My nephew, Steve Spethman has always been the kind of man who takes the matter of protecting his family very seriously…so seriously, in fact that sometimes he has found himself in some…interesting situations. One time after having a birthday party for one of their children, the family had gone to bed. All was quiet in the house and everyone was sleeping peacefully, when suddenly, Steve felt a presence in their bedroom. Steve bolted out of the bed and came up punching. Now, I know what you are thinking…that he punched one of the children. Well, you couldn’t be further from the reality of what happened. As I said, Steve came up punching, but what he hit was…a helium filled Mylar balloon. That episode has been a laughing matter to Steve’s family since the night it happened. Some good deeds, you just never get to live down.
As I said, Steve’s family is very important to him, and protecting them is his top priority. A few years ago, while the family was sleeping, which is the main time that families need protecting, you know. As the family was sleeping, a very large explosion was heard outside their home. Steve jumped out of bed, and ran to the door. Everything in their neighborhood seemed fine, but there was an eerie glow in the sky. It almost seemed like a doomsday event. In reality, it was a transformer that blew in the middle of a power substation. Of course, the situation was quickly handled by the power company and the fire department, along with the police department to keep people at a safe distance. Nevertheless, had the situation been serious, Steve would have been there to protect his family and his neighbors. It’s simply the way Steve is. Always thinking of others before self.
Steve is an excellent marksman, and takes his family out to practice on a regular basis. He not only wants to be prepared to protect his family, but he is training his family to protect each other and themselves too. Steve is a great protector of his family, but he is also a realist, and he knows that he can’t always be right there beside them to protect them, so he prepares them, which is the next best thing. Steve and his wife, Jenny have three boys, Xander, Zack, and Isaac, and all of them can shoot. They are well prepared to handle whatever comes along, as is Jenny, and soon their daughter Aleesia will be too. Steve is a good man with a funny side to him that makes him a great guy. He is always making people laugh. Today is Steve’s birthday. Happy birthday Steve!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Many years ago, radios were not as common, and could not be used outside the home, so when families would gather together for a dinner or dance, music by radio was not really an option. I think people probably learned to play instruments so they could entertain themselves and others. Music has been a part of my family’s heritage for a far back as I have been able to trace, but it has taken many different twists and turns. This picture is one of my Uncle Bill’s favorites. He calls it “The Musicians”, which is exactly what it is, but it was named with a little mix of respect and sentiment that said what a special thing Uncle Bill thought the little group was. My grandfather had taught each of his kids to play the violin, so they knew what it took to play music. It took a lot of practice and if you were going to play at dances and such, you had to pack all of your equipment and go to where the dance was and play, often late, then pack up and go home…all in a covered wagon way back then.
Nevertheless, even with all of the work and such, musicians who really loved what they did, made the sacrifice, and the rest of the people were glad, because a good band can be hard to find. Barn dances, square dances, and other such functions would not be the same without the musicians who made them possible. Those barn dances were the thing that the people looked forward to all week, or sometimes all month. It was like out going to a show these days. If you didn’t get to go, and it was planned, you were really bummed out.
I remember taking square dancing in school, and how much we hated that, but to those people, it was the latest thing. When you think about it, square dancing probably was the start of the line dancing of today, just like the music was the beginning of some of the music of today…at least the country music. It’s funny how much music has changed over the years, and yet really the musicians have not changed all that much…other than in looks. They still devote a lot of time to practice and work really hard to perfect their art. Whether it is country, contemporary, or even rock, being a good musician takes a lot of dedication in order to become great.
As our trip to Washington winds down, we find ourselves in Great Falls, Montana where our newest college girl is attending the University of Great Falls. Siara is a cheerleader for the Argonauts. This is her first year of college, and the first time away from home. When she left Casper, she seemed like such a little girl still, but when she was home at Christmas, I was surprised at how much like an adult she now seemed. I guess that is normal, when kids get out on their own for the first time, but more so I think when they get married or go away to college. They have to rely on themselves for everything for the first time in their lives, and that changes a person.
