grandson

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My son-in-law, Kevin Petersen is slowly working on a couple of projects. His health issues make it difficult, but he does his best to push through it. He has a van that he is converting into a camper, because he and my daughter, Corrie Petersen love to go camping, especially on Casper Mountain, near their home here in the Casper area. To do that, they don’t need much really, just a bed and a few other necessities. They love sitting around a campfire and listening to the peaceful sounds of nature as only camping can supply.

Kevin also has a Cyclone that his dad gave him, and he has been working on restoring it when he feels up to it. It gives him someplace to go while my daughter is studying for her nursing school classes. That project is a particular treasure of his, because it belonged to his dad, Dean Petersen, and his dad loves to see the progress Kevin is making on the old car.

While Kevin and Corrie’s boys, Chris and Josh Petersen are both very busy people, they try to make time for their parents as much as possible. With all the studying Corrie has to do, Kevin is often the recipient of the time the boys have. With his parents retired, Kevin is able to spend time with his dad and his mom, Becky Skelton. I know that has been a blessing to both of his parents. They often run errands together, as well as just sitting and talking. Kevin and Corrie also love being grandparents, and time with granddaughter, Cambree (3 years old) and grandson, Caysen (9 months old) is absolutely precious.

Kevin is such a great support “team,” for lack of a better word, since a team indicates more than one person, for Corrie as she continues her nursing studies, and also works as a cna at Wyoming Medical Center. Kevin does all the cooking and much of the other household chores, so Corrie can focus on her studies, and that has been a huge help to her. While the chores are difficult for Kevin, he know that every effort he puts forth takes some of the load off of Corrie, and that she will be forever grateful, as am I. Nursing School is probably the hardest thing Corrie, or any other nursing student has ever done, and it doesn’t leave much time for household chores or cooking. Plus, Kevin is an awesome cook, so Corrie has benefitted from his nutritious meals. And she is grateful to him for taking such good care of her. Today is Kevin’s 50th birthday. Happy birthday Kevin!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My grandson, Caalab Royce is such an upbeat kind of guy. He has a great sense of humor, and loves to make people laugh. I remember when his was just a little boy. He could tell a joke, and never forget the punchline. There are many adults who can’t recall the punchline of a joke, but the joke always made sense to Caalab, so the punchline just naturally followed, and anyone within hearing distance couldn’t help but laugh. I truly think he could have been a comedian, but then, I guess he is. He just doesn’t get paid for it, and lets face it, that is a field you can’t really count on anyway. The comedians on this day, will be gone tomorrow, because their particular sense of humor is no longer thought to be as funny as it was yesterday. Better to be a jokester, because you can tell the jokes of the day with ease, and you always get the laughs.

As a little boy, one of the funniest things Caalab said was, “I’m older than you.” He was just a little guy, but he knew the “importance” of being a grown up. The funny thing is that like most men, I don’t think Caalab has ever really grown up. I don’t mean to say that he acts childish, but men who have never lost the idea of the funny side of life is a big part of what I mean when I say that they have never grown up. Caalab, wasn’t really wanting to be grown up, but it was more like trying to make people laugh. It worked with me, but not so much with his big sister, who as a Leap Day Baby was technically younger than her younger brother. “I’m older than you” was his way of picking on his sister, and she was not amused, hahaha!!

Caalab loves music, and plays the guitar with his dad, Travis Royce often. In fact it is a family band kind of thing, and I love hearing them play and look forward to hearing it again when we visit later this summer. Caalab is quite talented, something he got from his dad, Travis, who also plays the guitar. I don’t think his dad ever took lessons, but Caalab loved the guitar so much that he took it is high school. He was very good then too. These days, Caalab and his dad, along with his sister Shai, who is learning the Mandolin, play for family and friends…all of whom feel very privileged to be in the audience. The family often has family sing-a-longs on family night, which is wonderful to attend.

