Tuesday, November 4, 2008

More of the same with a little change

On October 22nd, Kylie learned to ride a bike and three days later lost her first tooth. How is this happening? She's just 6! :)

Doug and I are back from our vacation. We had a lot of fun together, met fun people, and really enjoyed are two scuba diving trips. After peace in Christ, the next best peace to experience is the quiet under the ocean. We never get tired of it (except for the water that is still lingering on my left ear).

I wanted to add a picture of the catfish tank where we go in the evenings, and a sample of the tracks we see each day. You can see raccoon, deer, and heron crane in these two pictures.

Tonight was pretty fun for the kids. My mom made a cherry cobbler following a new recipe yesterday for Doug's birthday. Doug and I got in too late to celebrate with the kids, so we were supposed to have the dessert for breakfast. Without saying anything bad about my mom's cooking, just let say the recipe left a lot to be desired. So we all looked forward to tonight - we put the whole cobbler out in front of mom's kitchen window and waited for some action.

Without fail, a raccoon appeared, as if on cue. He started to nibble and nibble and nibble. He actually liked the stuff. All three of the kids were on the counter watching. Karis said, "Doe (that's what she calls my mom), your window is like a movie theater screen, and this is like watching a movie out your window." Then it got better.

The fat raccoon that I scared the other night, sauntered up like he was going to enjoy some too, and a fight ensued very quickly. The fat one lost. He eventually wondered off. I couldn't believe it. Next, a big opossum tried to sneak up and get some cobbler, but the raccoon wouldn't leave the dessert. He had found gold, and he wasn't leaving. A smaller opossum walked around, but was way too scared to approach the dessert. I think there were many animals scattered away in the bushes waiting for the cobbler to be abandoned. Can I tell you, I put the kids to bed, cleaned the kitchen, and got ready for bed myself, and that raccoon only left that pan twice for water and went right back at it.

One last trip through the kitchen revealed the true gluttony of the raccoon. He climbed the tree in front of my mother's window and got on the roof. I got out my dad's maglite, and went outside a few minutes later and saw the raccoon "hunkered down" on the roof for the night. I told my dad about the raccoon, and he said, "He's too full to make it home." I said, "Do you really think that's what happened?" And he said, "It's like a drunk that can't make it out of the parking lot of the bar he endulged in." I think that says it all for tonight.

Karis's New Haircut

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Nature's Water Cooler

Yesterday we went for our first outing to feed the catfish and put corn out for the deer and turkey. We saw 1 raccoon, 3 armadillos, 1 buck, 1 fawn, and 11 does. Actually "we" didn't see all of those. I was the only one who saw the raccoon. I hope he's okay. Here's the scoop.

Two nights ago, Mom and I were visiting in the kitchen and a opossum climbed up a tree in front of her window. It went up on the roof, and then came back down. He then went up again, so I ran to get the kids because I figured he was sticking around awhile. When the kids came back, there was no performance. Mom and the kids went outside and could hear "crunching," like claws on the tile (Too bad I don't have the video of Caleb telling me he heard the crunching. It was too funny). Still, no opossum coming down. So I went out a little further than they did to look up on the roof, but I saw two eyes staring at me from somewhere else.

Doug and I put our refrigerator outside on the carport because with five extra people here, we needed another place to hold food. Right beside the refrigerator is a tall stand my dad built for the cats to keep their food up high so night critters couldn't get it (It doesn't work - it is the "water cooler" for the nocturnals around here). It has three shelves and the middle two are very close together. Sitting so still between those two shelves was a opossum, staring at me.

Well, forget the one on the roof, I told the kids to come out and see this one. The "crunching" could have been "Bonnie's" partner, "Clyde" eating the cat food. Anyway, "Bonnie" eventually scampered down the tree 20 minutes later after the scene had been cleared, but when I went out after an hour to put some food up in the fridge, "Clyde" was still stuck in his position, pretty scared.

That leads me to the raccoon. I went out last night around 8:30 to put some "Foza bread" (a bread my wonderful Baton Rouge neighbor, Foza, made and sent with me) in the refrigerator (which is white). When I opened the white door towards the cat tower, the raccoon must have thought it was the "ghost light" from "Cars" (check out that extra video if you haven't seen it). I never saw him on the tower, but I saw him hit the carport. That joker is huge. He's been eating cat food for quite sometime.

He landed hard on his right shoulder and then ran in place like they do in the cartoons because his claws were slipping on the cement. He finally scuttled away, but he might not be back to the "water cooler" for a while. I hope he's okay.

Today, we leave for Waco for Paw Paw's 90th birthday. It will give the animals some time to get comfortable coming around again, and maybe they will visit again when we return. More adventures.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

God's Acts of Kindness

our new home
God so graciously gave us cool, cloudy days to load and unload the truck. He also blessed us with so many people who came to visit Saturday and Sunday as we loaded the truck and packed the final stuff. How thoughtful of Him to put my family on the thoughts of others.

Doug, my mom, and I unloaded the truck today into two storage sheds in Yoakum. My mom left eventually, but the student pastor from First Baptist Church Yoakum came out to help. Was I ever happy!!! Doug and I would still be out there struggling to lift pieces if Eric had not come to the rescue. We were unloaded in four hours!

