Friday, June 28, 2013

Princess Four is Driving - Me Crazy

It is official.... Princess Four has finally decided to take her driving test and get her permit. 

She often joked her sisters that she was going to be the youngest in the family to get her license as her sisters waited until going to college to get their license and Princess 3 waited until she was almost seventeen. We had to renew her permit and pay another fee. 

Princess four just skipped all that and took drivers education and then did nothing with it. She wanted to have her license the week she turned sixteen but that came and went months ago and last week she finally went to get her permit. 

I went to pick her up from a political camp she attended and told her she was driving home She wasn't sure about that and I wasn't sure about it as she stopped at a stop sign, didn't look either way and just took off through the sign. 

She was so funny as I would tell her to stay in the lines and she refused to do that so I was white knuckled most of the two hours home. We talked about it later and she is a strong person and doesn't like anyone to tell her what to do. We started talking about her parents and grandparents and realized that several of her grandparents hate to be told what to do including by instructions. 

One of her grandfathers was putting up a swing set and he refused to look at the instructions and used the wrong parts etc and ended up slicing his hand while putting it up. Another grandfather was helping put in a lock and I suggested he read the instructions and he ended up getting upset and leaving it undone for me to do "my way" which was reading the instructions. :-) 

So, we talked about how sometimes it is a good thing for others to tell us what to do especially if they have experience in that area. Or, to read instructions as they can help make the project understandable. 

Princess didn't want to read the manual and over and over I told her to read it. But, she kept saying it was boring and put her to sleep. Now, I realize she just has some of the same issues as her family and extended family have about reading the "instructions" and being told what to do by someone or something. 

She worked on that issue using the tapping mentioned on my home pages (click here to see that link) and is doing great. She will be driving us all around in no time. Lets hope she continues to be ok with the laws of the land telling her what to do and then I won't be driven crazy. :-) 

Actually, she is a great driver but it was insightful for us to look at that whole thing. I am proud of her that she is willing to look at ways to improve. All the girls are really insightful and willing to look at their own issues. I am so blessed to have amazing girls.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Princess Two Moves In and Out

Princess two moved in this week and she also moved out this week. I took a day this week and went to an event for my mother and it happened to be in the city where Princess two moved. I invited Princess Two to the event with me and then we went to unload a car full of stuff that I brought up as she moved up a few days earlier and brought a carload up herself. 

She had been looking in the classified ads and went to look at several places an I spent a day looking at apartments with her a few weeks ago. 

We didn't really like any of the apartments and I kept telling her she would do better renting a room in a house so she started searching again and found this place. 

I wish I had taken a picture of the yard. The front and back are immaculate and the owners live in the basement apartment so they are there to work on things needing fixing. It is a three bedroom and has a large kitchen, dining and family rooms and there are two bathrooms for the three girls and they share one large fridge and a smaller one as well. 

She is VERY happy with it and when she saw the red carpet she decided that it was the place for her. You can see that the bedroom is very large and I should have taken a picture of the closet as it is very large as well. 

I asked her if I could organize and rearrange or decorate it with her and she told me that she wanted to give herself something to do for the rest of the week as she doesn't start her new job until Monday so I left her with a bit of a mess but she is already making friends with her roommate and there is an opening and she is hoping to get a friend in there in August so that would be fun. 

We are happy she has found a place she can call home. She laughed about it being on a dead end street as all of our homes have been on dead end streets since she was born. I hadn't really thought about that much but it is funny.
As she was walking me out to my car, I was going to get in and she looked down and you won't believe me when I tell you there was a penny. She laughed and picked it up (it was hot) and she threw it onto my car.

I told her to take it and start her own money jar and she told me it was for me. I told her it was for her but I think it was for both of us. We trusted God and He sent her to a home where she could feel safe and comfortable at a reasonable price with "parents" downstairs if she needs anything. 

I am so grateful that He watches out for us. She got offered two jobs at the same place. She got three interviews and canceled the last one as she had already interviewed for the other two and got offered them both. She was hoping she could do the one in the morning and one in the afternoon and do both part time jobs but they don't want to have to pay insurance etc. The second one was $3 more an hour than the first and the first was in the basement and the one she took is on the main floor looking out a window while she works. So, she did get the better job and is excited to be moving on in her life. 

I do miss her but am so grateful she is moving on. I need to get Princess Four driving so I can not have to drive them everywhere now that Princess Two is gone.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hot Air Balloon Kinda Morning

 We had company from out of town again and my friend knew some people who were friends with her boss that said they could get her son a ride in a hot air balloon.

