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Seventy-one years ago today, two wonderful people, my parents were married. They were great parents, and the loved each other completely. I could go on and on about how my parents loved each other, but the 53 years they spent together proves that. I want to talk instead about the example my parents set…in spiritual matters, in marriage, in life, and in relationships. I know many people had great parents, but these were mine, and for that I am so grateful.

My parents raised us in church from the time we were born. People say that they were born again on a certain day, but I don’t have a day that I can say I was born again. I was always born again. I know that my sisters, Cheryl Masterson, Caryl Reed, Alena Stevens, and Allyn Hadlock can say the same thing. Our parents gave God first place in their marriage and in our home. That is the example that has carried throughout our lives to this day. That is a big part of the legacy of my parents.

Mom and Dad taught us about how we, as wives should be treated. Dad was always so loving, kind, and protective of Mom. They also taught us how we, as wives should treat our husbands. There were the normal lessons about understanding that marriage was a covenant, and as such should not be broken. The marriages in our family that did not last, were not the fault of their girls. I know that sounds conceited, but it is the truth. We knew that you had to work at a marriage, and we all did.

Another thing my parents taught us that we feel thankful to have learned is that you “never let the sun go down on your wrath.” That is found in Ephesians 4:26, and it was a mainstay in our home. With five girls in the house, you can imagine the drama that could happen. But we were not allowed to go to bed without making up. We had to sincerely say we were sorry, even if we were only “sorry we had fought.” That one verse probably saved the relationships my sisters and I share with each other, and the ones we shared with our parents. Even after we were married, is we had an argument with our mom, and stomped home mad, invariably, Dad would soon be on the phone telling us that we needed to call our mom and make up. What may have seemed like a stiff rule back then, was actually a blessing. Our relationships with our parents remained strong throughout their lives, and for that I am so grateful. Our parents understood that families occasionally fight, but the important thing was that the fight did not steal the relationship. We made up and we were not sorry that we did.

The lessons from my parents were not always pleasant, but they were always important, and I’m not sorry we learned them, or that our parents took the time to teach then. Thank you both so much, Mom and Dad. Today is the 71st anniversary of my parents wedding day. Happy anniversary Mom and Dad. We love and miss you both so very much, and we know that you are having the time of your lives in Heaven. Can’t wait to see you there.

My daughter, Corrie Petersen met her future husband, Kevin Petersen when she was 15 years old, and he was 19 years old. They were both working at Burger King. Much has changed since those days of first, last, and only love for my daughter. Corrie and Kevin have built a beautiful marriage that has now been grown with the addition of two sons, Chris and Josh; two daughters-in-law, Karen and Athena; and five grandchildren, Cambree, Caysen, Justin, Axel, and Cyler, with one more due in January. Their life is beautifully blessed.

A few years ago, Corrie decided that she was in a dead-end career, and so she began nursing school. Kevin was her biggest supporter in this endeavor. He took over everything from housework to cooking, while Corrie devoured her schoolbooks and tests. It was a long hard road, but together they made it through, and today, Corrie has been an RN with a bachelor’s degree for over a year. She still devours books, but these days, they are novels, and she has no deadline to finish one.

Kevin has always had a love of old cars, and his spare time is spent working on the classic cars he loves. He had the opportunity, recently to enter his 1966 Cyclone in a local car show. He didn’t win this time, but lots of people really liked his car, and he had a great time. Showing cars is an expensive venture, both in cost and time, but it really is rewarding, whether the car wins or not. Just showing people your work and creativity, is a big reward in itself. Kevin has won prizes before, and I know he will again, because he is very talented.

Of course, the most important people in Corrie and Kevin’s lives is their family. They love spending time with their kids and grandkids, and they are with them often. This new chapter in their lives has brought them so much happiness. With each new addition, their lives are more and more enriched. They have also been renovating their home, and it looks amazing. Kevin has a real talent for this kind of work, and he has taught Corrie a lot. He is an artist in his own right, and together, they have done an amazing job on the house. I can’t wait to see it finished.

Corrie and Kevin make a perfect couple. Theirs is a match made in Heaven, and they knew that from the moment they met. They were instantly in love, and they never had eyes for anyone else. Now, after 31 years of marriage and 34 years together, they are still going strong. Happy anniversary Corrie and Kevin!! Have an amazing day!! We love you!!

My nephew, Shannon Moore married my niece, Lindsay (Hadlock) Moore, on Valentine’s Day of 2014. This year marked their tenth anniversary, and every day has been a great blessing to Lindsay. Lindsay tells me that “Shannon is an amazing husband and dad!! God made him for this role. He is so patient, so kind, and so loving!!” I agree. Anyone who has seen these two together, will attest to that fact. Life has not always been easy for Shannon and Lindsay, but together, they have worked their way through it, supporting each other all the way. Their love is beautiful.

