clown

SCAN00~1scan0043Little kids are really natural born showoffs. The minute they do something that everyone laughs about, they will start doing it over and over again. They love the attention. I guess in most ways they are not a lot different than their adult counterparts. Their play doesn’t even have to be necessarily funny, just cute. Anything that causes their parents to take a picture or laugh is worth doing again. Of course, sometimes, this is how bad habits get started. What seemed cute for a little kid to say or do when they are very small, isn’t always so cute as they get older. We all know that we should not encourage bad habits, but when your kids are little, everything…good or bad, is kind of cute, so we often allow the things we shouldn’t.

I suppose parents should think about that before making a big deal out of some of the things kids do, but that isn’t very often how things go. Sometimes those laughs just happen, and before you know it, you are trying Rory and Aleesia DancingWater Playto break that bad habit. Ah, the joys of parenting. One bad decision leads to months of undoing. Still, at the time, you have to admit…it was funny. Little kids are usually so full of energy, joy, giggles, and fun, that it’s like having your very own comedy show in your living room. You find yourself sitting there being entertained for hours.

Recently, we came across some previously undeveloped photographs from my childhood, and I found that I was quite the showoff. I never really thought of myself that way, because I am rather shy, but I guess I wasn’t when I was a little girl. I may not have ever been the class clown in school, but I clowned around quite a bit at home. I’m sure my parents didn’t think it was especially unusual, but the pictures surprised me. And there are more of them than I put up here too. I was apparently very goofy…or so the pictures tell me.

It is kind of a sad thing that we are so free and uninhibited as children, and then as adults, we are almost afraid to be silly. I know we can’t always be goofy as adults, but so many of us don’t ever act silly. We worry imageThe teamabout looking stupid or having someone make fun of us. Of course, I’m sure that all starts in our teen years, when we are all very uncomfortable with pretty much everything about ourselves. Nevertheless, for many of us, it continues on into adulthood too. I suppose that in reality, those carefree days of youth will always fade into the responsibility days of adulthood, and we will, for the most part, never really be able to relive the funny, goofy, carefree days, when clowning around came as naturally to us as breathing did. I guess that’s why we were little showoffs.

Jake HarmanMy grand nephew Jake has always been a goofy kid. His favorite thing to do is make people laugh, and he will do just about anything he can to make that happen. He has been known to sit on people’s laps just to see if they are surprised, and then turn around and goof off with a cousin or two to see if he can make them laugh…while he is sitting on the lap of the first person. Such was the case at the family Christmas party, when Jake sat on my lap and teased Mindy and Missy Grosvenor. We all had a good laugh with him. They though it was quite funny that he was sitting on my lap, and we all three laughed at the funny things he was saying. This is so typical of Jake, and one of the things that makes people like him.

Jake has really never met anyone he didn’t like. Every time I see him, he puts his arms around me and tells me I am his best friend. I don’t think I am really his best friend, but it’s nice that my grand nephew likes me. When you are the great aunt, you kind of figure that you are just a part of that older generation, and the younger ones really don’t give a lot of thought to the older generation, but Jake has always treated me like he enjoys seeing me, and that makes me feel good…but then that is what Jake was trying to accomplish.

I think Jake is the kind of guy who really likes to have everyone around him be happy. That is probably why he likes to joke around with everyone. Jake figures that if he can bring a smile to someone’s face, then he has accomplished his goal for the day. It’s not a bad way to be…especially when people are feeling down. It takes a special kind of person to work to make people smile, and that is what Jake is like. He doesn’t care if he has to look like a clown to do it either. I think that is what makes Jake special to me. Every time I see him he is upbeat and happy. It’s really cool when people can honestly say that about you. Today is Jake’s birthday. Happy birthday Jake!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Lacey StevensWhen a family has sisters in it, there is always the possibility of fights going on, and even more the possibility of arguments. It is no different with my nieces, Michelle and Lacey. Most of the time they get along very well, and they always love each other…that is just a given. I suppose it could have been different when they were little. They might have had the sibling rivalry, the kid sister, or just the you touched my stuff fights, but those things didn’t completely dominate their young life.

