My nephew, Dave Chase is a good natured, and often funny guy. He likes a good joke and in general comedic situations. That is not what one would expect from him when you first meet him, however, because he seems a bit reserved…until you get to know him. Dave is the kind of man you like immediately, because he has a pleasing personality. He’s easy to talk to and intelligent, making conversations with him quite interesting. Dave has been a chief reservoir engineer, working for the Bureau of Land Management for a number of years, and in fact, knew my Aunt Sandy Pattan before he knew his future wife, my niece, Toni. Aunt Sandy was a little surprised when Dave told her who he was dating, and Dave was equally surprised when Aunt Sandy told him that Toni was her grandniece. They were both surprised.
Dave is all about family. From the moment he met Toni, he has worked hard at bonding with her son, James Renville, and these days they are good friends. James has a dad, but he also has a great step-dad, and they have a great time. When he married my niece, Dave inherited a large extended family. Toni has 4 siblings, and there are a number of nieces, nephews, grand nieces and a grand nephew. If you ask the kids about their Uncle Dave Chase, they will all tell you the same thing…”He loves his nieces and nephews.” Now to have one child say that is one thing, but when the consensus is in total agreement, you know that it is very true. Dave is generous and kind, and he is a lot of fun to be around. The kids all love him, and Dave feels the same way.
Dave is very athletic. He loves to play basketball, and I’m told that Dave runs circles around the younger crowd. Dave keeps himself in great shape, and you know that the work you are doing is working, when a kid says that you can run circles around the kids. Recently, Dave, like many government workers, spent a month on furlough because of the government shutdown, but Dave didn’t just sit around sulking, he took the opportunity to go skiing in Jackson. Dave loves to ski, and he had a great time. Nevertheless, he was glad to get back to work, because Dave isn’t the kind of guy to just sit around. He likes to stay busy. Today is Dave’s birthday. Happy birthday Dave!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
As the second anniversary of my mom’s passing drew near, my family and I have been talking more and more about the woman who was our mother. Mom was many things, as most mothers are, but one of the parts of my mom that never ceased to amaze me, was her ability to maintain a certain level of innocence, or at least what we thought was innocence. As I look back now, she was a wise woman, who managed to keep her world…quite pure and innocent. I’m not talking about her personal life, but rather our family life. There were certain lines we all knew not to cross. My sisters and I would never have cussed in front of our parents…if we wanted to live, that is, but somehow we knew that our boyfriends and husbands would be required to live up to that standard too…and they did. It was out of respect for her, my dad, and their home. That was something I always though amazing. I don’t think I even remember having to tell a boyfriend twice, not even the ones who weren’t the keeper I ended up with. It was as if they thought mom might pass out if they were to talk in an inappropriate manner. I don’t know…maybe she would have. I never dared to find out, and I’m not sorry that Mom was that way, because my sisters and I were raised to speak decently, and we have never regretted that.
Another way that my mom always seemed so innocent was in her sense of humor. Mom never cared if she looked silly, if it could make her arguing children laugh. When you have five daughters, complete with all the drama that can be associated with it, you either get silly, or you go crazy. Well, mom was an expert at making her girls either straighten up, or laugh, usually in a very unique way. I remember Mom clearing the living room floor so that two of us could “fight it out” and once we had a good hold of each other’s hair, and were both basically pinned to the floor, the room broke out in laughter, because lets face it, it was pretty hilarious. I remember Mom making some crazy faces that we couldn’t help but laugh at, and even if we knew that Mom was mad, it was sometimes hard not to laugh about her face, but we knew that it was in our best interest not to.
Life with our mom was never dull, but then again, Mom would probably tell you the same thing about life with her girls. If there was some crazy antic that we could come up with…we did. I remember ruining my brand new penny loafers because I felt the need to go trudging through the mud and the construction site at the new Kmart building. The shoes cleaned up ok, but they were now of a size to fit my younger sister, Caryl. My sister, Alena was a whiz at concocting formulas. Of course, using the “shampoo” she created was out of the question, because it would probably burn your hair off. As far as terrorizing my sisters…that would have to be, yours truly. I was born with strong fingernails…well daggers actually, and I did not hesitate to use them. Sometimes I wonder how I survived childhood, because if anyone drove our mom crazy, it was me. I’m sure that my wedding day was cause for celebration on many levels. Just thinking about what I put my mom through…well, I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry. I think that is how Mom had to have felt. It really was get silly, or go crazy in our house.
