They never would have known, way back there in elementary school, but my grandson, Josh Petersen and his girlfriend, Athena Ramirez were going to be life-long friends, and now much more. Athena is a name of Greek origin meaning “Wise.” I like that. Years later, they found themselves working together, and they renewed their friendship, and before long that friendship grew into love. I can totally see why Josh is taken with Athena. She has a wonderful, bubbly personality, and a beautiful smile. She is such a happy person, so that smile shows up all the time.
In perfect Athena-style, her favorite flower is the sunflower. She also likes roses, and the two of them together, while not something you would expect to see, are beautiful. The sunflower totally fits Athena’s sunny disposition, so it makes the perfect favorite flower. Athena loves plants in general, so I know their apartment will be filled with beautiful plants. They even went to “Rock the Block” in downtown Casper earlier this month and got to paint so really cute planters. That made Athena very happy, because now she has more planters for the plants she wants in the apartment.
Athena not only loves plants, but she likes to get out in nature and see lots of them. One of her favorite activities is hiking, which my husband, Bob Schulenberg and I love to do as well. She loves spending time at the lake with her family and friends, and swimming and soaking up the sun. Being outdoors makes her feel happy and she spreads that happiness to those around her. Plus, it’s healthy to be out in the fresh air, hiking and enjoying nature. God made a beautiful world for us. Athena really loves to be out in it.
Athena is all about family. She loves her nieces and nephews, and loves spending time with her family. She has also enjoys hanging out with our family, because for her family is number one, and we have become her family too. No matter which family she is with, Athena brings the sunshine with her. I know my mom, Collene Spencer would love that too, because her favorite saying was “Keep of the Sunny Side.” One day Athena can meet her and my dad, Allen Spencer in Heaven, and they will just love her. I think Josh really needed a sunny person in his life. He can be a little too serious sometimes. He forgets to have fun, and Athena has taught him to have fun again. I love the saying they have about each other. Josh is her always, and she is his forever. Just beautiful!! Today is Athena’s birthday. Happy birthday Athena!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
As my daughter, Amy Royce’s birthday approached, I found myself looking back on her childhood. While Amy was my bigger baby, 7 pounds as opposed to her older sister, Corrie Petersen, who weighed 6 pounds 2½ ounces, it turned out that she had put all her effort into her pre-birth weight, and she slowed down after that…only reaching 4 feet 10 inches by adulthood. She might be little…a midget if you ask her husband, Travis, but Amy is feisty, She always has been. I think it was self defense, from her toddler years when the other kids thought she was a baby doll, and wanted to pick her up an carry her around. Of course they only tried once. The blood curdling screams that came out of my girl were enough to cure those kids of any desire to carry Amy ever again. The funny thing is that, while she had a temper, Amy was also a very happy toddler…most of the time. Just don’t assume that you could pick her up, hahaha!! As long as she felt safe, Amy was a bubbly little girl, who rarely walked, but rather somersaulted or cartwheeled around the room. Walking was just too boring, I guess.
Amy and Corrie spent lots of time together as little girls, because we lived in the country. What I saw through that time was two little girls who were best friends. While there were little fights, they would also protect each other no matter what. Their closeness is harder these days, because they live so far apart, but they love each other very much. Many people commented to me when they were little, that they got along so well. They just couldn’t believe that sibling love my girls had. I am so proud of their relationship, then and now.
As I look at the life Amy has built now, I am very proud of her. Amy is a peace-loving person, and her lifestyle notes that very well. Amy loves the rainforest area of Washington state, and the beaches that go along with it. The area she lives in just feels peaceful, especially when she and Travis head out to Birch Bay to watch the sunset. Even now, while they are required to stick closer to home, their back yard has become a sanctuary for them. Amy has roses, calla lilies, and a variety of other gorgeous flowers, enhancing the beauty of her back yard as well as the fragrant smells. Travis loves yard work too, especially mowing the lawn, and so their grass is beautiful. The built a patio and set up a table and chairs with an umbrella, and a fire pit, to enhance the relaxing effect of their yard. It makes me very happy to know that she and her family have such a beautiful place to relax and reconnect with friends and family. Bob and I love to go for visits, because it give us a chance to enjoy the area that has drawn Amy’s family to its beauty.
Amy is on vacation this week, and so is home relaxing. She is an account manager for Rice Insurance in Bellingham, Washington. She, like so many people, worked from home through much of the pandemic, but now she is back at the office. At home or at the office, Amy is a hard working insurance agent, and she stayed very busy. Today is Amy’s birthday. Happy birthday Amy!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
It is a comment most of us have either heard as children or said to our kids or grandkids…or both. “I’m going to throw you in the snowbank!” It was a comment that usually set the child on the receiving end to laughing, and maybe wondering if you would really do it, or if you were just kidding. The funny thing about it is that it was something that seldom really happened, and to be honest, I have often wondered why.
It is such a funny thing to think about…a big guy, usually the dad or grandpa, or uncle as had been the case in this scene, would pick up a kid, carry him out side, and deposit him in the snowbank. The kid comes up sputtering as they wipe the snow off of their face and try to get it out of their clothes, as it melts and runs down their skin causing that shocked feeling that can only happen when cold snow hits warm skin. Their shouts of shock and…well, stunned disbelief at just how cold it was. I think in this case, however Caalab actually liked it, and I know Josh got a big kick out if it.
Most kids love playing in the snow…throwing snowballs and building forts…building snowmen, and yes, being thrown in the snowbank. It is what makes wintertime so much fun for kids, who don’t even seem to notice the cold. They have a built in heating system it seems. I remember those days myself, and I look back now and wonder why the cold didn’t bother me very much. I suppose it all comes down to the amount of fun you are having in the snow, and kids can sure find a lot of ways to do just that.
It is the wonder and pleasure of playing that we seem to lose as adults, that they still have, that makes playing in the snow so fun. My granddaughter, Shai is like that. She loves the snow and wants it to snow every day from October through March. I have started to try to see the snow through her beautiful eyes, and I have learned that whether you are playing in the snow, building a snowman, or just enjoying the peace and quiet of a snowy night, there is a beauty and wonder that is attached to the snow, if you just take a moment to look around and see it. I have often thought about the phrase, “stop and smell the roses”, but maybe we should also stop and look at the snowflakes…at least once in a while.