Mike, Jen and Joey Black
Concord, NC
Last Updated: June 13, 2009


Update Dateline: Concord, NC September 12, 2005

Well it’s been a couple of years so I guess it’s time for another family update.Jen and I just celebrated our first anniversary. Boy it sure does feel good to be legal. We had a great night out as a family going to our favorite local hibachi restaurant. Joey loves going to, ”The circus in Japan.”Joey is in the third grade. Hard to believe he just had his 9th birthday. He goes to R. Brown McCallister Elementary right here in Concord just a couple of miles from the house. He is in the T.E.A.C.C.H. classroom there with Mrs. Blackwell. It is a great program for children who fall under the autistic spectrum. The academics are challenging, the teachers are caring professionals with high standards, and Joey actually looks forward to going to school. Will wonders never cease? Of course some of his favorite things to do are: play Star Wars video games, ride his bike, read with mommy and daddy, play tickle, work on his computer, terrorize…um, I mean play with the dog Truman and the cat Dinah, go to uncle Dan’s house, and play knights with daddy. He also loves building all sorts of amazing things with legos (hmmm, wonder where he gets that from?).Jen is no longer working with Cabinet Craft anymore. About 3 months ago she resigned and was a stay-at-home mom with Joey for the second half of the summer. She took a course over the summer at the local community college and is enrolled this semester working on prerequisite courses for the highly respected and sought after dental hygiene program.A little scared at first because she hadn’t been in a classroom for a dozen years, she has climatized well to her new academics and is getting top-notch grades. We are very proud of her and are looking forward to her continued success. If all goes as planned she will begin the actual program next fall. She has also taken a part time job at the local arts and crafts store.After a six-month sabbatical, I have taken a position as the Food Service Director at an assisted living community (a.k.a. old folks’ home) in Charlotte. It is as challenging as it is rewarding. No two days are the same and they really keep me on my toes. The residents, as a general rule, are nice and eager to talk…about anything. No really they’ll tell you anything. I now know the personal medical and marital histories of no less than six residents and their entire families. Can anyone say too much information? Needless to say I try to stay cloistered in the kitchen getting things done.The menu requirements of the residents are interesting. We have a 40% Jewish population, so I’ve been steeped in the food of the culture. Cold pickled beet soup and cured fish, yummy. Fortunately the residents are of great assistance with all sorts of unsolicited advice and color commentary. Oy Gevalt!I stay busy in my free time keeping the house up, spending time with Jen and Joey, and when possible, keeping in touch with my friends. My fellow medieval junkie Karl and I do demonstrations for the Cub Scouts, schools, churches and youth groups. Joey was with us at one last weekend, and we had an absolute blast. He is my, ”young squire!”Well that’s all for now. Once more unto the breach dear friends, once more!
Hello everyone. This is our first update for the family website. Things are moving along as busy as ever here in Concord. So much has happened over
the last year. "Lemme splain...no dare iz too much. Lemme sum up."
Joey is in the first grade and, after a bumpy start to the year, is doing well. The transition from summer vacation to school routine was difficult
for him to get over, but with a little ingenuity we were able to help him get over the worst of it. He attends the Children's Connection class at
Harrisburg Elementary School, which is just down the road from our place in Concord. His academic skills are coming along well, and the introduction of
a rigid routine has really helped with his social and communication skills greatly. He is reading and even doing basic math. He goes to Dixon Academy
after school where a wonderful teacher Ms. Tara has really helped us out and is very supportive of Joeys needs. Joey is also a Tiger Cub now. He really
loves the Cub Scouts and it is a staple of our Tuesday nights now. He has also started equestrian occupational therapy at Joshua's Farm, a working
farm where kids with special needs can attend equestrian, animal and horticulture therapy sessions. Ms. Theresa, who has a child with special
needs, runs it with love, affection and competence. It is a great program and Joey just loves it.
Jen is working hard at her job at Cabinet Craft. She is in her fifth year with the company and received a promotion last year. She is the
installation manager as well as being responsible for the corian production
department over the North Carolina and South Carolina regions. This means that she often has to travel to Raleigh, NC or Charleston, SC for work.
Spring and summer are the seasons for building so she has been running like there is no tomarrow for months now. Needless to say she is looking forward
to the slow season.
I left my job at CiCi's Pizza in April and took a hiatis to take care of Joey over the summer and find a job that was more suited to the changes in my life. I have found a position as a service planner for Premier Technology Group. PTG is in consultation, sales and service of office
equipment. My job is to manage the fleet of service technicians as well as manage parts logistics. It is challenging yet I am very happy here. The
people are nice. The hours are great, and the pay is better. I now have time to do some of my medieval reenactments again and since stepping back into that arena have made many new friends.
In other news...Jennifer and I are engaged to be married. We have set a date of Fall 04 for the wedding. We are planning a very small (just us) ceremony in the British Virgin Islands to be followed directly by a cruise/honeymoon. We will plan a reception of sorts for family and friends to gather and help us celebrate this wonderful occasion after our return. Well that's it for now. We'll update again soon as well as keep a steady flow of pictures on the website. Love you all.
Mike, Jen and Joey
(writtten by Mike Black)
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Check out Mike and Joey in the Mountains

Big Joey's Class Pictures Winter 2003