Friday, December 28, 2007

Signing Time going to Ghana

Signing Time has partnered with Signs Of Hope International - they have created internships for Americans who know ASL to go teach the teachers. They also have a teacher incentive program, to encourage the teachers to show up to class and to learn ASL.

A little bit about Ghana and why we are going. Ghana is the size of Oregon. They have 13 schools for the deaf there. Deaf children start school at the age of 4. Many are dropped off for their 3 month semester and their families never come back to pick them up. A week after the semester ends, an orphanage bus comes to get the children who have been left.

Many of the families can not afford the tuition of $83 per semester. Many are embarrassed that their child is deaf.

The teachers have no background in Deaf Ed. They finish college and are assigned to teach at a school. Most are unhappy to find they are assigned to a deaf school. They do not know the language and have no proof that these deaf children CAN be taught.Deaf girls are even worse off. Two years ago deaf girls were finally allowed to go to high school.

When Leah heard this, she was distraught. Her eyes were full of tears and she said, "Mom!! We have to do something!! I'm deaf and I'm a girl and if I was born in Ghana I wouldn't have a chance!"

While filming the last Signing Time shows we interviewed Leah and I asked her what she wants to be when she grows up. She said, "I want to be a teacher of the deaf in Africa." Well, Leah will not have to wait until she has grown up.

Signs of Hope International brought Signing Time DVD's to the schools in Ghana. The teachers and students could not believe that in America a deaf GIRL would ever be on TV.

We are looking to make this a yearly trip, where we can go inspire, teach and show these children the possibilities for their futures. It is our goal that on our future trips we will not only teach and inspire, but we will be building playgrounds and dormitories at these schools as well.

If you know someone who would like to support these efforts, they can make a tax deductible donation to:
The Signing Time Foundation
623 E. Fort Union Blvd. Suite 202
Midvale UT 84107
or online at
Please make a note that the funds are for Ghana.
You can make a difference with any amount!

This is an amazing story. Leah is living her dream and going to make a BIG difference. Please donate if you can and pass this story on to everyone you know.

read more digg story

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Holidays again and again

Yes, some of the movies Cam got were the new Signing Time shows. He has been watching them a lot with Sister.

We set up the fish tank but haven't gone to get any fish yet.

We still haven't made cookies.

We still haven't read all of the Christmas books.

The package arrived from Mississippi today around 1:00 so we have more gifts to open when everyone is all together in the house again tonight.

I didn't get called in to work yesterday but I do have to work today. I still haven't done many of the things on our Christmas to do list. I plan to just spread it out for at least another week.

I like this not stressing about everything being done and perfect. The kids don't seem to have noticed. All is good.

It is more important to enjoy this time together. Too soon school will be back in session and we will be scrambling to figure out child care now that we are both working full time again. I like chilling in the house with my peeps as much as possible.

This is interesting. A website that tells you how much your blog is worth in advertising dollars. Mine is worth 0 but I am not letting that get me down. Really I'm not. Sniff.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Santa comes even if you don't have home made cookies and believe it or not, even if you pee on him.

There is a scientific formula that shows a direct correlation between how fancy your holiday cookies are, how many kids you have, and how many hours you spent at work during the week leading up to Christmas.

I don't have time for scientific formulas that show direct correlations between anything. So I will just say when you have 3 kids and you work close to 60 hours in the week before Christmas Santa doesn't get his usual homemade cookies. He gets Oreos. If he's lucky he gets holiday Oreos with red middles and Christmas pictures on the cookie part.

When I first got married I spent countless hours making sugar cookies from scratch and carefully decorating each one to look like a perfect little star, angel, or Christmas tree. I also made homemade fudge, peanut brittle, pralines and many other varieties of cookies. Everyone got a tin filled with goodies.

After Taylor was born I continued the tradition. Once I went back to work it still continued but with a few less varieties. I started to work more hours and the cookies were not as carefully decorated. Maybe a few more were the cookies that come in a tube from the supermarket.

After Cameron was born the cookies were sometimes not decorated at all. Or I would just give the kids the frosting (now store bought) and sprinkles and let them go at it.

