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28 June 2011

Flooding | An Update

So, since I know most of our family reads this, I decided to do a little update on the flooding situation up here in Minot. There's lots of information about what caused the flooding and how the city handled it. I'm not going to go into too much detail.

There are lots of pictures and information on KXNews' website and on their facebook page

But basically it's a combination of a cool summer last summer that didn't evaporate all the melted snow, with record levels of snowfall this winter, late, rapid snow melt, and record levels of rain this spring. All those combined in Canada and North Dakota to cause the Mouse/Souris River to flood. This river runs from Canada, into North Dakota, and then back up into Canada. Minot is situated between two 'hills' (North Hill and South Hill- so original!) and the river runs throughout the Valley. There are several dams along the river including the one just out of Minot, Lake Darling. All of the dams were over-taxed and full and required RECORD releases. Some miscalculations meant that they level of releases had to rise rapidly. The city worked to create dikes that were 20 feet tall, 30 feet wide at the base and 8 feet wide at the top to protect as much of the city as possible. For the most part, they were successful. However the LARGE volume of water still has flooded a good quarter of the town. I have not been to town myself, but I have heard something like 6000 homes have water in them, up to 1000 with water to the roof line. There are over 12,000 people evacuated. *However, people were notified early enough that most people emptied their houses of their belongings and there has been NO loss of life so far, Praise the LORD!

The water crested at 1561.82. The record level in Minot previously was from 1881 at 1558.

When a city floods, there are lots of complications. Basically the city has been cut in half with one small road open to get from the north to the south. The hospital, all grocery stores, and most clothing/supplies stores are in the south. They have set up a temporary hospital up North and are considering opening the base grocery store (which is 16 miles north of town) to the residents in the north. 

The river crested on Saturday at a lower level than they had originally anticipated, however, with that crest, they discovered that untreated surface water had made it into the water treatment facility. Base is on the city water, so all of town and base were put on a Boil Water order. Basically any water for consumption was to be boiled for 2 minutes before use. We were encouraged to conserve as well. Although this was slightly annoying, it was not much for us to deal with considering our home was still dry and we were safe. 

Sunday evening brought severe thunderstorms, hail, and tornado warnings across the counties adding more un-needed rain. 

Monday, several mains broke in town, a common occurrence after flooding, and the town lost all ability to provide water to the citizens. They have shut down all water in town. We have a reservoir on base that is filled by city water. Once it runs out, we will be out of all running water too. I have heard that despite severe conservation (no dishwashers, rare flushing, no laundry, very short showers/sponge baths for babies, etc) we can only expect for it to last about 5 days. So far there is no estimate on how long it will take to repair the water main breaks since they are under water. 

The projected receding timeline for the water is SEVERAL weeks, we are expected to be back at 1559 this week (which is still ABOVE the 1881 record level) and for it to take up to 3 weeks more for the River to be back in it's banks. FEMA has finally stepped in to offer assistance for those who are evacuated. We already were desperately short of housing in Minot due to the oil boom, so we are hoping they will be able to fill that void with some temporary housing. 

We are safe, our house is dry, the commissary is continually restocked with food and is upping it's water stock. Obviously, the biggest thing we are facing right now is if the water runs out. We choose not to buy a bunch of bottled water when the boil order started because boiling water is fairly simple. However, now we are having to find/pay for bottled water in case we run out completely. The commander on base has requested that any family members that can leave, do, to reduce stress on the water conservation. However Delta has taken advantage of the situation and is charging their holiday rates ($700-1200) instead of their normal rates ($400-700), which is making it difficult for people to leave. Since we only have one car, it's not an option for Jarvis and I to drive someone, because the hubby will still have to work.

Mostly, I ask for prayers, for the people who have lost their homes and will be in limbo for months. And for the water situation, that they find a way to provide safe, clean water to all of the residents in town and on base. For now, we are sticking around, conserving water, and praying. Love you all-


27 June 2011

the hubby's green thumb

So I'm going to brag on the hubby a little. 

