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Family Gathering

The Cohen-Blanche Family

Washington, DC to Kosovo to Guatemala

Arrived in America sometime around 1726

"Families are like branches on a tree that have different directions, but still come from the same root."

The Backstory

The story of life

Our Family History

The Cohen Family arrived in the United States in 1997. Grandma Mary Ann and Grandpa Jeffery bought a small farmhouse in Luling, Texas, where they still reside. Mary Ann and Jeffery had 8 children, and are survived by 6 (as of 2020). 

The first eldest child, Charles, is an electrician with 3 children, Felicity, Isaish, and Rose. The second eldest, Ricky, passed away in September of 2019, survived by his wife Samantha, daughter Clara and granddaughter Nevaeh. He died of complications of a stroke, followed by a heart attack. 

The third eldest child, Robert (Chee-Chee) lives in Alaska with his wife, and has 3 children, Javier, Therika, and Keristyn. Javier died at the age of 2, and was buried in Lockhart, Texas. Therika has two children, Janae and Elijah who currently live in Lockhart, Texas. Jaime was Grandma Mary Ann's first grandson. Currently, Chee-Chee works in the lumber industry in Anchorage. 

The fourth eldest is Theresa, who passed away shortly after birth. The middle child is Joanie, who has three children and lives in Seguin, Texas. Her children are Trevor, Amber and Niobe. 

After Joanie, is Le-Roy (Clay), who has one son, Saivon. Saivon has two children, Lyric and Saivon Jr. Saivon currently resides in Seguin, Texas and works in construction at Caterpillar. 

The second youngest is Eddie, who is married to Tycie and lived in San Marcos, Texas. They have five boys, Brontez, Tavin, Kalani, Asher, and Kendon. Brontez has

The youngest is Cherleta, who has three children, JeMarcus, Anniah, and Azurah. Anniah has one daughter, Niah'Lynn.  

The Cohen family shares many family traditions, including family reunions, family game nights, and interfamily holiday competitions. The Cohen Family prides themselves on love and trusting relationships, and embraces diversity.

Slideshow

Images of the memorable moments

Family Photos

Whitney Houston - I Have Nothing (Legendado)

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Grandma Juliana and Pawpaw Ernest with Sofia and Julie

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Grandpa taught them well

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Best pictures are always on the porch!

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Kid's favorite vacation

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Good old times

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Everyone's favorite baby

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Food tastes better when you eat it with your family

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The smallest feet left the biggest footprints in our hearts

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Cousins make the best friends

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Our little blessing

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Their love never grows old

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So many memories made when gathered around this table

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Our kids making us proud

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No place as warm as nana's

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Together is our favorite place

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Heart to heart

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Mom's food is the tastiest

Playlist

Every life composes a song or two

Stories

The memorable moments

Dog Days

Dog Days

As told by Cherleta

Me and my brother Leroy headed back up to Alaska. To meet my wife Charlotte to pick up the dogs and bring them back to Texas so we could sell them and make money. The journey up to Alaska was easy. But the journey back was a wild adventure I’ll never forget. We could bring my truck back because you have to take a Ferry boat to get to the mainland. So we rented a car just to get the dogs to the ferry and from there we had to walk with the dogs to the closest airport to rent a large truck.

The whole time Leroy was complaining about the cold. I told him that the dogs were more grateful than he was. When we reached Texas the car ran out of gas about 30 miles from Austin. And we had to walk with the dogs again to a gas station and bring gas back to the car. We then started the rest of the drive. And we made it back to leroys place. And he didn’t want to keep the dogs at his place while we sold them. Do we take them to Mary Ann’s house in Lockhart? We did sell them all within 3 months. 


 

Church Schmurch

Church Schmurch

As told by Eddie

Our family is very involved in church. Joanie the oldest sister has always been good at organizing and planning events. The church fundraiser was gonna be a piece of cake. Me being the youngest sister I look up to my older sister. So I decided to help her plan. Thinking of ways to raise money slot cane to mind. But we decided to go with the top two on our list. A car wash and a yard sale. The perfect day was picked. And preparations were underway.

On the day of the fundraiser, I wanted to just do a car because I didn’t think people in the community would support. And myself and Joanie argued all morning. She was very certain that the fundraiser would be a big hit. We started very early and members of the community were dropping off items to be sold. And the kids of the church arrived to conduct the car wash. And my brother eddy cooked and we also sold food plates. And we made tons of flyers and as time rolled around the car was packed and the food plates had sold out and the yard sale items were a big hit. We tailed over 2,000 dollars that day. Despite the arguments, the church fundraiser was a success.

