Gini's Research Toolbox

About Me ~

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to You and Yours ~


 
A little Christmas cheer from my home to yours ~
~ Merry Christmas ~ 
~ Frohe Weihnachten ~ 


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The Christmas tree that stands so beautiful and tall, adorned with ornaments as old as I am . . . belonged to my beautiful mom (1933~2010).  I was blessed to inherit her family room tree (she always had two artificial trees standing in her home ) and ornaments. 


I also inherited her Thomas Kinkade Christmas Village collection . . . it's a beautiful village and each time I look at it . . . I smile and mom warms my heart and I know she is here with our family.

  ~ Happy Holidays and warm Christmas wishes to all . . . to our friends and family  . . . to remembering all of those who have gone before us, keeping our Ancestors close to our hearts ~ and to making many new memories in the New Year for generations to come . May all your wishes come true ~  
                                


                                                                     

Thursday, December 20, 2012

In Loving Memory of Uncle Helmut ~



1940 ~ 1994

Today, the 20th day of December is the anniversary of the death of my maternal Uncle Helmut. Uncle Helmut was an identical twin to his brother, Adalbert Haf ~ 3 Oct. 1940 ~ 2 October 2004.

Uncle Helmut and uncle Adalbert died of the same disease exactly ten years apart. Their deaths have been very hard on our family . . . we miss you both. You can not mention one without the other.

~Rest in Peace~
Vergissmeinnicht (Forget-me-not)


Click here for a birthday tribute to my uncles.



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dear Oma ~

 

Today, my (maternal grandmother) Oma, Liselotte Haf  née Kaiser-Saule (1913 ~ 2010) would have been 99 years old. Oma was born in Zurich, Switzerland. 
What a wonderful day that was . . . 
Happy Birthday, Oma, we love and miss you!





Sunday, December 9, 2012

Blog Caroling ~ Stille Nacht ~ Silent Night



                  Stille Nacht  (Silent Night) ~ Vienna Boys Choir ~




Silent Night (Stille Nacht)
In English

Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born.

Silent night, holy night!
Son of God love's pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth




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Stille Nacht (Silent Night)
In Deutsch (German)

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hochheilige Paar.
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Halleluja,
Tönt es laut von fern und nah:
Christ, der Retter ist da!
Christ, der Retter ist da!

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb' aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund'.
Christ, in deiner Geburt!
Christ, in deiner Geburt!



This has been and always will be my very favorite Christmas song! Stille Nacht (Silent Night) was also my mom's very favorite and she loved the Vienna Choir Boys...so it's perfect as to why I chose it for footnoteMaven' s Tradition of Blog Caroling...thank you  fM! 
And here's to you Mom and Oma . . . Schlaf Gut . . . Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh! . . . I love you  ~


Mom ~  Elfriede Haf - Serafin (1933~2010)
Liselotte 'Oma' Haf nee Kaiser (1913~2010)
This post has been recycled from my original post for footnoteMaven's Blog Caroling post in 2011.

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Advent Calendar ~ Christmas Cookies



 
 ~ Mom's home, Christmas 2009 ~

Christmas Cookies were a very big part of our Christmas. In November, mom (1933~2010) would start baking her cookies and store them in tin containers until about a week before Christmas. Mom would have platters full of each type of cookie on the table for when friends and family stopped by.

My favorite cookie as I had posted about in the Advent Calendar Holiday Foods post, was mom's own Spritz Cookie recipe! They are so good. I am a hardcore tea drinker, when I would get to mom's, the electric tea kettle goes on, and mom and I would sit and chat while I enjoy several Spritz cookies. These cookies always bring back such loving memories of Mom and home.

Mom still used a cookie press that she had brought with her from Germany when we came to the states. I have tried to make these cookies. It's pretty comical ~ the modern cookie press I have is a nightmare to use and my cookies come out disastrous each time! Until I was to inherit the German cookie press, I left the Spritz cookie making to mom.

Mom's German Spritz Cookies

1 cup of butter (2 sticks) softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
1/2 cup toasted sliced blanched almonds finely ground

Optional: toppings (sprinkles, cherries, etc.). In the last few years, mom has dipped half of the cookie in chocolate, which is my favorite.

~ Preheat oven to 375° ~

Cream butter, add sugar, beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and extracts. Gradually blend in flour and almonds. Using either a cookie press or pastry bag, pipe different shapes (mom makes an S, or a round or straight 3" cookie, it's up to your imagination) onto un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 10 to 12 minutes or until a pale golden color. Remove cookies and cool on wire racks. Decorate as you please.


