One year ago today, a sweet little curly haired girl named Elliott Stevens was born to my nephew, Garrett Stevens and his wife, Kayla. Elliott is my sister, Alena Stevens and her husband, Mike’s first grandchild, as well a the first grandchild for Kayla’s parents, Lynette and Wes Smiley, so it was an exciting day. Time marches on, and as with all children, so much has changed in just one year. Elliott now has lots of curls as her hair has grown. Her little smile is sporting teeth these days, and she has learned to walk. That, of course, means that she is “exploring” her world, i.e. getting into things. Her personality is showing now, in so many ways…one of the biggest being her giggle. When she gets into things, and gets “caught” at it, she just laughs and laughs. Her parents ask her what she is doing, and her response is always the same…that infectious little giggle!! She already knows that her giggle can get her out of a sticky situation.
Elliott is a happy little girl, who loves her dog, Charlie. And the feeling in mutual, because her dog is very patient with her little baby ways. Kids aren’t always gentle with their furry friends, but Elliott’s dig doesn’t seem to mind, because Elliott is his baby too. In fact, sometimes he feels like he is in charge of the baby. It seems to be a dog thing. They love to cuddle the family babies…especially at nap time.
Elliott loves the water, and she’s not picky. The bathtub, the wading pool, or the beach. All of them are fun for Elliott. She got to go to California with her parents a few months ago, and if fact, she turned 8 months while she was there. Less than a year old, and she’s already been sunning herself on the beach. Of course, she doesn’t care if it’s a beach in California, she just liked the water and the sand. I think a lot of people would agree with her on that.
Elliott has been such a blessing to her family. She has three wonderful aunts, Michelle Stevens, Lacey Stevens, and Lexi Smiley, so she is very blessed too. Life is great for Elliott and her family, and we are all very excited to see what the next year will bring for our giggly girl. Today is Elliott’s 1st birthday. Happy birthday Elliott!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My grand nephew, Jake Harman is a man who has made such a turn around in his life in the past few years. It’s not that he was a bad guy before, but rather that marriage and fatherhood so agree with him, that it’s almost like he is a completely new person. Jake has always had a great sense of humor, and is really quite the comedian. Both of those traits come in very handy for a dad. Happy kids make for happy parents, and when Dad is making the kids laugh, they are happy. Jake reminds me of my own dad in that way. Not unusual, because my dad is his great grandpa, Allen Spencer. Dad, like Jake loved making all the kids laugh. He found all kinds of ways to get the giggling going, often to the point where my mom, Collene Spencer, was about ready to go for a drive to get away from all the noise. Nevertheless, she loved having happy kids, just like Jake’s wife, Melanie does. And as the kids learn they start making their own kind of entertainment and then their laughter is entertaining to the parents. Jakes girls, Alice and Izabella are already pretty entertaining, and I’m sure his son Jaxx will be getting in on that just as soon as he is big enough to get around.
Jake works for Fed-ex Ground here in Casper, and has been there for a long time now. He likes his job, but lets face it, we go to work to build a better life for our families, and Jake is no exception to that rule. He like his job, and he is good at it, but there is simply nothing like quitting time, and heading home to the family. Jake and Melanie are such good friends, and their personalities compliment each other so well. When one is upset, the other is calming, and vise versa. That is what you need in a marriage…balance.
For Jake, life is full of wonderful things. He has come full circle from being by himself to having a houseful of joy, laughter, and love, and it just doesn’t get any better than that. Jake has always been a friendly guy, and that has always made him likeable. I suppose that is part of the charm that won Melanie over to him. Now the two of them seem like they have always been together. I can’t imagine either of them with anyone else. Their little family is just perfect. Today is Jake’s birthday. Happy birthday Jake!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Little 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 to 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 about 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.
Few relationships are like that of two little sisters. They love each other from the moment the youngest arrives…well most of the time. That first year of the younger sister’s life, will determine if she is a pain in the neck, or cool enough to take what her big sister can dish out. It will also determine just how much she is willing to put up with, before she takes matters into her own hands. It is a learning process for both sisters. Most generally, sisters will end up being friends for life, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a few bumps in the road. My own sisters and I are good friends, but that doesn’t mean that the years we spent sharing our childhood home were smooth as silk, because they weren’t. We are five different people with five different personalities, and that is bound to cause clashes every now and then.
The same is the case for my sisters-in-law, Jennifer and Brenda. Jennifer had been the baby of the family for two years when Brenda came along. With three older siblings bossing her around with all their no no’s, Jennifer was very excited to have a younger sister, who wouldn’t be the boss of her. Maybe they could even be best friends. And, things were going along well…most of the time. Jennifer loved her little sister very much. It was almost like having a real life doll when she was a baby, and then later, she had a friend who liked to play the same games she did. It was much better than having a little brother, in her mind, because boys just want to play dumb cars, and not dolls. Jennifer hugged Brenda often, and life was good.
Nevertheless, Brenda was her own person too, and she didn’t always want to do things Jennifer’s way. They have two very different personalities, and what one finds funny the other might not. And, as with most little girls, they can both get annoyed when their friend starts feeling too much like a frenemy. No one likes being laughed at, even if that isn’t really what was happening. Sometimes it might have been just a matter of something striking Brenda funny, and Jennifer didn’t agree. That was all it took. Jennifer was…less than amused with this little sister…who she loved very much. That didn’t excuse Brenda’s laughter about something that Jennifer didn’t think was funny. With that one little giggle came a totally new situation. They were now definitely frenemies, and Jennifer was sure that things would never be the same again. Thankfully, the whole situation was a fleeting moment in their childhood years, and they would go on to be friends again…until the next little clash, that is.
