Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Archive for January, 2006

Severe Weather Morning

13th January 2006

This is the radar image taken during the thunderstorms that passed over us this morning. The National Weather Service has just issued a tornado warning for an area south of us because of this storm.




Just reading the description of what to do … “abandon vehicles and mobile homes”, “cover your body with blankets or pillows”, “lie flat in a ditch or low spot and cover your head” … illustrates the danger of this storm and in fact our helplessness against the incredible forces that exist in nature. It paints a picture for me of how truly big the universe is and how fortunate we are to be able to exist in it at all.

The leader of our home church is a firefighter here in Hoover, and he recalled the F1 tornado that hit near our street several years ago. He spent the entire night waiting for a path to be cleared through trees that covered the road so thickly for nearly half a mile that there was not more than a foot of open space on the road.

A different tornado hit Hoover just last year. The picture below is a map showing the path of the 2004 tornado and where our house is located. (We didn’t move into our house until Jan 1, 2005). The portion of the road covered with trees from the tornado in 2000 that my firefighter friend was called to is also indicated on the map. The red X on the extreme righthand side of the map is where our house is located. Click on the map or the link below it to read a more detailed description of the F0 tornado.

NWS Birmingham AL – May 31, 2004 Tornadoes

These were just F0 and F1 tornadoes! Imagine what an F5 can do. One F5 torndao that hit just north of Birmingham in 1977 sucked two dump trucks up into the funnel! You can read about that here in the Jefferson County Tornadoes – Alabama Tornado Database. Scroll down until you see the 1977 Smithfield tornado and then click on Storm Survey.

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My 18-month old beauty:)

12th January 2006

Just had to check in to share the lovely pics we had taken this morning. As usual, Analise was quite the little beauty, if I do say so myself! Every day, she looks more like a little girl rather than a baby. It amazes me. If you’d like to compare her to just 9 months ago, when she was 9 months old,
here are those pictures

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11th January 2006

Thanks for all the well-wishes on our baby boy Toone-to-be:) I’ve got all kinds of chit-chat I’ve been meaning to put into a blog, but I’ve just not had the time to pull it all together. I’ve got a long to-do list this afternoon, but Analise just laid down for a nap, and I’m determined to get something posted. I won’t be distracted by the internet or the laundry basket or the vaccuum… here goes! (Besides, I’ve not let either of the latter two distract me in the last week, so why now??)

A Growing Little Girl
Analise has been a busy girl latey! She turned 18 months old at the end of December, and I’m just amazed everytime I look at her, realizing how much she’s growing up. She’s trying to be very independent. Yesterday I was letting her go diaper-less to give her rashy bottom some air. After a bit, Brian found her in her room, sitting on a diaper, trying to put it on herself:) The other morning, after napping with me on our bed, she woke up snuggling next to me. She leaned over pointing to my eyes, and said “Eyes” and then pointed to my nose, and said “nose”, and followed this linguistic burst with “mof” as she pointed to my mouth. She’s still jabbering all the time, and we’re starting to make out more and more words that she’s trying to use. These were a couple very distinct, thought-out words. She’s enjoying the new Baby Einstein movie, Baby Wordsworth, with words and signs, and she’s been trying her new words out on us, as well as doing the signs with the movie, and when we ask. I’m rather impressed! (I personally thought this Baby E movie was the most boring, but it seems that she’s gotten more out of it than any others!) The word of this week, though, is a very distinct “YAK”, which she learned from the Fisher Price A to Z Learning Zoo, our Christmas present to her. We figured we’d start with the easiest animal to say… she hasn’t picked up flamingo yet:)
She’s also got very distinct things that she desires, and we’re working on communicating those with her limited vocabulary. She’s doing pretty well! She’s eating great too… specially since she’s learned to dip things. Ketchup, ranch dressing, and salsa are all happy additions to her plate, and make every meal more interesting. Another trick to getting her to eat is giving her a fork and spoon. For some reason, things taste better if it’s on a utensil, and she enjoys doing it herself, even if one piece of pear takes 5 minutes to get from plate to mouth!

