Tag Archives: Ricky

Making Good On a Promise

C.J. is ready to blow out the candle on his mini pizookie at BJ's.

C.J. is ready to blow out the candle on his mini pizookie during lunch at BJ’s.

Every so often, my ever-lovin’ though sometimes ornery younger son will look at me and say, “Remember my birthday last year? I still can’t believe we didn’t go to Dave and Buster’s.” Then cue the fake sigh.

As I cue my own real sigh, I must admit that I do feel bad about last year, even though C.J. and the rest of the Core 4 seemed to have a great time at Tilt Studio. Which is why I had promised him an eventual trip to D&B. Yesterday I fulfilled it.

The guys walk towards their world of fun.

The guys walk towards their world of fun.

Yep, my newly minted 19-year-old got to spend his birthday with his big brother and Ricky, Jared, and RJ at Dave and Buster’s in Houston. The Mister and I went along to act as chauffeur and ATM. Plus we always enjoy watching the guys have a great time. Which they did!



Most of their $20 Power Cards were wasted spent on a couple of basketball games that they played numerous times. All five of them love to hoop it up.

Lotsa tix

It’s a handful.

One of the best parts for them, besides trash talking each other, was racking up tickets. Once all the money was gone, it was time to see how much they had earned.

As a veteran mom, I knew that most of the prizes were going to be lame and cost lots of tickets. D&B, after all, is just Chuck E. Cheese’s with better food and games and without the rat. But the guys still enjoyed checking out the store and picking out their rewards (except for Jared, who is saving up his winnings).

Jared, Ricky, C.J., RJ, and Jake pose with Bumblebee.

Jared, Ricky, C.J., RJ, and Jake pose with Bumblebee.

As we were walking out of D&B, C.J. said, “You know, last year’s place was okay. But Dave and Buster’s was a lot more fun!”

Glad you had a birthday that’s as wonderful as you are, my sweet son!


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!

Ooooooh! Aaaaaaah!!

Love the multicolored ones!

Love the multicolored ones!

Last night our master-planned community showcased its Fourth of July best with its annual fireworks show.

Looks like we’ve got a red theme going on.

Looks like we’ve got a red theme going on.

The Mister, our younger son, and I decided to watch from the bleachers at our nearby middle school with the kid’s pals, Jared and Ricky, and Ricky’s parents, Julie and Carlos (our trivia aces).

Glad I could capture all the pretty bursts

Lots of pretty bursts

I didn’t take long to consider my photographic options for a change. For past fireworks displays I’ve tried serious, point-and-shoot lazy, and embarrassingly sloppy.

Blue and green make for a nice color combination.

Blue and green make for a nice color combination.

This time I opted for my Nikon D700 and beloved Nikon 70-200mm lens. The fireworks were being blasted from about a half mile away, so I needed some focal length. I also eschewed a tripod totally due to laziness. So when my arms got tired from holding the heavy combo, I only had myself to blame (darn it!).

It’s the palm tree effect!

It’s the palm tree effect!

Due to some kind of glitch, the colorful show kept starting and stopping over a 25-minute time span, confusing the crowd. That made it hard to get the sort of rhythm you need to hopefully capture a half-dozen decent pix.

Fortunately, I managed to snap about a dozen photos that I thought best represented what we saw. Even though I appreciate the crisp, clear, multiburst shots, I must admit that one favorite stood out.


Electricity is in the air.

It looks like a science experiment gone awry! This is what happens when the camera’s shutter speed is way too slooooow.

It’s a great reminder of last night’s funky, fun fireworks extravaganza.

ProGrad Gambling

The kid surrounded by his besties: Michael, Ricky, and Jared, with Marcus kneeling.

The kid surrounded by his besties: Michael, Ricky, and Jared, with Marcus kneeling.

Just like his older brother did three years ago, once my younger son was done with graduation, he attended his high school’s final event: ProGrad. Project Graduation still is a supervised, all-night lock-in at their school featuring fun, food, games, prizes, and a hypnotist.

Big money! Big money!

Big money! Big money!

And just like his brother, the kid first checked out the Spin ’n Win with its guaranteed payout.

Sidebar: He opted for a clock, which normally would be helpful in his college dorm. However, it’s the analog version with hands and numbers. I think he only can tell time digitally!

After that, he quickly gravitated towards the casino part of the activities and had a blast there, once again just like his brother. But there was one big difference.

Pondering his next move

Pondering his next move

He became addicted to playing blackjack. After several of his buddies expressed concern to me about how quickly he was blowing the 15,000 chips that all the graduates were given, I decided I’d better check it out.

Playing two hands at a time

Playing two hands at a time

Sure enough, his pile of chips was rapidly dwindling. I watched as he finally lost them all.

