Each year, on the anniversary of my dad, Allen Spencer’s homegoing I am amazed that another year has passed. How can it possibly be 13 years since I last saw my dad? Of course, I know that my parents are in Heaven, and in my future, but that does not lessen the feeling of loneliness and sadness that I feel each day in their absence. I don’t believe anyone ever really gets used to not having their parents in this world with them. Nevertheless, my parents are in Heaven, and each day their is as the first day they went to Heaven. There is always a spirit of celebration and joy in Heaven. There is no better place to be. For that part, I am happy for them, and only sad for me, and for my sisters and our families, all of whom miss my parents very much.
My dad was the spiritual patriarch of our family, always leading us in the way we should go, both in our spiritual life and in our daily physical life. Whenever we had a problem that seemed to big to handle, Dad would sit us down and say, “This is what we are going to do.” We never worried after that, because our dad had stepped up to lead us into God’s victory. He always had a level head in times of turmoil, even if it wasn’t turmoil in our family. We have witnessed so many tragedies in our lifetimes…from national tragedies to personal tragedies, but Dad, and Mom too, showed us that God will never leave us, not forsake us. They were great spiritual leaders for their family, and we are forever grateful for that guidance.
Dad loved to travel, and to show his family this wonderful country. Dad had seen many places in the world during his World War II years of active duty. He has seen places that we will likely never see, but his favorite places were always places in our great nation. Dad loved our country. He was a great patriot, who was loyal to his country unto death. He would never have been disloyal to his country. That was simply not in his nature. He fought too hard for our freedoms, as did all of his fellow soldiers. He would have stood, and did stand in his day, and said “Give me Liberty, or give me death!!” He would have done so, because to lay down and give up was not in his nature. It was through these kinds of teachings that my sisters and I learned how to keep going, to fight and stand for victory. There is not a quitter among us.
I suppose that it is Dad’s teachings we miss the most. He was never harsh. He always taught in love. I remember so many times when I had struggled in school as a grade school student, and I figured I was going to be in so much trouble because of a bad grade. Mom always deferred to Dad. I remember hearing. “Wait until your dad gets home!” Dad was the enforcer of proper education. In reality, I think Mom just thought that where education was concerned, Dad had more patience…and he did. We expected a spanking, and Dad simply said, “Well, we need to work on that.” What a relief. And Dad always did “work” on it with us. When those study sessions were done…we got it. In the end, we were all good students, and in fact the subjects in which I struggled the most, Math and History, have become my favorites and the ones I most excel at these days, because lets face it, we are still learning. That is because of his love of learning. I will forever miss those study sessions with my dad, just as I miss him in so many other ways, and look forward to seeing him again in Heaven. I love you and Mom, Dad, and I look forward to seeing you both again.
For my grand niece, Kaytlyn Griffith, summer is just an ideal time to take classes to learn about her favorite pastime…art. Last summer was filled with such classes, and as it turns out, Kaytlyn is a talented artist. At this point, most of Kaytlyn’s art is in the form of drawings, and while I’m not an expert, I can tell you that they are very good. She entered a contest at Christmas time, and she was declared the Grand Champion out of all the schools in Powell!! That is a high honor for any student.
Kaytlyn’s parents, Susan and Josh Griffith are so proud of their daughter’s abilities, and her continuing interest in the arts. They are considering having her work on a few projects that she can enter in the county fair this summer. Looking at Kaytlyn’s work, I think she has a great change of winning some ribbons at the fair, and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out. I am so excited for Kaytlyn to be entering her first fair.
Kaytlyn Has been working very hard this year in school. She’s trying to improve her math skills. There are lots of kids for whom math does not come easy, and I think that often, artistically minded kids don’t naturally gravitate toward mathematical skills. They have to work hard to hone their mathematical skills. That makes their success even sweeter. They have have had to step outside their comfort zone to embrace something that is a little bit foreign to them, but when they work hard, breakthrough can come. Last week, Kaytlyn received an Effort Award at school, because she had been working so hard on trying to improve on her math skills. Her parents are so proud of her, as is the rest of her family, and we are all thankful that her teacher can see how hard she is trying. Good job Kaytlyn!! Today is Kaytlyn’s 11th birthday. Happy birthday Kaytlyn!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My grandnephew, Ethan Hadlock is such a loving boy. The older he gets, the more his sweet personality is showing. Not every boy willingly hug his aunts, and especially great aunts, who can seem…ancient to them, but Ethan doesn’t care what people think. That is a rare quality, and one that Ethan shares with a couple of his cousins, Caalab Royce and Zack Spethman. All of these boys are confident enough in who they are, that they feel no pressure to put on a “cool act” for their friends. A “cool act” involves doing whatever your friends think is cool…even if it isn’t how you feel about things. Ethan doesn’t care about that. He is his own man, and that makes me very proud of him. Ethan is a great big brother to his sister, Aurora, and really loves being and older cousin to Adelaide Sawdon and Makenzie Moore. Ethan’s quick wit, keeps the girls laughing, and the adults too. He gets much of his wit from his dad, Ryan Hadlock, but don’t be fooled, because, his mom, Chelsea Hadlock can be pretty funny too.
