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Author: Tricia

I'm the only girl in my home, sharing activities, experiments and other fun ways for moms to connect with their kids

What kind of family are you?

sense of community family front yard back yard
Front yard play in our community

I’ve been reading a lot about community lately, or the sense of belonging (I posted about it earlier this week, too). Mostly this was in relation to the whole ‘who am I?’ idea, but this idea kept popping up in the articles. (Sorry I have no references for you, there were so many short little ones. I admit I should have kept track of them for you.)


I remember the mention of neighbors playing outside with their kids out in front of their homes and slowly other neighbors would come around and after a while evenings just became social gatherings or parties. A sense of community arose as a result of families being accessible to others, not secluded in their back yards, even if seclusion wasn’t the intention.

I found it very interesting that my sister in law brought this very thing up at our recent play date, er, well, I mean our kids’ play date, while we were chatting. L. told me that when she and her husband first had kids there were several families in the neighborhood with young children and everyone seemed to gather ‘out front’ and chat at night while the kids played together.

Slowly homes sold and the ‘feel’ of the neighborhood changed. L. said when new families moved in children began playing in their backyards more often and there seems to be little sense of community now. My niece and nephew still play out front, but neighbors have talked to her about the volume her children play at, which isn’t any louder than other kids playing in their back yards.

We play in both the front and the back, depending on what our kiddos want to do at the time. I think for us the communication between neighbors has more to do with the stage of life our neighbors are in. The communication is different, with simple hellos exchanged in the front yard between our family and singles or couples (with grown children who are no longer living at home) walking their dogs and meaningful conversations with immediate neighbors (who can watch the children play in our yard from their windows) in the backyard.

So I guess I’m not sure if I’m a front yard or backyard-er. Maybe a little of both? Playing outside, in back or front, with my family has definitely made me feel I belong in this community, though.

Are you a front yard or back yard family and do you think this relates to the sense of community in your neighborhood?



Where do You Belong

In light of the recent articles on community popping up here and there, I’ve been thinking a lot about where we belong, as individuals and as a family.

Growing up in the country sharing property with a young neighbor my sister, brother and I always had a friend to play with, but only her. We didn’t grow up in a neighborhood, with classmates living in other homes on the street, or other neighborhood kids to play with. We grew up knowing we ‘belonged’ there in scruffy clothes, climbing trees and log-rolling down the grass-covered hills without neighbors who could see us from their windows except when we climbed up the hill and played in the trees.


I also grew up very shy. It took me a very long time to overcome my shyness, and mostly as a result of being thrown into situations where extraverts befriended me. Hanging around them I met more people and slowly became more comfortable with myself as a person. Making friends and having friends gave me a sense of belonging, like who I was mattered somehow.

As adults this feeling of belonging differs in intensity depending on the person, the place…but as an adult watching my own children making friends, or finding their way to do so, it deeply reminds me of the (almost) pain I sometimes felt when faced with making friends and I hope and pray they find a sense of belonging like I did.

As an adult I sometimes wonder where I belong now and how I can define the sense of belonging. Is it just a feeling based on where and how I find myself fitting into a group, feeling comfortable around others doing the same as me – being a mom as part of a mom’s group, for example? A sense of community.

…And I wonder how I can help my child always remember they will always find a place to belong here at home.

Where do you belong?


Where do You Belong

In light of the recent articles on community popping up here and there, I’ve been thinking a lot about where we belong, as individuals and as a family.

Growing up in the country sharing property with a young neighbor my sister, brother and I always had a friend to play with, but only her. We didn’t grow up in a neighborhood, with classmates living in other homes on the street, or other neighborhood kids to play with. We grew up knowing we ‘belonged’ there in scruffy clothes, climbing trees and log-rolling down the grass-covered hills without neighbors who could see us from their windows except when we climbed up the hill and played in the trees.


I also grew up very shy. It took me a very long time to overcome my shyness, and mostly as a result of being thrown into situations where extraverts befriended me. Hanging around them I met more people and slowly became more comfortable with myself as a person. Making friends and having friends gave me a sense of belonging, like who I was mattered somehow.

As adults this feeling of belonging differs in intensity depending on the person, the place…but as an adult watching my own children making friends, or finding their way to do so, it deeply reminds me of the (almost) pain I sometimes felt when faced with making friends and I hope and pray they find a sense of belonging like I did.

As an adult I sometimes wonder where I belong now and how I can define the sense of belonging. Is it just a feeling based on where and how I find myself fitting into a group, feeling comfortable around others doing the same as me – being a mom as part of a mom’s group, for example? A sense of community.

