Friday, December 25, 2015

New Year, New Changes!



So, a new year is upon us - 2016 will hopefully bring much promise for more fun discoveries on the ancestor front!

Also, I plan to give my blog a bit of a make-over. I feel I need to create a more fun, light and airy look to my blog. I think the current theme has served its purpose, but it's time to give it something a little more youthful. Please keep a look out for some new design changes! Again, I design all of my backgrounds and banners with Photoshop, so this will take some time!

Some new and exciting things for the upcoming new year in my life:

Europe - Did I just say Europe??!! - Yes, I am embarking on a nearly 20 day trip to Europe next May 2016. I have my passport, 100 Euros in my pocket, train tickets booked, flight booked. Sadly, it will not be primarily for ancestry searching, but I will nevertheless be stomping similar grounds that my ancestors walked many years ago, especially in London, which will be our first stop.

Joining Online Societies aimed at Younger Genealogists - I view myself not quite the cookie cutter genealogist. I like to tell a story on my blog rather than give the very minute (and mundane) details that some genealogy bloggers tend to get lost in. I want to find like-minded "younger" genealogists who can tell a great story about their ancestry findings and blog about it without making me yawn through the first paragraph.

Do Some Clean Up & Download Important Documents - I hope to spend this year to do some continued clean up work on my family tree that got a little out of hand over the last few years. I also intend to download some important documents from Ancestry.com so I can keep copies of them offline as well as online. I have read it is very important since many important documents can easily be removed by whoever uploaded them. However, most documents that are uploaded directly by Ancestry.com will likely never be removed, but those are still important to download, as well.

A Travel Blog!! - I have designed a new blog, one for travel. I am looking forward to keeping this blog up and seeing where it takes me. It will mostly focus on California travel and, of course, any travels that lead me out of California. I will post the link on here once I get the blog on its way!

What are your New Year Resolutions regarding your genealogy?

Ancestry.com - DNA Testing - The Importance of Testing your Oldest Relatives

Grandma Annette's baby bootie hand-stitched by her mother, circa 1928


About a week ago, I sent out my grandmother's saliva (or spit, gosh, no matter how you write it, it still doesn't sound good) to Ancestry.com. I realize that with the onslaught of Thanksgiving and Christmas DNA purchases, hers will be one of 100's, if not 1000's, of tests that Ancestry.com will have to weed through. However, I am very excited what this one particular test will show us!

There may be nothing new that the DNA test will reveal or there may be only more questions than answers - either way, testing my oldest living grandparent was something I wanted to accomplish before she may leave this world (She had many close calls this last year, so I know it's only a matter of time). 

My grandma Annette will be 87 this upcoming January 3rd, and she is not going without a fight. If anything, she's even stronger now that she was a year ago. It's amazing to watch her pick up things off the floor easier than I can. She can still give a strong hug, walk without very little assistance, and if you ask her opinion, you may just wish you hadn't - but she's an old-school dame and still has a lot of spunk! 

Back to topic, I am excited to share her results with her when they come in and hope to bring to light some interesting twists regarding her DNA, which will go back 4-5 generations, which means, her results can go back 2 more generations than my own! 

I cannot stress the emphasis on getting your oldest relatives tested. Test them even before testing yourself. You can always get another for yourself, but your grandparent or great grandparent may only have so long to offer you a deeper glimpse into their past; your past. Especially if this relative is a male - males may provide more information on the surname that he carries. 

I am also getting my father's DNA tested. There are some parts of my Dad's side of the family that are still a bit of mystery for me (such as his link to Native American lineage that did not show up on my DNA test - I actually had more African lineage show up on me than Native American - hmmmm....) 

So, again, please get your older relatives tested. In the grand scheme of things, it will be way worth it!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Throwback Thursday - When I was a Wee Tot

Well, I don't have too many photos that I show of myself on here, but thought I'd share a few of me from the 1980s, when I was a tiny little girl (yes, I have been pretty much tiny my whole life, all 5 feet of me!).

As I grow older, I am finding so much of my childhood slipping away and it can be a scary thought. Driving through my old town I grew up in, I see buildings that are no longer there. I see stores and restaurants that are no longer there. Yet, I do see many places that seem untouched from certain times in my life and it can feel a little eerie to see them and feel as if I am stepping back in time.

