When I think of this past decade, these are the big moments that stand out in my mind. Some happy memories & some sad, all things that I learned from...all things that make me who I am today.
*Savannah's 4th (and last) eye surgery; she still had thick glasses to continue strengthening eye muscles, but she was finally done with surgeries!
*major ice/snow storm at the end of the month, much of the area lost power for several days (which so rarely happens here! Snow & ice? What do we do with this stuff?)
*hospitalization for Labrynthitis (I was 32 weeks preg w/ Samuel at the time), thankfully I was better after an overnight stay & came home to the snow & ice storm! This was also the end of my job as a Nanny for the family I had been working with for about a year.February
*Larry's grandfather, Daddy Jack, died. Samuel was due on Daddy Jack's birthday (3/23). From that point forward, we hoped he would arrive on that day to honor the memory of sweet Daddy Jack.March
*I dilated to six centimeters, never went into labor on my own, finally consented to allow the doc to "needle prick" my amniotic sac to start a slow leak & hopefully throw me into labor (a week past due), scary day, emergency Csection: Samuel David Reeves arrived at 2:21pm 3/29/00 weighing 1/2 an ounce shy of 9 pounds (read: huge for my side of the family who all deliver 7 to 7 1/2 pound babies!); lots of complications (for me) after surgery, stayed in the hospital for 5 days before I could finally go home, then had to return to the ER afterward. Yuck.April, May
*What? I'm supposed to remember the first few months after having a baby?
I do know that Larry graduated from LeTourneau University with his Bachelor's in May & began looking for a new job...but that's about all I remember.June
*June 30 (note this date in reference to the next item)-Larry started a new job, working for our county's probation department.June 29, 2000 (Yes, this deserves it's own bold-heading...big day in my memory)
*Found out I was pregnant. Again. Did I mention my son turned 3 months old that day? In shock & denial, I took another 8 or 10 tests before I finally admitted that MAYBE it was right. 2 weeks later when the morning sickness began, the reality finally set in. We were having another baby! I was due 3/4/01 -- just a couple weeks shy of Samuel's 1st birthday.July, August
*Hello, high powered morning sickness? Yes, I'd like a heavy dose of puking while I hold my newborn & try to avoid hitting him with the spray. Thanks! I loved the jacked up hormones, too. Good times. LOL! (Thank goodness for Dramamine & B6 & Ginger Ale. I lived on it for weeks!)December
*Christmas Day - my grandfather died. He had Parkinson's disease & heart problems. He left behind a wife of 58 years.
*At 36 weeks I was beginning to dilate on my own, so my OB decided to induce a little early & attempt to skip the 9 lb baby & repeat Csection if possible! Sarah Deanne Reeves joined the family at 37 weeks on 2/15/01 at 1:36pm. My quickest, smoothest, simplest labor ever -- 4 1/2 hours, start to finish. She was born on the day her big brother turned 10 1/2 months old.
*From the time Sarah was a week or so old until mid March, we struggled with deciphering her little body's system. Between severe reflux & a milk protein allergy, she was constantly either vomitting & gagging loudly or having bloody diarrhea. It was a very scary time as we ran tests and tried her on different types of formula & medicines to try to cure the problems she was having. Finally found the right combination of Zantac and Nutramigen! Hooray!April
*My grandmother died. Just a little more than 3 months after her husband died, she succumbed to the after-effects of a stroke & passed away. We all feel like she died from a broken heart. She too had Parkinson's Disease.
May - July
*I have no idea what happened during this time frame. Remember, 1 twelve month old + 1 sick newborn + 1 four year old = one big blur.August
*Savannah started Kindergarten. We had no idea, then, that this is the year she'd meet her dear girlfriends (twins) who remain, to this day, 2 of her best friends! Even though they moved away the summer after 1st grade, the three of them still get together a few times a year and hang out.
*Larry started seminary while working a full time & a part time job! No one can ever claim he's lazy or lacking ambition!September
*9/11 I don't think any of us will ever forget what happened that day, where we were, our first thoughts or the days ahead as we watched more & more details unfold.
*For the first time since having children, I left them home with daddy & grandma for the weekend & attended my church's annual women's retreat. I will never forget coming home to my 6 year old in a backward dress. She'd been to church like that & I didn't dare to say a thing! She was alive & well and Larry had made it through his first ever weekend to take care of one of the kids alone.
