Kids

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The last two weeks of August were spend visiting our daughter, Amy Royce and her family. In my thoughts throughout the visit was the fact that their 26th wedding anniversary was just around the corner. I found myself thinking that it was amazing that they could have been married 26 years already. I also found myself thinking about just how happy and connected they are with each other. They are loving their life and their home, and it was a pleasure to watch them together. Their marriage has been blessed with two beautiful children and now the family is growing to include Caalab’s girlfriend, Chloe Foster…a beautiful girl and a great blessing to us. I love how their family gets together every week to spend quality time together. It makes their marriage and their family more and more rich in love and happiness.

When your kids get married, you hope the marriage will last, and you know that there are never any guarantees, but you want the very best for them, and that means a happy marriage. I am so thankful that these two “kids,” while young at marriage (18 and 19 years) were able to beat the odds and stay married. Not only that, but they were able to build a beautiful life together and raise two beautiful children, Shai and Caalab, together. They are so blessed and they are a blessing to us. We can’t imagine life without the two of them as a couple. Every year, their love grows more and more rich and beautiful.

Whenever we go to visit them, or they come to visit here, we have a wonderful time. They are fun-loving people, and yet they love being at their house, enjoying their beautiful back yard too. They have worked hard on their back yard, and every time I get new pictures, I love it even more. Amy never could get flowers to do much in Wyoming, but in Washington, her garden and flowers are stunning. Travis has always loved yard work, but like most men, prefers mowing the grass to planting flowers. Nevertheless, they have a wonderful vision for their yard, and it is so restful and peaceful. I just love sitting back there, enjoying the day. Travis loves to barbecue and their guests are, of course, the beneficiaries of his grilling abilities. They also love playing games like pool and corn hole, as well as getting the family bank together for a jam session in their recreation room. It is a wonderfully fun time listening to Travis and Caalab play, while Shai and sometimes Amy sing for us. They really make a beautiful band.

Amy and Travis love going to Ilwaco, Washington for little getaways. It is a quaint little town located across the bay from Astoria, Oregon. They go there a lot, much like Bob and I go to Thermopolis, here in Wyoming a lot. It is a place that is close enough for an anniversary getaway, and yet special enough for them always have a great time, and never get tired of it. Ilwaco is a little town, kind of like Thermopolis, but sometimes that is just what you need. A place with the much needed peace and quiet, far away from the stresses of daily life and the busy lifestyle you have at home. A cute little place where you can have romantic dinners and quiet walks along the shore (a river for us and the ocean for them). It’s just perfect for this happily married couple. Today is Amy and Travis’ 26th wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary to you both!! We love you very much!!

The third year of my grand niece, Mackenzie Moore’s life has be a big one, and the summer has been packed full of fun adventures. The Moore family took a trip to Disney World and they had a blast. They have also been doing a lot of camping, which is a big tradition in the Moore and Hadlock families. The really cool park about camping with the family is that Mackenzie is having all that cousin time. Since Mackenzie and her parents don’t live in the same town as the rest of the family, the cousin time provided while camping is very important and very precious.

Mackenzie loves going to church. She loves God. She loves learning about her savior, Jesus and growing closer to the Holy Spirit every day. Mackenzie loves to sing, and her favorite songs are Christian songs…praise and worship songs are her absolute favorites. Mackenzie loves her church. She loves everything about her church…the songs, Sunday School, and the people…all the people. Mackenzie is much like her mommy, Lindsay Moore in that part of her personality. Mackenzie meets people and they are immediately her friends. Lindsay is that way too. They know everybody in their church. They not only know them, but the talk to them whenever they see them. Mackenzie and her cousins got to got to Vacation Bible School this summer, and they had an amazing time.

As Fall has arrived, Mackenzie’s life is taking on some new journeys. She started pre-school, and she has really enjoyed learning new things. She also got a new dog, Brinkley, which makes coming home from pre-school very special. Mackenzie is studying dance, ballet and tap, and when I say studies, I mean that she does go to class, but the dance is really built into her. She is very theatrical and imaginative, and loves to pretend and perform. She holds recitals for her parents in front of the fireplace, using it as her personal stage. She never misses an opportunity to sing someone a song! She is such a joy, so full of personality, and love!