Track and Field

Track and Field

As told by Trevor

When you come from an athletic family, you spend every Saturday night at a track meet. My sister Amber was running that night. The field was packed and busy with runners, Hurdlers, coaches, and teammates. The family was in the stands waiting for my sister to run. And I snuck down to the field to stretch with my sister and the rest of her team. When I make it to my sister she’s talking with her friends and they are hyping her up. I stay on the field while she is called up to run. And I noticed that she left her hair tie. So I pick it up and start running in the direction that she was.

In my head I’m running so fast I like flying. I’m running through large crowds and boom. I ran into a sandpit jumper as they were making their leap. They were so devastating. I almost messed up their measurements. I looked around and my sister was already running so I headed back up to the stands where my family was. And say to myself that I guess I wasn’t going to be a runner that night.

Mabel's Favorite Recipe

Mabel's Favorite Recipe

One Pot Taco Pasta

10 ingredients: 1 cup Bell pepper, 1 15 oz can Black beans, 1 cup Corn, 6 cloves Garlic, 1/2 cup Onions, 3 cups Salsa, 5 cups Pasta, cooked, 4 tsp Chili powder, 1 sprinkle of Salt, 2 tbsp Taco seasoning

 

How to Make it: 

Start by heating a bit of oil (or vegetable broth for oil-free cooking) and fry the garlic and optional onions and bell pepper for around 4 minutes.

Then, add beans, corn, taco seasoning, optional chili powder, cooked pasta, and salsa. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 7 minutes more.

After, eat and enjoy! 

Friday Night Lights (Frights)

Friday Night Lights (Frights)

As Told by Niobe

My sister Amber was a cheerleader. So that meant as a family we had to attend all of the home football games. Which was no hard task for us because we love to see her perform. My mom and I headed out to the football game we picked up my little cousin and made her way to the stadium. The stadium seats at least 2,000 people. And tonight the stadium was filled with people. Me and my cousin love to pick the seats way at the top close to the light you can see everything from up here. So We told My mom to see a little closer so she could see better. Well we went to the top with either snacks and waited for halftime.  Halftime was my favorite. It was when the cheerleaders performed and also my sister could take a break and come up into the stands and say hi to us. But this night was a little different than most.

Sitting at the top we began to realize it was flying crickets round the lights where we were sitting. And they started to Swarm up. Jumping everywhere in our hair and everything. So we ran down to where my mother was sitting a little bit lower hoping that there were no bugs. Which they weren’t. As a showing on and halftime started we stood up to cheer and wave at my sister. The couple sitting behind us tapped my shoulder and said “missy you got something crawling in your hair”. I’m now crying terrified of the bugs that we tried to escape in the first place. I am now louder than my section cheering on the cheerleaders and now everyone is looking at me trying to get this cricket out of my hair. Everyone laughs along and tries to help me get it out. I don’t think anyone in my section even got to see the cheerleaders perform their halftime performance. Because everyone was so busy laughing at me trying to get the bug out of my hair.


 

Thunderstorms and Rubber Tires

Thunderstorms and Rubber Tires

As Told by Clara

As a kid on a summer day, they were plenty of things that we could get into. My mom‘s best friend also had a daughter my age so we would always hang out and find stuff to do. On this particular summer day, there is a thunderstorm coming in. Myself and my best friend Kelsey were terrified of thunderstorms. So we decided to spend all day following our moms around because we knew a thunderstorm was coming. On the other hand, moms not afraid of anything had plenty of errands to run that day. So all four of us hopped in the car and headed out to do errands. Exhausted from the day, we met and Kelsey fell asleep in the backseat. When we woke up it was night time when the thunder had started. My mothers began to get flash flood warnings on their phones and decided it was time to head home. As the rain picked up in the thunder became louder we had to pull over it was getting too heavy to drive in. This concerns me because of all the movies I watch people always get struck by lightning. And I didn’t want that to happen to us. As me and Kelsey sit in the backseat afraid of the thunder hopping in the rain hitting the window. Her mom told us that there was nothing to be afraid of. Because thunder bounced off rubber and being in the car was probably more safe than being in the house at the moment. It’s me and Kelsey listen we begin to understand that we were safe. The rain lined up in the thunderstorm able to drive home safely. And I learned that even in the place that you wanna be most is home you might be safer where you are.


