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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pumkin days at the Loveridges

Fall is a fun time.  Here are some pictures of us picking out pumpkins and making haunted houses.  Also, here is a picture of a dinner with the Loveridges.  We're glad to share these fun times with them.  We are also excited, though, that we get to move back to Galveston at the end of this week.  We'll have to stay with a friend there also, for one or two weeks still, while Rich starts work and before the apartment is habitable.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Two months later...

We are getting ready to head back to Galveston in a week. We will have been staying with the Loveridges for a whole two months. They feel like family now. Thank you, Loveridge family, for making room for us, moving around your beds and clothes and expanding the kitchen table. Thanks for helping us get our stuff from Galveston and clean it. Thanks Alisha for helping me find a new car and new furniture at yard sales, and for helping me scan all my damp pictures and papers, helping me with sewing projects, and many other things. Thanks for making us feel at home and sharing everything with us so easily. It was so fun and memorable to share this time with you. Thanks to so many people in the Loveridges' ward and also people in the 6th ward and many other friends for their help and to the missionaries who came and helped, and also to family members in Utah.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

My Lazy Post

Alisha (our current host) wrote a couple of really good posts recently about our experiences with the hurricane clean-up. She did a good job with it, I thought, so I am going to suggest you go there for photos and stories of going back to Galveston and of the generosity we've received since.
Richard has been doing very well in his Internal Medicine rotation, and it is a very demanding one! Good job, Rich!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I'm not even going to tell you about what we found in the fridge...

We were finally able to go back to Galveston last Wednesday. Our friend Ben came with us and we drove in his truck, "blue", and pulled a U-Haul trailer. We saved as much as we could, but pretty much lost all the furniture. We were blessed that no important papers or pictures were lost. Not to mention that we did not own the place where we were living. The biggest loss for us was the old '90 Toyota Camry that had been flooded.
It was a lot of work to clean everything up that we did save, when we got it back to San Antonio, but it became easy when my friend Alisha worked right by me the whole time and recruited six missionaries to come over. A Sister in Alisha's ward recruited six other Sisters to help wash all the clothes, bedding and towels we recovered. We have been so touched by the outpouring of offers to help and donated clothing and other things, and many by people we don't even know. We are so grateful for our friends that are letting us stay with them for this extended period of time (probably two monts). I know we are soooo fortunate. Many of the residents of Galveston don't have the same kind of support system through family and church that we have. It was saddening to be on the island and realize that the reporters' photos were not exaggerated. Here are some of our own pictures. These are mild compared to the damage many other's had. Our apartment only got six inches of flooding. These are pictures of some of the mold that grew up on the furniture and walls:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Hurricane Ike was the most devastating storm to hit Galveston in 108 years. The hurricane that destroyed Galveston in 1900 was the largest natural disaster in the history of the U.S. It could have been as bad this time, also, if it wasn't for the seawall that was built after the 1900 storm. I thought I would write down a little about our experience so far. 

Last Thursday, we heard that Ike turned toward us and was huge. We wanted to start evacuating and the kids' schools had cancelled all classes for the next day, but both Richard and I were told to be into work the next day as usual. On Friday, I went in and was sent home a half-hour later. Richard's meetings were cancelled. We started getting ready to head out. We packed four days worth of clothes and our toiletries. We packed the most expensive foods from the freezer to bring with us. I moved my guitar, Lila's dollhouse, our boxes of childhood things and pictures, our clarinets, and some other things off the floor and away from windows. We also took water, extra flashlights, cash, our computer, and our file box of important papers. 

It took us eight hours to drive to San Antonio, which would usually be a four-hour drive on a good day. We felt like we were coming home, and were so glad to see our friends. The Loveridges took us in and said we can stay as long as we need to. They have a beautiful, large house, and made us feel comfortable. They have four kids who are tons of fun and John and Lila are in heaven, being with them. We were surprised when we found out what a hit Galveston took. We are anxious to see our apartment and to try to save what we can, but so far, we can't get on the island. The officials tried opening it up to residents during the daytime to "look and leave" today, but it was too chaotic, so they changed their minds and we don't know when our next chance will be. I think the fridge will be a toxic mess (I wish we had cleaned it out more) and I also remembered some family albums that were near the floor that I hadn't moved. I also forgot to grab our 72-hour kit.  I hope all our furniture won't be totally ruined. The more we hear, it sounds like we probably got flooded with a few feet of water, and it will be a couple weeks to a month before the island is "inhabitable". The WIC office I work for is closed indefinitely and Rich's residency doesn't know when to expect the hospital to be up and going again. For now, they set him up with a month-long hospital rotation here in SA, which may start in a week or so. 

