camping

1 2 3 10

There are many things I did not know about my Uncle Elmer Johnson, mostly because he died when I was just 25 years old. Of course, I knew him for all those years, because he was my uncle for all of my life, but as families go, you just don’t see your aunts, uncles, and cousins every day. Because he passed away when he was just 47 years old, many of the stories I hear about him have come from his children. Nevertheless, because of those stories, I feel like I am getting to know him all over again, and very well.

Things like the fact that my uncle was an amazing cook…something that isn’t always common among men. A lot of men can grill, and often that is a job delegated to the men, but Uncle Elmer was a good cook anywhere. His favorite meals to cook were the holiday meals, which he made from scratch. The family stood around the kitchen, because the wonderful smells would draw them there. They could hardly wait for the meal to be ready, and then when they finally got to eat…well, the wait was worth it all. Uncle Elmer liked to experiment with flavors and dishes, and somehow there were no bad meals. He just instinctively knew what things went together and just how to season things to be amazing. It makes me wish I had been there for some of those meals.

Uncle Elmer worked a number of places, mostly as a truck driver of one type or another. He moved furniture for Burke Moving and Storage and for United Van Lines, working for Tom Aurelius, and often taking his oldest son, Elmer along with him for a couple of weeks in the summertime. The trips were great fun for Elmer, and probably fueled his own love of trucks and driving trucks. Still, in the off time, there was nothing they all loved more than going camping, fishing, swimming, and in general, goofing around, and enjoying the great state of Wyoming. They camped out and rented cabins in places like Louis Lake and Meadowlark Lake. Uncle Elmer was always happiest with a fishing pole in one hand and a beer in the other, according to his son Elmer. Those family trips were a source of some of the best memories for Uncle Elmer and Aunt Dee’s four children, Ellen Bremner, Elmer Johnson, Darla Stanko, and Delwin Johnson. While their parents are both in Heaven now, the memories will live on. Today would have been Uncle Elmer’s 89th birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven, Uncle Elmer. We love and miss you very much.

My niece, Kellie Hadlock’s boyfriend, Tim Thompson is an amazing dad, and a wonderful boyfriend to Kellie. She tells me that he is definitely her “far more than I could ask, imagine, or think” blessing! They make such a great couple and family that it is so sweet to watch. It’s almost as if they have always been a family. Jolene loves Kellie as if she were her own mom, and Kellie loves Jolene the same as if she was her own child. Whenever you blend a family, even if one half of the couple doesn’t have kids yet, it is a big step, and they are all navigating the journey together in love. Tim has been so good to Kellie, and in my book that makes him a great guy. I have really never seen Kellie so happy…and that’s saying a lot, because Kellie is one of the happiest people I have ever met.

Tim is an avid outdoorsman. He is really into shooting his bow right now and practicing for hunting season! Tim loves to go hunting, and he has even managed to get Kellie into hunting (something I never expected). He also loves hiking, camping, or even just hanging out in Casper or Shoshoni with his girls, Jo and Kellie. He is a hardworking man, and every time he has days off, he is doing something for the girls. He lives and works in Gillette, Jolene lives in Riverton, and Kellie in Casper, so that means a lot of driving to see his girls. Nevertheless, he does it happily, because they are the most important part of his life. One day soon, I hope they can all live in the same place, because it is hard to carry-on long-distance relationships, be it boyfriend/girlfriend or daddy/daughter. Kellie tells me that Tim makes her a better person, but I’d bet that Tim would say that Kellie makes him a better person. That is what makes them a great couple. Tim is aways doing things for the girls, and just being there for them every day. In Kellie’s words, “He shows up for us every day and I couldn’t have asked for a better man!” The very best part of a great relationship is being there for each other..

I really believe that Tim and Kellie are a match made in Heaven. Their Christian beliefs, and those of their families, are the same, and that puts them both on the same spiritual path. God knew the right person for each of them, and when that happens, it is a great match. I find that our family is very blessed with many matches made in Heaven, and I’m so happy that Tim and Kellie are another one of those. I know that life is going to bring them many wonderful blessings and wonderful adventures. Today is Tim’s birthday. Happy birthday Tim!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My brother-in-law, Mike Stevens is heading for some very big life changes. He and my sister, Alena Stevens are getting ready to welcome a new granddaughter on June 24th, and they are so excited to meet her. They don’t their new little sweetheart’s name yet, but since she will arrive by C-section, they know when she will arrive. The whole family is very excited. With their son, Garrett and his family living in Sheridan, it has been harder for them to see their oldest granddaughter, Elliott, but all that is about to change.

