My sister, Cheryl Masterson has always been a part of my life, because she is two years older than I am. She was there when I came home from the hospital, eager to have a little sister, and ready to teach me the things she had learned in her, then short life. I don’t know what I would have done if she had not always been there, and I am forever grateful that I didn’t have to find out. Cheryl and I have always had the bond that can only the two oldest siblings can have, the elder because she was no longer the only child, all alone, and the younger because she never had to be alone. Of course, we both love our younger sisters the same as we do each other, but we have also known each other longer than we have known the younger ones. I think that we have almost felt like a slightly different generation than our younger sisters, probably from the fact than there were just two of us until I was three and Cheryl was five, instead of the two years between Cheryl and me.
Through the years, Cheryl and I remained close even through the tougher teen years, probably more my “bad” than hers. Of the two of us, I have no choice but to admit that I am a “stubborn mule” sometimes…something I believe as both served me well, and made things difficult too. Cheryl, on the other hand is a person who is of a pure heart, who actively strives to do what is good and right in the sight of God. I don’t say she isn’t somewhat stubborn too, but maybe not quite as stubborn as a mule. What I find most endearing though is her heart. She is able to look past the current situation, to the solution. I think she got that from our dad. He was always the kind of person who knew how to take charge of a situation and be the guide to take the rest of us forward. Many is the time that I just wanted to scream at someone, and Cheryl told me that screaming would not produce the best outcome. She was right, of course. Losing our temper is the fastest way to turn people against you. A soft word, and forgiveness reaches many more hearts. Don’t get me wrong, Cheryl is not a pushover, just wiser than many other people in certain matters.
During the years when we were taking of our parents, Cheryl carried such a heavy portion of the load. Being divorced with grown children, Cheryl lived with Mom and Dad, and the rest of us, sisters, Caryl Reed, Alena Stevens, Allyn Hadlock, and I will be forever grateful to her for that. Cheryl, cooked and cleaned the house, helped them get to bed, gave them their meds, and kept them company…and so much more. She was an integral part of the team of people we had helping with their care. I was a show of the deep family love we had, taught to us by our parents, and carried out through our parents’ care and beyond. We are all very close and always will be. The bonds that are built during such a venture are strong and really unbreakable.
Cheryl loves her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren so much. They are her heart and soul. She is very devoted to them. She prays over them, helps them, babysits for them, hangs out with them. They are her best friends. Her youngest granddaughter, Aleesia especially likes to hang out with her grandma, and in fact, would love it if Cheryl lived with them, so she could see her all the time. Of course that’s not possible, so Aleesia often spends weekends and part of the evenings with Cheryl. They have a very special bond that not many grandchildren are blessed with. Many live too far away, or are not as close as Cheryl’s family, so they don’t have such a tight connection. Not that they are not loved, but just that they aren’t together as often. Cheryl’s connection is a beautiful thing to see, and I’m so happy that she has that connection. Today is Cheryl’s birthday. Happy birthday Cheryl!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
A few days ago…September 13, 2017, to be exact, Greenville, North Carolina got a new citizen. Her name is Mackenzie Rose Moore, and she is absolutely beautiful. Mackenzie decided to arrive a little over two weeks before her due date, and once she made that decision, she took immediate action. Her mommy, my niece, Lindsay Moore was only in labor thirteen hours and twenty minutes…very fast for the first baby, but Mackenzie was in a hurry to meet her parents. Mackenzie’s daddy, Shannon Moore is the special teams coach at Eastern Carolina University, and so Mackenzie knew that she had to start getting to the games to show her support for her daddy, after all, she was going to be Daddy’s Girl. My guess is that she will be one of his biggest cheerleaders. In fact, she has been working on her cheer moves, and her daddy has already had her visit the sidelines to meet the team…and they all love their newest little cheerleader. Mackenzie’s daddy couldn’t possibly be any more proud of her. She is his little princess…and that’s as it should be.
I love that my niece, Lindsay gets to work from home, because that means that little Mackenzie Rose will get to spend lots of time with her mommy, doing all the girly things like shopping, manicures, and hair styling. She and her mommy will be the best of friends, and will work together to make a wonderful home for her daddy. Mackenzie will learn all about good nutrition and exercise from her mommy, and they will have lots of fun playing, going for jogs…with Mackenzie in a stroller, of course…at least at first. When I look at Lindsay with Mackenzie, I can just feel the love between them, and it is so special. I am so happy for Lindsay and Shannon. Their family has now taken on a new dimension. Their love has gone to the next level. It has expanded into a whole new person, and that is very special.
