grandniece

My grandniece, Melanie Harman is a sweet girl, who has been so good for my grandnephew, Jake Harman. I would be very hard-pressed to come up with the wonderful things that Jake has to say about his wife. Kake says, “Mel is the most beautiful woman alive, and I mean that physically, mentally, and spiritually. She loves God and whenever anything is wrong her first reaction is pray about it. She wants to give it to God, knowing He is the only one who can fix it.”

Melanie is a hard worker. Currently, she is working for Door Dash, and she has become one of the best loved dashers. When she walks into a place to pick up an order, she will sometimes be on the phone with Jake, and he hears the conversation. He says that everyone yells, “Hi Mel!!” Then, Jake can hear them fighting over who’s best friend she is!! That’s definitely Melanie, and it makes Jake so proud that his wife is so loved. She is always so happy and kind, that people can’t help but love her and want to be her friend. When Melanie isn’t door dashing, she works with her mom to clean their church Mondays and Thursdays. After cleaning, she will go door dash. It makes for a long day, but even after that long day she comes home to her 4 babies…counting Jake, that is, who are all demanding her time. Still, she keeps that beautiful smile on her face and gives each of them the time they need to feel loved.

Jake tells me that he just has no clue how she does it, but she somehow seems to give all of them all of her time. He said that he goes to sleep every night, thanking God for such a beautiful woman and sometimes, he wakes up in a bit of a panic, thinking Melanie was just a dream. Then, Jake says, “I roll over to see her peacefully sleeping and the beauty of my life starts all over because her smile lights up a room and her voice is the closest to what I picture an angel would sound like. She always knows how to handle us whether it is tough mom, fun mom, rude mom, or whatever we need, that’s what she is. She is the best part of each of our lives and definitely proof that God is real. I know He is because without Him she would not be possible.” How can I possibly say it better? Today is Melanie’s birthday. Happy birthday Melanie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My grandniece, Siara Olsen met Chris Kirk in early September of 2021, when she boldly went up to him in the local Loaf and Jug convenience store in Casper, and told him that she liked his freckles. She started calling him her “Loaf and Jug Boyfriend” that very day. How could he resist that?? The year prior had been the hardest year Siara had ever faced, and when she met Chris, her joy returned. She once again became the happy girl we had always known and missed very much. I won’t go into the sadness of the prior year, because this story has a happy ending, and I will focus on that. Chris has the ability to put a smile on my grandniece’s face, and in my book that makes him a great guy. Chris fits well into Siara’s family, and she fits well into his. Theirs is going to be a wonderful and exciting future.

Siara and Chris have so much in common. They are both very athletic, and love doing te same activities. The first pictures I saw of them together, believe it or not, they were doing a couple’s workout, and it was obvious that they were “head over heels” in love with each other. You never saw a picture of them where they weren’t smiling…unless they were making a face for the camera. They love to joke around, and their happiness just flows out of both of them.

Siara has long been a fitness buff, and Chris either is too, or he has become one since meeting her. They like to go hiking with Siara’s brother, Jake Harman, his wife, Melanie, and their kids, Alice, Izabella, and Jax. A favorite spot is the Bridle Trail on Casper Mountain. I like to say that families should work toward staying fit together, because it makes for a long and happy life. Hiking and hanging out with her brother’s family also gave everyone a chance to get to know Chris, and they all liked him too. Siara is close to her brother and his family, so that was important.

Chris surprised Siara when she had her back to him and he dropped to one knee, just as she turned around. His proposal was sweet and beautiful, and Siara was swept off her feet. I couldn’t say it better than she did, in her own words, “Turning around to you down on one knee asking me if I trust you with my life and my heart it was so easily a yes, but you asking me if I would marry you was the easiest yes of all! Our souls are so deeply connected through God already, but this makes it mean so much more. I love you more than anything, Chris Kirk!” It makes everyone in Siara’s family so happy to see these two tie the knot today. I wish you both all the love and happiness in the world. Congratulations Siara and Chris!! We love you both!!

The first time I met my grandniece, Katy Collett, she was a little girl. She was a sweet little girl, who was well behaved, and we all liked her very much. Through the years, Katy has grown into a beautiful young woman, inside and out. Katy is “mom” to two dogs, Bubba and Sheiba, and loves them very much. She and her husband Jake live in the country outside of Casper, Wyoming, so that her babies have plenty of room to run around. Being big dogs causes them to require lots of space. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Katy and Jake love the outdoors, hiking, 4-wheeling, and such.

While Katy loves her dogs, her heart is full of being an aunt, first to Jake’s nephew, and then to her bother, Keifer and his wife, Katie’s daughter, Reece. Katy is a wonderful aunt, doting on the kids as often as she can, and I’m sure they totally love her too. It’s all a part of her caring nature and love of kids. Kids can tell when adults really like being around them, and they warm up to them right away. Of course, I think that Katy will spend a lot of her time wrapped around a certain little girl’s little pinky, because that is what those babies do. They wiggle their way into your heart, and you are lost forever.

Katy and Jake, like most of us, love to travel and they have taken at least one trip to Florida, where his family
lives, for a visit. Hitting the Florida coast in mid April is really the perfect time. You can get away from the cold spring weather that still persists in Wyoming at that time of year. Being outdoor people, they prefer the weather in the spring and summer so that it’s more comfortable to get out and do things, and enjoy nature in the warm weather.

