Tuesday, January 29, 2008

time flies....

This coming weekend will be 6 months that we've lived in Texas. It has been HALF a YEAR!


I can't say that the time has flown because we're having fun. The move to Texas has been quite stressful and Scott's health has been, well, not terrific. Poor guy.
However we have been blessed by many things these past 6 months....
  • we live in a beautiful house (even if it's only for a short while!)
  • have nice weather almost EVERY day!
  • we made new friends who immediately adopted us & love us
  • we sold the house in Iowa
  • we found a buyer for Scott's equipment
  • a generous man paid for my Aunt & I to fly back for my mom's cancer surgery
  • my Mom's cancer has been removed & she's doing GREAT!
  • the kids have made friends
  • I have a job that provides for our family

We're looking forward to an an end of Scott's pain and a new start for him. I'm feeling like 2008 could be a good year for recovery for him. Let's hope so!

Monday, January 28, 2008

My kids.

This is such a cute picture of the kids. I begged them to pose for me because I have an identical picture of them on a lamp post in San Antonio about 10 years ago. I hope I can find it so I can post it for you to see the difference.

hats & hysterics...

At least it's not a 'pink elephant'

The flamingo on Jared's head was too tall.

Linda & I like the same hat. :)

"Say What"?!

San Antone... here we come!

Of course the major attraction in San Antonio is the Alamo... Then we met a new friend at the steakhouse on the River Walk. His name is "T-Bone"... or is was "T-Bone"....
Everyone must go on a River Walk boat ride.... here we are waiting our turn. It was a beautiful day and everyone deserved a nap when we got home.

Fun with Linda

Linda came to visit us!
We've taken her around the city & to a few fun places. Here's what we did this weekend....

First we went shopping at a mall that overlooks downtown Austin, here is the view from the parking lot.

Then we went to an Austin 'hot-spot' called the 'Hula Hut' which is a bar/grill that sits over the water of Lake Austin. Unfortunately the water level was way down, so we actually sat over the sandy river bottom. Oh well.... it was warm outside (73 degrees) and we had a good meal.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Lost Christmas pictures

This is the traditional Brown Family Christmas photo. We usually take it at Thanksgiving & it's ready for Christmas cards. Well... this year the pictures ended up, um... actually I'm not sure why they got overlooked.
Anyways, here they are for your viewing enjoyment.
This is the final photo we're all happy with. Especially Dillon because he was on his tippy-toes & this makes him look almost as tall as Scott.

This picture is of my dad's rear end. He didn't get to his spot fast enough before the timer went off. Oops. Good job of smiling William!

Here is the line-up we originally had placed everyone in. Then we realized Madison is not really as little as we thought.
Plus Macey, the dog, thought she should be included.

Finally we concluded with a 'goofy' picture. This is my favorite. I think we need to coach Damon & Dad on what 'goofy' means. You have to zoom in on this one & look at everyone up close... it's funnier when you look at each of us close-up. hahaha This makes me laugh! Hope you get a good laugh too. :)


Flogging Molly is SOLD OUT in Austin.
Hmmm.... too bad.
Sorry Jared.

Jared's type of music

This is a band that Jared follows called "Flogging Molly". They'll be in Austin next weekend. He's begging me to let him go see them, which of course means that I'll probably have to go too.
I figure any Irish punk band that plays the accordian, banjo and violin in addition to the guitar & drums can't be too harmful.... Let me know what you think.

My hesitation comes in their name... flogging means to 'whip or beat with a stick' and who is Molly? I'm hoping this isnt' some sort of masochism.
I'm open to comments.

A visitor from IOWA!

Linda made it to Austin!

Linda got to Austin yesterday & we have got lots of fun plans for her while she's with us.

The weather is a little chilly today (40's-50's) but it's supposed to be in the upper 60's for the weekend. We're going to take her to the State Capital and to the River Walk (& Alamo!) in San Antonio... and shopping... and sight-seeing.... and.... well, she might need a vacation from her vacation when she gets back to Iowa.

I'll post pics as soon as I can!

