Tag Archives: friends

One-Word Wednesday

Our disc golf friends Jessica and Eric had a baby on January 9! My baby got to hold theirs last Sunday.

Our friends Jessica and Eric had a baby on January 9! My baby got to hold theirs last Sunday.

Ted!

The Mister looks like a pro. Welcome to the world, Ted!

The Mister looks like a pro. Welcome to the world, Ted!

One-Word Wednesday

It’s been fun watching Jake and Chase grow up together since kindergarten.

It’s been fun watching Jake and Chase grow up together since kindergarten.

BFFs!

I snapped away while they worked on a song they had written in GarageBand.

I snapped away while they worked on a song they had written in GarageBand.

 

Maybe one of these days they’ll have a company together!

Maybe one of these days they’ll have a company together!

Little G and Baby J: An Update

Big Glen reads to his namesake.

Big Glen reads to his namesake.

It’s been about four months since we visited one of our favorite young families, the Russells. Being in dire need of a little Glen and baby Jonas fix, I texted mom Kelly last Friday about getting together.

Little Glen loves his Dad!

Something’s funny!

We made it happen, cap’n (as our younger son likes to say), a couple days ago, enjoying a delightful visit with the fab foursome at their house. Can we ever get enough of our adorable little G? Impossible! We love listening to him talk.

Cranky Frankie!

Cranky Frankie stares me down!

Of course, now we also get to dote on baby Jonas, who looks like a bigger version of his brother (much like my little guy did . . . for awhile). I got to spend some time bonding with the small fry, who made me feel right at home by constantly wiping his snotty nose on my shirt (he’s suffering from an ear infection and congestion, poor kiddo).

Jonas Burrito and Little G make a daddy sandwich on the couch.

Jonas Burrito and Little G make a daddy sandwich on the couch, as they watch a video.

Did I mind? Not one bit! It brought me back many years to that wonderful time when my little sweeties did the same thing as I held them. Good times . . . and lots of laundry!

My baby boy gives me a funny look.

My bearded baby boy seems amused.

It looks like Kelly and big Glen already have their hands full with their beautiful sons, who they clearly adore. Been there, done that, and loved it times two, too!

Gratitude

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!

Picturing Who I Miss

Can you guess what this is?

Can you guess what my younger son sketched?

Of course, I miss my two collegiate sons a lot. Our house is quiet and lonely (albeit a lot neater). That was expected.

But what I didn’t anticipate was how much I miss the boys’ friends. Especially after the fun summer we had competing in trivia with all of them. When you spend every Friday night with a lot of them, you get used to having them around.

And then they all go off to college and leave you. So sad!

My older son concentrates.

My older son concentrates.

But before the summer fun ended, my sons, my “third son,” Chase, and Josh found themselves in our tiny game room playing a lively, raucous edition of Pictionary on the Wii U. They had so much fun trying to guess what word was being drawn.

Josh engineers his drawing.

Josh engineers his drawing.

Most of the time, one of the three contestants figured out what was being sketched in time. But Josh stumped everyone during one of his turns. He tried to help the other guys by saying that it was something that I liked.

Sorry, Josh, but we have no idea!

Sorry, Josh, but we have no idea what this is!

Thinking that maybe that was a filmstrip on the bottom and a film canister above it, everyone guessed photography or film. Josh kept drawing, but no one got it in the allotted time.

Can you figure out what Josh’s word was?

It was burrito! He knows how much I love Chipotle (not that I’ve ever had a burrito there; I always opt for a veggie bowl). That “filmstrip” is the ingredient area.

Oh, how we laughed and laughed after that! It was so darned funny!!

Now when I pass by the game room, I look inside and feel sadness at its emptiness, my sons having split up the game systems between them. But when I close my eyes and think back to that August Pictionary experience, I can’t help but smile.

And hope that my older son brings the Wii U home at Thanksgiving!

Sidebar: The top drawing is of a remote, by the way. Anyone guess correctly?

Welcoming a New Disc Golf Baby

One of the most-adorable toddlers ever!

One of the most-adorable toddlers ever!

Look who’s a big brother! Yep, Glen V (aka Glive)!

Absolute perfection

Absolute perfection

Exactly a month ago, our disc golf pals Kelly and Glen added Jonas to their über-cute family.

Looks like Jonas is smiling.

Looks like Jonas is trying to smile in Kelly’s arms.

