My nephew, Dave Balcerzak is a gifted computer programmer, and has helped many people with their computer issues, including me. I think the most awesome thing he has done is to rebuild old computers so that he can give them people who have a need for a computer, but cannot afford one. It is a noble thing to do, and very typical of Dave. He is a kind-hearted man, who wants to be able to help people in anyway that he can, and thankfully he has talents that allow him to be able to help a lot of people.
My niece, Chantel Balcerzak first met her now husband, Dave when they were kids in elementary school. She liked him immediately, and really never forgot him completely. Nevertheless, they both went their separate ways, and each married other people. After a number of years, families for both, and failed marriages, they met again, and it was like they were never apart. They were both free to marry now, so they did, and they created a blended family. Dave brought his two children, Keifer and Katy to the marriage, and Chantel brought her two living children, Jake and Siara to the marriage. Chantel also brought the memory of her angel baby, Alyssa, who Dave had never met, but because she belonged to Chantel, he loved her as much as any of the children…because that is the kind of man Dave is. Dave and Chantel have been blessed with three grandchildren, Izabella and Jaxx Harman, and Reece Balcerzak. They also have a bonus granddaughter, Alice Green, with whom Dave shares a birthday. And they have a grandson on the way. When I say that Dave has been blessed, I say that because I believe that Dave’s kindness and loving ways, have given him the reward of so many blessings.
Dave has been given one more blessing, and it is one that is of the type that is near to my heart…his heart. Dave developed so heart issues, that at one point caused him to have a stroke, which was caught by a CNA, while he was in the hospital. Her quick action left Dave with no lasting damage from the stroke. His heart, however, still needed some work. As the wedding of their daughter, Siara was coming and Dave was to walk her down the aisle, he worried that he would not be able to do so, but God had another plan. An interesting procedure fixed his heart, and the man who had been only able to take a few steps without being out of breath, was able to walk Siara down the aisle. He is still healthy and very blessed indeed. Today is Dave’s birthday. Happy birthday Dave!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My mom, Collene Spencer was a sweet, loving, and forgiving person all her life. She carried that personality into her marriage and motherhood. I’ve really never met anyone who was as truly kind hearted as my mom was. All of her life she had a heart for people. She tried to tell people about the most important thing in her life…her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Mom wanted everyone she came across to be in Heaven when they died. Mom was in every way a missionary…just without the funding that many missionaries have. She didn’t travel the world to preach the Gospel, she traveled her world preaching the Gospel. It didn’t matter where she was, if she was with family, friends, or strangers, her mission was clear, and she was a willing servant of the Lord. My guess is that the people she led to the Lord by preaching to them numbers in the thousands. It is her legacy in many ways.
Mom loved all things of beauty. She grew up collecting rocks, and her rock garden was filled with her many finds. She saw beauty in many different things. Our home was decorated with Mom’s own special style, that also included the “artwork” of her girls from time to time. I can’t say that our “artwork” really added to the beauty of her home, but in her eyes they were treasures. I know how much she treasured these things, because when we went through her things after her passing, there were her treasures, including the artwork of her girls. Her girls and her husband, my dad, Allen Spencer, were her world. She wanted nothing more than to take care of us and make a good home for us, and she did that very well, even though she was not able to be a stay-at-home mom for all of our growing up years.
Mom always loved to travel. It was something Dad introduced her to, and together, they traveled the United States, visiting almost every state. The vacations we took and the places we got to see were amazing. They showed us every historical marker they could find, and while we might not have appreciated those markers then, we learned so much about our country. I think I can attribute many of my stories to things I learned from my parents. Camping was the order of the day when we traveled, and cooking over a campfire, until later when we got a travel trailer. Mom was an excellent cook and she passed that ability down to her girls. There wasn’t one of her girls who couldn’t cook when we got married, and our husbands have been the beneficiaries of her teaching. She was an amazing teacher of many things, including helping out at our schools, even substitute teaching when I was in grade school. It was another way that she traveled her world, filling it with life, light, and beauty as she went. Today would have been my mom’s 82nd birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven, Mom. We love and miss you very much.
My niece, Toni Chase could be called a bargain hunter, because she loves to shop in thrift stores, but that is where her typical bargain hunter status would end. Toni usually has a plan for the things she buys. Yes, sometimes they are perfect as is, and she wears and enjoys the things she buys herself, but often, Toni sees something else in the things she buys…the possibilities. Toni is very creative, and when she sees the possibilities in something, she works on it to change it into her vision for it. Toni’s redesigned clothing, boots, and purses are beautiful. Often she sells them on E-Bay, but just as often, she gives them away, because Toni has a very giving heart. If a piece of clothing, purse, or a pair of shoes reminds her of a certain person, she simply gives it to that person. Toni found a couple of handbags that were perfect, as is, for her mother, Cheryl Masterson, so she just took them to her, and blessed her with them.
Toni and her husband, Dave love to travel, and they do so as often as they can. The love to go places where they can hike, but they also love the warm sandy beaches. I suppose that would be why they got married in Hawaii…and a beautiful ceremony that was. Family is important to them too. They go to visit he parents in Laramie often, and they love getting together with family here too. My sister, Cheryl’s whole family loves to get together often to have dinner and visit. It is the perfect way to stay connected. These days everyone is so busy that a family can easily drift apart. They don’t want that to happen, and they are all best friends anyway.
Toni is slowly adjusting to changes in her own family. Her only child, James is grown up now, and while he is still living at home while he attends college, he is nevertheless, a different person. He recently took a trip to the Netherlands to visit his girlfriend, who had been an exchange student at his high school, and then she made the trip here to spend Christmas with the family. Toni doesn’t know where that relationship will go, nor where his schooling and career will take him, but she is supportive of all his hopes and dreams. The changes in James’ life have made for a little bit emptier home for Toni and Dave sometimes, but they have that figured out too. Toni has a number of younger nieces and nephews. She and Dave like to have the little kids spend the night sometimes. They watch movies and eat junk food…a hit with all the kids, for sure.
Toni is a very thoughtful person. She is quick to see the needs of others, and then to meet them. Whether it is giving the parents a night off, or entertaining the kids, who love to come over. She likes to take the kids shopping for shoes or clothes, or other things they might need, and with her talent for re-designing, the possibilities are endless. It is such a great help to their parents too, because as we all know, raising kids is expensive. She has supplied things like shoes, coats, and clothing, because Toni is a giver. Toni is just a very good-hearted person, and that has endeared her to many people. Of course, Toni would never have told anyone about this, but I know a little birdie, and that gives me the inside track on the matter. Today is Toni’s birthday. Happy birthday Toni!! Have a great day!! We love you!!