Friday, August 10, 2012

The hot, rainy days of the summer

Sunday morning, (July 15th) Josh was finishing his weekend trip to Vancouver for some church meetings. The forecast all week had been for a day of rain to hit on the weekend, and hit it did, but with the mugginess of Chicago or Ottawa, thanks to the summer temperatures. So, I dressed the girls in their coolest Sunday dresses, and enjoyed the beauty of the rain.
While doing dishes before church, I turned on some music for us to listen too, and had to stop my dish doing to capture Joy's immediate response to the words and the music.
The faith of a child. It's so simple. Obedient. Unashamed.
Big sister joined in, complete with teddy bear on one hip. :o) Love the little mothering heart Hopey has.
A telephone call with Granny after naps, before our company arrived. I thought I should call and tell our families that our basement flooded Sunday afternoon, lest they hear through the grapevines and worry about us.

I had put the girls down for their afternoon naps, and planned to rest myself, but thought I should get a couple things out of the freezer in the basement first, and check for any wetness down there since we had Jesse and Heidi Jost and their three children planning to stay with us that night. I walked down the stairs, and was surprised by the splashing at my feet on the carpet at the base of the stairs. I soon discovered that the water carried on and covered most of the basement. The storage space under the stairs that I use as my cold  storage room had water pooled on the floor, the and the carpets in the rumpus room and laundry room were soaked through as well. A nice little puddle of water awaited me in the bathroom too. I quickly went to check the guest room, suspecting to find the same thing there, as we've had trouble with damp floors in there on occasion before, but to my shock and delight, that room felt dry. Later, I did discover the closet floor was wet too, but the main part of the room was okay. Praise the Lord. I honestly felt like an angel must have stopped the water from going in there, knowing we had guests coming that night, and while I could shuffle the two older children upstairs, I did't have space for the parents and baby upstairs too.

I paused briefly to think and pray, as Josh was still in Vancouver, we don't own a shop vac, (we since have been blessed with a great one Josh's folks had stored at the acreage) and here I was 5 1/2 months pregnant with company expected in 4 hrs and a flooded mess in our basement. I called Josh to let him know, and got on my phone to text some friends and ask who could possibly help. After a few messages were sent, I grabbed my stuff from the freezer, and headed upstairs to get some shoes on my feet.

I noticed my sandals had grass on them, and thought of banging them off outside before going back to the mess in the basement. I pushed the thought aside, knowing the floors weren't clean down there anymore anyways. But, the thought came again, and so I succumbed, or rather, obeyed, and went out to the front step to bang the grass clippings out of my sandals before going back to the basement to clean up what I could while I waited to hear back on help. Turns out "help" was just outside my front door in the form of our neighbour, Steve, who was up on his roof cleaning out the gutters on his house. I greeted him and asked if he had a shop vac. He said he could get one real quick, and asked if I needed help. He returned within the hour, having retrieved his shop vac from his mom's house across town.

It soon became apparent that sucking the water up was not going to do much, and so we lit into those old carpets, and pulled them right off the floor and he carried them out onto the deck. Another couple friends arrived to help a while later, and by the time the Jesse Jost's arrived that evening, all the wet carpet was out, the baseboards removed, stuff piled in the one dry room in the basement (Josh's old office was totally dry), and a big 4 ft fan was running in the rumpus room to dry things out.

