outdoors

My nephew, Chris Iverson is a man who largely thinks like me. We agree on so many points, from politics to leisure time. I always like to talk to a person with a logical mind, and that is exactly what Chris has. At the risk of upsetting the “please no more politics” people among my readers, I must say that Chris is a conservative, with a level head, who isn’t fooled by the Liberal media. That can be refreshing when so many of the people you hear from around you are the polar opposite of that. Chris understands that the liberal politicians ideas simply will not work, and will break this nation. Chris gets that.

Nevertheless, that is not all Chris is about. A daddy of two children, Chris, along with his wife, Cassie, takes a hands on approach to parenting. Their son, Lucas needs extra help, because he was born with Down’s Syndrome, but that has never stopped Chris and Cassie from helping Lucas to be the best person he can be…even if that happens to be Batman. They are hands on with his needs, and work hard to help him perform as normally as possible. Their daughter, Zoey also helps her big brother to learn new things. She is one of his biggest fans.

Chris makes sure that his children get to spend as much time as possible with family, knowing that some of those grandparents and great grandparents may not be around for much longer. Taking the kids for visits is a great way to let them get to know their family, especially when they don’t all live in the same town. Much of the family also loves to go camping, so they get to see them there too.

The family loves the outdoors, and Chris gets them outside as much as possible. Chris loves to hike, camp, and fish, and he is teaching his children to love those things too. Of course, living in Powell, Wyoming, they have a more limited season to do some of the outdoor things they like, but whenever possible, they are out there enjoying nature. I think that Chris’ outdoor lifestyle is a great way to raise the kids, and keep them strong with exercise, something which is very important for Lucas, for whom these things don’t always come easy. Chris and Cassie are great parents, and their children are very blessed to have them. Today is Chris’ birthday. Happy birthday Chris!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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.

Tuberculosis was a disease that brought terror to the hearts of people over the years…especially right after World War II, but even before World War II, being diagnosed with Tuberculosis was like being given a death sentence. People had to be quarantined, so they wouldn’t infect those around them, since the disease is airborne. All too often it was too late by the time they knew they needed to be quarantined. Any serious disease can be scary for the people in areas affected, but this one was taken to a completely different level. In an effort to prevent Tuberculosis from being passed from child to child, the schools began a new movement, known as the Open-Air School. The movement required the establishment of schools that combined medical surveillance with A method of learning that was adapted to students with pre-tuberculosis…an obsolete term for the pre-clinical stage of tuberculosis. The new institution was established by doctors researching new prophylactic methods, and educators interested in an open air educational experience.

In 1904, Dr Bernhard Bendix and pedagogue Hermann Neufert founded the first school of this kind: the Waldeschule of Charlottenburg, near Berlin, Germany. Classes were conducted in the woods to offer open-air therapy to young city dwellers with pre-tuberculosis. The experiment, conducted by the International Congresses of Hygiene, was immediately attempted throughout Europe and North America: in Belgium in 1904, in Switzerland, England, Italy, and France in 1907, in the United States in 1908, in Hungary in 1910, and in Sweden in 1914. The schools were called “schools of the woods” or “open air schools.” Often they were remote from cities, set up in tents, prefabricated barracks, or re-purposed structures, and were run during the summer. Some of the more noteworthy experiments were the School in the Sun, in Cergnat, Switzerland and the school of Uffculme near Birmingham, England. The School of the Sun used helio-therapy in 1910. Dr Auguste Rollier sent the children up to the mountains every morning equipped with portable equipment. The school of Uffculme, noted for its architecture, allowed each class to occupy its own independent pavilion in 1911.

After World War I the movement became organized. The first International Congress took place in Paris in 1922, at the initiative of The League for Open Air Education created in France in 1906, and of its president, Gaston Lemonier. There were four more congresses: in Belgium in 1931; in Germany in 1936, marked by the involvement of German doctor Karl Triebold; in Italy in 1949; and in Switzerland in 1956. National committees were created. Jean Duperthuis, a close associate of Adolphe Ferrière (1879–1960), the well-known pedagogue and theorist of New Education, created the International Bureau of Open Air Schools to collect information on how these schools worked. Testimonies described an educational experience inspired by New Education, with much physical exercise, regular medical checkups, and a closely monitored diet, but there has been little formal study of the majority of these schools.

