Monday, November 24, 2008

New direction

Ok, so I have been wanting a change...and now I've got one! We rearranged the house. Like, moved the family room to the study, piano to the old family room, and the bookcases and club chair to the old formal living. Here are some pictures for you to see! Well, I am not the best photographer...I will try to get better ones later. This one is of a table that Todd built in literally 3 and 1/2 hours. Who knew? He's been holdin out on me...

If you are worried about Todd's face, it actually looks better than it has in a while. He is using a cancer cream on his face for pre-cancerous lesions. Poor guy. Looks really painful.

And, if you are worried about Elli and her crutches...don't be. Well, you can worry about Elli, but the crutches are only for show! She hurt her ankle after visiting our friend who had surgery on her ankle. She was in a cast and wheelchair and had crutches...on the walk home, Elli's ankle started hurting very bad. By the time we got home, she had to pull out the standby crutches. We are expecting a speedy about 2 weeks...the same time it will take Christen to heal. It's all apart of living in Oz, folks!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Time for a new post!

It's past time, actually! First things first, though. Cindi tagged me weeks ago and I promised I would blog... so here goes!

4 quirks that I possess!

1. I am extremely claustrophobic. Like, really, really, really scared of small, cramped, or wide-open cramed spaces. Start hyperventilating.

2. I also am a bit scared of heights. So, that combined with my claustrophobia, makes me loathe elevators... put me in an one and I about start convulsing.

3. I am terrified of amusement park rides. I will not ride them. Ever. At all. I hate the thought of feeling completely out of control and your stomach doing flip flops and being scared and the speed...ugh!

4. I rode the Tower of Terror at Disney World several years ago! What?! Small, cramped elevator that goes up to an astonishing height, then drops you extremely quickly...several times... before the *ride* comes to an end. Facing all my worst fears at unlike me! Go figure!

There! My quirks! Now it's your turn. If you are reading this, and you have a blog, I tag you! You're it!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

No electricity for a week and a half...and other miracles!

You know, for all the time I have spent living in hurricane-prone areas (Charleston for 5 years, here for 5+) this is the first time I have actually faced a storm head-on! I am going to send the kids off to school today, sit down and have a good cry and then post!

I can't even begin to tell you how blessed we have been through this entire experience! We have seen miracles here daily and I almost hate to have the electricity back and life return to normal! Almost! It has been amazing to see how people pull together in a crisis situation, and I am sure that this is part of God's plan! He does a little house cleaning, and gives his kids an opportunity to serve one another and with one another. And you know what happens when you serve: you start to love those darn people! It's a pretty clever plan when you think about it.

One fabulous miracle we received was great weather. It was unseasonably cool during the week and a half we lived on our breezeway. It was cooler outside than inside. We had a party every night with friends and family! We had our storage of food and water, of course, and ate just as well as we would have normally. Thanks to Amber and Jimmy and their campstove and Amber's ingenuity! Those are two people you definitely want around in a natural disaster!

We had dear friends show up with full dinners, (thanks Kimberly and Janna and Ryann and the Stormin Hormans!) and hot cookies (thanks Shelli and Kathy Powdrell!) and monster cookies (thanks Becky did you do that with no power?) and coolers and drinks (thanks Shelli and Janna and Ryann!)to keep the ice we got from F.E.M.A. and the darling Reeds who just took such good care of us that I don't even know what we would have done without their watchful care! They waited in the F.E.M.A. lines daily for us, and brought us ice and water and M.R.E.s and even took Jordyn, Jessica and I to lunch after we cleaned a yard one day!

I feel like Jared and Christen are even more a part of our family now than we enjoyed hanging out nightly with ya'll! And we found out we have some other really super neighbors that we'd only waved to previously. We also found out, sadly, that our neighbor behind us died (of natural causes). We met his kids for the first time, though and we are so glad to add more names to the list of people we call friends!

We learned that growing up knowing all about food storage and self sufficiency is something we take for granted, and something that is a completely foreign idea to most people. Boy, are we glad for the prophet's counsel! We learned that partaking of the sacrament outside in the sunshine with fellow saints in come-as-you are clothes can be more spiritually uplifting than sitting in a pristine air-conditioned chapel. We learned that our newly called Bishop has certainly been called of God and that the mantel of his calling rests squarely upon his very capable shoulders.

We learned how much it means to us to know that there are people outside of Texas who care about us and are concerned for our welfare and keep us in their prayers. To have a conversation with ya'll (thanks mom, my first lifesaver!) and know that life was going on in the world was priceless...a life line if ever there was one! Thanks, Cindi, for taking the time to update my blog and facebook to let people know we were okay!

