Monday, September 29, 2008

What kind of personality are you?

I rarely do stuff like this...but did it anyway. The weird thing is, the person that sent it to me (she helped design my blog but have never met in person) had the EXACT same results as I did.
I challenge you to take the quick test and comment below on your results...now I'm curious!
Your personality type:
Warm-hearted, popular and conscientious. Tend to put the needs of others over their own needs. Feel strong sense of responsibility and duty. Value traditions and security. Interested in serving others. Need positive reinforcement to feel good about themselves. Well-developed sense of space and function.

Careers that could fit you includes:
Home economics, nursing, teaching, administrators, child care, family practice physician, clergy, office managers, counselors, social workers, bookkeeping, accounting, secretaries, organization leaders, dental assistants, homemakers, radiological technologists, receptionists, religious educators, speech pathologists.
*** I guess I chose the right profession after all...

Life is getting back to normal...

It's nice to have power...it changes everything!
Despite that, we still have some things to work out. Our insurance quote came back with a shocking amount...not in our favor. Our adjuster recommended we get a new roof, insulation in our attic, replace our den ceiling totally, seal and paint the living room/dining room ceilings and test various walls for mold. After paying off the crazy deductible...we can buy a few replacement shingles! Why do we even buy insurance? Innocent me...I thought it was as easy as our medical insurance! :-)
Just for laughs, the hot water heater and air conditioner stopped working when the power came back. Can someone stop the insanity, please?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sacred Sunday


We have this hanging on our back patio. We picked it up last year during Spring Break in Guatemala.

Look who stopped by...

Are these not hilarious?

Junior Scouts at last!

new sash for Junior Scouts

I spent a good while this afternoon attaching Maggie's new patches to her new Junior Scout sash. We got them at our last campout in May and finally had to do it today...Maggie longingly admired everyone's sashes at the last meeting. She didn't say anything but I knew she HAD to have them for today's meeting. Arg.
old vest from Brownie's

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Times have changed...

video

1st season of volleyball - 2006/2nd grade (notice how close to the net they are when serving the ball and no one hits it back!)

video

current - 2008/4th grade (now see how far they are when serving the ball and there is actually some play involved!)

Volleyball Girls Rock!

Red team vs. the Bad News Bears!
We arrived at the YMCA minutes before Maggie's first volleyball game of the season. I saw the opponents practicing outside in their matching red shirts. I got a little worried. The buzzer rang and it was time to go onto the court. The red team looked huge (we are on a 10-12 year-old league) and I was convinced they were all 12 and a half! Maggie (who is barely 9) and a few of her friends looked like babies compared to them. Not to mention, our team shirts had not arrived and everyone was very mismatched. We looked like the Bad News Bears...I was nervous about what would unfold in the next hour. Boy was I surprised...today's games were the best I've been to in the 4 seasons of volleyball we've been involved in. Our girls gave the Reds a run for their money! Maggie had been unable to get the ball over the net (in the new age bracket...you have to serve from the back of the court) in the practices but today was able to blast them over every time! Surprisingly, Maggie and Emily really shined with the serves. The games were great and am looking forward to next weeks games...today was a great start to the new season.

Pottery Crap

Maggie loves the "paint your own pottery" parties! The problem is...she always picks out crap to paint! You know the ones...horses, giant bunnies, rainbow cupcakes, etc. Today the chosen piece...a unicorn trinket box. Ugh. Oh well, she had a great time!

Friday, September 26, 2008

TGIF

We had a friend over to spend the night for a sleepover...hoping to give her parents a break from their HOT house. The girls got into the tattoos and made a giant cozy spot on the floor with all the couch cushions (even the cat got involved!)...while Ian caught up on old emails and watched the presidential debates. Later, we got word that our guest got POWER tonight!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hercules time line

Maggie had a couple of weeks to complete her GT project on Hercules. I'm glad I didn't pressure her to do it early...it was nice for her to spend time on our break to get it done and have something to do! We left the poster board at school so she had to be creative with the materials available. We used recycled colored Tuesday Folder papers, an old water bottle and a rubber band!

Love Thursday

This Love Thursday is dedicated to all those that helped our family through the unforgettable storm we've been living in the past 2 weeks.

