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.

The Immigration Roots of My Family

I think it is very important for the children to know the language of the country they are born in. My father did not teach my siblings and I Spanish even though he is from Mexico. One of the reasons it is good to speak the language of my families orgin is that I could communicate better with my grandparents who speak Spanish. It is really  important for children to know their family roots because it shows them where they came from. From my experience with this project, I see that I am a decedent of hard working people, who even though they were immigrants to America they became successful.

My mother's grandmother on her fathers side, Mary Jane Hybles, is first generation American. Her parents immigrated to America from Holland. They did not have a very hard immigration. They were financially well off, the spoke Dutch and English, so the transition was not very hard for them.

My mother's grandfathers family on her fathers side, Battjes, family immigrated from Holland as well in the 1800s, they also came from money. The family owned businesses.

My mother's grandmother on her mothers side was the Antrims. (More information to come)

Two branches of the Brachetti family immigrated to Mexico. They came from Alto Detrento in Italy, a city that was surrounded by Germany, France as well. They come from royal blood lines, from Spanish and English royalty. Even today some of the Brachetti family is in Italy. Recently my aunt has been in contact with one of our families long lost cousin. One of the reasons why the Brachetti family was so spread out is because of the family fueds. Many times after a parent died the children would fight over land and money, many hard feelings were set in place because of this, and they never spoke to each other again.


Family Genealogy Interview with my Dad

I interview my dad about my family genealogy because he has reasearched most of out families information.

Where did you find out family information?

"Well, I used the LDS Genealogy centers, families working together to reasearch, original documents, birth and Social Secutrity records, other Geneology societies. A part of my family has books written about their research and accomplishments. And your mothers family has books written about the "Antrims" which she is decended from. I also got names of some of our "Antrim" family because an some one sent your Grandma Dee a letter with all the names that they had researched from journals of the "Antrims". She gave me a copy of the letter so I could insert them in our family tree."

Where did you meet obstacles in your research?
"Like I said, it's hard to find the names and stories of the "Antrims" because they kept most of their records in a book, and it's not avalible to the public. I also had problems with "adoption" laws, I cannot trace your grandfathers birth family because of them."

What other kinds of interesting things did you find out during your research?
"Well, throughout all the generations of women in our family we have many feminists in our family. In fact, your grandmothers all the way back were getting divorced and working as lawyers, doctors long before the feminist movement in both Mexico and America."

Family history is facisnating to me. I absoultly love hearing about the amazing things that my ancestors have done. It makes me proud of who I am, and greatful for the oppurtunities that I now have because of their actions. My family is spectacular. And now I know what kind people I come from. It makes me want to be better so that one day 80 years from now one of my future realitives will say "Wow, Grandma Lauren was awesome. I want to do great things just like she did."

Thank you so much dad for sharing with me. And for waking up early on a Saturday to help me!


My Mom's Side of the Family Story!

My mother's grandfather on her fathers side is, James Edward Battjes.

My mother's grandmother on her fathers side is, Mary Jane Hybel.

My mother's grandmother is Delores Forche. Her history is listed on this Blog. She was one of the first women executives as Head of Computer Security (in the 70s-80s).

My mother's grandfather on her mother's side is Billy Cook. He owned "Cook Brothers Dairy" which had been in the family for generations. He also was a police officer.

My mother's father James Edward Battjes, was born Denis Ray Case, in Kalamazo Michigan. He was adopted by the Battjes Family when he was a toddler. The records of his birth mother are blocked. The Battjes family has books written on them because they were part of a big immigration in the 1800s from Holland. He had two sisters and a brother. He owned a car repair shop in Texas. My mother is his only child. He had six grandchildren.

My mom's mother Jacqueline Cook, daughter of Dee and Billy cook. She married James Edward Battjes, and had one child with him.

My mother Melissa Cordova is a student at the moment. She is the hardworking mother of six children. She is married to Hector Cordova.

*I was not able to find many names and dates. I'm going to go and look other places for them.


Friday, November 12, 2010

REAL Camping

I admit it! I'm a spoiled camper. I've only had to sleep in a tent three times in my life. When I go "camping" it's usually to an air conditioned cabin in the middle of nowhere, with a pool and cafeteria. This Summer though that all changed. I went "real" camping with a group of 15 year old girls from my Church. We went to a river about two hours away and canoed for 5 miles! After the canoeing we drove another hour to our camping grounds. It was beautiful because it was next to a huge lake.
This is what it looked like at night. I didn't bring my camera to the camping trip because I didn't want to ruin it.
                 I had to help put up three tents when I got to the camp groundsView Image. And because I'm not an experienced camper, it took a while. After an hour of attempting to put up the last tent, which kept falling, we finally figured out that we had put the stakes in wrong. Yeah, like I said, I am not an experienced camper or tent setting up person. My group cooked in a dutch oven over a fire that we had to build and use flint to start. I was in charge of gathering twigs and keeping the fire running. I cut up some of the vegetables we were given and we made an amazing soup. We also made things called "Banana Boats", and then we put it over the fire. It was delicious. The amazing food definitely made me like this camp out a lot more. That night we went to sleep in the tent that we had struggled with. I really hoped that it wouldn't fall on us in the night. After laying down my group realized that we had set the tent up on tree roots. The worst part was not the fact that the roots were poking our backs, it was that we knew we couldn't get out and move it. Everyone who had been sleeping in the middle of the tent had to move more to the side to get away from the roots, which meant that all of us sleeping on the sides got scrunched up. It was hot and humid and it felt disgusting outside. There was a roach on the other side of the "window" looking at me all night, and I accidental kicked the girl next to me when I finally fell asleep. I was really grateful that we only had to camp for two nights, and not the whole week. By the morning I was stinky because their wasn't any showers at our camp site. I could not wait to get to our cabins back a Camp Ta-Ku-La to take a shower and enjoy the bliss of air conditioning. Camping and being outside was not too horrible though. It was a character building experience that's for sure. 

