Monday, September 29, 2008
Tyson's cousins, Lane, Landon, & Kiersten came over Saturday to play in the pool and make pizzas on the Big Green Egg. It was so much fun to get together and be "normal." Everyday gets a little bit better. Watching the kids make pizza was a blast and watching the adults try and get in the pool water was even better. THAT WATER IS GETTING COLD!!! (of course it is almost Oct.)
I started cleaning out Tyson's closet since he has quickly grown out of his clothes. In doing this I found a bag of hand-me-down Halloween outfits from his cousins. SO I decided to try out the chicken. Lets just say it isn't going to work for Halloween this year. If he could actually lift his arms you would see that the little chicken has wings...but poor Tyson couldn't move. I tried to get Scott to help me take a picture but he refused to cooperate and he said "That is wrong on so many levels." I LOVE IT!!!
Friday, September 26, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Let me start by saying Megan gave me permission to share their picture. As everyone knows we all left almost 2 weeks ago in preparation of Hurricane IKE. I will be honest...I had a "bad " feeling in my stomach as we packed this time...but I still did not think we were going to be affected to this magnitude.
I left with the thought of another "Hurri-cation" (thank you Wendi for letting me "borrow" your phrase) Scott & I actually waited until the end of the day to make a move...this time they already called a mandatory evacuation and we were taking our time getting the office & house together. We did not head to Riesel this time because we remembered what it was like traveling that direction during Rita when the Galveston/Houston area was evacuated as well. So we decided that evening to head north to a "pet-friendly" hotel in Plano. We left at about 6pm that evening and arrived at the hotel at about 12:30 a.m.
We stayed at the the hotel with A LOT of the Golden Triangle. It was actually very comforting to see so many familiar faces. We spent most of our time with the Williams family and this made a "not-so-fun" situation bearable.
On Friday we watched THE WEATHER CHANNEL as they showed shots from Galveston & Lousiana as the water was already coming TOO CLOSE. All I kept thinking is "the storm is not even here yet." We stayed up as late as we could visiting...then kept the weather channel on all night praying that the levee would hold in Port Arthur.
I spent most of the night awake watching the tv and praying that Dwayne was safe in Houston and Scott's family was safe in Liberty. I knew A LOT of our friends in the area stayed for the storm...and I was having a very difficult time sleeping.
The next morning we spent a lot of time "borrowing" the Williams laptop and trying to "see, read, or hear" anything we could. When I heard that Bridge City & a lot of Orange was under water my heart sank. LONGER STORY short...we found out that the Port Arthur levee made it...and our area (that we call MidCounty) had minimal damage in comparison to everything around us.
We heard from all of our friends & family...and although some of the stories were "awful" everyone was OK...just NO POWER.
Sunday morning Scott & Jess (& Trigger) drove home to assess the damage and clean out fridge & freezers. Around noon I followed Kendal to Toledo Bend. We were told by a neighbor that we had power there and that is only 1 1/2 hours from our home so we headed that direction. Vicki & Kaden traveled with me, Tyson, & Putter. Poor Kaden had just been to the clinic and had a 103 fever...and my Expedition started making a "bad noise." We got to the lake only to find that we did NOT have power...so I followed Kendal back to their place and spent the night with their family.
The next day Scott came to the lake with 60 gallons of gas, a freezer chest, ice chest, lots of beverages, Kaden's 4 wheeler, & Tyson's walker bungeed to the truck. LOL...I do have a picture of this in the slideshow to the right.
God blessed us with BEAUTIFUL weather...we opened up the windows in the lakehouse and slept to the "hum" of a generator. Scott took my Expedition to a dealership in Leeseville, Lousiana...and "longer story" short I am now the proud owner of a Toyota Sequoia. (LONG STORY...bad timing...but BEST decision) I didn't DRIVE the car for a while...because
A. I did not have anywhere to "go" and
B. gas was needed to "run" the house. :)
We got power back at the lake on Wednesday...and we spent time visiting with the Williams, cleaning up the property, and EATING good food from the freezer Scott carried in the bed of the truck. Yea, we never unloaded it...we just plugged it in wherever we went.
Friday morning I got a text from a very good friend in Port Neches who told me they just got power...Scott called the office and the answering machine came on. We live about 2 minutes from the office so we were VERY excited. Scott went home...NO POWER...he stayed at the house with a generator and we stayed at the lake with power. Scott opened the office on Friday and kept it open on Sat to see emergent patients.
By Sunday, Tyson and I had enough....and we packed it up to come home...before we left...I was "watching" KLVI radio station on the NBC news and I heard that most of Port Neches & Groves was "up" with power over night so I called Scott. He went outside to check again...and WE HAD POWER!! woohoo...(not that we were not coming home anyway)...POWER IS GOOD!!!
So we have spent the last few days getting the house cleaned up & organized...we have had friends over to eat in the evenings (still as I type on Wednesday people do not have power)...and now our family is growing. NO I AM NOT PREGNANT...
This brings me to the picture at the top of my "forever long" story...In the photo you can see what is left of MeMe & Adi's (Adam) home in Johnson's Bayou. This is in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. MeMe (Megan) is Tyson's nanny. We have been blessed with MeMe since I returned to work after maternity leave. She took care of Tyson EVERYDAY while I went to work and finished the school year. During the summer MeMe stayed with us a few days a week and she just enrolled at Lamar University in Beaumont so she still comes to "love on" and "play" with Tyson whenever she can during the week. WE ALL LOVE MeMe & Adi!!!