On July 1st, Mike is going to retire from the oil fields, after 39 years. It has been a long and successful career, in which Mike has been promoted to high levels, and has had great success. Still, the time comes for all of us to retire and enjoy our golden years, even though the definition of those years has really changed for most people. It used to be that when people retired, they sat around watching television and sleeping in their chair, but these days people are really quite active. While our hobbies and activities of choice are different, they usually keep us very busy.

Mike and Alena are no exception to that rule. They have plans to do a lot of golfing, camping, and possibly some traveling with Mike’s new-found free time. In the immediate future, they plan to be in Sheridan to help out with Elliott while her parents are in the hospital with Elliott’s new baby sister. They are also hoping to bring Elliott to Casper for several weekends this summer, and before long the new baby will also be coming for visits. Kids love to spend the night with the grandparents, and it’s even more fun when that means a trip to a different town. Elliott and her grandpa are best friends. Mike loves to chase her around the house, push her on the swings, and pull her around on a sheet. Elliott giggles and giggles. They really are pals. The best kind of pals…grandpa and granddaughter kind of pals.

While Mike is leaving the oil field, the oil field isn’t totally leaving Mike. The convenient thing about the oil field is that they are always in need of oil field consultants, and it can be a really lucrative side gig too. Mike’s 39 years of oil field experience make him a prime candidate for the oil field consultant position, and they work their own hours, taking the jobs they choose, and not the ones they are told to do. I know that Mike will be very successful in all of his post-retirement ventures. Today is Mike’s 63rd birthday. Happy birthday Mike!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Quietly…behind the scenes, my sister-in-law, Debbie Cook has been on a journey to better health. Like most of us who have lost weight, Debbie didn’t want to say anything at first, because she wasn’t sure how this all would go. Now that she has been on the Keto diet since July, and is seeing success, the time has come to let the “cat out of the bag” as it were. Since July, Debbie has lost 35 pounds, and she is feeling so much better. Her confidence has soared, and she even feels like getting out sometimes. It has been a great help to her to have her daughters, Machelle Moore and Susan Griffith go along on this journey with her. She has worked very hard, and her daughters are very proud of her, as is the rest of her family.

Debbie and her husband, Lynn have had a rough year in some ways. Like the rest of us, they have been on lockdown with the Covid-19 virus. That is over now, but unfortunately, they lost their beloved dog, Sparky during this last year. While that was hard, Debbie and Lynn decided to get a new puppy named Daisy. They needed a companion for their other dog, Izzy and so getting Daisy was very important. Daisy is full of spunk and a sweet puppy, but as puppies will do, she is defiantly keeping them busy. Losing Sparky was so sad, her little heart just gave out. Schnauzers are such loving dogs and such a big part of the family. Now, with Daisy in the family, Izzy has a friend, and she will surely enjoy learning about camping!!

Debbie decided that she needed to have some time outside the house, so she joined a club called the Red Hats in Powell. I had heard of the Red Hats before. They get together for fun outings like shopping, lunches, and attending craft fairs. It’s a nice way to do fun things together. They are a great group of ladies, and the club has been really good for Debbie. She is a very giving person, so it’s nice to see that some fun stuff is coming back to her.

To celebrate Debbie’s birthday, and those of two grandchildren who have close birthdays, Easton on February 18th and Kaytlyn on March 3rd, they had a big family birthday party. One family tradition is to sing the birthday song as loud and obnoxious as possible (A tradition started by Debbie’s husband Lynn, hahaha). On a side note, Debbie and her family all think that her 69th birthday being on 2/22/22 is very cool!! Today is Debbie’s birthday. Happy birthday Debbie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My niece, Kelli Schulenberg is a country girl, through and through. She loves living in the country and would love to raise donkeys. Unfortunately, right now, she and my nephew Barry Schulenberg don’t have any donkeys, but I think it would be cool if they got some. I know that every little kid in the family would love to ride a donkey or even just feed them. Donkeys can be so sweet. Of course, they can also be stubborn. They are a bit like kids that way, I guess. It’s just par for the course.