There is one other aspect to Mackenzie’s life that is very special. Mackenzie is the coaches daughter. Her daddy, Shannon Moore is a coach for the Wyoming Cowboys. As I said, Mackenzie is a friend to everyone, and that includes the players, of course. The friendship between Mackenzie and the players is totally mutual. She loves to go see her daddy’s practices…or should I say she loves to “hold” practices with her daddy. Mackenzie puts the players through their paces, of course, using her whistle to make sure they can hear her, an they all love having their littlest coach. She is a blessing to them, and they ar to her too. Mackenzie’s third year was an amazing one, and I’m sure that her fourth year will be even better. Today is Mackenzie’s 4th birthday. Happy birthday Mackenzie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My son-in-law, Kevin Petersen is slowly working on a couple of projects. His health issues make it difficult, but he does his best to push through it. He has a van that he is converting into a camper, because he and my daughter, Corrie Petersen love to go camping, especially on Casper Mountain, near their home here in the Casper area. To do that, they don’t need much really, just a bed and a few other necessities. They love sitting around a campfire and listening to the peaceful sounds of nature as only camping can supply.

Kevin also has a Cyclone that his dad gave him, and he has been working on restoring it when he feels up to it. It gives him someplace to go while my daughter is studying for her nursing school classes. That project is a particular treasure of his, because it belonged to his dad, Dean Petersen, and his dad loves to see the progress Kevin is making on the old car.

While Kevin and Corrie’s boys, Chris and Josh Petersen are both very busy people, they try to make time for their parents as much as possible. With all the studying Corrie has to do, Kevin is often the recipient of the time the boys have. With his parents retired, Kevin is able to spend time with his dad and his mom, Becky Skelton. I know that has been a blessing to both of his parents. They often run errands together, as well as just sitting and talking. Kevin and Corrie also love being grandparents, and time with granddaughter, Cambree (3 years old) and grandson, Caysen (9 months old) is absolutely precious.

Kevin is such a great support “team,” for lack of a better word, since a team indicates more than one person, for Corrie as she continues her nursing studies, and also works as a cna at Wyoming Medical Center. Kevin does all the cooking and much of the other household chores, so Corrie can focus on her studies, and that has been a huge help to her. While the chores are difficult for Kevin, he know that every effort he puts forth takes some of the load off of Corrie, and that she will be forever grateful, as am I. Nursing School is probably the hardest thing Corrie, or any other nursing student has ever done, and it doesn’t leave much time for household chores or cooking. Plus, Kevin is an awesome cook, so Corrie has benefitted from his nutritious meals. And she is grateful to him for taking such good care of her. Today is Kevin’s 50th birthday. Happy birthday Kevin!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

These days, most of us don’t give too much thought to the reasons for school lunches, but during the Great Depression, children might have gone to school with some potato skins, a piece of bread, or even nothing at all, if their parents didn’t have enough money to get them something. Enter the school lunch program. It’s been around for so long that these days it is just part of everyday school life. The reasons aren’t what you might think. Many people think that the Great Depression had something to do with the set up of the National School Lunch Program, but that would be wrong. The National School Lunch Program started in 1946, and it was actually due to World War II.

As many people know, World War II was the second deadliest war in United States history. The loss of 405,399 American lives was second only to the Civil War, in which 618,222 American lives were lost. When a nation loses so many young men to war, there can be a concern about the future and particularly about future wars. The United States government decided to address that future deficit by giving the nation’s children free meals. The theory was that if the children were given meals with proper nutrition, there would be a healthier draft pool in the event it was ever necessary to have a draft again. That is a good idea in theory, and I’m sure that with nutritious meals they would be healthier, but it is strange to use that as a way to build an army. In a way it seems manipulative.

Why do governments always seem to have an ulterior motive…about everything they do? I suppose it’s possible for them to honestly want to help people, but when you hear things like feeding the hungry, so they will make a good army, it tends to be a really big inspiration downer. The idea that had taken shape in the first place, becomes polluted by the manipulation of the government, and suddenly it just doesn’t seem so nice. Over the years, military leaders have stood up to make sure America’s youth had proper nutrition for a healthy start in life. The military discovered that at least 40% of rejected recruits were turned away for reasons related to poor nutrition. With that, I can understand that the government wanted to help. After the war ended, the military’s Selective Service Director, General Lewis Hershey, gave a speech that helped win passage of the National School Lunch Program in 1946.

Now, Seventy years later, the program is still a very important part of the healthy eating habits of a great number of children. School nutrition remains a national security concern. Many children consume up to half of their daily calories at school. That said, it stands to reason that healthier school nutrition will be a driving force for lowering obesity, which is the leading medical reason why more than 70 percent of the nation’s young adults cannot qualify for military service. I am not opposed to making children’s lives better, but I just don’t like the manipulation that was involved.

