Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Jake's graduation

Sam Adams, a beloved Clarkston High School teacher, encouraged the 2018 graduating seniors to write their own book of life.  He said, "find out what you value and what brings you joy and make that the theme of your book."  
If I had a book of life, my grandson, Jake, would currently be the focus of my joy.  Look at these great smiles from an awesome young man.  

Jake filled his book with lots of stories of football and soccer.  After his team won a match with Cheney I overheard him tell his parents, "I'm sooooo happy."  He has dreams of playing soccer for a community college, so those games may continue to bring him lots of joy.
We...Karen, John, Bradleigh, and Austen, waited patiently for the ceremony to begin.  I noticed the program listed the names of all the graduates with these funky symbols behind their names.  Jake wore colored cords that indicated he was an honor student, a DECA student, and completed over 200 hours of community service.  
 I took a few notes during the speeches given by Sam Adams and Dan Lejameyer, the assistant principal.  Sam Adams said, "a lot of people will ask you where you are going after graduation and what you want to do, but a more important question is what kind of a person you are going to be.  Always be humble and kind and remember that courage is the glue that holds your book together.  Dan, when thanking the parents said, "when your kid moves out, you become a lot smarter."
 Jake completed over 200 hours of community service by volunteering at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, spending a lot of time with Shannon Stajowski, another volunteer who absolutely loved working with Jake and teasing him a time or two.  She sat through the long ceremony just so she could give him a big hug and offer congratulations!

I took lots of pictures of Jake hugging people - this sweet one of Grandma Delores.  I can tell that Jake values all those hugs and doesn't mind posing for the pictures, either.

More hugging pictures with Makinzie Packwood and Isabel
 Just a few more family pictures before they turned out the lights in the LCSC Activity Center.

Jake's favorite quote from John Wayne:


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Jennifer's Bridal Shower

The Kopczynski's love to gather together for all kinds of events, and this lovely bridal shower was no exception.  We spent a night in Bellevue and Connie and I took an early morning walk.
Great photo op in front of the Whole Foods Store
Rhododendrons blooming everywhere along the walking route!
We, Kopczynski girls, received a lovely invitation from Judy Zacharda, to come to her home on May19th.  We were a bit surprised to be greeted by Jason, the groom to be!  He stayed through the whole shower and helped get the gifts organized and transported to their home.  Pictures of Judy and Diane, the hostesses and Connie, Jason, and Joan!
Judy the hostess and Jason with his mother, Lisa, and grandmother, Peggy.
Jason's Aunt Kassi & cousin, Lena; Kaitlyn, wife of one of the groomsmen, and Jennifer

 Jennifer, her Mom, Ro, Lauren, a bridesmaid, and Talia, a cousin
Jennifer's aunt, and Elaine and Sue, friends from the church
Marilyn, Connie, and Jason with grandmother, Peggy

Lovely decor, wonderful food and creative gifts from friends!

Jennifer was a good sport,   opening personal gifts to be used on her wedding night!

Jennifer's tender thank you note makes me believe she's a great addition to our big family.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Hiking to Elk Creek Falls

It's quite amazing that I've lived in Idaho for over 70 years and have never been to Elk River, a small community of 125 residents, just 70 miles from here.  The Lewiston hiking group planned a spring hike to this area, promising a four mile hike with opportunity to view three different waterfalls.  We met Scott and Carol Fletcher, our leaders, at the community center and since there were just five of us we all piled in their truck and headed for Elk River.   The rain pelted the windshield at times and I wondered if we would really hike in the rain...  But when we got to Elk River, the rain was a fine mist, but this scene made us consider turning around...
Scott drove a bit, but soon turned around and we decided we'd just hike through the snow to the trailhead.  I did not take their picture, but we came upon a young couple, totally stuck in the snow with their rental car.  The young woman said, "yes, you can tell your friends you met two strangers from Florida who thought they could drive all the way to the falls."  She'd already called 911 so we bade them farewell and wondered all afternoon if the tow truck was able to get their car unstuck.
This picture shows the spot where they were stuck and we were quite happy to see the car gone when we hiked back to Scott's truck on the snow-covered, slushy road.

Snow covered the trail for the first 1/2 mile, but we did not mind - we kept telling ourselves how adventurous we felt today.

