Monday, July 25, 2016

Final 2 week agreement at "the cabin" for Cleve's

As a follow-up to last year's photos, here are some fresh pics from this year's grand finale at the summer cabin we sold 3 years ago -- after 35 years.  The agreement with the new owners was "for 2 weeks each summer, for 3 years, we get the cabin".  That agreement ended 4 days ago after all 8 of our immediate family were there and we had "more fun than human beings should be allowed to have!"  It also reminded us of the grand time we had on July 4th  (3 years ago) with over 40 Klopfenstein's present.

                        Constant "King-of-the-hill" fun on the floating "lilly-pad"

                  Countless jumps & dives from the tree-stump diving platform
              Carter (11)  Caleb (14)  (neighbor friend Scout Schock) & Cooper (8)
The boys' diving form improves every year!
                      They've become experts at catching lots of turtles and frogs...

                 "Aunt Crystal" and Cooper on the all-Astro-turf lakeside front yard.

          Fishing was good enough to catch 5 of these beauties...a big fish fry was
          enjoyed on the last evening with Aunt Crystal's special Aunt Jamima batter.

                                         "synchronized diving" off the stump.
              A quick "post-swimming trip" to the nearby Dairy Queen.  The boys' other   Grandpa, Wayne Banwart of Champaign, joined us for 1 day & 1 night.

                           Even Grandpa K was bribed into taking one jump........

                         Cooper, always the comedian...."Frog legs for dinner??"  .....just

                     We celebrated birthdays for Aaron, Caleb, Kathleen, & Carter.

                  Cooper, as usual, sneaking a sugar cookie.  His mother & grandma never
                        found out!!!!!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Wedding 6/3/16

I thought y'all might appreciate a few pics from Andrew and Teah's wedding.  It was a beautiful evening - an evening outdoor wedding with the reception in a brick "barn" on the same site.  

You'll notice the leis.  Teah's father is Filipino/Hawaiian, and her aunt brought flowers from Hawaii for the wedding.  So, rather than wearing corsages, we each got a lei!  It added a nice touch.  (The men in the wedding party wore tea leaf leis instead of flower ones.)

I hope you enjoy the pictures.  Mike's brother did the photography.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Picture Sharing

When I was at Gloria's I looked through some of her pictures. There were multiple copies of some of the old ones, so I snatched a few. I'll share a couple now and more later. I don't remember if they've appeared on the blog before or not, but I figure if I can't remember, you won't either! Enjoy!

Judy, Marty, Stan, Gloria
This would have been Easter morning in La Grange Park. On our way to the Sunnyside church in Chicago. Oh, the stories we tell of that weekly stop and go ride to church on Sundays. 

Judy, Marty, Stan, Cleve, Gloria, David
This was Christmas morning, 1956. Notice the bar brace on baby David's shoes. He wore that for a few months to correct a dislocated hip. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Texas Trip

Dave and I spent a few days in Texas this week. The weather was hot, but the visit was good. We first drove to Houston to Paradise Springs to see Gloria. We found her happy and healthy and enjoyed our 3 days there.

She still enjoys her birds and I was lucky enough to get a full performance from both of them one afternoon. Cocky and Angel were pretty amazing with their clear talking and funny antics. Pretty impressive!

Gloria has a lot of friends and takes an interest in each one. Everyone smiles when they see Gloria.

Always ready for a party, as usual! There was a balloon release for a man's 100th birthday party, and Gloria took the opportunity for a little fun.

After we left Houston, we drove to Dallas to visit with Rhoda and Renae. As always, they treated us well and we were free to just sit back and relax. We spent most of the day Thursday in their beautiful pool.

And we ate at our favorite BBQ restaurant. It's become a tradition on our visits to Dallas.

Doesn't everyone need a nap after a big BBQ meal? We tested out some new mattresses at the Nebraska Furniture Store. There was a huge selection and the salesgirl gave us her best sales pitch...until she found out we were from Illinois. She pretty quickly moved on. No sale.

It was a quick trip and we have agreed that flying is the way to go in the future. Tomorrow we'll be on the highway for the 12 hours of driving it will take to get back to Illinois. Good thing I have a man who likes to drive!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Christensen Update

I have not posted for some time, so I thought I would add random things that have/are happening in the Christensen family.  Hopefully this will work!
Angela...continues to live in Jacksonville, Fl with husband Jerry.  They both work at State Farm.  Son Nathan, just finished the 4th grade.  Daughter Kelsie graduated from Jacksonville University a few years ago and works for a Medical Instrument Company.  Kelsie lives a few miles from Angela and about 2 miles from the ocean.
The last pic of Uncle Nathan is with Jett (Heather's daughter)

Drake continues to live in Vernon Hills and is a computer project manager.  His two children Grace (will be a senior) and Owen (will be a sophomore) are very active in school.
Both of them play in the Vernon Hills Orchestra. 
Jason and Janice live in Downers Grove with three very active boys,  Zac just finished his freshman years at Washington University in St Louis.  Noah finished his junior year and Miles his sophomore year at Downers Grove North high school.   Janice works for Nora Fleming and travels all over the country with her showing the latest products.
Zac runs cross country for Wash U, Noah plays Lacrosse and Miles runs cross country/track for Downers. Jason is still with Chase in downtown Chicago.