So now we are a family of four adults...1 fat baby...2 dogs (maybe 3 if they bring Ginger). MeMe & Adi are planning on staying with us...we say for as long as they need or want to. From what I understand 90% of Johnson's Bayou is "gone." They are precious and taking it one day at a time. We a VERY happy that they are here.
I could share story after story with you about friends who have been affected by the storm & even through the storm if they stayed.
Between the surge, 13 hours of hurricane winds, and tornados many communities around us are devastated. Why God chose to spare MidCounty I do not know...but don't get me wrong I AM SO THANKFUL! we are thankful for our home...our community....the volunteers...YES! FEMA...electricity...ICE...hot water...(I could do this all day long)
"Thank you for protecting our friends & family." We all have a long road ahead of us...but we are BLESSED beyond measure. (another friend just text..."WE HAVE POWER") God is good!!
Tyson turned 9 months old this weekend. He had his 9 month check-up on Monday. Of course this was the first day most businesses were returning with power so there were not any vaccines. It just broke his little heart to not have a shot.
He is officially BIG...he is 30 inches long (90th percentile) and 25 pounds (95th percentile). Our baby is growing up!
This pic is from The William's lake house during evacuation. He is sitting on Kaden's 4 wheeler. He has not figured out how to make it roll, but he is pretty proud of himself in this pic.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
This is my "evacuation highchair" at the hotel in Plano.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tyson is will be 9 months old on Sept. 20th. SO I bought his last set of "play clothes" in 12 months so when I wash them they won't be TOO SMALL. Not a chance...without even washing them...the shirts fit his arms perfect...unfortunately they do not cover his POKEY BELLY...thank goodness they are just "play clothes." Since he prefers to do the "army scoot" instead of actually crawl...he is destined to have "strawberries" on his belly. He does not seem to care.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Last week we were all watching Hurricane Gustav in the gulf. This obviously put a kink in our Labor Day weekend plans. As the days progressed friends began bailing out of the "lake weekend" to be close enough to home to prepare for evacuation if needed.
When Hurricane Rita hit 3 years ago, Scott & I stuck around until the mandatory evacuation...then we left in the EARLY morning hours in hopes of beating traffic. We still hit traffic and as the day progressed others sat in traffic trying to evacuate...(of course Houston had already begun their evacuation). We evacuated with a weeks worth of clothes, dogs, guns, golf clubs, and a satellite dish to watch the storm at Dad's house in Riesel. (my vehicle stayed at his parents in Liberty...it was full of photos, tubs of momentos, etc.)
Having an 8 month old changes the whole game plan. We prepared the house and the office "for the worst" and packed a few of our "favorite things." This time we left on Friday evening in two vehicles...and we headed to Toledo Bend lake to "enjoy" a few days of the weekend. Of course at the lake I was unable to allow myself to RELAX and enjoy myself. I spent most of the time watching the storm on the weather channel and keeping in touch with others who were planning for evacuation. We found out on Sat. that they would call for a mandatory evacuation at 6am Sun. At this point it was a Category 4...with the chance of intensifying in the gulf. We already felt like we were ahead of the game being at Toledo Bend...the fear was waiting too long and getting stuck in traffic with Tyson in the car. (OK it was MY fear...not Scott's) So we woke up (when Tyson woke us up) at 3 am packed it up and headed to Riesel.
Why two cars? When we returned from Hurricane Rita...we came back as early as possible to "patch" the house...etc. We were out of our house for a while...and Scott worked at a homeless shelter in Houston until the office opened back up. With Tyson it was not worth taking the chance and bringing him into a "bad" situation if we did not have to...but Scott would need to return as soon as possible. AND...one vehicle is NOT big enough to carry Tyson's "stuff." GEEZE!!!
We stayed in Riesel with Grampa Don & Gammy Rita for a couple of days...watching the storm...by this time we knew we would not be receiving a direct hit...but we were glad that we didn't get stuck in traffic. Tyson enjoyed his visit with Grampa & Grammy...so the trip was definitely worth it.
As we watched the track of the storm...we were incredibly thankful that it did not come our direction AT ALL...but we are also so incredibly thankful that it downgraded before it made landfall in Houma, LA.
We chose to travel back home before the mandatory evacuation was lifted...in hopes again of not getting stuck in traffic...so we left Riesel around 6:30 pm...and made it back to Port Neches at 11:30 pm. Let me just say that I have never had an energy drink before...but the fountain drink I picked up in Huntsville (when Tyson got his nighttime bottle)...was the kick I needed. Scott got a coffee with an extra shot of espresso...by the time we got to Cleveland...I felt like I could drive home, unpack the car, put the house "back together"...and complete Tyson's one year scrapbook before the next day. For those of you who know me well...I should stay away from "energy drinks"...but it is exactly what I needed to get us home.
Did we do the right thing??? absolutely...leaving "before" an evacuation is called...and heading back "before" a mandatory evacuation is lifted...doesn't always seem like the "best" plan.
We spent the morning unpacking everything...putting all the outdoor furniture back outside...and Scott & the BEST office manager in the world got the office ready for business.
We grilled meat from the freezer...and spent the afternoon with friends. As we sat in the pool yesterday evening and watched our local sportscaster (good job James) give the latest traffic report...we were all very thankful that we were back home...with an extension to our Labor Day weekend.