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Monday, June 27, 2011

Another update...

This was posted from our Public affairs and family readiness center on base....

Water consumption must be curtailed by ALL residents of Minot AFB. The bases water supply from the Minot Treatment Facility was shut off mid day due to multiple breaks in the distribution system throughout the valley. Please limit use of water to drinking and hygiene only. IMMEDIATELY stop all car washing, outside garden hose use, do not irrigate flowers, lawns etc., shut off water while lathering soaps and shampoos, use conservative rations when preparing food and drinking, wash dishes by hand do not let water run while rinsing, turn off ice makers, only run clothes washer when more than ½ full, compost vegetable food waste instead of using garbage disposal, Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap. Don't use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in the refrigerator for water efficiency and food safety. Keep a bucket in the shower to catch water as it warms up or runs. Use this water to flush toilets or water plants. All family members with friends and family outside the local area that can go for an extended stay are encouraged to assist in conserving as much water as possible for those that are unable.

it is just one thing after another...

Numerous Water Mains have just broken in Minot and ALL people in Minot are to begin conserving water at all costs. Sprinklers are to be shut off and businesses that use large amounts of water (such as car washes) are to immediately halt those specific operations. (From KX news)

A few days ago we had severe thunder/lightning storms along with tornado warnings....I pray this all ends soon.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Minot Floods

I just wanted to give a quick update for our family and friends that have called, emailed, and texted to check on us and see how we are being effected by this flood.

First of all, Minot AFB (where we live) is not being all.  In the spring some of the older housing had some basements flood, from the snow-melt and heavy rain, but other than that, none.  Base is located about 10 miles North of Minot, ND.  Minot, ND, however, is in desperate need of prayers right now.  Last week 12,000 people were evacuated out of a portion of Minot (only 200 are in shelters so most people are living with complete strangers).  The Mouse River flows right through a portion of the town, and that portion happens to be the lowest part of Minot, making it sort of a big bowl.  The flooding is NOT due to rain.  We keep getting a lot of people commenting saying "wow how much rain are you guys getting?"  The fact is, we have had very little rain recently.  The flooding is due to the lakes and rivers being over filled from the snow-melt up North, causing too much pressure and them having to release water from the dams more North of Minot.  Of course, when we do get a little bit of rain here and there, it doesn't help, but it is really not making it worse.

If you check out KX News Facebook there is lots of photos and information (click on the KX news only part of the feed just below the 5 pictures at the top of the page, or you will just see endless posts of stuff from other people that most likely isn't true).  The flooding has completely destroyed so many homes, as in some areas, the water is almost covering the roof.

How this is effecting us:
The worst part right now is our water supply.  There is a possibility of water contamination in Minot (where we get our water from) with some sort of bacteria or parasite.  So for the last 2 days we have been on a boil order.  We can only drink bottled or boiled water.  We can't use tap water to wash dishes, brush our teeth, or any other use that could possibly lead to ingestion.  The commissary, shopette, and BX have all been insane...running out of water, getting more in, and running out again super quick as everyone is panicking. It is sort of inconvenient having to boil water, and making sure the girls down get into the facets, and showering them without getting water on their faces...but we are just thankful we are safe, warm, and dry...and dealing with this whole water thing is nothing compared to what some of the folks in town have to go through right now.  The hardest part for me right now, is we are doing VBS this week, and I am working in the kitchen, so making sure everything is using clean water, and that the kids don't wash their hands, but instead use sanitizer and not drink water from the certainly made that task a little more stressful than it should be.

We can not really go into town.  Right now there is very limited access to both sides of town.  There is so much being done in town trying to build up and strengthen the dikes, that they are begging people to only travel to and from town if it's an we have not been in town for almost a week.

Our base pool closed a couple of days before the boil order started because of the possibility of contamination and needing to conserve water just in case.  This bummed the girls and I out big time, because we had just bought pool passes and had spent the last 3 days in a row there :(

Plane tickets have sky rocketed.  My parents bought us tickets to come home in July for a couple of weeks since we will not be home for Christmas this year.  With all of this going on we thought maybe we could come home early so I do not have to stress about this water thing with the girls...well with the price difference in price of the tickets it would cost about $500 a piece to change them to an earlier that was a go no :(  But the good news is, we will still be coming home to visit family as planned from mid-end July.