Like most college kids, whose hours are long during the week, and late on the weekends, Siara’s favorite thing to do is sleep. She is up by 5:30 three mornings a week for cheer practice, and also has several exercise classes she must attend to stay limber, and keep in shape for all the moves that cheerleaders do these days. As most of us know, cheerleading is now half gymnastics and half cheering. After a very early practice, Siara and some of her teammates hit the cafeteria for a good breakfast. Siara tells us that breakfasts at the school are amazing. That’s important after a workout, because I would imagine they are starving.
Siara’s class schedule is, in my opinion, pretty perfect, because while she has a heavy schedule, all the classes are scheduled from Monday through Thursday, so every weekend is a 3 day weekend. I would love that, and so does she…more days to sleep in until noon or 1:00. Now that is typical. So many people…adults, anyway, use those weekends to do work around the home or yard…imagine that, not sleeping through the weekend. But I suppose that if I had a 3 day weekend every week, I might want to take one of the days to sleep until noon, if I could manage it, since sleeping in for me is 8:00.
College changes people to a large degree, but some things never really change. Siara is still that cute little niece I know and love. She is sweet and funny, and loves to laugh. Her smiling face brings sunshine into an otherwise cloudy day. I know she will continue to grow up and change, but it’s nice to know that some things will always stay the same…whether she is a college girl or a wife and mother. She will always be our Siara.
When my niece, Jenny was a little girl, she loved to dance and do gymnastics. She was a natural talent. Most people have a hard time with the splits, much less behind able to do the straddle splits, but Jenny took after her grandmother, my mom in that straddle split ability. As much as I loved gymnastics, the straddle splits, and pretty much the splits in general were simply beyond me. I could do the rest, but splits of any kind just hurt. Not Jenny, she was amazing.
Another thing Jenny has always been great at is dancing. She danced through her childhood and into her teens. When we had a teen dance club here, she and my daughter, Amy liked to go and dance there. But going out dancing isn’t the only way Jenny likes to dance. She likes to work out, and one of the ways she has done that is Zumba dancing. Zumba dancing is something I want to master, but so far, I think I have two left feet, so that will take a good deal of practice. Again, Jenny is a natural.
Another type of dancing that Jenny has taken up is belly dancing. She creates her own costumes, and they are beautiful. She is so graceful and beautiful. Being able to move like that takes a great deal of talent, and hours of practice. And yet, she also finds time to be a great mom to her three boys and now to her little girl. I’m sure that before long, Jenny and her daughter, Aleesia will be taking these classes together and quite likely Aleesia will follow in her mother’s dance steps and become a great dancer too. I’m sure that will be a wonderful thing for the two of them to share for years to come, because, once a dancer…always a dancer. Today is Jenny’s birthday. Happy birthday Jenny!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
For years, my son-in-law, Travis liked to play a game with his wife, my daughter Amy and their kids. They got pretty good at the game as well. I don’t really know how it got started, but I always seemed to be the sucker who fell for the whole thing. The way it is played is this. The person who randomly decides to play, simply makes the ok sign with their hand, and then says your name. When you look at the ok sign, it is as if you had flinched. At first Shai and Caalab weren’t very good at it, and they got the good ole double punch in the shoulder, but after a few of those, they decided to figure this thing out. I don’t know how often they managed to catch their dad on it, but my guess is that it wasn’t much…Travis is really good at it.
Their grandma…was another story. I think I must have been their best practice session provider. It wasn’t my fault really, because I mean…after all, your grandma is supposed to pay attention to you when you are talking, and look at the things you show her. I mean that is understood, isn’t it? Whether that is how it is supposed to go or not…that is how it went with me. Call me gullible if you want. They caught me 90% of the time…at least!! And I wasn’t trying to be nice and let them either, it’s just that when my grandchildren ask me to look at something, or even just call my name, I have a hard time thinking they have diabolical plans for me…again, call me gullible.
The kids had a great time with the flinching game, for a number of years, but as with any of these types of games, you outgrow them after a while…at least for now anyway. If I know my grandchildren, this particular game could be resurrected at any give point, if one of them decided that they could get away with putting one over on grandma again. To avoid these surprise attacks, I would need to be alert and vigilant. I would need to avoid being too trusting. Right…that’s gonna happen!!