24 May 2004

Oh and did I mention that during the tornado warning my husband was outside messing with the rain gutters. I thought he was in the bathroom the whole time. And when he came in and I told him about the tornado warning, he suggested that we head to the basement. HE WAS JUST OUTSIDE!
Rain, More Rain and FLOODS
I thought Friday night would be good to cuddle on the couch and listen to the rain and thunder while watching the sky light up with lightning. Things didn't quite work out that way. It did storm alright. But our evening included watching the weather on TV, preparing to go the the basement because of the tornado and then finally going to bed. We got 4.5 inches Friday night. We live up on the hill so the most damage we saw was some erosion going into the pasture. The pond is full though and the overflow pipe ran full the last two days. Town, which sits nestled along the Turkey River, is close to flooding. Mom and Ralph who moved here in the last few months now have lake front property. All the bottom land fields are flooded. Dikes didn't hold - the water broke over the top and has been rushing in. Lots of debris coming down the river. Gilbertson Park, on the East end of Elgin is completely flooded. All you can see is the tops of playground equipment and the picnic shelters.
Elkader, where I lived before I met Ryan, and where I continue to work is flooded. The Turkey River flood stage is 12.0' and I think its currently around 18.0' The basements of all the buildings along the River are flooded. This is a 1 in 500 year storm meaning we should only see a storm like this every 500 years. This area of NE Iowa saw similar storms in 1999 that wiped out several communities. Well, five years later, its happening again. Littleport, Elkport and Garber were all wiped out five years ago. Today, the only difference is the # of houses that were wiped out. When this last happened, most of the communities moved to higher ground. Some stayed and now they are trying to salvage their things once more.
From a conservation standpoint (since thats the field of work I'm in), fields are flooded, terraces have washed out and pond dikes didn't hold. As I drove to work this morning you can see trash and residues all in the fences where the water was rushing through and more than 3 feet deep. It will be an interesting few days/weeks as this gets all cleaned up. Hopefully it won't take long until roads are open again and travel can continue down some of the main roads around here.
In the meantime, today Ryan and I celebrate our 1 year anniversary. Our plans aren't going to quite work out with the weather. He planned on taking me fishing since I haven't been in so long. But since you can't tell the difference between the creeks and the fields and since they're forecasting more storms tonight, we'll have to appreciate other things. So a big yipee to a God who has sustained us and our relationship throughout the past year.

21 May 2004

Friday has come. I've been waiting all week for this day. It's just been too much drama lately. Our mower decided not to start anymore so I borrowed mom's. Let me just say that 2 evenings of mowing and I'm still not finished. My body aches to prove how much work it is to use a regular mower instead of a rider mower.
My desk at work has just been piling up. The first 2 days of the week were kinda slow. But the last two days have been non-stop. For every one thing I get accomplished, 2 or 3 things get added to my desk. This morning I had to pick my formal trainings for the next year. Without any national courses, I came up with 16 training days. That's 3 weeks of work that I'll miss. That doesn't include regular training that the state puts on during the year up in my area. I'm learning to be a District Conservationist and PRAY that I don't get asked to move away if that's God's will for me.
Monday is DJ's birthday. Haven't purchased him a formal gift yet. Got any ideas. I do have several things for him though. I emailed him yesterday with the following message: Happy Birthday (a few days early bub). I have a gift for you, you just have to come get her. Young female. Great looking. Name is Promise. Come get her ASAP :) His other present I'll just have to send him a picture of. It's ditch weed. Yeah, years ago Iowa road ditches grew ditch weed to make rope in support of the war. Its quite a sight if you've not ever seen it growing massively before. I remember the first time I saw it when I was in Ames. Anyway, its growing out in our pasture and I haven't the chance yet to cut it down. Thought I'd take a picture of it for DJ to see, not for him to harvest for anyone!
That's about the excitement here. It's been storming here all day. A tornado just hit the ground aobut 90-100 miles west of here. That's exciting when you're not able to get into a basement and there could be a tornado rolling your direction. I love danger but not that much. The thunder, lightning and rain on the roof should make for a good night to cuddle on the couch and do nothing. I'm off...