Life is a series of changes, because nothing ever stays the same here on Earth…that’s just the way it is. Three months ago, my niece, Jessi Sawdon, and her husband Jason became parents for the first time, to Adelaide Ione…AKA Jessi’s mini me, although I’m told she looks a lot like her daddy too, but those eyes are all Jessi. Jessi and Jason are having the time of their lives with their precious little girl, and they are going to be such great parents. They are loving and fun, yet disciplined, and they love their baby girl so much. Those are the most important qualities in a parent anyway…right. Jessi has always been a joyful girl. In fact she and her siblings are all that way, and so Jessi grew up in a home filled with laughter, and so did Jason, so that is the type of home they have now. Nevertheless, Jessi has always had a soft side too. She is very gentle and loving, and her little Adelaide simply beams when her mommy is talking to her.
The Bible says, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” When someone has a child, that verse tends to come to mind, because if the parent was a difficult child, they start wondering if their child will be too. With Jessi, who was for the most part, a pretty easy going child, that verse brings one thing to mind. When Jessi was a little two year old girl, her mother, my sister, Allyn Hadlock used to play games with Jessi. One of them was a playful way of saying, “no-no.” She would shake her finger at little Jessi and say, “Don’t you ever do that.” She would also tell her, “I’m the mom, you’re the baby.” Jessi knew that her mother wasn’t terribly serious, but when the tables turned, it was a little different. Once when Allyn was telling Jessi that she was the mom, Jessi argued that, no, she was the mom. As the “argument” progressed, my dinky little niece raised her arm up in the air toward her mom, pointed her finger down for whatever reason, and told her mom, “Don’t you ebber!!” Well, Allyn couldn’t have been mad are her if it had been a real argument, but I have to wonder if one of these days, a determined little Adelaide won’t tell her mom, “Don’t you ebber!!” Or maybe something similar anyway.
As the song goes, “Life’s about changing, nothing ever stays the same,” but when you think about it, maybe we wouldn’t really want it to, because if it did, we wouldn’t have some of those silly little moments that come from our children, and later, our grandchildren. Jessi and Jason’s lives are changing every day, and while I’m sure it will be a wild ride at times, it will also be an amazing one. I’m sure it will change again as more children come along too. Today is Jessi’s birthday. Happy birthday Jessi!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Yesterday, my grand nephew, Jacob Vincent Harmon married the love of his life, Melanie Cossabone in a cozy little setting in front of their families. The wedding was held at the home of the groom’s parents, Chantel and Dave Balcerzak, with a family dinner afterward. Jake and Melanie were both so happy and the ceremony was perfect. It’s hard for me to believe that Jake…my first grand nephew is old enough to be married, but of course at 25 years old, he is. It’s strange how someone can go along and not know that something is missing, until they find that one person who completes them. That is really how it is for Jake and Melanie. They are so perfect for each other, that it is hard to think of one without thinking of the other.
Jake and Melanie met through a mutual friend, and they knew that they really liked each other immediately. Before long, they knew it was love. Now they have married, and are ready to start the rest of their lives. They have two sweet little daughters, Alice, who is Melanie’s from a prior relationship, and Izabella who arrived on December 21, 2015, as an early Christmas present to them. Life is perfect for them now, and it is easy for the rest of us to see just how very happy they are.
Melanie is a perfect fit in our family too. Many times, family members really don’t like the person their kids choose to marry, but we all love Melanie. She is the perfect mix of funny and sweet, and that is just perfect for Jake, who is a big jokester, with a sweet side of his own. Melanie adds a bit of balance to their lives too. She is always there for Jake. She takes care of their daughters and makes a wonderful home for Jake. That, in itself, makes the rest of the family think that she is very special.
