Wednesday, September 26, 2007

who took Jared?

Okay, most of you know our oldest son, Jared, who is 16. If any of you read the comicstrip called 'Zits' you would swear the boy named Jeremy (seen above) might as well be named Jared. Jared is IDENTICAL to Jeremy.
At least he was...
Since we have moved to Texas, we are seeing a much different Jared! For example:

  • He joined the Rugby Team at the high school, his practices are 3 times a week at 6AM!
  • He joined the Debate Team at school, practicing every afternoon. First competition is this weekend. I'm not sure how to dress....
  • He works for tips! His job at Chili's has opened his eyes to instant gratification for a job well done.
  • He does his homework! It's true... I saw him working on it twice now. Which is more than I witnessed for the past 2 years of high school (I do recall helping him once, so maybe he did do homework before... just not in my presence).
  • He ASKED to drive the big Ford Diesel truck to school on Monday, instead of the car. He says bigger trucks are cool now. SEE??? WHO IS THIS KID??!
  • Then he brought home stuff for college... he wants to pursue a Political Science degree, says it will help him be president someday. Amen.

I am enjoying this new child that took the place of our old Jared. :) Now if I could just get him to wear his seatbelt & glasses everytime he drives the car he'd be the perfect child.

Church Stuff

I have to tell you about this wonderful church we've been going to. Thanks to Emily (my sister-in-law's sister... do you follow me?) we have discovered a very cool & spiritually lifting place to worship called Austin Stone Church. It's in downtown Austin so it takes us about 25 minutes to get there, but it's SO worth it. The music totally envelopes you & lifts you up SO high, no matter how down you are (trust me, we've been pretty down lately).
Anyways, we went to church last Sunday evening and saw Emily there! We haven't seen her since we came to Texas, so it was very good to see a familiar Iowa face. I hope we didn't scare her away... sometimes it's a little wierd to have a family sortof 'drop' into your lap when you're not expecting it. I hope we can catch up to her again soon.

In an attempt to get plugged-in we have joined a 'community group' which meets tonight for the first time. The whole family will go, even though the kids think it's going to be a waste of time. I think all of us will benefit from getting to know new people & holding each other accountable. I'm expecting it to be a lot like a 'small group' that we had in Iowa.

Here are some pictures from last Sunday after church. I didn't take my camera TO church, so these pictures are on the way home. Some things I didn't catch on camera is the fact the ground & rocks are still warm at 7pm so I took my shoes off to walk to the car. I know, I know... me... without shoes is a miracle in itself. But I couldn't resist the warmth....
The church is right downtown so I took some pictures of the Capital of Texas. It's a beautiful light pinky-marble-limestone when you get up close to it.
I wanted you to see the complex of bridges that simply crop out of no where! There is a lot of traffic so these bridges are nice to have.

This picture is funny, the mexican guy was on some sortof scooter that didn't go very fast. I don't think it's street safe, but here he is going along a busy highway. It's usually the mexican people who do funny things, like load 9 people into a truck cab, or deck out their cars with fuzzy carpet in the windows, etc. I'll have to take my camera with me more often to get pics.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

When Madison gets home

When Madison got home from school yesterday I noticed a funny thing happening. It was like things just 'fell' to the ground whenever she came into a room. And the funny thing is that she says she doesn't know how they got there... amazing.... It all started in the kitchen when I noticed the dish towels on the ground after she made lunch for herself.
So I decided to do an experiment.
Here is what her room looked like before she went into it...

Here is her room after she came out of it... I guess it's not too bad. I'll have to keep my eyes open for this phenomenon occuring when Madison is around. Maybe I'll catch it on video yet...

