Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Sorry, no pictures, just information.

We have the carpet ordered. We cleaned the flooring ourselves (they pay us by the hour to do that). When we removed the bathroom vanity is got messed up. The check for replacing that is on its way (yeah, right, "the check's in the mail"). The carpet will be here this week, but won't get installed until next week.

Zachary, Elyse and I are going to see Erin early Thursday morning. It will be fun to go to the beach when it is 60 degrees here. I guess we will all have to spend Christmas breaks at Erin & Tobin's to beat the snow.

Another good thing: we actually found two dresses for Elyse at WalMart today. We are thrilled - more Elyse than me. She loves dresses these days.

When I get back from Erin's, I will blog some pictures and make you all drool over the sandy beaches, etc.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


The insurance money came in today. So, now we have to shop for carpet and linoleum. Any takers? I could always use a second opinion.

Praises: First the insurance money. Then our trip to Panera Bread yesterday for lunch. We ordered "Pick Two." The cashier said cookies were only 99 cents when you ordered lunch. We thought that would be a good snack for later, so we ordered a cookie for both of us. Than we paid the bill. When I charge something, I don't pay attention to how much it cost. When I looked at the bill later, it was charged $31. It should have been about $15. Stupid me! So, today I called Panera Bread, explained our situation and asked if he could credit my Discover Card. He said he couldn't credit my card, but could send me coupons for free meals. So, I said that was o.k. So, we will get our "free" meals soon (although we already paid for them, it will still be fun to go again).

I guess I need more help than carpet shopping, I need someone to help this "dinosaur" when paying for the check. What a blond!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Praise the Lord! The insurance company AND the restoration company said THROW IT OUT! So, we are in the process of ripping up alot of carpet and pads and filling up the garbage pile already out in the front yard.

First, we had to remove all the furniture. It isn't quite done, but we are getting there. We are putting it all in the garage until we run out of room - which is getting closer and closer.

We moved the school room to the dining room. It is a bit crowded, but we know it is temporary.

We were planning on decluttering the house next spring, but we are getting a huge head start on it. I have a trunk full of things to take to Goodwill. They said they would unload it for me - yeah!

Before we got the go-ahead for throwing out the carpet, we were told to dry it. So, here is Betsey's room with the carpet on top of chairs with a fan running full blast under the carpet.

Here is the carpet half torn up with BROWN cement (which the restoration people will clean and sterilize for us).

Now Erin's room. Her room only got wet a few feet, where Betsey's was completely soaked.

Here are my two goofy helpers. They are trying to act like robots from the "March of the Wooden Soldiers" movie. Here is half of our junk in the garage. I still have a little to go before we can pull all the carpet up.

The junk without the helpers.

One problem with the new carpet is the stairway. Right now the stairway up and the stairway down match the living room carpet upstairs. BUT, the bottom two steps are soaked and would need to be replaced. So, the problem is - do I get the bottom steps completely different from the top steps, or do I try to match it (which would be impossible because the company is out of business)? Any suggestions?

My next project is picking out carpet. Not only do I have the stairs problem, but I don't like finding carpet I like because I don't know what I like. I was thinking of doing the whole downstairs in the same color - something neutral. What do you think?

Monday, September 15, 2008


We are halfway done with the clean up. Our photographer, Zachary, took several pictures for us. Most were blurry, he refuses to hold still. Anyway, most of the water was in Betsey's room. We are sucking the water out, then we will clean the carpets and let them dry. If they smell, we will have to replace the carpet. We are hoping it is just water and it will dry fine. Pray that it will! Here is Betsey's room after the water was removed. We have yet to clean it.

The laundry room is dry. Everything was moved into the garage. Every inch of the floor was scrubbed. Tim & I decided that nothing goes back into the utility room without washing, sorting, throwing out what we don't need, etc. Then it will be put back neatly.

Remember the t.v. show "The Beverly Hillibilies?" Don't we look like them? Do you see anything you might want - we can rescue it quickly. Garbage pick up isn't until tomorrow and we think they will be way behind because everyone is throwing out lots of furniture and carpet.

We wanted to declutter anyway - so I guess this is a blessing in disguise. One man already took our toaster oven (don't tell him it doesn't work). So much more sorting to do. The kids are sitting in the driveway shredding papers into the school's shredder. They have done so much that the machine overheated. So, they are allowed a 30 minute break.

We will update later with the finished product. But, that might take a few days.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Yesterday's storm? Nothing compared to today's storm. They say Valpo got three inches yesterday. The problem, it kept raining. Not only raining, but dropping buckets and buckets of water.

When we started to leave for church this morning, we decided to go through the utility room so as not to get soaked in the rain. There was a small trickle of water coming under the garage door. We put some old towels down and went to church. Surely it couldn't be any worse than a trickle, right? WRONG!

