My great grandniece, Alice Green is growing up “so darned fast” as her mom tells me. Her parents, Melanie and Jake Harman really wish she would just slow down. Today, Alice is turning 10 and that just seems so impossible!! This coming school year will be her last year of elementary school. That seems impossible to me. I mean, she is only in 5th grade, but these days 6th grade is middle school, so there you go. Alice is a good student and works hard at her studies. I know that middle school is going to be a wonderful new experience for her, and I am so excited for the future changes that will bring, but for now, I know she will enjoy being one of the big kids on campus, and that will be fun for her too. It’s very strange that the older your kids get, the faster the years go by. The old song, “Don’t Blink” comes to my mind, with its big hint of sadness. Parents have to stay focused on every milestone, every event, and every little moment, because they will be gone before we know it, and the kids will be all grown up.

Alice is still a great big sister and growing into a beautiful young lady. Still, while her love for her family remains the same, many of her opinions and attitudes are changing. She is, after all, a teenager in a 10-year-old’s body!! Like the “terrible twos,” the teenage years creep up on you when you aren’t looking, and they often begin around ten or so. It’s not that Alice is sassy or anything, just getting so mature. She is a very sweet natured girl, and I really love how she interacts with her family, and especially her siblings. Isabella and Jaxx look up to their big sister, and she is always very good to them. It is a great blessing to their parents, and I love to see it too.

Alice and her stepdad, Jake have a unique relationship. It is really very little like a stepdad/stepdaughter relationship, and very much like a goofy kind of daddy/daughter relationship. They love to play random acts of rudeness on each other, both knowing that it’s a joke and all in good fun. Her mom thinks that’s what keeps the relationship so close. Alice is also very close with her mom too and very much Melanie’s mini-me…in looks and in personality. She is also a big help to Melanie with the younger children. Today is Alice’s 10th birthday. Happy birthday Alice!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My great grand-niece, Alice Green is such a sweet girl. I love her personality, because she is so loving and caring. For the early part of her life, Alice was an only child. Then her mom, Melanie Harman met her step-dad, Jake Harman and her life changed forever. Before long Alice had a little sister named Izabella, and soon after, a little brother named Jaxx. Siblings was one thing Alice had wanted for a long time. The good news was she only had to wait until she was a little past three to get her first sibling. The lonely days without a sibling were almost over. As soon as Belle could play, Alice was set. She is such a fun-loving girl, and the giggling in the Harman household runs wild…especially with the added kid stuff from Jake, who is a kid at heart.

These days, Alice is growing up quite quickly. At nine years old, Alice is already acting like a teenager. Some kids mature quickly in that way. She is definitely growing up! Alice has her own views and opinions about things these days. In the past, she cared more about her toys and getting dirty as much as she possibly could. Maybe a little bit of a tomboy in her there. These days, her sister and brother are very much her top priority. She loves them very much and enjoys being with them and entertaining them. I suppose there could come a day when Alice will wish her siblings would leave her alone, but that is pretty normal. I think that as the years go by these three will grow closer and closer. They fight, even now, but that is totally common among siblings too. Nevertheless, Alice feels totally blessed to have her sister and brother in her life.

Alice and her step-dad, Jake also have a special relationship. Jake was never one to exclude Alice in any way. When he married Melanie, he accepted Alice as his own daughter. They love to tease each other, and as is common in the Harman household, “random rudeness” is just part of the daily activities. Alice has embraced “random rudeness” and can dish it out as effectively as the next guy. She also loves to just randomly tackle Jake and this give him hugs. He has proven to be a real dad to her, and she loves him very much, and he considers Alice his own child. You don’t have to be related by blood, to be related by love. Today is Alice’s 9th birthday. Happy birthday Alice!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Caryn abt 3rd gradeSixty years…it is an age that many people dread, but for some reason, it just doesn’t bother me. When I look at my life, I find that there are memories over the past six decades that I will always want to keep in my memory files, but would I go back in time, if I could? No, I don’t really think I would. Each event in my life had it’s time and it’s place in the years of my life, and one would not fit in with the other. Knowing what I know today, would without doubt, detract from the memory of a different time, because I would know that someday loved ones would be gone, or children and grandchildren would move away. It would only serve to dim the brightness that goes along with a memory that carries with it, a promise of the future.

