For most of us, who took gymnastics in school or other training, our school years coming to an end, usually also ends our “gymnastics career,” if it could be called that. There are some gymnasts who continue on in their career or even go on to the Olympics, but even then, most of them are finished with their gymnastics career by their late teens or early twenties. Let’s face it, gymnastics is a strenuous career, and most people just can’t take the strain very late in life or even past their very early lives. There are a few, however, who are active into their mid to late thirties, and one, Oksana Chusovitina, who is currently still active at 48 years old. Nevertheless, Chusovitina is nowhere near the oldest active gymnast.

Johanna Quaas, who is finally “rumored” to have retired, was born November 25, 1925. She is a German gymnast who was certified by Guinness World Records April 12, 2012, as the world’s oldest active competitive gymnast. At that time, she was 86 when she broke the record. She was a regular competitor in the amateur competition Landes-Seniorenspiele (State Senior Games) in Saxony. She became known worldwide on March 26, 2012, when YouTube user LieveDaffy uploaded two videos of Quaas performing gymnastics routines…one on the parallel bars and one on the floor. Prior to that video, the tiny, 5’2″ gymnast was relatively unknown, but as the clips went viral, within six days of posting and had generated over 1.1 million views each, that all changed. In addition to being recognized by Guinness World Records, Quaas has received the Nadia Com?neci Sportsmanship Award from the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. Being an active gymnast at 86 is unheard of, and yet, Quaas continued to compete until she suffered a torn biceps tendon in 2018, while trying to help her granddaughter. Of the incident, “She just wanted to adjust a baby chair for her granddaughter, but the ‘nipple just wouldn’t go through the flap’ – a jerk and jerk – a severe pain in her left arm led to the above diagnosis! That hurt, of course,” said the still active senior athlete, “but strangely enough, I can now raise my arm a lot better than before, and the doctor said, let’s leave it that way for now!” Technically, she stopped performing active or competitive gymnastics. Nevertheless, in addition to fact that she can actually raise her arm better than before, she could still stand on her head at age 95. Still unable to slow down really, she has developed a bed gymnastics routine which she performs every morning and has made the routine available on YouTube and DVD published by Wissner-Bosserhoff. So, has she completely retired? Only time will tell.

Johanna Geißler was born November 20, 1925, in Hohenmölsen, Germany. She was always an active child. She often climbed tall bars and roll on the mats. She began gymnastics at an early age and loved it immediately. She first competed at about age ten, but soon her family moved to a different part of Germany, temporarily ending her participation in competitions. When she was eleven, she began Nazi Germany’s required social service work for girls during World War II during which she worked in farming and took care of the children of another family. After completing the compulsory social service, she trained as a gymnastics coach in Stuttgart, finishing in 1945 and moving to Weißenfels. She was still unable to work in gymnastics at that time, because it had been banned in East Germany during the first two years of post-World War II Allied occupation. So, she took up team handball instead, while in Weißenfels, learning and practicing it until the ban on gymnastics was removed in 1947. In 1950, she studied at the University of Halle to become a sports teacher. She has been an active athlete all her life, and it’s been a very long and healthy life. Today, Johanna Quaas is 98 years old. Happy birthday to this amazing lady.

My niece, Kellie Hadlock is one of the happiest people I know. Kellie keeps happiness in her heart, and from there, it explodes into the atmosphere around her. Kellie has always been that way. Her laugh, her smile, her sense of humor, and her unending ability to be pleasantly surprised have made her personality one of bubbly excitement and happiness. Everything about life is exciting to her. I don’t know many people who as adults continue to be excited and amazed at all of God’s creation, but Kellie is just that. She is that person who wakes up and looks at the world, and says, “Wow!!”

Kellie has two pets, who fill her with joy every day…her bird, Peetey, and her dog, Leena. They keep her busy every day too. Peetey loves to sit on her shoulder and listen to her sing, which Kellie loves to do. Kellie is one of the worship leaders at our church, Word Christian Fellowship, but Kellie loves to sing all the time. She has been such a great blessing when she sings at church, and every time I hear, it brings tears to my eyes. Her songs are just so beautiful, and her voice is perfect. She plays piano at her house, and sings worship songs to God as often as she can, then she often posts them on YouTube, so others can enjoy them too. It is in her blood and in her spirit. Leena came into Kellie’s life as a tiny little ball of fur. She has grown some, but not really very much. Leena…a wiggly, happy little pup, has stolen Kellie’s heart…what Peetey left of it anyway!!