A phone given by a stranger from their store so we could have a land line that worked. A power cord from a neighbor across the street to give us light. A refrigerator to hold Maggie's school lunches. Many friends shared their food resources. Ice deliveries were made to our house numerous times. Washer and dryers were made available to us. A friend washed all of Maggie's school clothes. Free or inexpensive activities for children offered by area businesses. A cool bed when we just couldn't take the heat any longer. An outlet to charge phones. A generator and window unit when a co-worker didn't need it anymore. Hot coffee. A hot shower. A parent bringing me lunch on my first day back to work. Daily texted messages of support when we couldn't get any phone calls in or out. The librarian that helped me figure out the free WiFi at the library. A hair dryer. Friends and neighbors that took Maggie on fun adventures to take her mind away from home. A cool place to sit. More wine than I care to remember. Prayers. The linemen from Missouri that restored our power. Endless offers of support.

In my classroom I've been telling the children that kindness is contagious. Thank you for proving that I was right.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Best Day Ever!

When something amazing and wonderful happens...my mother calls it a Christmas Miracle.

Here's ours. I needed to run home during my lunch break (I only live a few blocks from school) to get a camera battery. I see utility trucks at the corner of my street where there has been a wire hanging in the street since the hurricane. I get excited because it is the first utility truck I've seen in our neighborhood in days. I turn onto my street and I notice many of the extension cords running from powered homes to dark homes are gone. Good sign. I'm almost to my house and I see that our porch light is on!!! Hallelujah. I walk into the house to find the security alarm beeping and the cat sleeping in the refrigerator trying to keep cool! I later saw tractors starting to collect tree debris...they've got a long way to go!

It's now Day 12 and many of our friends are still without power...some just blocks away. I pray their Christmas Miracle comes soon.
Notice the only thing we have left are coffee beans, cooking wine and water!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Our Old House

We drove by our old house...we were curious about the old Arizona Ash tree in the front yard. Maggie always wanted a swing but the previous owners told us that the tree was dying and only had a few years left. It looked great the 4 years we lived there...apparently it finally took all it could and lost a big limb during the storm.

Call it Courage

Maggie's 1st day back to school went smoothly. Her class finished the book, Call it Courage by Armstrong Sperry. She's been talking about it for days. I seem to remember seeing a Disney movie by the same title...I need to check to see if it could be the same story as I know she would enjoy watching it with me. They also made "courage" necklaces made from shells. Maggie told me the main character had the same necklace except it was made from a wild boar's tooth! She made me one...I think I will wear it tomorrow.

Monday, September 22, 2008

One step closer to civilization...

Ian came home with a generator and window unit from a friend at work. They got power. The generator was loud and it smelled like a lawn mower at the corner gas station. The window unit was loud and sounded like a fan spinning rocks in the blades. I didn't care...it felt like Heaven.

Power Envy vs. Power Guilt

I've discovered that everyone around here has either one of the two feelings...power envy or power guilt! Our neighbors across the street hooked 4 extension cords together and stretched it all the way from their house to our house to give us enough power to light a lamp, turn on a fan and power up the TV. Priceless.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sacred Sunday

the fence that is down in our backyard

It appears that Maggie has been given the Royal Treatment at the Pedrick household...swimming at the Houstonian, open gym gymnastics, smoothies, Skeeter's...the list goes on. Good for her! We will spending the night at the Enos house again...it is SO hot here! Another friend is cleaning all of Maggie's school clothes as we speak. We are so thankful to have such supportive friends. We feel like we are taking, taking, taking...and have nothing to give back in return! I was really hoping that we would get power today but it is looking doubtful. There were some break-ins on the street behind us. Sadly, with all the empty houses, no lights, and open windows...the opportunity is plentiful.

