Collinsville

We went on an adventure with Mammy & Paw Paw to Collinsville’s Trade Day a couple of Saturdays ago.
Paw Paw and Mammy wanted to sell a pair of their geese.

We had lots of fun seeing all the farm animals for sale. The pigs were our favorite, of course.
Alston kept trying to wake them up by fake sneezing. Where does he come up with this stuff?
We enjoyed looking at the junk…

And browsed all the fresh fruits & veggies…

Mammy picked up these really cute handmade bird houses.

Alston really enjoyed riding in his new two-seat stroller.

What a beautiful day!
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If you watch the news, you’ve probably heard about the massive tornado that ripped through the city of Joplin, Missouri on Sunday afternoon. My dad, step-mom, little brother and little sister all call Joplin home. As well as two sets of grandparents, several aunts and uncles and cousins, and some friends. I almost went into panic mode as I watched the footage on tv. The Weather Channel coorespondant was having a hard time keeping it together and began crying on camera. It was scary. Thankfully, all of my loved ones are safe, but the damage to their city was immense. It is crazy to see that much weather damage only one month shy of the damamge we received here, in Alabama. As we continue to pray for our state, keep them in your thoughts and prayers as well!

Homestead Hollow

The Saturday before Mother’s Day, Uncle Bull, Aunt Caycie and Bella invited us to go to Homestead Hollow. Daddy was working so he wasn’t able to go with us. Boy, did he miss out on some serious fun!

Alston decided to dance a jig with the old timey pickin’ band.
He and Isabella really love each other.

The petting zoo was our favorite part. (I definitely enjoyed it as much as more than Alston did.)

So stinkin’ cute!

Later that evening, we went over to Ms. Brooke’s house for a BBQ. We roasted giant marshmallows and got to play with Aunt Stacy.

In love.

My husband is wonderful.
He got me this for my Mother’s Day/Anniversay gift.
Canon SX30 IS
I’ve been testing out its amazing zoom lens.
Taken while stuck in traffic. These were growing on the side of the interstate.
Playing with the white balance and exploring lighting…
And taking pictures of just about anything…
It wasn’t the camera I asked for. Its better. I’m so infatuated.

Mother’s Day

This year for Mother’s Day Aunt Jo Jo and I decided to host a brunch at my house. I really enjoyed cooking with her and having a family get-together at our house. I see lots of holiday parties in the future.

Then I spent some quality time with my two favorite boys.
Needless to say, I had the greatest Mother’s Day ever.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, Alston went above and beyond on his Mother’s Day gift – thanks to some help from his Daddy.

Easter

I took a little blogging hiatus, with the exception of my weekly pregnancy updates, becuase they are really like a pregnancy diary for me. Things have been just a bit too crazy and I really needed some time to breathe.
So lets pick up where we left off, shall we?
We dyed Easter eggs at Mammy and Paw Paw’s house and had tons o’ fun. 

The Easter Bunny brough Alston some nice goodies to play with outside and way more candy than he ever should have. Is it possible the Easter Bunny has pregnant brain and wanted most of that candy for herself? Probably so…

Sunday, I forgot to take my camera to my grandmother’s where we had our Easter lunch and Easter egg hunt. Fortunately, Aunt Jo Jo let me borrow hers. Hopefully I’ll remember to ask her to let me upload them soon.  

Damages

Yesterday morning was a normal morning. We woke up and turned on the television to watch the weather forecast, like we do every other morning. There was severe weather headed our way and the meteorologist gave us 9 minutes before it reached Pell City. They were reporting it as a thunderstorm but said it should be treated as an F1 tornado. My first thought was that I had a yard full of recently purchased perennials that I wanted to make sure weren’t blown across the yard and damaged. I got up, went outside, moved all my plants to a spot of safety, then went to the back to feed the dogs. I locked them in the shop so they wouldn’t be barking like crazy and had plans of crawling back into bed. As soon as I got back inside, it started pouring rain and I realized the satellite had gone out. Not uncommon at all during a thunderstorm. Then the power went out. It thundered and the wind blew and it passed. It didn’t seem like that serious of a storm.

A few minutes later, we heard a knock at the front door. I opened the door to find Patrick’s step-dad, Keith (Poppa Snuff). He was coming to check on us to make sure we were okay– both of our mothers were unable to get in touch with us. I checked my phone and realized I couldn’t call out. Patrick headed to work and I gathered a few things to go to my mother’s house, so I could get ready and head to work as well…

Keith told us of all the damage through Pell City, but as I made my way into town, I was amazed at how much damage had actually been done. All while we were snuggling, seemingly safe and unaware, in our bed.

Metal roofing and other debris were hanging from power lines.

Many lines were severed…

Many of the beautiful and very old trees that line the streets of downtown Pell City were uprooted and destroyed.

Radio tower at the Sherrif’s Department, bent completely in two.

The metal building that covered Henderson’s Builder’s Supply is upside-down on the next street over.

Crews working to clear fallen trees off of the railroad tracks.

Sewage pipes were uprooted with this massive tree.

Crews mobilizing this morning in the parking lot of the old Food World.

Our neighborhood went completely unscathed – not so much as broken limb or scattered leaves. I decided to stay home as the threat of more sever weather headed out way; thankfully the rest of the storms missed us.
The damages that we received in our little town are nothing compared to the aftermath in other cities across the South East, but they are still shocking nonetheless. We will be keeping all the families affected in our prayers, but know that God is in control.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Sunday

We took Alston to the park yesterday evening and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

On another note, we have a new neighbor (er, resident?) living in front of our house.

Patrick and I noticed his little hole Saturday, then Sunday morning I discovered who the hole belonged to. He lives in the mulch bed in front of the windows to the man cave.

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month

I am taking part in a very cool viral fundraising campaign to support the CHIPS Center at Children’s Hospital. The CHIPS Center is a place for abused children. The staff is absolutely wonderful and they have the neatest offices filled with lots of fun art. Not only do they offer counseling for children who have suffered physical and sexual abuse, they also provide a safe and welcoming environment for forensic medical exams, as well as counseling and support services for the families of the children.

Original artwork portraying the stories of lives touched by CHIPS.

Visit my fundraising page here and help me to reach my goal of raising $500!
You can give a one-time donation, join my team and email all your friends and family for support, or simply spread the word! The more people we can get involved, the quicker we can meet our goal and we can make a bigger difference in the lives of abused children!

This is a great cause and we’ll be working toward our overall goal of $10,000 for the entire month of April!

(If you ever wondered what it is that I do at Children’s, here is your chance to check out some of my handywork… This campaign has been a very fun project I’ve been working on!)