Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I am so addicted to Pinterest. If you don't know what that is, it's a website where you can create your own boards then you pin things you like to those boards. I have found so many neat craft projects and yummy recipes on there. I was really busy with Pinterest projects around the holidays, but since Christmas, I haven't made anything. I have been so busy planning Bryson's birthday party that most of the pins I have found have been for his Toy Story birthday party. I have been fairly successful with the pins I've already done, but some, not so much. I haven't taken many pictures of my creations (which is another thing I need to get better at), but I have copied the pictures from my pins. Hopefully after Bryson's birthday party, things will calm down and I will be able to be more crafty, so hopefully I will have more blog posts with my Pinterest projects. But for now, here's what I've done so far.
 I made these handprint calendars as Christmas presents for my mom, Robert's mom, and my Aunt Evelyn. It took us a while to make all the pictures, but it was a lot of fun. Each month was a picture made just from his hands. Here's the different months that we did: (I may snap some pictures of one the calendars the next time I visit with them)
January-Snowman family
March- Flower
April- Cross
May- Sunshine
June- Fish
July- American Flag
August- Sailboat
September- Fall tree
October- Pumpkin Patch
November- Turkeys
December- Wreath

 These cupcakes were delicious! I made them for one of our football parties right before Halloween. They were pretty time consuming but turned out just like the picture. I plan on making these again next year. 

 I made this for Robert's Father's Day gift last year. Here's the pin from Pinterest
 Here's the finished product!

 This one was obviously easy, but mine doesn't look as nice. (I think it's because my cake stand isn't as tall)

 These lasagna cups were not only time consuming but turned out terrible! I love lasagna so I was so excited to try something new but I was so disappointed. I followed the directions perfectly and they came out really hard and no where near as good as real lasagna. I definitely will not be making these again.

 This turned out so cute! I really wish I would have taken a picture of it. I couldn't reach the top of the light so Robert had to help me. All you do is get a plain green wreath and tie it to the bottom of the light, then wrap plain green garland from the top of the light all the way to the bottom. Then any kind of ribbon and decorations that you would like! I plan on doing this again next year.

 I have never done a mailbox decoration before and I wasn't too sure how this one was going to turn out. I was pretty surprised at how good it looked.

 I started making these ornaments with the kids in my preschool classes, but now I plan on making one every year with Bryson to keep as a keepsake and to see how much he has grown. We could already tell a big difference between the first Christmas and this past Christmas.

 Bryson loves Yo Gabba Gabba so when I found these pumpkins, I just knew we had to make them. Bryson loves robots so we made the Plex pumpkin. Now I can't take credit for this. Bryson's Aunt Lisa made the Plex pumpkin but it turned out so cute.
This is the picture from Pinterest.

 The real thing.

 Baked pumpkin seeds, these were so yummy.

 This is what inspired me to make my first rag wreath. This is very similar to the one that I did. I'm hoping to make some more of these because they are super easy and super cute. All I did was buy a wire wreath frame at Michael's and few different types of the same themed fabric. Then cut the fabric into small strips and tie them in knots around the wreath alternating the different types that I have. My first one wasn't super great, but I made one out of Auburn fabric and it turned out great! I need to get them out the attic and get a good picture of them. 

 I never know what to buy my aunt for her Birthday or even for Christmas. She loves anything and everything about Bryson so when I saw this, I knew she would love it! I just bought a cheap frame at Wal-Mart and used scrapbook paper to make the Santa on instead of plain construction paper. It turned out so cute! We also made one with a reindeer.