Mackenzie has also been getting to know her grandma, my sister Allyn Hadlock this week. The minute Allyn knew that Lindsay was in labor, she had planned to get on a plane headed for North Carolina, but Mackenzie just couldn’t wait that long. Allyn was so excited to be a grandma again, and she had hoped to be there before the baby’s birth, but she would have had to go in Star Trek style…Beam me up Scotty…if she was going to make it in time for this speedy little girl. Nevertheless, before her first day was over, Mackenzie got to meet her grandma. It was a late day, for sure, but Mackenzie Rose had to stay awake to meet her grandma. Some things are really important, and meeting grandparents is pretty close to the top of the list…right behind meeting one’s parents. We are all so excited for Lindsay and Shannon on their new little baby girl, and we can’t wait to meet her when they visit Casper. We love you little Mackenzie Rose Moore!!
My grand nephew, Jake Collett joined our family when he married my grand niece, Katy Balcerzak. Jake and Katy are perfect for each other. When they aren’t at work, they are together. It doesn’t matter what it is…errands, visiting family or friends, or just hanging out. They are a team, and that is the best thing to be in a marriage. People who really love each other always seem to be going the in the same direction. Their goals and activities all seem to be along the same lines. That’s Jake and Katy. Just looking at their faces, when they are together, you can see the love they have for each other. It’s just so awesome to watch.
Jake and Katy love all things outdoors. It doesn’t matter if its the mountain or the lake. They are there. They love going for long walks on the mountain, and taking their dogs with them. Hiking is such a beautiful sport, and anyone who does it, knows the peace and serenity of the outdoors. You can’t spend much time out there, and not be hooked for life. Exploring through the trees, finding out what is just around the bend in the trail…that’s what it’s all about. Jake and Katy get that. The mountains and trails are the perfect place to unplug from life and reconnect with your spouse. And that’s what they do…often.
Jake and Katy also love to ride four wheelers. That way they can get even further from the hustle and bustle of their busy lives. There is nothing like heading out into the trees far from the highway and the crowds. These days so many people don’t take time to get back to nature, and I think that is sad. Jake and Katy take lots of pictures of their adventures, and their puppies, Bubba and Sheiba. I like that they post their pictures so everyone else can share in their peaceful times together. I know that they are going to have such a wonderful life, and I’m so happy that they have each other, and that we have been blessed with the addition of Jake to our family. Today is Jake’s birthday. Happy birthday Jake!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My grand nephew, Ethan Hadlock is all boy. He loves sports of any kind, as is good at all of them too. This year he played t-ball, flag football, soccer, and is soon to start basketball. Some kids are naturals at sports and others aren’t. Ethan falls into the naturals category. These sports make sense to him. He’s not afraid of the ball. He just gets out there and plays the game, and plays well. He doesn’t search for glory, but rather plays like a part of the team. That’s the mark of a good athlete.
Of course, like most boys Ethan’s age, he is into cars and ninja turtles, and super into Legos and star wars. If he is like most boys, he likes to turn the Legos into everything from cars to space ships, and with the annual Lego challenge that is held in the schools beginning in fifth grade, I’m sure Ethan will be a valuable member of that team as well…as soon as he gets to fifth grade, that is. But I guess I’m jumping the gun a little bit, since Ethan is only in Kindergarten right now.
Nevertheless, Ethan isn’t jumping the gun. He loves Kindergarten, and is a good student, learning much, and making friends. It’s always a good thing when kids like school, because it motivates them to do well. Ethan has always wanted to be one of the big kids, and figures that since he is the big brother to his sister, Rory, that being one of the big kids in school is just the logical next step. Ethan is a great friend to have. He is fun and always smiling and happy. In fact, his little sister Rory reaps the benefit of her brother’s happy, friendly ways every day. They are great friends, and he doesn’t seem to mind that she is his kid sister…at least not for now.