Now we have 3 little darlings and we both work full time or more. This year I bought some Oreos, just in case, and some sugar cookie dough in a tube. The plan was that after I got home from work on Christmas Eve at close to midnight I would bake those sugar cookies and carefully arrange them on a dish for Santa.

Except I had to finish (start) wrapping gifts and clean the house and make sure the turkey was defrosted, find the Christmas books, and clean poop, etc. Then I realized I had forgotten to buy frosting. The stores are closed. Do I feel like making homemade frosting? Do I even remember how? NO. So those Oreos, just in case, were a good idea.

I still haven't baked the sugar cookies in a tube or even gone to get frosting. Yet, the world continues to turn. Christmas still happened. We all survived and it was still a pretty darn good day. Funny how that happens.

This same phenomenon occurs with other aspects of life such as fancy Birthday parties, the number of pictures taken of each child, the accuracy of baby books, and the neatness level of your house (or how close your residence is to being condemned).

Any way, the point is Santa still came and ate those cookies. He still left gifts even though Sister peed on him when she went to visit. Santa is apparently a lot like Moms. Loves the kids no matter what they do, how much time the take up, or how messy they are. Santa is a very patient person who likes Oreos, just like me.

Here are some elves that may look familiar:

Here is the face Santa makes when you pee on his lap:

This is why it is not good for a toddler to have to wait almost 2 hours in line to see Santa. Saggy, old diapers drip when kids get a little excited.

So this is Christmas.... 2007 Let's put stuff in the naked guy!

Great Christmas! Everything went well. We had delicious food and wonderful company. I didn't have to go to work. Oh, yeah, and we might have opened a few gifts.

Kay got a billibo, a fish tank (to share with Cam since they can't have a dog), books, dolls, leap frog toys, markers (so she can draw and sing, one of her favorite activities), a booster seat (so she can sit at the table with us instead of in the highchair), lights for her room, and a sing along stage with a mirror so she can perform.

Cam got books, games, movies, a viewmaster, a jumproap, a glow in the dark solar system (Pluto included), a nutcracker (cause he went to see the ballett with Grandma), a treasure chest to hide his pirate booty, a CD player, walkie talkies and a transformers car.

Taye got a MP3 player, a gaming chair, clothes, a new blanket, and money to spend on tech.

Jeff got PJs, tools and a GPS system (he says that is more for me cause he doesn't get lost)

Jen got PJs, a bracelet, a digital picture frame, a candle, and some kitchen gadgets.

Enjoy some pictures:

We went and saw the festival of lights. We usually don't take many pictures of the lights because it is hard to get them to come out well. We had to get this one for Kay's "Buh Fly" collection.

Here are the kids getting ready to open the gifts from Santa and Mom and Dad by the Snoopy tree. You may notice that the Snoopy tree is only decorated on the top. That is because Sister undecorated the bottom half as far up as she could reach. She also liked to put some of the ornaments back on but most of them ended up hidden in her room.

When Kay finished opening a gift she would say "Tah Dah!"

Cam and Gram take a snuggle break from opening gifts. Cam makes his red pajamas look good.

Sarah and her ponies. It's like 1983 all over again. Hey, where's the Cabbage Patch doll?

Grandpa Mike observes the chaos.

How exactly do you get this toy out of the package? Well, Grandma, you just twist that spot right there where I am pointing with my cute little finger.

Check out my hairdo my lovely and talented Aunt Sarah gave me. I even have a bow. I look good in my pink striped pajamas too.

Sarah and Courtney hug among the debris by the big tree.

Sister riding the sewing machine pedal.

At Bobby and Karen's. Kay decided she was finished once she opened this gift. She wanted to play with Mickey and didn't want to be bothered with opening anything else.

She did the same thing earlier in the day when she got her stocking. She found some butterflies and was happy with that. She carried the butterflies around and didn't care what else was in the stocking. You go girl. Be happy with what you got.

Smiley Morgan.
Bobby opening a gift.
Sister Santa.

Heather and the boys.
Andrew, Morgan and Kay.

Kay and Grandma K.