Ethan is in 4th grade this year, and he is very smart. He really enjoys Math, which many children find to be a difficult subject to master. This year, Ethan is able to participate in a Lego Robotics Club after school. He loves building the different robots, and making them work. There are a number of events that he can participate in too, and he really enjoys them. This year for Christmas, he received several set of Lego robotics, and he had the put together in short order, so his Aunt Jessi Sawdon was able to get pictures right away. I know Ethan will have lots of fun with those Lego Robotics, because you can tweak them to do different things, and to have more power. In my opinion, Lego Robotics is a great way for kids to learn how electronics work.
Ethan had long been a Star Wars fan, and that doesn’t appear to be changing. He and his friends love to dress up as the different characters, and play Star Wars games. Like most Star Wars fans, I don’t suppose that Ethan will ever stop being a fan. Once a Star Wars fan, always a Star Wars fan…right!! I find it hard to believe that Ethan is 10 years old. It just doesn’t seem possible. He is getting so tall, and he is really coming into his own as a person. I look forward to watching him grow into the young man he will be. Today is Ethan’s 10th birthday. Happy birthday Ethan!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Albert Einstein has always been one of my favorite historic figures, so I decided to look for more information on him. I was surprised about some of the things I found out. Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany in 1879, to parents Hermann Einstein and Pauline Einstein. Albert had a large head at the time he was born, so large, in fact that it startled his mother and grandmother when they saw him for the first time. The “fat” head slowly receded and turned into a normal size. Strangely, the head containing the brain of an amazing historic genius, was not so perfect at birth. Einstein did not speak until the age of three, odd for a genius. He revealed this fact about himself in his biography. Today there is a term, “Einstein Syndrome,” which was coined by Dr. Thomas Sowell, to describe exceptionally bright people whose speech is delayed. Einstein spent his teenage years in Munich, where his family operated an electrical equipment business. Galileo Galilei was Einstein’s favorite scientist.
Albert Einstein’s lifelong love of science and math is no big secret, and in fact is what made him famous, that and his well know genius. That said, I was stunned to find out that his teachers did not consider him a good student, and they refused to recommend him for further employment. It is said that at 16, Einstein failed an exam that would have allowed him train to become an electrical engineer. One of the things I found to be the most interesting is that Albert Einstein had a poor memory. He could not remember names, dates or phone numbers. I heard that he didn’t see the need to remember what he could have written down. Maybe this was why it needed to be written down. Most people know that he was given the Nobel Prize in 1921. It was the Nobel Prize in Physics that was awarded to Albert Einstein “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.” But, Einstein had a funny side too, and would have fit right in with the kids of today…at least in his picture taking. I really it wasn’t a selfie, but as selfies go, it fit right in with that the kids of today are doing, and apparently he though it was just as funny as they do. He was sure pleased with this one.
One of the most interesting things I found out was that Einstein was offered the opportunity to become president of Israel after the its first president died in 1952. Einstein politely refused the offer, saying that he did not have the natural aptitude and experience to deal with people properly. He said that he could only understand a little of science and none of human nature. A little of science!!! Really!! I suppose that a genius would know and realize that just like the Bible, our understanding of science has only scratched the surface. Sadly, Albert Einstein had a “practical” view, if you will, of human life. He could have lived longer than he did. But, before he died, doctors suggested surgery to Einstein, because he suffered from a burst blood vessel. However, Einstein refused, stating, “It is tasteless to prolong life artificially.” I don’t understand why he ended such brilliance by refusing an operation that could save him. I find that very sad.
My grandniece, Anna Masterson is her own person. She likes what she likes, and she doesn’t care if that makes her different. She doesn’t care if the things she is into are the popular things that others are into or not. If others don’t Ike what she likes…oh well. Anna is not bothered by her uniqueness…and neither am I.