According to the ideas of the open air school, the architecture had to provide wide access to the outdoors, with large bay windows and a heating system that would permit working with the windows open. The most remarkable of these schools were in Amsterdam, Holland by architect Jan Duiker (1929–1930), in Suresnes, France by Eugène Beaudoin and Marcel Lods (1931–1935), and Copenhagen, Denmark by Kai Gottlob (1935–1938). From what I have seen, most of these school were held completely outdoors. I don’t know if the impact on Tuberculosis was as profound as they had hoped, but there were good things that came out of the experiments. The movement had an influence on the evolution of education, hygiene, and architecture. School buildings, for example, adopted the concept of classes open to the outdoors, as in Bale, Switzerland (1938–1939, architect Hermann Baur), Impington, England (1939, Walter Gropius and Maxwell Fry), and in Los Angeles (1935, Richard Neutra). This influence is the major contribution of the open air schools movement, although the introduction of antibiotics, which increasingly provided a cure for Tuberculosis, pretty much made them obsolete after World War II. Nevertheless, fresh air, exercise, and playtime for young children have all remained an important part of the school day, and thankfully, Tuberculosis is on the decline, although it still ranks in the top 10 of fatal diseases.

My nephew, Jason Sawdon is a Wyoming Highway Patrolman by trade, and a very good one. He was even voted “Trooper of the Year” in 2015. Jason is very proud of his role as a Wyoming Highway Patrolman, but that is not what he considers to be his most important job. His most important job is being a husband to my niece, Jessi, and Daddy to their daughter, Adelaide. For Jason, having a family is the ultimate life success story. Your job is just your job, and while you are good at it, and like what you are doing, it is still your job, and it will never be as important as your family.

This first year of being Adelaide’s daddy has been a busy one, because as you know, babies really do keep their parents busy. Having a child changes a person’s whole identity. Jason has gone from being Jason Sawdon, Wyoming Highway Patrolman, to being Adelaide’s Daddy. That will become more clear as time goes on, because all of her little friends will say, “You’re Adelaide’s daddy, right?” And that doesn’t really change…ever. Even when the kids are grown, people will ask you if you are their parent, so it is a new identity for the parent. And it’s one that they don’t mind, because that is their baby, and it’s really cool to have people acknowledge that. The older they get, the more surprising it is, but I still get asked if I am Corrie or Amy’s mom, so it’s a fun, and it’s definitely a lifelong name change for the parents.

Jason has been taking his family to do lots of fun things. They have spent time on the mountain, hiking and camping, and they have gone to visit the grandparents that live in Michigan. Adelaide is a part of a big family, on both her parents sides, so it’s important that she get to know everyone. Adelaide had a great time visiting with everyone, and getting to know her cousins. Of course, the first year being a daddy carries a lot of responsibility. There is much to teach your child, and lately, the focus has been on teaching Adelaide to walk. That is an important part of a child’s life, and a fun part of parenting. Jason and Jessi are great teachers, and of course, Adelaide is a model student, so she is now an accomplished walker. I know that the future will be a wonderful experience for Adelaide’s Daddy, and I look forward to watching them experience life. Today is Jason’s birthday. Happy birthday Jason!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My brother-in-law, Chris Hadlock has always loved the outdoors. In fact, for years, he my sister, Allyn and their family have gone camping during his birthday week. They usually go to Red Lodge, Montana, but this year he and Allyn did something a little different. This year, they went to Canada to spend the week in a houseboat, along with my sister, Caryl Reed and her husband, Mike; and my sister, Alena Stevens and her husband Mike. I know they are going to have a great time, and I can’t wait to see pictures of their trip. It’s such a unique kind of a trip, and I know they are all going to have a really great week. It will be a trip to remember, that’s for sure.

This year seems to be shaping up to be one of change for Chris. He retired from the Casper Police Department on June 30th, after 27 years in law enforcement. During those yeas, he served the people of Casper and Natrona County capably and honorably. It has been a strange things for all of us to know that Chris is no longer a police officer. I also think that his retirement is a great loss to the Casper Police Department. Chris worked in so many areas of the department. He was a patrol officer for a number of years, then a supervisor and training officer. Later he hired new officers, and finally he was the supervisor of the detectives. His ability to do any job and do it well, is what made him such an asset to the department. Nevertheless, careers must come to an end sometime, and this was Chris’ time. I know that his new job will be a good career move too, and I am happy for him. Police work is stressful, and it’s time for him to de-stress.

Chris is rocking the career of grandpa too these days. He has three grandchildren so far, and they love to hang out with their grandpa. One of the things they really like to do is to listen to Chris play the guitar. He has been playing for most of his life, and I know his own kids loved to sit and listen to him play too. Now the next generation of kids are learning to love music from him as well. His youngest grandchild, Adelaide loves to help her grandpa play the guitar, and I’m sure the others did too. It is just so wonderful to be a grandparent. You aren’t the disciplinarian, and there is no pressure to be that. You just get to be to person they want to be with as much as they can. They want to spend the night, and do the things you are doing, even if it’s work! If their grandparents are doing something, it must be the coolest thing in the world. There is just something about being a grandparent. It’s such an honor to watch the next generation of the sweet family you started, expanding to include these new little babies. That’s how Chris and Allyn are feeling now, and how they will feel far into the future. Today is Chris’ birthday. Happy birthday Chris!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