 And, of course if you have not noticed, the center of attraction at a total family get-together is Jett.  One year old a week ago lives with her parents Heather and Dallas in Bloomington.  Heather is the manager of the newly remodeled Hardee's in ElPaso.

Ada and I continue to keep busy working with the flowers in the yard and finding any excuse to go anywhere.   So, if this works, I will close with some pics of Ada's flowers. I am really hoping I have not left anyone out and equally important, have not bored you with all these pics.  
Have a cool and healthy summer.  From the JAC's

And last, a pic of Ada and Lynn as we were on our way home from Florida and stayed with L&M over night.   

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

How many people does it take to replace a water heater?

Klopfensteins are inquisitive, problem-solving people so I thought I'd share an interesting situation to see how you think it may be solved.

Many homes in north Texas have their water heater in the attic. This is supposedly to save space in the home. We have had two 50-gallon water heaters in the attic. Renae decidedly to proactively replace one water heater and remove the other before there is a problem and potentially leak water through the ceiling into the house which we know has happened to other people.

Here is your puzzle:
The new water heater weighs 170 lbs. and the two currently in the attic are probably close to that drained.
The installer weighs about 180 I'm guessing.
The ladder going into the attic is rated for up to 250 lbs.
How does one man get the two out of the attic and get a new one up there by himself. (Most companies charge an "attic fee" to have at least two workers install an attic water heater.)

I'll post a picture in the comments, but think about how you may solve this problem and share your ideas.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Yes, I am home! It was an extraordinary trip which seemed to go fast, until I think back to the early days of April, and then I think, "Well, yes, 4 weeks was a long time!" I got Georgia and a good portion of NC knocked out.

I wanted to go further, but in the end I came home just at the right time to escape some cold, snowy weather in the Smoky Mts. I'm seeing pictures of people I knew who are still out there, and they are looking a little miserable.

What's next? I don't feel completely done with the adventure. My friend and hiking partner, Pam, is retiring the end of June, so a July trip may be in the works. We'd like to hike in Virginia and in the Shenandoah National Park.

Drake...put it on your to see you out there with us!

I'll let you all know if and when we hit the trail again...thank you for all the support! It was fun sharing the experience with you!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Post AT Musings

Thank you for your most informative messages about the experiences getting ready for and negotiating all the details of The Trail. Mim and I enjoyed reading your accounts every morning. Your feisty spirit and pursuit gave you one month of testiness not to be minimized or forgotten!  And--Dave's input must be factored into the mix! I can just see him in the "Shark Tank" mode, with a smile saying, "I'm out!"

Keep posting with current events. Of course, we wonder what's next?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Whew!!!  This has been the search of searches!!!  Thank you Crystal for the initial data to track this Klopfenstein couple.  A dead end nearly was reached when I could not find any kind of Daniel and Bev K.  So I started on Beverly and out of the gate had the right people.  I said, "HALLELUJAH"!   This couple is actually Dale and Beverly Klopfenstein from Wauseon, Ohio.  I had the nicest phone visit with Bev.

Here's the record that my genealogy file reveals:
Dale and I are 6th Cousin!
Dale and Ralph are 6th Cousin!
Dale and Cleve are 6th Cousin once removed!
Dale and Crystal are 6th Cousin twice removed!

For me--this has been a fun run.  Let me know if you need a family genealogy report.  There are 10-12,000 Klopfenstein family names in file.  Total in file of friends, neighbors and acquaintances is over 52,000 names.

Monday, May 2, 2016


Several months ago I went on a gospel cruise to the Caribbean.  I had a great time & went with many other people from Apostolic Christian churches all over the country (Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Iowa, Missouri).  The entertainment on the ship was well-known Southern gospel groups such as The Booth Brothers, Greater Vision, Legacy Five, The Mark Trammell Quarter, The Collingsworth Family, and Jim Brady Trio.  Reminded me of the videos of Andrew' Bailes singing Southern gospel.  I'd highly recommend a gospel cruise!  It's so uplifting, the fellow passengers are all believers, and it's an all-around great experience.

Interestingly, the first day we received a list of other passengers and I noticed there was a Klopfenstein couple from Ohio onboard!  I didn't recognize their names & wondered what were the chances of running into them on a ship of 2,000 people plus 900 crew.  The very first night at the first gospel show I found one open seat way down toward the front stage & quickly sat down in this great seat.  I got to talking to an older couple next to me & we chatted about  how many cruises we'd each been on, how we both enjoy Southern gospel music, etc.  They asked me where I was from & mentioned they were from Ohio.  I glanced at their name badges & saw they were the Klopfenstein's!  They couldn't believe it when I gasped & proclaimed that I am a Klopfenstein also!  They were Dan & Bev Klopfenstein, both born & raised in Ohio.  I don't recall the name of their hometown or the name of his parents, but Dan was probably late 70's.  Dan said they & their whole extended family has always pronounced it KlopfenSTEEN, as they think KlopfenSTEIN sounds Jewish.  They asked me if I was Jewish  :).  I mentioned the name of some of my ancestors, but they didn't recognize any names.  Dan thought his family originated in Germany.  I'm curious if Uncle Lynn can find Dan in his list of genealogy records????????

Dan & Bev Klopfenstein