October 3 |  noon

October 3 | noon

Noon monday 10/3 :  Mini update!

So update. Our flood insurance company’s infrastructure is all down online.

They don’t know when the claims will be processed and they are doing system updates. Please just pray that happens soon.

Also we are still looking for an RV to live in outside our house. We haven’t been able to get to our pop up to see if that’s an option, but something more “permanent” would be awesome for the next month.

I’m working on a more immediate need for amazon too.. including things like vitamins for my kids and diffusers so they can breath better at night wherever we end up being.

We are headed to the house today to meet a couple friends with kids who can help our kids have some “normal friend time” today.. And maybe take another wall down. We are limping.. but moving !

I also got a message from an Orlando friend who is willing to organize her business to come help an elderly neighbor. Please pray I would be able to have wisdom to suggest one that God already has in mind because the needs are so great.. I’ve never been in a situation to “pick” who gets help first.. this is another level of difficulty you only see in the movies! It’s real deal here!!! 

So grateful for the love and care for our family and community!

 

October 3 | 1am: Community and Unity

October 3 | 1am: Community and Unity

1am monday 10/3 update:

Woah .. it’s hard to capture today… so many things happened… but I’ll focus on community and unity!

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows in New Smyrna Beach today, though some people got a sunburn because it was pretty sunny!

It was a beautiful mess. I’m not good at picture taking so I’m grateful others were today. You will see some tagged on my profile I think.. Which reminds me I think I need someone to take pictures of the beautiful moments and the stuff I don’t see that I want to!

When the day was wrapping up and I realized how many crew shifts had arrived I was overwhelmed. I truly mean overwhelmed in all the ways. I watched people I just met, people I met this year, people I met this past month, and people from Orlando (like over an hour away!)…  loading totes and moving furniture, cutting drywall and tearing up floors! so many things all at once.

I’m a question asker.. it’s just in my DNA and I actually can admit it and now appreciate it about myself. Sometimes my questions expose others and sometimes they feel like a warm hug. I would prefer the latter, but it’s up to the the receiver’s heart/body.

I had been asked questions all day. I didn’t get to ask questions .. it was more directive engagement ..Well,  maybe I did ask but it didn’t feel like it!

So while we sat with a handful of friends to pause and eat I asked a question.. “what was your favorite moment today?”  Then I got the privilege of listening.  And the additional privilege of watching those around me take in what the others were saying. I love story, I love perspective, I love the safety of a community that does these things well. The adults could have placated me, but I’m grateful they didn’t! Kids don’t lie, and my youngest said his favorite part was the Gatorade! There were tears and laughter as people shared, my one daughter even gave us a reenactment of her moment AND that was super fun to watch!

It was beautiful ! we all had a shared experience today and yet our own experiences AND there was space for all of the things together today.  These things brought closer connection for each other and unity that couldn’t have been created in its own without the group.  Even the one claims adjuster said he’s never seen this many people all working together like this on a house.. AND the kids doing demo! I mean that’s how we roll.. Kids as young as 8 with crow cars and hammers.. only one time did someone make an additional hole in excitement. AND no injuries!!!

I’m humbled that I had ladies today willing to enter grief with me in whatever way I needed to grieve..

for example… my walking out of a room with a old window from my 1920s house in NY (that never made it to the wall) and declaring I needed to grieve this and that included talking about the quotes written and the sadness felt when this item needed to go to the curb

or the my moment of silence for my instapot (you read that right) that needed to go to the curb but is/was such a huge part of how my life functions with kids and all the things.. remember that proper meal post.. thank God this child thinks an instapot meal creates a proper meal!     

My point is.. community sits in grief with you and says I’m here and I’m all in! … but it also requires bravery and courage and honestly to share a need and be authentic.. that’s the only way I can do life right now.  its also a gentle reminder to me of how privileged I am to have been on the receiving end of others grief as they have shared with me and the beauty of just sitting not fixing!

There’s so much to be done it’s hard to see where we have come from.. Tomorrow morning our family needs to sleep in and we won’t “go work” til the afternoon. IF you were planning a surprise visit I love you for that.. can you shoot me a message so we can plan or I can just tell ya where the stuff is to rip up floor boards

Updated needs: (label anything you would like returned)

-maybe a dozen or so clear totes (these are easier for some of the everyday items left I’ll need to find quickly too!

-fans!! All the fans!

– a couple shop vacuums

– dehumidifiers

– a couple black sharpies

– ear plugs (demo is loud)

-safety glasses

-dust masks

-some meal coordination for when people are helping or at the least for my kids so I don’t have to think or remember what time it is ?! Too vague?!

