Monday, September 29, 2008

Graduation Day for Jared

Graduation Dates set The Frank Erwin Center in Austin has set all graduation ceremony times for 2009. All RRISD high schools will graduate on Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at the Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River, Austin.
McNeil High School - Noon
Round Rock High School - 3 p.m.
Stony Point High School - 5:45 p.m.
Westwood High School - 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Congrats MADISON!!

Madison has auditioned for the District Choir tryouts and made it!! This is a huge honor for a freshman! Madison has practiced and practiced to make Districts and it paid off! Madison sings as a soprano II.
Dillon made Districts last year (see this old post) so he knows how difficult this honor is.
Madison will move into Regional try-outs at the end of next month.
So the practicing starts again...

Enjoying the night

We decided to venture into downtown Austin last night. It was a beautiful night & we knew there'd lots going on downtown since the Longhorns won their football game against Arkansas and the ACL Festival is going on.

It was quite busy and there were lots of great bands playing in the area. We stopped at an infamous Austin ice cream place - Amy's Ice Cream. It's similar to Cold Stone ice cream but more "Austin-ish" which makes it better. :)

Oh, ACL stands for "Austin City Limits" which is a long-time running publicly broadcast live music program. You've probably watched it a time or two on PBS.

A double-yolked egg! Now there's something you don't see everyday.

Friday night football

He'd like you to think he was singing or speaking into the microphone, but this is before the sound was turned on. Goofy kid!

I have apologize that the pictures are a little fuzzy since we were up in the stands, plus my batteries in my camera went dead, so I only got this much of the boys on camera. I'll be sure to have fresh batteries next game... sorry!

This is a practice run of choir singing the National Anthem. Dillon & Jared are in the front, center. Don't worry, the hat & bandana came off for the real thing. They did an AWESOME job!!

Jared never ceases to surprise us. As we were gettign ready for the game to start, all of the sudden Jared comes running past the stands carrying the 'S' flag in the T-I-G-E-R-S spirit flags. He volunteered to help the cheerleaders with their activities, so he got to run with the flag after every touchdown (7 times!) and he threw mini-footballs into the stands (yes, one did come right to us!). We all had alot of fun! Stony Point wins over Westwood Warriors, 41-14. Watch the end of the video to catch him running by.

Monday, September 22, 2008

i taught him well

So if any of you have been to a concert with me, or heard about the concerts I attend, you know that I must sit in the first 5-7 rows of the stage, otherwise I feel like there's no sense in going to the concert at all. Some call this the "Shelly Cole Concert Experience".
Anyways, here's a rule to getting up close (pay attention):
If it's general admission seating, get in line at least 3 hours early. Bring lawn chairs & designate someone to bring you food. It's worth it.
So last Friday night while we were all at the "Meet the Tiger" event (see earlier post), Jared & Kelly went to a concert at the infamous La Zona Rosa in downtown Austin. Kelly's parents were able to get tickets to Secondhand Serenade. Wow!
And as Jared learned from his dear ol' mom, he & Kelly got in line 3 hours early. They were not alone.
And here's the payoff.... they got free BACKSTAGE passes for after the show!! (Note the picture of the ticket above & the 'meet and greet' title!) There ended up being 4 bands but the headliner was Secondhand Serenade, which is on the radio nowadays. Cool. I love it. Oh, and yes, they were in the third row. Awesome. Gotta love it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Yearbook yourself

I don't know how many of you check out the links to my 'Friends & Family' listed here on my blog... but if you haven't clicked on any of them lately, you should look at these really funny pictures that my sister-in-law Jill posted (of my brother!) and her sister, Emily posted. It's called 'Yearbook Yourself'. You gotta do it too, it's so funny!
As soon as we read Emily's blog, Madison, Jared & I immediately made pics of ourselves and 'yearbooked' ourselves. I know you would have enjoyed the yearbook photos, but I thought you might like to see the up-close pictures Jared & Madison took of themselves. If I can figure out how to post the yearbook ones like Jill & Emily did, then I'll do it too.

Okay, I figured out a couple of them...
Jared, 1976

shelly, 1950

Thank you Howie!

