Sunday, December 30, 2012

Project 365 - Week 52

Week 52.

Well, 2012 decided to go out with a bang for us.  What was planned to be a very quiet, relaxing week, ended up being crazy and stressful.  But God is so good at bringing perspective when you start focusing on yourself and He certainly did that for me.

I hope I never take electricity for granted again.  Christmas day we ended up having the first white Christmas in 86 years in Arkansas.  Sadly, it was preceded by an unpredicted, fast moving ice storm. So when the really beautiful, wet, heavy snow came, the trees could not handle it.  Over 70% of the city lost power with the temps plunging into the teens at night.

When we finally got out of the house, it looked like a war zone every where.  Trees all over the roads, on houses and power polls snapped in half.......crazy.  We finally got our power yesterday, but there are still LOTS of people without power.  Please pray for them.  My perspective came when I met an older couple that lost their house just 3 days ago....burned to the ground from a chimney fire trying to stay warm.  They lost every thing.  Made me very thankful to have a home to go back to....cold as it may be.

I hope your last week of 2012 was much less eventful, but full none the less. Fransmama has said she will pick up hosting P365 next year!!  I will post her link here next week to get you all started!   I wanted to tell you all that I have so enjoyed hosting this project for the last 4 years.  And have made some amazing friends along the way.  I do plan to continue to participate when I can, I just felt it was time to let go of hosting.

Here's my week!
 Some of the kids sang in church this morning.  It's always so cute to hear and watch them sing!
Tonight ended with a game of Euchre.....Jared and I totally dominated!!!

Happy Christmas Eve!!!

After church, we had our traditional dinner of cheese, crackers, shrimp and spreads.
Alyssa surprised us all by taking the individual cake molds I used to use with the kids...they had to tell why each represented Christmas.....and she made her grandfather's (who passed away this year) pumpernickel bread in them.  You can see them on the right side of the table.  I LOVED this!!
Of course we had the traditional reading of the sibling letters and exchange of sibling gifts. I love that my kids still enjoy this tradition!!!

Merry Christmas!!!

These Santa bags are a tradition that my mom has always done for the kids.  Kind of like stockings, but she would send them every year.  Sadly, she put a note in them this year that it would be the last for the santa's just getting too hard for her.  :(  

After we were done with Christmas (a post will come on the give away stories), we went to the noon showing of Les Mis.  My kids decided we needed to get there an hour early to beat the lines.....ya, not so much!!!  But what a GREAT movie!!

We came out of the movie to this....
The temps had plumeted and ice was every where.  Getting home was a challenge and trees had already started coming down.  Within a few hours , the ice turned to snow.  And within a few more hours, we lost power and all went dark for 5 days.

We woke up to this....and a very cold house.

I couldn't be more thankful for a gas stove and a french press!!
Jason, being our coffee guru, also had 2 more french presses and we ended up supplying coffee to all our neighbors!  We were are very own Starbucks! ha!

cooking by candle light is very challenging!!  But again, I am so grateful for my gas stove.  Most people in the south have electric!

Last night was SO COLD!!  I could not stay warm.  I got up to my house being 46 degrees.  It would drop to 44 by the end of the day.  As it got day light, I realized I could see my breath in the house.
We tried to stay warm and occupy ourselves by playing LOTS of games!!!

Alyssa's apartment got their power back on yesterday.  So the kids and I slept over there last night.  Steve and Lily stayed at the house for protection.  I realized it was really cold today when I found Lily sitting by the fire...she never does this!!
Alyssa's apartment complex had new problems...the over hangs started collapsing under the weight of the snow.  Fortunately, she got her car out in time. 

Just some of the damage we see around town.

We lost 2 car batteries in the cold.
Our power came on last night!!!!  And then promptly went out again this morning.  I could not believe it.  we went by the church today and I almost cried...we lost so many beautiful trees on the property...but the church building is fine and has power.

