laughing

My niece, Kellie Hadlock was practically born laughing, or to be more correct, giggling…and she hasn’t stopped since. Kellie was always happy, and simply couldn’t ever imagine going through life any other way. She loves a good joke, and sees humor in just about every situation. She can’t imagine going through her life without daily laughter, and we can’t imagine it either, because Kellie wouldn’t be Kellie without her giggles. They make her who she is.

Kellie became a successful insurance agent a few years ago, and was then given the opportunity to work in the insurance department of a title agency, which she has found to be very much to her liking. She has become a great asset to American Title Agency, where she now works, and her whole family is very happy for her. While insurance at a title agency is Kellie’s career, it is no her life. Her life belongs to God and praising Him in song.

Kellie is one of the lead singers at our church, Word Christian Fellowship. Kellie has a beautiful voice, and when it is paired with her love of the Lord, the songs take on an air of the angelic. That’s Kellie’s voice…just beautiful!! Of course, Kellie’s beautiful voice comes from her beautiful spirit. I have continued to be so proud of how she has grown in her music ministry. She wanted to go into music ministry on a full time basis, but God has not moved her in that direction at this time. I think it is likely because she would probably have to travel to do that full-time, and while that would be fun for a time, Kellie is very much a family person, and I don’t know how she would do with that in the long term.

Kellie loves being an aunt to her nephew, Ethan Hadlock and nieces, Aurora Hadlock, Adelaide Sawdon, and Mackenzie Moore, and it would be very hard to be far away from them all the time. She already has to be far away form Mackenzie, who lives in North Carolina, and that is really hard for the whole family. So it would be really hard to live far away form all of them. Kellie is also very close with her mom and dad, Allyn and Chris Hadlock, and loves spending time with them, especially at their place on Casper Mountain. In fact, I thing that is where she uses up many of her awesome giggles. The family loves to get together and laugh, sing, and just enjoy each others company. It’s a great life. Today is Kellie’s birthday. Happy birthday Kellie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

10712925_10204825443666126_6862097707856716107_nMy niece, Kellie Hadlock is well known for several things…inspirational sayings, her singing, and her laughter. Anyone who knows Kellie has experienced all three of those things where Kellie is concerned. On Facebook, you can plan on experiencing her brand of inspiration…which all has to do with God. Kellie feels God’s love and guidance so deeply, and she wants everyone to know what a great God He is. Kellie loves being a part of music ministry, and sharing the love of God with so many friends. Kellie doesn’t just post inspiring Christian posts though…she lives every one of them. They are all a part of walking in love and that is what Kellie is all about.

Kellie’s training in music started very young. In fact, I don’t know of any time when she didn’t sing. Kellie’s mom, my sister, Allyn Hadlock is reminded of the first time they took a bicycle ride together as a family. Little Kellie was on the smallest bicycle, and it required that she pedal the entire way. Kellie Hadlock 4 years old 1994Normally a small child would complain the entire time, but that was not the case with Kellie. Kellie’s bicycle was much smaller than all the others, so as she rode her bicycle, she had to pedal the entire time in order to keep up with the rest of her family. Nevertheless, Kellie didn’t cry or complain, but rather, she sang the entire bike ride. This is just the way Kellie was, and still is to this day. Music is so important to her, and she fills her life, and the lives of all around her with song, and lighthearted joy.

Kellie has been a giggle box from practically the day she was born. When she isn’t singing, she is most likely laughing. Now, her laughter has been known to get her in trouble sometimes. In school, Kellie’s giggling had a tendency to be considered disruptive by the teachers. Whenever she would start giggling and the other kids would follow suit, the teacher would say, “Kellie!! Stop laughing!!” One day when the inevitable giggling started, her teacher followed it with the usual, “Kellie!! Stop laughing!!” The room immediately got quiet, and 10553548_10204458147043940_5211182520549346260_nthen someone spoke up and said, “Kellie isn’t here today!!” Well, you can imaging the shocked look on the teacher’s face. And the laughter that followed. Truly, Kellie was never a troublemaker. She was simply such a happy person that she couldn’t help herself.

Kellie has always had such s sweet disposition, and that is what makes everyone like her. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t laugh when Kellie laughs. Who doesn’t feel like singing, when Kellie sings, or feel inspired by the wonderful things she posts on Facebook. Kellie truly is a one of a kind type of person, and one I’m proud to call my niece. Today is Kellie’s 25th birthday. Remember to always keep singing and laughing…we all love it when you do. Happy birthday Kellie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Say Cheese...or SomethingA big part of picture taking with children is getting them to smile. Kids can be moody and irritable when you make them sit or stand still while you try repeatedly to get just the right shot. I suppose that is when people started trying to find creative ways to make a child smile. “Say Cheese” seems to be one of the most common ways to get a kid to smile…or at least it used to be. Most kids have heard that so much that it is not quite as funny as it once was. Most parents and photographers have had to get a little bit more creative.

