September 28, 2008

Lessons Learned During the Hurricane (very funny)

Lessons Learned During and After the Storm

The hurricane grouch quotient can be calculated by adding the number of children and pets in a home without power, multiplied by the number of days quoted on the Energy telephone recording, divided by the number of fans or portable air conditioners powered by your home generator, (however if you were last in line at Home Depot and have no generator then multiply by the daily high for that day), then add the number of trips to the washateria and the days left until school opens. Discount by the percentage of time spent at neighbors who have power.

Recalculate as often as necessary

No matter how many times you flick the switch, lights don't work without electricity.

Vienna sausages only appear on the food pyramid during hurricane season.

Gas mileage is recalculated based on miles per fume.

Lovebugs do not disappear in 80 mph wind gusts.

Despite protests, kids can re-live their parents' youth when there were only 3 tv channels!

Cats are even more irritating without power.

Houston without traffic lights resembles Mexico City , Rome , Los Angeles and New York City all rolled into a single snarl.

A 7 lb bag of ice will chill 6-12 oz beers to a drinkable temperature in 11 minutes, and still keep a 14 lb. turkey frozen for 8 more hours.

There are/were a lot of really big trees around here!

Just because you're 18 doesn't mean you can stay out as late as you want. They mean business when they say curfew.

People will get into a line that has already formed without having any idea what the line is for.

Calories consumed during a hurricane or power outage do not count.

Telemarketers function no matter what the weather is doing. New Delhi does not check the weather report on the Gulf Coast .

Most popular text message after September 12th: do u hve pwr

Twenty-seven of your neighbors are fed from a different transformer than you, and they are quick to point that out!

Crickets and cicadas can increase their volume to overcome the sound of 14 generators.

Dirty clothes in an unsupervised hamper multiply at an exponential rate.

Coffee, spaghetti and frozen pizzas can be made on a grill.

He who has the biggest generator wins.

Tree service companies are under-appreciated, except after hurricanes.

There are a lot more stars in the sky than most people thought.

If you owned a store that sold only ice, chain saws, gas and generators, you would be rich

September 23, 2008

Sad days

Today our beloved dog of 5 years, Jazz, was hit by a car. Well, at least we think it was her. She hasn't come home in 2 days and there is a dead black dog on the highway behind our house. Greg said it was pretty unrecognizable. Our whole family is upset, but the little ones are taking it the hardest. They don't seem to understand the finality of it. Tony keeps telling me that Jazz is sure to come home, but tonight in his prayer journal he wrote that he hoped God would keep her safe in Heaven. Isn't that precious? Please pray for my kiddos to have peace through all of this. Thanks.

September 22, 2008


I wish this were a deep conversation about my heroes but no, this is about the television show. I am absolutely addicted. This is absolutely the best written and acted show that has graced television. I have never claimed an addicition to anything, but I now must admit "My name is Amanda and I am a Heroes-holic"!

September 21, 2008

Something Bigger than Themselves

Our church meets in a school. Out of the ordinary, I know, but this is no ordinary church :-). Due to Hurricane Ike the school has remained closed and we have not had service the past two weeks. Last week my kiddos and I went to church in Temple with Jamie and Ariana (which was fabulous) and we were lost last night when we thought we were not going to have church today. We just do not miss church (unless we are sick). I had gotten an email that our church, in lieu of services, was holding a food drive for the community center that we support. There would be teams of people passing out fliers and collecting food at various Kroger and Chik fil a locations. I almost laughed as I thought of my brood running around driving everyone (including me) crazy while others were trying to accomplish this noble cause. Well, needless to say, when we woke up this morning I felt- deep in my heart- that we should go. So, everyone got dressed, filled our cooler with ice, and struck out. I explained to the kids when we pulled up what we were doing and refrained from threatening lives for bad behavior (I somehow felt is wasn't warranted). We assigned the kiddos to the 2 entrances and, though shy at first, they took their responsibility seriously and passed out a ton of fliers to Kroger shoppers. The shoppers responded in full force and we collected a ton of food. The kids were so proud of themselves. Then we made the decision to follow the caravan over to the community center to drop off the food. At first Greg and I thought that we would again be in the way with all the kids underfoot, but I thought it was important for them to see the whole process through. We got to the community center and the kids were eager to help load groceries into the center. It was so cute to see my little 5 year old carrying a 10 lb can of beans yelling, I won't drop it - I promise (he of course dropped it). On the way home all the kids could talk about was how much food they had helped the center get. They understood the big picture of what they had done and were extremely proud of themselves. I regret the fact that we almost did not do it because I thought the children would be a nuisance but instead they learned a valuable lesson in doing something that is bigger than themselves and I learned a valuable lesson- never underestimate what your children can do.

September 20, 2008

We like Ike!

