Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Tale of Two Rings

..but first. I was going to say that Shrek is out!!!! ...and Lion King is in?

After months and months of watching Shrek...dreaming Shrek..imagining appeared Levi had moved to Lion King! I was wrong. As I type, the kiddo is planted in front of Shrek. For what it's worth?

Big B is enjoying Lion King.  Go figure.

Now onto our tale of two rings. Two years ago (wow..has it really been that long already?). 2 years ago, Big B and I went with some family friends to Port Aransas, Tx. Also known as The Beach! On that trip we replaced our lost and broken wedding rings at a small beach shop. It was quite an adventure..this ring search of ours. I blogged about it at the time, and I'm just too lazy to re-tell the story now.

Fast forward to last month. I had (ahem) lost my ring again. Actually, it came off in the river last summer.   So on a Saturday morning,  Big B and I made another journey to the beach shop. We replaced the ring, tried craw-fish at Crazy Cajun, hung out at the beach. All-in-all a really enjoyable day.

Today was one of my volunteer days at the prison. After going through security, I realized (music in background please?) I did not have my ring! I mentioned to a passing officer that I was pretty sure I had left my ring in the check-in area. (The gates had been closed and locked behind me. There was no way to go back and get it) I figured I was going to have to explain to Big B that I had lost a-n-o-t-h-e-r ring. I was not looking forward to this.

In the middle of chapel, I was called out. The offenders laughed "'re in trouble again!" An officer was waiting, walkie-talkie in hand. "Did you happen to lose a ring?" she asked. "Oh thank God." I told her the story. Some of my brothers-in-white were greatly amused and felt happy to share my irresponsibility with rings story know..everyone!

And then I returned to chapel. We spend the day in worship, in prayer, in fellowship. 8 hours later, as I am preparing to leave, the officer reminds me not to forget my ring. She then walkie-talkies another officer. This goes on for a while. As I leave the entrance area...two more officers laugh."It's up there! " They smile..pointing at the officer at the top of the front picket (the big tower).

As I head to the front picket. Another officer is waving. He places my ring on a hook and lowers it to me. "Don't worry, Nicole. We gotcha covered. Now you can go home and tell your husband how you remembered your ring."

But the real ring tale is MUCH MORE INTERESTING. Last week I had mentioned that Brian and Angee had real life things going on. They have informed me that I can, indeed, post that....

Brian and Angee are engaged!

Wedding will be early next summer, sometime following their graduations from UT Austin.

 Now isn't THAT just coolness?!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Switching Gears Yet Again

Summer is coming to a close. It is hard to believe it has come and gone so quickly.

Big B spent most of the summer building his business. Rumor has it he has the busiest shop in town...and looking at the endless line of cars? I believe it.

Brian Scott continued working at the same company he has been working since his graduation from UT Austin last summer. Brian and Angee have just moved to a bigger apartment to accommodate Kevin (Angee's brother) for the returning school year. These two also have some pretty big life events going on..but I promised I wouldn't blog about it. So here I am...not blogging:) But I can say that Brian is finishing his last year in the masters program in e.e. and Angee is finishing her senior year of her undergrad. adventures.

Cody spent the summer with his girlfriend and her family. Cody and Ellie visited us a couple times this summer, but he spent most of the summer lifeguarding  and taking online summer classes at S.A.C. In a week (or two?) Cody is returning home! Yes folks..home..or to our tree-house..or
high he likes to call it. Where he plans to spend the school-year while commuting to Schreiner to continue his studies in information systems.

And Austen? Well, this summer, Austen returned to Girl Scout Camp. Yes, it's true. My son is a girlscout...err...lifeguard that is. Also? He spent a week in New Orleans with the ELCA National Youth Gathering.

On one of the first nights Austen participated in a game in which you name the states .I understand Austen named a few.

Austen returned from New Orleans with a renewed energy and a renewed interest in studying culinary arts. I know we had rumors last year about Austen starting the culinary arts program at St. Phillips...but for a variety of reasons, we decided to let him finish his full 4 years as a plain old homeschooled/unschooled  highschooler. No dual credits or early entrance. Austen chose, instead, to spend a lot of time this past year (his Jr. year) helping Big B's friends with various work. Welding, rebuilding homes, etc.

So now Austen has returned home, armed with girl scout cookies! He is taking  a few weeks to just hang out..and then Austen and I have agreed that he will spend the school year reading for 2 hours a day (anything of choice), writing an essay each day(anything of choice) and working through one Saxon problem set a day. Study time aside, Austen is spreading  rumors of  hanging out with me at the S.A. Boys and Girls club..and maybe, maybe, working part-time somewhere nearby.

And me? I spent the summer  at the Teen Center and hanging out at the prison every other weekend. Pictured to the right are some of the teens hanging out on the fire-escape. They are waiting for the staff to arrive. Yes, they are waiting at some horrible hour in the morning.

 Our summer program is coming to a close. Last week, the teens and I said goodbye to our clients on our summer Meals On Wheels route. This week, we wrap up miscellaneous projects, go on a lot of field trips and help the kids logistically prepare for the school year. (acquire school supplies ,school uniforms, etc.)

So now we are in that switching gears point. Levi and I ..oh my! How could I forget Levi?! Levi is. shall I put this? Levi is very two!

 He has spent most of the summer with his mom. But we still get to see the kiddo a couple days each week. Levi has spent a lot of time hanging out in the garage with Big B. The kid LOVES the garage, and makes it quite clear that he is not happy when we make him come inside at night.

Today Levi and I are cooking lots of food. Sort of nesting, I guess, for the return of  the two bigger boys. Last week we turned the den into a study, and the morning room back into a little kids cave. Today. We cook!  I haven't done once-a-month cooking in almost a year. I think it's time.

 Levi and I are making king ranch casserole, chicken and broccoli casserole, chicken tetrazinni, lasagnas (both veggie and carnivorous kinds), stuffed spinach manicotti, 15 bean soup,  meat loaf and cheeseburger casserole.  Cooking and watching Shrek for the zillionth time.

I guess the cooking and watching Shrek is a reminder that while we are shifting gears a bit? We are still riding the same, comfy and cozy vehicle, of our lives.