My nephew, Jake Harmon has grown into such an incredible husband, dad, and above all, an incredible man of God. As his great aunt, I have known Jake all his life. Like most kids, there were good times and bad times. The teenaged years are tough on most kids…and their parents, but like Jake, most kids get through those tough years and move on with their adult lives. That doesn’t always mean, however, that they become something great. Many kids go on to live a mediocre life. Jake was not one of those kids.
Jake has always been good with kids. I think it’s largely because he is one of the funniest guys I know. These days, Jake drives a school bus for a living, and I can see how that job is perfect for him. I have seen bus drivers who are grouchy, and who obviously wish they had a different job. Jake is not one of those drivers. I can totally imagine that his bus would be “the fun bus” to ride on. Jake has had other jobs before, but none of them really suited him as well as this one.
Jake has also become the youth pastor at the Mountain View Baptist Church, that he and his wife Melanie attend. Melanie tells me that Jake has grown so much more with the youth group at their church, and I have noticed that too. Spiritual and personal growth don’t only happen at the church. They spill over into everyday life too. The church’s teens have grown to love Jake so much and love being around him. Jake isn’t stuffy and serious, but rather fun-loving and silly. Jake is so funny, in fact, that the youth group can’t get enough of his silliness. While Jake is a funny man in most of his life, there is a serious side to him too.
Jake is a giver. He sees a need, and he strives to meet that need. Recently, he started a ministry through their church called “Christ-Like Neighbors.” The purpose of the ministry is to help anyone with things they need done…like moving, lawn work, cleaning, or anything really that they need. The ministry, which includes Jake’s wife, Melanie, has helped quite a few people so far. Jake has such a heart for God and trying to bring people to the Lord. In addition to having a heart for God, Jake has a big heart when it comes to his family. He is an amazing dad and husband, and his family is very blessed. Their kids, Alice, Izabella, and Jaxx are a full of fun as their dad…and just as ornery, too. Teasing is a fact of life, and they all love to play and pick on each other. It makes for a funny, noisy household, but that’s part of the fun. Today is Jake’s birthday. Happy birthday Jake!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
When most people think of Hawaii, they think of a tropical paradise, but for my husband, Bob’s uncle, Butch Schulenberg nothing could be further from the truth…at least not during his days in the service. When we think of Hawaii, snow does not come to mind, but in reality, “It snows here every year, but only at the very summits of our 3 tallest volcanoes (Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea and Haleakala),” says Ken Rubin, geology and geophysics professor at the University of Hawaii. “The snow level almost never gets below 9,000 feet in Hawaii during the winter, but since these mountains are taller than 13,000 feet, 13,000 feet, and 10,000 feet, respectively, they get dusted with snow a few times a year. It rarely stays on the ground for more than a few days though.”
I had no idea, as I’m sure many of you could also say. I don’t know if Butch knew what he was getting into when he and the officer he was driving for, went to one of those areas where there was not only snow, but it was cold…really cold. In fact, the only way that Butch could even begin to stay warm was to bundle up in his sleeping bag. He probably would have tied it all the way over his head, if he could breathe that way. It was a complete shock to his system, as it would have been to mine. Being stationed in Hawaii would be the dream assignment, and here Butch was…in the snow. In fact, I can just hear him telling his parents, “It’s freezing here!!” The thought is almost laughable, or would have been if it weren’t so cold.
Butch told my husband, Bob and me several stories about his driving days in the service, when we were there for a visit about a month ago. It was interesting to listen to the details that a driver would have known about the situations that the company would have been in…and probably a lot of responsibility too. Much of the details of the movements of the company and the battles they engaged in, were classified, and to say anything at the time could have put people in danger or get them killed. A good driver would have known when to talk and when to keep quiet. Butch was a good driver, and well respected. I am proud of his service. Thank you Butch. Today is Butch’s birthday. Happy birthday Butch!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My aunt, Virginia Byer Beadle was always a beautiful girl, with lovely hair…and this was according to anyone who knew her. From the time she was a young girl and on into her golden years, that fact has not changed. It was quite likely the first thing people noticed about her. Her hair, at least until it turned gray, was a jet black color, and always in curls. I don’t know if her curls are natural or not, but I don’t remember ever seeing her without them.
One time, her sister, my Aunt Evelyn, and Aunt Virginia were supposed to clean up the house, but Aunt Evelyn had been babysitting the night before…all night, and the baby was fussy. As is typical with siblings when they are young, Aunt Virginia wanted to know why her sister was sleeping rather than helping. When she was told that Aunt Evelyn had babysat all night, Aunt Virginia said, “So then if I have a job, you are saying that I won’t have to do housework either?” Now I have to assume that it was Grandma that she was talking to, but the answer was, “No, you wouldn’t.” I don’t know what they expected to happen, but needless to say, Aunt Virginia went out and got herself a job, and she had one from that day on.
When the time came for Aunt Virginia to learn to drive…well, the family got a real education on just how you didn’t want to drive. It seems that every time Aunt Virginia backed out of a parking spot, she would neglect to look behind her and in the end hit probably half a dozen cars. My mom didn’t say how much damage or how the cars got fixed, or even if the police were called, but she did say that every time Aunt Virginia got behind the wheel the rest of the block cringed. Personally, I wouldn’t park behind her, but that’s just me. Eventually she figured it out, and I haven’t heard that she is such a bad driver now.
After Aunt Virginia got married and moved to her apartment, my mom took to going over and spending the night of and on. In fact, she stayed there quite a lot. It would be those nights spent at her sister’s apartment that would precipitate the marriage of my parents, because my dad was a friend of Aunt Virginia and Uncle Jim’s. For her part in our parents meeting, my sisters and I will always be grateful. Today is Aunt Virginia’s 84th birthday. Happy birthday Aunt Virginia!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!