Simple Pleasures

You would think that I announced we were going to Disneyworld! Maggie was just as excited about the milk I purchased from Walgreens for breakfast! She must have thanked me a dozen times...simple pleasures.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fun, Fun, Fun

Today we escaped to the movies to see A Fly in Space 3D with friends...not my favorite but it was a cool 2 hours sitting in the dark theater! We also stumbled across a free American Girl Project at Michael's making an outfit for her American Girl doll and to decorate a lap desk with paint pens...right up Maggie's alley! I also discovered that our neighborhood library has power, extended hours, A/C and free WiFi services. Still with no power, I feel like I hit the jackpot! Maggie discovered a new series of books and checked out 5 to read. Ian and I ended up spending the night with friends again and Maggie went to another friends house for a sleepover. She will be entertained and spoiled with fun tomorrow! It is really starting to get hot. School starts Monday and I am so tired...despite having 10 days off! Many schools will not be starting yet...we are the "lucky" ones...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy Birthday

We were supposed to spend the weekend in Galveston for a friend's birthday in their beach house. I'm not confident that there is even a house left...as it was on a part of the island that did not have the seawall. We decided to have a birthday at our house tonight and it was nice to spend the day getting ready instead of dwelling on hurricane related stresses. In the end, the birthday girl got power at their house so we switched locations! All the families enjoyed the A/C and good company. We ended up spending the night! I hope I don't have to wait for my birthday to get power!

Downtown Aquarium

A neighbor came by this morning and took Maggie to the Downtown Aquarium for the day. Landry's was offering a generous steal of a deal to keep families busy...$5 all day passes to their animal shows, rides, etc. The neighbors on the on the opposite side of the street now have power...sigh.

Funny Moment

I thought this sign was hilarious! I'd do almost anything to get the Center Point trucks to come look at our street! There are broken windows, signs, roofs, trees, etc. everywhere.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Love Thursday

Maggie's new PRIZED Lincoln Logs

This Love Thursday finds us at our neighbor's Paul (and ex-boyfriend...weird, I know!) and Monica's for dinner. They live down the street and have power! They have 2 adorable children and our favorite dog, Cody. It was nice to sit in air-conditioned bliss, chat with friends and of course, drink another bottle of wine!

Hurrication

I'm glad Maggie is having a lot of opportunities to have fun with friends. She went to a friends house tonight for a sleepover. They have the highly coveted power! I know she will sleep well tonight. We went out for dinner and then discovered my car battery was dead! Maggie sadly admitted she left the backseat light on when we let her sit in the air-conditioned car for a bit while we were doing lawn work. She felt terrible...it's happened to all of us I said. The man at the battery store gave us the store phone for us to use at home (I knew we shouldn't have thrown away those old phones with cords!). I love the daily acts of kindness that seem to be everywhere these days.


Laundry Day

For a change of pace...and for the sake of clean laundry (and maybe our sanity)...Maggie and I joined a friend and her son to go to her aunts house nearby to hang out in air-conditioned wonderland. While clothes were washing we went to the Village to eat lunch and poke around the stores. It was amazing to us that many businesses were open. There was a limited menu at La Madeline but we were happy to have ice and non "cooler" food. To make things exciting, Ben threw up. :-) We gave in to Candilicious with no intentions of buying anything. Amazingly, there was a Lincoln Log builder set that was 90% off and cost only $3. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make Maggie's day with little effort or expense! That is the one toy she always wanted but never got. As she got older it felt ridiculous to get such a toy for someone that I felt sure she would outgrow soon...she never did. Every time we go to Ben's house they always have the Lincoln Logs out for her. She was so pleased...Ben understood why she was getting a treat and he wasn't. We went back to her aunt's house to find laundry folded (I won't tell Ian Jennifer's mom folded his underwear!). We enjoyed iced drinks and the kids built a snowman out of junk from around the house!

There has been a sighting!

We had 4 utility trucks on our street all day today...and still no power! Very discouraging.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Latest News

We have no power, land lines for phone, and sketchy cell phone use. I was able to go into my school building today (amazingly they have power...only 3 blocks away!) and got to sit in A/C, make clear phone calls, blog the latest news and watch news. Priceless.

Let the Meat Parties begin!

Every night we seem to find different things to do! One night one of our neighbors invited us in to share the wealth...they have a full generator generating their entire house! We stayed and watched a couple of movies, Maggie happily played with all of Elena's toys/books (even though she wasn't even there!), ate ice cream and drank beer! Last night we went to a friends house that needed to cook ALL their meat. It was a delicious feast...chicken, pork loin, steak, Alaskan salmon, bacon...and probably too much wine! A good time was had by all...we totally ignored the city-wide curfew. Have I told you how DARK the neighborhood is?