Lindsay can’t say enough good things about her husband. She tells me, “Shannon has been growing spiritually…and a lot over the last year. I’ve loved watching him grow and lead our family.” Having a husband that encourages the family to attend church is so important. The reality is that there are moments every day, when we need to draw closer to God, and learn to lean on Him. There is gladness, for which we can rejoice in Him; and sadness, in which we can draw our strength from Him…but only if we know Him. Shannon knows his God, and that has been a great source of strength and leading for him.

Shannon is such a fun-loving guy, and very adventurous. Among his favorite things is planning adventures for his family. This year, they went to Houston and Galveston. They also made a trip across South Dakota and Minnesota. They went camping in Casper, and in the Snowy Mountains, and Saratoga!! Lindsay tells me, “He loves to take care of us and show us something fun.” I can certainly see that in Shannon. They got on hikes to some of the most beautiful places, and their daughter, Mackenzie, their pride and joy, is so blessed to be introduced to these fun activities.

Shannon is the assistant coach for the Wyoming Cowboys football team. He is also their tight ends coach and helps with special teams too. Not only does Shannon’s family benefit from the kind of loving person Shannon is, but his players do too. Shannon and Lindsay are always doing special gatherings with the guys, many of whom are far from home. Shannon and Lindsay really aren’t old enough, to be parental figures for the guys, but they definitely serve in the role of mentors, and the guys really appreciate that about them.

Shannon is well known for his servant’s heart. He serves his family, his friends and colleagues, and church with a glad and generous heart. That is one of Lindsay’s favorite things about him. Shannon has loved Lindsay since he first laid eyes on her, and his love for her grows deeper and deeper with each passing day. Shannon has a huge capacity for love, and his family is very blessed to have him. Today is Shannon’s birthday. Happy birthday Shannon!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My aunt, Jeanette Byer is an amazing woman. She refuses to let anything shut her down. She pretty much goes non-stop. You might think that’s not such a big deal, but my Aunt Jeanette is 88 years old…she just acts like she 60, or maybe she has convinced herself that she is. To make matters worse, Aunt Jeanette’s eyesight is failing, with Macular Degeneration. Many people would just sit down and quit in that situation, but Aunt Jeanette just keeps plugging along. Whatever it is, it works for her. Every day, she heads out to goes for a walk around her apartment complex…twice. If the weather is too cold, windy, or stormy, she just walks the halls of the building. I am so proud of how hard she works to stay independent. That isn’t an easy thing as we get older. Staying active and independent is a lot of work. You can’t take many days off, or you will never get back. Aunt Jeanette doesn’t take days off. She goes and goes. The words “give up” are just not in her vocabulary.

Aunt Jeanette is always a happy and smiling person. She is always trying to make sure that everyone has what they need to make them comfortable and happy too. Aunt Jeanette is a social person and enjoys social exchanges with other people in her building. She has been known to sit in a chair near the apartment complex entrance, and simply start up a conversation with the people in the building. Some people say, “Hello” and simply move on, but some will sit and visit with her. She like making new friends, and that is a perfect way to “get the ball rolling” on a new friendship. Sometimes it might take a few tries, but once people get past the initial surprise of having a random person start talking to them, they begin to feel comfortable with it and a new friendship is made. I’m sure lots of people might find this strange…at least until they realize that they now have a new friend. Too many people are so isolated in their own little world, that these social situations slip past them unnoticed, and later they wish they had not been such an isolationist.

Aunt Jeanette loves to go to the casinos. The flashing lights, clanging bells, and, the possibility of that “big win” are a fun break from the everyday. Because she is a social person, the casino satisfies her need to be with people too. She isn’t a gambling addict. She just enjoys the occasional game of chance. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a nice outing for her and her daughter, Tina Grosvenor. They head out and make a day of it. I’m glad Tina takes her mom to have a little fun. Today is Aunt Jeanette’s 88th birthday. Happy birthday Aunt Jeanette!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My brother-in-law, Chris Hadlock has been having a very busy summer this year, and it doesn’t look like it will slow down anytime soon either. For Chris, that is ok, because he loves living on the property where he grew up, and working on it is truly a “labor of love” for him. Chris and my sister, Allyn Hadlock bought the place after his parents had passed away, and they have been fixing it up ever since. I know his parents would be so pleased with how amazing it looks. They loved that place, and to have their son and his wife living on it and sharing it with the family, keeping the dream in the family would mean the world to them.

