Sunday, December 5, 2010

Suprise Cupcakes

I'm making "Surprise Cupcakes" as my family recipe. I'm going to make them tomorrow morning so they are warm for my presentation. They are delicious, and both my grandmother and my mom use this recipe. I really hope I don't ruin them! *fingers crossed* So yeah! I hope it'll be delicious for everyone! It's extremely fun to make, but then again I've only made these cupcakes under my mothers watchful eye in broad daylight, not by myself in the moonlight.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Living History Journal Project! Aftermath...

Finishing this project has really inspired me. I never knew half the things I now know about my family. I'm in awe of the things that my ancestors have done, and the way they have shaped my life.

I feel extremely thankful that they kept records of the important things they did. I never really appreciate the things I learned at Church. They always tell us to write in our personal journals, to search out our family history, to get to know the works of you ancestors. I now realize the importance in that counsel. Without records I would have never known that I am a cousin of British Royalty, or that my grandmother's shaped the feminist movement, or the medical discoveries of my other ancestors. Because of this project, I feel excited to get the chance to read the family records. My dad just showed me today that he has put together 64 pages of our family history. This Winter I plan on helping him do more pages, and learn how to operate the LDS Family Search site with better technique. This 64 pages contain the history of where I came from, and that shapes who I will become. I cannot wait to read those pages, and be a part of adding on to them.

I'm looking forward to camping this February, and making the camp fire. I'll probably even volunteer to do the dishes at the camping grounds. This project is kind of like my dish washing experience. I didn't realize how much I actually enjoyed it until it was over.

I've been able to increase my appreciate for all the sacrifices my dad, grandparents, and other family members made to come to America, the great land of freedom and opportunity. It makes me adore my Country even more. It makes me want to cry tears of gratefulness to know realize that I'm blessed to know my family, all the way to my great grandparents.

I'm also thankful for my brother Josh who recorded my interview, and also took pictures of me at the Renissance Festival. He didn't even complain that much! This project helped my brother and I spend time together. And while it might have been horrible to him, I kind of enjoyed his company.
This has been a spectacular experience for me, and I enjoyed every minute of it. My particular favorite part was interviewing my Great Grandma Dee. Although, I didn't get the opportunity to talk to Great Grandma Battjes I will find time to interview her, and get to know her like I got to know Grandma Dee. Because the interview really brought us closer.


My Dad's Side of the Family Story

My dad's grandmother and her sister lived during the Mexican Revolution. (1910) Their father owned a larger ranch. During the war the Revolutionary Men would steal women and take them as wives, and help them with things while they were fighting. They would also steal whatever they need from the people. The girls father built secret rooms in the basement to hide his daughters in so they would not be taken. The Revolutionary Men would at times stay for weeks. Because of this the girls would have to stay underground in total silence, and the ranch hands would sneak food to them.

My dad's dad's mother was the only daughter of her parents because her twin brother died at birth. Her parents died when she was very young. All the land and animals they left her was stolen by her relatives, and then they sent her off to live with her Godparents. She never got anything back, even when she was an adult.
Emilio Brachetti is my fathers 3rd great grandfather. He came to Mexico from Italy in the 1800s. He came right when President Proflio Dias opened Mexico's borders to immigrants looking for greater opportunity. He was a civil engineer and a successful architect. When he came to Mexico he was hired by the government to design the city of "Oaxaca". He also helped to design the railroad, and established the lines for the "states" in the south pacific part of Mexico. Emilio also helped to build a machine to bring water to the inner cities. His name and many things that he did are written in Mexican history books. He was named "Master Engineer" for his work in Oaxaca. He had 5 children with his 1st wife. After she died he had 4 children with his 2nd wife. He forced all of his children how to speak English, French, and Spanish at a young age. He died at a young at in an accident on his way to a political meeting.

Emilio Brachetti's son Felipe Brachetti became a world renown doctor. His studies were focused on antidote's for poison and insect bites. He was a chemist, and a biologist. He wrote books on his studies in French and English. He spoke Italian, English, and Spanish fluently. One of his biggest projects was in a little mining town in Mexico. He found that many of the miners were suffering from a new kind of radiation. He is recognized for discovering a new kind of radioactive isotopic element. He also lived during the Mexican Revolution (I'm not positive which side) and he was a doctor for the soldiers. He had 12 children.

Felipe Brachetti's daughter Lus Maria Brachetti was a feminist in the 1900s. She was a successful lawyer, even though there was hardly any other women in her feild of work. She spoke French, English, and Spanish fluently. She died at the age of 30, when a simple operation became tragic. The anesthesiologist used too much anesthesia and she was killed. She never married my grandmother's father, but she did eventually get married with someone else.

Lus Maria Brachetti's daughter Maria Velazquez Cordova. She took her step-fathers last name. She was one semester away from completing her double major in biology and chemistry. She worked as a surgical nurse in Mexico. Her mother Lus Brachetti died when she was only 15 years old. When her mother died she went to live with her father, whom she barley knew. As soon as she left she stopped studying English, and French as her mother was trying to get her learn. She has four children with her husband Hector Cordova.
My father's father Hector Mario Cordova. His parents did not marry either. His fathers last name was Garcia, but his mother gave him her last name. He also almost finished his degree as a chemist. He worked for the government for 20 years as a Programmer Analyst. He was one of the first people to work as a Computer Programmer in Mexico. He has four children with his wife Maria Velazquez Cordova.

My father Hector Horacio Cordova is an accountant. He moved to America from Mexico right after the two year mission he served for the LDS church. Even though he barley spoke English he was able to get a job, and eventually he met my mother. He graduated from Sam Houston in 2008. He builds his own computers. He is the father of six children. And the husband of Melissa Cordova.

