A Short Biography

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The Boys and Life in Texas

About My Web Site

Hello, I'm Bob Childers. This is my web site and it's purpose is letting you know a bit about both me and my family. Depending upon your interests, there are several pages you can look at. Here you're at my Home Page, with a short biography, sections on my family, current events and links. Those pages cover my Career, Hobbies and a special page for my newest children. You'll find articles and links to pictures and some of my favorite web sites as well. If you find your visit interesting, you're welcome to contact me with your comments and suggestions on my site or just to say hello.

A (Very) Short Biography

I was born in 1951 on August 30th in Charlotte, North Carolina where my mother, brother, two sisters and daughter still live. I moved to Longview, Texas in 2002 after living in the New Orleans for 15 years. I was stationed in New Orleans from '77-'80, again in 1990 and eventually retired from the navy there in '94. I've also lived in San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia and Memphis at different times and lived for short periods or have visited most major cities in Puerto Rico, Guam and all but two states. In fact, it seems I've ALWAYS been on the move (see the photo above!), and it happened again - for the last time I hope - in October of 2002. I'm married to Vickie Bowling of Houston and have three grown children, three elementary age boys and five grandchildren. Alan, the oldest of my children, retired from the Navy in March of this year, lives in San Diego and had a second son January of '02. He got to meet his three youngest brothers when he, his wife and new baby stopped here for a visit over the Christmas holidays of 2003 and I was able to meet my grandson. My son Patrick was discharged from the Coast Guard in 1999 and currently works as an electrician and sales rep in North Carolina. My daughter, Jennifer, graduated from nursing school in May of 1999 and was married on September 15th, 2001. I'd planned to attend the wedding in Charlotte, but due to the regretful events in New York and Washington on September 11th, my plans were altered like those of many others. My daughter's third baby, Parker David, was born June 15 of 2006. Congratulations and good luck to all of them... they'll need it!! The newest additions to my immediate family are my three youngest children, all boys, who are TRIPLETS! More on that story later.

As I've already mentioned, over seven years ago we moved to TEXAS!! My family and I left the New Orleans area after 12 years for Longview, Texas at the end of September, 2002. My wife, Vickie, was promoted at work and on August 30th (my birthday) was informed of her promotion, which included a MAJOR (5 figure) pay raise AND the transfer to Texas. She needed to report to the new location by the first week of October, so there was a lot to do and little time to do it! We'd anticipated the possibility of a transfer earlier that year so we'd already begun to prepare for a move, we just thought it would be later and to the Houston area. As it was, we left New Orleans a few days late since a tropical storm (Isidore) hit NOLA the same day the movers were scheduled to pack us up. Other than the loss of a tree in our front yard, we got away without any damage and left for Longview, which is about a hundred miles east of Dallas, just before the next storm (Lili) struck a few days later. We temporarily stayed at a hotel until we found a house we all liked... and could afford. On October 25th, 2002 we signed our lives away for the next thirty years and picked up the keys to our new home (a photo is below). Luckily, I was able to keep the same internet server and email address, so there was no interruption with my site or internet communications. One final note on the move. As a parting gift, the regular 6+ hour drive from New Orleans to Longview took over 12 hours. Due to road work after Isidore, the 50 mile trip from NOLA to Baton Rouge took over 3 hours, we encountered a major accident with several fatalities near Alexandria, LA and a tractor trailer caught fire near Shreveport, LA (we were 3 cars back and watched it all), stopping traffic for almost 2 hours. During the trip, Robby got sick and threw up on himself as well as the the back of our new, month old SUV and the A/C in Vickie's car -- which she was driving behind me and a U-Haul trailer I was pulling -- went out. There were also any number of other annoyances that happened before and after the actual trip itself. For example, the electronic "keys" to our hotel rooms in New Orleans AND Longview wouldn't work and both had to be replaced several times before we could enter our rooms. In fact, we finally had to change rooms in Longview before we could get in... something we didn't anticipate or appreciate at 2AM after a 12+ hour drive. Also, the brakes on my Dodge Daytona locked the day I was driving it to a storage garage (the same day we'd planned to leave) and the wheels began to smoke. After we finally got there, we found out the stall they'd given me was too short and I had to find another space... at extra cost! Before we even left the house, the new central A/C went out twice the week the movers were to arrive and we had to spend almost $500 to have the damaged tree removed from our yard before it fell on our roof (ALSO the day the movers arrived, no less). Even after we got here to Texas, things went wrong in New Orleans. The realtor there kept showing our house to clients after the house had been sold and the Post Office was STILL delivering mail to our house there, even though we'd filled out a change of address form stopping mail delivery to the Louisiana address the week before moving out and we'd been gone almost four months. Even after we got our house in Longview, things failed to go as planned. The moving company had to make three visits, on three different days, before they finally located and delivered all our furniture and though few items were broken, our new dryer and a Lazy Boy recliner that Vickie had given me for my last birthday were among them. Talk about the move from hell!! Never let it be said the gods don't have a sense of humor. Anyway, checkoften for news on our home here in Longview. Now, back to the regular information and updates.

