4 wheelers

The first time I met my grandniece, Katy Collett, she was a little girl. She was a sweet little girl, who was well behaved, and we all liked her very much. Through the years, Katy has grown into a beautiful young woman, inside and out. Katy is “mom” to two dogs, Bubba and Sheiba, and loves them very much. She and her husband Jake live in the country outside of Casper, Wyoming, so that her babies have plenty of room to run around. Being big dogs causes them to require lots of space. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Katy and Jake love the outdoors, hiking, 4-wheeling, and such.

While Katy loves her dogs, her heart is full of being an aunt, first to Jake’s nephew, and then to her bother, Keifer and his wife, Katie’s daughter, Reece. Katy is a wonderful aunt, doting on the kids as often as she can, and I’m sure they totally love her too. It’s all a part of her caring nature and love of kids. Kids can tell when adults really like being around them, and they warm up to them right away. Of course, I think that Katy will spend a lot of her time wrapped around a certain little girl’s little pinky, because that is what those babies do. They wiggle their way into your heart, and you are lost forever.

Katy and Jake, like most of us, love to travel and they have taken at least one trip to Florida, where his family
lives, for a visit. Hitting the Florida coast in mid April is really the perfect time. You can get away from the cold spring weather that still persists in Wyoming at that time of year. Being outdoor people, they prefer the weather in the spring and summer so that it’s more comfortable to get out and do things, and enjoy nature in the warm weather.

Katy is so sweet and loving to all the people around her, and it has endeared her to all of us. I don’t get to see her as often as I would like, but when we do see each other, it is always a pleasure. Her beautiful smile lights up a room. Today is Katy’s birthday. Katy, I hope your day is as awesome as you are. Happy birthday Katy!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My grand nephew, Jake Collett is an electrician for H.I. Power. He really loves his work and that is a big plus, but of course his work is not his life. Like most of us, Jake’s career is a means to a better life. Jake is married to my grand niece, Katy, and they are very well suited to each other. They like the same activities, so they are going the same direction in their lives. That makes for great compatability in life.

Like many Wyoming boys, Jake’s free time is spent doing all the boy stuff. He loves to target practice with his guns, and from what I hear, he’s pretty accurate. That’s what you want. Guns are not too much good if you can’t hit anything, and these days you never know when you will need to protect yourself and your family. And of course, living in Wyoming usually means that you like to hunt, and you can’t bag your game if you can’t hit it.

Jake also loves dirt bikes and 4-wheelers and loves to go riding with his wife Katy, and his dogs Bubba and Sheiba. The dogs are somewhat like kids, in that they are what to go riding with daddy whenever he will take them…which is most of the time. Jake and Katy bought a piece of land in the country where they and their dogs can roam free. They don’t have to take a long drive to get to a place where they can ride their 4-wheelers. They just go outside, and they are set to go. Of course, they also love riding and hiking in the many beautiful places that Wyoming has to offer, because it gives them a chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery we have here. Katy and Jake are building a beautiful life for themselves, and I know that there are many good things to come. They are totally happy together. Today is Jake’s birthday. Happy birthday Jake!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

When people hear the word step-dad, it doesn’t usually come with a lot of good feelings. Most people think of a guy who married a woman with a child, and really wishes she didn’t have that child, but with my niece, Susan Griffith’s husband, Josh, they would be wrong. When Susan met Josh, she didn’t know how he would feel about her daughter, Jala Satterwhite. Susan needn’t have worried. Josh stepped into Jala’s life and became the dad, that he didn’t have to be. Jala has a dad, but if she was going to be happy with her mom’s husband, there was going to have to be something in it for her too. That’s all any child wants…to be accepted and loved, as if their step-dad were their biological dad. When Josh became Jala’s step-dad, he took his role very seriously, and he became a great father figure for Jala. She never feels like his step-daughter, because he has never made her feel that way. Josh and Susan have another daughter, Kaytlyn too, and Josh loves both girls the same. They have never felt different.

