Today, September 9, 2018, my grandson, Josh Petersen, the last teenager in our family, turned 20. It is very strange to think about the fact that we have no teenagers. The teenage years have been a big part of our family for so many years…9 to be exact. I know that many families have teenagers for a lot longer, but then all four of my grandchildren arrived within 2½ years…from first to last. So, now we begin a new era. One where our grandchildren are adults, and have or soon will begin families of their own. It’s a strange thing when your family goes from one era to the next, but then, you get used to it, and you go on…like we will now. Life is a process that you just cant slow down, no matter how much you would like to.
In reality, Josh has seemed older than his years for a while now. He has been taking college classes since he was a kid in high school, and already has his associates degree in Fire Science. He has a year of full time college behind him now,and has started the Paramedic program this year. I am so proud of how far he has gone. He came from a beginning that was 5 weeks before he should have arrived, to spending 2½ weeks in Denver’s Presbyterian Saint Luke’s neo-natal intensive care unit; to growing like a weed; to helping with caregiving from his great grandparents for 13 years; and now, to studying for his own career in fire science and paramedics. I have always felt Josh would be perfect in this type of career, because he has a caregiver’s heart and is meticulous in the things that needed done. If you told him howto do something, he did it…just exactly as you said…no improvising. We always knew we could trust him, and trust is a big thing in the world of caregiving. People are entrusting you with their lives.
Josh is a kind and loving young man, with a strong sense of integrity. He is not one to lie to you. Oh, I’m not saying that he has never told a lie…we have all done that, but he doesn’t make a habit of it. When he tells me something, I believe him. Josh tries to do his best in everything he does, and I really respect that. As he transitions from a boy to a man, I feel a great sense of pride in the man he is becoming, and I know that he will go far in his chosen career, and in life. The things he is doing are so perfect for his personality, and that makes me very happy. And, it makes me happy that he is having so much fun doing it. As the old saying goes, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” That is what Josh has done, and I am very proud of him, and very proud of the firefighter he will one day be. Today is Josh’s 20th birthday. Happy birthday Josh!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
A fireman…it seems to be the every little boy’s dream, and my grandson was no exception, but what has made him the exception is the fact that he has gone through all the training to actually become a fire fighter, and he never faltered. Josh began his journey while he was still in high school. He was in his element…immediately. Josh had some wonderful mentors along the way, all of whom made this dream interesting and who confirmed his destination. They helped Josh to know that his dream was the right dream for him.
Through the Boces program, Josh started his studies while he was still in high school, and then has continued his studies as a full time college student, achieving his Associates Degree in Fire Science in one year of full time college instead of two. His is looking forward to continued study to become a Paramedic, and he will also be looking into getting hired by one of the local fire departments. He is so excited about that prospect that he can hardly wait. I suppose it is the same with any course of study. You have learned the things you need to know for your career, and now you are just itching to get at it. That is exactly where Josh is right now…standing on the threshold of his future.
I have always known that Josh would make a great fire fighter/paramedic, because of the aptitude he displayed as a young boy helping to take care of his great grandparents. He was very meticulous, gentle, and caring. When Josh was helping, they always felt at ease, knowing that he would follow directions exactly and would always be careful with them. Josh has always had a heart for caregiving, and firefighter/paramedic falls right in line with caregiving, so as a career choice, it makes perfect sense. Today is the culmination of Josh’s dream and hard work, as he graduates with an Associates Degree in Fire Science. Congratulations Josh!! We are so proud of you and all your hard work!!
My niece, Jessi Sawdon began her working career in the legal field, as a runner in an attorney’s office. Most kids don’t really have that opportunity so early on, but Jessi was blessed and she was a great employee. She continued on in the legal field until the attorney she was working for at the time retired, and then she decided that it was time for a change, so she went back to school. She has been studying, and together with her husband, Jason and been raising their little girl Adelaide. Being a stay-at-home mom has been very important to Jessi since the birth of her little girl, so I’m sure that going back to college to start a new career was little bit scary too…mostly wondering what a job would bring as far as her mommy life was concerned.
Today, with her studies behind her, Jessi has achieved her Associates Degree in Human Communications, and just started a new job as the Marketing Coordinator for Hinge Studio Marketing and Communications. The business is owned by two of her very good friends, Kerstin and Leah, and the really good news is that Jessi will be working from home. There is nothing better that to have bosses who are also your good friends, and who understand your needs and are willing to work with you to make your mutual dreams come true. I think there are a number of people who would love to be in Jessi’s shoes when it comes to their job, because you don’t have to give up your time with your children for your job. Now I call that working it out!!