Our Ultrasound
I just have to recap our ultrasound from last week. It was so funny, because I was really expecting to hear that we were having another girl. At our ultrasound with Analise, the doctor told us she was “80% certain” that we were having a girl, so we kept the possibility of a boy open in our minds, even up to the moment she arrived. At the beginning of this appointment, Brian asked the technician if she’d be able to tell if it was a girl or boy. She promised that she wouldn’t guess, but more than likely she’d be able to tell. Halfway through this ultrasound as the tech was doing all the measurements, Brian excitedly asked, “Do you know if it’s a boy or girl yet?” I chided him, saying, “Let her get the technical stuff done”, but she said, “I think I saw what I needed to see”. !!!!!!!!! Brian said, “YOu SAW something???” “Yes,” she said, “I’m pretty sure it’s a boy.” We were both so surprised, just because of the certainty of “seeing something”, and sure enough, we saw what we needed to see to be convinced as well. 🙂 I was in shock, and still am at the thought of having a little boy, since I had so imagined another little girl and Analise having a sister. But I’m really excited either way, and I hope and pray that they are good friends, given that they’ll be just 2 years apart in age. She’s going to be a great big sister, I can tell already!

Beyond the Gates of Splendor
Years ago, I read a book by Elisabeth Elliot called Through Gates of Splendor. It’s a true account of her husband and 4 other men’s experience in reaching out to a savage Ecuadorian tribe with the Gospel, ending tragically as they were all 5 speared to death. It’s an amazing story of faith and love. A new documentary is out called Beyond the Gates of Splendor, created in part by Steve Saint, the son of one of the men who was killed. It tells the complete story of what happend, from the mouths of the Waodani indians themselves, and shows the tremendous story of redemption that God has worked in their people through these 5 men giving their lives. Last Friday was the 50th anniversary of the tragedy. Next week, on January 20th, a full-length movie will be released in theaters called End of the Spear telling the story in drama format. It looks excellent as well. I can’t reccommend the documentary enough, and I’m sure the movie will be equally as good. Though the men all had guns, they said they would never use them on the indians, even if their lives were in danger. The summarizing quote that remains with me is this: “They’re not ready for heaven… we are.”

I think that’s all my chit-chat:) I’d better post this before it gets lost or I get distracted. Hope everyone’s well!

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Baby Boy Toone

8th January 2006

Here’s the first pictures of our little baby boy! We found out this
past Friday at our 18 week ultrasound appointment that we were
having a baby boy that will be due to arrive on June 6, 2006. This
picture above is my favorite.

Here is a collection of other pictures taken from the video clip posted at the
end of this blog. Reading clockwise from the top left picture:

  1. Here is the little guy holding his knee and leg.
  2. Here the four chambers of our baby’s heart are circled.
  3. Here you can see his index finger outstretched.
  4. Finally, here you can tell we’re having a boy! (Hint: look for a turtle)

Title – Runtime   Format (Size)
Complete video – 5 minutes   mpeg (14.0 MB)
Heartbeat – 1 minute mpeg (2.72 MB)
Kicking, waving, and swallowing – 1 minute mpeg (3.04 MB)

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It’s going to be a…

6th January 2006

Today was the big day for our 18 week ultrasound and to find out if Analise would have a little brother or sister. As you can see by the balloons above, we’re expecting a little boy Toone in early June! Analise is going to be a great big sister, and she’s been practicing with the baby doll she got for Christmas. It’s nap time here, so I’ll check back later with more fun chatter from the Toone household. But for now, just wanted to share our exciting news about the newest Toone-to-be!

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Leaving the Winter Wonderland

3rd January 2006

You know you’ve left the winter wonderland when
it’s 73 degrees and people are walking around
in shorts and short sleeve shirts. We left
LaPorte, Indiana Friday evening in a heavy
rain/snow mix, which turned to all snow
briefly and coated our car with about 1/4
inch of snow while we were eating dinner
in Lafayette, Indiana. Driving through the night,
we made it back to Birmingham by 6
Saturday morning. Yesterday, we went for a walk
around our neighborhood in very warm
73 degree weather! Birmingham had a record high temp on January 2nd of 78 degrees!