Dillon's football injury #1

Dillon had his first ouchie from football. Too bad it wasn't from the playing field! This one happened right in our front yard. Last night Dillon & the boy next door were playing football in the street when they collided. Dillon took a gash to the head which probably could have used a stitch. But the boy next door took the brunt... we think he might have broke his nose! Poor kid. I always told Dillon he had a hard head, but really.... (If I knew the family better I would have gotten a picture of the kid's injury too, but I didn't think they'd appreciate me showing up with a camera.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Round Rock

Look at this blurb I found on a website today. Apparently a lot of folks like Round Rock as much as we do:
Uninterrupted growth in both population and incomes has made Round Rock a retailer’s dream for the last decade. Round Rock’s highly educated workforce and outstanding city government are also two things that have attracted large companies such as Dell, Inc. Sears TeleServe, Toppan Photomasks, and Cypress Semiconductor to the area. Ranked as one of Money magazine’s best places to live in America in 2006, Round Rock is located just 15 minutes north of Austin and according to Morgan Quitno Awards, is ranked the 8th safest city in the United States, by comparison to cities of similar size and population. Round Rock offers an excellent quality of life with outstanding schools and a solid and supportive business climate. The annual population growth in Round Rock has been consistently higher than the national average, with a 44% change from 2000 to 2006.

I think you should come for a visit. Especially if you like to shop... Cheri? Mom? Linda?

Jared's first 'warning'

Here's how the story panned out this morning. But first, a little background: Jared worked until 'close' at Chili's last night, that meant he wouldn't get home until at least 11:30. I waited up until he got home at 12:40am!! (I was NOT happy, but he manager assures us this is the last closing on a school night for Jared.) I thought it was quite late & had suspicions about where he was, but I was too tired to interrogate. So we went to bed.
This morning I took Madison to school in the car Jared drives... I notice the entire glove compartment is dumped onto the passenger seat... when I put everything back, I also notice Jared's driver's license on the seat. I did an inspection of the car & no dings or dents are present. Hmmmm......

Our conversation before school today:

Me: Jared, tell me what happened with the car last night
Jared: Oh, I didn't get a ticket
Me: Okay, so what happened?
Jared: It's weird, because I normally always wear it
(Note: he's avoiding the obvious... like the COPS)
Me: Your seatbelt?
Jared: Yeah
Me: Were you speeding?
Jared: No, I was just going along & then a cop drove right behind me for a while. That's when I realized I wasn't wearing my seatbelt, so I reached up & put it on. RIGHT then he put on his lights & pulled me over! Geez!
(I wanted to say 'DUH! Never put it on when you're being watched', but I have to let him learn this one on his own)
Me: Show me the warning
Jared: He didn't give me anything, he just told me to wear my seatbelt
Me: And you will now, right?
Jared: Oh yeah.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Up & Down day

Today has been a very 'up and down' day. For example...

up: I got up right away when my alarm went off.
down: Madison overslept so we were late ayway.

up: Scott is working in Houston & thinks he may have a job lined up for the next month.
down: We need money now, not in a month! We miss him during the week.

up: The weather is always so nice here that I don't check the weather channel anymore.
down: A line of thunderstorms is working its way across our area... it's raining right now & I need to run an errand.

up: I applied for my usual 2-3 jobs like I do everyday and one actual emailed me back!
down: It's not really the job I want... that one hasn't called me back.

up: Jared worked last night & tonight which means he has money for gas!
down: He closes at Chili's which means he gets home @ 12:15am... ON A SCHOOL NIGHT!!

up: Jill posted pictures of the boys on her website so we can see them.
down: Jill's blog links to her sister Emily's who just came home from an iowa trip... both Emily & Jill's pictures make me homesick for iowa.

up: I found a used fax, scanner, printer, copier for sale in Austin for only $60.
down: The woman who's selling it lives on the south side of Austin, at least 45 min to get there.

Monday, September 17, 2007

strawberry, I mean cotton fields... forever....

Isn't this cool? This is a field of cotton growing just east of Round Rock. I couldn't resist pulling over & getting a picture. This is certainly something you don't see in Iowa. Madison plucked a bloom (or is it 'pod'?) of cotton to take home. Very neat!