…And I wonder how I can help my child always remember they will always find a place to belong here at home.

Where do you belong?


Separation Anxiety

Today marks the end of the first week of school around here. As I suspected, Cutie Pie has had no problems going off to school in the mornings! He even feels like a big boy because he has to cross in front of the bus to get on!

Sweet Pea starts preschool on Monday. Remember last year, when he gained super hero strength every time I dropped him of at two-day preschool? I’m hoping it doesn’t happen again…I seriously don’t want bruises on my legs like that again!

I’m not sure when your kiddos started back to school, but thought I would share links to these two posts to give you ideas of how to help your child if they are a little scared to leave your side in the mornings. I hope they help or lead you to resources that do!

Dealing with Separation Anxiety

 

Help Alleviate Back to School Separation Anxiety – This post includes links to sources I found helpful when I was dealing with this with Sweet Pea when he was three

 

 

Separation Anxiety

Today marks the end of the first week of school around here. As I suspected, Cutie Pie has had no problems going off to school in the mornings! He even feels like a big boy because he has to cross in front of the bus to get on!

Sweet Pea starts preschool on Monday. Remember last year, when he gained super hero strength every time I dropped him of at two-day preschool? I’m hoping it doesn’t happen again…I seriously don’t want bruises on my legs like that again!

I’m not sure when your kiddos started back to school, but thought I would share links to these two posts to give you ideas of how to help your child if they are a little scared to leave your side in the mornings. I hope they help or lead you to resources that do!

Dealing with Separation Anxiety

 

Help Alleviate Back to School Separation Anxiety – This post includes links to sources I found helpful when I was dealing with this with Sweet Pea when he was three

 

 

My View

From up in the plane I look down and see clouds dotting a manicured landscape, one of neatly organized roads, obviously planned by someone or some organization. Other times I look down to see white clouds, some white and fluffy, building up in towers like cotton balls piled on top of each other sometimes letting the ground below peak through, some wispy and almost see-through, other times all I see is white.

As I sit and observe I am reminded how life is like this view. Sometimes everything falls in line, works out as if there is some ultimate plan designed for me with no obstacles. Other times little (or sometimes big) happenings seem to grow into an unclimbable hill, barring my way until I find a small opening to breathe and make my way again. Still other times everything seems cloudy, like I’m always searching for the end of whatever is on my mind.

My view from this plane reminds me that life is not always an easy road. Sometimes it intersects with others, maybe many others, like roads coming together neatly surrounded by many buildings that you can immediately recognize as a community. Other times the road may be lonely, dotted with only one or two buildings or houses, but surrounded by dark green fields that are sometimes lush with life, other times brown with trials.

Sometimes I look out my window to see the horizon. Maybe a coastline. Maybe the white clouds meeting the blue sky. The horizon reminds me trials end. The present is simply my dreams from yesterday being lived out today. Life goes on beyond the horizon, we just can’t see it.

My View

From up in the plane I look down and see clouds dotting a manicured landscape, one of neatly organized roads, obviously planned by someone or some organization. Other times I look down to see white clouds, some white and fluffy, building up in towers like cotton balls piled on top of each other sometimes letting the ground below peak through, some wispy and almost see-through, other times all I see is white.

As I sit and observe I am reminded how life is like this view. Sometimes everything falls in line, works out as if there is some ultimate plan designed for me with no obstacles. Other times little (or sometimes big) happenings seem to grow into an unclimbable hill, barring my way until I find a small opening to breathe and make my way again. Still other times everything seems cloudy, like I’m always searching for the end of whatever is on my mind.

My view from this plane reminds me that life is not always an easy road. Sometimes it intersects with others, maybe many others, like roads coming together neatly surrounded by many buildings that you can immediately recognize as a community. Other times the road may be lonely, dotted with only one or two buildings or houses, but surrounded by dark green fields that are sometimes lush with life, other times brown with trials.

Sometimes I look out my window to see the horizon. Maybe a coastline. Maybe the white clouds meeting the blue sky. The horizon reminds me trials end. The present is simply my dreams from yesterday being lived out today. Life goes on beyond the horizon, we just can’t see it.

Travelling

I can’t believe we are actually on our way to Florida for a cruise adventure and the boys are with Nana! We think 20 years of marriage deserves a good celebration!

The boys are very excited to be with their Nana for the week! It’ll be exciting to hear about their reactions to the videos we made for them to watch daily and to hear about what they do each day we are gone.

Fall always brings new changes, new routines, and, hopefully this year and renewed and deeper love between these parents who are feeling just a little ragged around the edges!

