I finally finished my Christmas shopping!! I’m very excited about it. I suppose that would sound funny to most people, especially when you consider that today is December 28th. In case you are wondering, no I’m not finished with next year’s Christmas shopping. That would be a miracle, indeed. Actually, I was doing ok with my shopping, I had everything purchased and shipped to my daughter, Amy’s family in Washington state, with the exception of stocking stuffers. Then, it happened. Covid had made its way through our family, my sisters (except Alena Stevens and her family), brothers-in-law, and a number of cousins. Bob and I had it over Thanksgiving, which was also cancelled this year…at least for us. I thought maybe we would make it through Christmas Covid-free, but then my daughter, Corrie and her husband, Kevin caught it, and their quarantine would take us through Christmas. This just wasn’t our year for holidays.
That said, the urgency to finish my Christmas shopping left me, because we decided to postpone our celebration until we could all be together for it. Celebrating, when part of us we’re stuck at home or in the hospital was just not the same, and it would be especially sad for Corrie and Kevin. It doesn’t feel like a celebration when part of the family is not there. When the day comes, it will be worth the wait. It will be a real celebration, because we will all be well. So we wait, because Corrie and Kevin being with us is more important than what day we celebrate this year.
I suppose that means I could still have plenty of time for shopping, but who knows. The thing about Covid is that some people take a while to get over it and others are over it in two weeks. The day when we could finally have Christmas could creep up on me and then my shopping wouldn’t be done. Not good!! So, I decided to get it finished. And another good thing is that I actually have all the gifts wrapped Wow!! Now, whenever Christmas comes this year, I’ll be ready.
My grand niece, Aleesia Spethman is a very busy girl, with many interests. She has three older brothers, Xander, Zack, and Isaac, all of whom are in football, but lets face it, football is just not for Aleesia. Aleesia is in gymnastics, and really enjoys it. There are a number of family members who have taken gymnastics, so I think Aleesia comes by her talents honestly. In the summer, Aleesia love to so swimming, especially if a water slide is involved. Her parents, Steve and Jenny Spethman try to take the kids to Rapid City to the water park at least once a year.
Since Covid-19 closed the schools 2½ months early this year, Aleesia found herself in the same boat as so any other students…home schooling. Aleesia did not enjoy home schooling. She thought it was very boring sitting in front of a computer at the dining room table. I think many of the students felt that way, but then home schooling was not what anyone had planned for this school year, and to have it happen 2½ months before school was supposed to get out, threw everyone into a bit of a tailspin. While Aleesia did not like home schooling, she did like having the extra time with her brothers. It was a rare treat for Aleesia to get to spend so much extra time with her brothers.
This year has been different for Aleesia in a number of ways. Because her mom got a part-time job, Aleesia went to camp. She went to camp, because daycare is for babies, as we all know. That was a little hard on both Aleesia and Jenny, because they are best friends. They love doing things together. It doesn’t matter what they are doing, shopping, taking a walk, playing, or just watching television.
Aleesia got to have a birthday party with her friends this year, and that is unusual for her, because having her birthday in the summer often prohibits the friend birthday party that so many people get. The lack of travel this year kept many people at home and that made all the difference. I’m very happy for her. Today is Aleesia’s 8th birthday Happy birthday Aleesia!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
I can’t imagine having my first child on my own birthday, but it does happen, and did happen for my grandmother, Anna Schumacher Spencer and her first born, Laura Spencer Fredrick. Then, to top it off, it would be ten years before Grandma’s second child, my Uncle Bill was born. No one that I have talked to is sure why there would be ten years in between those first two children. After my Uncle Bill was born in 1922, my dad, Allen would follow in 1924 (15 months after Uncle Bill), and Aunt Ruth in 1925 (18½ months after my dad). Nevertheless, Aunt Laura was an only child for ten years, and during that time, she and her mom were very close. They did everything together. Of course in the early years, that made sense, since Aunt Laura was a little girl who didn’t go to school or anything, but even later, there were wonderful trips with family and friends into town and shopping.
