Friday, 26 September 2008

We have POWER

Hallelujah! Thank you, Lord!

What else is there to say? (well, thanks to the Centerpoint workers for all their hard work to get electricity restored!)

>Naomi

Thursday, 25 September 2008

25 September 2008, 2:00pm

The waiting game continues.

We're on a reduced schedule for school. Kyrie's band class is the only activity left that has not restarted. The past several days Alex has spent a couple of hours at the FEMA POD (point of distribution) at Gateway Baptist church where his Scout troop meets. Today Kyrie wanted to be able to help too, so I dropped both of them off. I will pick them up in about an hour and then drop the boys off for piano lessons. Hopefully we'll also be able to pick up crickets for Lucky.

The last couple of late afternoons and evenings have been uncomfortably warm in the house. During the morning and early afternoon though it's been just fine. I don't know what it's like upstairs (there is one fan up there), but the kids haven't been complaining so I guess they're coping just fine. I tend to stay near a ceiling fan as much as possible. :)

Aidan and Abigail are still stuffy and sometimes coughing. Hopefully they'll be over the colds soon. Alex thought maybe he felt a little stuffy this morning, but I'm hopeful it's not the start of a cold for him.

Really nothing else new to report so I'll close for now.

Trusting in the Lord (and that the electricity will be back sometime soon),
Naomi for the Colliers

Monday, 22 September 2008

22 September 2008, 4:00pm

Happy 9th birthday to Aidan!

We just got our internet connection back last night, so I've posted all the entries I made in MS Word over the last several days. You have more than enough to read now about our adventures post-Ike. I'll try to add a few pictures later.

Alex and Kyrie had Bridge classes today and the girls are currently at ballet. Alex went to the church where his scout troop meets to be a volunteer handing out ice and water from FEMA. He'll go back there this evening for patrol leaders' council meeting.

Oh, and no, we don't have power yet.

In the midst of it all, we give thanks and praise to God for helping us get through this time.

>Naomi for the Colliers

20 September 2008, 7:30pm

It’s Saturday; no power. It had been reported that our area should have power by Monday evening, but I have since heard and Tartan also heard from someone else that it’s been moved off to Thursday. Sigh.

On the up side, we have water pressure again! With our HE washer, I can wash clothes with power from the generator and since we have a gas dryer we can use that, too. I can also have washed children again. I had used the camper tub\shower with the girls, but I hadn’t gotten to the boys yet. Now they’re squeaky clean- well, at least clean.

Today we had Kyrie’s long overdue birthday party. We had ten girls here besides Collier girls. Fortunately the weather held nice and we spent most of it out on the new deck. They bobbed for apples, played musical chairs and smashed a disco ball piƱata. I think they all had a fun time; I know Kyrie had a wonderful time.

18 September 2008, 6:00pm

Electricity has yet to be restored and the water pressure is so low, it’s pathetic. Today we discovered that the toilets upstairs can’t flush effectively so they’ve been closed off for now. I gave Bug and Abi baths in the camper, but I couldn’t move on to the others because the grey water tank was full. Of course, they’re both adding new layers of grime already. We purchased a 55-gal barrel of petrol from a co-worker today. He met a relative halfway between here and Dallas to get it, and as he pulled into his driveway he saw that their electricity was back on, so since it’s likely to be at least next Monday before we get power, we took it off his hands.

Some good things about the after effects of the storm:
-> Monday morning Abigail found a small, tailless perch on our front porch (no idea how it turned up there- probably involves the cat). Aidan wanted to dissect it, so Tartan pulled out the dissecting tools and remembering what he and Alex had learned last year when they dissected a fish, was able to point out various parts. Spontaneous science lesson.

->Aidan and Kayleigh went on a trip across the US. Aidan sat in the tractor mower and Bug sat in the cart behind it and they pretended to be driving to different states. Occasionally, he would come in and give Tartan a verbal postcard about where they’d been. Aidan eventually pulled out our huge atlas and set it in the cart for reference as they traveled.

->The kids have been outside a lot getting to know some of the neighborhood kids better. Even Aidan, who never goes out to play, has in the past couple of days gone out. I think partly because the weather has been cool (he hates heat), but mostly because he doesn’t have schoolwork to catch up on or the computer or the Wii to play on.

->The kids have done some real, manual labor. They have picked up sticks and branches and raked up leaves and the smaller debris. They have loaded the tractor cart and Alex has even driven the tractor to dump everything onto the burn pile. The usually sedentary Alex even spent a large part of one afternoon out back by himself raking and driving the piles to the back.

->Hopefully this will be a good thing: we’re switching our cable TV and internet service to AT&T. We’ve been thinking about this for a while and lack of responsiveness from Comcast was the last straw.
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We did have the ultrasound yesterday and were able to see that I’m carrying a girl. Her measurements show her to be at 23 weeks of development which is exactly where we’re at. Everything that can be seen by ultrasound looked perfect. We don’t have a name picked out yet and that may take us a while. Probably an “A” name since Abigail is the only female “A”.

Oh, and I turned 40 today, too.

16 September 2008, 8:30pm

Still no power- except just now Tartan discovered an electrician; I haven’t asked him the details yet. He tied our large generator into the house so now we have fans and lights. We can’t run the AC or any of the big appliances, but this is certainly an improvement.

