Sunday, September 14, 2008

We Weathered the Storm

So, you all know, we made it! Our house is still standing, no broken windows and we are completely safe.

We traveled to Austin this morning, leaving our house at 6am because it was so hot! Tentatively, we are planning on going back tomorrow as we expect Drew to return to work Tuesday.

I want to record what happened, so this may get lengthy.

Thank you all for your prayers and comments!

Friday night, it seemed Ike just wasn't going to come to land. Not because of what news casters were predicting, he just wasn't coming in. I started to get skeptical thinking this wasn't going to be a big deal at all. I mean, it was a little windy but nothing really.

Around midnight, Drew and I decided to go to bed. As I was brushing my teeth, the power went off for about 30 seconds and then came back on. So something was happening. We had decided to sleep on an air mattress in the boys room for two reasons. I wanted them close. And because there bedroom had the smallest window which we could all stay away from.

At about 2, the power turned off and back on again. Drew went down to check what the tv was saying. Ike was heading our way and had just touched land.

We debated about what to do. We have a closet under our stairwell that we originally thought we would all hang out in. In the middle of the night, it looked very small with two sleeping boys. We decided our upstairs hall was the next best option. We closed all the doors and the queen air mattress fit where our three bedrooms converge. We decided the boys would sleep there and Drew and I would share the remaining space in the hallway. Think long twin but narrower. I laid there for about 10 minutes before I realized that my almost 31 week pregnant self could not handle laying on the floor. The pressure points on my hip and shoulder were already hurting. I decided that I could lay at the bottom of the air mattress below the boys feet. During that time, at 2:45 the power switched off and stayed off.

I slept off and on until 6:26 when Kolby woke up. Drew was up every half hour checking the Doppler on his Blackberry. When Kolby woke up, I took off his long sleeve shirt (he sleeps in long pajamas because he gets cold in shorts and doesn't keep covers on) and told him to lay back down. At about 7, Sage woke up. We chatted about the loud noises he was hearing for the first time. The wind and probably debris landing or hitting our roof.

Through out the night, I would wake up to a loud bang or something. I think it was tree branches hitting our house or roof.

One of our worries or fears was a tree or branch coming through one of our windows. We live in a pretty wooded area and have some large windows. It could have been very scary and very destructive if that would have happened.

We got up and went downstairs. Drew checked the Doppler again and we weren't out of the eye yet so we set up a fortress under the stairs and tried to keep the boys in there, away from our very large windows. We ate breakfast of cereal and pop tarts with a juice box. It was hard to keep the boys in there, partly because neither Drew or I wanted to stay in there. It was really uncomfortable for me to sit or lay in there.

About 8, we decided it was okay to venture out of there. And that began our first day of no power. We listened to our radio that picks up television stations and found out that we are under a water conservation. We were to use water sparingly, no showers, flush as little as possible, use bottled water as much as possible.

Around 11, we went on an adventure. We walked around our neighborhood. It was still raining, so we all used umbrellas which the boys thought was very cool. We had seen out our window, one large branch that had fallen. As we walked, we saw about 6 trees that were uprooted and laying against houses. Miraculously, none of the windows were broken nor structure damaged from what we could see.

We went to check on the bayou by the tennis courts. The bayou was up about 20 feet. It was covering the tennis courts, you couldn't even see where the bayou was supposed to start or end. The pool is disgusting. Filled with all sorts of nastiness and there is a lot of clean up to do.

There was just a lot of tree debris all over, making it hard to walk along the paths or in the street. Especially for little legs like Kolby's!

After seeing what had happened in our neighborhood, we were more grateful that God had protected us. I was also grateful that Ike came at night, it was easy to keep the kids out of harms way (the windows) instead of fighting them all day.

As my mom said, there is supposed to be a "cool front" coming in, it should help with the clean up process and make it bearable to be in the city. And by cool front in Houston standards is 80's during the day and 60's at night. Not too cool to my original Iowa standards but it feels great now!

Our original plan had been to stay until Monday or Tuesday and then the kids and I were going to come to Austin to stay with our friends but we couldn't take the heat! We thought we had tougher skin than we actually do. We slept upstairs in our bedrooms which was our first mistake, in my opinion. We should have set up camp downstairs where it was a little cooler. Sage, Drew and I woke up about every hour and a half needing a drink of water. Kolby slept like a champ and didn't wake up at all. It was just disgusting. I was trying to lay so that no part of my skin had to touch another part of my skin. The best way to do that is on your back and I knew that I shouldn't be sleeping on my back 7 months pregnant. So, I tossed and turned all night. Drew tossed and turned all night. Sage kept coming in our room asking for a drink. We were all pretty tired.

We have decided that we are going to skip our camping trip this year because this has been enough!

I am praying that when by the time we go home tomorrow, the water conservation will be over so we can at least take showers and stay cool that way. Power could be out between 3 days or 4 weeks.

I will check in again when I can with pictures. I forgot my card reader to put them on the internet, sorry! You guys have probably seen more pics than me anyway!

If power continues to stay down, I will continue to move around to various friends houses in Texas. I don't think I am up for an 18 hour drive to Iowa by myself with the boys, but if we enter week 2 or 3 maybe my position will change!


  1. Whew! Glad to hear that you are OK. We have been praying for you! Sounds like the boys have done pretty well, we will continue to pray that way. Take care!
    The Berberich's

  2. That sounds like a really intense experience; we are so glad you guys are safe. Living with no power is no fun when it is hot; our AC was broken for just 18 hours this past June and I barely coped. Definitely keep us in mind if you want to come up to Dallas for a while.

  3. I just can't believe I slept through the whole thing!

  4. I mean.... I love you guys alot and am very relived to hear you are o.k.!

  5. wow thanks for the detailed perspective. Here a bad thunderstorm has us watching out the windows. Glad you are okay and that they baby didn't decide to come!

  6. Driving to Iowa sounds like a good decision!


  7. glad you are good and able to tell about it...what a creepy thought that it was 'that' close!?

  8. good to know it's all good, and life is coming abck together!!!


  9. I'm so glad that you guys are okay!!! And it's totally worth mentioning that you are A LOT braver than me. Way to hang in there without power and no air conditioning!!! I'll keep you all in my thoughts and prayers!

  10. Phew. Glad you're okay. We've been praying for you. What an adventure you'll have to look back on!


  11. So glad you are okay. I hope you get to go home soon. How hard to bounce between places as you wait for power. Hopefully, you won't have to make the trek to Iowa.

    Thanks for the update.

  12. So thankful God was your refuge and tower in the hurricane! Will be fun to hear Sage & Kolby's memories of this time. Praying you'll get electricity back soon.
    Love, Aunt Sharie

  13. SO glad you guys are all okay!


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