I don’t remember my grandmother, Anna Spencer, because she died when I was just over 2 months old. I have seen movies of her holding me, but my real memories of her ended there. Nevertheless, in my Uncle Bill Spencer’s family history, I learned most of what I know of my grandmother. She was a strong woman, who raised four children, mostly alone, because my grandfather, Allen Spencer was often away working on the railroad, or in the lumber industry. Grandma kept things together on the home front. She made life good for her children. They might not have had much money, but they were rich in love.
Grandma was a capable woman. She ran the farm, stacked hay, grew vegetables, canned vegetables, and so much more, but she was also a beautiful woman with soft expressive eyes, that told you she loved you. She loved her family so very much, and her children were her whole world. She worked so hard to make a home for her children, and she was so proud of them…her two beautiful daughters and her two handsome sons. She raised capable kids who grew into responsible adults and made their mother proud. All of them grew to have families, and gave her and grandpa 13 grandchildren, and the numbers of people stemming from grandma and grandpa’s union is still growing.
Grandma struggled with rheumatoid arthritis in her later years, and was often confined to a wheelchair, but her sweet spirit, and loving nature never changed. Her children did their best to care for her until the day that she went to Heaven, and their love for her never ceased. I wish I had been able to know this incredible woman, because I know in my heart that I would have loved her very much. I think that I and many of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and beyond, carry that same tenacity and stubborn drive to succeed against all odds. Some things are passed down through the genes, while others are passed down through teaching…and some are a combination of the two. Grandma used both to help her family become the wonderful people they are. Today is the 136th anniversary of Grandma’s birth. Happy birthday in Heaven, Grandma. We love and miss you very much.
My daughter, Corrie Petersen and her husband, Kevin Petersen got married on July 17, 1993, meaning that this year is their 30th anniversary. Wow!! How can that be? I know it is, but it still seems like just yesterday that they said, “I do.” They say that the first years of a marriage can be the most difficult, but I never saw that in Corrie and Kevin’s marriage. For them the first years were blissful, and that bliss has only continued to grow as time has gone on.
I can say that the last 6 years have maybe been the most eventful…and in some ways trying, but not in a negative way. These last six years have brought Corrie a new and exciting career in nursing, for which she has worked incredibly hard, and for which Kevin has sacrificed time with her so she could study. While Corrie’s studies and career change have been hard work, they are now reaping the benefits of her success, and they are both very happy. Now they can start to spend more time together again, and they are loving that for sure, with plans to go camping soon.
The past 30 years have brought many life changes for this beautiful couple. Their family went from being a couple to a family of four, when their sons, Chris and Josh Petersen were born. Now their family has grown with the addition of two daughters-in-law, Karen and Athena Petersen, as well as grandchildren, Cambree, Caysen, and Justin Petersen. In addition, they are expecting two more grandsons in late September and mid-October. So not they are actually a family of eleven. Just look what love did.
The future is so bright for these two kids…I still get to call them kids, because they will always be my kids. It’s a mother’s right. Even as adults with a growing family of their own and such a promising new career, they are my kids…both of them. I am the kind of person who never things of in-laws as in-laws. They are family and that makes this growing family my kids…all of them. The kids are so excited about the coming new babies, and they have been so blessed by their whole family. and they have all been a blessing to me and my husband, Bob Schulenberg, Corrie’s parents. Today is Corrie and Kevin’s 30th wedding anniversary. They say the 30th anniversary is the “pearl” anniversary. I say that these kids are “pearls” of great value!! Happy 30th anniversary Corrie and Kevin!! We are so proud of you both, and we love you very much.
For a number of years now, my daughter, Corrie Petersen has been on a wild ride!! Nursing school can’t be described any other way. It is difficult for everyone who embarks on this journey, but Corrie faced a number of other obstacles along the way. Set aside classes and clinicals for just a minute. Like most people in school these past few years there was the Covid-19 angle, and all that it entailed, including being sick. Secondly, Corrie and her husband, Kevin Petersen faced three loses in his family…his stepdad, Dwaine Skelton; his aunt, Nancy Jackson; and his uncle, Rex Jackson. That was followed by two weddings, her son Christopher and wife Karen Petersen on July 23, 2022; followed by her son, Josh and his wife, Athena Petersen who actually married right after Corrie passed her NCLEX test, on June 24, 2023. Also, during that time, Corrie and Kevin became grandparents to Cambree, Caysen, and Justin Petersen, with two more babies, Axel and Cyler Petersen on the way. In addition, to that Justin spent about ten days in the hospital right before last Christmas, with the flu. Oh, and did I mention that Corrie worked full time as a CNA throughout all of this!! Now, let’s get back to that studying. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know where she found the time to fit it all in. I do know, however, that she was one exhausted girl, and all I could do for her was pray over her!!
