promotion

Sometimes, changes occur when we least expect them. That is was happened with my daughter, Corrie Petersen, who found herself in a job that really held no future for her, even after she gave them almost 24 years of her life. Everyone wants to know that they are going to have a chance be promoted and move up in the company, but that was not to be the case, so after listening to the wisdom of God, Corrie made a bold move and went back to school. Corrie has been a caregiver, along with the rest of our family since 2005 when her grandpa, my dad, Allen Spencer got sick. Over the following ten years she was very active in the caregiving process, first with my dad, then my mom, and then her Schulenberg grandparents, and now she cares for her husband, Kevin. I don’t know how we could have managed with out Corrie and others in the family who, just like her, stepped up to pitch in, when we found out that caregiving takes a village.

When it came to Corrie that if she wanted to move up in a job, she needed a change, she naturally chose nursing, and began a journey that would bring about many changes and take her to levels of confidence she didn’t know she possessed. She went back to school, after 23 years, and conquered not only the classes, but her own uneasiness about taking them. I am happy to report that she is having great success in her studies. Corrie also took the CNA class at Shepherd of the Valley Care Center, knowing that when she started nursing school, she would no longer be able to keep the job she had, because the nursing program is held during the day. She passed the CNA program with flying colors and applied for a job at Elkhorn Valley Rehabilitation Hospital. She was hired right away, and today begins her new career as a CNA, or according to them, Patient Care Technician…temporarily anyway, because Corrie’s journey doesn’t end there. She has other plans in mind.

She will have other new beginnings as she continues her journey toward her degree as a Registered Nurse, so this is temporary, but it is nevertheless, very exciting. This is what she has dreamed about since this journey started. She knows the work will be hard, but it is also very rewarding as she also knows, since she has basically been doing this work for twelve years already. I am so excited for my daughter, as she starts this new adventure, and so proud of her for taking the necessary steps to achieve her goals. The future is going to be a bright one for her, and I can’t wait to watch the changes as she decides her future plans in her nursing career. Congratulations Corrie. Have a wonderful first night at work. We are so proud of you!!

imageMy grand nephew, Keifer Balcerzak joined our family on June 22, 2002, when his dad, Dave Balcerzak married my niece Chantel. Kiefer was fourteen at the time, and while he was close to being grown, I had the chance to get to know him during the time that Dave and Chantel were dating. He was a great kid then, and is a great young man now. Keifer’s personality is a lot like his dad. He is outgoing and a fun person to be around. It’s strange to think of all the grand nieces and nephews being grown up now, and starting lives of their own, but that is what is happening.

Keifer has always been a worker. He worked for Charter Communications for some imagetime, but recently left there to take his dad’s old position at the State of Wyoming, which Dave vacated when he was promoted. So now Keifer is on the IT Help Desk. I always though his technical capabilities were far above the level it takes to install and repair cable lines. I think Keifer probably got his technical capabilities from his dad, but he has studied and earned his place in IT by his own hard work. Fixing technical issues on computers is no small job. There are enough hackers out there to put any business at risk. The big corporations have to have their own dedicated personnel to keep their computers running with a minimum of downtime. They can’t wait for someone from a tech company to show up to help. Too many people and programs depend on computers that run and run properly.

On May 9, 2015, Keifer married his longtime girlfriend, Katie Davidson. They have been dating for seven years, imageand so they almost seemed married already. They are a great couple, and I know that their marriage will be very blessed. Even though they have been together a long time, marriage is still a wonderful new adventure, and I know they are having a great time. I don’t know Katie very well, but from what I do know, I like her very much. The main thing is that she makes Keifer happy. That goes a long way in our family.

Keifer is a lot like his dad in computer capabilities, but I’m sure he also got his looks from his dad too. The older he gets, the more he looks like Dave. In fact, there are pictures of him that I have almost mistaked for Dave. Today is Keifer’s birthday. Happy birthday Keifer!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

IMG_5242IMG_5243Our family has long been proud of my brother-in-law, Chris Hadlock’s outstanding career as a police officer, first for the Natrona County Sheriff’s Department, and then beginning in 1997, for the Casper Police Department. Years ago, while working in sales, Chris found himself disenchanted with how that career was going, and saw it as basically a dead end road for him. He told my sister, Allyn that he didn’t think medicine or paramedic work was for him, but he had a desire to help people, and he really thought he could do so as a police officer. It was a big step, and one that my sister wasn’t sure she wanted him to take, but for Chris, it has been the best move he could have made. At that time, the family was living in Pueblo, Colorado, so they made the move back to Casper, and he began pursuing his chosen career.

Not everyone is cut out to be a cop…either because of their temperament or their ability to handle the situations that can some up as an officer of the law, but Chris was the best candidate for the job. He is level headed, especially under pressure, and at 6’4″ tall, he is a daunting presence to anyone considering the foolish act of resisting arrest. Even with his ability to strong arm a perpetrator, Chris is always considerate of their feelings, and often that is all it takes to calm an agitated situation without the use of force. I know this, because on numerous occasions I have taken the opportunity to ride along when he was working, and have IMG_5276IMG_5246seen him in action. I’ve watched him keep his cool, when the person he was up against obviously had a gun, and Chris was able to defuse the situation, and apprehend the man without incident.

Chris worked as one of the school officers following so many school shootings and other school related issues around our country. It made many parents feel much better about sending their children to school, knowing that the police would be there to make sure it was a safer environment. Before long, the Casper Police Department saw the leadership skills Chris had, and they promoted him to sergeant. Of course, this was not without action on Chris’ part, because to qualify for the promotions the department offers, Chris had to take a test, which he passed with flying colors. Chris did very well in the supervisory positions that being a sergeant entailed, and was so well respected, that he was offered the position of training officer. This led to the time when Chris was involved in recruiting and training the new recruits. Toward the end of his career as a Sergeant, Chris worked as a Detective Sergeant in investigations.

Friday marked the next step in a long and successful career for my brother-in-law, when he was honored as the newest Lieutenant for the Casper Police Department. His new position will place him in charge of the sergeants in Investigations. It is a position that Casper’s police chief has wanted to place Chris in for some time, and so IMG_5278IMG_5306expressed in his speech at the ceremony. Then, the long anticipated big moment arrived, when my sister, Allyn Hadlock, Chris’ wife, as given the great privilege of pinning on the shiny lieutenant’s bars and the new shield. The journey Chris has taken is a remarkable one, and we, his family are so very proud of him. He is looking forward to the next part of his career as a peace officer, and I know he will excel at it too. We all want to wish him the very best as he begins this new phase. Chris, we are so very proud of you, and all you have accomplished. Congratulations!! We love you!!

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