Sunday, August 6, 2017

"To Everything There Is A Season"

The Bible says that to everything there is a season, and it would appear that the season of the EJK Family Blog is winding down.

People simply do not use blogs as much as they used to.  The advent of Facebook took much of the momentum of blogs away.

Of course, anyone is still welcome to post here if desired.  At some point we will close it down, but not for awhile.  Great family archives and history have been shared on here, and it would be a shame to lose all that.  Several of us plan to eventually work toward creating a blog book out of the entries already on here.

In the meantime, Judy and I have created the EJK Family private Facebook group.  She, Rhoda, and I will serve as administrators of the group.  We will add as many family members as possible (anyone can ask to join but is not admitted until an administrator approves), but no one will be a member until he/she accepts the invitation or requests to join.

The Facebook group is a PRIVATE group.  That means that members may post on it at any time, but posts do not go out into the general public.  It is our hope that this private Facebook group will take up the mantle of family communication and will provide an Internet means for bringing a far-flung family together.

A personal note as the EJK blog comes to a close:  The enthusiasm and cooperation of family members on this blog, for ten years, was deeply personally satisfying.  I was apprehensive that the idea would take off in the beginning, but was very gratified at the level of participation.  Thank you so much to all who were a part of this project!!  --Ann

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A visit to Gloria and her daughter Jamie -- in Houston, Texas

Kathleen and I were privileged to visit Gloria in Houston, Texas on our way home from Florida in early March.  We found her healthy, happy, and very well cared for by her daughter Jamie, who lives about 15 minutes from Gloria -- in a very beautiful home where she, husband Joe, and their 2 boys live.  Gloria has a spacious and lovely 1-bedroom unit within a gorgeous independent-living facility called Paradise Springs where all her needs (as well as those of her many wonderful  friends there) are fully met. 
                          Jamie and her mother, Gloria, in Gloria's comfortable unit,
                            along with Little Doggy, Gloria's lovable companion.

                                    On Gloria's personal, private balcony.

                                              with her oldest brother, Cleve

                                 Gloria and Jamie looking at a very funny video!

                                     Outside Jamie and Joe's beautiful home
                                             in "The Woodlands" of Houston

                                             Jamie's backyard private pool

Monday, March 6, 2017


Hi everyone. Dad is recovering well from surgery last week and his previous illness. He got home yesterday and seems to improve by the minute. He walked outside a bit today. We're so grateful! I think he would love a text or call if you feel so inclined! We'll know he's fully recovered when he gets back into his genealogy!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Not Geneology, But...

This has nothing to do with geneology, Mary, or meeting a real live Klopfenstein, but we took this picture at Niagara Falls probably about 30 years ago. Imagine our surprise when we came upon this cement staircase and there was the big KLOPFENSTEIN name right in front of us. (That's Casey sitting on the landing.) Sure wonder who carved the name in the wet cement!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Met Another Klopfenstein

Hi Everyone! How many of you introduce yourself with a play on "Klopfenstein - don't get it confused with Frankenstein"? I often did before I was married. Well, last week I attended a conference in San Diego for work. The very first morning, I chose my place at a table in the first workshop, spoke briefly to some people on my left, then began preparing for the meeting. I heard the guy on my right say " sounds like Frankenstein." I immediately turned to him and said, "What did you say your name is?"

Turns out - after consulting with my dad, the genealogy expert - that we're 11th cousins once removed! I had so much fun getting to know Lee Klopfenstein!

Now - tell tell us a story of your "random" meeting of another Klopfenstein! (I actually have another one that I may share later.)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Visit to Uncle Lynn's

Kathleen and I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon, evening, overnight stay, and marvelous breakfast at Uncle Lynn & Aunt Mim's home in Anderson, S. Carolina -- en route to South Florida last week. We ate at Uncle Lynn's favorite restaurant, The Galley, and were happy Ann, Andrew and his new bride Teah could join us. A special treat was to hear Andrew play his guitar and sing; then we joined along in a sing-a-long with him. And Andrew and Uncle Lynn can sure sing a fine duet! It was great to seem them all again.

Friday, January 6, 2017

LCK Family Christmas in Atlanta

I'm a bit late posting Christmas activities, but here are some pictures from the LCK Family Christmas hosted by Mark and Molly in Atlanta on Monday, Dec. 26.

Every year I make sure there's Heavenly Hash. I actually used Grandma's sponge cake recipe this year. It's a big hit with the Klopfenstein men, male in-laws, and a boyfriend. I made it on Saturday night at Mom and Dad's which is why this picture is first.

Lindsey, Mark's second daughter, set the tables. She is very meticulous and arranged and re-arranged the settings and placecards.

Mark eating one of Grandma's chocolate cookies. I love making springerles and the chocolate cookies. It seems to be the men in the family that like these. I think I'm the only female who likes both. This year I made both kinds cookies at Dad and Mom's at Thanksgiving and put them in the freezer. Dad frosted the chocolate ones for me. Before leaving at Thanksgiving I gave a bit of a stern warning that I expected to have both cookies in the freezer when I returned 3 weeks later! The first day back we pulled out the chocolate cookies and Dad confessed "I allowed myself one chocolate cookie a day. Sometimes two." No worries, there were plenty for all who like them.