Nevertheless, all of that journey (with the exception of the two babies on the way) is behind her now. On May 11, 2023, Corrie graduated Suma Cum Laude from nursing school (and as a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing) in Las Vegas, Nevada, and it was an amazing time. Her husband, Kevin; my husband, Bob Schulenberg; and I couldn’t have been more proud. Kevin got to go on stage to place her pin for the pinning ceremony, and then she walked across that stage to receive her Batchelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)!! Going back to work as a CNA, while waiting to take her NCLEX had to be one of the hardest things she had ever done. She scheduled the test for June 14, 2023, and then came the question, “Will I pass??” It doesn’t matter how well you did in school, the NCLEX is not guaranteed. It’s a hard test, designed to tell them if you are a new nurse with the ability to be trained in the practical side of nursing. If a degreed nurse tells you they aren’t nervous or even in a panic, they are either a genius or lying. That test is brutal…or at least the days leading up to it are. Nevertheless, on June 16th, Corrie passed her NCLEX on the first try, and on June 20, she started her new job at Elkhorn Valley Rehabilitation Hospital. Her outlook on life did a full “about face!!” Her life went from a lot of hard work, tears, fatigue, and full-blown exhaustion, to “Oh my gosh!! I’m a nurse, and I absolutely love my job and the people I work with!!” What a great day that was, and what a great career change this has been for her!! Happy doesn’t begin to describe how I feel for my daughter!!
Today, Corrie will work her 5th shift as a nurse. I’m sure that in the grand scheme of things, that these days when Corrie was just starting her new career, just embarking on her future…would seem like a drop in the bucket compared to the years ahead in which she will become a seasoned nurse and take care of countless numbers of patients, but I know that to Corrie, these days will always be among the sweetest of memories. These early nursing days will always be the ones that prove she could do it…that all her hard work, sleepless nights, exhausted days, and even time away from her family (as hard as that was) had paid off. Corrie’s career really began as a caregiver in 2005, helping to take care of her ailing grandparents, Allen and Collene Spencer, as well as Walt and Joann Schulenberg. Truly they had to be mentioned, because it was in their care that the seeds of nursing were sown in Corrie, and I know that they would be, and in reality, they are very proud of their granddaughter…as are we. Today is Corrie’s first birthday as a nurse!! Happy birthday Corrie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Today is a special day for a special person in my life. My mom’s birthday is today, and I am so grateful for all the things she has done in my life for me and everyone else. She is such a caring person, and she is a Godly woman. She has taught me to believe in God and trust in Him because He will make all things come to pass.
As of today, she has four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren with two more great-grandchildren on the way. She loves spending time with all of us and she does all she can to make sure she does just that even though two of her grandchildren and her other daughter, my sister, Amy, and her husband Travis live in Washington State. She loves to visit them in Washington and she and my dad are planning a trip to see them next year.
The past six years have been a roller coaster of events. From me starting college for a nursing degree to all the great-grandchildren that have come along. We’ve experienced some not-so-fun things as well including a death in the family and my dad had a heart attack, but the good thing is that God helped us through each of those days. I know she has helped my family when I was not able to be there for them due to school. Nursing school takes a lot of time, energy, and dedication and during that time, she helped my family in so many ways that I don’t know how to thank her for what she did for them.
My mom has been retired for a little while now and I am positive she and my dad love the retired life they are living. They love to travel and hike while on the way. They bowl together, they hike together, and they go to family events together and they would not have it any other way because they love being together.
Today is my mom’s birthday. Mom, I hope you have a wonderful day. I love you so much.