All right Howie. You got me interested in these wonderful potatoes called "Butter Golds". YUM. They are already buttery tasting! We had a baked potato dinner the other night because I couldn't get enough of these things. I made a killer chili-cheese-bacon with sour cream on the side stuffed potato. I could have charged at least $3.99. For real.

"Meet the Tiger"

Can you say "School Spirit"!!
Stony Point High School does this amazing function each fall called "Meet the Tiger". It is an opportunity for all the kids who are in clubs or extra curricular activities to be represented.
Each club sets up a booth to sell items or participate in games or whatever they decided would bring in good money. There were over 30 booths there. Everything from Football, German Club, Yearbook, ROTC, Dance Club, LaCrosse... you name it.... We were there to represent the Choir.
Here is Scott & the Booster Club President, D'Anne, doing a good job of supervising our booth. This is our booth! We sold Flavored Ice (like snow cones), Foam Paws, Tattoos, Spirit Bracelets, Antenna balls, and Yard signs to support SPHS (Stony Point High School).
Midway through the evening all selling ceases & everyone heads to the track & bleachers. The marching band does their thing and the Tiger Dancers (totally look like Dallas Cowboy cheerleader) and cheerleaders come out to do a show.
Then ALL the kids who are in the clubs (and I'm talking hundreds & hundreds of kids) line up & do a parade around the track & get introduced by the announcer. Everyone cheers & goes crazy when their club comes by. Wow. I've never seen anything like this!
These pictures are of the Rugby Team. Dillon is the 3rd from the right, leaning forward yelling their famous rugby chant.
Here is Madison with a SPHS tattoo on her cheek. She did a great job selling snow cones. We got into a yelling match with the booth next to us (yearbook) who was selling ice cream. Funny.

These are quick snipet videos of the action on the field. Keep in mind this is not a football game... all these people are here to cheer for their kid who is in some activity at school. Awesome!!

my stress about Scott's health

Scott had some Dr. appointments this week. We decided since he's stuck here, not working (because Houston has no power or gasoline), what a good time to get those appointments done.

The Family Dr. did a stress-test on Scott, complete with the treadmill, blood work, and chest x-ray. His blood-work came back great; all his levels were within normal range except for his cholestrol is a little high. The treadmill indicated his oxygen levels were on the low-end. He had a chest x-ray, which the technician said looked good (we haven't gotten official word from Dr. yet).

The Urologist said Scott's hernia is not worthy surgery. Guess he's supposed to wait to see if it gets worse or he has pain. Whew! He certainly doesn't need any more surgery this year!

The Endocrinologist (diabetes Dr.) said Scott's blood sugars have been within normal range for the past 2 months. This is great because he's taking a minimum dosage for the diabetes.

So on Monday after the barrage of appointments Scott says to me... "The doctor says I'm feeling so crappy because I'm under so much stress. But funny thing is that I don't feel all that stressed!" My response to him, "That is funny, because I don't feel all that stressed either!". Then BAM!!!
The next day I wake up with a huge stress ball in my neck. So bad that I can't turn my head left or down. My finger breaks out with excema something severe. All within a day of saying "I don't feel stressed either!". Hahahaha Yah, right.

A black widow spider? Where?!

I was sweeping the front porch yesterday when Scott came outside to ask me if I'd seen our resident Black Widow Spider. WHAT?!
He proceeded to knock down this little bugger. It had taken up housing in the bricks way above our front door. Nice. We messed with it a little bit to try to get a good picture, but then killed it. I was imagining a black widow to look much larger & more ferocious. Kinda like the picture I found on the internet (below). So maybe this wasn't a black widow?? I don't know.... but glad it's dead, nonetheless.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

back to school night

When your kid is in elementary school you, as a parent, looked forward to "Parents Night" so that you could meet the teacher, see where your kids sits, and most importantly to the child... view their artwork.

But let me tell you... after going to these things for 11 years, most years in 3 classrooms and sometimes in 2 different buildings... I thought I was ready to be done with "Parents Night". Since the kids are in High School, I figured they felt the way I did. Who wants their parents going to school?!

