For six years now, my son-in-law, Kevin Petersen, who is married to my daughter, Corrie Petersen, has been truly the wind beneath her wings. Corrie has been going to college to get her Batchelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN), and since the Guiness Book of World Records calls that the hardest degree to get (I fully agree with that assessment, by the way), she has truly needed that wind beneath her wings. In addition to going to school for her degree, Corrie was also working fulltime as a CNA. Kevin was her cheerleader, chef, housekeeper, shoulder to cry on, advisor, and her encouragement when she didn’t think she could go on. While these things are admirable, they often go unnoticed by the rest of the world. While they are all cheering the accomplishments of the student, they tend to forget that support person who is always there in the background to keep that student from stumbling and falling. Nevertheless, Corrie needed Kevin to be there for her, and he was totally dedicated to her and her every need.
Kevin often set aside his own goals and dreams to help Corrie meet her goals, dreams…and deadlines. That meant no vacations for the past six years. Corrie’s school went year-round, so there were no real breaks. Kevin took care of things on the home front…the pets, cars, house, and meals. He kept things quiet during the days when she had to sleep, because she worked all night. He spent many a night and day alone, because she had to study. Kevin’s support of my daughter was the ultimate show of love, and it makes me very proud of the man she married. Kevin and Corrie love to go camping, but over the last six years, there wasn’t really any time to do that. In addition to everything else going one, Kevin and Corrie had 3 grandchildren (2 more on the way) and their two sons get married, during those six years. Life doesn’t get more hectic than what these two wonderful people were going through, and I know from hectic times in my own life…you can barely think straight when you have everything going on that Corrie had going on. Nevertheless, Kevin was there…holding her hand and more importantly, holding her up.
Now that Corrie’s schooling is finished, and she is working in her dream career…nursing, things have finally settled down. Don’t get me wrong when I say that Kevin is done with the schooling support, because that in no way means that his “support team” duties are over. Those will most likely always be there, because sometimes in nursing, you lose a patient, or one has an outcome that leaves the permanently disabled, or sometimes the fight for the life of a patient is just a difficult one…even when you win. Those are the times when you need your support team a lot. I know that Corrie will always have that great support team, because she has Kevin…the wind beneath her wings, and that will make her road so much easier. Still, the “wind beneath her wings” duties have settled down some, so Kevin and Corrie have been able to go camping twice this summer. They have also had time for a leisurely dinner here and there. They finally have time to be a couple again, and that has been such a blessing for them…and a blessing for this mom and mother-in-law to watch, because I love these “kids” who will always be my “kids” so much, and I want their married life to be filled with every blessing God has to offer them…including a few moonlit nights by the campfire. They deserve so much happiness, and I’m glad they are getting just that. Today is Kevin’s birthday. Happy birthday Kevin, and thanks for taking such good care of my daughter!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My grandnephew, Jaxxon “Jax” Killinger, is a sweet little boy who is going to be in third grade in the fall. Jax is growing up fast, and he has started to show his own likes and dislikes, as well as the interests he has. Jax is interested in art, coloring, and drawing. Who knows? A love of art could develop into many things, including traditional art or graphic art. Time will tell. While Jax loves art, that is not all he loves. With his dad, Chris Killinger’s engagement to my niece, Lacey Stevens, came additional aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins. Jax and his sister, Brooklyn love their cousins, Elliott and Maya, and those girls love having cousins too. They all play together very well, and they have a great time. They are all great friends.
Jax also loves hanging out with his dad and his uncle, Matt Miller and his aunt Michelle Miller. They all love riding on the side by side, and Jax is pretty sure he is ready to drive a truck too. The Stevens family has taken several camping trips this summer, and Jax has had a blast camping this summer and going swimming!! The family has done a lot of camping this summer, and Jax has just reveled in it. It’s like he in in his element. My sister, Alena Stevens, also likes to take the kids to the Rec Center pool. They have such a great time. The slide at the pool is a kid favorite, and they can spend hours going down it if you let them. Jax, his sister, and cousins are definitely “water babies.”