Whenever I have to say goodbye to someone…no matter what the reason, I find myself thinking about how hard it is to say goodbye. It doesn’t matter if it is because of a death or because of a long parting. It’s just hard. My husband, Bob Schulenberg and I spent the last two weeks visiting with our daughter, Amy Royce and her family, and the goodbyes, which started Sunday night and continued to Monday morning, when we actually left to head home we’re tear-filled and full of heartache. You would think that I would be used to these goodbyes, but the fact is that you never get used to the goodbyes. Every goodbye includes a little bit of mourning.

Every time I think of Amy’s family, if feel a little sadness, because there is so much I miss and so much I miss out on. I’m happy that they are happy where they are, but sad for us. I have known that Amy wanted to live near the ocean, from the time she graduated from high school. That was hard, and I’m thankful that they waited until their kids were grown, so that I could be close to Shai and Caalab. Now they all have careers they love, and the girls are even insurance agents, just like I was. My grandson, Caalab has found the love of his life there. We all love Chloe Foster so much. And we couldn’t be happier about their relationship. The whole family is all happy there, and that is what matters. Amy hated the winters here, and sometimes, I can fully understand that. They can be brutal. The climate in western Washington is much milder.

Nevertheless, it is just so hard to say goodbye and leave them there…so far away. We love to go for visits, and we always have such a great time. In Washington, we can do so many things that we can’t do in Wyoming. They have taken us on whale watching tours, and harbor cruises. We like to go to the beaches, and sometimes the cities too, but the congestion in the roads is not so fun. In Wyoming, we have wide open spaces and a beauty of a different kind. We have the ease of life that comes from living in a less populated state. I could go on and on about the differences, pluses, and minuses of each state, but the reality is that half my family is in Washington and half is in Wyoming, and every time the two halves meet, there is a goodbye that follows. It is never easy to say goodbye. In fact it is just so hard to say goodbye, and I really hate goodbyes. I always will, but I love my family, and I will always accept the goodbyes, if it means getting to see them. That’s all that matters. Seeing my kids.

There have been much speculation over the years as to why we marry the person we do. Does our taste in a mate come from…say our parents, friends, or some random part of our own brain. Or, is their simply no rhyme or reason as to how we choose that person we will spend the rest of our life with. When I look at couples, there are some who seem perfectly suited to each other, and then there are those who seem to be total misfits, and yet they are totally happy with each other. Of course, one never knows how long they have been married, whether they will stay married, or if they are on their second or third marriage (indicating a poor choice in the first or second marriage). Oddly, when they do divorce in the first marriage, it amazes me sometimes, just how similar their second choice in mate is to their first…sometimes anyway.

It has been said that a girl chooses a man who is similar to her dad, and I can see that in my own choice. Bob reminds me a lot of my dad, but while they all look different, my brothers-in-law also remind me a lot of my dad. I think that a girl might choose a man who is a lot like her dad, if her dad is a wonderful dad, like my dad was. My sisters would agree. It is further thought that a man chooses a woman who is much like his mom. That makes sense, because he would want someone who can take care of him, his home, and his kids the way his mom took care of the home and family when he was a kid. Of course, there are those who don’t know their parents for one reason or another. They might base their choice on a step-parent or other mentor, I suppose.

Of course, no one really makes that choice consciously. It it always a choice of the heart, but oten the heart knows what it knows from the parental upbringing. I don’t believe that our life partner choice is a random thing, because while I dated a number of nice men, they were all quite different from my dad, and from my husband…and the fact is that I could not imagine myself marrying any of them. They were never going to be the type of man I could spend the rest of my life with. Nice as they were, they would never have been the one for me. I tend to think that somehow God leads the one, the real one into your life, and if you have your eyes open, you will find that perfect one for you.

I am so proud of my niece, Lindsay Moore. She has grown so much in the Lord, really all her life, but even more so in recent months. Lindsay and her husband, Shannon have been through so much over the past few months. They were expecting their second daughter, when they found out that she would have some health issues to face. They prayed and began to trust God for the solution. Then their daughter Hallie Joy came early, and soon after her birth, Hallie went home to be with the Lord. It was a devastating loss to the family, but Lindsay and Shannon stood firm in their faith, and continue to serve the Lord.