I am going to post some photos for you to see. The landscape here has changed. Everything looks completely different. And just in time for the dying season, anyway. Spring is going to bring a renewal next year like we haven't had in well, 20 or so years! We were the last house in our neighborhood to get power, and it is taking some getting used to that things have pretty much returned to normal now. I keep forgetting to switch on the light when I walk into a room. I can just go to the gas station to fill up with no long lines and no limits on how much gas you can get (I didn't even attempt that until yesterday!) The grocery stores are no longer only letting 5 people in at a time, and their shelves are full of everything...not just hit and miss. Our phone line is finally working again all the time because the power came back on and they were able to remove the generator that was powering the phone box! No more 2:00 a.m. tank changes. Gone, too, though are the bright nights and skies full of stars. I think it only seemed brighter because we no longer had artificial light to compare it to, but the moon seemed like a flashlight shining down directly on us!

I am so grateful for the MILLIONS of phone, electric, gas, tree, workers who've come here to help us! We'd still be waiting for power had it not been for some guys who left their families in other states and came to our aid, working 24-7! I am so thankful that I have a strong husband who is always the first to get to the task at hand and give it 110%! I can't even tell you what a huge help Jessica (my niece) and Jordyn workhorses! Everyone pitched in to do way more than their share!

So, while I missed being connected to the outside world, I sure enjoyed the clearer connection we had to heaven. I know there was death and destruction and that it will take a long time to fully recover. But ya know, it's His world. He knows what is best for us. I'm so thankful that although the method may be extreme, His hand is in all things and He graciously gives us, from time to time, through miracles, a glimpse of heaven!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Breaking news

Survivor: Friendswood, Texas
Starring: the Fearless Bakers and their fellow Texans, the Smiths

Ike didn't stand a chance against these fearless Texans! They weathered the storm like pros. Facing down the wind, the rain, and looking the hurricane right in the eye! The house on the rocks stood still. The foliage surrounding them... not so much.

Following the Ike challenge, our Texans have spent their time cleaning their yards, their neighbors yards, their church friend's yards. They've been sweaty and hot, but have maintained their positive attitudes throughout. Nobody is even complaining about the stench. ;) Could be because even though they are without electricity, their gas powered water heater has provided much needed relief (to their bodies, spirits, and noses) in the form of nice hot showers.

Updates to come.

Reporting live from Colorado via phone conversations with Dee Dee, I am Cindi. We now return you to your regularly scheduled surfing...
**I am Dee Dee and I approve this message.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


See the star I added? That's where my house the heart of Friendswood, Texas. Just outside Houston. 32 miles inland from the gulf. Of Mexico. In the direct path (this morning) of Ike. I don't like Ike. But, can I call 'em or what? Thursday and Friday off from school! We are staying put. We are about 30 seconds from the church, and that will be our shelter if we need it. If we were going to fly out, we should have already done so, and I'd rather brave the storm than the traffic! We have friends and family that are staying,too.

On the upside, Southwest Airlines did cancel Todd's trip tomorrow, so he will be coming home tonight after all.

So, I am off to remove objects from the yard that could take flight, fill the water drum with clean water, check my supplies, get the 72 hour kits out and ready. Then, I will start a thorough cleaning of the house. I want it clean if Ike's gonna come through and destroy it! hmmm...maybe my remodel will be done, sooner than later! ;0)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hurricane's a comin!

Well, maybe not, but it's fun to say, nontheless! Anyone care to place bets on where and when Ike makes landfall? I'm guessing Brownsville, Texas. But, I am also guessing we are going to get a day or two off from school just in case. Mandatory evacuation. In other words, free day! Woo-Hoo!!! I think we'll have a hurricane party! I'll mix up some mud pies, cyclone pizzas, cloud juice...any other suggestions? Come on, ya'll are clever! Come up with a menu for our storm party! And I suppose it's a good time to have our 72 hour kit dinner,too. You know, eat what's in the old kits, stock 'em with new stuff! And we'll watch "Twister," and "Places in the Heart" and oh...what other movies are about storms? All right! I'm getting excited about this! I can't wait for your responses! I bet you're all getting jealous that you don't live closer to the Gulf! Don't worry, mom...we've got food and water and an inflatable raft (not to mention an SUV) We'll be just fine!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My cute family...

...going to school. (see post below for pictures) Well, not all of us went to school. Todd, Max and I stayed home. Todd was happy to send the kids because he actually wants them to go to school. To learn stuff. whatever. I was not happy to see them go because I actually want them to be at home with me all day, every day. 18 years is all you get, people! That's NOTHING! It only took Jordyn like 2 years to become a sophomore! Max (5 months) was not happy at all...see his little depressed face! He went upstairs running from bedroom to bedroom looking for the kids. Then he sat at the top of the stairs with his head on the carpet and wouldn't move. Which was sort of what I felt like doing, too. But then, Todd made me get busy...mowing the lawn and cleaning house and other nonsense like that. (Hope he doesn't expect that to become routine--what about my bon-bons!) Then on Tuesday he did take me to lunch (but don't tell Jordyn) then on Wednesday I had lunch with Jordyn at school (don't tell Elli and Cooper) and today I hosted my annual back-to-school brunch for my girlfriends (don't tell Todd). And now, we are in a routine again and another school year is going to be gone tomorrow. Drat. The older you get, the faster time goes, it is true. To the kids, of course, they have just finished day 5 of 170 and the school year can't go by fast enough! Maybe going to school actually slows time! Oh. My. Gosh. I think I've stumbled onto the fountain of youth! All this time I've been glad to be done with school myself, when what I actually need is to keep going! I really liked 2nd grade! I wonder if there is an age limit?!...

pictures at last

Okay, it takes me a while...but eventually I get to it! So, here goes a try at photos of the first day at school!

