Tuesday, November 25, 2008
This post is just to say thank you. Thank you to everyone who has written or called with thoughts and prayers. There are so many willing do drop everything and do whatever they can to help...so thank you. It's hard to describe the gratitude I feel for the people I know and love and those who are coming out of the woodwork to help. We love you all and appreciate your thoughts and prayers.
We will keep you posted ... no pun intended.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
We didn't sleep Friday night and kind of floated through Saturday, but now that the shock has worn off and the reality has set in, we're really okay. It helps that we were fire insured, and our insurance company and coverage seem to be very promising. A few times a day some other sentimental thing the insurance money can't replace pops into my head and I have a moment of sorrow, but the truth is almost everything can be replaced. I realized very quickly that I can't sit and think about all the things I've lost and what I'll miss because I'll drive myself crazy very quickly. Yes, there are things I will miss. Yes, we're devastated. BUT we're surrounded by and in touch with our amazing families and supported by fantastic friends. In fact, I admitted tonight that it almost feels like it's easier to deal with than it should, and I know that is absolutely because of the support of people around us. My sister Lindsey sent me a wall hanging for my birthday in September. Before the fire, it hung above my bedroom door and read: Family is everything. Isn't that the truth?
Some more good news is that when Greg's new job starts in Wyoming, I don't have to pack up my house! This will be my tenth move since Greg and I have been married, so needless to say, I'm sicker than sick of packing and unpacking boxes. Also, no more will I stress about how and when we will be able to sell our home. And Greg turned to me yesterday morning and said, "Well, I guess you're going to have to buy a new wardrobe ... you're just going to hate that, huh?"
I waited until Saturday evening to tell Ethan, thinking he might take it pretty hard because he loves his "new house." Wrong. This is how that conversation went when we sat down together:
Me: Ethan, there was a really big fire last night at our house and it's gone now.
Ethan: So are we going to stay here [grandma and grandpa's] forever?
Me: For awhile anyway.
Ethan: Until we move to another new house?
Me: Yep, but all our things are gone. We're going to have to buy new clothes and new toys and new books ...
Ethan: Okay. But mom ... I have to go get the monsters and alien now (grin). Love ya.
There really is nothing like a 4-year-old's perspective to help get your own in the right place. Now, I've always been the "do-er" mom and not the "play-er" mom. I love my kids, and they definitely get enough attention, but I'm very task oriented, trying to get things done and organized and put away. Well, now that all is said and done, everything I've "done" is undone, and the only thing left to "do" is my family. So ... let's play.
It seems that everything is gone, and yet I have everything I need.
(Pictures to come)
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Ethan got "nipped" by one of the ducks. Apparently, he didn't let go of the bread crumbs fast enough. And Lincoln...well, he was pretty sure he wanted to take one of the ducks home with us. No thanks!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
We left the three kids in the car and I went inside with him. When we walked through the front door, the smell of natural gas was enough to nearly knock someone out. We didn't turn on any lights for fear of sparking the gas. I fumbled over to the stove to make sure all the knobs were turned to "off." They were. I gave Greg a flashlight to go into the basement. He told me that propane settles, so if I heard him fall (pass out), call for help and get the kids out of there. He crept downstairs and told me almost immediately to follow.
As I descended the stairs to the playroom in the basement, not only did the propane smell get stronger (kind of like you were breathing through a gas mask with propane in the tank), but something smelled charred. Greg had already shut off the gas main to the house, and on first inspection he immediately detected a small hole in the gas line. That accounted for the propane smell...but how had it gotten there?
On further investigation, we found that the door to Greg's office and our second storage room were open. These doors are NEVER open and have child locks on the doorknobs to discourage curious children who wander from the playroom. We looked into the storage room and found Greg's industrial work light (5 feet tall with two huge lamps which has not been used since we lived in Ogden) plugged in, toppled over, glass broken, and holes burned through a box and the carpet where it lay. That explained the charred smell. The biggest miracle of all, however, was that the box that the lamp burned two huge holes through held a collection of cleaning solutions, motor oil, aerosol cans, etc. from our many moves around the country - kind of our "throw it in at the last minute and we'll sort it at our next home" box. That box should have blown and taken our home with it.
Our neighbor and friend, the plumber who installed the furnace, water heater, etc., came right over to explore some more with Greg and sent me and the kids to his home where we waited and fought sleep until we had more news. Greg called and said the hole in the gas line was either a small drill hole or a puncture hole from a nail. He had called the Sheriff who was on his way. Nearly four hours later, the Sheriff was finished taking fingerprints and photos, and Greg came to take us all home so the boys could finally sleep. We dropped them in bed at about 10:45.
CONCLUSION: Someone was in our house on Saturday afternoon. We are not sure who or why someone would do something so malicious, but Porter's baby saucer and all the boys' toys and pictures scattered around the front room certainly did not deter them. Nothing was rifled through. Our big screen TV wasn't touched. Nothing was taken or disturbed. The only evidence of someone in our house was the deliberate puncture hole in the gas line and the attemped fire in the storage room. The only explanation as to why my house is still standing is the protection of a higher power. Science nor logic can explain away the box of aerosol cans and cleaning solutions not exploding and taking the house down with it, only faith and an increased testimony of the careful watch of our Heavenly Father.
The house has since been cleared of the smell of propane, althought the basement still smells charred. Our plumber friend cannot figure out the damage to the water heater (which was also deliberate - a backup plan, maybe?), so we are without hot water as well. I'm thankful for wonderful neighbors and family who are willing to let us infringe on their space to bathe and escape, and I'm grateful to Heavenly Father for sparing our home, our memories, our material life from the malicious intent of a person we cannot identify.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Greg dreams of owning a lot of land and spending his time off "cowboying." Doesn't that sound grand? Just in case you can't detect it, there's more than a drop of sarcasm in my written word. Even if I got allergy shots (which is another of Greg's and my dreams), I'm not sure I'll ever enjoy ranch animals as much as he does. HOWEVER, the thought of Greg teaching our boys to work hard - managing the land and wrangling horses and cows - does kind of appeal to me. If my calculations are correct, that would at least guarantee time for me to go on a shopping trip that lasted more than 45 minutes, right? Greg asks if my motives are selfish, and I respond with an exuberant, "Yep!"
Monday, November 3, 2008
Treat: Smiley face fruit snacks
Food: Delicious quesadillas (pronounced at our house: Ques-of-dias)
Drink: Apple juice
Activity: Watching movies with daddy
Color: Black like Batman! Movie: Scooby-Doo featuring Batman!
Place to go: Granny's house
Happy birthday to the boy who fills us with joy! We love you, Bat-Ethan!
Lincoln the Neon Green Crayon.
It's Ethan - nope. It's Spiderman!
All the little monsters, ready for a night on the town.