Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Do You LOVE Snow, Mom??

Yes, Jay I love you love snow?


(Grinning from ear to ear that's how Jay went to sleep Tuesday night.)

We've had a bit of a surprise snow here in Birmingham. I have never ever been more thankful that I planned to stay home all day and enjoy a day of just whatever the kids wanted to do.

And that I did our grocery shopping on Monday. 

It started to snow at about 9 on Tuesday which was a surprise to me, but I thought I was the only one. We'd had quite the weekend in Nashville and my mind has been on everything but the weather. I actually picked Jay up from school on Monday just a tad early and his teacher asked if I thought we'd get any snow.

I really didn't know, because I had not looked at any forecasts.

We did get unpredicted snow--a little over 2 inches at our house by the time it stopped around 3 p.m.

I thought we'd get a little dusting and there would be no way it would stick so I took the kids out to play in it for the first time around 10.

As she trotted out of the garage, Lizzy exclaimed, "Alright!! Sandcastles!! Woo-woo!!"

So funny.

How glad am I that her boots arrived over the weekend? Thank goodness or this gal wouldn't have gotten to go play at all!

They had fun and Lizzy might have been onto something because as it turns out beach toys are kind of handy for playing in the snow.

Mommy-powered laundry baskets also make good sleds.

Liz lasted about 45 minutes, so we came in had lunch and Jay and I played again once Lizzy went down for her nap. Because I knew the snow wouldn't last.

How wrong I was because we played again today...and might again tomorrow and I really hope both kids are back at school on Friday with a normal schedule and only 1-2 layers of clothing required.

Poor Liz had 3 layers on the bottom and 4 on the top. Little Ralphie Syndrome.

Man Down!

Man Down!

Man Down!

I am happy to report that now that its 11 p.m. on Wednesday, they have just released word that all 11,000+ children stranded at schools as a result of this storm have returned home.

11,000 kids whose parents could not get to them slept in their schools with their wonderful teachers last night.

Countless people braved the cold (5 degree) night in their cars on the side of the road with whatever they had with them.

Thousands of people walked home or to shelters or to stores or churches--leaving their cars behind and hoping for warmth and safety.

Thousands more helped care for the displaced, stranded and wayward members of our community and were living breathing examples of what it means to love one another.

Prayers went up for 36 hours and were answered time and time again.

This was an unusual circumstance for all of us southerners, but another wonderful example of man helping man and a God who loves, perseveres with us and provides. Over and over again.

Here are some links for the out-of-towners who want to see how unbelievable the impact of this snow shower was:
ABC 33/40 Slideshow
James Spann's Weather Blog (This explains how they "missed it")
Our Neighborhood Chick fil a Owner is a Rock Star

I am so thankful for those who serve and lead and help make our neighborhoods real communities. If you need me, I'll be home with the kiddos at the bottom of this very steep hill until Friday morning. Then I may or may not be the first one in the carpool drop off line! ;)

Just kidding there's no way I'll ever be first in the car pool line.....

Monday, January 27, 2014

Doing What's Needed

(alternately titled: Dear Diary, It's Monday and I'm Not Cooking.....#nofilter)

There's no Menu Monday this week. No tips and tricks coming from the kitchen.

In the interest of honesty- we've got a lot going on with our little family--some great and fun things to look forward to and some less than great days recently.

I truly believe that the places you invest your energy 
will be the sources from which your energy can be drawn when you need it

Right now, I'm investing lots of energy into these two bundles of joy.

There are no less than 100 things I should be doing his afternoon.

But I just had to stop and do what was needed.

Some time outside to break in Lizzy's new boots was needed.

Swinging in the sunshine was needed.

The kids and I had plans to go to Nashville for the weekend, then my mom was hospitalized Thursday. It just worked out that I needed to go, so I went ahead and took them with me. I didn't have a real plan, I only knew I would work it out somehow. Lizzy and I took turns visiting the hospital while Charles kept Jay at his house so he didn't have to go to the hospital. It's been an exhausting few days, so we're just doing what needs to be done....eating soup, snacking on cereal and trying to breathe deeply this week.

Mom's home again, there are some new issues with her health, but it's all treatable with medications. I don't mention her illness much, but I know some people may know bits and pieces through Facebook, so I wanted to include a little about what's been going on.

