Friday, September 26, 2008

A Tiny Town Give-Away!

So...if you've read my blog at all this summer you know it's been quite eventful in tiny town over the past several months.

All that God is doing here in the midst of it...just continues to take my breath away. Sometimes to appreciate today, one must go back and remember where they were.

Here's a little journey down memory lane...

May 25th 2008: An EF5 tornado came through the and devastated the West side (just outside of town) and the North end of town where the cemetery and new housing development stood.

Looked a little like this:

This was my friend Shanon's home. It has been bull-dozed and the new framing of the house should start going up this month! YAY! Many of the other homes that were hit are also in the process of rebuilding.

This was the cemetery. All of the big pine trees that lined it were totally gone and head stones turned over. The headstones have been put back in place, and this fall new evergreens will be planted.

Then, during the midst of the tornado clean-up, on June 8th 2008, tiny-town experienced one of the worst floods in its history. This is a town that is used to's just part of life...but this flood covered most of the town in water and it was say the least.

As I went back to find pictures of it, I realized that at the time, every time I went to get my camera, I was just too sad to even take a picture of the devastation. I have some of our basement, which was so very minor compared to the rest of town, which if probably why I have a pic of it.

Here was our basement:

We've since gotten a new water heater, and a new furnace will be installed soon. BUT, it's dry...and still smells a little like bleach :)Rubber boots were the staple for quite some time...I have to say, I miss them a little.

OK, now starts our journey through tiny town. I was trying to be discreet and take pictures (from my van and yes those are stickers stuck to it, imagine that) while driving around...yeah, that doesn't work so well :) AND in tiny-town you can't do anything without someone you know seeing friend Connie ran into me when I was down by the CO-OP and said "what are you doing?!?" ...because generally, I don't hang out at the CO-OP...although I might start...

I digress...the above picture is what several homes in town now look like. Many had to be burned down.

While others:

Just got jacked waaaay up in the air...whatever works.

Many are trying to sell what's left and move on, and others (below) have decorated their house before it's scheduled destruction...

And we also have some good 'ol FEMA trailers...which by the way, I have NO IDEA how a family fits in there.

This was our Kwik Star shall I say it....totally abandoned us in our time of need. I do not heart kwik star anymore.

We did lose the gas station, but the car wash re-opened! And, for the record, it has a pop machine...which I've visited on more than one occasion ;)

And last, but certainly not least...the beloved post office! IT'S OPEN!!! In it's honor...I give you a pic of our PO Boxes...exciting, I know.

So, for my very first give-away in honor of the post office, I'm giving away 3 of my favorite things...

  1. A $10 gift card to STARBUCKS

  2. Some Aveda Conditioner

  3. And a "green" bag from Target that folds with velcro tabs into the size of a wallet...SO CUTE!

Leave me a comment, tell me anything, and you'll be registered in my little drawing! It'll be open through Saturday and I'll post the winner on Sunday! If you're not a blogger or are a blogger without an email address listed, please leave me your email in your comment so I can get ahold of you!

HAPPY FRIDAY! It's Homecoming Game for tiny-town tonight...GO BIG BLUE!!!!!

PS - if you're interested in reading more about tiny town you can go to the left side of my sidebar and click on tiny town under "things I blog about".


  1. Oh Sarah - If you ONLY knew how much I thoroughly E.N.J.O.Y. your blog on a daily basis. Not only enjoy it...but know that when I visit, I might just learn a little bit about myself.

    Even though I don't comment a much as I should, please know that you are for sure touching my life!!

    Love ya!!


  2. I am amazed at all tiny town has been through and is coming back strong!!! To tiny town!!!

    I also think with that cool Target bag I could go more green!!! Go Sarah!!!

  3. tell you anything???

    i refuse to eat coconut, it's the texture!

    glad tiny town is on the rebound!