Morning Worship Service at FEBC went as planned. When the song leader got up to lead the last song, one of the men came up to him and talked to him for about two minutes. Then the song leader said, "I will tell you about that later, let's sing hymn #43." So, we sang the hymn. Then the song leader said, "Refreshment time is canceled, Sunday School is canceled, the meeting with the young people is meeting at Megan Huber's house (as Megan was playing the piano, she just looked stunned) and the church gym has a huge sewage backup all over the floor."

Now you have to understand that Tim was preaching in Hammond, about 45 minutes away (remember we have only one car). So, Tim dropped us off at FEBC and headed to Hammond to preach. Then I thought - "What do we do, we haven't got a car and Tim won't be here for 2 hours." So, we went to Megan's house. Good for Megan that we did - we helped her clean up the house for the 30 or so people that were coming over. Poor Megan!

After Tim preached in Hammond,he drove to Megan's house. We fed him and then he said we better go home because we don't know what we are up against. So, the pictures will tell you what we found when we got home.

This is the utility room floor right off the garage. It looked like clean water, but it smelled funny.

So, we followed the smell to find this! This is the downstairs bathtub filled with eight inches of sewage back up.

The carpets didn't even look wet, so we walked out of the utility room and the carpets went squish. After getting the boxes, books and DVD's off the floor, this is what Betsey's room looked like.

Just another shot, for fun!?!?!?!

Another shot of the backyard. The water was up to the back of the shed. It went three backyards wide (Hastings, ours and Hobgoods).

The side yard between Hobgoods and us.

As you can see from the pictures, our backyard is now a swimming pool. The side yard isn't much better. Portage schools are all closed tomorrow. Tim closed PCS for tomorrow. But, our lovely children will still attend school (we will just move it to the dining room table upstairs - that is one negative of homeschooling in our children's minds).

Tomorrow we start the clean up. We are too tired to finish anymore tonight. Zachary's friend's Dad called to ask if we needed any help. How nice of him. We had most of the necessary work done and we were too tired to keep going, so we told him thanks, but no thanks. We will start again tomorrow.

Stay dry - we sure are going to try!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


We love watching storms out the window. "Hanna" left us a little rain, no big deal. "Ike" is coming. It has rained here all night - pretty hard. These pictures don't look as bad as looking at the yard in person. But, you get the point. The sump pump is running constantly (praise the Lord for that).

This is taken from the front sidewalk. The water is mostly in the Hobgood's yard because their yard is lower than ours.

I hope Erin & Tobin stay on the map. They are too close to these storms for my comfort.

BTW, Zachary, Elyse and I will be going to visit the Bolton's in October. Fun times!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


We were bound and determined to get Elyse to finish her Math in record time (which means under two hours). Today was test day. So, as I handed her the test, I said, "Now, I want you to pay attention, don't get distracted, do your work diligently and get 100%." Now, I am not asking too much, am I?

FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER, she was done with her test AND it was 100% CORRECT!!!!! Miracles still happen - they never cease to amaze me.

Yesterday we went grocery shopping. Zachary wanted me to get chocolate syrup. So, today, he took a morning break and made himself a chocolate milk. He used 1/2 of the bottle of syrup. He says it was amazingly good. I am sure he will be sick later! Not only that, he wants another one. I don't think so!

Friday, September 05, 2008


Not to be outdone by Caleb, Zachary was funny in school today. Here is the question: It is late fall and you suddenly realize that the insects have all disappeared. Where did they go?

The answer: Some died, some migrated to warmer climates, some hibernated, and some are in their hives moving around to stay warm.

Zachary's answer: They went bye-bye.

BTW: Elyse got four 100% on her speed drills.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Today we went to the Taltree Arboretum & Gardens in Valparaiso. Yes, it was raining pretty hard. They do the tours even in the rain - as long as there isn't any lightening. So, we walked for over an hour through the rain. Sometimes it was pretty hard rain and a little muddy. Ask me if the kids had on new tennis shoes. If you are interested, you can check it out online at: It is a gorgeous park. Here is the entrance to the park:

Elyse found out that glasses aren't too much fun in the rain - you need windshield wipers to enjoy the sites.

This is a fuzzy picture, but I took it because it is Zachary's favorite thing to eat: Cheddar pinks. Not the pink part, just the cheddar cheese part.

I also lost my cell phone. Zachary offered to re-walk the trail to find it, he didn't. Then we searched the car. Yes! There it is - under the front seat (phew! Don't be too angry at me, Dan-O.)

After the tour, we ate our lunch under the pavilion. It was nice and dry under there. While we were eating, Stevia noticed that the boys hadn't returned her car keys. You guessed it, the boys locked them in their van. So, we had to call Mr. Mahler (who happens to be working at home today) and had him bring an extra set of keys. Thanks, Dan-O, for the cell phone, we just used some of our minutes calling Mr. Mahler.

This is the view from the pavilion. Gorgeous!

On the way back to the car, we noticed that the inside of our shoes were wet. It took that long for the rain to soak through our shoes. The ride home in the car was pretty miserable.

All in all, it was a good day. We enjoyed getting together with friends and walking around a gorgeous garden.