Alli Simpson, who is my grandnephew, Xander Spethman’s girlfriend is a sweet girl who has captured Xander’s heart, and everyone in his family loves her very much. Alli is a quiet girl, at least when I have been around her, but maybe she is just shy because she doesn’t know me too well. Xanders family has pretty much “adopted” her, for now…a situation that will change as their relationship deepens. It’s not every day that a person fits so perfectly in a family, but Alli is one of those precious few who really do.
Alli is a smart girl, who worked hard and graduated from high school one semester early. I know she has great things ahead of her. She had considered becoming a nurse at one point, but like many people who were considering nursing, plans changed following Covid-19. While her plans may have taken a setback, I know that this ambitious girl did not. Whatever she decides to do, I know that she will land on her feet. Right now, she is just working and enjoying spending time with Xander and his family.
Alli loves plants. If you look at her Facebook profile page, you will pick up on that fact immediately. I must say that I have to give a lot of credit to anyone who can raise plants, because there are lots of us out there who definitely can’t. I can kill a plant in record time, so I am in awe of anyone who can keep one alive for more than a month. Alli’s sense of humor even extends to her plants. While I don’t know if she would actually take a plant out for a walk, the fact that she sees humor in the idea makes me smile. Maybe she would do that, simply because it would be something new and different. I think that if Xander is looking for a birthday present for her, a plant stroller might be just the ticket.
It seems that Alli has always been a bit of a princess and really, a fashionista. That makes her a good friend for Xander’s little sister, Aleesia, who is a fashionista too, and as the only girl in the Spethman family, she and Alli and Xander’s mom, Jenny Spethman, of course, can all share in their fashion/princess world together. Alli and Xander have also decided that they want to help an animal in need, so recently, they adopted a dog that they named Rocky. Rocky loves his new mommy and daddy, and since the kids just moved into their first place together, they now have a nice little family. Today is Alli’s 18th birthday. Happy birthday Alli!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My grandniece, Raelynn Masterson is very smart, but she, like so many other people, is also timid and shy. Once she gets to know people, she does great, but it takes a little while to get comfortable with people. In the past, she wasn’t aways confident in her abilities, or in herself, but she is working on that. For one thing, Raelynn was never really good at cooking, but these days she is not only spending time in the kitchen with her mom, Dustie Masterson, learning to cook, but she is learning about nutrition, and how to better take care of her own body and health, which of course includes exercise and fresh air too.
Raelynn has also been stepping outside of her comfort zone to make so new friends and hang out with them. The social aspect of things hasn’t always been easy for her, and like many people, when Covid hit, being on lockdown made the social interactions hard, and many people just started leading online lives. Stepping back out, or stepping out for the first time, is not easy, and I’m very proud of Raelynn for pushing herself to be more of a joiner.
Raelynn likes to write stories and develop characters for her stories. The friends she has made have similar interests, and they like to bounce ideas off of each other concerning their stories and characters. Sometimes it’s a big help to brainstorm together about what you want to do with a story or character. Also, every character needs a backstory. They need to have come from somewhere, and that isn’t always easy to develop or to make interesting. Raelynn is also into art and uses her drawings to illustrate her stories. Raelynn says that using her drawings in her stories “makes it easier for me to visualize that character and what they would do so I draw them at least once and then maybe later in a scene I wrote them in.” She doesn’t necessarily think she is very good, but I think that she is doing very well, and as with any skill, practice makes perfect. She knows that too. She is ok with the progress she has made. She obviously hasn’t seen anything I can draw, or she would really understand that she is leaps and bounds ahead of my skill level.
