Logan As a Blonde?

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For the district swim meet, the boys on Logan's swim team annually dye their hair blonde. Here's the before and after for our swimmer.


loganb2012.jpgHandsome either way!

Gone Bananas

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Nolan and I at the 2012 Austin Gorilla Run


Beer-Inspired Cooking Day

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So the goal for the day was Beer-Basted Brisket. This morning, bright and early, I got up and rubbed a spice rub on the brisket. Then Nolan and I made Pudding Delight, a cream cheese- buttery crust concoction with 1/2-1/2 chocolate pudding and butterscotch pudding (we couldn't decide which we wanted, so we did both). While that was still going on, I decided to make beer biscuits for the family. But there was leftover beer that I didn't want to waste, so I also made beer bread (yummy). Next up, I cooked the sauce for the Beer-Basted part of the Beer-Basted Brisket. But once again, I found myself left with leftover beer, this time the dark Guinness Extra Stout. So I made Guinness Stout Brownies!

Yes, this is NOT a low-calorie day, but it will be a feast of feasts, beer-inspired and beer-containing. Also being served: grilled zucchini and fresh cantaloupe. Oh, and margaritas, because we (and our guests) don't drink beer!

Everything I Ever Need to Know

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Logan wrote this for his TAG English I class. Lessons to be learned!


Everything I Ever Need to Know I Learned From Swimming


    I've been swimming for a long time, almost since I could walk. I was at practice one day, cooling down from the main set, when it hit me - everything I knew about swimming was mirrored by something in life. I had just never noticed until I finally became good enough to be able to look back at how far I'd come. It suddenly seemed so simple, and I knew I would most likely discover more connections to life as I became faster and better at swimming.

*        Stay afloat, don't sink - don't fall behind on your work.

*        Breathe steadily - even in times of stress.

*        Keep good form - the most basic things can be the most important.

*        When you see the wall, swim faster - rise to the challenge.

*        Practice makes perfect - keep practicing to get better until you come out on top.

*        Just dive in - if something is daunting, don't think about it. Just do it!

*        Reduce drag - don't let anything slow you down.

*        Stay in your own lane - it's your life, so make good choices.

*        Be a shark, not a minnow - go after what you want.

*        Just keep swimming - even if you are tired, find your pace, and push through to the end.


In Case You Had Trouble Imagining

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For those of you who know my husband, you might have never in all your life seen him in a suit. Just look at my handsome husband!


And So It Goes

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School's out for summer, but that doesn't mean life slows down for us. No rest for the weary!

We've completely said goodbye to elementary school -- the boys are officially in high school and middle school now. I'm earning more gray hairs as I type this.

Enjoy a few pictures from Nolan's 5th-grade graduation.


No, this isn't rain. It's water from a visiting fire truck, and though it was painful to see such a tremendous waste of water, I'm glad the kids got to have so much fun. I still don't know how the city agrees to this for the school.

IMG_1303.jpg But sometimes you've got to just smile and go with the flow... so to speak!05-27-11a.jpgAnd here's a picture of me at the habitat. I finally got a photo!


Whiskers, Easter, and Ropes

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A. Easter happened. It totally rocked.

B. Logan is shaving (since Easter). He's 13 -- egads. He probably should have shaved at 12 (maybe even 11), but we kept putting it off. Besides, he thoroughly enjoyed having crazy long sideburns and hated when I'd trim them. But then the beard whiskers arrived, and Logan decided it was time to shave (beard and sideburns both). You can see his hairy "before" pictures in the Easter pics. He's had a haircut since then, too.

B. Check out Nolan at the Ropes Course.


The Ropes Course was incredible, and Nolan was quite the agile, strong monkey. Zip lines, vines, tall walls, nets, balancing acts on wires and ropes -- fun stuff. We wish we had a Ropes Course like that in our own backyard!

At the Guadalupe

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Grandma and Grandpa came down to visit, and we all headed off to the Guadalupe River to check it out for future camping possibilities.

boysb03-13-11.jpg boys03-13-11.jpg

Here's Nolan with Grandpa at the Arboretum's stone cows.

withgrandpa03-13-11.jpgGosh, where do the boys get their tendency to clown around? A fun visit -- looking forward to the next one! 

A Life in the Civil War

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Nolan's historical fiction story for Black History Month in February. The district's theme this year was African Americans in the Civil War. What a great kid we have.


A Life in the Civil War

By Nolan O.