Because of my 20+ years in the Navy, I've spent much of my life traveling the orient, Europe, the Middle East and many other parts of the world as well as the 4 corners of this country. After I retired from the Navy in late 1994, I remained in New Orleans were I returned to school and after much time, trouble, numerous interruptions and nights of study, completed the requirements for several certificates, a diploma and finally a Masters Degree in October, 1999. I've spent much of the remaining time working around my house or yard. When not being a "house husband/Mr.Mom", I spend any free time with my hobbies or volunteer activities. I also began writing for a national publication, Concealed Carry Magazine, after Thanksgiving of '05. I became a contributing editor and was asked to write the magazines monthly editorial. I enjoy "playing" with computers and have been online with this web site, in one form or another, since the mid 90's. At least that was the case until early 1999. I like to believe I'm an ethical man who donates and is active in numerous charities, is kind to children and animals and treats the environment as the fragile thing it is. I believe we should make the world a better place than how we found it, attempt to understand those who are different from ourselves and don't force our beliefs on those around us if they aren't wanted. I also try to treat others the way I'd like to be treated and attempt not to judge anyone until I try "walking in their shoes" first. My interests are many, I'm always open to new experiences or ideas and believe life is always full of surprises... just look at our 11 year old triplets or the recent move to Texas. Most importantly, with the events of 9/11 and two conflicts in the middle east in as many years, it's good to remember that we don't know when our lives will be tragically altered or will be taken away, so life should NEVER be taken for granted!

Finally, on August 28th, 1998, my wife Vickie discovered she was pregnant and expecting TRIPLETS, her first babies. I've always said if you are going to do something, you should give it your best shot, but I never anticipated anything like this! The expected due date was mid April, but on January 21st, Vickie’s' doctor discovered she was having mild contractions. Because she was only in her 28th week, Vickie was placed in the hospital for monitoring and on January 31st, 1999 at 11:32 AM, she gave birth to three boys... Thomas (Tommy), Robert (Robby) and Samuel (Sam). They weighed 3.5 lbs at birth and were 17 inches long. While that's small, it's much larger than expected for babies over ten weeks early. Luckily, there were few complications so the babies were allowed to go home after growing a little more and the last baby came home on March 29th, the day after Vickie's birthday.

It's May 1st, 2010, and another year has come and gone. School will be over in a few weeks and the boys are about to complete the 5th grade. Rather than using our tax return for a yearly home improvement project this year like we have in the past, we've decided to use the money for vacations, special projects (like Boy Scout camp) and a few well deserved special things - like a wide screen TV - for the family. My family and I have been in Texas for almost 8 years now and we all - especially the triplets - continue to enjoy life here in the "piney woods".

Aside from the holidays, birthdays and the usual events it was busy fall and winter in general around the Childers house. Vickie and I still are members of the local Lions club, I became President from May of '07 until July of '08 and Vickie was Secretary/Treasurer until May of 2009. We also belong to the local PTA, the Longview Citizens Police Patrol group and help at scouting events with the three boys. The boys are no longer Cubs but became full Boy Scouts last Novembee and have been taking Karate lessons on Wednesday evenings for the past year. The boys have also now been Scouts for over five years and went on their first "sleep away" in March when they went on a five day trip with their troop to Pensacola, FL and Mobile, Alabama. They have now set their sights on summer vacation with a week long Scout camp in Arkansas, visiting New Orleans and Arkansas with Vickie and her mother as well as a trip to San Antonio to see the Alamo. Along with whatever they can talk us into doing when they are not busy with what has already been planned, it looks like this will NOT be a dull summer around the Childers house!! When the boys finally began fifth grade last September, it was hard to believe. It seemed like just yesterday we were bringing them home from the hospital and now they do their school work on computers, going to parties and camp outs, play video games and talk about "GIRL FRIENDS!!

