fantasize about leaving town for a conference where I could just focus on family history for a few days.  As it was, I was still trying to be the mom, and the cello teacher, plus get what I could out of a genealogy conference at the same time.  And that might explain why I was so exhausted this past week!

I’m grateful that Rootstech streams quite a few sessions live online, including the keynote sessions.  Thursday morning we ate breakfast in front of the tv while we watched the opening keynote together.  I’m thankful the boys were about as excited as I was and got it all set up for us, because I was locked in the bathroom when the doorknob died and wouldn’t turn enough to open the door.  I was also on the phone with my dad (who was in the hospital) at the time, and E was outside telling me he needed to come in.   A was able to get the doorknob off, although I had already finally crawled out through the side laundry room door that opens up over the stairwell.  (There’s never a dull moment around here.)


I drove downtown to catch one class in person Thursday morning before dashing off to teach music lessons all afternoon.

On Friday I got up early and made it to the keynote in person because I knew they weren’t streaming Laura Bush’s speech, at her request.  She’s a fabulous speaker and was very entertaining as she talked about life in the White House and the importance of family, and putting family first.  I think my favorite story was about how her father-in-law was babysitting her girls the night before he had a presidential debate and instead of preparing for the debate, he and the Secret Service agents were outside the Vice Presidential mansion with flashlights looking for the stuffed cat, Spikey, that Barbara had lost and just had to have to go to sleep.

I was surprised (although I guess I shouldn’t be) to hear the boys had also turned on the keynote again at home and were able to hear Josh Taylor talk about his ancestor who was sentenced to Australia for stealing seven pieces of cheese.  They really enjoyed that story.

After one class, DH and Little A met me at the Nauvoo Cafe for lunch so I could nurse Little A.  She was very cute when she realized it was me waiting at the table.  She’d been to Kindermusik with E and I don’t think she quite realized that I was gone all morning.  I went back for a full afternoon of classes and wandering the enormous exhibit hall.

It never ceases to amaze me how some hours, even with twelve classes being offered, there’s only one I’m really interested in.  Then other hours there are four or five I’d love to attend, and in one case I don’t think I made the right choice.  The one I sat through (and I don’t know why I didn’t get up and leave) was not all that inspiring.  The rest were good though, and I made sure I chose others from the ones that were being streamed online.  I can catch up on those later.

Then I had to go home and be mom again while DH worked from six to midnight.

Little A didn’t sleep well at all Friday night, so I barely crawled out of bed in time to watch the keynotes at home again and we enjoyed hearing from AJ Jacobs, who’s organizing the world’s largest family reunion this June, and Donny Osmond, who picked up genealogy as a hobby in his hotel rooms while on the road with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  He even sang a bit between stories and the crowd went wild.

After that, the three older boys went with me to the LDS Family Discovery Day classes.


A wanted to know why we had to come when we could have stayed at home and watched it streaming online.  I don’t know why he was such a wet blanket, I mean who wouldn’t want to spend Valentine’s Day with 20,000 other people and Studio C?  Yes, Studio C was a huge incentive to go to Rootstech (the boys bought Scott Sterling t-shirts at the BYUtv booth in the expo hall) and they debuted a hilarious sketch about interviewing Grandma.  But I think the boys all got something out of the other speakers as well (including Al Fox Carraway, Noelle Pikus-Pace, Elder Andersen, Elder Foster, and Elder Cook) and now I need to figure out how to capitalize on what we learned.  It was a long day though and we left a little early, missing out on most of David Archuleta’s singing.  We’re not really into pop music anyway, but did enjoy his new music video that he produced for FamilySearch to draw in Latino youth to family history.

We also enjoyed the expo hall together and especially liked FamilySearch’s Replace-a-Face computers where you could insert yourself into historical photos.  My skill with the camera attached to the computers was not the greatest and we crack up every time we look at the result!

Rootstech photoThere were a lot of people waiting to try this, or we would have tried again.  It was fun.  It was a fun day!  I’m so glad I could go this year.  A and C went to the youth day last year, but I had to miss out because Little A was just a few weeks old.

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