Family update on my three big boys

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-05-1998
Family update on my three big boys
Thu, 04-17-2014 - 4:24pm

Only one of my "three big boys" is a teen anymore, and he turned 18 at the end of February.    Greg is a high school senior and one of six (!) co-valedictorians in his class. He's going to be going to Western Michigan University in the fall to study biochemistry.  He was awarded the Medallion Scholarship, which is their highest award ($50K over four years), but I still had him spend a lot of time over spring break filling out scholarship applications to help defray the rest of his costs.  I think he did seven applications for local and regional scholarships.  After a crazy-busy March in which he had the lead in our school's production of Seussical, we are having a fairly quiet April, which is nice, because May is going to be non-stop activity.  He's got AP exams, pops concert, choir trip to Cleveland, final exams, graduation and open house. 

Christopher, my 21-year-old, is going to be graduating from Lansing Community College in mid-May with his Associate of Applied Arts in Computer Graphics/Multimedia.  He is working two jobs right now:  he has a clerical position in LCC's student services department, and is a manager at at food service stand for the Lansing Lugnuts (minor league baseball team).  He was an employee at this stand last year, and when the season began, they promoted him to manager, which means more hours and slightly more money per hour.  Chris, his girlfriend Sophia, and their son, Astor, moved into an apartment in early April.  They are still getting settled--he's very neat and organized and she's not (this is a massive understatement).  Still, they are muddling through with all of the things that come with apartment life, parenthood, jobs, and school.  I'm incredibly proud of Chris and all he has accomplished--he has Asperger's Syndrome, and if you had told me when he was 6 or 7 that he would someday have a college degree, a job, and a family, I would have thought you were nuts. 

Matt, my 23-year-old, after being unemployed since November, finally got a 40-hour-a-week job at a call center that handles health insurance enrollments.  Because of the Affordable Care Act, this company has hired 100 new reps--Matt's finishing up his second of three weeks of paid training, then he gets put on the phones for real. He still seems to have no interest in going back to school and getting his degree, but for now, I'm just happy he's employed.

Because Chris moved out of the room he shared with Greg, Matt was able to move out of the room he shared with Cathy, my 11-year--old, and now she and I are in the process of transforming her space into a nice tween girl bedroom.  She is ecstatic.  She's a busy fifth grader, still active in Girl Scouts with me as her leader. She was also in the high school musical as a "Who."    My grandson, Astor, was also in the play, as the "baby elephant bird" that hatches at the end of the show. 

I'm having a busy time, too.  After supporting Matt and Greg in musical theater throughout their  high school years, I finally took the plunge for myself and am in rehearsals for our local community dinner theatre's production of "Nunsense: The Mega-Musical."  I am taking a break from the barbershop chorus to do this and I'm having a blast.   I'm also preparing for an in-person Jeopardy audition in May in Detroit.  I've been doing the online test for the past five years, and got contacted in March that I was selected to audition for the show.  This is a major bucklet list item for me, so I'm excited and nervous about the opportunity. 

My DH, Jay, is still struggling with his chronic pain issues, but after a very depressing winter, he seems to be making some effort to be part of family life as the weather warms up.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he'll be able to attend both Christopher's and Gregory's graduations. 

And that's the news from Michigan!


Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Thu, 04-17-2014 - 4:37pm
Great update!!! Sounds like you are still pretty darn busy!
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 04-18-2014 - 10:39am

Yes, busy is an understatement.  I do hope your DH is feeling better and can attend the grads. Oh and I'd love to know what the mascot is for the Lugnuts!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-05-1998
Fri, 04-18-2014 - 12:34pm

the mascot for the Lugnuts is "Big Lug."  He's kind of a cartoonish dinosaur or dragon (?--never really been sure) and his nostrils are two lugnuts.  He used to have a little sibling named "Ratchet," but I don't think he/she lasted very long.  Here's a picture of him:


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Fri, 04-18-2014 - 9:23pm

How cool for Greg and congratulations to him and his parents!

Oh, there is nothing like having an “aspie” in the house to liven things up.  LOL  And they make very good daddies  from what I have observed with the Butchman and the aspie neighbor next door to our family who we all considered to be our third grandfather. I also have noticed that on the few occasions I have seen Bill Gates talking about his kids, he exudes that same warmth. 

