My grand nephew, Matthew Masterson is the only boy in a family of 4 children. I suppose that could make Matthew a terror…teasing his sisters, tormenting them with his antics, or just being in the room when the girls don’t want him there. Sometimes, those descriptions are actually true, but not for the most part. That’s because Matthew has more protective instincts that he does torment instincts. I think that a boy, who is the only boy in a family is often very protective of his sister or sisters. Most boys realize at an early age, that their job is to protect the women in their lives. That instinct is preparing them for their future roll as a husband and father. While Matthew is still a number of years away from being a family man, he is quite protective of his sisters, and that makes me very proud of him.
Now that Matthew is growing up, he has been allowed to have a Facebook page, because lets face it, social media is a way of life now. Each age group has different reasons for using Facebook, but the main reason for everyone, is to connect with friends and family. Of course, with kids, it has to be monitored by their parents, to prevent exploitation, and Matthew’s parents are very careful to do that. Matthew is learning the Facebook ropes…finding things that inspire him. His mom, Dustie Masterson has also posted things that she hopes will help her son to grow into the kind of man she wants him to be some day. Dustie and my nephew, Rob Masterson, love encouraging their kids to be the best they can be, and to know that if they put their mind to it, they can do anything they dream of doing. I like the inspiring things they share with their kids on Facebook, as well as in their daily home lives. Matthew is growing into a kind, loving young man, who thinks of others before himself.
Matthew loves hanging out with friends, his cousins, Zack, and Isaac Spethman, and sometimes their older brother, Xander Spethman, or their little sister, Aleesia Spethman. He also loves hanging out with his sisters, Raelynn and Anna Masterson, although his favorite people to hang out with are the Spethman boys, because their interests are much the same. Matthew is a curious boy, and he also loves to talk to the adults in the family. He wants to know about things that are going on in the world, and he has an opinion about things too. He has listened to the news, to his parents talk about things, and to his teachers too. By listening, he has an idea about how he thinks things should be. And he also has questions about those same current events. I think that as he listens and asks questions, he will grow into a wise young man. Today is Matthew’s 12th birthday. Happy birthday Matt!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My grand nephew, Xander Spethman is growing up so fast. It seems like yesterday that he was a little boy, and now I see a tall young man of 14 years. He has grown so tall and strong that I find myself having to do a double take to make sure it is Xander that I’m looking at…in fact, I recently saw him on the trail my husband and I walk on, and almost didn’t recognize him at all…and talking to him doesn’t help either, because his voice is suddenly pretty deep. I’m sure his years of doing sports have contributed to his new physique, and the fact that his dad, Steve Spethman is a man with big shoulders had a lot to do with it too, I’m sure. It could be Xander’s size that makes his a great protector of those who are being bullied, but I don’t really think it is. I think that being a protector is just part of Xander’s nature. He is kind and compassionate, and he doesn’t like to see anyone getting their feelings hurt, or being hurt physically…other than maybe the payers on the opposing team in football, and even then, he would not really want to hurt them…just take them down.
Xander is a great marksman in his own right, having been trained by his dad and mom to shoot guns at a young age. He has a good respect for human life, and gun safety. He knows what can happen if a person gets careless, and is determined not to be a person who is careless. He is very proud this year, in that he earned the money for and bought his own hunting rifle. Not bad for a 13 year old kid. He likes the feeling of accomplishment her gets from doing things on his own, but that doesn’t mean that his parents don’t mean the world to him…rather, just that they have trained him well to be independent…an part of good parenting. nevertheless, his mom, Jenny Spethman will always consider him her baby boy…as any mother would do.
