Thursday, November 10, 2011

August to November

Well... it's time to update. So I will give you a rundown of the last few months. We moved to Duncan and Stephen LOVES his new job. We are actually back up here for his training over the next few weeks, but then we will pack back up for Duncan.

Brooks is getting SO big... saying "mama" and "dada" and sometimes we even get a "HUH?" and a "puh-puh" (puppy). He is trying to walk (scary), drinking out of a big-kid cup (he refuses to drink out of a sippy, but does great with a straw or even better with an adult cup). He claps his hands when you say "YEA", laughs hysterically at his momma for no reason (which I love because he thinks I'm so funny), and is now feeding himself with a spoon (we just put the food on the spoon and he takes care of the rest). I honestly didn't know love like this before I had Brooks.

In September, we celebrated our two year anniversary with a trip to Bricktown to eat at Abuelo's (one of our favorites) and then took a walk with Brooks around Bricktown, and ended up at The Melting Pot for a yummy dessert.

October was busy for us. Well, I say "us"... Stephen decided that we should spend the whole month of October making Brooks' first Halloween costume. Needless to say, the WE ended up being ME. I made Brooks a mouse costume. I do have to admit, it was quite wonderful. Here's proof.

Now it's November. We are gearing up for Cameron(our nephew)'s first birthday party this weekend, Thanksgiving (and spending lots of time in Poteau... it's been too long), and lots of turkey!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Homeward Bound

So much has happened since May (last post). I joined Sooner Sensations, a women's choir in Moore. Brooks has grown two teeth, started sitting up all by himself, and began trying to say mamma and da-da! I fall in love with that sweet little smile more and more every day.

With that said... I always said once I moved out of Marlow that I would NEVER go back... EVER. Well, over the past four years as I was falling in love with Stephen, he was falling in love with my home town. He has been trying to get me to move back to Marlow for a while now. And after Brooks was born, it became more evident to me that it wasn't a bad idea. Between free childcare (grandma/grandpa) and being close to my family, it just makes sense to be home. So, I am moving home... kicking and screaming... but I know once I am there I will love it. I want Brooks to grow up in a small community where everyone knows everything and when he does something wrong, I will know about it before he gets home.

The hardest part about moving home is leaving OUR home. Moore has grown on me. We have been through so much in that house. It was the first house we bought together. We got married in that house, we spent our wedding night in that house, we had Brooks in that house, we got Jack (our boxer) in that house... I know home is where the heart is, but so much of my heart has been poured out in that house and leaving it just makes me so sad.

Please pray for us as we make this journey home... and create a new life down in Marlow!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Growing... Growing... GONE!

I haven't written in a while because someone hacked into our email account and I didn't have the password for my blogger account. BOO! So much has happened since the last time I wrote. I won't waste time with random chatting... let's get right down to the good stuff.

Brooks has been getting so big and mature over the past few weeks. He learned to roll over, started laughing, and even began eating solid foods (which Stephen doesn't get why they call "solids" since they are actually just a more chunky version of formula that we feed with a spoon). He now wears a size 2 diaper (which is a big deal because he was in Newborn diapers until he was almost 2 months old).

Stephen and I have been adjusting to parenthood... and just like I anticipated, there isn't as much "we" time as we might need. It's just difficult to find that time to spend together when there's so much going on with Brooks. I think we both feel like if we blink, we might miss something. Brooks' laughter brings so much joy into our home. When we tickle him, he laughs so hard he starts to cry because he can't breathe. He loves being tossed up in the air, he loves bath time and it makes him laugh when he splashes water all over the place, and he has recently started to love playing peek-a-boo and "Where's Brooks?"

Last week he had to go to his pediatrician for his 4 month check-up. He weighed 13 pounds, 12 ounces and was 25 1/4 inches long. He got shots and he only cried for about thirty seconds. The nurses laughed at him because his cry was so pathetic. He always has had such a tiny little cry... it's more of a whimper really. Another big change for me is that I have gone from a milk machine to slow drips. It has been so rough on me that my breastmilk is drying up because I wanted to feed him only breastmilk for at least a year, but sometimes God has other plans. We have started doing formula and breastmilk (against my wishes) but hey, we can't starve the boy!