 

Rebecca's Favorite Recipe

Rebecca's Favorite Recipe

Vegetarian (Kosher) Mushroom Meatballs

10 ingredients:  3 tbsp olive oil, 1 medium onion (chopped), 20 oz mushrooms, finely chopped, 1 cup quick cook oats, 1 cup breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, 4 garlic cloves (minced), 2 eggs, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 24oz jar Marinara sauce, parsley to garnish, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

 

How to Make it: 

In a large skillet, saute the onion in olive oil on medium-low heat for about 7 minutes. Add mushrooms, increase the heat to medium-high and cook them for 10-15 minutes. You’ll need to wait until the water evaporates and then keep cooking the mushrooms until they brown nicely. Add garlic, stir, and transfer the mushrooms into the mixing bowl. Let them cool down.

Add the rest of the ingredients excluding marinara to the mixture. Stir the mixture nicely and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, possibly overnight for the flavors (and texture!) to develop.

When ready to cook, using a tablespoon as a measure, form small balls from the mixture. Fry the balls in a small amount of vegetable oil until they turn brown or bake them in a preheated oven at 400F for 15 minutes.

Add marinara sauce to the medium saucepan. Place the meatballs on top and cook the meatballs in the sauce on a low heat for about 15 more minutes.

Garnish with grated Parmesan or fresh parsley.

More at: https://cooktoria.com/mushroom-meatballs/#wprm-recipe-container-5153) 

Watermelon Thump

Watermelon Thump

As told by Niobe

When the family got together for a family reunion they were around the same time as the annual watermelon thump in Luling, Texas. This meant the city parks would be full of other families and communities celebrating together. Luckily for our family grandma lived right down the hill from the city park. Not far from all the summer festivities happening up the hill. As all the kids arrived at grandmas we got ready for our habitual race to the top of the hill to see who could reach the swimming pools faster. 

As the older cousin gathered at the starting gate, which was grandma's backyard gate. They already had the look of victory in their eyes. They had something planned that would soon be vital for the whole group to know. But they would never tell what. So as Uncle Eddie started the countDown for the race to the top of the hill we were all determined to make it to the top. 

We stood in a line gazed at the track ahead. Which was a field of y’all grass? A couple of rocks and a gang of horses feeding on grass. The countdown finishes and we take off up the hill. As we take out of the backyard, the older cousins take a detour and run around the front of the house and take the street route to the park as us young kids continue ahead. Not even halfway up the hill we stop and drop to the ground. Noticing that we were being attacked by sticker bugs. The tiny poking bits of grass that stick to almost anything. We all turn back trying to wrestle the small stickers off. As our older cousins have made it to the top and are dancing and shouting in excitement. Let’s just say that was the last year of that racing tradition. 


 

Sarah's Favorite Recipe

Sarah's Favorite Recipe

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

 

Ingredients: 3 cups cooked quinoa, 1 (4-ounce) can green chiles, 1 cup corn kernels, 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed, 1/2 cup petite diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese, 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, 6 bell peppers, tops cut, stemmed and seeded

How to Make it: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, green chiles, corn, beans, tomatoes, cheeses, cilantro, cumin, garlic, onion and chili powder, salt and pepper, to taste.

Spoon the filling into each bell pepper cavity. Place on prepared baking dish, cavity side up, and bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through, about 25-30 minutes.

Serve immediately.

More at: https://damndelicious.net/2013/06/03/quinoa-stuffed-bell-peppers/ 

Mission: Save the Purple Bracelet

Mission: Save the Purple Bracelet

As Told by Saivon

Growing up with older siblings meant unlimited assistance on misbehaving and not having to get blamed because you were the youngest. 

At least that’s what I thought up until the summer of 2007. I had a purple bracelet, it was my favorite purple bracelet. I never took it off it had become a part of me. One day I decided to go to the park and play with my purple bracelet. I took it off and was swirling it in the air and it flew off into the pool.The pool in the park we’re so close but I figured I could just climb the wall and grab my bracelet out of the water and head home. So I did, but didn’t make it too far. I was too small to jump the fence so I held back home and grabbed my brother and sister to help. My brother climbed first, and then my sister help me over. And then she was the last to climb over the pool fence. We were there on the side sticking your hands down trying to pick up the bracelet that was in the deep end. But we were just simply not long enough to reach. And then my sister spotted the long pool cleaners hanging on the side of the wall. She motioned to my brother to go grab it. He grabs it and we're trying to drag the bracelet from the deep into the shorter end so we could reach it. And we grab the bracelet and head home.