We do appreciate all of the phone calls and the love that has been pouring out for us and the people of Minot.  We can't help but ask for prayers and the continued love and support.  Again, we are safe and not flooded or fear being flooded.  We will use our blog to keep people updated with details about how we are doing; but for now we are safe, dry, and covered with the love of God.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Project 52: Week:25: Old

For Father's Day this year, Geoff decided he wanted to go check out some of North Dakota's Ghost Towns (no, they are not towns with actual ghosts in them...that's dumb....they are abandoned towns).  We visited 3 different towns (the 3 closest ones to Minot)...we were a little disappointed that all 3 still had some actual residents in them.  Two of them only had maybe a dozen or less residents, which is hardly any compared to the sizes of the towns and the amounts of buildings there.  My favorite was this old gas station.  There was an old station wagon pulled up to an old gas pump that has been there for who knows how long.  We are hoping to check some more of them out in the near future, some of them that are 100% abandoned with no residents for the past 30+ years.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Project 52: Week:24: Forgotten Beauty

I just don't get how people can say North Dakota has no scenery.....

A couple days ago my friend and I went out searching for some new places to do her family photos. 
We both wanted something different and some locations we do not see photo sessions shot normally.
We thought a lake would be fun since they spend tons of time there in the summer...and even winter going ice fishing.  We ended up finding some amazing spots, and shooting a little before sunset, gave us some awesome golden light and beautiful sparkling water, through out the whole session.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Trip/medical update!

I know, I know, we got back from our trip like 2 weeks ago, and I am just now getting around to posting the update I promised.  I was sorta putting it off because there was so much, and I just haven't had a large chunk of time to just sit and type.  But here goes...

So, as you all know, we went down to Texas to have a bunch of medical stuff taken care of. If you don't know everything, please refer a few posts down...or you can click here

First off, I will start with Geoff's surgery.  The day after we arrived, we had our first appt., which was Geoff's pre-op appointment.  It took a lot longer than expected...we had to the surgeon, and then we had to go all over getting paperwork signed off.  We ended up being there about 5 hours.  The following morning, we had to be at the hospital at around 8am.  Thankfully, my awesome friend Sara took the girls ALL DAY.  She was seriously a life saver because they would have gone insane at the hospital for 8 hours (after being there for 5 hours the day before!).  He finally got called back around 11am, and his surgery didn't start til about 1pm.  His surgeon came and spoke with me at about 3pm, saying he was out of surgery and it went well.  They had to cut about a 2 inch circle out of his skin and fatty tissue, and flapped it over...drilled about half way into his skull and placed the screw/holder.  Then they sewed him back up with part of the screw sticking out.  Most of you have seen the looks like he has a snap on his head now.  He had to go to post-op for about an hour, and then they would call me, and bring me to recovery with him until he was ready to leave.  We went to recovery where they only wanted him to stay about an hour.  I know, it's insane, that an hour before they were drilling into his head.  He was pretty out of it, and then he started feeling really sick.  They gave him pain meds and zofran to help with the sickies.  Not long later he was discharged and we picked up the girls, and then went back to the hotel.  The first 2 days he pretty much just slept and was sick.  We ended up going back to the ER the 2nd day because he was really sick, causing him to puke, which was causing his head to bleed from pressure.  They said it looked okay and to keep an eye on it.  One week after his surgery he had a follow up appointment.  I was shown how to take care of it and he was cleared to go back home, but on convelsant leave for another week.  Everyday, before he showers, he takes the cap off the "snap"  gently sorta washes it off in the shower.  Then we let it air dry for a few hours.  Before bed I apply antibiotic ointment around the "snap" and stiches (which have now fallen out).  Then I cut a small hole in a piece of non stick guaze, and place it over the screw post, and then snap the button cover back on.  He will go back to TX in a few weeks for a check up to see how it's healing.  If all goes well, he will be getting his hearing aid in about 2-3 months.  We are VERY optimistic about this one finally working.  When I am cleaning the post, he said he can "hear" the sounds of rubbing and stuff...which means the bone is conducting sound as it should when the hearing aid is placed. yay!