Raelynn may have held herself back in her earlier years, with shyness and a lack of confidence, but she is breaking out of that shell now, and like with any caterpillar, we are seeing the beautiful butterfly emerging. Raelynn has always been a beautiful girl, whether she knew it or now, but as she becomes more and more social, more people are able to see what we all saw…just how beautiful she is, inside and out. Today is Raelynn’s 19th birthday. Happy birthday Raelynn!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My husband’s Aunt Pearl Hein is one of the sweetest people you could ever possibly know. I will never forget the first time I met Pearl. I was a newcomer to the family, not yet married to my husband, and so everything felt awkward, until Pearl stepped in to make me feet a lot more at ease. Of course, I was comfortable with my in-laws to be, but the other people were all unknowns to me, and that can make a shy person like me feel like crawling into a hole to hide. Then, we went to Pearl’s house, and I felt instantly comfortable. Of course, these days, I am comfortable with all of the Hein family. I have been a part of the family for over 44 years now, so I know the whole family. They are all a great bunch of people, and I enjoy spending time with all of them. Nevertheless, it was Pearl’s welcoming ways that opened the door to make me feel comfortable.
Like me, Pearl married into the family, and so she knows how it feels to be the newcomer. Still, I think that her personality is just a kind and welcoming one. She likes to make sure that everyone has anything they need, be it water, food, or good conversation. That’s what makes Pearl’s home a place that people want to visit, and a favorite place for us when we are in Forsyth, Montana, where my husband’s family is from. We used to go there every year, but haven’t gone as often in recent years, still Forsyth, the Hein family, and Schulenberg family are very dear to my heart. I couldn’t ask for a better family to join.
Pearl worked for a number of years at the IGA in Forsyth, and they considered her to be their most valuable employee. When Uncle Eddie’s health grew poor, she had to retire to take care of him. I’m sure those were scary days at the IGA, because there were things that she was the only one who knew how to do them. Knowing Pearl, like I do, I know she hated leaving them that way, but her husband was more important than any job, and he needed her. Uncle Eddie is doing much better these days, and so they have more time to relax and do the things they like to do. That makes me feel happy for them. Today is Pearl’s 70th birthday. Happy birthday Pearl!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My niece, Susan Griffith is a kind and loving person. She has such a sweet spirit, and a gentleness in her ways. I’m sure these traits are part of what draws many people to Susan. I know that they are part of what draws me to her. I suppose that people might call her shy, and maybe she is…a little, but not that much really. Not when you get to know her. Susan reminds me of me somewhat, even though it would not be my genes that would have made her who she is, since I am her aunt by marriage, not by blood. Susan is a very capable person, who simply never comes off as conceited or proud.
Susan is a health insurance agent, working for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming in Powell, Wyoming. That is another similarity we have. Although I’m not in health insurance, but rather property and casualty insurance. It’s not the easiest way to make a living, but it is rewarding when you find that you can really help someone. Like me, I think Susan has found her niche. She likes insurance work.
Susan has lived most of her life in a small town, but now she and her family live in the country outside Powell. She was never really around animals much, but now she gets to be a rounded them much more often. She was never too sure of riding horses, but her husband Josh showed her the ropes, and now she loves to ride. The family often takes the horses out camping and they really enjoy the time they have. Their girls, Jala and Kaytlyn, ride as much as they can, and the experience has been great for the whole family. Susan loves camping and being in the mountains. There is such peace and tranquility there, and she loves that. They go hiking and riding all over the Big Horn mountains.
I think that if you asked Susan what her greatest blessings are, she would tell you her husband and kids. Whenever I talk to her, she tells me how sweet Josh is to her and how great a dad he is. Nevertheless, I think Josh considers himself pretty blessed too. Susan is a special girl, who is loved by everyone who knows her. Today is Susan’s birthday. Happy birthday Susan!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
When two kids get married, or any two people for that matter, you never know if the marriage will last. You hope that theirs is a match made in Heaven, but only time will tell. My daughter, Amy Schulenberg, married Travis Royce in this day September 16, 1995, just a few months after Travis graduated from high school. Amy had graduated the year before. They were quite young by most standards, but that didn’t matter to them. Somehow, they knew that they were perfectly matched, and while others might not have seen that at the time, everyone sees it now. Each of them is what the other needs.