As with many teenagers, Xander is spending this year wearing braces. I’m not sure how he feels about that, but I don’t know many teenagers that like it much. Still, when the time for braces is over, most of them are very happy with their new smile. Xander is a pretty easy going guy, and doesn’t let too many things bother him very much, so I suspect that he is ok with it, and given his size, who would dare to pick on him about it anyway. Today is Xander’s 14th birthday. Xander, we are all very proud of the young man you have become. Happy birthday Xander!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
James, it is so hard to believe that yet another of my grand nephews is graduating. It still seems like you should be just a little boy. I know that is crazy, because you and Caalab are the same age, and you are ten days older in fact. The years have flown by so quickly. I remember the day you were born, and every milestone in between that day and graduation. Now you are a man, and we couldn’t be more proud of the man you have become. You are a quiet man much of the time, but the little kids all love being around you so much. Watching you yesterday with Aleesia, and all the fun she was having climbing all over you, and then Raelynn and Audrianna coming in and making a beeline for you. It is so obvious that they all just love you so much.
While our minds are able to clearly see all the years that have gone by, and what a cute little boy you were, we find ourselves struggling with the fact that the little boy you were is gone forever now…and in his place is a tall young man, who is ready for the world and the next step in his journey in life. Whether you know exactly where you are headed, or if your plans are still in the works, I know that you will succeed in whatever you decide to do, because you are a person who completes what he starts. Still, today is about a finished race. You have completed all the requirements to receive your high school diploma…the achievement that we take you the longest time among life’s achievements. Before you now stands the next door in your life, and it is up to you to choose where that door will lead. No one else can make the decision for you. Your parents and family can advise you, but the choice is your and yours alone.
For now, James will attend Casper College, and take the required courses for graduation, since he hasn’t settled on a career path for sure. That’s never a bad idea. Taking all the basic classes leaves you with the ones that really interest you when you know where your career is headed. James is also hoping to save money to take a trip to the Netherlands, where his girlfriend is from. Julia is a foreign exchange student at Kelly Walsh, but will be heading home soon, so he wants to go see her there in her home country. Who knows, maybe he will choose to go to college there. Again, only time will tell, but for now, James is simply looking forward to his graduation, because it is the goal he has worked long and hard for. Congratulations James Renville!! We are very proud of you!! Way to go!!
Every child is unique, and even brothers have differences in their personalities that are very obvious to all who know them. My grand nephew, Zack Spethman is the middle of my niece, Jenny and her husband, Steve Spethman’s sons. If you ask Jenny about Zack, she will tell you that Zack is her huggy boy. He is the one, who as a baby liked to cuddle and was quick to give kisses and hugs. Some kids are busy playing and don’t really want to be held. They have things to do and see. Other children are more sensitive and show their feelings to others easily. It seems like for boys feelings are a complicated area…especially as they get older. Some of them don’t want to be seen hugging their parents, because it seems to them to be very little boyish, but there are some boys who just don’t care what people think. They simply love those who they love, and they don’t care if others see it. They become the boys after their mother’s, grandmother’s and even aunt’s hearts. They don’t realize how sweet their nature is. They just are who they are. That’s the kind of boy Zack is.
Zack is a very thoughtful young man, always making sure that his little sister, Aleesia has what she needs, and yet, he can roughhouse with his brothers Xander and Isaac with no problems. He loves sports, and hardly ever just sits around. From bicycles, to skateboards, to snowmobiles, and just running around with his brothers, Zack is a full of energy kind of kid. He and his brothers and sister are always on the go.
Zack’s very life has been a miracle from the day of his birth, when complications during labor could very easily have ended his life, but his parents were praying people, and everything fell into place to rush his birth before his mother even knew there was a problem. The doctor told Jenny later that of the three prolapsed cord births he had done, Zack was the only one who survived, demonstrating the power of prayer, and God’s grace and protection for those who pray and have faith in God. That moment was the only one, however, when Zack has had any problems in his life, and he has since made up for any of that, by living a life full of happiness, health, and energy. Zack is a wonderful by who is turning ten years old today. Happy 10th birthday Zack!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Recently, my interest turned to the ancestry of the Schulenberg side of my family, when I was contacted by a more famous member of the family, who I will not name at this point, as I have not asked his permission to do so, and so I will respect his privacy. He wondered if we might be related, and I told him that I expected that we probably are. Since that time, I have been looking back on that side of the family. I knew that our side of the Schulenberg family came to America aboard the SS Moltke in 1895, when Max Heinrich Johann Carl Schulenberg arrived on that ship at the tender age of 17 years, without an adult to accompany him…a bold move for a young man. He arrived in New York City, like so many other immigrants. Before too long he had made his way to Blair,Nebraska, where he met and married Julia Doll on December 16, 1902. The couple would have ten children, the oldest of which was Andrew, my husband, Bob’s grandfather. The family would eventually settle in Forsyth, Montana, where there are still family members living to this day.