Well! Much to our surprise Jared & Dillon were eager to share their class schedules! Jared was anxious to say "Look how cool my teachers are!" and Dillon says "See! I told you my classes are hard!"

Because we have 3 kids in the same High School and there's only 2 of us, we had to leave Madison's schedule out this year. :( She didn't seeem too disappointed since she got to see first-hand what to expect from next year's teachers & classes.

So I guess we've got another 3 years of this. As long as the kids are excited to share, I should be excited to see what's going on. Afterall, if they didn't want me to come, then I would be suspicious. Right?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Jared's wisdoms

(This not actually Jared's teeth... I got it off of google images. Neat, huh?)

Jared went to the dentist last Thursday because his wisdom teeth are bothering him.

Sure enough, one of his bottoms has almost come all the way through. OUCH.

If we proceed with the oral surgeon, it will cost us $1200... and that's after insurance!

I don't want him to be in pain, so I started shopping around a bit.

Guess what I found?

There is this place in Austin that does studies for pain management & they

primarily use patients with wisdom teeth issues.

They will remove the teeth for free if you participate in the study


they pay you any where from $250 tp $500!!

I'm waiting to hear back to see if Jared is eligible to participate.

Wouldn't that be great?!

Nada. Nothing. Zilch. Zero.

We didn't even get a FRACTION of an inch of rain from Ike. We got a little bit of wind & clouds yesterday morning, but nothing noteworthy. The only good thing we got from the hurricane was a drop in temperatures. Today the high was 89! Yay! The rest of the week is supposed to be in the 80's. I can get used to that!

Ike took a dramatic turn north once it went through Houston. It looks like the midwest will probably get more rain from the storm than we will. How ironic.

The room that Scott has been renting in Houston is still without power tonight. The owner of the house called Scott today & asked him to bring our generator. Luckily Scott didn't have anything in the fridge there. Yuck. I can't imagine being without power for a long length of time. They are expecting that area of Houston to be without power for most of the week. Could be an interesting week for Scott.

poor Madison!

Madison as a sicko. Madison has been complaining for over a week that she has a stuffy head & can't breathe. I kept giving her antihistamines (which made her sleepy, my bad!). Finally after 10 days Scott took her to the Doctor and she has a Sinus Infection. Awww.... Sorry Madison! She started antibiodics on Friday & got plenty of rest this weekend.
Here Madison is with her "I'm feeling better" face! Madison has some sort of aversion to swallowing pills.
When she found out the antibiodics were pills, she requested a chewable form.
Look how big it is!
A confession from Madison: This chewable tastes really icky, it actually tastes like pink medicine not candy. Now she wishes maybe she could have gotten the swallowing kind.

Tiger Escort

Dillon will be accompanying the Stony Point Tiger Dancers this football season.
Here are some of the picture from last year's season.
Dillon is one of 11 escorts for these 50 girls.
His responsibilities include loading & unloading the bus with all the girls'
equipment & escorting the girls off & on the football field (like to the bathroom & the bus).
Doesn't this look like the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders?
Everything about football is very serious here in Texas.
The dancers & escorts have their OWN BUS to go to away games.
I'll try to get a picture at next Friday's home game to show you Dillon as an Escort.

Friday, September 12, 2008

hurricane Ike update

Just to give you an update on how we're being affected by Hurricane Ike...

Looks like it will turn and head north of Houston once it makes shore. This makes us in a Tropical Storm Warning since we are northwest of Houston. 35mph sustained winds with 70mph gusts are what we're expecting during the night & early morning. 80% chance of rain here tomorrow & 40% chance on Sunday. Weird that such a huge storm is coming & we'll only get this much. We're still preparing for power outages and LARGE influx of evacuees in the area.

Here's something I learned today: When the weatherman says "When Hurricane Ike makes shore..." means when the eye of the hurricane makes shore. The hurricane is placed according to the eye of the storm, not the windy arms of the hurricane. The winds right now are at 110 mph, ONE mile per hour shy of a category 3 hurricane. I kept thinking that the radar indicated the winds had already come ashore.... but it's the eye they're talking about. Got it.

