parenting

My niece, Lindsay Moore is married to Shannon Moore, who is the University of Wyoming’s assistant coach. He is also the tight ends coach, and helps with special teams. Basically, that makes Lindsay, the coach’s wife…something she has been all of their married life. Being the wife of a college football coach means that you are very likely to move around a bit. As better positions come up, coaches move into them. Shannon started out as the coach of the Wyoming Cavs, then went to South Dakota State University, then Miami International University, then to East Carolina University, and not to the University of Wyoming, which is also one of Lindsay’s Alma Maters. The last move was special for both of them, because it brought them closer to home and their families.

Still, Lindsay’s job didn’t change…at least not her job as the coach’s wife. When a man is a football coach, he becomes a father figure to his team, in many ways. That puts Lindsay then, as a mother figure, and it doesn’t matter how close in age the coach and his wife are to the ages of their players. Lots of these guys are far away from home, many for the first time in their lives, and it’s nice to have someone who makes them feel welcome and nurtured, like their parents once did. They are grown up men, but a little bit of parenting kindness never hurt anything. And the players always enjoy the social events thrown for them.

Lindsay has always been a very social person, so throwing team parties if something she take is stride, and since she never met anyone she didn’t like, he is a friend to all. Then there is Lindsay and Shannon’s daughter, Mackenzie, who is like the littlest team cheerleader…and of course, it is the job of the coach’s wife to make sure everyone…even the littlest cheerleader has their game face on. And in that respect, Lindsay has taught her little Mackenzie well. Being a coach’s wife is not an easy job, and I’m sure it is one I couldn’t do, because I am nowhere near as social as Lindsay is, but for her, other than her jobs as consultant, exercise instructor, and most importantly, mom…Lindsay is the best coach’s wife I can imagine. It’s right up her alley. And it’s gonna be a great year!! Today is Lindsay’s birthday. Happy birthday Lindsay!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My grand nephew, Xander Spethman is growing up so fast. It seems like yesterday that he was a little boy, and now I see a tall young man of 14 years. He has grown so tall and strong that I find myself having to do a double take to make sure it is Xander that I’m looking at…in fact, I recently saw him on the trail my husband and I walk on, and almost didn’t recognize him at all…and talking to him doesn’t help either, because his voice is suddenly pretty deep. I’m sure his years of doing sports have contributed to his new physique, and the fact that his dad, Steve Spethman is a man with big shoulders had a lot to do with it too, I’m sure. It could be Xander’s size that makes his a great protector of those who are being bullied, but I don’t really think it is. I think that being a protector is just part of Xander’s nature. He is kind and compassionate, and he doesn’t like to see anyone getting their feelings hurt, or being hurt physically…other than maybe the payers on the opposing team in football, and even then, he would not really want to hurt them…just take them down.

Xander is a great marksman in his own right, having been trained by his dad and mom to shoot guns at a young age. He has a good respect for human life, and gun safety. He knows what can happen if a person gets careless, and is determined not to be a person who is careless. He is very proud this year, in that he earned the money for and bought his own hunting rifle. Not bad for a 13 year old kid. He likes the feeling of accomplishment her gets from doing things on his own, but that doesn’t mean that his parents don’t mean the world to him…rather, just that they have trained him well to be independent…an part of good parenting. nevertheless, his mom, Jenny Spethman will always consider him her baby boy…as any mother would do.

As with many teenagers, Xander is spending this year wearing braces. I’m not sure how he feels about that, but I don’t know many teenagers that like it much. Still, when the time for braces is over, most of them are very happy with their new smile. Xander is a pretty easy going guy, and doesn’t let too many things bother him very much, so I suspect that he is ok with it, and given his size, who would dare to pick on him about it anyway. Today is Xander’s 14th birthday. Xander, we are all very proud of the young man you have become. Happy birthday Xander!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Baby CrowA couple of weeks ago, a baby bird fell out of it’s nest into our front yard. Our neighbor Mary Sanchez saw it first, and was careful not to disturb it when she mowed her lawn. The next day, when Bob and I came home and parked out front, we heard a commotion. I walked toward the hedge that separates our yard from Mary’s, and was surprised to see a squawking baby crow standing in the grass. It’s mom was nearby, warning me to stay away from her baby, so we backed away and left the situation alone. We weren’t sure if the mom was taking care of her baby, or what, so we watched closely. Very soon, there was no doubt that she was a good mom, and in fact there was also a good dad in this situation. A few days went by, and while we worried about cats, this little baby bird continued to thrive…miraculously.

The day did come when we were forced to intervene. Our little baby bird decided to go and stand in the middle of the street…and it was a hot day. We debated on what to do about this situation, and determined that if we Bird Rescue Take 2didn’t move it, a car was going to hit it, or the hot asphalt would kill it. So my brave husband donned a pair of gloves, picked the bird up, and moved it back toward our back yard…dodging the dive bomb attempts of the mother. All we could do then was stay away and hope the parents continued their great care of their baby. The baby continued to get bigger, and the parents were always around, so we decided that our bird rescue had been successful.