The new signage informed us of the history of the formation of the falls and the geology of the area.

The middle section falls 90' and is considered the tallest falls in Idaho.  

Debbie's telling me to come look at the rainbow!  We were quite happy to see the sun.

 Carol broke out in big smiles when the sun came out.  The lookout near upper falls got us really close to the rushing water!

I love the sound of the water!

A small group of us became good friends today, despite the challenges of the snow and the rain!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Karlee's Bridal Shower

I love this picture of Mom and daughter, celebrating a life-long dream to find love, be a blushing bride, plan a unique wedding, and embark on a life with a soul mate.  Marilyn shared a story, "I was so happy when Karlee moved to Aspen, because I was quite sure she'd find love among the rich and famous.  She told me she was just not attracted to those rich people."  At her bridal shower we learned a bit more about the people who Karlee definitely is attracted to, some by family default, but other chosen friends from early childhood.  
Her aunties - each of us claiming to be her favorite, starting with Connie and Joan.
Connie, Karlee, Theresa, and Marilyn
Dena, Karlee, and Jill, a cousin. Jill and Raya, Justin's significant other sweetheart.

The Kuhlmann side - Aunts Judy and Teri.   Cousin Serena and her daughter, Jovie.
Karlee gave Marilyn a tear-filled glance when she opened the gift of a head-table cover, embellished with lace from Marilyn's wedding dress. Marilyn seems undaunted by big projects like this and I'm happy that I had a small part in her big surprise.  Marilyn and I shopped together for the skirt fabric and I agonized over the measurements, but it appears our efforts pleased this bride-to-be.  

I snapped a few shots of some special gifts.  Karlee and John both expressed a desire for wedding gifts that might enable them to get new windows and a garage for their home in Colorado.  So Joan presented her with a special gift from Germany, a unique bank in the shape of a house.  She included the artist who created the design and the area in Germany where she found this special gift.  Dena and Jill presented Karlee with  a cute jar with the label, "House fund."  I understand part of their gift to this couple is Don's expertise in home remodeling.

I gave her an antique jar filled with a dried rose from one of the hundreds of bouquets from our Mom's funeral.  I added dried flowers from Marilyn's bridal bouquet and encouraged Karlee to add some petals from her bouquet and eventually present the flower-filled gift to her own daughter.
Jenny and Lauren have been Karlee's friends for years, through the thick and thin of life.  Lauren moved to Spokane from California in the late 1980's and said, "I was scared and felt so alone, but Karlee talked to me when everyone else ignored me.  We've been friends ever since that moment in first grade."  Jenny and Karlee became friends during high school years at Lewis & Clark High School.  Marilyn told me Jenny was Karlee's biggest cheerleader when she played volleyball - she'd come to the games with signs and her big, gravely cheerleader voice.
The BBF's and their moms, Glenda, Marilyn, and Karen.  I loved hearing the stories that connected these young women over the years.....craft parties at the Kuhlmann's, volleyball games at L&C, and preschool at the Presbyterian Church.  

Karlee and aunts and cousins.  Her aunt, Rhonda, and cousins Korin and Nikki, joined us when Karlee wanted a group photo.  We all had opportunities to share stories about our relationship and memories of Karlee.  Connie talked about Karlee coming out to the farm in the summer months, filling her days mentoring her young impressionable cousin, Julia.  Connie said, "that's when I knew  Karlee would be a great teacher."  The Kuhlmann cousins remember a picture of the four cousin babies, taken in 1985, when the three baby girls seemed to the push the only boy cousin, away from them.  The stories spanned 34 years in time as relatives and close friends shared joy, memories, concerns, and giggles that only a lifetime of friendship can bring.  
We all loved Lauren's lovely mid-century modern home and her delightful spring decor.  
We couldn't be happier for this daughter, niece, cousin, BBF.  Karlee, enjoying the love and support of forever friends and their Moms, her aunts and cousins, eagerly awaits a beautiful summer wedding in the glorious Rocky Mountains.  She and John want it to be spectacular - how could it not be with all their planning and special touches of lace, lanterns, thrift store treasures, fleece blankets, and Idaho wood-rounds?  Karlee, we love you to those Mountains and back!