Here is Sparky, Keith and Justin’s new dog.  He is part Dalmation, part Pointer.  He will be one year old in January and is a really good dog – well-behaved for a puppy (translation:  still a wild child but he can sit, shake, let them know when he wants out, kinda-sorta go in his cage when he’s supposed to and only slightly terrorizes Molly, their fifteen year old cat).

Here he is sitting on the sofa……..

and here he is sitting in my lap – kinda big for a lap dog but for some reason he took a liking to me and I didn’t mind – he’s a sweetheart.  We were watching Alice in Wonderland and he couldn’t take his eyes off the tv – he loves watching tv……..


This is a news article my son sent me.  Look at this kid’s face for gosh sakes.  This has to stop!!!  Please read this and continue to hold out hope for a better world.
SHOCK: Gay Texas 13-Year-Old Asher Brown Shoots Himself In The Head After Horrific School Torment

There is no good news in this story. None. It’s sad, and it’s endemic of the nightmares today’s LGBT youth continue to face every. single. day. Asher Brown, a 13-year-old eighth grader at Hamilton Middle School outside Houston, shot himself in the head last week after being “bullied to death.”

Asher was tormented for being small. For his religious beliefs. For the way he dressed. And for being gay. His bullies acted out mock gay sex acts in phys ed class.

As is growing increasingly typical, Asher’s mother and stepfather Amy (pictured below) and David Truong say they notified administrators at the Harris, Texas school about how their son was being taunted. They say it’s been a year and a half since they first alerted the school, but no action was taken. Calls to the school went unanswered. The school, meanwhile, says it never received any calls. School district spokeswoman Kelli Durham insists no students or teachers registered complaints, either. Update: Durham says the school received an email from Amy earlier this month, but it was about problems at home, not school bullying.

That statement infuriated the Truongs, who accused the school district of protecting the bullies and their parents. “That’s absolutely inaccurate — it’s completely false,” Amy Truong said. “I did not hallucinate phone calls to counselors and assistant principals. We have no reason to make this up. … It’s like they’re calling us liars.” David Truong said, “We want justice. The people here need to be held responsible and to be stopped. It did happen. There are witnesses everywhere.”

Asher took his own life with his stepfather’s 9 mm Beretta, which was “stored on one of the closet’s shelves.” There was no suicide note. His stepfather David found his body, lifeless, after coming home from work. “I thought he was laying there reading a book or something,” he says. “My son put a gun to his head because he couldn’t take what he was hearing and the constant teasing.”

His mother Amy came home to police sirens and yellow tape at her house. “They called him different names for being homosexual,” she says. “He just had enough.”

One report says Asher came out to his parents over the summer, and that they were so accepting he might have come out to his classmates.  Another report says the morning of his death, Asher came out to David.

The day before, a student tripped him on the school steps and kicked his books all over the floor.

There’s no more room to debate whether LGBT kids need our protection. It’s inarguable. That American people, who love their children and their families and their sons and daughters and brothers and sisters can even fathom voting for bigots like Tom Emmer, who doesn’t think queer kids need our kindness and our strength and our safety, is unconscionable.

Uncle Keith on diaper duty :-)

I’m not sure if Keith has ever changed a diaper, but 4th of July weekend was as good a time as any to give it a shot.  We set him up though……..we didn’t tell him it was a #2 diaper……….here he is innocently changing a diaper…….

………here he is starting to figure it out………

……………and here’s the money shot…………….he figured it out and Corey and Danielle were hiding and watching too – Keith grabbed me and threw me into Zach so he wouldn’t have to change him……….Keith……… crack me up…………


Twenty-six years ago, my grandfather built my first-born, Keith, a cradle.  It was the most beautiful piece of woodwork I had ever seen.  I loved watching my baby sleep in that cradle.  I kept it in the living room window so during the day, I could watch him sleep…………

I did the same for my second-born, Corey……………

Now it is Zach’s turn.  Danielle and I cleaned up the cradle and made all new bedclothes and bumper pads for it.  We spent a day sewing those things and making burp cloths and receiving blankets.  That little outfit in the cradle says “I make mud look good”.  Here is the updated cradle the day we made the new bedding……..

As a point of reference, and just as a sweet look back, here is Keith and Mark when Keith was born, weighing 8 lbs. 13 oz………………

That was a big baby, I thought, until I had Corey, who weighed 10 lbs. 9 oz.  Zach weighed 5 lbs. 11 oz. when he was born (almost half of Corey’s birth weight) and as of his doctor visit today, he weighs exactly ten pounds today.  He measured in at 21 inches today.  Keith and Corey were both 21 inches when they were born.  Keith was ten days early.  Corey was six weeks late.  Zach was six weeks early.  Zach will be nine weeks old tomorrow and still doesn’t weigh what Corey weighed when he was born.  Here’ a pic of Corey and me when Corey was born……..

The pain told me he was big when I had him (natural child birth – ouch), but dang he looks bigger than it seemed at the time.