Category Archives: Sam Houston State University

Finale Friday

I’ve been hiding behind a Nikon dSLR for years.

I’ve been hiding behind a Nikon dSLR for years.

Today marks the end of an (admittedly short) era: This is the final post of Random Snippets & Apertures, my fourth child.

After five and a half years, almost 1,400 blog posts (this is number 1,373, to be exact) and one name change (originally I called it “Get ’er Done,” not that I ever did), it’s time to move on to other writing and creative projects. I’ll miss posting in my tiny segment of the blogosphere, but it really is for the best.

Jake in 2009

Jake showed off his beautiful blue eyes in 2009.

I started Random Snippets & Apertures as a way of chronicling my family’s adventures. I wanted it to be a legacy for my sons. My first post was on January 5, 2009. At the beginning, Jake, my older son, turned 17, and was a high school junior.

Jake rocks a giveaway Houston Astros José Altuve jersey last Sunday.

He rocked a giveaway Houston Astros José Altuve jersey last Sunday.

Now he’s graduated from UTSA and is sharing an apartment in Houston with his best friend forever and our “third son,” Chase. He’s gone from student to working man.

C.J. in 2009 unhappy that I’m taking his photo.

C.J. in 2009 was unhappy that I snapped his photo.

Meanwhile, C.J., was a mere 13 and a half and in eighth grade way back when.

C.J. at Jake’s UTSA graduation. Some things never change!

The bearded one was annoyed at Jake’s UTSA graduation. Some things never change!

As I blogged earlier this week, he just celebrated his 19th birthday. He finished up his freshman year at Sam Houston State with all A’s and a B. What a great transition for him!

As you can see, with both boys out of the house for much if not all of the year, my blog’s purpose is over. It’s as much fun to look back as it is to look ahead, especially for this sentimental mom who adores her sons to the moon and back.

So now it’s on to the next chapter . . . whatever that will be. Thanks for coming along for the ride, dear readers! Hope you enjoy your summer!!

P.S. The blog will remain here on WordPress; I just won’t be adding any new content to it (probably!).

One-Word Wednesday

We enjoyed lunch with C.J. at the Farmhouse Café last Saturday on the Sam Houston State campus. He has his last final today.

We enjoyed lunch with C.J. at the Farmhouse Café last Saturday on the Sam Houston State campus. He has his last final today and then returns home. Yay!


Living Large

Big Sam up ahead!

Big Sam up ahead!

When we drive to visit our beloved baby boy at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, one landmark along Hwy. 45 lets us know that we’re almost there: The big, white statue of Sam Houston.

Every time we pass Big Sam, I say to the Mister, “That’s on my Sam Houston bucket list. I want to see the statue up close and personal.”

Our final chance to check out Texas’ former president (chiseled concrete version, of course) was last Saturday when we made our last trip of C.J.’s freshman year to pick up most of his assorted knickknacks, paddy whacks, and gaming systems and haul them home. C.J. will follow with the rest of his stuff, which should easily fit in his Ford Fusion, when he’s done with finals Wednesday.

It’s a tiny visitor center.

It’s a tiny visitor center.

Once we were back on the road after lunch at the Farmhouse Café and warm goodbye hugs, it was obvious that the Mister either was up to something or missed the turn to get on the interstate (both of which are equally likely).

Happily, he had listened to me (it does happen on occasion) and was headed for Big Sam!

Sam gets a-head. This could be for photo ops.

Sam gets a-head. This is on the ground for photo ops.

It seems ironic that the visitor center, gift shop, and grounds are so small, given that Super Sam is 67 feet tall (plus another 10 feet for the base). But the statue is bound to dwarf most large parks.

We snuck up on Sam from behind.

We snuck up on Sam from behind.

David Adickes sculpted and donated the mammoth monument in October of 1994. It took about two years to complete.

Look up!

Look up!

The dapper giant really is breathtaking, especially on a cloudless day. You can’t help but be impressed by its magnitude and Adickes’ skill.

Lots of helpful info

Lots of helpful info

It’s also nice that there’s a handy plaque listing Sam Houston’s many accomplishments for those of us who haven’t taken Texas history at least twice (fourth and seventh grades for our sons, as well as in college).

I’m glad I was able to cross another item off my Sam Houston bucket list. More importantly?

The Mister was a tad grumpy having to look into the sun.

The Mister was a tad grumpy having to look into the sun.

The Mister and I snapped a selfie with Big Sam! Smile, Sammy!!


No flipper (temporary tooth) = no smile

No flipper (temporary tooth) = no smile

It may not look like it, but Jake really is excited to be on spring break from UTSA (he has no classes today plus he came home early). Now all we need is for his little brother to finish his classes (he has a history test today, which I think is kind of mean) and drive home from SHSU this afternoon.

Then their week off can truly begin! Along with all of their chaos and clutter, which is what I plan to enjoy while I can.

Jake’s last spring break . . . who woulda thunk it?!?