Kay fell asleep sitting in a chair after all the excitement of the day. We wrapped up the evening with some parlor tricks. Taylor grossed everyone out with his thumb trick. I grossed everyone out by turning my feet around backwards and Cam did his infamous tongue up nose trick.

My camera batteries died so we will have to see if anyone else has more pictures.

Cam makes a snow angel and enjoys his almost white Christmas. It didn't snow Christmas day but we got some of the white stuff on the 26th. Taylor and Kaylynne were napping during the short time the snow was falling. Once it stopped it melted pretty quick so Cam was the only one who got to play in it today. When the others woke up Cam said in a sad voice, "You missed the snow fun. I made a snow angel and threw snow balls. It wasn't enough to make a snow man." Then he excitedly informed them that it is supposed to snow more tomorrow so they can play again and that the snow flakes taste like cotton candy.

We did get a package from Grandparents in Illinois but as per the tradition we opened it as soon as it arrived. Joyce works for the post office so we always get cool stamps on the box and the kids think that is amazing. She almost covers the front of the box with all kinds of different stamps she has collected.

We should get a package from Grandparents in Mississippi soon. It must have been delayed by the bad weather. That is fun though because just when the kids think it is all over they will get a few more gifts to open.

Another tradition is that we let the kids open one gift on Christmas eve. Cameron got an operation game. He excitedly yelled "Wow! It's the game where you put stuff in the naked guy!"
FYI cavity Sam, AKA the naked guy, actually wears festive red and white striped boxers.

Thanks everyone for yet another happy, fabulous holiday!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Jen VS. the potty monster and other stories from a sleep deprived mind.

Here are some stories I probably wouldn't share if I weren't so hopelessly sleep deprived that I may be a little more crazy than usual.

Jen VS. the potty monster.

The toilet won't quit making that noise. It's not a constant noise. It waits until you just start to drift off to sleep then starts slow and builds. It wouldn't be so bad if it were constant. You could pretend you were sleeping next to a waterfall.

Usually noises don't bother me while I am sleeping. I think I am over tired so it is getting to me. It bugs me that I can't fix it. Usually I can figure out the inner workings of a toilet. So at 3 A.M. I am, once again, elbow deep in the tank of the toilet. It's not the floater ball, or the arm, it's the rubber gasket at the bottom of the tank. Its not sealing tight so water slowly leaks out and when it gets too low the toilet starts running again. I keep thinking I have fixed it but it waits. Just when I am about to drift off again it makes its whoosh noise. I think it may be laughing at me.

While I have the lid off the tank I notice a small, very old, faded, stamp that says inspected by D. Womack. That's weird. The real estate person who sold this house was named Dee Womack.

I give up and go back to bed. Jeff asks if I am alright. I explain my theory on the toilet really being a evil monster thats sole purpose and joy in life is keeping me from sleeping. I then tell him about the marking in the toilet. Did the real estate lady stamp the inside of the toilet? Is she a qualified toilet inspector? But it couldn't have been her because the stamp looks so old. So maybe 50 years ago her grandfather was a building inspector and inspected this house. Wow, how weird would that be? Then 50 years later his own granddaughter sells the very same house he inspected.

At that point Jeff informs me that I am out of my mind and I should go to sleep.

Yes, I agree. I start to drift off when the toilet laughs and starts to run.

Smelly closet.

Why does the closet smell funny? Usually the answer to this question is because the kids were playing camp out in the closet and someone left a cup of milk and/or food in there. But not today. Oh no, we weren't that lucky today.

I came home late Christmas Eve and wanted to find our Christmas story books. I looked on the bookshelf, in the various toy boxes and in a big basket of books. No luck. Then I remembered I had another basket of books in Cam's closet.

I reached in to get the basket and noticed the closet smelled really bad. Oh no. What now? I see the books and pick up the first one I can reach. It is covered in something gross and stinky. I trudge on and grab the next book, also covered in something gross and stinky but with the added feature of a pair of shorts permanently cemented to the surface. I gasped and let out a yell. Could it be? Surely not. Wait, it is. Ahhgh! At this point Cameron, who is in bed behind me, says "Oh, Mom you found my poop."