Amy is more of a shy person, like her mom, and Travis is very outgoing. For a shy person, that is very helpful, especially in a crowd. When you are shy, it’s hard to talk to people you don’t know well, and Travis has no problem in that category. Once a shy person gets to know people, they are fine, it’s just that awkward early stage that is tough. Amy is also more of a serious person, again like her mom, while Travis is an incurable comic. I really like that about Travis, because life is serious enough. We need people who can see the funny side of life to keep us from getting too serious about things. Travis keeps the laughter going in their household, which is something that I have always felt was a huge blessing to all of them. Amy is the more practical one, which is something Travis needed, not that he hasn’t become more practical over the years, but he was always more spontaneous about things like spending, until Amy kept him more grounded. Then he saw the value in that, and they are in agreement on things like spending.
Of course, there are differences that can cause “fights” too. If you could call them that. Travis is a Chicago Bears fan, while Amy is a fan of arch rival the Green Bay Packers. Football season is…interesting in their household…to say the least. It is about the only time they really have many “fights.” Nevertheless, not everything is about fighting. Amy and Travis agree that the family that plays together, stays together, and for them, that means music. Most Tuesday nights, after bowling gets over, the family heads back to their house for a family jam session before the kids go home. Travis and their son, Caalab play the guitar, while daughter, Shai is learning the ukulele. I’m sure that will add a fun aspect to their family band. I can’t wait to hear them now.
Over the years, much has changed in Amy and Travis’ marriage, but then again is some ways nothing’s changed at all. They are still perfectly matched. They still make each other happier than even they dreamed possible. They are still going in the same direction, and having a great time in this life they have made. Today is Amy and Travis’ 23rd anniversary. Happy anniversary Amy and Travis. Have a great day. We love you.
This past year found my niece, Lacey Stevens with a change of scenery, when she left Supercuts and moved on to the Ulta Beauty salon. Lacey is a wonderful cosmetologist with an awesome flair for the beautiful. When Lacey cuts your hair, it’s not just a cut, it’s a style upgrade. Lacey has cut and styled the hair of many of our family members, and they come out looking amazing.
Lacey has been at Ulta Beauty now since March of last year, and it has been a wonderful year for her. She has made some wonderful friends in her co-workers, and has recently been give a promotion. She works with a great team of people and they all have a great time together. If you like the people you work with, it’s like you don’t work at all…you hang out with a great group of friends. And it doesn’t get better than that. Lacey has her own special style…in hair and in makeup, and she is very talented. While I think her hair cutting skills might be something she was born with, I think her makeup skills took a little practice. Of course, I’m picking on Lacey a little bit here, because that’s chocolate on her face, and definitely not makeup. Nevertheless, it is a very funny picture. Of course, it was her first birthday, and she had a great time covering her face with chocolate. These days, you wouldn’t find Lacey sporting that look…ever!!
Lacey is very social, which surprises me a little bit, because as a little girl, she was very shy. She had a small group of people she was close too, and a larger group of acquaintances, but as far as mist of us knew, Lacey was still pretty shy. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but somewhere between junior high school and now, Lacey blossomed into a confident, and apparently, no longer shy, grown up woman. She has taken trips for training for work, which may not seem like much, but for a shy person…and I would know, going to those meetings, training sessions, and continuing education are nothing, if they aren’t stressful for the shy person, but as I’ve said, Lacey has changed a lot over the years. She has no problem talking to people these days.
She has gone from being a cute little shy girl, to a beautiful cosmetologist who knows how to make others feel beautiful…not to mention look beautiful. And she is at kids at the right age to embrace the latest in hair color…wild colors and marveling. Now I’m probably never going to try these, but I think it looks cool on the younger generations. Today is Lacey’s birthday. Happy birthday Lacey!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My grandniece, Anna Masterson is her own person. She likes what she likes, and she doesn’t care if that makes her different. She doesn’t care if the things she is into are the popular things that others are into or not. If others don’t Ike what she likes…oh well. Anna is not bothered by her uniqueness…and neither am I.
