Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Boys' Birthday Bash

Both my boys have a birthday in the summer and I normally make ONE party to celebrate both. I do this for 2 main reasons:
Mama is tired
Mama's wallet can't handle it

So without further excuse-making, I hope you enjoy the photos! If you came to the boys party--thank you!
We went for the easy ninja party. It's always so hard to please both of them on one common thing (if you're a mom of more than 1 kid, you will understand). So red, white and black it was and I actually did as least as possible and the boys still had a great time!
My mom and my aunt were freakin super stars always helping me in the kitchen! Thank you both, I love your beautiful faces!
If you notice, I made the boys take ninja pictures for some cool decorations and to dress up their piñata! Jonah makes the best faces...  
 After playing around and eating some hot dogs, we were ready to bust open the piñata. I bought a cheap one from the Mexican store and tore off the Paw Patrol front. I then printed a large picture (tiled it in the printer settings) of their ninja poses and stapled it on there. I could have dressed it up a bit more but ehhh... 
I thought it was pretty clever and simple...My kids are weird, though.

This kid...
As soon as the piñata was busted, everyone filled their goody bags and then we came inside to eat some cake! 
As if the boys could not total opposites, they requested vanilla & chocolate. 
And it never fails that Andrew is done with his food before I even get a chance to snap a pic or sit down to eat my own meal...
They enjoyed the company of their schoolmates for sure! They always get upset that their birthday party is never when school is in session so this was a treat! Thank you again to all who came. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Stranded during Harvey

As most of us know, Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf of Mexico hitting most of the Texas coast. It knocked cities out, killed many victims, and has been a very unfortunately event for people who've literally lost everything they owned. 
Let me preface this by saying our family was safe. Even our relatives who happened to recently move to Rockport, are safe. They were smart and they evacuated. 
We stuck it out. We were lucky. We were blessed. We did get a first row seat at Harvey's ugly face. Its prolonged rain bands haunted us for 3 consecutive days. 
I'd like to post some pictures of what I witnessed during this terrifying ordeal, but I know this is nothing compared to others. 
Our hearts goes out to those who've lost so much and are now on the road of rebuilding.
On the days before Harvey was to land upon us, I made sure to hustle into my favorite store and pack my basket with as much as non-perishable food as possible and just for funsies decided to look through the aisles. 
I knew that we only had few hours until we would be stranded in our community. When it pours torrential rains, we always get flooded in. The question is always - for how long? 
This will technically make it the third time we flood in for the third year in a row. Luckily, now we know that even a 1,000 year flood won't come near our house. 
But that was not the story for some near lakes and bodies of water. 
I was only waiting until our power would go out. Until we had no more running water. 
That moment never came. Sure, power flickered once or twice but it always came back on. Just like my heart died and came back to life in those few seconds. 
Now I've been told that I need a generator. But those words aren't useful when you can't get out or when everything is out of stock. 
Gary and I lived through Florida's Hurricane Charley back in 2004, even stupidly testing its wind power right smack dab in the middle of it because come on, you know you want to. 
We had no water or electricity for 4 miserable days. If I lived through that, I can surely live through Harvey. 
All through the weekend, I could hear air boats and the deuce and a half roaring past my streets as they rescued people from low lying areas. It was alarming. It was depressing. It was something else.
We would go out and roam the road a bit to see just how high the water was. And every single time, we couldn't believe it. It was farther and farther up the road. Roads weren't roads anymore...it was all a lake now. With its current washing away anything it touched. Fences, porches, debris, trees, roads, etc.
Finally, during a calm in between rain bands and when on the third day rain started to slow down. Our driveway has a culvert and it chugged endlessly. That poor thing needs a medal! So we ventured outside even though it was sprinkling and still managed to get soaking wet.
The kids love me making boats out of aluminum for them. Each one fighting to see who's is the best or the biggest. They insert it through one end and wait for it to come out the other end. It's fun. You should try it. 
Ground was so soft and squishy, you could sink in some places....and Gary did. Two and a half feet down a sink hole.
It wasn't just us getting cabin fever (as you can see some clips in the video I've made below). It was the whole dang town. Everyone was on their 4-wheelers. And about a hundred people found refuge in both churches with almost nothing but their clothes in whatever they got out with. It was such heart break to know they would go back after this mess to see only disaster, and possibly nothing, for their home.
The town came together in donations like never before. The PD was on constant alert with its citizens and its chief. The rescue team was hosted in a little building beside City Hall. I offered my showers and washed/dryed their wet clothes. 
The people of this town communicated like never before. It was a pretty unbelievable sight to witness continually. So we definitely got curious when helicopters started to fly above us. Everyone gathered around to take watch and take pictures. 
We stopped for a family selfie. 
Even our main highway was under water. Even if we could have gotten out of our community, we couldn't go anywhere...The flooding of the highway caused so much damage and major shut downs of businesses along it. 
Rumor was it that supplies were being airlifted to the town via the chopper, but that was actually a medical emergency. We did find out that supplies were being transferred from the other side of the lake/road into our community via pontoon boat! 
Red Cross immediately came in to provide meals and other essentials to the citizens who have been displaced and now, two weeks after Harvey, it's clean up time. 
It's back to normal for some. 
Some people don't have houses or jobs to go to. Some people are working over time. 
All because of Harvey. 
Our pastor's house flooded and his wife gave testimony of the people who personally helped them and touched their hearts. Our church has not resumed weekly schedules until all of the homes and their families are back on their feet. 

What a beautiful testament of God's love.