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!!!
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 bags...it'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!!