Friday, September 26, 2008

A Week of Surprise Gifts

It is the changes that are hard to see. Like the one from the beach we go to.
Stewart Beach during our summer visit

Stewart Beach post Hurricane Ike.

The shore line has changed.

I know I keep talking about this but it really is hard to watch. Everything is different. I remember talking with Mr. Amato about this before. It becomes hard to list the specifics and do get used to curfews and such, but it is different. In our area things will revert back within a few months. Places like Stewart Beach in Galveston might be changed forever.

Like I have said before, we are settling into a new normal. It depends on which store and what time you shop to determine if you can find fresh stuff or not. Frozen foods are back. Everything is on a tight schedule to keep with curfew and many places are closed due to rain/wind damage.

Our local schools started back this week. This is received with mixed reaction. Many are still without power so it it hard to require much homework. We were glad that most friends went back by Wednesday. This allowed us to try to resume a normal school day. I am still waiting on some book that I am afraid got lost in the hurricane. The libraries are not really open yet in our area. We tried but one did not have power. they took our returns but were closed. The other two we tried to visit were both closed due to storm damage. Our favorite will be closed for several weeks.
Silly kids get away from that transformer, your going to get hurt!

Our power is blinking still. It was out yesterday for a few minutes and we got scared that it was gone again. Today two huge transformers were dropped off in our neighbors yard. That doesn't seam god for us considering we already have power. I went and asked if they had the right street and they laughed at me. I did thank them as they came all the way from Louisville KY to help get our lights back on. It looks so strange in our neighborhood. Most are still out and we have had crews of at least 50 trucks on various streets.
Too late! They are really good at this acting thing, don't ya think?

We got a delivery from BIC yesterday for supplies for a trade show that J is in. The driver laughed when he drove up. He said it looked like he was in a war zone. "I thought my neighborhood was bad until I got here, this is awful, everyone OK?" One good thing is that in the South people are friendly. We seam to greet each other with "Do you have power back?" "Any damage to your home?" and "How are the kids taking things?" These are questions to total strangers all around you. Everyone wants to share their story also. If you have the time to listen, you do. Our neighborhood has been voted "most damaged" in our area. We are so proud but still trying to repair quickly.

The bugs are horrible. I have never seen mosquitoes this big before. The poor baby is just the right size. As soon as he walks out they attack him. The flies are better now that the garbage is gone. The piles of debris are everywhere still. Each mound is between 50 and 100 bags and then the piles of trees are everywhere. They say they are working on it but it is a hazard.
Our house is on the left side of this picture, after the second huge pile of debris in far back. Not the best shot but it does how how dangerous it it. It becomes very hard to see when driving. I am not encouraging outside play right now. Between the bugs and the limited site of the drivers I think they are safe inside reading a book, oh that's right the library is closed, so watching TV. Thank goodness our cable is back we have watched some very cool shows on the discovery channel on energy and the human body. Cool stuff and a good distraction.

Now to the gifts.
They just keep arriving. I have not had to ask for anything. My mom sent a gift card and my dad and his wife sent some money. Those two generous contributions have helped us to restock the frig. Thank you Grandpa Dyer and Miss Anne. Thank you Mimi. You all have proven to once again be very generous with all that you have. The grandchildren are most happy and full.

The BIC family has been so kind to us. Every single day J talks with a different person in the company making an offer of sending supplies to us. People in departments he has not met in person are sending well wishes and prayers. The kindness that we have received from this family are so heart warming. When the hurricane first hit a group of us were talking and Jason was asked if his company would understand. He is the only one in Houston after all, so the expectation from his friends was that no one would understand. The locals all had time off because they couldn't even get to their workplace. Some of his buddies warned that he might be pressured. That could not be the furthest from the truth. BIC as a company has bent over backwards to allow Jason any consideration he might need. Luckily he didn't waste much time even without power. J was a real trooper checking messages and making phone calls those first few days from any spot we could find a signal. We have the Internet again so he is back up and running. Now his task is checking on clients that were in the storms path as well.

The gifts have included other things from the BIC family. It is so overwhelming as to how kind these people are. The Amato family that we mentioned earlier have done more than anyone should. They even sent a wonderful pasta dish last week. Miss Allyse sent the package last week that was a life safer. It came just when I was having a melt down. Then another package came from Miss Teresa a few days later filled with supplies and goodies to make s'mores. We couldn't even buy those as everyone was craving them around their camp fires.