You know George and Barbara Bush just celebrated their 69th anniversary—A teen romance gone GOOD!  Hopefully in sixty plus years they will be saying that about Chris and Sophia, and our two couples. 

WOW, you should be having withdrawals with the house emptying up.  LOL  There are weekends and occasionally weeks where one of the couples goes off with the guy’s family somewhere and the hum of the house is diminished tremendously—especially when younger couple with the brothers is gone.  Likewise during the annual hunting trip with the men folks gone.

Our older couple has the two bedrooms that the girls grew up in and they are still somewhat “tweeny”—absolutely feminine.  The garage couple live in a large “man cave” with the “cubs cave” beside it for the brothers. 

Looked up the Lugnuts who used to play at Oldsmobile Park—my mom and dad still drive an Oldsmobile.  Now it’s called Cooley Law School Stadium—Butch toyed with the idea of taking the team up there to Cooley a few years ago, until his dad took him aside, like Ricky Ricardo used to take Lucy aside, and “splaned the facts to him.”  Cooley is one of the few law schools that will take students with 60 semester units of college work and has a two year law accelerated program. The allure was the novelty of all four being members of the bar as teens.  “Sure son, we’re going to send four teens to Siberia with one very inexperienced driver, a driver with no ice and snow experience, when you will still have to complete college when you come back from Siberia because you will have no other marketable skills.  And son did you know it’s really COLD in Siberia. ” (And besides that son, like most aspes, you’re going to knock your GF up and need lots of family help around.  LOL  Obviously this sentence was not in the conversation, but it would have been accurate.)  Cooley is also where Butch sent the sons of two people who work at the office where they all work because it was the only option for them and they are both passing. (Both now have serious Siberian girlfriends.)  

What is it like to live in Siberia?   LOL

It’s amazing how closely we are all connected. Our kid’s might have ended up sitting next to yours at a Lugnut game. One of our daughters’ third cousins is married to a gal who has a cousin in New Jersey that is married to a guy that is in the Gotti family—not part of the “mob family” though.  Butch with his usual quirkiness says, “That is too bad because we may have need of some muscle someday and it would be good to have it in the family.”  LOL

Matt has time to figure things out.  And a few years doing that is often not a waste. Early on Steve Jobs of Apple fame was busy building and selling devices to fool the pay phones with sounds that made it seem like coins were going into the payphone.  Obviously, somewhat integrity challenged.  LOL  I can picture our daughters doing that also. 

We love both Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, but I know there is no reason for me to waste my time, the time of really qualified people, and the time of the staffs when they come through town looking for contestants.  With Wheel, if figure if you’re not getting about one in four of those toss ups before the three on stage, you probably aren’t qualified.  I think I get 1 in 10 or fewer before the contestants do.   Likewise, I figure, if you’re not getting one in four of those Jeopardy questions correct, you probably aren’t qualified.   I hope you beat Ken Jennings record of 73 games.  By the way I did know the answer to the final question that ended Ken’s extraordinary run.  Even a stopped clock is correct twice a day.   LOL

Pain can be very very depressing.  My dad and hubby’s dad both have lots of that and as the doctor told my dad it is really hard on the younger people because unlike those older folks they have little to no understanding about such and none of their friends do either. The pain doctors have not been able to help dad. 

Elizabeth, I enjoyed reading the GOOD news from Michigan! And enjoy the graduations and the musicals!


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Sat, 04-19-2014 - 10:13am

Thanks for the update, Elizabeth! Since we're also FB friends I can see what a little cutie your grandson is and got to see the pic of him all decked out in for his first theater performance LOL. Sounds like your kiddos are doing great. I, too, wish Justin would have continued with school but he's been working full time (and often overtime) at the same job for almost a year and moved out on his own last July. Glad Matt found something - I guess we can't really complain since at least they're both productive members of society LOL. Glad your dh is feeling a bit better. It was such a long, cold winter for everyone, even those that don't suffer the added issue of chronic pain.

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Thu, 04-24-2014 - 5:32pm
I hope your dh feels better soon. Have fun in the play!! Greg, Go Broncos!! I went there to finish a program, I was at UIC (U of IL-Chicago) but they had a joint study program for Baltic languages with WM. It was fun to go there. Glad everyone is thriving!!

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!