Here’s hoping that little Glen (who is two and a half) and Jonas eventually become close friends, just like my two sons. But for now, all little G needs to remember is one key rule:

Shhhhh!

Shhhhh!

Don’t wake the baby when he’s sleeping!

Trivial Postseason Pursuits

The final standings for our local trivia league

The final standings for our local trivia league (is Beowulf that hard to spell?)

Here’s an update on our family’s trivia team:

We finished the league season, which started in April, in second place, easily qualifying for the semifinals. We managed to compete every Friday night at our local Buffalo Wild Wings with anywhere from five to 11 players, except for the penultimate contest when we tried to help our friends on Blame Canada qualify (which somehow they did despite finishing eighth). Because we scored points almost every time, including one first, four seconds, and one third place, we figured we were pretty good at trivia. Not great, but not mediocre.

Until the semifinals last Sunday. Despite having home-restaurant advantage (it was at our BWW).

The trivia league gods decreed that only five players are allowed per team in the postseason. So we stuck with our immediate family and added Josh, my older son’s pal who has helped us most of the season. It’s too bad Ken Jennings wasn’t available to replace one of us.

We figured the questions would be harder for the semifinals. Harder but not impossible. We were wrong! We had very few lightbulbs shining over our heads during the game.

In the first round, we managed to correctly answer six of the 15 questions. Our shining moment? When Josh and I somehow figured out the name of the whale that swallowed kindly Geppetto in the movie “Pinocchio” (it was Monstro). My older son watched the VHS obsessively for a week when he was five or six years old. That’s a looooong time ago! We finished the half comfortably in 17th place out of 35 teams, 30 of which would advance to Saturday’s city finals.

Then came the second round. When the five of us felt more like preschoolers than college graduates and collegians. We missed a whopping 11 straight questions. We weren’t close on any of them. What didn’t we know? The name of any Tupac song (let alone the right answer, which was “Changes”). That Canada has lots of lakes. That we should have seen “Smash” and “The Three Stooges.” And on and on. We had to laugh so we wouldn’t cry. Nothing was in our wheelhouse.

Finally, Traci, our trivia DJ, lobbed a history question that the Mister and I were able to get the bat on: In 1886, Samuel Gompers formed what organization? I’ve studied U.S. History three times now between the boys and myself, so I knew it was the American Federation of Labor . . . not that I could remember the “F.” The Mister helped out, and BAM! We had our first nine points.

Remember how we dread the lost lyrics category? Fortunately, this time those pesky words sung out to me: “I know just how to whisper, and I know just how to cry.” Yep, one of my all-time faves “Making Love Out of Nothing At All” for nine points plus the two bonus points for knowing it was done by Air Supply. Ahhh!

We made it a third correct answer (out of an embarrassing 15) when the Mister and I remembered that George C. Scott starred as Ebenezer Scrooge in the 1984 made-for-TV-movie “A Christmas Carol.”

Again, is it THAT hard to spell Beowulf right?

Again, is it THAT hard to spell Beowulf right?

Before the final question (worth from zero to 30 points), we had improbably climbed one spot into 16th place. Obviously, we weren’t the only team struggling. With our place in the city finals secured, we bet nothing (good thing, because we were wrong), and once again moved up to 15th.

So what can we expect as we try to qualify for the August 24th state final? Will it be yet another woeful effort leading to a dismal defeat? Or will we be lucky enough to get enough questions that the three young guns and the two geezers can answer?

And will “Beowulf” ever be spelled correctly?!? Time will tell!

Wet Dunks

My younger son is ready to air dunk!

My younger son is ready to air dunk!

The Summer Games have begun in our backyard pool. Usually that means that danger is the number one ingredient, because these made-up sports always involve males. I’ve told my two sons and their friends to be careful, avoid the pool edges, and please don’t get blood in the pool. So far, so good.

This summer my younger son and his pal Jared have been hanging out in the pool. Recently they made up a new game to quell the boredom: Pool dunking.

We have a poor man’s pool basketball goal that floats. So the kid and Jared decided it would be fun to take a running start with a small basketball and try to dunk it in the ever-moving, inflatable hoop before landing in the water.

This gives new meaning to the term “jump shot!”

Gotta love the wink!

Gotta love the wink!

Jared opted to go for style points on this dunk.

Hovering in the air

Hovering in the air

Looks like a certain two-pointer.

Note where the ball is

Note where the ball is

Score . . . and splashdown!