We took Scott to Houston

Yesterday we took Scott to Houston. He is doing some work there with his TV truck. I think we're all relieved to have some steady work for a while. We don't know how long he'll be needed in Houston, but we'll take as much work as we can right now! Scott will be home on Friday & return on Monday next week.

Scott is staying in a hotel in Houston. I'm a little worried about the 'reputation' this place might have.... let's just say I think they stay pretty busy....

Here is a few pictures & descriptions of the suite:

First of all, note the 1-1/2" gap under the door. This door opens to the outside. I gave Scott strict instructions to keep his bags off the ground! You never know what kind of critters will crawl in for a free trip back to our house! Scott told me he packed the gap with towels last night before bed. His mother would be proud. :)
Alright, this is the suite. Note the mirrors on the walls & ceiling above the bed!?! Also note the painted clouds & sky on the ceiling. You cannot see the black-light which will illuminate the stars in the clouds when it's dark in the room. Oh, and the palm trees painted on one wall glow with the black light too. Nice.... heehee
If you look close in the mirror you can see Madison & Dillon laying on the bed looking at themselves in the overhead mirror. They thought the mirror was hysterical. Here they are pretending to fall backwards out of a plane. I wish their faces weren't blurry in this photo, they are so funny. It could be worse. Think about where they are. Ewww....

Keeping it safe

Think of this picture like those mirrors that say "objects may appear closer than really are". This padlock is about the size of my hand. The links on this chain could hold a boat in place. A big boat.
This is the lock & chain around the yard where Scott's equipment is being stored in Houston.
Hmmm.... do you think this might be a 'problem neighborhood'?? I should have showed you the barbed-wire at the top or the Rotweiler dog named Buddy.

backseat entertainment

I guess you could say the trip to Houston yesterday was entertaining.... thanks to our backseat entertainment provided by Jared & Dillon. These 2 are so silly. I posted this video on YouTube yesterday & you wouldn't believe the amount of people who have watched this video. Goofy!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Scott's got a job...

Scott's going to do some televising for SHE-CO in Houston next week. Hopefully there's a lot to be done.... we'll see after he gets started. Sunday we'll make a road trip to Houston and take Scott's equipment. Should be interesting since Jared will have to drive the Sonata, I'll drive the diesel truck, and Scott will drive the TV truck. Hopefully there isn't much traffic in Houston on Sunday...

Jared & Dillon are SUPPOSED to be cleaning

This is what the boys do when I tell them to clean their room. I had a hunch they were not really cleaning so I sent Madison to secretly video them. Lo & Behold.... Jared was making an effort! Speaking of efforts.... what in the heck is Dillon trying to play?? Listen carefully to see if you can make it out.

Games this week

Dillon & Madison both played games this week, Dillon played football on Wednesday night & Madison's volleyball was on Thursday. We are learning the lay-out of Round Rock & Austin since all of their games have been 'away' for the last 2 weeks. Dillon's team played a southern Austin team & we enjoyed an beautiful evening outside. Madison & I ran to the top of the stadium to watch the sun set over the Austin skyline & I was ready to take a picture, but the security guard yelled from ALL THE WAY across the field to us. Talk about embarrassing! EVERYONE looked at us!! The evenings are still very comfortable, usually in the mid-70's.

Here's Madison practicing with her team before the volleyball game. She's #30. She had a great game last night! They won by a landslide, best 2 of 3.

Jared at work

We decided to pay Jared a visit on Tuesday night at Chili's. Here are a couple of pictures from our dinner. Notice how Jared's mouth looks like he's eating something... he stole a buffalo wing from Dillon's plate. We convinced Dillon not to make a fuss since we weren't sure Jared's boss knew who we were. Can you imagine if he got fired?!