  4. This song comes to mind...

    "I know the Master of the wind,
    I know the Maker of the rain,
    He can calm the storm, make the sun shine again,
    I know the Master of the wind."
    (chorus of Master of the Wind by Joel Hemphill)

  5. Love, love, love your posts! I like how you recapped the summer, it's so easy to forget how bad it really was. Glad your town is progressing, and "tiny church" too!!!! (in case you don't have it)
    No I don't blog................yet............?????

  6. Amazing pictures.

    I so enjoy your blog!

  7. Phew!!! It's been a summer! We were just talking last night about how it was 4 months to the day that the tornado hit. It seems like forever ago and yet like yesterday!

  8. I can totally relate to what Tiny Town has been through. We just marked the 9th anniversary of a flood...our entire town was 6 feet under water. I recognize the FEMA trailers :-(

    God has done amazing things here, and our town has rebuilt. We had a minor flood 2 years ago, but not nearly the devastation we had before.

    Your P.O. looks much like mine. And I love the car wash! I seriously heart small towns!

  9. I love the picture of the row of boots--what a story they tell.

  10. Thanks for taking us on that photo journey. It is amazing to see what has happened in other's lives and to see just how they rise above it. Even though I am sure you experienced times of deep sorrow, your humor and grace about it all is a real testimony.

  11. I have been following your blog for awhile and really enjoy it. A very good friend of mine lives in Waterloo not to far from you and I would love to see tiny town when I am out there hopefully next year. Continue loving and relying on God. My email is

  12. Well aren't you a sweet-pea! I'm a huge fan of Aveda products, but maybe even more, a huge fan of YOU! Being a pastor's wife myself things aren't always easy and I love your honesty.

  13. Sarah, thanks for the pictures. it is a good reminder for all of us to look outside ourselves and see what others are going through...btw, i so enjoy your blog!

  14. Ok... anything, huh?

    I peeked at my biopsy site last night... UGH! Shouldn't have done that! :)

    No really... I have enjoyed reading about the progress of Tiny Town. Glad things are "on the mend".


  15. I heart your blog! ;)

    I too have stickers all over my van. It's a mom thing!

  16. Thanks for the pictures & recap of all the tiny town has been though. Once the news cameras leave, it's easy to forget that the devastation isn't over and that the rebuilding process continues for those who go through such disasters. I love reading your blog - it's bookmarked at home and on the church office computer, where I'm reading it now!

  17. Sarah -

    Thanks for the update on Tiny Town. How heartbreaking to have all of this fall upon your home. However, you are getting a peek at the rewards that God has in store for y'all.

    Have a wonderful weekend - I enjoy your blog very much.

    GiantsPrincess from Nevada

  18. Thanks for the update and for the giveaway. So glad to hear the town is being rebuilt and things are going well.

  19. Thanks for the update Sarah!

    So heartbreaking to see the devastation - but so heartwarming to know that God is still in control!

  20. i had no idea you and your sweet town went thru this ordeal. oh my goodness. we lived in okc and did get some BIG insight into tornados. and seeing tragedy like this is always sobering.

    people amaze me so much how resilient they can be. and of course God amazes me even more how he rebuilds us!

    and btw...stickers are much prettier than dog snot smears on your windows!! grr.

  21. So glad Tiny Town is on the mend. You already know that I absolutely love your blog and think that someday I may just have to visit Tiny Town. Good luck with Homecoming tonight! :)

  22. glad to see your tiny town in healing.
    i laughed when i read your reference to the pop machine. here we just say coke, not pop. then you ask what kind of coke.

  23. My tell-you-anything comment:

    It's amazing how much Tiny Town looks like a clean version of NOLA. I'm glad to hear the town is recovering; rebuilding is SO hard. Praying that you guys will be spared more floods and tornadoes, whenever the "danger season" rolls around.

    LOVE Aveda stuff! You have awesome taste!

  24. How amazing to be surrounded by all of that chaos and know that God is taking care of you!
    I love the little target bags, btw ;)

  25. Delurking :) I have read your blog from quite a while and have always enjoyed it!
    Glad to see the town recovering!