This week has not ended our surprises. A package from J's buddy in Chicago. Chuck and his family came up with a very cleaver way to make sure we had fresh milk. I wouldn't even have thought about it, but is will some in handy for sure. The Sohn family sent us several cases of the milk that doesn't need to be refrigerated. It has really come in handy as it can be hard still to find things at the store. I was told that as electricity comes on people shop and empty the shelves. Anyway Mr. Chuck is Jumba's God Father and he made sure that his god child would not be without his bottles. The milk has come in handy considering I always seam to miss the stocked milk.

Then another package of goodies arrived from the Albert family. Mr. Tim, Mary and little Connor made sure we had everything we might still need. It included a case of water. The kiddos quickly rushed that out to the freezer. Our goal is to freeze several cases and keep them on hand until the hurricane season is over. It will be a standing practice from now on. The frozen bottles were great to use in the coolers and then each day we had a fresh supply of ice cold water. You can not even imagine how much of a treat that is when you don't have ice, but can still drink an ice cold water. They also sent crackers, and cookies, and even remembered the all important peanut butter and jelly. Those are two more items you can not find in the stores yet, still too popular.

Thank you to all of our dear friends that have taken the time to pray for us, to send us surprises, and to offer to take care of us. You all have helped us make it through a difficult time and we will not ever forget your kindness. Our hope is to pass on Christ's love with that same generosity. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Power is back on (Kind Of)

The lights flickered on Saturday afternoon. We noticed that across the street the neighbors had power. Ours blinked and then everyone was out. Then the fire trucks went speeding past. We were thankful that no one was hurt but one of the lines caught fire. Wow that is scary work.

A few hours later we were back up and running. So as of Saturday night we had power. The B family still didn't and say was warm. We invited them over for dinner and a movie. It was fun to stay cool inside and just veg. out. We kept the laundry going just in case. we have had the power blink several times since Saturday night. It stayed off for about ten minutes this afternoon. So far it keeps coming back.

We thought we would sleep better with the power fully restored but Saturday night we then had plumbing issues. At 3 A.M. Jason decided to turn all water to our home off. He went out to Lowes at day break just to wait until they opened. Curfew has all the stores on limited times and good luck getting someone to your home to fix a minor issue. Jason worked on it until he figured it out. We were then able to get to Mass on Sunday evening.

Some schools started back today. We did not. I still needed the time to catch up on other work. We are also trying to keep up in case the power stays off again for more than a day. Our neighbors have been told 2 more weeks. Apparently we were in the group that would not have been looked at for 4 weeks until we lost the generator to the water. That being out created a health hazard for too many people. The good news is that they began working on us for that reason and we were one of the lucky ones that got power. Our neighbors all around us are still in the dark. We will begin school tomorrow and continue to try to help those around us. The adults in the household will go to give blood tomorrow as it is in great demand right now.

We are trying to get back to a new normal. Everything outside of our home is different right now. We are not even in the worse hit areas, I just keep praying for those around us that had it worse. Please keep praying for all the victims or Hurricane Ike. "Like Tina Turner, Ike won't keep me down!" says Rhonda. I will end with another quote from Rhonda's note to our home school group. Being from New Orleans she really has a good take on things. "As someone who is "New Orleans born, bred, and fled," I learned we don't run from hurricanes, we drink them!"

So here's to Ike!

Power trucks seen on Saturday

At the end of our street.

In our back yard!!!

Around the corner!

Around the other corner!

We are so glad to see you!

The joy we felt when we saw more than one power truck can not even be explained. I am unable to describe the awe that we felt at the daunting job for these individuals and the personal sacrifice. We have seen trucks in our own neighborhood from as far away as Michigan, FL and even Canada. Thank you people for leaving your families to come to help us. We could never describe our gratitude.

It was a very good sign when we read the electric reader boards with these messages. Normal life is a long way off but this has us a step closer.

Our neighborhood still looks like this:

Dead trees everywhere. Yard waste all over the streets. Dangerous corners around every pile of waste. You just never know if there are kiddos playing behind that pile or not.

Inside things are good. Lots of Uno and other card games. Anticipation for he nightly capture the flag games and prayers for no power ever by the little ones.

The kiddos are good as we wait to get power. Even without we feel very very blessed.