As little girls, I didn’t think there was a huge resemblance between the girls, but as they get older, I find myself thinking that maybe I was wrong. Recently, Lacey posted the above picture on her Facebook page, and I had to do a double take. She looked so much like a picture of Michelle that I remembered seeing, that I couldn’t believe it. Sisters can resemble each other sometimes, but rarely do they look like they could be twins, unless they are twins. The girls dad, is a twin, of the fraternal type, and I think these girls look more alike that their dad and his twin brother. I couldn’t figure out why I hadn’t noticed it before. Well, I had to point that out on the picture that Lacey had posted, because I knew that they were very close, and they would like that.

Lacey did like the comment, but little did I know that my comment would start a sparring match between the girls. While Lacey liked my comment, Michelle posted, “Haha, she wishes!” Then, Lacey came back with, “I got the good genes…Michelle is just jealous!” Michelle followed with, “Good genes? More like identical genes.” Now on that comment, I think Michelle Michelle Stevenshit it right on the button. That seems to be exactly what my sister, Alena and her husband, Mike managed to do…create identical twins 5 years apart.

The girls and their brother Garrett always have a lot of fun when they are together. They share a great sense of humor, and a love of laughter. They don’t mind clowning around to make people laugh either. Lacey can be the quiet one of the bunch, but when she gets to know the people around her, she can clown around with the best of them. Today is Lacey’s birthday. Happy birthday Lacey!! Have a great day, and don’t fight with your sister so much ok, hahaha!! We love you!!

James and friends in Virginia BeachMy grand nephew, James has become quite the ladies’ man, and now that he is turning 16, I’m sure that will only get worse…for his mom, my niece, Toni, who would much rather have her young man stay a boy for a while longer, I’m sure. Unfortunately for Toni, there just isn’t anything you can do about your kids growing up, and James is one of those men who would have to be classified as tall, dark, and handsome, and we have always thought he looked a little bit like Elvis, so most likely that is what always catches the eye of Pony Ridethe girls in the area. It is a fact of life.

It seems like just yesterday that James was born. He was such a cute little boy, with lots of dark hair. He was a quiet boy, but that didn’t mean that his sense of humor didn’t shine forth. James likes being funny, in a subtle way. He’s not like the class clown or anything, but instead, his antics are designed to make people notice that he is goofy and then laugh with him. Although, every once in a while, James will go on a streak, and do something totally crazy, like ride on a pony ride…I didn’t think those even existed anymore…did you?

It seems like with every baby that was due in June, my mom Young James_editedwould hope for them to arrive on her dad’s birthday…June 15th. While some have come close, none actually made Mom’s perfect arrival date, until James came on the scene. I wish he could have known his great great grandpa, but that was not to be, since he would have been 104 at the time James was born. Nevertheless, James reminds me a little bit of my Grandpa…mostly in the way he is built…tall and slender, and maybe in his personality…both of them being quiet men and all. So my mom finally got her wish for the June babies in our family. One finally arrived on the right day…June 15th, the birthday that James shares with his great great grandpa. Today is James’ 16th birthday. Happy birthday James!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

When my niece, Toni was a little girl, she loved to clown around. She made everyone laugh with her antics. When everyone else was serious, here would come Toni, ready to start the fun rolling…and she had a laugh that was contagious. She might giggle while showing off her favorite boots or some other goofy thing, just to get a laugh out of someone. She was so quick to laugh, and always found a way to pass that along to others around her.

While those days are in the past now, Toni has grown into a beautiful woman. She is sweet and caring. She is one of those people who doesn’t see what a treasure she is. With her kind heart and quick smile, she adds sunshine to a cloudy day.

Toni has a sense of style that brings beauty to he home. I love some of the decorating ideas she has come up with. Some of us have a knack for that kind of thing, and she is definitely one of those people. She creates beauty all around her. I guess that all comes from the beauty that lives inside her.

Life isn’t always easy…for any of us, and Toni has been through some rough times, including when her son James had a serious head injury that could have cost him his life. Toni stood strong in that tough time, and kept James calm…and prayed, because she knew that God would take care of her son…and He did. James is so precious to her. For a long time it has been just the two of them, and James was and still is, her world. Now, she has found love again in a wonderful man…Dave. Life is complete for Toni once again, and I am so happy for her.

Toni has turned into a lovely woman, and one I am proud to call my niece. She is thoughtful and kind. She is a good mom, and good to her mom and grandmother, my sister and my mom. And that smile…well, it is still very much alive and well on Toni’s pretty face. Today is Toni’s birthday. Happy birthday Toni!! We love you very much!!

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