imageMy grand nephew, Keifer Balcerzak joined our family on June 22, 2002, when his dad, Dave Balcerzak married my niece Chantel. Kiefer was fourteen at the time, and while he was close to being grown, I had the chance to get to know him during the time that Dave and Chantel were dating. He was a great kid then, and is a great young man now. Keifer’s personality is a lot like his dad. He is outgoing and a fun person to be around. It’s strange to think of all the grand nieces and nephews being grown up now, and starting lives of their own, but that is what is happening.

Keifer has always been a worker. He worked for Charter Communications for some imagetime, but recently left there to take his dad’s old position at the State of Wyoming, which Dave vacated when he was promoted. So now Keifer is on the IT Help Desk. I always though his technical capabilities were far above the level it takes to install and repair cable lines. I think Keifer probably got his technical capabilities from his dad, but he has studied and earned his place in IT by his own hard work. Fixing technical issues on computers is no small job. There are enough hackers out there to put any business at risk. The big corporations have to have their own dedicated personnel to keep their computers running with a minimum of downtime. They can’t wait for someone from a tech company to show up to help. Too many people and programs depend on computers that run and run properly.

On May 9, 2015, Keifer married his longtime girlfriend, Katie Davidson. They have been dating for seven years, imageand so they almost seemed married already. They are a great couple, and I know that their marriage will be very blessed. Even though they have been together a long time, marriage is still a wonderful new adventure, and I know they are having a great time. I don’t know Katie very well, but from what I do know, I like her very much. The main thing is that she makes Keifer happy. That goes a long way in our family.

Keifer is a lot like his dad in computer capabilities, but I’m sure he also got his looks from his dad too. The older he gets, the more he looks like Dave. In fact, there are pictures of him that I have almost mistaked for Dave. Today is Keifer’s birthday. Happy birthday Keifer!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Josh guarding in basketballGuardingLast night, I  went to  the last regular season basketball game I will ever attend for the middle school aged kids. Why? Because, my youngest grandson, Josh is the last of my grandchildren in middle school. That fact seems so odd to me. How can it be that my youngest grandchild is going into high school next year? It’s funny that it isn’t so much the first child to do the landmark things in life that shocks you, but rather the last one to do them. I suppose that it is because once you start a new level in life, you naturally think it will go on this way forever, and when you find out that it isn’t so, you are somehow startled by that revelation.

Josh has grown so much in his abilities. When he was in grade school, he was almost afraid of the getting ball, or should I say, of making a mistake. It has taken a lot of encouragement to get him to be more aggressive on the court, but the work his family has done, has really paid off. Josh doesn’t back off when someone tries to get the ball. He holds on tight, and gets the jump shot. He used to be nervous about dribbling the ball down the court and going for the basket, but now he goes for that too, and isn’t even afraid of going for the 3 pointer, which he has gotten pretty good at making. He is turning into a great basketball player.

The tournament starts this Friday, and that will be the last tournament, as will I don't think so!Stay Backtrack when he participates in that. It won’t be the last year he participates in sports, I’m sure, but it will be in a different setting. While I know that he will just get better and better each year, I also know that he is growing up, and things will be different. He improves so much with each year, that I know that next year will be even better than this year was, so what is my problem? I guess it is that my youngest boy is growing up, and I guess I just wish he wouldn’t do that so fast.

When I was in high school, I wanted to be a teacher. That said, I’m quite certain that I would not have been very interested in being the only teacher in a one room schoolhouse, where I was responsible for all the grades. I suppose teaching was quite a bit easier, because so much has changed is the education system…not to mention the knowledge base we have now as compared to in the 1800’s.

Of course, teaching and the students have changed so much over the last 100 years, that I don’t think I would want to be a teacher these days. With all the changes in the school systems, especially the removal of God from our schools, discipline and respect in the schools is a thing of the past. Students do whatever they want, and teachers have little or no control. It is a sad state of affairs. Also, with the removal of God from the school, alternative lifestyles are being taught. I don’t say people don’t have the right to live their lives as they choose, but I don’t like the idea of that being taught in the schools, and I would have a hard time teaching it myself.

What I find interesting about the old one room schoolhouse, and they way they taught back then, is that the different grades had to do their own work while a group in one grade was being taught their lessons. We often say that kids shouldn’t listen to the radio, while doing homework, but I think they have been able to close distractions out for many years, and the radio doesn’t seem like it would be any different to me. I also wonder about how much the younger grades are absorbing while they are hearing the upper grades lessons. It would seem to me that they could learn quite a bit that way, and it might make it easier, as they move into the next grade, to understand the work.

And of course, the students played together. These days, teenagers seldom spend much time with grade school children who are not related to them, but back then, it was very common. Most of our grandparents or great grandparents attended a one room schoolhouse at one time or another. We are the ones who find that so different. One thing to note in Wyoming, however, is that we still actually have a couple of one room schoolhouses in the state. I think I would find it interesting to visit one…wouldn’t you?

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