Success Couple Jackie and Steve Filley give us the update on their family of five boys!
By Jackie Filley
As I’m sitting here watching Austin’s new kitten, Coco, run around the living room tormenting our other two cats, I am in awe of how much has changed since my last post. The last time I blogged was in June of 2010! Wow! A lot has changed!!
Look how big!
Blake, Austin, Sean, Jason and John
The biggest change since last year was that we finally found and bought our “forever home.” Steve and I have been renting ever since we were married. With five boys and our own private zoo we were a little particular about the house we wanted to settle into. Just like everything else in our life, God had his plan, and we stumbled upon our “forever home.” On October 29, 2010 we purchased our first home together and are enjoying every square foot….especially the pool!
Now onto my guys…where to start…with the oldest of course!
On June 6, 2011, Sean Steven Filley walked across the stage in the Don Haskins Center at the University of Texas at El Paso and received his diploma from Franklin High School. He will be living his dream of going to college and playing basketball in California at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz. His apartment will be only five minutes from the beach and I’m going to have a hard time keeping Steve in Texas during basketball season. The good thing is Sean’s coach will be keeping him so busy that all he will have time for is school, basketball and sleep. He and Steve are so excited and I’m …well… I’m already planning out my care packages for him!
Blake is now 15 and is counting down the days until his 16th birthday so he can get his driver’s license. He already has his permit and is my “chauffeur.” I LOVE having him drive me around – too bad it’s only going to last for a couple more months! Blake is a sophomore and is the videographer for the varsity football team at his high school. This Friday, June 17th, Steve will be officially adopting Blake. Blake and I are so excited! How perfect is it that it’s on Father’s Day weekend!??!
Jason, who is also 15, has grown physically the most out of all the brothers. He is almost as tall as Sean and bigger and stronger in almost every way. Jason is continuing in football and soccer. He is going to be the one who will miss his big brother the most when Sean leaves for college. Thank goodness for Skype and texting.
Austin is now 13 and an 8th grader in middle school. He has developed into the funniest teenager any of us know. The boy can just make you laugh!! This last year Austin played football, basketball, soccer and ran track. Most importantly, he continues to impress us and his teachers with his academic achievement. Smart and funny…what a combination.
Last but not least, there’s John. John is now 8 and still the baby! I’ll admit that we still struggle with John sleeping with us. It’s hard not to think of him as the baby of this crew. He will still crawl into bed with us from time to time and wakes Steve up with a knee in his back. In order to help him sleep in his own room, I bought walkie talkies — how perfect this will be — I thought to myself (proud mommy moment). Unfortunately, it didn’t work like I thought it would BUT the best part is we have call signs. Steve is Red Leader, John is Red Two and I am Green Leader. I think Green Leader is the boss…but don’t tell Steve!
The last year and a half has not been without it’s challenges. Steve and I both lost grandparents who we were very close to and I lost my surrogate dad/Blake’s godfather. We still have the memories of our loved ones, grandparents and great-grandparents to remind us and our kids of the importance of family.
With four teenagers, every month seems to have it’s own unique crisis that we are dealing with…car wrecks, grades, girlfriends, emotional break-downs, you name it…we’ve lived it! The only thing that we can do is keep moving forward knowing that God has a plan even though he chooses not to share it with us most of the time. Or to quote Dory from ‘Finding Nemo’,”Just keeping swimming, just keep swimming.”
Our schools continue to grow along with the work load. It’s a good thing that Steve and I share 29 dimensions of compatibility because we spend almost every waking moment together! Steve continues to press forward with organizemydad.com which has come a long way and a perfect tool for Dad’s on Father’s Day. Steve and I will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary on July 8th! It’s hard to believe that we are only at five. Some days it feels like 15 or 35, if you count in dog years. For the most part, it’s been fantastic. Steve and I were recently interviewed by a local writer and asked “What strategies do we use to blend our family?” We both looked at each other and said “We don’t have one…it all came so naturally.” We still believe that we were perfectly matched and we owe that all to eHarmony!