Over the years, the house and garage fell into disrepair, and so they removed the doublewide mobile home and built a beautiful two-story house in its place. Now it is time for the garage. Chris, with the help of brothers-in-law, Mike Reed and Mike Stevens, as well as their son, Ryan Hadlock and Ryan’s son, Ethan Hadlock are in the process of building a new garage…his dream garage!! The old one had to be torn down, because it was in “less than great shape!!” First, they built a retaining wall, which has been a big job, in and of itself. Ethan helped a lot with that process!! He became quite adept at driving the tractor.

Withe the arrival of Independence Day, and the week before, Ryan; his wife, Chelsea; and their kids, Ethan and Aurora went camping at Chris and Allyn’s mountain property. Chris decided to take some time off near the 4th of July, so they could join the family on the mountain for the weekend. Daughter; Lindsay Moore; her husband, Shannon; and daughter, Mackenzie joined the family on the mountain too. Then, the family were joined by daughter, Kellie Hadlock; her partner, Tim Thompson; as well as the rest of the family for the fireworks display at the Event Center, and again for dinner on Friday night. Daughter, Jessi Sawdon; her husband, Jason; and daughter, Adelaide were in Michigan with Jason’s family this year, so they couldn’t join the family, and they were greatly missed.

Somewhere in between all the activity, the men found time to cut down a couple of dead trees in the back yard! Now, that comment coming from Allyn, caused quite a stir when their daughter, Lindsay commented, “Ummmm!! Kellie and I also ran a chain saw and a cutter, Mom!! The ladies were valuable contributors!!” And a quick recovery from Allyn, “Oh yes!! Thanks for chiming in Lindsay!! We did help also with all the clean-up of the trees!!” We really can’t leave the ladies out of this. The property by the river may be owned by Chris and Allyn, but it is an always will be a “Hadlock Family Project!!” Oh, and the building materials for the garage were delivered last week!! Chris was so excited!!

Lindsay also pointed out a “not often-seen side” of Chris…the “Grandpa Side.” Lindsay tells me, “Grandpa is very tender towards his grandkids. He loves them and wants to take care of them!! I’ve enjoyed watching his relationship with Mackenzie grow. He likes to spend time with her and show her an adventure!! And really for all of us, he’s a really good Dad! He loves us dearly and it shows!! He is always there for us. He is always up for a travel adventure…camping, going to games, beach trips, you name it!! He loves an adventure with his family!!” With Lindsay’s husband, Shannon being a coach for the Wyoming Cowboys, Chris and Allyn have been going to games as much as they can. One game was the Wyoming-Air Force game, where they had field passes!! They had a great time!! Today is Chris’ birthday. Happy birthday Chris!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My sister-in-law, Marlyce Schulenberg…oh, I still miss her!! Even after all these years. Marlyce left us on August 13, 1989, after a battle with Cancer. I can’t believe she has been gone for 35 years now. She was just 39 years old. Marlyce was Developmentally Disabled, but that didn’t hold her back. She loved to bake, knit, and work. She almost always had a job, and her jobs were the highlight of her days…when she wasn’t loving on her nieces and nephews, that is. She did love the babies. Marlyce was the oldest of my in-laws six children, and so she was around babies much of her life. Being Developmentally Disabled meant that Marlyce never grew to adulthood, mentally anyway. She was more than just a “kid at heart,” she was a kid in her mind too. And that meant that all the kids love being around her. She was an adult, that wasn’t really an adult.

Of course, because Marlyce was Developmentally Disabled, her siblings found that she didn’t necessarily outgrow the “fighting with siblings” stage, and there wasn’t a one of them who was opposed to aggravating Marlyce once in a while…or more often, for some. They loved to pick on her, but when the chocolate chip cookies were ready, they all wanted some. Of course, that was when Marlyce tried to exact her revenge…not that they couldn’t sweet-talk her out of the cookies eventually. A promise to “be nice” could go a long way toward getting back in Marlyce’s good graces.

Marlyce loved animals too. As a child, she has a dog named Brownie. She and Brownie were constant companions. I think Marlyce must have been five or so, and Brownie was quite likely the best babysitter a girl could have. Little kids are prone to getting in trouble, and wandering off, and those who are Developmentally Disabled are even more likely, so having Brownie as a constant companion probably kept Marlyce out of trouble more than once. The family mostly lived out in the country, so getting lost could have been really bad. Snakes and other animals could have been bad too. For Marlyce, having a “bodyguard” like Brownie was a huge help, especially to her parents, Walt and Joann Schulenberg, who were busy with three little ones in those years. Brownie was the family dog, of course, but the reality is that Brownie knew that Marlyce needed him the most of all the kids, plus she was the oldest, and Brownie had known her the longest. It was a wonderful relationship, and I’m glad they had each other, and that they are together in Heaven now. Today would have been Marlyce’s 74th birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven, Marlyce. We love and miss you very much.