After Vickie and I completed the requirements for a Concealed Handgun License in September '04, I was even able to combine two of my hobbies - guns and writing - and my experiences carrying a gun (with and without a license over the years) when just before Thanksgiving of 2005, I was asked to become a contributing editor to Concealed Carry Magazine, a magazine devoted to issues and equipment for people authorized to carry concealed weapons. Since my wife and I both have concealed weapons permits, I submitted several articles to the editorial section that were published. I'm not a "pro", but they liked my writing and offered me the position on a permanent basis! I figured it probably a flash in the pan, but I gave it my best shot and 5 years later I'm still writing articles. CC magazine is by subscription only, but if you'd like to see samples of my editorials, here are links to several of them... MAGAZINE ARTICLE #1 or MAGAZINE ARTICLE #2. There has been one big change since I began my new "career". The main outlet for my articles has changed from the magazine to the companies web site. When the site began, the magazine decided to devote most of the print space in the paper publication toward hardware and it's use. Since my editorials are political and social in nature, I shifted to the web site where there is a broader spectrum of topics. Same information, just a different outlet. Luckily, with the proliferation of computers and the internet (ironic for me since my main outlet is now the web), most things can be done at home these days... a big break for me with my move from New Orleans to Longview, Texas and three young boys to look after.

As I already mentioned, the triplets are really taking to life here in Texas! With their 11th birthday last January 31st, the triplets are no longer little boys but "tweens". They are talking about the different girls they see at school, the latest song on the radio, "guy stuff" and the newest electronic gadget/video game they want! How quick they grow up. Finally, Vickie and I had our 15th anniversary this past September. If anyone had told me then that I would be living in Texas and playing Mr. Mom to triplets at nearly 60, I'd have said they are crazy. However, that's where life has led me. It just proves you never know where life's road will take you!

Speaking of never knowing what life will hand you, hurricane Katrina and the floods that destroyed much of New Orleans sent my sister-in-law, three of her daughters, three of their friends and 7 dogs to East Texas in August of '05. While their house was one of the lucky ones that suffered only minor damage, they were forced to stay with us (as well as my mother-in-law next door) for about two months. Everyone was thankful that my family and I moved from New Orleans when we did or we would all have found ourselves staying in an evacuation center in some other state with nothing but the clothes on our backs. In early January of this year, one of the puppies born to my sister-in-laws dog during that stay came to live with us along with a Jack Russell terrier that belonged to Vickie's niece, Amanda Knight in New Orleans. While we've spent several holiday seasons in our new house, most of our Thanksgiving holidays are spent away from home. In fact, our first Texas Thanksgiving was celebrated in New Orleans in '02. The triplets were ring bearers at a wedding on November 30th (Amanda Vickie's niece was married), and we needed to be there early Friday for final suit fittings. I also participated as a last minute usher when the scheduled ones didn't show up. In addition to the wedding, I went to get my car that had been left in storage there since we left New Orleans at the end of September. All went well and we returned on December 1st with everyone tired and the car in tow. Still, one funny incident happened on the drive that has to be passed on. Another niece, who attended Texas A&M, was riding back with us. As we neared Baton Rouge, LA our cell phone rang and Vickie answered, thinking it was a relative checking on our progress. She said hello several times and got no response, then she heard a child’s voice. A few seconds later, she heard someone say "Sammy, what are you doing with my phone?" and looked up to see our passenger taking her cell phone away from Samuel. It seems he'd found her cell phone in her purse, turned it on and managed to call our cell phone number... Sam was talking to us in theh front seat from his car seat in the back. My first question was how many other numbers did Sam call before he reached us. Another example of their telephone use happened earlier last year. The boys daycare center had a visit from a local fire department and the firemen explained you can dial 911 in case there's a fire or emergency at home. Within 2 weeks, the boys had each dialed 911 at least once (when we were cooking on the grill or had a fire in our fireplace) and I've had the pleasure of meeting a half dozen members of our local police department. To put it mildly, after the second visit the police are no longer amused and neither was I! The boys were quickly becoming too smart for their own good... and their mothers and I as well! We took photos at their first wedding and I posted a shot of the boys in their tuxedos here and on their web page.

The Boys and Life in Texas

Looking back, the past eight years have been busy by anyone's standards! Since before the boys were born, Vickie has gone on a business (usually) trip in August. During August of '00, '01, '02, '03, '04, '05, '06, '08 and again in '09 Vickie has spent a week in Houston, Dallas or some other location while I got to spend the time at home with the boys... 24 hours a day, EVERY day, until she returned. I did this in 2000, when we were informed one of our boys has Cerebral Palsy, in 2001, which happened to be during the 9/11 disaster and my daughters wedding that year. In '02 we found out we were moving to Texas and had 30 days to get here. For some reason, these things also seem to take place at this same time every year, which is also the same time as my birthday. We even discovered we were having triplets the weekend of my birthday, on August 28th, '98. In 2005 it was hurricane Katrina. Vickie's sister, three of her daughters, three of their friends and a half dozen or so dogs came up from New Orleans to stay due to the storm. Last year it was another trip out of town for Vickie - she returned the evening of the 30th - and a trip to Charlotte, NC for me a day later. My mother had a surprise birthday party Labor Day weekend of '06 and I was the biggest surprise of all. I hadn't been to Charlotte since my dad's funeral in February of '95, when my sister Amy called a few weeks earlier about the party. She asked if I could come since my mother would be 80 and is not in the best of health. Since my son Patrick and his new wife would be there along with my daughter and her new baby, I decided to go and see not just my mother, but my new daughter-in-law, grandson and a granddaughter I'd never met. Since only my sister and daughter knew I planned to vist, it was a big surprise for everyone there. Aside from my immediate family, numerous cousins, my uncle, family friends and others were there. A picture is posted below of my daugter and her children, my mother, sisters, son & his wife, my sister's husband and, of course, me. As usual, there was a distraction on August 30th of last year (a family crisis in Vickie's family) but I've grown to expect the unexpected for my birthday, so I took it in stride. The crisis has since passed and it's now on to the next surprise! Also, last but not least, Vickie celebrates (?) her first year as the boss at her job May of this year.