Next topic- Mother's Day! It was wonderful. When you become a mother, sometimes you lose your identity. People stop hugging YOU when you show up at church, but want to grab your adorable baby instead. But the wonderful thing about Mother's Day is that people all the sudden remember you exist... and that lasts about fifteen seconds and THEN they want to grab your adorable baby. But hey, fifteen seconds is better than nothing.

Speaking of Mother's Day... I know when I first began this blog I was rather upset that I was unexpectedly going to be a mother. But I have to say, there is nothing better in this world (other than Christ's love for me, and then Stephen's love for me) than being a mother. The way Brooks' face lights up when he hears my voice makes my heart melt every time I look at him. I absolutely HATE being away from him overnight (mostly because I am scared when I get home he will be six feet tall like his daddy and have braces) but at the same time I love coming home to him after being away because somehow, he knows I'm home.

It's unreal to me how big Brooks already has gotten. He is such a big boy now, eating solids and sleeping through the night, that it breaks my heart to think that he is just going to KEEP growing. I know parents are supposed to raise a child and then let them go out into the world and be an adult... but he's only four months old and I am sitting here in tears thinking that one day he is going to leave me.

Growing (from newborn to solid foods)... Growing (from pre-school to high school)... Gone (graduating college and getting married)... he's always going to be my precious little baby boy. And I refuse to ever stop calling him Brooksie.

Sunday, February 27, 2011



I hope one day you will realize how wonderful your grandparents are. All of them. And all for different reasons.

Grandma & Grandpa Hudson have been trying to stimulate your mind since the day you were born. They brought you a stack of books up to the ceiling when they came to meet you for the first time. They want you to be smart and educated. Your Grandma Barb was a library director and Hud was a teacher. They both know how important it is to read to you and help you grown into a smart little man so you can be successful. Although they don't see you as often as the other two sets because they live so far away (Colorado) they love you very much and I know are looking forward to watching you grow into a young gentleman.

Grandpa & Grandma Garvin- You might think these two are nuts, and they are, but it's a WONDERFUL thing! They are SO much fun and are the most giving people you will ever meet... whether they are giving time, attention, or presents, they are always full of generosity! Grandma Janet has always been worried about your safety and health (that's the doctor coming out in her)... whether it's telling me not to let you fall off the coffee table, or and your Grandpa Daril is the complete opposite. He wants you to get dirty and do horribly dangerous things (like climb trees and wrestle with your daddy) because he wants you to learn to fall and get back up.

Grandpa & Grandma Sabedra- They raised me and I turned out okay. But other than that, two of the most wonderful and Christlike people you will ever meet. These two are concerned about your soul. Grandma Debbie is probably the most nurturing person you will ever meet and will spoil you rotten (probably as bad as Grandpa Daril), while your Grandpa Mike will want to teach you things (like Spanish) and make sure you are well prepared to be an adult. When he speaks, listen. You will find when you get older that he was usually right.

There are other people in this world who will treat you like their own grandchild. Like Ray & Lisha Collins, probably one of the most fun couples in the world to be around, Kent & Abby King, who helped (along with Ray & Lisha) to raise me and both of them are equally funny in their own way, and the Abbott's. When Kent Abbott tells you something, you should also listen, because although he is goofy sometimes, is probably the smartest business man I know and is willing to share that knowledge with you... so take it. Jalee Abbott is just like your Grandma Debbie, kind, fun, silly, and Christlike. Take advice from all of these wonderful people when they talk. Open doors for them. Give them lots of hugs and kisses. And let them tell you the same stories over and over again. Because at the end of the day, these people would probably give their life for you, so the LEAST you can do is be willing to listen to the same stories (that are probably NOT true because I was such a good child) about the terrible things your mommy did when I was younger.