"Yes.... Yes I did." I answer in a calm voice. "And why exactly is poop in your closet?"

Three days earlier when I had to work a double and was at work for 16 hours Cam had a bit of a tummy bug. Most of the time he made it to the potty and Daddy helped him get cleaned up. Apparently once he had a major blow out and didn't get to the bathroom.

"Mom, the poop was making me sad so I decided to hide it in my closet so no one would find it. "

"Uh huh."

Thinking to myself:

"OK, yes, that makes perfect sense. Because no one ever goes into the closet to get stuff like clothes and various toys out. Sure the poop will just blink out of existence in there. Problem solved. The closet is like a portal to another universe where they really like to find old poop."

Out loud:

"I am sorry you were sick and sad. Everyone has accidents sometimes. I would much rather you tell me so I can help you. Lets not hide poop OK?"

"OK Mom."

"Did you hide poop any place else?"

"Nope. Just the closet."


So I put 2 books and a pair of shorts in the trash and got out the giant can of Lysol.

What a fun Christmas surprise!

Kay's naked table dance.

Darling Kaylynne has become quite good at climbing onto very high things. She already got on the table and ate Cam's marshmallow picture. This week she took it a step further. I gave her a bath and put her down so I could get her clothes. She took off and by the time I made it into the room she had climbed onto the table. She was still naked at the time. So here is a picture of Kay's naked table dance wearing nothing but a big smile.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Yawn..... So sleepy

I worked a double last night/this morning. 16 hours strait. I came home and slept for 3 hours and am getting ready to go back. There is a blizzard outside and all I want to do is hibernate by the fireplace.

No one called in they just didn't have enough people scheduled. I guess they thought kids would go home for the holiday. We only had one furlough from our house. We are already short staffed and now they have transferred one of our workers and scheduled fewer than normal. We are gonna be critically under staffed until after Christmas. Everyone from Administration is gone and won't be back until after Christmas. Hmmm, not sure how this is gonna work.

Hopefully I will still get Christmas day off. I am working every other day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Spare me my life!

I Have a Bad Case of Diarrhea

OK I will quit soon I swear

I couldn't resist posting a few more crazy videos from Japan. They are so fun.

We still have grape jelly

Cameron's Christmas story.

After that last post (which the kids found hilarious) we need something sweet to clear our minds. So I am posting Cameron's Christmas story from last year.

Cameron loves to watch Snoopy movies and his recent favorite is I want a dog for Christmas.
He tends to quote long sections of dialog from Snoopy movies and we often get strange looks from people who overhear him say things like:

"When we divide up the rights I get 90%, and you get 5%, and you get 5%." Lucy Van Pelt addressing her two brothers.

"When we are grown up and you and your husband want me to co-sign a bank note so you can buy a house--I won't." Rerun Van Pelt to his sister Lucy.

This is my favorite. The quote goes: "How can I be expected to live in a world where I don't have a dog, or a trust fund, or grape jelly?" Rerun contemplating the unfairness of life.

Cameron changed this one to suit his own personality and I think it is perfect. We were shopping in a busy store when Cameron asked, "Mom, do we have any grape jelly?"

"Yes, we have some at home. I can make you a sandwich if you want."

"Yes, I would like one. Mom, do I have a dog?"

"No, I'm sorry you don't have a dog."

"Oh, OK. Well, do I have a trust fund?"

"No, I am really sorry, you don't have a trust fund. But 1 out of 3 isn't bad right?"

"Yeah, the world is all right when you have grape jelly."

There was a man standing next to us who heard this conversation and really enjoyed it. He did a double take when Cameron asked about his trust fund. Then when Cam wrapped it up with the line about the grape jelly he started laughing so hard he couldn't catch his breath.

So now we have a new motto around here. Life is great, especially when you have grape jelly. Sometimes that's all you need to get through the day.

I hope you all have a wonderful, happy, healthy Christmas with your friends and family. And we hope you will always have enough grape jelly to get you through the ups and downs of life.