Monday, January 21, 2008

This weekend's rugby game

Here are Dillon & Jared again! Our team didn't play quite as well this weekend, I think it had something to do with the weather.... and we were missing a few boys.... Oh well.... only one teammate suffered an injury that required medical attention, a knee injury. THAT's gonna leave a mark!
This is called a 'scrum'. You can see the ball on the ground in the middle of this ring of players. The group of players have to push against the other group to kick the ball backwards towards a teammate who can pick up the ball & run. Then he gets plowed unless he can pass the ball laterally or backwards to another teammate (no forward passes) who then gets plowed. It's quite intense and full of testosterone!

If you notice the woman in the background in a winter coat & hat... it was in the 50's with a strong wind to make it feel colder. I'm glad I wasn't out there in shorts! (I had on a winter coat too - I couldn't find my mittens.)

uh oh... not so fast....

10 days ago Scott was told by the pain clinic that the only way he could get an Epidural Injection was to have a 'clean MRSA report' from an Infectious Disease doctor.

We called one of the two Infectious Disease doctors on our new health plan (geez, this is Austin, Texas for crying out loud, you'd think there'd be more than two!). They gave us the run-around so the surgeon we visited sent him to a Pathology Clinic office. The Pathology Clinic drew blood & we patiently waited 6 days for the result. Yay! It was reported clean last Friday (see Scott's prior post).
Today Scott called the pain clinic to schedule the Epidural Injection.

Uh oh.... not so fast.... they want an official report from an INFECTIOUS DISEASE doctor, not any 'ol Pathology Clinic.

So now Scott has to start all over again. Calling an Infectious Disease doctor & waiting to see when he can get in. Then they'll draw blood. Then we'll wait another 6 days. IF that report comes back clean (which we know it will) THEN Scott will be eligible to make an appointment for the elusive Epidural Injection.
Poor Scott. He was soooooo looking forward to some pain relief this week. It seems like he gets so close to pain relief (like the surgery or this injection) and *poof* he gets news that he must wait.... again.
Please pray for his attitude and the pain to recede. He's been taken off the majority of pain meds because he's been on them for too long (a year now) - so he's only taking over-the-counter pain meds & one prescription. :( Sad.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Another oldie.... 1988

Mom & Dad!! (also known as Grandma & Grandpa) This was taken at my wedding in 1988...
geez, almost 20 years ago!

2004 old pictures

We have been cleaning the spare bedroom in preparation for our friend from Iowa, Linda, who is coming to visit this week. We found some pictures we thought you'd enjoy seeing! Branson Ducks... Madison & Damon. QUACK QUACK

2004 Cole Family Reunion.... One of the last times the whole famiy was together!!

Friday, January 18, 2008


Hi everybody, This is Scott. I got my test results back concerning the MRSA (staph) and I have been cleared for an epidural injection. I will try this before getting spinal surgery done. Yea!!

what the guys did last night

Mrs Robinson

Short solo by Jared

Scarborough Fair... this one's REALLY good!

And concluding with 'Patience' by Guns&Roses

Ellen, do you recognize this tune?

Scott learned to play this song on the guitar when he was young from Ellen's ex-husband, Alvie. Now Scott has taught our boys to play & sing it.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


This is the temp outside this afternoon!

Some of the people here are saying it might 'sleet' tonight & if that happens, many businesses, including schools, shut down.

There's no such thing as 'snow days'.
But there is 'inclement weather days'.
Maybe we'll have one tomorrow?

I wonder where my winter coat is?
Did I bring mittens to Texas? I can't remember.... ??

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

to my Mom....

Your daughter & your sister say... "HEY! Wish you were here!!"

Happy 17th B-Day Margaux!!

Jared & Margaux are 6 months apart in age.... Margaux's older!

We went to Wimberley to celebrate Margaux's birthday on Sunday.
Hope she likes gum because we got her a 3-month supply!

Zero degrees?!

I brought my little space heater to work yesterday because it's been quite chilly, although yesterday ended up being a rather nice day (70 degrees) & I didn't need to run the heater afterall.

Today when I got to work I opened my AOL & panicked when I saw the outside temp was ZERO. I quickly turned my heater on.

