Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Flooding in our area (CRAZINESS)

Saturday afternoon, a 50-year storm hit our area and caused a ton of damage. The rain was pouring down in sheets, quickly filling up the streets and overloading the drains in the city. Some of my kids and I went outside as our street became a river. The far end of the cul-de-sac had water about 3 feet deep.

My husband went to check out an apartment complex nearby and quickly came back to organize help for them -- people were bailing out buckets of water from their kitchens and living areas. He made some calls, then dashed back with buckets plus Lillian and Allison to help. They, along with a lot of the other men from our ward, went from unit to unit trying to prevent as much damage as possible. Still, the water continued to pour into homes. Many lost belongings, couches, cabinets, and floors. In the end, 45 of the 90 units in this complex were flooded, some with a few inches, others with up to a foot of water.  Here's a picture a friend posted of her husband bailing out their porch:

A few homes in our neighborhood were also affected. My son Joey and his friends went door to door to see who needed help. My friend Rebecca had so much water pouring in her home that it broke two of her windows and her basement and preschool was flooded with up to a foot of muddy water.

 Meanwhile, this was happening just down the street and up the hill:

Sunday, I took Joey around to see some of the damage nearby.

The road on the top of the hill caved in and caused a massive mud/rock/debris slide, hitting an office building below.  This is just down the street from my house.


A woman who works in the affected building posted these photos of what happened inside:

A park nearby was hit pretty hard as well.
(I didn't realize how dangerous this spot was until after I got closer.  Joey and I got away pretty quickly -- that staircase is holding onto nothing right now and could topple at any minute.  There's caution tape all around the spot above but people were still crossing it, standing on that park bench and taking photos because from above, it's difficult to see how precarious that spot is)

 Staircase is holding on by who knows what -- there are gaping holes on the other side of it.

And some photos from up above:

 See that gaping hole in the picture in the middle front?  Nothing below it.  I'm guessing this whole thing is going to come down soon.

We have many friends who are digging out, trying to clean their flooded apartments, keep mold from growing, dry out their furniture and belongings, and rip up their carpets and ruined floors.  It's been a crazy few days.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

All about Shoes (& their Organization)

We've kept all the kids' shoes in our mudroom (near the garage and the front door) for many years.  One bin per child, though Katie and Harmony share.

As you can imagine, my kids aren't so consistent with putting their shoes away in their bins and so for several years, one of the kids has been assigned to straighten the mudroom as their afternoon zone (while others are emptying dishwashers or cleaning the great room).

The problem we've run into is that who-ever is cleaning the mudroom has trouble knowing which shoes belong to who.  With Michael similar in shoe size to my twins and the twins in two different sizes this year, plus the compounding factor of several of the same style shoe belonging to different children (uniforms), we ended up with lots of shoes lost or missing just as we needed to leave for somewhere.  Usually, they'd just been put in the wrong person's bin.

We needed a new idea.

Enter duct tape. Lots and lots of patterned and colored duct tape.

I had each child choose a style they liked, then we labeled their bin with it.


After that, we cut squares of duct tape and placed them inside the heel of each child's shoes. 
Now, sorting the shoes in the mudroom is simply a matter of matching the colors and patterns.  Easy enough even my three-year-old could do it.

How do you organize your kids' shoes?


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