13934569_10209392246110341_5477193377738778991_n14034831_10209392244310296_3536251187472680562_nMy nephew, Dave Chase, who married my niece Toni on December 18, 2012, loves to travel. It is a passion they both share. A lot of their travel time includes hiking or ball games, but the trip they took this last fall was a little bit different. They were taking a trip that would take them to the same places that Toni’s grandparents, my parents, Al and Collene Spencer, had gone…Alaska. It was my parents dream trip, and Toni wanted to take it too. Dave was totally on board…literally, in fact, since it was a cruise, after all. They took the same cruise my parents had gone and had a wonderful time.

Some of Dave’s family joined them for the cruise, including his brother, Dan. These guys are both very competitive, and so naturally they entered every contest on the cruise ship. Trivia, bean bag toss, basketball, golf…you name it, they got in on it. And not only did they get in on it, the won almost every contest they entered. At first everyone was great about it, but by the end of the cruise, there were a number of people who did not like them, because of it. What do you do…sit out the fun because someone might get upset. In the end, they took home seven trophies…with they call “Our Little Golden Ships.” I guess I find it hard to think that people didn’t like the brothers, because while I don’t personally know Dan, I do know Dave, and I would find it impossible not to like Dave.

Dave and Toni are so perfect together. The are active, and outgoing. Dave is so supportive in the business Toni has started, and he runs any errands she needs done, and helps with the shipping. He is a hard worker, and is 13620731_10209071676576303_5300487081295792333_n13895065_10209392124627304_5006693554171955143_nwilling to help out whenever he is asked to. The day Dave married into this family, he took that to mean that he was a full fledged part of it, and all that entailed. He is right of course, he is a full fledged part of the family, but he takes that to mean more…such as taking on any of the responsibilities that go along with being a family member. Not everyone who marries into a family feels that way, but that is something I have seen in Dave from the very start, and it makes me very proud to call him my nephew. Today is Dave’s birthday. Happy birthday Dave!! Have a great day!! We Love you!!

1779808_10151865058222237_1602427287_n12974521_1524900421151122_5616398070330787217_nMy brother-in-law, Mike Reed is a man of many talents. His wood working talents are known to many people, and those who have been blessed to have some of his work can attest to that. Mike makes all kinds of furniture, from tables to beds, and everything in between. Mike’s work is detailed and beautiful. His talents especially lean toward the rustic, and that also shows in work they are having done at their ranch west of Casper. Mike is having a barn remodeled into…well clearly not your everyday variety of barn. Mike is an avid hunter, and this “barn” will become a beautiful showcase for his hunting trophies, and an entertainment space for barbeques and such. Mike and my sister, Caryl love to have people out to the ranch…especially their kids and grandkids. They keep horses there and the horses are great fun for them and the family to ride, as well as entertaining to watch.11057409_1452960625011769_5585380818628242805_n

Last year, Mike and Caryl took their kids and grandkids on a wonderful trip to Miami, along with a cruise. They all had a great time, and it was really the trip of a lifetime for all of them. once your kids are grown up, you don’t often get to take vacations together anymore. Everyone has their own lives, schedules, and ideas, so coordinating such an event takes a lot work, and a lot of planning. Nevertheless, they pulled it off, and had a great time doing it. I’m not sure if this was when Mike caught his amazing swordfish or not, but it definitely is a trophy piece.

Mike has been a part of our family since he married my sister, Caryl in 2002. It was a blending of two families, that was a blessing to all. Mike is kind-hearted and generous. And he makes my sister so happy. It doesn’t get any better than that. Theirs has been and will continue to be a life filled with adventure, because that is the imageimagekind of guy Mike is. It’s strange to think that Mike and Caryl have been married for 14 years, but on the other hand, it’s like he’s always been a part of our family. You can tell when someone is a great fit, by how right it feels to have them there. Mike is helpful and capable, and always willing to be the jack of all trades when needed. We can’t thank him enough. Today is Mike’s birthday. Happy birthday Mike!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

skateboard beginnerBob and I went to the Wyoming Cavalry indoor football game last night, and there are media events at different times in the game, with things like a three person in one triple bag sack race, and kids on a bouncy ball. They asked the fans if these things took them back a few years, and that started me thinking about the things I did as a kid. One thing that came to mind was the skateboard. It was my generation who had the privilege of riding the skateboard first, and while we were first, we certainly didn’t take that ride to the skill level of the subsequent generations. I was thrilled when I could stand on the thing and ride. The thought of taking it on a railing, or up a ramp, or flipping it in the air and landing back on it, never crossed my mind…or the minds of the rest of my generation for that matter.

Nevertheless, at some point in time, some kid who thought that the old style tame skateboarding these daysskateboarding was way too tame for them, decided to step it up a bit, and something new and exciting was created from a fad that probably would have died a miserably quick death otherwise. Soon the kids were doing all kinds of tricks, and spending hours each day trying to perfect something that would let them outshine their friends. Of course, there were the normal, and not so normal injuries that went along with such endeavors, but that didn’t stop the kids from working hard to create the next big thing on a skateboard. They flew along curbs and railings, flipped their boards several times in the air and managed to land right back on the board. They held competitions…just for fun, at first, but these days they compete for money, titles, trophies. Every skateboarder wants to be dubbed the King of Skateboarding. They even came out with video games on skateboarding, which my grandsons absolutely loved.

Even the boards have changed from the clunky ones we had when I was a kid, that were crazy skateboard stuntreally just skates with a board attached, and had very little maneuverability, to one that had just one wheel on each end, and twisted in the middle, to the long board that my grandsons liked, which probably mimics a surf board without the water, to many more that I have no clue about, much less how they work. I suppose that as long as we have kids who are willing to push the envelope in the world of skateboarding, we will have manufacturers who will make the designs they need to accomplish their unique skill set, thereby continuing to take skateboarding to the next level and beyond. While I enjoy watching the amazing tricks these people can perform, I think I will just stay on my own two feet, because at least that way, I won’t kill myself.

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