During those early years, Grandpa Allen Spencer, worked a number of jobs. At one time, he worked in the lumber business, taking his little family to the camp in the middle of the woods. I’m sure it was rather a lonely existence for Grandma, but she had her little daughter to keep her company, and that helped a lot. For long months they didn’t really go anywhere much, but there might have been a few other wives living in the camps. Still, mostly it was Grandma and Aunt Laura. I can imagine the games they played and the walks they took. There wouldn’t have been much else to do, so mother and daughter would have bonded over the long hours spent together. It was always so obvious to me just how proud Grandma was of her well-behaved little girl.
Later, there were trips taken to see family. Grandma’s little family of three was excited to be going and the other family and friends were happy to see them. Aunt Laura always seemed to stay close to Grandma, but maybe that was just for the pictures. Aunt Laura was very well behaved, a credit to her mother’s upbringing. She was really quite grown up for her age, and in fact, when Uncle Bill arrived, she was his nanny at just ten years old. Grandma was running a hotel by then, and Grandpa had to work too, so Aunt Laura needed to help, and now she had a job too. I’m sure it made her feel grown up. She was very close to her brother, just like her mother had been with her. Like mother, like daughter. Today is the shared birthday of my grandmother and Aunt Laura. Both are in Heaven now, and we love and miss them very much.
My niece, Jenny Spethman has such a sweet spirit. She loves the Lord, and loves to study God’s word. Her time spent in the word has given her a wisdom that not many people have. Her favorite time to fellowship with God is early in the morning, before her family is out of bed yet. Because of that, she sees some amazing mornings. Jenny loves the sunrise, and being awake while the moon is still bright in the sky. I think quiet time spent looking at God’s amazing skies, makes Jenny feel closer to God.
Jenny’s life is full and busy. From sports for her three sons, Xander, Zack, and Isaac, to dance classes and shopping with her daughter, Aleesia, Jenny and her husband, Steve are always on the go. I think that the amount of activity this family participates in, would be enough to exhaust most people, but they just keep going. Jenny and Steve want their children to be active, and to be able to enjoy the sports they like. They want them to broaden their horizons and to be able to become the people they want to in the future.
Jenny and Steve love to engage their family in lots of outdoor activities. From motorcycle riding in the summer to snowmobiling in the winter, they have shown their kids that the weather doesn’t have to hamper the fun. They love to go camping and swimming at the lake, and on the mountain too. They often take their kids out to practice shooting, and learning gun safety. The boys love to go hunting with their dad, and once each one has passed the hunter safety course, they are allowed to hunt too. Jenny and Aleesia love to have their girl time outings, and shopping is often the go to plan of the day. With all that activity, you might say that there is never a dull moment. Today is Jenny’s birthday. Happy birthday Jenny!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
When most people think of Christmas, their minds think of Santa Clause, turkey dinners, and weeks of preparatory shopping, and yes those things are a part of Christmas for most people, but there is a far more important reason for the Christmas season…the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Lord. Yes, I am aware that we don’t know the exact date of our Saviour’s birth, and many are quite certain that it was nowhere near December 25th, and in reality, not in winter. To most Christians, however, those minor details don’t matter, because we are talking about our Lord. It’s ok to celebrate Jesus anytime.
Most Christians think of gift giving as being symbolic of the greatest gift ever given…Jesus who came to earth to save us from our sin filled world by dying on the cross so that we would be able to go Heaven. Of course, no gift we could ever give could measure up to the gift Jesus gave us, but we can celebrate Jesus by having a giving spirit. After all, that is what Jesus was all about. I don’t mean presents, but rather the ultimate gift, the greatest love ever given…”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. What great gift could there ever be than to give His life so that we could live, and what greater reason could there ever be to celebrate Jesus. The date error, if there is one, makes no difference…just God’s love.