 Wham! John ran into a pine tree when he frantically glanced behind him. He had been running from his master for a long time. John was an African American slave from a plantation in Virginia, and his master was a cruel man who was known to starve, beat, and even kill his slaves. The minute John hit the tree and fell, he knew he would be caught, and as he got up he could hear men crashing through the forest. But even though he knew it was worthless to run, John forced himself to go on. Thud! The men had seen John and started throwing rocks at him. Thump!  A rock flew from behind and hit John in his right calf. He fell over in pain and totally blacked out.

When John woke up, he was in the back of a rickety wagon with some other slaves. A stern white man with a shotgun was sitting on a barrel in the wagon and looking at them. When John tried to sit up, he heard a low muttering. The sound came from a woman sitting on the wagon floor, nursing a baby. He caught a few words like "liar" and "backstabber" when suddenly the white man kicked the woman and shouted at her to shut up. Then with a sudden jerk, the wagon came to a halt, throwing John sideways. Laughing, the man got up and kicked John, too, as he climbed down from the wagon.

The white man ordered the slaves out of the wagon. John hobbled out with his leg stiffly trailing behind him. John could hear gunshots from far away and wondered what was happening. Another white man was walking in front of the slaves, saying either "take" or "keep." When he got to John, he paused. After what seemed like a long time, he said, "Take." The man from the wagon got up and roughly grabbed John by his arm. He led John and the other "takes" to what looked like a wooden fort. The closer they got, the louder the gunshots were. Inside, John saw white men shooting at targets. "Grab a shovel and start working," snarled the man from the wagon. "You're in the army."

Days later, water fell on John's face as he looked up. It had been sprinkling for a long time and almost as long as he had been walking. The white men watched from horseback while the slaves marched. The white men looked queasy, and John knew why. They were going to battle in Maryland, a Union state. When the army stopped, the slaves built the camp, and everyone went to sleep. The next morning, they had just taken down their camp and started to move on when a gunshot rang out. The Union army attacked.

The Confederate army was thrown into chaos but quickly regrouped and fought back. During the battle, John saw his chance to escape, but as he was running away, he saw a Union colonel get shot in the shoulder. No one was looking at the colonel because of the battle. John ran toward him. When he got to the colonel, the Union man was covered in blood and unconscious. Ripping his own shirt, John made a bandage around the wound. As two soldiers fell dead to the ground right next to them, John started dragging the colonel to safety in the trees. Near the edge of the woods, a bullet came whizzing by and hit John in the calf, exactly where the rock had hit him. This time he didn't faint. He got the colonel to the trees with his leg searing painfully, and in a daze he fell unconscious because of the pain.

When John woke up, he was in a Union hospital. Sitting up, he heard a kind but stern woman's voice. "Sit down or you will injure that leg even more!" she said. Looking over, he saw a plump and kind woman measuring a cup of medicine. "What happened?" asked John. "Well, you saved Colonel Joe Pinkerton's life and lived from a shot in the calf. That is what happened," replied the woman.

It took a few months for John's leg to recover from his gunshot wound. The colonel visited John often to check on him. When the Emancipation Proclamation took effect in January of 1863, the colonel asked John to be a soldier in the war. John agreed to help the Union and protect his new freedom. He and the colonel fought in the same battles against the Confederates. Once, John even saved the Union flag from the Confederate army. In another battle, John saw his old, cruel master get shot in the heart by a well-placed bullet. Both sides sustained great losses, but the Union came out on top, and the war finally ended.

          Years later after the war, Joe helped John get an education and start a business. They remained friends until they died. They both believed that skin color didn't matter, and what was on the inside of a person did. That belief led them to each other. War and slavery had shown John death, cruelty, and pain, but he was awarded with freedom... and a friend.


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Today I was rather horrified to learn that there are such things as Toilet Tattoos.

I could have gone my whole life without knowing that. Really.

But of course I told Nolan we could get this one.


recent comments

  • Meredith: Welcome back to the modern age, Nana! Love you, too! read more
  • Nana: Great words of wisdom for any age. Thanks for sharing. read more
  • http://users.livejournal.com/kytyn_/: well, let's go with that the fire department has to read more
  • http://users.livejournal.com/kytyn_/: I'm guessing the last time was as your wedding... (suit, read more
  • Mom: This is a very special gift for Grandaddy. I know read more
  • Meredith: That makes me smile, Marilyn! The picture with Logan was read more
  • Marilyn: Thank you Meredith! Love the picture of Dad with Logan! read more
  • Meredith: What, and be on the other side of the camera? read more
  • nonplus.net: Pictures? read more
  • nonplus.net: Interesting interpretation of the resurrection story. :-) read more
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