Friday, September 26, 2008

I loved this!

You know you're from the Gulf Coast when….

1. You have FEMA's number on your speed dialer.
2. You have more than 300 'C' and 'D' batteries in your kitchen drawer.
3. Your pantry contains more than 20 cans of Spaghetti O's.
4. You are thinking of repainting your house to match the plywood covering your windows.
5. When describing your gutted house to a prospective buyer, you say it has three bedrooms, two baths and an open air feel to it.
6. Your SSN isn't a secret, it's written in Sharpie on your arms.
7. You are on a first-name basis with the cashier at Home Depot.
8. You are delighted to pay $3.50 for a gallon of regular unleaded.
9. The road leading to your house has been declared a No-Wake Zone.
10. You decide that your patio furniture looks better on the bottom of the pool.
11. You own more than three large coolers.
12. You can wish that other people get hit by a hurricane and not feel the least bit guilty about it.
13. You rationalize helping a friend board up by thinking It'll only take a gallon of gas to get there and back
14. You have 2-liter coke bottles and milk jugs filled with water in your freezer.*
15. Three months ago you couldn't hang a shower curtain; today you can assemble a portable generator by candlelight.
16. You catch a 13-pound red fish - in your house.
17. You can recite from memory whole portions of your homeowner's insurance policy.
18. You consider a vacation to stunning Tupelo, Mississippi.
19. At cocktail parties, women are attracted to the guy with the biggest chainsaw.
20. You have had tuna fish more than 5 days in a row.
21. There is a roll of tar paper in your garage.
22. You can rattle off the names of three or more meteorologists who work at the Weather Channel.
23. Someone comes to your door to tell you they found your roof.
24. Ice is a valid topic of conversation.
25. Your drive-thru meal consists of MRE's and bottled water.
26. Relocating to South Dakota does not seem like such a crazy idea.
27. You spend more time on your roof than in your living room.
28. You've been laughed at over the phone by a roofer, fence builder or a tree worker.
29. A battery powered TV is considered a home entertainment center.
30. You don't worry about relatives wanting to visit during the summer.
31. Your child's first words are "hunker down!"
32. Having a tree in your living room does not necessarily mean it's Christmas.
33. Toilet paper is elevated to coin of the realm at the shelters.
34. You know the difference between the good side of a storm and the bad side.
35. Your kids start school in August and finish in July.
36. You go to work early and stay late just to enjoy the air conditioning. *
37. Your garage smells like gasoline.
38. You're more concerned about someone stealing your generator than your car.
39. You get excited when you see a Centerpoint truck in your neighborhood.
40. You get really excited when you see the cable guy.
41. You can create memorable meals with a can of SPAM and one gas burner.
42. You are prepared to wait in line at Starbucks for 2 hours to get a cup of coffee.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

This was real

It's hard to believe Galveston was hit by a hurricane less than 2 weeks ago.
Today Becca went back to school. The girls and I started school again.
I can buy gas and groceries now. My power is on (thank goodness).
But for so many in the South of us, normal life isn't coming back.
This was real.
Here are some pictures from the chronicle. It's amazing how quickly life can change!
As someone spray-painted on their plywood, "God Bless Galveston" and may I add, anyone effected by Ike.

Monday, September 22, 2008

9 Days, 9 1/2 Nights


It is done!  The POWER is back on!

at 7:55 pm the lights came on and with it the normalcy of life is restored.

No more daily trips to the gas station for fuel for the generator. 

The air conditioner is blowing,  the lights are on.


p.s. (we would not make good pioneers, we like our modern conveniences)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Our Puffy Miracle

bevo 001

Our stupid (spoken with love) Pomeranian ran off tonight. 

First some background information:

Behind our back yard is the water treatment plant for our neighborhood.  It is a large open area that is fully fenced.  Since our back fence broke down, the dogs think we have gained a whole new area for them to play in.  Truthfully, we have been careful to keep them near us.

The water treatment people came tonight during dinner to re-fill their generator with diesel  - very important.  We don't need raw sewage on top of everything else!

They left the gate open while they are working.  Meanwhile, we were clearing off our dinner dishes.  Have I mentioned we have been eating all of our meals out of doors lately?

We looked up and no Bevo.  We scattered.  The house was searched.  The neighbors questions.  Long walks around the neighborhood began.  No Bevo.  No orange flash of fur to be seen.

