Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow Day(s)

Wewh... what a couple of days it has been. Let me just recap my "snow day" this week. 

Tuesday morning the forecast was for a little "dusting" of snow in the Birmingham area. I watched the weather like normal that morning and really didn't think much of it. Thankfully it was pretty cold and I dressed Fulton in several layers (he would need these later). 

This is from my classroom window about 10:30. They had just announced we would be getting out at 11:15. No more pictures until many hours later because that's when the chaos began. The snow came harder and kept sticking and began instantly freezing on the roads. Our busses were late because they had to run the elementary routes first. I decided to try and leave quickly to get Fulton. I got about a quarter of a mile down the road and it was impassable. The cars were wrecking everywhere and I couldn't get out. I made the decision to turn around quickly and get back to school. That was probably the best decision because the roads and conditions just got worse from there. 

We were able to get a few bus loads of kids gone but one ended up in a wreck and the students had to walk back to school. Many students checked out, but we were still left with hundreds. We started making lunch, kept them entertained and knew it was going to be a long afternoon. Meanwhile, Fulton was absolutely fine at Mrs. Lavina's house, even though I was panicked that I couldn't get to him. Matt's students were gone and he had three teachers in his car attempting to make it home. He finally did after 5 hours of creeping down the roads. So, here are a couple of my teacher buddies as we realize we are about to spend the night at school. Did I mention the whole time the phones were jammed and wouldn't work?? Ugh. 

So, Matt was home, Fulton was having a slumber party with his friends (no parents could get there) and this was my sleeping quarters for the night. My area was the school library with about 100 seventh and eighth grade girls. It was rough, but not nearly as rough as the hundreds of people still stuck in their cars and walking down the side of the road. I was blessed to have a warm place to stay. We fed the kids dinner, let them play in the gym, and then put on a movie until we called it bedtime. I finally was able to sleep from 2:00-4:00 am. The students did an amazing job. So proud of them. We got up, made breakfast and started another day. At this point, I started to get a little upset, thinking I may be staying another night. Matt was doing everything he could to try and get Fulton and me home. 

This was the view close to my school and the way I would normally go home. This is the road people. Just pure mayhem. So, Matt and our dear friend Daniel (with four wheel drive) decided to try and get Fulton first. They couldn't get there. The roads were blocked all the way around. They decided then to attempt to get me. 
 Even though we still had about 75 kids at this point, our principal was letting people leave if they had ways to get out. Matt called and they were close. They couldn't get all the way to my school, but made it within a mile or so. I found some clothes throughout the school, borrowed shoes from a friend, and started walking. Let me remind you I was still in dress clothes from the previous school day. 

So, here I am walking the trek hoping to see Matt soon. Daniel stayed in the truck and Matt walked towards me so we would eventually meet. It's amazing though, because once I walked out of that school, I wasn't worried about the cold or the walk. It was pure adrenaline and a feeling of relief to know I was out... now, we just needed to get my baby. 

And this is why they couldn't get to me (and why I never could get out when I had tried the day before). I am still not sure how all these cars will ever get out. It was like this all the way down. I finally caught up with Matt and was so happy to see him. We continued the walk back to the truck and made the drive home. I won't say that I didn't freak out a few times on the way home because we were spinning a little. I was so relieved when we made it home. Daniel set out to rescue some others and Matt was determined to find a way to get Fulton before the end of the day. 

Matt and our neighbor Brad took off in Matt's truck to meet Mom and Dad (with another 4 wheel drive) to see if they could get close to the neighborhood where Fulton was. They were only able to get within a couple of miles of her house, but parked the truck and started the walk. They made it!! Here they are making the trek back with Fulton in tow. 

My boys made it home just before dark. Operation Fulton was complete. I was finally able to rest and breathe now that all my family was safe at home. We were purely exhausted, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I got word from our school that there were just a handful of kids left and most teachers had made it home or home with someone. 

