Sunday, May 31, 2009

This morning we decided to try out the car wash station here at the apartment complex. Kaden enjoyed spraying water at the tire and at the wall, Kolin had his own bucket, soap and rag to work with. It was the first bath for the car since the tornado. We had to scrub hard to get all the shingle tar off. We all got wet of course.
Also today we went to the house and washed the living room wall. Want to make sure there isn't any glass on it before they paint. Not that they are planning on painting any time soon. After naps we went to the sand courts and I played some volleyball while the boys played in the sand with their buckets, shovels and trucks.

Cubbie Award

We are so proud of Kolin. Last Wednesday we went to an awards ceremony and he recieved his Cubbie Participation Award for memorizing many versus of scripture this year, his first year as a Cubbie. Each week he memorized one verse at home and then recited it to his Cubbie teachers and classmates. He wasn't always excited to wear his Cubbie vest, but I have put several of the patches that he has earned on it now so maybe next year he will wear it more.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bought a Tractor

We bought a tractor today. We went ready to negotiate, but I don't think Konrad got to do much negotiating after he was told someone just left and was willing to pay full price if Konrad didn't. We did not come with enough cash to cover the full price-because we expected to get a deal-so we had take a scenic drive to the bank for more money. I left Konrad with the tractor as he waited for his friend with a flatbed tow truck to arrive and I took the boys to get some lunch. Kolin wanted Chick-fil-a and who am I to deny him, so we went to Chick-fil-a. I let them play in the playroom while I stood in line. I put the food on a table and went in the playroom to get the boys. There was a boy YELLING that some boy wet his pants and already two mom's telling their kids to get out of the play area. Well that boy was Kaden and his pants were wet so I handed him some of the food, Kolin some of the food, shoved some of it in my purse and headed for the car and a diaper. I changed Kaden's diaper, loaded everyone into their car seats and went back in for their crocks in the playroom. As I entered I see the manager and a young employee telling everyone they must get out of the playroom so they could sanitize it. I know I turned a couple shades of red as I left.
After that we went back to the house/field and met Konrad there with the new tractor. I started up the fire again with the coals from yesterday's fire, picked up some trash and got to drive the tractor for a few minutes, under Konrad's tight supervision. Later I have a sitter coming to watch the boys and I'm going to my cousin Taylor's last dance recital across town and then to my Aunt Stacy's for a reception. When Konrad gets done working with the fire and no doubt playing with his new tractor he'll come home, relieve the babysitter and have a boys night at the apartment.
I'll post a picture of the new tractor soon!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy Monday!

So today my lovely children were playing in and around the Rodeo which was parked in the field next to a fire that I was tending to. While they were in the car the put pennies in the air conditioner vents, bent my apartment key so that it wouldn't even go in the lock and to top it all off, they spray painted each other bright orange. Unless you count the interior of the car, Kaden got the worst of it. As you can see it's in his hair and most likely he now has an orange retina!

Pics of Track Hoe's work

Kaden enjoying his new chainsaw.I'm standing and the corner of the property straight down from the house where the pasture used to meet the tree line. He cleared out a lot of stuff and know we can see alittle further back. Didn't realize the damage continued on back, we kind of thought the tornado just touched down and lifted up again.

This is a picture of what used to be the fence row, standing in the corner facing the direction of the pond. This fence seperated the pasture from the woods. The track hoe cleared out most of the fence row and piled it to the right in the picture.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

More Work for the Friendly Neighborhood Track-Hoe

So as I mentioned earlier the two houses beside us have been leveled. The nifty piece of equipment doing all this work is a track-hoe operated by Mr. Richard. Mr. Richard is a 40-year veteran at operating a track hoe and he can get the job done and get it done fast. The equipment owner is Alsup and they came out a day or two after the tornado and unloaded this thing and it hasn't left since. He worked for almost two days for free piling up all the trees behind the houses and along our top fence row. Then he disassembled the neighbors' houses. Yesterday he took down a 100'+ cottonwood tree that was between us and Linda. He got paid to take the tree down, but I asked and for free he removed the two huge stumps that were left of the poplars in the front yard. I can't tell you how much work and money he saved us just by doing that, much less all the trees behind our houses. So if you live in the area and you need a track-hoe, we've got people.
Above are some photos of one of the tree clumps along the fence row. It is hard to capture the tangled mess in one photo. All the branches of the different trees are twisted, tangled and intertwined with each other. It is cool to look at but makes a very dangerous place to work. You can't tell which branch is supporting the weight of the others so you don't know what will happen as you cut each one. We have marked several of the messiest trees with orange paint and our friendly neighborhood track-hoe will begin working in the morning to remove them. All of the trees we have marked so far are right along the fence row. We finished removing the brown vinyl from the fence posts (hopefully to re-use) so hopefully the track hoe will yank up the posts as he moves along. There are two huge oak trees, about six feet around or more and they have what we have learned are called "widow makers." These are large branches broken high up in the tree. Some are dangling by a thread and some are precariously balanced on other branches just waiting for a reason to fall. It would be ridiculously dangerous to attempt to chainsaw these trees down.
The roof was repaired this week. Unfortunately they didn't patch a couple of the holes in the roof wood and I pointed this out to the contractor so they will be re-shingling after they repair the holes. I guess those holes in the ceiling came in handy.
The siding guy is delayed because of all the rain we've had but I expect him early next week, a week from tomorrow. The contractor wants to get somebody working inside the house this week, but I'm not holding my breath. If I was a betting woman I would bet the house sits as is for another week. Don't tell Konrad I said that :)

A Clear Path

It has been one month since the tornado hit and things look more different now than they did when I first came out of the closet after the storm. It is sometimes overwhelming to drive around the neighborhood and look at the devastation. At first there were a couple of flattened houses, but most of them were still upright even if they weren't on their foundation or had rooms missing. But now, the severely damaged homes have been bulldozed and loaded into dump trucks and carried away. All that is left is some fresh dirt and sometimes a driveway. There are more than twelve in our neighborhood. And that doesn't include the houses on Wilkinson for those of you who are familiar. The path of the tornado is very clear now. And even more clear is how narrowly we missed a major hit. I probably shouldn't, but I keep thinking about the barn and how there isn't one board left of it, and how it sits at a lower elevation than the house and what if that force had landed on our house with my boys inside, instead of the barn. I try real hard to not think about the what if's and focus on the miraculous outcome instead. I try to think about how my prayers for safety in the months before the storm were answered. I wonder if the storm really did miss us or if the guardian angels that I have prayed for really did stand in front of my doors with their wings spread out like a huge blanket, protecting us. I wonder why I put the boys down early for their naps, why they went down so easily that day, why I opened the blinds to work instead of turn on the light? Why on that day, seeing the lightning, did I happen to decide to check the weather? The list goes on and on. So many tiny details that assure me that God was truly watching over his children that day. And it is awesome to know that He is not finished with me yet. He has great plans for me and for my children and I just hope that I serve Him well as long as I'm here.

Happy 5th Mother's Day!

For Mother's Day we went out to eat after church at Chili's. Kolin made me a mug at school with his own artwork sealed inside. At church he make a pink flower and colored a M-O-M card. It was a nice afternoon.


Happy Birthday Mommy!

For my birthday I got a surprise celebration at the apartment hosted by my boys, complete with cake and ice cream. 26 feels great!