Beyond the ALWAYS surprising month of August, since our move to Texas there's been the boys first weddings and eight birthdays plus they've also started school. My daughter and middle son were married, we discovered one son has Cerebral Palsy, while we purchased two new cars and bought a new house here in Texas. My third, fourth and fifth grandchildren were born to my daughter and oldest son, there were family crises as well as national ones (check here and my BIO page for more details), several deaths as well as the births and I'll turn 59 this August. The boys attended their first, and probably their last, Mardi Gras parade until they're grown in February '02. Everyone loved the noise and color and really got into catching trinkets from the floats. A picture of the party boys is posted on their web page. Added with their first move, visits to a circus, a swimming pool, the zoo, a rodeo, movie and the New Orleans aquarium just before we moved, it's been an adventure for the triplets AND their parents since moving here.

2005 was an especially eventful year. There was the chaos and disaster that was Katrina and the disruption it caused to millions of people. The boys started 1st grade and I was given the opportunity to begin a new career. We've finally settled into our home here in Texas and the extra family members added due to Katrina all went home by the holidays that year.

The triplets seem to enjoy school and are eager to learn .... if it will only last! Being in school full time gives me some time to myself to do things that were too much trouble with three boys in tow. However, I still take them to school every day and pick them up when school is over, I'm on call for class trips or special events and get them when one of the boys is sick and needs to come home early. Vickie also has settled into her new job as manager of the Marshall, TX Social Security office. She took over the job in May '09 after the old manager left and the office needed a new supervisor. It's about a 45 minute drive each way to work, but she seems to really love the job. It's a big change going from worker to becoming "the boss", especially in a new city but Vickie is more than up to the task!!

As I've mentioned, Vickie's mother bought the house next door August of '03 and was scheduled to move in before Christmas. In fact, Vickie left for Cape Cod on December 9th to help her mother pack, then they planned to drive her mothers car down to Texas and meet the movers sometime before the 20th. However, the day before they got back, I was checking on the house (cleaning up a bit actually) when I found the floors were covered with water. I called a plumber and they discovered the main water pipe had broken where it enters under the floor of the house. The carpets, floors, tiles, most molding, some drywall and trim plus a few other things all needed to be replaced! Luckily, we live next door and when the movers arrived a few days later, my mother-in-laws furniture was placed in our garage, spare rooms and her shed. What a welcome home!! Other than the new house after our move from New Orleans, we'd purchased a new family vehicle just a week before we found out about the move, a new Dodge Durango. Neither Vickie nor I had bought a new car in over 15 years so talk about sticker shock!!!. Since it looked like any prospective move was on indefinite hold, we purchased the new SUV, began major home improvements on the NOLA house and made large furniture buys earlier that year. Boy were we wrong!! As I said, the past few years were busy... as if having triplet, pre-school boys didn't keep us busy enough!

Thomas, Robert and Samuel are healthy and thriving. Because Vickie's mother bought the house next door in late 2003, the boys can see "grammy" by running across the front yard. They now sometimes spend more time at her house than their own, especially when they are out of school ... until dinner time rolls around!.While we'd anticipated taking the triplets out for their first "Trick or Treat" in 2001, that failed to happen due to a family crisis that took priority that year. The next Halloween in 2002 was delayed when we came to Texas and the movers arrived with our furniture on October 31st. In 2003 Vickie was informed she had to attend a business conference in Houston October 30-31. She did manage to get home in time to go out with the boys, but the way things were beginning to look, the boys were going to out grow Trick or Treat before they got a chance to do it! Thankfully, while she was delayed returning, Vickie did get back just as we returned from a quick trip around the neighborhood and we went out again after dinner so mom could participate in the boys first Halloween. They've also had visits from my mother and sisters and everyone had a wonderful time, especially the triplets! This past Christmas, the boys were ecstatic (as usual) as they tore into packages and opened gifts. They're now all aware that Santa's "helpers" bring the presents and the boys were continually telling their mom and I what they wanted. Just before Thanksgiving of '01, we replaced the boys cribs with toddler beds. Everyone seemed to like their new "big boy" beds, but that first night would become a real challenge for us later. Thomas wanted to jump from bed to bed, Sam would only sleep at the foot of his bed and Robby refused to sleep in his bed at all! I finally placed Robby's blanket, pillows and favorite stuffed toy at the foot of his bed and he fell asleep there while I turned Sam's bed to face opposite the others. During July of '04, their toddler beds were replaced with three twin beds as the boys were ALREADY outgrowing their toddler size beds. During the summer of '09 the boys finally decided it was time they each had their own room. While they are now very protective of their own personal space - the bedrooms - when they have something they don't want one of the other boys or their mom and me to see, they still spend a lot of their time roaming from one room to the other as a group, like a pack of wolves or herd of cattle.

