softball

200My grand-nephew, Keifer Balcerzak loves his family. No matter what else he is or what else he does, Keifer wants to do what is best for his girls, and the baby that is on the way. Life is going great for them. Keifer has been helping his daughter, Reece learn to play t-ball this year. With practice, I think she could grow up to become as good at softball as her daddy. Time will tell if she decided to play softball or any other sport when she sets older, but no matter what she chooses, I know her parents will be supportive, and her daddy and mommy will help her be the best at it.

Keifer has loved his wife, Katie for years and years. They have been married for six years, and they are so happy. They are a perfect couple, and Katie is Keifer’s soulmate for life. They are such a great team, both going in the same direction with the same ideas. They are so sweet together, it makes me smile. Not everyone finds their soulmate so early in life, but in the rare occasions when it happens, it is very obvious, and very sweet. Now, as their family is growing, they have even more to celebrate.

Keifer has been working out and getting in shape these days. He loves sports, especially softball, and this year has been a great year for his team. In order to be a good athlete, you have to be in shape. Keifer has been working hard to be in good shape for his team, and it has paid of. Not only is he in great shape, but the rest of his team has worked hard too, and they have reaped the benefits of their hard work. This year, Keifer’s team was had the great pleasure of being the top team, the Men’s D3 Champs!! That takes a lot of hard work, a lot of skill…and a lot of practice. When everyone is willing to put the effort in, the team does well, and has a good chance of winning.

Keifer has had a great year in many ways, and the future looks exceptionally bright. He has a job he loves as a computer tech, and a great family. We are all so happy for him. Today is Keifer’s birthday. Happy birthday Keifer!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

For my brother-in-law, Mike Stevens, this has been an incredible year. Probably the greatest year since the year his first child, Michelle was born. This was the year Mike became a grandfather to his granddaughter, Elliott Michelle Stevens. Elliott was born on August 3, 2018. Her parents are Mike and my sister, Alena Stevens’ son, Garrett and his wife Kayla Stevens. Becoming grandparents was something Mike and Alena have been waiting to be for a long time to be grandparents, and little Elliott has fulfilled a very special dream of theirs. Mike and Alena are very family oriented, and adding a granddaughter takes their family life into a whole new dimension…a very special dimension.

Mike is a sports fanatic, and loves to share his knowledge with his kids and maybe down the road, his granddaughter. Mike knows a lot about sports, any sports. Not everybody who likes sports, really understand the logistics of the sport, but Mike understands it. Summertime brings different kinds of sports. Mike loves softball, and sometimes is on a team. This year Mike and Alena bought a new 4-wheeler, and they are looking forward to spending lots of time on the mountain riding around on the 4-wheeler. In fact, they had planned a weekend on the mountain for Mike’s birthday, but the weather refused to cooperate…something many of us are disgusted with. Hopefully this spring/summer won’t prove to be ultra-rainy, so they will have lots of time to use their new toy.

Another of the sports that Mike likes is the yearly family camping trip to Boysen Reservoir, where they hold the Stevens’ Family Horseshoe Tournament. The whole Stevens family looks forward to the trip each year, and they really feel cheated out of summer if they don’t get to go. They have a traveling trophy for each event, and it is a fight to the finish to see who will take that trophy home this year. Everyone hates to lose, because to win means that you get bragging rights for a whole year. Now that can be bad for the losers. That said, we wish everyone good luck this year. Today is Mike’s birthday. Congratulations on becoming a grandpa this year, Mike. I know you are loving it. Happy birthday Mike!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My grand-nephew, Keifer Balcerzak has had a very busy year. The biggest change for him turned out to be a pretty small change…his baby daughter, Reece. Now of course, that was a big change, that came two months early in a very small package. In fact, Reece weighed in at just 3 pounds 11 ounces, and she was 17¾ inches long. That is a very small package indeed, but Reece has had a very big impact on her parents and her family. Her parents, Keifer and his wife Katie are now first time parents, and although there have been some moments when they couldn’t help but worry…whether their worries were unfounded or not…they are working their way through it. Having a baby that is two months premature is no easy task, and for those of us who have not been in that situation, it might be difficult to understand. The parents worry about letting the baby sleep, and they worry about not letting the baby sleep. They worry about germs and they worry about being viewed as overprotective. I think most new parents have multiple concerns to deal with when they have their first baby, but having a two month premature baby is really a very different thing. I think they have handled things quite well, and now that Reece is eight months old, they are feeling a little bit more relaxed about things. Reece is a happy, healthy, smiley baby, and I’m sure that helps calm their nerves too.

Recently, Keifer and Katie decided that they needed a bigger house for their growing family, so they started looking and then sold their old house and bought a new one. Now they are busy settling in to their beautiful new home, and we are all very excited for them. So I guess in this instance, the change was much bigger than the first change, but not in how big an impact it was on their lives. After all, none of the events of this past year will ever be as big as having their precious little Reece was. There is simply no topping that.

Buying and selling a house can be a busy and emotionally challenging time, but add to that working every day, and playing softball, and you have a pretty busy summer on your hands. That is where Keifer found himself this year, and things probably wont slow down for a while now. Settling into a house is no easy task, and just getting the closings done can be taxing, but Keifer and Katie are working through the tough stuff, and just enjoying life with their precious little girl. Today is Keifer’s birthday. Happy birthday Keifer!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My grandson, Caalab Royce is an adventurous kind of guy. He is willing to try just about any new thing…provided it’s legal and not too dangerous, of course. Caalab likes most types of games, but these days, he is into Midnight Laser Tag. He has done paintball as well, but compared to paintball, laser tag doesn’t hurt because it uses no physical projectiles. If I were going to play that game, I think I would like laser tag much better. Laser Tag is one of those games that don’t require a special facility, but rather just the right equipment. Caalab and his friends play the game outside…usually at midnight, because that’s when they get off work. He has always been a night owl, so it’s the perfect time of day for him…just don’t try to wake him up very early the next morning.