Once Upon A Potty

Poop and Yakkity Sax

another scary poop video from Japan

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

1996 Potty Training Kelly Doll Commercial

We have this doll somewhere.

Japanese Toilet Training for Kids (English Subtitled)

Wow!?! Happy swimming poop. Yeah pants man.

It's Potty Time!

Super Duper Pooper

Wow it's my 100th post. I'm speechless (well not really or I wouldn't have so many posts)

Here's something to make everyone speechless

Fun and scary poop videos courtesy of youtube. I love youtube.

On call days again but it's Christmas time so I am cheerful

Grandma, Cam, and Kay enjoy the Christmas party.
Cam near one of the many displays.
Kay and Cam visit with the big guy.

5th day I don't cares leading into 6th day burn out. More injuries at work so more on call days for probably another 3 months. The extra money is nice right, and I have lots of Christmas spirit to get me through.

The kids at work have been going to lots of Christmas parties so they are wound up and have tons of new toys. It is fun to see them so excited. They are really taken care of by the various groups that donate money and toys.

I took Cam and Kay to one of the parties and they got to see Santa and get little treat bags. Kay had a scare though so she wasn't real sure about the whole thing. She is teething and the party interrupted her nap time.

I took her into the hallway to walk around near the little sitting area. This particular party is hosted by the veterans. One of the older gentleman came out into the hall and was trying to walk around the glass topped table when he lost his balance. He fell hard and the glass table top went flying. It landed inches from Kay and made a huge crash. She panicked, fell down, and started screaming.

I was the only adult in the area. I saw that Kay was not seriously hurt but the man was so I went to help him first. I tried to help him up from the floor but he couldn't get up. Luckily people heard the crash and the screaming and came to help. The head of our PT department picked up Kay and some men came and helped get the older man up.

Wow, that was scary. I was so worried about the man getting hurt and poor Kay was terrified. She cried for a long time after that. By the time we took her to see Santa she had calmed down for the most part but she really just wanted to go home. She fell asleep in the car on the way home and felt much better when she woke up.

Hopefully her next encounter with Santa will be a better experience.

Achin' for some bacon?

Here is the bacon song dedicated to Kayla and Tabitha from work.

Bacon and skinny pics

At work tonight Tabitha said something about bacon and three of us burst into the bacon song from Lion King. It was very funny to me. I didn't think most people remembered that song. When Taylor was little that was his favorite part. He kept having us rewind it over and over. This was before DVDs were popular so our Lion King tape is warped in that section.

Speaking of Taylor, he is working on a report for school and he decided to write about the fire. He needed a picture from that time so we got out the boxes of pre-digital photos. The fire happened Halloween night and I had dressed up that year as a biker chick. So we found some funny pictures that I had forgotten all about.

Thought I would be crazy and share them here.

Dressed as a biker chick. I even have a fake nose ring and a creepy spider web "tattooed" on my face. This was the night of the fire. The floor furnace that started the fire is behind that couch.

This was in Abita park during a visit to Louisiana. I thought I was so fat back then because I hadn't lost like 10 pounds of baby weight. After two more kids and 12 years time I am wishing I was that size.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sometimes things just don't come out like you wanted

Sometimes things just don't come out like you wanted. Here is a funny example in the form of an email I just got:

Subject: Printer problem

A worker got a pen stuck inside our printer trying to remove a piece of paper. After several times of trying to pry it out I told him to just put a note on the printer telling folks not to use it and then report it to the Help Desk. So he grabbed a piece of paper and scrawled on it. I left before he finished the note.

About 20 minutes later, one of my techs comes in laughing and says he had fixed the printer but thought I'd like to see the piece of paper that was left on the printer.

Below is what he found. Sometimes things don't always come out the way you want them to........

I really like the people in my building at work. I honestly do. They are all interesting and nice and even though we have many different personalities I think we all get along very well. I enjoy talking with everyone at the end of the day when the patients are in bed and things start to get a little quieter.

Sometimes there are those moments though. You know those moments when you try to say something and it just doesn't come out the way you intended. Most of the time everyone just laughs because they realize what you meant to say or what the intention was. Then other times it is a big misunderstanding and people get their feelings hurt.