It’s almost like the more embarrassing the situation they can come up with, the more the kids laugh. Like when the photographer asked me if I had any Do you have a boyfriendboyfriends, and I made a funny face, as I gave thought to who I liked at that moment. Many kids have to laugh…or more likely crack up at that question, because a lot of the time, they aren’t even sure if they like the opposite sex or not, but…well, maybe they do…just don’t tell anyone that. I think that is when you get some of the funniest faces with kids…when something is a combination of embarrassing and funny, such as that moment when someone thought you said “cut the cheese”, and not “say cheese”. Of course the next thing that happens is that one or the other of the kids breaks out in uncontrollable laughter. It doesn’t do much for the nicely posed picture, but it can be a great picture if you are looking for a real life funny shot.

I think several of us have been caught in that funny moment shot, she someone conveniently Ok...we really weren't readysnapped a picture when we had the goofiest look on our face. My grandson, Caalab Royce is famous for taking those goofy shots of me…his Gma. Then he threatens to put them on Facebook, or just show it to everyone he can think of, because it is so funny looking. All he has to do is get ready and say “Gma” and it will invariably end up in a funny picture.

I guess it doesn’t matter what you do to get people to smile, sometimes you just have to be very creative. And even then, you may not get exactly the reaction you were hoping for. That’s just the way it goes with pictures. You get what you get.

scan0210Family pictures are always a trial. It really doesn’t matter how big the kids are either. When my husband, Bob was a kid, he was very much a cut up. He liked to get everyone laughing and basically keep the situation a little off center. Of course, his mother really didn’t appreciate that much, and it was even worse, when Bob got Brenda laughing. Brenda found many things that her big brother did to be quite funny, and had a very hard time not laughing about his antics. And as anyone who knows Brenda will attest, once you get Brenda laughing about something, it’s hard to get her to stop. Now most of the time, that is ok, because it really is fun to listen to Brenda’s laugh, but when they were trying to get those pictures taken, Brenda’s laugh, and Bob’s humor were not as appreciated as they were on most other occasions.

On this particular occasion, in about 1968, Bob and Brenda were in rare form, joking with each other quite a bit. Their mother seemed to be handling things pretty well, and their sisters all thought the whole thing was pretty funny too. Their dad, however, was clearly not amused at all. I’m sure that by the time this whole photography session was over, he even had quite a headache. He was always a very easy going, and mostly a soft spoken person, but I would wager that this had taxed his patience to the limit.

I have known this man a long time, and he was always long suffering, but once his patience had ended, he had the ability to blow a gasket with the best of them. At that point, you knew it was time to straighten up your act, and by the look on Bob’s and Brenda’s faces he had reached that point. They were clearly mid-laugh when their dad yelled, “Knock it off!!” At that point there was nothing they could do except to close their mouths tightly and swallow what was left of that laugh. That can make for the funniest of faces as you can clearly see, but I suppose it was better than the alternative, which would have been the spanking they probably deserved.

421275_3060689391771_1347879291_nFor seven years, Susan was the youngest grandchild of my in-laws. I suppose we thought of her as the baby all that time, but she really wasn’t. She was to be the youngest girl for the rest of her life, however. For some reason, that youngest girl status is unique, and she can be in a unique position too. When the older girls were coming into the teenaged years, and were very style conscious, Susan still didn’t really care much about all that. It’s not that she didn’t become very style conscious later on, because she did, but when the other girls were there already, Susan was still wearing what the other girls deemed a mismatched outfit, because Susan at 28the socks totally did not match the rest of the outfit. The girls have all laughed about this picture for several reasons. We have wondered what was so funny, because they were all laughing and not just the typical canned smile for the picture.

Susan tells us that the outfit she had on was her favorite at the time. I don’t know if that included the socks or not, but my guess is not. Kids change over the years, and now Susan is dealing with little girls who insist that they totally match. I have to wonder if that is a difficult situation for Susan, since matching wasn’t always her strong suit. I realize that her matching skills Fisher woman Kaytlynhave vastly improved over the years, but it still has to be a bit trying when your girls won’t wear this or that outfit, because they don’t like the color of the top you picked out.