251093_10150211571587794_861544_nMy niece, Michelle Stevens has been in school for much of her life. Of course, she went through the normal public school, at which time she discovered her amazing talent in the area of art. She also discovered that she was an excellent teacher. Put the two together, and you have a career. With that goal in mind, Michelle set out right after high school to study to become an art teacher. If you think that doctors go to college a long time for their degrees, you will find yourself amazed about the length of time an art teacher has to go. I suppose it is partly the double major, but when you think about the fact that teachers need 4 years, you will begin to understand just how much there is to learn about art. Michelle has been in college for a little over ten years now…but that study time has come to a close. Michelle will wait to march with her class, but with the end of this semester, came the end of her schooling, and her Bachelors Degree. She is done, except for one last day of student teaching today. What a great birthday present that is!!

I’m sure that there must be a feeling of, almost disconnect right now, because Michelle has been in school for make-your-hands-dirtyso long. Nevertheless, there also must be feelings of elation and even relief, because the long years of preparation are over, and she can start her career. Michelle is going to make an excellent teacher, and I know that any child she teaches will be very blessed to have her for their art teacher. Her abilities are amazing. I’m not sure what grade Michelle will be teaching, or if she will be teaching multiple grades. She will stay in Spearfish, South Dakota, probably substitute teaching for the rest of this school year, and then I have learned that the plan is possibly to move back to Casper, Wyoming and begin her career here. I know that we would all love that, but I also know that people have to go where the jobs are. I just pray that the jobs will be here for her, because I know that her family would love having her back home so much.

It’s funny that an artist really must get dirty and messy to craft the beautiful pieces of artwork they make. I never really thought of Michelle as being one of those people who would love to get dirty, but I kind of think Michelle-Stevens-drawingshe is. I guess it goes with the career. I haven’t had the opportunity to see all of Michelle’s work, by any stretch of the imagination, but what I have seen is beautiful. I think that every artist has their personal favorite works, and while I’m not sure which one is Michelle’s favorite, I have a favorite of her works. It takes me to a place of peace. A place I love to be…the outdoors. It makes me think of a hike, and coming up of a bench where you can look out over the countryside and drink in all it’s beauty. It might be a simple sketch, and maybe Michelle doesn’t even think it is beautiful, but I do, and they say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so there you have it. Today is Michelle’s birthday. Happy birthday Michelle!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Susan at 28My niece, Susan Griffith is a sweet, kind of quiet girl, who loves living in the country and being outdoors. She loves doing all the homemaker things, like baking cakes, and this time of year, baking pumpkin seeds, which her whole family absolutely loves. Susan and her husband, Josh live out in the country, near his parents, who have horses. That gives their girls, Jala and Kaytlyn, and them the chance to ride horses sometimes, which is very cool. This summer, Susan was able to work from home, so her girls actually got to sleep in and had more time to enjoy their summer. I think it was really nice for Susan too, because she got to really spend some quality time with her girls. Most of us work, and so having a whole summer with the kids is a real gift.

Susan and her family love to go camping, and in the past, that meant sleeping in a susans-tenttent, but no more. This year they bought a trailer, and camping took on a whole new meaning. If you have ever slept in a tent, you know what I mean. The ground is hard, even if you do have an air mattress. The nighttime coolness doesn’t stay outside of the tent…it’s right in there with you. And if it rains…well, it’s in there too, or at least that’s how it was with any tent I ever slept in. A camper is so much more comfortable…and, cooking is easier too. Susan and her family love camping, and all that goes with it, so hiking, fishing, and kicking back around the campfire are things they love to do. I can relate to that, especially the smell of coffee heating over a campfire. It doesn’t get better than that. Susan and her family often go camping with her sister, Machelle Moore, her family, and their parents, Debbie and Lynn Cook. It’s a huge procession to their favorite camping destination, the Big Horn Mountains, where they all have a really great Susan, Josh, Jala, and Kaytlyntime every time they go.

Sometimes I find it hard to believe that Susan, or the rest of the kids in the family, are grown up already. I remember them as little kids, giggling, running all over the house, and fighting as much as they played, but now, they have all grown into wonderful adults, who are still friends…and funny thing, they don’t fight anymore. The years just go by too fast. Before long it will be those same kids who are looking back on how quickly the years went by with their own kids. That’s why we all have to treasure the time we’ve been given, and I think Susan definitely does. Today is Susan’s birthday. Happy birthday Susan!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

