When my grand nephew, Jake Harman married his wife Melanie, everything changed for him. He his the jackpot that day, because Melanie is the perfect life partner for him. I have never seen him happier than at that time…if you don’t count every day since, because with Melanie as his wife, life just keeps getting better every day. Jake and Melanie are probably pretty close to polar opposites, and that is exactly what Jake needed. Melanie can always calm him when he gets stressed out. She’s been able to do that from the start of their relationship. Jake has always been more high-strung, but since Melanie came into his life, he seems…well, at peace. Melanie has that effect on people.
Melanie is the mother to three beautiful children, Alice, Izabella, and Jaxx, and they feel very blessed to have her for their mom. Melanie makes life fun. The children are encouraged to laugh and play, and even be noisy. Many parents just want their kids to be quiet, and I’m sure there are times when Meanie and Jake feel the same, but just as often, they love to see the children laughing and playing rambunctiously. Still, they are sweet, well-behaved children…a credit to their parents. She also enjoys making their home special for her whole family. Her creative ideas are just beautiful.
Melanie and Jake are active in their church, where Jake is a youth pastor. This year, after things had settled down from the Covid-19 pandemic, and because a Vacation Bible School, or church camp were out of the question, they were able to take a small group on a short camping trip to the lake for a few days. They had a great time, and the youth appreciated getting to do something new, when so much distancing is the norm.
Melanie has made a wonderful home for her family, and she is loved by all who know her. Jakes whole family loves her sweet ways, and they way she has improved Jake’s life and filled it will love. I know that the rest of their lives will also be blessed years of growth, harmony, and love. Today is Melanie’s birthday. Happy birthday Melanie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Few things can be more frustrating when we have decided to get in shape, that to have the gym we joined closed down. These days, in the light of the Coronavirus, and it’s many closures, most people find themselves members of a closed gym…not because the gym went bankrupt, although that could happen if this goes on very long, but rather the gyms are closed for “social distancing” for an undetermined time, leaving most dedicated exercise enthusiasts in the lurch. My niece, Amanda Reed is one of those exercise enthusiasts, who joined the gym a while back, determined to get in shape, only to find herself in limbo.
Thankfully the gym is not the only way that Amanda likes to get her workout in. She has always been an outdoor girl, and even decided to hike up to the mountains where she, her family, and friends have spent many a winter day snowmobiling in the snow. The mountain; like the lake where Amanda and Sean have a mobile home so they can spend summer weekends there; is a place that draws Amanda. For years, she might not have been in the physical shape needed to hike the mountain, but now, that has changed, and she successfully made it to the top with her faithful dog. What a thrill that must have been. The snow was deep in some places, but she didn’t let that keep her from the prize she had set for herself. That is the kind of determination an athlete knows well…no matter how long they have waited to become an athlete. Nevertheless, someone who has worked out to prepare, and then hiked up a mountain, no matter how high or not high it is, has truly become an athlete, and can be proud of the accomplishment.
Amanda and her family are planning a trip to Lake Havasu City, Arizona. It may be part of the reason she joined a gym, but then we all need a reason to get started, don’t we? Amanda works at the bank in Rawlins, and like many of us “social distancing” has her working from home part-time. I truly is a different world these days. Amanda…true to her lake-loving self, chose to spend her birthday at their place at the lake cleaning. Spring fever is upon her, and she is feeling the draw of the lake. She just loves it out there. Her partner, Sean is going to take her on a Razor ride over to Miracle Mile while they are out there. Sounds like a great way to spend her birthday weekend. Today is Amanda’s birthday. Happy birthday Amanda!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
During the week, my nephew, Sean Mortensen is a hard working family man. His loves, and top priorities are his girlfriend, Amanda Reed, and their daughter, Jaydn Mortensen, who arrived 14 years ago, the day before his birthday. She was his early birthday present that year. Sean works hard to make their life great. A few years back,they bought a house, and together, he and Amanda are making it into their dream home. Sean and Amanda encourage their daughter to be active and enjoy a variety of sports, but her favorite is horses for sure,and her parents are happy about that.
When the working day is done, and especially when the weekend rolls around in the summer, Sean takes his family and heads for the lake. They meet up with a group of friends, and the fun begins. Most weekends will find everyone at Seminole Reservoir boating, and their favorite time is when they find themselves alone at the lake…just their group and all that water. All the kids can swim and hang out to their hearts content, and the parents are right there with them. There is never a dull moment…even in the evening. Cabin to me might fight a little Kung Fu fighting, in good fun, of course. It’s also a time to relax and visit with everyone, or laugh about the funny things that happened that day…because there is always something funny that happened.
