Saturday, September 27, 2008

some giggles from IKE

when you send your husband to the grocery store in the middle of catastrophic circumstances, try not to make TOOOO big of a deal when he comes home with $50 water.

HOLY COW. did you even KNOW that they sold water that is almost $25 a case? we didn't. the store was sold out and so when he stumbled on an unmarked pallet of water in one of the aisles, imagine his delight!!!!!

it was a zoo, and he wasn't paying attention as the sales clerk rang him up. but when he came home with some canned goods, some dried goods and two boxes of water and the total was over $100, i requested the receipt.

meanwhile FEMA was giving away cases of water for free.

moral of this story:


(the water has been returned, unopened...swapped for 1/2 a cart of groceries :)


a hurricane tip (you know, since apparently even if you live in OHIO, you can still be affected...what the heck????). BUY A CAMPING STOVE! kent & jana are campers and i swear, my kids probably ate better during the power outage than they do at home. every morning jana fixed them hot cocoa! here's chef jana & the kids enjoying a candle-light dinner of spaghetti:

the evenings were unseasonably cool (thank you GOD) but kent & jana didn't have screens in many windows. kent and bobby (aka macgyver one and macgyver two) were able to use some gaffers tape & some old screen to create some 'makeshift' screens that allowed the cool air IN while keeping the bugs OUT (this is very, very crucial here).

(note hudson, shirtless and motionless LOL)


kent & jana and kyle & tara spent lots of time helping us bring the beauty back to our yard. WE COULD NOT HAVE DONE THIS WITHOUT YOU GUYS. with every fiber of our aching beings, we say THANK YOU!

the kids had a blast playing on our piles of tree stuff...check out these power rangers LOL

the next picture has carson & hudson posing on the 'roots' of what's left of our pine tree...i'm not sure WHY but carson kept calling this the 'WIFE-EL TOWER.' (i was thinking 'eiffel' but then when he did the second pose, i realized that he actually thinks that it's the RIFLE tower LOLOL...poor kid!

after all the yard work, we put the patio set back and if you don't look up to the tarps or around to the broken fences or piles of bricks from the chimney, it ALMOST looks normal, eh? so happy to have some 'pretty' return!!!!


since my family room is out of control and out of commission, i have worked on beautifying my living room/dining room as best i can. sure, i still need some curtains and some other details, but with a little tweaking and rearranging furniture, it's coming along. and if you look REALLY close in the one shot of the living room, you'll see a limb. hee hee. one more shot of hudson sleeping...this time, shirt on. the boy can sleep ANYWHERE. love that kid!


good grief, am i long winded tonight or WHAT? there's soooo much going's like the world on speed. well, i don't REALLY know what anything on speed feels like. some of you can't say that, can you? hee hee. but honestly, the days are FLYING by.

homecoming was postponed. and tonight is alexis' formal debut.

my friend kari was willing to accept the challenge of creating a beautiful up-do for the occasion. does occasion have one S or two (occassion). i think one. two just looks weird...reminds me of mocassin...does mocassin have one C or two (moccassin). i think TWO. hmmm....

anyhow, kari arrived, barbie-head in tow.

and worked her magic on alexis!

lexi, i hope you're having the time of your life right about now. and good luck undoing all those knots in your hair LOL

beautiful beautiful beautiful
and before i cause the blog world to explode, i'll sign out for now.


stay tuned...never a dull moment.


some post-ike reflections & my new favorite song

so today marks two weeks since ike decided to blow into our lives, completely unwelcomed, totally uninvited.

he has left an impact on our family.

more than just the holes in our ceiling,
the ripping back of our roof,
the free-flowing water in our kitchen,
ike has also tried
to poke some holes in our trust,
has attempted to rip our faith apart,
has succeeded (at times) in dampening our spirits.

and YET, as the debris has been cleaned up and as cranes have done their jobs removing large trees that block our view, we have begun to see more clearly.

and what we see is that while there has been some TEMPORARY damage to our home, there has been ETERNAL structural repair happening in our hearts.

four and a half months ago, we closed on our new home. so thrilled to have put some closure to a really rough financial season. so relieved to 'settle in' to a HOME again, someplace that was OURS. so glad, especially for our children, to have come out the other have weathered the storm.

and then, one split second, everything changed.
shattered bricks...
scattered thoughts...
adrenaline racing through each and every one of us.

the first days, for me, were filled with lots of laughter and a few tears.
but then, the more reality set in...the more i SAW what our neighborhood was looking like...the more it flipped...and there were LOTS of tears with just a little laughter.

i know i'm rambling, but i have to get all of this out.

those of you who know me well know that i have FOUGHT for YEARS to conquer the fear and anxiety that somewhere along the way had gripped me.
it has not always been a pretty fight. it started shortly after austin was born (and he's almost 15 now). so it's been a LOOOONG fight. but i had TRULY come out the other side. it was done. history. all the fear, all the angst, all the anxiety was a thing of the past.

until the beanstalk fell. it all came rushing back. i tried to suppress it. i tried to shove it down, push it away. i think, if i must say so myself, that i was doing a FINE job at it.

until day four, post-ike.
day three had been a day of searching for ice. and there WASN'T any. so it was VERY important, on day FOUR, that we find some.

bobby and i left the house early in the morning, headed for our local grocery store. we arrived and there was a long line, wrapped around the building. we grabbed a cart and took our place. but within seconds, the manager of the store came out and began telling everyone that they were out. they then told us another location to try.

when we got near the other location, the line of cars was backed up for MILES. and that's when things got ugly inside my head. panic was back as strong as if it had never left.