Kelli loves country music, and attends as many concerts as she can each year. That said, I guess you know that she has seen lots of country music stars in her lifetime. I’m not sure who her favorite star is and maybe that’s because she has so many favorites that no single singer exactly stands out…at least not to me anyway.

Kelli has two “men” in her life. My nephew Barry, who she married on January 31, 2004, and their dog, Scout…who she calls Sheriff Scout, because he is always on duty and ready to pounce. Of course, about the only thing Scout will ever need to “pounce” on would be a rabbit who is brave (of foolish) enough to get to close, or enter the yard, in general. Scout rules the roost, and Kelli will confirm that story for sure. Scout has tons of toys, and “needs” them all out at the same time…apparently. Scout is a source of joy and laughter to Kellie and Barry.

Kelli loves the outdoors and especially hiking and bicycling, which go hand in hand with the fact that she loves Summer the best. In fact, if it weren’t for cross country skiing and snowshoeing, Kelli would have absolutely no use for Winter at all…and as to the wonderful Wyoming wind…well, she’s definitely not a fan…but they, how many of us really are. Kelli loves the mountains and camping, which is no fun in the winter either, Spring, Summer, and Fall, with a heavy emphasis on Summer is right up her alley. Kelli and Barry go camping as much as they can in the Summer. They especially love camping in the Big Horns, but they also like Colorado for camping places. Kelli is an outdoor girl who loves lots of fun outdoor activities, and all things country. Today is Kelli’s birthday. Happy birthday Kelli!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My niece, Susan Griffith is a health insurance agent for Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and as such she does travel in the state of Wyoming. Recently, she got a chance to travel for pleasure with work, which is a new deal for Susan. Her company paid for the employees to attend a Wyoming Cowboys football game. Susan is not really a fan of football, but she went, because i she was going to support a team, it would be the Wyoming Cowboys, and while he had to leave early to make the long drive home, she said it was ok. Who knows, maybe she will become a football fan, and those free games will be fun for her.

This year has been bittersweet for Susan and her husband, Josh Griffith. Their oldest daughter, Jala Satterwhite graduated from high school this past year, and during the summer, took a job as a guide near Yellowstone National Park. Nevertheless, while she was away from home, it felt like she would be coming home after the season ended. That isn’t what happened, however. When Jala came back to Powell, she moved into an apartment with some friends. Of course, a parent like to see the adult their child has become, but most wish it hadn’t gone by so fast. Every parent who has adult children can certainly understand how Susan and Josh feel.

Susan has also re-taken up cross stitch, and has been turning our lots of cool stuff, so of which has been gifted to her friends. They all feel very blessed by the beautiful gifts she has made. Susan has also started making cakes and decorating them, so every party is amazing. The cake for Jala’s graduation was one of Susan’s cakes, and everyone said it was amazing.

With everything going on, somehow, Susan and Josh found more time to go camping…a bit surprising, but nevertheless, it did happen. They even found a new campsite with a fire ring that allowed him to have a fire, when some camp sites couldn’t have a fire due to bans and dry weather. Susan is very much an outdoor girl. Every year on free fishing day, which is the first Saturday in June, and also falls on Susan and Josh’s anniversary weekend, a group of family members and friend have gone out to the causeway between Lovell and the mountain to fish. This has been for probably the last 3 or 4 years and has become a fun way to celebrate their anniversary with friends.

As an unusual type of travel destination…for them anyway, in March Susan and Josh took their girls Jala Satterwhite and Kaytlyn Griffith to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for a vacation. It’s possible that it might be the last family vacation they get to take as a whole family. They had such a great time relaxing on the beach and enjoying the nice weather. They also visiting the local shops and of course, collected sea shells. Like any vacation, they were excited to go, but happy to come home, because there is no place like home, and spring break in Fort Lauderdale was probably a zoo. The trip was a total shock really. They had won a free trip when they went to California, and had planned a trip last year, but then Covid happened and this was their last chance to catch this vacation. So now they can say that they have been to both oceans with the kids, and in addition, when they got married they went to Cabo San Lucas, so they have had some pretty great vacations soaking up the sun. Today is Susan’s birthday. Happy birthday Susan!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

She is smart and funny and curious and asks a million questions…and remembers the answers to all of them!! She is Jolene Thompson, the daughter of my niece Kellie Hadlock’s partner, Tim Thompson, and we all love her very much. Jolene has a smile that lights up your day. Her eyes light up and her whole face smiles. Jolene has had lots of exciting things going on this year. She and her daddy have gone hunting and fishing. Jolene loves to do anything her daddy likes to do. She loves shooting, and is learning to be a great shot.

