Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Look at You, Blogging from your Laptop, in the Kitchen

"Look at you, blogging from your laptop, in the kitchen..." That's what R said to me a few minutes ago. M bought me this awesome laptop a couple of months ago, which is so great for me. But, I haven't been able to blog from it because we couldn't get the wifi to work -- something about loading on the security software first, which prevented us from loading on the wifi software. Thanks to hours of patience by my father on his visit and some more help from M, I'm bogging wireless now! Yippee!! I feel so liberated.

We had a great visit with my folks. It's always so good to see them. I'll write more about their visit later, but here are some pictures that I took.

First, the four of them looking nice...

And here is one of them making goofy faces...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

10.5" of Rain

We had a doozy of a rain storm over the weekend. We got more than 10 inches of rain in three days. Our backyard didn't get the memo about it because it happens about every ten years and the house is only nine years old.

The boys thought it was great fun..."swimming in the backyard!" Or, rather, "turning the backyard into a water park."

I let them play out there for almost two hours. It was about 70 degrees. It was raining the whole time. Hard. At one point, the rain was just pounding down and I thought to myself, I better get them out of there. So, I went to the door and watched them playing in the pounding rain. And I thought to myself, What's the big deal? So they'll get even wetter! So I quietly went back in. A bit later, I made some tea for them to warm up with and called them in. I figured that I should get the cool mom award, but they were bummed because "the water is getting really high now and we can really swim!" Oh well!

On a bummer note...our basement flooded. Everywhere. Hundreds of gallons of water. About an inch or so. Everywhere. It started as a trickle in a known-to-be-affected area, which we thought was under control. Then, it started coming in the other known-to-be-affected area, which took awhile, but became under control.

Then it started coming up from the ground. That's right, the water came up through the floor of the basement. Perhaps it's because there were "water puddles" under the grass outside. They raised up, ever so gracefully, like a mound of grass. When you stepped on them, you squished down about 6 inches of water underneath.

And all of that water came into our basement.

We started with the carpet cleaner, sucking up the bits of water here and there. Then we got the wet/dry vac. We both worked down there for hours upon hours. My asthma acted up big time with all that humidity and I was panting and panting, trying to catch my breath. M would tell me to go up, but I would shake my head, No, I'm staying to help. Finally, he'd help me see that I couldn't BREATHE and breathing is rather important to living. So, he stayed and I collapsed upstairs, finally catching my breath an hour or so later.

We went to bed at midnight with most of the water cleaned up. We woke up to a basement full of water...even in places where it hadn't been before. Ugh! It kept coming up until about noon on Monday. Now we have a commercial dehumidifier going (along with our regular dehumidifier) and a commercial fan (along with our box fan). Yesterday, we kept the AC on at 65 cold degrees to help dry everything out. It's finally dry.

The irony is that the boys and I had just spent three hours cleaning up the basement on Saturday morning so that they could show their grandparents their Nintendo Wii games next weekend. I organized all of the Cub Scout stuff and consolidated it from 5 boxes to three. Lots of work. The boys picked up their toys and rearranged some things. At first I thought that all of that hard work was for naught, but then I realized that it was a blessing because we were able to quickly move things to higher ground since it was all organized. I'm definitely looking at the bright side -- like, good thing our basement isn't finished with carpeting -- it would all be ruined.

Now, the basement is water-free, but has mountains of things piled up upon couches and tables. So much for the Nintendo Wii demonstration -- as R says, at least I saved the electronic equipment from the flood. That's a nice optimistic view for sure.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

T Can Ride a Bike

Last Sunday, M was out with T and he called me on the phone. M said, "are you ready to go for a ride, T wants to show you something." So, I grabbed my camera and this is what I saw! (Okay, I know, it's not a surprise since you already read the title of this blog, but you can pretend to be surprised when you look at the picture.) Isn't his proud smile just precious?!

I like this shot of him putting on his helmet. Such effort is involved

And one more of the big boy in motion. I sure love him...

Saturday, September 06, 2008

First Day of School

T and R started their new school year on Tuesday. They're going to a new school this year -- a charter school that emphasises the three R's. They weren't too sure about going to a new school, but they like it okay now. There is a pretty strict dress code - plain pants (black, navy, brown, gray, tan) and plain shirts with collars (no stripes or prints) and belts. Here they are getting ready for their first day.

They both chose to wear blue shirts on the first day, but they could have picked any color. Can you tell that they are a bit apprehensive? Anyway, they had a really good first day, they both have made friends and they're going to do great.

I got a pretty good smile out of T. See how he buckles that chest strap on his backpack? He's always done that.

Summer Ends At Shady Shores

I've blogged about the great time that we have at Shady Shores in years past. This year was no exception. We all had such a great time. We get together with our friend, Kevin, who used to work for me in San Fran. He has a bunch of family (cousins, sister, aunt, uncle) and friends who we join at this adorable little complex of cottages on Lake Huron. This isn't the best picture because it's taken from the street, but it gives you an idea of how the cottages face each other and are perpendicular to the lake. It's so quaint.

Each little cottage is about 500 square feet or so and have two bedrooms, a tiny kitchen/living room, a bathroom, and a sun porch. Ours is #7 (we've had the same one for all three years that we've been there.)

We played on the beach, swam in the lake, canoed and kayaked on a nearby river, and kayaked in the lake, played tether ball, shuffle board, and board games (including pegs and jokers) for four great days. It was so relaxing.
Everybody is so welcoming that we feel like part of the family -- hugs all around when we arrive and when we leave. The kids run around with all the other kids and have a great time. I think that they really like their Independence there.

T had lots of fun too. When he wanted some quiet time, he got out his journal of hand-made paper and his colored pencils and drew. He went out to the beach to be inspired by the scene that was out there.
I took a close up picture over his shoulder so you can see what he was drawing. He was focusing on getting the seagull just right.
We also went to a Paul Bunyan festival for a day and had a good time watching the chainsaw wood carvers and listening to tall tales. The boys even used am old-fashioned two-man saw to slice a "wooden nickle" (it was about 8 inches in diameter) and watched a boy scout brand it for them. I forgot my camera that day, so I don't have any pictures -- darn.

Here are the boys standing in front of the Shady Shores sign, like I have them do every year. What a great way to end the summer!