The three boys weigh from 75-95 pounds (Thomas is the largest with being Sam the smallest) and they're 55-58 inches tall... just where they should be as healthy, 11 year old boys. Though their doctor had said everyone was on track with other babies their age for the first two years of their life, on August 30th (things always seem to happen around my birthday) of 2001, we got the disturbing news that Thomas has Cerebral Palsy. Though it wasn't obvious at first, it later became clear to Vickie and I that Tommy wasn't as physically adept as his two brothers. About 2 months earlier, we'd asked his doctor about the reasons, if any, for his slower physical development. He explained that while Tommy wasn't as coordinated as his brothers, he was still within the normal range of development for a child his age. However, he recommended we consult a physical therapist to help Tommy improve his coordination and agility. It was during the visit to the therapist we discovered our doctor had diagnosed Thomas as having a form of Cerebral Palsy. To say we were shocked is an understatement! Not only were we in a state of disbelief that one of our babies was diagnosed with a neurological disorder, but we found out about it from a therapist (who assumed we already knew) and not his doctor! Tommy then saw a neurologist and we were relieved to find that Tommy has the least invasive and most easily controlled form of CP. With the use of physical therapy, temporary leg braces worn while Thomas was awake for about a year, treatment with the muscle relaxer Botox and daily stretching exercises, his doctors feel Thomas should have the full use of his leg muscles as he grows older.

We had our first visit to an emergency room with one of the boys on August 9th, 2002. About a year earlier, I'd placed some loose weights under an old recliner to prevent the boys from turning it over when climbing on it. When I decided to give the chair to the Salvation Army, I removed the pair of 25 pound weights from the bottom and put them on the floor while I took the chair outside. Tommy and Robby began playing with them and before we could stop them, Robby lifted one of the weights, then dropped it just as Tommy was reaching under it. His mom and I heard a loud clang, then an even louder howl of pain as we looked up and saw Thomas running toward us holding his hand. Robby was also running just as fast, but in the other direction. We checked Tommy's hand and could see one finger was already purple and beginning to swell, so we put it in ice water and tried to comfort Tommy, with little success. After about thirty minutes of non stop crying, we decided to take him to the local emergency room, where x-rays were taken and sure enough, Tommy had broken one finger on his left hand. The doctor put a small finger cast on it and told us what to do to make Thomas more comfortable, but there wasn't much else to be done. Luckily for Thomas AND for us, while it was a painful experience, it could have been much worse. Other than a purple fingernail which fell off a few weeks later, there were no signs of the accident after a month or two, though he still remembers it VERY well. There's never a dull moment!

On a much better note, we were informed (7/29/02) by his therapist that Tommy had improved dramatically since he began physical therapy in October of '01. In fact, she recommended that he no longer attend regular therapy sessions but have semi-annual maintenance visits to review his progress... a good thing for us since here in Longview, we don't live as close to the medical specialists that were available in New Orleans. With a few minor areas that need some attention, Tommy meets or exceeds the physical and developmental skills expected from any child of his age. He also cut back on the use of his leg braces to occasional rather than full time after about 6 months, and hasn't used them at all since the move to Longview. Still, Thomas again started attending weekly therapy sessions here in Longview in January '04 when he began to complain of leg pains. They continued until May '05 after the therapist said he was doing better than she'd hoped. She recommended we schedule Thomas for annual evaluations to monitor his progress rather than schedule regular visits which is what we've done for the last five years now..

We had a minor scare with another son, Samuel, just before our move to Longview, but that was resolved by the time of our move to Texas. While Sam's always been physically advanced, his speech and learning skills had lagged somewhat behind his brothers. After a physical the spring before our move to Texas, it was recommended we consult a speech therapist. Since his hearing had recently been checked and was excellent, the therapist thought Sam might have a problem comprehending or understand what was said to him. We then visited a specialist in learning disorders, who did a complete evaluation. Surprisingly, he concluded that Samuel was at the level of most 3 1/2 year old's or older, his age at the time! The specialist recommended that Sammy continue with his speech therapy to come up to the level of his brothers, but said he's perfectly normal. The bottom line was that Sam wasn't behind, his two brothers were just well ahead of their age curve. Since then Sammy has more than made up for his early lack of speaking and truth be told, his mother and I now sometimes long again for those quiet days of his early years.