But what of the German half of the Schulenberg family. They had a longstanding heritage in Oldenburg, Germany, where the family owned a farm since 1705, when the first known Schulenberg owner, Johann Schulenberg shows up in records as the owner. The farm was rather large and still stands to this day. It has been well maintained, and is in fact, more beautiful today than it was when Johann owned it. I’m sure that has to do with all the modern equipment and products we have today to enhance the natural beauty of a home and its grounds. Nevertheless, the farm was a productive place in 1705 too.
The furthest record of the family line that I have found to date is Vitter Schulenberg, who actually hailed from Schulenberg, Germany, where I expect the family originated, because as most of us know, before last names existed, people were known by the town they came from, such as Jesus of Nazareth. The Schulenberg family had been known in prior years as von der Schulenberg, which translates from Schulenberg, meaning the town of Schulenberg, Germany which is located in the district of Goslar in Lower Saxony, Germany, I don’t know if those people whose last name is spelled Schulenburg came from the same family or not, but I would expect that it is quite likely, because when people came to America, they were told to Americanize their name, and there was no regulation as to how to do that, so some went one way and others went another way.
I also found out that there was an older village of Schulenberg, which only appears in the fall, when the lake is at its lowest point. The lake (der Okertalsperre) or reservoir which was constructed in 1953, resulting in the flooding of the old village. That fascinated me. I found this picture of the ruins on Google Earth (taken by Harz Geist), and either there is not much left of the old village, or it was very small, which almost makes me wonder if it was originally a farm named Schulenberg, that grew into a village…but that is the subject of another story, for another day.
My dad was a hard working man, really from the time he was a kid. He helped out on the farm when he was a young man, then when he moved to California at 17 years of age, he did the work of a grown man, while he was still the age of a boy. That work ethic was something he learned growing up and it never left him. Through World War II and beyond as he moved around the country, while deciding where he wanted to live, he always had a job. He believed that work, any kind of work was a noble undertaking, and he did every job to the best of his ability.
When I was a little girl, he was working at a job that took him out of town sometimes. I really hated that particular job. I didn’t want my daddy to leave to go out of town all the time. It wasn’t that I was so young that I didn’t remember him when he got back, because I did, it was that I missed him so much that I could hardly stand it. I just didn’t think daddies should go out of town. He was supposed to be at home, with his family. I can’t say that the years have changed my opinion on that idea either, although I do understand that sometimes men have to go out of town for work. That is just the way things are sometimes. I just didn’t understand that as a child.
One time after Dad left to go out of town, I got sick. My stomach ached, and I just didn’t feel well, in general. Mom put me to bed and took care of me, as you would expect a mommy to do, and since it was nothing serious, there was no need to go to the doctor. We figured it was just a flu bug, and it would go away in a couple of days…and so it did, but not in the way you would expect. It was the strangest thing, but the minute my daddy got home, everything was fine, and I had not been faking illness either. This was similar, I suppose to being homesick, only in reverse. I wanted my daddy home so badly that I felt homesick for him. I was so happy when he came home. Everything was right again. Our family was all together again.
Dad was always the hero to his daughters. We knew that no matter what happened, Dad could fix it. That was just the way it always was. Dad was a problem solver, and his presence in our lives always made us feel stable and complete. We were always Daddy’s Girls…all of us, including Mom. And he always made us feel like we were his princesses. I guess that was why having him gone, out of town for work, or now, in Heaven, makes this world feel like something just isn’t right. And it isn’t, because my daddy isn’t here, and I miss him terribly. Today, my dad would have been 90 years old. Happy birthday in Heaven Dad. We love and miss you very much, and we can’t wait to see you again.
