Thursday, June 26, 2008

Some basement pictures

Here are a couple of pictures of the basement.

We just kept scooping water out of the rooms.

Unfortunately, this wasn't the only room affected.

This is the garage now, with all the stuff from the basement.

Still lots of work to do.

Iowa in June, 2008

What beautiful toenails!

On a broken foot!

On Kyrie Jo! - Yes, she broke her foot this morning.

What a lot of weeds all this rain brings!

Two willing weeders!  This is weeder one . . .

And this is weeder two!

More rain this morning, but thankfully, no more water in the basement!  Kyrie is surviving, though greatly disappointed. She won't be able to work at HyVee, which was her main source of income.  We are praying for other options - sitting options.

More rain!

It is pouring again today. We had thunderstorms last night, with almost two inches of rain, but, the basement stayed dry! However, we will see how well it stands up to the rains predicted for today and tomorrow.

We were surveying the damage last night, and we have a lot of work to do. All the carpeted floors need to be replaced. The floor that we rolled up and took to the garage looks like it will work just fine. But, we can't seem to get the concrete dry. The cracks remain wet, and probably will until we get the sump pump in. We can't put the floors down until the cracks are dry.

So, the basement remains a wreck! The bathroom works, though, and so does the laundry. With bathrooms and laundry - life goes on pretty well. I just have a hard time with the smell.

The kids are doing well and all are working lots of hours. Jathan, Kesse and Kyrie Jo are working feverishly to get enough $ for the coming year at college. Kayren is working at HyVee, babysitting little Lilly, and working on summer school. Lorien babysits Aleya and Rachel every day, and is also working on geometry for the summer. She is playing lots of basketball to practice up for the fall.

Kyrie is practicing for her senior recital which is tentatively planned for August 8th.

Tom has one more Sunday of teaching before he gets a two month break. He loves to teach but it is a lot of work.

We are thankful for all that the Lord is doing in our lives this summer. It is great to have the kids all home with us again, and it could be that this is the last summer for that. We are certainly enjoying it!

Lord willing, I'll get my camera back from the kids and take some pictures.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Update from Iowa

I know that it's been forever since I last updated my blog! Whew! Yucky basements take a long time to overcome. We aren't finished yet.

Iowa did surpass the flood of '93 this year, with the river levels being higher, and with much more damage statewide. Cedar Rapids was the worst, I think. Maybe there were other places worse, but it was 7-8 feet deep there, and basically the majority of the city was under water. Liz Gardner sent me pictures of Alliant Energy, where the water was at least 7 feet deep inside the building! The tornados were devastating as well. One hit Parkersburg, and another hit over by Nebraska, killing some boy scouts that were camping there. Iowa is a mess. Des Moines survived better than many cities because they had the money to prepare after the flood of '93. They raised the levees and put in flood gates that withstood much of what '08 brought. Water works kept running the entire time. In '93, the city was without water for 11 days! We never lost power or water, which was a huge blessing!

Saturday and Sunday mornings, the basement was finally dry, and we have not had rain all week, so we are attempting to fix our problems and put the basement back together. We had to empty the two worst rooms in the basement, and now we have to put in a sump pump.

I have to say that our problems have been irritating, but certainly nothing compared to what some have had to reckon with. We have had no sewer problems, so the water we are dumping is just run-off. We were also able to keep up with it. Even though we needed to "scoop" the basement every 4-6 hours, we could get the level back down to the floor again.

We were also able to pull up the floor in the craft room (which is now in the garage), and we should be able to put it back down when the sump pump is in. The other room - the play room, was where we lost the carpet, and I am thinking that the rest of the basement just needs to have the carpet totally removed. The question is what to replace it with that is CHEAP! We are looking into some creative ideas!

The best news of the day, of course, is that Adrian and Susan had their little son, Hans, early this morning. Everyone is healthy and the birth went well. Hans was 6 lb 10 oz and 21 inches long. We are hoping to find pictures on their blog soon!

All of the kids have jobs now, except Aleya, who just gets to play with her friend Rachel all summer long!

We are still busy trying to clean up the basement, and work on church stuff - Tom is teaching Sunday school, the kids have youth group tonight, and we have ladies' Bible study tomorrow night. The Lord is good. We are thankful for rather minimal damage compared to some!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Updates from Iowa

Sorry folks - no pictures today.  

The two week break for Faith is over and we started school today.  I always groan a little bit about doing summer school, until it starts. Then I am glad that we offer school to so many kids that would otherwise get far behind.  It really is a ministry.  We registered 33 students today, which is more than we have ever had on the first day of school!  

The flooding here is amazing, and while it hasn't reached the 1993 flood dimensions, lots of roads are closed, as well as some flooded businesses.  Our basement is a disaster (pics later!). This is the story of the girls coming home from Mexico.

Part-way home from Texas to Louisville, Arne's van lost its transmission.  They were somewhere in Mississippi I think.  Anyway, the fourteen of them decided to pack into the Suburban and drive the rest of the way home to Louisville.  After the squishy trip, the girls were supposed to fly home on Thursday night and get into Des Moines about 11.  The rain had already started earlier that day, with tornado warnings everywhere.  So, Kyrie called and said that they wouldn't be getting in until 11:30.  At about 11, Tom and I left for the airport.  The rain was torrential, and I could barely see to drive.  Water covered the roads, and was 2-3 feet deep in some areas.  Several times, we had to turn around and take another route.  Cars were persistently driving through the water and dying.  There were "dead" cars everywhere.  All to say, it took about 45 minutes to reach the airport, which normally drives in 15.  We thought we might be late, but we found that the plane had not landed yet, and in fact Kyrie called at about midnight to let us know that they had landed  . . . in Cedar Rapids!  They had circled the airport in Des Moines for 20-30 minutes and were running out of fuel.  The storm we were experiencing was a level 5 (very bad!), so they had to land elsewhere.  Anyway, they were trying to decide what to do with their passengers, and finally decided to bus them to Des Moines.  They got in at about 3:30 in the morning.  I was exhausted, so Tom went to get them.  I was going to have to work on Friday morning.  

When they got home, the girls went to bed, and then . . . knock, knock, knock.  
Mom:  Yes?
Kyrie:  Mom - there's water in the basement.
Mom:  Of course there is water in the basement.  There is water everywhere!!! I'll take care of it tomorrow.

Very long pause.  

Kyrie:  Mom
Mom: WHAT!!  (I am So nice in the middle of the night!)
Kyrie: It's ankle deep!

Yikes.  It was indeed true.  Tom and I got up and perused our sad basement, with the water that came up to our ankles.  We went to the church, at 4 in the morning and got the shop-vacs, and then came home and soaked up water for over 3 hours.  Then, I went to work.  

Saturday, we soaked up more water, but spent most of the day at our church conference on teaching catechism to our children.  It was great!

Sunday morning the basement was dry, and by Sunday afternoon, it was ankle deep again.  Oh Boy.  We emptied the basement into the garage, including the floor, and soaked up more water. 

Monday, the girls soaked up ankle deep water three times.  At least it isn't raining today.  Tomorrow, it isn't supposed to rain, but the storms are coming back on Wednesday in full force.  So, we are hopefully going to trench along the back and side of the house tomorrow, and put tiling in the ground to redirect the water away from the house.  It might help some, but what is probably really needed is a sump pump.  Very expensive.  

Water projects.  Keeping water out of an Iowa basement is a full time job!

The conference was a delightful distraction to the chaos at home.  We left the stinky basement to listen to great teaching and encouragement on teaching our children about the Lord.  Ah.  

Well, I need to study for Bible study.