My Papa Jack

Every Memorial Day weekend, I make it a point to take the kids over to the little cemetery in Midlothain, Texas, so we can place a few small flags on my Papa Jack’s grave.

Problem is our family lineage has a bunch of Jack’s. George Jack, Charles Jack, Brady Jack, Jack Wroten Sr and Jr. Jack, Jack, Jack. All jacked up.

They get confused each year so I have to explain the same story time after time. My papa Jack died before they were born in 2004. He was their great Papa Jack. Their Papa Jack (Julie’s dad, is still alive). Their other great Papa Jack died before there were born too (that’s Julie’s grandfather). Poor kids. Jacks running all over the place in their family history.

Regardless, I miss my papa. I really don’t think a week goes by he doesn’t come across my mind. I wonder alot at what he would think of his three great grand kids. His Asian grandson. What he would think of me and how I’ve done. I’m grateful beyond words that God kept him with us long enough to see me finally get married and get to know my amazing bride. He was probably wondering back in 2003 just what in the heck was wrong with me…
Papa served our country too which makes this weekend a perfect time to remember and reflect on his life and the lives of so many others.
Papa was the cornerstone of our family for decades married to my amazing Grandma Kat. He provided me with amazing childhood memories on his Ennis farm, taught me how to fish, garden, drive and even mow the fields. Underneath all of that was Grandma keeping everything in check, as she still does to this day.
I know Grandma can’t wait to see him again on the other side as does my dad and the rest of us. Between now and then, we will continue to honor how he served his family and his country with our own little Memorial Day Weekend tradition.

Love you papa.


End of School Update – Kindergarten

Well, the first year of “official” school is wrapping up with summer plans ready to explode the household. So, I figured I would start a new annual tradition in summarizing the year for the kiddos.

All parents know how fast time flies. I was just listening to the radio this morning when one of my favorite songs came on and I was promptly reminded it was from 1997. Geez.

Next year Chloe and Sidney will start first grade, but this year was truly their first year at Smith Elementary and yes it was emotional. It’s truly crazy that they are now “little girls” and not babies anymore. Walking them in that day was somewhat surreal and yet they were so excited. Our big girls were starting the 13 year journey full steam ahead and our lives which once were routine-less, were now 100% routine based. That’s the part I really hate…

Sidney was in Mrs. Aan’s class. Her friends in class were: McKenzie, Payton, Kenny, Kyle, Brady, and Charolette. Her favorite thing about school was “choice time”, recess, popping a balloon (which they do every day), doing the calendar, having surprise lunches with daddy, mommy, and others, PE, and art and music too. Her favorite subject was “reading group”. She is a great reader and ahead of most others. (She is reading this as I write it now). What she doesn’t like about school is computer lab (boring), when she has a substitute teacher, and workout world and when people get in trouble. One of her favorite moments was when she got to go to her book buddies class and read with her. She was also “Star of the Week” which was fun!

Chloe was in Mrs. Butler’s class (Julie’s best friend). Her friends in class were: Jaeylen, Olivia, Daniella, Kaylon and Brooke. Her favorite thing about school was “choice time”, popping a balloon, art and music and of course recess and PE and “free day” in gym. Surprise lunches were a hit as well. Daddy driving her to school was a hit and the race to give dad a hug first was a morning ritual. She loved when I walked them in too. She did not like computer lab or having a sub. She only liked Mrs. Butler. She was “Star of the Week” first and was super proud of her poster! One of her favorite days was when she got to go to her book buddy’s class and have snacks and her book buddy took her order.

Their combined best friend was no doubt – Lilan!

Both of the girls are somewhat reserved in class but have certainly come a long way in not being as shy. Chloe is a true comic and getting laughs out of everyone, and Sidney is like a little mother to those around her making sure every one is ok. Both of their teachers rave about them which makes Julie and I smile from ear to ear. We were blessed to have two of Julie’s friends be their first year teachers!

It was a highlight of my week as their daddy to take them nearly every day to school and either walk them in or drop them off and wave bye. We either did it the “new fashioned” way or the “old fashioned” way depending on where they wanted me to drop them off.

They truly love school and it’s a joy watching them grow and learn. They both told me they are going to miss their teachers this summer and that lunch time will no longer be at 10:30!! Next year is 1st grade and we are all excited about this new step. But this year was sure fun and a true “learning” experience.

Quinn finished up another year at Ridge Kids pre-k and he has one more before he enters kindergarten. We are holding him back a year since he was born 6 weeks early. He loves school too and is doing well, though he is one active, never-sits-still child! Smith Elementary better get themselves ready for this one…his charm, smile and activeness is gonna rule the day!

For now, we enjoy another summer and get ready for the next year…