Anna is a quiet girl, but she’s not a shy girl. People think she is shy, but she is a listener. Anna gets to know people and what they are all about before she dives into the conversation. She likes to “figure you out” as her mom, Dustie would say. Once she figures you out, she will let you into her world. Anna thinks before she speaks, and her mom says Anna tends to astound her with with her observations and thoughts. Anna is a realist. She has questions about a lot of things and she wants a real answer, not a sugar coated one intended to make her think the world is all soft and sweet. Anna loves to sit and watch documentaries with her mom. She doesn’t care what it’s about, just that it’s real. She’s very smart and her favorite subjects in school are Math and Science.
She loves God, family, and country, in that order. Her loyalty to all of those is second to none. Her cousin, Aleesia Spethman is like a little sister to her. They are both the youngest in their family, and they are just like sisters, complete with sibling rivalry and the fighting that goes along with it. Nevertheless, as annoyed as she may get with her younger cousin, She also councils her, comforts her and protects Aleesia even from Anna’s brother, Matthew who is Anna’s best friend. Sometimes, When Matthew is to much for Anna to handle alone, she pulls out the big guns, her big sister, Raelynn. These days, since Raelynn had to have back surgery, Anna is extremely protective of of her older sister too. If she hears her sister crying in the night from pain, she is the first one there to comfort her.
Anna has a bright future ahead of her, quite possibly in the area of science. Her close relationship with God will guide her to what he has planned for her. Her parents have no worries about this girl, who is very comfortable in her own skin. She does have a funny side too, though, and according to her mom, loves cheesy puns. One night, she and her mom were making pizza crust. When they were all done and went to wash their hands off, Anna said that they “had just gotten out of a very sticky situation.” Today is Anna’s 10th birthday. Happy birthday Anna!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
When we think of computers, most of us think of the modern day laptop, or even our smart phones, and when we think of who invented the computer, we think of a man, and that would probably be right, but when NASA thinks of computers, they also have to include the Women of NASA. They were known as “human computers” long before desktop, laptops, or even multi-function calculators existed. Barbara “Barby” Canright joined California’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1939. She was the first female “human computer” and her job was to calculate anything from how many rockets were needed to make a plane airborne to what kind of rocket propellants were needed to propel a spacecraft. She did her calculations by hand, with only a pencil and graph paper. It often took more than a week to complete, and her work commonly filled six to eight notebooks with data and formulas. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, her work, along with that of her mostly male teammates, took on a new meaning. There was important work to be done to secure the safety of our nation. The army needed to lift a 14,000 pound bomber into the air, and Barby was responsible for determining the thrust-to-weight ratio and comparing the performance of engines under various conditions, so they could make that happen. Due to the amount of work it was going to take to accomplish this task, more “computers” were hired, including three women Melba Nea, Virginia Prettyman and Macie Roberts.
It was a time when women were mostly homemakers, and in fact, often looked at as probably not able to understand complicated things like math, science, and engineering, but times were changing. We were a nation at war, and many of the men were fighting. Not only did the women step up to the plate, but they showed that they could understand the work they did, as well as, if not better than their male counterparts. In fact, they did their work so well, that their calculations would end up charting the course of many ground breaking missions that would carry United States astronauts to the moon and beyond. These women were an elite team of mathematicians, engineers and scientists, who were tasked with turning numbers into meaningful data at what would later become NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Langley Research Center. They challenged NASA to let them show what they could do, and when NASA did so, they really shined. It was an eye-opening accomplishment, and one that I’m pretty sure many men thought couldn’t be done.
It’s a funny thing, in my mind, that they were called “human computers” though. I suppose the work they did was computing, but the terminology just seems odd. These days, we talk about someone having the mind of a computer, but we don’t call them a computer. I guess that’s because we have computers, and no one would think of a person in that way. The reality is that, while these women were breaking ground in previously uncharted territory, their services would never really become unnecessary. In fact, one of the earliest human computers still works at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Sue Finley is 80 now, and NASA’s longest serving female employee. She was originally hired in 1958 to work on trajectory computations for rocket launches, and is now a software tester and subsystem engineer. She is currently working on NASA’s mission to Jupiter. Her legacy, and that of the other early human computers, is literally written in the stars. What really amazes me is that many people over 70 have no idea how to work a computer, and yet here is this 80 year old woman who is a software tester and subsystem engineer. Amazing!! Totally amazing!!