Sean is a fun loving guy who loves making people laugh. He doesn’t care what it takes, and he isn’t above funny faces and goofy jokes. While Sean sees life as a happy place, he is also a solid kind of guy, who wants the very best for his girls. He loves Amanda and Jaydn very much, and no one is more important to him in this world. They are his whole life, and they are a wonderful family. they are a team. They work together, have great goals in life, and they have fun together…so let the fun begin!! Today is Sean’s birthday. Happy birthday Sean!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
When a lake, or group of lakes, are almost the size of a small sea, with all the storm possibilities that go with a body of water the size of the sea, shipwrecks and other disasters on the water are bound to occur. There is a stretch of land along the Michigan coast, known to many as the Shipwreck Coast or the Graveyard of the Great Lakes. It is an 80 mile stretch between Grand Island and Whitefish Point, and the vicious waters have sunk hundreds of ships. Edmund Fitzgerald, Cyprus, and Vienna are just a few of the vessels lost beneath the waves, where they took their crew to a watery grave…their names forever etched in maritime lore. Their wreckages lie in varying depths of Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes.
My husband, Bob and I came up for a visit in 1975, and my Uncle Bill Spencer, the original family historian, told us about the shipwrecks of Lake Superior, and how there were many that could be seen pretty clearly when flying over the lake. I wished we could have taken such a flight, and seen those ships for myself. My thoughts drifted to the time of the wrecks, and how the accident happened and about the people who lost their lives there.
Lake Superior was known for its big storms, and when the November gales came it was treacherous, especially along the Shipwreck Coast. “This part of Lake Superior is particularly treacherous thanks to a unique combination of geography and storm patterns,” Bruce Lynn, executive director of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Paradise, Michigan says. “Storms build up over Canada and the Great Plains. Their strong winds blow uninterrupted over 200 miles of open waters, building up enormous waves that drive ships into the coast or break them in half.” Fog, snow squalls, smoke from forest fires, traffic jams on the busy waters and human error add to sailing hazards.
One massive ore carrier, the Edmund Fitzgerald was the largest to sail Lake Superior, nevertheless, it was a gale or a rogue wave that caused its sinking, but what it was is debated to this day. Gordon Lightfoot immortalized the tragedy in his song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” The Fitzgerald’s 200 pound bronze bell was salvaged from the bottom of the lake later on, and and restored. The men were never recovered, because as most people know, Lake Superior never gives up her dead. The ship darted out on November 7, 1975, hoping to make Whitefish Point, but that was not to be. I think that just the questions behind the shipwrecks on Lake Superior makes the thousands of shipwrecks a huge mystery.
My nephew, Steve Spethman is a great husband and dad. I have known Steve since he was twelve, and like most kids, he was carefree and a little mischievous. Nevertheless, he has grown into such a great man. Steve’s top priority is his family. He is very active in the activities of his three boys and his daughter. Steve loves guns. He wants his kids and his wife, Jenny to know how to defend themselves, and he also loves to hunt, so he wants the kids to be able to hunt too, as they come of age, so he has trained them on every aspect of gun use and safety. Of course, they have to take the hunter safety classes too, but the two older boys have passed with ease. I know that his younger two children will do so too. Steve is an excellent marksman and is willing to help anyone with their shooting ability. I have been blessed to have him show me some things to help me shoot better, so I know that he is patient, and qualified. Now, I just need to go with him again to practice, hahaha!!
Steve is a hard working man, and even takes on extra work to help out family and friends, and to earn a little extra money. He does excellent carpentry work, and has helped .y sister, Caryl Reed and her husband, Mike to build the home they have been working on at their ranchette near Casper. The work Steve has done there is beautiful, and I know that Mike has been grateful for his help. He is currently working on so renovations at the family home, and while Jenny is dreading the mess, she is really looking forward to the nice new kitchen she will have when all the renovations are done. I can’t wait to see the results. I know their kitchen will be just beautiful!!