Seriously though, Susan is a great mom, and she and her girls do very well together, and have great times. I have watched her with them, and it is a loving, caring relationship. The girls love doing things with their mom, especially the girly things…or fishing as long as they don’t catch anything. Susan makes their lives special in all the necessary ways. Today is Susan’s birthday. Happy birthday Susan!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

The moment beforeYou never know what babies have on their minds. They sit and watch as the world goes by around them.  While others get in on all the fun, babies are just stuck, sitting in a high chair, stroller, or in their mommy’s arms. Always held onto, and very seldom free to run with the rest of the crowd.

My grand niece, Aleesia is one of just such a baby. At a little over 1 year in age, she still gets carried much of the time, and she doesn’t find that a bad thing…usually. There are times when she wants to get down and do her own thing, but when she is not at the house, there are fewer opportunities for her to have that freedom she wants. And with 3 brothers and her mom and dad, she gets held a lot even at home…as it should be. Still, her brothers get to go and do so many things that she does not, and that fact does not go un-noticed by our little Aleesia.

Sometimes, when her brothers are goofing off together, she begins to feel left out, and And then...sister mischiefthat…is totally unacceptable. After watching her brothers talking, playing and laughing for a while, Aleesia decides that it is time for them to remember that she is there as well, and they just need to pay attention to her too. In a recent picture shoot, while the family was on an outing, my niece Liz, Aleesia’s aunt, was taking pictures of just Jenny and the kids. They were doing a group pose, and the boys were having a good time joking and laughing amongst themselves, when Aleesia decided that they had ignored her long enough.

Jenny was holding Aleesia in the picture, and Liz…who must have seen what was about to happen…just kept shooting. Aleesia decided that the best way to get her brothers’ attention and get in on the fun, was to reach down and grab Isaac’s hair. I had to wonder how she even managed to get a hold of it at all, because it isn’t very long, but she did. Now, her other brothers thought the whole thing Saving Isaacwas hilarious, and Isaac wasn’t upset by it either, because those boys think their sister is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it was a bit if a shock to Isaac, nevertheless. And, a person can only take so much hair pulling, so Isaac had to defend his hair, and disengage his little sister’s fingers from it, but since Liz was still snapping those pictures, I was able to see the whole thing play out almost like a movie. And since I’m sure Isaac got to keep his hair in the end, I got to see the totally humorous side of the situation, when little sister got into mischief.

Boys Night OutWhen a household has three boys, and one baby girl, and each of the boys have a friend spend the night on the same night, what do you have? Well, besides chaos and a severely outnumbered little girl, you have boys night out! For the boys who are staying the night with my grand nephews, it truly is boys night out. For Xander, Zack, and Isaac, it is boys night in, not that they mind that one bit. Now, as to my niece Jenny and her husband Steve, I have to think they might be just a little bit insane, but then they have been around boys for most of their married life, so I suppose they are used to the ways of little boys. I, on the other hand, having had girls, would most likely have gone insane…until I had my grandsons anyway. Being around boys does change a person.

Slumber parties…or boys night out, as my grand nephews informed me…like slumber party must be the closest thing to cooties on girls, and something they definitely would never be a part of…usually follow the same pattern. Lots of playing, loudness, wild and wound up kids, and little sleep. Nevertheless, do not call it a slumber party. I mean, what self respecting macho man would have a slumber party. There are differences between slumber parties and boys night out, however. Girls usually do things like make up, dancing, and of course gossip. Boys, on the other hand might play super hero, watch movies, or talk about their various weapons. I suppose when you think about it, the two events really are very different. And I suppose that calling this event a slumber party, could be thought to be insulting…a mistake I hope not to make in the future, because my grand nephews looked at me like I had kind of messed up in the great aunt department, and I’m supposed to be the cool great aunt, not the nerd. I guess that is something I’ll have to work to repair now, but that will have to happen in the future for now.

I didn’t ask Jenny and Steve how the boys night out went for them, but I guess it was ok, because they were both in church today, meaning that even if they feel little bit exhausted, or a little bit crazy, they did survive the event. I guess that is a good thing. And as for Aleesia, the lone little girl in the house that night, well, she was still smiling, so either they all had a good time playing with her too, or her parents kept her away from the boys so they could have their own space. Whatever the case may be, the boys told me that they had a great time at their boys night out.

Sometimes, I really wish all my babies could have stayed babies. Not just my girls, but my grandbabies too. Ok, I know that sounds silly, but when I look at pictures, taken when they were babies, and I see those sweet little faces, I just can’t help myself. I know that if my girls hadn’t grown up, I wouldn’t have the grandchildren I have, but I still miss their little baby faces too. I wish I could go back in time for a little while every so often, so I could visit the babies they used to be. That would be so cool!! To be able to re-connect with the babies they used to be would be such a wonderful gift.