Scott got home yesterday. It took Scott 6-1/2 hours to get home! It's usually a 3 or 3-1/2 hour trip. He took an alternate route to get home since the main highway from Houston was so crowded. Lots of buses and vans on the road. Many of the gas stations were out of gas in the Houston area. Wouldn't that be scary to get stranded without any gas?

My kids got out of school at 2pm today because their high school is one of the shelters for evacuees. Many of the schools & large halls are being used as shelters. The football team went to Waco (north 1 hour) to play tonight, but left behind the half-time entertainment because the buses were needed to transport evacuees. Wow! There are alot of extra people in Round Rock & Austin tonight!

Tonight we filled up the big orange water cooler & bought batteries for flashlights. We also got plenty of milk & bread for the weeekend. I'll post some more tomorrow to keep you updated!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

thank you honey!

Dear Scott, Happy Anniversary to you too! Love you!!
20 years and holding...
Madison thought my eyes were buggie on the first picture so she made me laugh. Ahh, much better. :)

appreciate what you have

I emerged from the cold, air-conditioned basement of the county's courthouse today. I worked inside all day. It was bright & sunny with warm temps outside. Oh, how I miss seeing the sun & feeling warm!

Monday through Friday we have 2, 3 and sometimes 4 place settings at supper. With Scott being in Houston all week & Jared working til close 3 nights a week, it's rare we all sit together to share the evening meal. I love the weekends when all of us are together for Sunday supper! It's usually a fun time to share what our week was like & laugh with each other.

Today a man came in to obtain his wife's death certificate. She was the same age as me & killed in a car accident. He was very sad, as I'm sure the rest of her family is too. It's important to tell your loved ones just how much they mean to you before you can't.

Here comes Ike!

TxDOT opens “evaculane” on I-37 shoulder
By Ben Wear Wednesday, September 10, 2008, 10:57 AM
With Hurricane Ike seemingly headed toward the Corpus Christi area, the Texas Department of Transportation this morning opened an “evaculane” on the northbound shoulder of Interstate 37.
An evaculane, in TxDOT parlance, is a road shoulder “wide and smooth enough to be used as a travel lane.” They are generally marked with a blue hurricane symbol, according to a press release today from TxDOT.
The I-37 evaculane begins at Texas 359 about 20 miles northwest of Corpus Christi and ends at U.S. 281. TxDOT cautions that for the time the evaculane is open, people who have to stop along the road for emergency purposes will have to pull completely off the road rather than using the shoulder.
Ike, still in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, is expected to come ashore sometime Friday.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Great Weekend!

We had such a good weekend! What a great way to end a 'short' work week (Labor Day).
Scott came home on Thursday night because he met with a potential investor for the business in Houston. They met on Friday morning & the meeting was good.... we'll know more after Tuesday when the investor meets with his financial advisor.

Friday night we had an impromptu block party that included 3 of the 4 occupied houses on our end of the block. We sat outside together until 11:30pm - shared pizza, drinks, and fun stories. Soon there will be new neighbors moving into the 12 nearly finished new construction homes on our street. We've grown very close with the 3 other households on our end of the block. so I hope the infusion of new neighbors doesn't hamper our relationships. Oh! Guess what?! The couple next door (Dominick's parents) are getting married this spring & they have asked Scott to officiate their wedding! Isn't that cool? They will undoubtedly have a grand ceremony in Lago Vista.

Saturday morning Jared went to work, Dillon went to the UT campus to practice for a choir concert, and Madison stayed in bed with a terrible sore throat & crummy feeling. Scott & I took off for Wimberley so we could go to Market Days and visit with my aunt, uncle & cousins (& his girlfriend too). It was a beautiful day! Market Days is this seriously awesome flea market, craft show, antiques, everything-you-can-think-of market. We bought a plant that vines, homemade bread&butter pickles, a hat for Scott, and a bag of fresh kettle corn. Yum! On the way home we went to the UT campus to watch Dillon perform in the University of Texas Longhorn Honor Choir. Yay! He did wonderful (see later post). Long day, but fun day.