i tried to reason my way through it.
i tried to pray my way through it.
i tried to talk my way through it (poor bobby) but to no avail.
eventually, bobby suggested that i just get out of the van and begin to walk...fresh air and all that jazz. he's a smart, smart man. it did the trick. i was able to just keep my body & mind busy while he inched his way through the line, waiting for FEMA volunteers to load up the van. it was only THEN that i was willing to get back in the van.

we were JUST driving away from the FEMA POD (point of distribution) when this song...a song i had never heard before...came on the radio, and i sobbed like a baby as i let the words wash over me, tears soaking my shirt.

below are the lyrics:
If everything comes down to love
Then just what am I afraid of
When I call out Your name
Something inside awakes in my soul
How quickly I forget I'm Yours
I'm not my own
I've been carried by You
All my life
Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free
When my life is like a storm
Rising waters all I want is the shore
You say I'll be ok and
Make it through the rain
You are my shelter from the storm
I'm not my own
I've been carried by You
All my life
Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free
Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free
You've become my hearts desire
I will sing Your praises higher
Cause Your love sets me free
Your love sets me free
Your love sets me free
and as i cried, the healing came. and i'm back in the fight. i wish i could say that it just fell away. it didn't. but i'm in this for the long haul and i have been told that i am being much too hard on myself...that my body & mind are just responding to a high pressure situation in a way that is NORMAL. and so i will press on and try to take it a day at a hour at a time...a moment at a time if that's what it takes.
if you deal with me on a daily basis, please keep this in mind as you interact with me. i'm doing the best i can :)
HIS LOVE HAS SET ME FREE. and who the son sets free is FREE INDEED. (john 8:36).
if you've made it through this entire post, then i think you get an extra jewel in your crown when you enter the pearly gates LOL

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

happy birthday to ME :)

hee hee. it's 11:13 p.m. and the sugar buzz is finally wearing off. children are falling asleep in places they don't belong. they were tucked in bed hours ago but rudely awakened by my shrieks of terror when an enormous, gigantic, HUMONGOUS bug decided to drop in to wish me a happy birthday.'s like all the bugs that were living in the beanstalk are now trying to find new living quarters. GOD, THIS ISN'T FUNNY.

anyhow, back to me. LOL. i had a GREAT birthday, all things considered! it's been a day filled with phone calls & emails from loved ones, a mailbox filled with goodies from family & friends, a great-big post-hurricane gift from my ebay friends (i love you guys), and i couldn't feel more loved.

instead of going out for dinner, i opted for a homecooked meal and my friend jana (cake-maker extraordinaire) made me the most beautiful cupcakes for dessert. hudson declared them 'delicious' and asked for another :) bobby picked out a gorgeous bouquet of flowers for me! just beautiful!

the grown ups dined in the front room, where things are still 'normal.' that's jana & kent in the front, uncle mark in the middle and us old folk in the back LOL

since the mosquitos are swarming outside, the kids had a little make-shift table in the part of the kitchen that is not waterlogged.

the food was yummy (thanks mark & bobby), the company was fabulous and i'm filled with lots of love & birthday cake!

closing out an adventure-packed year, looking forward to perhaps a more uneventful upcoming year LOL

once more, thanks to all my friends & family. i love you all. xoxo.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

three cheers for RAYNOR SHINE tree service!

finding a tree service right now is nearly impossible. monday i spent the better portion of the day doing just that.

the numbers in the phone book either ring busy, no one answers OR their voice mailbox is full.

i finally gave up and left jana's house, headed home to report to bobby.

on the way, i spotted a tree removal service busy at work on another street and so i sloshed through the backyard and found their lead guy. he actually got in jana's jeep and came with me to survey the damage.

when we pulled in the driveway, bobby was talking to some OTHER tree guys and was getting ready to sign the paperwork. of course, i'm thinking 'STOP...WHAT IF THIS GUY IS CHEAPER????' lol

but 'my guy' looked at the size of the trees & their location and said there was NO WAY he could handle the job.

and so began our day of tree removal via RAYNOR SHINE.

they had JUST come in from florida with their caravan of trucks & cranes and when they exited off I-45, our house was the first house that they stopped at!

once more, WE ARE SO THANKFUL! they had the equipment, the experience & they just ARRIVED at our door.

of course, the bill was hefty...but so were the trees :) nanny, we love you!

here are some photos of the process:

they then moved on to the beanstalk (oak tree). this proved to be trickier than anyone thought. they started from the front of the house and removed the top portion of the tree:

then they started working on the back side of the tree. there was a lot of head scratching and 'ideas' being tossed back and forth and i have to admit that made me a little nervous LOL but they eventually decided to NOT lift the tree over the entire house but instead to use the neighbor's driveway and pull another crane in from the side.
i love this shot:
the next picture just amazes me. the weight of the tree crushed the chimney. the upper portion of the tree put holes all through our roof. but when they cut the top of the beanstalk off, we were then able to see that this small portion of chimney was actually supporting the weight of the tree. if the tree had fallen just to the left or just to the right, it's likely it would have just continued to come straight through the roof. and word: THANKFUL.

while all of this was going on, alexis & uncle mark were preparing to head back home to cleveland to enjoy some family time before school starts back in session.

here's a shot of lexi saying goodbye to hudson & then they're off:

and one final note from this eventful day...

just a word of caution for my loved ones...

when wearing low-rise capris, if you choose to sit down on the curb to watch the 'show,' don't think for a second that you are safe from the FIRE ANTS. they can still get in.

i had this sudden realization that something was VERY, VERY wrong and handed my camera off to for the bathroom. LOL.

i literally had ANTS IN MY PANTS...and if you've not ever had the joy of experiencing fire ants then there is just no possible way of me communicating to you what this felt like :) OUCH!