Monday, August 25, 2008


For at least the first day of school! Hooray! Elli and Cooper both loooovvve their teachers and Elli says 3rd grade is definitely the grade for her! Hallelujah! And I didn't even send in the cinnamon rolls I made for the know....get the year started on a roll! That my dear friends, is why the teachers fight over who gets my children in their classes. I can turn any food into a meaningful gift of appreciation (and I do!), not to mention my annual we love our teacher luncheons, the Friday cokes and the great holiday gifts. You know, I've been a brown-noser since my own school days. I find nothing wrong with it. We get a bad rap. I brown nose a little, the kids get a little favoritism from their teacher, so they are happy. The teacher gets spoiled, so she is happy. I know that my children are being well-cared for, so I'm happy. See? So my nose is a little off-color. I wear it boldly and proudly. I'm happy. They're happy. We're all happy! Happy. Happy. Happy!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Or is that Wii? WE got one today...a Wii! We just finished making our Mii's and the little Me's are in the living room playing Wii with their newly created Mii's! Is that too confusing? What is confusing is that it was daddy's idea...and he has always professed to be totally against any form of video game! I myself have never had much interest, but not vehemently opposed or anything. Someone must have convinced him that you can actually get a workout playing the Wii. So, now we have one. Now let me say that apparently, you cannot just walk into your local Target or Wal*Mart and grab one. In fact, they laugh at you in the electronics department when you ask where they keep them. But, take a trip to your local Blockbuster, and TA DA! They have ONE in stock. Who knew? Not me? Mii? We? Wii? WHEE?!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What the heck am I doing up?

I can't sleep...maybe it was the caffeine I had a couple hours before bedtime to get rid of my headache. But man, did I get some serious stuff accomplished! And also, there is a little girl sleeping in my bed. There are two little girls sleeping in her bed. Funny...I thought sleepover meant they all slept over in the same room! Bless 'em. What is that book...the one where they "all rolled over and the little one said I'm crowded..." Know what I'm talking about? That's us tonight. Musical beds. Why do they even all have their own rooms anyway? Coop started in my bed since Elli wouldn't let him sleep with the girls. Then Elli decided 3 was too much of a crowd in her twin size daybed, and came to my room. I decided 3 was too much of a crowd in my queen size sleigh bed, and Cooper got the boot. (He was sound asleep, okay?! He won't even realize til the morning!) And now, Elli has my bed all to herself (Todd is in some hotel somewhere in the country...sleeping in a big bed all to himself!)which was probably her intention all along! She's pretty good at getting what she wants. you think it's in the blood?

Speaking of getting what you want...that's all I keep thinking about...what I want! My remodel, of course! My mother-in-law said that now that her remodel is done she has found she has nothing to dream about at night. Well, for me maybe I will finally get sleep when (if) it's done, cause it won't be foremost in my mind anymore. I can't just dream about it, I have to get up and draw it on paper. And write notes. And check my email. And play around with graphics and insert them in my blogspot. And post a new blog. Who needs to sleep at 2:30 in the morning when you can do all that instead? Maybe I'll sleep at 6:30 in the morning instead of running. Maybe I'll sleep right through our 7:30 tennis time. Maybe I'll sleep at 8:30 instead of registering Jordyn for her sophomore year of high school. I don't even want to have a sophomore anyway! I am way too young for that and also, that means she thinks she's gettin out of here in 3 years! Well, no I take that back. She doesn't even want to leave. Unless she can take me with her. For four years. In a dorm room or apartment. With roommates. On twin size beds. Like a sleepover...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

It's Sunday...

and the kids are asking me to make treats. And that's why I am hiding in the study using the computer! One of these days I am going to take the time to try to upload some more photos on this blog! I love to bake, but I know they are all going to want to make something different. Which means it is going to turn into a fight and someone is going to get mad. For instance, Elli wants chocolate peanut butter bars, but Cooper is allergic to peanut butter. Cooper wants chocolate chip cookies, but Jordyn wants me to bake something good! So, you see my conundrum? Maybe I'll just ask Todd what he wants... (and that will be fruit or veggies) and then they will all yell at him and not me. Then, I will sneak into the kitchen while they are arguing and make myself a milkshake. I think I've got a plan!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

and here we go...

okay, trying the blog thing. It might be a fun way to check in on know, kinda like voyerism... and maybe it will just be a good way for me to get stuff off my chest!