With all that said, a few weeks ago (February 22-24, 2011)was the first time you stayed overnight by yourself with anyone other than me or your daddy. It was so hard to let you go (we met Grandma Debbie and Uncle Vincent in Chickasha to drop you off and have dinner). I cried in the restaurant for a few minutes and then cried the whole way home. You stayed two whole nights in a row... and I missed you more than words can ever say. But after one night of crying myself to sleep (which is ironic because the week you were born I also cried myself to sleep every night because I was scared to death I wouldn't like you) I soon realized that Grandma & Grandpa Sabedra raised me... and that you are in good hands. I missed you terribly, but with people like this in your life, you're gonna turn out alright too.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

I DO Have Readers!

Much to my surprise... I DO have readers! Well, reader. Singular. My precious little sister-like friend,Kendra , awarded me the honor of putting me on her "Blogs I Like to Read" list. Because of this, I must now write seven facts about myself and then tell blogs I like to read.

1. I never really liked babies/kids very much... and then my dang husband knocked me up (despite our attempts to avoid this) and now I can't get enough of my little six week old "Brooksie-Bear". (Don't worry... His real name is Brooks but I think the "ie-Bear" adds a nice touch. And he will probably hate me for it later, but I gave birth to him so I can call him whatever I want.)

2. I talk to my dogs like they are people, and then pretend like they talk back.

3. I am a total hypochondriac. Headache? It's probably a life-threatening illness.

4. I don't discriminate against ANY type of chocolate cake... I'm like the Cookie Monster, but with chocolate cake.

5. I am a workaholic. I was taking work calls while I was in labor. Seriously.

6. I don't drink anything except for water (and sometimes chocolate milk). But I drink too much water. Yes, this is possible. I drink so much my nutrients probably don't have time to absorb. Which means, I will probably die from some sort of nutrient deficiency (See Number 3).

7. If I invited you over for dinner and you showed up to a spotlessly clean house, wonderful dinner, and no piles of laundry... Chances are my husband did it... He even went to the store to buy the groceries to cook your dinner. Not that I don't LIKE to cook, clean, and do laundry... Stephen is just better at it. :)

Now, for the blogs I like to read other than Kendra's

Be envious of her humor.

Because she always makes me want to be a better person after reading hers.

She hasn't updated in two months, but hers is great!

The Kohlbacher's
Their life-touching journey to parenthood and the adoption process. (This one is by invite only. If you are interested in having access to this one, let me know and I will ask if I can get you on the reading list.)

Amy Jo
She's just cute any way you look at it.

Last, but not least...

Marc Blackwell
World renown photographer, amazing stay at home dad, and married to one of my favorite people... Stacey (Gregg)

Now, I obviously read others... like Keisha, Rachel, Courtney, and many more... and I love those too, but these are the first ones I started keeping up with (except Tracy whom I forced into blogging because we got pregnant around the same time and I wanted her to blog it), so they have a special place in my heart.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Poop Fingers

So about two years ago, I was checking a little girl's diaper in the church nursery and pulled back the diaper with one finger... and got poop underneath my fingernail. I puked. No, really, I puked.

Last night, I was changing Brooksie and I got poop under my fingernail. I wanted to puke... but instead, I laughed.

I've been saying for YEARS that I never wanted kids. I have been told that me having kids is a terrible idea when people saw a reaction I made to a screamer or a stinky diaper... BUT people also always say "It's different with your own kids!"

They didn't lie. Brooksie's poop doesn't stink.

Friday, February 4, 2011

27 Seconds

My adorable friend Tracy was blogging a few days ago about what an AWESOME labor coach her husband Tanner is going to be... and after meeting him and hearing stories about his preparations for fatherhood, I have to agree. He is going to do GREAT! Her cute stories about his excitement are the kind that make my heart smile. ***On a side note, my friends always make fun of me for saying "make my heart smile", but when I say that, I mean it is one of those things that just lights up your whole heart... makes you smile from the inside out.*** Anyways, so her faith in her husband's ability to coach got me thinking about our labor experience all over again... and shortly afterwards I realized something... I got gypped.