*Sarah got pneumonia on the day before her birthday. Poor sweetie. Unbeknownst to us, the illness would cause enough damage to later become asthma.
Spring....I don't remember exactly when.
*Samuel's ongoing recurrent ear infections finally led to ear tube surgery.
August*Savannah started 1st grade.
September*Savannah asked Jesus into her heart. Larry was able to baptize her at the church's annual baptism service at a local camp in their pool.
*I received the phone call no cop's wife wants to get. By this time, Larry had moved from being a regular probation officer to being a fugitive officer for the department. It was his job to investigate & snoop around to locate the fugitives and then drag them back to court to deal with the time they'd been on the run. On the day that I got 'the phone call', he had been chasing down a felony crook who was high on crack. The chief could only tell me a few details: Larry's in an ambulance on the way to the hospital, I'm not sure what all his injuries are at this point, you need to get to the ER.
Feeling like the rug had been pulled out from under me, gasping for breath and feeling my heart race 90 mph, I quickly called my mom & asked her to come be with the kids while I went to the hospital. I sent a quick email to the church secretary who relayed it to the elders, deacons & pastors. While I waited for mom to arrive, I dropped to my knees & begged God to care for my husband & protect him. Not knowing if he'd been shot or knocked unconscious or had his neck slit was terrifying. As I prayed, I felt a hand on my shoulder. I thought my mom had walked in without my hearing her, so I lifted my head & realized I was alone. In that moment, my heart stopped pounding, I stopped sweating, my breathing slowed & God reminded me that He was with me and would walk us through whatever was ahead. I remember the tears running down my cheeks when I realized that I was visited by the Holy Spirit that day & that very physical presence of a hand on my shoulder was all it took to give me the greatest strength & faith that everything would be OK. When I walked into the hospital room that day & saw my bandaged up husband who fell weeping into my arms, I was so grateful for what God did that day ... reassuring me, protecting my husband, giving me a peace that passes understanding. Since that day, I've been blessed with a supernatural faith in Him. I had faith before, but that day, the Spirit of God gifted me with a deeper level of trust & faith than I had before. It alternatingly reassures & annoys Larry when we're in the middle of a crisis because I tend to shrug my shoulders & say "it'll be OK. God's gonna take care of us." He loves to tease me about getting upset about things. While I really *don't* get upset and it cracks the kids and I up when he looks at me & tells me to calm down when I am cool as a cucumber. ha ha! He likes to jokingly say "Liz, you've got to settle down. You're scaring the children." We all burst into giggles when he does that.
November*I'm not sure of the date, but I'm figuring it up to be November. I remember the day my sister called me, ecstatic. After years of infertility issues, she was pregnant!!!
Sorry...this was a long time ago, I can't remember too many 'big' details.
Springtime*Sarah had surgery to put in ear tubes. Within days, she was speaking in sentences! Prior to the surgery, she only had a couple of words. It was shocking to see how much she talked afterward.
July*July 14 Baby Robyn Nicole was born. This is the baby from my sister's pregnancy announcement in November! After several boys in the family, Cindy was THRILLED to have a little girl.
*Savannah began 2nd grade.*After years of knowing 'something' was wrong with Savannah, but never being able to pinpoint it, we finally went to a psychiatrist for an evaluation. Unfortunately, Savannah inherited the family gene for depression & anxiety. She began taking medicine for it that year and has been pleasantly even-tempered ever since. What a blessing pharmaceuticals are! :)
September or October...maybe even November?*One of Samuel's ear tubes never came out on its own, so we had to do surgery to have it removed.
Again, this was a long time ago! What else did I do in '04?
*In mid June, Larry felt a call by God to go to New York City & attend a Brooklyn Tabernacle Tuesday night prayer service. He had no idea WHY he was being called to do this and even questioned his sanity when discussing it with me. I told him he better start researching airline ticket prices & such. One thing led to another & God lovingly dropped every bit of money into our laps to cover this unexpected trip. Without a reason to NOT go, Larry got on the plane & flew to New York, not sure what to expect from God. In an awesome Tuesday night service, Larry experienced a time with God like nothing he'd experienced before. He came back on fire for God, ready to burst into the full time ministry career he'd been pursuing with his years in seminary. Little did we know that the trip he took would be one of the deciding factors in which church he accepted a job in later. God planned that trip to prepare Larry for the place he'd serve!