The girls were crying.  The parents were annoyed.

Luckily, we gave it one more try.  Sammi, being our outgoing girl, was interviewing anyone out of doors if they had seen our dog.  She found someone who thought she had.  We convened on the intended house.  Nope.  False lead. 

Jason noticed someone putting up signs on the stop sign.  He and Sammi were off.  In a few minutes Jason came back to us and the neighbors with a big orange puff ball that the kind pet-finder had affectionately named, "Puffy."  What a blessing!  We are so glad he is found. 

On a side note, when I was talking to the neighbor (while Jason and Sammi were tracking down the kind pet-finder) I learned that she works for CenterPoint Energy.  If you aren't from Houston, you won't know that they are the most sought after people in the whole city - they provide our power!!!  She told me it'll be a while.  We are in between two major problems.  She had been hoping to have power back by Sunday, but it's not going to happen.  It'll be a while.  She said she just went out and bought a generator - not a good sign.  Sigh.

Oh well.  At least Puffy is home!

We are very blessed

Things in Houston are crazy, but we feel exceedingly blessed.
The weather has been ideal. Little humidity and cool - perfect for no electricity and totally NOT Houston weather. We count it as a tender mercy.
People have been so kind to us. People's power are coming on in stages. We still have no power, but some around us do. We have been given food, ice, drinks, snacks, and dinner. People have come and taken our dirty laundry and returned it clean and folded. We are so grateful!
It has been humbling to receive the basic necessities from people, but my heart has been so grateful. THANK YOU!

Our school district has been closed for six days now. They aren't saying when they will be opening up again. They have to get power back. We'll see.
Church was cancelled last Sunday and we'll only be having Sacrament Meeting on Sunday. There have been many work projects. Those will continue far into the future, I am sure.

We feel blessed. How did we fare? We lost our back fence and had some seepage into the house.
We have filled 45 lawn bags with debris and tree limbs and I still have piles all over my yard.
Yard bags are a rare commodity these days. We are grateful gas and groceries are coming back into Houston. We have gotten gasoline for our cars while being watched by three police men. We have seen grocery stores guarded and limiting the number of people allowed into the building. It's been crazy, but we have survived. :)

People keep asking how the kids are doing. Fine. They think it's summer vacation again. They are playing on the boardwalk (our name for the fallen fence),

playing on the trampoline (they held gymnastic/tumbling classes),

creating their own TV shows (too funny),
(This is the Sammi Show)
( This is Counting with Becca)
(This is Gym with Joy - quite hard actually!)

re-doing bedrooms (in preparation for Jeffrey's home coming).

We feel blessed. Thank you everyone!

We are alive!

We are still without power - thank goodness for generators! I thought I would post some pictures of Houston - at least our part.

From the front door of our house

Our street (looking right)

Our street (looking left)

The entrance to Becca's school - no school for six days now and no opening in sight.

Typical - trees down all over

Just around the corner from us

If you click on this to see it bigger (hope that works) you'll see when the tree uprooted, it took the AC unit with it and then crashed into the neighbor's house - two houses, one tree.

Down the street once the flooding had gone down

Sunday, September 07, 2008

New Cousin

I am an Aunt again!
My brother Bob and his wife Laura welcomed Christopher Sterling Ball into the world at 8:25 this morning.
He was 8 pounds and 20 inches long.
Congrats y'all!

Lizzy lost her tooth!

Sept 6 2008 041 Lizzy is now completely 100% a big girl.  She lost her first tooth today.  She is so excited!!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Saturday Afternoon at the Farm

Saturday after the YW volleyball games and having my van hit Sept 6 2008 029 Sept 6 2008 034

and the primary program practice and the yard work, we headed up to the farm. What a good afternoon!

Jason practiced how to be a country boy:

Sept 6 2008 014 Sept 6 2008 018Sept 6 2008 031

Joy worked on her cute watermelon eating skills:

Sept 6 2008 020 Sept 6 2008 021

Lizzy and Becca "hung" around:

Sept 6 2008 027 Sept 6 2008 028

Sammi and Joy laid around:

Sept 6 2008 032

Every girl should be so lucky as to have an Uncle like Nathan:

Becca learned to drive the tractor:

We had a great time! Thanks Mama and Daddy!Sept 6 2008 030

Friday, September 05, 2008

Leadership and Music

From the TED talks

Great correlation to Leadership, and fun also.
Please watch and learn!