Sunday, May 22, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

In trouble

About one week ago, Jack had to go to time-out twice, in one day. We were disappointed and had a long talk that ended with him telling his teacher he was sorry, the next day. Two days ago, I went to pick him up, and he wasn't in his normal seat. His teacher told me that she had to move him because he and Tanner wouldn't stop talking. I almost laughed because I found it funny. When I told Jason, he said, "I'm kind of proud of him." I'm not sure what was the difference between the two.

On Wednesday, we held a memorial service for our two students that died. It was very sad. Many of our students were crying uncontrollably. At the end of the service, they released white doves. It was very moving. Here, is a link to the story..... Concord Elementary School.

Two pictures from Aunt Jennifer and Uncle Phillip's wedding.

Washing my car is different than it used to be.....

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A third uncle

Jack and Holden gained their third and final uncle, last weekend. We were all fortunate to be a part of Aunt Jennifer and Uncle Phillip's wedding. Jennifer and Phillip have been together as long as Jason and me. The entire wedding weekend was beautiful. We are all so happy for them and wish them many years of happiness.

I can't believe that this is the only picture I took, this weekend (on Sunday). Actually, I took one picture during the reception, on my dad's camera. All four of us were dressed formally and I didn't get one family shot. Oh, well. We will be visiting this wonderful photographer, in 3 weeks.

Monday, May 9, 2011


My last week of Graduate School did not go as planned. I wasn't looking forward to it because I had 3 assignments due and 2 final exams. One of the assignments was a 10 page paper. The worst part of it was that I was having my Spring Book Fair, so I had absolutely no time to work on anything, at school. I kept thinking that, if I could just make it through this week, then I would be finished studying and writing papers. Wednesday, April 27th changed everything. All of a sudden, I had no ability to concentrate. I trudged through my final assignments on Thursday and Friday because school was closed and the boys were at daycare. But, I completed them through tears, watching the news, talking to coworkers, and putting up refugees (haha). The exams were hard to study for, but I finally took them.

The weight being lifted off of my shoulders from finishing school didn't come like I thought it would. There were so many other important things. I am, now, feeling the freedom of no school. I read a short novel and am halfway through another one. I am happy to return to reading for pleasure.

I am happy and proud that I went back to Graduate School. I earned straight A's in 11 classes and graduated with a 4.0. When I earned my Master's Degree, I made one B, so I didn't have a 4.0. We won't discuss my grades at Birmingham-Southern. =) I am also thankful that my parents supported me and helped me reach this goal. The following pictures are my graduation present, from Jason, Jack, and Holden. I have wanted a swing, since we bought this house.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

She might not be MY mother, but I wouldn't be here without her. It sure was a good Mother's Day present to get to see Gran. I wish she lived closer.

Please excuse Holden's appearance. The goop had returned to his eyes, when we took him around a friend's dog. Next thing we knew, he looked like he had been socked in the eye. When Jack has had allergic reactions to dogs, he cleared up as soon as we left. Well, Holden woke up looking worse.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Generosity, a coincidence, and a new excuse

GENEROSITY: I asked a teacher, today, about when we were going to start taking up collections. We are taking up a collection for the Kreider family and our students who lost their homes. Mr. Kreider could not afford one funeral, let alone three. She said that, we don't know who, but someone paid the entire cost of the funerals. Wow.

COINCIDENCE: We have a student, who arrived a few months, ago. I was talking with her and remembered why she came in the middle of the school year. Her father is military and they were living, in Japan. They lived through the earthquake. It was a voluntary evacuation, so they returned to Alabama. I asked her about the tornado. She said that her father returned, from Japan, on April, 26. As would be expected, his family is giving him a hard time about attracting natural disasters.

NEW EXCUSE: Yesterday, I had a second grade class that had three students who had lost their homes. I told the class that any books lost, in the storm, would be okay. One girl said, "my home wasn't damaged, but my book was on the back deck and it was sucked away." I asked her why her book was on the back deck, when she knew there was going to be severe weather. She said she was reading, on the back deck, when they had to run to the basement. I didn't ask her why she didn't take the book with her.

Note: This will be my last post that does not include pictures of my sweet children. I can't commit to stopping tornado stories, though. I still have not been able to drive through the area that the tornado damaged homes. The roads are closed. When I experience that, the homes will bulldozed and gone. Still, it will be memorable.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Daily Reminder

These pictures are taken from my car, on the way to work....

And, a reminder of God's glory...

(Tuesday, May 3, 7:30pm)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Still Overwhelmed

Fionnuala went with me, on Sunday, to Concord. The Concord Elementary School teachers were offering to babysit children while people worked in the damaged area. We (Fionnuala) bought our supplies that I wanted to take out there. We brought hand sanitizer, work gloves, sunscreen, and D batteries. We got there more than an hour before the babysitting started, so we didn't end up staying that long. It was overwhelming to see the mass of volunteers and donated items. Concord is a close knit community and all of the local churches are doing more than their share.

Monday, we had a faculty meeting at school. The teachers discussed how to handle our students. As far as I know, we had two students who died and 14 families (about 25 students) who lost everything. People I know, that have lived in the area for their entire lives, say they went to the destruction sight and became disoriented because their was nothing recognizable. My closest friend, went to the site on Thursday, and said she couldn't go back. She, along with many other of my teachers, suffered horrible losses and devastation, in the 1998 Oak Grove tornado. How sad that these people have to experience this more than once in their lives.

While Fionnuala and I couldn't drive through the area where the tornado entered Concord, we did see the path on 15th Street. I knew that we couldn't go through Hueytown to get to Concord because the roads were closed. However, it never occurred to me that we would still see the path of the tornado on the other side of town. After all, the tornado went from Tuscaloosa to Concord. There would have to be point that we would drive through. As we started to see snapped trees, we realized that was the path of tornado. How humbling it was to see the destruction in an area that was uninhabited. The trees were bent over and the power lines mangled. I do have memories (they might be pictures) of all of the trees laying down, on the mountain, above Jones Valley School, after the 1989 Huntsville tornado.

I'm still overwhelmed with grief. The funeral for our students is tomorrow. Also, school reopens. There is supposed to be heavy rain and thunderstorms. Our teachers, with experience from 1998, say that children will become upset during thunderstorms after experiencing such devastation. Please pray for our faculty as they deal with children, who have experienced unbelievable situations. I heard one story about a fifth grader's experience as he climbed out of his demolished home. I can't finish the story, but it is not something an eleven year old should ever experience.

It will take a long time for these people to recover. However, I can remember the destruction that the Huntsville, AL tornado of 1989 caused. The tornado demolished Airport Rd and took many lives, but that same area has recovered and become an area of prosperity for Huntsville.

Please watch the following video. These pictures are from Concord, AL. These pictures are what some of my students used call home.

Concord, AL