Caalab grew into a great young man, and I am very proud of him. He and the rest of my daughter, Amy Royce’s family live in the Bellingham area of Washington state, and I miss them all very much. Caalab has a wonderful girlfriend named Chloe Foster, who is so perfect for him. She has endeared herself not only to Caalab, but to the rest of our family too. They are just perfect together, and that makes me very happy. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for these two precious kids. I love watching how my grandchildren have grown and how they are becoming their best selves. Caalab will always be the best comedian among my grandchildren. It’s just in his nature. Today is Caalab’s 24th birthday. Happy birthday Caalab!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My sister, Caryl Reed has lived a number of places in her adult life like San Diego, California; Oak Harbor, Washington; Idaho Falls, Idaho; and Rawlins, Wyoming. Now that she is retired, and her husband, Mike Reed is getting close to retiring, they have realized another of their dreams…a ranch outside of Casper, Wyoming. For Caryl, that is coming full circle in life. Caryl was born in Casper, and our family is almost all still here. Even Caryl’s son and daughter-in-law, Allen and Gaby Beach are living in Casper now. Her daughter, Andrea and grandson Topher live in Rawlins, but will likely relocate to Casper when Caryl and Mike do. Mike’s daughter, Amanda, and her family, will likely stay in Rawlins, because their lives are there, but it’s only a couple of hours to drive. Still, they will miss them when they move. The whole family, and indeed our whole family loves to go out to Caryl and Mike’s ranch for parties, because it is a beautiful area, and so roomy.

Every year, Caryl; her daughter, Andrea; and grandson, Topher take a trip to the Black Hills together…just the three of them. It is a time for the three of them to reconnect and have a good time together. The Black Hills is such a great vacation spot, and has something for everyone. The trip means so much to Andrea and Topher. They look forward to it every year. I get that, because there are a number of those in our family who go to the Black Hills every year. It has been a family favorite since I was a little girl…the tradition continues.

Caryl is my little sister, born three years after I was. We did lots of things together as kids, among them, sharing a room. That was not difficult…most of the time, but Caryl is an early riser…like 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning, even during our school years. I, on the other hand was the girl who screamed out of bed, hustled around getting ready, and screamed out the door just in time to get to school without being late. That caused a “few,” ok a lot of morning issues. You just can’t get dressed and do makeup in the dark, so Caryl turned on the light, and was often introduced to the “roaring lion” with whom she shared a room… sorry Caryl. As a now early riser, 6:30 in the morning setting an alarm even now…after two years of retirement, I can say that I have finally grasped the wonders of the rising sun, the chirping birds, and the lack of wasted hours in bed. You were right, and I was wrong. Don’t get used to that…you won’t hear it again…trust me. Never again!!! Today is Caryl’s birthday. Happy birthday my dear sister. Have a great day!! We love you!!

Christopher Petersen became my grandson 25 years ago today. He was the baby that changed my title from mom to grandmother. It amazes me that it has been a quarter of a century already. So much has changed, and yet it seems like it was just yesterday. From the wide-eyed little boy to the dad he is now…he has blessed us along the way, and I know that the future will be wonderful too. Chris and his fiancée, Karen have two beautiful children, Cambree and Caysen. Their life is so blessed, and that makes me so happy for them.

When I think of the little boy Chris was and how excited he was to get a brother of his own. I think Chris liked babies even then, or maybe it was because his brother, Josh was his brother. Chris wanted to help and couldn’t wait until Josh could play. That kind of kid love has remained. He still loves the playtime he has with his babies. Chris is patient and fun-loving, and that makes the kids love hanging with Daddy. Chris and Karen have that in common. They both love kids, and kid play, and they totally celebrate their family time. It makes for such a fun home, filled with lots of giggles and smiles. Cambree loves being with her daddy when he isn’t working, and Caysen is already his daddy’s snuggler whenever he gets the chance. Together, Chris and Karen are great parents, and I am so proud of them.

