Sunday, Sept 30, 2012

A lot has happened since my last post.  Joselyn is now over 6 months old and crawling.  I don’t get to see her very often – only about once a month it seems.  I am planning to see her and Sarah on Sarah’s birthday, which is on the 4th.  As far as I know, she’s doing very well – just keeping mom and dad very busy.

Michael returned from his mission on March 27th.  It was great to see him again.  He looked good and sounded good.  Other than some relatively minor companion issues, it seemed like his mission went very well.  His emails were always very positive.  He had a few slow times, but overall, kept very busy.  He openly discussed his need to become more humble in his emails, which I always felt was a very humble way of admitting weakness – something that few people can do.  I think he grew a lot, and came home a much better person with an unshakeable testimony.  I’m really proud of him.

Michael was only home for about 3 weeks before heading back to BYU-Idaho.  It all came together rather quickly, but I’m really glad he was able to get back so quickly and can get on with the rest of his life.  He won’t be home again until Christmas.  He’s working during the Fall Semester, although it’s been tough to find a good job.  He’s got 2 part-time jobs right now.  He’s also been called to be Elder’s Quorum Pres.  I think I would have freaked out receiving that calling so soon after returning from my mission, but Michael seems to be handling it well.

Emily graduated from Lake High School in June.  I’m very proud of her, too.  She was also accepted at BYU-I, but doesn’t start until January.  She’s been very busy, though, working two jobs – McDonald’s and Marc’s.  It’s quite a contrast to just a year ago when she couldn’t seem to find a job anywhere.  She loves both jobs and was recently promoted to Supervisor at Marc’s.  The funny thing is she, along with my other 3 children, used to insist they’d never work at fast food or Marc’s – Marc’s because they insisted that only bad kids worked there.  I think she’s changed her mind.

Andrew had a tough winter because there was hardly any snowfall – meaning no snow-plowing work for him.  The summer was a little better for his lawn-mowing business, although we were under drought conditions during June and July which caused everyone’s grass to turn brown and stop growing.  I’m hoping for snow this winter only for his sake.  I’ve been very proud of how he seriously he takes his work.  He’s constantly thinking about ways he can improve his business.  Right now, he’s constructing another leaf plow, which will help out in month or so.

I quit my job at Rubbermaid the day after Michael returned from his mission at the of March.  I was working on a project at the time that I thought was going to turn into a full-time business and was over-anxious to get away from Rubbermaid.  As it turned out the project didn’t work out and I’ve been going from one thing to the next ever since, hoping to find something will work for us.  I’m planning to write more about it on my blog. As you can guess, money has been very tight.

Susan’s job at Cambridge Home Health Care was gradually becoming unbearable for her and I felt real bad about it.  I told her she could quit, but she hung on until about 2 weeks ago when she found a much better opportunity at Victorian Rose in Hartville.  It’s a high-end store for women – very low pressure and even more money.  We are both very thankful.

Susan’s shoulder has been giving her a lot of trouble recently which has us concerned.  We’re not sure what’s causing it and just hope it’s curable because it’s really preventing her from being able to function normally.  The problem is compounded by the fact that we have no health insurance currently.  I’ve also got a small issue – a high PSA reading during Wellness Screening that I received shortly before leaving Rubbermaid.  I see my doctor on Tuesday about that.

Susan and I have been doing a fair amount of bike riding.  We’ve covered the towpath from Boston Mills to Navarre, and have tried several smaller paths – around Deer Lake, North Canton, Stow, Kent, and Ravenna.  On Monday we rode a very nice path between Mantua and Garretsville.  On my own, my favorite trip is from the farm to Quail Hollow State Park in Hartville.  I can complete the round-trip, which includes a 4 mile mountain bike loop through the park, in about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

To celebrate the anniversary of our Temple Sealing, Susan and I traveled to Palmyra, NY, leaving on Friday Sept 7th, and returning on Sunday, the 9th.  We spent the nights in Bed & Breakfast Inns – Gallets House in Allegany, NY and Liberty House in Palmyra.  It was a wonderful weekend.  There were no crowds, as there would have been during the Pageant, so we got a lot of personal attention at the Visitor’s Center, the Grandin building where the Book of Mormon was published, and the site of the Smith family homes and the Sacred Grove.  In fact we had the Sacred Grove all to ourselves.  We were also able to attend the Temple and Sacrament meeting in the Palmyra Ward.  It was a wonderful trip – very relaxing and enjoyable.

I want to mention how wonderful it has been to be married to Susan.  I can’t imagine a better partner.  We both just seem to love being together.  We are very evenly yoked, each of us having strengths that compliment the other person.  We work well as a team with virtually no contention (although I think I can be a little difficult at times).  She is so easy to live with, never complains or criticizes – just loves me without reservation.  I just hope I can be worthy and deserving of her love and devotion.

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