Friday, September 19, 2008

End of today will mark one entire week without power

The sounds are crazy these days. No hum of the TV or computer but sirens and air vac helicopters at night and chain saws and big trucks during the day.

We can not wait to get power back and also love not having it. The kiddos pray it never comes back but as temperatures begin to rise I am running out of hope that it will ever come back.

There was a humming bird in the house yesterday. That was crazy and yet not a big deal, all at the same time. I guess after Ike it will take a lot more that a bird in the wrong place to freak out my kiddos.

We played at the park for a long time yesterday afternoon. That was wonderful. No raking, no bagging, no whining just playing and talking.

Our BIC angels came through again. I am telling you this company has been a wonderful family to my husband and to our family. Mr. Amato drove milk in with ice, some MRE's, and some other fresh meat to grill. I can only hope that I can learn to be as generous as Jason's co-workers have proven to be. The calls, the offers of help, and the surprise care-packages have really gone a long way to giving us the boast we needed to keep going. In turn J has taken samples for customers around to our neighborhood. Everyone can use a BIC lighter when the power is out.

Our food is holding out. Every time I begin to worry about what to cook something shows up. We even got our hands on some fresh fruit yesterday. All is good. The stores around us are getting better as well. Dairy is hit or miss, ice is rare to find but the can goods are once again well stocked. We even found batteries again. By Monday I am sure that most grocery stores will be back to the new normal. The hours are short because of the need to follow the curfews. The closest store is still on generator.

I reached my wall today. I drove to HEB on the way I saw too many lines down to count. HEB was on generator at the time. The frozen food section was blocked off. I didn't need a frozen food item but I hated to see it empty and blocked off. I turned the corner to the dairy section and it was empty at best. I just sat in the store and cried and cried. I called my mom and cried some more. I pulled myself together thanks to Mimi and purchased a few items.

(these are pictures of a few of the down lines on the way to the store)

I read from my favorite book when I got home. The book that I found the title to this blog. "I Should Have Seen It Coming When The Rabbit Died" by Teresa Bloomingdale. She writes in one chapter about The Terrible Tornado Of 1975 that destroyed their family home and much of their community. She talks about the neighbors checking on each other and the joy in seeing your family safe. She speaks of thanking God for not letting things be worse. I also re-read the Epilogue The Best is Yet to Be. I love how she reminds me of what is important. Thank you to Teresa Blommingdale. I wonder if God has allowed you to see from heaven all the joy you have helped me to find.

The best is yet to be!

The night would end with another gathering at the Texas T home. We loved having all our friends over. Cleaning isn't a stresser when you are using candle light. This time the adults got in on some of the action. We welcomed any neighbor that wanted to join us. There is always good to be found when you are in the right frame of mind.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Post Ike Thursday

I am so glad that Jason brought me with him again this morning. I have been able to divide that last post out into several read able posts. I was able to add pictures but only in slide show form. It is just too time consuming to do it they way I wish I could.

Jason has spent the morning at Starbucks trying to catch up on work emails and phone calls. We are headed home back into the land of the forgotten.

Bad news for us is that our lines are so messed up the electric company says that they will not even begin to work on our power until next Tuesday.

Good news is that Mr. Amato is driving in to bring supplies like mile and such. Thank you, thank you. We hear that the kiddos will receive another package today from another Bic co-worker. Thank you so much Ms. Theresa. You all take such good care of us.

our back yard has laundry all over. We washed as much as we could before the rain comes again tomorrow and before we loose water again. With all that laundry it looks like a refugee camp. Oh well it really could be worse.

Thank you all for your prayers. Please also add Uncle Michael's Dad to that list and J's sister Nikki. She is trying to have a baby two months too soon and Mr. R is suffering with cancer. We love you all and will be in touch soon!

Thanks again for all your prayers and gifts!!!

post Ike #4


Today was filled with ups and downs. We woke to more hard work but a bright sign from a friend. Another BIC Employee lives in Slidell Louisiana. He had survived Katrina and its aftermath. He and his wife have rebuilt and reworked their home. Their son lives in Houston. He and his wife had their power restored on Tuesday morning bright and early. This young father and his father thought of our family. After some fun phone maneuvering we decided to meet him half way. That was very kind of him considering how hard it is to get gas. We found out that another friend had waited in line for gas from 5:30 am and did not get any gas until 9:45 am. The station opened at 6:00 and there were just that many people in line waiting.

