Whether we like it or not, all little boys, and girls too, grow up way too fast. My nephew, Riley Birky is no exception. As a little boy, Riley loved to give hugs…especially to his mama. My sister-in-law, Rachel Schulenberg tells me that he is still the best hugger she knows. You know the kind…they squeeze you tightly and their love for you just flows out of them and into your heart. Funny thing about those good huggers is that they never seem to get tired of hugging those they love…not even during the awkward teenaged years, when many kids are embarrassed by their parents, because they just aren’t cool. It isn’t that their parents aren’t cool…at home. It’s just that when they are with their friends…well, parents can say stuff that is just not cool…like I love you, or something. Of course, you want them to love you, just please don’t say it in front of the guys. Nevertheless, Riley was a boy who loved his mama, and he didn’t mind letting her know it.
Younger siblings can be a different kind of problem They always want to hang around, and they can be so nerdy. A cool guy can’t have his kid brother hanging around…or can he. Riley loves playing with his little brother, Tucker. He doesn’t seem to mind if Tucker is acting goofy, because…well, that’s just Tucker, and that’s ok. Riley feels very blessed to have a little brother, and they spend time together as much as possible. As a little boy, there were four things Riley loved, his mama, his little brother, his big sister, Cassie, and his bear, Fluffy. Family, you never outgrow, but toys are a different thing. Still, some toys are extra special, and you tend to keep them for life. Fluffy was just such a toy. He was like a best friend, who never left your side. While Riley doesn’t still play with Fluffy, he does still have Fluffy and probably always will. Who knows, maybe someday Fluffy can be handed down to Riley’s own child.
Riley loves playing football, and really everything about football, which is very common for boys. Sports becomes their way of life pretty early on in life. With the schools offering the opportunity and all their friends playing, it is just the natural thing for kids to do. Riley doesn’t really care about the other sports much, and other than football, would rather ride his bicycle. Like most boys, I’m sure he can do a number of tricks on his bicycle…and if not, I’ll bet that at the very least, he can pop wheelies, because I think every boy tries that one. And last, but certainly not least…there is Lilly. Lilly is the family dog, and she absolutely loves Riley, and he absolutely loves her too. Whenever Riley is at home, Lilly is by his side. Riley has such a loving, gentle way with Lilly. Dogs can just tell when they are loved, and when they are loved, they love back, with their whole being. Lilly would do anything to protect Riley, and Riley would do the same. This dog truly is this man’s best friend. Today is Riley’s 17th birthday. The little boy is gone, and in his place stands a young man with a very bright future ahead of him. Happy birthday Riley!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
It seems to be the way of every fisherman to tell tales of the big one that got away, or just how many fish they caught. It also seems like those fish grow in size and in number with each telling of the tale. I think that just about every fisherman has engaged in such tales, and it appears that my brother-in-law, Ron is no exception. Now, I can’t say for sure exactly what he was saying when this picture was taken, but the fish hanging from his shoulder give me a pretty good idea. It would seem that age is not a factor when it comes to those fish stories, because Ron appears to be working hard to make his point. Of course, that seems to be the way it is when these guys are making up their fish story…they assume you won’t believe them anyway, so they really doctor up the story to start with, and depending on who they go fishing with, they could be learning from the masters of fish stories.
Ron loves to go camping and, as far as I know, still likes fishing today, as well as hunting, but I don’t know if he is still into telling the wild tales that often go along with those sports. It would not be surprising to me if he still told some whoppers, I mean after all, it is the sport for those wild tales. I have to wonder how far from reality most of the big fish stories really are. If you ask most fishermen, they seem to have all caught…or at least had a nibble on the line from a fish the size of a small shark, and who’s to say it isn’t so…right?
And, the fishing trip isn’t all about the fishing, it’s about camping and great times with good friends too. There is just something about sitting around the campfire, talking and telling those stories, while roasting marshmallows, that makes for the most enjoyable evening. Ron loved the whole marshmallow thing too. So, after a hard day of fishing, he would load up on those gooey, melted marshmallows while soaking his feet in a pan to get the dirt off from a long day in the woods. Awww!! Now, that’s what I call relaxing.
When I first met my niece, Chantel’s second husband to be, I was most impressed with the relationship he had with his own kids. He was a loving and caring dad, and truly cherished the time he got to spend with his children, Keifer and Katie. He seemed like such a kind and gentle man, and it was obvious to me that he was completely gone on Chantel.
When Dave and Chantel were married, her children, Jake and Siara were pretty much without a dad. Her ex-husband had moved to Louisianna, and didn’t have much to do with the kids. Although his parents were somewhat better than he was, they needed a man in their lives to be a real dad to them. Not every stepfather is a good dad, but Dave is an exception. He stepped in and with kindness and love, became the dad that every kid should have.
Chantel and Dave had known and liked each other when they were kids, before each married someone else. So when they ran into each other after their divorces, it was like picking up were they left off. Like childhood sweethearts reuniting to find the true love that they had somehow missed when they were younger, and to find that it is still as strong as it was when they were kids. That happens sometimes. The true love is missed the first time out, but then when the couple runs into each other again, the love is still there and grows again.
Dave has been a great addition to our family, and I have never seen Chantel happier. They have been married now for quite some time, and the family has blended from two into one, with each one feeling new degrees of love and respect for each other. With Siara heading off to college in a few days, I am very thankful that Chantel will have Dave for comfort. She is feeling rather lost at the thought of her girl leaving, and Dave will be a strong source of support when she is feeling down.
Today is Dave’s birthday. Dave we are so happy to have you in our family. Happy birthday!! We love you!!