My grandnephew, Xander Spethman and his partner, Alli Simpson moved into their own place this past year, and they have been figuring out life as they go along. Xander still loves to go hunting and feels really good about filling his own freezer with meat to last them through the winter months to come. Xander is becoming a responsible man, preparing to take care of his partner and himself. Xander and Alli were high school sweethearts, and their love has continued. They are very happy together. Alli is a sweet girl, who is perfect for Xander. She is gentle and kind, as is he.
Xander and Allie have their own place, but they still spend most evenings with Xander’s family…parents Jenny and Steve Spethman; brothers Zack and Isaac; and sister, Aleesia. The Spethman family is a very close family, and since Jenny and Steve love to entertain, it is the “happening” place to be. Xander has always known that, and that hasn’t changed, just because he has his own place. People always want to hang out where all the fun people are, and the Spethman kids know that the fun people hang out at their parents’ house.
Last June, Xander and Alli decided to expand their little family, so they became “fur” parents to a sweet dog named Rocky. They love their sweet pup and take Rocky most places with them. They know that taking Rocky to Xander’s parents’ house is ok, because Xander got his love of animals for his parents, and most especially from his mom, who is an animal fanatic. Over the years, Xander and his siblings have had just about every type of pet, from lizards, to fish, to cats, to dogs, and even for a time, a raccoon who lost its mother. So having a dog of his own was a completely natural next step for Xander.
These days Xander works at Walmart, as a stocker. He was working for a pipe company called Tubescope, but Walmart pays better, and when you are a responsible family man, you have to take that into consideration. One thing about it, Walmart would also be a less dangerous job to have. Working with pipes and such is a dirty job, and it can be dangerous around heavy pipe. That said, I’m sure Alli likes this job much better for him. For Xander, it’s all about what is best for his family and that is what makes him a responsible man. Today is Xander’s 20th birthday. Happy birthday Xander!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My grandnephew, Zack Spethman, like so many other students, got caught in the Covid Funk, as his mom, Jenny Spethman, calls it. Many kids who had to suddenly switch to online school, and a school year that ended way too soon, struggled not only at the end of 2020, but well into 2021 and beyond. Zack was one of those kids, but Zack is also a determined student, and while it was a lot of hard work, Zack has fought his way back, and is doing so well that he is on track to actually graduate a little early next year. Now that is something to be proud of, and we are very proud of him. Such a comeback is not common, and in many cases is viewed as impossible.
There are many sides to Zack. First and foremost, Zack is a very loving young man. His always quick to give out hugs to everyone in his family, and that’s a lot of people. We are a large family. No matter where he is, Zack always tries to make everyone feel welcome. He talks to everyone. Zack really has never met a stranger. He can start up a conversation with anyone. He is very kind to the kids in the family who are younger than he is. Zack knows that the younger kids are just trying to fit in, and he helps then to do so. No wonder everyone loves Zack.
Zack is always quick to help with projects his parents or siblings are doing. Zack is a tall, strong, muscular guy, like his dad, Steve Spethman, and that makes him a go-to guy for heavy work. Zacks loves being part of a great family unit. Zack and his brothers have taken hunting safety classes, and they, along with their dad all hunt. Hunting is a great way to supplement the family’s food supply, and they all love the meat from the game they kill.
Zack has a soft spot in his heart for the family pets, or any pets really. I think he gets it from his mom. Jenny has always loved animals of all kinds. In many ways, Zack reminds me of his mom. Zack can often be seen with the dogs and cats that the family has. He cuddles them, and they in turn love him very much. I’m not surprised that they love him. Everybody does. Today is Zack’s 18th birthday. Happy birthday Zack!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My nephew, Josh Griffith, who is married to my niece, Susan Griffith, has had a busy summer, and that means that they haven’t been able to go camping as much as they would have liked. They only got to go a couple of times in June and July, and for a camping family, that just isn’t enough. So, before summer officially ends and the weather gets cold, they are trying to go every chance they get. Anyone who has made the preparations to go camping, knows that just getting there is a lot of work. Then, once you’re there, camping is also a lot of work. It’s not like getting in a car, driving to a hotel, eating meals out, and then going back to the room to relax. Camping is chopping the wood for the fire, preparing all your food, cleaning up the dishes, making your own beds, and then doing it all again the next day. I guess that’s why we don’t go camping. When we go on trips, we hike and then eat out and relax in our motel room. I figure the hiking makes up for the lack of work camping, haha!! Susan said that she sometimes wonders if it’s all worth it…and I get it, but the next time they are out in the mountains and totally unplugged, Susan knows it’s worth it after all.