Christmas means different things to different people, of course, but I think that the most important thing is to make sure that we don’t lose sight of the real reason for the season…the birth of the Saviour of the world. Before Jesus came,we had no hope. We were lost, and going to Hell. After Jesus lived, died, and rose again, everything changed and hope returned. For Christians, there is nothing more important. Jesus is our advocate with the Father. He is the the true meaning o grace. His git to us…salvation, was not something we could ever earn. we were lost and all hope was gone. Then Jesus was born, and we had a reason to celebrate again. Happy birthday Jesus, and Merry Christmas everyone.
For a number of years, my husband, Bob and I have dragged ourselves out of bed to jump into the Black Friday shopping,to get a head start on our Christmas shopping. Our morning started with a stop for much needed coffee, and a quick look at the ads to see where to start our shopping. While a lot of people have told us that we are crazy to enjoy this tradition, we really enjoyed it…until the stores changed it. Call me a traditionalist, but i don’t like the idea of shopping on Thanksgiving. That is a day to spend with family, and I see no sense in having the stores open at all. The people who are forced to work to keep the stores open, should be spending that time with their families, but instead they are working and I will not go out and shop when it means that those people are not able to spend Thanksgiving with their families, and that isn’t fair to them or their families.
When the stores started their “Black Friday” sales on Thanksgiving Day, it also eliminated the need to get up early on Friday to stand out in the cold and wait for the opening of the store, so you could try to be the first one to get in and get those “must have” gifts, that were on sale, starting at 6:00 in the morning. With the sale starting on Thursday, I would rather use the day to sleep in, and…maybe go shopping later in the day. I guess that we have just become disenchanted by the whole “Black Friday” event, because it starts on Thursday…and even on Wednesday in some stores, so that basically we are seeing the death of Black Friday. These days there are no crowds, even at the “Early Bird Sale.” If no one is rushing into the stores to buy, why should I get up at 4:00 in the morning to get there first?
Strangely, it seems like the sale items aren’t even that spectacular. I suppose there might be a few items that are must haves, but nobody seems to be rushing out to buy those, and the stores seem to have more than enough of them to go around. Suddenly, black Friday shopping is just like any other day, except that I refuse to go shopping on Thanksgiving, because that is just wrong. I’m sure there are those out there who do shop on Thanksgiving, but I have too many family members who have had to work on thanksgiving because the store they work in is pen that day. They missed out on that time with their families, because the stores thought it would bring in a few dollars more. To those stores I say…no thanks, I’ll wait until Friday, or better yet…shop online!! I won’t be part of the complete disregard, by the stores, of the need for their employees to have family time.
A few days ago…September 13, 2017, to be exact, Greenville, North Carolina got a new citizen. Her name is Mackenzie Rose Moore, and she is absolutely beautiful. Mackenzie decided to arrive a little over two weeks before her due date, and once she made that decision, she took immediate action. Her mommy, my niece, Lindsay Moore was only in labor thirteen hours and twenty minutes…very fast for the first baby, but Mackenzie was in a hurry to meet her parents. Mackenzie’s daddy, Shannon Moore is the special teams coach at Eastern Carolina University, and so Mackenzie knew that she had to start getting to the games to show her support for her daddy, after all, she was going to be Daddy’s Girl. My guess is that she will be one of his biggest cheerleaders. In fact, she has been working on her cheer moves, and her daddy has already had her visit the sidelines to meet the team…and they all love their newest little cheerleader. Mackenzie’s daddy couldn’t possibly be any more proud of her. She is his little princess…and that’s as it should be.
I love that my niece, Lindsay gets to work from home, because that means that little Mackenzie Rose will get to spend lots of time with her mommy, doing all the girly things like shopping, manicures, and hair styling. She and her mommy will be the best of friends, and will work together to make a wonderful home for her daddy. Mackenzie will learn all about good nutrition and exercise from her mommy, and they will have lots of fun playing, going for jogs…with Mackenzie in a stroller, of course…at least at first. When I look at Lindsay with Mackenzie, I can just feel the love between them, and it is so special. I am so happy for Lindsay and Shannon. Their family has now taken on a new dimension. Their love has gone to the next level. It has expanded into a whole new person, and that is very special.
