Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Long Overdue . . . . no, not a library book . . . :-)

I have been doing a terrible job of keeping the blog up to date and writing about the things I love: Laura, the Kids, music, politics and of course . . . . . looking for work. 

This morning I couldn't sleep and for the first time in a long time I came to the blog and realized that it had been since September (2013) that I had actually posted anything - September, wow, that is crazy.  It is especially crazy when you consider all of the things that have changed since that time and that I have not "updated".  As I have wrote before, I don't write the blog for others to read (although, I am still amazed at the traffic and number of readers from outside the US) as much as I am writing it for me as a "journal" that I can someday share with the kids.  One of my "goals" is to someday make copies of each entry and place them in a journal with pictures for Jacob, Hannah, Knoah, Ethan and Ian, a sort of scrapbook, if you will. 

So, where to start?  Gee, the best place would be to start with the new name that added in the paragraph above; Ian. 

Mr. Ian Jayce was born on September 9th and is the newest addition to the family.  He is an amazing little guy.  Well, to be honest, there isn't much "little" about him.  From the moment he was born until today he has been bigger than most children and although he was a few ounces lighter than Ethan at birth, he caught up quickly! 

Because I am continuing to look for work I have been at home taking care of Ethan and Ian since the day he was born.  Thankfully, Laura was able to stay home for the first six weeks but since that time it has just been me and "the boys".  Ian is now five months old and he is wonderful!  He has an amazing smile, laugh and a voracious appetite!  Like Ethan before him, Ian has become a quick study at things around him and in the last couple of weeks has started to "roll", "scoot", "reach" and do what can only be described as a "push up".  Jacob, who has been staying with us for extended periods, noticed yesterday that Ian was doing this and was surprised that a five month old could not only push himself up but would then look around with his head to find the toys he wanted to play with and attempt to scoot over and get them. 

I am so happy that Laura and I had the good fortune of having another healthy son and am so very proud of him.  So, welcome, Ian Jayce and I hope I can stay motivated enough in the future to share more frequently about how he (along with Jacob, Hannah, Knoah, Ethan, Laura and I) is doing!


 Ian Jayce 5 Months
Being without work has been not so great but the upside is that I am able to see and play with the boys everyday.  That has been a big change for Ethan as he no longer goes to daycare and he misses Dawn, Steve and the kids.  At first, I think it was really hard on him but he has adjusted well.  We have fun during the day, although I have to admit that I am really glad he is over his "Yo Gabba Gabba" kick :-).
Ethan continues to improve with his language and verbal skills and is talking in complete sentences and expressing complete thoughts.  I know as a parent you think your kids are amazing but in all honestly . . . . . he is ;-).  The first time that he visited Ian in the hospital was a bit of a chore as he was not all that excited to see him but Ethan has warmed up to his baby brother and is doing well.  He does has this habit of not wanting Ian to play with his Dinosaur Train toys but . . . I try and think that this is only because he doesn't want drool on them.  I think the biggest change for Ethan is that he no longer likes to have his picture taken.  This has been a difficult adjustment for Laura (LOL) although with Ian being a baby still she has a little one that is willing to have photos done so . . . Ethan gets a bit of a reprieve thanks to his younger brother. 

Ethan William 28 Months
Jacob, Hannah and Knoah all returned to school in September.  Hannah and Knoah remained in the same school while Jacob moved on to high school.  As of this writing we are working through school for Jacob but overall he is doing wonderfully as a young man. 
Jacob has grown so big and tall that it is almost impossible to believe he is the same kid if you look at photos from two or three years ago.  I have become very happy with how close Jacob and I have become and honestly feel like he and I are doing so well together.  I have asked him if he would like to go to school here and it seems like that is the direction we are going - yeah! 
Since the last blog post, Jacob had a birthday and he is now 15.  He has grown much more responsible and respectful than one might expect from a teenager but he has always been a good kid; polite, kind, sincere.  I like and admire that so much from him.  Jacob is wonderful with Ethan and Ian and watching him and Ethan play is awesome!  Although sometimes Jacob teaches Ethan some things that are best considered . . . well . . . "Nicholas Cage" . . .
Jacob isn't all that much into having his photo taken much either (I wonder if Ethan is getting that trait from Jacob) so you have to "sneak" them in . . :-). 