Many times, the family goes to the Big Horn Mountains, but this year they have only been there once. The rest of the time they have been going to the Beartooth Mountains, that border Montana and Wyoming. Going to the Beartooth Mountains is a lot more work, because they have to keep their camp super clean, and make enough noise to ward off the bears in the area. Susan calls it being “bear aware” and that makes sense. She tells me they definitely don’t have any trouble making noise, and if that keeps the bears away, I wouldn’t either. What they are doing must be working, because out of the 19 years they have been camping in the Beartooth mountains, they have never had an encounter with a bear, and I’m praying they never will. After a couple more camping trips, they will go back up a couple more times for firewood.
Then, it will be time to start hunting season. This year’s hunting trip will be special, because Josh is taking their daughter, Kaytlyn on her first hunting trip on horses this year. They have been trying to get the horses in shape and ready for hunting. Josh and Kaytlyn are really looking forward to the trip. They got a young horse this last winter. Hes only about 4 or so, and not broken yet. Josh has been trying to break him and plans to ride him for hunting season. Susan says it’s pretty interesting watching that unfold and hoping no one gets hurt. Susan says, “You never know when there’s going to be a rodeo. Haha!!” When I said that I didn’t know Josh broke horses, she said that he really doesn’t, but they just don’t want to pay to have someone else do it. At which point, I said, “Josh does break horses then!!” The horse came to them with the name Dudly, but they just didn’t like the feel of that name. The horse is a Tennessee Walker, so they changed his name to Tennessee Whiskey. That’s much more distinguished, for sure. Tennessee Whiskey sure is a pretty horse. Today is Josh’s birthday. Happy birthday Josh!! Have a great day!!
Ever since my grandniece, Aleesia Spethman was little, she has loved owls…all kinds of owls. I don’t know if she still does or not, but her interest in owls sparked an interest in owls for me. It was almost surprising to think of a little girl loving owls, but Aleesia did. She loved all kinds of owls. Suddenly, I wanted to know more about owls too. I find that I really like owls too…all kinds of owls. They are just so different. Normally, owls are nocturnal birds, and so spotting them isn’t so easy. I’m always amazed that photographers manage to get pictures of them, but then I’m sure it’s only after hours of sitting and waiting.
One of my favorite owl pictures is of an owl that had its head sideways, looking at the photographer like it was wondering what they were doing. I found that to be even funnier when my grandniece, Mackenzie Moore did that exact same thing when she was little. The fact that I found that picture, really piqued my interest in the burrowing owls, and the things I have found out about them has really made them my favorite owl, I think.
The burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia), is a small, long-legged owl, which is also called the Shoco. It is mostly found in the open landscape areas of North and South America. Burrowing owls prefer grasslands, rangelands, agricultural areas, and deserts. They actually nest and roost in burrows, often using those that have been excavated by prairie dogs. While Burrowing Owls don’t like the midday heat, they are often found out during the day, unlike their fellow owls of the nocturnal type. Still, they do most of their hunting at dusk and dawn, like many other kinds of owls, when they can use their night vision and hearing to their advantage. On strange thing about the Burrowing Owl is its longer legs. These allow the Burrowing Owl to sprint, as well as fly, when hunting, something that is a great advantage, since it lives in open grasslands as opposed to forests.
I particularly like some of the antics of the burrowing owls. In addition to the funny head positioning, they like to stand on one leg, stretch to their full height, and even kiss and hold hands…er feet. They are so cute, and they seem like such a loving owl, at least toward their mate. I don’t suppose their prey would see them that way, but when they aren’t hunting, they really are just as cute as they can possibly be…and funny too.
