Sunday, September 14, 2008

{ Counting Our Many Blessings }...

The last couple of days have been crazy and very long. This is the first time that we have had access to the Internet and that is only because we fled the scene and are in Dallas staying at my aunt's house. Thank you so very much Barbara and Terry!
Friday night, before Ike hit and before we lost power, we had everything ready to go, just in case. Our 72-hour kits were in the hallway by the front door. Our shoes and last minute clothing were all lined up in our bathroom and the kids were camped out on our bedroom floor for the night.

We went to bed that night, listening to the heavy winds, waiting for the rain to come and wondering what we were going to wake up to. Casey and I didn't sleep very well, I'm sure that doesn't surprise anyone. That evening and into the night the power kept flickering on and off (we could see our alarm clock flashing off and on) and we would lay there wondering when we would get the official "lights out". It came at 3:16 that night and we were both awake for it. We saw the sky turn bright green, saw 3 explosions, looked over at our clock and didn't see any numbers anymore. We knew we were officially without power. All night long I kept getting up out of bed to look out the window and make sure that these big trees in our neighbors yard were still standing. They were and that made me feel better. (Casey did help the neighbor move their things in their backyard, BTW). Finally I fell asleep. We woke up to heavy winds and rain still, which lasted until about 1:30 in the afternoon. We kept looking out all of our windows in order to get a good look at the neighborhood in every direction. It looked pretty good. No major trees down. Everyone's homes were still standing, fences were still in place. Our family was calling us to check in and we were telling them that nothing really happened in our area. Only debris from trees on the ground. Then Casey got a call from the Elder's Quorum president in our ward to go out and help someone. He came home in awe from what it REALLY looked like out there. There was much more to see than us just peeking out our windows. It was still heavily raining, so we waited until it stopped and then went on a drive around our neighborhood and the adjoining neighborhood.

Here is what we saw: This tree below is what Casey went out to help with. It was blocking the road so they cut it with a chainsaw and moved it to the side. The picture doesn't do justice. He said it was bigger than he could even wrap his arms around.
This is one of the MANY things for which we are counting our blessings for. This is the ONLY thing that happened at our house. One of my favorite trees in our front yard fell down. Casey has already replanted it and it should be just fine.

I am also counting our blessings that my family is safe and doing great. My kids weren't traumatized one bit. As soon as the rain stopped the boys put on their swim suits and headed out side. This is what they did while Casey helped the other neighbors sweep up the debris from the trees. We do have a couple of small leaks in our attic, but definitely nothing to complain about.

Yesterday was the longest day without power. Our cell phones wouldn't work. We had been using our land line for communication until this morning when we woke up and it didn't work either. The feeling of not being able to communicate with anyone besides those within walking distance was awful. All we had to keep us updated on what was going on around us was our little radio. We were prepared to be without power for a couple of days, but not a week+. That is what we've been hearing. Radio reports have varied about restoring power, saying anywhere from one week to four weeks. How can you prepare for that? We needed a generator and we didn't have one. This is likely the only thing we lacked in preparation. That and ASSUMING that we would be with out power for only a couple of days. I remember thinking about it before all of this happened and wondering how in the world we would last for 3 or 4 days without power. Now that seems like a piece of cake. I would welcome it! So, this afternoon we drove to Dallas to get out of Houston for a little bit and to see if we could get our hands on a generator. No. We were too late. They are all gone. We just got word tonight that school is canceled for Kaylee and Jake until Wednesday of this week. Possibly longer. We just have to wait for updates. I don't know if they will have access to a generator for school. No one really knows what is going on. We don't know how long we'll be here in Dallas, or when we'll get to go back home. We might be heading back for school even if we don't have power.

Tonight is the first night we have been able to see the devastation to the Houston area. We spent a lot of time listening to it all unfold on the radio, with pictures in our mind. But now that we can actually see it, I have so many more reasons to count my blessings. Thank you to all of you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. I know they helped. We, personally, have a long couple of weeks ahead of us, but we are the lucky ones. We are so grateful for that. Please keep all of the Houston area in your prayers. We need it! I probably won't be able to keep up with all of you very well for the next little bit, but know that I am thinking of you and I will blog again when I can! :)

21 comments:

Eileen said...