Today, with commencement upon her, Jessi is looking forward to marching with her class to receive her degree, and we are all so very proud of her. The studies are behind her now, and it is smooth sailing ahead. Jessi, we are all so proud of you and of all the hard work you have do to achieve your goal. Now with a new career ahead of you, the best is yet to be. Congratulations on your graduation, Jessi!! We love you!!
Over the years, I have seen many changes in my nephew, Garrett. He has gone from being the goofy brother, picking on his sisters to being a grown man, schooled and now starting a new job in his chosen career. There have been a lot of changes in Garrett over the years, and he has a wide range of activities that he enjoys. Everything from sports to hunting…Garrett is there. Of course, there is always the Garrett Standby…little kids. Garrett absolutely loves little kids. He plays with them, teases them, and loves to get his picture taken with them. I think he will make a great dad someday.
Recently, Garrett has been hanging around a special girl, Kayla Smiley, and I don’t know how serious they are right now, but he seems very content in her company. The almost funny thing is that she lives right next door to my mom, Garret’s grandma, so like it or not, she keeps close tabs on his comings and goings from Kayla’s house. Garrett doesn’t seem to mind though, he just stops by Mom’s house at some point…most of the time anyway. That satisfies her, and so I think she kind of likes the fact that he is around a little bit more. I guess we will see where things go from there.
May brought about Garrett’s graduation from college, with an Associates Degree and a Welder Certification…along with a big change in his work status. He landed a great job at Nalco Fab Tech as a welder. He reminds a lot of us, especially his mom, my sister, Alena Spencer Stevens of our dad, Allen Lewis Spencer, in that both were accomplished welders, who made a great living in that field. I think my dad would be real proud to have Garrett following in his footsteps, and I know that having another welder in the family will be a great asset. Somehow, it seems that every family has need of a welder. There always seems to be things that need welded, and not everyone has that skill, so I guess you know what place you will hold in the Family Go To List, Garrett!
Of course, Garrett has many other skills that put him on the Family Go To List. He is quite handy when it comes to construction, and so is a great hand to have around when his grandma comes up with a new project around her house. One thing about having people skilled in construction, welding, photography, floral arranging, insurance, and so many other areas, is that, while you may pay for the work done, it is always quite a bit cheaper than it would have been otherwise. And while some of us can’t make it cheaper, we can give expert advise. I think everyone needs a Family Go To List, and I know that for ours, Garrett just became a key member. Today is Garrett’s birthday. Happy birthday Garrett!! We are very proud of your accomplishments!! Have a great day!! We Love you!!
When my niece, Lindsay was born, she was all smiles and lots of personality. She had lots of curly dark hair and was a real beautiful baby. When you know someone from birth, it is sometimes hard to picture them as adults, with careers. You watch then go through grade school, junior high and then high school, but they still seem like kids to you. Then suddenly they have graduated from high school and headed off to college. Those little kids days are gone, but somehow you still can’t think of them as an adult…until college graduation…because somehow that brings the whole point home.
Lindsay began her studies at Casper College, where she achieved an Associates Degree in Fire Science. Then she decided to change her field of study. Having always been interested in nutrition and exercise, she decided to go into something in those fields. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and Health Promotion, and then her Masters degree in Nutrition, Exercise, and Food Science. Her schooling was over and Lindsay would be stepping into a new life, and a new career.
It really hit home for me, that Lindsay was all grown up, when she was hired at South Dakota State University. Oh yes, she has had jobs before, but not a career, and there is a difference. Lindsay is a Community Food Policy Field Specialist. If you are like me, you probably have no idea what that is. According to the South Dakota State University website, “Her major focus is to bring policy-informing research together with outreach and engagement activities to further foster community food policy councils as an important factor in healthy communities and families. Support program development that aims to enhance food security.” My sister, Allyn, who is Lindsay’s mom, says “Lindsay is in charge of starting a food policy council in 5 states, to help get healthy foods into food banks and other such places. She works with farmers and ranchers to bring good, healthy food to food banks and to get support policies in place to mandate it.”
Somehow that seems like such a big job for the little girl my niece is in my head. Of course, I know that she is well trained for it and she will do very well at it. South Dakota State University is very blessed to have her. Today is Lindsay’s birthday. Happy birthday Lindsay!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!