The triplets had their 11th birthday January 31st of this year and a good time was had by everyone. An earlier milestone was reached by the boys in '05... they had their first day at school as 1st graders. Actually, they had already started daycare two days a week (Tues/Thur) in January of '03. Their mother and I felt they needed to learn how to interact with other kids their own age since they seldom see anyone other than adults and they could begin getting accustomed to the discipline of a classroom environment instead the come and go as they please atmosphere of the home. Now that they're in middle school and active in school projects and clubs, it seems to have paid off for them and us.One of the first things I completed was a new greenhouse after they began daycare. I'm sure Vickie couldn't wait for me to remove all the Orchids I'd been keeping in her new office so she didn't have to water them everyday... a major event with over a hundred plants!

The triplets continue to be less like young kids and more like 'tweens every day. All three enjoy reading books, watching TV or using the computer and talking on the telephone to their friends when given the opportunity. They already spell and read as well as most adults I know and read at the level of most Jr high/HS kids. They have also reached a point in school where thy are now taking subjects that their mother and I can't always help them with, like Algebra. They ride their bikes and have skooters they love to use. Their favorite night time activity was telling stories before going to bed until recently. Each boy would take a turn making up a story or I would read/make-up a bedtime story while they went to sleep. While Tommy and Robby still like the occasional story, they now prefer television or a video game before bedtime while Sam likes to read or play with his action figures. They get into trouble more often than ever now, even though we're watchful and try to head off problems before they start, and usually with one another. The problem is they've now gotten large enough that they can actually cause SERIOUS damage to one another when they start swinging or playing too rough, so we're constantly trying to intercede to prevent problems before they get started. Believe me, it's not an easy task with the boys constantly on the run either in the house or in the yard. An early example of what was to come happened October of '01 after we'd moved Robby's bed to a different part of their bedroom. Lately, he'd been pulling himself into the other boy's cribs - they were side by side - and we were concerned he'd fall and hurt himself. The next morning, Robby had climbed out of his bed and into the crib with Tommy. Along the way, he'd opened all the dresser drawers, removed all the diapers, toiletries and anything else within reach and piled everything in the middle of the room. Needless to say, I was not amused! After Tommy and Sammy had several escapes of their own, we tried several arrangements for their room with little success. Finally, we decided we couldn't prevent the boys from getting out of their cribs anymore so we removed everything breakable, lowered the sides to their cribs for easier access (they eventually got toddler beds a few months later) and secured drawers and widows so they can't be opened easily. As another measure, I made the door to their room a "Dutch" style door so we could see inside but they couldn't get out.

The boys love TV shows or books they get at the library and would spend all their free time with a computer playing games or cruising the internet if they could.. In fact, we all have to be extra careful what we watch on television or view on the internet, particularly around Tommy & Robby. They obsorb anything they see or hear like a sponge then repeat EVERYTHING they heard or saw, usually when we least expect it! They all love to read and are always asking what a word means or how to spell something. They enjoyed helping us do things like washing dishes or making their beds and often did it without being asked now, telling their mother or me "We want to show you something", then taking us to their room or the kitchen so we can see what they've done. Now that they're in middle school that has all changed. It's easier to get them to take a bath, which is no easy task, than to get the boys to do any chores or clean their rooms. Oh well... They also loved to sing songs and are able to carry a tune very well. In fact, they got so good at singing that they became the three youngest members of the church choir (check out the photo of them in their robes below)! That has also changed and you'd have an easier time pulling a tooth than getting them to sing in public now. Their answer when asked why is it isn't cool.

About age 3, the boys started becoming familiar with the computer. Though they normally used a mouse to click on their favorite computer games or stories, they soon discovered - all too well - how the keyboard works once they learned the alphabet. We've already had to program our computers several times after they got into the system and "customized" them and change passwords almost weekly since they (especially Sam) have a knack with getting into computers when they aren't suppose to. We finally placed our oldet computer in a spare room and installed the boys favorite games for them. It slowed down their surfing the internet, something they do several times a day with their mom's new laptop, but they all three want their on laptop... dream on boys!. They still dress tin their favorite colors (Thomas likes black, Robby loves orange or green and Sam wears red ), like to fix their own breakfast - usually cereal, Eggos, pancakes or pop tarts when we let them - and generally take care of themselves now. When younger they all liked to help with things around the house, especially Thomas. However, that changed as they got older as I knew it would. They have also reached the age where they now want their "privacy". They dress and feed themselves and when they do need help with something, they only want me or their mother to do the minimum. When younger, the boys had their own words for things like "door" or "light" when talking among themselves but they no longer use them since they now use normal language... frequently better than many adults I've encountered. For more on Tommy, Robby and Sammy, see the individual paragraphs below or check the triplets web page.