What new things are you experiencing this fall?

Travelling

I can’t believe we are actually on our way to Florida for a cruise adventure and the boys are with Nana! We think 20 years of marriage deserves a good celebration!

The boys are very excited to be with their Nana for the week! It’ll be exciting to hear about their reactions to the videos we made for them to watch daily and to hear about what they do each day we are gone.

Fall always brings new changes, new routines, and, hopefully this year and renewed and deeper love between these parents who are feeling just a little ragged around the edges!

What new things are you experiencing this fall?

Learning Something New

Have you ever stepped back and thought about what it takes to learn something new? Some find trying new things to be very scary even as adults. Now think about that from a kids’ perspective. What sorts of emotions do they experience?


Recently we bought a round swing, one that hangs from a rope attached to a branch. Both boys were very excited about it, but after one attempt at getting on, six year old Cutie Pie didn’t really want anything to do with it. Four year old Sweet Pea on the other hand jumped right on and started begging for us to give him a push. Then after his initial squealing was done requested to be swung higher and spun!

This swing had been in our yard for a few weeks before Cutie Pie dared to get on it again. I could see him studying how Sweet Pea got on, how he held his legs, and I saw him attempt the same moves. Unfortunately, Cutie Pie has much longer legs, so the same moves didn’t work! After a little practice and much trial and error, Cutie Pie got on and in a comfortable position, then asked to be pushed. He squealed a nervous squeal. I could see his body relax just a bit when he swung back to me and didn’t fall off. Then he wanted to be pushed higher, ‘but not too high’. Caution was definitely his plan. By the time he got off he was smiling his playful smile and said ‘That wasn’t as scary as it used to be!”

It just was a little picture of him trying something new, a little glimpse I had into his mind. I know new things make me very nervous and many times I forget to stop and see new things from Cutie Pie’s mind and instead sometimes get frustrated with him for not jumping in and experiencing the fun.

I’m reminded of this little swing scenario every time I walk into a store these days, surrounded by school supplies and back to school signs. While our kiddos might have gone to school before, the routine being slightly similar, there are enough new things happening in their lives that they might need us to step back and notice they are a little unsure, a little hesitant. As moms, stepping in with reassurance and love is definitely appreciated and desired!

How do you help your child learn new things and begin new adventures?



Learning Something New

Have you ever stepped back and thought about what it takes to learn something new? Some find trying new things to be very scary even as adults. Now think about that from a kids’ perspective. What sorts of emotions do they experience?


Recently we bought a round swing, one that hangs from a rope attached to a branch. Both boys were very excited about it, but after one attempt at getting on, six year old Cutie Pie didn’t really want anything to do with it. Four year old Sweet Pea on the other hand jumped right on and started begging for us to give him a push. Then after his initial squealing was done requested to be swung higher and spun!

This swing had been in our yard for a few weeks before Cutie Pie dared to get on it again. I could see him studying how Sweet Pea got on, how he held his legs, and I saw him attempt the same moves. Unfortunately, Cutie Pie has much longer legs, so the same moves didn’t work! After a little practice and much trial and error, Cutie Pie got on and in a comfortable position, then asked to be pushed. He squealed a nervous squeal. I could see his body relax just a bit when he swung back to me and didn’t fall off. Then he wanted to be pushed higher, ‘but not too high’. Caution was definitely his plan. By the time he got off he was smiling his playful smile and said ‘That wasn’t as scary as it used to be!”

It just was a little picture of him trying something new, a little glimpse I had into his mind. I know new things make me very nervous and many times I forget to stop and see new things from Cutie Pie’s mind and instead sometimes get frustrated with him for not jumping in and experiencing the fun.

I’m reminded of this little swing scenario every time I walk into a store these days, surrounded by school supplies and back to school signs. While our kiddos might have gone to school before, the routine being slightly similar, there are enough new things happening in their lives that they might need us to step back and notice they are a little unsure, a little hesitant. As moms, stepping in with reassurance and love is definitely appreciated and desired!

How do you help your child learn new things and begin new adventures?


Vacation Friends

My 6 year old wavers back and forth between friendly and talkative to reserved and shy. It’s funny, though, how in the summer when we are out and about playing he seems to hold nothing back, talking and playing with almost any child he meets.

One of our favorite neighbors has her grandchildren visit each summer. Cutie Pie swears he doesn’t remember them, but runs out eagerly to play with them just the same. You’d swear they were the best of friends seeing each other again.

I like friendships like this in my own life. Easy to get started. Conversation flows easily. Almost immediately some commonality is discovered. Why can’t all friendships in life be like that? Yet deeper?
Funny how this came up in conversation with my sister-in-law the other day as we were talking about how we each are desiring a sense of community.

