Friday, February 29, 2008

SON shine

Where do I start? I am overwhelmed and speechless (which some may find shocking!) over the generous love and friendship shown to Bryan and I. How I wish I was very eloquent in speech so I could communicate my deepest feelings over the wonderful words, gifts, hugs, and scripture that have been shared with us. We knew we had great friends and a wonderful family but we are still in awe over the events of the past week. How I wish I could speak directly into the eyes of everyone who has touched us this week. One blog will not be able to contain all I wish to communicate.
I knew my blog family was wonderful, but man oh man! Are you not the most wonderful thing since Chocolate Toffee Ice Cream from Braums!!!!!!! My heart raced, my eyes burned as I read your sweet compassionate words you have typed to me. I have received wonderful encouraging emails from you to. I knew how great you are but even my husband is seeing it. He checks my blog and called me today and said you have some wonderful postings. I have met new wonderful ladies through this experience and I plan to respond and visit your blog as well. I am just in awe at the closeness I feel to each of you even though there are several miles between us. I appreciate the compassion you have given to me. How I wish I could hug each of you! Thank you thank you thank you for praying for us. I can truly say I have felt your prayers both physically and emotionally over this week. Bryan and I have such a wonderful peace over the events. When you step back, realize God is sovereign and you are not in control, it brings a calming and "a peace that passes all understanding." I want to also thank you for the verses you have shared. I know I may face still some hard times emotionally but you and God's word have provided me resources I can look back on to carry us through.

Do you know how wonderful you are? Each of you are a beautiful creation of God!!

You will be happy to know I am showered with clean hair and my legs have been shaved!!! Ha Ha!! However it was no easy task! Here is the equipment I had to use........

I re-washed the knife before we made a salad that night!! Just kidding! My legs were not that bad. Plus I wouldn't have used this knife. It is my expensive Pampered Chef knife! Also, I have moved out of lounge pants and pajamas to some jean capris today! Yea!!

Here have been some of my comfort foods. My cousin and her daughter brought me some ice cream and my good friend Carla Young brought us some beautiful flowers and one of my favorite candies.....

Bryan and I have also received beautiful fresh flowers. I do not have a favorite flower. I love a beautiful colorful mix of flowers and WE HAVE BEEN BLESSED! There are 6 different arrangements. I was going to post individual pictures but we have received so much over the past few days that it would have taken up to much space. Didn't God do good when He created flowers!!

I want to try to preserve them as long as I possibly can. I'm wondering if these would dry pretty and retain their colors. I may get a decorative clear container to put them all in so I can remember the generosity and beauty of this time in our lives. I dried some roses Bryan got me for our 10 year anniversary and they did okay. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Look closely at the Willow Tree figurine. This came from my dear dear friend Kristine Young. It is titled "Sisters by Heart...Celebrating a treasured friendship of sharing and understanding". Kristine is not just my sister in Christ. She is my Sister By Heart. The description of the figurine describes our relationship perfectly. How blessed I am that she has remained my friend.

My cousin, James, has come up to visit me from Lewisville, Texas. He has been my chaffeur. He drove us to have lunch with Bryan and then we drove around Norman. We never left the car, just drove around and talked. God created a beautiful day with perfect temperatures and bright sunshine. We drove with the sun roof back and the windows down. It was refreshing to get out. Thank you Father for the beautiful day you created and the feel of warm sunshine touching our backs.

Please know there is much much more I want to share. But I do not want to bore you. I do plan to come back and share some of the scriptures that were given to me and what they mean to me now. I also have to post about my Feminar trip to Dallas. I'm still a little scattered but I promise I will get it done.

You are so special to me. Thank you again for being a part of my life.

p.s. Bryan and I will be doing a lot of adoption research over the next few weeks. If you have any information or opinion please do not hesitate to share. I'm hoping I do not get overwhelmed trying to understand the process and legalities.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

May God Be Praised -- He is Sovereign

This is a difficult blog for me to write. I'm wondering how I will use the right words and convey the right message. I'm just going to type what comes. May God be glorified!