When a girl turns nine, things really start to change. For my grand niece, Kaytlyn Griffith, that means that she is on the big kid side of the school. That brings back so many memories for me. I hadn’t thought about the big kid side of the school in years. I think I almost thought it was only something that was a part of the school I went to, so to hear that it is still such a big deal is really amazing. It takes me back in time. Kaytlyn really likes school, and does especially well in math and reading. This year she is learning cursive…more things that being on the big kid side of the school is all about. It’s almost like a secret club that kids get to join when they enter the third grade.
In recent years, a new phenomenon has come into being. Or maybe it was a thing before and has now made a comeback, but when I was a kid and when I was raising my kids, there was no such thing as a Daddy-Daughter Dance. I kind of wish there had been, because it is really a cool way for dads to bond with their daughters. Kaytlyn really wanted her daddy, Josh Griffith to take her and her sister, Jala Satterwhite, last year, but something came up and he couldn’t go. This year Jala wasn’t interested, but Josh and Kaytlyn went to the dance, and I think Kaytlyn looked just like Cinderella with her Prince Charming. The coolest part of the whole thing was that their picture turned up on the front page of the newspaper. I guess they thought the same thing I did about this royal couple. For Kaytlyn, being on the front page of the paper is the epitome of fame…and she has arrived.
I imagine that the reason she feels that way is that one of the commercial loan officers at the First Bank of Wyoming in Powell, Becky Duran is on billboards all over town. Everyone knows her name, and to Kaytlyn, that makes her that most awesome celebrity ever. Sometimes she is even in the paper too. Every time they pass a billboard with her name on it, Kaytlyn shouts, “There’s Becky Duran!” Kaytlyn has loved this celebrity for over a year, and her mom, Susan decided that it was time they met. She made an appointment with Becky, and had her mom, Debbie Cook take the girls in. They were both very excited. She gave them bags of promotional bank items and they got to have hot chocolate with her. It was a day to remember for both of the girls, and how sweet of Becky to make it such a wonderful memory for them to cherish.
Living in the country has it’s privileges…especially when it comes to pets. Kaytlyn loves her pets. The family has 4 cats and 3 dogs, which might seem like a lot to city dwellers, but in the country, you can do that. Two kittens and a puppy were added to the family in the same weekend. They were all 8 weeks old in November. Since then, it has been pretty crazy around their house. The puppy is named Trump, and I love that. A couple weeks later they found out that he is deaf, but he is the sweetest dog, and well behaved, which is uncommon for a dog that cannot hear commands. Kaytlyn has nicknamed him Truck. Today is Kaytlyn’s 9th birthday. Happy birthday Kaytlyn!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
When most kids lose their teeth, they put them under their pillow for the tooth fairy to come and retrieve in exchange for money, but once in a while…things just don’t go as planned. Such was the case for my grandnephew, Ethan Hadlock. Ethan recently lost a tooth, which is perfectly normal, but not with Ethan, who was eating Mini Trix at the time. I’m sure you can guess the rest. Yes, Ethan swallowed the tooth. This is a serious problem for a kid who is expecting a visit from the tooth fairy for that tooth. Nevertheless, Ethan went to bed that night hoping the tooth fairy would understand, and in the morning, he found out that she absolutely did understand. I guess maybe Ethan isn’t the only kid to swallow a tooth…so it stands to reason that the tooth fairy would have a Plan B…just in case, because she simply couldn’t leave a child unpaid for a lost tooth, just because it got swallowed, now could she. Kids have to have a way to make money…right!!
Ethan is in first grade this year, and the change from Kindergarten is amazing. He has really matured, which often happens as kids become seasoned students. Ethan is, of course, a part of the latest Star Wars craze. He loves almost everything about it, but please understand that Clone troopers are way cooler than storm troopers or Jedi. If you don’t know that, you aren’t with it. For Christmas, Ethan got a light Saber and other star wars stuff including star wars monopoly and star wars Disney infinity games. Those should keep him busy for a while. Ethan has taught his little sister Rory to play Monopoly, and they love to play it together. Ethan loves to be the banker, and Rory loves moving her game piece around the board. Ethan is very adept at Legos, and puts together complicated Star Wars sets in about an hour. It would take me hours!!
