Monday, January 18, 2010

Looking Back

Most of you who visit my blog know the story of my life in the past year. This blog is for those of you who don't know me, or what my family has gone through.
Let's start in October 2008. A door-to-door salesman for disability insurance stopped at our house while Mom wasn't home. Because my mom wasn't there to convince my dad to wait for a better time, Dad bought disability insurance.
On March 4, 2009, Mom went in town to wash laundry, seeing as how our water made our clothes yellow, and we had a moody dryer. My grandpa and Uncle Tim were at our house with my dad fixing some of the Tree Service equipment. When they left, my dad noticed that the house was cold so he tried to start the wood stove. A quick note: wood stoves are even moodier than a teenager! If at all possible, avoid wood stoves!! Ok, back to the story. My cat, Jazmin, was meowing at the door. Well, Jazmin didn't meow, she yelled, if that's possible for a cat. On most days, you would hear this: MEOW!! "Shut up!!" (dad) MEOW!! "Cat, you're not going outside!" (dad), and so on.
So after that little conversation, Dad let Jazmin outside. Then, he went back to the task at hand, starting the grumpy wood stove. It wasn't starting, so dad decided to help it along. For safety issues, we won't discuss how. Needless to say, the fire jumped out of the wood stove, and started burning at the only passage to water in our house. Dad headed for the back door, grabbing the computer and ripping it from the wall, and knocking over a lamp. Dad said that as the lamp broke he thought, "Josanne's not going to be happy about that" and continued at the back door. He dropped the computer in the back yard and ran around the house to the front door. He grabbed his wallet and cell phone of the counter, then went to the back door again. He called 911 and went back into the house and into his bedroom, which was two rooms from the fire, and closed the door. He threw his guns, Bible, study material, and Mom's Bible through his open window. By this time, his bedroom was filling with black smoke and he was starting to not be able to breathe. The fireman kept telling him that he needed to get out of the house immediately, so Dad jumped out the window. I should mention that when look at our living room after he left his bedroom, flames were touching the 11-12 foot ceiling. So, needless to say, our house was on fire. Because Dad had left the back door open, the oxygen drew the fire away from the kitchen, and away from our garage, which contained two ATVs, a car, and multiple cans of gasoline. We lost everything in the house that day. Mom was in town with the dirty laundry, so we had some clothes, but other than that, we had nothing. Thankfully, we had insurance on the house. During that time, I realized how much people really do care. My sister and I stayed with my principal and her family for three weeks. As I mentioned above, Harry rented his house to us for about 3 1/2 to 4 months, even though he kind of needed it himself. God has blessed us so much.
Now, it's a month after our house burned down. My mom and I were in Cranberry shopping, my sister was in Indiana, and my dad and brother were at the house cleaning the basement. My mom got a call from my grandma as were heading home. She told us that they were taking my dad and brother to the hospital, because they had carbon monoxide poisoning. My brother had been laying on the couch because he had a headache and was sick to his stomach. Dad didn't really think anything of it until he started getting really tired. He knew something was wrong and he needed to get out of there. Dad told us that it was like angels were dragging him out of the basement. He literally had to make himself put his foot on the next step and drag himself up. We found out that Dad's level of poison, or whatever it's called, was at 27. At 28, they take special procedures to get oxygen in a body. Dakota's level was at 22 or 23. That was April 9.
On April 9, I had just gotten home from school and was changing or something. My mom was in the restroom. The phone rang, so I answered it. My uncle asked if he could talk to my mom. I told him that she wasn't able to come to the phone right now, but he told me I needed to get her, he really needed to talk to her. I told my mom that Uncle Tim was on the phone and that he needed to talk to her. She took the phone and didn't say much, except, is everyone ok? She hung up and I asked what happened. She told me that Dad had fallen out of a tree and was going to the hospital. We didn't tell my brother, but told my sister and she was going to do something with him to keep him occupied. When we got to the hospital we found out that dad had only fallen about 10 or 12 feet, but when he fell the first time, he landed flat-footed, and it made his arms go numb so he couldn't grab the tree. Then he feel the rest of the way, and his whole body was numb. For years, since dad was 12, he had problems with his neck and different areas of his body going numb. Dad was having severe pains through his stomach, so the head nurse at that time said he needed a neurosurgeon. We don't have a neurosurgeon in Titusville, so Dad was life-flighted to Hamot Hospital in Erie. I didn't go to the airport to see him leave because I had been at the hospital for hours and hours. Dakota and Elissa went however, and Mom told me that seeing Dad strapped down, Dakota asked if he was gonna die. Dad spent 10 days in Hamot and had back surgery there.
Some people look over our past year and think that it's just awful, but we see the true blessing behind it. We heated with wood at our old house, and my dad can't split wood anymore. When my dad and brother got poisoning, it let us know that there was a problem with the furnace. If we hadn't known that, our whole family could have died that night because the fumes were so bad. If my dad hadn't fallen out of the tree, we wouldn't have known that he was one step away from being paralyzed from the neck down. Dr. Dalton, who is the best Hamot has, told my dad that his neck looked like something from a horror movie. He also said that it's a miracle my dad wasn't already paralyzed. Yes, God has truly blessed us, and taken care of us. The reason I mentioned the disability is because for 6 months after Dad fell, we had a source of income.
So, that's my story. Call it coincidence if you will, but I KNOW God has a plan for our lives, and I KNOW that His hand of protection is on my dad, and the rest of our family.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Earthquake In Haiti

