May 30, 2014

Five on Friday

It's been a while since I've done a Five on Friday. I thought this week I might share a little something from each day of this past week.


I spent Memorial day doing chores. I had to go do the last of the cleaning at the apartment so we could finally turn in our keys. SO glad to be done with that place. Then I ran a few errands sans kids since JMac was home.


I am watching my niece and nephew a couple days a week this Summer. I had them on this day and it was amazing how much stuff around the house I got done! I got caught up on all the dirty dishes (ran 3 loads in the dishwasher), I organized our broom closet and did a post on Everyday Learning for Toddlers. Not to mention I also made 2 meals for 4 kiddos (does pop tarts count as a meal?)


Wednesday was a pretty low key day. The girls played together nicely most of the day so I was able to get caught up on my couponing. The girls and I played a little game to work on our alphabet (post on this coming soon) and in the evening we spent some time outside on the patio.


Yesterday got off to a rough start….at 3:20am. The day ended with both girls cuddled up next to me while they napped and I dozed in and out. It was kinda nice.


Well, today hasn't exactly happened yet but tomorrow? Tomorrow is mine and JMac's 17th anniversary. Say what?! I don't feel old enough to be married that long.

Linking up with Darci over at {the good life bog} for Five on Friday.



May 28, 2014

Wednesday Randoms

I think it's time I get back to my Wednesday Randoms. :)

Last week JMac and I worked on sorting through and unpacking some more boxes. We now have one car in the garage! One down, one to go. The girls were very helpful. Haha!


It has been raining for dayyyyssss. This past weekend I made JMac get the grill out of storage. We haven't had any grilled food in over a year and I've missed it bad. Here was his way of cleaning the grill (if you can't tell in the pic, it was raining HARD). LOL


I love that we now have covered patios and can grill out even when it's raining.

The girls also enjoyed playing the rain…..

TnT Rain_1 TnT Rain_2 TnT Rain_3 Tnt Rain_4

Silly girls. I think that was the first time I ever let them play in the rain.

I still don't have any rooms put together yet. I've never had such a hard time finding things I like. Maybe I'm just being too picky. The closest room I have to being done is the dining room but all of it's components are spread out across 2 rooms.


Now if I could just find some nice and well built chairs that won't send us way over budget….

I am doing little things to help me feel like I'm actually accomplishing something when it comes to the house…..I organized our broom closet yesterday.


It's slow progress but it's progress, right? I'm just happy to be home.


May 27, 2014

Everyday Learning for Toddlers: Paper Clips

Learning with Paper Clips

One day I was sitting at my desk printing and clipping coupons when one of the girls came in and wanted to sit next to me. I let her sit on the stool while I stood up and cut my coupons. She drew with some of my colored pens and then spotted my colored paper clips. I took out a few and let her play with them.

I have tried on more than one occasion to come up with structured lessons that the girls and I could do together. However, as 2 year olds, they are not all that patient with that kind of activity.

Not all learning has to be in a sit down structured setting. You can often teach your toddlers the skills they need for pre-school in your everyday activities. Basic office supplies are the only thing needed for this activity.


  • Different colored paper clips
  • Paper

Skills Learned:

  • Fine motor skills
  • Colors
  • Counting

What I did:

I noticed that she was lining up the paper clips and trying to count them so I stopped and helped her count, making her repeat each number after me. The I started asking her the colors of the paper clips. When she seemed to get tired of me quizzing her, I showed her how to use a paper clip and let her practice her fine motor skills putting paper clips on a piece of paper.

See? Three skills in one sitting! Easy peasy.

DISCLAIMER: Only you know your child well enough to know if they can handle playing with small objects such as paper clips. I highly recommended adult supervision with this activity for children under 3.


May 24, 2014

Saturday Update

Here's a little glimpse into our week.

We had the first year anniversary of the tornado. I did a little post about it here.

Also, if you missed it, I posted a house tour of the house before we moved in. It was much prettier then. Now it's a big unpacking nightmare of a mess. :)

JMac took off the day of the one year anniversary to take me furniture shopping.  We are having a very hard time finding anything in our style locally. Most of our furniture stores carry either very traditional or very modern furniture. Plus, our budget is a little tight so we have been also looking at refinished furniture as opposed to new furniture. I haven't bought anything yet but here are some gems I have come across.

