Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summertime fun

Seems like so much time has slipped past in the blink of an eye.
Jordan turned 16 on July 6. Wow, 16!

Here is a picture from when she was two -

From Jordan

and one from her 16th birthday.

From 07022011

Hard to believe that grinning toddler would turn into the lovely young lady that she has. She is gearing up for her junior year in high school. This one is going to be the hard one. Now she is rethinking the trip to Scottland next summer as well since the organizing group has not done any fundraising this summer and the school year is fast approaching. So we're looking into foreign exchange programs or work abroad programs instead of the theater trip. As well, she has saved up quite a sum of money and is thinking of getting her driver's license and purchasing a scooter. I'm just amazed that she is at this point in her life, it's quite exciting to be thinking about college, driving and traveling. We are so proud of her.

My good friend Lisa moved back east a few weeks ago to her home in upstate NY. Before she left Idaho we went for a hot springs camping trip that was truly wonderful. We had a great time hiking, spending time at camp and sitting in the hot springs. I tried my best to get her to stay but she has other adventures to find and I wish her the best of luck in doing so, even though I miss her tons and tons!

Cobi and I took a weekend to ourselves last week and went up to Redfish Lodge. It was so wonderful to have a weekend to ourselves and we truly enjoyed the time we spent camping, hiking, hot springing and just lounging around in the woods together.
Here are some pictures from our trip:
View from our tent
From Stanley 07112011
Sitting in camp
From Stanley 07112011
Hiking to Yellow Belly Lake
From Stanley 07112011
Listening to Bearfoot at Redfish Lake Lodge
From Stanley 07112011
Hiking near Redfish creek waterfall and lily lake
From Stanley 07112011
Lily Lake
From Stanley 07112011
Hot springs in Stanley
From Stanley 07112011

We hope you all are having a wonderful summer so far as are we. We have filled our time with BBQs with friends, school and work but also some downtime. We will continue to take bike rides, do some camping, play Kan Jam in the park and enjoy the good weather.
Much love and joy!

The Idaho Grazianos

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Summer already?

Wow, this year is flying by already. School is out for both Jordan and I, she's job hunting and I'm taking classes during the summer term, however, we are enjoying a little bit of a more relaxed schedule and have had time to actually see our friends which is nice.

The yard is looking great and we have all been enjoying spending our evenings eating out back and playing yard games or just chilling.

Last weekend we took a quick trip to California to visit family. It was too short a visit but we enjoyed the time we did have with everyone.
Jacobi eating In-n-Out on the beach in Carlsbad
Jacobi, Momma, Jordan and I at the beach in Carlsbad
Taquitz Falls outside of Palm Springs, CA. We hiked in and videotaped the hike to show Aunt Betty. She would bring groups of children up here in the 50's and 60's as the activity guide for the Shadow Mountain Club. The hike was beautiful and we truly enjoyed having Aunt Betty "with" us for the hike.
Jordan and I resting on our way out from Taquitz Falls
Jordan playing Aunt Betty's Accordion
The ID Grazianos and the CA Grazianos at the Living Desert near Palm Springs
Baby Zebra!!
On our way home we had a layover in Phoenix. Gramma Williams (Kyme's Grandmother, Jordan's Great Gramma), Aunt Betsy (Paul's Sister, Kyme's Aunt) and Katherine (Kyme's Cousin) all met us at the airport for dinner. It was wonderful to see them all!

After returning home from Cali, we put up a new hummingbird feeder per Aunt Betty's instruction. I put the feeder up (with Aunt Betty's recipe inside), went inside to get a book and when I walked outside, scared our first hummingbird away from feeding. Yep, that quick. She has been back many times ever since and there are now two black chinned hummingbirds feeding regularly.

This past weekend was my first CNA class and I purchased my first set of scrubs for school. :) So it's becoming more and more real as I learn how to take vitals and have to practice on anyone who visits us. Fun and interesting to be on this path, thanks for everyone's continuing support.
From Scrubs

Summer is going by quickly already and although we've adapted our plans to be mostly homebound, we will plan on some camping and hiking adventures here and there. Much love and joy to you all!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spring, finally

Well, as I gear up to start finals the next two weeks, I thought I'd blog now so I can spend the two week lull between finals and the summer term doing as close to nothing as I can come.

Stanley is doing great and a regular member of the family.

From Pets 042011

He had his last vet checkup this week and was given an all clear on ALL of the problems we brought him home with; two intestinal parasites, a double yeast ear infection, 25lbs under weight and demodex mange. He is off all medications and a healthy 116 lb boy- beating his sister out by 2 lbs!
From Pets 042011

We took our couchsurfer, Braden up into the hills of Idaho last weekend. We had planned on stopping at Idaho City, which we did and wandered the old graveyard. When we got back on the road we decided to show Braden an Idaho hot spring so took him by Kirkham where half of the state was soaking. Cobi was driving when we got back in the truck and he went the wrong direction- so we ended up in Stanley where we oggled the Sawtooths, had some dinner, saw some elk and headed back home.
From Stanley 04232011

Still a lot of snow
From Stanley 04232011

Jordan is doing well but as ready for summer as am I. She is looking forward to experiencing her first job hunt this summer and is preparing to dye her hair back to brown in preparation for it. We attended a great lecture the other night. The speaker was Dr. Esfandiari. Jordan held a conversation with a female Supreme Court Justice directly after the lecture and seemed quite inspired as we left. I hope it helps reinforce to her that she can do whatever she wants to in life.