Summer usually finds me playing a lot with the boys physically, but this year my knee is bothering me and I find myself sitting on the sidelines watching instead, which also means more seemingly random thoughts form in my mind. Like this.

My question for you today is where do you feel the most ‘community’ in your life?

Vacation Friends

My 6 year old wavers back and forth between friendly and talkative to reserved and shy. It’s funny, though, how in the summer when we are out and about playing he seems to hold nothing back, talking and playing with almost any child he meets.

One of our favorite neighbors has her grandchildren visit each summer. Cutie Pie swears he doesn’t remember them, but runs out eagerly to play with them just the same. You’d swear they were the best of friends seeing each other again.

I like friendships like this in my own life. Easy to get started. Conversation flows easily. Almost immediately some commonality is discovered. Why can’t all friendships in life be like that? Yet deeper?
Funny how this came up in conversation with my sister-in-law the other day as we were talking about how we each are desiring a sense of community.

Summer usually finds me playing a lot with the boys physically, but this year my knee is bothering me and I find myself sitting on the sidelines watching instead, which also means more seemingly random thoughts form in my mind. Like this.

My question for you today is where do you feel the most ‘community’ in your life?

What a summer!

If you’re like me and find yourself running all summer, then you can probably understand why I haven’t been able to post regularly! Between camp, dinosaur camp, hosting LEGO camp, helping my parents, visiting with family…I find myself in August and wondering how my plans dissipated before my eyes!

The boys, their daddy and I have been having lots of fun (and we’ve all been learning along the way), some of which I will share with you before the summer is over. Until then enjoy the time with the kiddos!

What a summer!

If you’re like me and find yourself running all summer, then you can probably understand why I haven’t been able to post regularly! Between camp, dinosaur camp, hosting LEGO camp, helping my parents, visiting with family…I find myself in August and wondering how my plans dissipated before my eyes!

The boys, their daddy and I have been having lots of fun (and we’ve all been learning along the way), some of which I will share with you before the summer is over. Until then enjoy the time with the kiddos!

Unexpected Playdate

The little boy around the corner is 3 weeks older than Cutie Pie and they’ve known each other all their lives. They were even in Kindergarten together! Every once in a while he and his Mom come to her Mom’s house across the street from us and he stops to play. I always find it intriguing to watch the different dynamics while they play.

Sweet Pea seems to love playing with T much more than Cutie Pie. They both seem more physical in their approach to play. Cutie Pie keeps wandering away, coming back to me. It doesn’t really seem like the need for reassurance, rather the acknowledgment that he doesn’t want to play the same way.

This summer my eyes have been open to Cutie Pie’s acceptance of his interests being different than that of his friends many times. However, I’ve also seen him think about who has similar interests and ask for play dates around specific themes, like meeting at the museum or having LEGO camp for his friends.

For now, I’ll just enjoy the neighborhood kids coming over unexpectedly and running around my backyard having fun with or without my boys (and their father!) being reassured not everyone is the same, but everyone can have fun!

What things are your eyes being opened to while watching your kids play this summer?

Unexpected Playdate

The little boy around the corner is 3 weeks older than Cutie Pie and they’ve known each other all their lives. They were even in Kindergarten together! Every once in a while he and his Mom come to her Mom’s house across the street from us and he stops to play. I always find it intriguing to watch the different dynamics while they play.

Sweet Pea seems to love playing with T much more than Cutie Pie. They both seem more physical in their approach to play. Cutie Pie keeps wandering away, coming back to me. It doesn’t really seem like the need for reassurance, rather the acknowledgment that he doesn’t want to play the same way.

This summer my eyes have been open to Cutie Pie’s acceptance of his interests being different than that of his friends many times. However, I’ve also seen him think about who has similar interests and ask for play dates around specific themes, like meeting at the museum or having LEGO camp for his friends.

For now, I’ll just enjoy the neighborhood kids coming over unexpectedly and running around my backyard having fun with or without my boys (and their father!) being reassured not everyone is the same, but everyone can have fun!

What things are your eyes being opened to while watching your kids play this summer?

LEGO creations

Cutie Pie has been really into LEGOs for a while now, but has mostly liked to create things from kits, or things that he could readily see or touch.

More recently he’s been creating things in his imagination, or taking something he’s very familiar with and changing them to make them exactly how he wants them. I love that he’s doing so much fine motor work and bringing his imagination to life!

Can you tell what he’s into now based on this creation?