Katy is so sweet and loving to all the people around her, and it has endeared her to all of us. I don’t get to see her as often as I would like, but when we do see each other, it is always a pleasure. Her beautiful smile lights up a room. Today is Katy’s birthday. Katy, I hope your day is as awesome as you are. Happy birthday Katy!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Steve, Jenny, and Princess LailaOne might think that with each passing year, the loss of a child would get easier, but that could not be further from the truth. That child was a part of you even if they were stillborn, or passed away a few short days later, as was the case for my grandniece, Laila Spethman. Laila was the first daughter of my niece, Jenny Spethman and her husband, Steve. She was beautiful and sweet, and she was gone far too soon…before most of us ever got to meet her, in fact, and even though, her parents have been given a rainbow daughter named Aleesia, she cannot take away the pain of loss Laila’s family feels, especially on this, the day of Laila’s passing at just 18 days old.
Princess Laila
Laila would have been six years old this year, and having a great time in kindergarten. I can picture her running and playing with all of her new little friends, as well as her siblings. I can picture her and her mom doing all the girly things that moms and daughters do…nail polish, hair, and cute clothes, as well as shopping, playing dolls, and picking flowers. She would have been the apple of her parents eyes, as well as the rest of the family. She would have been a wonderful little sister to her brothers, Xander, Zack, and Isaac, and a wonderful big sister to Aleesia. Her family would be complete…if only Laila were still here. If only.

Giant Nick and little SiaraI have often wondered why it is that short girls tend to date giants. That has pretty much always been the case with my grandniece, Siara Harman, who is all of four feet nine inches tall. I seriously don’t think she has ever dated a guy that was under six feet tall. Maybe she is planning on having kids who have a little height on her, since she has always wanted to be taller. I remember as a child she said she was going to be five feet five inches or taller…but with a dad who is five feet four inches, and a mom who is four feet ten inches tall, I told her that she had better plan on platform shoes, if she was going to reach that height. These days, I think she embraces her shortness, as do most of us short girls, but I think she is hoping for more for her own future children. Dating giants is a pretty good way to make that happen, and since those giants are the ones she is interested in, I guess she will have a good shot at it.

Siara has had a number of changes in her life this year. She became an aunt for the first time, when her Siara and Izabellabrother, Jake Harman, and his fiancé Melanie Price had a little girl, named Izabella Siara Harman. I think it’s really cool that they named their little girl after her Aunty Siara. Stuff just doesn’t get cooler than that. Siara works at a local bank, and is training to be a personal banker. In many ways this job is vastly different from any other one she has had before, because as a college student who is studying for a career in nutrition and physical fitness, most of her jobs have been in retail or hotel services. I think she is really enjoying the day shift though, because like most of us, she is finding out just how nice it is to have evenings and weekends off. Not that Siara sleeps in, mind you.

Siara is a fitness nut, and when I say nut, well I kind of mean crazy!! I love hiking, but I would rather do it in the evening, because I want to sleep a little bit in the mornings. Not Siara, however!! Siara wakes up at 6:00am six days a week so she can go to the gym and do her classes. She loves P90x, Insanity, and Body Forest the catBeast the best, which are all high intensity workouts for maximum results. She’s solid as a rock and her endurance is through the roof. She could literally jog for an hour then go to work. Still, she does love to relax…if you could call it that…with her crazy cat. The cat has a tendency to have random fights with Siara, and I guess you must realize that this is a frienemy relationship. Nevertheless, as a cat lover myself, I can understand, that your cats personality is simply your burden to bear, because once you have a cat…they own you, so get used to it. Siara must understand that too, because the cat is still alive. Today is Siara’s birthday. Happy birthday Siara!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Funny facesOnce in a while, you come across a baby, who makes the funniest faces. Reagan is just three months old, but she makes great funny faces. She has great teachers, so you might say it isn’t so unusual, except that she was less than a month old when this first picture was taken. How do you get a baby to make the same face as her daddy, when she is not even a month old? I don’t see how, but here is Reagan, my grandniece doing just that. Amazed, I asked her mom how they got her to do that, she said, “We just asked her nicely and she did.” Of course, she had no idea how it happened either, and yet, Reagan did a perfect  imitation  of  her  daddy  for  this  picture.
Tongue out already
And, we have all seen the pictures that everyone is doing these days, where everyone in the picture has their tongue sticking out, and of course, Little Miss Reagan is no exception. She has to make sure she keeps up with the rest of the in crowd of babies, so as soon as she could work it out, she had her mommy and daddy take the first of these necessary pictures. I mean, a girl has to make the right moves so she can get set up with the in crowd. Not that I expect Reagan to ever have any trouble being in the in crowd, because she has personality to spare. I think she will be a natural in any crowd she wants to be in. Everyone likes a  girl  with  a smile  on her  face,  who  can  make  people  laugh.
Funny Girl
I think Reagan comes by her knack for cute little faces naturally…I mean when you look at the faces her parents make, you have to assume that some of that will rub off on their children. It could be the faces she sees them making, or it could be that she simply inherited it. It is still very odd how she managed to make the same face as her daddy when she wasn’t even looking at him. Maybe they really are two of a kind, or maybe it helps to just ask. However it happened, my guess is that we will be seeing lots more of this little girl making these funny faces, because I think it is just a part of her nature, and I think that her parents funny faces  won’t  hurt  when  it comes  to  working  up  a  funny  face.

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