Ethan loves school, and is doing second grade work in reading and mathmatics. His favorite subjects are math and music. Ethan he has a best friends club at school. I used to love being a part of the clubs in school, both the school oriented ones, and the ones the kids set up themselves. It’s funny that a Best Friends Club is something the kids do nowadays, because this was something my Aunt Evelyn Hushman was a part of, and everyone thought it was so cool then, and really wanted to do it too. Of course, Ethan is not all about school either. He loves to play the guitar, like his dad, Ryan Hadlock does, and like any daddy’s boy, he wants to go duck hunting with his dad. As with any family with more than one male, and sometimes even the females, there must be battles. In the Hadlock household…it’s nerf battles. These battles happen randomly, but there is a battle at least once a month. If you are at the Hadlock house, watch out for flying nerf balls. Today is Ethan’s 7th birthday. Happy birthday Ethan!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My grand niece, Siara Harman is a bubbly girl who is always full of life. As a cheerleader in high school, and her first year of college, I think she was right in her element, although in her younger years, cheerleading would have been the last thing I would have expected her to take on. Each sport requires certain abilities, and each athlete is challenged in specific ways. Siara’s bubbly personality, and her quick smile fit right in with cheerleading. Siara is a tiny little girl, who stands about 4’9″ tall. That also goes well with cheerleading. All of this together made Siara a great cheerleader, and her determination and dedication, earned her the skill level and the right to be called a true athlete, in every sense of the word.
As great as Siara was at cheerleading, she nevertheless, has a serious side. It might surprise people when they hear about Siara’s career choice. Siara is studying to be a nutritionist, and specifically wants to deal with diabetics. She studied at the college in Great Falls, Montana for a year, but decided that she wanted to be closer to home, so she is now at Casper College, and doing quite well. I suppose people might have expected Siara to go into fashion design or some other field that would be closer to the type of career one might expect a cheerleader to go for, but these girls are not just pretty faces…although Siara is a really pretty face too.
One of the things about her field that Siara was a little apprehensive about was all the math and chemistry that is required for her field. She isn’t really a fan of math and chemistry, but since it is required, and she loves the nutrition field, she has simply resigned herself to working very hard to succeed at her goals.
If she just spent all her time studying, Siara would be a really dull girl, and we simply can’t have that. Siara has been spending a lot of time with a certain Josh “The Milkman” Hillhouse. I’m not certain what “The Milkman” part is all about, but they seem to have a great time together, and since they are both quite the comedians, they get along great. I don’t know where that relationship will go, but for now, they are just satisfied to date and for her to go to school. I do love the pictures they post on Facebook, because they really show their sense of humor. I think that one of the best attributes a person can have is a good sense of humor. Too much of life is serious, and we all need to laugh a bit. Today is Siara’s birthday. Happy birthday Siara!! Have a great day, and don’t forget to goof off a little bit!! We love you!!
My grand niece, Siara took the first semester off, from her studies at college, to work two jobs and save up her money for the second semester. Now she will be heading back to school in January to continue her studies I the area of nutrition. This might be a tough semester, because she has to take a lot of math and chemistry…not her favorite subjects, but necessary for the work Siara wants to do when she finishes college. It never really occurred to me that a degree in the area of nutrition would require those subjects, but I guess I am still thinking along the lines of the food groups and things like that. Today’s nutritionists know much more than that, and so she will be studying math and chemistry. This was a bit of a surprise to me because I never thought of Siara as the math and chemistry type, so I guess she fooled me there.
Nutrition is a big field, with a lot of more specific specialties that graduates can go into. Siara wants to go specifically into Diabetic Nutrition. Since my mother-in-law is a diabetic, I can attest to the fact that nutritional help in this area is vital. So many diabetics eat foods that are terribly wrong for them. Of course, like most of us, knowing that the food you are eating and changing how you eat, are two very different things. I don’t know exactly what a nutritionist could do about that, but maybe they could help the patient find ways to make the food they need to eat seem less distasteful. I think it would be a noble effort for any nutritionist. Adult Onset Diabetes is one of the few diseases that can often be completely controlled by diet, and yet very few patients actually manage to control it that way. I have to wonder if a nutritional plan that was more interesting would help that patient stick to it. I don’t know what things Siara will be focusing on in her career choice, but I do know that her work will help a lot of people, and to me that is a lofty goal.
Of course, all work and no play would definitely make Siara a dull girl, and we can’t have that, because there is nothing dull about Siara. She has an active social life, with a large group of friends, and one special guy that she has been dating since November. Time will tell us where that will go, but I can say that any guy who has the honor of dating Siara is a blessed man indeed, because she is one of the sweetest and yet goofiest people I know. Today is Siara’s birthday. Happy birthday Siara!! Have a great day!! We love you!!