My niece, Taylor Masterson is very close to her older sister, “Rae” Raelynn, who is incredibly proud of her little sister. Like many people these days, Taylor struggles with anxiety, but she doesn’t let that stop her from going to work, and doing what she wants to do every day. Maybe because of her own struggles, Taylor is a very kind and empathetic person. She is patient with people, and hates getting on anyone’s case, but she is especially patient with the family pets. She just doesn’t want anyone to feel bad. Taylor is the kind of person who is always making sure everyone around her is doing ok and feeling good. If anyone sounds exasperated, she is right there to see what could be wrong, even though she knows that some words are just how people react to be dramatic in their house. Rae says, “Taylor is making incredible progress and it’s weird to think she’s 17. My youngest sibling is really growing up, and I couldn’t be prouder to share that journey with her as her older sister.”

Taylor and Rae are so close, they like to spend hours curled up in Rae’s room with their cats and watch the television show, 9-1-1, which is about fire fighters and 9-1-1 operators responding to different calls and is usually based on real life calls. Taylor is so interested in the emergency field, that she is considering becoming a paramedic. Once she watched that show, she decided on that field and has not changed her mind. She has done research into what qualifications she needs for it and how to best go about getting set up for them.

Taylor is very generous, and when she gets paid, she likes to treat her siblings, Rae and their brother, Matt to things likes going to the movies. So far this year, they have gone to 2 movies with her this year, and they have more planned as they get released. Taylor’s love language is Quality Time, and Gift Giving, and it really shows. Of course, a “love language” is the way they show people they care. Taylor is working at Albertson’s as a courtesy clerk. Taylor is a character that’s for sure. She is all about her “baby” Axel, the cat and family, of which the pets are a big part. For Taylor, it’s all about family, her parents Rob and Dustie, and siblings, Rae and Matt., but also, Family history, family time, family…everything!

Normally, Taylor’s mom, Dustie Masterson, doesn’t have to work on the 4th of July, but this year due to surgery, she had to work. Everyone in the family understood, even Taylor, but for Dustie, Taylor was the child it was hardest to tell. Taylor didn’t get mad…just upset, she doesn’t like for the few family traditions to be messed with. I think we can all relate to that. Taylor loves family history, and Dustie can see her “slogging through her family history and finding her roots.” Dustie doesn’t have the patience for family history, but she is interested in the results. Taylor is a girl of multiple talents and interests, and it will be great to see where these take her in her life. Today is Taylor’s birthday. Happy 17th birthday Taylor!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

When I asked my niece, Cassie Franklin what was new with her son, my grandnephew, Lucas Iverson, she reminded me that this year, Lucas is 13 years old!! He is officially a teenager, and I must say that I am stunned!! That just seems impossible to me, He should be 6 or maybe 10. Ok, I know that I’m being ridiculous, but sometimes it just doesn’t seem possible that a kid could be as grown up as they are. Lucas is an amazing young man, is a number of ways. He has Down Syndrome, and that make life more work for him. To say that it is more difficult would be wrong, because Lucas just keeps plugging along, and he is a successful young man.

Lucas is very sweet, and with the help of his younger sister, Zoey, Lucas came a long way toward independence. Lucas has a heart of gold, and he loves his sisters. Now, he is going to be going to middle school, where he will be learning a lot more on life skills and how to function in life. These are important skills for Lucas, as they are for any child. Lucas is becoming more and more independent lately and learning how to self-entertain. These may not sound like great strides for most kids, but more Lucas these are amazing steps. He is becoming more of a little man and not a boy. That is another thing that I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around. The possibilities for Lucas are endless, just as they are for any other child, and I love seeing him spreading his wings and flying a little bit. Lucas is obsessed with stuffed animals…and his little baby sister, Alicen. He is becoming quite the babysitter and entertainer extraordinaire. His love of stuffed animals makes him a great entertainer for Alicen.