In May, Chris and Lacey took Brooklyn and Jax to Denver for a trip. They went to the aquarium and the children’s museum. They had such a great time. Jax had never been to a big city before, and he was in awe of everything. Jax was so in awe that he told his dad that “It was crazy!!” The big city can be a lot to take in, but for a young boy, it’s really a lot!! I’m sure it is a trip he will remember for a long time. Today is Jax’s 8th birthday. Happy birthday Jax!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My daughter, Corrie Petersen and her husband, Kevin Petersen got married on July 17, 1993, meaning that this year is their 30th anniversary. Wow!! How can that be? I know it is, but it still seems like just yesterday that they said, “I do.” They say that the first years of a marriage can be the most difficult, but I never saw that in Corrie and Kevin’s marriage. For them the first years were blissful, and that bliss has only continued to grow as time has gone on.
I can say that the last 6 years have maybe been the most eventful…and in some ways trying, but not in a negative way. These last six years have brought Corrie a new and exciting career in nursing, for which she has worked incredibly hard, and for which Kevin has sacrificed time with her so she could study. While Corrie’s studies and career change have been hard work, they are now reaping the benefits of her success, and they are both very happy. Now they can start to spend more time together again, and they are loving that for sure, with plans to go camping soon.
The past 30 years have brought many life changes for this beautiful couple. Their family went from being a couple to a family of four, when their sons, Chris and Josh Petersen were born. Now their family has grown with the addition of two daughters-in-law, Karen and Athena Petersen, as well as grandchildren, Cambree, Caysen, and Justin Petersen. In addition, they are expecting two more grandsons in late September and mid-October. So not they are actually a family of eleven. Just look what love did.
The future is so bright for these two kids…I still get to call them kids, because they will always be my kids. It’s a mother’s right. Even as adults with a growing family of their own and such a promising new career, they are my kids…both of them. I am the kind of person who never things of in-laws as in-laws. They are family and that makes this growing family my kids…all of them. The kids are so excited about the coming new babies, and they have been so blessed by their whole family. and they have all been a blessing to me and my husband, Bob Schulenberg, Corrie’s parents. Today is Corrie and Kevin’s 30th wedding anniversary. They say the 30th anniversary is the “pearl” anniversary. I say that these kids are “pearls” of great value!! Happy 30th anniversary Corrie and Kevin!! We are so proud of you both, and we love you very much.
My brother-in-law, Chris Hadlock loves to take his family camping in the Big Horn Mountains. They try to make it an annual family event. They enjoy the camping, fishing, 4-wheeling, and probably the biggest thing…resting!! When they go, they usually have everyone’s dogs with them, and Chris built a rack for the 4-wheeler, so that their dog, Liberty can go with them. It can’t be fun for the dogs to sit around camp alone while everyone is out on the trails. Earlier this year, Chris and my sister, Allyn Hadlock bought a new trailer, and while this was their second camping trip with it, they are still figuring things out, which is common with a new unit. Mostly its figuring out the stuff they need and don’t need. When they go camping, they want to be completely “off the grid” where there is no phone service and no email, text, or any other distractions. The main thing they want is to have all the kids with them, so it is a real family affair. There is just something about having all your kids together with you and nobody has any place they have to be. Everyone can really relax and enjoy the time together. They love it so much that they are planning several more, short trips around the state and maybe even over to the Black Hills.
A while back, Chris and Allyn bought his parents place after his mom, Ramona Hadlock passed away in 2018. His dad, passed away in 1995. The place needed some big repairs, because the mobile home they had lived in was really old. So, they tore it down and built a really nice house in its place. Since then, they have continued to do repairs and improvements on the property. This year’s heavy rains necessitated the repair of the bridge that spans the creek they must cross to get into the house. The heavy rains narrowed the dirt bridge, so it was a necessary repair. They borrowed a backhoe from our brother-in-law, Mike Reed to do much of the heavy work. There will also be other improvements around the property, like fixing some fencing and finishing some of the road work.