She said they may be able to get Princess Five a ride as well so we got up at O'dark thirty and drove the long distance to get her son on a balloon but there was a "misunderstanding" about the amount of people and the people were kind enough to find someone to give her son a ride and so Princess five didn't get to ride. 

I was upset by the amount of gas consumed, having to get up and drive at such an early hour and a few other things but I have to say that it was a thing of beauty and art watching those skilled pilots maneuver those balloons through the sky and catching different currents and wind patterns and to not collide into each other.

It really is beautiful and her son was actually shaking when he got into the balloon. It didn't take him long to calm down and enjoy the ride. It was nice for him to have that opportunity.

There was one trailer that has "Smoky Bear," This gremlin and a frog. I think they get the forest service to pay for the balloon and they get to fly it for advertising. They had an amazing trailer with a watching window in the back that opens and we were following it and were a bit taken back when it opened and a woman was staring at us. 

Due to my recent trip to the Czech Republic, I thought the name of this balloon group was cute. I actually bought shirts for the girls on my trip that say that exact thing. "Prague, Czech it out."

You can see Princess is smiling in the picture and it was fun to get to see them fill the balloons and put the burners on and using fans to fill the balloons. 

I laughed out loud when I read the title of this crews unit. "aera Diablo" which I think means, "Air Hell" if I am reading it right. I would hope that doesn't mean fire in the air.
Well, sit-itus is happening again. I drove out of town and was there gft anxxccccccccccccccd dddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd
Oops, I did it again. I can't p;ass te.  OK, I cadddd I give up, If you can beat them, 

 I am off to bed. :-)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Played in the Championship Game - Second in the League

I couldn't believe it. We took second in the league in Softball! I told all the parents at the beginning of the season not to expect much as I didn't know any of the girls but my daughter and her friend and I hadn't coached any of the girls in softball since Coach Pitch. 

I didn't get an assistant at the beginning and asked all the parents if they could help and after Princess Five was hit in the face before the teams were even picked, I wasn't sure I was even staying. 

Well, if you remember my post about her black eye and her deciding to continue playing (see that post here) you will know that we stayed on as coach and player. 

We got some people to help coach and my niece who plays on the high school team helped be a base coach and so we held practices and there was some real improvement as a team.

I never thought we would end up playing for the championship.

When we found out we finished second in the league, I really didn't believe it as it came from one of my players. When I got the call, I was excited to tell all the girls. Because we took second, we only had to play games on one night. I guess the team that was playing the first place team forfeited which meant they only had to play one team to win the championship. 

We played our first game and were down by six with fifteen minutes left but we rallied and won the gave after the buzzer finishing up the inning. We had five minutes to make it to our next game. We were hot and tired but I was so proud of our girls as they did their best and actually held the winning undefeated first place team to a low amount of runs. Towards the end, they were really tired and their pitcher had a mean pitch which was fast but out of control. She hit three off the girls in our last game and two this game. She pitched to me last week and I still have a bruise on my heel where she hit me. 

The girls were afraid to face her and I don't blame them. So, they went undefeated and we came in second over all in league play and championship playoffs. 

Princess five had a great experience playing a new sport and isn't afraid of the ball anymore. Unless of course it is a man throwing his hardest straight to the face, then I am guessing she may run.... You can still see in the top picture that she has a bump on her cheek near her eye where there is still a sore spot from the ball. I hope in time it goes down but look at the smile on her face as we hold up our victory sign.

She is too old to play for recreation league now and I don't think she would want to try to play on the high school team as she has dance most of the year so this was her big year for softball but now at least she can feel confident playing with friends in college or something. She thanks me all the time for coaching her team and getting her over her fear after being hit. I am glad she got to have that opportunity and am so grateful that others were willing to help to make the team what it was. Some things are more important than house and yard chores and family scanning. :-) 

I am so proud of you Princess Five for making it through the season on top and not giving up! Good life lesson to overcome fears and in the end you may have fun and even win a medal! :-)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Faux Pas on School Bill - Big Oops

This weekend was such a long weekend and I didn't get half of what I needed to done. We had company again and I moved Princess Two out before she starts a new job in a new city and that afternoon Princess Four came home for an unexpected visit. It reminded me of when Princess one moved out and Two came home a few years ago. Here is the post about that. I could literally write almost the exact post. Princess Two found a place that is minutes from her new job and she loves it.