Fun Times

As you can see...we can still have fun! Ian checked out "boy" toys we don't have at our house and Maggie had fun playing on Ben's skateboard! She REALLY wants one now! Notice the neighbor's windows...still boarded up!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Grocery shopping

Grocery shopping is a bit weird. Some stores are opening...but with extreme limits. One of our neighborhood grocery stores opened today. No dairy, meat, most produce was unavailable. We bought a watermelon, cookies, chips and wine! Only 20 customers were allowed in the building at a time. Again...notice the headlamp! The store was absolutely dark...and quiet!

Keeping busy

Maggie happily worked on a G/T project this morning that is due when she gets back. I'm glad I didn't pressure her to do it early. She said she had it covered! She's also found time to read 2 novels...notice the headlamp!

We see amazing stuff everywhere

Take a close look at the Texas flag...the white and red stripes are GONE! The wind was really that bad!

The clean-up begins...

The water has receded and things have actually dried up a bit. Ian and I worked all day long and finally stopped around 7:30 pm. We cut down fallen limbs and bagged up 17 bags of debris...and that was only from the front yard!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The day after the storm...

It was nice to see friends...safe and sound. We scrounged a meal together and were thankful to have the storm behind us. The table looked elegant...but it was sure hot!

The kids were so happy to see each other!

Are we in Oz yet?

I've truly never been so scared in my whole life! The storm was so loud and crazy...we felt like we were going to be blown into smithereens. I didn't know houses could groan! Halfway through the storm we decided to relocate to the hallway and shut all the pocket doors. We could hear things swirling above us in the attic, leaks were already beginning to develop in a dozen places and I actually saw shingles flying off the garage...I felt sure the roof must have been ripped off...it sure sounded like it had. We lost many shingles. I later saw them littered up and down our street! The plywood was exposed in only 1 spot. It could have been worse. We'll see what the insurance company says about all the big ugly water spots on our ceilings...

Clemintine's Prison

The fences went down in the backyards like dominoes. We can see straight through 4 backyards! Our cat is upset...now he can't go out. Our backyard was his "safe place" away from other clawed beasts.

Bayou Stats

If you are familiar with our neck of the woods, you will see how lucky we are. If you stand at the very corner of our property in front of our house, you can see the bayou. We walked closer in and found it ALMOST went over the banks...I think it actually did a little bit on the other side. This bayou usually has about a foot of water in it during normal times!

Flooded

When the rain and winds FINALLY stopped we ventured outside for a look. The streets were flooded but thankfully not into the homes. These shots are of my street and the intersection looking in all 4 directions. Thank God it didn't go inside!

Sacred Sunday

Ike is supposed to make landfall Saturday around midnight with hurricane gust winds until noon. Harris County is expected to have sustained winds of 65-85 mph with gusts of 100mph. We've been told to expect power outage for a week. We hear Galveston is already underwater. If that's the case, there will be no blogging for me! I scheduled this to post ahead of time. See ya when we get settled after the storm.

We are so blessed

It could have been way worse! Galveston needs your prayers.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Calm before the STORM

I took these pictures the night before the storm. We expect things to get crazy around midnight.

The last loaf of bread

Ian ran out and got us some last minute things for our food supply...not knowing what to expect in terms of how long we needed to have food, water, etc. As I'm unpacking the groceries, the bread selection I found in the bag was unusual for Ian. When I questioned him about it I was told it was the LAST loaf of bread at the grocery store and he took it! :-)

Hunker Down!

We were told to "Hunker Down" by the mayor of Houston...Ian wasn't taking any chances!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Reading Club

It appears that we are millionaires!

In other news...we are "hunkering down" getting ready for the big storm. We did not board up our house but many of our neighbors did. Everyone we know decided to stick it out but while Maggie and I took a bike ride around the neighborhood earlier, we couldn't help but notice how abandoned it felt. We are about to go leave my car in the Galleria parking garage in the event our house floods...we'll at least have 1 car left. We have several offers to stay in 2 story homes near us if things get bad. Are we being ridiculous...hard to tell. The news reports that if you decided to stay in Galveston you are facing certain death. Those words seem extremely harsh. I pray they are wrong.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Love Thursday

Ian was dying for homemade biscuits. When cleaning up, he didn't get enough foil to cover the remaining 3 so he had to get another piece to wrap over the top. The next morning I remove the top layer of foil and guess what I see? Love is everywhere...sometimes where you least expect it!