Enjoy ~

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I have also started my own baking tradition: Banana Bread. It's not a cookie but I wanted to share it with you anyway. It is the best banana bread I have ever tasted. The recipe is from my childhood best friend, Sandy's mom (my second mom), Nita. This recipe is a huge hit around our house and I take a loaf to our friends that have a Christmas morning breakfast every year at their home. Nita's banana bread is wonderful and each time I make it, it brings a smile to my face with many wonderful memories. Thank you Nita, I love ya!

~ My home, 2011 ~

Nita's Banana Bread
(published with permission)

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 or 2 cups sugar (I use 1 cup and its just right)
1 teaspoon salt

Mix all together, then add:
1 and 1/2 cup oil
1 and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1  8oz can of crushed pineapple with the juice (I have used less and it's fine)
3 mashed bananas
Chocolate chips (optional - I always add chocolate chips, they are a nice addition.)

Bake in a greased and floured tube or bundt pan at 350° for about an hour. Keep checking with a toothpick to make sure you don't over cook it. Makes 2 loaves. This year, 2011, I decided to make muffins instead of loaves, I'm liking the muffins alot. I also used Nita's mixture of sugar and cinnamon and you can add pecans or walnuts, (Nita uses walnuts) finely chopped, mix the cinnamon, sugar and nuts together and sprinkle over the top of the batter before baking. Makes a wonderful topping. 

Enjoy~


~ Happy Holidays! ~

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 This post originally created for Christmas Cookies on the
             With the passing of my Mom (1933~2010) and Grandmother (1913~2010)  in 2010,
I have made changes to the original 2009 post . 







Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Happy 13th Birthday Emma ~


 
Happy 13th Birthday to our dear teenage granddaughter!

"For My Teenager"

~ Words I Want You to Remember ~ 

I can barely begin to tell you of all my wishes for you, There are so many of them, and I want them all to come true. I want you to use your heart as a compass as you grow and find your way in the world, but I want you to always have an appreciation for the direction of home. 

I want you to be self~reliant, self~motivated, and self~sufficient, but to know that you will never be alone. I want you to be safe and smart and cautious, I want you to be wise beyond your years. I don't want you to grow up too fast. I want you to come to me with your fears . . . 

For you, my teenager: I want the people who share your days to realize that they are in
the presence of a very special someone. You are a wonderful,  rare person with no
comparison. I want you to know that opportunities will come, and you'll have many goals
to achieve. The more that obstacles get in your way of your dreams, the more you'll need to believe.

Get your feet wet with new experiences, but be sure you never get in over your head. 
I want you to realize how capable you are, and that your possibilities are unlimited.
I hope you never lose your childlike wonder, your delight and appreciation in interesting things. I know you'll keep responding in a positive way to the challenges life always brings. 

I pray that you won't rush the future, and that you'll slowly build on the steppingstones of the past. You have a strong foundation of family and friends and joy that will always last. 

I wish I could find the words to tell you how much I love you each and every day
but that feeling is so strong and its meaning is so magnificent, it can be hard to know just what to say. 

I love you beyond all words and I promise that I will love you beyond all time. So many treasures await you in your journey of life . . . 

and being blessed with you . . . has been mine ~ 
   
Author ~ Douglas Pagels 
(Taken from my birthday card to Emma)  

Thirteen years ago today . . . we were blessed with the birth of our granddaughter, Emma!
She is a shining star in our lives and always full of love . . . Happy Birthday, Emmabeans!
Love and Hugs on your special day from all of us ~ 
Kisses from your Oma, the keeper of our memories . . . .




Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happiest Thanksgiving Wishes ~





                                                                          ~ We Thank Thee ~

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all Things fair we hear or see,
    Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For blue of stream and blue of sky;
For pleasant shade of branches high;
For fragrant air and cooling breeze;
For beauty of the blooming trees,
    Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For this new morning with it's light;
For rest and shelter of the night;
For health and food, for love and friends;
For everything Thy goodness sends,
Father in Heaven, we thank Thee.
~ Author Unknown 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Wishing you and yours a very blessed Thanksgiving and hoping that
happy memories are made for generations to come. 



 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Baby Girl ~


  
        
"And still it's from her that you learned that whatever she has chosen to become, you'll still feel proud of her simply because has the key to your heart forever."
     ~ Author Unknown 

Thirty-three years ago today, a sweet little baby girl came into my life . . . she has been a blessing ever since . . . .

Happy Birthday, Lacie!
Love and Kisses ~
Mom


"Daughters Dance their way into Your Heart whirling on the tips of Angel wings; scattering Kisses and Gold Dust in our paths"  ~ Author Unknown








Saturday, November 10, 2012

Veteran's Day ~ Our Family Hero's ~


Their Name Liveth for Evermore
    ~ Author Unknown

Thank you to all my Ancestor's and family members who have served to protect us. The above photos are only a few in our family, there are many more that I hope one day to have photos of and more information about their lives. 