I spotted this dresser at a local vintage shop. I'm thought about using it in the family room for DVD & game storage. I didn't buy it then but now I'm thinking if they still have it (which is not likely…this place sells stuff fast!), I'll get it.

Aqua Dresser

I've been on the search for a breakfast table & chairs to replace my very country and tornado beat up set that we had before. I'm really wanting a rectangular table but this one caught my eye.

White Grey Chevron Table

I need a buffet for the dining room. All the brand new buffets I've found are very expensive and either espresso, black or white. I'm wanting something with a little bit of character so when I saw this one at a very good price, I got a little excited. It would take some work but I could paint it any color I wanted. What do you think? Navy? Silver?


Speaking of the dining room….the chairs that I purchased and posted on Instagram a couple weeks ago? They're all going back. :( I'm so disappointed.

Dining Chairs

I ordered eight chairs and when they delivered them, one of them was busted so they took it back to see if they could fix it but couldn't so they sent another one. It was busted too. I LOVE the look of them but the quality is just not up to our standards so we are starting the hunt all over. Ugh.



May 20, 2014

One Year Later

Today marks the one year anniversary of the Moore Tornado.  I probably would have completely forgotten about it had I not been reminded by several people. So just to let everyone know how I/we are doing, I thought I'd post how we are doing one year later.

05 20 13_446105 20 13_4462
Front of House

One year later our area is looking better (the tornado hit many homes and businesses in OKC before it hit Moore). Homes and businesses are being rebuilt as well as the schools that were destroyed. There are only a few reminders left of the destruction such as missing/damaged trees and a few homes where I assume either the residents just left and moved on or are in litigation with their insurance companies. Either way, it makes me sad to think about it.

One year later I still have panic attacks when severe storms come through our area. It's even worse when there's a possibility that I'll be home alone with the girls when they come through. Also, having a storm shelter doesn't really give me peace of mind…especially if I were responsible for getting myself and the girls down there by myself. Don't even get me started on the mention of the words "severe thunderstorm watch/warning", "tornado", "tornado watch/warning", "tornado risk" or "supercell". It's affecting me more than I thought it would. Even the sound of thunder (and sometimes the sound of the wind) makes my stomach turn.

One year later, TnT are clueless (thank goodness!) as to the events of that horrific day last year. They are rock stars when it comes to adjusting to new things and I could not be more proud or thankful for that.

One year later we are still in recovery mode as we sort through all the boxes of our belongings that were "salvaged" in the days after. It's a daunting task and we are so ready to be done but we're taking it one box at a time.

One year later we are back in our beautiful, new and improved house and are much more relaxed and happy than we have been in the past year.

One year later, we are still survivors.



May 19, 2014

Just Blog

I keep telling myself that I need to get back to blogging regularly again but I just haven't made the time nor have I had the energy to do it lately. Today I told myself just to sit down and blog...even if it's just rambling.

So forgive me if my thoughts aren't quite coherent.


As I am working on going through and unpacking the "tornado" boxes, I've been coming up with a lot of post ideas related to building a house, home insurance, decorating, organizing, etc. I've been trying to write them down so I'll remember them later. Hopefully, I'll have some good content when I get going on this little ol' blog of mine.


The girls are doing well. They love the house so much that when we are out running errands and they start to get tired, they will say "let's go home, mom-mom". Quite a change from living in the apartment and them bawling when we would drive through the gated entrance into the complex.

A lot of their toys from the house were boxed up after the tornado so when I get to one of those boxes and start bringing in the toys that are in good enough shape to keep, they get so excited. It's like Christmas for them every time. They always say, "tank ooo, tank ooo, mom-mom." It's pretty cute. 

Tens & Hippo
Tensley reunited with her first lovey….hippo.


As I mentioned above we are still unpacking. We've unpacked everything from the apartment and have started on the "tornado" boxes. This is a very slow process seeing as we have to clean/wash anything that we decide is worth keeping. Having two wild and crazy toddlers doesn't help the process either. ;)

I have finished unpacking all kitchen stuff…I think. I think there are some things missing but I won't know until all the boxes have been gone through. That's the thing about going through a disaster such as a tornado…JMac & I are constantly looking for things we thought we had but then ask each other, "Did we have that pre or post tornado(s)?" I still find myself looking for things that we lost in our first tornado in '99.

