Monday, September 20, 2021

Hurricane Nicholas and the Generosity of Friends

We had quite an eventful week.  On Monday, we knew that Tropical Storm Nicholas was coming, and we were trying to figure out if we should drive up to Houston for CC on Tuesday or not.  Then class was canceled.  After we put the kids to bed that night, Tropical Storm Nicholas hit and our power went out.  The wind and the rain were terrific and frightening all through the night.  I kept waiting for the eye to go over, but it never did.  Not having been in a storm like that before, I just figured that was normal for a tropical storm.  The next morning, we discovered that Nicholas had been upgraded to a hurricane just before it hit land.  I can now say that I have been through a hurricane.  If we had known how bad it would be, we would have had the kids sleep downstairs.  But we came through the storm fine although most of us had a fearful night.  (Mary and Hannah slept through it.)  Apparently, it went right over us except that the eye didn't go over us, but we got the worst of it.  We didn't have any damage to our house, just limbs down in the yard, a couple of which were big enough that John needed to use a chainsaw to cut them up.

To make a long story short, we went all week without power.  Thankfully, a couple of friends offered us their generators which we really appreciated.  We took the loan of one of them, and John drove up to the Houston area to get it Tuesday night.  

God was gracious, and He kept the weather relatively cool for this time of year with highs only in the 80s. And John found another generator at Lowe's Wednesday morning, so we had two.  We used our bigger one to power our house:  the lights, fans, fridge, freezer, and a few other things.  Unfortunately, it wasn't big enough to run our dishwasher or washing machine.  The borrowed generator powered our well, so we could have water.  

It could have been so much worse!  Our children didn't complain (much), I had done most of our laundry on Monday, and I had help washing and drying dishes.  John cooked on the grill because I couldn't use the stove or oven.  Amazingly, we still had hot water on Wednesday, so John and I took quick showers.  On Friday one of my friends, who hadn't lost power but didn't realize that ours hadn't come back on, invited us over to get showers.  Sarah Beth and I took her up on that.  It was lovely!  

As soon as we got home Friday evening, the power came back on.  

What did we do all week?  Well, it was surreal:  we had lights and fans but no air conditioning.  John worked from home Thursday and Friday, and I figured that, if he could do that, we could do school.  My children were thrilled with that!  We also played lots of games, spending lots of time together, and I was able to read more than usual.  Really, it wasn't a bad week.  But I would rather not do it again!

On Friday evening once our power was restored, I started by running the full dishwasher then washing sheets.  I got ours done, then on Saturday I started on the kids'.  Thankfully, I had done a couple of loads at the laundromat on Friday (not knowing our power was coming back on later that day), and John had paid them to finish the rest.  So we had clean clothes!  

Our burn pile.  It was bigger than it looks!

John and the kids cleaned up the yard Saturday morning.  Since we didn't have hot water for showers, we wanted to wait until we did before getting all dirty which is why we waited until Saturday.  I stayed inside, getting the house back to normal.  I also ran a few errands, picking up the laundry and buying a few staples.  Surprisingly, the freezers at Target were completely empty.  They had lost power and had to throw away all of the food.  

Finally, we finished all of our work Saturday afternoon and rested that evening.  It was so nice to get back to normal.  Sunday really was our usual day with church then Sarah Beth's shooting in the afternoon, followed by a quiet evening at home.

How was your week?  Have you ever been through a hurricane or another big storm like that?

Monday, September 6, 2021

Another New Addition to Our Family

Mary has been asking for a pet of her own for months.  First, she wanted a parakeet, but they can be expensive, and they are definitely messy.  Besides, neither John nor I have had a parakeet, so we don't know much about keeping one.  Also, they aren't the kind of pet that you can hold and cuddle.  A couple of months ago, Mary changed to wanting a hamster.  Ah!  I had hamsters as a kid, so I know a little about them.  We gave it a little while to make sure that she really wanted one, and John and I took her Saturday to get one.  As you can see from the picture, she was thrilled!  (I have to admit that I'm enjoying having a hamster again, too.  :) )
Here's a better picture of Ginger.

As for the rest of our week, it was fairly usual with the extra busy-ness for me on Monday, CC on Tuesday, another busy-but-not-too-bad Wednesday, followed by a not-too-busy Thursday.  Sarah Beth went back to her art class on Thursday and enjoyed it.  Rachel and Mary had soccer practice during the week.

Then on Friday, I took Sarah Beth, Daniel, and Rachel with some others from our CC group to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, specifically to see an exhibit on Pompeii.  Since I took Latin in high school and had studied some of Rome's history, I already knew about Pompeii and was eager to learn more.  My children were also excited to learn about it.  And we enjoyed our day.  I must admit that I enjoyed not having Hannah with me.  Doesn't that sound awful?  But I didn't have to worry about losing her in the museum, taking her to the bathroom, and figuring out what to feed her.  