Bryan and I have been wanting to have a family of our own now for sometime. Last February 2007 I had a tubal pregnancy and lost my left fallopian tube. Although I only had one tube left, we could still continue to conceive and have a baby naturally. We found out Thursday before I left for the Feminar that I was expecting. We were excited and cautiously optimistic. We knew there was a chance, although it was just a 20% chance, I could have another tubal pregnancy. On Monday morning I sat down to read my Bible before going to work and had an incredible pressure when I sat down and my right side began hurting. I went to work and just kept thinking maybe this was something normal. Maybe it was just some abdominal pain or cramping. That is sometimes common in a pregnancy, so I've read. I had to call my doctor's office anyway. They had told me in 2007 to call them as soon as I found out I was pregnant so they could quickly rule out another tubal/ectopic pregnancy. I did that and had blood work and an ultrasound scheduled for Tuesday. I hurt on an off on Monday and began to feel something just was not right. Bryan was incredibly nervous for me all day. Monday night I began hurting even worse. I could not sit and I could not stand. We went to the emergency room at 10:40 p.m. on Monday night. They began with a urine sample, blood test, a pelvic exam (I thought I was going to jump off the bed when the doctor touched my right side), a catheter (they had to do this twice because the first time did not get in the "right spot"), and then a vaginal ultrasound. At 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, they told us it looked like I was having another tubal pregnancy on my right side and I would have to go in for surgery. We pretty much knew this was happening because right before that the nurse came in with a saline bag for an iv and some morphine. My symptoms were too close to what they were in 2007. Bryan was even wise enough to pack a bag thinking to get the very personal female necessities. He is the greatest and the most wonderful man. He is a rock! I am so thankful God has given him to me.

I still held out hope though. I kept thinking, "The odds of this happening again are only 20-25%." and "Surely they can just repair my tube" Unlike last time, my tube had not ruptured yet. It was seeping some blood but had not ruptured. Bryan and I were sad. Bryan saw more of the facts. I went directly into surgery. I remember waking up and asking if they could save my tube. The nurse told me No, they were unable to save my tube. It hurt my body too much to cry. But I was devastated. The doctor also told Bryan I had endometreosis in my uterus. Bryan and I know people who have had IVF and respect that as their choice but we have always felt our only options for our personal selves were to conceive naturally or adopt. I am now unable to ever conceive because I have no fallopian tubes. I can't allow myself to dwell on this too much. I have looked forward for a long time to being pregnant. I have truly wanted to experience morning sickness. I have wanted to have the belly that sticks out. I have wanted to wear maternity clothes. I think expectant mothers are some of the most beautiful women and I've wanted to be one of them. But, this is not the path God has laid out for Bryan and I. For two years, I have prayed asking God for His perfect plan. I have meant that prayer. I prayed it knowing what that could entail. I knew His plan may not have been for us to conceive and I completely prayed for His perfect plan willing to accept His and not mine. So, I am here now. He has shown us a huge part of His plan and Bryan and I are here to accept it. We want to look back at this trial in our life and know we have completely, whole heartedly given God glory both outwardly with our mouths and inwardly with our hearts.

My friend Kristine and her husband Jeron have been trying conceive for a lot longer than Bryan and I. Having them in our lives has shown us there are other people who have deeper struggles and hurts than Bryan and I do. She shared this verse with me on Thursday that someone had shown her. At the time, I thought of the verse from her perspective. Little did I know I would want to be claiming this verse for myself today. Thank you Kristine for sharing this verse. It has sustained me and given me hope. It is Psalm 113:9 "He gives the childless woman a household, making her the joyful mother of children. Hallelujah!" Last night I was reading it over and over again. I looked at one of the cross references for this verse and it was Psalm 68:6a "God provides homes for those who are deserted." How wonderful God's Holy preserved word is!!!! How marvelous the comfort, direction, and clarity His word can provide. I'm claiming these two verses for comfort and direction toward adoption. I thank God for showing these verses to me and being specific in His word. There is one other verse that Beth Moore has given in her Stepping Up Bible Study. It is Psalm 27:13-14 "I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."

