Friday, May 31, 2013

Things Other than Tornadoes

While the tornadoes have been a pretty big attention grabber lately, we've also had some other fun things going on.  

Last day of Sonshine School!!  Have they changed any?

                        September                                                   May                            

Jace got his first haircut...and by haircut it was basically shortening up some longer hair around his ears.  Which he loved, of course.

Justin and I ran in a 5K together...and no, we aren't paid by Alder Fine Homes for our free advertising...

We had a front landscape overhaul.  Thanks to everyone on FB for reaffirming my thoughts on ripping these out.

They look adorable in front of one of our duplexes.  Hopefully they live with the butchering they got when we pulled them out.

And we got to spend a fun weekend with our MO cousins!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Plans Change

This past weekend, we had plans to go on a family trip to Tulsa, but that all changed when the tornado blew through parts of Oklahoma.  My in-laws called and asked if they could come down to help with relief efforts instead of going to the lake like they had planned.  I was floored by their thoughfulness and putting their plans on the backburner for the people of Oklahoma.  Since they were coming into town, I decided to cancel our trip to Tulsa as well and spend those days with them since we don't get to see them often!

Friday we went to Bethel Acres to help a family clean up.  The lady who lived there was 78 years old and was saved by being in her basement.  She had a 2-1/2 story home and a shop/barn on her 5 acres of land.  This is all that is left.  A big pile of wood, concrete blocks and broken belongings.

It's amazing what can happen during tornadoes.

 Debris everywhere.  Tree limbs down.  Nothing left.
We worked for hours going through her belongings to see if there was anything to salvage and most of the guys got crazy with their chainsaws and cleaned up a lot of the wood/trees on the property.  Everyone was busy the whole time.

My favorite part though was that of all the places hit, of all the towns we could have gone to, we pulled up and saw my cousins from Kingfisher there helping.  How random that we could do this together without planning it one bit?  God works in mysterious ways!

We got to help people who needed us to come help.  I am grateful for everyone who is coming from near and far to help with the clean up efforts. It's going to be a long time before things are completely done, but hopefully we got to help in a small way.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

It just keeps raining

Today I had the opportunity to go down to Moore, Oklahoma where yesterday it was hit by an F5 tornado.  We live about 25 miles north of the community and were fortunate to not be hit. The devastation that you see on TV is heart-wrenching and you just feel so helpless, even if you go and help with some sort of disaster relief.  Since my kids had their last day of Sonshine School today, I met up with my dad and brother-in-law down in Moore to help, to just DO something.

On my way down I-35, I suddenly came to a halt with all the traffic - I was behind a fleet of porta potties. I was trying to get to any open exit and finally did.  I met my dad and BIL at the Fresh Start Community Church.

Once I joined up with them, we grabbed trash bags and started picking up debris. I saw shingles, baby diapers, half pieces of photos, yearbook photos, doll clothing, pieces of business cards, magazines, greeting cards, insulation, wood splinters, sun name it, we probably saw a piece of it along the road and grass.  And that's the hard part - everything is in tiny pieces.  People's lives are in tiny, tiny pieces. And we weren't even at the hardest hit area.

We filled up about two trash bags between the three of us before another huge storm started rolling in. This whole week has a prediction of more storms...likely strong and/or severe.  This picture below is the Moore water tower with the big storm clouds rolling in and then going north back on I-35.

All I want to do is watch TV to see updated news and stories of the people who survived this.  I want to go down and help for longer than I did.  I feel kind of stuck with having to continue normal life with my wonderful family when so many people are suffering.

If you would like to help out in ANY way, you can go HERE and see what our church is collecting and doing.  You can also donate there if you are out of town.  If you need a more detailed list of things to donate, just leave me a comment and I'll get you one.

Prayers for this whole community are much appreciated.  I know there are lots of questions with no answers, people are searching for loved ones and exhaustion is taking over everyone who is down there working.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The day I survived a baby shower

This weekend was an absolute whirlwind (no pun intended.)  Friday night was a girls night - Saturday we had THREE birthday parties to attend - and Sunday we had church, lunch with cousins, a baby shower, and then small group at our house.  I didn't have a chance to even look at the weather but in the back of my mind I knew tornadoes were a good possibility.

Sunday at lunch, my parents come join us and then Haylie insisted on going back home with them. Since I'm planning on going to a baby shower not far from their house, I let her go with the promise of picking her up soon.  Justin, Jace and I go home and the J's are practically asleep in the 15 minutes we were there before I left.

I head to my friend Peyton's beautiful new house so we could celebrate our good friend Brooklyn and her soon to be baby boy.  She is doing a nautical themed nursery so the decor was pretty cute!

Fast forward - the shower is in full swing when Peyton's husband comes out of the back room and tells us the tornado path is directed right at us.  Awesome.  Lots of women + tornado threat = panic.  Lots of people rush out the door while others of us race to our cell phones.  I'm nervous because I know Justin and Jace were sleeping and Haylie is with my parents...I was wishing at that moment we weren't scattered all across town. We watch the TV for awhile and then hear sirens...we head to their utility room and cram about 10 of us in there (including 2 babies and 2 toddlers).  Dusty peeks in and tells us we have some shelters open to us if we want to go. So about 8 of us (including all the kids) head over to their neighbors house in the rain (we would have rather of not been in church clothes!) and crouch on the cement floor waiting for the storm to pass.  We hear some incredible hail but finally we are through the storm.  We all tromp back to their house with Brooklyn's little girl eating the hail along the way.  "It tastes like rain!"