Can you tell your child’s interests based on their LEGO creations or through other types of play? How do you act on your child’s interests?

LEGO creations

Cutie Pie has been really into LEGOs for a while now, but has mostly liked to create things from kits, or things that he could readily see or touch.

More recently he’s been creating things in his imagination, or taking something he’s very familiar with and changing them to make them exactly how he wants them. I love that he’s doing so much fine motor work and bringing his imagination to life!

Can you tell what he’s into now based on this creation?

Can you tell your child’s interests based on their LEGO creations or through other types of play? How do you act on your child’s interests?

Ice Play

Last week it reached 95 degrees here, and the humidity was awful, making it feel more like 100. We have a small kiddie pool in the back, but sometimes that just is not enough to cool off.

Ice Train
Four year old Sweet Pea had a good idea and asked me to make some ice for him using the train shaped cake mold I got for his birthday party last year. It was the perfect thing to pull out when the boys were getting tired of each other!

Playing with an ice train is the perfect way to cool off

I simply popped the ice out on the table and Sweet Pea had a ball ‘driving’ his train around on the table, keeping cool as it melted while Cutie Pie had fun splashing in the pool and spraying me like I was a water gun target.

I’m definitely going to do this again!

Ice Play

Last week it reached 95 degrees here, and the humidity was awful, making it feel more like 100. We have a small kiddie pool in the back, but sometimes that just is not enough to cool off.

Ice Train
Four year old Sweet Pea had a good idea and asked me to make some ice for him using the train shaped cake mold I got for his birthday party last year. It was the perfect thing to pull out when the boys were getting tired of each other!

Playing with an ice train is the perfect way to cool off

I simply popped the ice out on the table and Sweet Pea had a ball ‘driving’ his train around on the table, keeping cool as it melted while Cutie Pie had fun splashing in the pool and spraying me like I was a water gun target.

I’m definitely going to do this again!

Meeting Family

We all love to spend a little time with family, right? This weekend we had the chance to visit with Hubby’s cousin and her family, whom he hasn’t seen for over 20 years largely because they live in California and we are in New York State! It was so fun for me getting to meet her after hearing all about her, and to meet her family was an added bonus! Of course the only photo my computer wants to share for me is the one with her hidden behind her daughter!

Bonus of a walk we took together along the Erie Canal was getting to see the lift bridge go up in Fairport, NY. So cool! I’ll share more pics of that at another time. It is so neat to watch!

We’ve been spending a lot of time with our boys this summer…taking them to camps, having fun at the pool, playing with LEGOs, trips to see family…summer fun!

Meeting Family

We all love to spend a little time with family, right? This weekend we had the chance to visit with Hubby’s cousin and her family, whom he hasn’t seen for over 20 years largely because they live in California and we are in New York State! It was so fun for me getting to meet her after hearing all about her, and to meet her family was an added bonus! Of course the only photo my computer wants to share for me is the one with her hidden behind her daughter!

Bonus of a walk we took together along the Erie Canal was getting to see the lift bridge go up in Fairport, NY. So cool! I’ll share more pics of that at another time. It is so neat to watch!

We’ve been spending a lot of time with our boys this summer…taking them to camps, having fun at the pool, playing with LEGOs, trips to see family…summer fun!

Table Time- letter tiles

I’ve been trying as often as I can to have the boys sit at the table and do a little “academic” work, we call it ‘table time’. For 6 year old Cutie Pie we’ve been doing things like writing a sentence, tracing words, creating specific objects with playdough…fine motor things basically. For 4 year old Sweet Pea we are doing things like coloring, tracing, attempting mazes, play dough play and pouring practice.

The other day I found the lower case letter tiles I picked up a year or so ago. I quickly looked up a pin I remembered and printed out some word tile cards and laid them on the table.

Cutie Pie really didn’t want to do table time that day because he had just gotten his LEGOs out, but he came anyway when I said it was something we hadn’t done before.

He had fun searching for letters to build his words, but was itching to get down. After coercing him into writing a sentence for me I let him go play, but as he was going away from the table he said ‘next time lets use word families!’

Hubby overheard and picked out some tiles, built some word families and somehow enticed Cutie Pie to come back. He sat there for about 20 minutes making words with us! (He looks much more happy, don’t you think?)

I’m pleasantly surprised when Cutie Pie suggests doing things that to me are more ‘academic’ than I think he’s interested in doing! I only wish I could figure out when he’s in the mood for something like that so I can piggy back on it before it happens!

