April Fools Day…a day of shenanigans. As children, we made up simple tricks, that didn’t fool our parents, and might not have even fooled our siblings. I remember telling my sisters that there was a spider in their hair, or some such silliness. That worked for a short time, but then you have to get creative. Things like switching the salt and sugar became common jokes to us. Eventually, we learned to taste a little bit, before we used it liberally on our food…yuck!!

As we get older, we have to get far more creative with our shenanigans, because lets face it, adults aren’t going to go for the spider in your hair gag. They know what day it is too. April Fools Day pranks have to be carefully planned out, and they have to be such that they do no harm, because that would not be what it is all about. Of course, there could always be the unplanned, unforeseen problem with reversing the prank, that could backfire, but hopefully the people you prank are good sports about things, who know that it could have happened to them too.

It would seem that some of the best pranks these days are tech pranks. There are a variety of ways to “mess with” someone’s computer, making them think that it has gone crazy. A simple placement of tape over the mouse sensor will make the computer appear frozen. You can change the language on the computer too, but as I found out from personal experience, this can be difficult to reverse, if you change it to a language you can’t read…yikes!! I think my personal favorite is to flip the screen, so that everything is upside down. And that one is simple to reverse, so no harm…no foul. Of course, there are many low tech ways to “mess with” a computer too, like covering it and everything else in the office in newspaper, or filling the room with balloons, so that the only way in is to pop them. I think office pranks are a natural way to expand your prank playing game into new vistas. Plus, they are really fun when the people you prank are just stunned. Happy April Fools Day everyone!! The day to prank or be pranked. Let the fun begin.

CaalabMy dear grandson, Caalab, today marks the beginning of a completely new life for you. Your graduation is just the first step into that life. You are no longer a child, but a high school graduate. Your hard work has paid off, and all the requirements for graduation have been met. Your public school career is over now, and your future is up to you. That is hard for me to believe, because to me you will always be that little boy who was so quick to smile, and always had some new joke to tell or a new trick to show me. While the joking and trickery continue to this day, the little boy is gone, and before me now stands a man, strong and tall, with a heart of gold. I love the man you have become. You are so caring. You give thought to those around you, and you always try to please others. You think of others long before you think of yourself…a good trait in many ways. Still, I miss that little boy that you were…the one who always had his hand in my hair. I will always have that picture of you in my memory files…twisting my hair or batting it, but never pulling it, because you were always careful not to hurt me.

It is a long road from pre-school to high school graduation, and that makes it extra special. When you started Caalab playing his guitaryour school career, it seemed like it would be a long time before graduation, but in reality, the time slips by so quickly. Now, all those years are behind you, and you are looking toward a whole new life. Your journey is going to take you far away, and that is really hard for me, but I know that this is your dream career. Music has been your life for as long as I can remember, and yet it was a bit of a surprise to hear that you want to build guitars. It shouldn’t have been I suppose. It really was the next logical step, and I know that you will be great at it. Still, you are leaving and you won’t be able to come home for a weekend here and there. The next time I see you, you will be changed in many ways. You will have spent time in a bigger city, and broadened your horizons. Your life journey will be much different than what I had expected, but that is because your dreams are uniquely yours…and no one else’s. You have to follow your heart and live your dreams…you have to be true to yourself, and be who you were born to be. And I know that you will be very successful at it, because you are an amazing young man.

When it comes to my babies, my heart just can’t seem to understand the whole saying goodbye thing, and that makes this so very hard. Nevertheless, I would ever want to hold you back. You will go forward and you will be Caalab Rolles Roycesuccessful at all you do, wherever life takes you. Still, I want you to always remember where you came from. Remember the good moral values you have been taught, and always keep God first place in your life, because it was God who made you and gave you the skills you have. As you go through life, you will come to realize more and more that every skill you have came from Him to make you into the wonderful man you have become. I know that your new life will be filled with excitement and interesting new things, so all I can ask is that you remember to call your grandparents once in a while, because we will miss you very much, so don’t forget the way home. Words cannot fully express just how proud we are of you. We love you so much. Congratulations on your high school graduation, my dear grandson, Caalab. Way to go!!

