May 27, 2013

Thirteen


It is official...I have three teenage boys!  I wonder if Costco will let me just direct deposit my paycheck to them?

On Sunday, Parker and Tyler turned 13!  It is hard to believe they are growing so fast.  They are growing into incredible young men and it is an honor to be their mom.   

Happy Birthday, my loves!  I love You!!!
















May 25, 2013

Power, power, power!

Wednesday started out as every other work day.  Predictable.  But not this Wednesday.   My first hint of trouble was the flash alert I received from the high school saying the power was out and they were sending all the kids home early.    I thought, “lucky Anthony.”  I knew Brian was taking Anthony to get his phone fixed or replaced after school so I called him to let him know Anthony was already home. 

Brian said there had been a power outage in Sherwood and he swung by the house to find 3 of our smoke detectors going off.  Rolo was FREAKING OUT!!  Brian just figured the batteries went dead and they just needed replacing.  He pulled them out so the dog could compose himself.  There was no fire or smoke in the house, however as Brian was driving around he noticed a lot of fire trucks out and about. 

I started digging around at work and learned it wasn't a power outage, it was a power surge.  Big difference.  The news was saying it was so strong that homes had their electrical meters blown off the walls.  There were also a lot of electrical fires happening.  They also said that PGE should have power restored by the time I got home from work.  (They didn't single me out specifically; they just gave a specific time frame which was before I got off work!  Although, that would have been awesome!!) 

I got home and most of our power was back on so I started telling Brian what the news had been saying.  He went out to check the breaker box.  4 of our breakers had been tripped.  He turned the one in the garage back on and we hear a manly scream.  I figured he was being melodramatic and continued what I was doing.  He came in and said there was fire and smoke coming out of the electrical sockets.  Snap!  He goes back out to flip the one in the kitchen as the twins and I watched and flames and smoke, accompanied by a very loud hissing sound, came out of the outlets.  We try the one in the family room.  Same thing.  We stop our experiments as we didn't want to burn our house down and figured it was time to call the professionals. 

I had to run to the church and do a notary thing and Brian had to make sure everything was set up for the evening activities.  On our way home there was a PGE truck sitting on the side of the street so we snagged him and lured him to our home.  PGE man is doing his thing so Brian put in new batteries in the smoke detectors.  PGE man has to turn our power off to check the voltage of something or other and as soon as he did our smoke detectors go off again.  Rolo is crying and barking at the same time.  I didn't know that was possible, but he pulled it off!

PGE man says our voltage is good.  I translate this to mean our meter isn't going to explode.  He says this is all they can do and we will need to call an electrician to figure out the fiery electrical sockets.  As this power surge took out the power to 15,000 homes in Sherwood, I turn to Brian and tell him to call the electrician now before the rest of Sherwood does.  As we go inside to do this I see our neighbors coming out of their homes and slowly mobbing the PGE man.  PGE man is on his own.

Brian goes to the church to get the electricians phone number and to check on a few families he knew had husbands out of town to see if they needed any help.  While he is gone, another PGE man comes by the house.  I have to say PGE is kinda rocking it in the customer service department.  I tell him we already had a visit from PGE and he says they only tested the voltage but he can do a more in-depth assessment.  He explains what happened.  Our breakers and GFIs did their job.  They took the power surge and saved everything that was plugged in.  Every outlet that was wired to a GFI is fried and will need to be replaced.  We will need an electrician.  He then apologized several times for the inconvenience.  I appreciated that!

In the meantime, we had no power in the garage (read freezer), kitchen, family room (read tv and cable), twins room, and all three bathrooms.  We find working outlets to plug our freezer and refrigerator into.

I tend to worry and I am worried that the twins' room could have the fiery outlets.  Before bed we double checked that everything was unplugged for safety.  I couldn't go to bed without a discussion of what to do in a fire situation.  I bring them into their room and we run through the different ways they could escape.  Parker says that I am freaking him out.  He asks if I thought there is an increased possibility that their room would burst into flames.  I said, "not necessarily."  He said, "well deep down you must think that or you wouldn't be showing us how to escape."  The kid has good instincts!  Tyler then starts asking death like questions and I am trying to answer in a way that won't upset them.  Parker then tells Tyler, "Stop asking her questions!  Can't you tell she is trying to answer them in a way that won't freak us out?  Dude, you're freaking me out!  Stop talking!"  I tell them that Dad has the smoke detectors back in and working so if there is even a hint of fire they will go off.  Don't worry!