Anna is a quiet girl, but she’s not a shy girl. People think she is shy, but she is a listener. Anna gets to know people and what they are all about before she dives into the conversation. She likes to “figure you out” as her mom, Dustie would say. Once she figures you out, she will let you into her world. Anna thinks before she speaks, and her mom says Anna tends to astound her with with her observations and thoughts. Anna is a realist. She has questions about a lot of things and she wants a real answer, not a sugar coated one intended to make her think the world is all soft and sweet. Anna loves to sit and watch documentaries with her mom. She doesn’t care what it’s about, just that it’s real. She’s very smart and her favorite subjects in school are Math and Science.
She loves God, family, and country, in that order. Her loyalty to all of those is second to none. Her cousin, Aleesia Spethman is like a little sister to her. They are both the youngest in their family, and they are just like sisters, complete with sibling rivalry and the fighting that goes along with it. Nevertheless, as annoyed as she may get with her younger cousin, She also councils her, comforts her and protects Aleesia even from Anna’s brother, Matthew who is Anna’s best friend. Sometimes, When Matthew is to much for Anna to handle alone, she pulls out the big guns, her big sister, Raelynn. These days, since Raelynn had to have back surgery, Anna is extremely protective of of her older sister too. If she hears her sister crying in the night from pain, she is the first one there to comfort her.
Anna has a bright future ahead of her, quite possibly in the area of science. Her close relationship with God will guide her to what he has planned for her. Her parents have no worries about this girl, who is very comfortable in her own skin. She does have a funny side too, though, and according to her mom, loves cheesy puns. One night, she and her mom were making pizza crust. When they were all done and went to wash their hands off, Anna said that they “had just gotten out of a very sticky situation.” Today is Anna’s 10th birthday. Happy birthday Anna!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My niece, Lindsay Moore, is a social butterfly. She never had any trouble making new friends, and everyone who knows her, loves her. It’s a personality trait that Lindsay has. She can talk to anyone…and feel no shyness, and her friendship ability is coupled with her genuine caring nature. I remember when she was a teenager, and I would see her at church, before the service, talking to some of the other members of the congregation. It didn’t matter how old they were, or how young, Lindsay could talk to any of them. I always found the way she was when talking to some of the older members of the congregation to be the sweetest thing to watch. I remember when she was talking to a woman named Fern one time. I’m not sure how old Fern was at the time, but at least mid-seventies I would think. Lindsay went up and hugged her and then sat down to visit with her for a minute. Fern was obviously pleased that this teenager cared enough to talk to her, but it was also obvious that it wasn’t their first conversation. They were talking like friends, because they were friends. I know that Lindsay was just being Lindsay, but I can tell you that her actions affected more than one person in church that day. Fern, of course was very blessed by the sweet, loving girl who was sharing a moment with her, but there were others too. I noticed several other members of the congregation looking on with a sense of…well, pride, almost as if they had something to do with how Lindsay had turned out. They didn’t, of course, but she was a member of the church, and that gave them a sense of family, and therefore pride at how kind she was to Fern. For me…well, it was a picture that has been stored in my memory files since that day. Her way of making people feel important is something I’ll never forget about Lindsay.
Lindsay has had the opportunity to live a number of places in her life. She was born in Casper, Wyoming, but has lived in South Dakota, Florida, and North Carolina. Her husband’s work as a college special teams coach also gives them the opportunity to travel to recruit players, so she has been a lot of places. I’ve often wondered if the moves were difficult. Being somewhat shy, myself, it is hard for me to imagine making new friends every time another move was necessary, but Lindsay really has no trouble. Everywhere she has lived, she makes new friends quickly. Then when she has to move, she remains friends with the people she has met…for life. I think it all goes back to that ability to share a moment with people. Then moments turn into a friendship that forms because Lindsay genuinely cares about people, and people want to be friends with people like that. Today is Lindsay’s birthday. Happy birthday Lindsay!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Little kids are really natural born showoffs. The minute they do something that everyone laughs about, they will start doing it over and over again. They love the attention. I guess in most ways they are not a lot different than their adult counterparts. Their play doesn’t even have to be necessarily funny, just cute. Anything that causes their parents to take a picture or laugh is worth doing again. Of course, sometimes, this is how bad habits get started. What seemed cute for a little kid to say or do when they are very small, isn’t always so cute as they get older. We all know that we should not encourage bad habits, but when your kids are little, everything…good or bad, is kind of cute, so we often allow the things we shouldn’t.