Chris has helped his parents with improvements on the property for years, so really, this is a continuation of the same things he has been doing for years. The place is a big property, so mowing is a big job, and it is best done on a riding lawnmower. Thankfully, they have one of those, because it would be a days-long job on foot. Little did Chris know, all those years ago, that the improvements he was making for his parents would someday be his to his own benefit. Still, even if it had not been to his benefit, he would have gone out and helped his parents, because that is the kind of guy he is. Today is Chris’ birthday. Happy birthday Chris!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My niece, Chelsea Hadlock is a giver, through and through. She loves to donate things the family no longer uses to the rescue mission. She has a heart for kids and single moms, and much of her giving has focused on those kinds of things. Chelsea is a kind and loving woman, who has always wanted a family of her own, and she is an excellent wife and mother. Her family is so blessed by her. She sews and sometimes makes jewelry. She reminds me of the story in the Bible of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31:10-31, in which the wife makes so many wonderful things for her family, so that her family can excel. It is one of my favorite stories in the Bible, and truly one that people should strive to be. She loves being in a large extended family too, and she is a great sister-in-law, as well as a great older sibling.
As for Chelsea, the Bible has been a source of strength for her too. She has been focusing on Bible study habits over the past few years. She has been attending adult Sunday School and church services every possible Sunday. She is spending a lot of time doing her Bible studies and talking good notes for future use. She has grown so much in the 17+ years we have known her. She has such a sweet spirit, and is a great blessing to her whole family, and to anyone who has had the pleasure of knowing her.
Chelsea loves the outdoors and camping. She is a fulltime mom to 14-year-old Ethan and almost 12-year-old Aurora. She works hard to find fun opportunities for her children and her whole family out of town. They love to go camping and have already been camping at Guernsey Reservoir and in the Big Horn Mountains this year. She loves bike riding and that is another fun outdoor activity that the whole family can enjoy.
As to extended family, Chelsea and her mom do lots of fun thing whenever she comes to town, like craft fairs and Comic Con events. Her in-laws, Allyn and Chris Hadlock and the rest of the family try to get together for Sunday dinner each week. Chelsea always contributes to the fun and relaxation. And…no small thing…Chelsea is a really good cook, so the family always gets the benefit of that!! Chelsea loves doing things for the family and for so many other people too. She is a giver through and through!! Today is Chelsea’s birthday. Happy birthday Chelsea!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My niece Kellie Hadlock’s boyfriend, Tim Thompson is having a great summer, and it’s just getting started. Now that school is out, Tim gets to have his daughter, Jolene Thompson for the whole summer. Tim and Kellie have so many plans for the summer. For starters, they went camping in the Green Mountains over the Memorial Day weekend. Then, they celebrated his birthday last night, because Tim and Jolene have to head back to Gillette in the morning. Tim is so excited about have his daughter for the summer. It’s been really hard being so far away from her. Tim and Kellie have already been fishing a ton and Tim is super excited that the camper is up and running! Tim is an outdoor fanatic. He loves hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking; and so, they have many plans for the camper and camping this summer!! They are always out doing fun things and being active and, the girls love that!!
Kellie tells me that Tim is such an amazing person!! He is so selfless and is always wanting to take care of his daughter, Jolene and Kellie, and their dogs too, of course!! And speaking of dogs, Kellie’s neighbor is not able to get around easily, and when we had the three feet of snow this winter, she was worried about letting her little dog outside to potty, because if the dog got stuck, it might not be able to get free and she wouldn’t have been able to get it. She asked Tim, if he would mind watching to make sure the dog got back in, and Tim did one better. He went out and shoveled her walks so that not only could the dog get in and out safely but so could the neighbor. That kindness will never be forgotten. It’s a hard thing to be unable to take you pet outside, because you are afraid for the pet and for yourself. Tim saw that and made sure he gave both of them a safe passage.