Josh is pretty good at making people feel comfortable, and less fearful. I guess it’s a knack he has. When he and Susan first met, she was really afraid of 4 wheelers. Josh came up with a way to ease Susan into the idea by starting with horses. I’m not sure how horses could ease the fear of 4 wheelers, but maybe it’s because both of them eliminate the closed in feel of a car. One thing they have found is that horses are expensive…but as with any hobby that a person loves, the horses are worth every penny. They bring the family joy and they get them out in nature, and in that way they are truly a blessing.

Josh is an avid outdoorsman. He is really at home in the mountains. The family stays very busy in the summer, trying to cram as much fun and activity into the few short months before the girls go back to school, and winter arrives. They go camping, fishing, horseback riding in the Beartooth Mountains every other weekend. In fact, living in the mountains would not be out of the question, except that the kids have all their activities. Maybe someday, when the girls are grown and on their own, that dream can become a reality, but for now, they know that the kids need school and friends. For Susan, it is clear…she and Josh will be together forever, because they are true soul mates. They are both going in the same direction, and the are very happy with their traveling companion on life’s journey. Today is Josh’s birthday. Happy birthday Josh!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Little HelperRon (12) and Barry (2)Bob’s nephew, Barry Schulenberg’s dad has never been a part of his life, but that does not mean that Barry lacked the male influence in his life. His earliest and greatest male role model was his grandpa, my father-in-law, Walt Schulenberg. Barry was determined to be just like his grandpa, and in most ways, I think that is exactly what he did. Barry is a hard working man, who can be counted on to be right there when you need him. One of his favorite things to do with his grandpa was to split wood. Grandpa would set him up on a log, and Barry ran the splitter while Grandpa loaded it. Barry was always careful not to get carried away, but rather always waited until his grandpa said to push the hydraulic lever bringing the blade to the wood, splitting it. He would gladly sit there all day helping his grandpa. There was nothing he would rather do. I reality, Barry was more of a son to my father-in-law, than he was a grandson.

Barry’s uncles Bob, Ron, and even Lynn, when he was in town, were another source of male role models for him. They never had a problem taking Barry under their wing and showing him the ropes. Oh, there were the little issues that anyone has with a little kid, but in reality, there were probably fewer of those that most little boys are a part of. For the most part, Barry was like a little grown up man from the very start. He just didn’t care about playing quite a much as other kids did…because he was too busy being the little helper. Barry’s Uncle Ron was probably his first friend. Since they lived in the same house, and Ron was only ten years older than Barry, so while he may not have wanted to always play with his little nephew, he was willing to do so quite a bit, and that has made them very close over the years. They still spend time helping each other with the multiple projects each has…from cutting wood to car care. They even manage to find a little bit of time sometimes to go out and play on their 4 wheelers…and that’s amazing!!

Barry and his Uncle Bob have a slightly different relationship. While they often help each other out with just about any project they are working on, their most common time to see each other is Wednesday morning for breakfast. This has become a tradition for them. It is a time for uncle and nephew to stay connected. It is a special time for both of them, even though they would not probably put such a mushy label on things. The one thing I find most amazing, however, is that as much time as these two spend together, somehow no one has ever taken a picture of the two of them together!! Crazy!! I guess it isn’t about the proof you have of their friendship, but rather about the friendship itself. And, I’m here to tell you that Bob and Barry share a wonderful friendship that will last a lifetime.

Much like his grandpa, Barry is a bit of a workaholic, but he does manage to get out of town for frequent trips Here, let me show you how it is doneBobwith his wife Kelli, and her mom, Mary Wages. The girls have benefitted quite well from having Barry around, because they like to take trips, see lots of places, and attend concerts, and so does Barry. You remember the saying…all work and no play, makes Johnny a very dull boy. Well, Barry is not a dull boy, but he does manage to get a lot of work in there too. Today is Barry’s birthday. Barry, I hope you will take a little bit of time out of your busy life to play some too, after all, if you can’t take some time off on your birthday, when can you? Happy birthday Barry!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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