Anyway, I have had two hours sleep in two nights again and having a headache that wouldn't leave all weekend, I am having a horrible case of "Sit-itus" so I will share this with you as it is quick and I am tired. 

Princess three came in laughing holding two bills I had on the fridge for Princes four and five to participate in their drill camp and dance for the fourth of July. The bills just pay for the camp and fees to dance for the fourth but they both owe $320. 

Looking at a bill of $700 for two weeks of dancing is what I focused my attention on in the bill.However, Princess three not having to pay the bill, read the entire bill and disclaimer. She handed me the papers and asked what I thought of the disclaimer. 

I laughed out loud when I got to the second line.and was VERY happy that our school district doesn't discriminate against people with "sex disabilities!" 

I think you will agree with me when I say, "enough said" on the subject! lol It brought a smile to my face as I thought about sending it in to the tonight show or "Late night" to share the laugh.....

Friday, June 21, 2013

In My Sisters Garden - Humor and Memories

I was at my sisters house last week getting ready for the reunion and I was working hard but I couldn't help appreciate the bleeding heart plant she had in the front of her house. I have planted bleeding hearts in my yard over 10 times for sure and they always die. I have tried them in the front and back, in sun and shade and they always die. 

My mother would always tell us growing up that my great-grandmother had a beautiful garden and she had bleeding hearts. While searching the pictures and scanning them all, it is true. I found some pictures of my grandmother in her mothers garden but the sad part is that they were in black and white. You can see the lovely garden but just not enjoy the colors. 

I figure the love of gardens and flowers must be hereditary as many of my siblings have lovely gardens and enjoy gardening.

When we were growing up, we lived in a hundred plus year old mansion. It had a lovely rose garden in the back near the carriage barn and the other thing it grew were huge beautiful poppies. 

I also have tried to grow poppies in my yard many times and at the most got a very little flower and it never came back. It is probably the clay and acid in my soil. 
While at my sisters, she mentioned that she had a huge poppy plant on the side of her house that I would appreciate so off I trapse through her yard with my camera in hand to capture a photo of one of my favorite flowers. There it was bursting in color. I was so glad she told me to go check it out. How beautiful is this! 

On the way out there, I noticed her salad in a basket where she has planted lots of different types of lettuce and thought that was cute so I added that picture at the top. 

She has a lovely glass walled in area at he back of the house that she starts plants in and someone gave her a palm tree recently so she has that there in her "green house" room as well. 

So I get a text from her the other day with a picture of her eye. She has a large purple bruise around her eye. I asked her what happened and she said it was a black and white movie classic moment. She was gardening in her back yard when she turned around to get something and she stepped on her rake and it flew up and hit her square in the eye and gave her a black eye. 
It is hard not to laugh when you hear how she tells it. She is so funny telling her story. I am glad it didn't do any permanent damage to her eye and gave us all a good laugh in the end. I think I have done similar things as I remember having stepped on my rake but I know it didn't hit me in the eye. Weird that she was just the right height to get hit there. If she was shorter, it would have hit her head and not her eye. Weird how those things work out sometimes.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Family Reunion - Slides and Sound Clips

Many families have lots of different mediums for pictures and sound clips. Some don't have anything. Mine, has everything. :-)

My mother has these red see through cellophane looking things that were "Dictaphone" tapes. This was what they used before "reel to reel" tapes which was before Cassette tapes, which was after records but before CD's which came before mp3's. 

My mother is on each one of these different sound mediums. It is interesting that she was on records as most people haven't been but copying these all over has been a challenge. We had to have my brother do electronic surgery on the Dictaphone machine because it was around long before output jacks were invented. He had to attach a microphone to the output speaker in order for us to capture my mothers voice off the red Dictaphone reels.

The reel to reel player my mother has is large and doesn't slow to the speed of the smaller "reel-to-reel" speeds needed so we had to borrow a player to listen and copy over some of those reels. We ran out of time and so even though we copied over the record, Dictaphone and some of the reel-to-reels and cassettes, we still have hundreds to go.

This past week alone, I have listened to about fifty cassettes. I throw out those that I can't hear what is being said and those that were of meetings or conferences but kept those that had historical purpose such as my grandparents telling stories of their childhood or our family singing some of the songs my grandmother wrote etc.

The pictures show all of the different devices we had to use to copy over the different media but even then, it isn't all of them as some were too large to put on the table. 