Thank you to all who have served in the Military, Happy Veteran's Day in Honor of  you ~ 


In above collage clockwise:
My grandfather: Adalbert Haf, 1907 ~ 1968,  he did not serve in the U.S. but he served in the German Mtn. Rangers and was shot in the arm/shoulder during WWII.  He loved serving.  Also in the photos with my grandfather is my Aunt Inge (the mother of my cousin Pete Kaps in photo to the right) and my Oma, Lieselotte Haf 1913 ~ 2010.

My cousin Pete Kaps (3rd on the right) served in the U.S. Army. Enlisted 28 May 1975, as private E-1. Made E-5 (Sgt) after 2.5 years. Cousin Pete's ETS date was 26 May 1978. He was E-5 (Sgt) when he left the service with an honorable discharge. He was a helicopter crewchief on a UH-1H  Huey Helicopter. Pete and I just re-connected after 30 years! Love my cousin Pete!

My father, John Adam Eimes 1931 ~ 1997,  in the two photos on the bottom to the left, he served in the U.S. Army and was part of the Korean War, also wounded.

My Uncle, James Eimes (my father's brother) 1924 ~ 1989, served in the U.S. Army.








Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ Halloween Memories



Halloween ~ ca. 1958 ~ Monterey, CA 
Mom (1933 - 2010)  and I, all ready for Halloween!

Happy Halloween!!

Photo: As I was packing up my mom's home over the last six months, we found three boxes of photo slides in mom's attic. I recently had them all made into a DVD slideshow . . . the photo above is one of many  precious photos in those boxes, that I have never seen before. I remember mom's costume so well . . . she looked gorgeous! 

Backgrounds: Playing with Brushes and Graphic 45



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ Mathias Haf ~


 
Mathias Haf  (believed to be -1839 ~ 1902)

Prison Warden
Augsburg, Germany 

~ 3rd great-grandfather to yours truly, the keeper of our family memories ~


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, Ethan ~


 

Eight years ago today, our grandson, Ethan was born.  He's a ton of fun 
and has brought so much joy to our lives!

Happy Birthday, Ethan, we love you to pieces . . . lots of hugs and kisses to you on this
special day!   ~ Love, Oma

(okay, you can stop growing now!) 





Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ Oma Gretel and me ~


 
~ Margarete 'Oma Gretel' Saule nee Kaiser ~
22 July 1888 ~ 28 May 1972
Augsburg, Germany

 
~ Gini Webb nee Haf ~
Playing on the same balcony that my Oma Gretel is 
seated at in the photo above.
Augsburg, Germany
ca 1954


Friday, September 7, 2012

Remembering Cheryl ~


 
7 Sept 1956 ~ 8 Jun 2009 


On this day, 56 years ago, a very dear friend, Cheryl, was born to Hazel and Denver 'Mac' McGill (1921 ~ 2002). Cheryl and I grew up together . . . we met in Monterey, California in 1957, living next door to each other. Cheryl's mom, Hazel, babysat me while my mom was at work. I spent many a summers (Bakersfield, Merced, Castro Valley, CA) and even part of a school year (Merced, CA) living in their home. Hazel and Mac treated me as one of their own and I will never forget how loved I was.

Both of our families moved and migrated to the Bay Area, living within an hour of each other through-out the years. As Cheryl and I grew older, we stayed in touch as much as life would allow us to. There was a period of time that Cheryl and I lost touch but we connected again when we both had our daughters . . . they are very close in age. The last time I saw Cheryl was in 1981 and just before I moved from Northern California to Southern California, . . . when I moved, we lost touch . . . for over 30 years!

This year, I was determined to find her . . . I was very sad to learn that Cheryl passed in 2009 and Mac, her father, passed in 2002, but Hazel, Cheryl's mom, is still with us and well . . . 91 years well! We have been talking . . . a lot, she has been sending photos to me of Cheryl and I. We laugh and cry over so many wonderful memories of those days. What a gift to have found Hazel . . . her mind is bright and sharp . . . she remembers mom and so there are stories that I would have missed had I not found her, she is a beautiful soul and I am so so glad I dug and searched until I found her . . . a sweet reunion!

Cheryl is survived by her beautiful daughter, Chelsey and her beautiful mom, Hazel.

Happy Birthday, Cheryl, we love and miss you . . . .


Photos of Cheryl and I: A gift from Hazel to yours truly ~  
Backgrounds: BeNotForgotPlaying with Brushes  and



Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Peace of Augsburg ~


Today, on August 8th, in Augsburg, Germany, the city that my mom (1933 ~ 2010) and I were born in . . . annually celebrates the Peace of Augsburg.

The Augsburg Peace Festival is a public holiday in Augsburg. Post Offices, Banks, stores, and most businesses are closed.  This public holiday is celebrated only in Augsburg and not throughout the rest of Germany.