My grand nephew, Zack has always been a very loving little boy. He is, without doubt, my niece Jenny and her husband Steve’s most huggy boy. That’s just how he is, even telling those he loves, that they forgot to hug him, or that he needed a hug. He is one of those kids that don’t really care if the guys think it’s weird to hug your mom and dad…he just does it anyway.
Just because Zack is a huggy boy, it doesn’t mean that he isn’t up for rough housing with his brothers. And of course, that also means joking around. In fact, getting the better of your brother is the best thing a guy can hope to do…especially if you are the middle brother. It seems like the middle brother always has more to prove than the other brothers. And Zack can hold his own against his brothers. Not that they spend much time really fighting. It’s usually more like a fight for supremacy. And it’s always in good clean fun.
These days, however, Zack has a new job. He is not only the little brother of Xander and the big brother of Isaac, but he is the big brother to Aleesia. Having a sister is a whole new ball game, but Zack is up for the job. Being the brother that likes to hug, he is a good choice for someone to help out with the baby…not that he would get to be the only one, because Aleesia has three brothers…and don’t you forget it. Nevertheless, Zack has given himself a new job when it comes to his little sister. Zack is the giggle maker. He feels like it is his job to make sure that Aleesia has plenty to laugh about. From making faces to goofy dances, Zack will pull out all the stops just to see the smile on his baby sisters face. Does it get any better than that? Today is Zack’s birthday. Happy birthday Zack!! We love you!!
Some people are just naturally goofy. They make you laugh at every turn, and the jokes and funny comments seem to just roll off their tongue. And quite often, it doesn’t stop at just what they say, but continues right on into what they do. My niece Kellie is like that. Practically from the moment she was born, she was a giggle box and constantly doing things to make people laugh. And her laugh…well, contagious if putting it mildly. I can hardly remember a time when I have seen Kellie without a smile on her face. That is because she is one of those people who go through life unaffected by the negativity that goes on around her.
Kellie is so full of life, and she has a way of drawing others into her world…even if they can’t figure out how to stay for very long…mostly because their own lives get in the way of it. But Kellie, lives in a world of fun and laughter that is very much her own. I like being drawn into Kellie’s world, because it gives me a chance to be a kid again…or at least, a Wee One as Kellie calls me and my girls. We are among the shortest ones in the family, and Kellie is among the tallest, so she can do that…along with picking us up in a great big bear hug. Then she puts us back down on the ground and laughs delightedly about it. You just never know what Kellie might do…or what she might dress up like for that matter.
Kellie has no enemies, and especially not animals. She loves her kitties and her dog, and you just never know…she might even kiss a dolphin when given the opportunity. And it seems quite obvious to me that the dolphin was quite taken with Kellie, but then, why should the dolphin be different. Everyone who knows Kellie is quite taken with her.
The thing that is really amazing about Kellie, though, is that while she can be very funny, and a total jokster, she has a sweetness about her that is unmatched. She loves everyone, and they love her. With her knack for happiness, also comes a knack for kindness. And she has a love for beautiful things…especially music. Kellie has a sweet spirit, a love for the Lord, and a beautiful voice that is a joy to listen to…especially when she is singing worship songs to God. It is my honor to know you Kellie. You are a great blessing to many!! Love you, and happy birthday!!
When our girls were little, Bob was quite smitten with them. So much so, in fact, that all it took was a little smile or giggle to get him to give in to their…requests, and yet, not feel one bit taken in by them. The reality, however, is that he was extremely taken in by them. In fact, he lived wrapped around their tiny little baby fingers…and it didn’t seem to bother him one bit. Bob loved his girls, and they loved their daddy.
We had a little joke that the girls and I played on Bob as they got a little older. If they wanted to do something, or wanted to go somewhere, and Bob seemed to be…undecided, I told the girls to flutter their eyelashes and say, “I love you Daddy.” Needless to say, it worked like a charm. Of course, we wouldn’t have used it on something that he seriously didn’t want to do, but I’m not so sure Bob knew that. Through the years, the girls used their Daddy’s Little Girl trick on Bob quite a bit. Even when it wasn’t necessary. If they wanted a candy bar at the store, or a new pair of jeans, Daddy’s Little Girls sweet talked their dad to get what they wanted. Of course, their love for their dad would never have allowed them to take advantage in any big way…just the ones Bob wanted to give in on anyway.
Being Daddy’s Little Girl does take a certain amount of work too…like watching him work on his truck, or handing him his tools, but the girls were pretty good at that too. As they grew up, Bob got more and more accustomed to his place in life. Corrie and Amy perfected their…controlling touch over Bob’s heart. They could pretty much get anything they wanted…within reason.
Not much has changed over the years. The other night Amy was at the bowling alley, and well…payday wasn’t until today, so she smiled at Bob and said, “Dad, do you want to buy me a beer?” He looked at her like…”Not really!” And in perfect Daddy’s Little Girl style, Amy said, “I love you Daddy!” Yes, she got her beer…what else is new. She’s her Daddy’s Little Girl!!