Stephen had been saying from the first moment he knew we were pregnant that he was NOT going to cut the cord, he was NOT going to look at anything other than my face, and he didn't want to see Baby Garvin coming out. When we went to our birthing classes, he learned how to push, I watched a real birth on video while he covered his eyes, we did breathing exercises so that he could help me through breathing during labor, talked about the bodily fluids that come out during labor, we watched an episiotomy video (again while he covered his eyes), we talked about all of the other disgusting parts of the labor process... and the whole time, Stephen was COMPLETELY disinterested because he KNEW he wouldn't be taking part in ANY of the gross stuff. His parents were even preparing me for the worst: Needing a backup coach because they were SURE he would pass out.

All that said... if you read the story about the delivery itself, you know that after nine months of saying he would have no part in the process, he DID look and he DID cut the cord. BUT because I only pushed two times after Dr. Parker scrubbed in, he didn't HAVE to help me breathe. He didn't have to hold my hand. He didn't have to feed me ice chips. None of that. Nada. Zilch. Which is why next time (yes, me... the girl who doesn't like babies or small children... just admitted that I wouldn't mind a NEXT time) I want to be in labor for a little more than 27 seconds so I can have the full labor experience... Labor Coach and all.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Books and Babies

One time, when I was probably about 12, I was in my mom's sock drawer (where NORMAL people keep ONLY socks) searching from some no-shows. Digging frantically to the bottom, I stumbled upon a book called (you guessed it) "The Joy of Sex". Somewhat embarrassed (and TOTALLY disgusted) I quickly shut the drawer, left without my socks, and thought of how completely terrible it was that my parents actually did things so appalling. I swore to myself that day that I would NEVER have sex... EVER.

Well, one day in April of last year, I decided to give up that vow and just do it... but ONLY once... and I got THIS beautiful thing because of that lapse in judgement.

And although I was scared to death (I remember vividly standing in the hospital parking lot at 11:58pm on January 6th, waiting to walk in to be induced, in tears telling Stephen "I don't want to do this!" And him then telling me I didn't have a choice!) I would do it all over and over again.

These last three weeks have been full of rough times, but the good outweighs the bad every single time I do the math. I was so worried that Stephen and I would start to drift apart, but the assistance he has given over the past three weeks has made me learn to love and appreciate him even more than I ever did before. The way he looks at Brooks has made me see a more gentle side of him than I have ever experienced. We have spent more time together as a team, giving baths, cleaning house, playing with Brooks... and it is making us grow closer.

Stephen went back to work on Monday. I was really scared and I actually remember crying when he left for work. But things haven't been too bad... I have even been working from home every day this week (which is nice to have some adult interaction now). Erica Healey came over Monday and let me take a shower, did my dishes, and folded laundry. She is such a good friend (even BEFORE Brooks got here). Wednesday was the first day we didn't have any visitors since Brooks was born. It was nice to have some family time. Thursday, I thought Colic was setting in, but today has been much better so it might have been a false alarm.

I love being a mom. Every single thing about it. Not showering for three days, not being able to eat lunch until Brooks falls asleep, nights of three hours of sleep, the poopie diapers, getting peed on every single time I change a diaper because Brooks can't aim well yet, wearing the same clothes for three days that got pee on them from Brooks not being able to aim well yet, trying to figure out what's wrong with a screaming kid who won't take a boob (or a bottle), isn't wet, and isn't poopie... there is absolutely nothing wrong with it at all! And despite how many tears I cried thinking how terrible it was going to be... I have decided that all of those things, the dirty diapers and lack of sleep included, are the TRUE Joys of Sex. So sorry Mr. Alex Comfort, your book sucks!!! Because it doesn't talk about ANY of those things. You were wrong.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cord Blood

A few months ago, I was watching TLC and saw a special about a family who had a child who needed a cord blood transplant. After looking into it more, I found out that over 80 diseases can potentially be cured with cord blood because it is the most pure form of blood that exists. A lot of people now days don't even KNOW about collecting cord blood and of those who DO know about it... many people keep it for future use for their own families. Now, I'm not at all knocking those who choose this route for their blood, so don't get me wrong. I just wanted to blog about our experience with cord blood to make other people aware that you CAN do something with your blood other than throw it away! Plus, when Brooks is old enough to read and appreciate all the blogging, I want him to know that on the day he was born, he saved a life.