So, yesterday, their wedding day, was the perfect next step for this sweet couple, and we all want to congratulate then and wish them all of God’s greatest blessing, as they start their new life together. I believe they will have the happiest of marriages, blessed in every way, and that they will live happily ever after. Melanie and Jake…you make a beautiful couple. Congratulations!! We are so happy for you!!
When I think of people who are always happy, the first person who comes to mind is my niece, Kellie Hadlock. I really can’t think of a greater tribute to a person than to be known as the happiest person I know. That is the kind of person everyone wants to be around, because she lifts your spirits when you are feeling down. She makes you laugh in spite of your own sour mood. She leaves you feeling better that when she entered the room. Those comments don’t just come out of some misguided sense of obligation, but they are spoken about Kellie, because that is just how everyone feels about Kellie. Kellie finds life to be delightful, and even when she might have the opportunity to be sad, she just thinks herself happy.
Kellie is an insurance agent in Casper, Wyoming, following the example of her aunt…me!! Of course, her mom was an agent for a time too, and a very good one, but since I was the one who got her mom into it, I will take the credit for insurance being in Kellie’s blood. Kellie was nervous when she first decided to go into insurance, and I can hardly blame her for that. Taking the insurance examination is a daunting task, and studying for it is no picnic either. Nevertheless, Kellie persevered, and before long she was licensed, and is doing quite well as an insurance agent, and I know that her clients love seeing her smiling face every time they see her.
Kellie is the youngest of my sister, Allyn and her husband Chris Hadlock’s four children. Her and her siblings have a unique relationship. They tease each other, and even call each other names, but it’s all in fun. I suppose that if people listen to them, who really don’t know them, they might think them rude, but they are anything but rude. They love each other very much, but they are also some of the funniest people I know. Kellie and her family thrive on teasing and making jokes. How cool is that? Just think…every day of your life is filled with random laughter, jokes, and silliness. It’s almost like being in a comedy show 24/7. Today is Kellie’s birthday. Happy birthday Kellie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
A while back, I wrote a funny little story about my oldest daughter, Corrie Petersen’s early attempts at wearing makeup. Since she was about three at the time, I can imagine you already know just how skillfully her makeup was applied that day. Most little girls are that way though. Their first makeup attempts usually come from sneaking into mommy’s makeup and usually, making a real mess of it, and of their face. Mascara is one of the worst…or at least the funniest things that girls apply, because it is usually black, and they have no idea how to put it on their eyelashes, but they know that is where it goes. Needless to say, it ends up being all over their eyes and their face, but they think it looks great, because their mommy does it, so it is just what everyone should be doing. Anyone who understands human nature, knows that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and every little girl wants to be just like her mommy.
When I posted the story about Corrie getting into my makeup, I thought is was pretty funny, but now I see, that like Corrie’s sister, Amy, who was so much like me in that she held the kitties by the neck, the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree with my daughter Corrie either. Apparently, Corrie’s mom…i.e. me, was one of those little girls who wanted to flatter my mom by immitating her too. Mom caught me in a picture getting into her purse, and putting on her makeup. Of course, I don’t know what the aftermath was of that particular event, but I think that like most moms, my mom thought it was too cute to be mad about. And after all, if you don’t want your kids getting into your makeup, don’t leave your purse where your little one can get too it…right? Still, I don’t know of one mom who hasn’t had her child get into her purse once or twice.
That purse is another thing that little girls just love to play with. They know that the things in that purse are very important, or their mommy wouldn’t have one…right. It is simply a girly girl thing, and would we really have it any other way. Of course not. There is really nothing better that having our little daughter be our mini-me…whether that means clothes, purses, or as in the case of my mom, my daughter, and me, makeup. It’s funny that years later, when I was suddenly old enough to be allowed to wear makeup, I wasn’t as interested as my mother would have hoped…at least as far as lipstick was concerned. I wore mascara, but the rest of it…no, not for years anyway. We all grow up and realize…finally, what things look good and what things don’t. In my case, while our color preferences are different, my mom and I both wore pretty much the same types of makeup…including lipstick. I guess my mom knew what was pretty after all. Go figure.