The celebration is held in the Rathaus Platz, a shopping mall, next to City Hall. If you like, you can watch the festivities on this live web cam, keep in mind, Augsburg is nine hours ahead. As I prepared this post, I watched as workers were busy setting up for the festivities.

The Peace of Augsburg, was a treaty established in September 25, 1555, between Charles V and the forces of the Schmalkaldic League at the imperial city of Augsburg, Germany, present day, Bavaria, Germany. This treaty officially ended the struggle between two religious groups.

The Peace allowed the German princes to choose between the Lutheran or Catholic faith within the domains they controlled.  Subjects, citizens, or residents that did not conform to the prince's choice, were given a period to migrate freely to different regions where their chosen religion was accepted. On August 8th, 1629, Protestants were banned from practicing their faith in the city. The Peace of Westphalia reinstated the Augsburg Declaration of Religious Freedom in 1648. The first Augsburg Peace Festival was held on August 8th, in 1650.  


As I gleaned the information about this wonderful German city I was born in, it is my hopes that one day I can muster the courage to fly back to Augsburg (I do not like to fly!). I have deep roots in Augsburg with living family members there, it would also be an incredible experience to research my ancestry in this beautiful historic city. Augsburg was founded in 15 BC, making Augsburg, Germany's third oldest city.  I do recall mom telling me that you can still see the remains of the moat that surrounded the city centuries ago.

When I was thirteen years old, mom and I visited Augsburg and celebrated Christmas with my Oma (1913 ~ 2010), Opa, (1907 ~ 1968), great-grandmother, cousins, aunts and uncles . . . it was an experience of a lifetime. I visited the Perlachtrum, a bell tower that was built in 989, originally a watchtower. Today, you can see the Perlachtrum on the live web cam and the city getting ready for the Peace of Augsburg Festival and feel as if you are there.

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The print of old Augsburg, was given to me, the keeper of our family memories and records, by my Oma in Germany, when I was in my early twenties . . . this print, proudly hangs in my home today. The print is quite large so I used my Flip Pal Mobile Scanner and then used the "stitching" tool to resize it for posting here.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

In Sweet Remembrance of My Beautiful Mom ~


 

21 March 1933 ~ 21 July 2010
Unvergessin


The special bond of Mother and child is written with love on their hearts and souls and make them a part of each other forever.   ~ Author unknown
                             

Two years ago today, my beautiful mom, Elfriede Haf-Serafin, passed away . . . it's hard to believe it's been two years already . . . my heart still aches as if it were yesterday. We miss her here deeply, she was my best friend and there has been an empty space in my life. We continue to keep her memory alive each day . . . her love and legacy lives through me, her grandchild, great-grandchildren and all who knew her . . . we love you mom . . . Schalf gut . . . Schalf in Himmlischer Ruh . . . .


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If roses grow in Heaven, Lord, pick a bunch for me ~ Place them in my Mother's arms & tell her they're from me ~ Tell her that I love & miss her, & when she turns to smile ~ place a kiss upon her cheek & hold her for a while ~ Because remembering her is easy ~ I . . . do it everyday ~ There's an ache within my heart that will never go away.     ~ Author unknown 



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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ Little Liselotte ~


 
Liselotte Haf nee Kaiser-Saule (1913 ~ 2010) ~ 
Oma (grandmother) to yours truly, the keeper of our family history ~ 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Remembering my Cousin, Jim Eimes ~



Remembering on this day,  my cousin, Jim ~ Rest in Peace . . . .

~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~

~ Building Dedication Ceremony Booklet ~


He served as a prototype nuclear plant instructor from 1970 until 1973 when he was selected for the Naval Enlisted Scientific Education Program. He earned his bachelor's degree and a master's degree in nuclear engineering from Purdue University in 1977. He was then commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy in 1977. James was hand selected by Admiral Hyman G. Rickover for duty at Naval Reactors ( a joint program of the Department of the Navy and the Department of Energy) with cradle-to-grave responsibility for the reactors aboard all U.S. naval nuclear-powered warships. He retired from the Navy in 1989.

A building in Bremerton, Washington, was dedicated in his name:

A4W Fleet Interactive Display Equipment (FIDE) Training Simulator on September 11, 2008.

Building Dedication Ceremony front page of booklet reads as:

In recognition of his tireless commitment
to the training principles of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program,

we dedicate this building on September 11, 2008 to the memory of

JAMES E. EIMES

"Too much training is just about right"


                                                                    

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ Emilie Schmidt


 
Emilie Schmidt née Haf
(birth and death date unknown - still searching)
Augsburg, Germany
 Godmother and great-aunt to your's truly, the keeper of our
family history . . . .





Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July ~


Wishing everyone a happy and safe Independence Day!