Over the years, Lucas’ health has been a struggle, but now, with changes that his mom, Cassie has implemented in his diet, like the removal of dairy and pork, he is feeling much better. He is off of his supplemental feeding juices and is independently drinking out of the glass. These are great strides for Lucas, and we are so proud of him. This year, they are having a coffee shop birthday party for his birthday, and they took him to the circus this last week as part of his birthday celebration. Life is a looking very sunny for Lucas and his family. Today is Lucas’ 13th birthday!! Happy 13th birthday Lucas!! Welcome to teenage!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

If you ask my sister, Allyn’s family about her daughter-in-law, Chelsea Hadlock, the overwhelming consensus will be that Chelsea is absolutely great!! In fact, I don’t think there is a single person in our whole family that would disagree either!! Chelsea a sweet and generous, kind and loving, and a beautiful person…inside and out!!

She is always willing to lend a helping hand. My niece, Kellie, Chelsea’s sister-in-law tells me, “Chelsea is the most generous! She is always willing to help me with anything that I need…anytime! She never hesitates to go out of her way and that kind kindness is hard to find! She has also grown a lot spiritually! She is always speaking the right things and applying what we are learning in church to her life and her family’s lives.”

This year, Chelsea; her husband Ryan Hadlock; son, Ethan; and daughter, Aurora have been camping as a family. They also joined the Hadlock family when they went camping at Guernsey, Wyoming to celebrate Mother’s Day. That camping trip is always nice, because the guys cook the moms a nice breakfast, while the moms relax. Chelsea and her family also recently went to the Big Horn Mountains for a week and just relaxed. The big event of that trip was that they got some snow while they were up there. This week they are on vacation and will be camping on the Hadlock property on Casper Mountain. They he rest of the family will be joining them for some evenings over the 4th.

Chelsea has had a long-standing hobby of crocheting, and while she had put that on the back burner for a while, she has started up again recently. When it comes to crafts or being creative in any way shape or form, Chelsea is the MVP! Almost every Sunday, Allyn and my brother-in-law have the whole family come out to their riverfront property east of Casper, for a family dinner and afternoon of catching up. Everyone enjoys that time, and Chelsea is a great part of that. She is such a sweet person to have around, and they really enjoy her company. Every Sunday that they are together is a wonderful and very relaxing time for all.

Chelsea is a really good mom and her kids show her dedication to motherhood in their behavior.  Allyn thinks it “speaks volumes when others love your children and think they are sweet and polite, and enjoy having them around,” and we would all have to agree that Ethan and Aurora are very sweet, polite, and well behaved.

Chelsea is a great girl, and a great addition to our whole family. Oh and did I mention…her tuna casserole is the bomb!! That’s what I’ve been told anyway!! I’ve never had it, but they all tell me that she makes a really superb Tuna Casserole!! I love Tuna Casserole!! Maybe I’ll try it sometime!! Today is Chelsea’s birthday!! Happy birthday Chelsea!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My daughter, Corrie Petersen has spent the last year working in the career she was born to be in…nursing. Since 2005, when Corrie began helping with the caregiving of her grandparents, she knew that she was destined to go to nursing school. The timing wasn’t right then, but when the time was right, she went to nursing school and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Nightingale College receiving her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Corrie waited a long time for this degree. I’m thankful that she was there for me when I needed her help to care for her grandparents. I couldn’t have done it without her and the rest of my family. All those prior obligations are done…sadly, because the grandparents are in Heaven now. Nevertheless, when they needed her, she was there as a part of the village of caregivers we needed to care for them. They and we will be forever grateful. Now, it is Corrie’s time, and she is having the time of her life working in the career she loves. There is an old quote by Mark Twain, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” That is so true of Corrie, but don’t get the idea that you won’t be tired at the end of the shift, because in nursing…you will, but it’s a really good kind of tired.

During Corrie’s school years and continuing into this first year as a nurse, she had a pretty busy personal life. In that time, she has gained two beautiful daughters-in-law, Karen and Athena. She has also gained five grandchildren (with one more on the way), Cambree, Caysen, Justin, Axel, and Cyler. She couldn’t be happier with her family. She and her husband, Kevin love being grandparents and in-laws, and they can wait for the new arrival. The last seven years of anticipation and pregnancies have been so special for Corrie and Kevin.

Corrie and Kevin have also been doing some renovations on their home, and while I haven’t seen it yet, because it isn’t finished, I have been seeing some of the things they have purchased for it, and I think it is going to be stunning. Everything is very cool, and their home is going to be perfect for them. Since nursing school is over, Corrie has been doing a lot of reading, and one of the things they purchased for the home is a bookcase to hold all the books Corrie has purchased. It’s funny…after all the reading Corrie did during nursing school, she still finds that she loves to read, although these days it more novels than medical books. I’m sure she always will love to read. Today is Corrie’s birthday. Happy birthday Corrie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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