Friday, January 31, 2014

Snow 2014

{Warning: this blog post is way way way long}

Tuesday, January 28th is a day we will not forget for a long time and I feel like the rest of the Birmingham Metro area feels the same way! I also feel like we will be telling the stories and happenings of this day for years and years to come!!!

Tuesday began like any other day! RP left for school and I look Jackson and Brylee to school just like I would any other day! I was suppose to sub at their school that afternoon so I came home after I dropped them off to get dress, start dinner, and just do a few things around the house before I left to run a few errands and then report to their school at 11:30am to sub the rest of the afternoon. Then we were going to get Jackson's haircut after school and carry on with our evening of dinner, basketball practice,and bedtime routine. Little did we all know that, that little plan would not go as planned!

The weathermen had been predicting snow for the surrounding areas but only a dusting for our area. We had been watching the forecast for the last few days and just knew we were going to get a few snowflakes and be all disappointed that we did not get any snow. My in laws who live south of us were expected to get 2 to 3 inches of snow and my children even begged me to keep them home from school and drive them to the lake so they could play at the snow at the lake.

So back to the day once I got dressed and ready to leave I looked outside around 10:00am and could see that it was snowing. I really did not think much about it because I just expected that it would be the dusting they were predicting but then I noticed it was sticking to the deck. At this point it was all still fun and games... I even took this picture and sent it to RP more or less as a joke.

I then looked out our front window and noticed it was starting to stick to our driveway. At this point a little bit of panic set in and I thought I need to get my car down the drive way because we live on a hill and I did not want to get stuck and not be able to get down my driveway to go sub! HA! Little did I know! When I got to the bottom of the hill I snapped a picture of our house... because yay it was snowing! Ha!~

I head to the grocery store to grab a few things and on the way I realize that it is really snowing. I begin to think school it going to dismiss early and even when I got to the store sent RP a text that said "Come in SC make the call" meaning I wanted the county to go ahead and call it because all the way to the store I was hearing of all the school systems that were closing. He sent me back a text closing at 11:30. At this time it was around 10:30am so I ran in the store and grabbed the few things we needed and then decided I would go sit in car rider line and be one of the first to get Jackson and Brylee. Well when I left the store I slipped a little bit going up a small hill in our town and the mustang in front of me was really slipping all over the road. At this point I decided I am not waiting in car rider line I am going to check my babies out and we are going home to play in the snow! I get them from school around 11:00 am and they are so excited that I came to get them so we could go play in the snow! We snapped a quick picture of them in front of the school and jump in the car and we were heading home! The excitement level in the car was 10 plus!  

                             As you can see in the picture of school it was snowing big time at this point!  

