Monday, August 29, 2005

All together now....Everyone knows it's Windy

The important thing first: Our family is here and safe. Isn't that really all that matters?

Now some information. We live in the Panhandle of Florida. That is where Hurricane Katrina was first predicted to land when it reached the Gulf of Mexico. Since we have 2 young children, the Big Man and I discussed my heading west to New Orleans to stay with his parents who live there. I get on Interstate 10 at our exit and get off at their exit in 3 1/2 hours. So we decided to wait to see what it was going to do. As you now know, it headed west and straight for the city. If you've watched the storm coverage, you have heard endless reports of how it is below sea level, relies on a vast pumping system to send water into Lake Pontchartrain, and has levees all around the city to keep the lake out, and they all hear of how devastating "THE BIG ONE" would be. There were many indications that Katrina was going to be "THE BIG ONE". So, instead of us going there...they came to us. Staying at their house last night...Granny & Pap, the Grillmaster, the Mrs. and Miss, the Grillmaster's mother and father in law, and the Mrs.' sister and her husband...oh, and MK.

Providentially, the Big Man's parents built a house just around the corner from us and moved into it this spring. They use it as a getaway on occasional weekends and just last weekend the Grillmaster, the Mrs. and Miss left after spending a week there. So they have had a nice place to stay and we have shared some meals together and watched a lot of storm coverage together...I mean a LOT!!!

Power is out in New Orleans and phones are not working, so we really only know what most people know by watching t.v. They didn't get a direct hit so it wasn't the BIG ONE but it was close. In areas east, such as Biloxi and Gulfport and some Louisiana parishes, it certainly feels like the BIG ONE. I'm sure we'll know more tomorrow. They are saying it could be a month before power is restored but we also know that if they said a week and it isn't a week, people would go crazy. Hopefully it won't be that long. They weren't able to send helicopters over the area until the winds died down to a certain speed, but I'm sure tomorrow we'll learn much more. What we have heard is that the area where Granny & Pap live may have as much as 3 feet of standing water. It's not for certain but that sounds very bad. We saw a picture of the street behind the Grillmaster's house. There was standing water in the yard and street but it didn't reach the houses so we are very hopeful that their house may be dry.

Here in Florida we had a lot of rain and very heavy wind gusts. And yes, we lost more trim from our house. That is the least of our concerns. We didn't even get it fixed from Dennis yet...we may wait until the hurricane season is over.

In the midst of this, the Big Man received a phone call from work. The 15 year old only son of one of the employees has been battling cancer. Just on Saturday the friends of this family had a huge yard sale and raised over $4,000 for his family to help cover their mounting bills. We've been praying for him with MK and have talked about him often. The phone call today told us that he had passed away. That put a lot of the other things going on in perspective. Due to some acquaintances, we have assurance that Tim knew the Lord and his suffering is over. But his parents' suffering hasn't even begun. The least of their worries is something happening to their stuff. We've tried hard to keep that in perspective.

So I'm going to borrow my closing from Dy....

"Kiss those babies..."

No one ever says, "Kiss your stuff."

Good night

Friday, August 26, 2005

I'm really not geographically challenged

If you read the link in my last posting and realize that I said that we are at the far left...please understand that the link updates and the projected path has since moved west. If I wake in the morning and the path has moved east again...ignore this....if it shifts again your computer may self destruct. Sign off as fast as you can!

Have you seen this?

Oh brother. Fortunately on the map right now, it's only a Category 1 and we are at the far left...not far from where Florida meets the Alabama border. But I have been praying for the residents of South Florida with the satisfaction that the last projected path that I saw sent it toward Texas. Good grief. (No, I'm not sure how long ago that was, and no, I really don't pay that much attention to the weather. Mostly I look outside.) The Big Man mentioned to MK that she might not have school Monday. I honestly had a blank look on my face...Labor Day? Nawww..took me a second to calculate the dates. I'd like to say that I was just so overwhelmed with school and the duties of caring for the household, but no, I just rarely know what the date is. Do any other stay at home moms have that problem?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

A Case of the Happies

Every so often a feeling of joy, happiness and contentment passes over me. I'm having it right now. I can't even explain it. Maybe it's because I'm sitting in a clean house, quiet but for the washing machine, T. Willy safely in his bed napping, the Big Man just called from work and is having a good day and MK is at school where I know she is learning and enjoying time with friends. It's a nice feeling. I should look for it more often. This time it found me.

Tonight I start my face to face class. I started my online class last night. I had a reading assignment and some discussion questions to answer. Not too bad for the first night. Next week I have to read some articles and write 2 papers summarizing my reading. has been a looooong time since I wrote a paper. The babysitter is lined up and I bought new notebooks and pens. School supplies for mom!

My new favorite CD..."Short Term Memories" by Chris Rice. Every morning when I drive MK to school she asks for the "Cartoon Song." We have it memorized now. My favorites are "Welcome to our World" and "Smellin' Coffee" so far, but every time I listen to it, I like something about another song. I am definitely a lyrics person and I like what he's saying.