The water had come up from the floor, that was obvious, as all the upper parts of the walls and ceilings were dry. The city called it a septic overflow, as the water table here is quite high this year, and the 5 inches of rain involved in this current week of rain, topped it off and caused it  to invade some houses. Our home, being slightly older, and having no sump pump, resulted in flooded basement floors. One friend said a 1/3 of the houses in Spruce Grove were affected by it. :o)

So, back to a rainy Sunday afternoon.... ;o)

The girls woke up from a good long nap just as the guys who came to help were leaving. So, we got some snacks ready, made a couple phone calls, made up a bed for John-Michael and Sophia in the sewing room, and waited for our company to arrive. :o)

We had fun with it. And the John Michael and Sophia seemed quite happy that they were going to sleep in the room next to our girls upstairs. :o)
Monday morning, after a good nights sleep, the young ones had a chance to do some puzzles together before the Josts hopped in their van and headed north for a week of speaking at a summer Bible camp. We were so glad they were able to visit us. It's always special when people you've grown up with stay in your life. Thank You, Lord, for brothers and sisters in YOU! :o)
With the recent acquisition of a free dresser, I had been planning on re-organizing our sewing room/home office. The anticipation of continued company and the imminent reality of the basement being gutted, all of a sudden provided the motivation I needed to make re-organizing that room a priority, so as to get a guest bed into the room and get the closet into a useful state again, not like some Janga-block tower about to collapse!:o)
Hence, that meant taking out everything that was in the closet and putting it into the dresser, and then putting the dresser into the closet. I love projects like that! We keep the girls special puzzles, special toys, and colouring/crafting stuff in there for parent-approved access, and they were delighted to play with a couple favourite puzzles while I worked. Hope wanted a pattern to do with her pegs, so I set one row up in the colours of the rainbow and she filled in the rest of the board.
Teething toddler. :o) Thankful for sturdy foam. :o)
Somehow, Joy has discovered the fun of rinsing dishes for Daddy, just like Hope did around that age.
However, Joy pulls up her own little stool or chair, instead of us pulling over a big chair for her. Tip-toes to the rescue, and let the fun begin!
The summer evenings have been so hot, I haven't bothered putting her waterproof apron on her, as I'm sure it feels good to get wet and cooled off. :o)
Following the wise advice of some friends, we set about cutting off the bottom 15 inches or so of drywall in the worst places, so as to encourage airflow and drying out of the rest of the wall.
The mattress from the single bed previously set up in the rumpus room had to go somewhere temporarily, and with spare corners being quickly filled, it went in front of the couch. As anticipated, the girls loved playing on it, and I think we escaped without any bonked heads or bloody noses.
Hopey, trying on Daddy's socks while helping Mommy fold laundry one night.
Love my 3 year old! :o)
Nothing like a flood to make you evaluate what you need, and what you don't need. Our bed became the daily temporary dumping place for things I needed to sort through. With the likely event of basement renos taking a few months, and with a family wedding, and potentially the birth of our baby also in that time, I had to do some quick thinking as to what I needed accessible and what could go to the acreage attic for storage. :o)
In the first days, while it was still pretty damp and very noisy downstairs from the big fans, I felt it was better if the girls didn't go down at all. The Lord gave them such grace, and they occupied themselves or stayed upstairs when I needed them to without complaining. The large tub of Duplo they hadn't played with in months brought several mornings of happy playtime. They would dump it out in their room, empty their bottom two shelves, and create all sorts of games from the hundreds of items on their floor. At one point I came in to find one of them in the big tub, the other one dumping items on top of their sister so as to "bury them." LOL! :o)
So glad she found her real smile again.
Thanks to Jeremy, from the restoration team, who did great work gutting the rest of the basement.
If my children were boys a few years older than my girls are now, I'm sure they would find the basement a very fascinating place to play right now, with all the little tunnels and spaces to crawl through with the bottom pieces of drywall cut off. :o) You can see clear through to the back wall of the hallway from inside the guest room now! :o)
Josh picked up a frame for under the single mattress one night on his way home from work, and the girls had fun helping him set it up.
Joy had no trouble with the "push it down" part!
No sooner was the bed set up and made, that the two of them started shuffling themselves underneath it - a great new hiding place discovered.
All ready for female travelers. :o) Chloe had been hoping to come up that weekend, but her plans changed, so the first lady to use it was Mom Langemann, whom you shall see a couple posts from now.

Stay tuned. :o)

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