Our Family

Our Family

Monday, February 13, 2017

Sister Time

In the mist of all this craziness that has been going in our lives over the last 3, going on 4 weeks, and trust me there's been more craziness last week and today, but I haven't even blogged about all that. I can't keep up with all that is happening in our family lately, I was able to experience a sweet moment shared between Madalyn and Alexis.

I was busy in the kitchen doing something, I can't remember now...cooking or cleaning? Who knows? Anyway, I over heard Madalyn reading, so I peaked around the corner and she and Alexis were sitting on the coach.  They were playing library. Madalyn had covered Alexis up with a blanket, brought over several books, and she was "reading" to Alexis. Madalyn cannot yet actually read, but she has memorized these stories. I got a picture of them without them knowing it. Such a  sweet thing Madalyn was doing which helped me to be able to finish what I was doing. She has become such a great big sister in the last few months. :0)


Monday, February 6, 2017

Tornado

There are many dates in our lives that hold significant value, whether it is our birth date, wedding date, the birth date of our children, the day a loved one has died, the date we started our job, etc.  One day that will be in my family's memory from here on out is January 21, 2017 as the day the tornado came through our yard and property and family farm.  I have not yet been able to blog about this event because things have been so busy since then. Some things the tornado took off and we have yet to find and probably won't ever find.  A person from the National Weather Beauro said that it was an F2 and it probably didn't actually touch down on our property, if it had, probably everything would be flatten and we very well could not be here today.  A tornado in January?! Who ever heard of such? We have and trust me when I say this came out of no where with no prior warning at all. When we found out it was coming it was here, no time to prepare for anything.

 So here's our story...

Saturday, January 21, 2017....my parents were down visiting for the weekend. Kevin was at work and I had ran out to do some errands and some shopping.  It was a rainy day and I knew that I had to be home by lunch because that afternoon we heard that we were supposed to have bad storms.  Alexis was taking a nap that afternoon and my dad was resting as well. Kevin was at work at the chicken houses and his parents were in Nashville, TN at a Gideon conference for the weekend.  My mom and I were sitting at the kitchen table talking while Madalyn was playing with her Legos.  It was raining, no big deal.  About 10 minutes to 4, our lights started to flicker on and off, so I called Kevin to make sure he was aware.  (any time the power goes off he has to know because he has to make sure the generators come on for the chickens.)  He said that he knew the power was going on and off and that he was getting ready to leave to take a guy home that works for him.  A few minutes later the wind started picking up and my mom asked if we should leave and go to my in-laws house. I told her that it wasn't safe for us to try to leave right now.  The wind continued to get up, the power continued to flicker, and my mom said that she thought she had better get my dad up.  She left and I noticed that all of a sudden I couldn't see anything out of my windows, it was a white-out.  My phone alarm went off at 4:05 pm and it read " Tornado Warning: seek shelter now", I got up out of my chair, grabbed, Madalyn, and said to my parents, we have to get in the bathroom now. I called Kevin to make sure he knew what was going on, and he answered the phone by screaming "get down! get down!". We grabbed Alexis and all huddled in the dark in our hall bathroom.  I had one arm around Madalyn and one arm around Alexis.  I had a hand on top of each of their heads and my head down on top of them.  I didn't hear a train sound like they say you do, but I did hear trees falling, our little house was shaking like it never has before, I heard the wind blowing like it never has before, and I was NOT calm! My parents were able to keep calmer than me and my mom was able to pray us threw the storm. It lasted about 5 minutes or so the worst of it.  When it had calmed down some, Kevin called me (I don't know how our phones worked through this because we lost power until midnight), He was crying and said "are you ok?" I said yes. He said he had to check on his help. I text my mother-in-law to let her know what had just happened.  She called me and I don't remember what I said, because I was so shaken up. Kevin called me back and said to get out of the house now and go to his parent's house. So we were frantically trying to find shoes and a jacket for everyone, when my sister-in-law, Katelyn called and said she was outside to pick us up. (come to find out her and her two children were in the horse barn at my in-laws when the storm came through). I can't explain the sheer terror that goes through  you and you don't have any time to think, you just react and do what you  have always been told do in case of a tornado.  We walked out of our house and the devastation around our house and the chicken houses was mind blowing.  We went to my in-laws and we were all crying and just couldn't believe what had just happened.  My in-laws after getting my text and talking with Katelyn and Kevin got in their car and made the long journey home as quickly as they could. We spent the night at my in-laws because we didn't have power and it wasn't safe to be in our house at time. Plus they were calling for more bad weather.  God protected us through this storm and we are beyond blessed that everyone was ok, and that our house was still standing even though everything around it wasn't and that for the most part the chicken houses was still standing. The chickens made it fine though the storm, our dog and cat were fine.  This is one experience that I pray my family never experiences it again and I wouldn't wish this on anyone! I cannot understand how those people in the Midwest face this every year.  I will say that come tornado season, we will all be more jumpy than normal around here.