Next up, we have Jordy.  Jordy was seen by a team of doctors to evaluate if her birth injuries are affecting her learning, behavior, etc.  We were never concerned with the thought of autism with her, but that was the main thing they were check for.  After spending a few hours with her, they said that she showed absolutly ZERO signs of autism, which they said is very rare that they can actually say ZERO in these evaluations.  They could definitely see the things we see as far as her having to be told over and over again before she will actually listen and understand what we tell her.  She is super super super smart, but on the slow side for her learning milestones (counting, abc's, etc)...but not enough to be very concerned at this point.  As they told us at birth, she needs to be followed and then tested once she starts 1st grade to see if there are any learning disabilities that might show up later.  The one thing they did say we NEED to do was enroll her in some sort of preschool.  We told them we were considering a couple of different things for her here, and they strongly agreed with us that she needs to go to the Montesori school just off base.  They teach in a child led way which would be beneficial to her, and sort of jump start her learning process to prepare her for kindergarten the following year.  We started the registration process and she will hopefully begin in early September.

Lastly, we had Abby's appointment with a neurosurgeon a couple of days before Geoff was cleared to leave.  For this, we had to go to Brooks Army Medical Center to see him.  First off, I did not like the communication that was had before hand.  I guess he had agreeed to squeeze us in, for whatever reason...but new abolutly nothing about why he was seeing us.  He hadn't seen her scans, or her medical we had to go over everything.  He agreed on the diagnosis of the cyst on her brain.  They are semi-common, and very rarely anything serious.  He said he starts to worry when they are over 10mm.  Well...Abby's is 11-12mm (depending on who is reading it).  Yet, he seemed not worried at all, even though he had just told us he worries when they are over 10mm.  He basically just wants us to have her scanned again in 6 months and see if there are any changes.  Now, I agree, there is nothign that can really be done until we see if it is changing/growing.  BUT, I also know how fast things CAN go downhill. Not saying I think they will...but we JUST found this thing, and who's to say it might not double in size in 6 months.  I think we need to get a 2nd opinion, and then have her scanned again in about 3 months instead.  Sure, I am probably being over cautious some might say...but this is my daughter's brain we are talking about.  I felt this Doctor lacked the compassion that we are truely concerned. Almost annoyed that we we were worried of what could possibly happen.  Yes, I am sure he sees these everyday...but we do not.  If we are able to see another dr (not sure yet if Tricare covers 2nd opinions) and they say the exact same thing...I will be much less concerned, but still probably want a scan done earlier than 6 months.  At this point, we (mostly me) are just needing prayers for peace and understanding of what is going on inside her smart little brain of hers.

So, as you can see, pretty much all "good" news came out of the trip. It was a LONG 2 weeks.  And it was a LONG 2 day drive each way.  BUT...the girls did AMAZING as usual for car trips.  Hardly any complaints from any of us.  We got a lot of good family time and got to do a few fun things down in TX like see some of our best friends(including getting to go to Abby's best friend's birthday party!), get some sun (too much for some of us), eat some yummy food, and go to Sea World. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Project 52: Week:23: Joy

Joy was the only word I could think of to describe this photo.

Story behind photo:

Geoff took the girls to the Daddy/Daughter Dance on base.
I took the girls shopping to pick out new dresses that were to be surprises for the date.
Daddy got ready at work.
The girls got ready for their date at home.
Hair, body spray, glitter, make up, shoes.
Daddy picked them up at the door, with a single rose for each of them.
Me, being the paparazzi that I am, followed them to the car, and I caught this after he buckled her in.
Jordy looking at Daddy, with the purest form of JOY.
I do not think she has ever been so excited about anything.
And something about this photo brings tears to my eyes.

And here is a photo of all 3 of them right before they left:

Friday, June 3, 2011

Project 52: Week 22: Innocence

Warm weather.
Fresh cut grass.
Swim suit.
Pure Joy.

Today marked the first day warm enough, that the girls actually asked to play outside in the sprinkler.
Nothing says innocence like summer break, playing outside in the water, eating ice cream, and soaking up some sunshine.