Chris works hard at his job at Craves, where he is a manager. His job is his means to a better life for his family, but the reality is that his family is what it’s all about. Nothing is more important than his family, and that is the way it should be. Kids grow up so fast, which is more and more evident to me when I realize that Chris is 25 years old. His kids will be the same way for him…growing up rapidly, and right before our eyes. It seems impossible that that Chris would have two kids already, but he does, and of course, with Cambree’s arrival, I passed another milestone…great grandma. I could say that it will be a long time before I become a great great grandma, but then I won’t because I know how quickly those years can fly by. I’m glad that Chris and Karen are treasuring each and every day with their babies, because they really do grow us so quickly. Today is Chris’ 25th birthday. Happy birthday Chris!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My grandson, Josh Petersen is such a hard working young man. He has two jobs, totaling up to at least 12 hours a day. I don’t know how he does it, and still maintains his good disposition. He has always been an easy going guy though…not a lot of things get him upset. If you do cross that line, however…look out. Still, even if he yells at you, he never holds a grudge, so you are forgiven almost immediately…and as Grandma, I never get yelled at, haha!! To be honest he doesn’t yell at his parents either.

A couple of years ago, Josh became an uncle to a sweet little girl, and will be uncle to a sweet little boy in November. It was one of the greatest moments in his life. He loves being uncle, even though he doesn’t get to see his niece too often, because he works so many hours. Josh has always loved kids, and animals. He has a number of fur babies, and recently lost his oldest dog, Molly, who was also his constant companion whenever he wasn’t working. Molly was a Dachshund, and Molly was his girl. He loved her very much. She was originally purchased by his parents for the family, but from the beginning, Molly was Josh’s dog. Animals are like that. They pick out the “human” they want to belong to, and there is little you can do to change their mind. Molly picked Josh, and the rest is history.

Josh was one of many essential workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. He works at Sanford’s Grub and Pub at night, and All Out Fire during the day. Both were considered essential jobs. It helped in the job situation, but while many of us were hanging out at home, watching television, he was still hard at it. Josh is such a trustworthy guy. He originally started working at Sanford’s when he was 15 years old. They didn’t normally hire kids at that age, but they “took a chance” on him, and they have never been sorry. He has worked there longer than anyone else, including the managers, and he is the current kitchen manager. At just 22, that is a pretty good accomplishment.

Josh may not have lots of free time, but he has good friends that he enjoys hanging out with…people he has known for years. Josh is a loyal friend too, and he is the kind of guy who will give you the shirt off his back, if you needed it. It doesn’t matter what the hour, if he can help, he will help. That’s just the way Josh is. Today is Josh’s 22nd birthday. Happy birthday Josh!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My grandson, Caalab Royce met a girl a while back and they have been almost inseparable ever since. Her name is Chloe Foster, and she is as sweet as she can be. These kids are perfect for each other. Both are dedicated to their families and to each other’s family too…and the cool thing is that their families like each other too. It’s always special when you can join two families…because the kids got together. When Caalab met Chloe, his whole life changed. I really didn’t hear about anything else but Chloe, and when we met her, we could see what he saw in her. Her personality was totally infectious, and I enjoyed meeting her very much.

As Chloe’s birthday approached I began to wonder about this girl who holds my grandson’s heart. I knew that she is studying criminal justice in college, and that she is a Christian, which makes me very happy. She has a sweet spirit, which I have seen in the things she posts. Caalab tells me that she has been spending part of the “shelter-at-home” time in which we have all found ourselves, studying the Bible. She is a girl who prays and allows God to lead her in the way she should go. These kinds of things make my heart glad.

Chloe is also a very talented artist. She recently sat down and is just a few hours she had painted a watercolor picture of Bob Marley. Caalab really likes Bob Marley, so he was very impressed with her work. I don’t know too much about Bob Marley, but I know enough to recognize him in her painting. She did a good job. Recently, I friended Chloe’s mom on Facebook, and when looking at her pictures, I saw some of the funnier ways that Chloe uses her artwork…namely, greeting cards. I won’t display them here, but let’s just say she thanked her parents for their part in giving her life…her mom for Chloe’s first home, and her dad for putting her and her brothers, Tyson and Tanner, in the race in the first place. The cards were tastefully done, and very sweet in a funny sort of way, but they told me more about this girl who has loved cows for much of her life. I thought it funny, when my granddaughter, Shai Royce, Caalab’s sister, told me to buy Chloe something with a cow on it for Christmas…now, I can see that Shai knows Chloe pretty well. Shai loves Chloe as much (well almost as much) as Caalab does. As a grandmother, I can say it is heartwarming to know that someone cares so much for my grandson…that she not only holds his heart, but she protects it too. Today is Chloe’s birthday. Happy birthday Chloe!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

