Hurricanes and other fun things

Greetings from the storm center!  It’s been nonstop hurricane coverage in our viewing area and we are hunkered down for our first hurricane. It is supposed to make landfall late today. We gassed up the vehicles plus the extra gas tank, we moved everything off our back patio, tied down and flipped over the trampoline, got sandbags, lowered the hurricane shutters and braved WalMart to buy “supplies.”

Let me tell you about the “supplies.” Monday was big batch baking day for me. I baked 4 loaves of sandwich bread, 4 loaves of cinnamon swirl bread, 4 pans of cinnamon rolls, 36 hot dog buns, 24 hamburger buns and 2 dozen dinner rolls. This was when I thought Alex was just a little tropical storm that would break up before much longer. I was a little bit wrong about that. When we discovered it was coming right at us, I planned…I knew I didn’t need any bread products! We are set for breads. We have enough to share. That’s always cool.  Anyhow, Mr Wonderful and I made a list of what we needed to round off the supplies in case we lost power for a few days. We debated the generator. We decided against it. We may regret that, I don’t know. Eventually, we really want to get one, but where the heck do you store that thing when you are not gearing up for a storm? Ugh. Do any of you own one? Where do you store it?

I grabbed the list and the boys and headed to Wal Mart. Along with everyone else in the Valley and, I am fairly certain, Northern Mexico. Wowza, it was crowded. It looked like looters had been in several of the aisles. There was NO canned chicken or tuna, no Ramen soup noodles, almost no Spaghetti-O products. (can you imagine living on Beefaroni for days?) and all the canned chili, except for Wolf Brand chili with no beans-gone, gone, gone. No worries for me, though.  Mr Wonderful ONLY likes Wolf, no beans. It makes him very happy. So I bought 4 cans, just for grins.  I bought our bottled water, paper towels (I know, gasp! I haven’t bought those in about 2 years), tp and a three pack of ketchup. If you have ever eaten a meal with our middle guy, you will understand the bulk ketchup…

I am going to tell you something. I looked at what others were buying. I knew most of them had been through Hurricane Dolly 2 years ago and I might learn something from what was in their carts. No way. Not thank you. Here was what was in those carts…Doritos, Coke, Gatorade, Budweiser, squishy sandwich bread, Chips Ahoy, and many many heads of iceberg lettuce (that one still has me guessing). Seriously, in an emergency, would your first thought be, “I need to gather emergency food and supplies for my family. We might lose power for several days. I had better lay in a supply of Doritos. That will keep us going.” I giggled and giggled. I love people watching. My Dad and I love to figure out the story of passerby. I had many stories to guess yesterday.

Today, we watch and wait. The fine folks at the Weather Channel say it will hit land late this afternoon/evening. It was coming at us, now it is a bit South (Mexico). Of course, anything more than 5 miles South of us IS Mexico. They evacuated the Island and the towns on the other side of the Island. We made cookies yesterday. (Those Chips Ahoy made me hungry for them) We have our water, our bread, our cashews, peanut butter (even though oldest is seriously allergic) almond butter, powdered milk (okay, I always have that, I use it for baking), flashlights, batteries, radio, etc. We are ready.

Carter volunteered to dig us a moat, but we decided to go with sandbags this time

Hurricane Shutters - Activate!

A little calm before the storm-before we sealed up the front door. I expect those palms are going to be bowing before long...

Watching and Waiting,

~Janna

So much

It’s been a long time since I posted anything. Yes, I’ve been busy…but really I felt like I didn’t have anything to say.  It’s been an interesting time down here. Waiting to find out if we are staying in this house. It’s been hard for me, sometimes.

I was at the kitchen sink the other day, where I have some of my best “aha” moments with God, and He asked me, “why don’t you trust me?”  I thought about that for a while. It was true. My mouth was saying that He had my life in His hands, but my heart didn’t believe He was handling it so well. Sure, I trusted Him to find us a place to live and that He had good plans for us and all that Jeremiah 29 :11 business, but I didn’t really trust that if I wasn’t part of God’s sounding board, doing “my thing”, “helping” that He’d really follow through. What was I thinking?  When push came to shove, I thought that if I turned my back on the situation at hand, God wouldn’t step up to the plate? Like He needed my prodding to take care of my precious family?  I laughed out loud with my hands in the sudsy water, and then cried. It was true. I didn’t trust Him. I repented. Now I joyfully await what He has in store for us. It’s going to be good. It’s going to be a miracle. It’s going to be exactly what we need.

