Monthly Archives: July 2016

Mount RushmoreFor me, there is no more perfect way to celebrate Independence Day that to come to the Black Hills of South Dakota. I can’t think of a more patriotic place that is close enough to my home in Wyoming to be able to go to each year. The Black Hills is a shrine to patriotism. Mount Rushmore…home to the faces of four presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln…brings home that spirit of patriotism that lives inside me. I love going to Mount Rushmore, and every time I go, I feel a sense of awe. These great men did the things necessary to make our country great. We don’t often think about the sacrifice a president made, but George Washington was a great soldier before he was president. He, along with the help of an ancestor of my husband, Bob’s, Henry Knox worked out a strategy to win the Revolutionary War, thereby winning our independence. Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence. Abraham Lincoln was the American Flagsman responsible for ending slavery in the United States, and Teddy Roosevelt was chosen because of his contributions to business, conservation and the creation of the Panama Canal. These were four men who saw just how great this nation could be, and who worked to make sure that it always would be a great Constitutional Republic.

For most of us, the Independence Day celebration would not be complete without a grand fireworks display. I have been to a lot of fireworks displays in my lifetime, but few can match the display that takes place every year in Custer, South Dakota. They start by doing the roll call of the states. I have been amazed over the years that almost every state is represented. Then the fireworks begin, with synchronized music, that is the best mix I have ever heard. Of course, every patriotic song in existence is sung, and the display seems to go on for hours. By the time the evening is over, you truly feel like you have celebrated our nation’s birth. I always walk away feeling more patriotic than when I arrived…if that’s possible.
I believe that the United States of America is one of the greatest countries on earth, and in the past few years, people have been trying to tear it down, and make us believe that we are not a great nation with great people. I don’t like that. I don’t like that our government tries to take away our rights, and tries to change the fabric of this nation into a nation of whiney babies that I hardly recognize. I hate to make Independence Day a story about the election, but it’s time to “Make America Great Again.” It’s time to fight for our Constitution, and the freedoms it provides. If we don’t fight for those rights now, they will be gone forever, and with them would go the nation we love. I pray that you all have a very safe and happy Independence Day!!

imageMy grand nephew, Lucas Iverson is turning five today. Lucas is a special needs child, who has Down’s Syndrome, but don’t think that a little thing like that slows him down, because it doesn’t. Things are harder for Lucas, but Lucas is a go getter, and the word quit is not in his vocabulary. Lucas is learning to walk, and he walks along the walls and navigates all over the house pretty easily. Of course, there is a motivation for that, because Lucas has a little sister named Zoey, who he absolutely loves, and he follows her all over the house. Zoey is coming up on a year old now, so she is pretty mobile. That is a good thing, IMG_3235because that helps motivate Lucas…not that he needs motivating. Lucas never thinks about whether or not things are hard…much less if he can do it. He just tries to do his very best, and besides that, he’s just having fun anyway.

Lucas is going to pre-school now, and he really enjoys it. He loves people in general, and loves to give everybody hugs and kisses. Lucas especially loves hugging his grandma, my sister-in-law, Rachel Schulenberg. Rachel tells me that when he hugs her, he literally melts into her neck. It makes Rachel feel so loved. There really is nothing like having a grandchild like that…one that just loves to hug you and showIMG_3234a how much you mean to them. Lucas is that kind of kid. He is that way with everyone…but his grandma is special, of course.

Lucas loves to go camping and fishing with his family. Sitting around the campfire listening to everyone talk and laugh is so much fun for him. Some things are harder for Lucas to do, and require the help of his parents, but he is so happy just to be out doing things with them, that it doesn’t seem like work to him. Like any kid, doing things with his dad…like fishing is just fun, and really isn’t that what life is all about for a kid…just having fun. Today is Lucas’ birthday. Happy birthday Lucas!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

imageimageMy niece, Chelsea Hadlock joined our family eight years ago, when she married my nephew, Ryan. Chelsea is a beautiful girl, inside and out. Over the years that she has been in our family, we have watched the changes that have taken place in her. Besides the visible changes, such as becoming a mother and the natural momness that comes with being a mom, I have seen a deeper change in her that has endeared her to our whole family…or maybe it isn’t a change in her at all, but rather just us getting to know her more and more. Chelsea has a sweetness about her that really shines through in all she does. She is thoughtful and kind, and totally dedicated to her little family and the rest of our family, as well.

Chelsea has a creative side that colors her home with a variety of looks and love. Chelsea loves the different holidays, and decorates for each one…often using a different theme each year. While most of us put up the Christmas tree and decorations and call it good, Chelsea decides what her decorations will depict that year. She has done things like a red Christmas and Disney, to make it special and unique. Halloween find her not only dressing up her kids in great costumes, but herself too. As I said, she is very creative.

Chelsea loves camping, hiking, and the outdoors in general. I totally get that. She loves to take her children, Ethan and Aurora in little hikes that end in a picnic. They have such a good time. Kids need that in the summer. Too much sitting around the house makes for a boring summer vacation. And of course, Chrlsea takes lots of pictures so that the rest of us can share in her family’s adventures. It is such a treat to open Facebook and see new pictures of the Hadlock family adventures.

Ryan fell in love with Chelsea almost from the moment he laid eyes on her. And she felt the same way about imageimagehim. Theirs has continued to be a fun filled life, and what better thing to have in your marriage. If the marriage is always work, with no play and no teasing, what does it really have. Thsnkfully that laughter and fun decorate their marriage just like Chelsea decorated their home. She is the perfect wife for Ryan, and a great mom to their children. Oh, and did I forget to mention that Chelsea is a pretty fair mechanic too. Brakes are definitely no match for Chelsea, because she got this!! She’s multi-talented!! Today is Chelsea’s birthday. Happy birthday Chelsea!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

BobFor as long as I have known my husband, Bob Schulenberg, he has had a job. He is a hard working man, who never quits…until now. Today, for the first time since he was sixteen years old, Bob doesn’t have a job to go to anymore. In the years I have known and been married to Bob, he has had only two jobs. The first in a uranium mine where he worked from 1973 to 1989, when he went to work for the City of Casper. He has worked at the City of Casper for a little over 27 years. One of the girls in human resources, Tracy did a little bit of figuring to come up with some interest figures about how much time that 27 years really is. According to her calculations, for Bob’s May 1, 1989 start date through his last working day for the City of Casper, June 30, 2016, figures up to be 9,922 days, or 14,287,680 minutes, or 857,260,800 seconds. Anyway you look at it, 27 years is an incredible accomplishment.

Bob has never been a man who sits around, and his retirement will be no different. He loves working on cars for family and friends, and already has several jobs lined up to keep him busy…after he takes a couple of weeks off that is. After all, he is going to have to get used to this new direction his life is taking, and what better way than to relax for a couple of weeks before diving into the new ventures he is bound to take on.
Retirement plaque
Of course, being retired will mean that he has more time for our favorite pastime…hiking. We are planning several trips in the near future to go hiking, some just for a weekend, because, after all, I am not retired yet, and others for a week at a time. Of course, no matter how long we are able to go for, we always enjoy our hiking. We love getting out in nature, and especially getting back in the trees.

I don’t know if Bob feels like not having a job is as strange as I feel like it is, but I’m sure he will quickly get used to it. It’s like getting a drivers license. At first it’s strange to be free to go when you want to, but then you get used to it, and it’s just normal. Before very long, retirement will be the same. So without further ado, Bob is calling it a career, and now he is off to new adventures. Congratulations on your retirement Honey!! I know your new adventures are going to be amazing. You’ve earned it.

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