My niece, Kellie Hadlock’s boyfriend, Tim Thompson is an amazing dad, and a wonderful boyfriend to Kellie. She tells me that he is definitely her “far more than I could ask, imagine, or think” blessing! They make such a great couple and family that it is so sweet to watch. It’s almost as if they have always been a family. Jolene loves Kellie as if she were her own mom, and Kellie loves Jolene the same as if she was her own child. Whenever you blend a family, even if one half of the couple doesn’t have kids yet, it is a big step, and they are all navigating the journey together in love. Tim has been so good to Kellie, and in my book that makes him a great guy. I have really never seen Kellie so happy…and that’s saying a lot, because Kellie is one of the happiest people I have ever met.
Tim is an avid outdoorsman. He is really into shooting his bow right now and practicing for hunting season! Tim loves to go hunting, and he has even managed to get Kellie into hunting (something I never expected). He also loves hiking, camping, or even just hanging out in Casper or Shoshoni with his girls, Jo and Kellie. He is a hardworking man, and every time he has days off, he is doing something for the girls. He lives and works in Gillette, Jolene lives in Riverton, and Kellie in Casper, so that means a lot of driving to see his girls. Nevertheless, he does it happily, because they are the most important part of his life. One day soon, I hope they can all live in the same place, because it is hard to carry-on long-distance relationships, be it boyfriend/girlfriend or daddy/daughter. Kellie tells me that Tim makes her a better person, but I’d bet that Tim would say that Kellie makes him a better person. That is what makes them a great couple. Tim is aways doing things for the girls, and just being there for them every day. In Kellie’s words, “He shows up for us every day and I couldn’t have asked for a better man!” The very best part of a great relationship is being there for each other..
I really believe that Tim and Kellie are a match made in Heaven. Their Christian beliefs, and those of their families, are the same, and that puts them both on the same spiritual path. God knew the right person for each of them, and when that happens, it is a great match. I find that our family is very blessed with many matches made in Heaven, and I’m so happy that Tim and Kellie are another one of those. I know that life is going to bring them many wonderful blessings and wonderful adventures. Today is Tim’s birthday. Happy birthday Tim!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My niece, Kellie Hadlock has been in a period of growth. So much is changing in her life. A while back, Kellie bought her own house, and now, she has time and space to grow…and grow she is. Kellie has been concentrating on her relationship with the Lord. She is now fully engaged in daily Bible study, and you can actually see that she is growing in knowledge and in truth, and that the Word she is reading is planted deeply in her heart. Kellie has been one of the worship leaders in our church, Word Christian Fellowship Church, for a number of years now, and the love she has for the Lord shows in every song she sings. Kellie has always been a “smiley girl,” and that has served her well in her role as worship leader. I know that as one of the backup singers, I always tell myself to watch Kellie, so I remember to smile too, because I tend to be more serious. She has helped me more than she will ever know. It is wonderful, for all who know Kellie, to see her actively growing in her relationship with the Lord, and as worship leader. She is becoming a great woman of God!!
As an aunt, she is among the most beloved aunts I know. Her nephew, Ethan Hadlock, and nieces, Aurora Hadlock, Adelaide Sawdon, and Mackenzie Moore, flock to her whenever she is near. She loves children and is a great “step-mom” to her boyfriend, Tim Thompson’s daughter, Jolene. She is also a great “doggie mom” to her little puppy, Leena and to Tim’s dog, Jett. Unfortunately, Kellie and Tim don’t live in the same city right now, so they have been spending time going back and forth visiting each other in their long distance (but not too far, only from Casper, Wyoming to Gillette, Wyoming) relationship. Lovebirds will always find a way, and these two have made it work.