Renae and I moved homes the weekend before Christmas so my life has been a bit disjointed for awhile. We typically get an envelope from Dad and Mom at the end of the gifts. This year I asked to give my gifts first and reminded everyone how much we enjoy Dad and Mom's envelope. I had my own envelopes this year for Dad, Ann, Mary, Molly, and my nieces.  This is what they received in the envelope. The message is below if you can't read it from the picture.
Forget the past, you can't change it.
Forget about your future, God has it in His hands.
Forget about your present, I left it in Dallas.
Check your mail next week.

Lindsey included holiday poppers or crackers at each place setting. Here is a video of Dad opening his. Each one had a joke and several other conversation starters. Near the end of the meal Mike started a fun Who Am I game with his cracker contents.

The poppers/crackers all included paper crowns we all wore for the picture at least. Around the table l-r: Lindsey (Mark), Jeffrey (Mark's youngest child), Dad, Andrew (Ann's son), Teah (Andrew's wife), Mom

This table was set up beside the one above. L-R: Mike, Mary, Brett (Lauren's boyfriend), Lauren (Mark's older daughter), Ann, Molly

Table set up in the family room. L-R: Mark, Alex, Mary Lee's boyfriend, Mary Lee (Ann's daughter), Joey, John Michael (Mark's older son), Haley (Mary's youngest)

Mom with the gift Mike was so happy to find for her. If you've been around her much, surely she's asked for "half a cup" of coffee.

Ann really enjoyed finding and giving Dad this gift in honor of the Cubs victory in the World Series. My ringtone is Go, Cubs, Go! Andrew called me just as Dad finished opening the gift and could see what it was. Does anyone see Uncle Jay in this picture?

After gifts I had prepared a game for us to play. Lindsey is holding a ball of saran wrap that I had wrapped with candy and money. One person unrolls as much of the ball and gets to keep anything that comes out of it while the person on the left rolls dice. When the roller gets double, he/she passes the dice to the left and then begins unwrapping the ball. FYI,  my ball was made up of 300 ft. of saran wrap, two bags of candy--thin mints because Mary likes those and Werther's because I always think of Aunt Alice when I see them. Oh, there was also 1s, 5s, and a 10 wrapped in there as well. The ball was the size of a medium soccer ball and went around the room just over two times. Mom walked away with $9, Andrew and Teah got $8, and Lauren's boyfriend got the $10. Ann was so good at rolling doubles that Lauren may have gotten a piece of candy or two.

Many of you know that my tradition is to give an ornament to each of my nieces and nephews. Andrew got his 28th rocking horse type ornament this year. (It was actually a horse with a covered wagon because I couldn't find a rocking horse. Mary Lee gets an angel every year, and so forth. Here are six of the nieces and nephews holding all 10 ornaments from this year.

I'd make heavenly hash if this boy were the only one who liked it because he likes it that much.

Dad likes Heavenly Hash so much he finished his plate before I could get a picture.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Alice's birthday

Alice and Alice (age 6)

We were blessed to have Alice and Keith and Ada and Jerry for a noon meal on December 26th.  It was very special. ----Carol & Perry

Friday, December 30, 2016

Fun evening at Cleve's

Kathleen & I  enjoyed hosting my siblings one evening this week.  Missing Gloria!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Klopfenstein Christmas Dinner, Saturday, December 10th at Noon

Here's a photo from last December.  You are all welcome to join us, Saturday, December 10th at noon for Christmas dinner.  It's not too late!  Just email, call, or even text Perry or Carol to let us know if you can come.
Carol's cell:  309-242 4676

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Letter from Aunt Mary

I was looking for an old pattern book this afternoon, one that hasn't been used for probably 25 years, and found this sweet memory.

It's a letter from Aunt Mary.  Apparently I had requested a crochet pattern from her during a visit in early 1988.  Apparently Perry and Carol had a copy machine at home (for the business?) and she asked Carol to copy this pattern for me. You can tell that home copiers in that era were not common, by her comment that Carol "did a wonderful job" making the copy.  :-)

I think it's interesting how productive and artistic the ladies of that generation were.  She had so many projects going at one time. 

You can see her handwriting in the photos, but the letter is hard to read, so I'll type it in first.  Hope you appreciate it as I did.  

Jan 13-1988

My Dear Ann.

It was so good to see you when you were here.

I finally got your copy of the granny squares made.  Carol--Perry's wife--made it for me.  She came yesterday a.m. and picked up my book and brought it back in the afternoon.  She or they have a machine at home.  I think she did a wonderful job - hope you can read it and make your afghan.

If you ever have trouble let me know and I will make you a square.  

I finished the afghan I was working on Sat. eve.  Always glad when they are finished.  Carolyn got my other all white that I had finished last week.  Now I am going to work on my star quilt.  Have it altogether but the border.  Started yesterday.  Hope to finish it today.

