"And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live." Deuteronomy 30:6

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18

Saturday, June 11, 2011

New Orleans Trip

Our mini vacation to New Orleans was a nice little get away, but I stayed glued to my computer for updates on everything going on at home in AL. I was texting my family to keep them updated on what all was open or happening.

So, we left Thursday the 28th. We got to Birmingham without any problems, but then it took us close to 3 hours to get out of there. Mostly due to traffic, but we also stopped for lunch and at Wal-Mart. We chose to go the long way through Mobile since Tuscaloosa was hit so hard. We arrived on the New Orleans Baptist Seminary campus between midnight and 1. We piled into the apartment and got everyone in the bed. The kids were in a room with 2 single beds, so one of them slept on a pallet each night. (I should have taken a picture!) I have to say they road incredibly well!!! The DVD player wouldn't work so they spent the entire trip looking out the window, playing leapsters, or just hanging. I am very proud!

Friday Joey met with the seminary president. It was a quick meeting because Dr. Kelley's previous meeting ran over, but only the Lord knows what may have come out of it! We were going to go to the French Quarter that afternoon, but Eli decided to throw-up. Isn't that how things go!! LOL We hung out in the apartment and took a walk and played on the playground. I just have to say that the campus of the Seminary is BEAUTIFUL!!!! I could sit and stare out our window all day! And I just about did. :) Eli seemed fine and was able to eat, so we did go out to eat that evening. Then, we went on a trech to find a cord to hook up the DVD play to the TV. (It would play the movies but wouldn't show the picture.)

Our Room

The view out our living room window
 Adjusting fine to sleeping there. She looked so snuggly and she has her hand in the blanket because she pulled it up some more.
 Watching the fountain on campus
 The campus sanctuary
 Going on a walk
 The huge stingy catepillars that are over taking the campus. They were supposedly even worse the week before.
Taking a break as we walk.

 Where we ate dinner. Yummy!
 The view that evening when we got back.

We also had a lovely incident with the van. We were going to leave because Eli seemed fine and go ahead to the French Quarter but the van was making horrible sounds. So, Joey took it across the street to be fixed. We walked over to Church's chicken while we waited. They called and said it was a quick little fix, and thank the Lord we took it then or it would have been much worse. They didn't charge us! Praise the Lord!!

Everyone woke up in a great mood on Saturday, so out we went! We walked the Riverwalk and went in the mall. We went down to Cafe Du Monde. We walked Jackson Square. It was a wonderful day just spent together! God trully blessed our time together and blessed us through others! We watched a movie that night. If I remember correctly we also went on the playground.

I tried to catch the sign for this store as we drove. JOY
 This is what she looked like when we got to the parking lot. Baby in her mouth!
 Watching the boats
 The cruise ship was in the harbor. You get a perspective for how big it is when you see the 18 wheeler beside it!

 Joy was sleeping in the stroller. Wish I had thought to take off my sunglasses!
 Watching a street show
 Cafe Du Monde

 We put some on her lip for a picture. She did get some on my finger.
 The powdered sugar was Yummy!!! LOL
 Joey had just driven the stroller down the steps and this is how she road! LOL
Everyone being statues. (We saw 3 different guys doing this.)

Playground fun....

 Movie Night

Sunday morning Katie Jo thought it was a good time to throw-up. :/ We decided to not go to church in case anyone else started. We had our own little service on the living room floor. We went out on the playground again. That afternoon I was talking to my mom and the power came back on at her house. We are only a few houses down, so we knew it was on at our house too. We decided to head home a day early so the kids and I wouldn't have to kill time while Joey was at his pre-op in B'ham on Monday. We loaded up and headed out. We made it about 10-15 min and stopped for KJ to throw-up. Woo Hoo, here we go, I thought. And I was also crying because we were leaving. It was so pretty there and it was time to go back to reality. I really can't explain it.

Our worship service.
 Yes, it is hooked to her ear. LOL
 Worship isn't always serious. Ha ha!

 Joy and I were resting, and we had a couple folks join us. :)

Anyways, it all went well after that incident and we got to Meridan, MS and stopped for dinner. Do you know how hard it is to find bland fast food!?! Yep, KJ threw-up again after dinner, but that was the last time. She was able to eat corn chex without a problem so she just snacked. We got home about 9 or 9:30 that night. Thank you, Mom and Amy for cleaning out our fridge so our house didn't stink!!!! I stuck the diapers in the wash because they had been sitting all those days. It was nice to be home even if it was a mess. :)

I am thankful that we had that time away, but I also wish we had stayed. It would have been a wonderful bonding time as a family and a time to get to know our neighbors. But, the Lord blessed our time away as a family. I still wish we had selective electricity. :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

April 27, 2011: What a day!!

Are you shocked!?! LOL I am typing a post!!! Life has been crazy and I have several to do to get some memories down, so hopefully they will come in the next few days.

April 27, 2011 will forever be in Alabama's history! There was only about 20 min from 5:00am to late into the night that our weather folks were not on our TVs. It was crazy! My family is very blessed in that we were not affected by damage. We actually didn't even have much rain here, but the north part of our county was hit hard. Our neighborhood was without power for 4.5 days.

I had the TV on all day. Weather has always fascinated me. By late afternoon it was actually getting closer to us. We even sat in the bathroom during one tornado warning. It was the only one close to us. After that storm, we decided to quickly make dinner and hope we could finish before another one came. Well, the power went out right as we were finishing up. We ate dinner with candles and the backdoor open to let the light shine in. The phones were still working at this point.

We were very ill prepared for bad weather! Our radio didn't have batteries. We scrounge up a few flash lights. We decided to just let the kids camp in a tent in the living room since everything was so out of the ordinary already. Joey sat in the van for a bit listening to the radio. I told my mom to call if we needed to go back in the bathroom. So, we all go to bed in the dark. The kids have a book flash light open in the living room to give them a night light.

The next morning we wake to no power and no telephone service. I could text but not make calls. It was a little surprising because we have had this happen before but the power always came on in the middle of the night. Joey had to leave for New Orleans. I got in the shower while all kiddos were occupied with something. My parents walk down and inform me that we will be without power for 4-5 days. WOW! I was shocked. I text Joey and tell him.

So, Joey gets 2 hours away and heads back to town. He had called the man he was meeting with that morning and told him what was going on and that they would have to re-schedule. He also called the Seminary and told them what was going on. They offered to up him to a 2 bedroom VIP apartment for the weekend for us for free. Now we just had to pray that we could get to Birmingham to get gas in my car. There were no open gas stations or power until just North of B'ham.

Joey got home; we loaded up, and God graciously brought us safely to New Orleans 12 hours after we left our house. We could see some damage as we drove to B'ham but not a whole lot. It wasn't even a glimpse at what was done to so many areas.

Here are some pictures of evening on April 27, 2011...

In the bathroom
 My view when I looked down while we were in the bathroom. She was in my lap with a pillow wedge over her.
 The campout.
 Watching Dad out in the car. Amazing how dark the house was!
 Turned on the flash
 Daddy listening to the radio.

I do not believe that I will ever forget that day or the following weekend.