Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Endless Winter

As I sit and type this I am trying not to fall asleep...I think my body is trying to go back into hybernation mode...again. I've been fighting this lethargic blah for months already and now winter is digging back in...sigh

When does it end????

Monday, March 23, 2009

River Rising

The Red and Red Lake River is rising steadily this week. Since they merge just about 1.5 miles from our house we have been watching it with a lot of interest lately.

Fargo is expected to get record flooding and the citizens are calling for volunteers to help in the sand bagging process in hopes of deterring the massive surge that will crest later this week.

There is still a lot of snow melting and the ground is frozen solid ice for 30" below the surface so anything and everything that runs off goes into the rivers.

We got about half and inch of rain here Grand Forks last night on top of that. Some areas got 4-5 inches. We have to look at everything south of us because they are the ones that got the most snow this winter and our Red River flows north...yes north. The only river in America (that we are aware of anyway) that flows north...

What lies just north of us??? Lots of frozen ground and rivers of solid ice...resulting in an iceberg dam. We don't have flood insurance and it takes a month for the premium to go into effect anyway so we have to ride this one out and pray that the levies hold.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Our vacation to Florida in review:

Thanks to Dan the weatherman; my inside source of knowledge of all things weather wise I had an inside eye watching over my trip. I took his advice to be on the east side of the storm moving in and boy am I ever thankful now that God put me to work in the National Weather Service...I can appreciate what those guys do a lot more now that's for sure. I left home Sunday afternoon...the skies were blue and there was not a cloud in sight...got to my Mother in Laws in Albany...it was a gorgeous day.

We got up Monday and went shopping in town...had a great time...came back to her house checked in on the weather channel and saw that the storm was moving in and would possibly have roads closed by morning...Interstate 29 from Grand Forks had closed that morning and even schools were closed which is very rare for us. So I booked a hotel in Bloomington about a block away from the airport for Monday night and the kids and I headed out. No sooner did I leave but icy rain started falling behind me; my MIL woke Tues morning to a very slippery driveway.

The kids and I went to the Mall of America for a while on Mon night, had some dinner in our hotel room and then went down to the indoor pool and hot tub and had a great time there. Around 9pm came back up and went to bed...our room was up on the 6th floor and boy they must have been trying to prepare us for Florida because the room had to have been 80+ degrees even with the air turned off and the window cracked open...so it was a very "sultry" night indeed - I rather enjoyed it though ;)

Tues morn we woke up to a dreary day, went to breakfast at the hotel buffet and then came up to hang out in the room for a couple hours...I was starting to get extremely comatose from the sweltering heat in the room so we checked out early and went to Target where we picked up a new backpack for the trip and a few swim things for the pool. Then we headed to the airport to begin our adventure...

We arrived at the gate at exactly 12pm as I had hoped we would...Jared was so so excited and kept telling me to hurry up, hurry up - we will be late! (Our flight departed at 3:15) When we stopped for lunch at Subway he could hardly sit still long enough to eat his sandwich he was in such a rush to get to our gate...we finally made it....with only a couple of hours to spare ;)

The flight from MSP to Memphis was delayed about an hour to de-ice; the weather was getting worse by the minute and I was wondering if I would have to turn around and go home again before I ever got off the ground...but alas twas not so...the plane finally got airborne and we were off!

When we arrived in Memphis it was 80 degrees...aaaaah! Of course it was pretty cold in the airport terminal...but Jared's face was flushed as red as a beet. Oh, I must add that he was an awesome help in the airports helping me with our bags and pushing Jaiden's stroller. I could not have juggled it all without him.

So we arrived in Orlando about 10:30 pm...got our bag...got our rental car and headed off to our hotel with no clue how to get there other than a map sketched out by a kind gentleman at the car rental counter...which was very difficult to read in the dark while going 75 mph down the freeway...my navigator fell asleep on me from sheer exhaustion...poor guy...so I was on my own to find the way. I am still not sure which route I took and I wound up driving around the Disney parks somehow...but I finally made it onto the correct road that my hotel was on and was about to pull into the KFC when I looked up and there it was! Yay! So we checked into the ratty roach motel...it was pretty yuck. I wouldn't recommend it although it served its purpose as a cheep hotel with a bed...

The next morning we took a walk around the hotel and the kids immediately wanted to go swimming...there was not a coffee pot in the hotel room so I wasn't too enthused about this but I let them take a quik morning swim. Heather came down and we met at last; not exactly the meeting that I had imagined since my kids were in two different pools and my attention was not exactly clear yet due to the muddled coffee less state of my mind...so we headed off to breakfast at Denny's...where I swear that the waitress was really intent on hurrying us along for whatever reason...the restaurant was almost empty. She kept asking us over and over where we were going...we hadn't quite figured that out yet and she barely gave us a chance to talk before she was back asking us again.

I hadn't gotten a car seat with the rental car so I went off to Target to purchase one along with some snacks for the kids. We relaxed by the pool for the remainder of the afternoon and then headed off to Hollywood Studios to meet Heather and family for the Fantasia show. The girls had a great time sharing popcorn before the show. The show was awesome and loud and Jaiden wasn't too sure about the witches and the bad guys but loved the river parade of Disney characters at the end.

We picked up KFC on the way back to the hotel and Jared got a chance to play with his new toy; a "string thing" with built in blacklight...he was so happy!

Thursday we went to the Animal Kingdom...got there early; 9am and stayed until 5 when the park closed. We had a GREAT day! This was by far the best of the parks, it was like an enormous zoo with rides. We all enjoyed it immensely.