Wow. My life seems so "normal" all of a sudden. I'm so glad you are all safe and sound! The photos are so interesting. I can't imagine what you are seeing for real. Thanks for sharing. How sweet of you to be so positive.

Jennifer said...

So glad you're ok and that Casey was able to go and help out other families!

Malinda said...

I am so glad you guys are safe and your house was kept from much damage. Enjoy the little "break" in Dallas before you have to go back for the clean up.

Stephanie said...

Thank you for updating us. I've been praying about and wondering about you. Please keep us updated when possible. Wish I could come help you. You guys are amazing!

Lindsey and Nick said...

We are so glad you guys are okay. I felt so at ease about the whole thing though. I knew that your family would be watched over and that so many people were praying for you guys.

It is such testimony builder for me to see the power of prayer in your situation. I know that Heavenly Father was watching over you guys. It is proof in those pictures. Also, the power of preparedness it is so important to listen to our leaders and to be prepared in every situation. You have been such and example to me and more importantly your family with your positive attitude! I think that makes a world of difference!

Love ya!

Lindsey and Nick said...

Just another thought! You guys should be glad that things didn't work our with the first house you were going to buy with all of those BIG trees! That could have been really scary!

Stephanie said...

I've been so worried about you and am so very happy you guys are ok. It's a good thing you had baby trees! I tried to not watch the news too much because then I'd worry more. Enjoy your "mini-vacation" in Dallas and I hope things continue to keep getting better.

Vanderbeeks Images said...

I am so glad that you are doing well! I've had you and Mel in my prayers all weekend. What a relief! Glad you are safe and your boys are having fun in those huge puddles!

Amelia said...

Wowie to say the least. It makes me appreciate the dry area we live in. Glad you are okay and you are good spirits.

Andrea said...

WOW!! Those are some amazing pictures. I am so thankful that everything was okay with your house. It will be nice when you can get out of this limbo state that you are in. Enjoy your time on your little break. Too bad, its not a real vacation.

The Johnson's said...

It's so good to hear from you guys-I'm so glad you are all safe and your house was unharmed. It's probably so nice to get out of town for a little while. Keep us updated when you can.

Jennifer said...

One more thing- I'm glad Kaylee got her favorite shoes in the line-up. Go Kaylee!

wink!

Beth Curtis said...

I am so happy that you are all safe and sound. What a way to put things in perspective huh?

Emily Hansen said...

Wow! What an experience! Thanks for the updates. We were so worried all day Saturday & welcomed Casey's call so much. I'm glad you're safe in Dallas. I saw on the news tonight that they want people to leave & stay away for awhile. They unknown on your power situation has to be so hard. If you really knew you had a month, you could come back to Utah. You're in our thoughts & prayers. Take care.

Tonya said...

That is so crazy, I'm so glad to hear that you are all safe and sound and that there was very little damage to your house and yard! I hope you get power back soon, we will definitely keep all the people/areas affected in our prayers. Keep us updated on what's going on!

angie said...

I'm so glad to hear things went smoothly for your family. I hope the power is turned back on soon so life can get back to normal. We are thinking of you guys. Keep us posted.

Heidi Parson said...

I'm so glad that you are ok!! Those pictures really make you realize how right the church is by saying to be prepared! Good luck with everything and stay safe!

thejohnmfamily said...

So where did you get the picture of that water? I didn't even see that one. It still looks pretty bad here, although I think you'll be pleasantly surprised when you get back at how many trees have been cleared out. There are so many tree removal companies in the neighborhood. Now, if we could just get the power company!

Ropers said...

Glad to see you are all safe. I sure is peace of mind when you feel at least mostly prepared. I'm not at all right now, so this has been a great reminder for me to be more prepared. At least you are all safe and our of harms way. Take Care.

Jamie said...

I'm so glad that you are all safe. I can't believe how amazingly prepared you are! You are a great example! Those pictures are amazing

Bre said...

WOW I am speechless, What a wonderful blessing that you are all ok! I could not stop thinking of you guys! I wish we could be there to help.

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