20 May 2004

Muy Importante!
My good friend Jayne is having surgery today at 3:15. She broke her elbow last week and surgery is today. They may have to replace her elbow socket. She's scared to death of needles so you can imagine how apprehensive she is about this surgery. Please lift her up in prayer for the surgery and over the next few weeks as she recovers. Muchas gracias!

19 May 2004

Christian One-Liners

"Don't let your worries get the best of you, remember, Moses started out as a basket case"

Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited - until you try to sit in their pews.

Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisers

The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose, but mosquitoes come close.

Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on your front door forever.

Quit griping about your church; if it was perfect, you couldn't belong.

If the church wants a better pastor, it only needs to pray for the one it has.

Peace starts with a smile.

We were called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges

Be ye fishers of men. You catch them - He'll clean them.

Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.

God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

God grades on the cross, not the curve.

God loves everyone, but probably prefers "fruits of the spirit" over "religious nuts!"

He who angers you, controls you!

If God is your co-pilot - swap seats!

Prayer: Don't give God instructions -- just report for duty!

The Will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.

We don't change the message, the message changes us.

The best mathematical equation I have ever seen: 1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given.

18 May 2004

Much needed prayer:
1. Audra's blood platelet levels need to increase so she can get her chemo treatment.
2. Gale Bamford is doing better but tries to do too much. Still a serious condition (I think).
3. Amy's Grandpa was recently diagnosed with cancer. He doesn't know the Lord. Pray that through this, Grandpa might open his heart to the Holy Spirit.
4. Me, because my body aches (especially my back and neck).
5. Those friends who are getting married this summer (anna/hal, Shane/Michelle, dragonfly's sister, and many more). Pray that they continue to build their lives on the Rock of Christ.
6. Those friends who've recently decided to follow Christ into ministry. Ryan & Renessa who will be working with Athletes in Action. Carrie Moore who will be with STINT.

13 May 2004

1. What time is it? 7:40am

2. Nicknames: Tammy and Tam and Tammy Sue cover how most refer to me.

3. Birth Parents' names? Daniel Leon and Constance Sue

4. Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake? 24

5. Favorite animal: I don’t know that I have a favorite but I do like seeing baby calves. They’re so cute!

6. Tattoo? NO, you can’t erase them.

7. How much do you love your job or jobs? My 8-5 job is interesting. I work for the government. It’s great serving other people and I do that daily. What an opportunity to be a light in a dark world! My other full time job is more of a priority than working for NRCS. Being a wife is such a joy, I love it. Not always easy but definitely worth every second.

8. Birthplace? Fresno CA

9. Favorite vacation spot you have been to? I love camping and its so difficult to pick a favorite. One great time was camping with some friends and we took the horses along. Had a great time sitting around the camp fire and riding horses through the timber. A fun story from that trip is when Eddie (one of the “adults”) threatened to get back at me for pushing him over in the dirt. As soon as Eddie made his threat, Brian (a Cowboy buddy my age) spoke up and let me know that he would have Eddie roped before he could get to my tent. What fun! I have lots of fun stories and good memories to share about my travels.

10. Ever been to Africa? Ryan and I hope to go there sometime this next year. We’ll see where God leads us.

11. Stolen any traffic signs? Seems like I have a memory of picking one up out of the side of the road on Sierra Street in Kingsburg. Nicole Baker and I had been out rollerblading and saw it. So we planned to wait till dark and then go back and get it. A little daring since it was in a well lit and very busy road right off the freeway. I can’t remember if we ever got it or not. I know that I don’t have the sign if we did.