I suppose parents should think about that before making a big deal out of some of the things kids do, but that isn’t very often how things go. Sometimes those laughs just happen, and before you know it, you are trying to break that bad habit. Ah, the joys of parenting. One bad decision leads to months of undoing. Still, at the time, you have to admit…it was funny. Little kids are usually so full of energy, joy, giggles, and fun, that it’s like having your very own comedy show in your living room. You find yourself sitting there being entertained for hours.
Recently, we came across some previously undeveloped photographs from my childhood, and I found that I was quite the showoff. I never really thought of myself that way, because I am rather shy, but I guess I wasn’t when I was a little girl. I may not have ever been the class clown in school, but I clowned around quite a bit at home. I’m sure my parents didn’t think it was especially unusual, but the pictures surprised me. And there are more of them than I put up here too. I was apparently very goofy…or so the pictures tell me.
It is kind of a sad thing that we are so free and uninhibited as children, and then as adults, we are almost afraid to be silly. I know we can’t always be goofy as adults, but so many of us don’t ever act silly. We worry about looking stupid or having someone make fun of us. Of course, I’m sure that all starts in our teen years, when we are all very uncomfortable with pretty much everything about ourselves. Nevertheless, for many of us, it continues on into adulthood too. I suppose that in reality, those carefree days of youth will always fade into the responsibility days of adulthood, and we will, for the most part, never really be able to relive the funny, goofy, carefree days, when clowning around came as naturally to us as breathing did. I guess that’s why we were little showoffs.
Some babies are able to capture your heart with their funny little ways. They are always smiley and always up to something. They seem to have the ability to do things that make people laugh, and it all seems to be instinct to them. No amount of planning on the part of their parents, is needed. My cousins, Chris and Annie Beadle have just such a baby. His name is Kasen, and he reminds me a lot of my oldest grandson, Chris, who was just such a baby too. Kasen has great big, expressive eyes, and an almost shy look about him, although he certainly isn’t shy around the camera, and in fact, he will steal your heart in an instant. That’s just the kind of baby Kasen is.
He is a busy little boy, who always has things to do, and you truly don’t know what he will be up to next…until you see his mom’s pictures that is. As I said, Kasen seems to have a shy demeanor, but I don’t think he is really very shy. He plays well with his sister and friends, and really loves just being a big boy…now that he can walk. He loves his big sister, Nevada, and she loves helping out with Kasen. I think Nevada has wanted a little brother or sister for a long time, so she is really enjoying Kasen. Of course, he hasn’t had the chance to get into her things yet, so we will see how she feels about him in the future. I’m sure there will be those horrible years when she wishes they could send him back, but in the end, I think little Kasen will win his sister’s heart, just like he has every other heart he has ever set out to win with his quick smile and his big eyes.
These days, Kasen is content to play with his own toys, and I’m sure that his sister’s big 4th grader things aren’t too interesting. But then, she might have a very different take on that than what I see. I’m also sure that his daddy, Chris can’t wait to be able to get his son out there ad teach him how to play baseball or football, or at the very least watch their favorite Denver Broncos together, because that’s what fathers and sons do, after all.
Kasen is a sweetheart, as I said, and I have to admit I am quite a fan of this little cutie. I love how he entertains those around him and I love that his mommy, Annie posts so many pictures to keep me updated. If I ever need something to make me smile, I just go to Annie’s Facebook page and have a look at the pictures she has posted of little Kasen, and then I smile and go on about my day. Today is Kasen’s 1st birthday. Happy birthday Kasen!! Have a great day!! We love you!!