These pictures capture that time where many things that were around me seemed like they'd always stay that way, but slowly, they started to disappear.

My cousin Melissa and I at the ranch, circa 1987 (me, age 5 and Melissa, age 4)





Krissy and Scott, playing games after swimming, circa 1986 - The brown shag carpet, the bunk bed, the bedding, the games and the small TV! All this evokes an era that is mostly lost to any kid born after 1995 or so. The carpet used to feel so plush between your toes. I think my brother and I were playing Chutes and Ladders, along with having an Etch-a-Sketch. I remember my brother used to like playing Battleship, and I always got confused with it, but always had fun moving the little pegs and seeing things light up on it.



Easter 1990 - At Golden Hills Church (before it became a church, worship was held at a storage unit on Sunset Dr in Antioch) - I am in the front, with a light pink dress, next to my cousin Tiffany to the right and Melissa on the left.

Krissy touching the birthday Pinata, Scott's 10th Birthday, August 1989 - I was 7 years old and wow, I had some killer abs back then! My brother's party was Batman themed, which was the hit movie that Summer (yes, the Michael Keaton Batman!) One of the items that we had until not too long ago was the big screen TV in the background. We gave it up around 2006. It lasted a long time, nearly 22 years! I used to love how my mom did the streamers for our parties. She really knew how to prepare for a good party! We always had so much fun decorating the night before, and then preparing for everyone to come over the next day, tip toeing around the house, making sure to not mess up the freshly vacuumed carpet or soil the kitchen - the calm before the storm :)




Sunday, November 22, 2015

Happy Birthday, Christina [Orth] Herr - November 17th 1876

Last Tuesday, November 17th, would have been my great, great grandmother's 139th birthday. She was the mother of Lydia Herr, grandmother to Annette Roehm and great grandmother to my mother, Carole Connors.

George Orth and Maria Delger Orth, Christina's parents

Christina Orth was born November 17th 1876, in Odessa, Ukraine. At the time she was born, it was considered a part of Russia. The Orth family has been hard to find a paper trail on. What is interesting is Christina is not even listed on the passenger list to New York from Hamburg that the rest of her family is on. At this point, it is unknown if she left before or after them to America, but either way, she got here! I will need to review a few census records and her death record to see what it states as how long she'd been in America.

There is little known of Christina's childhood in the Ukraine. Her parents were also German's from Russia, so they did not have any Russian in their ethnicity despite being born in that country.

There is a rumor (unconfirmed) that Christina met her future husband, Jacob Herr Jr, at the Chicago World's Fair (aka World's Columbian Exhibition)  in 1893. If this were true, it would seem to make sense, as they were married and had their first child by 1896 and this would have given them enough time to meet one another and have a formal courtship, although both were very young. Even if this is not how they met, it is a little romantic to think that's how it happened!

The photo below is the youngest photo we have of both Jacob and Christina Herr from about 1896-1897, holding their first born, Lydia Herr (my great grandmother). Christina's clothing is very practical. It's a dress, but it's hard to place of what time frame. It is embellished with lace at the top and a brooch in the center of the neck. She is also wearing earrings. She has an interesting looking belt across her dress which is hard to make out why she has it, but it could be for maybe an expanding belly and she could have been pregnant with her next child when this photo was taken.

Jacob Jr. once asked Christina if she'd like to go back home to visit family in Russia by boat, and she said "No". The ship she was on when coming to America (around the age of 13) made her so sick because it rocked back and forth so much, she said. They had to be at the bottom of the ship, in the steerage area.


Christina and Jacob would continue to have 12 more children, until the last one was born in 1921. Seen below, Christina is holding her first granddaughter Doris (Lydia's first born), with her own two younger sons Soloman and Orville Herr in 1916. In this photo, her hair appears to be a light brown. Her clothing had style looks different in this photo and is more befitting of the Edwardian era. It looks like she is wearing a cameo on her neck and that there may be some lace on the neck line of her dress. In this picture, she would have been 40 years old.



This photo is of Christina [Orth] Herr holding her grand-daughter Doris Roehm, circa 1917, However, part of me thinks this photo was taken in the 1920's. She looks older in this picture than the one above. She may actually be holding Lydia's other daughter, Joyce, who would have been about this age in 1920.


Here is another photo of Christina holding her grand-daughter and her grandson is to the right. That may be Alwin Roehm to her right and she may possibly be holding my Grandma Annette, circa 1930-31. Her younger sons would be sitting on top of the car.