As little boys, my grandsons played baseball. It was hot and took up a lot of time in the summer, so after a while, they didn’t want to play anymore, which didn’t hurt my feelings, nor those of my daughters and sons-in-law, because as I said, it was hot!! Nevertheless, the boys had a good time with it while they played…except for when Christopher took one to the nose and broke it…real good!! Each of them played well, and each of them played best in a different position. Caalab was a very good catcher, but he struggled with batting. He struggled…until his mom, my daughter, Amy figured out the reason he was struggling. Caalab is right handed, and in most things, that works, but when it comes to batting, well…Caalab is a lefty. Amy watched as he struggled and thought he looked awkward. So she told his coach to have him try batting left handed. The rest…shall we say, is history. Caalab improved quite a bit then, and if baseball hadn’t been such a hot sport, he might have continued playing.
Fast forward now, to the present day. Caalab is working at Johnny J’s Diner, in Casper, and they have a softball team. They asked Caalab if he wanted to be on the team, and he decided to go for it. The good news for us, his parents and grandparents…the games are played at night…much cooler. Caalab has grown tall and slender now, and because he works out, he is very strong. When he hits the ball it really takes off. I’m very pleased with his new found skills. Caalab is no longer the catcher, because his talents are really needed elsewhere.
I know that sometimes a player is put in the outfield because they can’t catch the ball very well…at least that’s how it often is in co-ed softball. Caalab has been playing the left field at lot lately, so we wondered why that was. Then I heard one of the players on the opposite team say, “Whatever you do, don’t hit it to left field!” A short time later, I figured out what their concern was. One of the players hit the ball to left field…and not straight to Caalab either. Caalab took off running and next thing we knew, he caught the ball and the player was out. The next guy in the lineup must have thought it was a fluke, because he hit it to left field too, and once again, Caalab was off like a rocket, and the player’s fate was sealed. The ball was caught and the inning was over.
Amy and I…well, we were stunned, and I said, “Now we know why that team didn’t want them to hit it to left field!!” It was fear…or at least a good understanding that if you took the chance and hit it to left field with Caalab playing that position, you were going to be sorry. He has grown into a strong young man who will be a asset to this or any other team…and not just a softball team. He’s a good worker, and a very responsible young man…a rarity sometimes in this day and age. I’m very proud of that quality in Caalab.
Yesterday was Chris, my grandson’s first day as a working man. Chris has stepped across the line, from being a boy to being a working man. It is so amazing that he can be one thing one minute and be something else the next. He is 15…almost 16, and he wants to earn money to fix up his car so he is ready to drive when he turns 16. His car is a 1988 Chevrolet Camaro, and he is very proud of it. Yes, it needs a little work, but he and his dad, Kevin will do that together, with a little help from his grandpa, my Bob.
Chris is a hard working young man…something that shows in his football game. He has worked very hard this year to be the best defensive end possible. He loves taking down the big guys and especially the quarterback. He applies himself in the game and the practices. And I know he will apply those same good qualities to his job. His parents have done a great job in raising him. They have taught him the values that will take him far in this life.
They must have been pleased with Chris yesterday because he worked 7 1/2 hours, and he is scheduled to work 4 hours today. I guess they can see the good qualities I can see in my grandson. He is hard working and motivated. I know he will be successful at this job and anything else that he decides to do with his future.
I may sound a little biased and I suppose that is true. I am very proud of my grandson. He is a good kid who stays out of trouble and works hard to reach his goals. He has his eyes on the future that he wants, and he doesn’t mind working hard to make it happen. He listens to instruction and follows the training he is given. Many kids won’t listen, but he isn’t one of those kids. Ok yes, I am proud of him. I can’t help it. Chris, I know you will do great at this job, and they will be glad they hired him. I’m very proud of you Chris!! You will go far!!