Mackenzie has also been getting to know her grandma, my sister Allyn Hadlock this week. The minute Allyn knew that Lindsay was in labor, she had planned to get on a plane headed for North Carolina, but Mackenzie just couldn’t wait that long. Allyn was so excited to be a grandma again, and she had hoped to be there before the baby’s birth, but she would have had to go in Star Trek style…Beam me up Scotty…if she was going to make it in time for this speedy little girl. Nevertheless, before her first day was over, Mackenzie got to meet her grandma. It was a late day, for sure, but Mackenzie Rose had to stay awake to meet her grandma. Some things are really important, and meeting grandparents is pretty close to the top of the list…right behind meeting one’s parents. We are all so excited for Lindsay and Shannon on their new little baby girl, and we can’t wait to meet her when they visit Casper. We love you little Mackenzie Rose Moore!!
A baby’s first year is always so exciting for the parents, especially if the baby is their first child. My grand niece, Adelaide Ione Sawdon is turning one today. She is a sweet little baby girl, who was named after two of her great grandmothers…one being my mom, Collene Ione Spencer. Addi is filled with happiness and a few little antics that make everyone around her smile. She keeps her parents, Jessi and Jason Sawdon quite busy…and I don’t think she is even walking one her own yet. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that she can’t get into things.
Adelaide has learned to throw kisses, and it is the cutest thing. She throws them backward…kissing the back of her hand before she throws it to you. She loves working her way into her bath seat, even if it is comical sometimes. She also loves making funny faces with her Aunt Kellie Hadlock; playing the guitar with her grandpa, Chris Hadlock; going to the office with her grandma, Allyn Hadlock; hanging out with her cousins, Ethan and Aurora Hadlock; or going shopping with her great aunts Robin Nelson and Jen Christman. She has even spent some time learning to drive with her daddy…but don’t tell anyone, because after all, she is a bit young, and he is a highway patrolman, so he shouldn’t let her drive just yet.
I only wish I had anywhere near the energy that Addi has, because I think she could out do any ten people. Addi loves her dog, Daisy, and Daisy loves her too. In fact, when Addi came home from the hospital, Daisy loved her immediately. Now they play together and they are the best of friends. Yes, Addi has had a very interesting and exciting year, and so has the rest of her family. She is so much fun to watch, and her parents make sure that we get to see lots of pictures of her activities. Today is Adelaide’s first birthday. Happy birthday Adelaide!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
It has been a very long time since my sisters and I took a trip together…just the girls, and I wish it could be all of my sisters on this trip, but sometimes that is not meant to be. Nevertheless, my sisters, Cheryl Masterson, Caryl Reed, and I are heading out today to visit our cousin Shirley Cameron in Newport, Washington, with a stop in Coeur d’Alene to visit our cousins George and Greg Hushman too. Unfortunately, we are going for a sad reason…the memorial service for Shirley’s husband Shorty, but it will be blessed family time for sure. How often do sisters get to take a trip, during which they can see and do the things they want to…things that the husbands might roll their eyes at, like shopping, girl talk, and even chick flicks. Of course, I’m not saying we will do all those thing, or even any of those things, but most likely we will do some of those things, as well as girl talk…lots of girl talk, and sister time…lots of catching up on sister time. That is something we have really been missing. As you grow up and have families and jobs, it’s easy not to spend sister time together, and I want to keep that relationship with my sisters forever.
We will be stopping for an unfortunately short visit with our cousins George and Greg Hushman in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. We don’t get to see them very much, so even a few hours is very special to us. In our childhood years, our families spent lots of time together. Those were great years, and they went by way to fast. Looking back now, I don’t think we really appreciated the amazing opportunity that we had to see our cousins so often. Those years go by so fast, and when they are gone, they are just gone. I don’t want to miss the opportunities we are given to see these precious cousins. We are all looking forward to this wonderful visit, even if it is short.
