Friday, May 15, 2009

Shepard Family Update, May 15, 2009

Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere
where individual differences are appreciated,
mistakes are tolerated,
communication is open,
and rules are flexible --
the kind of atmosphere that is found
in a nurturing family.

-- Virginia Satir

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

This is such a busy birthday time for our family that I am having trouble keeping them all straight! I mentioned last week that Jason Shepard's birthday was yesterday, but I was mistaken. Jason's birthday is actually this coming Monday, May 18. Happy birthday, Jason!

Instead YESTERDAY was the 25th Birthday of Christopher Robert Shepard and deserves special mention. Chris is the 10th Ggrandchild of Will and Bura, and is Darrell and Mary Shepard's first born. He lives in Kenmore, Washington, a suburb of Seattle.

Happy Birthday this past Monday, May 11, to Jacinta (Cindy) Shepard. This Cindy Shepard -- one of 3 in our family! -- is Dane's wife, Nathan and Kaylan's mother, and a native Oklahoman who presently lives in Blanchard, Oklahoma with her family.

Happy Birthday TOMORROW to Darren Boyd of Lakeside, California, who is the youngest of Will and Bura's 12 grandchildren.

Birthday wishes also go to Darren's niece Ashlyn Ortiz of El Cajon, California, this coming Tuesday, May 19. Ashlyn is one of the Ggrandchildren of Terry and Thelma Boyd, and is one of that elite group of 8 GGgrandchildren of Will and Bura Shepard. Mother Desiree says, Ashlyn will be 4 years old. She is in pre-School, and loves it. She is a bright girl and a real "Girly Girl"! She loves to dress up and play with make-up. She is also a "shoe-aholic", lol! Every time we go into a store she needs -- I should say WANTS -- a new pair of shoes! Best wishes to Ashlyn.

The first of the two pictures I am including today (click on the picture to see a larger view) is a collage of images of the birthday folks I have just mentioned. Warm wishes to all of them and their individual families on their special days.

And finally, warm birthday greetings to Elmer Shepard, the elder statesman of our Shepard clan, who turns 92 this coming Wednesday, May 20. Dane emailed me last week and said that he took his dad Elmer recently to visit Elmer's AUNT Mildred (Beck) Davis in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. How often does a 92 year old get to pay a visit to his own aunt!? I hope it made him feel like something of a youngster. A few weeks ago I mentioned Mildred and included a picture of her and some of her family.

Here's what Dane said in his email to me: We had a good trip to Bartlesville. We had a surprise guest, [Aunt Margie's son] Arlen Millikan, who joined us along with Bud and Janet [Davis]. It was great to see Mildred and Dad together [see picture]. She is quite a cut-up and gave us a few laughs. [Mildred's daughters] Becky, Jessie, Charlotte, and Kathy fixed a great midday meal for us. Dad really enjoyed himself although the trip was an effort for him. He's not ready to tackle another one for a while.

Thanks to Dane for this email and for the picture of Mildred and Elmer.

Since I am dipping into my (e)mail bag, let me mention another. I received word recently from one of Elmer's granddaughters, Havilah Reynolds. Havilah is the daughter of Joan Shepard and Art Colgain, and the 8th of the 20 Ggrandchildren of Will and Bura. You may remember that Havilah's father, Art, lost his wife Jill in an auto accident last summer. Here is some of what Havilah said in her email:

Hi Steve, it's great to hear from you. I am living in West Valley City, Utah. My dad lives about 40 minutes down the freeway in Kaysville. He is very involved in the Kaysville Church of Christ. The congregation has been so supportive during this time of loss that I can't even begin to put into words how thankful I am for them.

As for me, my life is where I want it to be. I met my boyfriend Kevin out here in August and we have been together since the day we met. I have so much love and support from Kevin, and his family - it's so incredible. I currently work at a residential program for people with disabilities. I fell in love with the job and realized nursing is where I see myself. I am starting the CNA course this week, and then will be starting a nursing program this fall, if not this summer.

Kevin and I are rock hounds in our spare time. Utah is such a beautiful state and there are some awesome places to rock hound fairly close to us. Our last adventure was out to Topaz Mountain, where, true to its name, topaz can be found. I am setting up an art studio in our house for my painting and drawing. I also write poetry and short stories in my free time. I really love living out here in Salt Lake. It's great to hear from you and to get the family updates.

Thanks, Havilah, for the update on how you and your dad are doing.

Can you believe it? We are just two months from our family reunion July 18 in Newcastle, Oklahoma. We hope many of you will be able to make it, because we anticipate a great reunion! As I have mentioned before, I welcome any pictures of your particular family group that I can include in a photo presentation I will be making at the reunion.

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