The Good Stuff
Nothing is more important to me than God, Faith, and Family.
Our Beginning -
I was born in Sheridan, Wyoming. Our family spent summers in Laramie while my dad finished his Master's Degree in Secondary Administration. We knew the campus so well that my mother would walk with us, eyes closed, and make us guess which building we were facing. Those were fun days. My dad became the principal of Big Horn K-12 and later served as the principal in Kemmerer. When he was hired for the Powell Middle School position, he replaced Jim Bell, my father-in-law. James and I marvel at the turn of events that bought us together in Powell, Wyoming. When we moved to Powell, it was like coming home. Both my mom and dad grew up in Worland, so returning to the Big Horn Basin was a dream come true.
I graduated from Powell High School and Northwest College. My dad had been one of the first classes to attend Northwest College and served on the Foundation Board. There was no question where his kids were going to college. Northwest was a great place to start. I studied French and Language Arts and graduated with honors in 1987.
I married my best friend, James Bell, thirty-three years ago, and we spent our early years at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. I graduated magna cum laude from Pacific in 1989 with a B.A. in English and a teaching certificate. James earned his Doctorate in Optometry in 1991. After graduation, we were excited to come home. Unfortunately, not all young people can stay in or return to Wyoming - but we were. Family is important, and opportunities for our young people are crucial to our economy and our culture. Wyoming must encourage business, foster opportunities that enable young families to continue their family legacy of living in Wyoming.
I value and support our community colleges and the University of Wyoming. Higher education is a legacy guaranteed by our founders. They recognized the importance of educational opportunities and the value education brings to individuals and to our communities. I believe that state-wide support for community colleges is best. The benefit to students attending Wyoming's community colleges is not confined to the counties they reside in. A system of equitable support for our community colleges is best and fair.
Our Children -
We have a family blessed by ten children. Nine of our children are still with us, and our son, Matthias Ambrose, passed into God's hands in April 2006. All families experience both joy and pain. We are thankful daily for our time with Matthias. He taught us much about the blessing of every person and lives lived, whether short or long.
The Family Grows -
Our three oldest daughters are married, and our eldest son is engaged.
We will celebrate three University of Wyoming graduations, and one Cody High School graduation in May.
She is our 6th child to graduate with a great education from Cody High School.
We are proud of our children's success, including three Northwest College degrees, and six University of Wyoming degrees earned by our kids. Our two grandsons and one granddaughter bring us joy. We love them all!
God is good,
all the time.
All the time,
God is good!
Matthias Ambrose Bell - April 11 - 14, 2006
We were unaware of Matthias' health conditions when he was born on April 11, 2006. While the diagnosis of Trisomy 18 broke our hearts, we were blessed that Matthias survived birth and spent his short but beautiful life of three days with us.
We are forever grateful to our doctor and nurses at West Park Hospital and Saint Vincent's Hospital Neonatal Care Unit in Billings.
Life is precious, always.
Our Family Continues to Grow
Our daughter, Ashlen,
and her family live in Bozeman.
Our grandsons and granddaughter
bring us joy.
Life is good!