And speaking of Tim…he has really brought Kellie out of her wheelhouse and into activities that none of us would have ever expected Kellie to be involved in. Tim is an outdoorsman, and he has taken Kellie along with him on his trips. She, of course, was open to going and has found that she really loves doing things like hunting, ice fishing, axe throwing, and archery. As her sister Lindsay Moore said, and I agree…Who saw that coming?!? Kellie really never seemed the “woman of the great outdoors” type, with the exception of going camping. Of course, when I say camping, I mean in a travel trailer and mostly sitting around the campfire. Now, all that has changed. She’s like “Annie Oakley” or something, and for her it’s a whole new wheelhouse. Kellie has always had a positive outlook on life, and she is open-minded, so it shouldn’t have been so surprising. Nevertheless, somehow it was. She’s a whole new Kellie. Today is Kellie’s birthday. Happy birthday Kellie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My nephew, Matt Miller actually joined our family…officially, on August 14, 2021, when he married my niece, Michelle Stevens. While that was the official date, Matt has really been part of our family much longer. Matt and Michelle actually met in middle school. At that point, they became friends, but neither of them knew the future God had planned for this friendship. God planned for their friendship to grow into something so much deeper. As time went on, they knew that theirs was to be love and friendship, not just friendship. Their wedding this summer was the culmination of their years of loveship.
These days, Matt and Michelle are working hard and saving their money, because it is their dream to buy a house on a piece of land. Matt wants a large shop where he can work on things and just tinker around. He loves working on things like vehicles, and if they have land, I’m sure a riding lawnmower will follow. Michelle is so proud of her husband, because he visualizes a plan, and works hard to bring it to pass. The long shifts at the coal mines are not easy, and have sometimes meant that he and Michelle don’t see each other for two or three days, because of their shift differences. I get that too, because my own husband worked in the uranium mines. It tough of them and it makes it kind of lonely for them too. Nevertheless, Matt wants the very best for his wife and future kids, and their dream is land, so that is what he is going to do. Matt has recently really gotten into snowmobiling this year too, so I’m sure his shop will include tinkering on the snowmobiles that they will most likely own soon.
Of course, no man can work all the time, and hunting allows Matt to have fun and provide meat for the family table. Matt and his dad, love to go hunting, fishing, and they share a love of guns. Matt and his dad went bow hunting for elk this year, and both got their elk. That is so uncommon. Usually one or both will have to go hunt with a rifle in order to get their elk too. Game animals are elusive, you know. It was really fun for them to succeed in getting their elk with a bow. I have no idea how to shoot an arrow with a bow…much less have enough skill to actually bag an elk with a bow. That is really something to be super proud of. It’s really been a great year for Matt. Now, he and Michelle are really looking forward to all the good things God has in store for them in the future. Today is Matt’s birthday. Happy birthday Matt!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
She is smart and funny and curious and asks a million questions…and remembers the answers to all of them!! She is Jolene Thompson, the daughter of my niece Kellie Hadlock’s partner, Tim Thompson, and we all love her very much. Jolene has a smile that lights up your day. Her eyes light up and her whole face smiles. Jolene has had lots of exciting things going on this year. She and her daddy have gone hunting and fishing. Jolene loves to do anything her daddy likes to do. She loves shooting, and is learning to be a great shot.
Jolene is a pretty little girl, who is tough as nails. There isn’t a wimpy bone in her body, and she proves that with every camping trip she takes with Tim and Kellie, or with just Tim. She doesn’t shirk her share of the work. I realize that a little girl can’t do a lot of heavy lifting in a camping situation, but Jolene carries her weight, and makes her daddy and Kellie very proud. Jolene is friendly, and easy to get along with. She and Kellie have become best friends. They love each other so much. Jolene is so brave and KIND! Kellie cannot say enough about how kind she is. This world needs kind people like Jolene.
This summer, Jolene got to go to Vacation Bible School with her Aunt Sarah Jarvis. She also loves spending time with Nana and Pop Pop (Tim’s parents, Lynn and Tim Thompson) and with her baby cousin Jasper. Jolene has just started Kindergarten, and is having a great time. Her curious mind is busily absorbing all the new information she is being taught in school. She loves to draw and build things. She loves animals. Both Tim and Kellie have dogs, so Jolene has “fur babies” to love.
