donkeys

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!!

529380_4160756552351_801291584_nMy nephew, Barry Schulenberg’s wife, Kelli is a summer girl. Winter is simply not her style. I can relate to that, because if you are the kind of person who loves to get outdoors and do some hiking, winter really cramps your style. Most summer girls don’t snow ski, ice skate, or snow mobile, because those things require cold weather. Even if you dress warmly…it just isn’t enough. A summer girl loves the warm weather. The heat goes clear to your bones and after the long winter, and even the early spring…you are finally warm. The thing that probably surprises me the most is that while Kelli is a summer girl, she has never lived anywhere but in the north, and at least for now, that doesn’t look like it will change soon.

I suppose that there are a lot of things that are harder to do in the winter. It can be rather cold riding horses or bicycles. Even driving a car is no fun in winter’s snow. Slick roads make driving treacherous, especially when 10629691_10202096841617695_5380123168372700253_nyou live in the country, as Kelli and Barry do. Kelli, especially doesn’t like driving on slick roads, and so she often rides into town with Barry, so she doesn’t have to drive the roads herself. I can understand that, because Bob and I used to live in the area they do. It is something I can’t say that I miss in the slightest.

For Kelli and Barry, summer means travel and concerts. Their weekends, during the summer months, often include day drives to Colorado, just to look at the beautiful scenery, and do a little shopping at their favorite stores. I can relate to that too, because while I don’t care much for shopping or concerts, I love nice long drives and beautiful scenery. Being nature girls, probably makes us both feel the same way about the scenic drives you can find in the Rocky Mountain area. Wyoming and Colorado are both filled with mountain scenes and lots of rivers and creeks. Camping and hiking can be done in so many places in the Rocky Mountains. Barry and Kelli have been to a number of them too.

Kelli loves animals too, especially their dog, Dakota, and donkeys, which she doesn’t own any of yet, but given 1908338_10201360299764609_2677605985421931183_ntime, I think she just might someday. That was one of the reasons they bought a place out in the country, and while this place didn’t turn out to be exactly what they had hoped for, in time it will either become what they want or they will find a different place that will provide what is needed to fulfill their dreams.

As winter approaches, I’m sure Kelli will be staying at home more, doing her nesting. She loves her home and works hard to make it pretty…with a western flair. Staying home and reading or getting on Facebook and Twitter are favorite pastimes of Kelli’s…when she can’t be outside hiking or riding her bicycle that is. Today is Kelli’s birthday. Happy birthday Kelli!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Luckenbach babyKelli is my nephew’s wife, and has been a part of our family for almost 10 years now. She has always liked the idea of living in the country and raising donkeys, but lately she is focusing her interests on country music and traveling to concerts. Kelli has a blog, called Thoughts From A Gypsy Soul, and she writes about her travels, and her latest favorite songs. Check it out if you get a chance.

I think Kelli is right when she calls herself a Gypsy Soul, because she really wants to live somewhere in the South, probably Texas. Some people just don’t like the cold weather of the north, and Kelli is one of those people. I don’t know if her dreams will ever be realized, because, somehow we seem to end up where we are supposed to in life, I think, but time will tell how this turns out for Kelli.

Kelli is a kind soul too. During my sister-in-law, Brenda’s recent hospitalization, that lasted about a month, Kelli was a regular visitor. Her smiling face brightened Brenda’s days, and mine too. Whenever we were there together, we shared many laughs, and it was a lot of fun. Kelli has a great laugh…it’s fun to be around her when she is laughing a lot.
Remember the Alamo
Kelli has a fascination with celebrities, and the royal family in particular. She would love to be related to them, and recently with the connection I made to the Schulenberg family to the Spencer family, she can now say that she is a cousin of Princess Diana and the rest of the current royal family, so that dream has finally been realized. I am still looking for a connection from her own side of the family, but haven’t found one as yet. Maybe, I will soon. Kelli hails from Reading, Michigan, and my family came from the Great Lakes area too, so you just never know. Today is Kelli’s birthday. Happy birthday Kelli!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!

Our nephew, Barry’s wife, Kelli has always been an outdoor girl. She loves hiking and long drives…going  just about anywhere. Saturdays often will find them heading out for a drive, and posting pictures of the things they see on Facebook or Twitter. Kelli loves to travel and, while Texas is the place she likes the best, so far, you never know if, in their travels, she just might find a place she likes better.

During various vacations, Kelli and Barry have hiked in a number of places. On trips down to Colorado to visit her mom, they have hiked in the Rocky Mountain National Park. They have also hiked in the Black Hills, the Oregon Trail, the Big Horn Mountains, and many other places. A love of hiking and the mountains is something Kelli and I definitely share. We also share a love of beautiful nature scenes, and I have really enjoyed the pictures she has posted.

Kelli loves animals. She likes the wild animals in nature, and she loves her dog, Dakota, but the thing that surprised me the most is her love of donkeys. I can relate to that in that when we go to the Black Hills, one of the highlights of the trip is being able to see the wild donkeys there, but Kelli would love to raise donkeys. That is something I had never considered doing. Donkeys are so sweet though, and I think that would be a really cool thing to do, and I hope she will get the chance to make that dream come true someday.

Kelli has been a part of our family since she and Barry were married in 2004. They share so many common interests, and it seems like they have always been together. Today is Kelli’s birthday. Happy birthday Kelli!! We love you!! Have a great day!!

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