09/01/2012 - By Gayle M. Irwin
(click for larger version)
After more than 23 years of marriage and the birth and growth of two daughters, Drs. Lane and Laura Smothers still possess a firm foundation in faith and family. They attend Highland Park Church (HPCC), which Lane's grandfather helped establish. These native Casperites surround themselves with family and faith.
"Faith is the main thing," Lane says.
"We're fortunate to have an extended and core family that love each other," he continues. "Many people are estranged (from their family) – our families are very different and very blessed."
Lane serves on HPCC's Board of Servant Leaders and Laura serves on the Missions Board. They have led family missions trips, particularly to Nicaragua; these trips have made big impacts upon them and upon their daughters, Brooke and Hannah.
"We've led several groups there – work camps, vacation Bible schools at churches, schools…. It's been a real big part of our lives, and we've developed many friendships there," Lane says.
He and Laura foresee using their medical skills in missions as well.
"There is a great need (for medical missions), especially for women," Laura says.
Laura serves women in the Casper community as an OBGYN; Lane is a trauma surgeon. Lane followed in his wife's footsteps after she completed medical school.
"I tell people, 'I fell in love with her cadaver,'" he jokes.
Although they spent many years in Texas, attending medical school and starting their practices, family and the enjoyment of Casper drew them back in 2001. "We always wanted to come back," Laura says. "It's important to be close to family."
"We both love the mountains and Wyoming," Lane adds.
"There are so many amazing people (in Casper)," Hannah chimes in. "People pitch in and help each other."
Although the medical profession can be stressful, Lane and Laura agree the patients are their priority.
"It's an honor and a privilege to take care of people," Lane explains.
"Developing those relationships, that's amazing," Laura states. "Plus, how awesome it is to see a baby – I get to witness a miracle nearly every day!"
Their daughters have caught their parents' service to others mantra. Each sponsors a child in Africa.
Both girls also spend time running, following in their parents' footsteps. Sometimes they run together as a family. Additionally, Hannah, a 6th grader at Casper Classical Academy, participates in track and field and also enjoys cross-country running. Her thrill? "The hope you're going to finish, that accomplishment," she says. "I like the feeling I ran two miles!"
(click for larger version)
Her sister, 16-year-old Brooke, also participates in cross-country running and track and field. As a freshman, she placed fifth in the state in the 800-meter run as well as medalled in two events during the state track meet. Brooke is a sophomore at Kelly Walsh this year.
They are also a musical family. Hannah has been with the Casper Children's Chorale for three years. Everyone traveled to New York last spring when the group performed at Carnegie Hall. "I like being with people with amazing voices, that can help me get better," Hannah says. "I'm an alto (like mom) – I can sing high, but it doesn't sound good!" she adds. Her parents often participate in the Christmas concert at Highland Park.
A family busy with work, school, church, volunteering, and extended family obligations, they sometimes don't get to interact with one another as they would like. Therefore, they set aside time in the summer to not only travel on missions work together, but to spend quality time together. The family participates in Young Life Camp, a family camp held in Colorado each summer. Although there are separate activities for adults and kids, they also spend time together as a family, especially at mealtime, something that doesn't always happen at the Casper household. "It's different, sharing seven days a week, breakfast, lunch and dinner," Lane explains. "But, it's a great week!"
"It's a nice vacation," Laura echoes.
As school begins and everyone settles back after the active summer of travel, the family says they are looking forward to a routine once again. "We're ready to stay home for awhile," Laura says.