Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Happy Birthday, Anne

Today is Anne's birthday and as I look through my pictures, I discover that most reflect her joy reflected in a gorgeous smile!  She know how to have fun and how to laugh at herself!  She's not afraid to tell stories about her mishaps and her memory.  She loves to play jokes on her co-workers and is brave enough to embarrass her boss.

I love this picture, taken when we first introduced Anne to the larger Kopczynski family.  Even though she's the youngest of eight children she did not always have family to share the holidays.  Anne grew up in Toledo, Ohio on Perth Street, close to the University.  Her mom managed a busy household and her Dad worked as the editor of the Catholic Diocesan newspaper.  
These two did not have a long courtship, choosing to get married at a quaint Bed & Breakfast near Bolder, Colorado in October.

 A year later, this precious child was born!  

There are a lot of things I love about Anne - here are just a few!
When I come to visit the Wessels house, I get to sleep under two of my Mom's quilts!
Anne loves to connect with high school friends - this one joined us for lunch on Bainbridge Island and we lingered so long we almost missed our ferry back to Seattle.
I love that she recognizes things I like to do and asks for my help!  This is Colin's first communion banner that I designed (with the help of the internet) and Colin glued on the grapes.

I love that she's willing to coach soccer!
And play ice hockey!
And loves to decorate an outdoor planter that I bought to honor her mother, Katie
And that she encouraged Colin to have his own mini-donut booth at the Moscow Farmer's Market.
 I love that Colin plays the marimbas, with a lot of help from his mother to haul the instruments back and forth to Moscow Charter School.

I love that's she's a proud Irish women and loves being a 'ginger' along with niece, Bradleigh.
I love that she arranges sleep overs for Colin at Grandma's house
And insists we make lots of Christmas cookies every year even though she rarely eats them and gives most of them away.
I love that she invites me to go on family vacations
And takes selfies of our bike rides!
I fell in love with bike riding when she gave me her old bike in 2010!
I love how she makes me laugh, even when it's 110 degrees and we have no air conditioning.

Happy Birthday

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Feeling grateful for Don on his birthday

My brother, Don, celebrates his 61st birthday today!  We, older siblings, often tease him about being left behind when he was 6 months old and everyone else in the family hopped into the '51 Lincoln, drove to Illinois, and returned 6 weeks later.  Don giggles about it now, but maybe he has suffered from feelings of being abandoned.
Mom sewed these matching dresses for all her girls, prior to leaving on the trip to Illinois.
I was ten years old,  Joan only two and we travelled without seat belts or infant safety seats.

The memories of those early years make me smile, but the following pictures make me feel grateful
I'm grateful for his work ethic, still one of his best qualities, now being transferred into helping his kids remodel their homes.  I remember when he had a young family and would drag them from St. Maries, Spokane, and Moses Lake to Cottonwood to work on projects for Mom and Dad.
Two years ago he remodelled Joan's bathroom!

I'm grateful for his wonderful wood-working projects.  I love my Christmas box and Santa, but also the lovely shelf he built above my TV set.

I'm also grateful that Don loved to take and organize pictures.  He showed me how to organize and store my negatives and now Duane is following in Uncle Don's footsteps by scanning them into his computer!

I'm also grateful that Don knows how to have fun in the midst of projects.  As a teenager he had his siblings laughing until they cried.  I remember how his funny stories would send me into fits of laughter, too!  He's obviously able to find humor in some challenging situations!
 Karen took this picture on our bike ride around Alki Beach.  What fun we had, almost like kids, riding bikes, eating fish tacos and eventually kayaking!  Karen and I could not believe he waited on the beach until we and the kayak were safely back on the shore.
I'm grateful for Don's generosity - inviting all his siblings to Bar Harbor, Maine.
 I'm grateful for Don's ability to blend two families and ensure the kids love and care about each other, and their extended families.
I'm grateful for both of these electrical engineers!  And for Don's dedication to the University of Idaho's engineering program over the years.
And my gratitude extends to Dena, who adores my brother.  Her influence shaped his career, his ability to balance work and family, and his faith.  
Thank you, Don, for sharing your gifts with me!