As a little boy, my grandson, Caalab Royce was always smiling, laughing, telling jokes, and of course, teasing his sister, Shai Royce, who didn’t always appreciate her younger brother’s sense of humor. In fact, there was a time when she was very willing to sell him at auction!! Shai was sure that she would never get along with her brother, and she would always want to send him back, sell him, or ship him off somewhere. The teasing never has stopped, but Shai’s dislike of her brother certainly has. These days she thinks of him as her best friend, and she knows that his teasing is just who he is and that he will always love his sister.

Caalab has a smile that lights up his whole face. And whenever I saw it, my heart would just melt. He was one boy who grabbed a hold of your heart and hung on tight. It was hard to be angry at his antics, when he flashed that smile. I think that might have been what Shai finally saw in her brother too, once she got beyond the “annoyance years.” That time came when they were teenagers. I remember stopping by their house one day, and there they were, sitting on the steps, actually talking…not fighting. It was a shocking moment, but also a wonderful moment. It was a moment I knew would come at some point, nevertheless, it was still unexpected.

These days, Caalab is all grown up. He and his sister are still best friends, but much has changed in life again. Caalab, who works full time at Red Robin in Bellingham, Washington is a responsible man who can always be counted on at work and with people. That part really hasn’t changed much, because Caalab could always be counted on. Now what has changed is that he is so busy and lives so far away, that I don’t get to see him nearly as much as when he was a kid. I miss that very much, and sometimes I still tear up over that…but, I get to see him very soon, so that makes me very happy.

Caalab’s family all tell me the same thing about what’s going on in his life. They say, “He works a lot.” I told them that “all work and no play, makes Caalab a dull boy,” but I think there must be more than that. I think it might have something to do with a certain girl named Chloe Foster. Caalab and Chloe have been dating for a while now, and I have a feeling that all of that “lost” free time is being spent with Chloe. I can’t say that I blame him though, because I have heard nothing but good things about Chloe, and I can’t wait to meet her when we visit them. Recently Caalab took a little bit of time off from his busy schedule and dating life to stand as best man for his buddy’s wedding, and he sure looked very handsome. Today is Caalab’s birthday. Happy birthday Caalab!! Have a great day, and we will see you soon!! We love you!!

I never thought that I would have much interest in how a guitar was made, but my grandson, Caalab Royce is interested in building guitars, so of course, I became interested too. You do that with your children and grandchildren. Caalab showed me pictures of the guitars he wanted to make, and told me that he could buy a kit to build one, that would include all the parts. I truly believe there will come a day that he will build a guitar, and it will be beautiful, and sound beautiful. I might be biased, but if my grandson makes it, I know it will be perfect.

Recently, I stumbled across an article about a musical wood. That caught my attention. I wondered how wood could be musical. Of course, it couldn’t, as I already knew and went on to find out, but the Sitka Spruce tree is, nevertheless, the wood used for the vast majority of acoustic guitar, piano, violin, and other musical-instrument soundboards. That told me that the wood must have some kind of musical importance. I found out that the wood has excellent acoustic properties. The wood is light, soft, and yet, relatively strong and flexible. The Sitka Spruce is also used for general construction, ship building, and plywood.

Found mostly in Southeast Alaskan forests, the Sitka Spruce is being harvested at such a rate that the end of the instrument-quality supply is in sight. That doesn’t mean that the Sitka Spruce was becoming extinct, but it takes time to grow to some size, so the instrument-quality is becoming less available. The population of the Sitka Spruce is stable at this point, and it grows in Alaska, as well as Washington, Oregon, and California, meaning that there is plenty of places to re-seed this important tree. It really is just a matter of waiting for the growth, and when you are talking about a tree, it’s very different than a puppy. You are talking years for a tree. A Sitka Spruce grows to around 88 feet in height after 50 years, to 157 feet after 100 years. That means that by the time the trees grow to usable size, the guitar builders of today will be long gone, so a new generation will be the ones to use the new growth. I hope that Caalab will have a chance to build a guitar out of Sitka Spruce before the wood is no longer available.