I slept for 11 hours and my view this morning was so much better than yesterday. 
I got breakfast in bed from my boys. 

We enjoyed a little snow time this morning, but honestly, I am just ready for it to melt and get over all of this. It has been so horrible for so many people and I know there are still so many that are stranded from their families. The Lord is so good to us. A teacher friend and I just sat at the window in my classroom yesterday and prayed over that ice and that the Lord would melt it and allow us a way home. God is so good to us and he brought us all home safely. So, that little "dusting" turned into quite the experience. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Loving This Monday

We are out of school today and the weather couldn't be any better. But first, a 
quick recap of our weekend. 

These two had a little daddy son breakfast outing Saturday morning. I went with the girls to a clothing sale and all of us came home happy campers. 

The rest of the day was spent indoors because it was so chilly. Matt and I are officially on the Biscuit Ministry Team now and it was our Sunday to make the biscuits. We had 72 biscuits to make and have at the church by 6:30 am Sunday morning. The youth then took them downtown and gave them out to the homeless. Such an amazing ministry to these men and women. 

This little ladies man was up and ready for church, waiting patiently for his momma, 
who was running late. 

We had a great service at church, continuing the Seven Deadly Sins series. We enjoyed naps and a walk in the neighborhood. I had a craving for chili and we headed to Wendy's for a big bowl. Kind of random huh?! What other fast food place serves chili... don't think there is one. It was delish. 

So, here we are at Monday. The weather has been in the 60's, sun is shining, and nothing on our calendar but enjoying the day together. 

We went to the park where we ran, slid, jumped, and even fed the geese. 
Kiki and Pete came to see us too. 

We brought a picnic lunch to enjoy. By the way this is Kiki and Pete's first official picnic together. Glad we could be there to witness it. Kiki sure does bring some good stuff to her picnics. She can come back anytime. 

This little stinker had a first today. What do you do when a potty training toddler says they need to go to the potty and the restroom is absolutely disgusting and making me gag to even walk in it?? Well, good thing we have a boy. We enjoyed our first sprinkling of the leaves today and this 
guy performed like a champ. 

My boys are snoozing wonderfully right now and I couldn't be more blessed. 
Thank you Lord for this day!

Keeping It Straight

Fulton has had a little obsession for a couple of months...he lines everything up. 

This is how his bed is found every morning when we get him up. 

And not just one side, but the other too. And then he looks at you so proud and says, "Line up, line up." 

Not just stuffed animals, but the magnets on the fridge too.

This is probably his favorite. He has a box full of cars that he loves to put in a straight line. 

Is this normal? Maybe he comes by it honestly. I like things a little straight myself. He is a pretty neat and tidy little fella and loves to clean like his momma. Warms my heart. So, maybe this skill will come in handy one day or maybe he will just have a happy wife because he likes to organize. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


It was a weekend full of celebrations. 

Before we get to was just me and this little guy Friday night. Daddy had a retreat to be at,
 so we were flying solo. 

Matt wasn't home until Saturday afternoon, so Fulton and I spent the morning with mom and dad. It was Uncle Pete's birthday weekend and they were out of town, so we broke in their house 
and did a little decorating. 

From there we ran around to a few places and did a quick stop by the library so Fulton could introduce KK and Pops to some of his animal friends. 

Daddy made it home early afternoon and we had this sweet family over for dinner to celebrate Claire's birthday. These two are a mess together. 

Sunday was a big day for Matt. He was ordained as a Deacon at our church. It is a huge honor and I am so proud of him and the spiritual leader he is for our family. It was really cool that he was ordained with one of his good friends, Drew. They are both officially the youngest Deacons in our church. 

Even better is that all ordained Deacons came on stage to lay hands on the new men and my dad got to come up and pray over Matt. It was such a special day. 

These two were twinkies for church Sunday. 

Fulton boycotted a nap (probably because he knew what an absolutely beautiful day in January it was), so we met up with friends to walk. We stopped at another friend's house and she let us all jump on the bounce house. The kids had a ball. 

