My parents on their wedding dayOur family by a covered wagonThe date was July 18, 1953, in Casper, Wyoming…not a particularly special day in the grand scheme of things, but in my family, it was the most important day of all, because without the events of that day we would not be a family. That was the day that two very important people got married…my parents. Mom and Dad had known each other for quite some time, because Dad was a family friend. Mom was too young to be his girlfriend when they first met, but that doesn’t mean that she was too young to have a school girl crush…and boy, did she. She thought that Allen Spencer was the most handsome man she had ever seen…and that was when she was a young girl. Her view of Dad never changed, and from the dad standpoint, his daughters all felt the same way…he was the best. Dad’s view of Mom never changed either. Collene Byer Spencer was his princess…his Doll, and he treated her accordingly, and the daughter who didn’t had better be prepared to get into big trouble from Dad. They were the greatest parents on earth.

Mom and Dad loved to travel, and as kids, we got to travel to a large number of the states, as well as Canada, and for my younger sisters, Mexico. I remember some of our camping trips. Mom and Dad were a team when it came to getting their five girls ready for the day. I often wondered, in later years, why they took so long to get out of the campground in the mornings, but after all those years of slow little girls, and later primping teenaged girls, they were just used to taking things slow. They were on vacation after all, so what was the rush. It wasn’t like the “Vacation” movies where you were on some kind of a serious schedule. They lollygagged when they felt like it, and we still saw everything we wanted to see. We may not have jumped out of bed and rushed around the camp, working to get out of there, but one thing I can say is that we thoroughly enjoyed each and every campsite…well most of them anyway. And when the vacation was over, we felt rested.

The years of my parents’ lives flew by far to quickly in my opinion, much like my own life. There are so many Dad and MomDad, Mom and Liz on old farm tractortimes I wish I could go back and re-live some of the past…not to change anything…but rather to savor the moments once again. We seldom think to savor those sweet times when we are living them, because it doesn’t seem necessary then. I have been privileged to lead a blessed life, with a wonderful family, and those memories that I have carefully tucked away in my memory files will always be the most special memories on earth. Today would have been my parents’ 63rd anniversary. It’s their 2nd together in Heaven. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad. We love and miss you very much.

imageimageSince her son, Lucas is a little older now, my niece, Cassie Iverson is looking to a secondary career to make a little money, and have a little bit of fun while doing it. I don’t care if you are a mother on one or ten, there are simply times when you need to have a little bit of time with adults…having conversations that don’t involve toys and playgrounds. For Cassie, that meant becoming a Wine Aficionado at Traveling Vineyard. Now lots of people can Cassie and baby girlbe wine fans, so in that way, Cassie was not much different from a lot of other people I know, but not many of them host wine tasting parties. I think this is a relatively new type of party, but for a wine connoisseur, I’m sure this type of party would be great. And everyone is looking for something new, so this might be a great way to test drive new wines.

While Cassie does have this new career, I’m not too sure exactly how much time she has to devote to that right now. You see, Cassie has been building act two of her most important career…motherhood. Cassie loves being a mom to her son, Lucas. Now, she and her husband, Chris Iverson, are expecting a second addition to their little family…a baby girl, due in late July. I think new babies are so exciting, and I love to hear of a new baby coming, so news of this little grand niece is awesome. I know that Lucas is going to love being a big brother, and their family will take on a new color…pink. For quite a while now, Cassie has been outnumbered in a house full of men, but now the playing field is going to be evened out a bit. I am so excited for them as they start this new journey. It’s going to be an amazing blessing for them.

Life’s road takes many turns, and goes around many curves. Many of them are happy imageimageturns in the road, and among those, babies rank right up there on top. Cassie and Chris are such great parents, and in my opinion, their children are quite blessed to have them in their lives. They are very hands on with their care and teaching of Lucas, and I know they will be with his sister too. Lucas has been the number one priority in their lives, and I know this new little girl will find that the same goes for her too. Today is Cassie’s birthday. Happy birthday Cassie!! We can’t wait to see your new baby girl. Have a great day!! We love you!!

July 4, 1973Most people think of the 4th of July as a hot, mid-summer holiday to celebrate our independence, and they would normally be right…but not always. In Wyoming, and I’m sure there are a few other places as well, there are times when the 4th of July can be cold. We don’t get that too much, but we do on occasion. The year my oldest daughter, Corrie was born, I recall that it snowed on the 4th, and I found myself thinking, “How can this be happening?” Another year that saw snow on the 4th of July was 1973, which was almost 2 years before I married Bob, so I didn’t know his family then.