I know I already posted today, but I'm going to post again. It's past midnight ; )
I'm looking at pictures of the effects of the earthquake in Haiti. It's heartbreaking to look at one picture of rescuers trying to save a man, and read in the description that their efforts to save that victim were in vain. This post isn't necessarily about the bad, but about the good. Also in that album of pictures were pictures of the Navy dropping off thousands of bottles of fresh water. One set of pictures that particularly affected me, was rescuers saving a 2 year old and taking him to his mother. The look on his dust-caked, bleeding face was priceless.
There are pictures of people from America, Mexico, France, Germany, Portugal, Indonesia, Poland, Brazil, Switzerland, and members from the U.N., all working together toward a common goal, to bring relief to the Haitian people. It brings tears to my eyes to think, that in all of the bad in this world, and in the midst of so many evil people and so much corruption, we can still work together to help a nation that is devastated, and in need. It's also amazing to think that Haiti, the poorest nation in the world, is receiving MILLIONS of dollars from celebrities, governments, and companies.
Lord, I pray that you would lift up the Haitian people. Comfort the families that have lost children, husbands, wives, brother, sisters, or other relatives. I also pray that You would be with the rescuers. Lift their spirits, be a comfort to them. Help their eyes to be keen and their ears to pick up the slightest sound of a victim calling for help. But most of all, I pray that You would help the Haitian people turn to You in the midst of their turmoil. We ask this all in Jesus' name.

The two-year old Haitian boy I spoke of at the beginning of my post.

The father of the little boy is on the far left, telling the rescuer where the mother was I guess.

This is the look the boy had when the rescuers brought him to his mother. The look on his face makes me want to cry.

This little trooper was rescued from his house, after being there for 3 days.

This man from the U.N. is celebrating after being rescued from rubble.

Cases of water arriving in Haiti.

This is a girl and her boyfriend from Arizona. Her foot was amputated after she arrived at the hospital, but she made it!

A LOT of water for the people of Haiti.

People working together to move medical supplies.

My first try at pics

Me, Anita, and Elissa at the same cooking show. I won't post the pic of me and Elissa because I had my mouth WIDE open and you can actually see my uvula. (I had to Google search to find out what it was called lol)

Anita and I in Erie at a cooking show a year ago. We were having so much fun in the blustery wind and ice cold snow.

The picture is a little blurry, but this is my family at Thanksgiving. We were playing liar's dice, and boy were we good! lol

Our wonderful, former landlord, Harry, gave Dakota, my brother, his 30 year old drumset for Christmas. When our house burnt down last March, Dakota lost his drumset. Thank you, Harry!: ) We're forever grateful for everything you did for us.

A beautiful picture that speaks a lot of different things.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Awareness Alert for the Week

Politics. Most young people don't follow them. For myself, I try to stay as informed as I can. Whether you think so or not, teens DO have a part in the way our government is. We may not be able to vote, but we can campaign and tell as many people we can about the candidate we believe has the best morals and the peoples' best interest in mind. And just because we are young people doesn't mean we can't have an opinion or a belief in politics. As a Christian teenager, I believe in pro-life, and I do my best to support candidates that do. I'm not going to discuss all of my beliefs on here because I don't want to cross opinions with any of my wonderful blog visitors.
Today as a school, we went to see a man that's running for Pennsylvania's 3rd Congressionaly District seat. His name is Ed Franz and he's a Republican with conservative views. Our school is going to help campaign for him. Ed Franz is extremely personable, and has a good idea of what the people of his district want. If you're in Titusville, or the surrounding area, check to see if you're in Mr. Franz's district, and VOTE ED FRANZ!! : )(starting my support already lol)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Are women born this way?