With each passing year, I find myself feeling more and more blessed with this husband of mine. Bob and I met while I was working at Kmart, where his sister, Debbie Cook also worked, 49 years and 4 months ago. We have been married for 48 years as of today. There were people who didn’t think we has a chance for a lifelong marriage, but they were all wrong. I guess you could say that we are both stubborn…in a good way. We made a commitment, and we were determined to stay committed. The rest, as they say, is history. We have been blessed with two daughters, Corrie Petersen and Amy Royce; two sons-in-law, Kevin Petersen and Travis Royce; four grandchildren, Chris Petersen, Shai Royce, Caalab Royce, and Josh Petersen; a granddaughter-in-law, Karen Petersen and soon to be granddaughter-in-law, Athena Salazar; and three great grandchildren, Cambree, Caysen, and Justin Petersen. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Through the years, our lives have taken a number of turns. Things we expected and things we didn’t. We have made major job changes, to jobs we didn’t expect, Bob working for the City of Casper and me at The Stengel Agency, from which we would both retire. Of course, our family has grown and continues to grow. We began our married life living in a mobile home, which we moved several times, and finally in 1995, we moved into town…the best move we ever made. I guess it took us that long to realize that we really didn’t like country life. We became caregivers in 2005, an eventually would take care of all four parents until each one passed away, the final one in 2018. That was probably the biggest, unexpected thing of all. When you are young, you naturally think your parents will live forever. We miss them very much and consider ourselves blessed to have had them with us for so long.
The future is bright, and with retirement, we have more time to be together. I suppose some people think that all that time together would get…complicated, but for us it has not. We have always enjoyed our time together and have found that working different shifts at times was one of the hardest things we endured. I’ve heard people say that we should have fought less in those years, but we actually fought more, so there is another myth shot down. These days we like to travel, hike, spend time with our family. Of course, Bob still keeps busy working on cars in our garage, and I have my writing. We find too, that we are homebodies to a degree, with Bob needing to be out and about more than I do. So, he runs to the parts house several times a day, hahahaha!! It’s his social life. I like to walk on the trail near our home, and the Carpet Trail (inside our house) in the winter. I always look forward to the warmer weather, because the Carpet Trail can get boring after a while. I would say that we have led a very blessed life!! Happy 48th anniversary, Bob!! I love you more each and every day!! Here’s to many more years of wedded bliss!!
My grandma, Hattie Byer was never a tall woman. I like to say that she was 5 feet…in her tall days, because most of us remember her as being more like 4 foot 10 inches, give or take an inch. Don’t let her short stature fool you, however, because my grandma was a capable woman in every way, especially in the handling of children. She raised nine of her own, and the grandchildren were no match for her either. It wasn’t that Grandma was mean, but rather that Grandma didn’t take any “guff” from the kids. I can attest to that, because I made the mistake of going up against her once. Yes, I said once. After that, I decided that going up against Grandma wasn’t in my best interest, hahahaha!!
Whenever one of her kids got out of line, Grandma was very likely to turn them over her knee. Everyone’s views on spanking children are different, but in those days, everyone spanked their kids. My personal opinion on that matter is that in the days of spanking your kids, the children were much more well behaved, but that is my opinion, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Grandma was one who believed in spanking too, and I’m pretty sure the boys might have been a little more mischievous than the girls, with the possible exception of my mom, who was right in the middle of the two boys, and very loyal to both of them. Mom made the mistake of voicing her displeasure to her mom once concerning the spanking of her brother. Grandma let her go on, while she finished the spanking, and when both of the kids started to run outside, Grandma grabbed my mom by the hair, and proceed to give her a spanking to, for “improperly interfering with the discipline of her brother.” I think Mom got the message…loud and clear, and I don’t believe she ever did that again.
Grandma was well able to handle her adult kids too, as my Aunt Bonnie found out one time, when she mistakenly told her mom that she couldn’t spank her these days. Well, Grandma quickly reached out, and grabbed Aunt Bonnie by the feet, taking her swiftly to the floor. While she didn’t turn Aunt Bonnie over her knee, I think they both knew that she probably could have. Aunt Bonnie sat there on the floor with a shocked look on her face, and after the shock wore off, everyone in the room laughed hysterically, including Aunt Bonnie. Grandma never lost her touch. Today is the 114th anniversary of my grandmother’s birth. Happy birthday in Heaven, Grandma Byer. We love and miss you very much.
