Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Very Own Punky Brewster

My mom sent me this picture Monday of Emma playing outside. She dressed herself since it was a no school day. I think she looks pretty cute if I do say so myself! I have to laugh because we fight over bows more then we don't and of course she picked out the big bow to wear while at home! That's my Emma Bean for you!


Monday, January 30, 2012

Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Do Their Share...

Saturday I had the privilege of going to volunteer in Clay, one of the cities hit by the tornadoes last Monday. Ben had helped Wednesday so he said he would watch the kids. That morning I went and met Amy, Amber, my mom and Lee. We were originally planning on going to a church to help there but then ended up at the high school volunteering to go out and clean up. When we got there my first thought was it is total chaos but I have to say it was the most organized chaos I've ever seen. I use the word chaos only because there were SO many people there. It didn't take us long to fill out the form and get the information on where to go. We got there right after 9:00 and the guy dispatching people said he had never seen a response like that before. From 8:00 to 9:00 they had already dispatched over 1800 volunteers. AMAZING!!! They didn't need at that point anymore chainsaws, bulldozers or anything like that. Everything had been cut down that could be until the crews could get in to get it up. At this point they wanted people to go and clean up yards and help homeowners at least have that portion done. We all loaded up and went to find work. We drove through the neighborhood we were working in first to try and decide where to start. It was so overwhelming, we didn't know where to start. We finally just picked the first place we could park and got out and started in that yard. The owner came out a little while after we had started. He had been working till 4:00 that morning and was grateful we were helping. We cleaned up his yard and when we finished we went and cleaned up another yard. It was such a fulfilling morning getting out and knowing we helped and how we helped. We finished up right after lunch and went home. I haven't been that tired in a long time but it was so worth it. Here are some pictures from the day.

This is our "little" pile. I say little because I jumped the gun and took a picture. I didn't even realize how much our pile would grow by the time we were done!

My mom and Lee working

Amber and Amy hard at work!

Our pile that grew by the time we were finished!

This is our other pile, we can't take credit for it like the first one but we did a big dent in it for sure!

Here we are after we were done. Lee didn't want to be in the picture so he took it for us!

It was truly a great experience seeing everyone come together to help others.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 23, 2012

This past Monday morning we had bad weather hit. They had been talking about the weather getting bad but we hadn't paid too much attention. I say that because we don't watch the local news much. I have The Weather Channel app on my phone and I tend to look at the weather on there and by that I mean the forecast and radar (if it's raining) and that's it. I feel pretty certain I won't only look there anymore after Monday. Ben went to buy groceries late Sunday afternoon and he commented that a lady said she wasn't buying a lot because they said we were going to have 85 mph winds that night and after the storms in April she wasn't taking any chances of it being wasted. At that point I should have probably checked the weather but I didn't. That night we all went to bed and about 11:45 Emma came to get in the bed with me and Ben. I was completely unaware of this till I woke up at 2:30. I heard the wind picking up outside and went to check on Ben and Brooks. Brooks had slept with Emma that night and when she came downstairs Ben went upstairs so Brooks wouldn't wake up startled. I decided to lay back down and was almost alseep when the weather radio went off. It woke Emma up and I assured her everything was ok. I went and told Ben to be ready to come downstairs. At this point it was 2:45 and I was freaking out. I had the tv on and as soon as the siren went off which was right after 3:00 I got Ben and Brooks and they came downstairs. We didn't immediately go to the basement, instead we waited to see what was going on. When they said it was headed straight for where we live and to take cover immediately we headed downstairs. Not long after we got downstairs our power went out. Right after 4:00 we knew it was safe to go back upstairs. Ben, Emma, and Brooks were able to go back to sleep...my nerves wouldn't let me. Thankfully we were spared from the devestation again. I don't know if next time we'll be so lucky but I am thanking God right now that we were. I grew up in Center Point where a tornado hit and it's unrecognizable now. The pictures I've seen of it and Clay are heartbreaking. Everything I remember from both places isn't like it was before. The stories of all the people losing everything they have brings tears to my eyes. The story of the 2 people that lost their lives is more then I can bare. Once again, I am humbled and amazed by the genoristy of the people around me. Once again, our city is coming together to help the ones who lost it all. It truly makes my heart smile!! Here are some facts and pictures from the tornadoes that came through early Monday morning.

- There were at least 10 tornadoes to touch down across Alabama.
- The strongest 2 were considered EF3 tornadoes with winds between 136 mph and 165 mph
- The first tornado touched down at 2:42 a.m. with the last one being at 7:48 a.m.
- There were 2 fatalities

These pictures came from the ABC 33/40 website. One blogger said it best about the picture of the bible...Though the destruction is great, our hope is greater!

Wednesday, I sent an email to Ben about Clayridge Church needing male volunteers immediately. He wasn't able to go help right then but called the lady when he could. She informed him they were in desperate need of food. They had food ready to go to Center Point and the families from the Pilgrim's Rest subdivision came and needed the food so they gave it to them and were collecting more to take to Center Point. In a matter of minutes, Ben was able to round up 150 hot dogs, 150 bags of chips and 150 bottles of water. He got various business to donate it and then he picked it up and took it to Center Point with the lady from the church and started handing it out. I was so proud of him for taking the time to do that.