This picture with the pink lid bins is all of the movies we transferred over in the bins where they are stored and all the other bins are cassettes and other sound items such as all the different sizes of reel-to-reels that all need transferring over or to be listened to at some point.

Most computers have some kind of sound capture software and all you need to do is to put an input jack into the headphone jack of your computer and press play on the device you want to record over. The computer will capture it and make it into an mp3 or similar file which can then be played on your computer or mp3 player. It is really neat to hear yourself talking as a child. The other day I was amazed listening to a cassette that had my brothers and sisters and I on it and some of them sounded just like our children. I was confused for a few seconds thinking that we had somehow taped over what was originally on the tape with our own children. I laughed out loud when I realized it was my siblings that sounded like my kids and my nephews.

It was so funny that we were all recording ourselves doing commercials. I did one for "Arrid Extra Dry." My brothers did one for "Beer" (which was funny as no one at our home drank alcohol) and my older sister did one for shampoo. It was fun to hear my older brother talk about invention ideas he had in detail. He is the one that did the "surgery" on the Dictaphone machine and is always inventing something or fixing something. It was funny to see his personality developed by that age. 

Slides - There is no beating the crispness and longevity of slides. I am 45 this year and look at the crisp and clean color and lines of this slide we found of me as a baby. NO pictures we have from that long ago have lasted that well. They are bent, scratched, torn and faded by the years. There weren't many slides of me but the two I am including in this post show how well the color and time were detailed in the slides as if the picture was taken with a digital HD camera yesterday.

How we did the slides.... My parent's both traveled the world and they had thousands of slides. We did an initial quick scan holding them up to the light by the window. If there wasn't anyone in the picture, we put it right back into the box. I don't care about pictures of Europe in the fifties. Someone may want that for historical purposes but with all the stuff I have to worry about, I only want slides with people in them. 

The next scan we did was if they had people in them, we stuck them into one of the lighted trays as shown here, or we used a larger slide viewer, an actual slide projector or one of the little viewers shown here as well.

If we could tell that my parents, or another family member was in the slide, we took the time to scan it. If it wasn't someone that could be family, perhaps tourists or a slide of a program, we put it back into the box. 

Those that we scanned.... We used an HP flat bed scanner that has slide software. You can actually push a button on the top of the scanner that has slides or negatives and it will capture them. If they were spaced far enough apart, it will actually sort the slides into individual pictures. This was WONDERFUL! It will also allow you to edit it right then with making it lighter or darker, crop etc. It was very handy as as we took the slides off the scanner, we wrote on the slide what and who was on the slide so we would NEVER have to scan it again as we would know what was on it and hopefully, have the scans saved so that everyone could get a digital copy of them. I then took the time to place them into plastic slide sheet protectors by date and every slide that has someone in it, we kept. If they were of other families such as cousins, we gave them the original slides as we had no need for it. 

Here is a picture of all the different media items used to view or scan the slides. In the box of stuff I mentioned from my grandfathers house with all the old 8mm movies in it, there were about three boxes of slides that were wonderful to view. Many of my older cousins were in them with my grandparents and no one knew they existed. If we hadn't taken the time to ask around and search the stuff and actually find a scanner that transferred the slides over, my cousins wouldn't have those wonderful pictures of them as babies. One cousin had never seen her father and that is the only picture she has ever seen of him. 
Was it worth the nights and day of lengthy scanning, viewing, sorting etc???? I guess I'll have to ask my cousin... But, for me, getting that picture of me as a baby was worth going through my parent's slides. I had never seen a picture of me in color as a baby. I have a few black and white ones and a few of my surgeries (click here for that post) but I was thrilled to see that picture. There is one color picture of me in my cast and that also was a slide we found when doing the sorting and scanning. This picture is me when we lived in Alaska taking a train ride. I don't look so happy but look at how clear the picture and colors are. You can see every wisp of hair in the wind.

Funny that my sister took a picture of me having fallen asleep at my computer when I was staying with her and working on all this stuff. Her picture is much worse than the 40 year old slide from years before. 

Sometimes, I think slides were a blessing over pictures being developed as they look so much better. Anyway, here is the picture of me having "sit itus" (click here for a post about that.) after working so hard on family history... I so often wonder, "Will I ever be done?" Here's to hoping!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Family Reunion - Pictures - Scrapbooks - Back Up Drives - Discs

This post goes with the past few days posts. My mother was a bit of a celebrity in her day. She has THOUSANDS of pictures. The pictures you see in the circle above are my mother for just a year of her life. 

