Thursday, December 30, 2010

Rosa's: We Have Missed You

When we moved from Midland to Katy we left behind our favorite place to eat, Rosa's Cafe.
Rosa's is now where to be found in the Houston area but every where in West Texas.
We went to Bryan/College Station for the Girls Varsity's basketball tournament yesterday.
It was a 3 day tournament so the team was staying in a hotel and Brittney text me as soon as they arrived to tell me there was a Rosa's right across the street from their hotel. Jacob had already found out there was one there, but had no idea it was conveniently located. Guess where we had lunch?? Rosa's, oh how we have missed you.     

We actually ate inside, but Jacob needed some extra to go food and we also got Brittney her Chicken Fiesta Salad and took it to her at the hotel.

SHACJAM and a Not So Willing Celebrity

(This is Dale and I'm a guest blogger for this episode.  This event happened in October, but I'm just now finishing the blog.)

Jacob and I attended the Sam Houston Area Council Boy Scout Jamboree (SHACJAM) in early October.  It was held at the Texas World Speedway near College Station, TX.  The Speedway has a 2 mile oval and is no longer used for races, but it did provide a decent forum for a Scout Jamboree (and a convenient course for a 2 mile run).  One of the big events of the weekend was a record setting simultaneous launch of over 3000 model rockets.  Scouts from all over the council built model rockets and submitted them as part of the launch preparation.  Our Scoutmaster submitted the names of the boys from our troop who built rockets, and of all the names submitted from the council, Jacob was selected to push the button for the big launch. The caveat was that he needed to have a full uniform since the council was expecting press coverage .  Jacob has a scout shirt, but not being the "ultimate" scouter, he doesn't have a full scout uniform.  Since we were notified on late Wednesday, Marti spent part of Thursday tracking down the remaining pieces of a full uniform. Thanks to some friends in another ward (shorts), the scoutmaster (socks) and the neighbor's son (kerchief), a complete uniform was assembled. 

Maybe if it had been a sporting event Jacob would have been a little more comfortable with the press coverage and interviews, but since he was a little out of his element, he wasn't the most willing celebrity.  My favorite part was when a newspaper writer asked Jacob if he was nervous about the launch and why?  His response was, "yes, because I didn't want to have to answer questions about it."  It was a short interview.

Since I am the young men's president and this included all of the young men, I got to shoulder more of the responsibility to organize and prepare for the trip.  Just preparing was an adventure in and of itself between trailer light connections, flat tires on the trailer, and a dead battery in the pick-up.  I remembered why I am thankful I am not the Scoutmaster.

Here are some pictures from the event.  (Jacob participated in the 2 mile run Saturday morning, but I was back at camp and didn't get any pictures.  I also didn't include the program from Saturday night.  As one of our leaders said, it was a 40 minute program packed into 2 1/2 hours.)

Setting up Camp.  Apparently our troop has secret hand signals that I'm not aware of.

Saturday morning our troop, team and crew helped the state wildlife department with an educational booth.

This picture reminded of us of another "Harry Buffalo"
Smoky Bear is way more intense (and big) in person.
I used to have something similar to one of these.

I often envision myself driving something like this in Houston traffic.
The gun is aimed just about right for the idiot who cuts you off.

 Jacob and the launch organizer in front of the 3200 rockets.
 A picture of Jacob getting his picture taken by the newspaper photographers.
The newspaper picture as included with the internet story.
 Are we ready yet?  There's building drama and then there's just do it already.
 Pushing the button.
 Our view of the launch.
 What goes up, must come down.  All of the chutes didn't deploy. Fortunately we had a cover.
 Jacob and some of the other young men from his troop. 
It's probably the one time in his life that he will be the best dressed scout in the group.

 Sunday morning church services.  Gifford Nielsen was a featured speaker with Elder Costa of the Seventy's presidency.
Our view from our camp site.  At least it was convenient.
With 20,000+ people in attendance there was a whole lot of "go'in" go'in on.

Here are some links if you want to see the launch (you will have to copy and paste into your browser):

You can also do a You tube Search for  SHAC Jam World record Rocket Launch and see additional video.

Here is a partial news article with Jacob's quote and then a full article about the whole event. 