There are so many people taking items and volunteers to help. If you are interested in helping here are a few places you can look at and call.

- Christian Service Mission
- Northpark Baptist Church
- Clayridge

Though the destruction is great, our hope is greater!


Friday, January 27, 2012

New Years Day...

Now that the month of January is pretty much over it makes perfect sense to back track to New Years Day! I've been meaning to catch up on blogging for quite a while and haven't done a great job. The weather on New Years Day was just as nice as last year. We played outside all day, had a picnic, did some painting and had a great time!!! Here are some pictures.

I could just eat him up...

Miss Zoe sunbathing...

Emma with Juliet and Addison

Picnic time!

Painting their hands, I love this!

Fun on the trampoline! Everytime I get on the trampoline with them I feel like a kid again! It's so much fun!

It was nice to have a spring day in the middle of winter to enjoy!!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Let's Bowl...

So last Friday Ben got off work early and we decided to try and take the kids bowling for the first time. I had no idea what to expect, I figured Emma would like it but didn't know if Brooks was still too little. Let me just say we had so much fun! I mean who doesn't like to bowl! It's clearly been a LONG time since me and Ben have been bowling. We were impressed with the smaller weight balls for the kids (they used a 6 lb ball) and the bumpers that come up and down on their own each time it was their turn. Quite impressive to us anyway! :) Here are some pictures...

Brooks saying "no picture"

They found the hand warmer...Brooks loved it!!

Emma trying it out first!

Brooks' turn...they had this ramp he could use. It didn't last too long, he soon realized he was a big boy and didn't need it.

Daddy bowling, I think he had more fun then the kids.

I think her Icee made her silly!

Me and Emma Bean

Brooks bowling like a "big boy"!

I tried to get a picture of the screen with our scores but it didn't turn out. Ben beat us all but I expected that! Brooks got 46 on his first game and Emma got 48. Not too bad if you ask me!! We really did have a lot of fun, this will definitely be something we do regularly!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

365 Project...Jan 11-17

More day to day pictures for my 365 Project...

Jan 11 - Emma Bean before school in her cute snowman dress

Jan 12 - Emma & Snowy our snowman I did that was inspired by Pinterest

Jan 13 - Emma playing dress up in my clothes. She's so sassy!

Jan 14 - Emma's princess sand castle she built!

Jan 15 - Brooks getting ready to ride his jeep! Mr. Cool Dude

Jan 16 - This was the pretty sky as we played outside

Jan 17 - Brooks with daddy's "dong" (aka phone) and the computer!! He's just like his daddy and likes all things that have to do with technology! He comes by it honest!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve we decided to have the GNO group over and their kids. We figured why not get together and let the kids play otherwise we'd all be at home. Everyone had a lot of fun, especially Emma and Brooks. Before I post pictures from that though I have to include something Brooks said earlier in the day. I had ran to the store to get some last minute things and Ben took the kids upstairs to clean their rooms. He sent me a video of it and it was too funny. He started cleaning Brooks' room and said Brooks clean your room, he said "can't back hurting", Ben said why, he said "back hurting" Ben said oh you can't clean your room because your back is hurting and Brooks said "yea". It was the funniest thing!! I'm sure he got his back hurting from me because I had taken the outdoor decorations down the day before by myself and my back had been bothering me and I'm sure I made a comment about it! I just had to share so we wouldn't forget!

On to that night here are some pictures of the fun.

Pizza time (from far left, it's Jacob, Emma, Brooks, Lucy & Olivia...Mylee, Braegan, and Colyn were too busy to sit and eat)

My precious babies...Emma was so excited we were having a "party" I think she thought it was all for her!

Emma & Lucy riding bikes in the garage

Our attempt at a group picture...not too bad!

Sparkler time...

And we can't forget baby Alex! He was so content and happy, although he did get a little upset about being confined so he got out and joined the fun!

We had a great time and the kids played hard. We might just make this an every New Year's Eve tradition!

P.S. I started this post back on the 5th and finally have gotten around to finishing it! Better late then never!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

365 Project

I decided to start the 365 Project this year. If you aren't familiar with it you can look at their site. Hopefully I can remember to add them to the blog on a regular basis. I think one of the points behind it is to help you take better pictures and I haven't had the chance to do that yet. All of our pictures to date are from my phone. Maybe I'll get the camera out more and get some better ones soon. Here is what I have so far!

Jan 1 - we enjoyed the beautiful day outside all day and had so much fun

Jan 2 - computer time together that morning. I love how they are both sitting the same!

Jan 3 - Emma wanted a picture of her, Addison and Juliet.

Jan 4 - Chapel time, they love playing their new guitars and singing songs

Jan 5 - Brooks enjoyed being back outside with Nana after a few cold days

Jan 6 - Emma & Roxana at the park

Jan 7 - My flowers they picked for me while we were gone that day

Jan 8 (2 pictures)- We went to eat ice cream after church!! They love going and it was nice enough to sit outside which made it even better.

Jan 9 - Brooks playing daddy's Ipad, he LOVES it!

Jan 10 - Emma made Zoe a "doghouse" while I was at work!