Wednesday, December 31, 2008
We did Christmas in Vegas this year with my family, so we've been hanging out in the desert for the last week or so. Actually, we were supposed to be here last year, but Rachael was 8.9 months pregnant and the doctors frowned upon the idea of us traveling when we were so close to our due date. It has been a lot of fun thus far. Both my brother and sister and their families were here as well as my grandmother and uncle, so we had a full house for a few days. Connor is old enough now that he is starting to understand that Christmas time means opening lots of presents, so we had to constantly guard the chrstimas tree lest a brightly wrapped box became the casualty his eagerness. Cody was just happy to chew on the discarded paper! As you can see, Connor's favorite gift was the pirate set, complete with eye patch, so he was running around saying Argg and challenging everyone with his sword.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
This has been a crazy year for Texas weather. We had the hurricane in September, then late last week, we had this! I don't know about the rest of the city, or even the rest of the family, but I was excited. I love the snow and, to me at least, it never really seems like Christmas without it. Unfortunately, the snow melted the next day, but it has been foggy, windy, and cold (well cold for Texas) this whole week and I've heard rumors that we might get some more. I'll keep my fingers crossed!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
A few weeks back, we ventured out to Brennam, Texas to visit the Blue Bell Ice Cream factory with some friends of ours. We had gotten wind of a crazy rumor that Blue Bell, which is the best ice cream you have ever had, was giving ice cream away on account that many of the stores affected by Hurricane Ike were unable to accept any cold produce and Blue Bell was running out of storage space. Needless to say, we were not disappointed. The tour was interesting, but the fun started when we got to the end of the tour and the guide annouced that we were free to try as much ice cream as we wanted, free of charge. So we ate...and ate...and ate. I think I personally had 3 or 4 bowls (small bowls) and I know that I saw some people in our group eat more than I did. It was a lot of fun, and a lot of really good ice cream.
Friday, September 19, 2008
As far as the hurricane goes, it hit our area around 1:30 in the morning and finally passed us around noon, so about 11 hours. There was a lot of rain and lots of wind, as you can imagine. I was awake most of the night, mostly because I was nervous. Like many of you, I've seen the footage of major hurricanes on the news, so each time a 100 mph gust of wind hit our house, I was worred our roof would go with it. Luckily that never happened, but it was a long night to say the least. I did manage to get some sleep, but about 5:30 I woke up because something didn't sound right. For several hours, the wind had been howling around us and the rain had been pounding on the windows, etc. but at that moment, everything was completely quiet. I got up from bed and went to the window and sure enough, there was no wind and the rain had let up to a very slow drizzle. It was then that I realized that the eye of the storm was right on top of us. It was a very neat experience, and to say it was surreal would be an understatement. Of course, the heavy wind and rain started again about an hour later and lasted for another 6 hours or so.
Once the storm passed, we decided to take a drive to see my in-laws house (they were out of town at the time) and the scene around us was scary. I've never seen so many trees, some of which had trunks to large to get your arms around, just snapped in half. The streets were literally littered with tree branches, leaves, etc. and in some areas, the roads were more of an obstacle course, as we had to weave around different obstructions. Unfortunately, we didn't take any pictures, but even then I don't think they would do the scene justice. What was even more impressive was to think that this was a catagory 2 hurricane, one of the weakest.
There has been some good from this hurricane however. We have seen the goodness of people in the worst of situations, we have finally met our neighbors after almost a year, and we have made strengthened some relationships within our ward, and we have learned the importance of food storage and emergency preparedness, as we have been without power for almost a week.
We know that many of you have been thinking of us and have kept us in your prayers, and for that we are grateful. We look forward to actually talking with you soon.
Friday, September 12, 2008
As of right now, the weather has gotten cloudy and a small breeze has begun to blow; an ominous sign of things to come. It was kind of strange yesterday because the weather was beautiful. It was really sunny, warm, and just a gorgeous day all around. It was weird to think that there was a major storm 300 miles away and heading straight toward us because you never would have guessed it based on the weather. I guess I have some insight as to why the Galveston Hurricane in the early 1900's was so devastating.
