Monday, September 29, 2008

A New Game

When I asked Jake what he did today, he said, "We played rops and cobbers."

I questioned him a little more and he said they also played firemen.
I'm not sure if Jake was the rop or the cobber.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Looking Forward to Halloween

We have been discussing Halloween costumes this morning. Josie is pretty set on being Sharpay from High School Musical. I am trying to talk her into using her real hair (blond like Sharpay's) instead of buying a wig.

Jake keeps changing his mind. He has thought about a firefighter, a frog, a football player, and everything else I suggest, but he keeps going back to a bear. He really wants to be a blue bear. I'm not sure if he is going to stick with this idea or not.

I have a feeling Halloween will be lots of fun on our street this year, since it falls on a Friday.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I just read an article about how PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is wanting Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream to discontinue the use of cow's milk to make their ice cream. PETA wants them to use breast milk. I know; crazy, right? Who would want to eat ice cream made with some stranger's breast milk?

To read the article, go to my sister's blog, "Thoughts of a Stay-at-Home Mom."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Things Men Don't Understand
(according to Cody)

Extra pillows on the bed--why do we have to put them on only to take them off before bed?

Towels in the bathroom that are for decorative purposes--you know the ones that match your bathroom, but you don't use them every day--"Why?" he says?

Things Women Don't Understand
(according to Jen)

NASCAR--I just don't understand how watching cars drive around in a circle (FOR HOURS) is interesting.

Watching fishing, hunting, and poker on TV--you might as well watch paint dry.

Another ongoing disagreement...
Cody says, "Why do we have to clean for the cleaning lady?
I say that there is a difference between cleaning and putting things away. I guess it is just as well we don't have a cleaning lady anymore.

From the mouths of children...

A few minutes ago, I was in the front of the school doing car rider duty. A kindergartner came up to tell me something and begin his sentence with,

"Hey old lady..."

All the other kids at my cone were astonished. I like to think it is because they were suprised anyone would think I was old. Kids are so honest; you never have to wonder where you stand with them.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

You Might Live In Our Neighborhood If...

*When you realize you don't have electricity or water, you walk outside and throw your hands up, only to see all your neighbors up and down the street do the same.

*Your child has handed out raw cookie dough from the box in a garage down the street while you were on the phone.

*Your kids refer to the empty lot down the street as "Jack's Dirt."

*You can locate your kids based on which house has the most scooters and bikes thrown in front.

*You have loaded up in a truck with several of your neighbors to go get FEMA ice and water.

*You don't find it unusual to yell, "Slow down!" at passing cars.

*You sit in lawn chairs in your neighbor's driveway to wait for the fire department to come to her house to check out a gas leak. (Looking back, this does not seem too wise.)

Back to Normal?

We're back at school today. We still have about 15 staff members with no power and probably lots of students. High Meadow Ranch got power for the golf course last night, but lots of people in that neighborhood are still without. Our water is still on and off. It stayed on long enough to bathe the kids last night--thank goodness, they were dirty! This morning it was still off.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Back To School

Well, I just found out that we are finally going back to school. Staff are to return on Tuesday and students on Wednesday. Thank goodness we are able to go back and get back into a routine. Thanks for all the prayers for all those affected by Hurricane Ike. I know there are lots of areas and people who have a long road ahead, so please continue to keep them on your prayer list.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hurricane Break

With no school for the entire past week, the neighborhood has been hopping. On a normal day, we have LOTS of kids out riding bikes, scooters, rip sticks, skateboards...throwing balls, hula hooping and hanging out. This week the amount of kids has about doubled, with kids from toddler age on up to high school. Lots of people are staying with families here because we have had power all week. The boredom of being out of school indefinitely has definitely worn off and the kids are starting to get bored. As I am typing, I have 5 or 6 kids watching a movie in my living room. On Friday, a group of them made an "obstacle course" in our backyard. I walked back there to take pictures and was amazed at the level of organization. A junior high kid was supervising the whole thing, and younger kids were standing in line at stations to take their turns. Then later they all went in to draw their favorite part of the obstacle course. If only my classroom were that organized all the time.

Back to School?

Currently Magnolia ISD is closed tomorrow (Monday, 9/22). Some people think there is no way that we will go back on Tuesday or even the rest of the week. Personally, I would like to go back so that we can get back to some sort of routine. We all need to get back to normal. Cody just called from High Meadow and said that the water is back on there, and the power might be back on in 2-3 more days. A lady who lives in that neighborhood told me yesterday that it is costing them $47 a day to keep their generator running and keep their food from spoiling. No telling what it is costing the people who have more than one generator going. We have water right now in our neighborhood, but it has been going on and off. I'm not sure if it is on for good or not.

