Thursday, April 11, 2013

Surviving the Weather

We arrived in Illinois in the middle of a drought and the hottest summer in living memory.  We went on to freak snowstorms including ten inches of snow on the second day of spring.

We've now made it to tornado season.

Last night we were at church for the Wednesday night service.  We could hear rain drumming on the roof.  It quickly grew in intensity to the point where it was about to drown out the preacher.  (It was competing with some people in the sanctuary who feel the need to chat during the sermon because of course whatever they are saying to the person next to them is so witty and/or deep they just can't hold it in until after the service and of course they aren't bothering anyone around them who might actually want to listen to the preacher not to mention the fact that it's just plain rude and weren't they taught manners growing up or were they born in a barn???)  Ahem.

Then someone from the children's department trotted into the sanctuary and announced without preamble that we needed to cut it short, get our kids, and get out.  Now.  Bad weather was a-comin'.

As everyone jumped up and headed out, I looked up at the preacher who was just shuffling his notes together.  I felt bad for him, he worked on that sermon, put time and effort into preparing it for us, and it was interrupted by rude people, and then by a tornado.

We grabbed the girls and headed home.  Luckily the rain had slacked off and it started to seem pointless that we had actually left the church so early.

We got home and started in on another episode of Dr Who.  Emily and I have seen them all and we are trying to induct Kerry into our Dr Who fandom.

Then Ben texted me, "The tornado sirens just went off."

I texted back, "Is there a shelter you're supposed to go to?"

"No idea."

Great.  My oldest son is twenty minutes away in a possible tornado and no one has ever told the students where to go in case of danger????

Or maybe they did but he wasn't listening.

I got up and went to the door, and realized that indeed, the tornado sirens were going off, we just couldn't hear them over the sound of how awesome Dr Who is.  We debated heading for the basement, but really, Dr Who was being stalked by the Empty Child, and well, there's no TV in the basement.

Then Ben texted, "They're calling us out of our rooms."  Luckily they have a system at his college where everyone gets a text if there is any sort of danger.

"Where are they sending you?"

"We're just in the hallways."

"Okay, away from the windows, that's good."

"Yeah, this building's pretty solid, are ya'll in the basement?"

Uh....."No, we're in the living room, we'll run down there if it gets worse."  I would have throttled any of my kids if I had gotten that response from them in the middle of a tornado.  I would have been furious.  I would have stomped around and griped about how I raised kids with no common sense whatsoever.

But Dr Who was on!

And.......it all turned out okay.  We did not get swept away by a tornado.  I am not writing this from the land of Oz this morning and breakfast is not being prepared for me by a hoard of grateful Munchkins.  Dang it.

The only downside came when we headed to bed (after watching two episodes of Dr Who because the first one was a cliffhanger) and we discovered that Katie had left her windows open and her carpet was soaked a full two feet in from the windows.  And I do mean soaked.  Also, one end of her bed was wet, we had to take the mattresses apart so they could dry thoroughly and we used quite a few towels, paper towels, and the spot bot vacuuming attachment to get all the water up.

Then we aimed an oscillating fan at the carpet and went to bed.

Then we discovered that Kerry had accidentally given me caffeinated coffee instead of de-caf while we were at church.  So I stayed up and played "Plants vs. Zombies" for a few hours until the caffeine wore off.

And now I have to go make breakfast because the Munchkins ain't gonna.

Peace Out.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The College We Visited

This weekend we travelled over to check out a college that two of Ben's friends from high school attend.  While he likes the school he is attending now, he's looking for a stronger Christian atmosphere and we used his Spring Break to go do some visiting.

The college in question has a tumbling team.  Because Ben is currently a cheerleader and already knows some tumbling moves, they let him join in on some of the basic moves.

 He did a pretty good job.

 Most of the time.

 Katie got called up and some of the tumblers did flips over audience members.
After each couple of tumblers, they would add more audience members to make a bigger and bigger group to jump over.

 Finally, even Kerry and I got called up to be flipped over.
I was trying to be unobtrusive and let Ben lead how the visit would go.
So of course, while I was trying to take my place in that group of folks sitting on the floor, I tripped over someone and fell flat across three people and held up the show for a minute while I extricated myself.  Luckily Ben was laughing and jokingly said, "MOM, you're embarrassing me!"

 We were able to attend a school chapel service.  Their chapel was beautiful with a full organ....

 ....and stained glass windows.

And when we were outside, we could hear the music of the chapel bells all over campus.  I fell in love with everything at this school right about the time I heard the bells.

 We checked out the theater department which was built to look like a town.  Katie promptly decided she wants to attend this college.  Their theater department was A-Maz-Ing! 

 Emily wasn't with us but I sent her a picture of the soy milk/chocolate soy milk dispenser in the cafeteria and she promptly replied that she wants to attend this college also.

As luck would have it, they have a family discount!  (whew!)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Evolution of the Baskets

Kerry and I were laughing about how much our kid's Easter Baskets have changed over the years.  When they were little, their baskets were filled with Peeps, chocolate, plastic eggs filled with candy, and cheap plastic toys.

In this day and age, our kids would not be willing to get out of bed to look in their baskets if those same items were in there.  

Thus, the contents of the baskets has changed to reflect their current interests:
 Now, among the basic candies, Ben's basket contains beef jerky, jalapeno pretzels, creme soda, Nutella, and a bag of Naga Jolokia, the world's hottest pepper.  Ben has talked about this pepper for a couple of years, I couldn't believe I actually found it.  Here is his Facebook post about it:  My Easter basket had a bag of dried Naga Jolokia, the world's hottest pepper. To give you an idea of how spicy these are, a pepper's spiciness is measured on a special scale called the scoville scale. A Bell pepper scores a 0, a jalapeno is scored 5000, a Habenero is scored 100,000. The Naga Jolokia, also called the ghost scorpion, scores 1,400,000. I am seriously scared to open the bag.

Emily's basket now contains dairy-free chocolate (which are freakishly hard to find - if anyone sees Go Max Go candy bars in a store near you, please mail me some).  She, Dr Who fanatic that she is, also got  an Adipose and the Journal of River Song.  (And before someone else decides to email me and tell me that Go Max Go candy bars can still contain traces of milk - I KNOW - stop emailing me about it already!  She's not deathly allergic, just mildly allergic.  It affects her skin, not her ability to survive.)

Katie's basket contains a jar of electronic fireflies along with all her favorite treats.  She also got beef jerky and creme soda but nothing spicy.  Katie is still young enough that she winds up with the most traditional items although this year she also got moon pies and pop rocks just because those are cool.

We also don't visit the Easter Bunny, we visit the Easter Rats.