Ethan’s looks have changed some since he was a baby. What child does not change as they move from babyhood to childhood? But nothing has changed his looks quite as much as the event that took place on Christmas Eve. Ethan lost his first tooth. Now, I must say that it isn’t every child who gets to be visited by Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy on the same night. Seriously…how cool is that!! Ethan’s mom, Chelsea Hadlock tells me that he was very brave. In fact, he pulled out his tooth all by himself. It is just another way of noting that Ethan is getting to be a very big boy. Such bravery is only given to a few. Most kids not only need help, but they are a little scared too. Ethan is going to be tall, like his daddy, my nephew, Ryan Hadlock who is about 6’5″ and is teaching his son more than just the ropes of being a big brother. Ryan is also teaching Ethan the ropes on teasing the girls in the family. I’m sure that before long, Ethan will be as much an expert at that as his dad is.
Every Sunday, right after church, Ethan and Rory get to have Grandma and Grandpa Time. That is probably the biggest blessing my sister, Allyn Hadlock and brother-in-law, Chris Hadlock have in their lives…or at least one of the biggest. The kids come over right after church, and they watch movies or the Disney Channel, play games, and of course, munch. What Grandma and Grandpa Time doesn’t include that? When I asked my sister for some ideas about what was going on in Ethan’s life, she gave me a few ideas, but then she said the one thing that shows that she is the grandma the very most. She suggested that maybe Ethan’s mom might have some other ideas of cute things Ethan has done, and finished by saying, “Of course, I think everything he does is cute!! Haha!!” Isn’t that the truth. Today is Ethan’s 6th birthday. Happy birthday Ethan!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
When my Uncle Wayne Byer was a little boy, it was unheard of for boys to wear shorts…or at least that was the opinion of Uncle Wayne, his brother, my Uncle Larry, and the boys they hung out with. They weren’t against going shirtless in the summer as a way of beating the heat though. Uncle Larry didn’t go shirtless as often as Uncle Wayne did though, because being a blond, he sunburned much easier than Uncle Wayne did. Uncle Wayne, on the other hand, tanned so deeply in the summertime that people often asked him if he was an Indian.
Summers were spent playing outside for most of the day, much of that time in the middle of the street. One woman in particular got very annoyed at the kids as they always seemed to be in the street when she wanted to drive down it. She proceeded to yell at them to “get out of the street and stay out of it.” Like most kids, that didn’t influence them much. They nonchalantly stepped slowly out of the way and let her pass, and then promptly went right back to playing in the street. I have to think they played out in the street at the exact time she had to leave for work, just so they could irritate her…typical of kids, and the mischievous brothers and their friends really enjoyed irritating her.
Uncle Wayne also loved playing Annie-Annie Over, which was a game where one team threw a ball over the house, calling out Annie-Annie Over. That was the only warning the other team got. If they caught the ball, they could sneak around the house and try to tag someone on the opposing team with the ball, before that team could run around to the other side of the house, thereby claiming that side as theirs now. If they tagged someone, that person was now on their team. If the ball didn’t go over, the throwing team called out Pigtail. That way, they got another chance to throw. When one whole team ends up on the opposing team’s side, the game is over, and the winning team is the one with team members. The summer days were filled with this and many other games, and made for great memories.
Uncle Wayne and the rest of the boys he hung out with always seemed to be in some mischief and before long the police were called. No they weren’t in serious trouble, but in those days, the police would bring them in and call their parents. For most kids, this straightened them out pretty quickly, because calling their parents usually meant a good whoopin’ and that solved the problem, but these boys ended up at the police station more than once. Back then, there was a truck that drove around delivering pop to people who wanted to buy it. It was similar to the ice cream truck of today, or maybe the Swann’s truck. One time, when the driver was delivering pop to a house, and the boys decided to relieve him of a couple of six packs each. The delivery driver gave chase, and since the boys were a little bit hampered by 2 six packs of pop each, they couldn’t get away. The next stop was the police station, and a call to my grandpa. They might have been scared, but their dad was a pretty softhearted man, so maybe not. Today is Uncle Wayne’s birthday. Happy birthday Uncle Wayne!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
While his older brother loves football, Josh’s game is basketball. Chris was good at basketball too, but it wasn’t really important to him. Josh loves the game. And Josh is suited to the game too. He is tall and slender, and very quick on his feet. He has learned so much, this season especially. Maybe it is partly because he has a really good coach, but I think that he is coming into his own this year. He isn’t afraid to shoot the basket, like he sometimes was in the past. He knows he can do it now. Also, he is tall enough to rebound well, and steal the ball easily.
His team is undefeated so far this year. They are a formidable opponent for any team. Their coach has taught them well, and they operate as a team. They don’t care who shoots the baskets, only that each player has done his best and given it his all. That is was teamwork is all about. Each of the boys supporting the others…watching their backs. That is what I see in Josh and his team.
