May 3, 2006

Daily Roundup

Today was a great day all around until the late evening when it all started to fall apart but we recovered. We started off great, early rise, took Serona to work (we are a one car family) and returned for breakfast and school. Rhiannon was very quick with her work and did a nice job. The fact that school will be over next week, if she works well, is a good motivator for her. In general her attitude these past few days has been great!

All subjects were wrapped up by 10:30. The kids put together some thank you cards and even a little picture scrapbook for their ice skating teacher and we headed off to the last ice skating session. Both kids passed their levels, Rhiannon even passed two levels and jumps ahead. Neither child is really interested in continuing lessons right now but it was nice that they did well enough to pass.

On our way out we had a rousing game of foozball type hockey (Ciaran beat me in overtime). To celebrate the kids wanted to eat out as a treat. We tried Serona, but as luck would have it he was already out at lunch with a co-worker so we settled on Culvers just the four of us. The kids were excited and extremely well behaved and mannered at the restaurant. They even shared generously with each other without complaint. We had a very nice time there.

After lunch we headed home for Sirah's nap. Ciaran and Rhia played along nicely in their beds so she would go to sleep peacefully without fuss. It is easier on her if she thinks everyone else is sleeping too and she isn’t missing out on anything. The moment she was asleep they practically leaped out of bed to head outside to play. They played on the swingset while I finished up some dishes and school cleanup then we all headed out into the front yard.

Ciaran and I practiced grounders and pop-flys and worked on his throws while Rhia rode her bike and made chalk drawings. It felt so good to be outside after many days of consecutive rain. The kids challenged me to walking races. The rules of our races. I have to walk at a good pace (but can not break into a jog at all) they get to ride their bike and they have to try to make two laps (up and down our street's sidewalk) before I make one walking. This keeps it challenging and good exercise for both of us. Rhia usually manages it - though it is sometimes close and Ciaran is getting better and getting closer.

After we were worn out and had some water we started a game of baseball in our yard. Kind of waffle ball rules but we play with a tee and a real ball. I play on both teams and I field with each child while the other bats. We all had a lot of fun. It was neat to be playing this together as kids got off the school bus too. Those are always nice reminders to Rhia about the benefits of homeschooling.

The game ended in a tie. Not because I am the "it all ends in a tie so no one's self esteem gets hurt" kind of mom but because it started to pour on us right as Ciaran was getting ready to bat his last inning. Truth is he probably would have won but we could no longer play. We had been playing through drizzle and even through rain but I drew the line when it started to really rain and a real game would have been called. Wisely too before the thunder started. The kids were disappointed and wanted to go out again as soon as it stopped raining but Sirah woke up and Serona called and wanted his ride home so the game was left unfinished.

We had evening plans of racquetball and rock climbing at our gym but it was not to happen. Instead we had different takes on what dinner should be and once we came to an agreement we realized it was going to take longer to prepare than we thought and we would be cutting it close to get to the gym on time. Instead Rhiannon informed me I was needed in the basement. When I arrived I found our laundry room to be flooded with standing water! We mopped it up with blankets and towels and whatever was around that was not already soaked and discovered that the sump pump had overflowed!

I managed a quick fix to at least drain all the water out and stop it from flowing more onto our floor and we went up to finish dinner and deal with the remainder later. We had a wonderful eclectic dinner from all around the world and shared with the kids the different countries that were represented in our evenings cuisine. We began with a Miso soup (Japanese) that Ciaran loved and Sirah did not. Our main course was falafel (Middle Eastern) which Serona makes so well along with a cucumber yogurt sauce and some fixings for the pitas. We ended the evening with sticky rice and mangos (Thailand). The meal was delicious and we had nice family conversations.

Serona read a chapter from Redwall as we ate dessert and the kids began getting ready for bed. I went down into the office to print something out and was frustrated when I thought I stepped in a dog accident. Much to my dismay it was not a dog accident (which would have been preferable) but rather the sad, and a bit scary, discovery that the overflow from the earlier flood in our basement had seeped underneath the carpet in our office! There were several very wet spots throughout the carpet all clearly underneath. I dreaded informing Serona but knew I had no choice. He did not take the news well.

You see this is not our area of expertise. Home improvements, home repairs and more than basic good stewardship is not in our comfort zone. Serona is quite good at what he knows how to do and he knows quite a bit but we were both at a loss here but knew we needed to do something and quick before it spread and the problem worsened and we would risk further damage. We stopped and prayed immediately and that helped keep our focus right and our tempers in check. We were able to give up control and ask for help. I immediately put out a prayer request to our homeschool group that offers us tremendous prayer support and instant messaged my neighbor who then came over to help us.

He has unfortunately for him (fortunately for us) had several water experiences and knew what to do and how to handle it. What an immediate answer to prayer. The kids went right to sleep without any further difficulty, another answer to prayer. Serona and our good neighbor set to work to figure out the problem and possible solutions. Another family from our homeschool group called to offer help and see if we needed anything. This man has helped us out before with handyman type things and was quite helpful over the phone. It was clear we were being supported and helped as God brought the right people into the situation to handle what we knew we could not alone.

The rooms are cleaned up and we are running a dehumidifier and fan to try to get all the water out of the carpet before it has a chance to turn into mold. They walked around to find the source of the overflowing water and discovered that the drain tile pipe was draining into our sump pump and causing a cycle of overflowing water between the yard and the pump. They fixed that situation and examined the sump pump and decided we will need to replace that (thankfully we again have people willing to help us) and talked about strategies we can use until we can replace it tomorrow.

Another friend, sent us a note with a link to this Homemade Star Wars Short for a bit of comic relief and distraction. Serona and good neighbor enjoyed watching it after they were done and it helps to laugh through situations like this. A well done short, Serona of course had seen it before, but enjoyed watching it again, me and good neighbor enjoyed this clip for the first time.

What direct answers to prayer we experienced tonight - even down to answering prayers to keep us in good spirits and extra well behaved kids (to not add stress). All in all it was a great day - a long day and a day that did not end up the way we thought it would but had a plan of its own and a joy of its own.

If you made it through this long boring post about my day - pat yourself on the back and thanks for caring enough to read it!


1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a day! You managed all that school-work, fun time, and a international dinner! You amaze me. I absolutely LOVE Miso Soup and we make Falafels at our house at least twice a month. That was on the menu tonight, but we ended up having sandwiches because the deli meat was on it's last leg and we had to be at Church by 7pm (and I took a nap, *sheepish grin*).

    I'm sorry to hear about your problems with the water. Our house flooded three times in three years, so I can completely relate. During the Allison storm in Houston (when all of downtown flooded and the under-street tunnels/hospital basements were filled with water), we had two feet of water in our one-story home. We lost 28,000$ worth of belongings or more... and that did not cover the cost of repair on the home! Thankfully, we had insurance for flooding... and we were finally bought out by the county. They demolished our home there. We have many memories of pulling up wet, stinky, ruined carpet! I'll keep your family in my prayers and check back to see how your home-improvement fixes went! Thank the Lord for good friends and the homeschool community, eh? :)