Wait a minute! I didn't need to wear a coat today.... how could it be zero?!

Ohhhh.... that's right, I checked the temp in Iowa before I closed AOL last time & that's how cold it is THERE. Uuhhhhh, that's COLD.

If it's any consolation it IS supposed to be cooler here today... I think the high is 62.
You really should come visit. :)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Stony Point RUGBY

Today was the first EVER Stony Point Rugby game! This is a new team and Jared & Dillon got to experience the thrill of being a part of it! Here is the whole team having their cleats checked for illegal spikes. I'm glad they check because the game is already violent enough...

Jared is #13 & plays 'outside-center wing'. Dillon is #14 & plays 'winger'. Occasionally they played right next to each other on the field. Here they are next to one another. Love the shorts & socks!! Dillon ended up playing almost all 4 games because his 'back-up man' dislocated his shoulder. Here is Dillon taking a quick break. Poor guy, he is so tired! Other injuries on the field included a hyper-extended knee, 2 bloody noses, a cut on the head and I'm pretty sure one guy went home with a concussion. The coach thought this was a great day since only one injury required a trip to the ER.

The following video is a chant the Stony Point Tiger Team does to get themselves fired up. They say "Key-la-key-la" which means "killer, killer" is some African language. Lovely.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Scott went to the new Dr. today...

FYI on Scott's appointment:
This Dr. feels Scott is about to embark on a lifetime of verterba fusion surgeries if we do this most recently posed surgery. He's not saying we shouldn't do it.... just that we need to think about the repurcussions & exhaust ALL POSSIBLE ways to get rid of his pain. For now he has recommended Scott have the epidural injections & begin another round of physical therapy. He'll check on Scott in 6 weeks again.

Endless surgeries would be because each hunk of bone that gets attached to the hunk of bone below it (I coined those technical terms myself) causes strain on the verterbra upwards of the fusion. Eventually he will have fusion after fusion going up his spine to get rid of the pain. The Dr doesn't want Scott to have to look forward to a lifetime like this if we can help it.

Scott had some blood drawn today for a staph culture. It will take 5 days to get results! If those reults come back 'clean' then Scott will be eligible for an epidural injection as early as Monday, the 21st. We're really praying for a clean bill of health!!

Great things about Texas... this is cute!

Need to be cheered up?
Happy, Texas 79042
Pep , Texas 79353
Smiley , Texas 78159
Paradise , Texas 76073
Rainbow , Texas 76077
Sweet Home , Texas 77987
Comfort , Texas 78013
Friendship, Texas 76530

Love the Sun?
Sun City , Texas 78628
Sunrise , Texas 76661
Sunset, Texas 76270
Sundown, Texas 79372
Sunray , Texas 79086
Sunny Side , Texas 77423

Want something to eat?
Bacon , Texas 76301
Noodle , Texas 79536
Oatmeal , Texas 78605
Turkey , Texas 79261
Trout , Texas 75789
Sugar Land , Texas 77479
Salty, Texas 76567
Rice , Texas 75155

And top it off with:
Sweetwater , Texas 79556

Why travel to other cities? Texas has them all!
Detroit , Texas 75436
Colorado City , Texas 79512
Denver City , Texas 79323
Klondike , Texas 75448
Nevada , Texas 75173
Memphis , Texas 79245
Miami , Texas 79059
Boston , Texas 75570
Santa Fe , Texas 77517
Tennessee Colony , Texas
75861Reno , Texas 75462

Feel like traveling outside the country? Don't bother buying a plane ticket!
Athens , Texas 75751
Canadian, Texas 79014
China , Texas 77613
Egypt , Texas 77436
Ireland , Texas 76538
Turkey , Texas 79261
London , Texas 76854
New London , Texas 75682
Paris , Texas 75460

No need to travel to Washington D.C.
Whitehouse , Texas 75791

We even have a city named after our planet!
Earth , Texas 79031

And a city named after our State!
Texas City , Texas 77590

Energy , Texas 76452

Blanket , Texas 76432
Winters, Texas

Like to read about History?
Santa Anna , Texas
Goliad , Texas
Alamo , Texas
Gun Barrel City , Texas
Robert lee, Texas