Midnight.  Smoke detectors start blaring.  The power went out again so it is pitch black.  Rolo is in the corner having a nervous breakdown.  We quickly asses there is no fire or smoke, just the smoke detectors freaking out with a loss of power.  Brian now has to pull them off the ceiling in the dark.  It took awhile and our ears were still ringing many hours later. Brian was up again at 3:30am to catch a plane to Kansas so I was on my own in the fiery outlet house.

The electrician came the next day and restored my power.  He had to replace two breakers and all the GFI outlets.  We found that our DVR got fried and Comcast had to come and replace it.  According to the Comcast guy this was his 6th DVR he had to replace.  They gave us a new one with twice the storage space.  Ummm, awesome!!  Thank you power surge!

All is well again, except for the dog.  I think he is permanently traumatized!  Luckily, he is neurotic to begin with so there isn't much change.  

May 23, 2013

Primitive

There was a commercial on that was using the "I feel Pretty" song from West Side Story.  I love West Side Story so I started singing along.  "I feel pretty, oh so pretty, I feel pretty and witty and gay."  Parker looks over at me with a look that was a cross between horrified and confused.  I start to explain that regardless of the meaning today's society puts on the word gay, it actually means happy.  He says, "Oh, I know that.  When people call me gay at school I say thank you, I am happy.  It baffles primitive men."  Leave it to Parker to take someones intended insult and turn it around to confuse them.  Love that boy!

May 14, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

I felt very blessed this Mother’s Day weekend.  It wasn't because my kids spoiled me or got me a stunning pair of shoes.   I got to see their hearts and character in real ways that touched me more than any worldly gift could.  (You are a close second though Christian Louboutin shoes!  Jimmy Choo, you're third!)  I am so grateful for the qualities God gifted each of the boys with.  God has entrusted me to raise them but He created them and all the glory and praise for who they are goes to Him.  I am humbled, however, to see that some of the things I have been teaching them for the last 15 years have actually stuck.  I got to see some progress and that is both gratifying and encouraging.

Anthony showed me his work ethic and dedication this weekend.  He spent a beautiful weekend studying for his upcoming AP test.  He has set goals for himself and is putting in the work to meet them.  His commitment encourages me! 

The other thing that I got to see from him was his integrity and honesty.  On Sundays I buy the boys a drink at Starbucks.  Now that Dutch Bros. has opened in Sherwood, Anthony and Parker get smoothies from there.  Dutch Bros. was giving free drinks to moms.  Since Anthony was driving, he ordered the drinks.  The lady asked if one of the drinks was for his mother and he said, “no.” (I'll never cheat on you, Starbucks!)  I was incredibly proud of him.  The world would say to just lie and get the free drink.  It was encouraging to see him value honesty over money.  Granted it wasn't his money he was spending but it was encouraging nonetheless!

Parker is not one for housework.  I am constantly getting on him about picking up after himself.  He is just not a fan!  As I was hanging up clothes out of the dryer tonight he stops by the laundry room and says, “It’s Mother’s Day.  Why are you doing the laundry?”  I say, “Because it needs to be done.”  He replies, “Why don’t you let me do it for you.”  That kid melted my heart!! 

As we were standing outside in the evening it was starting to sprinkle.  I mentioned that it would be nice if the rain would wash away all the bird and goose poop that was on my car.  Next thing I know, Parker got the hose out and started washing it off.  Finding ways he can serve other people is so encouraging!

I have always taught my boys to open doors for other people, especially for women and always for the woman who gave birth to you.  On his own, Tyler has been taking it a step further.  He opens my car door for me.  First he opens the back door so I can put my purse in the back and then he opens my door for me.  As Parker would say, “He’s a little gentleman!”  It is the sweetest thing to see and makes me smile every time!  (I know he gets that from his father!)

Another thing he did this weekend really had nothing to do with Mother’s Day but had to do with the heart God has given Tyler.  He sat at the table reading the newspaper because he wanted to know what was going on in the world.  He was telling me about the disasters happening in other countries and how people were suffering.  He has such a tender heart for people in need it is truly humbling at times.  I know God is going to use that heart for some incredible things! 

I felt very encouraged and loved this weekend.  The only thing that would have made it better would have been Rebecca.  I miss her.

Other things that happened this weekend…Anthony finally got his custom Nike shoes.  I am so proud that one of my children enjoys shoes almost as much as I do.  How do I know this?  He smelled the shoes.  The smell of a new shoe is truly delightful!!!