My grandnephew, Bowen Parmely is the only boy among the four children of his parents, Ashley and Eric Parmely. Bowen was the third child, and when he was born, Ashley and Eric found out, in no uncertain terms, just how different little boys are from little girls. Bowen is full of energy and, well…zing!! He lights up a room with his smile and laughter, and he is a delight to his parents, but he isn’t above picking on his sisters, Reagan, Hattie, and little Maeve. Just give him a reason…or don’t!! He really doesn’t need a reason, he is a boy, after all.

Bowen likes everything his daddy and his grandpa like. Working on tractors, however, that is top notch for Bowen. Eric has a big tractor, and Bowen would like nothing more than to be on that tractor all day long. His Aunt Brenda Schulenberg even found him a quilt that has tractors all over it last year. Talk about a happy boy. He loved it. Bowen is a farm boy, with all the trimmings. His family raises horses, cows, goats, chickens, turkeys, pigs, cats, and dogs… and speaking of dogs, Bowen’s parents have let each of the kids get their own dog…when they turn 7 years old. That means that Bowen’s older sisters, Reagan and Hattie each have their own dog, that is also their responsibility, and Bowen can’t wait until he is old enough to have his own dog too. Unfortunately for Bowen, that day won’t come for two more years. Until then, he will have to settle for the family dogs.

Bowen really loves all the animals, but he loves the babies the best. On a farm, with a lot of animals, there are always babies coming, and that is ok with Bowen. It is something he shares with his mom. Ashley would have tons of babies too…human and animal. The mothering instinct is very strong in Ashley, and she loves to teach their kids about the animals, life, and how to grow both. The Parmely house is always filled with love, laughter, kids, and animals. When we go out there for family dinners, once a month, it is sure to be fun filled. The kids have a playroom/classroom off of the kitchen (Ashley homeschools the kids, but they did preschool at the Montessori School which is where Bowen currently goes), so we can observe all the fun, as well as the occasional “turkey at the window” visits. All the kids are very entertaining, but watching Bowen, so full of energy, bouncing around the room on his bouncy horse is always super fun. Today is Bowen’s 5th birthday. Happy birthday Bowen!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

I find it so hard to believe that my great grandniece, Reece Balcerzak is four years old. Her life started out pretty scary, but she is a strong girl, and she pulled through, quickly proving that a premature birth and a long hospital stay was not going to stop this “little firecracker.” She is full of life and energy. She is her mommy, Katie Balcerzak’s mini-me, and her daddy, Keifer Balcerzak’s pride and joy. This precious little girl definitely keeps her parents on their toes.

These days, Reece has a new title. She is big sister to her brother Aysa Balcerzak, who arrived on November 8, 2021. I really think Reece feels like this is her most important title. Having a baby brother means that she has lots of new jobs. She can go get things for her parents, entertain her brother, and generally love on her brother…which she does very well. Reece and her parents might not have known how much they “needed” Aysa, but I think they do now. For Reece, having a sibling is very cool…for now. We all know how siblings can get, but they always love each other…always. Aysa is going to be very blessed to have such a sweet big sister as Reece, and she will be very blessed by him.

Reece is spreading her wings these days to find out what kinds of things she likes to do. She tried t-ball and had a good time. I’m not sure how she felt about the game itself, but she has plenty of time to explore athletic ideas. One thing that Reece has already perfected is her great…and I really mean great smile. That little girl is always happy, and her face is always lit up. Not everyone has such a gift. Reece is a joyous little girl, and a great blessing to her parents, grandparents, and everyone who knows her. Today is Reece’s 4th birthday. Happy birthday Reece!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My PonyWhen I was a little girl, I had a rocking horse. I loved my rocking horse, and that was putting it mildly. I was a wild little rider. I wanted to gallup, and there was simply no other way to ride a horse, as far as I was concerned anyway. We had hardwood floors in our house, and the place where my horse sat…well, it had permanent ruts. I’m sure it must have had to be replaced after we moved out…unless there was a historian there who liked the Oregon Trail Ruts and decided that maybe I had my own version. I didn’t think there was anyone who loved riding a rocking horse more than me or even as much…until now.

My nephew, Barry had a rocking horse too, and I think he was practicing bronc busting skills. When I came across this picture of him on his horse, I thought, “That boy is a lot like his aunt.” Of course, I am his aunt by marriage, and not blood, so that can’t really be the case, but he did remind me of me, nevertheless. Barry and I are among the few kids who just can’t take a nice little ride on a rocking horse. That is just a little bit too tame for us. I don’t think either of us feel that way about just everything, but there was a time when we felt that way about our rocking horse. Kids scan0087have so much energy when they are little. They just explode into with it. Nothing holds them back.

To us, that ricking horse was alive!! We could feel the power under us, just like the cowboys did in the old west. We were going places…I don’t know where, but we were going places and no one was going to be able to keep up with us. I still have my rocking horse, and he has been put out to pasture, because after all, he is about 55 years old or more. He has served me well, and I still love him. Barry and I are both grown now, and neither of us rides horses. If we did though, I suppose that we would have to gallup.

SistersLittle DancerMy niece, Susan was in town recently with her girls, Jala and Kaytlyn. I find myself amazed every time I see the girls, at how fast they are growing up. Jala is a tall slender girl with lots of energy, and while Kaytlyn is 6 years younger than her big sister, she wants to be all grown up like her big sister, anyway. As the girls played, I watched Kaytlyn try to imitate everything Jala did.

Still, as Kaytlyn grows, I can see that she is coming into her own too. She loves to dance, and whenever she finds herself at a wedding or other party involving music, Kaytlyn gets out there and struts her stuff with the best of them. It doesn’t matter if she has a partner or not, she can dance either way. And, she doesn’t mind teaching some other little girl how to dance too.

Kaytlyn is a girlie girl, and she likes to do things that make her feel pretty. Dancing is always something that makes little girls feel pretty. It’s funny that when kids are little, they dance without inhibition, and later, when they aren’t little, they feel self conscious, so watching these little ones dance is always so much fun. Of course, some of these little kids have pretty good rhythm, and that makes for good little dancers.

Never the less, as the evening wears on, even the most energetic kids, finally get DancingTaking a breaktired, and they have to take a break. Being a dancer can be exhausting and these tiny dancers are usually in bed much earlier than the rest of us. Before it gets very late, Kaytlyn is too tired to dance any more and just wants to find her bed. There will always be another opportunity to dance at home tomorrow. Today is Kaytlyn’s birthday. Happy birthday tiny dancer!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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