Of course, like all children, the day came when our little bird again decided to go into the street, and so began bird rescue take 2. Once again dodging the dive bombs of the mom, Bob picked up the bird and put it back near our back fence. That turned out to be to best plan, because the bird decided to check out the back yard, and we began to worry less. The baby has stayed in the back yard, and out of trouble for the most part. We had to chase off a cat twice, and now the parents are a little bit more tolerant of us…at least when the cat Lunchtimeshows up. In fact, I think she likes us then.

I have had the opportunity to get some great close up photos of the baby, and finally today, I was treated to the chance to observe lunchtime. Flying lessons have begun, but this is a big baby, and it’s wings aren’t long enough yet. Nevertheless, it’s parents know that it needs to build up its muscles so that when its wings catch up with its body, it will be able to fly. This has been a wonderful things to watch, and while we know that our little baby is still not out of danger, we have high hopes for it. One thing I can say for sure, this job of raising baby at 60+ years old is a lot to take on. I know now, why we all have kids when we are young.

Portrait of Angeloah ShawFor some time now, my Shaw family line has been stalled at Angeloah, who is my 3rd great grandfather. I have always known that he was my grandfather, and that he was a religious man, but other than that, he has remained a mystery to me. Most of the time when a side of my family history stalls, I just move to another branch, because at that point I need a break from the frustration of a fruitless search. That is what I had done on that branch, until I was contacted by a man who was researching a Shaw branch of his family. So far, I have not found a connection between his family and mine. But in my search, I found a story from a history document about Catarogus, Allegany County, New York. In that document, it said that Angeloah’s father was Joseph Shaw. That was what I had originally thought to be correct, but then during my search, I saw where his father had been listed as Nathaniel and also as John. For a time I wasn’t sure what to believe, but this document made it very clear, and it was the first one that did. What it didn’t make clear was who Angeloah’s mother was. I find that so odd…and frustrating!!

From his childhood until about 1860, Angeloah lived in Lyndon, New York, where he met and married his wife, Mary Delilah Sapney. They moved to Derinda, Illinois before 1860, as they were counted in the census taken in 1860. Then in 1864, they moved to Tremplealeau County Wisconsin, and is shown to have owned land by 1869. The land totaled 160 acres, and Angeloah took up farming. his son, my 2nd great grandfather, John Brad Shaw, helped out on the farm until he was 24 years old, before moving to Nebraska. Angeloah and the rest of the family would stay on in Wisconsin for a number of years before following John in 1874 to Nebraska where Angeloah lived out the remainder of his life.

He was a very religious man, and some of the pictures we do have of him showed him reverently holding his Angeloah ShawBible. I’m sure that in the early years he was a preacher of sorts…at least in his family. That reminds me a lot of my dad, in that he was the patriarch of our family. We always looked to him to have the answers and to show us the right way to go in all things. I doubt if any of us would have been who we are today, had it not been for that leading. I can’t say for sure if Angeloah was the same kind of father to his children. Those were very different times, and parenting was different too, so I can’t say what his parenting style was like or what part his faith played in his parenting style.

Basically, that is all I know of my 3rd great grandfather. That makes me sad in many ways. It seems like some families didn’t keep records that were up to date as much as other families. I had hoped that with the abundance of pictures out there, I would be able to find much more documentation on him and his life, as well as his parents. Instead, I am left with nothing but the continuing mystery of Angeloah Shaw.

William and Kate announce pregnancyComing from the house of Spencer, I have long known that Princess Diana was my distant cousin. Because of that, I have felt a bond of sorts with her sons, William and Harry, and with William’s wife, Catherine, or Kate as she will always be known, no matter what the Queen has decried. Yesterday, the royal couple, William and Kate have added a new member to our family…a baby boy. Of course, we don’t know his name yet, but I have my own ideas of what some good choices would be, and yes they, are in keeping with the British tradition of four names from the royal line, along with the possibility of some from Kate’s family. Like the rest of the world, I also, look forward with great anticipation to the announcement of the name of Prince…of Cambridge, as well as getting to see him for the first time.

I hear from friends and on television that many people think that there is too much hoopla over the Royals and that the people of the United States shouldn’t care about a baby in England, but I can’t help but be excited…because he is family, whether I ever get to meet him or not. I also suspect that there are many people in the United States who descend from the original four Spencer brothers who immigrated to the United States so long ago. Many people may not even know they are related. Sad for them, I say, because a baby…any baby is a wonderful thing. We get excited when a celebrity has a new baby, but somehow we are not supposed to with the Royals. Oh well, the choice is theirs. I choose to be very excited.

It is my hope that William and Kate will follow Diana’s parenting skills, because she did an amazing job with William and Harry, who are not stuffy like some other royals have been in the past. This baby boy is destined to be the King of England one day, and he should be Prince...of Cambridgeloved by his people like his parents and uncle certainly are. The days and years that follow this royal birth will surely have William and Kate “seeing what the future brings” as William put it. I sincerely hope and fully believe that their future is very bright, and that this sweet little boy will bring them an extreme amount of joy, as will his future siblings.

I want to offer my congratulations to William and Kate and the rest of the royal family on this wonderful occasion. I can’t wait to hear your precious little boy’s name, and yes, I look forward to seeing his pictures in the future, because he is a special little boy, and I am honored to be his distant cousin.

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