Just like Nov......and Oct....and Sept......you get the picture!......December has been crazier than I planned. Prov. 16:9, "The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." Most definitely true! : D I went on Dec. 3rd, spent one night with Briana, saw her in It's a Wonderful Life, then brought her back home for 2 nights so that she could help us decorate for Christmas. James took her back on Friday, and my plan was to spend the rest of the month until the 18th working on Christmas lapbooks with Marissa and Daniella, bake with them, finish up my shopping, etc.
However...the Sunday and Monday after James took her back, Briana went out of town. When she got back at about 11:00 Monday night, she found someone had broken into her apartment while she was gone. She called me, and was standing at the bottom of the stairs still in the building with her dog. Her apt is upstairs. I had her get back in her car, lock the doors, and call 911. I called Troy and my parents, and they all went over to be with her. They got her computer (which mostly upset her because of all of the pictures on it, along with a story she had been writing on for about 2 years.), an old video camera (which naturally had a tape of her Oct. Utah trip in it), a $150 bracelet that was a graduation gift from her aunt, some misc. cheap jewelry, get this....a large pack of toilet paper!, vacuum cleaner, a couple of dvds, some art pencils. about $250 cash, and a bag of chocolates out of her refrigerator. They completely trashed her bedroom~dumped everything out of the chest of drawers, papers strewn all over the room, dumped everything out of the laundry hamper, jewelry thrown across the room, dumped everything out of her dance bag. Some random things from the bedroom were in the living room, 2 pieces of chocolate laying in the hall. We honestly believe from the looks of things~ the way things were randomly scattered, and things like the art pencils missing, but 2 dvds were taken out of their cases and stuffed into the bag that the art supplies were in~that a child was with them.
Whoever it was also knew she was out of town and had plenty of time. It turns out that the apt downstairs was broken into also, but their front door wasn't busted down like Briana's. They went in through a maintenance door in the back and cut a hole into their bathroom wall. Those people were also out of town, and the only person who knew both of them were gone is the girl (and her boyfriend) that lives across the hall from Briana. It also had to be someone who knew the layout of the apts to get into the one downstairs. If it wasn't them, the detectives believe it was some of their friends.
Briana spent the next 2 nights with my parents until the detective gave her the okay to go back. I went over on Wed. and helped her clean up, wash all of the clothes they had been through, and just to keep her company for a couple of nights. James came over for the day on Thurs. and installed metal reinforcements around the door frame, making it virtually impossible to kick the door in again. After those 2 nights AND the metal reinforcements, she was okay, and ready to stay alone again. I was not so confident and ready!!!
I came home, spent the next day in bed, then had less than a week before it was time to go back over to see Troy in the closing of Sanders Family Christmas, both of them in the closing of It's a Wonderful Life, and to have dinner with them, Troy's parents, and his sister visiting from Texas. Troy and his sister came back with us that night after the last show, and spent 3 nights, leaving on the 23rd.
Why is this post called December Blessings? Because there were many!
~Briana got to come home to help us decorate, which she didn't get to do last year
~She was not home when her apt was broken into
~She had left her amethyst purity ring there, because it needs resizing, and she didn't want to lose it. They missed it somehow. A picture frame on her dresser fell over on top of it and hid it from view....I think that was God's doing!
~They could have taken a lot more than they did or damaged all of her brand new furniture.
~Her dog was at my parents' house. They could have taken or hurt her.
~They didn't take her extra car key, like we had been afraid they had.
~What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger! LOL
~Someone invented metal reinforcements to go around doors, and her apt managers didn't care if we installed them.
~I got to see Briana twice in It's a Wonderful Life, and saw Troy in Sanders on a date with my husband.
~I managed to get a batch of sugar cookies cut and decorated with Marissa and Daniella before I left that day to go back over after the break-in
~Ashley helped them make and decorate gingerbread cookies.
~Ashley is loving her job in camp ministry, and she and I got to spend time together.
~Briana and Troy both auditioned, and made it into Annie.
~Briana got to come home with us on the 20th, and was here until yesterday. She will be back tomorrow for 4 more nights. The 4 sisters have had the BEST time this past week.
~Troy came and spent time with us last week.
~There was snow up in the mountains still, so we all went up and had a snowball fight while he and his sister were here.
~Somehow, some way, all of the shopping got done by Christmas (with MUCH help from my husband, who did all of the grocery shopping on Christmas Eve!)
~I had a FABULOUS Christmas with my husband and 4 girls!
~I got to go out to dinner with 2 of my friends this week.
~And, LORD WILLING, I will be home (not out of town) for 36 days straight! That will be the longest stretch since April.
~a left over Nov. blessing.....after having to have her kitty put to sleep in Oct., and after much searching on the internet, Briana adopted a dog from the animal shelter here over Thanksgiving break. She is so sweet and adorable. AND, even though the apt has a 20lb dog weight limit, they let her have her 53 lb blessing!! She named her Maddie.
I'm sure there are many more December blessings I've skipped over, and December isn't quite over yet!I pray all of you have a terrific and blessed New Year!!!
Briana and Maddie~