*Larry began the job hunt for his first full time pastoral job. He was due to graduated from seminary in the Spring & wanted to get started on the job hunt. Many times pastor search teams take up to a year to hire someone.
*Savannah began 3rd grade.
*Larry went on staff at Rose Heights Church of God as Singles Pastor.
May*Larry graduated with his Master's Degree from the seminary.
*Just 6 years after our bankruptcy (1999), we were able to buy a house! Beauty from ashes!
*Samuel began Kindergarten. His sweet baby sister who had never lived a day without her constant companion (Samuel) was left at home with her boring old mom. A few months prior, we signed her up for Mother's Day Out. I ended up working there because I loved the hours! Little did I know that I would fall in love with teaching because I began working a little part time job at a local day care. My passion for teaching preschoolers was ignited!
***2006***Oh my...where do I begin?
February*2/9/06, about 4:00pm - my dear, sweet, beautiful girlfriend, Lisa Hardel, lost her battle with leukemia. Although the cancer was gone, she didn't survive the effects of all the drugs she had to take to continue thriving in life. She left behind three young children and a husband of 10 years.
*2/10/06 Less than 24 hours later, my brother in law was driving drunk & had a wreck. His sweet wife, Kelly, died in that wreck. G was arrested & eventually went to prison.
*2/13/06 Both Kelly & Lisa's funerals were held at the same time. In 2 different states. I went to the one for Kelly, but internally grieved that I couldn't go to both. I was still aching over the loss of my beloved girlfriend. I had to set that aside & take care of what was ahead, though.
*2/18/06 G & Kelly's kids (Andrew and Kourtney) moved in with us and very quickly became 'our kids'. You can dig through the archives of this blog to fill in the details of our life with Andrew and Kourtney. Plenty of details were blogged. :)
*I discovered Karen Kingsbury's books. Yes...that is a big deal. She's filled my book-reading time for the past couple of years now. Love her stuff!
*Savannah & Andrew attended church camp. It was the first time either of them had been to an overnight camp away from home. They both LOVED it, but watching the bus drive away with them on board was SO very hard.
*Sarah & Kourtney started Kindergarten
September*Samuel & Andrew began Cub Scouts. Larry was one of Samuel's den leaders.
October*After many years of back problems & a million minor tests & treatments to attempt to resolve his problems, we finally resorted to seeing a neurosurgeon who did a spinal fusion on Larry. (L4 & L5) Although the recovery was HORRIBLE, Larry has never regretted having the surgery.
November*Larry's Aunt Sandy died after a year long battle with cancer. The world lost an incredible lady that day. She was nothing but smiles, always laughing, always enjoying her family and life. Every memory I have of Sandy includes her laugh. We miss you, Sandy! It was only about 2 weeks after Larry's back surgery. He performed the service on a walker with the aid of narcotics. It was such a touching service.
December*We got Coco, a black lab puppy.
*Savannah had her tonsils removed. After a couple years of 7-8 cases of strep throat per year, it was a welcome surgery.
January*Coco bit Savannah in the face. Savannah had to go to the ER & have stitches. Not knowing if it was just puppy playfulness that got out of hand or a dog who might bite again, Larry decided that we should have the police department come take Coco. We were so upset about Savannah's face, but also sad to lose Coco. We found out months later that the officer who took Coco home with him (as a pet) had to put her to sleep a couple months later. She had Parvo. To this day, we've never told the kids. They still believe that Coco became a drug dog for the police department.
March*Far too many details to write out all over again, instead just read this post. And the next one after it. (It's a 2 part post.)
May*It became clear in the latter part of the Spring that the day care where I was working would be shutting down in the Fall. Knowing that we needed far more money with all the debt that fell into her our laps when the extra kiddos moved out, I had to go ahead & quit & begin a job hunt for something 5 days a week when the spring semester ended.
June*Going on the recommendation of a friend who was working for a local private preschool during the summer, I visited & put in an application. I loved the environment and prayed it would work out. Within a week, a phone call confirmed that I was hired & would begin in the Fall! Hooray!
*Larry's boat went crazy. The kill switch did not work properly, so when the motor fouled up & went full speed and threw him out into the lake, the boat did not die. Watching him bob in the water & dodge the boat that circled him & threated to hit his head with each pass was terrifying. Thank God for the kindness of strangers! A man from the group "Fishers of Men" stopped & picked him up. A lake warden had to wreck the boat to get it to stop. We got rid of that boat the next week! No more "death trap" for us.