Thomas (or Tommy as he's usually called), the oldest, still enjoys more contact time with his parents than his brothers and usually comes running to us when there's trouble. It's now obvious why he was the last baby to do many physical things like crawling or walking, yet he was first to dress/undress and feed himself or use words and sentences. He was also first to use a fork and spoon, ask understandable questions, knew the ABC's by age 3 as well as counting to 20 on his fingers. He was also the first boy to ride a bike without training wheels and use roller shates without help. He now does as well as his brothers in most subjects at school, though he has to work harder at math than the other two boys. He's the most outgoing when it comes to strangers or being with other relatives and loves the attention when we have visitors. While not as coordinated as his brothers, he's just as physical. He's the tallest (58+") and heaviest (95+ lbs) of the boys and people usually think he's older than his brothers. Though it's sometimes hard to tell who is worse, his or Robby's, Tommy seems to have developed the worst temper and he'll tell you in no uncertain terms exactly what he thinks if he's unhappy about something! Since moving to Longview, he's become extremely animated when he talks, making faces, rolling his eyes, striking poses and shaking his finger or head to make a point. He also loves to act out scenes from his favorite movies, complete with sound effects. He also has becom infatuated with anything mechanical and spends hours building "gagets" or taking things apart - like a new calculator we got him recently - to see how they work. Ironically, while Thomas is the loudest and most vocal triplet, he (still) hates loud sudden noises like thunder, horns or power tools. Until our move to Texas, he wouldn't get out of his chair when we used the vacuum cleaner or blender, though he liked playing with the attachments. Now, he plays baseball and soccer with a dozen other boys his age and has a green belt in Karate and while maybe not quite as fast, can keep up with both his brothers and most other kids in almost any situation. Finally, his therapist in New Orleans had just completed a progress evaluation before we moved to Longview and as previously mentioned, Tommy has improved by leaps and bounds since his condition was detected. The same thing was told us by his therapist here in Longview. At the rate he's going, he'll be on par with his brothers soon in most physical aspects and has even become better than them at doing some things, like building things and using tools.

Robby's probably the most well rounded of the three boys. He's as physical as Samuel and better in school (except for math) than either of his brothers. He's very artistic, loves to draw, sing, write stories. When younger he would organize small skits and plays with his brothers and would write and play songs on a keyboard we got him. He's also the most outgoing around people he knows and has become the "Leader of the Pack". Oddly, Robby's the most physical and best coordinated of the three boys, but he seems the least interested in playing sports, outdoor activities or being a member of a team. While Sam and Thomas will practice pitching or batting with their mother and I, he usually prefers to chase things around the yard, inspecting plants or singing to himself and dancing. He's in the school computer and robotics clubs and recently one of fifteen students from Longview who went to Austin this past April and received a medal from the Govenor for outstanding achievement as a member of the future problem solvers of America. He's shorter than Thomas by about an inch and 5 pounds lighter, but he enjoys bossing his two brothers whenever he can get away with it. He usually gets first choice with things (whether the others like it or not) and gets upset when one of his brothers has something he wants or he doesn't get HIS way. His temper is as bad as Tommy's and he's just as vocal about his displeasure, especially if you change one his favorite TV shows, disturb him during a video game or take something he has or wants. He's also more likely to take or take back what he wants from his brothers and if hit, will push or hit back rather than cry or run. While he'll bully his brothers, he's "Mr. Chicken" when it comes to strangers, going into places he's never been before or trying something new for the first time... unless it's food! Except for our cat - which was given us by a sister-in-law about 3 months after we moved here - and our two new dogs, he usually refuses to go near most animals and will NOT sleep without the door open! Still, at home he rules the roost.

Since Robby has become so good at reading and writing his own stories, he's started keeping a diary and I believe is actually considering writting the great American novel! During the summer, he likes to write "books" about the solar system, complete with diagrams and pictures, or some other subject that has his current interest. Each chapter will be about a different planet, the sun or moon and when finished, he makes a cover and has his mother or me bind everything together. He also loves to sing almost any song he hears more than once. By the time he was three, he could write letters and numbers, saying "I made a T (or 12, H, 6, etc.)" and loves to draw figures or shapes and put recognizable faces on them. He learned to sound out most words he didn't know by the time he was in kindergarten and like I said earlier, loves to write short stories on his own. He's aced the standard test for kids his age at the end of the school year several years now and could read at a 10th grade level or better before he'd even left the 3rd! His teachers from the 2nd grade on have recommended that he be placed in the gifted or advanced class at school and this year we are seriously considering it. He has recently begun making a daily "to do" list of things he wants done the next day and still has the on again/off again diary he keeps.