But he still walked away with a smile, and I figured that was the end of his gambling escapades. Of course, I was wrong. After a friend gave him a couple chips, and he begged another for more, he parlayed those into 10,000 chips, which were good for two raffle tickets (not that he won anything, again much like his bro).

Wonder how his luck would be in Las Vegas. I’m afraid to find out!

Party Time!

A classic Nintendo 64 game from the big brother

The big brother gave the kid a classic Nintendo 64 game.

Let’s keep this short and sweet: My baby turned 18 years old last Saturday.

And now a moment of silence, as I ponder the end of his childhood and the beginning of his adulthood. Sigh times 18!

The emotional thumps on my heart are magnified with C.J., because not only was it just his birthday, but he also graduates from high school at 1 p.m. Saturday. Talk about your one-two punches! Guess I’d better stock up on Kleenex with college starting in late August.

My older son joins R.J., his little bro, Ricky, and Jared.

Jake poses with RJ, C.J., Ricky, and Jared.

To celebrate his birthday, my son wanted to go to Dave and Buster’s with his big brother, his Core 4 brethren (aka his future college roommate RJ, Ricky, and Jared), and Cody (who, unfortunately, was busy). However, I had a Groupon to Tilt Studio in nearby Katy, so that’s where we went for the first time ever.

The Core 4 plays quad air hockey.

The Core 4 plays quad air hockey.

Unfortunately, Tilt turned out to be a poor man’s Dave and Buster’s (sorry, kiddo!). But I reminded my newly minted adult that the fun is who you’re with, not so much what you do. Fortunately, I kept seeing smiles on those five handsome faces (whew!).

My older son tries his hand at basketball.

Jake tries his hand at basketball.

The guys seemed to enjoy playing all kinds of videogames and competing against each other in basketball and skeeball.

Almost France! Ricky showed off in mini golf.

Almost France! Ricky aims for a birdie in mini golf.

They also had fun playing mini golf and laser tag. After all of that, pizza, soda, and lots of talking finished off our Tilt adventure.

The kid guards his air hockey goal.

C.J. guards his air hockey goal.

Despite the weak-sauce surroundings, looks like it was a successful 18th birthday for my precious baby boy!

Prom Wrap-up

Getting ready to meet his date and take photos

Getting ready to meet his date and take photos

Remember that “sneak peek” photo from last Thursday?

Here’s how those clothes looked on my younger son last Saturday. So devilishly dashing!

Matching Mariela

Matching Mariela, his gorgeous date

Unfortunately for the stalking photo mom, the only part of “prom” that I got to enjoy was taking hundreds of pics before the kids left for dinner. Oh, how I wanted to be a Nikon-equipped fly on the wall at the Royal Sonesta hotel, the site of their dance in the Houston Galleria! And it’s not like the kid even bothered to pull out his iPhone 4S and snap one lousy photo while he was there (“lousy” because we all know how bad indoor iPhone pics are).

I would’ve paid good money just to have seen him milking the cow while grooving to the music. It’s his signature dance move!

The kid’s group included his bestie Ricky and his lovely girlfriend, Megan.

The kid’s group included his bestie Ricky and his lovely girlfriend, Meagan.

Instead I had to be satisfied with just snapping away Saturday afternoon. Sigh!

Sidebar: The Mister was chatting with one of the dads, who he didn’t know. The guy told the Mister that the group was using a professional photographer. Guess who that was?!? Sorry, but I’m a bogus pro whose photographic weakness is group shots.

This group cleans up well!

This group cleans up well!

There’s nothing quite like having 12 sets of parents taking photos for 45 minutes when it’s 86 degrees out in the blazing sun. Talk about your sweat city!

But it was a wonderful memory for everyone that won’t soon be forgotten. Plus the kid had a great time that evening and the next day at a bay house in Surfside Beach.

Now we start that lightning-quick spiral through three more weeks of school, graduation, and ProGrad. Let’s sloooooooow it down!

Sneak Peek

The turquoise vest and necktie matches his date’s dress . . . we hope.

The turquoise vest and necktie match his date’s dress . . . we hope.

Saturday night is our high school’s prom at a hotel in Houston.

Not only is my younger son going, but he actually has a date! He wrote “PROM?” on a white t-shirt for his pal Ricky to wear at school under a button-down shirt. Then when he, his potential date, and Ricky were in the hall, he said to her, “Will you do me the honor of going to . . . .” And Ricky opened his outer shirt to reveal the white one that finished the question.

Wish I could’ve been there to take photos! And I’m so glad she said yes!!

Yesterday we picked up the kid’s tux. He will look so handsome in it. I’m sure that when I’m snapping pix before he and his group leave for dinner, I’ll have trouble seeing through  my tears.

I’m just thankful that these are happy ones!