Through the past sixty years, many things in our Caryn Spencer 15 yrs oldworld have changed so much that going back would feel like we just entered the Stone Age. No, I’m not as old as dirt, as some people might say, but my generation has seen the invention of the computer, the Space Shuttle and the Space Age, the cell phone, DVD players and the versions that have come and gone before them, Skype and Facetime, the internet, and so many other great inventions. People from sixty years ago…could they step across the distance of time…would have passed out at all the things we have, and yet many of those very people invented the things we have today. The price of gasoline in 1972, when I started driving was just $.36 a gallon…and we didn’t like it much then, but let’s face it, riding the strip was simply not negotiable…everyone with a car did it. It was the weekend evening pastime for every teenager, and it didn’t matter if you lived in Casper, Wyoming, or Los Angeles, California…somewhere out there was a strip, waiting Caryn at 60to be driven on.

Those memories, and so many others, will always live in my memory files, but I still don’t think that is the place I would want to be now, because lets face it, we’ve all moved on from that world and that lifestyle. There are other things we would rather do now. Childhood, adolescence, teenage, and even young adulthood, would all be things I just don’t want to relive, except in my memory and my stories. Besides, I kind of like where I am in my life right now. That’s because I think that each stage of life is perfect in itself. And I’m right where I want to be.

The newest member of our family has finally arrived. My nephew Eric, and his wife, Ashley gave birth to Reagan Kaylynn Parmely today, October 24, 2012, at 9:49 am. She weighed 7 pounds 10.5 ounces, and she was 21 inches long. She has dark brown hair that is about an inch long. She tried really hard to arrive on her mommy’s birthday, yesterday, but that was not to be. She missed it by a few hours. That is a fact that I’m sure her parents will forgive her for. They are just thrilled that she is here now.

When Eric and Ashley started planning a family, Eric told her that he wanted daughters. You see, his was a family of three brothers, of which Eric was the youngest. His family had always hoped for a girl, but it was not to be. Eric had always hoped things would be different for him, and so when Ashley became pregnant, they waited anxiously to see if the baby would be a boy or a girl. Finally the day of the ultrasound arrived, and it was discovered that Eric would get his wish. Their child would be a girl. Eric was floating on air.

Ashley said she wanted a boy first, but like most mothers, that doesn’t matter once that precious little one is snuggling up in her arms. Little miss Reagan Kaylynn will fill her heart with so much joy that she will wonder why she ever wanted a boy first, and when the next baby comes along, Reagan will be the best little mommy’s helper ever. Little girls are like that…mommies from the start.

As the years go forward, Ashley will have someone to go do all the girlie things that Eric won’t be very interested in doing. Yes, in the teenage years, they will disagree over probably everything, and Reagan will most likely be a drama queen at times, but those years will quickly pass, because children grow up in just a minute, when you consider how quickly time passes. Before they know it, she will be dating, driving, graduating, marrying, and having babies of her own. Does that seem like an exaggeration, take it from someone whose daughters did just that, just a few weeks ago, or was it really 37 years ago since my first daughter was born. Enjoy this wonderful time Eric and Ashley. It goes by so fast, but watching little miss Reagan Kaylynn grow up will be the most wonderful experience of your life! We are all so happy for you!!

We have all heard the saying, “what happens in  Vegas, stays in Vegas” and we all know what they are talking about, but I have a story that is just a little different.  So, what happens when you take two average teenage and pre-teenage boys to Vegas? I found out recently when my daughter, Corrie and her husband, Kevin took their sons Chris and Josh to Vegas over Easter break. When Chris and Josh left here, they were two normal kids, but from the pictures I had a chance to see…well, I guess that something most definitely happened in Vegas, and I want to warn everyone about the possibilities of Vegas. Parents need to keep a close watch on who their kids associate with in Vegas, because this could happen to your kids too.

It would seem that when people go to Vegas, they spend time with people that they wouldn’t normally hang out with. People who dress funny and paint themselves up to try to be something they are not. Some of these people have definite identity issues. Some of these people don’t even remember who they really are anymore. My big concern here is that when we take our kids to Vegas, and we allow ourselves to become uninhibited, we are exposing our kids to these kinds of people. And when we do that, we open up so many possibilities…dangerous possibilities.

We all know how impressionable kids can be. We as parents must always be watching who they are allowed to associate with very carefully, because once they have begun hanging out with the wrong kind of people, they begin to change. While sometimes the changes are just slight, and not too much damage is done, sometimes they turn into people you don’t even recognize as our own kids anymore.

As parents, it is our responsibility to protect them from the kinds of people out there that we would never allow them to associate with if we were anywhere but Vegas. We must stand our ground so that they are able to have a safe trip, and come home the same great kid we let go to Vegas in the first place, and not someone who is so different…that if we are not careful, we might even mistake them for Elvis. What happens in Vegas…I don’t know, I would be very…very careful.

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