Little kids are really natural born showoffs. The minute they do something that everyone laughs about, they will start doing it over and over again. They love the attention. I guess in most ways they are not a lot different than their adult counterparts. Their play doesn’t even have to be necessarily funny, just cute. Anything that causes their parents to take a picture or laugh is worth doing again. Of course, sometimes, this is how bad habits get started. What seemed cute for a little kid to say or do when they are very small, isn’t always so cute as they get older. We all know that we should not encourage bad habits, but when your kids are little, everything…good or bad, is kind of cute, so we often allow the things we shouldn’t.
I suppose parents should think about that before making a big deal out of some of the things kids do, but that isn’t very often how things go. Sometimes those laughs just happen, and before you know it, you are trying to break that bad habit. Ah, the joys of parenting. One bad decision leads to months of undoing. Still, at the time, you have to admit…it was funny. Little kids are usually so full of energy, joy, giggles, and fun, that it’s like having your very own comedy show in your living room. You find yourself sitting there being entertained for hours.
Recently, we came across some previously undeveloped photographs from my childhood, and I found that I was quite the showoff. I never really thought of myself that way, because I am rather shy, but I guess I wasn’t when I was a little girl. I may not have ever been the class clown in school, but I clowned around quite a bit at home. I’m sure my parents didn’t think it was especially unusual, but the pictures surprised me. And there are more of them than I put up here too. I was apparently very goofy…or so the pictures tell me.
It is kind of a sad thing that we are so free and uninhibited as children, and then as adults, we are almost afraid to be silly. I know we can’t always be goofy as adults, but so many of us don’t ever act silly. We worry about looking stupid or having someone make fun of us. Of course, I’m sure that all starts in our teen years, when we are all very uncomfortable with pretty much everything about ourselves. Nevertheless, for many of us, it continues on into adulthood too. I suppose that in reality, those carefree days of youth will always fade into the responsibility days of adulthood, and we will, for the most part, never really be able to relive the funny, goofy, carefree days, when clowning around came as naturally to us as breathing did. I guess that’s why we were little showoffs.
When a little girl from a big family has brothers-in-law before she is even in elementary school, she has a tendency to look up to those brothers-in-law. That’s how it was for my Aunt Sandy Pattan. She was the youngest of nine children, and to her, the brothers-in-law were like her own brothers.
As a little girl, and knowing my uncles, I expect that she was often teased…good naturedly, of course, but she also watched the things that her brothers-in-law, and her brothers too, could do. They were, after all, grown ups, and therefore, considered cool. I’m sure that, if asked, Aunt Sandy could tell us all stories about the things she remembers about each of her brothers-in-law, sister-in-law, as well as her older siblings. In this case, however, it was me talking to Aunt Sandy when she told me about something that my dad could do, that while not something profound, was something that she, as a little girl, thought was very cool. The funny thing about it is that I don’t remember my dad doing it. Maybe it was just a passing trick, but it was one that Aunt Sandy has remembered all these years. Or maybe, my sisters remember it, even if I don’t.
A few weeks ago, when Aunt Sandy and I were completing a meeting to discuss the family stories that she remembered…a meeting that was meant to be about an hour or two, but turned into five hours, because we completely lost track of time…when she told me that one memory she had of my dad from when she was a little girl. It was a memory of my dad, Allen Spencer twirling a silver dollar through his fingers. Such a small thing, but something I could see my dad doing something like that. It would be a trick that quite possibly he and his brother, my Uncle Bill Spencer did. I’m sure they practiced it for hours to see who could do it better. I’m sure that soon it became second nature to him, and he probably did it without even thinking about it. Nevertheless, to my Aunt Sandy, it was something new and very cool. Cool enough, in fact that when she thinks of my dad, her brother-in-law, she can still see that trick clearly in her mind.
I can relate to that. My sisters and I, as well as the grandchildren and great grandchildren, all have memories of some of the funny and cool things Dad used to do. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that, in thinking about things Dad used to do, I can picture them so clearly in my mind that it is as if he is right there in the room. Things like the whisker rub, the kitchen door game, and pretend boxing matches in the hallway, come to my mind instantly. If I think longer, more and more memories of Dad come to my mind. It is the funny, happy memories that will mean the most to us in our latter days. They are the cherished memories in the days after our loved one’s passing.