I got my feelings hurt a few weeks ago because of a comment that was made. It probably wasn't meant to be hurtful but it really got to me. I tend to be a bit sensitive at times and it had been a long day. The patient I was working with was, well, lets just say he was being less than helpful.

One of my co-workers was watching all of this and said, "He never acts that way when I have him." I thought that was a pretty sad thing. Here I was thinking, sure this patient is not real happy at the moment and he is having a bit of a tantrum but I am handling it to the best of my abilities. I thought I was doing a good job at keeping him safe and keeping the people near us safe. Yeah, he wasn't happy but that was a bit inevitable because he does not like to be redirected from what he wants to do and when what he wants to do it hurt someone else that is not OK. You have to redirect him and take the chance that he will get upset with you.

So I said to our other co-workers"Well, I think she just volunteered to have him every shift."

I also pointed out that this particular person was a bit more lenient than I am. He may not act up as much when she is taking care of him but that may be attributed in part to her much more laid back style. I am a bit more vigilant about correcting his behaviors while she tends to let him do his own thing and not correct him much. I am not saying either style is right or wrong just different, thus producing different results.

So I was thinking about the whole phenomenon of saying what you think you mean but really conveying a message that is completely different from what you intended--if that makes any sense.

Maybe what she meant to say was, "He seems to be having a difficult day. He didn't act like this the last time I had him. I wonder if he is not feeling well. Let me know if you would like any help." Yeah, so I am going to pretend that is what the intended meaning was.

This week there is more drama in the house because of rumors. Wow, you really have to watch out for those, they are dangerous. We have like 300 employees so by the time a story gets to you it may be very different from the actual original event. You could hypothetically make a innocent comment about seeing The Rocky Horror Picture Show and end up with the reputation of being someone who has posed for pictures (now available on the Internet) dressed up like a sweet transvestite to make money.

Anyway, I hope everyone can see things for what they really are and continue to get along together.

Here is a quote from one of the best movies ever. "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Yo! Gabba Gabba Party In My Tummy

This didn't work when I posted it. So let us try it again without the oops.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Yo Gabba Gabba
This is the show Cam saw that scared the crap out of him. We don't have cable at home so we have never seen this show. We saw a clip of it at the hotel and Cam freaked out. The clip we saw had a bunch of weird characters eating breakfast. He said the monsters are scary and he doesn't like the sad food. It is pretty creepy when they show the pancakes having a seizure in the stomach acid.

I can't get that stupid song out of my head though. Tonight at work we were all convinced we had food poisoning from the leftovers the kitchen sent for dinner. I started singing about the party in my tummy being hung-over.

Cam doesn't mind so much if you call it by another name so if you want you can have a shindig, hoedown, bash, gathering, rave, mosh pit, festival, riot, brouhaha, hootenanny, get together, celebration, or a jamboree in your tummy. You can also have some revelry and merrymaking, and possibly a kegger, just don't have a party.

Bah Humbug! Some Grinch stole our Snoopy.

Right off the porch I tell ya. What's the world coming to?

It is very sad because we have had old Snoopy in the family for a long time. He always sits on our porch and spreads Christmas cheer.

We moved and are in a new house this Christmas but it is a nice neighborhood. We went ahead and put Snoopy out by the front door like we have every year our kids can remember. Now he is gone.

I did a Google search to try to find another one. No luck but I did find this blog that tells the story of another Snoopy who was treated shamefully one Christmas.

I think a letter to the editor may be in order here as well. Maybe someone will read it and feel bad for what they have done to poor Snoopy. Taking him from his family at Christmas time is just terrible. Maybe, just maybe, they will return him home. Yeah, I won't hold my breath. The thieves probably don't read the newspaper.

Anyone know where I can get a plastic light up Snoopy Santa decoration before the kids find out ours is gone?

What we did in the dark

Here are the events of the great ice storm of '07. It started to freeze Sunday night 12-9-07 while I was at work.

Around 3:00AM I could not sleep any longer because of the horrible sound of the branches falling, the rain, the thunder, and the exploding transformers.