Jason and JessiMy niece, Jessi, thinks her husband, Jason Sawdon is a lot like her grandpa, my dad, Allen Spencer. Both of these men have made the choice, for as much as it is possible, to buy American made. Their reasons might be slightly different, but buying American made is very important to the American economy. It helps keep American people working, and that is important to all of us in this country. For Jason, who moved here to Wyoming from Michigan, it is especially important to buy American cars, and he isn’t alone in that either. My dad felt that way, as does my husband, Bob.

Jason likes to keep busy on his days off, and he is pretty handy too. He built Jessi a garden, fixed their porch, and rewired the dash of his truck. In Jessi’s book, that makes him a Jack Of All Trades, and I would have to agree. Since Jason is a guy who likes to tease, and he’s pretty good at mechanics, he decided to tell a bunch of his friends that he was a NAPA certified mechanic. They believed him for a number of years, and then, one time they went into NAPA looking for parts, and told the So In Lovecounter clerk that Jason was NAPA certified. The person looked at them funny and said that there was no such thing. I’m sure they felt a little gullible for having believed Jason for so long. I have to think that Jason must be pretty patient with his jokes, if he would wait years to get that ultimate laugh. In the end though, it was Jessi who got the final say on that joke. It was when she was helping her aunt go through some things that had belonged to her Grandpa Hadlock, and she came across a NAPA Certified Certificate, so apparently you used to be able to get NAPA certified. They had a good laugh over that one.

That had to be a rare moment for Jessi, because as she will tell you, she is pretty gullible too, and Jason is usually the one to pull one over on her. He often tells her things that she initially believes, and then after giving it some thought, she realizes that what he said is impossible. I’m sure that when she confronts Jason, he gets a great laugh out of that. Jason is always tricking people in funny ways, and in that too, I can see how he reminds Jessi of her grandpa. But, one thing that Jason can’t hide is just how much he loves Jessi. Anyone could see that on his face the first time they saw them together. And of course, Jessi feels the same way about him. I have seen a lot of couples get together in our family, and some stand out as being extra special in Jason and Auroramy mind. Jason and Jessi were one of those couples. One of their wedding pictures best shows what I, and everyone else, could so clearly see.

Jason loves his nieces and nephew, and enjoys spending time with them and they think he is the greatest too. Having such a great sense of humor makes Jason a great playmate for the kids. He has lots of energy and doesn’t mind playing their games. They in turn flock to him. It is the reward of having an inner child I think, and it is what makes Jason a perfect fit to our family. Today is Jason’s birthday. Happy birthday Jason!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

skateboard beginnerBob and I went to the Wyoming Cavalry indoor football game last night, and there are media events at different times in the game, with things like a three person in one triple bag sack race, and kids on a bouncy ball. They asked the fans if these things took them back a few years, and that started me thinking about the things I did as a kid. One thing that came to mind was the skateboard. It was my generation who had the privilege of riding the skateboard first, and while we were first, we certainly didn’t take that ride to the skill level of the subsequent generations. I was thrilled when I could stand on the thing and ride. The thought of taking it on a railing, or up a ramp, or flipping it in the air and landing back on it, never crossed my mind…or the minds of the rest of my generation for that matter.

Nevertheless, at some point in time, some kid who thought that the old style tame skateboarding these daysskateboarding was way too tame for them, decided to step it up a bit, and something new and exciting was created from a fad that probably would have died a miserably quick death otherwise. Soon the kids were doing all kinds of tricks, and spending hours each day trying to perfect something that would let them outshine their friends. Of course, there were the normal, and not so normal injuries that went along with such endeavors, but that didn’t stop the kids from working hard to create the next big thing on a skateboard. They flew along curbs and railings, flipped their boards several times in the air and managed to land right back on the board. They held competitions…just for fun, at first, but these days they compete for money, titles, trophies. Every skateboarder wants to be dubbed the King of Skateboarding. They even came out with video games on skateboarding, which my grandsons absolutely loved.

Even the boards have changed from the clunky ones we had when I was a kid, that were crazy skateboard stuntreally just skates with a board attached, and had very little maneuverability, to one that had just one wheel on each end, and twisted in the middle, to the long board that my grandsons liked, which probably mimics a surf board without the water, to many more that I have no clue about, much less how they work. I suppose that as long as we have kids who are willing to push the envelope in the world of skateboarding, we will have manufacturers who will make the designs they need to accomplish their unique skill set, thereby continuing to take skateboarding to the next level and beyond. While I enjoy watching the amazing tricks these people can perform, I think I will just stay on my own two feet, because at least that way, I won’t kill myself.