Boy Scouts set world record with rocket launch

Eagle photo/Stuart Villanueva
      Dozens of people lined the side of Texas 6 Saturday opposite the Texas World Speedway, anxiously waiting for 3,200 rockets to take flight simultaneously.
     On the race grounds, 22,000 Boy Scouts looked on with their parents and scoutmasters to see the launch that would set a new world record.
     "I was a little nervous about launching them," said 12-year-old Jacob Smith of Katy, who was selected to send off the projectiles. "I didn't want to have to answer any questions about it, but it was fun."
    All but 70 of the rockets took off, but that still destroyed the previous world record of 965, set in 2007 by a scouting troop in Austin.

Jammin’ big time with Boy Scouts
Updated: 10.12.10
COLLEGE STATION – Texas World Speedway was transformed into a temporary city of 26,432 Boy Scouts, leaders and family members over the weekend as the Sam Houston Area Council held it’s SHAC Jam in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America.

“We had never seen or put on an event this big,” said SHAC Jam Chairman Dan Ownby.

He said the jamboree is the largest event held by the Boy Scouts in Texas and is only second in size to the National Boy Scout Jamboree last summer which had 35,000 participants.

Highlighting SHACAustin.

The jamboree had more than 20 neighborhoods with different activities to do, including games and crafts for Cub Scouts, scuba diving, jousting, archery, climbing walls, Indian lore, lumberjack games, cooking demonstrations, obstacle courses, ethnic displays and activities, and much more.

NASA astronauts Michael Fossum – a veteran of two shuttle flights who is scheduled to fly to the International Space Station in May for a six-month tour – and Canadian Bob Thursk were on hand to sign autographs and speak to the Scouts. As an added bonus, Gill Clay, granddaughter of Boy Scout founder Robert Baden-Powell, came over from Whales for the event.

Ownby said Clay was offered a hotel room but turned it down.

“She said, ‘I will sleep in a tent’ and she slept in a tent the whole weekend,” he said.

In addition to speaking to the crowds, she helped serve food, worked at one of the stations and presided over a Wood Badge beading ceremony.

Ownby said the council had no idea how many people were coming. He said 21,000 registered and 5,000 came as walk-ins. He said it took a staff of 890 volunteers to run the event, with 100 working on it for the past year.

“This is the biggest mobilization of volunteers in Sam Houston Area Council ever,” he said.

The jamboree was funded mostly by entrance fees and generous donations from companies and individuals.

“There were some incredible people who donated some big-ticket items to make it happen,” he said.

He said AT&T set up a cell tower for the event and the engineering firm KBR “donated a whole bunch of stuff.”

Ownby said the event was an experience that few will forget.

“It’s opening people’s eyes to the possibilities of what a council this size can do,” he said.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Phone Call

Yay!! Our phone call from Matthew!!
Dale brought his nice speaker phone  from work home for us to use.
It was so good to hear his voice. We were able to talk for 4 hours. We got a much better understanding of the challenges he has in his mission. The culture is so different than ours, but he seems to roll with it. A lot of the missionaries who are native have a different standard of obedience than Matthew which is hard, He was talking about movies he and his companion have been invited to watch, which aren't appropriate. He now has a new hate for chickens. I guess they run wild through the streets and are loud. He wishes he could shoot them for dinner.  The electricity is usually off more than it is on. He says the people around there just sit around waiting for it to come on then they all cheer when it does. I know he likes it on so he can run his fan and take showers since it takes electricity to run the water pump. He is enjoying his mission and his Spanish was really good. He would talk to his companion and he sounded fluent! It was hard to hang up! I had no problem talking to him, it was just hard to say goodbye. I'm sure it was harder for him. I'm just happy that he chose to serve a mission, I probably would be more sad if he chose not to. He is greatly missed but know he is doing what he should be doing. He's almost at 6 months, a quarter of the way through.    

Christmas Morning 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

 Before Dinner
 After Dinner
Kids opening each other's presents

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's December What??

It may almost be Christmas, but you sure wouldn't know it by the weather we are having in Texas!
It has been so warm that we heated up the pool(the pool was cold) and let the kids have their friends come over and swim.
I love this weather! 

Even Sammie went for a swim

Boogie boarding in the pool

Yay for warm weather in December!

Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Primary Funny

I was asked to fill in as the Primary pianist today. I forgot all the cute comments the little kids make. Today they were talking about the life of Christ and had pictures. They asked what happened to Christ after he died and showed a picture, a 4 or 5 year old raised his hand and said, "He was reelected." He was trying to say resurrected. One teacher commented she would vote for Him. I miss those sweet comments!

Just Waiting on BYU

Congratulations to Brittney for her acceptance into Colorado School of Mines and
The University of Texas! We are proud of you!
Just waiting on BYU, where she really wants to go.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Funny Truth

My favorite facebook status today. This is courtesy of one of our Varsity girl's mother. It's funny, but a lot of truth in it also.

"The Holy Spirit does not go to basketball games,, I know this because I become a complete heathen!!! I'm glad (daughter's name) is done after this season because if not I'm going to hell!!"

Monday, December 13, 2010

Maybe Too Routine

I threw Subway for a loop today. My kids like me to bring them food from Subway before their basketball games, the people at Subway know me well during basketball season. Jacob usually plays on Mondays, but he doesn't have any games until after Christmas. Makenzie usually plays on Tuesdays and Friday's but she has a game today. While making her sandwich they started to put bacon on it, I said no bacon, they looked at me puzzled and I told them my kids had different schedules today. Jacob usually get bacon on his sandwich and it was Monday, so they thought, Monday=Bacon. They really do know us too well and the sandwiches we get.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Countdown

The kids used to fight over who would change the numbers on the Christmas Countdown.
The last couple of years they have gotten over that.
Now no one changes it so we found a better use for it this year...
But who's counting??

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Class That Keeps Giving

Here is the Christmas Wreath Brittney made in her Floral Design class.
I think she did an awesome job. It looks prettier in person.
The basketball coach wanted it, but she said it was for her Mom!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Shoot Me Now

Do I really have to sit here through all these girls basketball games??
Jacob watched Makenzie's team play and now we are watching the JV game, up next varsity.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

That was tough!

Have you ever cried when you mailed a Christmas package? I just did.

Monday, December 6, 2010

One More Tournament Win

Add another Tournament win to Makenzie's team stats!
The team let Makenzie hold the plaque since they say she deserved it!
Makenzie is mostly a defensive player and keeps the other team from scoring,
but she had 11 points in the Championship game!

Friday, December 3, 2010

When Did That Happen?

Yesterday the Girls Varsity Basketball team had a game during the last hour of school, our school is hosting a tournament. Kids were able to buy a ticket to get out of their last class. As I watched the kids come in, here comes Makenzie walking in with all the other high school students. Wow, it hit me, she was one of them and she looked like one of them, not my little girl! When did that happen?  It didn't help to look down and see Brittney on the basketball bench and realize she was a Senior. This all happened after I finished shopping for Matthew's Christmas gifts. Talk about trying not to have a melt down at a basketball game. They grow up too fast! Now I just need the next 20 months to go by fast.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jacob the Baller

Jacob's basketball season has begun. They had their first game on November 29th.
Unfortunately they lost, but Jacob played well against a very good team!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving minus the food

We started our Thanksgiving morning out by the girls and I running the Turkey Dash (5K). It was 78 degrees and about 90% humidity during the race. It was muggy!!!Dale came and took a few pictures of us during the race and then headed to the Jr High for the Turkey Bowl, which he and Jacob played in. After running and football we cleaned up and I made dinner and we ate. That night a cold front blew through so Dale built a fire outside and the kids roasted marshmallows and had s'mores instead of pumpkin pie.
The girls and I before the race 
This is just after mile 2 so I'm almost done

Brittney after mile 2


Brittney crossing the finish line. I had the camera so no pics of me finishing.
I guess I could have tried to take one of myself. 
 Makenzie finishing strong

My friend Liz and I

Jacob as the QB. It was the Young Men vs Old Dudes from the ward

Shawn was after Jacob all morning! He finally caught him once and was pretty excited!

Dale went to play with the Young Men, they needed his help!

My guys...minus Matthew
What a stud!!!

Dale's awesome catch!

After a morning of sports


Can you guess who Jacob was cheering for??

Sammie giving Brittney a kiss

Peach giving Makenzie loves

Yummy S'mores !!