Chili's is trying to raise money for St. Jude's Children's Hospital so they are selling shirts & dog-tag necklaces. Jared was mortified when he saw our whole family was going to get matching shirts to his. hahaha We opted for a couple of dog-tags instead so that he wouldn't run away.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fall is in the air??

I have been listening to the Weather Channel (thanks dad, I got that habit from you) today & saw that Fall has arrived in Iowa. It looks like you have been blessed with a cold snap. For some of you that is a welcome arrival, and for some of you... it makes you want to crawl into your beds! For the latter: COME VISIT US! It is a balmy 85 degrees today with a hint of overcast so watching Dillon play football tonight will be downright wonderful. No umbrellas to keep the sun away, no jackets to keep us warm (although I'm bringing one anyway, anything under 77 degrees is chilly to me), and no hot chocolate... we might even go out for ice cream later!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

On our day

Well, yesterday was me & Scott's 19th wedding anniversary. We didn't go out for lunch. We didn't go out for supper. We really didn't do anything exciting! I made fried hot dogs & potatoes for supper (which sounds kinda gross, but we really like it, so I guess that was a bit of a treat). After supper we reminded the kids that it was our anniversary. Jared promptly jumped up and all but shoved us out the door saying that we should go somewhere & enjoy our evening together. Thinking that this was my opportunity to get out of the house & have someone else do the dishes... I quickly obliged Jared. Scott & I went riding around (which is one of our favorite things to do at 8pm each night because the sunset is so beautiful here) and ended up at an old friend's house for a visit. We stopped at Taco Bell for fried potatoes & cheese on the way home & then *waa-laa* the dishes were done when we got home. YAY! Happy Anniversary to us! When it was time for bed I commented to Scott that we didn't have anything to give each other for anniversary gifts this year... not even a picture of us. So I ran & got the camera and this is the silly picture we took to commemorate our 19th anniversary.

Happy 19th Anniversary to... US!

Happy Anniversary, Scott & Shelly!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Living Tour of our NEW HOUSE

As if I haven't bored you enough with the videos of the house we live in now... I am now at it again with videos of the new construction house. Sorry!
Anyways, here is an update of the progress: inside is all painted, cabinets are in. Oustide is all bricked, we're waiting for the back patio & front walkway... It's going to be a beautiful house. Make sure you've got a good 10 minutes to watch all of these. Especially the next blog where Scott steps in mud. hahaha

Here is the front of the house!

As we go through the front door... isn't the fireplace pretty?

The master bedroom. Should be enough room for us. :)

The rest of the 1st floor.

Now we're headed up the stairs...

The rest of the 2nd floor (including your bedroom!)

This is leaving the house & outside on the north side (I think it's north?).

This is the new neighborhood swim pool. It's 3 lots away from our house & will be done in November. Not sure we'll swim then... might be too cool... we'll see.

He should know better

Here is a secret video of Scott after he walked through the mud in his flip flops. DUH?! This is at the new house job site. heehee

Goodnight to Macey

She must be very sleepy...


Madison made the volleyball team at her middle school! There are 29 girls on the team... and many girls didn't make the cut. I'm including a link to her school so you can see the team colors & the school building. Her first game is on Thursdsay AT Canyon Vista (west side of Austin). Unfortunately Dillon has a game the same night HERE against Reagan High School. It sucks having to be in 2 places at once. :(

Saturday, September 1, 2007

America's Next Top Model

Alright... Those of you who know me well know that I HARDLY ever watch TV. Especially for more than 1 or 2 hours. Listen to this: Madison & I watched an ENTIRE season of this show called "America's Next Top Model" today. And believe it or not... it's on MTV. That means we sat together like couch potatoes for 10 hours. Yes... I am serious. This show is so addictive. I confess, I was addicted for the entire day. I don't know how you do it, Jill, watching 'Dancing with The Stars' only once a week. I'm not that patient. Check out the link to this program. If you get bored or are sick in bed for an entire day, this is a good way to pass the time.