social worker

Many of us define success by the degree or the career we have. I don’t dispute the value of the college degree, but is that really what defines us, or is it what we do with our lives that defines us. I know a lot of people who have a degree, but do not work in the industry they degreed in. That doesn’t mean they failed, just that they found success in something other than their area of study. Some people do work in their degreed area, and are quite successful at it. Still, that doesn’t define them either. My niece, Kayla Stevens is one of those who work in her degreed area, and yet the person I see is so much more than a social worker. She works at the VA hospital in Sheridan, Wyoming, but she is really all about her family.

Since having their little girl, Elliott, Kayla and my nephew Garrett have been basking in the sunshine of having a family. Elliott is such a character, and she keeps the not only on their toes, but she keeps them laughing too. They hardly need any entertainment, because their girl, who is almost 2 years old, is very entertaining. Kayla is a great mom and really loves being the mom. She may be a social worker by degree, but she is a family girl all the way. Her husband and daughter are the most important people in her life.

Recently, when Garrett’s parents, Mike and Alena Stevens were visiting, the whole family got the chance to go hiking along the Tongue River near Sheridan. The family had such a good time. Sheridan is a pretty area, and there are lots of places to go for a nice weekend getaway. Kayla’s family lives near Sheridan, out in the country. Kayla and Garrett go out to their place after church on Sundays for lunch, and are often there for dinner on the weekends too. They love their families, and want to give Elliott the benefit of knowing both sides of her family. They realize just how important it is for her to know both sets of grandparents, as well as aunts and uncles. Family is so important to Kayla and Garrett, and they feel very blessed with such close families. Today is Kayla’ birthday. Happy birthday Kayla!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Have you ever noticed that there are some people who seem very knowledgeable about alot of things? I’m not talking about a know it all. I’m talking about someone who just knows a lot about a lot of things. That is the way Bob’s great uncle is. He isn’t the type of person to brag about what he knows, he just shares his knowledge in such an interesting way, that it is a pleasure to listen to him.

Great Uncle Frank is the fourth of five brothers in his family. He and his wife, Helen went on to have five sons of their own. The first time I met then was when they brought Bob’s great grandparents from Yakima, Washington to Casper, Wyoming to visit the family here in August, 1976. Not only were he and his wife very interesting people, but his parents, Bob’s great grandparents were too. I could definitely see where Great Uncle Frank got his thirst for knowledge. His parents were amazing people in great health, who lived at home their entire lives. They were alert and sharp as tacks well into their ninety’s, and I expect Frank and Helen will do the same.

Frank was a college professor until his retirement, and Helen was a social worker. Frank taught Science at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, but science was not all he knew about. He was a virtual encyclopedia of knowledge. He can carry on a conversation about almost any subject you might want to talk about, and talk intelligently about it too. Some people do a lot of reading, and some people just retain information very easily. I’m not sure which one applies to Frank, but the knowledge is definitely stored in his memory in a orderly fashion that was easily accessible. It was a pleasure to talk with him.

Having five sons, Frank was always interested in anything that would interest his boys, and help them become the best men they could be. He settled on the Boy Scouts, and he was active in the Boy Scouts for many years. I will always feel blessed to have known this amazing man, and his equally amazing wife.

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