Spring has finally arrived. The yard is blooming beautifully and there are lots of flowers this year.
From 05012011

dwarf iris
From 05012011

We are starting to get rid of more grass out front. The space between the garden bed and the shade flower bed is being transformed into a medicinal flower garden-
From 05012011

In the backyard Cobi dug the corner and we edged it in what else, red rock to make a second vegetable bed which gets more sun so will be great for tomatoes, peppers and squash.
From 05012011

farmer Cobi
From 05012011

From 05012011

The corner of the backyard now looks very farm like with our garden and two compost bins. The fruit trees are all budding and look great this spring as well.
The three rose bushes LR gifted me last fall are all doing wonderful in the front as well as our comfrey, echinacea and other plants. We lost one lavender this winter but hope that the baby it left behind will take it's place.

School is going well. Only two weeks left in this semester and I'm still waiting to hear about the nursing program. I have enrolled in the CNA course this summer and look forward to wearing scrubs in a few short weeks. I've purchased my stethoscope, sphygmometer and nursing shoes along with the textbook. I do feel a bit like I'm impersonating still but have my BLS for health care workers under my belt and before long look forward to having some letters after my name. Thanks everyone for your unending support. Without Cobi, Jordan, my family and friends, I could never accomplish this great goal.
Cobi has started putting his photography on a website called RedBubble. He has already sold one print which is pretty cool. It will be nice to showcase his photos more and get them out there. One of these days we'll hope to get them printed as cards and posters and showcased at the local markets.

We are looking forward to a quick trip to Cali in the end of May to visit Cobi's great Aunt Betty. It will be wonderful to see everyone and get a family fix over the long weekend. Other than that, we're homebound and anxiously awaiting summer in Idaho.

So that's the news from the Idaho Graziano's.
Hope all is well with you.
Much love~

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

January evolving

2011 has started out just fine for us ID Grazianos, although quite busy at that.
Jordan's hair is now blue. Not just any blue, but a peacock shade of blue and actually, it's pretty darn cute.

From Blue Hair

Jay is doing better in school and enjoyed doing the sound and costumes for the school play this past month. She loves theater class and is making plans to go to Scottland in 2012 on a theater group trip to the Fringe festival, her group will be performing there.
A few weeks ago we took a trip to Portland to meet a dog we were thinking of adopting. While there we stayed with our good friend Colette and it was wonderful to spend time with her.
From Portland 011511

My Mom drove up from Eugene and we enjoyed walking around, window shopping and just spending time together. Cobi and I found some alone time to wander around the Chinese gardens which we stumbled across during our walking tour of the old and pearl districts of Portland.
From Portland 011511

From Portland 011511

Our main purpose being to see if the girls would get along with the prospective new dog, we met him on Saturday morning and the rescue group said that if the board of directors approved our application and we could arrange for a home visit (this is where a non-partial third party inspects your house) on Sunday, we could possibly take him home with us on Monday. So I rallied and thanks to Lori with the Great Dane Boise Meetup group- who did our home visit- we got word late Saturday night that we could take him home. So we bought a collar, leash and toys for the ride home and named him Stanley.
Stanley on the ride home- he did great!
From Portland 011511

Stanley now at home
From Pets 02052011

So now we're home. We met up with the Boise Great Dane Group last week and enjoyed meeting other great dane owners, as well as giving Lori many hugs for helping us in Stanley's adoption. Stanley is integrating fairly well. He has many health issues but we are addressing them and hopefully he will be feeling 100% in no time.
Some great news we'd love to share is that our nephew Kai Graziano has had a great MRI this past week. His tumor has shrunk 80% and he will not have to do any more chemo treatments. Kai has been such a trooper through this whole process and we are so happy that his health is improving.
School for me has started back up as well. The semester is going good, it includes much driving and studying so unfortunately, not much room for anything else. I think we're all a bit stir crazy for spring but hopefully in a few weeks we can get up into the hills and alleviate some of our cabin fever.

We hope all our family is doing well and enjoying life.
~Jacobi, Kyme, Jordan, Aika, CeeCee, Stanley, Oscar and Sierra!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy 2011 from Idaho -aka- Closure

Yes, it's been forever since I've blogged- but here it is in a nutshell:
Last fall, I began taking classes toward a nursing degree, then my stepfather passed away after a long stay in the hospital and multiple surgeries. I spent the rest of the semester playing catch up and finished with great grades, very worn out but wonderfully supported by an amazing family.
So, now it's 2011. I'm applying for the nursing program (cross your fingers, toes and eyes!) Jordan is finishing up her first semester of high school and Cobi just received a raise and kudos at work. Here we go ready for our New Year and a wonderful one at that.
To recap recent events....

