Jack turned five last week.


And to think, I used to be able to hold him with one hand:

I just re-read the first post I made about his birthday,

It’s hard to explain how cool it is to have a five year-old in the house, but it’s pretty cool. Jack is becoming the “big boy” in the family, and he’s learned so much in the last 6 months… going from four to five, I’ve really seen him mature.

He’s now sharing with Grayson pretty much all the time, and when he’s not, he uses his words to tell Grayson and his mommy and I that he’s “playing by myself right now” which is so sweet. He’s also learning responsibility. Just last week he told me to take my own trash to the trash can after dinner, because “it’s your responsibility Daddy” and when he had a friend over for a playdate, he asked him to help him clean up “the toys you’re responsible for”.

Jack is an adorably sweet boy who gives hugs and kisses, and thanks God for his family, while also being pretty independent and resolute in his endeavors (just today he opened the back door at Nana and Papa’s all by himself (it’s a heavy sliding-glass door, and hard for me to open at times)).

He’s also rubbing off on his little brother. Yesterday, Grayson walked up to Jack and said “Hey Jack, do you want to be Jazz or Rachet?” When Jack chose Rachet, Grayson said “Ok, I’ll play for you and tell you if you win” which is a cute game for Jack when he plays it, but wasn’t cute to him when Grayson played it… though we got a kick out of it.

Jack is a sponge and just loves going to school and soaking up all the knowledge he can. Today he wrote his first item on his list for Santa… and he wrote all of the letters himself. He wants a “Lego Watch” with Luke Skywalker on it.

Jack is also a good Aggie fan, and great football game buddy. He’s been to pretty much every home game with me or Christine since he was born, and to a couple of games in Austin. And he loves seeing Bussy at the games.

I hope he continues to grow and develop in the manner he’s being doing so far, and that he grows to be a compassionate man who knows that love and communication are the keys to everything important. I think he will.

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My dad died on this day twenty-two years ago. I was 11 years old:

The text in the Houston Chronicle read:

John F. Engler, Jr. died age 39. November 22, 1987, in Denver. Services will be at Graveside, Forest Park Lawndale, December 5 and 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers send donations to John Engler Memorial Fund, c/o/ Margo Bergesen, P.O. Box 105, Round Mountain, Tx. 78663.

Sucks to lose a dad when you’re 11. Sucks to lose a dad period.

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This year, for Halloween, the boys wanted to dress up like characters from Star Wars.

Grayson wanted to be Darth Maul. Jack wanted to be Luke Skywalker.

So, I give you:

Darth Maul:

And Luke Skywalker:

Between the two of them, we’ve had some major lightsaber battles around here!

(more photos from Halloween here)

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In mid-October, I took Jack and Grayson, and we picked up Maly and headed to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to be part of their “Flight of the Monarchs” night. We had a lot of fun!

First, we met my Aunt Margo… my Dad’s sister, who I haven’t seen since I was in college 15 years ago.

Then we went into the main center and made caterpillars.

After that we walked up to the top of the observation tower, and I held each of the kids up high, so they could see the surrounding land all around us. They all thought that was pretty cool.

Then the kids were off. Off and running to be exact. I could barely keep up with them… running, running. Running. All over the place. Then we found some yard art.

An iron spider to be exact. And a friend. We played on that for a while, then right as it got dark, we headed back to the car… to home, and to bed.

Maly spent the night with us and the next morning, the kids all ran outside in their t-shirts and underwear, and played and got dirty… and looked for butterflys… Never saw any, but we looked.

What a great weekend!

(more photos here)

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Kids are so fun. And funny.

I took some photos of Jack and Grayson in the bath:

and then a few of Grayson in his elephant towel. He’s such a cheese:

Then I took a photo or two of Christine reading to Jack:

Then of Grayson drinking chocolate milk from his bear cup:


(all photos here)

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This summer, Ella came down to visit, so we met them out at Debbie and Raymond’s lakehouse.

The kids had a blast… Jack and Grayson love handing out with their favorite cousin!

See all the photos here.

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As a follow up to our trip to Kemah earlier this year, I’ve finally posted all of the photos from the trip… and talk about some fun photos.

I think these are my favorites:

(see them all here)

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