As we grow to adulthood, our life experiences shape the people we become, and one of the biggest life experiences we have is the relationship with our parents. Whether we realize it or not, we are commonly more like one parent than the other, and we can relate to one parent easier than the other. It doesn’t mean that we love one more than the other, just that we have more in common with one than with the other. That doesn’t even determine how well we get along with that parent that we are most alike. Some people can be exactly like on parent, and yet they fight with that parent quite a bit, or sometimes they just get along perfectly with that parent that they are most alike. My sisters and I got along very well with our parents, but as kids, we all had our moments…or was it years. My parents might say it was years. Nevertheless, I can tell you which of us was more like Mom and which of us was more like Dad.
Talking to my niece, Lacey Stevens, I find that my sister, Alena Stevens was a lot like our mom, is a way that had really never occurred to me before. Lacey tells me that her mom, reminds her a lot of her grandma, my mom, Collene Spencer, as she gets older. Our mom has always been a rock collector. It was something her dad, my grandpa, George Byer loved to do, and something he instilled in his kids by taking them on many rock hunting trips. Mom continued to look for pretty rocks for the rest of her life. I’m not sure why it surprised me to find out that Alena loves to find pretty rocks too. She has a prized collection of the rocks she has found, and she wants to keep them all. Mom was that way. She had a rock garden, and if one of the rocks was moved, she knew it. Each rock had its proper place. If one of the grandchildren took one of the rocks to play with, Mom knew it. I don’t know if Alena is that way too, but I suspect that she is, because a true rock collector knows her collection, and where each on belongs in the display.
Another way that Alena is like our mom…one that Lacey finds funny, is that Alena is always getting on her kids about coming over to visit more often. I think that is a trait all my sisters and I have in common with our parents. Our families are very important to us, and we will tell them to come by more often and call more often…basically keep in touch with us better. We didn’t have kids so they could go off and we never hear from them. So while Lacey finds that funny, I find it very normal, as I’m sure my sister, Alena does. Today is Alena’s birthday. Happy birthday Alena!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
When I think of my grand niece, Kaytlyn Griffith, I imagine a little girl of about three years of age. Of course, that is ridiculous, because she was born in 2008, not 2012. Kaytlyn has a beautiful smile, and a curious nature. Kaytlyn is the youngest daughter of my niece, Susan and her husband, Josh, and she went behind my back and grew to be a beautiful seven year old first grader. School might be a bit more lonely this year, because her big sister, Jala is in middle school this year, but I think she will adapt just fine. Of course, I don’t get to see her very much, since she lives in Powell, but her Aunt Machelle has kept me updated a little bit.
Kaytlyn is a goofy girl who loves to make funny faces and say goofy things. She is also very interested in they way people laugh. She finds that quite funny. I can agree with that, since I love to listen to the different ways that people laugh. Sometimes…especially for kids, the different ways people laugh can seem especially funny. And they can laugh about it…unlike adults sometimes…who are worried about offending people.
A while back, Kaytlyn was quite sick, and it was a horrible experience. She spent a few days in the hospital, and if she is like me, she doesn’t ever want to go back. This year, as flu season approached, Kaytlyn became somewhat concerned about catching the flu. I told her Aunt Machelle, that I can totally understand that, given what she went through before.
In reality, Kaytlyn is an all around sweetheart and very good girl. She has a seriously funny sense of humor, and will do just about any goofy thing to make people laugh. I recently saw a video of her, and I don’t know if anyone else was watching her at the time, but I know that I laughed and laughed. I suppose that most seven year olds are pretty silly…most of the time, and I’m here to tell you that Kaytlyn is no exception to that rule. A goofier girl there never was.
As Kaytlyn continues with her academic career, I know that she will be a good student, because she is as smart as a whip. From what I can see, she loves school, and all the activities that go with it. Last year was especially fun for her, when she got to be a tight rope walker in the Kindergarten Circus. I can tell that she really loved that. But then, Kaytlyn loves doing things that make her look pretty too. Today is Kaytlyn’s 7th birthday. Happy birthday Kaytlyn!! Have a great day!! We love you!!