Jolene is a pretty little girl, who is tough as nails. There isn’t a wimpy bone in her body, and she proves that with every camping trip she takes with Tim and Kellie, or with just Tim. She doesn’t shirk her share of the work. I realize that a little girl can’t do a lot of heavy lifting in a camping situation, but Jolene carries her weight, and makes her daddy and Kellie very proud. Jolene is friendly, and easy to get along with. She and Kellie have become best friends. They love each other so much. Jolene is so brave and KIND! Kellie cannot say enough about how kind she is. This world needs kind people like Jolene.

This summer, Jolene got to go to Vacation Bible School with her Aunt Sarah Jarvis. She also loves spending time with Nana and Pop Pop (Tim’s parents, Lynn and Tim Thompson) and with her baby cousin Jasper. Jolene has just started Kindergarten, and is having a great time. Her curious mind is busily absorbing all the new information she is being taught in school. She loves to draw and build things. She loves animals. Both Tim and Kellie have dogs, so Jolene has “fur babies” to love.

Jolene has decided that she wants to be a police officer when she grows up. That seems to be the norm in the Hadlock sphere of influence. It is a good thing to get into, and a tough as nails girl like Jolene should do very well in such a career. She is already working on her shooting skills, so she is ahead of the game. And speaking of game, Jolene went elk hunting with her dad this year, and had a great time. As a non-hunter, I can say that I don’t know much about it, but Jolene is learning quite a bit about ways to draw the bull elk near for the kill. She has learned to facilitate bugling and even even cow elk urine to draw the male in. Now, I can’t say that I would be interested in that, but if I were a hunter, I’m sure I would. Go Jolene!! Today is Jolene’s 6th birthday. Happy birthday Jolene!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

After making a move from Casper, Wyoming to Cheyenne, Wyoming on June 5th, my nephew, Jason Sawdon is settling into his new job and promotion, and great hours for a family man, with the Wyoming Highway Patrol. Jason has had a long and successful career with the WHP, and this promotion to Sergeant of Equipment and Technology, is the next step in his decorated career. Jason’s job is to coordinate and test the equipment to make sure it is safe and effective for use in the WHP. He is so well respected and such a help to all who need him, which is no surprise considering his helpful nature. With the promotion comes a great schedule for a family man, with a wife who works from home. Jason now has evenings, weekends, and holidays off, so he and his girls…my niece, Jessi and their daughter, Adelaide, as well as, their dog, Daisy, have been busy exploring the Cheyenne area when they aren’t doing some DIY projects on their home.

Having weekends and holidays off has given the family lots of time for trips, so this summer, they have visited Laramie, Michigan, Denver, Casper, the Snowy Range, Medicine Bow National Forest, and Guernsey State Park. It has also been fun for them to explore their new area and Jason has had a blast doing it. The summer has flown by, and they have been so busy that they didn’t get to go camping as much as they would have liked, but they are going camping this weekend, so that will be fun.

My niece, Kellie Hadlock, Jessi’s sister tells me that Jason is the most helpful person on the planet! He can fix anything. It’s always nice to have a handyman around the house. Jason is a good cook too, even if he made the hottest tacos on the planet…totally by accident, of course, the last time Kellie visited them. Hot is a relative concept, because there are those of us who believe that it isn’t hot enough, unless it makes your lips numb and your nose run…me included. I suppose there could be a level called “too hot,” but I really can’t say I have found that yet, but then I haven’t tried every pepper. Maybe someday.

Jason is a very hands on dad, often helping daughter, Addi build things and learn new things. Addi just adores her daddy. Recently, the Sawdon and Hadlock families got the chance to go to an air show at the Cheyenne Regional Airport, and then they got to tour the vintage World War II planes there, as well as the more modern helicopters. They had a wonderful time going through them since my dad, Jessi’s grandpa, Al Spencer served as top turret gunner on a B-17, based in Great Ashfield, Suffolk, England during the war. Going through those planes is always a sentimental journey for our family. Now, the next generation will get to love it too. Today is Jason’s birthday. Happy birthday Jason!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

The third year of my grand niece, Mackenzie Moore’s life has be a big one, and the summer has been packed full of fun adventures. The Moore family took a trip to Disney World and they had a blast. They have also been doing a lot of camping, which is a big tradition in the Moore and Hadlock families. The really cool park about camping with the family is that Mackenzie is having all that cousin time. Since Mackenzie and her parents don’t live in the same town as the rest of the family, the cousin time provided while camping is very important and very precious.