Please pray for Bryan and I. Specifically:
(1) Ask God to protect our minds and hearts from depressing attacks from Satan.
(2) Ask for physical healing of my body. I am really aching right now from the gas rising to my shoulders.
(3) Pray I will not have further "female" issues each month.
(4) Ask God to give us clear direction as we research adoption.
(5) Ask God to work among our finances are we look into adoption. I am confident God will provide. Ask Him to guide us to be good stewards of His financial blessings.
(6) Ask God to help us wait upon Him and His perfect timing.
(7) Ask God to comfort our family members who are hurting with us.

I am thankful to God for:
(1) My husband who is my supporter, my caregiver, my best friend, my sounding board, my rock, my comforter, and my pillow at night when I hurt.
(2) Medical personnel who work the late hours at the hospital so they can take care of me.
(3) Caring family members who come to the hospital and my home.
(4) My dear girlfriends who have been to my house to visit and hug me.
(5) Pain medication
(6) God's sovereignty, His constant in our lives. His is in control when everything seems so out of place.
(7) My church family. Many have called and have come by. I am so grateful for them. I appreciate the sincere love they have shown to us.

On a funnier note......can I just get a little personal and I hope I don't gross you out. On Monday morning when I got up, I did not wash my hair or shave my legs. I had to go the ER that night with hairy legs and dirty hair!! This has taught me to shave my legs and wash my hair. You never know where you might end up at the end of your day and you want to look good!!!! Ha!

Thank you for allowing me to journal my thoughts during this time. I hope I have not spoken out of turn.

May God be Praised for He is Sovereign!!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Texas Bound!!!

I'm excited. It is Feminar time. What's the Feminar? It is an amazing women's conference held by Macedonia Baptist Church in Longview, Texas attended by over 1300 women! The theme verse this year is "Heal me O Lord and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for Thou art my praise.” Jeremiah 17:14. The speakers are Phyllis Hendry, Lori Salierno, and Janet White. The music guest are The McRaes. I have heard Janet White speak numerous times but I have not heard the other ladies. Nor have I heard the McRaes but I'm sure I will be blessed. In the past, the music guest have been Point of Grace, Selah, and Avalon.

My Aunt Judy invited me for the first time in 2000 or 2001 I believe. I've missed 2 years or so in between but it is a tradition we have established and every year I look forward to this time. My sweet sweet cousin, Alyssa, has began going with us the past few years and my mom went last year. It is a wonderful time together. One of my best best best friends, Kristine Young, is going with me this year. Kristine is the Youth Minister's wife at our church. She has such an incredible spirit, attitude, and a servant's heart. She inspires me. I love her so much. Kristine and I are leaving Oklahoma and driving down to Celina, Texas tonight and staying at my aunt's house. On Friday, we will stop at Sam Moon's in Frisco and do some quick cheap purse and cheap jewelry shopping. Then, off to Longview to begin our girl's weekend. I can't wait to see what God has in store for us by way of the speakers and scriptures shared.

Please pray for us. Specifically (1) Pray God will clear the roads for Kristine and I. We have slick roads in the metro area today and we are leaving around 8:30/9:00 p.m. on a 2.5 hour drive. Pray for travelling safety. If we could get south the roads should be better. (2) Pray for the logistics of everyone meeting to leave. We have to pick up two other ladies that are going with us from Celina. (3) Pray for travelling safety from Celina to Longview. (4) Pray for a sweet time of fellowship with new ladies (my aunt's friends) I will meet and pray for a wonderful, memory making time with my family. (5) Ask God to speak to each one of us on a very specific level. Ask Him to clear my mind and help me not be distracted by watching all the women. I love to people watch! (6) Pray for physical strength. Kristine and I will be travelling back to Oklahoma on Saturday night.

Thank you for praying!