Thanks for all of your concern. I've spoken to several of you on the phone, as well as through email, and comments on the blog. We'll keep you updated, although it might be several days before you hear from us again. I imagine we'll lose power, and I'm almost certain that the cell phone towers are going to get blown down too, and we don't have a land line. I'll do my best to keep everyone up to date.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Anyway, life here has kind of been put on hold as everyone waits to see exactly what the hurricane is going to do. People everywhere are talking about it, and every where you go, there are flashing signs that read "Hurricane forming in the gulf. Fill your gas tanks." As if we really needed to be reminded.
As far as our plans are concerned, Rachael and I have not talked about evacuation. Humble, where we are located, is about 80 miles or so from the coast, so I don't think we need to worry about flooding. I am worried about wind damage however. We live in an area that has a lot of trees, and my neighbor has a large tree in his back yard that, if it decides to go down, there is nothing between it and my roof. I guess we'll see.
We'll definitely keep you updated as things unfold. I am providing a link to a weather page that I have been using to track the hurricane, just in case you get bored and want to see the action unfold for yourself. It's actually a neat web it is totally interactive, so you can use it to see the historical track of Ike, as well as projected paths based on different computer models. Enjoy, and we'll talk again soon. http://www.stormpulse.com/fullscreen/current
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Ahh, the 4th of July. Is there any holiday that is really more fun than America's birthday? I mean if you think about it, is there any other holiday where people get together and have parades, BBQ's, and then after all the eating and socializing is done, proceed to blow things up? I can't think of one. On a more serious note though, is there another holiday that we as a society take for granted more than the 4th of July? At one point last night, as I listened to our national anthem, I caught myself reflecting on just how lucky I am to be an American. The 4th isn't about the fireworks, the BBQ's, or the parades, although that is what it has become to most of us. It is, and should be, about the celebration of our freedom; that we recognize and appreciate that no other people in the history of the world has had the same freedoms that we have. Do we really appreciate all that we have? Since I'm on my soapbox...make sure you vote this year. It's one of our greatest priviledges, and it's frustrating to hear that about half of us don't care enough to participate.
Ok...I've said my peace on that. So yesterday was actually pretty fun. This has been our second 4th of July in Houston, and while we still miss getting together with the Parkinson's in Provo and going to the Freedom Festival Parade, we still managed to have fun. We spent part of the morning swimming in one of the many community pools nearby. Rachael and the boys are frequent swimmers, and Connor is actually getting really good at it. He's fearless too, which is both a good and a bad thing. At this particular pool, there is a pretty decent sized water slide. Well, Connor went down this slide all by himself probably a dozen times. Here's the video...along with a few other pictures.
That evening we went over to Kingwood Country Club, where Rachael works, and went to their carnival. It was a lot of fun, although Connor was being grumpy for the better part of it. I'm not sure why he was grumpy, I mean we were outside, there was one of those bouncy slide things, and even Clutch, the Houston Rockets mascot, came was was passing out shirts, etc. to all the kids. The only way we could calm him down was to jump in a golf cart and drive around the golf course for like 20 minutes looking for animals. He's a funny boy. Luckily, we saw some ducks, storks, and two baby racoons, which was really neat.
As for the rest of the evening, when Connor did finally settle down, we had a lot of fun. The country club offered a BBQ buffet of chicken, briscket, and hot dogs, as well as apple cobbler and cookies. Rachael and I ate our fair share, but Connor and Cody shared a hamburger bun. The highlight of the evening was of course the fireworks, which started a little after 9 pm, and which were pretty nice. That concluded our evenings festivities, except for the drive home which unfortunately took way to long as we had to battle every other joe schmo for a place on the highway
Thursday, July 3, 2008
So about working from home. I've done it before a couple of times before and I really like it. I honestly feel like I get a lot more accomplished through out the day than if I'm just stuck at my desk. My work, in general is pretty easy to do, so when I'm in the office I always seem to finish my work early and then have to find other things to do to fill my time. At home however, when I finish my work early, I can play with my boys, help Rachael around the house, or just take an hour break and go to the gym. I guess what it boils down too is that when I work from home, I'm always doing something, which is nice.