Becoming More Productive...

Our Family Dressed Up for Old Fashion Day .
I am sitting here finishing up my morning devotions and listening to the Celtic Women's CD, lost in prayer and thought.  It has been a tumultuous year for our family.  In some ways it has been wonderful, moving to the city and adapting to the new lifestyle that has offered so many opportunities yet it has been somewhat been tempered with a slight downturn in our business which has made things more challenging.  We are recently seeing a resurge which  everyone is very encouraged over.  It's time to starting  building the business again from what we lost when I got sick!

I have had a bad year physically making working on the business very difficult for Josh.  When I am down, he is torn between working the way he needs to, the children's needs and taking care of me.  I always feel so bad because I know how thin my husband is spread with all his responsibilities so any time I can take something off him, I am grateful to God for that ability.  With my recent improvement, even though the doctors are still concerned about my hemoglobin, I am able to start taking some things off Josh's schedule freeing him up to do more in the business arena and less here at home.  I am also beginning to feel strong enough to perhaps venture in to the mysterious world of project driven contracting once again.  What a difference even a few weeks can make in my condition.  Of course, this time around, we learned a valuable lesson as to why I was feeling so bad and how to keep it from happening again, at least in certain aspects.  I need to stick to my supplements with being on a strict vegan diet for the most part, although with the hemoglobin being low, I have begun eating a few eggs and some diary to help get protein back in my body but with my cancer treatments, I can't continue with that for long, at least not for another year.  I just have to be smarter about how I am handling my diet.

A little Victoria and Ben at Precious Moments Chapel.
I have been becoming a bit sentimental looking at all our old pictures.  Josh's parent's 31st Anniversary is coming up in a few days so I have been working on a little project for them.  Gift giving has become very important for me in my old age.  The younger version of myself, I am regretful to inform you, didn't take gift giving very seriously.  A case in point is Christmas, I would often pick one gift to give everyone at Christmas so my shopping was simplified and didn't require much year I believe it was rice steamers...not very creative either, I suppose.  As age often does for us, I realized that the giving of a gift can be more than just a present but a way for you to show the person just how special they are and for that, you have to think about what that person wants or needs and find something truly special.  Perhaps in a way of penitents for my misguided youth, gift giving has become something I take seriously and is a source of great joy for me.  With my illness, I may not always be on time but I try to always be at least thoughtful.
Josh working on a Search a Word with Victoria while
Benjamin stretches out on top of his Daddy.

I was in a dilemma as to what to do for Josh's parents.  For a while we did really well with our gift giving coming up with fun gadgets and jewelry that were things we thought they would really enjoy but the more gifts given, the harder it becomes to find that perfect thing that would make them feel loved.  I have struggled all month with what to do especially after Father's Day wasn't as special as I would have liked since I was down physically.  Josh took care of that one for the most part and we hope it was okay but then I had an exciting idea.  I am building a full pictorial history of our little family on an external hard drive for them to enjoy.  We though they would enjoy seeing all those messy years of our lives and watch the hundreds, nay, thousands of pictures of our family as we developed over the years.  I mistakenly thought taking on this project would be easy but digging into those digital files and putting together the package in a yearly format has proven to be a lot of work but what a joy to see my babies as babies once again.

Benjamin and Victoria hold Samuel on the day of
his birth.  I love this photo!
You forget how big their eyes were or the fact Samuel's eyes are still that big.  Sam's eyes should be registered as a lethal weapon because he is dangerous when he starts batting those long eyelashes at the world. We have walked out of more than one store with free loot all due to Samuel looking longingly at something and the proprietor just saying, 'Oh, let him just take it!'  Our daughter feels it is completely unfair that those eyes and eyelashes were given to the youngest son instead of the eldest daughter.  It's nice to look back and realize our gentle giant, Benjamin, had his height at about 12 and he's been growing ever since.  Or, to see our Baby Girl, who is now a legal adult, was always a care giver and has always been as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.  Taking this stroll through our pictures has given the opportunity to remember how blessed I have been over the years and how grateful I am to God for giving me such a beautiful family.

One of my favorite pics of Samuel as a Baby.
Life is calling me so I must go.  I have to fit in ironing Josh's dress shirts this weekend.  Josh was sending them to the laundry so I didn't have the pressure of making sure they were done for him but the laundry would inevitably misdirect them to the wrong apartment, or loose them since Josh never kept track of what he sent down and they always came back smelling so bad.  I have gone back to using a nice fabric soften so the shirts smell clean and I can give them a light starch and have them looking professional for him and we don't have to spend nearly $3 a shirt.  As much as I liked the idea of sending the shirts to the laundry, in reality, it wasn't the best idea.

So, on to life and helping Sam with his memorization and Ben with World History and encouraging Victoria with her Musical Appreciation, both of which are college level courses for them.  On to brushing our little White Fury, Taddington, who has developed almost more personality than our apartment can withstand and on to life in general where God has our future planned for His Glory!

May God Bless and Keep You in His Grace,

Our Babies enjoying a day at the Zoo, hard to believe
Benjamin is actually shorter than Victoria here.
Victoria teaching Samuel the
fine art of singing.
Again, one of my favorites.  Joshua and Benjamin on
Ben's Kindergarden Graduation.  They are so happy here!
Serene moment...Victoria, Ben and I working on School
while baby Samuel naps at our feet.