When we were sorting things, I made a file box for pictures of that year, one for any pictures of my immediate family, one box for each side of my parents families and one for my mother other than those situations. 

I also had one smaller box for famous people she has met as well as one for her wedding photos. 

I sorted the hundreds of boxes pulling out anything that dealt with those events and put them in the smaller boxes. I didn't want to have to sort them again except for what was in each box so by sorting things that way, I was able to make them into manageable boxes or bins. I spent hundreds of dollars on clear sided bins so that if there was any flooding, the items would be safe. Also, I typed up large print sheets with what was in each box and stuck it in the front end of the bins so we could tell at a glance, what was in the bins so we could quickly grab the bin we needed. 

This has been very helpful over the past few years as I have been able to find what we need quickly. The pictures in the above photos were found in all the different boxes and different scrap books. I thought we had collected and sorted everything but would you believe, my sister came up with two new scrapbooks that have photos that should be included in that pile above!?! It seems like the photos have offspring when I am not looking! 

The circle pile was done in a 24 hour period. After sorting everything we had, I took the bin of 8 x 10 photos and I literally sat in that center for 24 hours. I matched up outfits and backgrounds of each group of pictures and put them in some timeline or just piles of hair and clothing that looked alike. Some were in islands and some were on boats etc. Those, I grouped together and after the 24 hours. I got my mother involved. 

As you can see in the other picture, I would ask my mother about a group of pictures (where she was wearing the same outfit, hat, gloves, etc) and she would tell me where and when it was taken. Sometimes, I would write on a sticky note a bit of information is she expanded on a story etc. I put each 8 x 10 picture in a clear sheet protector with an acid free card stock in it and if there were several pictures that went together, instead of putting them each in a sheet protector, I would put several in one so I knew they went together. I would stick the sticky note on the front so I could remember later what she told me about the grouping. I then stuck them all in order by date on the floor so I could keep them in order. I then stuck them all in a bin in order. 

Later, last year some time, I took the entire bin to WalMart and scanned the entire bin. I mention in the posts linked here about how I scanned over 1,000 pictures in several days and how I started from the front on one machine and the back on another. Here is a post about that and a second post that goes along that mentions the other. You can see in some of the pictures above how many different types of media we had to pull pictures off. There were so many different things we hadn't heard of before. The same went for the films and the audio which I will post about tomorrow. You can see the scanners and computers we used as well as the negatives, pictures, discs etc.

The bottom photo was three of the four scrap books I finished that summer when I literally lived at my sisters sorting and working on this stuff. I gave my mother the scrap-books so she would have something to show her friends as we kept most of the stuff in the bins at my sisters so we could continually work on it without having to go "find" it at my mothers who has some memory problems and moves things around and we have to search all sorts of places to find things when we go visit.

I plan on starting a blog of my mothers life as a way to get her life history down. I know if I had to take it all on in a summer or something, I would never be able to face it but looking back at this blog and seeing that I have written every day for over three years now, I know I can write my mothers history one picture and story at a time even if it takes me a few years. My worry is that with my mothers failing memory, I will have missed the opportunity to get the entire story. I can't get down on my self as I have given so much of my life to preserving hers these last few years but I pray I can have enough time with her and her old memories to get most of the important stuff down. 

Last week when I was there filling her pill containers, I think I posted about how she asked me how my grandchildren were. I don't have any yet so my concern about her memory isn't unfounded. I suggest you take the time to ask your parents, aunts, granparents etc, any questions you may have now and seize the day as you never know when they won't be around to ask those questions. Here is a link to a "Journal in a jar" questions that may give you an idea of some questions to ask to get them talking. It seems once they get talking, the memories just start coming out on their own. 

Good luck, and wish me the same!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Family Reunion - Transferring 8mm and Other Video to DVD

 Several years ago I transferred over 170 super 8, 8mm, 12mm and 16mm films along with some newer VHS 8mm, mini discs and regular VHS over onto DVD for my family and my fathers side of the family. 

It was a labor that started over ten years ago when I watched and listed everyone on every 8mm movie I could find and after watching them all, I put them in order (or as best as I could guess without actual dates) and then made a master "word Doc" list that everyone could search for their name and look up every video they were in. I used my video camera and make DVD's filming it in a dark room.