We got power back around 2 and decided to go ahead with our plans to celebrate Jared's birthday early.  He requested fried chicken.  I was so worried that the power was going to go off in the middle of frying the chicken!!!  thankfully it looks like it is on for good.
We invited a family from the church that is still without power and had a great time playing a new game, Sort it Out.  Very fun!!

Well, that is the end of our crazy week.  I have learned a lot from this experience.......I love my family and the closeness we have, I need to be more grateful for the small things God provides, there is always a situation that is worse than mine, I am very thankful for wonderful neighbors (when they got power before us, they let us run a cord to their house and plug in our fridge), you can't be thankful for neighbors if you don't know them and I am so glad we know all of ours, even in tough times there is beauty and joy.  Happy New Year every one!!!  Bring on 2013!!


Lisa said...

I love all the things you learned and the experiences you had. Perspective is a beautiful thing, for is electricity! :)

Can't wait to hear the giving stories!

Lynne said...

So glad your power was restored and praying for the elderly couple that lost everything. We've had a few house fires in our area already with people losing homes and all belongings. It certainly puts things into perspective. God bless!

Lisa said...

BTW...THANK YOU for all these years of diligently hosting! I am SO, SO grateful for your friendship and others I have come to develop through this little project. God's just cool like that to bring people together.

I know its been a lot of work and I appreciate it!!


What a wonderfully sweet post. We had a family here who lost everything last Friday. It was amazing to watch the community come together. Christmas miracles like that always amaze me. Loved the shots of your family and friends. Happy New Year and hopefully we will be doing this again in 2013.

momma frans said...

oh. my. word. 46 degrees in your house?!?!?
so funny that you supplied coffee to your neighbors! thank goodness for hot beverages when its cold outside. :-)
going to see les mis tonight! so excited!!

sibling letters?? please tell me more.....

Kim said...

What a week you've had! Have seen your posts on facebook, and prayed for you. We've "been there, done that" and it's NOT fun! So happy to hear you've got power now though. And thankful you didn't have any more problems than you you said, it's a matter of perspective!

Just love the family photo in front of the tree!

Have a Happy New Year!

momma frans said...

hey, i sent you an email, so youd have my address, but i'll put it here too, just in case.

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

WOW! you had a week! I am glad your power is back on and things are starting to recover.

I'll be back tomorrow with my P365, it's been going around and unfortunately the stomach virus made a stop at my house post for me today!


The Bug said...

What a crazy week! I'm glad for the blessings you had, and I'll try to learn the lessons without going through the experience :)

We came home to about 8 inches of snow - but there wasn't an ice storm first so it's just pretty (& Ohio knows how to deal with snow, so no road problems).

The Bug said...

Oh, & thanks for hosting!

rita said...

Yes, thank you, my now forever friend! Amazing with all you have going how God has enabled you to carry this responsibility so faithfully and punctually for FOUR years!
I am so grateful to have met you all AND look forward to many more times together! Sorry to say, however, that I have NOT practiced Euchre, and may have even forgotten what you taught me :-(

Karin said...

Wow...Sara... I know what it's like without power but we haven't lost ours when it has been that cold. So glad it's back on for you now.

skoots1mom said...

your week was unbelievably busy...and cold...yet homey and fun! i'd love to spend a christmas with you and your family doesn't like to play games, and i only get to play them with people when we travel or go visit...
thanks for hosting for four were a great hostess!

Angie said...

Oh, Sara! I'm sorry to hear your week was so cold! We lost power for 5 days during the end of June when it hovered around 100. I can't even imagine trying to stay warm for that length of time.

You always make the best of things and find ways to enjoy those around you. I will miss your hosting, but will still faithfully read your blog to see what new adventures await. Plus, it's a great place to get new game ideas. :)

Happy New Year!

momma frans said...

ok, so.....i just typed up my 365 entry for this week and then came over here to link up, even though i just put the link at the bottom of my page.
old habits die hard, huh?
it was no problem, though. super easy, just like you said. thanks for the clear directions!