How did I end up with only three of my children that day?  We were all supposed to go, even John who had taken the day off work.  Unfortunately, Mary woke up feeling sick, so she needed to stay home.  Since it was my friends at CC, I took the oldest three while John stayed home with the youngest two.  It certainly wasn't ideal, but I was thankful that John had planned to take the day off work; otherwise, we would have all had to stay home.  :(

Then on Saturday we got Mary's new hamster!

We re-visited the church that we had gone to a couple of weeks ago, and the people were still very friendly.  It was the week for their fellowship meal, so we appreciated the time with them.  Then we had a quiet evening at home.

How was your week?  

Monday, August 30, 2021

Dentist Appointments that Didn't Happen

What happens when I say, "Yes."
Norwex to the rescue!

This week started off with our normal busy-ness on Monday as we got ready for CC the next day and caught up from the weekend.  I'm trying to figure out ways for things not to be so crazy on Mondays, so that I'm not so exhausted.

Tuesday was CC, and the full day that brings.

On Wednesday, we played catch up from being gone all day on Tuesday.  Also, Daniel's tutor has a study group at the library, and he enjoys going to that.

Sarah Beth tried out an art class on Thursday afternoon.  We feel that she needs some extracurricular activity that is fun instead of just doing school.  She enjoyed it and would like to join the class.  Yea!

Rachel and Mary had soccer again, and I'm surprised at how much Mary is enjoying it although I shouldn't be.

Friday morning, my three youngest girls had dentist appointments, at least, they were supposed to.  Unfortunately, Hannah vomited that morning, so I had to reschedule.  If I had all of my ducks in a row, I would have done school since we were staying home, but I don't.  So we had a quiet morning playing Hearts which I hadn't played in twenty years.  I lost badly.  Then we took a quick trip to the library, leaving Hannah at home with Daniel.  And I picked up lunch on the way home.  Thankfully, Hannah seemed to feel fine most of the day with no more vomiting.

Since neither of the dresses we bought last week for Rachel would work, I took her shopping again.  It was great knowing where to shop so we could just start there.  This time we found two more dresses, and we were more careful about appropriateness, so we bought two that should work well for church.

Later that afternoon, we went shopping for a new fish because our old one died.  :(  While we were there, my girls looked at hamsters because they would like one, Mary most of all.

That evening, John took me out for a dinner date.  We don't do that often enough.

Saturday John took Rachel and Daniel to a waterpark.  Mary and Sarah Beth didn't want to go, and Hannah isn't quite big enough.  While they were gone, the rest of us made cookies for church, watched a movie, and enjoyed spending time together.  

We went back to our regular church on Sunday, and it was great to see our friends again.

How was your week?  

Monday, August 23, 2021

Our Second Week of School and Starting Back to CC

We finished our second week of school last week, and again it went fairly well.  School is hard for a couple of my children which makes it hard for me, but we're figuring it out!

On Tuesday, Daniel had his second day of CC, Sarah Beth had her first day of class, and the rest of us had orientation for our classes.  We enjoyed seeing old friends and meeting new ones.  While I'm not thrilled about being assigned to Mary's class, I plan to make the best of it.  Mary does not like me in her class, and I was really hoping to be in Hannah's.  However, I'm sure it will be good for Hannah to be away from me, and it will give me extra time with Mary.  

After orientation, while we waited for Sarah Beth's class to end, we went to some friends' house.  You know they're good friends when you can invite yourself over!  We hadn't seen them all summer, so it was good to catch up with them.

The repairman came back Wednesday to repair the dryer, but unfortunately, our stove is not fixable.  :(  And there aren't any to buy.  Since it's just the vent that is broken, we're making do.

Mary and Rachel enjoyed their second week of soccer practice.  It sure is quiet when they're both gone even though I still have three children left at home.  :)

Friday afternoon, I took Rachel dress shopping.  She has been wanting a new dress, and I finally made it a priority.  Shopping with her is very different than shopping with Sarah Beth.  While I had to find dresses for Sarah Beth and we were both very glad to finish quickly, Rachel wanted to look at every single dress and was in no hurry at all.  I was exhausted!  But she enjoyed the time shopping, and I enjoyed the time with her.  Unfortunately, neither of the two dresses we bought would do once we brought them home, so we're heading back this week.  At least, we know which store to shop; we won't have to visit all of them again.  :)

We had a quiet Saturday at home.  As Sarah Beth worked on a paper for her history class, one that she will also get college credit for, she realized that she needed more research for it, so we made a quick trip to the library.  Rachel was happy to go along so she could get more books to read.  

We tried another new church on Sunday.  While we liked it, it is too far from home to be a viable option.

How was your week?  Do you daughters enjoy shopping?  Do you?

Monday, August 16, 2021

Back to School

We started school this week, and it went really well.  My children did not want to do the "first day of school" pictures, and I wasn't interested in forcing the issue.  But he high point of my week was how excited Hannah was to do school.  On Friday she asked if we were doing school, and when I told her that we were, she said, "Yea!"  

Daniel started his Challenge B classes on Tuesday.  He's staying with our old campus with his friends as we travel up to the Houston area for ours.  Since he is fairly reticent about class, I can only assume that it went well.  His tutor set up study sessions every week at the library, and he plans to attend those.  He doesn't really need help with the schoolwork; he's going more for the social aspect, and I think that's a great idea.  