Caalab has always been good at games, and at most sports. He has played softball off and on through the years, but this year, he is actually his team’s coach…and a player. Caalab has an unusual “style”in baseball, for lack of a better word. Caalab is right handed, but he bats left handed. He wasn’t really a good hitter, until his mom, my daughter, Amy Royce realized that he was awkward when he batted right handed. The improvement was instantaneous when he switched. I’m sure that he will be a great coach, although at the age these players are, I doubt he fill find anyone who would benefit from a batting hand change. That happens more when you are a kid. Nevertheless, I now that Caalab will have some great tips for his team members.

Caalab took up bowling with his family a couple of years ago, and has done quite well. Like softball, Caalab’s bowling is unusual, bit just like his dad, Travis Royce’s bowling. They don’t use the finger holes, but rather palm the ball. The result is a pretty serious curve. The thing about this type of curve is that most people can’t control it very well, but Caalab and Travis have both figured it out. This was Caalab’s second year of bowling, and he is doing very well. Early in the season…October 10th, to be exact, Caalab got his first 200 game. It was a 203. And he didn’t stop there, he got several more throughout the season. He is turning into quite the bowler. Maybe he takes after his grandparents, my husband, Bob and me. I know that he will have many more to come, because he is just pretty good at sports.

Today is Caalab’s 21st birthday. I can’t believe that he could already be 21 years old. I know that his parents are planning to take him out to the local casino to do a little gambling, and of course, for that traditional first legal drink. It is going to be a great time for sure, and I hope he really enjoys himself, and of course, “Win BIG, Caalab!! I hope you hit the jackpot. I’m glad you aren’t driving home, however!!” Happy birthday Caalab!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Caalab & the Johnny J's ChampsMy grandson, Caalab got back into softball this summer, when he was given the chance to play for his team at work. It was so much different from his years of playing when he was a little kid. I suppose that is normal, since little kids can get tired, bored, hot, and just plain done with a sport, but when they are older, and choose to play, it’s all different, somehow.

For us, as grandparents and parents, it doesn’t matter if he is a little boy or a grown man, we will be in attendance at as many games as possible. We love watching Caalab and our other grandchildren participating in any sport they might decide to participate in. I love watching them play, just like I loved watching my girls. I guess I’m just a born mom, grandma, cheerleader, sports fan…or whatever my kids or grandkids are into these days.

Monday night we went to watch Caalab and his team from Johnny J’s Diner play what turned out to be their final game of this tournament. If they lost, they would have played in the losers bracket on Tuesday, but if they won on Monday, they would be the champions for 2013. I’m sure you have already put two and two together, so needless to say, they won. We were so excited!! They played an amazing game, against a really good team. It could have gone either way, but no matter what they came up against, they all kept their heads together and in the game, and they won!!

After the game, they received their first place plaque and got their pictures taken, and then the team captain came out and personally thanked all of our family for being loyal fans. It was a great thing for him to do. He also told us that they have been playing for seven years now, and this is their first championship. That is very exciting!! I just want to congratulate the entire Johnny J’s team on an amazing championship win. We are very proud of all of you!!

Caalab softball 2As little boys, my grandsons played baseball. It was hot and took up a lot of time in the summer, so after a while, they didn’t want to play anymore, which didn’t hurt my feelings, nor those of my daughters and sons-in-law, because as I said, it was hot!! Nevertheless, the boys had a good time with it while they played…except for when Christopher took one to the nose and broke it…real good!! Each of them played well, and each of them played best in a different position. Caalab was a very good catcher, but he struggled with batting. He struggled…until his mom, my daughter, Amy figured out the reason he was struggling. Caalab is right handed, and in most things, that works, but when it comes to batting, well…Caalab is a lefty. Amy watched as he struggled and thought he looked awkward. So she told his coach to have him try batting left handed. The rest…shall we say, is history. Caalab improved quite a bit then, and if baseball hadn’t been such a hot sport, he might have continued playing.

Fast forward now, to the present day. Caalab is working at Johnny J’s Diner, in Casper, and they have a softball team. They asked Caalab if he wanted to be on the Little Caalabteam, and he decided to go for it. The good news for us, his parents and grandparents…the games are played at night…much cooler. Caalab has grown tall and slender now, and because he works out, he is very strong. When he hits the ball it really takes off. I’m very pleased with his new found skills. Caalab is no longer the catcher, because his talents are really needed elsewhere.

I know that sometimes a player is put in the outfield because they can’t catch the ball very well…at least that’s how it often is in co-ed softball. Caalab has been playing the left field at lot lately, so we wondered why that was. Then I heard one of the players on the opposite team say, “Whatever you do, don’t hit it to left field!” A short time later, I figured out what their concern was. One of the players hit the ball to left field…and not straight to Caalab either. Caalab took off running and next thing we knew, he caught the ball and the player was out. The next guy in the lineup must have thought it was a fluke, because he hit it to left field too, and once again, Caalab was off like a rocket, and the player’s fate was Caalab softball 1sealed. The ball was caught and the inning was over.

Amy and I…well, we were stunned, and I said, “Now we know why that team didn’t want them to hit it to left field!!” It was fear…or at least a good understanding that if you took the chance and hit it to left field with Caalab playing that position, you were going to be sorry. He has grown into a strong young man who will be a asset to this or any other team…and not just a softball team. He’s a good worker, and a very responsible young man…a rarity sometimes in this day and age. I’m very proud of that quality in Caalab.

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