Need Office Supplies?
Staples, Texas 78670

Men are from Mars, women are from
Venus , Texas 76084

You guessed it..it's on the state line..
Texline , Texas 79087

For the kids...
Kermit , Texas 79745
Elmo , Texas 75118
Nemo , Texas 76070
Tarzan , Texas 79783
Winnie , Texas 77665
Sylvester , Texas 79560

Other city names in Texas , to make you smile.....
Frognot , Texas 75424
Bigfoot , Texas 78005
Hogeye , Texas 75423
Cactus , Texas 79013
Notrees , Texas 79759
Best, Texas 76932
Veribest , Texas 76886
Kickapoo , Texas 75763
Dime Box , Texas 77853
Old Dime Box , Texas 77853
Telephone , Texas 75488
Telegraph , Texas 76883
Whiteface , Texas 79379
Twitty, Texas 79079

And last but not least, the Anti-Al Gore City
Kilgore , Texas 75662

And our favorites...
Cut n Shoot, Texas
Gun Barrell City , Texas
Hoop And Holler, Texas
Ding Dong, Texas
and, of course,Muleshoe , Texas

Here are some little known, very interesting facts about Texas.
1. Beaumont to El Paso : 742 miles
2. Beaumont to Chicago : 770 miles
3. El Paso is closer to California than to Dallas
4. World's first rodeo was in Pecos , July 4, 1883
5. The Flagship Hotel in Galveston is the only hotel in North America built over water.
6. The Heisman Trophy was named after John William Heisman who was the first full-time coach at Rice University in Houston.
7. Brazoria County has more species of birds than any other area in North America.
8. Aransas Wildlife Refuge is the winter home of North America's only remaining flock of whooping cranes.
9. Jalapeno jelly originated in Lake Jackson in 1978.
10. The worst natural disaster in U.S. history was in 1900, caused by a hurricane, in which over 8,000 lives were lost on Galveston Island
11. The first word spoken from the moon, July 20, 1969, was " Houston ."
12. King Ranch in South Texas is larger than Rhode Island .
13. Tropical Storm Claudette brought a U.S. rainfall record of 43" in 24 hours in and around Alvin in July of 1979.
14. Texas is the only state to enter the U.S. by TREATY, (known as the Constitution of 1845 by the Republic of Texas to enter the Union) instead of by annexation. This allows the Texas Flag to fly at the same height as the U.S. Flag, and may divide into 5 states.
15. A Live Oak tree near Fulton is estimated to be 1500 years old.
16. Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in the state.
17. Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. There is no period in Dr Pepper.
18. Texas has had six capital cities: Washington-on-the Brazos, Harrisburg , Galveston , Velasco, West Columbia and Austin.
19. The Capitol Dome in Austin is the only dome in the U.S. which is taller than the Capitol Building in Washington DC (by 7 feet).
20. The name "Texas " comes from the Hasini Indian word "tejas" meaning friends. Tejas is not Spanish for Texas
21. The State Mascot is the Armadillo (an interesting bit of trivia about the armadillo is they always have four babies. They have one egg, which splits into four, and they either have four males or four females.).
22. The first domed stadium in the U.S. was the Astrodome in Houston

Cowboy's Ten Commandments posted on the wall at Cross Trails Church in Fairlie, Texas:
(1) Just one God.
(2) Honor yer Ma & Pa.
(3) No telling tales or gossipin'.
(4) Git yourself to Sunday meeting.
(5) Put nothin' before God.
(6) No foolin' around with another fellow's gal.
(7) No killin'.
(8) Watch yer mouth.
(9) Don't take what ain't yers.
(10) Don't be hankerin' for yer buddy's stuff

Now that's kinda plain an' simple don't ya think?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ode to the Taco Bell...

Hey its Jared. I snuck onto my mommas blog thing to post a ((secret)) blog post!! isnt this fun! ohkay here we go this is a little old, but still true none-the-less.

OK. Thats it! I hate Taco Bell!!!!!!
Here's the story...