Let me tell you about the rest of our fun trip
to the Wisconsin Winter Wonderland. We first
drove from Shell Lake all the way across the
state to Green Bay, Wisconsin where we had
a fun time catching up with Kristine’s college
roommates and friends. Clockwise from the top left
in the collage above:

  1. We went to Mackinac’s with Dan and Dena (middle) and their son, Derek
    where we met Robyn (right) and her husband Rick, Betsy
    and her husband Eric and son Gabriel.
  2. After spending the night with Dena and Dan, we met Jen (center) and Pat and
    their 8-month old daughter Callie.
  3. At Dan and Dena’s house, Analise and Derek played together.
    When Dena took this picture, Analise had on her own just gotten up and went
    right over to Derek and sat down to be close to him.
  4. This last picture is of Kristine and Dena, roomates of 4 years and their lively little ones!

After leaving Green Bay, we headed down to LaPorte, Indiana
to visit Grandma Vivian and Charlie. We spent the night
at Steve and Connie’s house, where Analise had fun playing
with some baby dolls and a dollhouse. I came in from the garage at one point
to find Analise taking a handfull of dog food and throwing it
at Brandy, the family dog. In the afternoon, I decided to go on
one more bike ride to head the 15 miles one way to the Michigan
border hoping that it would start snowing along the way.
I unfortunately didn’t make it to Michigan because
I got a flat tire near the Galena Marsh. Kristine had to borrow
a car to come pick me up since I didn’t have any bike tools
with me to fix or replace the tube. I’m glad it wasn’t snowing
because I had to sit next to this sign for about 20 minutes, and
it sure gets cold fast when you aren’t moving at all.

At about 6pm we left for Alabama in a driving rain storm that
soon turned into snow. When we stopped for dinner in Lafayette, Indiana
it was snowing pretty hard, and we had a quarter inch of snow on
our car by the time we came out! The snow quickly turned back to rain as
we headed south, and the snow was completely gone even before we
made it to Kentucky.

Speaking of snow, we had quite a bit of fun in the snow before
we left Shell Lake as evidenced by the collage above. Clockwise from the top left
in the collage above.

  1. Hal and Anna joined us for a rousing game of electronic catch phrase.
    During the game, it started to snow! We headed down the street to a fun
    hill and went sledding. Here is Kat, Hal, Anna, and Analise all piled
    onto each other at the bottom of the hill.
  2. Snow or stars? You decide.
  3. Here is a picture of the three beautiful sisters and Analise
    right before we left.
  4. Here it is snowing in Spooner on our way out of town
    where we stopped at our favorite coffee shop in the whole world, Alley Cats, for one last
    coffee drink to go.

Earlier in the day, I had to go for one more bike ride … this time to retrace
my tracks on the lake and find out what really happened!

I started out by riding on a railroad grade converted into a snow-mobile trail.
Eventually, I turned off the railroad grade and followed a different trail
through a corn field before taking some beautiful snow-covered roads back
to Shell Lake.

Then I headed out onto the lake which was now covered with between 1/4
and 1/2 inch of new snow. After venturing out a little ways onto the lake
and realizing how firm the ice was because of the colder temperatures and
how easy the riding was because of the new snow, I set out to follow my
tracks from a couple days earlier when I
got lost
in the heavy fog.

Here is an updated map. Recall that the green
line was the intended track, and the red line indicated my best
guess at the actual track. The new blue line gives a more accurate
picture of my actual track after I was able to find my deep
track still frozen in the ice two days later.

From the top, reading left to right
in the collage above (the numbers correspond to the
numbers on the map):

  • 1. Here is an ice fishing hole that I had just barely missed in the fog.
  • 2. Here is the outline of a bicycle accident. If you look
    carefully, you can see where both wheels slid out from
    under me and from where my body hit the ground.
    Notice the two sets of tracks that I was following. One
    was from my outward track in the fog, the other was
    from my returning “lost in the fog” track.
  • 3a. There are two pictures for the number three.
    The first is of the island which was much more visible
    than on the day I got lost.
  • 3b. The other number three picture is of a place
    where my outgoing and incoming tracks crossed the
    day I got lost in the fog.
  • 4. Here is where I started to sink very deeply
    into the ice, and I made a 180 degree turn heading back,
    ironically, in the correct direction. Note how
    wide the track is in the ice from where the ice
    was seperating.
  • 5. Finally, here in this last picture, you can see a number
    of things. First, you can see that my track veers from one snow
    mobile track to another. Also, you can see the difference in the
    depths of my tracks the day I got lost when temperatures were
    warmer and the ice was slushier compared to our last day in
    Shell Lake when it was much colder.

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