Okay, not really. But, for us Ike did not do too much harm. We got home around 2am Monday morning after spending hours in the Temple Walmart stocking up on supplies. Damage wasn't that bad. We lost our huge oak tree in the back yard (I think I mentioned that already) and it took out the back fence (I think I mentioned that also, but oh well). When I woke up Monday morning I was determined that this was going to be the most miserable week of my life. No electricity, no water, and no school to entertain 5 of my 6 kiddos. I could not have been more wrong.
My husband was out of work all last week so I got to have him to myself all week. It was such a blessing (we don't know if he's getting paid for this week, but we'll leave those worries for the Big Guy). Greg hasn't had a "vacation" in the 8 1/2 years we've been together. The weather could not have been more pleasant. We threw open every window in the house (which is a lot) and just let the breeze continue to blow through. We bar-b- qued with my family, we played games, we read books, we talked and most of all we were together. All week we hardly left the side of each other (which is comical when you consider there are 8 of us!). The kids found hours of entertainment climbing on the fallen tree and they even discovered this new game they call hide and seek. We counted the rings on the tree, we worked together cleaning up the limbs, and we even captured a new "pet" for the kids to watch (a black widow that I lovingly named Charlotte).
I cleaned my house (as best I could) and thought of creative things for lunch and dinner. Our hurricane menu included homemade pizzas (on the grill), Raviolis, sausage, peanut butter and jelly and loads of other fun stuff. My kids thought it was fabulous! I read three books and Greg pittered around the house (not accomplishing much of anything, but that's okay - he works hard every other time). It was great to see my kiddos playing and pretending, learning, laughing and living. No one yelled to watch tv, no fighting on who's turn it was to pick the dvd, no yelling from me that they've been playing video games too long. Although the hurricane was a horrible experience for a lot of people (and I continue to pray for those) it was a great lesson in life for me. I CAN live without the luxuries of life and, to be honest, I think these luxuries have gotten in the way of "life". Now I think I will go home, turn off the tv, and see which of my kids think they have what it takes to beat me at cards!

September 13, 2008

Hurricane News

Not too much to report. Stephanie and I took our families and ran after they strongly advised everyone in a manufactured homes leave. We ended up in Temple with Greg's ex and my beautiful step daughter. Though cramped a little we have had a wonderful stay (All total we had 6 adults and 9 kids). We completely missed Ike. Unfortunatly, Ike did not miss us and one of the huge trees in our backyard fell and took out our whole back fence (the one that faces the highway). Thank the Lord it fell towards the fence. If it had fallen the other way it would have landed in our living room! We are heading back tomorrow to access all of the damages, but I don't think it will be too bad. Plus, we rent. Therefor, we are not actually responsible for fixing the fence and such (although we most likely will) so no harm so far. I am NOT looking forward to having to entertain six kiddos without electricity, but if it worked for the 1800's it will work for me. Who knows, by the time we get running water and electricity we may not even want them! Yeah, I know. Not likely. I hope everyone reading this is safe with not too much damage. We love you all!

September 10, 2008

And the award for worst blogger...

Goes to me! I know, it's been a while. Therefore, I will spare everyone lengthy details of the past few weeks and just hit the highlights.

Highlight #1
The Brat Pack on the first day

The older girls thought pictures were ridiculous. Go figure! School is going well. We're on week three and everything is beginning to smooth out. Homework is getting easier to handle, behavior issues are under control, and everyone LOVES going. Yea for me. I couldn't imagine trying to deal with a child who hated to go to school. The older girls talk mostly about friends and boys but, hey, there talking. From what I hear about teenagers that's a good sign.

Highlight #2
Free Time

Yes, I have some of that now. Yea. Steff and I have headed back to the gym this week. We went all the time last year while the kids were in school and I was actually kind of missing it. Yesterday we actually debated taking a spin class. Then, when finally decided to go there was only one bike. A sure sign from God I told her. I am not meant to take spin. I mean, seriously, have you seen my butt? Have you seen those seats? 'Nuff said!

Highlight #3

We have started at our church our own mom's group. I am so excited. We've had a great response and I have such a postive feeling about it. I can't wait for it to start.

Highlight #4
Poor service at restaurants

My sister touched on this in her blog so I spare all of the details. But, for the first time in forever, we actually had great service at a restaurant. The Cheesecake Factory has redeemed itself since Joy's frozen cake fiasco. Our waiter was friendly and attentive. Our food came out in proper order, on time, brought by our own waiter (no food auction- you know, what you have to go through when someone other than your waiter brings your food and they're all... "now, who had the mahi mahi with brown rice, who had the white rice, etc. I HATE the food auction!) Anyway, I was beginning to wonder if quality service had gone by the wayside. (If you want a funny story about poor service go read Tanni's story under The Gerwick Family. It's hilarious!)

Highlight #5
New Job

My husband has had 2 interviews for new jobs this week. One for the Walmart Distribution Center and one for UPS. With both jobs together he will barely be making more than he is now but the perks far out way that. The WDC is right down the street, has set hours, and pays more than he's making now (and comes with a Walmart Discount) and UPS is only part time, but it gets his foot in the door for a career job there. Yea for us. Things are starting to look up!

Well, that's about it in a nutshell. I will try and stay more current, but we all know how that goes.