Recently, her pastor’s wife asked Lindsay to speak at a women’s event at their church, Harvest Church in Laramie, Wyoming. The women’s event was about being a champion. I was so glad they decided to record the entire event, because while I could not be there, I was able to watch the event and Lindsay’s presentation. Prior to the presentations, they held a praise and worship service and then the men in the church, Shannon served the women dinner and dessert. It was a lovely gesture for the men to show such care for the women. Then, Josie Calderon, the pastors wife gave a presentation on being a champion and then, Lindsay gave her presentation which was called “Being A Champion In Every Circumstance.”

Lindsay had been preparing for her presentation for about a month, and I know that parts of her presentation were very hard for her to share. She spoke of her daughter and her homegoing, and I know that was one of the hardest part of her presentation. Nevertheless, My sister, Allyn Hadlock, Lindsay’s mom said, “Lindsay was so peaceful and relaxed throughout her presentation, and she really connected with her audience. Lindsay’s message just ministered to me and I’m sure to everyone there! Lindsay had this peace that passes understanding! I was just so pleased and proud of her. It reminded me of the verse in 3 John 1:4 that says, ‘I have no greater joy than to know that my children walk in truth.’ The Lord has helped her and brought her forward into a whole new place of peace and joy and He is showing her how to be a champion!” I would have to agree, and you didn’t have to be right there to be ministered to, because the Lord brought Lindsay’s peace and the spirit of her message out even when you were listening on YouTube.

Lindsay has spoken some other conferences for work and she used to teach at South Dakota State University, so she has some public speaking experience, but this was something different. This was Spirit Filled, this was the Lord speaking through Lindsay to get His message out to the people. The women’s event had a presentation from a boxing school in Laramie and they showed how to train and prepare so you can knock the enemy out before he can get to you. They had boxing gloves they gave away for a couple of prizes to remind us of our status as champions every day and also small boxing gloves that would be like on a key chain, but the real message was that we all need to stay in the word and in prayer, because God is the true answer to all our needs. The conference was amazing for all of the women who attended, and Lindsay has shown such amazing strength. She really is a champion, and God will see her through the tough times in her life. God has great things in mind for Lindsay, and for Shannon too, and they will see little Hallie again in Heaven. We are all so proud of them both. Today is Lindsay’s birthday. Happy birthday Lindsay!! Have a blessed day!! We love you!!

My father-in-law, Walt Schulenberg was a hard working man, who held a number of jobs over the years. He drove truck, worked construction, mechanic at the mines in the area, and maintenance at Casper College. Dad was well liked and respected at every job he held. Of course, his favorite job was being Dad to his kids, and husband to his wife, my mother-in-law, Joann. Dad was a gentle man, and he worked hard to allow Mom the ability to stay home and raise the kids. As we all know daycare is very expensive, and if the mom can stay home with the kids, I’m all for it.

Dad’s work often had him leaving the house quite early, like 3:00am, and he usually stopped at the Ghost Town Truck Stop for a cup of coffee to take on the road with him. One day, he came into the truck stop, and was surprised to see his teenaged son, Bob (my husband) in the truck stop playing pinball. Well, I’m sure that you realize that a young teenaged boy (maybe 13 or 14) had no business being in a truck stop playing pinball at 3:00 in the morning. Bob had snuck out of the house, because he loved to play pinball. I can imagine just what was going through Bob’s mind at the moment his dad came up and put his hand on Bob’s shoulder. Yikes!! I can also imagine what my father-in-law was thinking too…”So, do I yell at my boy, or laugh at the fact that my boy wants to play pinball so bad, that he snuck out to do so?” Bob wasn’t out getting in trouble. He just wanted to play a kids game. I have a feeling my father-in-law had a hard time not laughing when he said o Bob, “You had better get home before your mom catches you!!” Well, Bob knew his dad was right, and probably didn’t notice the slight smile on his face. He just knew that if his dad was up and on his way to work, his mom would be up soon, and he had better get home. So, he told his dad goodbye and headed for home. It was a different time. Kids back then were a little safer walking home, especially since it was only a block or so away, so as his son headed for the house, my father-in-law headed for work, probably laughing the whole way.

My father-in-law, was a man who always saw humor in the situations around him. That is one of the things I liked about him from the moment I met him. I was an 18-year-old girl, meeting the family of the man I loved for the first time, and boy, was I nervous!! My future father-in-law, not only made me feel welcome, but he broke the tension (felt only by me) by making me laugh. After that, I never had an uncomfortable moment in Bob’s parents’ home. I found that my in-laws were such easy people to get along with, and that they would always be a blessing to me, but it would always be my father-in-law, who made me feel comfortable in that first dinner with them. I was a shy girl, but after that, I was no longer shy around my in-laws. Such a blessing to be sure. Today would have been my father-in-law’s 92nd birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven, Dad. We love and miss you very much, and can’t wait to see you again in Heaven.