This is right after arriving at camp. Yes I did go right for my sister's shampoo so I could get all the sand and other gunk out of my hair! As I said before, I am not a camping kind of girl! 
This is a picture of some of us during lunch break. I loved the canoeing trip. The river was blocked in some places by fallen trees, and our canoe kept getting stuck! The girl I was with was the leader of our canoe but she kept pushing our canoe over. She did it four times, getting everything I brought soaking wet. By the time we finally got the paddling down we had reached the end. It was a lot of fun and I my arms felt very firm by the time it was over! It was an amazing experience to be a part of and I'm thankful for the chance I got to know the girl I was with, and the two girls who stuck around with us.

 *We were the last people to make it to the end because we kept getting stuck and dumped over. While on the river I saw an amazing water snake, I was really grateful that she didn't push the canoe over when we passed it.

*I woke up early both mornings while camping and got to the see the sunrise. It was an amazing experience for me because it felt nice in the morning and I got to sit and think about things that had been bothering me. It was wonderful!

*I plan on going "real" camping again during the winter. I now know that I should check the spot where I put the tent before setting it up, and to bring a can a raid to get rid of the attacking roaches I mean embrace nature, roaches and all.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Renissance Festival 2010!

I was so happy to be able to go to the Renaissance Festival this year! I got to go last year with my whole family, including my uncle and grandmother on my mom's side of the family. But this year I went solo, well with only one of my siblings. Josh and I had a lot of fun together, and we bonded over this amazing experience. I never expected that to happen! We could not find half the people on the list because they were either not at the Faire that day, or escorting other school children to and from events. I was very sad about it, but I was able to have a great day of learning and fun anyway! My mother fixed my hair into a "crown braid" and I felt like a fairy princesses".

What I learned about Queen Juana of Spain.
  • She is the daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella who funded Columbus’s explorations.
  • She has 6 children with her husband King Felipe of Spain. She calls him “Phillip the Handsome”.
  • Her sister is Catherine Argon who was married King Henry the 8th.

What I learned about Ackbar the Moor:
  • He hails from Istanbul.
  • He started going to the academy young, because he wants to be an admiral.
  • He is 30 years old and he is 3 years away from becoming a full fledged admiral!
  • He is close with his grandmother, but she is a bit whiner and very talkative!

The pirates we extremely nice! Especially the Captain. Hm....I wonder if I'm allowed to say that. He told me where to find certain people, and also what to look for when so I wouldn't pass by somebody that I needed to meet! Because of him I found Ackbar the Moor. He told me to look for a man in a turban, I would have walked right passed Ackbar if the Captain hadn't told me what to look for!
I was ecstatic when I realized who this character was! I used to act in youth productions of Shakespeare plays! In "A Midsummers Night's Dream", I played the fairy Peaseblossom, and got to pet "Bottoms" head. This moment made me remembered that amazing experience on stage. This "Bottom" is definitely my favorite "Bottom"!

The first person I met was "Hammish MacGregor the Piper"! He was so nice! Unfortunately, I kind of forgot to ask him my questions. I asked for directions to the Queen of Spain!
The events we went to (that my brother refused to take pictures of) were:
  • The Jousting tournament. We cheered for Spain! I felt sorry for the other guy because I always cheer for Spain. Oh well, maybe next year Ireland.
  • Birds of Prey. This has and always will be my very favorite show at the Renaissance Festival. I love his owl she is beautiful. All of his birds are amazing. The birds all fascinate me. Especially the vulture. I know it sounds really weird but she is amazing.
  • The Clan Tynker Show. They were kind of funny. They used Chinese Yo-Yo's, and it was amazing. I think the reason why I liked it so much is because I can appreciate how hard it is to use a Chinese Yo yo. It's crazy hard to do it normal, to keep it moving and on the string. Or maybe I'm just special that way!
  • The School of Dance. We went to one session, but my brother would not dance with me. So I danced with my imaginary partner, and watched the others dance with their groups, and tried not to feel too envious.
  • We stopped many times along the way to listen to the musicians that were playing. It was amazing. We also got to see a belly dancer at one stage! It was awesome!
My brother and I bought a bunch of items. We also bought two bags of popcorn and two funnel cakes (Only one made it back home) to bring back home to our siblings.

I also bought an amazing "Wax Rose" I'm in love with it. It is so beautiful, and it makes me happy every time I look at it, so I put it on my desk at home. Best $6 ever spent! I also bought an adorable necklace that I wear with everything! (even when it doesn't match) Both items remind me of the wonderful time I got to spend with my brother, and all the the spectacular things we were able to do.

We rode on the spinning ride, ate a lot of pretzels and popcorn, looked at $80 umbrellas, and also saw a couple of our friends during the Festival. I actually learned about historical figures, and about the intelligence of birds, I also learned half of the dance, and met one of my favorite historic characters: Anne Boleyn! I cannot wait to go next year!

*Only Bad thing: I tripped on a pretzel on my way to the Jousting tournament. Yes, I did just say pretzel! I had dirt on my pants for the rest of the time!


Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Living History Journal Project! My First Post!

Hello! I'm Lauren Cordova and this blog is dedicated to my "Living History Journal Project". I go to Lone Star College- University Park and my history 1302 Professor's name is J. Quiroga. And this project is going to be amazing! So I hope you keep reading my other posts!