A few years after that, while sorting boxes and boxes of stuff from my mothers two houses, we found a bunch more super 8 and 8mm films.  We also found the 12mm and the 16mm films. I asked all my family members if they had any 8mm films of the family that they wanted transferred over to DVD hoping I could get a good deal on transferring them over if we did them all at the same time. 

My uncle and his wife dropped off about 8 films that were priceless. They were of my great-great-grandfather swimming and pulling his grand-kids around on an inner tube at a local amusement park. There were lots of my father and his siblings and I was thrilled that he shared them with us. 

I asked my dad for any he may have and he gave me all that he had and all that I had watched before. My brother had a few that he took and made into a movie when all my cousins came over for a party one day, we made a movie. I added that to the stack. 

Just when I thought I had all the movies that anyone in our family had, my step-mother asked if my dad had given me the box from his father. I had no idea what she was talking about and asked my dad. He had no idea what she was talking about and reminded him that they had moved a box of slides and things from their old house and it was his stuff and she hadn't ever gone through it. 

He pulled out the treasure chest. I don't think it had ever been gone through since my grandfather died. There were black and white 8mm movies from 1938 and 1939 on in that box. I saw my dad as a child of about three with his sibling. My father was a triplet and on those tapes was their life from near beginning to end. There were some videos of people in the Lions club and some trips to Hawaii that didn't interest me much but the last few tapes were of my mother and father before they were married and actually at their wedding and those were in color. 

No one in our family had ever seen those movies and I wonder if my father had ever seen them. It was such a treasure to find those. 

I put them all in order, labeled them all. I watched them all before taking them to a man who would transfer all the different types onto DVD for me. I did the VHS myself but he did all the old stuff. He put it all through a filter to make the colors brighter. 

I then pulled off the master DVD set, all the movies that had my fathers side of the family on it and made a 10 DVD set of movies for them all. I included the "Word Doc" that had the file in it of who was in what video so they could search for movies of themselves. 

I also printed it out and we made little booklets for each family with a picture and poem of my grandmother on the front and my great-grandmother on the back. We included a genealogy disc and a picture disc. I paid someone to make all the copies of the DVD's for me and we put them all in a cute holder my sister designed. 

My kids, and my sisters kids, helped put them together so we could hand them out at the reunion a few years ago. 

Flash forward to this reunion for my mothers side. We were able to pull out the videos from our master DVD set and make them each a DVD with movies of them on it. You can see in the middle computer screen there is a man playing a guitar. That is video of my uncle playing classical guitar at my parents wedding. My mothers youngest brother is watching. That movie has never been seen by my mothers side of the family until now. 

In the end, the sorting, buying bins, buying DVD's, buying projector bulbs etc and having the movies transferred over cost about $5,000. But, that was for all the slides, pictures, scrapbook supplies, etc. 

You probably wouldn't believe me if I told you I am not through with everything yet but after looking at these pictures, perhaps you will. We had six pallets, six feet high of file cabinets and boxes to go through after cleaning out her two houses.

I have probably spent six months straight including day and night sorting, sorting, scanning, viewing, typing, organizing etc. Every few years, I go at it again. Who would have thought one person could have collected so much stuff? I guess it is more than one person but it has taken years of my life and my poor sister has a huge closet full of about 20 bins that I keep rummaging through and I'll take one home to scan or organize and then I take it back and grab another. It has been awhile since I worked on it until this past month and now I have two bins and two large grocery sacks of stuff waiting to be scanned. 

I wonder if it will ever be done but what fun it is to have movies of my parent's growing up and getting married. 

If you are going to do transferring, call around and make sure they do it on archival discs and find out how they transfer the images and if they will run it through any filters to take out the bad coloring or dust etc. Sometimes making calls to people whom they have worked with in the past can give you insight as well. If you are going to spend the money, make sure they are going to do it right. I was EXTREMELY pleased with the man that did mine. They came out amazing and some people run the video all together and there are no stop points so if you put it on a DVD, you can't sort through it with scenes as the entire video runs as one movie. These are some questions you should ask before beginning with someone. Good luck, it seems once you start, it never ends! 
I thought the bottom picture was funny. I was totally exhausted while working on sorting and transferring at my sisters and I pull out her oven mitt while making Sunday dinner and it is green and silicon and looked like a frog tongue so I had her take this picture. I was tired but when I saw it the other day, I couldn't remember what was in my mouth, my sister had to remind me it was her oven mitt. 

See what happens when you go for months on no sleep!