My grand-niece, Aurora Hadlock is growing up so fast. The coming school year will find her in her last year of elementary school, and Aurora has decided that she wants to play volleyball this year. I loved watching my girls play volleyball. Aurora is going to have a great time, and so will her parents, Chelsea and Ryan Hadlock, when they get to watch her games. I loved going to those games. Aurora is very active in many things. She is in her third year of Lego Robotics, and has really enjoyed building the Lego robots. Aurora is a good student and a very smart girl. She is also very social.

She loves to go camping. The family has gone camping at Aurora’s grandparents Casper mountain land, where the family dog, Titan is buried. Aurora loved that dog, who was a part of the family before she was even born. Bringing flowers to put on Titan’s grave is their way of showing Titan that he is never going to be forgotten. This year too, the family went camping in the Black Hills. They drove through the Wildlife Loop in the Custer State Park, and for those who don’t know, toward the end of the Wildlife Loop, there is a herd of donkeys. They are friendly little beggars, and Aurora got to feed a donkey a carrot. She loved that it came right up to her. She thought it was very cool. There is so much to do in the Black Hills, and at least 50% of the wonder of the area is driving around looking at the beautiful scenery. Aurora gets that. She totally loves having her face in the sun and fresh air when the family was driving through US Route 16A. It is one of the most beautiful drives in the Black Hills, although there are lots of beautiful drives. It’s no wonder Aurora love to put her face out the window, watch the beautiful scenery, and feel the sunshine on her face.

As Summer came to a close, Aurora, her brother, Ethan, and her cousins, Adelaide Sawdon and Mackenzie Moore all gathered in Laramie, Wyoming, where Mackenzie lives with her parents. The cousins all attended Vacation Bible School together. They have been getting a lot of quality time together, and having a great time just hanging out. Aurora is the unofficial leader of the pack…always keeping the little ones busy and having fun. She has a very giving heart…just like her mom, and she wants to be just like her. She is even growing her hair out so she can be just like her mom. Very sweet. Today is Aurora’s 10th birthday. Happy birthday Aurora!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My nephew, Josh Griffith loves to take his family camping every summer. Of course, part of the point of the camping trips include cutting firewood for the family house and shop. For a number of years, the house was heated completely by wood. Some years they buy a truck load of wood, but that is expensive, and if you are willing to put some muscle into it, you can cut your own wood for less money. It’s just putting in the muscle that is hard…I know, I’ve done it too. Susan would prefer to order a truck load, but sometimes it’s worth the savings to get it themselves since they have all the tools, and they’re going to the mountains anyway. Still, this year, things have changed.

Getting wood is a lot of work and that wood is heavy, but this year, Josh made a hoist that attaches to the back of the trailer. Now they don’t have to lift the logs onto the trailer any more. This year, Kaytlyn is getting big enough to run the hoist. When they were done with the loading, they thanked Kaytlyn for doing all the heavy lifting for us. I’m sure she giggled at that one, because she just pushed a button to move the hoist around for her mom and dad. Nevertheless, without her there, there would have been more work for Josh and Susan to do, so they really did appreciate her “hard” work.

Kaytlyn likes to learn to do things from Josh. Sometimes its hard for a girl-dad to relate to his girls in work areas, but Josh enjoys teaching his girls how to do things, and lets face it, we girls might be princesses, but when we get older, our prince really needs a partner who can help him with the tough jobs too. Josh also helped his step-daughter Jala Satterwhite do all kinds of things to the vehicle she drives. The Bronco was given to her my her Satterwhite grandparents, but it needed some work to make it something Jala could and would want to drive. Josh has the ability to turn a junk vehicle into gold with all his mechanical and bodywork/painting skills. Josh has his own paint booth, and he does excellent work. Anyone who knows Josh knows he is super handy. He can make or fix just about anything. Josh is the kind of guy that always has a pocket knife and a flash light. Susan calls those kinds of guys keepers and usually if they have these things in their pockets that says a lot about their personality. You can always tell the wife of these guys too, because they are very loyal to and very proud of their men. Josh has earned Susan’s respect, but he is also very blessed to have her. Today is Josh’s birthday. Happy birthday Josh!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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