Rachel is continuing to play soccer, and the season officially started this week.  Mary wanted to play, too, and thankfully their practices are at the same time.  

Since Mary needed some shorts, socks, and cleats for soccer, I took her shopping Friday after school.  I enjoyed the time with her as I don't get to spend one-on-one time with my children very often.

That night John took Rachel to see a Houston Dash (the women's professional soccer team) game with some of her team.  Although they got home late and were exhausted, they had a great time.

On Saturday, I took my three youngest daughters to a swimming party with our CC campus, a back-to-school party.  They had fun with their friends, and I had fun with mine:  catching up.  I'm looking forward to spending more time with these ladies through the year.

On Sunday, we visited a new church.  We're looking for one with children our children's ages since the one we have been attending is so small.  (Usually there are about twenty people there, and our family is seven of them.)  We really liked the church but want to try one or two more before we decide for sure.

How was your week?  Did you do anything fun and exciting?  Do you make your children do "first day of school" pictures?

Monday, August 9, 2021

A New Addition to Our Family! 😉

We enjoyed this last week of summer, as we watched some Olympics, spent time together, and prepared for school next week.  Ugh!  Who's ready for school?  Not us!!

I took my children to the pool again on Monday and Wednesday.  As I watched them play in the water, I noticed how much more comfortable they are than when we first started going back in June.  We haven't done any lessons or swim team or anything this year; I just made it a priority to go to the pool at least twice a week.  And I can see a difference, especially in Hannah.  She is this close to swimming without any kind of float.  That's exciting!

Tuesday morning, I took my children shopping for school supplies.  I'm so glad that I don't have a school-generated list for all of my children, trying to find everything.  We just got general things like pens, pencils, notebooks, etc..  I also like to use back-to-school sales to pick up inexpensive things to put in shoeboxes later in the year for Operation Christmas Child.

PetSmart is right next door to Office Depot, so we dropped in there after our shopping to pick up our dog Molly an antler.  While there, we looked at Siamese fighting fish, aka Bettas, and the kids really wanted to get one.  After discussing it with John later that night, we went back on Wednesday to buy one.  They have really enjoyed it so far, and we're keeping it on our table as a centerpiece.  😅

Since my dryer has been sounding funny, I had the repairman come out Thursday to take a look at it.  He'll be back when the parts come in to repair it.  I can't believe that it's twenty-two years old!  Older than my marriage.  😜

I spent Friday morning getting the stuff together for us to start school tomorrow.  Usually to celebrate our first day of school, we drive up to the Houston area to Half-Price Books.  This year, we went on Friday before our first day of school so John could go with us.  We also dropped by the Lego Store because some of my children wanted some new Legos, and we bought cookies.  Yum!  It was a fun afternoon.

Saturday was our regular day spent mostly at home, doing things around here.  

Sunday was quieter than usual as John didn't take Sarah Beth to her shooting class.  

Today is our first day of school, my eleventh first day of homeschooling.  That's a long time!

How was your week?  Have you had any of your appliances very long?

Monday, August 2, 2021

Summer is Ending :(

The kids spent a good bit of time this week doing puzzles.

We had another relatively quiet week, our last one before needing to get started with schoolwork.  I took the kids to the pool on Monday and Thursday.  Hannah found a friend one of those days; actually, the other little girl found Hannah.  :)  Although Hannah wasn't sure that she wanted to play with her new friend, she ended up having a great time with her.  

I enjoyed another phone call with my friend Thursday morning.  

I spent a good bit of time last week watching the equestrian sports at the Olympics.  Starting with the team and individual dressage and ending with the cross country jumping on Saturday, I enjoyed every minute.  I even live-streamed the cross country and watched all four hours of it.  Crazy!  

As my long time readers might remember, I used to ride horses before Sarah Beth and Daniel were born.  Then we sold our horses and moved into a neighborhood.  But watching the equestrian events has made me want to start riding again.  I don't know if we can make it happen:  there aren't any English riding barns around here (we live in Texas!), and I really don't have the time.  But the desire is still there.  :)

John gave me a lovely gift Friday night:  he booked a hotel room for me, just me.  It was wonderful to do what I wanted, when I wanted, without having to worry about my children or being interrupted by them.  I listened to a couple of podcasts, read a little bit, and watched a whole bunch of tv so I could knit.  Before this time, I had never binge-watched anything, but I did this time:  Bones.  It's a little gruesome, but I enjoy the characters.  :)

Right after I got home Saturday morning, I left with Hannah to go to a birthday party for one of her CC friends.  A couple of the other mothers stayed, too, so I had fun talking with them as Hannah had fun playing with her friends.  

Then I spent all Saturday evening watching cross country.  :)

Sunday was a typical Sunday for us.  

Daniel has to start his schoolwork this week since his first day of class is next week.  The rest of us have one more week to enjoy summer.  :)

How was your week?  Have you binge-watched a show before?  Which one?