Table Time- letter tiles

I’ve been trying as often as I can to have the boys sit at the table and do a little “academic” work, we call it ‘table time’. For 6 year old Cutie Pie we’ve been doing things like writing a sentence, tracing words, creating specific objects with playdough…fine motor things basically. For 4 year old Sweet Pea we are doing things like coloring, tracing, attempting mazes, play dough play and pouring practice.

The other day I found the lower case letter tiles I picked up a year or so ago. I quickly looked up a pin I remembered and printed out some word tile cards and laid them on the table.

Cutie Pie really didn’t want to do table time that day because he had just gotten his LEGOs out, but he came anyway when I said it was something we hadn’t done before.

He had fun searching for letters to build his words, but was itching to get down. After coercing him into writing a sentence for me I let him go play, but as he was going away from the table he said ‘next time lets use word families!’

Hubby overheard and picked out some tiles, built some word families and somehow enticed Cutie Pie to come back. He sat there for about 20 minutes making words with us! (He looks much more happy, don’t you think?)

I’m pleasantly surprised when Cutie Pie suggests doing things that to me are more ‘academic’ than I think he’s interested in doing! I only wish I could figure out when he’s in the mood for something like that so I can piggy back on it before it happens!

Aftermath

If you read yesterday, you know my mom has been evacuated from her home due to flooding in Oneida, NY on June 29th. She is safe and has a safe place to stay, although her car is totaled due to the waters.


At just about 2 hours before the peak of the flooding she was able to walk down some railroad tracks way behind her home and tell the water was creeping up toward the windows on her back door, which is located several steps below the level of her apartment floor. Sometime after the water crested oil and gas drums leaked, so her back door now has a line across it showing the level of the water at that time.

In the picture below you can see the line the water line about 2 inches above the second step up. The large white thing at the top of the once-blue carpet is a door into my mom’s apartment. Literally inches, so thankful for a high foundation, although you can see the railing to the basement in this picture and the level of the basement ceiling. (In areas of the basement between that point and my mom’s floor are the pipes and wires, etc.) Some are being told to gut everything from the point of the water line and up 4 feet. Thankfully the beams in the basement ceiling were dry, so mom’s apartment should be safe from that worry.

This past weekend I was able to see my Mom’s place and some of the surrounding neighborhood. It was like a twilight zone episode. We drove through Oneida and you wouldn’t think anything was amiss…until you turned to go to ‘The Flats’…go around the corner and you see dumpsters lining the road, police cars and barricades blocking roads, front loaders and people hard at work removing piles of debris from yards, smell the musty water smell in the air, see homes marked with large red X’s indicating the owners could never set foot into them again.

It was surreal, but seeing neighbors helping neighbors, the Red Cross canteen making its way through the streets to make sure people were getting fed, offered a reassurance of sorts that everything would be fine, but never normal, again.

The front loaders had just finished collecting items for dumpsters along this section and already new debris.
Piles of debris like this in front of so many houses.

Like I said, my Mom’s apartment was dry when we entered, but smelled musty and felt damp as there is no electricity or gas to begin quick measures to dry it out. I still encouraged her to remove items if she is too afraid of being there by herself with the windows open to help the drying out. (She overheard some young people bragging about how many homes they have broken into.)

The view from mom’s front window.

Neighbors across the road had a foot of sludge in their home and were literally shoveling it out to be scooped up by the front loaders and placed in dumpsters (those in the gray house in the photo below.)

Two doors down (the green house in one of the pictures I posted yesterday) the door had to be open with much force due to the level of sludge in their home with their refrigerator moved from the kitchen to the livingroom after forceful waters entered through the windows.

I am so thankful for my mom and her belongings being safe from the flood. My heart just aches for her neighbors. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Aftermath

If you read yesterday, you know my mom has been evacuated from her home due to flooding in Oneida, NY on June 29th. She is safe and has a safe place to stay, although her car is totaled due to the waters.


At just about 2 hours before the peak of the flooding she was able to walk down some railroad tracks way behind her home and tell the water was creeping up toward the windows on her back door, which is located several steps below the level of her apartment floor. Sometime after the water crested oil and gas drums leaked, so her back door now has a line across it showing the level of the water at that time.

In the picture below you can see the line the water line about 2 inches above the second step up. The large white thing at the top of the once-blue carpet is a door into my mom’s apartment. Literally inches, so thankful for a high foundation, although you can see the railing to the basement in this picture and the level of the basement ceiling. (In areas of the basement between that point and my mom’s floor are the pipes and wires, etc.) Some are being told to gut everything from the point of the water line and up 4 feet. Thankfully the beams in the basement ceiling were dry, so mom’s apartment should be safe from that worry.