Friday we went to Flagler Beach to meet the Thomas family for lunch. We ate pizza right by the ocean...it was AWESOME!!! Then we went to the park and hung out for a while until the sun got too intense and we started turning red even with spf on...so we called it a day and took a drive up to St Augustine; a lovely little town but there was too much traffic by the water and Jaiden was asleep so we did not get to go to the beach that day. We had cheeseburgers from the McDonalds in Daytona and halfway through his Jared lost his loose tooth! He was so excited! The tooth fairy came that night and left him ten dollars and seventy six cents! He had just enough to buy a dolphin at Sea World the next day for ten dollars and sixty seven cents.

Sea World Orlando was a great experience. It was a gorgeous day out and the park was not too crowded. We all enjoyed the shows and had fun playing with and feeding the dolphins. Jared won the squirt gun and gave his sister choice of prize...she picked a dolphin almost identical to Jared's. We came back to the hotel and called it an early night in preparation of our trip to Flagler for church the next morning.

We got started around 7 am and headed off to Flagler. It was another gorgeous day. We all had a great time at the Thomas' church and enjoyed meeting some of the church family. Lunch afterwards at Golden Corral was fun and yummmy...I finally got the catfish I've been craving for so long :)

We drove along A1A for a while after lunch and I found a place to park at Ormond Beach and the beach was not too busy so we enjoyed a short walk and gathered quite a few really pretty seashells. Jared enjoyed running into the surf and a chat with an older gentleman that was fishing. We spent the rest of the day lounging at the hotel pool and were just about to head in when everyone started shouting "the rocket is about to lauch" so we stayed and watched that. It was really cool and Jared was ever so excited to see a real rocket launched into space. What a great memory!

Monday our grand fanali was the Magic Kingdom...we were so pooped out that we didn't get up very early and by the time we had done breakfast and made it to the park it was around 10am. The crowds were starting to get thick already. We went through the Swiss Family Robinson tree house (my favorite story) and then we rode the magic carpet ride and then the Johnny Depp...I mean Pirates of the Carribean ride, and then the Jungle Safari. We were not so impressed with Magic Kingdom as we were with Animal Kingdom, whether it was fighting the crowds or just the fact that we were totally exhausted and ready to head home. We called it a day after just 4 hours and lounged by the pool for the remainder of the day.

We loved Florida and getting the opportunity to visit with our friends. It was an adventure we will never forget and a very nice break away from the cold. I am so thankful that we were blessed to make it out ahead of the yucky weather that seemed to follow us all the way to Florida. As Jared said over and over "It never snows in FLORIDA" I feel blessed to have been given this "escape hatch" I know things are tough all over the world right now and everyone is a bit overstressed. I had gotten to the point of not wanting to go through the motions of survival day after day. Florida felt like a different planet from here...a place of great happiness and comfort...the economy was good there...money flows like warm honey in the land of Disney anyway. There may be an over abundance of issues to worry about in the rest of the world but here you can be at peace just soaking in the sun and fresh air. I did not cough a single time there...my cold and congestion returned almost the minute we landed in Minneapolis (go figure!) This week we are busy getting prepared for Scott's retirement ceremony on Friday. The inlaws will be here tonight....lots to do. I know that thanks to the great Florida excape I will survive this and whatever our future holds there is someone much greater than all the world that is looking out for us. We still haven't got the answers but we know who does and we pray for the wisdom and patience to trust in Him.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

5 days till Florida!!!

Woo Hooo! I am getting so sited :) Jared is now going with us, I booked his flight yesterday. He is ever so excited too! We are going to have so much fun in the sun!!!
Now what to pack...I can't believe that we will have to pay for checked baggage...at $15 a bag I think I will just be packing one for all three of us. Or should I just buy clothes there and spend the $15 on a bag on the return trip? I am really not sure what to pack and neither the kids nor I have many summery clothing...not much need for them here. It will be interesting to see how the kids react to 80 degrees.

I missed the Florida job by a point...my score was 99. Since there was well over 300 applications submitted for this ONE job they are only sending up the ones that scored 100 for consideration...its a tough market out there.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I haven't updated my blog in a while so I am going to try to catch up quik....before I forget. Its been crazy busy at work getting travel authorizations prepared for lots of travels for the spring flood event, training...etc...plus the gazillion and one other things that I do at any given moment.

Friday morning I got to work and it was -20 degrees, after the emotional week I'd had this was appropriate. A few minutes later I got a call from ICE Immigration and Custom Enforcement in San Antonio saying that I had a job interview at 10...could I make it? Uh..no not in person...I am in NORTH DAKOTA...so I asked if I could do a phone interview...she had to go ask...yes I could do the interview at 10. It went well...the job is Mission Support in property management...I do that..so now I am just waiting for a call back to let me know something...it could be two weeks before I know. This job in Texas is what I have been praying for many many years now.

Meanwhile...I have this spur of the moment trip to Florida to plan for ;) A break from the chaos of my life is just what I need right now...this crab needs to get to the beach quick! But there is a catch....I found a job in Florida....in St Augustine. It is a secretary job...same pay as I am making now...no excessive challenges, just taking care of a boss....sounds great after the two years of wearing a bazillion hats....but the Mission Support job in Texas is also a huge promotion...and its in TEXAS...so why am I now considering Florida as an option? I would have never even thought of Florida before last week....I asked for a window out of here and it seems that God has given me two doors...now which one do I choose? I am hoping to do some soul searching beach walking while in Florida to clear my head and hopefull that the answer will come to me.