Each of my daughters have given me the most precious gifts of two grandchildren. The first two are just one day apart.  Oh, the times we had with those two were so amazing. What one of them didn’t think of, the other one did. They had such different personalities. When one was crying, the other was laughing…hmmm, I wonder if there was a reason for that. The pictures we took of them were so varied. Because Amy babysat her nephew, Christopher, the babies were together a lot, so there were a lot of pictures of them together. And you never knew if they would be fighting or playing. Nevertheless, we were able to get some pictures of them that, to this day, make me wish I could go visit the babies they used to be…if only for just a little while.

My youngest two grandsons are 15 months apart, and their relationship has often been one of vying for superiority. Being the youngest two and each having a, possibly bossy older sibling, they didn’t appreciate having this other little kid trying to boss them too. When they were together, it was sometimes a war zone. Nevertheless, they could produce some of the sweetest smiles I have ever seen. There is nothing like those little baby smiles. The same child smiling as an adolescent, doesn’t look the same as that innocent little baby smile, babies can produce, because only a baby can smile that way. Once babyhood is gone, so is that innocence, and that is why I would like to be able to go back in time now and then, to visit the babies they used to be.

I liked my nephew’s now wife, Ashley from the moment I first met her. She was sweet, funny, and she was a great fit into our family. And I was delighted when Eric asked her to marry him, because the longer I knew her, the more I liked her. Now, a little more than a year after their marriage, Eric and Ashley are expecting a new baby any day, and we are all very excited about that new little life. So much has changed since that first time Eric introduced us to his girl.

Ashley has a great sense of humor, as anyone who knows her can attest. Sometimes, her humor is almost surprising, and you find yourself laughing hysterically. She can be almost a tomboy, and yet turn around look beautiful all dressed up. Of course, to pull that off, a girl has to be beautiful on the inside, and that is what Ashley is. Her positive personality is refreshing in so many ways. She doesn’t spend much time on the things that she can’t do anything about, but rather focuses on the little blessings that can fill everyday life, if we don’t overlook them. It is an attitude that wins people, and that is exactly what Ashley has a way of doing…winning friends. I think our family has been very blessed with the addition of Ashley.

Ashley has a love for all animals that is very impressive. Her family raises horses, including miniature horses, which are very cool, by the way. Eric and Ashley recently bought a house next door to her parents, partly so they can be close to the horses they both love. Watching Eric and Ashley with the various animals they both love is very sweet, and as in the case of the cat’s bath, it can be very humorous, and perhaps the subject of another story in the very near future. It is also, very Ashley! She is a very unique person, and I think it is that uniqueness that makes her so interesting, and such a great part of our family. Today is Ashley’s birthday. Happy birthday Ashley!! I hope that new addition to your family arrives really soon, because we are all ready to meet her…and I know you are ready for her to arrive…really ready!!

My husband, Bob and his sister, Marlyce were born 4 years and 1 day apart, on July 9, 1950 and July 10, 1954. Birthdays were always a shared event, and they both seemed to like that. Marlyce always thought a lot of her little brother, a fact that could have come from those shared birthdays, or the fact that Bob is a funny guy much of the time. He was the first boy born in the family, and took it upon himself to regularly tease his older sisters…and later on, his younger sisters and brother too. That is pretty much the kind of guy he is. He loves to laugh, and joke around with people. I suppose that was a lot of his charm when I first started dating him, and what has kept our marriage going strong after 37 years. The ability to laugh when so much in life is tough all around you is a great asset.

Bob and Marlyce usually thought many of the same things were quite funny, so the little antics they used to pull usually involved both of them. Marlyce was developmentally disabled, so I have a feeling that Bob played the lead in a lot of the fun, but Marlyce could probably come in a close second. And what one thought was funny, the other would very likely agree with, so they were always laughing. I have noticed that in pictures, these two are often doing the same or very similar things, like wearing their dad’s shoes, or pretending to smoke a pipe. Everyone else in the picture might look perfectly normal, and then you notice the goofy kids doing something totally odd.

I have always thought it was a special thing that their birthdays were so close together. They had such great fun at those celebrations. Of course, Bob has a way of making a girl feel special…even when he is picking on them, so sharing the spotlight with him is usually a very good thing. Marlyce loved her brother very much, and especially loved his teasing, and I suppose that is also why she liked to do so many of the same things he did, or maybe he just did cool stuff. They were just a goofy pair.

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