My sister-in-law, Debbie Cook leads a pretty busy life. During the school year, she is the “bus driver” for her two youngest grandchildren, Easton Moore and Kaytlyn Griffith after school. The older kids, Weston Moore and Jala Satterwhite have activities that go on after school, so Debbie has just the little ones. Debbie likes to do special things for the grandkids, such as the brownies she made as a treat for Valentine’s Day. Of course, when its nice outside, there is a lot more that can be done, like going to the park, where they can run and play, which is probably to their parents liking too, because then they are more settled at night…or is does that only work on the little ones?

Winter is a dreaded time for lots of people, an most especially for anyone who like to got camping. Debbie and her husband, Lynn love to go camping, and I think that they would move to the mountains if it weren’t for the fact that the kids and grandkids live in town. So the next best thing is family camping trip to the Big Horn Mountains. Their daughter Machelle, told me that going camping with the family every weekend is so peaceful and quiet and that they al really enjoy it. Machelle says it is like having a sleepover every weekend. Now when you think about it, which of us wouldn’t love to go home sometimes to relive the days of our youth…especially the ones when you and your siblings had a sleepover on the living room floor. That’s kind of how it feels to the family when they are all camping together in the beauty of the mountains.

Her family is the most important thing to Debbie. She loves being around the grandchildren, and especially having them all want to go camping together. It’s like taking weekly vacations together all your life. Most people quit taking together vacations when they get married, so it’s something special. I suppose that with the next generation coming of age, things are likely to change. When the grandkids are driving and working, they can’t always go along on the fun stuff, and they are old enough to stay alone, so things slowly change. Hopefully it doesn’t change too fast. Today is Debbie’s birthday. Happy birthday Debbie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Some talents can be learned, but some tend to be things that you are just born with. I was watching a program the other day, and this couple was looking at a place to buy, and the husband mentioned that they could have a garden, and his wife said…”You can have a garden!!” He said, “Oh, because of your brown thumb.” I immediately thought of myself. A gardener I am not…and that is a fact. My husband’s aunt, Esther Hein, however, really likes to plant flowers and nurture them along. It is something that she has a talent for. I wish I did, but I was not born with that talent.

Aunt Esther also is a gifted artist and quilter. I have one of her paintings, and I really love it. Her quilting is well known, as is some of her sewing. She has made curtains and other such things for my father-in-law’s house, and I always liked knowing that those things came from Esther, with love. She made on particularly beautiful quilt for my father-in-law, that he loved so very much. It was always on their bed, and he was always extra careful to make sure that it was never harmed. Quilting is a beautiful art form, for those who are skilled enough to master it. Esther is, and again, I am not.

She also makes out a family calendar every year, with birthdays, death dates, and anniversary dates on it. It is an act of love that she has done for many years for her family members. I remember looking at the calendar she sent to my father-in-law every year. The calendar had birthday and death date of people long passed, and was a great ancestry tool, as well as a way to keep up with important dates, and remember those long passed. Esther is active in her church, and loves the Lord, and she loves to play with her dogs, go camping, and snow shoeing, as well as traveling. We don’t get to see Esther as much as we would like, and we hope that maybe one of these days, her travels with bring her to Wyoming again. Of course, I suppose we should make our travels include Oregon too. Today is Esther’s birthday. Happy birthday Esther!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My sister-in-law, Debbie Cook loves all things grandchildren. Debbie has four grandchildren of her own…Weston Moore, Jala Satterwhite, Easton Moore, and Kaytlyn Griffith. The kids are involved in a variety of activities, from the little plays and programs that Kaytlyn is in, to the variety of sports the other children are in. Debbie tries not to miss out on these events, and can often be seen in the audience. It doesn’t matter what activity the kids are into this time, the grandma in Debbie can’t help but be there to watch. I can totally relate to that, because I went to everything my grandkids did too. It is simply the grandma thing to do. Those years go by so fast, so a person would be foolish to think there is always the next time.

Debbie loves to quilt and cross stitch, and makes these items for the craft fairs she has sold at. It’s a big job, and sometimes one is about all she can muster, but she really finds making the beautiful things she makes to be relaxing and enjoyable. Quilting, especially is a really big job, but all the grandchildren in the family have reaped the benefit of Debbie’s ability, when she made memory quilts from their grandparents clothing after her dad, Walt Schulenberg passed away. The ability to make quilts is an amazing one, and the recipients have something they will always treasure. I think Debbie got that ability from her grandma, Vina Hein, who made quilts over the years too…and maybe from her aunt, Esther Hein who got it from her mom too. However the ability came to her, it is a blessing to her family, and I believe she is trying to pass it along to her granddaughters, Jala and Kaytlyn.

Another activity that Debbie likes to share with her grandchildren is playing cards, and their favorite game right now is “Nuts.” I can’t say I have ever played that one, although, maybe I have. If I have, and I were to attempt it again, I would have to have it completely retaught to me, but Debbie’s grandkids know how and whenever their busy lives allow enough time to play, they go to their grandma’s house, and get a game going. I’m sure this activity, like all others that apply to grandchildren, will someday come to an end, for the most part, but maybe they will try to keep it alive, so that they have something they can share with the grandparents over the years.

Debbie and her husband, Lynn Cook, love to go camping, and now that both are retired, they spend a lot of time in the Big Horn Mountains. It is a way for them to unplug from everyday life. Telephone service up there is spotty, so they have time to get back to nature. In the summer, they might not come down from the mountain for a couple of weeks, and then after a few days, they are ready to head back up the mountain. It is really their place of solitude. Even though they don’t live in a big town, the busy activity in town can be overwhelming sometimes, and the mountains are a great place to unwind. Of course, they love having their girls, Machelle and Susan and their families come along. Seriously, why not make it a family affair. Today is Debbie’s birthday. Happy birthday Debbie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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