  26. Glad to see that the rebuilding is beginning in Tiny Town. You've kept a great attitude through this whole ordeal!

  27. Look at you!!! GIve-a-ways! like the "big girls" do!!! you are so cool! love you.
    we should talk for real sometime.

  28. I really do enjoy your blog even though I don't comment as often as I read. I am glad to see the rebuilding that is occurring in tiny town. I hope healing is occurring as well and that you and your family is able to minister to those in your town as they continue to rebuild.

    How sweet of you to do a give away! What fun!!

  29. I can't imagine having an entire town recovering from 2 devistations. I just can't get my mind around that.

    I heart starbucks. :) Giveaway is a great idea!!

  30. tell you anything??? I hate coffee, i saw your husband in the Fed Ex truck yesterday (which you already knew..but everyone else did not), and sweet baby Ailah blew spaghetti all over my shirt today and all I could do is smile. AND if you ever want to picket a Kwik Star I will be your right hand girl!

  31. oh yeah, and I TOLD you that bag was totally adorable!!! smiles

  32. That does sum up the events on your town quite well. What devastation.

    FYI, my inside windows on both of the boys sides of the van are COVERED in stickers. It keeps them amused and I can always use Goo Gone later.

  33. Ooh, Starbucks. I love what you said the other day about your post office drive being a reason to go to starbucks. I find very odd reasons to make a drive to starbucks & walmart for that matter. Usually the two go hand in hand. One thing I love about your blog is that you live in a tiny town and i live in big ol' Orange County, California. Yet, the things you talk about and love are so similar. Who knew! That is what it so beautiful about the world of blogging. Our world view gets a bit bigger through it!

  34. I really like your blog. I love your honesty and the randomness of it. I would tell you all this even if it wasn't for the conditioner. :)

  35. Oh, Sarah. Those pictures made me sad and happy...sad because of all the devastation Tiny Town has experienced, but happy because I know you all are rallying together and putting it back piece by piece. My very favorite picture was the one of the post office don't know how exicted I got when I saw them...they are exactly like the ones in the little town where I grew up. I so miss that!

    Love you mucho, Sarah!

  36. I too enjoy your blog so much! So glad to see that "tiny town" is recovering! And really cool give-a-ways too!

    email is

  37. Sucker for a contest, I am! I so do not live in a tiny town-I am visiting you from Henderson, NV that would be a fifteen minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip! Seems worlds away! I loved seeing your tiny town and I'm sorry you all have been through so much! Have a blessed weekend!

  38. Sarah-
    I love your blog.
    And I love coffee.
    And I would love to smell pretty- you know, after having another baby and all I would so appreciate something pampering like Aveda!! :)

  39. Oh Dear . . . you put the toiler paper going under not over? You may be do for a little Toilet Paper counseling! Ha ha - only teasing.

    Your tiny town has really been through a struggle. I hope your tiny town stays banned together and recovers. I have wondered for some time . . . does your tiny town have an Aunt Bee, Sherrif Taylor and Barney Fife?

  40. Hi Sarah! Love your blog, and I look forward to it each day. Your posts are the way I unwind when I get home from work. :) Thanks for showing us the pictures!

  41. Sarah,
    Seeing these pictures reminded me of the first time we drove through tiny town since all of the recent destructive weather. :( UGHHH - I was sickened. I wasn't expecting all of the burned down homes. :(
    Love your blog SO much! :) Love you too - not just the blog. :)
    Hey I wonder if Trish will comment...She really should, I set her up with a google account while she was here... :)

  42. Tell you anything?

    I have stinky feet.

    Weren't expecting THAT were you?

  43. Yeah! I love giveaways, so enter me! I am keeping my fingers crossed that I am going to be the big WINNER!

  44. Wow, I feel better about having gone through a hurricane, seeing all that Tiny-town has gone through. Hooray for the indominatable spirit of small towns!

