dirt bike

My grandnephew, Isaac Spethman is the youngest son of my niece Jenny Spethman and her husband Steve. He also has two younger sisters, Laila (who lives in Heaven) and Aleesia. Isaac is in the unique position of being the little brother to his brothers, and yet the closest big brother to his sister. Basically, the way he interacts with his brothers is different from the way he interacts with his sister. While the way he interacts with each of his siblings might be different, the truth is that Isaac is always there for all of his siblings.

Isaac is always ready for an adventure. He loves going hiking with his family, and there have been a number of times that he and his mom have gone hiking together. He loves swimming and the family loves going out to Alcova Lake. Isaac came across a dirt bike on Facebook, that didn’t run. The dirt bike was a steal because it didn’t run, and by the end of the night, Isaac had in running. The steal ended up being an amazing deal, and now his has another way to find adventures. Isaac has had a job since he was seven. He just loves to work. He talked the corner grocery store into hiring him to do little odd jobs, and they took him up on it. That started his love of the job. Having a job all that time has also meant having his own money to do the things he wanted to do…like buying the dirt bike. Isaac has always loved to tinker with stuff, and things like the dirt bike feed that hobby nicely.

Isaac is not a quitter. He is very persistent and won’t give up until he accomplishes what he set out to do. Once he makes up his mind to do something, he will persevere until the goal is met. He has been that way all his life. When he was trying for that job at seven, they figured he would forget all about it when they asked him for his resume, but Isaac was undaunted. He went to his Aunt Liz Masterson, who is a high school teacher and asked he to make one for him. She did, and he returned triumphantly with the resume, and got the job. He is a very hard worker, as his new bosses found out. Of course, it wouldn’t do to pay him money, so he got things like candy, chips, and nuts…mixed with good experience. And they framed his resume, because they were so proud of him. Today is Isaac’s 17th birthday. Happy birthday Isaac!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

tucker-and-racheltucker-and-ronMy nephew, Tucker Birky loves school, and learning in general. He is in advanced classes and doing very well. He is bringing home advance homework, and is a year ahead in Math, and two years ahead in Reading. I’ve always said that a child who can read well, can pretty much write their own ticket in this world. Tucker also plays the piano, which is a skill I would love to have, but I would have to cut my fingernails, and that’s not happening. Tucker doesn’t have that problem, so he’s in good shape. Tucker also has a desire to go into politics. He wants to be president of his student council. That is a great aspiration. He is kind and helpful, and that has made him popular at school too, so it’s quite likely that he could be elected the Student Council President. All I can say is, “Tucker, if you run for President of the United States someday, please be a Conservative. We need more Conservatives.”

Tucker and Jack JackLike a lot of boys, Tucker loves to ride his 85 Dirt bike. And he loves to shoot. For his birthday this year, he got an air gun, and his face literally lit up. Tucker loves the outdoors and camping, and all that goes with it. Which brings me to his step-dad, my brother-in-law, Ron Schulenberg, who is his dad, as far as Tucker is concerned. Ron is his very favorite person, and his mom, Rachel Schulenberg tells me that if Ron is around, she has to fight for Tucker’s attention. They might be out in the garage working on something, or outside riding, or just hanging out, but when Ron is there, Tucker wants to be with him. And then there’s the cat, Jack Jack…yes, that’s two Jacks, and Tucker dearly loves Jack Jack. So, if Ron isn’t home, I guess Rachel has to compete with Jack Jack. That doesn’t sound like a win/win situation at all, but it seems to be the way with kids. When you get them grown up to some size, they suddenly have too many other things to do to spend much time with you. It is the way it is, but the parents don’t like it.

Tucker has set some future goals for himself too, which is somewhat unusual for a boy of just nine years. tuckers-surpriseTucker's new gunTucker has decided that he wants to join the armed forces, and serve his country. In this day and age, when many people have lost their patriotism, it’s heartwarming to see that Tucker has not, and that he will someday be in a position to make a difference in this world. I don’t think he has decided what branch of the service appeals to him, but there is time for that. His step-dad was in the Army, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see Tucker follow in his footsteps. For now, he is enjoying life and his favorite things. Today is Tucker’s 9th birthday. Happy birthday Tucker!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