Back at Peyton's, we grab phones and Brooklyn's husband had sent her this:

Incredible...except for the fact that he was on his roof to take this.  Anyway...about this time I hear that the areas that actually had a tornado hit were the cross streets where I live.  We all said hasty goodbyes and I leave trying to get a hold of Justin.  It takes forever for me to get to him, but finally he says they went to the neighbors shelter and no damage at our house. Just no power.

There were moments when I couldn't get a hold of anyone and wasn't getting calls back.  I was in full panic.  I am so thankful for cell phones but when they don't work, it causes major stress.  I am thankful Brooklyn had a wonderful baby shower and no one was injured or hurt during the storms.  I am thankful for my home that is still standing and the power that finally came back on at the kids bed time.

But most of all, I am thankful that God was watching over ALL of us, protecting us all day long with His mighty hand.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Teacher's Gifts

At Christmas and at the end of the year, I'm always searching Pinterest for some new and not overused idea to get my kids teachers. Since Jace has 3 and Haylie has 2, that means it also needs to be a cheap(er) gift.  I want each of them to know how much I truly appreciate them and what all they did for my kids...but not go bankrupt in the process!

This year I'm trying out the Movie at Home gift basket.  I went to the store and got a couple boxes of popcorn to split between them, packages of trail mix, candy bars and boxes of candy.

Hit up the dollar store for some cute bins.

And added a Redbox gift card for 5 rentals.

I'm just now thinking maybe I should put some sort of drink in there too but some things might be better left to their choosing.  I'm semi-stressing that they won't like the candy or popcorn I choose...but they can share it with their families if not!  It's the thought that counts, right?!

Monday, May 13, 2013

SSS Program

Oh, Sonshine School.  How I love my kids love I'm going to survive without you this summer is a mystery. 

We got to enjoy the end of the year program for my kids school program.  We missed it last year because we went on a longer weekend trip and didn't plan so well.  This year, I wouldn't have missed it for the world!  It was so sweet.

Jace got to be apart of the Fashion Show, where he and his escort (Daddy) got to walk across stage while they said a few words about him.  His teachers were very sweet in what they said!!  (And "bad attitude" never came up, weird...)

Then came Haylie's class!  She has absolutely LOVED this year.  Her class sang two songs.
 (She saw me) This girl had no problem belting out her songs or doing all the hand motions! She was a star in my eyes - no fear of the huge crowd watching her.  I'm sweating just thinking about it.

The little girl in pink on the left is Haylie's BFF Stella.  I love how into the song she is!

Slideshow time!

Surprisingly, I didn't shed a tear during the whole program.  All day I had been a mess just thinking about it!

The cousins came to cheer on my babes and Haylie got some {purple} flowers for her awesome performance.

Thanks, Sonshine School teachers for loving my kids so much - for teaching them, doing crafts with them and keeping them so happy while I do a zillion errands without them.  We love you!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Awkward, Creepy & Nice

This past weekend we had great plans to meet up with Justin's family at their lake house to celebrate Dan's 60th...but unfortunately the weather was supposed to be cold, rainy, even a chance of snow.  So we spent one day cooped up indoors and decided to just go back to Justin's parents house in Columbia.  It would be much better to spread out and have some other things to do to occupy our time!

We had a fun, low-key weekend.  We thought we lost our camera until the last night we were there, so that's all I got.  We got the --


Creepy Smiles

and Nice

Happy 60th Dan!!  Sorry you weren't able to go fishing this weekend, but hopefully you still had a great time.  I know we did!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

A big milestone!

A little timid, but he's taking steps!!  15 months old.  Thanks Grandma for getting him motivated...with food, of course.  We know the way to our little guy's heart.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Random Updates

The Garage Sale
Best we've ever had!! Between 10 families, we made $2400+!!  Not too shabby!  We had a smooth day with all the kids running around, we weren't washed out by severe storms, we sold A LOT of stuff and clean up took maybe 30 minutes.  Success in every way. I might have to start a waiting list for my annual garage sale...I heard some other people are wanting in!

The Duplexes
It's been awhile since I've mentioned anything about them...which is GREAT.  Since our terrible renter, we cleaned up the place (it was trashed, completely. I won't even go into WHAT we found left over in it.)  We found another renter who actually cares what goes on and pays on time.  So, right now we (happily) have no vacancies and four awesome renters.  We love it!

The Jacers
Jace went to the dr today for his 15 month check up.  He is 21 lbs and 31 inches in length, so I have a tall and skinny boy on my hands!  We discussed the boil some and we are going to try some Mederma to see if that clears it up.  It's so close to being gone...hopefully we won't have to go to the dermatologist for that.  I just want my sweet baby's face back!  He is so close to taking his first steps solo...getting braver by the day. I just know that he will be running around so soon.  Can't wait!!

Still very much into riding her bike and watching/playing Thomas the Train.  She is a sponge in that she repeats 95% of what you say, will jump into your conversation acting like she totally knows what you are talking about and still has a love for the color purple.  This is, by far, the best and most fun stage yet.  Her hair is getting so long, I'm thinking we are going to have to go for a "big girl" cut soon.

Summer Plans
Right now we only have a big beach trip planned towards the end of the summer...which we are driving to.  Only 22 hours in the car - no big deal, right?  HA.  We will see.  I'm looking forward to the adventure, but I might be eating my words 4 hours into it. I also signed Haylie up for swim lessons at a local pool and plan to have lots of play dates at the park and zoo and hopefully can get some more swim time in too! I didn't mean to rhyme.

Yes, we still have our fur kitty.  She sleeps a lot and growls at our neighbors cat that is constantly in our back yard.  I love it, I think it's good for her to get riled up once in awhile.  Otherwise, she's kind of boring!