So, life has been on hold in a way. Even so, we took a little vacation of sorts to San Antonio. We had a great time. We walked the Riverwalk, rode the boat, ate at a Man vs Food restaurant with a 3 pound cinnamon roll. It was like an epic quest to get there. We enjoyed a day at Fiesta Texas amusement park, swam in the hotel pool, visited the USS Lexington and the Aquarium in Corpus and laughed and laughed and talked. It was good. Real good. It was just what we needed.

This week, I have been organizing VBS, ordering our curriculum, 2 gallons of coconut oil and thinking about baking. I need to have a big batch baking day and I just haven’t worked up the gumption to do it. Maybe Friday…

Monday morning at 5:15 brought the start of a new phase for this family. Our oldest left on his first youth camp adventure. He is having a great time. I only know this because of reports from friends and family who are also in attendance. He is too busy to let his Mommy know how he is doing. I know he will come back a changed young man and I am so proud of him. He returns Friday night and I am going to compose myself and not run wildly to the van saying, “come to Mommy!” I’m going to try real hard not to do that – maybe.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what encourages growth. Internally and externally. If I neglect my garden, the plants will starve, shrivel and die. If I feed those plants what they need, they will flourish and produce. Not only will they produce fruit, but they produce the very thing needed to reproduce. I am thinking a lot about Life Groups in the fall. What seeds can I plant? What seeds can I encourage to grow? How can I be part of the beauty that will grow and reproduce and become life-giving?  So many think they don’t have what it takes to lead others and it’s just not true. It’s a lie that keeps us from relating to one another and investing in someone else’s life because we think we don’t have enough knowledge or talent or a cute house or whatever plays in our minds. Re-read the first three words of that last sentence: IT’S A LIE…. You have what it takes. You are needed. You are vital to this harvest. Plant, water, tend and let’s enjoy the harvest together…..

~Janna

It’s Tuesday and I like it

Good morning from the subtropics!  We had a beautiful little lightning show last night as we drifted off to sleep. It’s my favorite lullaby. It was overcast this morning and that’s the best way to wake up, in my opinion.

The boys were up and at ’em with the roosters. Carter has a friend over. I am so thankful for sweet friends for my boys. Hayden took out two pie pans of cinnamon rolls from the freezer last night and he popped them in the oven this morning for breakfast. These boys are so cute with cinnamon sugar syrup dripping down their chins.

Yesterday, I finished operation organize boys’ rooms. Carter was first. His is the hardest. That boy likes to collect everything and anything. The good thing is that he is fine with throwing things away or giving them away. Hayden was second. He is my artist. I really believe he doesn’t even see the mess. He just sees possibility. Those scraps of paper are waiting to be used for an art project or to design new creatures on. Pens and pencils (I found 15 of my missing pens, the stapler and the real Scotch tape), clay, paint, glue and books were tucked into every drawer or crevice.  It’s done now. Taylor keeps his room pretty tidy and just redid his closets two weeks ago so he missed out on this round.  He was rewarded with three new t-shirts for camp. Do you write his name on the tag when he goes to Youth Camp? These are things I don’t know.

As we were cleaning, I was thinking how easy packing will be since all the room weeding will be done. We can just open the boxes and lovingly place the objects in. Do you like that….lovingly?? 🙂

So you might be asking yourself now, packing? Does this mean they know where they are moving to? Nope. We don’t. But I want to be ready. I am sorta kinda thinking about starting on my dining room. Sorta. Kinda. I have a lot of china and glassware. It’s a pain to wrap up. When we moved here, my Mommy wrapped it all for me and lovingly placed it in the boxes. She really did it lovingly. I wonder if I can convince her to drive down here to pack up my dining room?

This week, I am going to a health-food co-op meeting in the nearby bigger city. Meeting new people, talking about wheat and homemade laundry detergent. My kind of fun. I have game night at church on Friday for the Ladies and a get-together on Saturday. I like get-togethers. I like community. I like people. I really do.

That’s about it for today. I have no menu plan posted. I have one on the fridge but I don’t feel like typing it. Maybe after I have a cup of tea I will. You’ll be okay, I promise.

~Janna