Texas Size

I’ve been Texas size busy the last few days, thanks to some Spring weather we’ve had.

On Sunday evening, storms moved thru the area and the severe weather sirens began.  We were hunkered down when we heard the skies tossing these our way.

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Granted, we had a lot more than 3 hit our house.  At one point I asked, “Did that just break a window?”  The others sounded as if they were coming thru the roof.

When the storm finally passed, hubby walked thru the house checking the windows.  None were broken.  Then he went out to check on the vehicles.  By this time, it was dark outside and he didn’t see any damaged.  I went out later with more light in hand and found this.

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Hubby’s windshield got hit by the Texas size hail.

About that time, our neighbor came out and told me her daughter’s car windshield had a lot of damage and as she shined her flashlight on hubby’s car, she found similar hail damage on the other side of his windshield.

The next day we were able to better inspect everything and we found several good-sized dents on both vehicles.  I found damage to the wood siding on our house and the roofing company found quite a bit of damage to our roof.  The majority of homes in our neighborhood now have roofing company signs in their yards.  Now we wait for our insurance company to do their estimates and then wait on the repairs to begin.

In the meantime, hubby is not able to drive his car because of the windshield damage and I was finally able to get an appointment to have a glass repair company come out to replace the windshield – next week.

Two nights later, another storm rolled thru the area.  This time, no hail, but we had some significant winds.  It was reported the next day that there was a tornado about about 2-3 miles from our house.  Fortunately, we didn’t sustain any additional damage to our home, but other homes in the area were hit and there were lots of trees and tree limbs down.

Fortunately, we’ve had a couple nice days since then, but now we wait for another round of storms to roll thru this weekend.

On the foster care front, someone from our foster care agency came over this afternoon and we signed the final documents necessary to get our foster care license.  As of this afternoon, the agency was still waiting on our homes study.  However, they are expecting it to be completed and sent any day now.  They anticipate we should be approved about a week later, so we are now in the home stretch.  I’m anxious to have this part done and begin the wait for a call.

On top of the weather and foster care excitement, I tackled Spring cleaning my coat closet.

Unlike Illinois, where most homes have basements, Texas homes do not.  So when a storm hits, we need to move to a room in the center of the home with no windows and one that is not on an outside wall.  In our home, that is our coat closet.  It is a deep closet and runs the length of our stairs, so plenty of room . . . . except when the closet is full of boxes, pictures, shoes and other miscellaneous items.  So when the storm sirens went off, hubby was frantically pulling things out of the closet so we could actually get into the closet.  The next day, I pulled everything out and began the process of finding new homes for the items that had taken up residence in the closet.

Once I had the closet empty, the girls decided the closet would make a great clubhouse.

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Okay, I didn’t have quite everything out of the closet when this picture was taken, but it is now empty except for coats, stuffed animals, Barbie’s, pillows and other items the girls have moved into the “clubhouse.”  I was told that I would need the password to enter the closet.

The only problem they have had with their “clubhouse” is air flow.  Apparently, it gets a little stuffy in there which means their closet play time doesn’t last long typically.  I’m waiting for them to ask me for a fan next.  🙂

Needless-to-say, it’s been a crazy week in our world this week.  I’m keeping fingers crossed that any storms we get this weekend are not severe, but at least we have the “clubhouse” if things turn really bad.  ?!

 

What a Wildlife

The girls and I were out enjoying another beautiful day here in Central IL. We took homeschool to Wildlife Prairie Park just outside Peoria for a few hours of exploration. This is such a great resource for us here in Central IL that I’m a bit embarrassed to admit we haven’t been there is a few years. For a matter-of-fact, I couldn’t remember if Naomi had ever been there, but if she did go, she was maybe 1 and that’s been almost 4 years ago. Needless-to-say, they have made a few changes since then and did I ever get excited to see what they are working on now – a Pioneer Farmstead!!!!

It’s still a work in progress with plans to put in farm animals that kids will be able to visit and pet, but what I did find there was my future homestead garden.

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Mine will be bigger than the one at the park, but I saw it and knew this garden set up was in my future.  I can see me spending a great deal of time locked up in my garden cage 🙂

We saw so many animals at the park today.

Bison grazing

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These animals are just amazing and I love watching them.  They are so majestic!

From there we moved to see all the other animals that roam the State of Illinois – the gray wolf, black bear, red fox, silver fox, cougar, bobcat, lynx and more.

We read about the animals, learning much along the way.  Then, as we returned to the entrance of the park, I saw another animal out grazing with the bison. We headed over to check it out and there stood a herd of elk, eating corn.

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They were maybe 5 feet away from the fence, standing there eating and watching us as we watched them.  We examined the way the dominate elk kept the others away from the corn.  We waited and cheered on the under dog as they stood at the sidelines awaiting their opportunity to come in and get a few kernels for themselves.  We watched nature up close and personal for probably 20 minutes and eventually pulled ourselves away.

As we left the park, the girls and I decided that we needed to make regular visits to Wildlife Prairie Park this spring, summer and fall. It’s a great place to learn and explore many of the things nature provides us here in Central Illinois. Plus, I’ll need to go back and more closely examine my future garden 🙂

Now I leave you with some pictures of our little field trip and some of the amazing animals I captured in picture.

Giant Monarch Butterflies.

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Bison and Elk

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Beautiful girls with horse.

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The Great Horned Owl

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Red-Tailed Hawk

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Red Fox

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The cutest bison at the park.

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And I saved the best for last.

Happy, happy girls!!

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