 I think this is my favorite craft so far. This was really time consuming but the end product was so cute! I got a lot of comments on them. All I did was buy a foam cone from Hobby Lobby, then cut scrapbook paper into strips. I then used my scrapbook scissors to cut a cute design on the bottom of the strip. I rolled the paper up in a pen to make it curl up. Once I had all the paper glued to the cone, I added different colored sequins and a felt star at the top.
This is another project that didn't really turn out like the picture, but that's my fault for not following directions. I thought all the pieces were glued on to the coat hanger but I was supposed to string them through the coat hanger. I will try this again next year.

te art projects for Bryson to make. With St. Patrick's Day coming up, I'm hoping that we have time to so some of them. I will try to get better about taking pictures of our projects.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

January 23, 2012

Alabama is known for it's crazy weather, and this year has really gotten off to a crazy start. After experiencing all the tornadoes on April 27, I've learned to take the warnings more seriously. The local weathermen had been talking about the possibility of overnight thunderstorms and possible tornadoes for the night of January 22- the morning of January 23. I kept thinking how crazy that sounded to have tornadoes in January and it didn't really feel all that warm that day; but if the local weathermen say its going to happen, then we need to be prepared. We don't have a weather radio yet, and they haven't released a good weather warning app yet for my kindle, so the only thing we had was to go to bed with the tv on ABC so if James Spann broke in, we would be ready. Since it was  a Sunday night, I stayed up later than normal and by the time I got in the bed at midnight, they had already broke in on the tv; not because we were under warnings yet, but because he wanted to keep us updated as early as possible. When I finally fell asleep, it actually looked like things weren't that bad. For some reason I woke up sometime around 3:00-3:30am.I have no idea why since I didn't hear any sirens going off, but I did and when I saw the tv, Tuscaloosa was under a tornado warning. Since storms from Tuscaloosa can either come our way or go my parents and my brother's way, I decided to stay up and pay attention. A few minutes later he said that the people of Pleasant Grove needed to take shelter because it was headed their way. I texted my Pleasant Grove friends hoping they would get the message and head to the basement, but come to find out, they were already down there. There was a tornado on the ground because it had done some damage in the Oak Grove community. Thankfully it looked like this storm wasn't heading our way but it was heading toward my parents. I texted my mom and told her to keep an eye on the weather. Thankfully she was up and already watching. A few minutes later, James Spann said it looked like there was a debris ball on the radar heading toward the Grayson Valley area. That's when I got really scared. My parents headed to the basement. I told my mom I would text her when it was all clear since they had lost power. Once they were given the all clear, I texted her, but didn't get an answer. I didn't worry too much though because the basement of their house does not have the best cell phone reception, but when the news started talking about severe damage in Center Point and Grayson Valley, I panicked. I got up and called her and thank God she answered. They were fine. They could hear the tornado though so we knew it was close by. At one point,my dad got nosy and looked out the window. He said everything was so calm, but that he could hear the tornado so he went back down stairs. Once daylight hit, pictures from the damaged areas were starting to be shown on the news.It was unreal to see those images on the tv. The town where I grew up, Center Point, had severe damage from an F-3 tornado. When they showed the images from Center Point Parkway, it brought tears to my eyes. I couldn't believe that the place where I grew up was so unrecognizable. All those childhood memories were wiped away in a matter in minutes. Then more reports from the Grayson Valley/Clay area started to surface. Neighborhoods were completely wiped out. These neighborhoods were less than  a mile from parents house. My parent's house is the last one in the neighborhood. Next to their house are some woods. I'm not sure exactly how far but I remember when they bought that house, the realtor said that it was 60 acres and that there was a girls detention center on the other side. Since then, a neighborhood has been built next to that girls school and half of that neighborhood was flattened. The tornado was so close, not only could they hear the tornado, but my aunt (who also lives in that neighborhood) could hear the exact moment when the tornado tore through the Georgebrook community. I am so thankful that my family is ok. I'm not sure how they got so lucky not once, but twice, but I am very thankful that they did. My mom volunteers with the Disaster Relief team with the Birmingham Baptist Association so she had the opportunity to go and help feed all the workers. Since she was so busy helping, she hadn't had a chance to see the storm damage and to see just how close it was to them. The weekend after the storms, we rode around Center Point and Clay to show her the damage.
 Driving down Old Springville Road

 Georgebrook (this is the neighborhood right next to my parents)

 Steeplechase/Polo Downs

 This was a house

 So was this

 Look at all the trees down on the hill!