So there I was on my was to work at Chili's. (when i used to work there,) and I got hungry. I knew I wouldn't be able to eat till like 11, so I decided to stop at Taco Bell to get something to eat. I got to the drive through and ordered a number 8 (3 softshell taco's) for 4.25. I went to work. (it was 4:35) So i went across a stoplight and it was yellow, so naturally i sped up when, i looked around and saw a COP right at the stop light!!! So I sped up some more cuz he was way behind traffic and it was like impossible to get my by then. So I felt pretty good and I opened a taco and set it on my lap to put hot sauce on it. Suddenly, there was a sharp turn, and I turned left, and my taco dissapeared!!!
I looked everywhere for it, and I soon found it. The freakin taco fell between the seat, and the freakin stick shifter!!!!! The quarter-inch space was JUST big enough to fit a taco in. So now I have taco smeared all over the side of my seat and crap AND THERES NO WAY TO GET IT OUT!!! It's too small to fit even the flat blade of a vacuum, and all the taco sauce is in it too! So my freakin car smells like taco now. (and if you don't know what old taco smells like, it smells like horrible b/o. Gah

This, is my hate on the Taco Bell Carma Curse

Sunday's quick trip to Houston

On Sunday we decided to make a quick trip to Houston (if you call 6 hours in the truck quick?). Scott needed to make a repair to his equipment so we decided all of us would go.
I promised Howie I'd take lots of pictures but once we got into Houston, my batteries went dead. Madison has a few pics on her camera, so I'll try to salvage some pics from her. In the meantime here's what we did:

Downtown Houston! It was a beautiful day!
This is the stadium where the Houston Astros baseball team plays. Cool. The roof rolls closed if they want it to.


Here is what we do when we travel together. Usually there's more singing, but Scott was grouchy & put the headphones on. It was a little bouncy.

No, I don't want to play

There is a lot of whispering going on at my work today. I don't usually 'eavesdrop' but I couldn't help overhearing some war-talk going on about taking over Russia by becoming allies with Germany. What?! So I had to ask...
It seems that many of the employees play a 'virtual' game of Risk. Different people represent different countries & they team together to take over the world. I guess the games lasts about a week & it's all about developing allies (or enemies) with you co-workers.
Remember.... I work for a software company with a floor full of programmers, developers, and analysts. Enough said.
No, I am not playing.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Cell Phone update

Just an FYI...

My phone & Jared's phone numbers are suspended for a while.

Call us at home & leave a message if you need us.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Let there be LIGHT!

Yesterday the maintenance man in our building at work came & replaced the bulbs in the flourescent light above my cubicle. WOW!! What a difference... like night & day, like sun & moon, like.... light on & light off.... hahaha

Monday, January 7, 2008

... in this little plant....

We retrieved all our houseplants from Iowa over Thanksgiving break. I was so happy to have them back because I feel like a house isn't a home unless you have green plants here-&-there. :)

On the way back to Texas we encountered snow as far south as the KS-OK border... that means there was a hard frost which is NOT GOOD for houseplants. Every plant (except 1) was brown & wilty when we got home. I was sooooo sad. They looked hopeless.

But I didn't give up. I trimmed them all down & put them in the sunlight. I gave them plant food. I rotate the pots & check on each plant almost daily.

A few weeks ago I started to see a response!! The leaves are growing back & they are looking GREEN again! Yay! This particular plant had no leaves & only straggly vines (that's how they all looked)... but look at it now!
I am much like these plants. Their ability to sustain & keep growing correlate to my feelings about our family's relocation to Texas.

Until recently, I felt our purpose here in Texas was hopeless. We arrived here with many dreams (the business, Scott's health, a new house, a job...) and as many of you know almost all of them seem to be dying or wilting away.

But with patience & prayer (lots & lots of prayer) I am starting to feel 'green' again. I see that God promises regrowth.... see? In this picture? And in my heart... I feel a change in attitude.

Nope, things don't look like they 'did' and maybe they never will. Perhaps the 'dreams' of a new house & a new business will need to be trimmed away from our life to allow regrowth. All I know is that I am happy to be alive! God has put me here for a reason, praise to God for whatever it is!