Anyway the Amato family was sharing their generator with us. I can not even begin to say how thankful we were for their generosity. They also gave us a gas can full of gas and a cooler full of frozen water bottles and huge bag of frozen ice.

Pooker was overwhelmed by waking up to a 4th day with no communication with the outside world, her friends in college, and just with the news we get from the paper. It is pretty grim. One highlight of the day was when the garbage was picked up.

J and I went up to see if the local stores were up and running. The good news is they were. We were able to make phone calls, the reception was better. I always feel better after talking with Mimi. So after seeing life outside our subdivision, talking to my mommy, and getting a Starbucks I was good. (Or so I thought).

The coffee wasn’t great as they did not have any dairy. My Mocha was made with soy and I didn’t like the taste. We got some frozen non dairy drinks for the kiddos and headed home. J then took the older three with him to get the generator. They needed to see what I saw. Moogie and Sugar went with a friend to help her grandma clean up. They were not far, still in the neighborhood. I was glad to see them willing to help some more. We needed to work on our back yard but they needed to be out and about more.

The littles and I did what we could but the jobs were just so big. Our hearts grew happy when dad arrived at home with take out Chinese food and fountain sodas. It didn’t last long but a little taste our old life went far to help us feel a little normal. Bagel made me take pictures to show everyone of her friend Jake the fly and the rest of his family.

Until the garbage got picked up the fly situation was getting bad. Goobers enjoyed making it her mission to smack everyone she could find. This became funny when Bagel followed her around to pick up each dead fly. She wanted them all to be able to attend the funeral of Jake.

The generator is a great tool the issue is deciding how to best use it. Last night we started to cool of the fridge but then changed our minds. We had nothing to put in it and from what we had heard the stores around us were up and running but that they did not have much. The stores did not have any dairy products and the shelves and can goods were pretty thin. There is still no milk but we will be fine. Our little man still has some bottles and I bought some formula just in case. Our milk is in the deep freeze with ice all around it. We are sure it is still good.

Anyway our vote was to try to run the Washing Machine for at least the load that was wet and stinky. It worked just fine but we ran out of water. What??? A neighbor drove by with the bad news. The generator pumping our water had blown. No more running water. How the heck can we do this without running water. For the first time J and I became completely scared.

We decided first to take care of our neighbors. We started knocking on doors. As we told each one, we informed them that if we could get an electrician that could fix it we might be back up but it didn’t look good. It was so hard seeing the sadness on each of their faces. This was the last straw but what should we do, where should we go and how do we get there without gas in the cars or gas stations to open to pump gas?

Dad had agreed to take the family to the T house for dinner. They had recently stocked their freezer with all kinds of goodies. The B family joined us except for the mom and newborn. Some of the T family’s next door neighbors were there as well. On the drive over to the T home we were all so dejected. How are we going to handle all this? Ugh! No water just seamed like too much to bear at the same time we don’t want to leave. This is our home and we like it here.

We rolled the car window down as we passed some friends. They made us feel better with the good news that we did have an electrician looking at the generator. Some of us returned to our block to inform our neighbors not to leave yet that there was some hope. This time around the block I talked with the family on our street that did not have their home. This house had five trees hit it. She and her husband are fine no problems at all. She is so sad. She raised her children in this house. The bought it 35 years ago. I cried with her for a few minutes and then went back to the party.

All those kiddos got to jump and play and enjoy themselves. Mr. T had cooked up a storm and everything tasted great. He even ended the night breaking out some glow sticks. After the food and tables were put away he cut the tops off a few glow sticks and we were all glowing with colors everywhere. It was so pretty, well almost as pretty as the night sky.

I can see why they say the sky is bigger in Texas and with no lights around we got to take it in. We feel asleep being thankful for hope we had heard that even though we didn’t have power the very front of our neighborhood had power.


Today we woke up and I had no idea of the time. My phone was dead and was in need of a charge. I went to the restroom and without thinking flushed and it worked, praise God. I washed my hands with great joy and brushed my teeth. J woke to my cheers of delight that we once again had water.

I am not so cheerful as we have washed 8 loads off the generator and strung them up to dry. It has been tiring work. At least we can do it. I hung the laundry as the others worked on the yard. We ran out of bags so we borrowed more from the neighbor. The kiddos and J and I have bagged over 100 so far and still counting.

