Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Processing, Praying, and Praising....

Thursday evening as I was heading home after a LONG work day, I called my sister and asked if she and her husband needed help at their deer processing business. A church friend had just told me Wednesday night that her husband was laid off and I thought Becky might need some help since deer season started. An hour later, I'm calling her again. This time I tell her to save a spot for Larry, too. Right after I had arrived home, Larry asked me to sit down. I took one look at his face and said, "Did you lose your job?" Yep, that's right. The paper mill he's worked at for the past 6 1/2 years is closing its doors on Dec. 26th. His supervisor had called him that morning and Larry carried the burden alone until that night. He'd even been to my school that day helping set up for the Fall Festival and never let on. He said he didn't want to tell me while I was at work. Here he was--- sick over this news, but more concerned with how I'd handle it. Such a good man! I was sick for him. He's been with this same company for almost 34 years. The local mill closed July 2003 and that's when he transferred to this one. He's been driving back and forth 70 miles each way, each work day.

Everyone I told asked, "What are y'all going to do?" Good question! =) Though it's kind of hard to answer that just an hour after you've been told. lol We're praying, weighing options, and trying to wait patiently for an answer. (I said "trying"--- no promises. We're talking only 2 months warning, people. Not much time for patience.) He can put in for a transfer again, which he might do, but all the mills, like everything else, are struggling so there are NO guarantees that they're hiring or that they'll even be open much longer. If we do move, the school system has to be taken into consideration because I'll have to change jobs again, too. (Which I really hate to think about. I'm just getting settled.) He can get some retirement, but not enough to cover bills and health insurance, which will now have to come out of my pay. He's not old enough to really retire, even if he does qualify for AARP =), so he'll find something to supplement that income.

On the positive side, I did just get a job that doubled my previous pay, remember? And has insurance benefits! I'm so thankful for that! Our vehicles are old, but also paid for. Our house has actually appreciated! That's a biggie nowadays. We do not have a short term savings, but we do have a 401K that we can cash in 5 years from now without a penalty. And we can take it out and pay the penalty, if worse comes to worst. I guess going through it six years ago (when he lacked 2 years getting even a small retirement) made it easier this time. We survived through the closure, the demotion, the decrease in pay, and him driving 3 hours a day. This time we are more confident that "This too shall pass." Today, Larry posted my favorite scripture on Facebook. This scripture got me through a rough situation eight years ago. Almost every Christian can quote it or, at least, is familiar with it. Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." We usually stop there, but the next two verses, though seldom quoted, are even more important. Jeremiah 29:12-13 "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

"Praising through the storm" has become a popular phrase lately. I'm going to put that into practice. Hold me to that, okay? ;) Oh, and it is perfectly fine with me if you want to pray for us and the others going through this. I'm sure they won't mind. Some of them have a lot more to lose than we do.

Speaking of praise--- if you enjoy Angie's blog Bring the Rain, head on over there. And praise your little heart out!!!!! If you haven't read her blog before, then you're way over due. =)

PS One more praise---- if you can stand it! Tomorrow I get this little guy again for four whole days! YES!!! Now, don't be jealous! ;)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lauren Turns Five!!!

Our second granddaughter (and fourth grandchild), Lauren Elizabeth, was born 5 years ago today. We got a phone call at 6:37 am that Debbie's (her mom) water had broken. They lived 5 hours away, so I got dressed and started packing while waiting on Larry who was an hour away on his way home from work. Needless to say, we "flew" to the hospital and arrived in plenty of time to meet Lauren. This is her sister, Rebecca, meeting her for the first time. So sweet!

Four months old

First Birthday!! This mess left a nice brown ring around Debbie's tub. ;)

Two years old

This is her signature sign that she needs a nap. She rubbed her tag every time she got sleepy!

Third birthday party. Love the static hair! ;-)

These two pictures were taken during their week long visit this past July.




Happy Birthday, Ma (aka Doris E/MawMaw)

Lauren's not the only one celebrating a birthday today! Larry's mom, my mom-in-law, has one too! I won't put her age on here--- she'd hate me! If you've seen my previous family birthday posts, you'd know we have several double birthdays in our family! Lauren's sister Becca shares hers with her Poppa (Larry) and my stepdaughter, Leslie, shares hers with my sister, Becky. Anyway, Lauren was born on her great-grandmother's. Thought that was pretty neat.

This is one of the few fairly new pictures I have of her that I think she'd approve of. This is her with her favorite son at his 50th birthday party.