August*2 local firemen lost their lives in a fire. One of them was the son of some friends at our old church. The other was the nephew of one of my closest friends. Such a tragedy! I won't forget that day or the men who lost their lives. RIP Austin & Kevin.
*Once in a lifetime trip to Los Angeles, CA to attend our friend's son's Bar Mitzvah. So many good memories made on that trip!
*Savannah began her band career as a French Horn player.
December*Samuel asked Jesus into his heart. Larry baptized him at our church.
February*We added a beloved member to our family, our sweet old dog King. With the two younger kids having a fear of dogs, King was the PERFECT dog for them. He was sweet, quiet, gentle & old. I will never regret adopting that sweet fella.
May*I was nominated as Teacher of the Year by my coworkers. I was completely blown away to earn such a high honor my first year at the school!
*Sarah asked Jesus into her heart! Larry baptized her a few weeks later at church.
June*Samuel attended overnight church camp for the first time ever. He LOVED it.
July*We had our first 'staycation'. Instead of vacationing far from home, we stayed at home & spent each day driving to a nearby attraction that we had not experienced before. SUCH a great way to vacation with the family & save money!
August*Larry & I flew to Missouri to meet one of my best friends. We met online a decade before, but had never met face to face in all those years. After 10 years of emails & phone calls & videos shared online, we finally had a chance to spend time together! I will never, ever, ever forget the first few moments...tears, hugs, such a great joy! It was a very short trip, but I am thrilled I was able to take it!
September*Larry took a group from church to Romania on a mission trip. The group accomplished much & came home richly blessed for the time they spent serving Him. It was a very long 2 weeks back home, though. Sure did miss our husband/daddy!
***2009***January*Larry & I came to grips with God's call on our lives this month...it was time to step down from the church where we'd been serving since 2005. Until he had another job to go to, we kept our lips sealed. It was quite an emotional time.
March*Loss. Not mine, but a friend's. I won't forget you, Wonderland. Your sweet life touched me in more ways than even your sweet mom knows.
*On Samuel's 9th birthday, Sunday the 29th, we said goodbye to our church family as we shared our last Sunday with them. Lots of tears & hugs, lots of love & sweet words of encouragement were shared. It was hard, but we know it was the right thing.
*During a first-day-of-Spring-Break bike wreck, Samuel's arm appeared to be broken. After spending day 2 of spring break in the pediatrican & then the orthopedist's office, we learned that it was not broken after all. Whew. That's the closest we've come as parents to a having a kiddo with a broken bone. I figure it's only a matter of time, though. (still crossing my fingers that we hold off a little longer!)
*Larry began his new job. I am not able to tell much about his job online, but rest assured he is back in law enforcement, investigating bad guys & protecting the innocent.
*The Sunday after Easter, our sweet dog, King, passed away in our laps. He was 10-11 years old & the lifespan for each breed in his mix was 10-12 years, so it was just his time. We came home from church & found him struggling. We walked him to the front yard to put him into the van & go to the emergency vet, but he never made it. He layed down in the yard & we sat around him and stroked his fur and talked to him....we loved him into Heaven. It's hard being the mom when a beloved pet dies.
*Samuel had his 2nd set of tubes put in.
*Savannah's Social Dance 'party'. She took a class that was part dance class, part social etiquette. I loved having her in it! The final class ('party') was so fun to watch. All of the parents were allowed a time to come watch their child dance with members of the opposite sex, doing all sort of ballroom dances & even a few fun ones.June
*My niece & nephew's adoption was finalized! After nearly 2 years of having them in our lives, it was exciting to 'officially' welcome Jake & Kate to our family!July
*our family's first rodeo -- Samuel even tried his hand at calf wrangling! He didn't win, but we all had a blast!August
*Larry & I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary
*Savannah turned 13. We're officially the parents of a teenager now. yikes!September
*Samuel read for pleasure. For the first time ever! And then begged for the sequel to his book. And the one after that! This was HUGE!
I'm sure I'm missing some big moments along the way. If I think of more I'll come back & edit this post to add them! It's amazing to me to look back on this decade. Larry & I entered the decade as young naive parents. We started the decade with one child. Before it was over we'd have as many as five at a time. I'm looking forward to all God has in store for us in the coming decade!
4 years ago