Actually there is not counting the piles are too big. Let’s just say that it is way more than the last time when Rita hit us. Ike has been much more work but the temperatures have been nice. Pickle wanted to know if he had missed Christmas. It just doesn’t get this cool until December.

As our spirits are wearing thin others are going out of their way to help. One neighbor had left last night and gone to stay with their son close by, he didn’t have power but he did have running water. This adorable couple arrived home this morning with hot donuts for everyone. That sure went far to make this T family feel loved.

Then just as we began to feel the stress of another day of things not in place we received a package from a co-worker of J’s. Miss Allyse had lived in Houston before J and now she is in Florida. She understands what it is like so she sent some treats. You can not believe how loved it made us feel to open a box that had been overnighted and was full of spray cheese, crackers, pop tarts, Pringles, candy, puzzles and games and so much more.

It was the perfect way to end this VERY LONG first post after Hurricane Ike changed our lives. It isn’t about what we don’t have but about what we do. J and I have so many loving friends and family members that life could not be better , it just couldn’t. I can’t believe that he gives us “all this and heaven.”

post Ike #3


It was much cooler when we woke up this morning. The temperature was very tolerable. We hat lots of yard work today so no shower to start. After more eggs and bacon we headed out to clean our front yard and help the neighbors with their yards. My kiddos were cleaning machines. We tackled our front, the neighbors across the way and the street, all while stopping to do any little thing that any of the older neighbors that were also outside helping needed. Pickle ran into a fire ant pile and declared fire ants to be devils. I can’t disagree. Those buggers are not fun.

I was very proud of my family at this point they were all giving it their all to take care of others. The laundry was piling up and beginning to smell. We moved the baskets outside and let the wet stuff dry. The flies were getting bad all over.

Bagel was standing there with a new found friend on her arm. This fly would not have a long life but Bagel had fallen in love with this new member of our family. As she sat admiring his arm Princess walked up and smacked her arm. Bagel was horrified and Princess proudly exclaimed, “Don’t worry Bagel there was a bug on your arm and I got it.” “Oh my poor Jake!” was Bagels reply. Pooker was crying with tears of laughter as she was blessed to witness the entire scene.

We were given ice so our deep freeze was still cold. Working in the yard wasn’t too bad because the temperatures were tolerable. We still do not have cell service, phone service or electricity but the cooler temps without humidity made life tolerable. We also got a news paper this morning and saw a ups driver. The mail didn’t come on Monday and we really hoped that are garbage would be picked up by Tuesday.

After working in the yard. Bear went off on his bike again with friends and Pooker and Moogie walked around with friends. The only one that was having hard time today was Bagel. Out of the blue she told me that she wanted me to start feeding her like a baby again. When I asked what she meant she said she wanted to eat from me like when she was a baby. She meant nursing, how crazy that thought was for me and a four year old. I asked why and she told me that way I won’t run out of food. Poor kiddo. I guess from her level things looked pretty bleak. The frig was empty. I knew she needed extra cuddles today.

Around 8:00 pm it grew very dark. Young kiddos started popping up on our block from all around. The “Capture the Flag” game had caught on. "I don’t know you but can I play." What fun they all had! They even let Pickle stay out this time. He could be heard giggling with delight. The younger ones and I cuddled up on the coach and read stories then we saved our flash lights and began telling stories. Our favorite was about Lord Devin and Princess Gabriella.

Pooker, Bear and Goobers stayed out side until 10:00 playing cards with some friends. Tonight they also fell asleep retelling old stories and laughing about their new friends. Even though we didn’t have power and dad was getting a little freaked out after the batteries in the radio went dead we realized how blessed we were. This hurricane might not go down in our memories as a good thing but not having power just might. We have played, we have talked, we have helped each other. Thank you God for not giving us our power back right away. We have had to suffer a little but only to find great rewards.

Another cool night and tired bodies. We slept well again.

post Ike #2

No Mass today. It was raining and a few trees were still going down. These huge pine trees have shallow roots and all that water wasn’t good. I got up early to grab a bottle of mile for the baby. We had milk bottles chilling and I just went to grab one. I forgot for a second what was going on that was until I looked out and saw the huge trees all over the neighbor’s yard. I said a quick prayer of thanks that that tree had not come toward our home. Listening to the news I knew that we were not nearly as bad of as some people.

