Saturday, May 14, 2011

April 27th, 2011

Wow....what a day, what a day. Started out as a really weird day, and got weirder and weirder as the day went on. That morning, for some reason my boys decided to sleep 10:30 late, and I woke up to my older brother walking through my house. He came over to check on us, because no one could get in touch with us....because I was taking advantage of this joy that I do not get to indulge in very often, that is called sleep. Joe and my mother had been trying to call me all morning, apparently. That morning we had some bad weather, and they were just thinking the worst, I guess! My brother quickly left, because he had to go pick up my neice from school....surprise, surprise, the schools were letting out early for the bad weather that was to come. I remember sighing, and saying, " it that bad?"

I immediately called Joe, asking him if he thought I should pack up the boys and head to my parents' house in Pleasant Grove. We like to go there when there is really bad weather, because we don't have anywhere to go underground here at our house. Plus, it gives me an excuse to go hang out with my folks! : ) I remember it taking forever and a day to get to my mother's house, because we couldn't find any drive thru in Hueytown that was not jam-packed. All we wanted was a Happy Meal people!! It was like 1:00 in the afternoon....where are all you people coming from?!? I still had yet to watch the weather, so I had no clue what was to come, or how bad this weather was going to be. I just remember the tone in Joe's voice when I asked him if I should go to Mother's, all he said was "YES".

So, off to PG we went with our Happy Meals! Yay, we get to spend the day with Mi Mi!! I even took a couple baskets of laundry over there, so I could catch up on some laundry! We were watching the weather the whole time, and I just couldn't believe how many tornados were popping up. My Dad got home around 4 or so, and Joe actually got to leave work early, so he was there about 5 or so. My brother Davy, who also lives in Hueytown also came over with his wife and 3 kiddos. We watched the tornado rip through Tuscaloosa, but it still didn't seem that real to just didn't sink in I guess. The last thing we heard before losing cable, was that this monster of a tornado was headed straight for Hueytown/Bessemer. Now, when the tornado in 1998 came through, Daddy could hear it from his house, so he thought it would be wise to go out on the front porch and "listen" for it. Just then I heard, "Y'all come here!" Over the trees we saw the darkest, ugliest cloud you could imagine creeping up. We heard a roaring noise....that's all I needed, I was gone, both kids on my hips, straight to the basement, in the deepest corner of mom and dad's basement that was completely underground. I had both of my kids in the headlock, one wrapped in each arm, hunkered down like you learn in elementary school! My sister in law, Erin had her kids right beside us. Just then, our ears started popping. I knew it was here at that point. Then Joe and my brother Davy grabbed all of the cushions off the couch, and covered me, Erin, and the kids up. My mom and dad were huddled up with us. We were all packed in that corner of the basement.

Just then, the sounds that no one should have to hear will forever be burned in my memory. The loudest roaring that you could imagine...not like a freight train, more like a jet that was getting closer, and closer. It was even hard to breath there for a minute, from all of the pressure I guess. I just kept praying a silent prayer, "God, please protect my babies, please protect my babies and my can take me, just don't let anything bad happen to my family." With the sound of the roaring, I then started to smell fresh dirt, and the strong smell of pine. I knew it was bad. And then, as fast as it was gone.

Words can't described what I felt when I looked outside....everything was gone. I felt like I'd been punched so hard in the stomach. I posted alot of pictures of what we saw on the way out of the neighborhood that next day. Just complete and utter destruction. I am just thankful that we were able to walk out of there. There were so many people that lost everything, even family members, and I still pray for them daily. My home town of Pleasant Grove may never be the same, but what I saw that night, people coming together of all ages, gender, race...doing everything in their power to help one another. That was truly amazing.

The Aftermath...

Front Yard View...

As you can see, the house ACROSS THE STREET was demolished. The tornado just took the whole top of it off. Which is what most of the street looked like. And most of the houses on the street that were still standing looked like they were gutted. My parents only had 1 window to blow out. Wow is all I can say....

The Strongest Man in the World...My Daddy

There are really no words to describe this speaks for itself. My Daddy is the strongest person I know. He has been through alot over the past few years, and I hate that he is having to deal with all of this. But I know he'll get through it, just like he does everything. He just does, no whimpering or whining about it, he just does what needs to be done. I love you so much'll never know how much I look up to you and respect you!

There She Is...

View from the Back Porch...

I don't know how this back porch survived, but not much on it did! Of the 20-30 trees that were down in the yard...not one of them went through the house. I don't really see how this happened, but it did. There is absolutely nothing standing that surrounds Mom and Dad's house. It now looks like a desert out there, with a broken house standing on it.

Some Snap Shots of the Neighborhood....That No Longer Exists

In no way am I not so unbelievably grateful that my family and I escaped this tragedy unharmed. It just still hurt so bad to see this beautiful neighborhood that I grew up in, in ruins. I have so many wonderful memories on this street.

Back of Mom and Dad's house

Side view

And the lovely view of the front yard...

Our Cars...

My Maxima

Davy's Titan...

Daddy's F150...

Here's our vehicles. Needless to say, they were all totalled out. When you think about what all could have been lost, a car is just so minor. I wasn't all that upset about mine to be honest...she was gettin' old, and I was gonna be needing a newer one real soon. I was, however, enjoying not having a car payment!


The whole time Andrew was playing with the eggs, he kept saying, "ball". This picture is so funny, because he spotted Trevor's "balls" and decided to steal them, and scatter them all over the place. Needless to say, that was a nasty fight that I had to play referee in!

More Pictures...

Hunting Easter Eggs

We had a good time hunting for eggs this year. Like I mentioned in my previous post, Andrew thought the eggs resembled "balls", and all he wanted to do was throw them. There toward the end, it just turned into one big smashed boiled egg mess....but it was fun!

Easter Eggs!!

I think next year we're going with dye-free eggs. We had dye from head to toe! We had a great time making our eggs this year, just Trevor and me. We tried to let little Andrew participate, but he kept throwing the eggs (he's obscessed with balls).

Let Me OUT!!

Well, Andrew has successfully mastered how to escape his crib. This all started about a month ago. He was at Felecia's (his babysitter's), and she informed me one afternoon when I picked him up that he was able to get out of the pack and play. Well, that same evening, I put him in his crib while I was doing some laundry. (Some days he is so destructive....I can't even stop to do something as simple as laundry without him tearing the house down). I had most of the clothes scattered all over the living room, and in walks Mr. Andrew with a big ole butt crack grin on his if he'd accomplished something big! So I put him back in his crib, got my camera....and 5 seconds later....this is what he was doing. It's actually quite a fall...he's just mastered the "tuck and roll" pretty well!

Terd with a Capital "T"....

This thing is a mess....just when I think I can't have a child any wilder, rougher, or messier....he proves me wrong. He is always in his own little world, destroying something. If he gets quiet, you better be looking for him, because he is being destructive somewhere. He puts his big brother to absolute shame. I love it though, wouldn't have him any other way!

My Boys

These are just a few snap shots of my boys that were taken about a month ago. I haven't posted in what seems like forever! We have had alot going on, so hopefully I can catch up really soon!