Sunday (today) Scott & I slept until 10:30! Wow! We spent the day doing family projects (laundry, dishes, mowing, groceries, jared's car, etc). Working together on these chores is so much funner than going it alone.

Scott leaves in the morning. I'm glad he switched his schedule around so he can be home Sunday nights. His new room rental worked out great. He's staying in Humble (pronounced 'Umble) which means his commute to work is only 20 mintues. Plus this new place has dish TV, internet, and a shared kitchen (a CLEAN kitchen) all for $20 more a month than the last place. He thinks there's a neighborhood pool he can use too. We miss him each week, but hopefully this won't last too much longer. If the latest investor comes through for us, then maybe Scott will be able to work from home a day or two per week.

Stuff Jared's been doing

Here is Jared at work. We went to visit him one afternoon. He's such a busy bee. Madison got a really cool hair straightener for her birthday from Aunt Jill & Uncle Damon. Jared & Madison decided that Jared's hair was way too curly so.... yes, here is Jared with straight hair. I don't think I like it too much. What do you think?

Longhorn Honor Choir

Dillon was selected to sing this weekend at the University of Texas Longhorn Honor Choir. Congrats Dillon! All the high schools in Texas were invited to send a quartet of students to this event. There were 76 high schools represented on Friday night who practiced together all evening & then all day on Saturday. They gave an awesome performance on Saturday night! Here are the 4 students representing Stony Point High School. This is a picture in front of the school of music on the UT campus.

I put a square around Dillon... see if you can find him!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor day weekend

We didn't do a whole lot this weekend. We had 2 of my cousin's boys over for the weekend, Benji & Andrew (they're 15 & 13). So we spent most of the time lounging in front of the TV or swimming. Or watching the hurricane on the weather channel.
We concluded the weekend with shopping at the outlet mall for size 14 soccer cleats for my cousin's oldest boy who has GARGANTUAN feet. Whew! Monster-size shoes require alot of searching! We found a pair in the Nike store. So everyone had to buy stuff, you know, sharing in the joy of shopping.

Last Friday Scott moved out of the rental house he was staying at in Houston . He decided he couldn't stand the extra long commute & desolation of being without cable or internet (not to mention the bug infestation in the house). He is going to be renting a room from a man who lives only 20 min. from his work. There will be 4 people living in this 4-bedroom house. Hopefully it's not going from one extreme to the other! Scott moves into the new place today. So I'll have to post & let you know how he does. He just left this morning, thus the reason I am posting at 5am.

I had my first migraine headache in 10 years on Saturday. Not sure what brought it on, but luckily I was able to identify the symptoms before it got too bad & got to an urgent care clinic right away. I had to get a prescription for $50 so I could take ONE pill. I guess I'll be set if I have another migraine anytime soon. I have a feeling it came from my new glasses (which, by the way, look so much like my old glasses that Scott didn't realize I got new ones until I got this killer headache).

I can't believe it's September already. We've lived in Texas for a year now. Doesn't feel like that long, but we've had plenty to preoccupy our last year here; watching the construction of our home, moving from rental into this house, Scott's multiple attempts at surgery & then success in March, plenty of guests, new schools, new friends, new jobs.... wow. I have a feeling this next year will go quickly too.

If you happen to be thirsty

I guess the guys roofing the house across the street get thristy too.

Isn't this a funny van?

As I was taking Madison's friend home the other night, we walked outside to find this van parked in front of our house. We decided to get pictures of it because it's so... unique.
Actually our next door neighbor's parents own Dee-Dee's tacos in Lago Vista. They were borrowing the van to move some large equipment. Geesh! Just imagine how many tacos you could haul in that van!

more cousin pics (except for Jared)

Note: Jared had to work on this day, so these pics are minus Jared! :(

cousins from afar

Here's some pictures with the cousins from Oklahoma, Nevada, and Iowa. The newest addition to the Gordon-clan, Smith!

We were keeping up with the Olympics.
Cooking for a crew of 23!
And enjoying each other's company!