Above, Chris and Jessica (the fabulous parents) are master Geotrax track builders!Even though their son, Caleb, is turning five and Evan is turning eight, they really enjoy each other's company and look forward to seeing each other!
I couldn't resist a picture of Alec enjoying Elijah's birthday cake.
Now, for the rest of the story.........
Friday turned out to be a no-school day due to temperatures in the negative degree range. We took full advantage of that and got an early start to Maryland, putting us there before dinner. Saturday turned out to be a wonderful day for an indoor three-year-old Thomas the Tank Engine birthday. Sunday started out nice; with church, a wonderful roasted chicken, and Paula and Jessica getting out without children for some friend-time. However, when we pulled back into Jessica's house, Darrell met us at the door with a pinched face saying, "My Dad called!" which could only mean someone had died or a disaster had occured. It happened to be a disaster, at our house! Apparently, when Darrell's sister checked on our house on Sunday afternoon, she found it to be FLOODED! There was water pouring out of our bathroom on the main floor which is right off of our family room. Two inches of water stood on our family room carpet, with the rest pouring through the floor into our garage. After a quick discussion and decisions, our friends graciously offered to have us leave our children in Maryland with them so we could go deal with the mess and the second birthday party could go on. We drove the 4 1/2 hours home and found that Darrell's dad, brother-in-law and sister had cleaned up most of the mess, leaving us with a wet/dry vac and very little to do (THANK YOU!!!!!!). So today (Monday) I spent the afternoon driving halfway back to Maryland to retrieve the children (Thank you, Chris, for spending half of your day bringing them halfway back to me!). Now we're seeing what insurance covers and if we will need new carpeting in the family room.
Now here's the cool part, the part where I get to tell you where I saw God's protection and provision in the unfortunate circumstances of this weekend:
- We NEVER have anyone check on our house if we're leaving for a long weekend. Darrell's sister just happened to have our keys from checking on our house when we were gone to Iowa for Christmas, so we had asked her to bring the Sunday papers in for us. If she hadn't have checked on our house on Sunday, the water would have went on for 24 more hours and we would have walked in on it tonight after a long drive and a SURPRISE waiting!
- We have loving, caring relatives close by that have a wet/dry vac and love us enough to clean up our mess!
- We have wonderful friends who willingly sacrifice their time to help us out by keeping our kids, which brings the total count of kids in their care to six under the age of eight!
- We made, essentially, two trips to Maryland this weekend in winter weather with no problems....however.....
- Jessica had to turn around on I-70 because it was closed and she had to go home and have her husband, Chris, find a different way, which added more time to the traveling today....BUT now we find out that there was a 40 car pile up with at least two deaths which closed the interstate.....so THANK GOD they were running late today and weren't in the midst of the pile-up.
- Rebekah got to have her party with Ann-Marie in attendance!
- Evan got to watch his Steeler's game, although it was in the midst of Raven's fans....and the Steeler's won! Evan is SOOOOOOO excited that they are going to the Super Bowl.
And a side note, Squid the Beta fish also died while we were in Maryland. We thought that the fish dying might upset the children even more than the house flooding, so while I was picking them up today, Darrell found another Squid replacement. Let's just hope they don't notice this one is a darker pink than the last one.......