We donated our cord blood to MD Anderson. By doing so, they have two routes that your blood can go. 1. If approved for transplant AND if there are any matches, your blood will be given to an actual patient who is in need of new blood. OR 2. If no patient match is found or if your blood is not transplantable (because of diseases, medical history, or poor health or family history) then they will use it for research (with your approval). MD Anderson called on Friday to let us know that they had tested our blood and it WAS transplantable and they already had some potential patients who could use our blood.

It is such a blessing to be able to give the hope of a new life to someone in need. I am so proud of Brooks because the very first thing that he did outside of my baby bump was give something away that will touch someone else's life forever. How rewarding! We continue to give God the glory for letting me stumble upon that TV show and allowing us to be the match to save a life.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The big debut!!!

Well I have to say... it was NOT that bad at ALL! Honestly!

Here is the story Brooks. I hope you enjoy reading (some day) the story of your arrival. I checked in at midnight and they gave me the thinning tablet at one, another one at four, and then broke my water at seven. I didn't get my epidural until I was past a five (which apparently makes me tough, according to the nurse anesthetist). I was going to go all natural but ended up getting an epidural because I was nervous that I might have to end up having a spinal tap. So with that said, got the epidural and after that, couldn't feel ANYTHING. At about three in the afternoon, Brooks' heart rate started to drop so they hooked me up to oxygen. At about 5:15, they called Dr. Parker to tell him I was dilated to a 9. About 5:40, they sent all the grandparents out of the room so they could check me (and told them all they would come get them when they were finished) and I was a ten. They said "Let us go through pushing with you so you will be ready to start when Dr. Parker gets here." So I pushed three times for the nurses at about 5:45. They told me to stop because Dr. Parker wasn't here yet. He got into the room at 5:57, I pushed twice, and Brooks was here at 5:58.

It was such a blessing for such a short labor. I was SO scared and nervous... and it was really a piece of cake. God really knew that after nine months of being sick, having an easy labor was VERY rewarding for me.

Brooks Emmerson Garvin was born at 5:58pm on Friday, January 7th, 2011. He was 19 inches, and six pounds, one ounce. (He was really 6.06 but they rounded up.) I was SO proud of Stephen! He looked at Brooks coming out AND he cut the cord. He didn't even pass out!

Along with your daddy's participation in the whole thing, I have to give credit to the others who helped make the night more exciting... Jalee and my mom were there all night with your dad and me. They even stayed up all night. I am so thankful to have been able to share the experience with the two of them. Uncle Josh was there for a little while in the early morning and came back later. He played a HUGE role in the whole thing by waiting for the cord blood collection kit to arrive and bringing it up to the hospital in time to collect that. Others who came up for that night were, Grandpa Sabedra, Grandpa and Grandma Garvin, Chad, Marolyn, and Cameron Garvin, Chase and Erica Healey, Amanda Hale, Jessi Bramlett, Courtney Gardner, Justin Mann, Vickie and Kayli Smith, Aunt Erica and Baylem, Lisha & Ray Collins, Don, Dana, Kinsey & Kelsey Smalling, and Kent Abbott brought by Darla, Ron, and Reagan Jurgensen. I THINK that's all... I told the nurses when we first got there that we would have about twenty-five people come when he was born... and I was right. We had tons of other visitors in the next few days, but these are all the ones who came the night you were born.

After two days at the hospital, we got to leave Sunday around noon. The first night was really rough. Brooks didn't sleep much. His daddy woke up about six to take care of him while I got a few hours of sleep. I woke up to a clean house, sleeping Brooks, no laundry to do, no dishes to do, and a cooked breakfast. What a WONDERFUL man!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Worst Mom of the Year Award Goes to....