Donald Babitzke, Alwin Roehm, Douglas Babitzke, Doris Roehm, Christina [Orth] Herr, Sophie Babitkze, Louise Babitzke, Annette Roehm (dark hair), Izetta Roehm, Hank Wolf and Yvonne Babitzke, circa 1936-37, on the North Dakota Prairie.


Lydia [Herr] Roehm, mother Christina [Orth] Herr, Joyce [Roehm] Wolf, with her daughter Doris Jean Wolf, circa 1938-39 - Wishek, North Dakota.



Izetta Roehm [Purviance], Sophie [Herr] Babitzke, Christina [Orth] Herr and Christ Babitzke in Wishek, where the Babitzkes lived.


Lydia [Herr Roehm] Murphy with her mother, Christina [Orth] Herr, inside Sophie and Christ Babitzke's home in Wishek, ND, circa 1959-60.


One of Christina's last photographs, circa 1961-63, in Wishek, ND.

Christina died on October 1st, 1966, just a little over a month shy of turning 90. Before she died, she lived with her youngest daughter, Sophie Babitzke. 

Christina, I hope you had a wonderful birthday! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Music that invokes feelings of coming to America or living in America long ago

I am sure, as genealogists, we often like to put ourselves in the shoes of some of our relatives and imagine what it must have felt like to arrive on American soil; how they lived out their first few years in a new country and experience new technologies, scenery and culture that was all around them. They may have felt alienated and yet excited all at once.

Lots of music from today's movies and Broadway shows can help illustrate the era when our relatives came to America. Some movies indirectly give us the feeling, such as "Titanic," where we see how the many immigrants lived in the cheapest quarters on board the ship. We can get a glimpse of how they may have dressed, entertained and lived in such conditions. And, well, if your family was well off enough to enjoy 2nd class or 1st class accommodations, then we also get a very good idea of what that was like, too.

That is just one example of how movies and Broadway shows can give us an idea of the immigrant experience. There are many more. I thought I'd share a few YouTube videos of some songs/snippets that give us a "feeling" of what it was like to be in their shoes:

"Ragtime" 1997-1998 Broadway Cast Musical -



"An American Tail" - Main Title


"A Little Princess" - Breakfast



"Little Women" - Under the Umbrella (not an immigrant movie, but the feeling of the American spirit can really stir you listening to this soundtrack, or gain a feeling of what it was like for our relatives living during the American Civil War)


"Fried Green Tomatoes" - Theme (A great soundtrack that instantly pulls you into a nostalgic era from the 1920's-1930's - again, not an immigrant experience, per se, but evoking a certain time period that your relatives lived in)





"Forrest Gump" - Theme (This soundtrack evokes a feeling that you are stepping back in time - Alan Silvestri did a wonderful job of adding such a light touch to the notes played on the piano, just like the feather that was flying away in the movie)



---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I hope some of these soundtracks add a little depth to your research. Sometimes listening to these help me along my way, inspiring me a little to go in different directions because of the mood the music puts me in. 

Music is so powerful in our lives and how it shaped our ancestors lives is also important. 

Running on Empty

I realize I have been gone for the last month and a half. I have good reasoning.

On October 22nd, my mother was diagnosed with bladder cancer and, in a sense, my world stopped. Cancer does not run in our family, or so I thought. Lately, more and more stories from our family histories are popping up with cancer being involved. My mother's dad supposedly had cancer on his lips (it doesn't surprise me -  he was a very freckly, white, ginger Irishman living and working in the hot California sun)

I truly hate the word cancer. Until now, I have been so very lucky to not be directly hit with it in our immediate family. Some relatives have had benign tumors, but not cancerous tumors. 

My mother has stage 1 bladder cancer. It's not invasive to the muscle in the bladder, but it has invaded quite a few deeper tissues in the bladder.

She had surgery on November 4th to have the tumor removed and she is still experiencing pain from the removal of the tumor and also some side effects from the chemotherapy they gave her right after surgery. 

So, I will try my hardest on here to continue posting, but at this time, my heart is heavy with fear and hope. I am not sure where my mother's future stands and it scares me, but I have hope she will get through this and give it her strongest fight. 

I'd like to give cancer a few expletives at this very moment, but I will refrain. 