This past weekend I was able to see my Mom’s place and some of the surrounding neighborhood. It was like a twilight zone episode. We drove through Oneida and you wouldn’t think anything was amiss…until you turned to go to ‘The Flats’…go around the corner and you see dumpsters lining the road, police cars and barricades blocking roads, front loaders and people hard at work removing piles of debris from yards, smell the musty water smell in the air, see homes marked with large red X’s indicating the owners could never set foot into them again.

It was surreal, but seeing neighbors helping neighbors, the Red Cross canteen making its way through the streets to make sure people were getting fed, offered a reassurance of sorts that everything would be fine, but never normal, again.

The front loaders had just finished collecting items for dumpsters along this section and already new debris.
Piles of debris like this in front of so many houses.

Like I said, my Mom’s apartment was dry when we entered, but smelled musty and felt damp as there is no electricity or gas to begin quick measures to dry it out. I still encouraged her to remove items if she is too afraid of being there by herself with the windows open to help the drying out. (She overheard some young people bragging about how many homes they have broken into.)

The view from mom’s front window.

Neighbors across the road had a foot of sludge in their home and were literally shoveling it out to be scooped up by the front loaders and placed in dumpsters (those in the gray house in the photo below.)

Two doors down (the green house in one of the pictures I posted yesterday) the door had to be open with much force due to the level of sludge in their home with their refrigerator moved from the kitchen to the livingroom after forceful waters entered through the windows.

I am so thankful for my mom and her belongings being safe from the flood. My heart just aches for her neighbors. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Disaster

Have you ever felt such a desire to help a loved one but know there is absolutely nothing you can do? And that there is nothing you could do even if you were right by that person’s side (other than hug and cry together)? That’s how I’ve been feeling since first hearing about my mom being evacuated from her home due to flooding in the neighborhood June 29th after a dike broke. Oneida, NY should find out soon if they qualify for FEMA aid. Yes, it’s that serious.


Several friends of mine who are still in the area kept me updated on Facebook, and I am so thankful for Facebook pages like Oneida St. Paul’s Disaster and Early Response that posted updates and communicated to residents the details they needed to know to get help (although many didn’t have access due to not being in their homes). Without them I would have felt even more helpless. This way I was able to know what was happening from trusted sources. (I know it can get a little overwhelming to some to see these pictures, but to me seeing how everyone was dealing with the flooding actually helped me know it was possible to get through it.)

Here are two pics from June 29th, as taken by my wonderful photography friend from high school:

This picture shows a front loader/tractor that got stuck in the middle of the road shortly after the flooding began. I’m assuming it was being used to help evacuate people as in another picture taken at a later point in time the tractor had been moved and there was a boat returning to evacuate more people in the same spot. The blue arrow is about the position of my mom’s apartment, two doors past the green house. I was told the brown building just above and to the left of the tractor had 30″ of water inside of it.

This wasn’t exactly the start to summer that these poor (literally and figuratively) people had planned. This area hadn’t even flooded in years, and not nearly this badly. Luckily my mom’s apartment is in a home with a raised foundation and the water came within inches of entering, but didn’t. You’ll see in pictures I’ll post tomorrow that her neighbors were not so lucky.

Please pray for those in Central New York as they recover from this flood. Please pray also for those in the southern states suffering from droughts and fires. It has not been a relaxing summer so far for those in these areas.

If you are interested in seeing more pictures and to see a list of resources for emergencies like these, you can check out the Facebook page listed above or a blog I found through a friend, Dad’s Off the Path View, written by another person who no longer lives in Oneida, but whose thoughts are there at this time.

Disaster

Have you ever felt such a desire to help a loved one but know there is absolutely nothing you can do? And that there is nothing you could do even if you were right by that person’s side (other than hug and cry together)? That’s how I’ve been feeling since first hearing about my mom being evacuated from her home due to flooding in the neighborhood June 29th after a dike broke. Oneida, NY should find out soon if they qualify for FEMA aid. Yes, it’s that serious.


Several friends of mine who are still in the area kept me updated on Facebook, and I am so thankful for Facebook pages like Oneida St. Paul’s Disaster and Early Response that posted updates and communicated to residents the details they needed to know to get help (although many didn’t have access due to not being in their homes). Without them I would have felt even more helpless. This way I was able to know what was happening from trusted sources. (I know it can get a little overwhelming to some to see these pictures, but to me seeing how everyone was dealing with the flooding actually helped me know it was possible to get through it.)