I pull out of the school and decide I am going to go one way home. I go down the road a little bit and their is already a car off in the ditch and then I could see a line of cars in front of me that were sliding off the road and I thought I will never make it up that hill so I turned around in the middle of the road and decided I would go another way. I started going the other way and again cars are every where sliding and spinning and then I began to panic. I thought I am not going to make it home. What do I do? By this point I am trying to call my parents, because I knew Richard had a room full of kids and calls were not going through so texting was the only way of communication. He sends me a text and said they are not letting the buses go and I knew then that was not going to be good. I finally get to talk to my parents and by this point I am in a line a traffic and can't go anywhere and I tell them I (with tears streaming down my face and panic in my voice... b.c i don't handle these type of situations well) I can not make it home what do I do. Let me not forget to add that my gas light came on when I was in the traffic too. I knew I could not get to a gas station and I also knew I would run out of gas inching home too! My mom tells me to park my car and walk to City Hall and they will come get us. So I pulled my car over to a safe place in a parking lot at an old hair salon and the kids and I began to walk to City Hall. I walk two cars up and my cousin Paige and Brooke were in the car and she was trying to get to the school to pick up her son Graham. I told her I was walking to City Hall but it looked dark so I told her I was going to walk back to our church. She had just left there from working at MDO and told me there were still people there so I knew that would be the thing to do. She said she was not giving up yet because she had to get Graham. I will say still at this point we did not know the magnitude of this snow storm. I mean it was not even noon yet! So the kids and I started walking to the church. Of course, when you are in a small town and everyone in your town is out and about you see people you know! I walked one car back and it was some friends of ours asking if we needed help and I told them no we were just walking to the church and they were on there way to the high school to get their daughter. I walk another car and the lady ask us if we need help; so sweet and I tell her no we are walking to the church but thanks. By this time Paige decides to turn around and go back to the church so we jumped in the car with her and Brooke and rode back towards the church but end up having to leave her car in a driveway of the house next to the church and walk to the church. Paige is thinking she can leave Brooke with us at the church and walk to get Graham. When we get back to the church I think we began to realize just a little bit that this was going to be a big deal. There are MDO kids still there, people walking in from the street who were not members of the church that were using it to seek shelter because their car is stuck or in a ditch. The church staff were beginning to implement their emergency plan and then I realized this my friends is a big deal! 
I begin to realize that we might just be here for a while and all Jackson and Brylee are concerned with is are we going to make it home to play in the snow. Can we go outside and play in the snow at the church? Where are GoGo and Grandaddy? You know kid stuff which they should be but I was starting to loose my patience with them! Thankfully the MDO Director saved the day and gave them jobs and kept them busy. Which was so nice! The little kids love them and they loved doing their jobs. I think they realized it was going to be a long day too! During this time, Paige and I are still trying to figure out how to get Graham and also begin to realize that there are TONS of kids at the school and he really was fine. She was in contact via text and email with his teacher and he was doing good and she was also letting her know she was trying to get him. We decided walking was probably not the best idea and that there were people close to getting him. A friend of hers husband was making his way to the school and even drove on the opposite side of hwy 280 going up double oak mt because the side he was suppose to be on was blocked. He made it to the school and he was able to get Graham and the neighbor plus 3 other children of another mom stuck there with us and his 2. You can say at this point no one cared about seat belts or boosters seats they just wanted their babies. So that is how you justify one adult and 7 kids in an explorer. Everyone was glad to get their babies and Paige was glad to get Graham. We did LOTS of things to stay busy while we spent about 5 hours at MDO. We played with playdough and watched movies. All while my lovely children are telling me they are board and they want to go play in the snow! Mind you we have no jackets or gloves or extra clothes so playing in the snow at the church was not an option!  By this point I had been all over facebook and could see that we were very lucky to be in a warm place with food and drink, heat and were able to move around and in a comfortable place to sit because others were stuck in their cars on the side of the road, in gas stations, at their offices, schools etc... we had a lot to be thankful for and I was quick to let Jackson and Brylee know what bored really would be! :)    
This is what playdough time and movie time looks like when you have been in a church nursery room for 5 hours... it resembled a toy bomb going off!!! We moms were getting delirious by this point and everything was free game... survival mode was in full force! But yet we were so thankful too!
GoGo and Grandaddy finally make it to us at the church. After they made it home from downtown to their house to get his snow chains (yes my dad is probably the only person in Shelby County who has snow chains and he has had them for 30 years... he "saves" everyone in every snow storm... you just have to know that is how he rolls) put them on his car and start making his way to us. He and my mom picked up two of my friends that were stuck at a gas station at the bottom of the mountain and brought them home; which was close to where we were! When GoGo and Grandaddy pulled up at the church we were like animals being freed from the zoo. We all ran out to the car and crammed 5 adults and 5 kids in a Camry. Yes again seat belts and even seats for everyone were a things of the past. We made our way home and I was never so glad to see my house and be home! It was around 5:00pm when we got home! Home Sweet Home!  

Once we got home I sure was glad I had put that BBQ chicken in the crock pot; although I was sad that the other fixings were still in my stranded car but I quickly realized that was the least of my worries and everyone elses for that matter. We made do and were so glad to be home!

Meanwhile, I finally got to talk to RP. He was stuck at school and was going to be there for the night. I will say that his principal came and told him and two other fifth grade teachers who had children that they could go and he told her he would stay. He said he knew they would need another male teacher besides the PE teacher there to help everyone! He did not even have any of his own classroom kids left they had all made it home! What a sweetheart! :) I would get pictures from fellow teachers through the night of him and his shenanigans. RP always the life of the party! Making light of the situation!