Tim is such an amazing blessing to anyone he comes in contact with, but especially for his girls, Kellie and Jolene and their dogs, and Kellie tells me that she is “so thankful that God gave me him!!” Tim has brought Kellie out of her comfort zone on a few things, such as the outdoor things. She wasn’t really an outdoorsy girl, and now she is. She has even gone ice fishing and enjoyed it!! Life is always better when your partner is a gift from God!! Today is Tim’s birthday. Happy birthday Tim!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My niece, Machelle Moore is going through more changes this year. Her son, Weston moved to Butte, Montana a year or so ago, and is doing very well there. For Machelle, and her husband Steve, it means that they don’t get to see their son as much as they used to, and certainly not as much as they would like to. Now, with their son, Easton graduating from high school last summer, the likelihood of him moving out of the house becomes very real as time goes on. It’s a time of life, that all parents face at some point. The whole Empty Nest Syndrome is alive and well in families at this point in life.
The good news for Machelle is that she and Steve seriously love to do the same things. Getting out in the mountains, going camping, walking the mountain top trails, and looking for rocks, are all favorite activities for Machelle and Steve. While they are active when they are out in the mountains, it’s the peace and quiet they really crave, I think. Everyone’s life is so busy, these days. To have a weekend in the mountains…just you and the birds…it doesn’t get better than that. I’m like Machelle and Steve in that way. While I don’t go camping, I love hiking in the mountains…just me and the birds. There is something about walking in nature, especially among the fir trees. The scent is Heavenly, almost like being in a Christmas tree sales lot…except in nature, not in the city.
Life is changing for Machelle. She is beyond the “mom with school aged kids at home” and into the “mom of two adult men” stage. It’s a different world, and one that we both dread and eagerly anticipate. We are so proud of our children and the accomplishments they have made, and we are excited to see what comes next for them. We consider the possibility of marriage and children for them, whether we tell them we are thinking about that or not. Still, we think back on the cute little babies they were, crawling, first teeth, first steps, so many firsts. In reality, this is another first…only this time, for Machelle and for Steve. First trips without the kids, first school year beginning without having a student in school, and so many other firsts to come. today is Machelle’s birthday. Happy birthday Machelle!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My niece, Kelli Schulenberg is totally an outdoorsy girl. She loves to go camping, hiking, and just hanging out by a campfire with her husband, my nephew, Barry Schulenberg and their dog Scout. They have camped out many places, but they always seem to head back to the Big Horn Mountains. It’s close to home and that might be the reason they choose the Big Horns or Casper Mountain for their camping and hiking. Their dog loves to go along with them and tries to run the show. Kelli and Barry also like to ride their bicycles on the mountain, as well as on some of the local trails inside the city limits of Casper, and in the local dog park, which is nice for Scout.
While Kelli isn’t a big fan of Winter, she surprises me a little in that she rather likes cross country skiing and snow shoeing. Most of us “Winter Haters” would refuse to go out in snowy weather, at least any more than we absolutely had to. Yes, I’m a “Winter Hater” too, in case you couldn’t tell. Nevertheless, Kelli like to go cross country skiing, and I have to say, “Cudos to you, Kelli!!” Kelli really loves the mountains, and that is very likely the reason that she adds a few wintertime outings to her fitness calendar. She also loves to stay in shape, and the different sports things she does help her do that quite well. A dog, who is always up for an outing helps too. Dog owners tend to get out more in the winter than non-owners.
Of course, a year in the life of Kelli Schulenberg would never be complete without several trips around the nation to take in all the country music concerts she can squeeze in. That part of life for Kelli actually takes in what are quite likely her favorite activities…music and travel. So, every chance they get, Kelli and Barry (and often her mom, Mary Wages too) will hit the road or fly the friendly skies, in search of another travel and music adventure. I’m not sure how many states Kelli has been in, but I would wager that it is probably quite a few. When you have a “hobby” like Kelli’s, it can take you to many very cool places…and it can be a lot of fun too. Today is Kelli’s birthday. Happy birthday Kelli!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Jolene Thompson is my niece, Kellie Hadlock’s boyfriend, Tim Thompson’s daughter, and she is such a little sweetheart. She always has a smile on her face, and she is totally fearless. She is a totally tough little girl. She is an amazing big sister to her siblings, and helps take care of them, but this summer, she got to spend with her dad, and they had the best summer. Jolene is in 1st grade this year, and she spent the summer learning to ride her bike and learning how to swim. She excelled at both new skills and can’t get enough of them. Her dad is a great teacher, and he guided his little girl to the level of expert in no time. She even jumped off of the high dive in Thermopolis without hesitation…multiple times!! She is totally fearless in all aspects of her life.