Half and Half Putting

Ready to practice

Ready to practice

The Mister and I attended a wedding (casual attire; loved it!) last Saturday afternoon about a half hour from Huntsville. When we were done, I called C.J. to see if he’d like us to visit and take him out to dinner.

Is chocolate my favorite food? Yes, indeed!

So we drove north. With about a half hour or so to kill before we were hungry, we, naturally, first went to Eastham-Thomason Park for the guys to toss some discs. While the Mister chatted up another student who was playing, the kid and I hung around the practice basket and talked while he putted.

C.J.’s been plagued by poor putting lately, and his initial short-distance attempts failed to clang the chains with any consistency. So he decided to try a new approach.

There’s no need to look!

Hi, Mom!

Let’s call it blind putting. C.J. took two putters and, without looking at the basket, sent each on its way, one at a time. Without fail, he canned the second putt after completely blowing the first.


This one misses.

It was pretty funny! C.J. would throw that first disc, and I would tell him which way he missed. Then . . . boom! . . . the second one would find chains and the tray.

Made it!

Made it!

Of course, making 50 percent of your close putts isn’t a great number when you’re playing in a disc golf tournament. And I’m pretty sure that the kid’s doubles partner, Eric, won’t approve of this new technique if they play together at Am Worlds in April.

But it sure beats missing so much of the time!

Sneaky Snapshot

So handsome!

So handsome!

What I love about this photo of C.J.:

First, my beloved baby boy with his gorgeous green-gray eyes.

Second, Skype, which allows me to see my beloved baby boy while he’s in college at Sam Houston State.

Third, the ability to surreptitiously snap a screenshot on my iMac after that beloved baby boy kept ruining my attempts to take a decent photo with my iPhone.

It’s love times three!

Birthday Weekend Starts



Jake turns 22 on Monday! He started his big birthday festivities by driving home from UTSA yesterday (he’s off on Fridays). Little brother will be here from SHSU later today (he does have a couple classes) to gather with Jake’s besties Chase (our “third son”), Josh, and Tanner for a fun weekend.

Last night we ate dinner at Willie’s, which is one of his favorite restaurants (plus we had a coupon for a free entrée for the birthday boy). It’s possible that someone let it slip whose birthday it was . . . and that meant that the wait staff sang and gave him ice cream. And it’s very likely that someone was not pleased at all of the attention.

There definitely was a balding third person who was glad he wasn’t to blame!

Bye for Now

The Mister and our younger son

The Mister and our younger son stand side by side, as always.

Hear that sound? Neither do I!

Both my sons returned to their respective college campuses yesterday in anticipation of the start of the spring semester. Which, if you’ve been paying attention, is the final one for my older son, Jake.

First, C.J. packed up his Ford Fusion and left with his roommate, RJ, at 9:30 a.m. for the 90-minute trek to Huntsville. Why so early? They needed to check in at their dorm and then watch the NFL playoff games (one of which was sad for my younger son, who picked San Francisco to lose in his suicide pool; that knocked him out).

The sun bothers our older son’s eyes and my D700 light meter.

The sun bothers our older son’s eyes and my Nikon D700’s light meter.

Two hours later it was time for Jake to start the three-hour drive back to San Antonio. In this senior year of “lasts,” we checked off “last winter break.” I’m sure he’ll miss the four weeks of lazy days gaming with friends when he’s a working man.

I must admit that after three and a half years, I’m used to Jake coming and going during the school year. But my baby boy, the college freshman? Not so much. And I’m not so sure that I want to have it feel familiar. Before I know it, both boys probably will be out of the house, and I’ll always experience what greeted me this morning once the Mister left for work.


Good luck with your spring semesters, my sweet sons!

One Down, One to Go

Not hiding from me but not willing to look, the kid studies our MacBook.

Not hiding from me but not willing to look at me, the kid studies our MacBook.

My younger son arrived home from Sam Houston State yesterday afternoon. He nicely and neatly put his many things in his bedroom instead of flinging them in the dining room. Could he finally be growing up?!?

I ultimately will judge by the towel factor.

He was watching the Charlotte Bobcats’ game (his favorite team).

He was watching the Charlotte Bobcats’ game (his favorite team).

Meanwhile, we await his always-neater older brother (though also neat-towel-hanging-challenged), who has his last final tonight and will drive home from UTSA tomorrow. Then we’ll have four-plus weeks of togetherness during their long winter break. Four weeks of late nights and late wake-ups (for the boys), laundry, friends, clutter, and chaos.

Good times await, my friends!


Hands in pockets: Ricky, Jared, RJ, and the kid

Hands in pockets: Ricky, Jared, RJ, and the kid

I’m grateful that my sons have such great friends to pal around with. This week two of the Core 4 who room together at Sam Houston State (e.g., my younger son and RJ) were reunited with the other dynamic duo, Ricky (University of North Texas) and Jared (Blinn Junior College) for the first time since they left for college.

Although it was a short videogame-playing session, I could tell that they had a lot of fun, judging from all the laughter coming from our game room. Here’s hoping this is an unbreakable bond for these Fantastic Four friends!