Steve is very active. He loves to ride his motorcycle with his wife, Jenny. They really enjoy the summer months. If they aren’t riding the motorcycle, the might be taking their kids to the lake to swim, or on the mountain for a picnic. Winter finds them on the mountain on their 4 wheelers, but summer is their favorite season. Jenny and Steve love to be outside playing with their kids and enjoying the great weather. This year they had such a great summer, that they all hate to see it end, but fall brings football, and that’s ok too. Today is Steve’s birthday. Happy birthday Steve!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My nephew, Sean Mortensen is a mechanic for Anadarko, by trade. Since I have been married to a mechanic for 42 years, I can tell you that they work very hard. Being a mechanic, of any kind, is a hard job, and from what I’ve seen, the mechanic is usually the only person taking care of the vehicle or equipment. The operator, on the other hand, is usually pretty hard on the vehicle or equipment…after all, it isn’t theirs, so what difference does it make…right. That’s what the mechanic deals with every day. By the time they get home, they often feel exhausted.
That’s where Sean differs from a lot of other mechanics…at least on the weekends. You see, Sean’s motto is work hard…play hard. When the weekend rolls around, it’s time to cut loose, and party at the lake with friends. Sean, and my niece, Amanda have lots of great friends, all of whom enjoy the lake and summer fun. And when you think about it, why do we work anyway? It isn’t because we all love working, it’s because we want to be able go out and do the things we like to do in life…like play at the lake. Of course, the lake is only Sean and Amanda’s summer playground. In the winter, they are out on the snowmobiles, getting as deep as they can in a snowdrift. The colder weather doesn’t slow down their fun on bit. Many people tend to hibernate in the winter, longing for the summer months, but not Sean and Amanda. They just change playgrounds, and the fun continues.
I suppose it sounds like all Sean and Amanda do is party, and that might be something they really enjoy, but they are also very responsible people. They work, own their own home, and they have raised a beautiful 13 year old daughter. Adulting is a fact of life they take very seriously too. People depend on them and the fact that they will do their jobs. If no one worked, how would anything ever be accomplished. There are people who don’t want to be a part of a working community, but would rather that the government take care of them, and I am proud to say that Sean and Amanda are not a part of the “hand out” community. The things they have, they have earned. There is a certain amount a pride that can be taken away from that. They work hard, and they play hard, because they have earned it. Today is Sean’s birthday. Happy birthday Sean!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
It’s really hard for me to believe that my grand niece, Jaydn Mortensen is twelve years old today, but she is, nevertheless. Jaydn has done a lot of living in her relatively few years. She is the only child of her parents, my niece Amanda Reed, and her significant other, Sean Mortensen, and they like giving their daughter a full life. She has never been made to feel like she is too little to be around the adults, and so, she has been four wheeling, boating, and snowmobiling with her parents and their friends. Jaydn’s family loves all kinds of outdoor sports, and so it stands to reason that Jaydn does too. I think her extensive time at Seminole Reservoir has probably turned her into a fish…so to speak. He parents spend every possible weekend at the lake, and that means lots of activities.
Sports aside though, I think that Jaydn’s true love…for now anyway…is horses. She has such a way with them. She loves to ride them and take care of them, and she isn’t afraid of them, even though last summer started off badly, when she was bucked off of a horse, breaking both of her arms. What a way to start the summer vacation. That didn’t deter her at all. Jaydn is very much into all things animal, and especially if it relates to the fair and rodeo. She has started showing horses, and is really quite good at it, to which her ribbons will attest. In her first horse showing, she took 4 Grand Champion, and 1 Reserve Champion in horse. She was also voted Outriders Princess last year, which is the best of the best…but then we knew that.
Every year, Jaydn gets better and better at the things she loves to do. I don’t know what her future goals and dreams are, and maybe she doesn’t know either, but I think she would be a great veterinarian or some other such occupation involving animals, because she simply has a way with them. She doesn’t just love horses, although, they are her true love, but she likes goats and rabbits and other animals too. I think she just has a heart for animals in general, and it’s obvious from what I’ve seen, that they love her too. Today is Jaydn’s 12th birthday. Happy birthday Jaydn!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My niece, Amanda Reed, my brother-in-law, Mike Reed’s daughter is living her version of the dream. She and her family bought a house a little over a year ago, and they have spent the last year fixing it up to be exactly what they want. It’s been a wonderful experience for them, but this year, Amanda got a bug bite. No, she wasn’t bitten by some strange kind of insect, but rather by the need to buy a Volkswagen Beetle. I can understand that bite. I thought I wanted a Volkswagen Beetle once. My best friend had one, and we had some great times in that car. In the end, I got what my dad deemed a family car, and I was too excited about having my own car to be upset about it for long. Nevertheless, I do remember the fun times we had in a Volkswagen Beetle. With Amanda…once the bug bit her, she had to have a Bug. This year, her dream of owning a Volkswagen Beetle came true, when they bought her cute little Bug.