Sunday, January 22, 2017.....Kevin calls me at 9 am and he was crying. He asked if I was ok, I said yes why? He begins to tell me that he was feeding chickens and he comes out of one of the houses and sees a guy on the roof that he doesn't know, who is fixing our roof.  And then they just kept coming and coming and coming...we didn't ask for help.  It was posted on facebook (which I do not have) about what had happened and people just came.  They volunteered their time and materials to come and help us. We have been so overwhelmed with all the out pouring of help and love and prayers that people have shown us.  My mother-in-law said that we could at least feed all these people that are helping, so that's what we did. We went to the store and bought food and drinks and we feed about 70 or more people.  There were many people who didn't eat because they left before the food was ready.  "If you helped us in any way, whether it was simply by praying or us, or helping us clean up our farm, yard, or by sending us financial support, we are deeply appreciative of your generosity and we are humbled by this experience of God's love shown towards us in our greatest hours of need."

(I cannot write this post or reread this post without tearing up..its one of those things unless you have experienced for yourself, you can't explain it. I pray you don't.)

I ask that you please continue to remember our family in your prayers.  The clean up process is going and little by little things are looking better.  But it's just something that is going to take time.  We made the front page of a few local papers, but this isn't something you want to be on the front page about.

I am going to post pictures of our house, yard, and chicken houses, however the pictures do not do the damage justice as if you were standing in our yard. All of these pictures were taken on Sunday, Jan. 22nd. Which by the end of the day, things looked better than they did the day before.




The roof of the back porch ended up in the hay field in front of our house.


You can see our red golf cart in this picture...it was under the carport on the right side of my car before the storm.


This tree did make a hole in the roof which was in Alexis's room.









This is Wingo's pen..it was blown off the cement. But he survived it. 


A tree fell on my dad's truck.


They were cutting the tree off our house.  Also trying to make sure the holes were covered. Thankfully the tree didn't come all the way through the ceiling.


They were cutting up trees and hauling brush.


This is House 3, the smaller building in front is the cooler where Kevin was during the storm. This was the hardest hit house out of the four. The stuff in the trees is part of the roof.








The main goal for the houses was to get the holes covered because it kept raining and more rain was on the way. Things didn't need to get any wetter or the ceiling was going to cave in.







We had church members, Deacons, Gideon friends of my father-in-law, Charleston firefighters (thanks to my brother-in-law Ryan), friends, neighbors, family members, etc. And we didn't know half of the people that came out to help.






Saturday, January 14, 2017

Character Trait Award

Thursday was the end of the 2nd nine weeks and we had Awards Day at school. Madalyn got the Character Trait Award for showing Compassion. We are very proud of her!


Monday, January 9, 2017

Alexis 2 Year Pictures

So, since it snowed on Alexis's birthday, I thought what would be better than to take her 2 year old pictures in the snow? So, that's what I did. :0) Who knows when we will get that chance again that it snows on her birthday. However, it did snow the day of my baby shower when I was pregnant with her. I was at my parent's house and it was November 1st...so she might be my little snow baby.  She had her 2 yr. check today and she was 35.5 inches long and 28.2 pounds. The doctor said all was good with her. :0)
















Blooper :0)

She was fussing at me about something, saying "no no"









Alexis Snow Sleding 1/7/17

Madalyn Snow Sleding 1/7/17

Snow Much Fun!

Friday night, Jan.6th at 9:00 pm it started snowing at my parent's house in Greer. We had come up for the weekend for Alexis's 2nd birthday.  We had a party planned for Saturday but we ended up canceling that. We got 5 inches of pure snow, no ice at all.  The girls had the best time Saturday playing in the snow. Last year, we got a dusting of snow and it was melted in about 2 hours.  Madalyn of course had remembered snow, so she knew what to expect. It was a new experience for Alexis and she loved it! And the fact that is snowed on her birthday, what better present and memory could you ask for?


My mom and dad's front yard Saturday morning.





The orange sled the girls are on was my sled when I was Madalyn's age. My parents had kept it all this time.








Kevin was trying to get a good ride for Madalyn down the driveway and in the process he slipped.







My parents have a lot behind them and we found a small hill for the girls to slide down. It was the perfect size for Alexis and it was enough for Madalyn too.


Alexis would say, "snow...yay!"




What a FUN day we had! I'm so glad we were there to play in the snow. Lots of memories.