So, there's that. I hope the "happies" find you! If so, tell me about it!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

What to talk about?

A lot has happened this week but I have no idea what to write.

Tuesday - I took Miss with me to eat lunch with MK at school. Miss came home with us and played with T. and swam but she was pretty bored until MK came home.

Wednesday - T. Willy and I went to breakfast at the Big Man's restaurant with the Grillmaster, the Mrs., Miss, Hee-thar (the girls' name for her) and Miss's uncle. We had a nice time and some great food. I also went out to dinner with some girls at church. The Big Man stayed home with one girl's two boys. WHEW! He is used to having a mild-mannered girl and a boy who isn't at that active a stage yet. He was ready for us to come home.

Thursday - Cannot even remember Thursday. Ummmmm.

Friday - T. Willy and I again went to lunch with MK. She likes for us to visit her at school and we're glad to see her any time we can. I also like for the teacher to get to know my face. After school MK had a birthday party for one of her Build-a-Bears. No kidding. She is a delightful, girly girl for certain. Worse, the bear actually got a present!!! And we had guests...Miss and another friend. We even made a cake. I suspect I won't be doing this with T. Willy. Then the Grillmaster grilled steaks for us and we all sat around the kitchen table and talked. As soon as it got dark the lights flickered and went out. It did that a couple of times and finally went off for awhile. The electricity was off for a long time so we sat at the table with candles and flashlights and told stories. The girls and I went out front and watched some neighbors throw a lighted football and then lit sparklers. When we ran out of sparklers, we went back inside. At one point the lights came back on, but the girls were enjoying it so much they turned the lights off and we talked some more. They left and the electricity was on and off for the next few hours. By morning it was back to normal.

Today - MK spent the night with Miss at the in-law's house. We had a quiet morning. I did laundry and the Big Man mowed and edged and cleaned the pool. The family came over for lunch and stayed through dinner. Miss is spending the night here. The girls and I looked at photo albums and laughed and laughed and now they're in the living room wrapped in sleeping bags and watching old home videos and laughing. The family leave tomorrow and a new week will begin again.

So, nothing profoud, but that was our week in a nutshell.

Hope you had a good one!

Monday, August 15, 2005

My husband is sleeping with a co-ed....

It's me! I am registered and paid up and ready to go. It has been quite awhile since I was on this side of the classroom, so it should be interesting. But I'm really looking forward to it.

The biggest change so far has been technology. I went to undergraduate school in the dark, dark ages...the days before e-mail or cable modems. One had to wait for mail or make phone calls and wait in lines and talk to many people to get anything accomplished. This time around, I have only had to speak to 1 person - my academic advisor. I had to meet with her to get my courses and major straight. Otherwise I signed up for the GRE, applied, was accepted and registered for classes via the Internet. I could have avoided the trip today but I had a certificate for 6 credit hours (saved me $$$$) and I wanted to make sure it was applied correctly.

This was only my 3rd trip to the campus. The buildings are numbered instead of named so it shouldn't be a problem. Today I was looking for Building 20. No problem...I vaguely remembered where it was, so I parked, put T. Willy in his stroller and took off. Immediately I found Building 19. This is going to be easier than I thought...but the building on one side was 18 and the next was 21. WHAT???? T. and I strolled around and looked around and found a map. It didn't help because I was hot and getting irritated. I walked behind the buildings. No help...they were in the 30's. Hmmm....I decided to walk. Out of order but in front of me was building 20. Thank you , Lord! I was able to go in and get my student ID, parking pass and payment taken care of in fewer than 15 minutes. This was not the college registration of my youth. It all worked out and after a trip to the bookstore to buy the entire family shirts, I was on my way home.

Well, almost home. We stopped at the mall first. I bought T. some shoes and MK some more school clothes. Then we went home.

The Big Man's brother, the Grillmaster (he's already cooked twice for us) and his wife, the Mrs. and their daughter, Miss came over on Saturday to stay at the in-laws' house around the corner. Poor timing for MK because she is in school, but we're trying to let them spend as much time together as they can. They are staying for most of the week. In addition, the Mrs.' sister and her husband came over yesterday. The whole crew is coming over tonight to watch football - the Eagles v. the Steelers. Since the Big Man's family is from the Pittsburgh area and I'm from the Philadelphia area, we're just glad it's pre-season and doesn't mean anything.

I picked up Miss and then we waited at a different bus stop to surprise MK. She was excited and now they are playing and I'm going to occupy T. Willy so that they can have some peace.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Three Days with the Big Man

The Big Man has 3 days a row! He needs some rest. The water main that supplies his work broke on Wednesday night so they had to run the restaurant WITHOUT POTABLE RUNNING WATER yesterday and until they get approval from the city to use it again without boiling. Ugh! This affects all the dishes and pans being washed; coffee, tea (the house wine of the South), name it. So, he had to drive to Sam's in Ft. Walton to pick up 1200 paper plates, bowls, cups, etc. and then open the next morning. But he was off today so he didn't have to worry about it. He said most of the customers were understanding, but it couldn't have been easy.

