Dude. Check out this black boy bling!

We mentioned earlier how attached Chance is to Cal and how he’s becoming a smaller version of him. It’s the same with Travon and Keon. Tra walks like Keon, talks like him and laughs like him. Keon always wears a gold neck chain with a cross pendant. So, of course, Tra wears a gold neck chain with a cross pendant. We tease them – calling it “black boy bling.” It’s fascinating to watch the kids’ personalities develop.
I asked Ben who he thought Dub would emulate. He just chuckled and said “No way Dub’s gonna be like anyone else. He’ll always be his own unique Dub-self.” I’m sure he’s right about that 🙂

After having taken a few days off from Jeopardy while Bill Whitaker finished up his guest-hosting, we’re excited about the Tournament of Champions and Buzzy Cohen starting Monday. After Katie Couric, “Dr.” Oz, and Bill Whitaker, we feel we’ve earned it!

Nothin’ hotter than a dude in a white tee!

Hey, guys. It’s Keon. As you know, Cal kicked off our series of posts about our kids on Sunday, so I’m going to “have a go” at it. Before I do that here’s something you might find interesting. Rick loves plain white tee shirts. He buys them by the six-pack and that’s mainly what he wears. With his red hair and freckles he looks so good (sexy) in them that I’ve started wearing them a lot myself. And – you guessed it – since his Dads wear white tees all the time, that’s what Travon wears. It’s sort of our family uniform. I hope you like these “boys in white tees” as much as Rick and I do.

Ahhh. What can I tell you about Travon? As you know, we started fostering him in January, 2018 and finalized his adoption three months later. He was five years old at the time. He didn’t speak when he came to us (his former foster parents said he was “deaf and dumb”) – he was a “spitter” and even spit in my face (once!) – and he was afraid of just about everyone and everything. Today, just 2 1/2 years later, he’s talkative, has good manners, loves being with family and friends, and isn’t afraid of anyone… well maybe a little afraid of Bella… but who isn’t? 🙂
He loves school and Ben says he’s a “really quick study”. Janette tells us he’s learned French faster than any of the other kids, except Dub. He and “Max” are pretty much inseparable and we rarely see one without the other. We (Rick, Travon, Max and me) read together every night at bedtime. It’s the best part of our day. We’re currently reading book two of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians.” It’s a 5-book set so it’ll take us a while 🙂
Pop-pops has given Tra a ton of photo equipment and he’s become a good photographer (we’re glad he uses only digital format because we couldn’t afford “film” for all his pics). He has the patience of a saint and sometimes sits for long periods waiting for just the right lighting and photo opportunity. He’s taken hundreds of high-res pics of the king snake that makes its’ home in our rock garden. Last month, Pop-pops made 16″ x 20″ prints of twelve of his snake photos and entered them in a
photo art competition in Springfield. He won second prize, which is really good since the other exhibitors were all professional photographers.
Tra loves swimming, wake boarding, horseshoes, fishing, being with his friends and our “Table Rock campus” school, so making our home here at the Lake is just about perfect for him. He’s a happy, 7-year old boy – he often makes us laugh and always makes us proud. As Cal pointed out, you shouldn’t expect “fair and balanced reporting” about our kids because… well, they’re our kids. I’ll end this by saying Tra is the JOY of our lives and he’s given us infinitely more than we’ve given him.
We hope you and yours are well, happy and using your protective equipment wisely. This pandemic can’t last forever.
xoxo Keon and Rick

“Dad. Are we gonna die?”

Continuing our series of “colors” posts, today we’re focusing on “green.” We know it’s Dub’s favorite, as well as Matty’s and BillS’s. Bill, these dudes aren’t all in forrest green, but there are some hot guys here. For some reason, I thought of you when I ran across #08. And, bw, I included #16 as a test your new cataract-free eye. So happy you had that done. Dub’s Pop-pops had both eyes done last fall and he said it was an absolute miracle. Oh, and Denny… #30 is for you. Hope you like him. In the interest of maintaining a harmonious relationship, you probably better share him with Dave 🙂 Jingle, babe. There’s a special pic for you in every URD post, and you always know which one it is. This is our 6th “colors” post and we have six more in process. Stay tuned.

From David:
It’s been a week since our last post, and in that time, it seems like the World has been turned upside down. I’m posting this from my laptop here at the Lake. Ben and I and all six of the kids have been here since yesterday evening. I’ll let Ben tell you about it.
I want to thank you guys for your birthday wishes (for both Dub and me) and your kind words on the 7th anniversary of the blog (OMG. Can it really be seven years?). UnrulyDude is a family kind of thing and it’s for and about our on-line friends. It would never have existed without the understanding, help and friendship of our amazing friend, Lee Keels. Lee, you’re our hero and we love you.
xoxo David
From Ben:
Things have been pretty screwed up since this coronavirus thing hit us. At one moment we were at the lake celebrating Chad and Raef’s wedding and then we got back and I learned that the board of directors had assigned me the task of writing and implementing a “coronavirus response plan” for our school. I had no idea how to go about it, but “Dr. C” and I worked together and we had the plan put together in two days. Essentially, the plan says that if (when) the first case of COVID-19 is (was) diagnosed in Missouri, we’d cancel classes and go to entirely on-line instruction. Of course, the first case was soon announced and we cancelled in-person classes. Every student at our school has either a laptop computer or tablet, so on-line learning is a part of our every day lives. The problem is that most of our students have parents who work and depend on our school to take care of their kids during the day. Then, there are a few of our students who don’t get good meals at home and depend on our school for a major part of their nutritional requirements. So… we asked for volunteer teachers – and divided our students into groups of six and arranged for them to meet daily at individual teachers homes. The kids would be learning on-line, but they’d have the support of an instructor… plus, their parents could still work… and our volunteer instructors would see that they had plenty of good food.
I, of course, volunteered… and chose my six students carefully… Surprise! They’re Dub, Austin, Bella, Chance, Travon and Matty. We started in-home instruction on Tuesday.
Then, on Wednesday, Dub said “Dad, since we’re doing on-line classes anyway, why don’t we do it at the lake? That way, we’d be there ahead of time for Dad’s and my birthday party this weekend.” I thought it was a great idea… so yesterday we loaded up both our cars and came to Table Rock. We did on-line classes today and the entire gang will be here for the weekend birthday celebration. At this point, we don’t know how long we’ll be down here. It’s a great atmosphere and gets the kids (and us) away from the insanity that’s taking place in the City. It’s a tough time for everyone – but we’ll get through it.
xoxo Ben
From Keon:
Monday, when I picked Tra up at school, we needed a few things from COSTCO, so we stopped by on the way home. I was completely unprepared for what was going on there. It was NUTS! People were running around with carts overflowing with food and bottled water and stuff. COSTCO had zero paper goods available. No paper towels, no toilet paper, no Kleenex. Many of the shelves were bare. I swear, it was full-on panic. We grabbed a rotisserie chicken, some hot rolls and a few other things and checked out as quick as possible.
When we got in the car and headed home, Tra looked at me and said “Dad. Are we gonna die?”
I drove on a ways not knowing what to say. Then I saw a sign with an arrow saying “Platte Purchase Park.” So I pulled into the park and turned off the car and looked him in the eyes and said “No, Tra. We’re not gonna die. There’s this virus that’s causing people to get sick, and it’s possible you and me and your Dad might get sick, but we’re NOT gonna die. We’re family and we’re gonna love and take care of each other.”
He said “You sure?”
and I said “Don’t worry, little dude. I promise. We’re gonna be fine.”
xoxo Keon