Last year, he decided that he wanted to try and grow a garden. Now keep in mind that neither of us has ever really had an experience with gardening. Needless to say, as a result so-so planning, hard North Dakota clay, a short growing season, and moving in the middle of the summer, our crop was less than ideal. So hubby took it upon himself to be educated this year. He researched, designed, and built raised beds. He started an indoor compost during the winter to create natural fertilizer, and he used a good mixture of clay, peat moss, soil and compost in the raised beds. (I credit him COMPLETELY with the success of the garden, I'm just glad I've only killed 2/15 flower bushes in the front, ha)

We had to wait until late May to plant because our frost date is so late. Then a very dry windstorm hit the day after we planted. As a result, it's taken the plants a bit to get going, but now they are growing like crazy!

Tomato plants (for some reason, one is not growing, but you can see how big the other is! We have 6 total)

Cherry Tomatoes




Asparagus in their portable beds

Asparagus (it's hard to get a picture of them, they blow all over in the wind!)


One of the boxes of strawberries

The first of our tomatoes!

The first little pepper

 Romain lettuce


Romain, carrots, onion, and peppers

Spinach, eggplant, and carrots

Onions, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots

Cherry tomatoes, romaine, beans, carrots


So there's my very long, picture-heavy brag post on the hubby! Can't wait to continue to eat from our own garden!

24 June 2011

Project 52 | Multi-tasking | Week 25

Motherhood is
My primary job is to be his mother. 
But in learning to do that job to the best of my ability,
I found a group of mothers who support, enable, and grow one another.
Next year, I am leading it.
So this summer, I am learning to multi-task in a way I never have before!

Mother's of Preschoolers (MOPS) is an amazing group that I am so blessed to be a part of. I accepted a calling into being a co-coordinator for next year, and have jumped into the many responsibilities. Above, you see just a couple of the binders passed on to JaNae and I as co-coordinators. We spent an afternoon planning, sorting, and getting ready for the many exciting things next year. I am thrilled, but a little overwhelmed as I learn what this new responsibility means for our lives!

styleberry blog |cyan baby bliss | fitori | phreckle face photography | {rik-see } photography | the vandyck family

16 June 2011

Project 52 | Growth | Week 24

Motherhood is


I'm not the same woman I was when he was born. 
Or even the same one I was when we lost Job. 
It is a constant, sometimes painful, growing process as a mother.
But I wouldn't be the mother I am today without them.

My husband is an amazing gardener. He spent hours researching and determining how to set up, plant, maintain, and harvest our garden. The weather is finally warm enough up here and the garden is taking off! One of his pet projects is the asparagus. They take several seasons to mature fully and since we will likely be moving in less than 2 years, he created these wonderful portable boxes. They have chicken wire and gardening cloth on the bottom to allow them to drain, but they keep the dirt and roots contained and can be lifted by the rope handles on the side. Genius! A careful mixture of tilled soil, peat moss, and homemade compost have created excellent growing conditions in this hard North Dakota clay.

I took the picture on the left Monday of the very first asparagus shoot when it was just about 3 inches tall. And just 3 days later it is already well over a foot tall! There are now over 10 shoots in the two boxes, and several are starting to fern!

I am amazed every day how much all the plants have grown. 

I have a similar feeling when I look at Jarvis. He grows and changes daily. And when I think back to the mother I was to that tiny newborn, I know I am different. More confident, more informed, more positive, more hopeful. I still have a long way to go, but I've got another 16.5 years to work on it! (Really, even longer than that- mothering doesn't stop when they turn 18!).

10 June 2011

Project 52 | Partnership | Week 23

Motherhood is


You know how you can just tell some men are meant to be daddies?The ones who are out in the bounce house with all the kids, while the rest of the adults are inside talking?
I married one of them.
Sometimes, the big kid thing gets a little frustrating,
 but when it comes down to it,
he's the best parenting partner I could have ever asked for.

We met when I was 12, and it was an immediate crush for me. He was 13, and just thought of me as an awkward girl who he was friends with. Apparently, sometime around 15/16 in driver's ed class, he changed his mind. And at 16/17, the end of our sophomore and junior years, after a full year of one of us always dating someone, we finally started dating. I couldn't have imagined then what our life would look like. He was sweet and cute, and such a stud. And then a year later, he left for the Air Force Academy, and our lives began to take form. 5 years long distance and we finally married. And through that time, the more I saw him interact with his cousins and other children, I began to realize I not only had an wonderful boyfriend/fiance/husband, but also a man with the potential to be a wonderful father.