Here are two pics from June 29th, as taken by my wonderful photography friend from high school:

This picture shows a front loader/tractor that got stuck in the middle of the road shortly after the flooding began. I’m assuming it was being used to help evacuate people as in another picture taken at a later point in time the tractor had been moved and there was a boat returning to evacuate more people in the same spot. The blue arrow is about the position of my mom’s apartment, two doors past the green house. I was told the brown building just above and to the left of the tractor had 30″ of water inside of it.

This wasn’t exactly the start to summer that these poor (literally and figuratively) people had planned. This area hadn’t even flooded in years, and not nearly this badly. Luckily my mom’s apartment is in a home with a raised foundation and the water came within inches of entering, but didn’t. You’ll see in pictures I’ll post tomorrow that her neighbors were not so lucky.

Please pray for those in Central New York as they recover from this flood. Please pray also for those in the southern states suffering from droughts and fires. It has not been a relaxing summer so far for those in these areas.

If you are interested in seeing more pictures and to see a list of resources for emergencies like these, you can check out the Facebook page listed above or a blog I found through a friend, Dad’s Off the Path View, written by another person who no longer lives in Oneida, but whose thoughts are there at this time.

Oil and water experiment 2

Earlier this week I posted a simple, fun oil and science experiment. My kiddos loved this so much, that they asked for it the day after we initially did it! I liked it too, so I pulled out the materials again (an edged dish, cooking oil, food coloring, medicine dropper) but this time I got out the vinegar and baking soda as well! Such a fun twist!

Once again I coated the bottom of the dish with a small amount of oil.

Then I poured a bit of vinegar into several medicine cups and added various colors of food coloring to them.

The boys grabbed their medicine droppers and had fun again with the colors.

I handed them a couple of small cups of baking soda. They looked at me like I was crazy, then each picked up a pinch and dropped it into their dishes.

Can you guess what happened? You should try it!

Oil and water experiment 2

Earlier this week I posted a simple, fun oil and science experiment. My kiddos loved this so much, that they asked for it the day after we initially did it! I liked it too, so I pulled out the materials again (an edged dish, cooking oil, food coloring, medicine dropper) but this time I got out the vinegar and baking soda as well! Such a fun twist!

Once again I coated the bottom of the dish with a small amount of oil.

Then I poured a bit of vinegar into several medicine cups and added various colors of food coloring to them.

The boys grabbed their medicine droppers and had fun again with the colors.

I handed them a couple of small cups of baking soda. They looked at me like I was crazy, then each picked up a pinch and dropped it into their dishes.

Can you guess what happened? You should try it!

Oil and Water experiment

Sweet Pea concentrating on getting water in his dropper

We’ve had a lot of rain here lately and the boys were getting a little antsy. I pulled out the water and oil, taking a tip from Growing a Jeweled Rose, added some food coloring to the water and set it out along with a couple of medicine droppers. The boys, of course, were immediately drawn to it asking if it was for them!

This is a great activity for fine motor pincer grasp work, learning/reviewing colors, science talk about liquids.

Isn’t this cool?!

It’s pretty self-explanatory what to do. Pick up drops of colored water and drop them into the thin coat of oil (preferably in a dish with sides).

Hint: I found medicine cups to be the perfect size for holding paints and water for their projects!

When the water came into contact with the oil it formed little droplets, which alone looked pretty neat. Here are some questions to ask while you do this experiment:

What happens to the drops of color?
Does it stay in little droplets? Why?
What happens when you try to make two droplets into one? How do you do that?
What happens to the color when they are mixed?

I hope you have fun with this experiment! Tomorrow I’ll share with how we switched things up a bit the next time we pulled out the oil!

Oil and Water experiment

Sweet Pea concentrating on getting water in his dropper

We’ve had a lot of rain here lately and the boys were getting a little antsy. I pulled out the water and oil, taking a tip from Growing a Jeweled Rose, added some food coloring to the water and set it out along with a couple of medicine droppers. The boys, of course, were immediately drawn to it asking if it was for them!

This is a great activity for fine motor pincer grasp work, learning/reviewing colors, science talk about liquids.

Isn’t this cool?!

It’s pretty self-explanatory what to do. Pick up drops of colored water and drop them into the thin coat of oil (preferably in a dish with sides).

Hint: I found medicine cups to be the perfect size for holding paints and water for their projects!

When the water came into contact with the oil it formed little droplets, which alone looked pretty neat. Here are some questions to ask while you do this experiment:

What happens to the drops of color?
Does it stay in little droplets? Why?
What happens when you try to make two droplets into one? How do you do that?
What happens to the color when they are mixed?

I hope you have fun with this experiment! Tomorrow I’ll share with how we switched things up a bit the next time we pulled out the oil!