Jacob, Hannah and Knoah at the Pumpkin Patch 2013
Hannah Noel . . . where to start!  Hannah is now thirteen and is all girl!  She has exchanged messages with a boy from school that she likes but has said she does not have a boyfriend.  To be fair, I am very proud of her because when the boy asked her to go to the movies and told her he liked her she actually came to me and talked about it.  I was really super happy and impressed that she would do that.  It was a really good conversation and we discussed what it means to "like" someone along with boundaries on dating.  We agreed that she is a little to young to "date" one on one but that a group setting would be fine.  She has gone roller skating with her cousin and "talked" to boys from her school at the roller rink (ironically the same one that I went to when I was a kid) so she is progressing slowly.  :-)
School is going pretty good for Hannah and she is excited to learn.  At home she is doing a great job as a big sister with Knoah, Ethan and Ian although I am wanting her to spend more time with her "girlfriends".  I think that would be something that she would enjoy and something that would be beneficial for her. 

Hannah Noel 13 years old
Knoah has also had a birthday since the last post and is now seven years old!  Knoah is doing well in school and likes his friends at school.  He is obsessed with what may occur when the zombie apocalypse finally arrives and is insistent that we make sure we have the appropriate weapons and food available to ward them off.  For his birthday I put up several strobe lights in the back yard and we had a nighttime "zombie fight" with Nerf guns. 
Knoah is struggling playing with Ethan and we are working on the pushing.  I think it is difficult for Knoah because Ethan and he are the same height now and Ethan has a personality of his own so he isn't always willing to just "play" the game of sitting and watching Knoah play on the iPad, Xbox or Wii.  I have and will continue to talk to Knoah and help to get him to recognize that he is the "big" brother and needs to say no without pushing or shoving.  It is hard though and I know it will be a process as Knoah is only with Ethan and Ian on the weekends. 
Knoah, medically, is doing fine.  I know he had an appointment several months ago in Baltimore (I think - to be honest, I don't know and am not always told specifics) about his back and right now it seems the direction is to do nothing but wait.  I am happy about this. 
Knoah Franklin 7 years old
Anyhow . . . . I guess that is a quick insight into the kids.  Of course, since the last post we have celebrated Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Valentines Day like everyone else.  Thanksgiving was particularly eventful for us.  Laura was at work and it was the first time that I had ever prepared Thanksgiving Dinner by myself!  Yes, everything was edible and yes the Detroit Lions beat the Packers 40 - 10!  

Ethan, Hannah, Knoah, Jacob and Ian on Thanksgiving 2013
Laura and I continue to grow and our relationship has proven to be nothing short of amazing!  I had no idea that just over three years ago when she and I went to my nephews wedding that the friendship we had built over the spring and summer would bloom into the wonderful relationship we have.  I am so happy that it did and even more happy that she and I are together. 
Laura is so terrific to me and the Kids and is such a beautiful, sexy, intelligent woman that I thank God everyday for her.  Just a few days ago I read an article on Yahoo! about the 20 things you should do for a successful relationship.  The craziest part is that we were already doing 14 of the 20 without even knowing it!  I have been annoying Laura with a new one, "kiss hello and goodbye" but . . . it is fun and besides . . Yahoo! said these things were important, right. 
Of course this has led to Laura finding her own thing to annoy me with and it has been by way of the Honda commercial . . . "I pinch".  Now that I have a few little "pinch" bruises, I am growing to hate that commercial :-).

I have also moved Laura closer to the dark side of "Gnome Love" . . . and while she was off work after the birth of Ian, I was able to con her into painting her own Gnome for the yard next year :-).  Of course, hers is the one on the left from the agricultural college in Ypsilanti (MI) called Eastern Michigan, while mine is the very royal looking, manly and yes . . . dead sexy Gnome on the right representing the wonderful Campus Beautiful that is Eastern Kentucky University :-) (OK, I just put that all on here so I could show off the Gnomes . . . and . . . lol . . :-). . .). 
 The EMU "agraGNOME" alongside the wondrous EKU "GNOMEtastical"!  
So there is a brief but long overdue update.  Things could be worse (can't they always) and things could be better (would LOVE to find work) and while we are financially struggling the truth is we are not struggling for love, affection and joy (Laura and I were even able to have a nice "romantical" dinner out on Valentines Day (spelling of "romantical is correct, don't question it . . lol . . ).  Anyhow with everything I have, I count my blessing. 

Will and Laura at Cedar Point for the very cold, very wet HalloWeeknds (note; never ride a roller coaster when it is cold (below freezing) and raining . . . water hurts!!).   

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