In July, We painted our bedroom wall red and placed Cobi's pictures of our furry kids on the wall. We were planning on putting a photo of Jordan in the middle but decided on a black and white of Stanley instead.

In August, we brought a new kitten, Sierra, into our family; painted a wall in Jordan's room purple and Jordan and I took an awesome mother/daughter trip to Stanley, ID. We camped for a few days hitting many hot springs along the way. Then spent two nights at Redfish Lake Lodge. There were tons of thunderstorms but we had a great time at the lake inbetween outbursts, made new friends, boated the lake and listened to a wonderful band, Bearfoot. Later in August, Cobi, Aika and I went on a mellow camping trip with our friends Mark and Jody. Cobi put the "finishing" touches on refinishing the deck. August was the wonderful calm before the storm.

Sierra Bear
Janey's new wall color
Camp, BLM land near a few hard to reach hot springs
Westpass Hot spring. We sat soaking up an amazing summer thunderstorm while waiting for the lime green water to cool down long enough for a soak. Heavenly!
Bowery hot spring. Yes, that's a hot tub- you hike into this one too, it's priceless.
Cooking scones for breakfast at camp
Jordan soaking in Slate Creek Hot Springs
Bearfoot in front of Redfish Lake! Awesome way to see bluegrass music.
Jane and I at Redfish Lake Lodge
boating at sunset with our new found friends on Redfish, this is the far end of the lake.
Chinook Salmon at the hatchery near Redfish Lake- this is a wild born returning, great news!
Mark and Sierra (Mark and Jody's dog) at camp
Finished Deck!!

In September, I started school and went to Portland.
Mom and I at OHSU, we took the arial tram to get some fresh air

In Portland, I met a wonderful couchsurfing hostess, Collette. She took me in and hosted me through the process of saying goodbye to Jeremiah and supporting my Mom through his death. This woman is truly one of the most amazing people I will ever know.

The rest of September and beginning of October were spent playing catch up in school. Once I got to a point where I truly needed some time away from the computer and my textbooks, Cobi and I took a short camping trip to Burgdorf hot springs. Much needed spiritual recharging! We had the pool all to ourselves in the morning and went on a hike later in the day. The owners were very kind in letting us explore the old barn and grounds.

In October we had Jeremiah's memorial, which was hard but gave us all a perspective of the preciousness of life.
my mother and I at the memorial
my mother Gen, me, my sister Katherine, my then purple haired daughter Jordan and my little brother Ky after the memorial.

In November, I didn't look away from school- at all. We celebrated our third wedding anniversary, had family over for Thanksgiving. It was a fairly busy month without photos. :)

Then, December 1st, it snowed and snowed. Cobi went to California to visit his family after we received the news that our nephew Kai has a neuroblastoma in his abdomen. Then Christmas, our birthdays and New Years.
Notice the snow in the backyard is as high as the deck?
Kai and Jacobi at San Diego Children's hospital
the lunar eclipse
the girls helping Jordan open her presents
the girls opening their stocking
Sierra's first Christmas- the cats' opening their stocking
Jordan opening her stocking

Yesterday, Jordan went with a new hair color and it's actually really beautiful. Today, January 2, we went to Kirkham hot springs to have a soak. Soaking away the old year and bringing the new year in with a trip to Idaho's wilderness during the winter. It having just been new years, the hot spring was surrounded by all sorts of trash but after a cleanup, we had an amazing two hour soak with the spring all to ourselves!!
The list of what we found at Kirkham- remarkable!!
6 keystone light cans, 1 Coors light can, 1 Corona bottle, 1 box of graham crackers, lots of trash. 1 pair of glasses, 4 lighters, 1 pair of undies, 1 jug of water, 2 towels, 1 pair of shoes, 3 socks- all different, 1 lacy pink bra, 2 black T-shirts, 1 pair of boxer shorts, 1 bathrobe, 1 women's swimsuit bottom, 1 sweatshirt, 1 tank top and a lanyard with two carkeys and a housekey attached. Wow! we missed one heck of a party, thankfully. :) We also saw much wildlife including tons of dear, lots and lots of elk, merganzers, ravens, two swainsons hawks, a red tail hawk, FOUR bald eagles and one huge, majestic golden eagle. It was quite the beginning to the year.

Happy Dog!
Lots O' Elk!
Young bucks. :)
Idaho winter road
Rugged winter wonderland

On New Year's Day we had brunch as a family and decided on our family vacation this year, we'll be heading to Northern Cali and the redwoods in late August (some foreshadowing here). We wish you all a safe, happy and wonderfully prosperous year for 2011. I'll try to blog again before summer break, but no promises. :)

Much love and joy,
~ The Idaho Grazianos