imageimageMy nephew, Josh Griffith has totally embraced the role of fatherhood. Josh and my niece Susan want to make sure that their girls have memorable childhoods. As we all know, kids grow up so fast, and childhood is over before we know it. Josh and Susan try to do something special every few weekends, when the chores around the place can be put on hold. The girls, Jala and Kaytlyn love going to the Park County Fair, and this year Josh volunteered to take them on rides they hadn’t been allowed to go on before. Jala chose the Sky Master and Kaytlyn chose the Zipper. There was a bit of a scare on the Zipper, when Kaytlyn slipped out of the seat the first time it went upside down, but here daddy caught her and held on tight for the rest of the ride. Both girls were kind of scared to go on the rides, but once they realized that they weren’t going to die, they decided that they had a great time. The girls like the scary rides…what is it with scary rides…so Josh took them on some when the family went to Elitch’s, while they were in Denver a couple of years ago. Susan and I tend to feel the same way about rides, because when the family talked her into going on the roller coaster at Elitch’s, it ended the day, because Susan was imagesick. I would have been too, Susan. Thankfully, they had been there all day, so it was time to go anyway, but getting sick on rides is a problem Josh doesn’t have. For the girls, that’s good, because he can take them on the rides Susan can’t stomach.

While Josh was in good shape for the fair, the summer started out with…not a bang, but rather a crash. Josh was riding his dirt bike with friends at the beginning of May, and broke his ankle pretty bad when he took a spill. He didn’t think it was broken at first, but by the time he got home…it was obvious. In the end, he had to have surgery to repair the badly broken ankle. It would take a plate and eleven screws to put it back together. Thankfully he only missed a few days of work. Then his dad let him borrow a wheel chair he had and Josh went back to work. Josh used the wheel chair for a couple of weeks, and then his boss hurt his ankle. He got a wheel chair too, and they were both working in wheel chairs. Personally, I think his boss decided that it looked like fun. And even if that’s not the case, I have to think the whole thing would have been a little bit funny to see. Susan wondered the same thing…what did the customers coming into the shop think, seeing two guys in wheel chairs working on cars? They didn’t get any pictures, and I think that is a real bummer. Nevertheless, I’m glad Josh is doing better now.

Susan told me that Josh is one of those people who is funny, without even trying. I think that is a wonderful imageimagetrait to have. People love to listen to someone who can find the funny in any situation. Life is never boring. For those of us who are a little more shy, that is a trait that we would love to have, but while we know jokes and such, they just don’t come to mind when we need them. Josh doesn’t even have to try to find the funny. It all comes quite naturally to him. Today is Josh’s birthday. Happy birthday Josh!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Football PracticeFirst GameI think if you were to ask him, my nephew, Riley Birky would tell you that there are two things he likes to do most…football and dirt biking….and not necessarily in that order. You don’t have to look very far to find that out. Most of his Facebook posts are pictures of motorcycles, and posts from his friends about how great his team did at the most recent game. So far this year, Riley’s team at CY Middle School is having a very good year. Every post after the game tells of what an amazing team they are. I suppose that if all the guys on his team like football as much as he does, then they get a lot of practice time in. When you love the game, practice is fun…it’s like play, and nobody minds it at all.

Riley’s love for motorcycles probably comes from the same place as most guys who love them. I think it could start as early as their toy cars. Most of them also have toy motorcycles. It seems like they always go together. Add to that the fact that my brother-in-law, Ron loves to ride four wheelers and motorcycles. Riley and his little brother, Tucker are growing up around that, so it’s no wonder that they both love them, And it gives Ron someone to hang out with when he rides too. I’m not so much a big fan of motorcycles myself, but each person has their own ideas, and for Riley, motorcycles are great.

With all the macho stuff Riley likes to do, I think it is a good thing that he had a little brother to play with him too. Riley and Tucker are best buddies. Tucker thinks Riley is the best thing since sliced bread…or at least since candy bars. And if Tucker is having a bad day, Riley is always there to make things better. Add to that the fact that they both enjoy the same things…like their dog, riding on the motorcycle with their dad, and baking cookies with their mom…if they don’t eat all the cookie dough that is. I can’t say that I blame them when it comes to eating cookie dough though, I mean seriously, who wants to wait for them to bake anyway.
Riding with DadMaking Cookies
Riley has changed over the years since he, his mom, brother, and sister joined our family. He has gone from being a little kid to a very grown up young man. Nevertheless, he has never lost the love and companionship he feels for his little brother. Tucker thinks so highly of him, and it would be a real shame if Riley ever decided that Tucker was a pain in the neck. I think that would break Tucker’s heart for sure. Today is Riley’s birthday. It’s very cool that this one fell on a Saturday. Happy birthday Riley!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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