Looks like a perfect take-off.

Looks like a perfect takeoff.

The kid decided to go for power.

Closing in

Closing in

Did he mistime his leap?

Stretching it out

Stretching it out

Not at all! It was a splashy two points.

I guess when you’re too short to dunk on a regulation 10-foot dry basketball hoop, the little version in the pool is a great way to boost your ego. Plus it wasn’t dangerous . . . for a change. My blood pressure appreciated that!

Graduation Support

The motley crew: The Mister, Uncle Mike, #1 son, Aunt Carol, me, and Grandma surround the kid after his graduation last Saturday.

The motley crew: The Mister, Uncle Mike, big bro, Aunt Carol, me, and Grandma surround the kid after his graduation last Saturday.

It was a given that his loving family would be cheering on my younger son at his high school graduation last Saturday at the Toyota Center. The Mister, our older son, and I were joined by my mom (who flew in from Chicago), as well as the Mister’s siblings, Carol and Mike.

Best disc golf buddies: Glen, the kid, and Eric

Best disc golf buddies: Glen, the kid, and Eric

But adding to that support crew were two men who have been special in my son’s life for several years, Eric and Glen. They are his best friends, adult division.

Eric advised my son at the 2010 amateur disc golf worlds in Ohio.

Eric advised my son at the 2010 amateur disc golf worlds in Ohio.

We met Eric in December of 2007 at my son’s first disc golf tournament (the kid was 12 years old). They played on the same card in the first round. Since then they’ve made great doubles partners, winning the 2011 Amateur World Doubles championship, as well as good traveling companions and friendly adversaries.

Glen and the kid walk together during a tournament.

Glen and the kid walk together during a tournament in 2010.

Glen came into my son’s life in 2009, and it seemed like they instantly bonded. Their mutual love of sports and ability to not take themselves seriously enables them to always have fun together.

I’ve trusted Eric and Glen to take care of my beloved baby boy on numerous occasions, including when Glen and his wife Kelly toted the kid to and from Michigan, playing disc golf along the way. It’s wonderful how both men can be terrific mentors and friends for my young man in their own separate ways.

The Mister and I really appreciated that both of them took time out from their busy lives to attend our son’s graduation. We know it meant a lot to the kid that they were by his side during this important milestone.

It does, though, make me wonder one thing: Who will miss my son most when he’s at Sam Houston State this fall? Me or Eric and Glen? I know the kid definitely will miss them, too.

And maybe even me!

Friends Forever Side By Side

The kid oversmiles with Cody 10 years ago.

The kid oversmiles with Cody 10 years ago.

When we moved to our master-planned community near Houston almost 17 years ago, one goal the Mister and I had was for the boys to develop lifelong friendships.

Then we found out that many of our neighbors worked for oil companies. Which meant they could be here one day and quickly gone the next. Sigh!

Elementary school choir buddies

Elementary school choir buddies

Fortunately for us, our younger son met a boy, Cody, in kindergarten whose parents planned to stay put. In first grade, he and Cody bonded over a mutual love of sports. They played on several rec teams together during elementary school and always enjoyed each other’s company.

Cody was a conquistador to the kid's Sam Houston in the fourth-grade program.

Cody was a conquistador to the kid’s Sam Houston in the fourth-grade program.

Their friendship continued to blossom in middle school with both of them on the football team.

Cooling down after track practice freshman year

Cooling down after track practice freshman year

In high school, they shared tales of exhaustion and exhilaration on the cross-country and track teams for one-ish seasons. Cody also played football his freshman year, which was cut short when he suffered his first concussion.

Both boys’ high school journeys took unexpected and unwelcome detours during their sophomore and junior years, my son’s due to anxiety, and Cody’s because of his second concussion while on a Boy Scout trip. Both sets of parents worried and wondered if they would even walk across the stage at graduation.

Cody and the kid, as always, side by side

Cody and the kid, as always, side by side

Last Sunday we were privileged to watch Cody culminate his years of scouting and overcome his head traumas to become an Eagle Scout at his Court of Honor. What an awesome achievement! We’re so proud of him.

Cody and our son will graduate Saturday afternoon. After that, Cody will attend Texas A&M–Galveston.

Even though they won’t be at the same colleges, there’s no doubt in my mind that these two lifelong friends will always keep in touch. I’m sure that when they do get together during school breaks, that they’ll still be side by side.