– anyone have an RV they wouldn’t be willing to share? We would love to have an option to stay outside our house for a couple months while we rebuild.

I think I’m finally gonna do the Recovery Amazon list.. it’s humbling but after the reality of today there are some items I need to function now and I know I’ll need soon too! I’ll do the now list..

Anyone have a norwex cloth connection? Just curious, I need to replace some.

THANK YOU deeply for the items people have sent and given. We have work gloves, waters, contractor bags, so many totes into storage.. all because of you!

Specific prayers:

-My kids would feel seen/felt while we are so busy!

– our flood insurance would send someone out to inspect asap. Our home owners did come out today and I was shocked they cover some of the items not under flood!

-we found mold in bathroom wall pray for safety and provision to get that done and cleaned out well.

– decision fatigue..  it’s real , I couldn’t remember friends names and not new new  friends.. I’d love some extra clarity!

– for health and sleep .. our kids especially are feeling cruddy an they need rest. Their lungs and bodies have gone through a lot !

– for wisdom to know what normalcy they need and which boundaries to have for everyone

-more side of the road convos with neighbors that are amazing

Thanks for reading friends! I hope my next update is sooner than 1 AM next time!

 

October 2 | 11pm

October 2 | 11pm

We got power last night! Several friends helped us

  1. a) pack up everything into bins for a newly rented storage unit or bring our furniture and other affected items to the curb/trash
  2. b) cutting off four feet of Sheetrock in all rooms and baseboards, etc(demolition)
  3. C) hammer /pry up our soggy hardwood floors throughout the house.
  4. D) rest and sit with us in the midst of it all.

We are so blessed and amazed at the thoughtful messages and kindness and even some financial gifts from so many of you all! Here’s a video and some photos.

The work continues tomorrow afternoon!! We don’t know who is available in the afternoon but we need a break until then because we are getting sick and underslept. Gah!

In the midst of our hope and seeing the “light at the end of a long long tunnel” , we are sad to see hardly any other folks doing much to clean out and haul junk out. We have the largest piles of soggy house “things” and tree limbs hauled and debris. While our neighbors are not really able to do much or don’t have help.

We hope to connect so many who want to help to those who need it. So many elderly and retirees never bought flood insurance because the area hasn’t ever been flooded this far inland. In four decades or more.

So let us know if you want to come and help any of our numerous neighbors whose homes are just growing worse and worse by the day with mold in the walls. eventually their homes will be condemned if they don’t get help soon.

Who knows when the governmental programs will take effect!! We haven’t seen any official vehicles except for local city utilities . No federal/FEMA. No state. No county! Sad.

Please let us know if you want to help us help those who are in bad situations down here. We have no big fancy programs but we will be pretty busy for a while since we will have to wait at least three weeks at a minimum for our house to dry out once we have all the rot cut out.

And that’s while raising three kids/working from “home” and homeschooling with Ellen Fleming

John 

 

October 2 | 9pm

October 2 | 9pm

Oct 2 9pm 

Here is a sweet message from my friend Krystal Westbrook Minor.

Stay positive work hard make it happen!

Another day, another amazing group of friends gathered together to lend a hand and prayers to a family in need. Our sweet friends, Ellen Fleming and John Fleming, house took on an extreme amount of water in NSB.

Watching the outpouring of love that rallied around them today literally brought me to tears. Seeing their posts of such raw and heartfelt emotions the past couple days and specific requests for their children, Rylie and Zander rose to the occasion and collected nerf guns for Noah, a ballet bar for MM and a bag of books and art stuff for Evie to gain some glimpse of normality in the midst of the chaotic event.

As I sit here in the darkness as we have no power ourselves, I feel so very blessed and am truly reminded how very grateful I am community…. My church yesterday rallying for another family and my amazing homeschooling community that rallied today. God is so very good and is showing up in such amazing ways!!!

A special thanks to my husband Ray Minor for all his hard work the past two days too!!!

October 2 | 2am

October 2 | 2am

2am Sunday 10/2 update.. the roads are looking clear!!! HUGE news we got power back just before ending our late night! It was familiar and yet unreal all in one.  It feels like so much happened today and yet so much to do!

I can’t even begin to express how amazing it is to be sleeping at a familiar space after visiting/ working at our torn up house.. I don’t even know if I have words for that yet! Coming soon?!