When we got home my mother was standing there asking us where we had been and why we were a little wet. Not knowing that she had already known the answer we began to tell her the story of a missing bracelet. At this point she’s very upset because she had gotten a call from the leasing office saying that they were three children who had jumped the fence and we’re playing in the pool by themselves. She was furious. She told us we were all grounded and then we all had to stay away from the pool and we were no longer allowed to jump anymore fences. We definitely learned our lesson and had an adventure as well. I actually ended up getting my purple bracelet stuck in a desk that had no key to unlock it not only a week later.


 

"I'm going down"

"I'm going down"

As told by Brontez

It was a fun fall night with all the family. My aunt, my cousins uncles and grandma we’re all around at Uncle Toby's house. We decided to put on a game of basketball between my aunt and my mother. My aunt and her kids versus my mom and her kids.

As a game began to go everything was going good my mom and sister and I were winning - but my aunt wasn’t too far behind. It began to get dark but we still continued to play. Streetlights came on which meant it was almost time to go inside my aunt to slowly begin to beat us. So my mom became really competitive and decided to play even harder.

She was going for lay-up as she went and reached for the net. She didn't make it and she fell to the ground. I was so scared I didn’t know what to do. I yelled and cried and I ran inside. I didn’t even stay to make sure she wasn’t hurt. As I heard her laughing, I ran back outside to comfort her. She says "where do you go? You were supposed to be my rebound" and start laughing. I start laughing and realize my mom is stronger than she looks. 


 

Flooding Our New House

Flooding Our New House

As Told by Anniah

My mother had just gotten a new house. She was so proud of herself for her accomplishments. And during this time I was a high school teenager not concerned with the world around me.

As we moved everything in the new house we settled in, I realized that my favorite part about the whole house was the kitchen. The kitchen was really nice, really big and a good place for conversations. Me and my little cousin Ally were in the kitchen. We were the only ones in the house so we decided to be chefs and make dinner. Ally finished cooking and we ate and watched television from the kitchen. So, she was cooking some spaghetti and I was on the phone with a friend.. (I guess it was just her as the chef, then) Anyways, since Ally cooked I agreed to do the dishes before my mom got home.

Ally went to my room and finished watching television while I finished up the dishes. At this time in high school, it was really important to have your own phone. And I was happy that I had mine. I could keep in contact with my friends whenever I wanted to... So, as I was cleaning the dishes I got a call from my friend and decided to take it into the backyard to talk. About 45 minutes into the conversation I hang up the phone and go back inside to finish up the dishes.

As I came inside the kitchen flooded with water, I never turned the water off when I went outside. And now it was a race against time to try and pick up the water before my mother got home. She was going to kill me by flooding her new kitchen. As I was cleaning I slowly started to see the damage that I had done. The walls were damp and the rugs were moist and there was no time to fix what I had done. I got most of the water up and I put the rugs outside to dry.

I'll admit that having to explain to my mother that I was on the phone and didn’t know the water was still on was one of the hardest moments of my life. Let’s just say I completely acknowledge the old saying of teens "always on their phones". Oops. 

Rookie Road Trip

Rookie Road Trip

As Told by Niobe and Amber

Mama Joanie's birthday was coming up so we decided to make a road trip to Atlanta Georgia. We decided to rent a car for the trip so we could have some additional space in the car for luggage. We were going to be staying about seven days so we needed the room. When it comes to rental cars my mother is really cautious. She wants to know about every feature in the car before she drives it. This way it’s easier to navigate things while you’re on the road if you know what kind of car you’re driving.

This time we decided to get a car that was remote start no keys only a key fob. Which I thought at the time was really cool. So as we're driving a car from Texas to Georgia we have planned several stops to get gas, food and restroom breaks. We pulled up to the gas station and park next to a pump we go inside and pay for gas. We take restroom breaks and we’re ready to head back on the road. It’s my turn to drive so I hop in the driver seat and go to start the car and we get a motion that there’s no key so we cannot start it.

We’re sitting in a gas station in the middle of nowhere with no key to the car and had no clue to where it was. Of course we didn't need it to start the car, but we certenly needed to know where it was.  This new technology has definitely caught up with us but at the wrong time. So we search for the key for like an hour and it ends up in the trunk under some clothes. Were able to make our way back on the road and start the journey again with an hour lost. We decided to hang the key from the rearview mirror so we don’t lose it again. 


 

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