I will miss reading your blogs over the next few days. I wish I could meet some of my blog friends who are in Texas!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I've Been Tagged

Okay. I'm completely nervous trying to accomplish this blog. I started it on Tuesday morning and it very well may take me until Wednesday or Thursday to complete it. I'm new to blogging and I am suppose to include links to other's blogs. That's the part that makes me nervous. If I don't get the link correct, I think you can look at my "Blogs I like" and click there. Here it goes....

List 7 random things that people may not know about you. The rules are to link the person who sent this to you and leave a comment on their blog so their readers can visit yours. Post the rules on your blog. Share 7 facts about yourself. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, linking their blog. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. Hold up your right and and repeat after me "I (insert your name) do solemnly swear not to pass judgment on Julie or any parties involved."

1. I love Taco Bell. My favorite item is a bean burrito with no onion, extra red sauce. I do get highly frustrated when they do not add the extra red sauce. It makes all the difference in the world.

2. I love OU Football. Boomer Sooner!! I love to attend the games and I love to watch them on TV. One of my favorite parts of the game is the moment the Sooner Pride band marches out on the field. I love to watch the drum major. I love to watch any college football in the Fall. Last year, I think I watched more than Bryan!! I don't keep up with all the statistics for the players. I just like to watch it.

3. I love to eat Chocolate Toffee ice cream from Braum's. They do not carry it all the time and I think the next time they have it, I think I am going to buy 2 containers.

4. I love to sing but I have an awful voice. I sound like I am in a deep hole. Bryan says I am tone death. He doesn't make fun of me, it is just a fact. But I still love to sing contemorary Christian/praise and worship. You should hear me sing some of Mandissa's new songs!! I am smart enough not to sing a special at church. Afterall, we do want people to come to know Jesus not ran away!

5. I am perfectly content to sit in a lounge chair by White River in Calico Rock, AR reading a book and doing Bible study. I did that about 2-3 years ago and I sat in the chair for several hours at a time and I read 2 books in 3 days!!

6. I sometimes take a while to wake up in the morning :(. I'm not horribly cranky in the morning but I'm not fully functionioning either. I usually start functioning good at about 9:00/10:00!!

7. I like to be on time to appointments, church, dinners, and fellowships. It is just as important to me that people are prompt to something I schedule. I am trying to relax a little in this area.

Caroline tagged me. I haven't met many people and I'm hoping this will introduce me to others in the blog world. Ladies if you have already done this (I may have missed seeing it on your blog), please dont' be frustrated with me. I hope I still hear from you after this!! I am really enjoying meeting and reading about you. Okay sooo I tag:


Not My Granny's German Chocolate Cake

Last night Bryan had class from 3:00 - 6:30. He usually gets home around 6:45 so I had some time to really get some things done. I will be going out of town on Thursday so I wanted to be sure to cook for Bryan when I could and I wanted to bake him a cake to eat on while I was gone. My Granny makes a German chocolate cake that is to die for. She makes her icing from scratch and it always looked complicated to me so I've never tried it. My boss made a German Chocolate cake recently, brought it to the office, and shared her secret. It worked for me so I'll pass it on. Her cake tasted very close to granny's and I never would have known it was store bought icing.

One of the things I have loved about blogging are the new recipes that are sent to me or that I read about. I've told several of my friends it is worth blogging just for the recipes!! I tried Candy's Doritoe Casserole (visit her blog for the recipe because I do not want to take credit)recipe last night. Mmmm Mmmmm good. I served Spanish rice with it. We loved it. Candy is a great cook. I have 2 more of her recipes to try and I have 2 of Kelly's chicken recipes I need to make. Maybe it is just that I don't have that exciting of a life but it is neat to sit down to dinner and tell Bryan "Oh, this is a recipe I got from ______ on her blog." We are finding it really neat.

I think the Spanish rice looks a little scary in this picture. Ha! Ha! I didn't get a good picture of it. But it sure tasted good. I also made some guacomole. Since I had some left over, I ate a serving with some chips for my breakfast this morning!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

I'm a blogging dork

I have no idea what I did but I created a huge space in between my Monday morning blog and the V-day blog. Does anyone know how to delete that large space?