Robby wore glasses for a year starting when he was about 10 months old, his vision improved and the glasses weren't needed anymore. However, after another exam several years ago, the doctor thought he may be near sighted and would need the glasses again. A second visit indicated he was actually crossing his eyes at will, so glasses are necessary again until he learns to stops crossing them before any permanent damage is done.

The youngest and smallest triplet, Samuel (Sammy or Sam as I call him), was the "quiet one" of the three until about the time of our move to Texas. He still doesn't pronounce some words quite as well as he should and until he began school didn't seem as interested in learning letters or numbers, but he's now the best at drawing pictures (though Robby is the best "artist"), playing games (especially video and computer games) and playing card games like poker or blackjack... something he's picked up from his grandmother. He's also consistantly recieved the highest overall marks on all his tests and evaluations at school compared to his two brothers, especially in math. Sam loves puzzles and is almost as good as Robby with reading and science. Sam is also the best writer (neatest) and constantly worries that he's forgot to finish some school work or didn't make a perfect score on something he turned in. He's extremely computer savvy and can get into programs or run games faster than his mother and I. In fact, Sam's actually better at playing computer games and finding things on the computer than his parents or his adult cousins he sometimes plays games with. In school, the kids were given a class in computer use/familiarization and at the kindergarten level. As a group they were only expected to complete level 3 by the end of the year. While Tommy and Robby did outstanding and reached level 8, Sam completed all the levels available (10) and began to make up his own projects. He can now probably do as many things with a computer as his mother or me and LOVES computer and video games. We may have another Bill Gates on our hands! He's the risk taker and most fearless of the three boys as well as having the most even disposition unless he's tired, then watch out! He's also the best sports player of the bunch. Tommy seems to actually enjoy sports more than his brothers, but Sam has become the best at really playing the games. He's also a wiz with numbers and can tell you the birthdays of everyone he knows, the times and dates of every doctor visit or trip to visit someone in the past year, what day a particular date falls on and already knows not just addition,.subtraction, how to multiply, divide and use fractions but has started using algebra. When the other boys have a math problem their mother or I don't know, we now go to Sam for the answer. Sometimes, his mother and I refer to him as "rain man" due to his ability with numbers.

As I said earlier, until our move to Texas, Sammy attended speech therapy classes several times a month in order to catch up with his brothers. Still, he quickly became better than his brothers at recognizing words and understanding their meaning. He's afraid of almost nothing - sometimes to his regret - and unlike Tommy, will go toe to toe with Robby during an argument even though Robby is almost two inches taller and outweighs Sam by 20 pounds. Sam's better than his brothers at solving puzzles, math problems and enjoys playing with anything electronic. Unlike Robby he loves animals, especially cats, and wants to play with any creature he sees. As I've mentioned, Sam seems to have a way with the computer. He could already use the mouse to play games or listen to stories by age 3 and he's become better at most memory games than either his mother, me and his brothers! By the time he was 4, he began to talk more and has become the most vocal of the three boys as well as the most likely NOT to do what we ask him - like not jump off a table, go to bed, eat his dinner or not play with the computer - until his mother or I get up to correct him, then he flashes a big smile and runs away. While he talked the least when younger, he jabbers away now and now it's harder to get him to STOP talking than it is to get him started! His mother often jokes (?) he's the daddy's boy of the group. Sam usually won't go to bed unless I go to his room and tuck him in. Also, while he's almost fearless in most situations he won't go to be at night without a light on night and Sam will still crawl into our bed when he doesen't feel well and usually comes to me rather than his mother when he's tired or hurt. Of course I don't think so!

Like I've said before, there's never a dull moment. While it can be a zoo sometimes with ONE little boy in a house, it's a three ring circus when there are triplets at home! A group shot is above with additional photos on their personal web page. For more details on the boys, check out the TRIPLETS WEB PAGE. You'll find a selection of pictures as well as additional info about the triplets. In addition, to see a larger image of most of the pictures shown on my pages, just "view" them using your browser's menu. Look for updates and new pictures every month or as things of interest occur. In addition to this page, my web pages continue be modified or given a new look in 2007. Look at my CAREER and HOBBY pages where you'll find details about my career in the navy, my interest in gardening, collecting and more information on both my family and I. Also, if you'd like to find out more details about me, some of my experiences over the years or my views on life, click on to my EXPANDED BIOGRAPHY page or my page on RELIGION AND BELIEFS. I hope you'll find it interesting or maybe even a bit thought provoking!

Links and Pictures

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