I never thought that at 51 years old, I would be saying “goodbye for now” to my dad, Al Spencer. Dad was 83 years old when he went to be with the Lord on December 12, 2007, but he never seemed like he was 83. Now, I can’t believe he has been gone 15 long years. Dad told me once that after you reach 18, you never feel any older. I’m sure there are people who would disagree with that statement, but I believe that it is statements like that made by people who truly believe it, that allow them to stay young. Dad always seemed young to me…right up until he left us. Even after surgery and a very long, drawn out recovery, he still seemed young, or maybe young at heart. He loved to tease his girls and the grandchildren, who loved to run past his chair to see if they were quick enough to get by before Grandpa could swat them. Mostly they were too slow, but they were delighted when they got away with it. Dad was always making jokes, and it really made his day when he could make people laugh. He loved having a house filled with joy.
My dad lived an amazing life. He was raised on a farm in the Holyoke, Minnesota area. He went on a number of trips with his older brother, looking for work in the depression years, and then went to California to work for Douglas Aircraft. It really seems that it was this move that would bring him to his World War II destiny. After spending time building planes for Douglas Aircraft Company, the Army Air Forces saw in my dad, that he would be the perfect Flight Engineer and Top Turret Gunner on a B-17 crew, and that was how he spent his wartime service, stationed in Great Ashfield, Suffolk, England. While he never really spoke about it, my mom, Collene Spencer and sisters, Cheryl Masterson, Caryl Reed, Alena Stevens, Allyn Hadlock, and I have always been so proud of him and his service.
Dad traveled to other countries, but in his opinion, the United States was the best country in the whole world, although I’m sure he would have loved to have seen Israel. Dad took our family on yearly vacations…every year, without fail, so we could see what a wonderful country we lived in. My mom, sisters, and I were treated to so many places, with the Black Hills being one of his favorites. He loved the beauty of the area, but more importantly, he loved the patriotism of the area. After his passing, when my husband Bob and I went to the Black Hills for our annual trip to the area, I always felt like I could hear my dad’s echo telling us about the area, and how proud he was to be an American. I like to think of him there, because it was one of the places where he was the happiest.
Dad loved God, family, and country. He was a true Christian, and wonderful husband and dad, and he was a true patriot. He was raised in church, and he and our mom raised their girls in the church. We know who we are, and we know that our God loves us, just like He loves our parents. Now that our parents live in Heaven, I know that they are watching over us and we try to live lives that we know will make them proud. We all miss then terribly, but we know that they are in our future now, and not in our past. We look forward to seeing them again soon. We love you both Dad and Mom, and we wish you were still here.
My brother-in-law, Mike Stevens has been a part of our family since he married my sister, Alena (Spencer) Stevens on July 21, 1984. Their marriage has been blessed with many years, three children, Michelle (Matt) Miller, Garrett (Kayla) Stevens, and Lacey (Chris Killinger) Stevens. They also have two granddaughters, Elliott and Maya Stevens, and two bonus grandchildren, Brooklyn and Jaxon Killinger. These days, Mike and Alena have a little more time to enjoy their beautiful family, because on July 1, 2022, Mike retired. Alena had retired a couple of years ago, and now they are free to go and do as they please. I know that finally having the freedom to go without thinking about having to work is an awesome feeling. It’s the reward for all those years of hard work.
Mike worked in the Salt Creek Oil Field for 39 years, starting with Amoco in 1983. The company changed hands and names several times, and at the time Mike retired, it was Contango Energy. Mike worked his way up in the oil field business, and by the time he retired, he was the Compression Foreman. As I recall his job as Compression Foreman required that he be available pretty much 24/7. He was a vital part of the project, and they depended on him. He also Mike was well liked and much respected.
That is all behind Mike now. He and Alena have new plans now. They love to go camping and fishing, and Mike also hunts. Mike also has a green thumb, and he loves growing things. Since his last day on the job, Mike has been able to meet that newest little granddaughter, Maya, who was born June 24th, just days before her grandpa retired. Such a blessing…almost like a retirement present. Now that they are both retired, so many fun things are ahead of them. Mostly though, they can relax, and not rush to work all the time. They are free to do the things they want do, when they want to.
Today we are going to celebrate the wonderful man, husband, dad, grandpa, brother, and son that Mike is. He has been a blessing to those around him all his life. He was a hard worker and is a thoughtful man. He has helped with projects for our parents, and that endeared him to them too. I’m so glad that he and my sister got together. Mike is a great addition to our family. Have a wonderful retirement, Mike!! We love you!!