Bryan and I had a fun weekend and I'm just now taking the time to blog. I wanted to take some time to work on my Beth Moore Stepping up study and told myself I could not blog until I got the week's homework done. I had a great time in Bible study on Saturday morning.

Here are pictures of my haircut. I had to take them myself so I look a little funny. I wish Melissa Meyers could move in with me and do my hair every morning. I never can fix my hair like she does. I looked so different on Saturday morning and then had an even different style on Sunday. I can't get it to "lay" the way she did.

I took Bryan to work on Friday because we thought it might be icy here and my car drives better on snow and ice. I told him I had to take a picture of him in his office so I could put it on my blog. Doesn't he look cute! After I picked him up, we went to eat at La Luna. I love Mexican food on cold rainy days.

It rained most of the night on Friday and all day Saturday. But, that didn't stop us from having some fun. And thankfully, there was no ice. I had decided I wanted a Carhartt jacket. Bryan got one for Christmas and his is so warm. I didn't really have a warm coat I could wear if we went to the gun range or went down to the deer stand. We started out shopping at Tractor Supply. Although we didn't have any luck finding a jacket, we did see some cute bunnies. Bryan thought I was crazy taking a picture.

In case you are wondering, we did not buy a bunny. I did try to pick one up though. I don't think the bunny appreciated that. He/She was a little antsy.

We ended up finding a Carhatt jacket on sale at Langston's for 50% off. Whooo hoooo!!! I loved it. Bryan and I were also both shopping for boots. I have lymphedema in my right leg and it stays swollen all the time. I had thought I wouldn't be able to get boots over my ankle. I can't wear the dressy boots with skirts so I thought I wouldn't be able to wear western boots. But, I can!!!! I'm so sure with my excitement I looked like a kid getting something new!! I was thrilled!! I tried on a pair of boots and wore them around the store for about 10 minutes. I love them and I can't wait to wear them out and about. I did wear them to my women's Bible study last night and I've been trying to think of how I can wear them to work but I just can't seem to put an outfit together. Ha! Ha! I don't think they will look good with black dress slacks!!

Friday, February 15, 2008


I have several things I'd like to blog right now (haircut, watching American Idol that Brooklyn recorded, and my valentines from Bryan) but I'm in a time crunch right now. I'll expand on these things later and post some pictures.

Last night, I spent some time with one of my dearest friends, Brooklyn. She has two little girls that I just love and she is so good to let me participate in their lives. Her youngest will be turning 2 in April. Stella is sucking her thumb and not just at night. She does often throughout the day. Brooklyn was telling me her thumb is callousing over but she just can't get Stella to stop. I told her I would blog this and ask if anyone had any advise. Those of you I have met so far seem to be great moms so I'm sure you have some advise, pretty please!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I Love Bryan

I got up at 5:00 a.m. this morning while Bryan was sleeping so I could get his snickerdoodles made and hid before he got up. I managed to get all the cookies done and hid in the cabinet before he got out of the shower and came into the kitchen. Here is the $1.00 container I suffered at Wal-mart to get last night. I loved the card I got him this year. The message fits my feelings for him
"I love being married to you

I love the boy in you—the one with the big grin and warm hugs who says and does so many things that make life a lot of fun….
But even more than that, I love the man you are—your strength, your friendship, your warmth, and all the other things that make you special. I love everything about you—and I always will."
I am so blessed to be married to Bryan. He is my best friend. I'm so glad he lets me do some of the fun things he enjoys. Like going to the gun range, walking to the deer stand in the woods, and going on hikes looking for deer tracks. I don't mind any of it. I am just thrilled to be in the same place he is. After 10 years, I love him more and more each day.
I drove to surprise him at his office around 10:00 to deliver the card and cookies. He was surprised and his face turned a little red and a little blotchy. I asked him if he shaved too close this morning because it was red. His co-worker said "I think he is blushing!" Bryan said he wasn't and he just had dry skin.
I hope everyone has a wonderful day!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wal-Mart Woes