Jolene has decided that she wants to be a police officer when she grows up. That seems to be the norm in the Hadlock sphere of influence. It is a good thing to get into, and a tough as nails girl like Jolene should do very well in such a career. She is already working on her shooting skills, so she is ahead of the game. And speaking of game, Jolene went elk hunting with her dad this year, and had a great time. As a non-hunter, I can say that I don’t know much about it, but Jolene is learning quite a bit about ways to draw the bull elk near for the kill. She has learned to facilitate bugling and even even cow elk urine to draw the male in. Now, I can’t say that I would be interested in that, but if I were a hunter, I’m sure I would. Go Jolene!! Today is Jolene’s 6th birthday. Happy birthday Jolene!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My grand-nephew, Zack Spethman is the tallest person in his family. At 6’4″, he is four inches taller than his dad, Steve Spethman and 1’2″ taller than his mom, Jenny Spethman. While Zack may be tall and muscular, he is also a gentleman, kind, loving…a gentle giant. That’s what his mom calls him, and anyone who knows Zack, knows that it is very true of him. Zack is a hugger. He loves his family and he would give the shirt off his back for any of us. Zack is quick to help anyone who needs help, and he works hard when he is helping someone. Because he is a big, tall guy, he is very strong and can work very hard. It is a big blessing for anyone he is helping.
Zack, like most students, has been dealing with the Covid-19 shutdowns. Having 6 months off from in-school classes has not been easy. Zack is the kind of guy who needs to be around friends. He is quite social, and sitting in front of a computer has not been easy. To make matters worse, Zack likes sports, but with the Covid shutdowns, came a time of little, or no sports. The summer camps were cancelled, and and then when things finally started back up, many of the students, Zack included, were not in shape for play. I’m sure things will come back, but Zack has lost a year of sports as a consequence of the shutdowns. I’m sure you can tell that I, like many people was not a fan of the shutdowns, but that is a topic for another story. On a positive note, Zack loves to sing, and he has begun to fill his time with choir, which is an awesome move on his part.
There are other sports that Zack can and does enjoy, like hiking, swimming, and Zack’s favorite, shooting. Zack is an excellent marksman, and very much enjoys practicing his art. In fact, his whole family loves to go shooting, and his parents are the main reason Zack is such a great marksman. Zack has been shooting since he was a little boy. He knows the proper way to shoot, to clean his gun, and has the proper respect for the gun and for human life. Zack loves to hunt, and was abt to bring home his antelope this year. He and his brothers enjoy being able to help the family finances by bring home a great supply of meat. I think kids get a sense of accomplishment out of being able to do things to help the family finances, whether its buying some of their clothes or supplying some of the food.
Zack is so patient with the younger cousins and his siblings. He never turns down a chance to do something nice for them, like teaching cousin, Adelaide Sawdon how to shoot pool, or making great heart pictures with his sister Aleesia. He also loves the family pets, and all animals, really. He is just so sweet to all of God’s creatures, human or animal, and that makes us all love him very much. Today is Zack’s 16th birthday. Did I mention that he will be driving soon, at least as soon as he can go to the DMV…just a warning. Happy birthday Zack!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
As with anyone, there were many sides to my uncle, Bill Beadle. It really depended on who you were and what you were looking for in a friendship/relationship with him as to what you ultimately found in him. That is exactly why people say, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Of course, Uncle Bill would laugh at that statement. I doubt if he, like most men, don’t think of themselves in the “beauty” arena, but there are many beautiful people, who are men. I always remember Uncle Bill as being a humorous person. He liked to joke around, and many of the kids were able to witness his funny side. I think that is the main reason that when his mind started to slip and he didn’t come to family events anymore, it was just so sad.
Uncle Bill led a busy life for most of his life. He worked for years in pipe yards, and later had his own rathole drilling company with his sons, Forrest and Steve. He was an excellent machinist and mechanic. He could fix just about anything. Nevertheless, his favorite pastime was hunting and fishing with his son, Steve. He had always loved the outdoors, and going out in it. I think, like most outdoorsmen, Uncle Bill just felt like he could breathe outside, like he was free. Since he was born and raised in Wyoming, I’m sure he knew many of the best places to go camping, hunting, and fishing. That would make for some great memories for him and his family.
Uncle Bill took his position in the family seriously, and not just with his own kids, but any of the nieces or nephews found themselves heading in the wrong direction, and Uncle Bill heard about it, he took it upon himself to “sit them down” for a heart to heart talk. I think that just knowing that he cared about the direction they were heading made them decide to do the right thing. That is a great legacy to have. Today would have been Uncle Bill’s 92nd birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven Uncle Bill!! We love and miss you very much.