Of course, Kellie is all about her family. She loves each and every one of them, but her nephew and her nieces are her very favorite people ever. They love spending time with their Aunt Kellie, and they always have lots of great fun. I think that Kellie just might be everybody’s “favorite aunt,” but to say that might get me in trouble. Nevertheless, I call ’em as I see ’em. Kellie is so much fun to be around, that it’s like having a “friend aunt” or something. Today is Kellie’s birthday. Happy birthday Kellie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

In most ways, my grand-niece, Zoey Iverson is a typical little girl, who happens to be turning three years old, but in other ways, she certainly is not. Zoey loves to watch crafting videos on YouTube, not a common hobby for most three year olds, but one that is likely less annoying to her parents than some of the cartoons these days. Knowing that Zoey watches You Tube is not really surprising, but her taste in videos really is. It is making me wonder if there is a bit of artist’s blood in her veins. I have great respect for those who can do crafts, and if this little girl is learning how to do these things now, she will be good at it.

Zoey also loves camping with her family, and fishing with her daddy. She and her daddy are really buddies, but don’t think that Zoey doesn’t have a girlie side. Zoey loves to dress up as a princess, and she can never get enough bath time. For anyone who loves a nice warm soak, especially with bubbles, Zoey’s love of a bath makes perfect sense. She also loves to play pretend with her toys, and she is learning her animals.

I think her biggest job, and her greatest accomplishment is helping her brother eat and learn new things. Her brother was born with Down’s Syndrome, and Zoey has taken it upon herself to help him learn as much as she can teach him, because Zoey loves her brother, Lucas very much. He is her hero in many ways, and she is a hero to him too…though she may not realize that. Zoey is a sweet girl with a caring heart and she is a great blessing to her family and all who know her. Zoey is growing up very fast, and in many ways, is already wise beyond her three years. Some kids are like hat, and Zoey, loves to take care of others, especially her big brother. I know that she is going to be a wonder little three year old and a great girl, as she grows up too. Today is Zoey’s 3rd birthday. Happy birthday Zoey!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

11167992_1023182441026687_1480521992843607678_nWhen we think of a cosmetologist, we think of someone who cuts and styles hair, probably dyes it too, as well as doing make up and nails a lot of the time. It is a profession that caters to a lot of people, but few really give it much thought after the appointment is over. I don’t go to a cosmetologist, but my niece, Lacey Stevens is one, and if I did go, she would be the one I would go to. Lacey is very dedicated to her career and to her clients. When I look at Lacey’s Facebook page, I see several people who have posted their gratitude for her work. One post in particular comes to mind. Her client posted, “Thank you for making me so pretty for my birthday! I love you!” Lacey and her expertise helped this girl have a wonderful birthday because she felt beautiful, which made her day extra special.

Lacey takes a special interest in makeup, and watches tutorials all the time on the latest look and how to apply 12208777_1104716806206583_2823102096553446044_nit correctly. Eventually, it is her dream to make her own makeup tutorials. That dream was actually in the works at Christmastime, but was waylaid when her boyfriend, Michael Tanner’s car was broken into and his Christmas presents to her, stolen. Now that makes me mad. A camera and a lighted makeup mirror for the purpose of creating her own YouTube videos showing makeup techniques. So, as soon as the insurance is settled, they will purchase those things again and she will be on her way. I am very excited about that. Some of the new makeup techniques, like contouring, a technique which seems to escape me, are so great. Maybe that can be Lacey’s first tutorial.

Michael is a very giving person, and for Lacey’s birthday, he has planned a trip to Boston and New York City in February to see a comedian they both like. The trip is to Lacey Louise Stevens_editedinclude a luxury train ride from Boston to New York City. Lacey is very excited. Trains are great, so that will certainly be major highlight of the trip.

Lacey is one of the up and coming hair stylists. She is one of the most requested hair technicians at Supercuts, where she works. Her personality and her love of beauty glows from her face, and people are naturally drawn to her. Then, they are never disappointed in the results. She is also a top seller of the products that the store sells, because if Lacey recommends it, her clients know it is a great product. Today is Lacey’s birthday. You’ve come a long way, baby, but the best is yet to be!! Happy birthday Lacey!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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