This is my great-great nephew Jake Daniel Roecker. He was born on April 21, 2006 in Portland, Oregon, but before he had a chance to even burp or wet his diapers, he moved to Utah. Today, he’s five years old and to celebrate his birthday, he has decided to move his family back to Portland. I can hardly wait.My great niece Heather – his mother – has nothing else to do right now so she is authoring today’s blob for me. (And why not? All she has to do otherwise is bask in her life of leisure chasing after two preschoolers, orchestrating the move from Utah, and getting the house packed up and ready for the moving van.) That’s Heather with Jake and daughter Ruby.
Here’s what she wrote about our superhero, Jake:
I do think it is interesting that right before Jake was born, Dan officially accepted a transfer with his company preparing us for a move to Utah. Now on the eve of Jake’s 5th birthday we are busy with the preparation of moving back to Jake’s birth state! Ping Pong I tell you!
Jake makes me smile and giggle every second of every day. Here are some things that really stand out:
The kid has always had a lot to say. Very articulate even at a young age. When he started preschool at 3 years, I remember the first day vividly. Ms. Marcia was greeting all the parents with “Oh, he/she had a great day” kind of dialogue.
I waited for my moment to step forward and hear the same great news and she looked at me and said “Wow, Jake sure has a lot to say” Apparently, that day Jake approached Ms. Marcia with lots of “Excuse me, Ms. Marcia, may I ask you a question?” and then the questions weren’t questions at all. They were statements. About various dinosaurs (with perfect pronounciation like deinonychus, apadasauraus, parasaurolophus), and fun facts about trains, their speed, their uses, etc.
One of my girlfriends summed it up well when she said “He is like an old man in a little man body” Which is why this is one of my favorite pictures of him.
While disciplining Ruby (his little sister) for some type of naughty act, Jake loudly pronounced “Wow, mom! You really knocked it out of here. I’m really impressed with you right now!”
While in Oregon last week for our house hunting trip, Jake’s grandma Roecker was leaving the hotel room and asked “Do you guys need anything while I’m out?” Jake didn’t miss a beat and quickly chimed in with “Um, I could use a Starbucks!”
As you may have guessed, Starbucks is not a new concept to Jake. He’s been enjoying his own version of Starbucks ‘special drinks’ for many years! This past Christmas some friends delighted Jake and Ruby with their very own Starbucks gift cards! There was a lot of excitement that morning when the entire crew – Grandpa, Kiki (Chris), Uncle Corey, Aunt Rebecca, Dad, Mom, Ruby and Jake went off to a local Colorado Springs coffee shop. Jake and Ruby each ordered and paid for their own vanilla steamer with a donut on the side. Ruby was quite sad when her special pink sprinkle donut fell to the floor. Immediately Jake came to the rescue with “That’s all right, Ruby! I still have money on my gift card! I’ll get you another one!” Ever the gentleman!
Jake was recently the star student in his preschool class. He made a poster highlighting many of his favorite things. For his favorite color he wrote GREEN. I always thought his favorite color was blue or black. So several days after the poster was taken to school, I made some comment about his favorite color being green and he said “My favorite color is black.” To which I said “Well, why did you say green on your poster?” He said “I just wanted my class to know I could spell green”. He then added, “and besides, EVERYBODY else said their favorite color was black” Well played little man, well played. Being different is a good thing!
Jake’s favorite sport is swimming. He also really loves riding his bike and scooter. Fishing with his dad (he had his first ice fishing trip this winter) and camping come in close behind. Around the house he can be found playing spy games or rescue the princess. He typically plays the role of a Disney prince with Dash Incredible, Batman & Train Engineer skills all incorporated. He loves rattlesnakes and can recite information about them that sounds straight from the pages of World Book Encyclopedia.
Very nice, Heather, I couldn’t have said it better myself!
Three other five-year-old cousins share Jake’s 2006 birth year with him: Aiden Neal Fitzpatrick (Katie’s son), Bill Brown ((Beth (Gorman) & Bob Brown’s son), and Josiah (Rene & Dan Melchior’s son). Aiden lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Bill hails from Surprise, Arizona, and Josiah from Tennessee. I wish you could all get some play time together.
So that’s it for now, Jake. It’s been nice seeing and hearing about you. Please thank your mom and grandma Kiki for giving me all these notes and photos about you.
And find some time to solve these riddles.
Q: Why was six afraid of seven?
A: Because seven ate nine!
Q: “What has one head, one foot and four legs? ”
A: A bed.
Q: How many books can you put into an empty backpack?
A: One! After that it’s not empty.
Finally, whatever else you do today, Jake, have a happy birthday! Eat lots of cake and Quackamole, and then start packing your stuff for Portland. The Oregon Ducks are waiting for you.