Monday, October 24, 2016

Ready for Halloween!

Because I hate duplicating work, I typically decorate my porch for fall with a few Halloween treats thrown in for good measure. However this year I thought I'd make more of a Halloween effort.

The smaller pumpkin at the bottom is the sole pumpkin that I was able to grow and wrote about here.

Like my old woman who lives in a shoe? Get it?!?

This year we're going along with the Teal Pumpkin Project, providing non-candy treats to children with food allergies (and helicopter moms like me who viciously monitor their kids' sweet intake).

And what decorated porch would be complete this time of year without the requisite chrysanthemum? I was given this gorgeous yellow-bloom one by a dear friend, only to have the poor thing dry up on me. And not for lack of watering! The mum is planted in straight peat moss, which enabled it to grow massively but dries out literally overnight. I missed a day more blooms.

I've saved the plant by dumping massive amounts of water on it, but won't be able to get it to bloom any more this year. Womp. Womp.

In any event, this is how my porch will look for the next week, then with a few switches, it will be all about fall.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Quote of the Week

Me:     "Kids, Mommy may have to go away for a few days to help Grammy and Grandpa clean up from the storm."

Hysterical crying ensues. Lasts several days.

Me:     "Kids, Daddy thinks its better for him to go to Nassau instead."

Kids:    "Oh...ok."

Monday, October 10, 2016

Hurricane Matthew Aftermath

The Bahamas has once again been battered by a category 4 hurricane. Last year, the southern Bahamas was devastated by Hurricane Joaquin. This year, Hurricane Matthew obliterated the northern islands, including New Providence, where my parents and brother live.

My parents and brother live near the beach in the eastern New Providence. Storm surges and high tides brought more than two feet of flooding. The water rose so quickly, there was little time to react. Here are a few photos of the interior:

Here are some photos of the backyard, near the workshop:

Some families had broken windows. Theirs were ok thanks to homemade storm shutters that my Dad and brother are really proud of:

Landlines have been down since Wednesday night and electricity has been off since Thursday morning. Still, their spirits are high.

As bad as things are, Bahamians still have a lot to be thankful for. At last check, the death toll in Haiti from Hurricane Matthew was over 900. I can't even imagine.

If you are in a position to give any of the island nations that have been affected by this storm, please do so. There is no federal assistance like in the USA and while volunteers swoop in during the weeks and months that follow, their level of assistance depends greatly upon their level of resources. There is of course the Red Cross, but others include UMCOR, and Doctors Without Borders.

I leave you with this:

Matthew 25:35-40English Standard Version (ESV)
35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Quote of the Week

Stinky:  "Blinky, if you don't put down that cane, I'll give you a reason to walk with a cane!"

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Homework Independence

For the last few weeks, Stinky and I have been working on homework independence. #thestruggleisreal He still needs to be able to see me while doing his homework but at least (for now) he doesn't glue himself to me. For this reason, our home office and the homework station in his room are a no-go. Instead, he seems to have adopted a corner of the entertainment center in the living room.

This is what I see most evenings while helping Blinky or cooking dinner:

While its not what I imagined, we're getting there. We are quite literally taking baby steps but we are leaps and bounds from where we were last year.

Here's to progress, albeit ever so slightly.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Updates and Quote of the Week

So I've been missing in blogland for a bit. It seems like every time I fall asleep and wake up, its the start of a new week. Lets see, what have you missed?

The four of us celebrated my birthday at Alabama Splash Adventure Labor Day Weekend. It was super fun! We typically celebrate at Shipwreck Island in Panama City Beach but bad weather forced us north. Both parks are nice so its hard to pick a favorite, but I will say that ASA has more "thrill" rides that the four of us can enjoy together.

Hands down, my favorite ride was upsurge. I am somewhat claustrophobic but the enclosed slide really wasn't that bad. Falling with such force that we could almost touch the top of the ramp was freaky scary. Needless so say Stinky and Blinky LOVED it!
My other favorite was Neptune's Plunge. Again with the enclosed slide but I had to try it. The dark fall made Blinky cry all the way down but she was brave enough to try again and the experience was much better once she knew what to expect. The DH lost his glasses in the drop but found them a few hours later when lifeguards did a sweep of the pool. Thankfully they didn't seem any worse for wear.
We never did make it to the dry side of the park with its roller coaster and other attractions but the kids didn't seem to mind. When the park re-opens next season, we will visit again and fit that into our schedule.
On my actual birthday, we received word that our former minister passed away. He'd been battling cancer, which apparently spread everywhere in spite of treatment. For a week after, I tried to prepare the kids for the news by reminding them where Christians go when they die. When we finally did tell them the day of the funeral (we opted not to take them), they took it as well as kids could I guess. I suppose I prepared them rather well as most of their questions were about my all black attire.
On to happier news, the kids both made all A's on their progress reports. This is as much for the DH and me as it is for them. Its very rewarding as a parent seeing those loooooong nights of homework and fighting pay off.
Our very good friends are moving back to India next month. We're trying to squeeze in as many play dates as we can. Stinky is not taking it very well. He's not as social as Blinky and his little buddy is not just his best friend but probably his only friend. It's very difficult watching many of our dear friends move away. Two houses on our street are for sale. We're praying for nice families with kids Stinky and Blinky's age to move in.
Speaking of Stinky, he's been having a rough few weeks. He had to see the Vice-Principal yesterday for wasting water and shooting toilet paper balls in the bathroom. When she asked why he did this, he said, "You have to wet the tissue to make it fly further."
On that note, I wish you all a happy weekend!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Quote of the Week

I celebrated my 38th birthday on Sunday.

Stinky: "Don't worry Mom, you're not old until you're 40."

Guess I have a few good years left.