It's dizzying, all these unexpected twists and turns we've had. It's been about a year since our life has been thrown up in the air. I guess we're STILL waiting for it to come back down. On the other hand, I am really enjoying the moments and the adventure it all is. I feel I can do this because I know my family and I are anchored in the gospel and supported by awesome family and friends. I know that God has blessed us and has great things in store for us.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Take a Hike Ike

We are safe in San Antonio staying with friends. The hurricane passed over Galveston last night and we're just trying to find out when it will be safe to head back. In the mean time, we're having a good time hanging out with our friends and feeling grateful for what we have.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Project Doll House

Lila got a doll house kit last Christmas, but we delayed the project until after the move. I had fun working on the project with my daughter.

First Day of !st Grade

John was very brave and friendly on his first day of school. His teacher is Ms. Matthews, who has over 30 years of teaching experience. She is very motherly and gives good hugs.

After just two days, he was ready to ditch the uniform and wear his favorite clothes again. Yea, we understand. He also misses his old school and his friends in San Antonio. Changes are hard. He misses being at home with Mom and Lila and all his favorite toys.

There are 22 other kids in his class. They have class from 7:45 to 3:15.
You'll be great, John! Go Parker Pelicans!

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Among our first visitors to Galveston were the Loveridge family, and later, Karen and her family, both from San Antonio. Here are some pictures.

As a final fling before school started, Karen, Cenia, and Isaiah came down to see us and play in Galveston. We played and swam at the beach, went miniature golfing, and visited the Houston Space Center. John, Isaiah, Lila, Cenia

This is the actual Saturn V, refurbished. John is in the lower left corner.
We had so much fun with the Loveridges, too. We had a very full house, and it was a blast! It was nice that Richard was working a self-study rotation so he could be with us.

This is on the ferry.

We spent lots of time on the beach.
...hanging out...

...and swimming in the pool.

We miss you guys. Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Galveston, Home on the Island

In front of our apartment. We're in walking distance from the beach!

On the ferry

Playing with Dad. We love to be in the waves. Aren't they adorable?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Residency at UTMB

I have started my Residency in Family Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Rich's latest and greatest adventures

For all who haven't heard yet, we are moving to Galveston, TX to make a fresh start on my residency. In the mean time both Jennie and I have taken up temporary employment. Jennie is working for Xceligent a commercial real-estate research firm as a field agent. The first thing that came to me was a night watchman job.

On my first night I came across a 5 foot long pit viper rattling its ominous tail and reared up ready to strike me if I crossed its comfort zone. The picture is of the calmed down snake from about 10 feet away behind a stone pillar. John has since named my new friend suaria. I haven't seen him again but I am much more wary coming around corners now.

The other picture here is of my automobile accident which took place on the last day of my being an Air Force Officer. It was just one of those days.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Popsicles at Great Grandma H's House

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At Sizzler with Grandpa Donaldson

On our last day in Utah for the holidays (before our 22 hour drive home) Grandpa Donaldson took us out for lunch with Mom and Dad and Emma and Mike. Doesn't he look great. We loved our time with the family, and we miss them terribly.

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Sledding at the bowl near Grandma Hofhein's house



More racing


Cousin David


David and Adah, I think, had the most fun of everyone. David probably went down about a hundred times.

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Don't miss the pictures of the Grandmas below

Great exercise for all of us. Here is Jennie dragging the sled which was usually occupied by John or me.


John, apparently not recognizing the sensitivity of electronic equipement to water, plasters dad with a snowball on camera.


Dad and John


We couldn't even get Lila near a sled, for fear, but she did like dressing up for the cold.

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