  45. Found you via Brandiandtheboys. I have really enjoyed your blog. So, here's something....I am having a hard time getting my weight loss efforts kick started and do not think it would be a good idea to get a piece of chocolate cake to console myself. Maybe I'll get some ice cream instead =)

  46. What a sad thing in your tiny town. I am so glad there is re-building going on, of buildings and hearts. What a blessing!

  47. I totally remember the flooding. My daughter had a softball tourney in Moline and we ended up getting rained out and the fields flooded. My prayers continue to your sweet tiny town!


  48. So glad the flood is OVER! and everything is being rebuilt. AND I would love to be entered into your contest!

  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

  50. Tiny town sure has been through a lot!

    What a great giveaway...isn't doing a giveaway so fun?!?!

  51. How fun! I love red (and 'green' red), Target, Aveda conditioner, and Starbucks! Could it get any better?


  52. We didn't get a summer, but we are getting one now! Love this weather so much!

  53. I discovered your blog about 2 weeks ago and haven't let a day go by without reading it! I too am a wife of a church staff person- living in Michigan for just a few more days, being called to Florida for a great new adventure. You are truly special (I know that since you're transparent on your blog) and obviously so loved by the blogging "community". Thanks for encouraging me with each post.

  54. I'm SO THRILLED to read that Tiny Town is recovering. Thank you for writing the semi-last chapter on this whopper of a summer.

  55. Sarah,
    Makes my heart smile to see the beginnings of Tiny Town's restoration. I remember those pictures well. Unbelievable. What a summer, huh?


  56. You should now call it Tough Town!! WOW!!! Amazing the mobile homes survived.

    Congrats on the Pop machine AND the new P.O.

  57. Those look just like the mailboxes in the tiny town I grew up in and the tiny town I now live in. :)

  58. Wow. Apparently a giveaway is the way to get a zillion comments. :)

    We are amazed at the rebuilding going on in so many areas. I think the tornado victims are well on their way to recovery. The flood victims are close behind. A flood is a little harder to recover from and will take time, but it will come.

    God Bless!

  59. Sarah ~ So sad to see such devastation to your town...glad to know that things are on the up!
    Your blog is great - gives me a smile or something to think about each day!

  60. Cool blog. I came across it by way of clicking on the followed blogs of the followed blogs of someone who follows my blog. LOL.

  61. You are so big-time now. Love the giveaway!

  62. S - Strong
    A - Admired
    R - Respected
    A - Affirming
    H - Honest!

    You're all that and more - thanks for blogging and sharing your life with us "followers!"

    ** I was at Target in the "BIG" town about 40 miles away today... they don't have the "red" {green} bags... so I thought it would be great if I win... I may be the first to use them around here! :)
    *chuckle *

    Happy Saturday!

  63. Sarah! Wow! I have an acronym comment just before can I even compete with THAT?!
    Girl, I heart your blog so much! I got in a little late, so I also got to read your post about little Eli.
    Okay, pick me! :)

  64. I know I am too late of rthe drawing but that is OK. I do no tneed any more fuel for my tote bag obsession. I just wanted to say how touched I am to see your town coming back from its stuggles. As the wife of an Iowa-boy with most of his family still in their Tiny Town I feel a connection to all things Iowian, Iowonian, Iowish? whatever. I have prayed a lot for you and all those affected by the tornado and floods. Thanks for the update!

  65. I don't know how I missed this! Not so much the giveaway, but the whole post! The pictures are always really eerie to look at. To see a house flattened... it's just chilling.

    Also, I am an avid fan of the post office! AVID! Ok? I LOVE them. The smell is deliciously intoxicating. I wish I had one nearby so I could "check the mail" often. I'd walk in there sniffin' like a hound dog. Breathing deeply. They would surely think I'd lost it. I can't help it. It just sends me over the top, that smell.


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