Apparently, they decided to take a trip up into the Shirley Mountains that day, and were surprised to find snow…quite a bit, in fact. It was obvious to me that they were unprepared for what they found in the Shirleys that morning, because the kids had on shorts and even, bathing suits. It would seem that it had been pretty hot, so when they came across that snow, everyone wanted the chance to really cool off. Everyone started dancing around on the snow… some of them, barefoot!! They were out there on the snow…dancing!! It made me think of the Ice Capades…or in this case, the Summer Ice Capades!!

They had such a good time, and I’ll bet they didn’t even notice, if their feet got cold. Or maybe they didn’t. The day doesn’t exactly look like it was cold, but it must have been, Summer Ice Capadessince there was still snow on the 4th of July. I know that it felt cold on July 4, 1975, when it snowed 4 days after Corrie was born, but maybe this snow simply hadn’t melted yet. That would indicate a colder summer, but not necessarily as cold as it was two years later.

Whatever the case, a surprise snow bank brought a cool down moment to a summer day. Sometimes, it’s the little things, things you would never expect, that end up being fun. And sometimes, when you can let go of the everyday things and see the unusual, and allow yourself to be goofy…you just might find yourself having a really great time. Happy Independence Day everyone!!!


Travel has always been something my family has enjoyed doing. As a kid, I remember that my teachers and fellow students were surprised at some of the places we had been. When Bob and I got married we wanted to pass that on to our girls as much as possible, and while we didn’t do quite as well and my parents had, Corrie and Amy have had the opportunity to go a number of places. Bob bowled in the national bowling tournament, so the places we went were places we might not have gone.

One place we went that was not on a bowling vacation, was Beartooth Pass in northern Wyoming. It was an amazing trip. The area is beautiful and the mountain views are awesome. It had been quite a while since I had seen summer snow. The year my daughter, Corrie was born, in fact. She was born June 30, 1975, and it snowed for a few minutes on the 4th of July that year…I couldn’t believe it.

The trip through Beartooth Pass, however, made the 4th of July snow look like a rain storm. It was so much fun to see all that snow. It was over the top of our camper. They had to have poles to show the snow plows where the edge of the road was. I know we have all seen stuff like this before, but we really hadn’t come across it, in my memory anyway, so it was pretty cool. Our girls got pretty wide eyed when they saw it too.

Vacations are all about going to new places and seeing things you wouldn’t normally see in your own area, so I guess you could say that we definitely accomplished that. And some vacations are of the type that you really never forget them, and for a variety of reasons. This was one we never forgot for several reasons. The vast scenery, which was so beautiful, the deep snow, and the breakfast that became lunch because what appeared to be a few miles down the road on the map, ended up taking several hours to travel. Everything turned out ok in the end, because we also tried Buffalo burgers for the first time, and they sure were good.


There are all kinds of special birthdays, and our family has a few of them. My mom was born on New Years Day, and my granddaughter was born on Leap Day, but we had never had a birthday on a day that was special because of its date and year. We got that on July 7th of 2007. The date 07-07-07 according to many people would be the luckiest day of that year. Many people set up their weddings to be on that day. Now personally, I don’t believe in luck. I don’t think certain days have anything to do with whether or not a marriage will work, or a child will have a good life.

One thing I do enjoy though, is birthdays that occur on special days…not because they are lucky…just because they are…cool!! I don’t think that a child born on July 7, 2007 is any luckier than anyone else, but in this case, I believe that we were the ones who were blessed by this birth. It was such a surprise to all of us when Audrianna arrived on July 7, 2007. Who would have ever thought it would happen? It just seemed so unlikely. Her mom was due on July 9th, so we knew it was possible, but still unlikely.

Audrianna was born in Zanesville, Ohio, which is where my nephew, Rob and his wife, Dustie were living at the time. They have since moved back to Casper, and we are all very happy about that fact. Audrianna was a very quiet girl for a very long time. I began to think she was either terribly shy, or couldn’t talk…then, she decided to talk, and she said some of the funniest things. It wasn’t that it was anything in particular, it was just the spur of the moment funniness. That was the kind of humor Audrianna had. And she often didn’t even understand what you were laughing about.

Today, Audrianna is 5 years old. She will start Kindergarten in the fall. I can’t wait to see what funniness she will come up with in the next 5 years. If the first 5 years are any example, then, the next 5 years should be great. Happy birthday Audrianna!! We love you!!

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