Jolene loves to draw and color. She has that creative gene, I think. She also loves to brush and style Kellie’s hair, which if you know my family at all, is like the greatest blessing ever. Some people hate to have their hair touched, but our family…can’t get enough of having our hair brushed, styles, or just touched. Some people might call that weird, but if you like having your hair brushed and such…well, you just know what I mean. With Kellie, Jolene gets to do all the girly things that she doesn’t get to do normally, because at home, either with her dad or her mom, there is no doing the girly things. Not everyone likes the dress-up, fix the hair, girly things. That is a blessing for both Jolene and Kellie. They are best friends, and they love each other very much.
During her summer with her dad, Jolene got to do a lot of camping, hiking, and shooting. She also got to go fishing, and of course bicycling and swimming. She had a totally blissful summer. Her and her dad had a great summer…and they did all the things!! They went to a rock-climbing wall place, and Jolene climbed like an expert there too. She also showed off her climbing skills on the trees in the campgrounds she and her dad stayed in. Jolene got her first bow this year too and learned archery. Tim is a total outdoorsman, and Jolene wants to do everything her dad does, so she is eager to learn and to reach expert level. Today is Jolene’s 7th birthday. Happy birthday Jolene!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My nephew, Josh Griffith, who is married to my niece, Susan Griffith, has had a busy summer, and that means that they haven’t been able to go camping as much as they would have liked. They only got to go a couple of times in June and July, and for a camping family, that just isn’t enough. So, before summer officially ends and the weather gets cold, they are trying to go every chance they get. Anyone who has made the preparations to go camping, knows that just getting there is a lot of work. Then, once you’re there, camping is also a lot of work. It’s not like getting in a car, driving to a hotel, eating meals out, and then going back to the room to relax. Camping is chopping the wood for the fire, preparing all your food, cleaning up the dishes, making your own beds, and then doing it all again the next day. I guess that’s why we don’t go camping. When we go on trips, we hike and then eat out and relax in our motel room. I figure the hiking makes up for the lack of work camping, haha!! Susan said that she sometimes wonders if it’s all worth it…and I get it, but the next time they are out in the mountains and totally unplugged, Susan knows it’s worth it after all.
Many times, the family goes to the Big Horn Mountains, but this year they have only been there once. The rest of the time they have been going to the Beartooth Mountains, that border Montana and Wyoming. Going to the Beartooth Mountains is a lot more work, because they have to keep their camp super clean, and make enough noise to ward off the bears in the area. Susan calls it being “bear aware” and that makes sense. She tells me they definitely don’t have any trouble making noise, and if that keeps the bears away, I wouldn’t either. What they are doing must be working, because out of the 19 years they have been camping in the Beartooth mountains, they have never had an encounter with a bear, and I’m praying they never will. After a couple more camping trips, they will go back up a couple more times for firewood.
Then, it will be time to start hunting season. This year’s hunting trip will be special, because Josh is taking their daughter, Kaytlyn on her first hunting trip on horses this year. They have been trying to get the horses in shape and ready for hunting. Josh and Kaytlyn are really looking forward to the trip. They got a young horse this last winter. Hes only about 4 or so, and not broken yet. Josh has been trying to break him and plans to ride him for hunting season. Susan says it’s pretty interesting watching that unfold and hoping no one gets hurt. Susan says, “You never know when there’s going to be a rodeo. Haha!!” When I said that I didn’t know Josh broke horses, she said that he really doesn’t, but they just don’t want to pay to have someone else do it. At which point, I said, “Josh does break horses then!!” The horse came to them with the name Dudly, but they just didn’t like the feel of that name. The horse is a Tennessee Walker, so they changed his name to Tennessee Whiskey. That’s much more distinguished, for sure. Tennessee Whiskey sure is a pretty horse. Today is Josh’s birthday. Happy birthday Josh!! Have a great day!!