3:55AM we lost power. We were standing on the porch watching the transformer near our house explode into a giant fire ball. Then a tree branch fell and almost hit us. We decided we better go in then. We spent the rest of the night in the family room near the fire place to keep warm.

Monday the branches continued to fall all over town. I went to work but we had no power there until 7:00PM. One of the kids accidentally stabbed himself (and me) with a needle in the dark. It was a sewing needle not a medical needle thank goodness.

Our car got hit by two trees during the day. Tabitha gave me a ride home from work. No one in our area had power.

We moved the food out to the porch because the fridge was not cold any more. We ate hot dogs cooked in the fireplace.

Tuesday I was off work. We moved the freezer stuff to the porch. Most of it ended up getting thrown out.

The ice is starting to melt but it is still raining. Branches still falling but slower now.

4:45PM the neighbors across the street get power back on. Ironic because most of them had generators or had gone elsewhere. We were still in the house. The power on our side of the street is run through a different transformer and it had more damage. That transformer is in our back yard.

We cooked pizza and bread sticks on the gas BBQ in the back yard. It actually worked fairly well everything just gets a little over done on the bottom.

9:00AM Wednesday morning the tree service arrives. They spent 30 minutes using the chainsaw and pulled most of the branches to the curb. We still have branches in the back yard and hanging in the trees. It is more expensive to have the hanging branches removed so we have to wait on that. We don't know how long it will take the city to clear away the debris from the curb. There is so much damage everywhere it will take months I am sure.

We have been keeping everyone entertained and well fed and warm from the fireplace for about 55 hours now. We are out of batteries and edible food.

We decided to go out driving to look at all the damage. We saw the NBC satellite truck near Mom's house. Her area was hit really hard.

Mom was staying at a hotel but her power came back on during Wednesday afternoon so she let us have the hotel room that night.

Wednesday night the power came back on at our house for a short time then the transformer blew again. They got it fixed up and we had power again when we returned from the hotel Thursday morning. We figure power was out at our house for 63ish hours. We were very lucky though because some people won't have power for weeks.

Here are some pictures of us entertaining the kids in the dark.
Crafts with Grandma.
Camp out by the fireplace.
Reading, crafts and snack time by the big sunny window.

Pictures of broken things

Here are lots of pictures of broken things. Probably way more than anyone would want to see. Broken swing in the backyard.
Giant piles of tree dandruff in our front yard.
These were taken near Momma V's house. The damage in that area was intense. Luckily Mom's house was not seriously damaged.

Our old house (where my sister lives now) lost all of the trees.
The Bradford Pears did not fair well.
The park near my Mom's house.
NBC satelite truck near Mom's house.

More from the porch.

Momma K's house.
The porch. This is the branch that almost fell on us while we were standing outside at 3:00 A.M.
Crunched candy canes. By the time the storm was over none of them survived.
The car/driveway.
The porch blocked with branches. We won't be going out that way.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

There's a turkey on my doorstep and a tree on my car

We survived the great ice storm of '07.

We returned to our house this morning. It is still standing we just have fewer trees in the area. We actually faired pretty well. Our power is back on and we managed not freeze to death.

Power was out for approximately 63 hours at our house. Many others still do not have power. Our car was crushed by a tree, twice. We have some damage to the gutters on the house and the swing out back also was hit. The trees are still standing in our yard but we lost a ton of limbs. Our Christmas lights were obliterated.

We have a lot of work ahead of us but we are very lucky.

I had the bright idea of purchasing the turkey for Christmas dinner ahead of time so we had a 20 pound turkey in our freezer when the power went out. See what happens when I try to be prepaired. It is sitting on our doorstep along with the entire contents of our refrigerator and freezer. We thought the cold temps outside would buy us some time. We will have to throw most of the freezer items out.

I will post more later I just wanted to let everyone know we are OK.

This is the second bigger tree that fell on our car.
Yeah, the roof is dented in pretty good.
There is a piece of the tree bark actually embedded in the headlight cover but it didn't break. None of the glass broke. Not sure how.

This is the first tree that fell on our car. Turkey anyone? Notice the giant mess of branches blocking the porch.