I will promise to come on here to let off some steam.... but some good steam :)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Matrilineal Monday - My Mother on her Honeymoon in Paris, 1978


My parents first went to Rome, then Paris and then made their last stop in London. 

They were married September 16th, and the next day, boarded a plane to Europe. A first time for them both. 

I will be going to Europe next May, 2016 for my first time! Looking at these pictures makes me even more excited to go!

Look-A-Likes - Magdalina Herr Pudwill and Martha Herr Werre


Recently, a cousin of mine (who I am so thankful to have connected with), sent me a photo of my 2x Great Grandfather's siblings (except he happened to not get in the photo!)

The photo is great - it's of all of his siblings seated together in one row and then the others are standing behind the seated ones. They all have the typical stern faces you'd see in photos from that era, but some had little smirks on their faces, too.

This picture was likely taken around 1905-1906.

One of the siblings is my great, great grandfather's sister, named Magdalina Herr Pudwill. She was born in 1886, however, lived to be only 21 years old, and passed away in childbirth in 1907. I am not sure if that child survived, but it's very sad that she did not live longer.

Magdalina's brother, Jacob (my great, great grandfather), had a daughter named Martha Herr in 1898. She is the one pictured on the right, circa 1904, at age 6.

When I saw Magdalina's photo, I instantly thought she resembled Martha, her niece.

I decided to put their photos side by side, and although there are differences, they look like they are definitely related.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wishful Wednesday - Meeting The People in These Daguerreotypes

Unknown Murphy family member, Daguerreotype, circa 1845-1850 - Notice pink blush on face


My grandmother inherited a great deal of many treasures from a family which these items could not be claimed. The Murphy family in Brentwood and Round Valley left behind some very historic items, including these beautiful daguerreotypes. 

Daguerreotypes are often confused and often lumped together with tintypes and Ambrotypes, two later forms of photography. If you are holding the two side by side, the tintype is often very easy to distinguish between a Daguerreotype. Daguerreotypes are exposed onto a mirrored piece of glass, using silver to expose the image. Therefore, when capturing an old Daguerreotype with a modern camera, it can be difficult when it wants to get you in the image, as well. 

 Tintypes are exposed onto a piece of tin, which have no glass and no mirror. It's also very thin compared to a  Daguerreotype, (like a piece of sheet metal) and is pliable. 

Ambrotypes are slightly different than a Daguerreotype. To combat the reflection issue of  daguerreotypes, the ambrotype came into existence. Instead of a silver backing, ambrotypes have a black emulsion painted behind the glass. As time goes on, this emulsion can crack. 


Clasp of case - the case was made as a thermoplastic, a rarity for that era, but ahead of its time!

Front view showing clasps


As you can see, this very reflective image captured my hands inside the mirror.

A unique view, showing cracking and tarnish

Stunning blue velvet interior of one of the photo cases. It felt as if it were brand new. 

Unknown Murphy family member, Daguerreotype, circa 1845-1850 - Notice pink blush on face, gold painted earrings, belt, ring and reddish flower she's holding.

A pensive look, circa 1850s

Wordless Wednesday - Lovely Ladies from the 1970's


My mother, Carole, her sister, Penny and Penny's husband, Jack Young, circa 1976. Out for dinner. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sentimental Sunday - Drawings I made between 1997-2001

Drawing of a John Singer Sargent sketch, circa 2000

When I was around 14, I began drawing more frequently. This was around the time my parents were going through a divorce and I feel it must have been a therapeutic thing for me to do to get through those tough times. We didn't have a computer nor the internet at the time (this was again, 1997! Computers were still very expensive and so was the internet for the average family). 

So, I started drawing. And, for some reason, I couldn't stop! Some of my earliest inspirations to start drawing more were the Beatles, old movie stars, and an artist who I knew very little about, John Singer Sargent. I believe I was introduced to his work due to a book of his I bought at Barnes & Noble that was on discount (another free and cheap thing we'd do since money was scarce due to the divorce). 