Trees down & spoiled food (We have pictures of lots of spoiled food for the golf course's insurance.)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Comfort Foods

Since we've been at home all week, we have been cooking lots of yummy foods. We have made 2 batches of Special K Bars (my favorite dessert of all time), brownies, Rice Krispie treats, and a heart-shaped, 2-layer cake. Those of you who know that I don't cook a whole lot may be surprised by all of this domesticity. Don't be impressed, the brownies and cake came from a box. The kids have helped with all of these treats and were most proud of the cake. All of this baking has been challenging without water, but at least we can use the oven. At this rate, I'll have to buy bigger clothes before we go back to school.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Cleanup

Jake helping get generators hooked up

Josie not even pretending to help

The news reports this week have titles like, "On the Road to Recovery." After driving around several neighborhoods in Magnolia, I can definitely say it's a long road. Some areas look like what I imagine a war zone to be. We saw homes with trees still sitting on top of them and countless utility lines that are still on the ground or have trees on top of them. Administrators from our school district spent the evening delivering food and water to hard-hit neighborhoods, and a school was opened up for people to take showers. We found out today that we will not be back in school on Monday. No one is sure about the rest of the week.

Our water is back off. Maybe they will hook it back up the generator tomorrow.

The Saga Continues

Thursday Update:

Today we have water. :) I don't know if it will last or not. We have been told it is being run temporarily by a generator and will be turned off again. I am about to make Josie take a shower (even though she doesn't think she needs one). School will possibly start back on Monday, but some say that we won't have it. Apparently there are still schools that do not have power and/or water. Lots of people that work at my school are still without power.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

No Water Again

The excitement of having water again was short-lived. It is off again. Apparently they hooked our water source up to a generator for a temporary reprieve. At least I got the dishes washed and a few loads of laundry done.

One of Josie's friends is spending the night with us because they still do not have power. Either way we are counting our blessings to be sitting in an air conditioned house.

It Seemed Like a Good Idea

On Saturday, we were wishing we could make frozen beverages (smoothies for the kids). It was so hot and muggy outside (and inside) that we were wishing we had a battery-operated blender. Then we thought of the adapter that some people had for the car. It plugs into the car power points (cigarette lighter) and has an AC adapter to plug things in. We were so excited about this brilliant idea. Everyone gathered up frozen fruit (which was rapidly thawing anyway). All the kids in the neighborhood were excited about the thought of smoothies and were standing around waiting.

Apparently a blender takes more electricity than this adapter could pull from the car. We didn't even manage to break the ice up much. It was very disappointing, but the bright side was that I knew anyone reading our blog would get a kick out of the story. It brought back memories of college when doing something like trying to use a blender in the car was a pretty common occurrence.

The FEMA Line

My neighbor and I loaded the kids up on Sunday to go get ice and water. They had four trucks and were handing it out right around the corner from us. At that time, we did not have power or water. It was a very weird feeling to be sitting in our car waiting with so many other people. You see it happening on TV, but you don't ever expect to be in that situation. Of course, we took the camera to record this latest experience in our Hurricane Ike memory book.


Praise the Lord! We have water!
Water update: We still have water, but are hearing that it is only temporary. I have done all the dishes and am trying to do as much laundry as possible before we lose it again. I am hoping that the rumors are false and our water is back for good. :)

More Pictures

Irrigation controller on the golf course

The flooded road between our subdivision and the golf course.
A building in Magnolia
Tuesday Update:

We have power, but still little water. The kids and I went to a friend's house last night to take showers. They have power and water but no phones. We have power and phones, but no water. Another friend was there for showers, and her family has no power, phones, or water.

Many people are still without power. High Meadow is still relying on generators to keep food from spoiling. Lines for gas are very long and directed by law enforcement, in many cases.

Magnolia ISD is out for the entire week. We have heard that the water supply in Magnolia is not sufficient enough for the residents and the schools. Some schools have water in them and significant damage. Food is spoiled in cafeterias.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hurricane Party

Saturday night we were fortunate to get to eat hand-cut ribeyes from the golf course. Cody, Greg, and Matt cooked them for us and the families around us, because they were going to go bad. We ate a very romantic supper by candlelight and car headlights in our neighbor's garage. Everyone brought what they had to share, and we were grateful for ribeyes, potato salad, hot dogs, Hawaiian punch, and gatorade.

Monday Update

Here are a few more pictures. I'll post more when I am feeling more patient.

This trampoline has definitely seen better days!

There is not usually a lake in this fairway.

Today's Update
We still do not have water, but our electricity is up and running. Thank goodness for air conditioning. We all got a good night's sleep--probably since Cody turned the AC down to 68.

Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Top Ten Reasons Why We Need Electricity:

1. Air Conditioning

2. WATER--toilet, baths, showers, washing dishes, drinking-- did I say baths?

3. Going to the bathroom and actually being able to see the toilet paper (and flush)

4. TV (Cody would put this much higher on the list!)

5. Air Conditioning

6. Microwave (maybe people who don't have small children wouldn't miss this so much--we need hot dogs, popcorn, spaghetti-o's...)

7. Lights (especially when small children keep accidently breaking flashlights)

8. Internet access--you would think this would be no big deal, but we seem to be very dependant on the Internet for information

9. Hair Dryer & Curling Iron (I know this is a little shallow, but having bad hair puts you in a bad mood. And when it's hot and you have no prospect of bathing, you don't want to wear a cap!)

10. Air Conditioning

*Trying to explain the concept of no electricity to a 3-year old is difficult. Jake kept sitting down with the remote and trying to turn on the TV. At one point, after we had been without electicity for quite a while, he tried unsuccessfully to turn on the TV, and said, "What happened, Mama?" This morning, he triumphantly brought me a bag of microwave popcorn and was crushed when the microwave still didn't work.

Assessing the Damage

Saturday afternoon, Cody asked me to go with him to the golf course to take pictures of damage. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. The first ones are on the way to High Meadow and in the subdivision, and most of the rest are on the golf course.

More pictures to come soon.

Riding Out the Storm

We thought we were prepared to ride out Hurricane Ike on Friday night and Saturday. We made sure we had plenty of food, water, ice, and batteries. We didn't have school on Friday, but Cody worked until about 5:00. They had quite a few golfers considering the weather forecast. We first lost power early in the evening (6:00ish). We were surprised to lose power so early since it was not really storming yet. The wind was beginning to get stronger, but otherwise nothing was happening. It turned out that the loss of power was temporary and not weather-related. Apparently a fatal car accident in Pinehurst caused the electricity to go off.

Here we are hanging out with our neighborhood friends
in our driveway during our first power outage.

We put the kids to bed downstairs thinking that the electricity was gone for good, but it came back on about 10:30 and stayed on until a little after midnight. The sound of the wind was the scariest part of the night. Thankfully the kids slept through the night. We "camped out" in the living room all morning, playing with blocks and coloring.

As it became light, we were able to tell that our yard and fence seemed fine. Our neighbors two doors down had a small tree laid over, but otherwise, our street seemed to fare fine. We found out later that someone a little farther down the street had their fence blow down and then their trampoline flew on top of the next neighbor's house. It wasn't until later in the day that we went out to assess the damage beyond our street. Then we realized how fortunate we were.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hunkering Down

Hurricane Ike has us home from school today (yes, I am a little pleased about that). Last night was a fun night on our block. Everyone sat outside and watched all the kids play in the street, since no one had to be up and go to school or work. Right now (8:50 am), Jake and I are watching Diego, and Josie is still sleeping. We're not in the evacuation zones, so we're not going anywhere. Apparently Magnolia was pretty crazy yesterday with people getting gas and stocking up at the grocery store. We didn't have any trouble getting the things we needed. It sounds like Ike has turned and will be east of us; they are saying it will go up I45. We're still bracing for high winds and rains, but they say the west side of the eye is the better place to be. Anyway, we just wanted to let eveyone know that we have plenty of food, water, and supplies.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hurricane Ike

We just watched the weather, and it looks like Hurricane Ike is headed our way. I am not wishing for any dangerous conditions, but a day or two off from school would be welcome.

Sweet Nothings

Jake told me tonight...

"Mama, you're my best boy in the whole world."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Is there a dictionary in the room?

A teacher who was in Josie's classroom today told me that my daughter was very funny. Of course, that made me wonder what she had done.

Josie asked the teacher, "Is there a dictionary in this room?"

Teacher: "I'm sure there is. Why do you need one?"

Josie: "I want to look up how many children are in the world."

I guess we need to discuss what a dictionary is used for.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

September "Snowmen"

The kids on our street had a great time being snowmen today with the help of a little shaving cream. They then proceeded to go on a walk around the block. I hope they didn't scare off any prospective home buyers.

Jake was having none of it, though. He did not want to be a snowman, and he was very upset when his hula hoop got shaving cream on it.

School Friends

Josie's friend Jennifer came over and spent the night with us last night. The girls and Jake had lots of fun playing last night and all day today. Here are the two little cuties.

While playing in the backyard, the kids found this cool spider hanging out on the deck. We were very excited about it, although Cody said it was "just a garden spider."

Monday, September 1, 2008

School Holiday

Having a long weekend has been nice, but Jake and I spent our day off from school going to the clinic in HEB (the dr.'s office was closed for Labor Day). He has run fever this weekend and has green snot (can't be a good sign). We now have an antibiotic and he is snoozing on the couch. Thankfully we haven't gotten anything from Gustav; although, we wouldn't have minded an extra day off from school.