Okay. I'm typing this extremely fast because I am in a hurry and I'd like to get this done before Bryan comes in to read it. This has been a most crazy evening. We have had a 4 night Bible study at church which has been incredibly great (I'll write more on that later). Anyway....I ran to WM after church just quick enough to pick up a cute little container to put Bryan's cookies in tomorrow and to pick up an extra cookie sheet (another story for a later time). You would not believe that store. I walked in and it looked like a can of people had exploded all over the store. The card isle is right in front (I had already bought Bryan's card and I've kept it hidden in my car). But moving on...You would not believe the number of people. I stopped in the middle of the isle to count them just so I could communicate this back to the blog world. There were 19 people in front of the cards picking out there V-Day card. Then, the check out stands were outrageous. Every open check out (open being the key word) was busy. It was like it was the day after Thanksgiving when people are hitting the sales or the day before when people buy all their food. I stopped to count people in line. In several stands there were at least 12 people. All of the stands had at least 7. I was blessed and I mean blessed to get in an express line. I was #7. Doesn't #7 mean complete in the Bible?! My night at Wal-Mart was complete. All this for $10.77.

I'm thankful for bargain prices, but on crazy evenings like today, WM can wear me out in 15 minutes!! I am so scattered right now!!

Best of Show

We are quite excited in the Haskins household! You may have already heard...Uno, a beagle, won Best of Show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show! We haven't told Lilly yet as she was in her dog house when I was getting ready this morning! Ha Ha!
I've attached a picture of Lilly Belle. She would probably be a little upset at me. This picture is about a year old and she has filled out a little since then. But I love her coloring and her pose in this picture. She is quite a talented beagle. Bryan has taught her to roll over (does it matter that she has to be prompted with a treat?). In the Spring and Summer she spends her time pacing around the edge of our deck with her nose to the ground and barking and howling at what I call imaginery rabbits. Since we live in the city, she doesn't have much of an opportunity to hunt the real thing.
She is a little hyper but we are working on that. She is so loveable and has such a pretty face. I can't wait until it warms up and we can go on walks.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Mmmm Mmmm Good

Blogging can be addictive. I can't wait to meet more people on line. I think this could be fun. I'm very proud I was able to post a picture of Bryan and I. That is quite a technical achievement for me. I'm learning.

Last night I tried a new chicken recipe for dinner and it was delicious. It was in Pampered Chef's "29 Minutes to Dinner" And, it truly only took about 29 minutes. Here's the recipe.

Crunchy Whole-Grain Chicken Bites
1 lb chicken tenders
1 pkg dry ranch dressing mix
1 egg white
6 cups whole-grain chips
1/4 tsp paprika
Vegetable Oil

Cut chicken into 1 1/2in pieces. Whisk together 1 tbsp of the dressing mix and egg white. Crush chips in resealable plastic bag; add remaining dressing mix and paprika and shake well.

Add chicken to egg white mixture; mix well to coat. Add half of the coated chicken to crumb mixture; shake to coat with crumbs and arranged in a single layer on rectangle stone or cooking sheet. Repeat with remaining coated chicken and crumbs.

Spray chicken generously with oil. Bake 14-16 minute or until chicken is golden brown and centers are no longer pink. Remove from oven.

I served this with roasted garlic potatoes and mixed vegetables. Bryan loved in .
I just now realized I should have taken a picture so you could see the outcome. Sorry!

I am really enjoying cooking for my man. When I worked at the mortgage company, I had more responsibilities and worked longer hours. I would cook, but it would always be something fast, frozen, and/or simple. Now I'm enjoying trying new recipes. It brings me great satisfaction. Plus, it helps with the eating out budget.

If anyone knows of some great crock pot recipes, please pass them onto me.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Blogging Blunders

I'm so excited!!!! I am completely new to blogging but I think I am going to love it. I look at it as a type of journal. I can type a lot faster than I can write. I may keep my handwritten journal for the deepest most private moments. But I think blogging will be fun. I'm looking forward to working on my page and maybe posting some photos. Wish me luck and be patient! Don't make fun of my initial attempts!!