One time, my Grandma loaned us a box just stuffed of old family photos - all taken around 1910-1920. It was a perfect time to loan them to me, as Titanic was coming out that year and that era was sort of all the rage. It's still my favorite era for fashion, next to the 1950's. At this time, I was starting to think of better ways to improve my drawings. I started to use tracing paper over clear plastic that I had trace over with a Vis d' Vis fine point dry erase pen. By tracing many people's faces over and over,  it really got me accustomed to how to draw the human form. Eventually, I know longer needed this way of tracing to make a good drawing. I was finding myself obsessed with drawing. I couldn't get enough of it. I'd sort of be hermit-like in my room and draw all day and even well into the night. I think it was by far the best therapy I could give myself during a tough time. I was being home schooled, as well, so I had some liberties with my time. But, it was worth it. I was self disciplined enough to get my work done and it really kept me out of trouble with other kids and less distracted by going out and doing things I shouldn't do. I was lucky to have a few friends from elementary that I still hung out with from time to time, so I never felt alone. It worked really well for who I was and I have no regrets (I went on to college and graduated with Honors, so it goes to show home schooling is not any better or any worse than going to a regular high school - it just works better for others!)


A copy of a painting of a 1912-1913 woman, circa 1998

When we received a used computer in early 1999, I noticed my enthusiasm for drawing slowly dwindling. The internet was all the rage and really at it's peak at this time. The whole Y2K and Dot.com boom was taking hold of everyone and shifting our attitudes towards communication and having the world at our fingertips. However, I still was very disciplined, mostly through about 2001-2002. Not long after this time, life just started to get in the way - I was juggling college and work and a relationship. I can see why I was having a tough time keeping my drawing and painting skills intact during this time. 

Emily Sargent (original painting by J.S. Sargent), drawing by me, circa 1999

Now, fast forward to the year 2015. My drawing skills have been somewhat disabled. I can still draw well, but my perspective drawing needs some work. I have bad carpal tunnel and a cyst on one hand which makes it difficult to draw (painting is not as hard). I still draw and paint just so I don't lose my skills completely. I mostly photograph for now, as I like to photograph for painting and drawing references. It also helps fulfill my need to be creative. 

I often look back on this time where I was most prolific in my drawing and I partly admire myself for persevering through it, even when I had no formal education on how to draw. I look back on it as a time for growth and looking deep down inside of who I was at the time and as a reflection of who I was to become. Going through my past art work gives me feelings of a pensive state of happiness. I have memories attached to each and every drawing/painting, whether they are good or bad.

One day, I know I will draw and paint more. But for now, I am happy I ever did it at all. 


My cousin Tiffany and I, next to a painting of mine that sold at an art show in the Spring 2001. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Surname Saturday - Are the Roehm's from Ancient Rome?

Charles (Karl) Roehm, the only photo we have of our oldest Roehm descendent
Charles is my great-great grandfather on my mother's side.


One of my closer family surname's is that of Roehm. It's my grandmother's maiden name. It is likely not pronounced as "Rome," but that is often the pronunciation we hear. I believe is should be pronounced as "Rahm" 

There are many variations on how it's spelled, as well: 


Rohm

Rehm
Roehm
Romer,
Rohmer
Roehmer
Roemer,
von Roemer
von Romer
Romayer
Raumayer
Raumair
Raum
Roem


The meaning, per Ancestry.com - 


Rohm Name Meaning

From the Germanic personal name Ruom (Old High German hruom ‘fame’), a short form of Ruombald and similar personal names containing this element.(Röhm): see Roehm.

Another website (http://www.pronouncenames.com/pronounce/roehm) allows you to see how it is pronounced:


r OH m


And they also give the meaning behind it:


Fame


Wow, that's a lofty meaning behind a name. 


Others battle out on message boards whether Roehm really does have any ancient Roman ties to it, since the name is so similar in spelling and in pronunciation? 


4crests.com seems to go with the idea that Roehms, and all of their variations, were truly once Romans. They also give a fairly elaborate account of the name which is mostly unseen elsewhere on the internet:


This surname ROHM is of German origin, a regional or ethic name for a Roman, or more generally for an Italian. The name was originally rendered in the Latin form of ROMAEUS. It was also a nickname for a pilgrim, and the name came to mean this because it was originally applied to travellers from the Western (Roman) Empire who had to pass through The Byzantine Empire on their way to the Holy Land. Later the name was used of pilgrims to Rome and to Santiago de Compostella. The name is also spelt ROMERO, ROMEO, ROMEI, ROHMER, ROMER, ROOMER and RUMMER. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. Surnames which were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have the same meaning in many languages. The court of Charlemagne (Charles the Great, king of the Franks (742-814) was Christian and Latin speaking). The vernacular was the Frankish dialect of Old High German, and the personal names in use were Germanic and vernacular. These names were adopted in many parts of northwest Europe, particularly among the noble ruling classes. Hereditary surnames were found in Germany in the second half of the 12th century - a little later than in England and France. It was about the 16th century that they became stabilized. An infamous member of the name was Ernst ROHM (also spelled ROEHM) (1887-1934) the Nazi leader, born in Munich, Germany. He became an early supporter of Hitler, and the organizer and commander of the stormtroopers (Brownshirts and Blackshirts). He became state commissar of Bavaria, but in 1934 his plans to increase the power of this force led to his execution on Hitler's orders.



This is by far the most interesting account of the name ROEHM. 


It's hard to say what is right without some deeper research. 


For now, I would like to say I have a little Italian in me *haha*

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Then and Now

Ida Roehm - My Great, Great Aunt (2nd Great Aunt)

Ida Roehm was my Great Grandfather's sister, She was born August 15th, 1890 and married Ezra Bastien in 1925. It appears they did not have children. She lived in Illinois most of her adult life until she passed away in 1987. 

Here are two photos from when Ida was young and one photo when she was much older. I cannot locate any of her between this time. However, I hope to find some photos of her when she was more middle-aged. My Grandma said she was a nice lady. I will have to find out more about Ida. I'd like to keep her memory alive. 



 Ida Roehm in Wishek with a cat and her dog. This appears to be where her brother (my great grandfather, George) and his wife (Lydia Herr), lived. This was likely taken sometime between 1915-1920.

Ida Roehm, Lydia [Herr] Roehm and a friend, showing off the men's hunt for the day, circa 1920-21. 

Lydia [Herr] Roehm Murphy with her sister-in-law, Ida Roehm Bastien, in Illinois, circa 1981.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Perfectly Lovely

It's a bright and warm Sunday afternoon in July, one can feel a soft breeze while the wind chimes trickle.

I am feeling the sunbeams hit my face as they are strewn across the white carpet. I try to keep papers in a particular order to make some collages with some old family photographs. 

I don't want to lose this afternoon light that is slipping through my fingers. I gather a few items here and there and try to coordinate some colors that will go with a particular theme. 

And with that, out came some of these sweet and gentle photo collages, with just a touch of Summer left in them, but as we all know, the tide is turning to a less frantic time - Autumn is just before us. 

Please enjoy!


Grandpa's feather watches over my Grandmother, a photograph of her in the 1940's. After my Grandpa passed, I found this feather pressed into one of the photograph albums we gave him while he was in the nursing home. He had it with a picture of my Grandma. I hung onto the feather, knowing just what it meant to him, and now to me.

The Braun girls and a calling card

The Murphy family and Braun family. Christiana Braun married into the Murphy family, a well-to-do farming family from Brentwood, CA. This is a collage of the family members of these two families that combined together - all photos are between the 1880's through the 1920's.

Life as seen through a Bird Cage - The Murphy daughters - a mix of Irish and German heritage, are photographed here, circa 1900-1901.

Friday, July 24, 2015

National Cousin's Day

Today is National Cousin's Day, and just reading about this gives me a lot of warm and fuzzy feelings of some of the best times in my life. Most of those times were spent with my cousins. I am so fortunate to have cousins who I am not afraid to call my best friends. We are all very lucky to love one another very much.

In honor of celebrating cousins, here's some pictures of me with my cousins and also several generations past of cousins:

Cousins - Alice Roehm and Annette Roehm - 1944-45, Richmond, CA

Cousins - Donald Babitzke and Annette Roehm, circa 1974

Cousins - Babitzke daughters with Annette, and Annette's nieces and nephews, circa 1941

Cousins - Krissy and Jesse, circa 1994

Cousins - Krissy and Melissa, circa 1988

Cousins - Krissy and Melissa - Circa 1990

Cousins - Tiffany and Krissy, 1988

Cousins - Melissa, Jesse, Krissy and David, circa 1990

Cousins - Noelle and Tiffany, circa 1987

Cousins - David and Scott, circa 1981

Cousins - Scott and Jesse, circa 1988

Cousins - Scott and Tiffany, circa 1981

Cousins - Yvonne and Louise Babitzke with Annette Roehm in the middle, on the Babitzke farm, circa 1940-41