Sunday, May 29, 2011


A place where thousands live and over a hundred have died, where no words can describe, no pictures can depict and no news program can broadcast the magnitude of what has happened. A place where I spent countless weekends with friends in high school, where I went for several youth group events is no longer recognizable in such a vast area.

Andrew, Jonathan and I left Saturday morning headed toward Joplin to start on what we knew was going to be a long work day. But it was so much more. Yes it was exhausting, but not just in the sense that we were physically exhausted. To help and see these people face to face adds a whole other level to what you can't get across in a photo.

There are so many generous people that can't tell you enough how grateful they are of the work being done. There are others who look at you and just stare. Not because they are angry or bothered that you are there, but because as they look around at what they used to know as their life they have no idea where to go or how to start over. Its already been a week but this will be something that will never leave the people of Joplin.

The boys helped with debris removal which is more difficult than you would think. Not in the sense of labor, but you can't just start removing things/trees from any home until the appraiser has come by. There are also places where they don't allow any workers because its too dangerous and the next step is to bulldoze what is left.

Amazingly through all of this it seems as though countless people are still seeing the good that comes with each day. There are so many uplifting messages that survivors have painted on their homes making you take a step back and reevaluate what's important in your own life and where we all agree is that is GOD and not all the stuff we think makes us who we are.

Here are a few pictures Andrew took on his phone while he was out.
I stayed at the church and helped to organize all the donations. This is where you REALLY see how amazing God is. The entire building was full to the brim of donations. There were 6 pods full of stuff and someone donated 3 large sheds from Lowe's that were also full by the end of the day. On top of that they put up a large tent and within a couple hours of it being up it was also full. Another amazing thing is by the end of my shift we were actually having to redirect people because we were F-U-L-L!!!
All the waters!
(Everything under the tarps is water too.)

This sweet little boy was helping bring in cleaning supplies from his parents car.

After our last donation I began walking around the parking lot looking at license plates.
Among the ones I saw were:
Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Florida, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah

(Click here to read another friends heart-wrenching Joplin story.)

This is one of many trips for Andrew and I to Joplin as this process will take most likely years to "finish." I will keep you updated on when we might be going again incase there is anyone close by who would like to caravan or meet up.

Thanks for checkin' in!!
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Friday, May 27, 2011

Downtown Disney

So on our last day before heading out of town my parents took me back to Magic Kingdom to see Aurora.

There was a little bit of a line so I found a comfy spot and read my Finding Nemo book.

Added bonus on top of Aurora I got to see Belle again!! She's so sweet I couldn't help but give her a hug.

There she is, AURORA!! I can't believe I actually got to meet her!

I even got to see Cinderella again! I took some time to point out my Aurora band aid on my knee.

After getting my last princess autograph I took my parents to Downtown Disney.

There was a carousel there too, so of course me and my dad had to ride it.

While we were walking through we noticed a Lego store. We asked the manager for their spare legos a whipped up these cool characters. Haha.... not really these were already there, but somebody built them, pretty awesome, huh?

I have found a new love for Toy Story, especially Buzz Lightyear and Woody. My parents got me these little figurines and I love them. Right here I was showing them the cool fountain out in the water.

We had lunch at Planet Hollywood and had their famous Chicken Crunch (That's chicken crusted with mashed Corn Flakes and Captain Crunch.) Shortly after trying one and watching some of the cool music videos I fell asleep. It was sleep well needed.

As we left the restaurant someone was going up in the balloon.... jealous.

Well, that's it. I hope you enjoyed my play-by-play of our Disney trip!!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Disney {Animal Kingdom & MGM}

The ride to Animal Kingdom.

Tree of Life

The music man outside of Tusker House.

Mom and I patiently waiting for our name to be called at the Tusker House.

Donald was there too but I got a picture with him outside on the Disney camera and I couldn't scan it in. (I know your surprised a 2 year old can't scan but it has a bunch of steps. Its not really developmentally appropriate for me.)

After lunch I got my face painted like Tinker Bell. I also began introducing myself as Tinker Bell for the rest of the day.

The safari ride was so much fun I got to see a lot of animals.
My parents obviously aren't very good at taking these kinda pictures.
Some of the cool animals.
Best part of the safari was we saved this little elephant from poachers. I'm pretty sure this elephant is not real and neither were the poachers, but I went along with it because my parents were really into it.

Me and the parentals with Meeko from Pocahontas.

Lion King Festival was pretty cool too.
I danced the whole time.
On our way to the bathroom after the show we ran into Bambi's friend Thumper.

Moving onto Hollywood Studios or as my old school mom still calls it, MGM.
Waiting for the parade to start when we got in.


Handy Manny

I also got to watch the Little Mermaid show. I LOVE The Little Mermaid!!

My dad went to ride the Tower of Terror, while mom and I saw Beauty and the Beast.

Great show!
Me and the mom. =)

When we got back to our resort I got to do a character portrait.

Of course on the way back to our room I had to jump off a couple checker pieces.

Check back for Downtown Disney!
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Disney {Magic Kingdom}

Starting one of my favorite days!!
Making Memories
First person we saw when we walked in was DAISY!!! I just love that duck!
Me and my momma in front of the castle. I was already getting tired from standing in the hot sun for my picture with Daisy.

As soon as we got on Main St. they were having a Street Dance Party! Once they got down to the castle everyone got to get out on the street and dance with the characters. My mom and I got out there with the Toy Story characters.

Me and Daddy-O in front of the castle.

*Snack break*

Some of my favorite rides:

One of my dad's favs too, haha!

*Shopping Break*

Our view from the spot I picked for the afternoon parade.
Pretty sweet, huh. I had my dad get me this balloon and I sent him out for ice cream. I've got him wrapped around my little finger and its AWESOME!
*Parade Time*

More Rides:
Tea Cups

Lunch at the Crystal Palace with Pooh & Friends!
After lunch we road the Pooh ride.

Then Aladdin, but I had actually fallen asleep before we got on this one. My parents told me I had a blast though. =)
Snoozin' upon my arrival into Tomorrowland.

Shortly after I woke up we rode Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. We pretty much played laser tag on a ride, AWESOME!

Princess Tiana & Prince Naveen

*Nighttime Electric Parade*

I picked the perfect spot for us to watch the fireworks too!
Before they started the fireworks they did this cool projector thing on the castle.

Tinker Bell coming down from the castle to start off the fireworks.
"I'm pooped, get me home!"

Check back for Animal Kingdom & Hollywood Studios!
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