Honestly, we could probably throw out or donate about 75% of what we have left to unpack. There are days where I just want to have one of those big dumpsters delivered and just start filling it up. I mean, we've lived without it for almost a year so why would we need it now, right?

On top of unpacking, we still have contractors coming in to do touch up work. With all the houses being built/re-built here it's been hard getting them to come out. I'm just tired of being stuck at home just in case one of them stops by to fix something.

Also, on our to-do list….concrete approach for the driveway, getting the yard cleaned up and landscaped, shop for furniture, add electricity to the barn, build the girls' play set & play house (we're transforming a small shed that was donated to us after the tornado).

My goal was to have everything done by the girls birthday (which would give us 2 months) but I'm losing hope that it will happen.

There's just too much to be done…..starting over {yet again} is more difficult than I had imagined.

I hope to have House Tour #2 up sometime this Summer.


May 5, 2014

House Tour #1


We're still chugging along with the unpacking. We've pretty much unpacked everything we brought over from the apartment. Now we are working on sorting through and cleaning the tornado ravaged stuff that we had in storage and trying to determine if it's something we can keep or need to trash. I'm exhausted but it's a good, happy exhausted.

Ok, so the reason you are here. :) Our builder took pictures of the house before we moved in so I'm going to share a few with you. As I get the rooms put together, I'll do more house tour posts then.

One of the major things we did was raise the ceilings in this house. They were 8 feet throughout the entire house before but now they are 9 and 10 feet. Ten feet being in the main areas and nine feet in the bedrooms. The dormers are false dormers. We do not have a second story….well, except for the rooms above the garages.

House Tour-Font Exterior

This is the Dining Room looking toward the Formal Living, Front Entry and the Hallway that leads to the bedrooms. Since we added a pantry to the laundry room, we bumped out a wall in and pushed back another wall in the dining room so we wouldn't lose any space.

House Tour-Dining_Formal Living 

Kitchen & Breakfast Area. The doorway to the left goes into the dining room. In the kitchen we took down a wall and reconfigured a wall. It's crazy how much difference it made!

House Tour-Kitchen 

We added this Family Room to the back of the house. The doorway into this room was the back door in the previous house.

House Tour-Family Room

This is the Laundry/Utility Room complete with mud bench. It was two separate rooms (one laundry and the other mud room/home office) before the tornado. In the rebuild we decided to take down the wall between the two rooms and make it one big room. My office area is on the far left in this picture. Around the corner and to the right of the stairs is the mud bath (not pictured). On the far right is my Pantry. The stairs go up to the theatre room and my craft room (both are above the double and single car garages).

House Tour-Laundry Room

This is the opposite side of my Laundry/Utility room. The open shelves on bottom will have laundry baskets and the counter top above them is my folding counter. :)

House Tour-Laundry

The Theatre Room got a few modifications. Before it was more of a man cave but this time it is a true theatre room…well, it's set up for one. We just need to do a little shopping to get it finished.

House Tour-Theatre Room

We added a third car garage which allowed us to build me a dedicated Craft Room. It may also in the future become a craft/homeschool room.

House Tour-Craft Room

This is the Main Bath (AKA TnT's bathroom). It got some minor modifications but they are difficult to explain if you hadn't been in/seen the house before. For the most part, it's the same as before.

House Tour-Main Bath

The Master Bedroom got bumped out about 7 feet and I do not regret that decision one bit.

House Tour-Master Bedroom

The Master Bathroom is the same footprint as before with the exception of the walk-in shower that we added at the back. Oh and we also moved the bathtub over to where the shower was which created the little nook before you walk into the shower.

House Tour-Master Bath

I am still baffled at how making a few modifications to the old house made the new house look completely different. We are so happy to be home yet we still kind of feel like we are in someone else's house. Getting back into a routine is helping though and it's slowly starting to feel like our home.

You can see more pics of the house on our builder's Facebook Page, McAlister Construction, Inc.


May 3, 2014

15 Years Later

On May 3, 1999 we lost our first home to a devastating F5/F6 tornado. We were in our very early 20's when we rebuilt. Little did we know we'd be doing this again fifteen years later.

Before After After
Top: 2004; Middle: May 20, 2013; Bottom: May 2, 2014

Fifteen years later and we've survived our second loss to a tornado. It was much, much harder than the first time but we made it! We are survivors.

We are finally home. Again.


P.S. For everyone that has been asking, I will have House Tour #1 posted sometime next week!

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