ME! Yes, I said it. Here's the latest. After a doctor's appointment on Monday, Dr. Parker decided it was time to get Baby Garvin out and into the big world. So ever since then, I began nesting (like NORMAL pregnant women do about week 8, but here I am week 38 and I just begin). As the day wore on, I started to realize I am going to be a mother by the end of the week. UGH!

I can't believe I am ACTUALLY going to blog this for the entire world to see, but I need an outlet and this is the best one I have (next to crying to all my friends, which I have now already successfully accomplished). I am not only scared to DEATH of this baby... but I am now having second thoughts. Terrible right?

It's not the actual thought of having a baby that depends on me and needs me and all that... It's the PROCESS of HAVING the baby that scares me to tears. This is going to hurt SO bad. BUT with that said, people keep telling me, "It DOES hurt, yes. BUT trust me, it's all worth it AND you will want to do it all over again in a few years." We will see about that. I think it might all be just a clever ploy to convince women to reproduce.

The second confession I have to make is that I have cried myself to sleep every night since Monday. Seriously. For the past five years, Stephen and I have laughed together, cried together, shared so much joy and so much heartache, traveled together, been on dates, curled up on the couch and just enjoyed each other's company, and been able to do whatever it is that we wanted to do at the drop of a hat. Our entire relationship is being forced into this world where there aren't just two of us anymore. Our friends will never think of us again and say "Let's invite Jess & Stephen"... There will always be three of us now to invite. The thought of giving up the "US" is killing me. I sit here in tears thinking of how selfish that sounds, and about all the women who sit in tears every single day because they CAN'T seem to be blessed with a baby, and realize that I, Jessica Garvin, should be named Worst Mother of the Year.

With that said, please keep me in your prayers as God reveals His plan for me. I am excited about being a mom, but so nervous about how Stephen & I are going to change. I know it will be hard work to not "grow apart" as so many couples do and I just pray that we can figure this out together, the way God intended it to be. This song from church camp growing up is the prayer that has been getting me through the past week.

Open my heart to what you know
So I can stretch, so I can grow
My feelings toss me to and fro
Open my heart to what you know

Open my eyes to what you see
To understand what I should be
My feelings get the best of me
Open my eyes to what you see

Open my ears to what you hear
So I can keep you very near
My feelings make it so unclear
Open my ears to what you hear

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The A-Team (AKA: Moore PD)

I am pre-apologizing for the long post... BUT... I slept an entire night last night! Here I was, blaming Baby Garvin on the lack of sleep... come to find out, it was the false sense of security that my newly installed (and ridiculously expensive) house alarm cost. However, the good news is... THEY HAVE BEEN CAUGHT!

Yesterday afternoon around four, I had just settled in from a long day at work (that started about six o'clock yesterday morning) and had JUST changed my clothes when a man in a police uniform knocks on the door.

He says "Jessica Garvin?".
"Were you recently the victim of a burglary?"
"Would you happen to have lost any sports memorabilia?"
"YES!"(I got super excited at the prospect of getting my signature OU football back.)
"Could you describe it?"
"A white OU football with Simms, Owens, and White's autographs. It's brown on the bottom. Owens signed it in the left upper corner and the other two are on the right side." (I only remember that because my neighbor and I were discussing it the day before it got stolen)
"I am guessing you would be able to ID it?"
"YES!!!" (Almost in tears at this point thinking I could possibly get Stephen's deer rifle back.)

So I put on some shoes and my coat and got in the back of the police car. We went AROUND THE CORNER to the NEIGHBOR'S HOUSE to check out my stuff! Seriously!

Here is the long version. Ten days after we got burglarized (robbed is apparently not politically correct since we weren't home), I had walked in the door from work and gone to the bedroom for a minute. Literally, a minute later, our alarm starts sounding. Scared to death, I grabbed my gun and went into the living room to find the jerks. Yes, this was possibly the stupidest thing I have ever done. But I did it. I called 911. They advised me to lock myself in the room until the police got there. When they did, the first officer who arrived told me that the wind must have opened the door. Little does he know, you cannot set my house alarm unless the door is all the way shut and dead-bolted. So yes, it must have been the wind who opened the glass storm door, unlocked the deadbolt, and blew open the big front door. I asked the second officer who arrived if there had been any other break-ins in the neighborhood. He told me yes and where the guy (who now has a name, Scott) lived. That night, we went and talked to Scott who told us that HIS neighbor was home and watched the burglary and didn't call the police. BUT he did take a picture of the truck as it left, full of Scott's belongings. Scott took the picture to the police on Saturday the 18th AND told them where the guy lived (right around the corner from him). And no one had contacted us to warn us... and the guys came back. A few days later, they had burglarized several other houses (five total) in our neighborhood.