This is the question that men all over the world, and for hundreds of years have asked: Are women born this way?
Watch the video and YOU answer the question.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Oh the Joy of Having Kittens!

Yes, I should probably be doing homework, but I was frantically searching for an escape from 10 pages of Geometry. I decided that I would write about my wonderful kittens, Diamond and Chloe. We've had the little bundles joy for about two months... maybe I should have said the little bundles of joy with razor-sharp claws and sandpaper tongues. These little sweeties also have built-in alarm clocks that, when they beep at 5 o'clock in the morning say, "Wake up Amber! Wake Amber up! She's not waking up, maybe you should use the little, pink lethal weapon inside your mouth. Use it on her lower eyelid. Maybe you should bite her chin, or attack her toes." I don't think the kittens realize how sharp their mini knives are. While playing games, they often slice the hands of whoever is playing with them. They do all of this while purring and loving all over us. Our precious little kitties also stink. No, they're not dirty, but their breath-whew!! It always smells like tuna. The bummer about our kitties is, that when they're peeling layers of skin off of very sensitive parts of the arms, hands, feet or face, they're also traumatizing with their killer breath.
There's an upside to having our little babies, too. They are SO lovable! While sitting at the computer desk, it's not at all uncommon for Diamond to climb up on the lap of the person sitting there. Chloe loves to be held. As soon as she's picked up, she snuggles onto the right shoulder of the holder. Diamond decides that, whenever Mom or I is in the kitchen, she wants to rub on our legs. It's also not uncommon to see unsuspecting people tripping over the lovable kitty. Yep, there are lots of reasons that make having kitties a very interesting experience.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Blonde Streak on a Dark-Haired Brunette?

Ok, I guess the first thing you should know about me is that I'm extremely dramatic! So the other day while I was straightening my Einstein-look-alike hair, I spotted what every person dreads-a gray hair. Oh wait! There's one, TWO gray hairs! "DAD!!!" I yelled, "I'm going gray!" I ran into the living room so he could examine the little fiends. "That's not gray hair, that's a blonde streak," Declared my ever-helpful father. "Dad!" I said with my usual drama,"Brunettes do NOT have blonde streaks!" Dad, still trying to console his traumatized daughter, said, "Then why have I seen so many of them?"
For any one who is wondering, yes, I'm going gray at 15 years old. I discovered many of the little life-ruiners while straightening my hair! : )

Friday, January 8, 2010

Introduction to my blog

Hello everyone! My name is Amber. In many ways I am your typical teenager. I love my friends, I love music, books, animals, and generally anything that's new and electronic. I hate school, specifically Geometry. I'm also your typical girl. I love hair, heels, clothes, and anything girly. I hate spiders, bugs, mud, and all things slimy. But, unlike your typical teenager, you'll never hear me cuss, and you'll never hear me vehemently declare to my parents, "I hate you!" I don't base my weight on the models you see that are a size 6 and considered fat. I don't follow the trends that Hollywood considers "cool" and not wear what Hollywood considers "not so cool." No, I don't wear burlap sacks and deer hide shoes, I just don't expect my parents to pay $100 for a new sweater that Abercrombie and Fitch has ; ) And all the parents said, "Amen!!"
Now that I'm off my soapbox, I'll tell you a little bit of what you can expect out of my blog. This blog is aimed at other teens, but I hope that all ages can enjoy it. Throughout my blog life, I'll be posting articles to raise awareness in teens on certain topics. I believe that as teens, there are certain things we should advocate to other teens and there are certain things we should discourage. I believe that laughter and humor are the salt of life, so I'll frequently be posting things that made me laugh til I cried. Because I do love hair, I also love doing hair, so I'll be posting some hairstyle how-to videos. And lastly, occasionally I'll post a picture that speaks a thousand words.
That being said, I'm off to a start in the wonderful life of blogging!