Friday, October 17, 2008

Archer On "Yo Gabba Gabba!"

Archer will be on "Yo Gabba Gabba!" this Monday, October 20th, on Nick Jr. at 11:30 AM Eastern/Pacific. Check your local listings for time and channel. Should be fun! If you miss it, don't worry, it will be on 500 more times in the next few months. Eventually it will also be available for purchase on iTunes and on DVD.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Chad's Clean Up Trip to Galveston

Chad was able to help with clean up efforts in Galveston just after the island was reopened. It was organized through the church's "Mormon Helping Hands" program. This was a pretty emotional experience for him and for most people in the group he worked with. Literally throwing away all of people's possessions, everything they owned; clothes, furniture, electronics, books, toys, etc. Look around your house and imagine 4 feet of dirty ocean water coming through, and then imagine how it would look after being shut up for 2 weeks in hot muggy weather. Anything that got wet would have to be thrown out. Even the things that weren't totally submerged, the parts that had gotten wet would be covered in mildew and mold. It leaves a smell that is impossible to get rid of in clothes and fabric, it turns papers and photographs into mush, and is dangerously inhabiting every porous surface in your home (think wood and walls). Most of the people Chad helped didn't have much to begin with and now they were left with nothing. After emptying about 2/3's of one woman's house, she started sobbing uncontrollably as she begged them to stop. She said that she just couldn't bare to see her entire life be put into the trash in one day. She started to pick through a box of photo albums that were already beginning to rot looking for one photo to salvage even after one of the men in the group tried to explain to her that nothing could be saved. I will get Chad to write more later, but for now here are some pictures.

*it really was very emotional. As Caitlin said, we would knock on a door and ask if we could help. They would say, "oh, I just have some heavy things to move out". The smell was nearly unbearable and I was wearing a professional grade respirator. After moving out the couch, the beds, the entertainment center, we'd move to smaller things like books and toys and clothes. Little by little, the people would accept the fact that everything is ruined. So we would move to the walls and carpet. The final acceptance was when we would tear out the bathroom vanity and kitchen cabinets. Thus leaving their house completely empty. At that point what do you say to the person who's life you just threw away? Good luck? Thanks for letting us destroy your house? It was really hard to walk away and move to the next house leaving them standing in a gutted house. But, it has to be done and I was glad to help. - Chad

Boats lined the freeway into Galveston, there wasn't any open water in sight of where Chad was driving...
*The boats were pushed up against the freeway because it was elevated with a concrete wall- Chad

*This is what the streets looked like as we were pulling all of the furniture, drywall, insulation, everything out of the houses - Chad
This house had been on stilts with a garage underneath it and it had completely collapsed...


"Mormon Helping Hands" all wear yellow t-shirts so that they are easy for those who need help to find...


All of these beautiful oak trees will slowly die after being saturated by salt water...
*They said that about all the vegetation. All the trees, grass, bushes, everything would eventually die due to the large amounts of salt water that soaked into the soil- Chad
*The following two houses were also on stilts and had fallen 10'. We were working on a neighboring house and saw a lady working her way into the house. I asked if there was anything we could do and she said that legally no one was allowed in the house. It was then that I realized that it had fallen. As you can see from the pictures, while it's clear that something is not right about the house, one can't tell that it stood 10' in the air before the storm. - Chad
*In this one you can see the stairs that once lead up to the house. Now they lay almost flat on the ground. - Chad


Chad's warehouse was full of dead frogs that had sought refuge from the storm and then couldn't find a way out...

*The first frog I saw looked like it was sleeping. So I thought not to disturb it. When I came back the next day and saw it hadn't moved, I knew that it was just really tired. - Chad

I promise this is my last post on Ike. I realize that the rest of the country has moved on, but it is still fresh in the minds of those who went through it.

Empty shelves in the store...
Here is one of the first gas stations to receive power and gasoline. (By the way, I just filled up my car for $2.72/gallon yesterday. I can hear all of my family in California wincing as they read this)...

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Get 'Er Done!


Chad has been working hard to finish up the shelves. Staining should be done today (and maybe the clear coat tonight). Can't wait to put unpack the rest of the boxes.


For the first time ever Della fed herself. We threw away all bottles (which she never figured out how to hold by herself) last week. We have started on Carnation Instant Breakfast with whole milk per the nutritionist's recommendation. Della held her cup the entire time and, with some supervision, was able to feed herself. I can't tell you how freeing this is for me. I have been feeding an infant for almost 2 years, and it really is a time consuming activity. I still have to sit down with her 4 times a day to spoon feed her baby food and cereal but hopefully that will be over soon too.

We also had a "little" fire ant problem...