We tapped into emergency money to buy the stuff ahead of time so our finances were good, we had a house full of “no power” supplies, we were alive, we had a sturdy home to shelter us. The rest are just creature comforts that we would try to live without for a few days. (or weeks, or months) For today I knew things were OK.

At noon the rains began to subside. Our friends stopped by again with a chain saw in hand. We planned to clean up our street. J got all excited and began to get his new chain saw ready to use. It was defected. That is such a bite when you buy things that are broken. That was nearly as bad as a neighbor that purchased a whole house natural gas generator that was installed on Thursday. Only to discover it also had a defect. The company apologized but what good does that do when you need the item and it doesn’t work. Our neighbor on one side was worried that the county would not pick up their tree if they started the clean up. Now I think that is a silly thing anyway but if any part of the tree falls into the public street the country send a crew to chop in down, take it away and put down some grass seed. That is tax dollars over working in my opinion. So the neighbors refused to let us clean up the street.

J and Mr. T took their tools and headed to B family home. That house has two huge pines come down into their drive way. Just a puncture into the garage but everything was safe, intact but they were trapped at home. Mrs. T came by a few minutes later and dropped her kiddos off so she could go help the dads. I would much rather have dropped mine off at her house and left but I had a fridge that was beginning to smell and needed my attention. What do you do with 11 children that are all acting out because of their fear of the unknown? You try very hard to not loose your temper and to keep every one busy. Other wise your friends will break every family rule and convince your children to do the same. Not to mention let the dogs out over and over (and over and over) again!

We had heard a report that we were due to get more rain, while raking the front yard the older kiddos noticed that the water on the side of our home was high and was about to flood our J and My closest. Ugh, J wasn’t home, land lines don’t work, cell phones don’t work, and kids can not be left alone. We handed the small ones buckets and made them scoop out our flooding. They liked this better than raking so it did entertain them for a long time. Long enough for me to tackle the now very smelly frig. The food we could save was moved into a cooler with ice from the deep freeze and All other items had to go. We found that the package of frozen rolls were already rising so we made some rolls bread on the grill. After the rolls had baked and my dinner was cooling I piled the big van up with all the younger kiddos into the van. We headed to the B house and packed them into our car.

Pooker and Moogie went for a long walk to visit with friends and to see what was out there. They had decided to that they would try to organize a neighborhood game of capture the flag after dark and they headed out to spread the word. Bear went on a bike ride with some of his friends to checkout the sights and catch up with people. They took a camera to report back. At the B house we picked up most of their kiddos, Mrs. B, Mrs. T and we left all the dads behind to continue working on those huge pine trees that had come so close to hurting our friends. The drive was good for all of us. It let these three families regroup and chat. Both these families are friends from the neighborhood and also the Catholic church. It was so nice praying and talking with them as we drove just around the neighborhood.

We would stop and wave to neighbors as we saw house after house with trees cutting right through them. We new so many from swim team. Everyone was OK. Some of them lost houses but no injuries. I really think it was a miracle that there was extreme loss of life in my neighborhood. Trees are down everywhere. On the route home I noticed that a teen age kid that I have always thought of as some what of a trouble maker was using his dad’s chain saw and cutting pieces off of a huge tree that was down in the main road. He didn’t tackle the entire tree just the dangerous tips that cars would easily hit.

One thing is for sure something like this shows you who your friends really are and who the selfish people are. When neighbors offer you their last bit of milk because you have a baby and they don’t you know they are offering a lot. Pickle can see the positive when he tries. We probably saw five cars on our trip around the neighborhood that had been hit by trees.

Pickle said, “I think having your car smashed on the top by a tree would be a gift from God.” “How so?” We asked waiting to hear this one. “Well maybe it is just God’s way of giving you a really cool car!” “What”?!?!? “You know a convertible. They are really cool cars without tops.” That kid will always be able to make me smile.

We slept very well that night. It was hot going to bed and everything was still so sticky from being damp. It didn’t stop us. After we ate dinner Moogie, Sugar, Bear, Goobers, and Pooker all headed outside to play a big game of capture the flag. They were in by 9:00 pm and we all settled into bed. It was fun to hear the kiddos laughing outside and then to hear all the children talking about their day as they fell asleep in the family room.
The “remember when’s” are always fun to hear.