We came back to my mom's house and went through over 20 boxes pulling out items we needed to "make a home" in our room and the kids' rooms. Then, tonight, after the kids went to bed, Doug and I went back to storage to put back all the stuff we didn't need out of those boxes. God (and Doug's awesome packing skills) allowed us to have room left over in one of the sheds.

Caleb and Kylie rode a tractor this morning with our neighbor who leases our land and helped him pack down his grass jigs (that is basically running heavy equipment over an area of land where a farmer has put down some blades of grass (jigs) to pack them down so that they will eventually root). Karis just stayed on the four-wheeler with my mom to watch. The kids stayed outside a majority of the day climbing trees, jumping on the trampoline, decorating the driveway with chalk, and riding bikes. Two opossums entertained us tonight on the carport as we watched through the window, and all-in-all, it was a good day. As sad as it was leaving Baton Rouge yesterday, I'm glad I have some place so peaceful to come.

Whirlwind from October 3rd to today

On October 3rd, a nice couple and their soon-to-be-three year old daughter, Paisley, set an appointment to come see our house. THEN, they came again the next day. THEN two days later made an offer on the house.

This was only the second time someone had come to the house since we put it on the market September 11th. God has amazing plans! How grateful I am that He allowed our house to be sold with the economy and market the way it is. I am wonderfully amazed by Him.

Anyway, long story, very short, is they wanted to close on November 2nd, but we couldn't. The date we were available for was October 20th. From the time we agreed on a price to closing, was 12 days! Wow! What a whirlwind. I can't believe it's over. It was so fast I didn't have time to be depressed - which is good! Actually, God is the good one!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Entertaining Angels

Last Friday night Doug prayed, "God, I'm not trying to test you, but I know that you could bring someone tomorrow to put on offer on our house, if you wanted to." In my lack of faith, I was thinking to myself, "He's awfully bold. No one has even looked at or called about our house."

Saturday, after lunch, a man in his eighties rang the doorbell repeatedly. A tree landed on his house during Gustav and he's looking for a new residence. He said he could pay us cash as soon as he cashed in his CDs, and he offered us a little less than we were asking, which was completely fine. He kept asking the same questions over and over, so Doug wasn't sure he was "getting" everything. But I figure, even if he forgets where we live and never comes back, we had the chance of entertaining an angel. God brought him right to our door as a response to Doug's prayer. I need to learn to be more specific in my prayer life and have more faith that God will do exceedingly above what I think or ask. It was an incredible lesson in faith for me.

Gustav and Ike

The Friday before Gustav hit, my family was eating lunch and planning and after-nap departure for Mississippi. God shined down on me with a phone call from Robin Cook who asked what I was going to do about the storm. I said that after living through Katrina without power for 5 days, as soon as I lost power from Gustav, I was heading to Texas this time.
She said, “Are you kidding me?”
I said, “No, I’m not sticking around with three small children with no air conditioner.”
She said, “No, I mean are you kidding me that you are going to wait until you lose power? You have to leave now. You can’t wait.”

I talked with Doug, and five hours later, I was headed to my mom’s house. Doug decided to stay here and still visit our friends in Mississippi and ride out the storm either there or in Baton Rouge. The next day, when he saw the storm headed straight for Baton Rouge, he packed up most of our freezer in an ice chest, battened down the hatches, and he headed to Texas, as well. It just took him FIVE more hours on the road than it took me the day before.

It was weird to be somewhere where everyone was going about their lives as if things were normal. I was screaming inside, “Don’t you care that Baton Rouge is getting pummeled and all my friends and my house are under greats about of stress?!”

Several incredible people, (Mike, Tommy, Rick, and Stefanie) drove by our house to report on our damage…None. We returned a week after the storm to clean out our fridges and deep freeze and check everything out. Thankfully, we went without kids, because power still had not been restored. The wind only created some minor problems around the house that Doug was able to fix in a few hours. My heart was so heavy as I drove around seeing trees in houses, but it was lightened to see the thousands of workers around the city helping where they could.

After cleaning up our house in Baton Rouge and having our power come on while we were there, we returned toTexas to get the kids. The next day when we were thinking about returning to Baton Rouge again, Dad wanted help boarding up the house and getting the outside ready for Ike. Doug was doing things my dad shouldn't be doing - which is good. By the next day, the traffic from evacuation was so bad, we couldn't return, so we rode it out in
Yoakum. We finally got back home yesterday (Thursday after Ike) after I-10 was cleared.

Friday night, Doug was praying and he said, “God, I don’t want to test you, but I know if it is your will, you could have someone knock on our door tomorrow and make us on offer on our house.” In my mind, I’m thinking, “Doug surely is bold. No one has even looked at or called about our house.”

Wouldn’t you know, Saturday after lunch, the doorbell rang, and it was an 82 year old man who was looking for a house because a tree was inside his. He loved the house, and told Doug he could offer us a little less than we were asking, but he could pay cash.

I don’t know if we will ever see him again (he may find another abode), but I do know I’m going to try to be more specific in my prayer requests. Isn’t God amazing!!!