So, thank you, to my 16 year-old self, for picking out not only an amazing husband, but a loving, committed, supportive father. I am so blessed to have him.

Happy *early* Father's day, to the love of my life and 

the father of my children.

09 June 2011

A bumpy ride.

ah. this grieving thing, it's certainly a roller coaster. a very bumpy one.

**I'm trying to be more transparent, more open about my feelings and shortcomings. I've been told that I can come across as perfect, as all put together. But I'm not, I'm imperfect and flawed and struggle. And I think that only in being honest and open can we truly help one another. That's the only way we can grow and bond. So here's a little open honesty for you.**

I can happily say that I have more good days than bad now. But honestly, the number of bad days still surprises me. I don't go a single day that I don't think of Job, and what our lives would be like with him. There's not a moment that I don't miss him and ache to hold him. There's so many things that remind me, that spark the memory of what it should be. What I wish it was. 

But most days, I can take a deep breath, send up a prayer for strength, and focus on being thankful for the amazing things I do have.

But not everyday. Every once in a while, it feels as though I just lost him yesterday. The pain is fresh and deep and still so heartbreaking. And it knocks me down completely.

That's when I find myself awake, alone, in the middle of the night, crying out to my Savior for some comfort, any peace. And do you know what usually works?

I have this box. I bought it just to hold my memories of Job. It's small, and doesn't hold many things, but it holds every single card or letter we received.

And so I sit, sort through the few things that mark his tiny life, and read every word of every card. I think about the prayers that those friends and family said over us, about the time they took to pick out a meaningful card, about the loving, encouraging, and comforting words they wrote. And I can almost feel the arms of every one of them hugging me. I can see their faces and feel their love.

Julie, at Joy's Hope, asked for advice and then wrote an amazing blog about What to do and say when a friend loses a baby. It's beautiful, please read it when you get the chance. In an earlier post over on her own website she asked for advice and personal experiences. And as I sat down to respond, I found that all I could think about, all I could remember, were the well-intentioned yet hurtful comments. The ones that belittled my loss and tried to explain it away. I found that it was hard for me to think of what I would tell people TO do. I could only think of what they shouldn't do or say.

It's amazing how much those few poorly worded, hurtful responses stick out so much in my mind when I have a box full of over 50 cards and letters that did just the opposite. 

So tonight, I am letting myself feel the pain and the loss as I immerse myself in the blessings that are my family and friends. I am allowing my loving God to show Himself to me through them, through their words. 

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears

What if a thousand sleepless nights 
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise...

by Laura Story

If you want to read more about Job's story, click here

03 June 2011

Project 52 | Reflective | Week 22

Motherhood is


I can see his daddy in him, he's a little carbon copy.
But after spending every day of his life with me, I can see myself peeking through too.

Every time he tells the puppy to 's-ush,'
every time he sorts things into baskets by type,
every time he curls up to read a book.

I had to get him a reading chair, a place he can cuddle up and look at books. After a well-timed sale and an online coupon, and Jarvis got an oversized kid's chair that he can climb into himself. Almost immediately he started grabbing a book off the shelf, climbing up and settling in read.

There are so many things I want to teach him, so many values and morals I want to instill. And there are so many things that I want to hide from him too! Every time he mimics something I do, I get a little scared. Every single day I am shaping him into the man he will become. Into the worker, boss, employee, husband, and father that he will be. 

And that can be completely overwhelming. But I'm not doing it alone. I have amazing friends and family, a committed, loving, and supportive husband, and most of all, a God who loves and forgives me always.

02 June 2011

this much [17 mos]

saturday morning. 7am. pajamas. family time. truck book.

These are the moments I love. No make up, slept on hair, baskets of laundry and sewing piled on the couch. But non of that matters. All that mattered was the sweet little boy holding a book up patting his lap. He can get me to stop anything I am doing to sit down and read. Hubby grabbed the camera and snapped a few pictures, they are noisy, but I love it. This is us.

His favorite books are the ones filled with trucks, of course. And I have read Roadwork at least 10 times a day in the past 3 weeks. I could probably read it in my sleep!

linking up with styleberry blog in her *this much* project.