The only thing I asked of him during his time off is that our lawn gets mowed at some point. Our "Life Group" from church meets here on Sunday nights. I recalled that the week before last our grass needed to be cut and this week when they came it still hadn't been done. It has just been a combination of little time off for him and inconvenient (but welcomed) rain. So tonight he paid MK to babysit T. Willy and we were off to mow. We have a riding tractor as well as a push mower. I offered to push in the front yard (really I did) so he could ride in the back and we could finish faster, as thunder rolled in the distance. He tried to back the tractor out of the shed and it wouldn't budge. So he dragged it out and tried to start it...nothing. He decided it was the battery and started charging it up, and set up the push mower for me. I mowed for quite a while while he used the weed eater and then he approached me and said he had gotten the tractor ignition to turn over, so I could use that to finish. I hopped on the tractor, engine running, and it wouldn't move. No matter what we did, it wouldn't budge. I thought, that's okay, I'll just finish with the push kidding, the safety mechanism on it broke and it wouldn't start. Now it is starting to rain, the Big Man is a wee bit frustrated and only half of the front yard is mowed. On top of that, this tractor is only 3 months old!!!! Thankfully it was purchased at Wal-Mart and they will take anything back, so he found the receipt, loaded it into the truck with some difficulty and help from his dad who is visiting, and off to Wal-Mart he went. They took it back, gave him a full refund and tomorrow he is off to shop for a John Deere. So maybe tomorrow we'll be able to finish.

Are you still with me????

That really has been the most exciting thing that has happened this week. MK has Girl Scouts tomorrow and will spend the night with the grandparents. T. Willy is doing fine and learning new things daily.

And for those of you who have been with me from the start, you'll recognize a line from my favorite chick movie. Obviously the only movie I know well enough to quote.

So, there's that.


These pictures are of MK after her first day of school last week. The bus stops right in front of our house (on the right not pictured) so we just step out the front door to wait for her.

Friday, August 05, 2005

16 years later...

Today is our 16th anniversary. When I look back on it I wonder what my parents were thinking. I was so young! But here we are and I wouldn't trade the Big Man for anything. He had the day off but I went to have my hair done and it took 4 hours, so he played with T most of the day.

Melissa of VA asked about MK's first day of school. She had a great time. She likes her teacher and was only disappointed that they didn't do much the first day. Today they took some tests and she liked that better. Her teacher is getting married in June so she thought that was exciting. Thankfully she is still in elementary. Middle school begins here in 6th grade. I am not looking forward to that at all. We have loved her elementary school. In addition to academics, they emphasize and enforce proper manners and dress code. My mom was here once for their talent show and she couldn't believe that they were singing "Jesus songs." For Christmas they sing carols, not just Santa songs, and no one blinks an eyelash. In second grade, her teacher had a "Getting to Know the Teacher" poster and on it she wrote that her favorite book was the Bible. Her teacher last year was a Christian too. We have been very blessed.

So that's what is going on with us. What's new with you?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

School Days

I never did get around to the yard. It rained so I took the girls bowling instead. Here is a picture of MK and her friends...and as always...their Build a Bears.

Last night we went to 5th grade Orientation. T Willy was napping so the Big Man stayed home while I took MK. We were able to see her classroom and meet her teacher. Her teacher is co-teaching with another one in the same room, so there are 2 classes of students in the room. But it looks like it's going to be a fun year. She is especially excited about blocks of Science, her favorite subject.

When we got home I heard the washing machine going. I had finished all of the laundry that morning, so I knew something was up. When T Willy woke up, the Big Man walked into his room to see him standing up with no diaper. He had managed to take it off (dirty) and apparently then fallen asleep. So the Big Man had quite a mess to clean. But he did it and it was all cleaned up when we got home. What a man!

So this morning we walked MK to her classroom and are now home in a quiet house. No big plans today...playing with T and waiting for 3:30 so we can hear all about MK's day. Hope you have a good one!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

It's August....

August has always been a big month for us. The Big Man and I met in August, married in August and our kids were born in late April and early May, so if you do the math, you'll realize that August is an interesting month for us.

This August started with school shopping. School begins on Thursday so we went to Destin yesterday and bought MK some new clothes. We had made plans to meet up with some friends, so we ate lunch together, then the daughter came shopping with us. It is easy to shop with MK because she has definite opinions on her clothes. They just have to be girly and not "feel weird." So we left with skirts and skorts and she's ready for school.

Today MK wants to have a couple of friends over to swim so I have some serious yard work to do first. The sky is overcast right now so I had better get out there before it either rains or the clouds disappear and it's too hot to do anything out there.