imageMy nephew, Chris Iverson is a dedicated dad. When his son, with his wife Cassie, was born with Downs Syndrome he stepped right up to the plate. Lucas was his boy, and that was the greatest thing ever. Chris and Cassie have also taken up the cause to bring awareness to the world about just how amazing these children are. Lucas is such a happy boy, and while he can have his moods like any other kid, he smiles a lot. I think that is partly due to the amazing parents he has. Of course, becoming a big brother this past summer was great for Lucas and his parents too. Chris and Cassie’s little girl, Zoey arrived right on schedule and she thinks her big brother is pretty great. She thinks her parents are great too.
image
Chris loves the outdoors, and wants to teach his kids to love it too. He and Cassie like to go camping in the Big Horn Mountains. Chris loves to fish and just enjoy the great outdoors. I’m sure that as time goes on, he will be teaching his kids the ropes, thereby setting the stage for the next generation of nature lovers. I can’t blame Chris for loving the great outdoors, because I feel the same way. My big thing is hiking, and I don’t really know if Chris shares that with me or not, but to each his own. I’m not into camping. I guess that after spending the day hiking in the woods, I want the comforts of a motel. Nevertheless, I have a lot of respect for people who get out and rough it.
image
One of the things I like the most about Chris is that he is a patriot. These days, we need every patriot we can get. With the government trying to take our rights away from us every day, America needs people who will stand up for those rights, whether it is fighting or being very vocal about what is going on. Either one takes real guts, and Chris has guts. We really need more people like that in our country these days. I like that Chris stands up for our country. He is a good man, dedicated dad, good husband, and a patriot…what more could a family ask of a man. Today is Chris’ birthday. Happy birthday Chris!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

ChrisimageMy brother-in-law, Chris Hadlock has always been a man of many talents. He has always had a love of the outdoors, and one day took up the art of chain saw carving. I’m sure that many of you have seen those carvings in different places around the country. I have to say that it must take a lot of vision, because not everyone can look at a log and see a bear hidden inside its bark, and even if they could, very few people could pick up a chainsaw and carve out that bear they saw inside that log. Now, I have to tell you that while I might be able to envision a bear coming out of a tree trunk, I could not coax it to come out…especially with a chain saw, but my brother-in-law can…in just a few minutes. That has been amazing to me, since he started chain saw carving. How does one simply pick up that craft? He took no classes, he just did it!

A few years ago, my mom had a tree that had broken in a storm. As we were cleaning up her yard, Chris walked up to a tree, and I thought at first that he was just cutting the dead tree down, but he stopped short of completely cutting it dawn, and as we watched, his saw worked back and forth, creating a cute little bear cub standing on top of a dead tree trunk. It was amazing to watch. The whole thing took him maybe 15 minutes. My mom was thrilled. She had seen those around, but never purchased one, and in reality, she wanted one. Suddenly, there it was standing proudly in her back yard. It couldn’t get stolen or lost, because it was rooted in deep in the ground. All she had to do was go out on her deck in the back yard, and there was her little bear.

Chris is a dedicated family man, and his two newest little joys are his grandchildren. Much time is spent with Ethan and Aurora, as well as their parents and aunts and uncles. They love to go up on the mountain to their place up there. There will eventually be a cabin there, Beary Niceimagecomplete with several chain saw bears, I’m sure. And their house is also graced with these Beary Nice friends, and his two little grandchildren just had to have their picture taken with the most un-scary bear they know. Chris’ life is a very happy one that will only grow more happy as new little grandchildren arrive…and maybe a few new bears too. Today is Chris’ birthday. Happy birthday Chris!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Jaydn 9 years oldMy grand niece, Jaydn, who is the daughter of my niece Amanda and her boyfriend, Sean, is learning to ride horses. She reminds me of her grandmother, my sister Caryl, who is actually her step-grandmother, but I guess she must have had a little bit of influence on Jaydn or something, because they both seem to like the same things. Caryl and her husband Mike, who is Jaydn’s grandpa, just bought a place outside of Casper to retire on…and have a couple of horses, so Jaydn will have a great place to come and ride. For now, she is learning the ropes, and seems to be a very brave little girl, because she has already been thrown, and decided that riding was more important than worrying about the possibility of being thrown again. So, she got up, dusted herself off, and got right back on. That makes me and the rest of her family very proud of her.

For Jaydn, it is simply life as usual, because she is quite the adventurer. She likes most things out doors, and has even tried down hill skiing…which is something her Great Aunt Caryn will leave to other people. I’m not totally scared, I just don’t like the cold much, but Jaydn likes all the outdoor activities she can get. Caryl and Mike also have a cabin out at Seminole Reservoir and Jaydn likes going out there as well. She likes to be outside so much, in fact, that I simply don’t know how she will be able to go back to school, when it starts. She couldn’t possibly have time, I don’t think, but the law requires, so off to school she will go, and the horses will have to wait until she gets out.

I can’t believe our little miss Jaydn is already 9 years old. I remember when she was born…like yesterday!!! She should not be the grown up girl she is already. Time goes by way too fast, especially where these kids are concerned. Today is Jaydn’s birthday. Happy birthday Jaydn!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Check these out!