Last June while my husband, Bob and I were walking on the path near our home, we noticed a friend’s vegetable garden. Since it had gone from plowed dirt to medium sized plants, virtually over night, we knew that they had put in plants and not planted seeds. This conversation brought a memory to Bob, about his childhood years. The garden that they had on the land that his parents, Walt and Joann Schulenberg shared with his grandparents, Robert and Nettie Knox was quite large, and Bob remembers checking the garden almost daily to see if the seeds they had planted had begun to sprout. He and his grandpa would go out into the garden and young Bob would see something green in the places where the seeds had been planted. He would immediately ask, “Is that a plant Grandpa?” Only to be disappointed when his grandpa said, “No, that’s a weed.”

I was struck by the memory of my husband’s grandfather, who wasn’t really a social person most of the time, but when he was in the garden…well, he was really in his element. I could picture Grandpa and young Bob out in the garden, while he worked to educate his grandson on the finer points of gardening. Grandpa knew how to do many things, but it was in the garden that he really seemed at home. As a younger man, he worked on several ranches and so being in the outdoors, working with his hands makes sense. I don’t suppose that many men seriously enjoy gardening, and I don’t know if I can really picture Grandpa in a flower garden, but when it came to a vegetable garden, he took great pride in it and in the food it supplied to the family.

When the vegetables were ripe, he would pick them and the canning would commence. I remember, after I joined the family, the canning taking place. It took all day, but when we were done, there were vegetables to last for the year. I can’t say that canning was always one of my favorite things to do, but there was always a certain satisfaction that came from opening those vegetables to serve for dinner, and knowing where they came from. The nice thing about having Grandpa handling the garden was that truly, he did all the hard work, and we reaped the benefit. I say that because I am not really a green thumb, so gardening and especially weeding are not my idea of a pleasant afternoon. Nevertheless, that was most certainly Grandpa Knox’s idea of a pleasant afternoon, ad it was a very nice memory of him. Today would have been Grandpa’s 109th birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven Grandpa Knox. We love and miss you very much.

Today, September 9, 2018, my grandson, Josh Petersen, the last teenager in our family, turned 20. It is very strange to think about the fact that we have no teenagers. The teenage years have been a big part of our family for so many years…9 to be exact. I know that many families have teenagers for a lot longer, but then all four of my grandchildren arrived within 2½ years…from first to last. So, now we begin a new era. One where our grandchildren are adults, and have or soon will begin families of their own. It’s a strange thing when your family goes from one era to the next, but then, you get used to it, and you go on…like we will now. Life is a process that you just cant slow down, no matter how much you would like to.

In reality, Josh has seemed older than his years for a while now. He has been taking college classes since he was a kid in high school, and already has his associates degree in Fire Science. He has a year of full time college behind him now,and has started the Paramedic program this year. I am so proud of how far he has gone. He came from a beginning that was 5 weeks before he should have arrived, to spending 2½ weeks in Denver’s Presbyterian Saint Luke’s neo-natal intensive care unit; to growing like a weed; to helping with caregiving from his great grandparents for 13 years; and now, to studying for his own career in fire science and paramedics. I have always felt Josh would be perfect in this type of career, because he has a caregiver’s heart and is meticulous in the things that needed done. If you told him howto do something, he did it…just exactly as you said…no improvising. We always knew we could trust him, and trust is a big thing in the world of caregiving. People are entrusting you with their lives.

Josh is a kind and loving young man, with a strong sense of integrity. He is not one to lie to you. Oh, I’m not saying that he has never told a lie…we have all done that, but he doesn’t make a habit of it. When he tells me something, I believe him. Josh tries to do his best in everything he does, and I really respect that. As he transitions from a boy to a man, I feel a great sense of pride in the man he is becoming, and I know that he will go far in his chosen career, and in life. The things he is doing are so perfect for his personality, and that makes me very happy. And, it makes me happy that he is having so much fun doing it. As the old saying goes, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” That is what Josh has done, and I am very proud of him, and very proud of the firefighter he will one day be. Today is Josh’s 20th birthday. Happy birthday Josh!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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