On top of the sister time, will be cousin time. It has been four years since Cheryl and I have seen our Cousin Shirley, and even longer since Caryl has seen her. After a good number of years not seeing our cousin Shirley, my mom, Collene Spencer, Cheryl, and I made the trip to Washington in 2013…again under sad circumstances…the passing of Shirley’s dad, Jim Wolfe. While that trip was for a sad reason, it became one of the greatest blessings for all of us. Out of that trip, and events that preceded it, came a beautiful relationship with our dear cousin Shirley and I think it has been as much a blessing to her as it has to us. Families can drift apart, but I can tell you that it is always best if they don’t. Still, if they do, the reunion can be amazing. Such was the case with the reunion between our cousin Shirley, my sisters, and me. Since that reunion, we have all felt a more-than-just-cousins type of relationship…almost like having another sister in the bunch.
Life has changed drastically for Shirley over this past year, and in so many ways, it has been very hard for her. With our families living so far away from each other, the only support we can give her is over Facebook, which we have done, but that will never measure up to the support that a visit can give. We are all looking forward to this trip, and I know that it will be so very blessed. Like most trips, it will be over far too soon, but the blessings we will receive from this visit will be with us for the rest of our lives. I know that for Shirley, and for my sisters and me, this will be much like the first reunion, one of blessed connections that will stay with us until the next time we see each other, which we all hope won’t be too many years.
My dear granddaughter, Shai, it seems like just yesterday that we were so excited about having a Leap Day Baby. Little did we know then, that our little Leap Day Girl would also be our only granddaughter. Time has flown by so quickly, and I can’t believe that at 4½ years of age, you are going to be graduating from high school. Like most kids, it seems like just yesterday that you were born, but while time has indeed flown by, you have managed to age much slower than most kids…not a bad thing for a girl, because as we all know, women want to fight age with everything they have.
All kidding aside, we are so proud of all you have accomplished. You have reached a milestone today…one that will change you forever. High school graduation is the real completion of your childhood. You are no longer a little girl, but rather a woman he has earned the right to make her own decisions and plans, and set her own goals. I can’t believe that this day is really here. You really should be just a little teeny girl…a real 4 year old, and yet here you are…a grown woman. You talked with me about your plans, and when I listen to you, I hear a wise woman. You may not know exactly where you want your life to go, but you know where you don’t want it to go, and sometimes that is as wise as knowing the destination. Your journey will take you step by step toward the woman you want to be, and as long as you let God lead you, you will have great success.
Though your plans are keeping you close to home right now, I still feel a loneliness in my heart, because in my memory files, I can still see the little girl you were, and I miss her. You had a way of ruling the roost when it came to your brother and your cousins, Chris and Josh…when you were little anyway. They have become much more your allies now…and your friends, not just your brother and cousins. I remember the times…not so long ago, when we painted your tiny little fingernails, and you felt so grown up, then you told me that mine were “a meth and I better fixth them” if they were chipped. You were a born shopper. As a little girl, you could not see the problem with that. You told your mom to “just sharge it!!” That was a statement that always brought us a laugh. You were the type of little girl who simply never saw the problem with things. In your mind there was always a clear solution…except when other people didn’t agree with your solution. Then, oh my gosh…we met the Drama Queen.
Now, suddenly…right before our eyes, the Drama Queen is drifting away. We almost never see her anymore, and in her place stands a beautiful woman, who is ready to take on the world with style and grace. You have such new found confidence, and with your take charge personality, I know that you will be successful at whatever you do. I want all your dreams to come true, but for the selfish part of me, I hope that your dreams won’t take you far away, because I would miss my girl terribly. We are so proud of the woman you have become. Words can’t fully express just how proud. We love you so much. Congratulations on your high school graduation my dear granddaughter, Shai!! Way to go!!