When a couple has been married a long time, things start changing in their life…things like kids getting married, and kids having kids, become the new normal. That is where my daughter, Corrie Petersen and her husband, Kevin find themselves. The empty nest syndrome has long since come and gone, and now they find themselves in the next phase of their lives. This is the fun phase. Their children are raised, and now they can spoil the grandchildren, and enjoy their adult kids. Their family is growing, with the addition of very soon to be wives for their sons, and of course, those babies. There are no greater words for parents of adult children than grandma and grandpa.
Corrie and Kevin met when she was just 15 years old. Kevin was her first and only love. For him to also be her forever love is amazing, but that is exactly how it went for them. Now, 29 years later, they are still together and still going strong. I can’t say that I am surprised by that, because almost from the very first date, these “kids” seemed married…not the “oh my gosh, I can’t stand to be away from you” kind of love, but more the mature “you’re the one for me, and I can wait to make this right” kind of love. I don’t mean to say that they didn’t love each other very much, but they were very mature. Their love was grown up, and…forever. You just knew that this marriage was going to make it.
After two years, they got engaged, and the wedding was planned for the following year. My girl was going to graduate from high school, turn 18 a month later, and be married two weeks after that. Talk about a whirlwind…for me anyway. A whirlwind of emotions. I thought I was doing ok, but when the kids left for their honeymoon, it suddenly hit me, that my baby girl was married, and she didn’t live at home anymore. She was her own woman, and she had a husband, and very soon a family to take care of. She was a grown adult, but I also knew that the best years of her life were ahead of her, and before long the grandbabies would be coming along. Now the great grandbabies have come along, so I am able to see the next phase for them and for me. Today is Corrie and Kevin’s 29th wedding anniversary. Where have the years gone. Happy anniversary Corrie and Kevin!! We love you!!
My brother-in-law, Chris Hadlock has been a part of our family for just over 40 years now, since he married my sister, Allyn Hadlock on June 12, 1982, but he was really part of the family for a little longer than that…since they started dating. It’s hard to remember a time when he wasn’t part of the family. They were just kids when they married, Chris was 21 and Allyn was 19, so basically babies…and yet, here they are, all these years later.
For Chris and Allyn, family is really what it’s all about. This year, Chris and Allyn got to have a really special family vacation to celebrate their 40th anniversary and Chris’ 62nd birthday. They rented a really nice house in Florida, with 6 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, so that the whole family could stay together, relax, and play. They were all able make the trip, except their daughter, Kellie’s boyfriend, Tim Thompson and his daughter Jolene, and they were very much missed on the trip. They had hoped everyone would be able to come, but Tim couldn’t get the time off, because someone else had already requested it. Their four children, Jessi Sawdon, Ryan Hadlock, Lindsay Moore, and Kellie Hadlock, as well as their spouses, Jason Sawdon, Chelsea Hadlock, and Shannon Moore and the grandchildren, Ethan Hadlock, Aurora Hadlock, Adelaide Sawdon, and Mackenzie Moore were all there. A fabulous time was had by all. They swam in the pool, played on the beach, swam in the ocean, and of course, ate the amazing food from the area restaurants. It was the trip of a lifetime for them, and I’m so happy they got to take it. Trips like these don’t always work out, so you have to jump on it when you get the chance.
Chris and Allyn have been working very hard over the past few years. They have had their dream home, right on the river built, and they love hosting parties, and gathering together with their family year-round. The yard has river access, so they can go rafting right from their back yard, and it has a great hill for sledding in the wintertime. Barbecues and picnics are so nice in the cool back yard too. Seriously, life is good, and they are just loving it. Chris couldn’t be happier with the life they have built together. Chris retired from the Casper Police Department a few years ago, and now he is working in a much less stressful job, selling police communication systems, which keeps him in the know about the police departments, without having to deal with the day-to-day stress of policing in a time when law enforcement isn’t such an easy career to be in. We are all really happy to have him out of that line of work, because of all the upheaval therein these days. It’s just so much more relaxing for him and he is very happy with his new career. Today is Chris’ birthday. Happy birthday Chris!! Have a great day!! We love you!!