Then I have 12 Dresden plate blocks made ready to sew on the white squares.  So I can be busy for awhile.  It's been cold so I don't go out very much.  Try to get to church if it's good underfoot.  Tomorrow I am invited to a luncheon here in town at Katie Meiss and hope to go if I can.

Good luck with all your afghans.

With love
Aunt Mary

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Ada & Jerry's story !!! ....from Cleve

As an Illinois State University graduate, I receive a bi-monthly publication about ISU, as do most graduates.  It's interesting, informative, and has updates on various graduates and faculty members.   Every issue features a column called "How we met...", highlighting a married couple who first met on campus at Illinois State University.  I was pleasantly surprised recently to open to page 32 to see and read about Uncle Jerry and Aunt Ada!!   You will surely enjoy reading the history of one of the "favorite couples" of us all...... and a great, colorful photo of them, too!
(click on the picture to enlarge, for easier reading...)


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Marty K. makes front page of Gridley News !!

The Klopfenstein family is currently creating a long-term niche in the Gridley community -- as my brother, artist Marty K, is painting a life-sized mural on Center Street in Gridley.  As I understand it, he is painting this mural on the west side of "the old post-office" people will face East from Center Street to view it -- just 1/4 block up from the old grain elevator office.  This photo and headline covered the lower 1/2 of the front page of this week's Gridley Village Times!
If anyone can prove me wrong, please do....but I think this talent might have been inherited from the "Slagell" side (my mother, Catherine, had an aunt from N. Carolina who was a bona-fide artist).   You might want to click on the picture to enlarge it.  Anyway, congratulations Marty!!! 

Thursday, November 3, 2016


All the way from Morton, Il to Bloomington Il to Gridley, Il to Anderson, SC, to  Atlanta , Ga to Little, Elm Tx,  Klop fans watched as the Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series.  Jay and Ralph would have been thrilled to see the Cubs victory.  An added feature was that Ben Zorbist, Eureka native won the MVP.

An added benefit is that is was great to have some relief from the stress of the ugly political scene that we are face to hear/see daily.  As excited as Jay and Ralph would be to see the Cubs W, they would also be stressed over the 2016 election.  Nov 8 is coming soon.....Go into the booth...hold your nose and vote!!

2016 will be a memorable year....Cubs won world series and the Presidential election that has make profanity and vulgarity household words.

Monday, October 17, 2016

After the "cousin reunion" in Bloomington.....

Following the Gramm Cousin Reunion (see previous recent post), Uncle Perry's were kind a gracious enough to invite Kathleen and myself, along with Ada & Jerry, to their Gridley "homeplace" that same evening for a delicious meal of roast beef and all the trimmings.  Good fellowship followed, along with this photo (taken in front of the west living-room window). 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Ya Never Know

Ya never know - A couple of weeks ago Joey got to see Dad & Mother in the Atlanta airport. This week he traveled to Dallas and got to have dinner with Rhoda. He says nieces and nephews are next! And maybe aunts and uncles, so beware!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Lydia Laine Emch

Brandon, Maria, Anna, Timon, Jesse, Alice, Milan, and Jonas welcome little Lydia into their family.  She was born Sunday, September 18th at 12:14 pm and weighed 7 lb 15 oz.  We are thanking God for this wonderful blessing.  Lydia is our 20th grandchild.  Perry & Carol

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Multiple Family Members Reunion in SC

I am mailing a card to Chuck Hemmer tonight (hip replacement last week) and realized I never posted these pictures.  We had a neat though unusual group here in early August for just a few hours. It's always a treat to have family come through here, but it's usually from one side or another at a time - so to have family from both sides here at the same time was really a treat!  Uncle Chuck was here for several days, brought by his daughter Judy and her husband Stan.  And at the same time, Judy K. and her hiking buddy Pam (who coincidentally is also a distant cousin through Mom's side) were here for just a few hours on their way to Atlanta.  All those connections are quite a maze.  

Anyway - we met at our favorite restaurant, the Galley on Lake Hartwell, for a lovely dinner.  It was a short but very nice reunion.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Time for NEW POST! Anybody out there????

Here's a few new pictures of Gridley, family, and/or perhaps of just general interest.  Hopefully it will brighten up your day, just a little.....even bring back a few memories.

                   The old elevator, now long gone....on Center St., facing NW.

Ada's 50th H.S. class reunion
                  Jack Gramm's son, Christian, a huge supporter of Sen. Ted Cruz...

             Algebra class, 1963 with legendary coach and teacher, Harry Hill.
             Cleve on front left, Jack Gramm on front right.  Mr. Hill wore that
             checkered red/blue shirt day after day, it seemed.  That was his last
             year at Gridley High School.

Perry, 1952.  Remember the afghan???

                                                 Grandpa K, 1952

                         Jack Gramm with his mother, Aunt Ruth, at her 100th b-day.

                                          Some of us remember him!!!

                                 Unique Meiss Bros.' inherited health problem...

                                Where would any of us be without her ????

A final memory, mostly for Uncle Lynn.......
  Older brothers Jay (#10), Ralph (#3)
(Uncle Lynn was just a year away from being on this
varsity GHS team??????.....)