Someday maybe I'll talk about the last few years with mom in a less vague sense. If you know us personally then you may know all of the unfortunate details--thanks for that-your care and concern have meant so much

We're all doing well and for that we should all be thankful! Even a bad day isn't all that bad when you have hope for the future.

We do have lots of fun ahead over the next few months and I can't wait to share that here too!

Have a wonderful and meaningful week!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Our Favorite Tee

Sometimes the best memories are tied up in ways I can't explain.

When cleaning out outgrown clothes, one of the few things I couldn't part with was Jay's Kermit Shirt.

I don't really know why-I decided to keep it, washed it and when Joseph saw it as I folded laundry his eyes lit up. I knew he loved it too. I had decided maybe Lizzy would wear it.

Being a one-of-each-kid family, there are not many hand-me-downs.

I made sure to take Lizzy's picture in it today, as I looked back through pictures on my computer I found only a few from my phone when Jay was 21 Months old. the same age Lizzy is now.

We love this shirt, Jay basically lived in it although I don't have the pictures to prove it, we do have the memories.

And now, some pictures of Lizzy in our favorite tee.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday!

I'm linking up with the Good Life Blog today with a fun 5 on Friday--

1. I spent every free moment this week (well, most every free moment) cleaning up and clearing out drawers, cabinets and closets.

Even though you wouldn't be able to tell it if you just casually looked around my house, I really did get a lot done and everything feels better, less cluttered and more organized. It's never really a job that is "finished" but I conquered a lot and donated lots of items so I feel prepared for the month ahead.

2. Speaking of the month ahead-I've got Valentine's Day on the brain and Joseph is always the hardest person to shop for. I created this printable Valentine to get us in the spirit of things starting February 1st. Feel free to print one for yourself and share the LOVE.

3. This fun moment from Sunday night might be my favorite picture of the year so far.

Just trying to keep everyone busy while Jen got ready to blow out her candles. Selfies help pass the time!

4. Lizzy's pickiness has resulted in my exploration of smoothies. A few nights a week, I've been making "milkshakes" for the kids using fresh and frozen fruits. So far, so good with Lizzy! Jay loves them too, but Jay has always been a great eater and Lizzy will not eat any fruit at all.

5. And since I've been experimenting with smoothies for the kids I decided to try one for myself for lunch today.

Apple, banana, spinach, frozen blueberries, ice, vanilla almond milk and a  heaping tablespoon of finely ground flax seed. It looks a tad scary but is really tasty! I'm impressed!

That's my Five this Friday! I( hope you enjoyed stopping in! Click on over and enjoy the link-up!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Valentine's Day Giveaway (This one starts February 1st)

What do you give the man who has everything for Valentine's Day?

Well, I don't know either, but I definitely have my thinking cap on!

I whipped up this little "list" to use as a way to celebrate Valentine's Day beginning February 1.

I plan to add something everyday until the "BIG DAY" to add a little "oomph" to this holiday.

Download and print one for yourself and get the Valentine spirit going at your house!

(Or print it out on the night of the 13th and fill it all in--it works either way!)

And I'm pretty sure if we stay in with our little sweethearts, this steak will be on the menu!

Now, when you figure out what to get the man who has everything--just let me know!

Just some weekend fun and Jen's B-Day

Another fun attempt at pre-church pictures. Don't you love this? I do. Even though photos of these two at these ages is enough to make you want to smash you camera into bits just give them a handful of candy and call it a day. 

We've managed to have a few decent days to play outside between the Arctic Blast and the rains that have settled in.

The kids are really playing like friends at times these days. I couldn't be more thankful for these moments when they happen. 

We've just enjoyed the kids being kids most of the weekend around here.

Oh, and a great trip to the vet with the three amigos. 
I really don't know what I was thinking. I swear I was just running in for a second to pick Gus up after a bath and treatment. 
No snacks, no cups, no entertainment. 
90 minutes later here we are sitting at the Vet's pick up window, waiting on Gussy's medicine. 
Lizzy was over it, i believe. 

Found this little gem when I found my phone in the playroom floor the other night. 

Love you too, anonymous child. (I'm guessing Lizzy, she loves chatting with Siri any chance she gets.)

And we celebrated Jen's birthday this week.
Note: Every child in this picture is plotting a way to blow out the candles before Jenn. Even the baby.
 This was round 2. Jay was the threat this time....
 Eventually everyone enjoyed the celebration. (And got their own turn to blow out the candles) (5 TIMES)

I hope y'all have had a great time these last few wintry weeks, too!