God has shown me, in this little plant, that I am alive & have so much to be thankful for.

Found in Matthew 6:25 - 27
25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[a]?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Jared's Debate Tournament

Stony Point High School & Jared's debate team hosted a HUGE debate tournament yesterday & today. There were 35 teams represented. That's a lot! Jared's team didn't participate but provided host services, like concessions & drinks, etc.... Jared's team wore these T-shirts: "I'm public speaking. Stop public interrupting me." -Michael Scott, The Office. (Apprently this is a quote from the show...?!) Cute.

Macey's paw

We had all the windows & doors open in the house today, which resulted in flying pests getting inside... including a BEE! Macey found the bee & treated it like a fly; by batting it down & pawing at it. Then it stung her paw. OUCH!
I killed it with the flyswatter & Scott sucked it up with the shop-vac which happened to be close by. No more bees. (I hope!)
Scott was on the phone with Ellen while Madison & I were trying to get Macey to put her paw into the kitchen sink of cold water. Ellen suggested caking her paw in mud & letting it dry to pull out the stinger. Good idea, so we tried it. Not sure if it worked since we couldn't find the stinger to begin with... ?? I'm glad Macey isn't a big dog because my arms are tired from carrying her around while the mud dried. Madison & I took turns. Poor Macey!

XM radio

This is an XM radio station I really like on AOL... I'm wondering if you can listen to it too.... even if you don't have AOL... ?? Give it a try...
It's theme songs to TV shows. Cool, huh?

Poor man's screen door

It is 9am & we have our doors & windows open already! This is the "poor man's screen door". Works for us. :)

He still has staph

Scott's family doctor confirmed that Scott still has staph, although it is almost gone. He began his 3rd round of antibiodics yesterday.

We have an appointment with a highly recognized neurosurgeon, Dr. John Stokes ('seasoned' as this article referes to him) next Friday. This will be our first meeting with him so I'm really looking forward to hearing his idea for treatment. Perhaps this little lag in appointments will give the staph a chance to fully heal.

End of an era??

When I got home from work yesterday I saw this in the entryway. This means two things:
  1. Scott registered his grey work truck with the State of Texas & received Texas license plates
  2. These are the plates that identified his business in Iowa... is the business over? Do we call it quits?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Now the ?? of the hour... how long before surgery??

We had a bit of a scare with Scott's back condition last night. I wish I could say it's over & done with, but looks like we'll be pursuing treatment for surgery with a vengence.

Scott is having episodes about every other day where his pain is so intense and shocking pain radiates down into his legs & feet that he can't stand... or sit... or lay.... there's nothing he can do for relief. This pain is REALLY awful. And we feel so helpless when he's having an episode. If I could figure out what he was doing to make the episode happen, then of course he's stop, but doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason...

His next surgeon appointment isn't until Jan 14th. Up til now he's been trying to manage the pain with drugs. But I don't think it's helping....

Last night, in the midst of a small group meeting, Scott had the worst episode yet. He lost use of his right leg & the men in the group helped him get situated until the pain lessened. We decided he needed to be seen at the hospital.

We called the surgeon & went to the hosptial at 10:00pm (got home at 3:00 this morning). The ER gave him injections of strong pain relievers (& prescriptions for more) to help get him through the night and instructions for follow-up appointments. Hmmmpf.... $100 copay for that?!
AND... the icing-on-the-cake.... the surgeon actually griped at Scott for calling at 10pm. He thought Scott was fishing for a pain prescription & basically told Scott he'd see him at the appointment on the 14th. Trust me... I heard it myself! I was appalled. What kind of Dr. doesn't take his patient's pain seriously?! We were having poor patient follow-up with this guy to begin with... but this was too mcuh. Needless to say, we're waiting to make an appointment with a different surgeon. We got good recommendations from the neuro-radiologist & from the ER for another guy. And we've made an appointment with the Pain Management Specailist Scott's been seeing to get an epidural injection until surgery happens.

Now the ?? of the hour... how long before surgery??
Tomorrow Scott will have a culture ran to see if he still has MRSA (staph infection).

I'll keep you updated.