When the Tornado Hits

As soon as your life seems situated, with schedules in place for a sense of normalcy, something else happens. Yes, something is always happening. This time, a tornado. I mean, I live in the middle of the Midwest, so what was I to expect? The week before it was a hail storm. I am not sure if it is a good or bad thing, but as much as my allergies and achy joints hate the crazy Missouri weather, I love it! I find it exciting that we can have all four seasons in a single week (or less)! I love thunderstorms and snowstorms just as much as a sunny day and look forward to the changes. I’m not big on the extreme heat in the summer, but all of the fun we get to have with the kids, family, and friends more than makes up for it. And the cold…well, it’s not too bad. It is a great excuse for using the fireplace, drinking hot cocoa, and snuggling up on the couch (or a really good excuse to get some inside projects accomplished!).

The promise of the fresh newness of spring always brings the potential for dangerous weather! It never really seems real until you experience it. And even though tornadoes are not new to me, it was the first time I have personally experienced the effects- creating a whole new respect for Mother Nature.

It was strange. I didn’t even know bad weather was predicted until I started getting watches, and then warnings on my phone. Honestly, we get weather alerts so frequently that I don’t get too worried, but look forward to watching the wind blow and hearing the precipitation drum on the roof and tap on the windows. I love the distinct smell when rain is on the way and the change in the color of the clouds when they are about to release the moisture bursting to be free.  I love the rumbles of thunder, the magnificence of lightening, and that eerie feeling in the air when the pressure changes and Mother Nature puts on a spectacular show.

Tornadoes though…this was different.

As you’ve probably deduced, we had some nasty weather move through recently. There was that exhilarating rush of excitement as adrenaline coursed through my body. Quickly though, that excitement turned to fear. I’d been watching the warnings, as I lay in bed. But suddenly the large windows in my bedroom started to shake and clatter loudly as the wind howled and hail beat on the glass. A final warning: TORNADO – TAKE COVER NOW! I jumped from bed, throwing on my robe and trying to get our Labrador to follow me. (Note: if you want a dog to follow you in an emergency talk calmly. If you scream at him in terror he will hide, forcing you to carry him.) My husband was in the living room yelling something at me about a flashlight and he already had the kids running down the stairs to our safe room with our tiny mutt in tow. Screens were popping off of the windows and the drastic change in pressure pushed open the interior door into the garage.

Once we all got to safety, the hubs looked at me and asked where the flashlight was… “I have my phone…” I explained and then threw my kids under the bus, tattling that they had used up the batteries and lost/hidden the 20 or so flashlights we had. We all sat in the safe room, that doubles as a bathroom (thankful for that decision) but wondering why I hadn’t completed getting an emergency kit ready in that room! I thought that my kids would be freaking out but they couldn’t hear the storm so they were quite giggly. The dogs had calmed down and my husband kept peeking out the door, making the occasional step or two into the basement.  At one point, he returned with a concerned and a tiny bit terrified look on his face. He said he felt a pressure, or maybe wind, some kind of air rush into our home only to quickly suck back out…then we noticed the water in the toilet had drained itself… Freaky stuff here, people!!

When we thought the worst was done, he ventured out again stating that there was water pouring in my daughter’s ceiling through her floor and into the basement. We had a new insurance unapproved addition in our home that now had multiple Nature Made Water Features.  Ugh!!! After about 30 minutes of loud giggles, we were able to emerge from our refuge to start the clean up. We all worked together, so it went pretty quickly, and somehow we all actually got to sleep pretty easily. (Probably, because we laughed so hard we were exhausted.)

The next morning we awoke to a very large tree blocking our drive, shingles everywhere, and water in places we really would have preferred to keep dry. But, more importantly, we had new appreciation for our crazy Mid-MO weather, and a profound amount of thanks that our home was still standing and we were all safe.

 

 

Sports in our House

I often reflect on the busyness of my family’s schedule…this is the life we have chosen. Do I like being at home? Absolutely! And we do Sports Momthis, but I am an extremely social being, as are my kids; especially the younger two. My husband and I feel very strongly about teaching our children to have a healthy lifestyle: eat healthy, exercise, sleep, etc. We are both have a passion for watching and playing sports.  I love volleyball, basketball, and getting a good workout in the gym. He loves volleyball and baseball. We enjoy the feeling of stress being released as we strengthen our bodies and build relationships with teammates and friends. These are lessons I want my kids to learn. I want them to learn to take care of themselves; to work hard, to work as a team, to be dedicated, and find a passion that gives them confidence and joy.

My babies all do different activities based on their own unique personalities. So this mama does a lot of running. To us, it is worth it. We coach whatever we can and spend time practicing with them when we are at home. I have even tried to do some of the fancy dance twirls with my younger daughter. She gets a good laugh since I was clearly always a little bit more of a jock. Are there days I think we need to pare back on our constant schedule?Without a doubt. I am mindful and we step back as needed, but are certainly not perfect. Is this for every family?

Nope.

But, I am beyond thankful for the opportunities for our kids to find something that drives them and this is just our thing. As long as they love it, I will love it with them because this time of having them with me every day will be gone before I know it. They will be leaving our house in the blink of an eye and I pray that they will have many fond memories, learned life lessons, and passions that drive them along the way.

Smiles

Party Silverware Organization

I am always looking for better ways of organizing my house, life, schedule; basically my entire life! One of the things we enjoy doing the most is sharing our home with our family and friends! We have people over often, and are always looking for something or someone we can celebrate just to enjoy our loved ones!  Sometimes we will simply celebrate a beautiful summer day or a fresh blanket of snow! One of the things we needed host our guests was a serviceware caddy, as the plates, napkins, and Solo cups holding the silverware took up too much space and the cups kept tipping over. I wanted to find a  compact and attractive solution. I was shopping at a local home goods store and found this super cute and potentially efficient kitchen caddy.  It is even portable! The problem? The dividers were only a wire at the top and open the rest of the way down! The plates and napkins fit beautifully in the back, but the “divided” front was a mess!  My solution was to recycle some orange juice containers and spruce them up with some fun duct tape to keep our silverware in order in an attractive way!

THE MESS!!!!
Partyware Organizer

Partyware OrganizerWhat you need:

  • Orange Juice Cans
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors

Partyware Organizer1.  Wrap the orange juice cans with the duct tape.Partyware Organizer

2.  Put the new silverware holders in the caddy!!!

Whew!  Mess averted!!!

 

Happy Hosting!!

Springs Smiles Post it