We feel beyond cared for.. needs I didn’t even know I had are being met in the moments they are felt.. it’s such a new space for me to be surprised by feeling a need and watching it be met so quickly.. I don’t even know how to express this fully.. it’s literally that crazy! Shocking for some of you reading this I know!   the words will come I hope!

For example.. I realize we need a storage unit(for totes) Only a small one is available a couple miles away.. I get there and realize I don’t have a lock.. ugh one more thing to add to the list.. as I’m processing this a woman and her 2 year old are standing there checking out of their unit and she says oh I’ll give you our lock, we are done with it ! ..please take it..  wow!

Today I gained a new friend who is becoming my unofficial demo guy.. he doesn’t even know it yet.. or maybe he does he’s a gift! He’s done this flood stuff for years with GAIN and thank God he relocated with his family recently to Orlando.. I’m not gonna say for me.. but I mean can you all think of a better reason our paths have crossed?!  Haha

Today was filled with so much familiarity and new all in one. Loved seeing faces that I ”know” and new friends too! I think that’s a perfect picture of what this all feels like. It’s not new to pack up a house.. but it’s way new because of a disaster.  It’s not new to see friends or invite new friends over.. but it’s very new and even uncomfortable to sit in this space and not feel like I’m the host of a meal but rather I’m sitting at a meal I didn’t prepare or even think about offering..

Today community was key. Mixed in I got the insurance company to come out sooner (for anyone curious.. half our house “value” has flood but let’s be real what will that really cover?! anyway I digress.. And it’s on my containment shelf for after the walls are gutted!  and on that call when she initially told me later in week an adjuster would come out.. I said really that’s the soonest? (Guys, what?! I asked her as if it was a walk in urgent care visit and it should have been same day without thinking! I’m laughing even now about it.. ) well the agent asked “so your house is unlivable?! “ I tell her I have kids and no it’s not, air quality, power out, I’m cutting walls already and dragging furniture to curb!! I then look at my “new demo guy” and ask him.. “it’s unliveable right?!”

Like I’m not crazy? Give me a thumbs up guy… please?! We did just see water pour out when we cut the wall right?! I do smell mold and have no power?

He smiles the warmest smile and said “yes, this is considered unlivable.. “ can I highlight this for a minute.. this is what trauma does.. you second guess, you wonder if it really happened?! Do YOU sound crazy? Are you making this us?

No no I wasn’t . I needed to tell that agent I have kids and it’s unlivable and it’s the truth.. I know trauma is a crazy maker, I know my brain is exhausted from decisions and over functioning.. all true.. but also sometimes you just need to feel seen and that kind response was just what I needed when I needed it and I had no idea I had a need for it!

Updated needs:

-packing paper for dishes.

-So far we seem to have what we need to load and store the items- I got a small storage unit to hold the totes for now..

-maybe someone to coordinate meals ? I can’t seem to remember to feed my family. It’s embarrassing I didn’t even realize til a friend showed up with dinner !   this feels a little complex and yet our needs have been being met!

– I prob need to start gather those who know how to do drywall and such for 2-3 weeks out? And any expert tile layers? designers for help imagining /fixing some kitchen/bath things when we redo that part..

– we have a new to us pop up camper.. but I’m curious if anyone has a real RV we could borrow/live in outside our house while we work on it? I’d love to use our pop up to temporary guests who stay late to help or there has been talk of a couple friends flying in to help?! plus kids have a safe house to be in while we work on other things.

-ideas to help kids stay busy when at house with us (we don’t usually rely on screens.. ) which reminds me we did lose a bunch of our creative building things like brain flakes..

-someone who can help us with our blog it feels overwhelming but necessary for updating and all..

-someone who can help me make a make shift ballet area outside? Seriously our oldest is so sad she hasn’t been able to practice ballet for hours a day and we need some like mat to dance on and a bar?! I’m at a loss but anyone like looking at Pinterest and making it happen?!

– any other suggestions you beautifully creative people have ?

Message me or text I’m just a little slow with replies..

Please pray for:

– our physical health. The kids are developing coughs.. allergies from all the things and just gunk in that house area!

– us to journey well… staying present with ourselves and others. Knowing when to pause and when to go full speed ahead!

– for wisdom on how to help our kids do normal things and yet balance the work now and ahead.

-chances to see our neighbors and to remember to pause to see them too!

If you have read this far you are amazing! I don’t even know what to say.. 

oh and a few pics from the day!!!

Ellen

Flooded by Hurricane Ian

Flooded by Hurricane Ian

So we never thought this would happen to us. But it did: the Storm came and we went to bed and even still had power! but then lost it thursday morning. 

here’s a video update i shared on social media then:

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