In this case I am not talking about something that my children have done, or the dogs, nor even the cats. No. Early, we're talking sometime around 3:30 AM or so, last Friday morning someone broke into my home!
Before I go further I want to reassure everyone that we are all safe and unharmed. Nothing was stolen from our home either.
Friday morning Daddy woke up because he heard a noise, a sort of bang, but he wasn't really sure he'd heard it. This was early in the morning. He got out of bed as quickly as possible and went to investigate, taking the dogs with him. What he found made his blood boil almost instantly. Our front door, which he'd locked the night before, was open about an inch and there was snow melt in our entry way as though someone had been standing there. Our home is set up in such a way that if you stand in the entry way of our home you see the hallway with 4 doors leading to our children's 3 bedrooms and the front bathroom. There was no other evidence of snow melt in the home or of anything being taken. He woke me up and I hate to admit it but I told him he was being silly. I thought there was no way anyone had been in our home. We have dogs. He must not have locked the door, or hadn't pushed it shut all the way and it had simply blown open. The melted water had to have been snow that had blown in and the noise he'd heard was the screen door in the wind. I saw no evidence of theft and so this is how I rationalized away my own fears. I was so set that no one had been in our home that he began to say that I might be right. Boy, was I wrong.
Daddy was on edge all day Friday but managed to get to sleep that night as did I. Peanut had a few of her normal nightmares and headaches that night so we were up and down quite often. Saturday morning when we woke up we did so with the plan to finally change the house locks "just in case" and we needed to grab a few things that morning, like Tylenol for Peanut, before we got too involved with other things. When we stepped onto our front steps we noticed that Peanut's screen for her window, a window that faces our street and is directly above our parking space, had been removed and placed on the ground leaving an indent in the rapidly melting snow. There was also a shoe/boot print on the hood of the truck. My heart felt like it had literally stopped!
We called the county sheriff's office, as our local police aren't in the office each and every day we're talking small town USA here. Within about twenty minutes I had a sheriff at the door to take our report. She was concerned as well. There are several other entry points in our home, as we live almost right on a two track that's next to the farmer's field, which should have appealed to a thief more than the front of our home. Report taken, we went off to buy our new lock set for the front door. We were gone for several hours and when we returned, before installing the new lock set, Daddy went to a few of our neighbors and let them know what was going on. Within minutes our street felt like it was on lock down, every person on our street had decided that this would not happen again. Daddy installed the new lock set and told me the plans for that night.
The girls and I would be sleeping in our bedroom with one of the dogs while Daddy and ECJ would be in the living room with the other dog most of the night. The entire house was locked, curtains drawn, and everything set up to appear that nothing else had changed. Peanut's Strawberry Shortcake movie was playing in her room, something was playing in YCJ's room, and all of the main lights in the house were turned off at normal times. Night lights were the only other light sources that were on. Daddy sat up all night making several rounds to each window and door watching and waiting for anything out of the ordinary. ECJ slept on the couch while the girls slept in my bed, I slept for the most part as I felt secure in the fact that Daddy was on watch.
Nothing happened. And I mean nothing. The sheriffs were making their presence known and keeping an eye on our house all night, our neighbors were watching through windows and some even stepped outside from time to time, and as I'd said Daddy was on patrol. We were vigilant, as were our neighbors, the next night as well until after 4 AM when most of us all went to sleep.
The children had noticed that we were much more protective of them. New rules were put in place about outside play. If we were at a neighbors the rule was now that the door was locked and if they needed us instead of running over they must call us. Every window, including my tiny kitchen window, now has a thicker curtain hanging in them. Every window has been double and triple secured. We've spoken more at length about stranger danger and have informed them that even if the person is NOT a stranger (more for the benefit of the younger children than ECJ as he's fully aware of what might happen) they are not to be let in our home unless we say so.
Monday morning dawned and we were feeling a bit more comfortable in our own home again, if not completely at ease with what was going on. Daddy had been in and out, back and forth to the neighbor's house several times Monday. Then he looked and noticed that one of our sun porch's windows (the one that had only one storm window and not two) had been opened. Daddy was done. Whoever was doing this needed to stop. Of course the window was "fixed" to where it could no longer open. The storm windows from another (less easily accessed from outside) window was placed in the front and the other window was sealed up unable to be opened from the outside at all. There's "booby traps" all over outside of our home under windows, at the base of steps, and near doors to where there's going to be some kind of racket (or damage done to an intruder for the spots where an animal won't accidentally get injured) if someone attempts to get in our home where and when they shouldn't.
Our neighbors are still watching. It's a miniature neighborhood watch just for our street. There are reasons to believe this could be someone after our child(ren) or someone who takes street drugs and is thinking they can get something from our home to sell for money. Daddy and I, to coin his term, are "not happy homeschooling campers at the moment."
Our children are safe and sound. Now, one dog sleeps with Peanut while the other sleeps with us in our bedroom. Daddy and I are back to being up late nights and he's getting up early mornings. Other happenings have been going on in the neighborhood as well for the past seven days. Empty homes being broken into for appliances and wiring and some sheds being broken into with a few missing items. Ours was the only occupied home that was attempted, and not just once but three times!
We're praying a lot right now for the safety of our children. We're refusing to give ground to a criminal and live in fear. We're trusting in God, and Daddy's safety measures, to keep us safe. It's been a stressful several days but thankfully the girls don't know what's really been going on and we've been able to make their days (barring the neurologist appointment) as fun as possible.
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