Hector Cordova's daughter Lauren Cordova. She is a student at the moment. She has not yet graduated from anywhere, and she is 15.


Problem with Debunking Family Legend/Cooking a Family Recipe

I'm having problems debunking the legend about Billy the Kid, mostly because he is not blood related to me. He is realted by his mother's marriage to an Antrim.

If I cannot find enough evidence to back this up, I will replace this with P"roject 4". My Grandma Dee taught my sisters and I how to make her yummy cookies. Or I could make the kolache recipe that both my mother and grandmother use, and taught me how to make.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Interview with my Great Grandma Dee!

This is the video interview with my Great Grandma Dee:

Questions For My Interview with Grandma:
What year were you born? "1931"
Where did you live when you were little?
"I was born in South Bend In where I lived until I was 5 years old then I moved with my Grandparents to Kewanna, In. where I lived until I graduated from high school at age 17."
What was your life like growing up
"Kewanna was a very small town and we played outside games such as hide and seek,
tag, roller skating. My grandparents were very active in church so I did many things
that church related ."
What did your parents do for a living?
"My father had a car agency and my mother worked in a garment factory for some time. But since I spent most of my time with my grandparents my Grandfather was a mail carrier and my Grandmother was an old fashioned housewife."
What was something you loved doing when you were a child?
"I love riding bike that my father bought for me when I was 10."
Did any of your relatives serve in the military (If so, who and for how long)?
"My father – navy 3 years
My stepfather – army 4 years
My husband Jim – army 2 years
My son Tim – army 20 years
My grandson Matt – air force 11 years
My grandson Brian – air force 10 years"
How many siblings do you have
What was your favorite television shows growing up/(or radio)?
"I didn’t have a radio – my grandparents had one but listened to things that didn’t
Interest me."
What were some of your family traditions growing up?
"We always had a visit from Santa Claus on Christmas eve. Always went to
Church both Sun. morning and evening and prayer service on Weds."
What types of chores did you to do?
I helped my grandmother with preparing food and washing dishes, make bed
What schools did you go to?
"I went to Kewana Schools for 12 years."
What did you do for your job when you were young?
"When I was 14 I worked in 5 & amp; 10 cent store – I gave lesson on how to twirl
A baton – also I baby sat."
When did you get married (how old)?
Dad says that you are a member of DAR, could you please tell me about that?
"I never joined but am eligible my (4) great he was a grandfather to Lydia (Antrim) Wilson
Born 2/24/1823 she was the mother of my Great Grandfather William Wilson who was the
Father of my grandmother who raised me (Orpha Jane Wilson Worl. Another of Lydia’s
Sons fought in Cival War and was captured and died in Andersonville prison in 1865"
What kinds of family traditions did you carry on to your own family?
"Being with family and friends on important holidays."
When did you move to Texas and why?
We moved in Jan. 1990 -
"We both retired and wanted to be closer to your Grandmother"
What kinds of jobs did you have throughout your life?
"I had a job as a store clerk for a year after high school
When I moved I had several clerical jobs but stayed home to take care of kids
When I went to work after kids were in school I worked for Miles which was then
Bought by Bayer;. I always worked in the computer department (28 years) and
Held many positions starting as a keypuncher – programmer – manager in data Center and last job was Manager of Computer Security for US and Canada." 
Crazy Faces! It must run in the family!

*This interview was very special to me. I never knew half of the things that I learned about my Grandmother. I'm very grateful that I have been blessed with opportunity to learn about her life and all things she has done in her almost 80 years of life! It is amazing to learn more about the people you love while you have the chance. I will now be able to share all of this with my own children one day, and they will be able to know all about their Great-Great-Grandma Dee!

*Thank you so much Grandma Dee for helping with this! I love you!)

Thank you Grandma Dee!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Making A Fire and Doing the Dishes Outdoors

Making fires fascinates me! I love setting it up and making sure it doesn't go out. I've learned to make the Tepee Fire, the Crisscross Fire, and the Star Fire. This Summer I actually made a fire with flint. It was the first time I had made a fire without matches! I now know how to set up a safe fire, start a fire, and extinguish a fire. Some may say I'm a fire-bug but I'm certainly not the only one!

Go to fullsize image

This Summer tragedy struck my family. Our kitchen sink broke. It would not drain so it was flooded with gross water and it stunk. My dad thought he could fix it so for a week we went without a sink or a dishwasher. Instead we washed out dishes outside. This was our process:

Me: Scrub the dishes in a bucket and then pass it on to mom
Mom: Quality control and rewashing the dishes, pass it on to Stef
Stef: Rinse the dishes off with a hose (and spray me every single time) and then hand it to Josh.
Josh: Dry the dishes and put it away

This process happened everyday for a week. My younger siblings only had to help put dishes away. It was a family affair everyday. At the time it seemed to be a huge pain, but looking back I see that we were able to bond together while splashing in the water while scrubbing dishes. We talked, discussed things that were bothering us in our lives, and really came together to make the best out of a bad situation. I laugh now when I look back on those hot summer days, while other kids were inside playing video games, my family was outside cleaning dishes until we saw the sunset. I now see that it was an awesome experience.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

My Family Legends are Actually True!

I was going to Debunk the legend that I'm related to Billy the Kid but unfortunately I'm not all that great at tracing genealogy lines.

So I decided to Debunk the legend of my great-great-great-great-grandfather Emilio Brachetti. I was told that he helped design and build Oaxaca, Mexico. (As mentioned in a later post) I decided to Google his name, and while googling I found at least 10 websites that confirming this. He influenced Mexico for good. He help to build a machine to bring water to the inner city, he designed Oaxaca, and worked in many things with the government. He accomplished many things in his life, and taught his children some of his knowledge. The things he taught stayed in the family until my grandmother.