 Debris in Pilgrim's Rest

 More from Old Springville Road

 Center Point (driving on Erwin Hills)

 The 4-way stop on Erwin Hills (it used to be covered with trees)

 Just past Tupelo Road on Sun Valley Road

 There used to be a ton of trees in front of this house

It just breaks my heart to see all of these images. Seeing the damage in person is really heart breaking. Please continue to pray for the people of these communities as they try to rebuild their lives and prepare for the upcoming crazy Alabama Spring weather.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Alabama Tornadoes

Last month, we had another round of tornadoes tear through our state. Our area was hit hard with tornadoes less than a year ago on April 27, 2011. The weathermen talked about the threat of tornadoes for days, but I think most people kinda brushed it off since we always have talk of severe weather but rarely ever actually have any. When we woke up that morning, it was to the sound of tornado sirens. A tornado had hit Cahaba Heights early that morning. It was a small tornado, but it did a lot of damage. The weathermen had only talked about bad storms for that afternoon, not the morning, so I knew it was going to be a bad day. Thankfully I had just quit my job and was staying home with Bryson so I was able to keep an eye on the weather the whole day and have everything ready for us in the front bathroom in case a storm did hit. I remember sometime around 1 or 2 pm, I was watching the local news station and saw a tornado form in Cullman. It was crazy to watch it form live on tv right before my eyes! I was talking to my dad while it was happening and the whole thing was just unreal. Then a few hours later, there was a tornado warning issued for Tuscaloosa. Robert had just got home from work, Thank God, and we both watched as that tornado formed and destroyed the city of Tuscaloosa. It was massive, and scary. I have never seen anything like that before.  It was crazy to see it live on tv and to see all the debris being thrown around in the air. I figured that it would die down before it hit anywhere near me, so I didn't worry too much. I kept watching the news to make sure we didn't need to go to our safe place. At one point it seemed like the storm was coming our way, so we headed to the bathroom. I called my mom so she could keep us updated while we were in there. When she gave us the ok, we got out, cooked dinner and sat down to watch more of the weather. Not too long after we sat down, the meteorologist said that the storm was still on the ground and was heading toward the Grayson Valley area. That's where my parents lived. The radar showed a huge debris ball and the meteorologist was naming streets in my parents neighborhood. That's when I got scared. I called them to tell them to go to the basement. They did, so I waited. After it passed, I tried to call them, but there was no answer. After trying unsuccessfully for over 10 minutes, I panicked! I called my brother to see if he was able to reach them. He wasn't either. We both got really concerned and tried again. We finally got an answer and they were safe. The tornado had lifted up over their house! My dad peeked out the window by the stairs to the basement when he noticed that it got really quiet outside. That's when he saw a large cloud circling over the house. We later saw a picture that somebody had taken of the sky in their area when the tornado went through, and he said that's exactly what it looked it. Once the path of the tornado was released, it was so crazy to see that the storm stayed on the ground for so long, then literally lifted up over their house, then touched back down again a few miles later. I still to this day do not know how they got so lucky. Later in the night, more damage reports were released. I wasn't too concerned since I didn't know anybody that lived in Tuscaloosa. But then one of the news stations reported that Pleasant Grove was destroyed, specifically the neighborhood behind the Hill's grocery store. That's where our friends Carl and Joanna live. I got really worried and tried to call them. Their house phone was not working and we couldn't reach them on their cell phones. We were hearing reports of deaths in the area and got really scared. The only thing I could think to do was send a text to them and anybody else that may have talked to them. Finally a few hours later, I received a text from my friend Joanna saying that they were ok It think that day taught everybody to be more weather aware.