My niece, Toni Chase could be called a bargain hunter, because she loves to shop in thrift stores, but that is where her typical bargain hunter status would end. Toni usually has a plan for the things she buys. Yes, sometimes they are perfect as is, and she wears and enjoys the things she buys herself, but often, Toni sees something else in the things she buys…the possibilities. Toni is very creative, and when she sees the possibilities in something, she works on it to change it into her vision for it. Toni’s redesigned clothing, boots, and purses are beautiful. Often she sells them on E-Bay, but just as often, she gives them away, because Toni has a very giving heart. If a piece of clothing, purse, or a pair of shoes reminds her of a certain person, she simply gives it to that person. Toni found a couple of handbags that were perfect, as is, for her mother, Cheryl Masterson, so she just took them to her, and blessed her with them.
Toni and her husband, Dave love to travel, and they do so as often as they can. The love to go places where they can hike, but they also love the warm sandy beaches. I suppose that would be why they got married in Hawaii…and a beautiful ceremony that was. Family is important to them too. They go to visit he parents in Laramie often, and they love getting together with family here too. My sister, Cheryl’s whole family loves to get together often to have dinner and visit. It is the perfect way to stay connected. These days everyone is so busy that a family can easily drift apart. They don’t want that to happen, and they are all best friends anyway.
Toni is slowly adjusting to changes in her own family. Her only child, James is grown up now, and while he is still living at home while he attends college, he is nevertheless, a different person. He recently took a trip to the Netherlands to visit his girlfriend, who had been an exchange student at his high school, and then she made the trip here to spend Christmas with the family. Toni doesn’t know where that relationship will go, nor where his schooling and career will take him, but she is supportive of all his hopes and dreams. The changes in James’ life have made for a little bit emptier home for Toni and Dave sometimes, but they have that figured out too. Toni has a number of younger nieces and nephews. She and Dave like to have the little kids spend the night sometimes. They watch movies and eat junk food…a hit with all the kids, for sure.
Toni is a very thoughtful person. She is quick to see the needs of others, and then to meet them. Whether it is giving the parents a night off, or entertaining the kids, who love to come over. She likes to take the kids shopping for shoes or clothes, or other things they might need, and with her talent for re-designing, the possibilities are endless. It is such a great help to their parents too, because as we all know, raising kids is expensive. She has supplied things like shoes, coats, and clothing, because Toni is a giver. Toni is just a very good-hearted person, and that has endeared her to many people. Of course, Toni would never have told anyone about this, but I know a little birdie, and that gives me the inside track on the matter. Today is Toni’s birthday. Happy birthday Toni!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
When I think of my niece, Jessi, I think of someone who loves to laugh. She teases those around her in a good natured way, and gets everyone laughing. She brings joy and happiness right into the room with her when she walks in. It doesn’t matter who is in the room, she finds some way to joke around with them or tease them in some way. I guess that simply makes her part of this family, because with us, teasing is a way of life. I’m quite sure that joy and laughter was a big part of what her husband, Jason first noticed in her. A pretty girl with a bright smile on her face, and joy in her heart…yep, I’ll bet that it made her very hard to resist.
Joy and laughter aren’t the only things of interest to Jessi. She is a great fashionista too…always has been. She enjoys dressing up and being casual too. Jessi has always had her own kind of style. In fact, when she was a little girl, she knew exactly what style she liked. She has always liked boots. She knows how to make them look great and one particular day, she decided that her grandpa’s boots were in perfect style…I think she was right…don’t you?
All kidding aside, Jessi is a wonderful person, who gives of her time and talents whenever there is a need. She is the assistant youth pastor at our church, she helps her grandmothers whenever they need it. She is quick to volunteer in so many areas. She began working in a law office at the age of 17, and has been doing that work ever since, and she is exceptional at it. She is an advocate for the Casper area, and the local library. She pushes for people to buy local, and support our local community. She works tirelessly to drum up support for causes that benefit our local economy and lifestyle. That can be a thankless job, but she does it well, and our community has benefitted much from her efforts. Yes, she was a goofy little kid, and was always kidding around, which is always fun, but I am very proud of the woman she has become. Today is Jessi’s birthday. Happy birthday Jessi!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Kids see things differently than we do. They are always watching the adults around them, trying to understand what things are important…or better yet, grown up. To be sure, that is good reason to be careful what you do, because there are always little eyes watching you, learning, trying to become you, because they love you. It is amazing to think that this little life is looking to you to shape it, and teach it what is right and wrong. It’s easy let the cute little bad habits pass, but not the best idea. Before you know it, you have to break those habits. It is also somewhat unnerving, to know that your every move is being watched and analyzed as only a child can do.
Kids are so willing to help out in the home when they are little…not that those days will last. They will figure out that it’s work soon enough, and then it won’t be so easy to get them to help out…without pay that is. Still, all too often, we won’t let them pitch in when they are little, because they don’t know how to do things right. A big mistake on our part I think. So it isn’t done perfectly…they will learn…if we let them. And the whole learning part is so cute, and they feel so grown up, that it is a shame to deny them that right to be a little helper. And what difference does it make if your bed isn’t perfectly made or the vacuuming perfectly done every day? Isn’t their self esteem more important?
And of course, there is the clothing lessons. They watch what you wear, and do their best to look just like you. It’s always funny to see little ones stumbling around in their mom’s or grandma’s heels or their dad’s or grandpa’s boots. Hats and mittens, coats and clothes, are all fair game when kids are playing dress up. They just look up to their parents so much…see them as the most beautiful of the most handsome person ever. Don’t you wish those days could last forever…or at least through the teenage years? But those days are gone so quickly and then they no longer see things through the eyes of a child.