Of course, you can’t always be on land. Amanda and her family love being on the water, and this year, they will be getting lots of that when they go on their first cruise. My sister, Caryl and brother-in-law, Mike are taking their whole family on a Disney cruise to the Bahamas and Key West. I love to go on cruises, and I remember my first cruise. It was amazing. I know that for Amanda and her family, this is an exciting time. There really is nothing better than getting the whole family together for a vacation, where you can just enjoy each other’s company and relax. I hope they have a wonderful cruise, and that it is a trip they will never forget.
Amanda and her family love all kinds of sports. They spend a lot of time at the lake in the summer, but in the winter, they have another way to get in deep. Deep in the snow, that is. The have snowmobiles, and snow motorcycles, and sometimes those items get buried in the deep snow. The only thing left to do is dig them out. Thankfully they have good friends that go along on these excursions, and everybody gets in there to get the unit out of the deep snow. Now personally, I think they might be just a little bit crazy, but then they didn’t ask me, and I suppose that since I’ve never tried it, I should hold my opinion until I can make a more informed judgment…like that will ever happen. As long as they like it, I say to each his own. Today is Amanda’s birthday. Happy birthday Amanda!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Sean Mortensen, who is my niece Amanda Reed’s boyfriend, and the father of her daughter, Jaydn, is a sportsman in every respect of the word. His favorite things to do are snowmobiling and four wheeling, which pretty much covers the entire year. Sean’s days off are spent happily riding…when he isn’t doing something around the house, that is. Sean and Amanda recently bought a house, so there is always work to do there. It’s never easy making a house a home, so, working on the house is a given. Nevertheless, a guy can’t work on the house all the time. So that’s when Sean heads out to go snowmobiling or four wheeling…and its a great family outing for everyone.
Sean and Amanda met in high school, and they have been together ever since. When Jaydn joined the little family, they knew their lives were complete. Eleven years later, they are all three just as happy as they can be together. Their family loves spending time at the lake in the summer, and with daughter Jaydn being born just one day before her dad’s birthday, having a birthday weekend at the lake is their idea of perfect. Having my dad’s birthday just two days before mine, I can relate to how special it is to share that day with your dad. Of course, those fun birthday weekends won’t last forever. Kids grown up, get married, and move away…or at least, move out. Life gets busy and there is often barely time for an hour to have a birthday party, so I hope that they know how blessed they are to have that time now.
Sean also likes to work on the different toys and vehicles the have, so that keeps him busy as well. Jaydn likes to help him…for now anyway. As she gets older, I suppose that like most girls, that dad time will be replaced by a boyfriend. Nevertheless, for now, they work together as a family to get what they want in life. Sean is a good dad and he is good to Amanda…and for the rest of the family, that is the main thing. Today is Sean’s 30th birthday…the big 3-0. Happy birthday Sean!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My niece, Amanda Reed and her family love to spend time at the lake, where they keep a mobile home so they can have a place to stay when they are there. They love the summer, the lake, and all the activities they do there. Of course, that means weekends at the lake and weekdays on the job, which for Amanda means a local bank. It is a job she has had for some time, and that she enjoys. Nevertheless, like everyone else, the days off are what we all work for. A job is great, but your life happens during the time you have with your family, and for Amanda that is Sean Mortensen, and their daughter, Jaydn.
A short time back, Amanda had a bit of a scare concerning Jaydn, when she was bucked off of her horse. It isn’t the first time Jaydn has been bucked off, but during this particular incident, the horse stepped back and onto Jaydn’s elbow. It was not broken, and she was fine except for a few bumps and bruises, but for any mother, an incident like that is heart wrenching. Your mind has such a hard time not dwelling on that picture of what could have happened. Kids, of course, think they are invincible, so Jaydn was good with getting back in the saddle pretty quickly.
In November, Amanda and Sean decided to buy a house on a really nice corner lot in Rawlins. Since then, they have been working to settle in and make this house their own. There is just something special about buying a new house that changes everything…especially your perspective. This house is very nice and big too, which is always a plus. I’m sure Amanda has everything in ship shape already, and the family is ready for the summer to come. There is a big garage in back for Sean too, so I expect that he will be out there tinkering around a lot. All in all life is good for Amanda and her little family. She is doing what she loves, has the family she wants, and a beautiful home. So, you ask, what more could she want? Well, like me, she could as for summer and it’s nice weather to hurry up and get here, because like me, Amanda is a summer girl, and would like it just fine if it was summer all year long. Today is Amanda’s birthday. Happy birthday Amanda!! Have a great day!! We love you!!