With all of that said... Yesterday afternoon, a neighbor of ours was driving out of the neighborhood and saw a few guys with guns unloading TV's (yes, multiple TV's) out of a tiny little beat up car at EXACTLY the same house that Scott has told them the truck lived. They arrested a kid (under 18) in the driveway with the holster to a pistol on his hip. No gun, just the holster. (I am betting it was my 40 cal. We know that since this kid is not over the age of 21, he doesn't have his conceal and carry license, so it can't possibly be his gun.) They arrest him. Have me ID the football that was still in his car, along with my computer charger, several wii's, some xbox games, and some other sports memorabilia. The football was mine (even though the kid said Jason White himself gave it to him... which was ironic because I personally picked up the football from Jason White's office in Norman and he handed it to me himself). I was also able to ID my computer charger because Jack ate the power cord when he was a puppy (which I now feel guilty about because I am almost positive I beat him for it at some point... but I gave him some lovins and cookies when I got home.)

The police knocked on the door several times trying to get the people to open up. It didn't happen. They staked out the house waiting for a search warrant (which was apparently hard to get since it was New Years Eve and so late in the day). During that time, two of the guys ran out the back door and threw a TV and a framed OU autographed picture over the fence (like that was going to lessen their sentence at all)... and around 7:30, we were told they had served the warrant and were taking inventory and pictures of the items in the house.

HOPEFULLY we will hear something Monday and be able to ID the rest of our stuff. I am sure most of it has been sold or ruined, but all of the prayers have paid off. I have always been told that God answers prayers, that His answer might be "No" or "Not right now" but He ALWAYS answers prayers. In our case, God was telling us "Not right now." In the past few weeks we have learned some valuable lessons.

1. When someone offers to help or do something nice, just let them help and say thank you. Because God has given them the talent of being able to help and you shouldn't deny someone of using that gift.

2. Cling to each other and rely on each other. God has truly strengthened our relationship through all of this. He has made me more thankful for Stephen and the security that he provides to this family. The desire that I have seen in Stephen recently to take care of me and protect me makes me know he will be an even BETTER father than I already knew he would.

3. Rely on God. God isn't going to give us mountains we cannot climb. We have to trust that He will answer our prayers. That is part of what faith is all about.

4. There are horrible people in this world. We need to raise our children to be better than this.

5. Get a gun safe.

6. Insurance doesn't cover some things unless you have insurance on those items (such as gun insurance or jewelry insurance)... So extend your policies people! Make sure that EVERYTHING is covered... not just up to 2500 dollars in firearms... which will only cover one or two of the firearms you lose if they all get stolen.

7. Write down serial numbers to EVERYTHING you own.

8. Things are replaceable. People are not. But once you realize all of the material things you have that ARE replaceable once they get stolen, you might realize (like we did) that we were living much too excessively and that we could do more useful things with our money.

9. God will bring the justice in His own time. Whether it's through the police, or on judgement day... He will take care of it so give it to God.

10. My mom always says "Forgive and forget"... but I have changed that and will tell MY kids "Forgive but don't forget to learn from it." I don't believe one can truly forget when someone does something wrong to you. BUT I do think you can forgive and move on with your life. You can forgive and learn from the experience. I forgave the guys the minute I came home and all my stuff was gone, because I came home and the most important things in my house were safe... Stephen, Baby G, Alabama, & Jack (oh, and Paisley- my neighbor's dog). But I will never forget this experience because it has helped mold me into the person, mother, and Christian I am and will become.