He ended up having all the fifth grade boys sleeping in his room for the night and he slept on the floor behind his desk. Thank goodness the mayor went and bought them blankets and comforters and brought them to the school so they could use them to sleep on. He said he only got about 2 hours of sleep total that night!

Here he is being one of the "lunch ladies" serving all the kiddos dinner with some of the sweet fourth grade teachers! He said they just went back to the kitchen and dug around and just found stuff and cooked it because all the lunch ladies had gone home! It was cheese sticks, hotdogs, and corn for dinner.
Then he said "all the needy women teacher" were "complaining" that they did not have anything "comfortable" to "sleep" in so he went into his room and came to the rescue with a box of washington dc shirts and walked up and down the fifth grade hall handing out t-shirts... apparently getting dressed up in costume was necessary for that delievery! :) He is a mess!!! Again always making light of the situation!
So after I knew everyone was home and safe... including my parents after taking another friend to get her kids and then taking them home and finally being able to get Paige as close to her neighborhood as he could and someone having to come meet them and pick them up on ATV's to take them the rest of the way because a FedEx truck and other cars and trucks was sideways on a hill in the road and you could not make it to her neighborhood I was able to finally go to sleep! What a day!

Needless to say no one expected this "dusting" to cause this much problems and the weather men all agree that they totally missed this forecast and caused a lot of people problems. Many people were stuck in their cars on the interstate for the night, children were stuck at daycare and school because parents could not get to them, men and women spent the night at their office buildings. Every hotel in the area was booked and people were scattered everywhere all over the area! It was a mess and a day no one will ever forget! 

Well, Wednesday was a new day and my super excited children could NOT wait to get out in the snow. So we drug out all the snow clothes and got all dressed and out we went to the snow! This is when I missed daddy big time... see we have this agreement it called mommy doesn't do playing in the pool or ocean or the snow. I am the photographer and I sit back and enjoy watching them play! Well that was not exactly going to work today since Daddy was not here! :( So I said I would sled once and then I watched them! It was a deal but I think only because they knew daddy would be home soon!  
So here is our Jackson, Brylee, and Mommy Selfie we took before we all went sledding down the hill!
And then I got to do my job that I like most; take pictures and watch them have all the fun! These pictures are all out of order but I can't seem to get them fixed so oh well! Here you go... Brylee sledding down the driveway!
Having a blast!!!
Eating and Blowing the snow...
Jackson blowing and eating snow...
He was SOO excited to be in the snow!!!!
He would have played all day if I did not make him come in and warm up!

I love some of their sledding pictures... their facial expressions crack me up!
We made it down... having SNOW MUCH FUN!
Getting brave going higher and higher up the driveway!!!
Loving the SNOW and SLEDDING
More sledding
                  And then it was the moment we have waited for all day long... Daddy is HOME!!!!!!
Sweet Grandaddy to the rescue again! As a matter of fact he took almost all the fifth grade teachers home... he took two car loads of fifth grade teachers that lived in the Pelham area and then he took 2 other teachers home that lived on the way to Chelsea from taking daddy home! Brylee counted all the people Grandaddy took home over the course of 2 days and it was 20 people. So thankful!!! 

And of course daddy did not even get in the door good until Jackson and Brylee were begging him to go outside and play in the snow and sled with them!  What a sweet daddy!

After all the sledding he crashed out for sure and has been catching up on sleep the last few days!

The kids have enjoyed the snow for sure! Once everyone was home I was able to enjoy it too. RP was able to get a friend to take him to get my car on Thursday and we officially felt like real people again! The kids enjoyed more sledding on Thursday but by Thursday afternoon I had, had all the fun and snow I could stand!
I told RP it was high time for us all to take a shower, put on real clothes, look like normal people and get out of this house and go get something to eat. Cabin fever had officially set in and I was tired of cooking, cleaning, and washing dishes. Our kitchen was closed and we went out to eat!
I know that was a super, super, super long and probably boring blog post full of information most of you could careless about but I want to make sure I have this day journaled out! I know my parent still tell me about the Snow Storm of the 1982 that was the same way and caught everyone by surprise and my mom was stranded in a mans house that was a friend of her bosses with me, my cousin and a set of triplets all under the age of 5 until my dad could come and save the day with his chains and took us all home!
So needless to say...

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