12. Ever been in a car accident? PTL, not as many as my friend Kristin Machado. But of course, I have to share the story with you all. I was on my way to this formal dinner party for work. All dressed up in my evening gown and headed down the road in Clovis. I was at a stoplight turning left. The guy behind me just didn’t stop in time and bumped my car. Of course he didn’t have insurance. But he barely hit me and did no damage so it wasn’t a big deal. Another time, leaving a funeral, I was backing out of a parking spot and trying to help my grandma put on her seatbelt. I backed into a big light pole and scuffed my bumper. Does that count for an accident?

13. Croutons or Bacon bits? Neither, I like olives 

14. 2-door or 4-door car? 4 door cheap Cavalier. It gets me from point A to B and it gets decent gas mileage, which is a good thing when gas is way up right now.

14b. (I thought I’d add a question) What does gas cost right now? Well, I live in the rural Midwest and its generally less than most places. $1.93 yesterday (5/12/04).

15. Coffee? Cofee is bad in my book. It stains your teeth, stunts your growth and goes right through my system. No thanks. Once in a while, Ryan and I will have a Starbucks Caramel Frap when we’re in Cedar Rapids.

16. Salad Dressing? A mixture of Zest Italian and Ranch. I think it’s the same as creamy Italian but I like to mix the two on my salads. I also like Ranch on my pizza and like to mix ranch and BBQ for fries and ranch and salsa on chips. Umm, good.

17. Favorite dessert? Fresh fruit. Definitely not chocolate!

18. Favorite Number? 4

19. Favorite movie? I LOVED Ace Ventura from junior high and most of high school. These days I think its stupid and really like the Band of Brothers series. I also really like girly movies though.

20. Favorite color? Red and blue – go bulldogs!

21. Favorite Holiday? I’d have to say Christmas. I love seeing others open gifts. And, it was when Ryan proposed to me.

22. Favorite Foods? Mexican food and yay, I can go to a great place just 12 miles from my house (which is rare and unheard of around here).

23. Favorite days of the week? Thursday means that I made it through Wed night with JV kids. And Fridays are always a plus. Pretty much any day that I don’t have to work is good.

24. Favorite TV Show(s)? JAG, Navy NCIS and CSI. All acronyms, they must be government related :)

25. Most recently read book/magazine? Handy Man magazine is great even for us ladies. I’m also reading a good book called Power of a Praying Wife

26. Perfume/Cologne? Oh yeah. For every day use, I have several items from Victoria’s Secret. Sundays or something special, I use Obsession.

28. When was your last hospital stay? Oh, last July when my horse about killed me. That’s another fun story that I’ll save for another time.

29. How many times did you fail your driver's test? I barely passed the first time.

30. Where do you see yourself in 10 Years? I’m not sure where God will lead us in the next 10 years. I would like to have visited several countries doing short term mission work. I would assume we’ll have 1 or 2 kids for grammy and papa to spoil. I’m counting on God for my future.

31. What do you do when you are bored? I haven’t been bored for quite a long time! I probably just stuff my face when I’m bored.

32. Furthermost place you sent this message? It’s the WORLD WIDE web.

33. Who will respond the fastest? Cori

34. Least likely to respond? Everyone, you all are slackers and never make comments on my web page!

35. Last Vacation? If you don’t count my trip to Cali to visit friends and family, I last went to South Dakota and saw Mt. Rushmore.

36. Next Vacation? Our 1 year anniversary. We’ve talked about several options. We want to go camping. We also have plans to use our free night stay at the Marriott, see a play and eat a fancy meal.

37. Last concert? Jennifer Knapp and a bunch of others in Visalia right after I graduated college.

38. First thing you would buy with a million dollars? Pay off the house, build a garage and purchase the ground around us that is up for sale.

39. What time is it now? 1253 but I haven’t been at my desk most of the time

07 May 2004

Life is busy for us all, I'm sure. It's FRIDAY again and I'm so happy because I thought it was Monday when I woke up this morning! The basics of my last week is that Dad was here and we had a great time hanging out with him. Got to take him to work one day, travel to a cute little town in Illinois one day and just spend some time sharing him with Ryan, Mom and Ralph. I'm so thankful that he spent the time and money to come see us. Praise God that we can do such things!