Our Nuclear Family

If you’re here, I imagine you might want to know about my personal life. I have a beautiful, loving wife named Jana (29+) who is a very talented photographer and an excellent mother to our two boys. Both boys are perfect little clones of me named DJ (5.5) and Duke (3). We also have three dogs – Trixie, Lil B (Jack Russells aged 10-15), and Winchester (a 2 year old silver lab). We spend our summers playing in the pool, going out on the boat, playing at our property, and just generally trying to be active outdoors as much as the heat will allow us to. Fall and Winter are the best times at the property and when I do the most work, clearing trees and brush, trying to reclaim some of the land that has been taken back by Mother Nature for so many years. The last few years our Winters haven’t been too bad, we really only get a couple days where snow sticks to the ground. Most of the days are above freezing, so it’s extended our outdoor season to almost be year-round now. We like to travel in our motorhome in Summer and Fall, visiting places out West most of the time. Jana and I take as many trips to Las Vegas by ourselves as we can, but as we’ve gotten older we care less about the nightlife and more about the room service. Beach vacations are also a semi-regular thing, we have a little town near Destin Florida that we like to visit. Jana also has a very special connection with Ocean City, NJ and the Boardwalk. I’ve been there twice with her before we had kids, we haven’t been back since the boys were born but we’re planning on taking them in the next year or two. It’s a very neat place for kids – there are tons of shops, restaurants, a theme park, movie theater, etc all along the boardwalk and of course the beach is right there too. You ride bicycles everywhere or just walk. It’s a very nostalgic place.

DJ is our first-born, he was born right before Christmas in 2014. We actually brought him home on Christmas Eve. He is a very mature boy for his age, and apparently has a really deep voice for his age. We didn’t notice but other people have commented on it. He’s a big kid with a great personality, he just wants to make people laugh. Duke is our baby, he was born in June 2017 and has been a sweetheart from day one. He is also big for his age, but his most noticeable trait is that he is very interactive and happy. He is very funny too, but in a different way – he’s more of a stinker, for instance he will do something to test you and then if you tell him “no,” he will do it again and laugh. He likes to wrestle with DJ and usually wins. DJ spends his down time playing Nintendo, Duke likes to play with toys or pretend he is running a food truck in our living room. The menu is pretty diverse; he has burgers, dog-dogs, ass fries, and ice cream. He only accepts cash (we have play money) and he always thanks you for your business. DJ is maybe the best 5 year old Fortnite player in the country, he regularly wins and always finishes in the top 5. He also plays Call of Duty with me sometimes. I think DJ will grow up to be a computer whiz/gamer, he’s already really good at math and loves science. My guess is that Duke will do something mechanical, possibly an engineer or something along those lines. He is very hands-on and loves to learn how things work.

Jana and I both grew up with divorced parents, in households where our parents had to work all the time to provide for their families. So it’s been a focal point of our marriage to make sure our kids have it better than we did, not that our childhoods were bad, but we just want more for our own children. Jana was a really popular 3rd/4th grade teacher here in Mountain Home; she actually won Teacher of the Year at one point. When she gave birth to DJ, we made the decision that she would stay home with him for at least a couple of years because we didn’t want to send him off to a daycare right away like some parents have to do.

After a couple of years Jana needed a break so we sent DJ to a really well-loved lady in town that ran a daycare out of her house for as long as anybody can remember. Jana had decided not to go back to teaching because of the politics and the legal ramifications of the job, so she was looking forward to pursuing some hobbies with her newfound free time. That didn’t last long, as she became pregnant with Duke shortly after (I should probably make a joke about sex being one of her hobbies, but she would kill me) and we prepared for his arrival. Once Duke was born and we went through the first two years of him being home, we were able to put him into a really great daycare as well. He will start preschool next year, and DJ just started Kindergarten today.

Jana spends most of her time with the boys, then her photography business. I spend my days running our manufacturing businesses and occasionally working at the family property. We have a really nice life that we try not to take for granted. I honestly don’t know how my parents did it, especially Mom. She was a single mother for most of my life, and even when she was married to Dad, he was working or fishing all the time so it was really on her to take care of everything else. She had a lot of help from her parents, Mema and Papa, which is one advantage she had over me. Mom died when I was 19; Dad when I was 12. Thankfully Mema lives close by and is still a very spritely 80 year old, she helps out when she can, and we have Jana’s mom Lynne who is recently retired and doesn’t live very far away. Not having the full gamut of grandparents to help out makes it tough but we’re fortunate to have jobs that allow flexibility where our kids aren’t being handed off to strangers or left at houses all the time.

I’m not real sure what else to put here right now, I just wanted to make something quickly because I realized the “Family” link on the main page wasn’t going to anything and I could already hear all of the people saying “ohhh he spent all this time making a page about his vehicles but he can’t even make a page about his family!” Now they’ll just have to find something else to bitch about. I am proud of our nuclear family, it’s kind of a throwback to happier times in America when you had a traditional family structure. I think that environment is so much better for children and helps them grow up to be responsible, intelligent human beings. We live in a world where it seems like the nuclear family is always under attack from liberal-minded folks that want to push their agendas onto everyone else. We really value the roles of a man and wife, and a mother and a father. It’s a shame to say that way of thinking is old fashioned, because it’s the most natural family arrangement you can have. We’re very thankful to have what we have.