Mackenzie loves going to church. She loves God. She loves learning about her savior, Jesus and growing closer to the Holy Spirit every day. Mackenzie loves to sing, and her favorite songs are Christian songs…praise and worship songs are her absolute favorites. Mackenzie loves her church. She loves everything about her church…the songs, Sunday School, and the people…all the people. Mackenzie is much like her mommy, Lindsay Moore in that part of her personality. Mackenzie meets people and they are immediately her friends. Lindsay is that way too. They know everybody in their church. They not only know them, but the talk to them whenever they see them. Mackenzie and her cousins got to got to Vacation Bible School this summer, and they had an amazing time.

As Fall has arrived, Mackenzie’s life is taking on some new journeys. She started pre-school, and she has really enjoyed learning new things. She also got a new dog, Brinkley, which makes coming home from pre-school very special. Mackenzie is studying dance, ballet and tap, and when I say studies, I mean that she does go to class, but the dance is really built into her. She is very theatrical and imaginative, and loves to pretend and perform. She holds recitals for her parents in front of the fireplace, using it as her personal stage. She never misses an opportunity to sing someone a song! She is such a joy, so full of personality, and love!

There is one other aspect to Mackenzie’s life that is very special. Mackenzie is the coaches daughter. Her daddy, Shannon Moore is a coach for the Wyoming Cowboys. As I said, Mackenzie is a friend to everyone, and that includes the players, of course. The friendship between Mackenzie and the players is totally mutual. She loves to go see her daddy’s practices…or should I say she loves to “hold” practices with her daddy. Mackenzie puts the players through their paces, of course, using her whistle to make sure they can hear her, an they all love having their littlest coach. She is a blessing to them, and they ar to her too. Mackenzie’s third year was an amazing one, and I’m sure that her fourth year will be even better. Today is Mackenzie’s 4th birthday. Happy birthday Mackenzie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My son-in-law, Kevin Petersen is slowly working on a couple of projects. His health issues make it difficult, but he does his best to push through it. He has a van that he is converting into a camper, because he and my daughter, Corrie Petersen love to go camping, especially on Casper Mountain, near their home here in the Casper area. To do that, they don’t need much really, just a bed and a few other necessities. They love sitting around a campfire and listening to the peaceful sounds of nature as only camping can supply.

Kevin also has a Cyclone that his dad gave him, and he has been working on restoring it when he feels up to it. It gives him someplace to go while my daughter is studying for her nursing school classes. That project is a particular treasure of his, because it belonged to his dad, Dean Petersen, and his dad loves to see the progress Kevin is making on the old car.

While Kevin and Corrie’s boys, Chris and Josh Petersen are both very busy people, they try to make time for their parents as much as possible. With all the studying Corrie has to do, Kevin is often the recipient of the time the boys have. With his parents retired, Kevin is able to spend time with his dad and his mom, Becky Skelton. I know that has been a blessing to both of his parents. They often run errands together, as well as just sitting and talking. Kevin and Corrie also love being grandparents, and time with granddaughter, Cambree (3 years old) and grandson, Caysen (9 months old) is absolutely precious.

Kevin is such a great support “team,” for lack of a better word, since a team indicates more than one person, for Corrie as she continues her nursing studies, and also works as a cna at Wyoming Medical Center. Kevin does all the cooking and much of the other household chores, so Corrie can focus on her studies, and that has been a huge help to her. While the chores are difficult for Kevin, he know that every effort he puts forth takes some of the load off of Corrie, and that she will be forever grateful, as am I. Nursing School is probably the hardest thing Corrie, or any other nursing student has ever done, and it doesn’t leave much time for household chores or cooking. Plus, Kevin is an awesome cook, so Corrie has benefitted from his nutritious meals. And she is grateful to him for taking such good care of her. Today is Kevin’s 50th birthday. Happy birthday Kevin!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

1 2 3 10

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Archives
Check these out!