Glen, Tina and the twinsWhen Missy and Mindy were born, our family would have something that it hadn’t had in many years…identical twins. It was very exciting!! I remember how cute they were, and how fun it was that most of us couldn’t tell them apart. Of course, their parents always could, but that’s normal I guess. For me, the problem persists. I still can’t tell them apart to this day, but being able to tell them apart isn’t the most important thing in the world. Knowing these sweet girls far outranks telling them apart for me. Missy and Mindy’s great grandmother, my grandmother was very excited to have twins in her family. I remember her smile when she held those babies. It was a special gift, and one that any grandparent would be excited about.

These cute little girl look alikes captured our attention. We were all excited to have twins in the family, and while we now have 3 sets of twins in the family, these little girls would always be the first. It was like a whole new territory. Twins are such fun for anyone who is involved with them. The challenge of trying to tell them apart, and the antics twins almost always pull, by trading places at some point or another adds to the mystery that always surrounds twins. I don’t know if Missy and Mindy ever pulled those tricks on anyone, but if they didn’t, they certainly missed out on a good chance, because they could have. I almost think they didn’t pull those tricks, because they have always seemed like the most unlikely ones to do so. If they did, I guess that will be another story.

I didn’t really know Missy and Mindy very well, even though they are my cousins…until I Grandma Byer, Mindy and Missy Grosvenorconnected with them on Facebook. I love reading their posts, and having conversations with them on messaging. They are both such sweet spirits. It’s rare to find that in people these days. They truly care about their friends, and about people in general. They strive to do what is right, and they stand for what is good and moral. I occurs to me, that I have missed out on a lot of good things during the years that I didn’t know them well.

Today is Missy and Mindy’s birthday. Happy birthday girls!! I have so enjoyed getting to know you better, and I am very glad we had Facebook to help with that. I hope your day is the very best it can be. Love you both!!

For most of their early years, Shai would have loved to give her brother back…or ship him off…or trade him in…whatever worked. Theirs was the type of relationship that gave the term “sibling rivalry” its meaning. Shai detested Caalab’s boyish pranks, and Caalab took that as the perfect reason to pick on his big sister. It made for some explosive situations at my daughter, Amy and her husband, Travis’ home. In fact, there were times that I wondered how Amy kept her sanity.

It wasn’t that Shai disliked all little boys, in fact, she loved spending time with her cousins, Chris and Josh. I guess the main problem was that Caalab like playing tricks on his sister and cousins, and it just didn’t go over very well…with any of them. I remember the fights that used to go on between the 4 of them, all too well. Sometimes, I felt like a referee when they were all at my house, and not their grandmother.

Worse yet, it always seemed like Caalab was the odd man out. The rest of the kids didn’t want him to play with them, most of the time. It was tough for me, as their grandma to have all this fighting and the 3 against 1 situations that we often had. Caalab got along well with Chris, and Shai got along well with Chris and Josh, but Caalab, Shai, and Josh were like oil and vinegar.

I always felt bad that Caalab was the odd man out. I would have felt bad no matter which grandchild it was. He had such a great sense of humor, but his joking often ended up looking like he was picking on the others…or picking a fight…and the biggest fights were between Shai and her little brother, Caalab.

I kept trying to tell Shai that someday she would be able to tolerate her brother, and more likely she would actually even like him. Still, she was not convinced that there was any chance of that. She was sure that there was no way she would ever like her brother.

A few years can make such a difference. A couple of years ago, I began to notice a moment or two when Shai and Caalab seemed to be able to sit together and laugh and talk. Sure, they were short lived moments at first, but they were moments, nevertheless. Now, Shai and her brother have achieved the impossible…or at least the impossible according to Shai. They seldom really fight anymore. Growing up some can make all the difference in the world.

Watching Shai and Caalab together now is a scene that warms my “grandmother’s heart”. These two kids…so different, and yet not really so different, interacting in brotherly/sisterly love is simply amazing, and I thank God for that change every day.

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