Today Tartan and the kids got most of the yard rubbish picked up and we had quite the bonfire. I didn’t feel particularly well today so I opted out. Nothing to be concerned about; just that ill feeling that won’t completely go away. I did call the birth center and we’re still on for the ultrasound tomorrow. Yea!

Last night we finished watching The Fellowship of the Rings and tonight we’re starting The Two Towers.

15 September 2008, 8:30pm

Still no power. Saturday night before the front it was uncomfortably warm and it was hard to get to sleep. Fortunately, the cold front did come through early Sunday with a noisy thunderstorm so the temperatures have been very nice since then. I’m not sure how long it will last and of course we have no idea when we get electricity back. Today we cleared up most of the yard and tomorrow we’ll hopefully finish it up and have a huge bonfire.

We were running low on fuel so Tartan went off in search. He got into the huge line for the Texaco on the 45 feeder road and 3 hours later he filled up our gas cans. The irritating thing is if he had turned left he would have had a much shorter wait at the Chevron station just around the corner. Or if he had waited at the Kroger gas station, they apparently had a truck deliver petrol not too long after he passed it by. Oh well, we have a good supply now. I hope it’ll last until power is restored.

With preparations for the storm, we didn’t get to the pet store to get crickets for Lucky and she was looking hungry, but Alex found an injured moth today and was able to feed her.

No internet so no phone. Cell signal continues to be poor. Tartan did bring home the camper so we’ll have air conditioning when\if we need it and he started up the water pump so we could take showers (yea!). It’s rather like camping out, but with some of the comforts of home, and of course, we’re actually at home.

6:30pm, 13 September 2008

No power yet. My sister and brother-in-law in Pearland got theirs back earlier this afternoon which makes us hopeful. At least we know that some people are getting back on the grid. Tartan put the Sequoia into 4 wheel drive mode and went to get the camper to bring back to the house. He was able to get out and back in again, but he decided to try tomorrow morning. The water is still a bit high in some places and he hopes it’ll be easier to tow the camper after the water goes down a little more. The rain has stopped which is good. The breeze has died down which is not as good. Since it’s getting to be evening, the temperature is bearable but I do wish a little bit of wind was blowing.

The last weather forecast I heard says it’ll get hot tomorrow, but in the afternoon or evening a cold front will start to push through. The down side is it’ll probably bring some more rain but on the plus side it should bring down the temperatures. I really hope Tartan will be able to bring home the camper because then we can hook it up to the generator and have air conditioning! Another nice discovery is that we don’t have to use the big generator for the refrigerators and the freezer. Tartan hooked them up to the little generator and even in “eco” mode, it’s running them, a halogen light, and my laptop just fine. We’re using up a lot less fuel this way.

The drainage ditch is gradually emptying out. What I didn’t know was that there was a branch clogging the outlet; Tartan spied it and fished it out of the way. That’s why even with the continued rain, the level went down and our yard didn’t look so flooded. Way to go, hubby!

The kids and I picked up the various branches littering the front yard and put them into one big pile. We’ll eventually have to move that pile and also pick up all the mess in the backyard, but at least we got a start while it was still cool outside.

1:00pm Sat, 13 September 2008

We lost power sometime between midnight and 3am. We hear on the radio that it could be 2 weeks before power is restored. I’m just recording some thoughts and observations to post to the blog once there is power and internet. Tartan did try plugging in the cable modem to the generator, but Comcast is apparently down. We’re very happy that we have the wrap around porch out front since Tartan has been able to put the generator out there and it’s under cover.

We had cell phone to begin with this morning, but now the networks are overloaded and we can’t get a signal. We made it through the storm with minimal damage. A couple of our bottlebrush bushes were uprooted, several branches are down, and right now we’re watching our front yard get flooded as the drainage ditch has reached its capacity. Amazingly, the only problem we have with the windows is a compromised seal in one window over the master bathtub. Also amazing is the fact that we managed to place our paddle boat and its tarp cover in a somewhat protected spot. When we saw how strong the wind was blowing, we thought that at the very least the tarp would blow away and the boat not stay in its original spot.

We think some of the eye passed over us as the wind died down for a while before suddenly picking up again from the south whereas it had been from a northerly direction all night. We looked out the windows several times through the night and it was incredible seeing the power of the wind whipping the trees and rain. The children slept well for the most part though the girls all woke up around 5am and it took them awhile to get back to sleep.

Though it’s inconvenient not having power, at least it’s still cool outside and we can open some of the windows to let in the nice breeze. Now we’re just waiting for the rain to stop.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Settling down for the night.


We can hear the wind blowing out there, but our bedroom is currently on the leeward side. No rain as of yet. The picture is of the kids settling down in our room for the night. Bug is already asleep.

Hurricane Ike - report #3

Last update for Friday evening (9pm).

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Hurricane Ike - report #2

Update on Hurricane Ike's progress, from Spring, Texas. (6:25 p.m. on Sept 12).

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Hurricane Ike - report #1

Aidan Collier reports on Hurricane Ike from Spring, Texas.

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We will make an effort to continue updates throughout the storm, depending on whether we have power and internet access.