After two weeks of posting only tornado relief and recovery updates, today I begin the transition back to "life as we know it" here on Chasing Roots. I plan to continue providing updates on Sara, Jeff, and their sweet kiddos - especially come spring when they begin the process of rebuilding and then moving into a new house - but such posts will appear less frequently now that their family is somewhat settled and the need for in-kind donations has temporarily ceased.
Please do not hesitate to contact me - firstname.lastname@example.org - if you have questions about Sara and Jeff's family; the community of Washington, Illinois; the local, state, or national government and/or nonprofit response to the Illinois tornadoes; or donations of any kind.
Once again, I extend my deepest thanks to all of you who have followed Sara and Jeff's journey here on Chasing Roots, made in-kind donations, and/or contributed financially through our donation webpage or by purchasing gift cards. I'm also extraordinarily grateful for the emails, calls, texts, and prayers. Though this experience is not one any of us - especially Sara and Jeff - would like to live through again, it has reminded us that life is not about things, but people, and this holiday season we hold each other just a little tighter.
Throughout the remainder of this week I'll be playing catch-up here on the blog. When the tornado struck we'd just come off of a couple of Texas Bucket List "adventures" - a family camping trip and a visit to the Texas Renaissance Festival (during the Barbarian Invasion weekend, no less) - that deserve their moment in the Chasing Roots spotlight, and then, if you can believe it, it'll be time to talk Christmas in Texas! (And by Christmas in Texas, I mean, posts that discuss why Mother Nature insists that I break a sweat and lose massive amounts of blood to mosquitoes while hanging our outdoor Christmas lights.)
I'll leave you with a few pics from our Thanksgiving travels to Arkansas. I hope you and your family had a holiday weekend as lovely as ours!
|The seven-year-old still needs a nap.|
|But the four-year-old hasn't napped in two years.|
|Will, Tom, and Grandpa Paul played A LOT of football on|
Thanksgiving. I missed out, because while I love to play football,
someone has to bake the pies and make green bean casserole.
|Tom's blocking for Will against an invisible defense.|
|So close. It took me quite a while to |
get the grass stains out of those jeans.
|Grandpa taught the girls how to play beanbags.|
|And then they came inside and played|
ponies, accompanied by Grandpa on guitar.
|Then they colored...|
|…and played cards with Aunt Janice. |
Hallie and Lily were BUSY.
|Carter and Grandma Geri.|
|See that enormous pile of brush? We're talking six feet high, 30 feet |
wide, and 30 feet deep, and we cleared all of it off the back of my
Grandma's property the day before Thanksgiving. The kids helped
us toss the smaller branches into the pile, which was really
fun until Will chucked one into my face.
|When we finished working, Will and Hallie swung on the |
vines hanging from the trees. (Those vines held the weight of
three adults, so we weren't too worried about them breaking.)
|Hallie had a little trouble hanging on, so she needed a helping hand.|
|The "twins" and the big boy.|
|The little boy.|
|Grandma Brenda and three of her four grand babies.|
|Will read the girls bedtime stories for us.|
|And last but not least, this girl. I love taking pictures of Will and|
Hallie, but Lily is my favorite photography subject. There's just
something about her eyes, and the facial expressions she gives me...
Have a great week, friends!
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