Josh is one of the taller boys on his team, so it makes him one of the better guards. It is very hard to shoot over him, and very easy for him to block the shots. I am amazed at how quickly he moves and how immovable he is when he is guarding. The more he plays the better he will get. Of course, that is the same for most sports. If you are dedicated and you practice, you can get better at the sports you love.
I have seen such growth in Josh this year…in more ways than just sports. Oh sure, he is still a bit of a jokester, and he loves to pick on me…and other people, including his mom, but he just seems more grown up now. Maybe I notice it more with him because he is the youngest of my grandchildren. It’s easy to always look at the youngest child or grandchild, and think they will always be the little one. Then one day you look at them and you suddenly see them for the young adult they are. It can be quite a shock. When my grandchildren started arriving, I thought they would be little for a long time, but now suddenly they are all teenagers, even this youngest one that I have most recently discovered in no longer little, but a formidable opponent.
When Siara was born, we knew she would most likely be small, given the size of her parents. My niece Chantel is 4’10” and Siara’s dad, Tim, about 5’4″. She was such a teeny little baby, and just as cute as a button. She was always a little ham, like her mom, and loved posing for pictures. That hasn’t changed one bit. Of course, being very photogenic doesn’t hurt anything either. Still, cheerleading was never what I thought Siara would choose to do. Now, I can’t imagine why it never occurred to me. She is perfect for that sport. She is energetic and enthusiastic. She is quick to smile, and her bubbly personality brings out the best in people. She knows how to get people excite about the game and get them cheering. I suppose that could be the training she has received, but I think it was always something that was inside her, and now it is coming out.
Given her small size, I never would have figured her for a power house, but that is exactly what she is. I never knew that until I saw some of the pictures from her performance in The American Grand National Championship Cheerleading competition. All I can say is that Siara has amazing strength…and now she is a national champion…impressive!! She is strong and capable. And she is very talented. She is dedicated and works hard to make the entire squad look good…they all do. They are a team. She doesn’t like it when people think of what she does as some namby, pamby girly thing, because it is a true sport, and Siara has the bruises to prove it.
Today, our little power house turns 18, and I find that very hard to believe. Maybe that is because she never grew beyond 4′ 9″, and so it seems as thought she is still just a little girl, or maybe it’s just that it’s always hard to believe that kids grow up. Whatever the reason, our little teeny girl is all grown up today. She has been weighing her options to decide what she wants to do with her life and what college she might want to go to. The way I see it…while she will never be a big girl, no matter what she decides to do, I know that she will give it her all, just like she has done with cheerleading and high school. We are very proud of Siara’s accomplishments. And today, I want to wish you a very happy 18th birthday Siara. We all love you very much.
Today was my grandson’s first football game of the year. Chris is a Offensive Guard and Defensive End. This is the sport Chris lives for. He eats, sleeps, breathes and dreams it. His favorite thing to do in the game is to take out the Quarterback. Chris has an amazing way of knowing exactly where the other teams Quarterback is. I suppose that doesn’t sound so odd to a football player, but to those of us who do not play, it is amazing. He may not always be able to sack the Quarterback, but he will always try.
The football players are looked up to in school, which is another thing I never understood, but I’m sure it all has to do with the warrior syndrome. We always seem to notice the super hero. And that is what these boys are, and deserve to be. They work very hard to get where they are, and even harder at game time. They are the heroes of the school when they win, and they are shredded when they lose. It’s kind of a thankless job, but someone has to do it right.
So why do they do it? I think part of it is the adrenalin rush they get when a play comes together just as you had planned, or when a player makes a save that seemed impossible. It’s the love of the game…the tactical planning, and then the ability to bring the plan together. I’m sure it also has to do with the cheering crowds and knowing that they like what you just accomplished. It would be something that would give you a kind of high that you can’t get anywhere else.
Now, don’t get me wrong when I say that there are things about this game that I don’t get, because I love football…especially when my grandson is playing. I look up to those boys as much as anyone. I feel pride because to me they are the school heroes. They charge out there into battle and give it their all, trying to win. They are the boys who choke back their feelings of disappointment over a blown play, or a lost game, and come back the next game and try again. Boys who go home filled with aches and pains, whether they won or lost. Boys who earned the glory they get from fighting the battle…win or lose, The Boys of Fall. My grandson is one of them…and I am very proud of them and him.