But we had to wrap it up and head to mom and dad's for a birthday celebration for Pete. He turned 22. Such a young buck. 

Happy Birthday Uncle Pete! We loved celebrating with you and thanks for sharing your cake with us!!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

It's Been a Week

It's been a week since I last blogged and nothing too exciting is happening around here. With December as packed as it was, January has been pretty slow and uneventful.  

We built a fire for the first time in two years. Matt loves to build fires...a little pyro in him deep down. We finally felt like Fulton wouldn't mess with it and it has been so cold, it helped to 
warm the house up a bit. 

Matt went back to work last Friday and we headed out to his school to take him lunch. Little 
Mr. Howard thought he was big stuff sitting at daddy's desk. 

We spent the rest of the day playing and trying to stay warm. 

Friday night we had some sweet friends over for dinner. Fulton and Laylee had a little dinner date. Aren't they so cute together. Did I mention that everyday when we are leaving Mrs. Vin's house they kiss each other...on the lips. 

No dinner is complete without dessert too. A rare treat for this sugar deprived child. 

Saturday morning daddy made some french toast, we spent time with KK, Pops, and Aunt 
Keri, and enjoyed the morning. 

We had to wrap up our little family visit because we had a birthday party to attend. Our little friend Andrew turned 3 and we celebrated with him at Gymboree. This was our first time and we enjoyed it. 

Monday it was back to school where this little guy slept on his nap mat for the first time. 
Such a big boy. 

We have almost survived our first week back at school. I am proud of myself... I have cooked 5 out of the last 7 nights. It sure is easier to go out to eat, but we are trying to do less of that and more of eating in. Let's hope it continues. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Has Come to an End

2013 has been good to us. Let's take a look back at the last year. 

January- we helped KK and Pops move into their new house. I was sad to see them say goodbye to the old house, but like my dad always says, you should never get too attached to anything. 

February- we went to our first petting zoo. We enjoyed seeing all the animals and 
dodging where we walked. 

March- it was a big month. We had our very first (long overdue) hair cut. We started losing our curls with this first cut, but we needed to get rid of the mullet we were starting to acquire. We went to the McWane Center for the first time and Fulton had a blast. 

April- we enjoyed celebrating Easter and even went to our very first egg hunt. Even though he took the eggs back out of the bucket, we still had fun with friends. 

May- this was a big month and we had lots of celebrations. We had Mother's Day, KK's surprise birthday, and our very first trip to the zoo. We were excited because summer was quickly approaching. 

June- summer is here and that meant many trips to the lake. We celebrated Father's day, daddy's birthday, mommy's birthday, and Fulton even stayed a weekend with KK and Pops while mommy and daddy went out of town for their anniversary. 

July- what a fun month. Matt and I celebrated 9 years of marriage, had a family trip to the beach, and many days spent at the pool. 

August- summer was starting to end, but that didn't stop our fun. We even had one last trip to the beach.

September- Fulton celebrated his 2nd birthday with a circus party!! What a fun and special day it was. His friends and family came to wish him a Happy Birthday and eat a hot
dog. Later in the month, we took our first camping trip. Many more of those to come. 

October- was filled with many football games and fun times with friends and family. Aunt Keri even got Fulton his first AL jersey with daddy's number on it. 

November- we took a day off work and made a long weekend to Gatlinburg with KK and Pops. Fulton was on top of the world with a visit to Dollywood, playing at a kiddie park, and sneaking in a little sweet treat every now and then. We also had a week trip to the beach for Thanksgiving.

December- it is the freshest on our minds and was filled with bundled up days and trying to stay warm. We visited the nursing home, went to the Zoolight Safari, and had lots of time with family. 

What a great year it was!! I pray in 2014 we can be servants to others and show them the love of Christ. Our lives are truly nothing without him and we realize every blessing is from Him and Him alone.