My Goodness, An Update Already!!
It's about time I get back to the blogging! Life, of course, has definitely been chaotic the last couple of months. I'm hoping things settle down a bit, but with the holidays around the corner, that may be wishful thinking.
I'll begin by telling you that my precious daughter, Kimberly, is recovering from her heart surgery. She has a long road of recovery ahead of her, but we are all praying that in the long run, she will be healthier, have more energy, and feel more like herself once she is healed. She still remains in the hospital at the moment, but will soon be home for recovery and rehabilitation. Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers for my girl. She misses being home with her family and being Mommy to her beautiful baby girl, my granddaughter, Reagan.
In August, I entered my painting, "A Charlotte Summer" in the Boldbrush Competition and won "First Place" in the People's choice category with 254 votes! Votes are made for favorite paintings via clicking on the Facebook "Like" button next to your favorite painting. Then, when the contest ends on the last day of the month, the judge for that month judges all the paintings and determines which one should be voted "Best of Show," 2nd Place, 3rd Place, and Finalists, each of which win wonderful cash prizes. I am humbled to have won the hearts of friends by taking 1st place in the people's choice via Facebook "Likes," but also hope that I will win the heart of the August Artist and Judge Trent Gudmundsen. I'll know by the 20th of this month.
I am also now represented by the Bellus Lux Lucis Fine Art Gallery in Clarence, New York! So happy for this representation! I sent 6 works to owner, Bonnie Lux. The current paintings at the Gallery are Big Red, Apples, Garlic, Hope Road, October Glory, and Haystacks. Please contact Bonnie at 716-407-3047 or contact me, if you are interested in any of these paintings.
Big Bear is still out of work (at least when it comes to having a real job). He has several opportunities that look promising, but I've learned not to get my hopes up. So man opportunities have turned into dead ends in the last 3 years. Thank you to all who have emailed me with information about jobs in his industry (Information Technology and Business Development). We appreciate the leads. In the meantime, Bob has built an incredible ministry at our church called the "At Work Ministry" for those in our community who are out of work and need help getting back in the job force. The ministry helps with resume preparation, and opens up discussions on best interview practices and more. Bob's ministry has grown so much and has received such recognition that several other churches have gotten involved in the ministry project. I'm so proud of my bear!
Bob has also been working like crazy doing lawn maintenance in our community. He has been putting in irrigation systems and sidewalks, re-landscaping, seeding, fertilizing, grading, and more. We've had our own tractor, mower, and equipment, for years so this was perfect for him and he loves the outdoor work - except when it is brutally hot like it was this weekend! Our son, Matthew, has been Bob's best helper. Matthew has been working the tractor and helping his dad with every job and learning a lot about lawn maintenance. He's going to have his own summer business before you know it. Never a complaint from Matthew, he helps his father willingly and has provided Bob the much needed help on every job site.
The children started school. Sarah is a High School Senior this year (hard to believe) and is taking 3 AP (college level) courses. She will be making early application to Duke University and we hope she is accepted! Matthew is a High School Freshman this year and fortunately has his sister to help him become familiar with the school. Remember - he and Sarah were homeschooled until they began high school, so it has been a big adjustment for them both, but they are doing well.
Glen began Middle School in 6th grade and came home last week and said "Mom, I've decided to run for Student Council." Go figure. My little politician.
It is strange not having any of the children at home during the week. This is the first time in 17 years that I have been at home alone with my Big Bear and our dogs. It is a strange feeling not having anyone at home saying "MOM!!" for something! I miss my kids!
As for my creative side, I've been busy in my art studio and my sewing studio! In my art studio I have been working on 2 paintings. I just completed "Bessy & Company" pictured above and I will be writing a "progress" post about the painting of Bessy tomorrow. And, I am working on a painting for my granddaughter, Reagan, for her 2nd birthday. Something sweet and whimsical for her playroom.
In my sewing studio I have been making a quilt for Kimberly for when she returns home from the hospital, and I also requested friends to contribute to a prayer quilt for Kim. One that she can wrap around her shoulders and know just how many friends & family prayed for her during her difficult time at the hospital following her initial catheterization and the open-heart surgeries that followed. Prayer has been a powerful force this last month and we all know that it has been the oustanding care from medical professionals, faith, prayer, and God's grace, that has saved Kim's life. With this quilt, Kim will always know how much she is loved and how many prayed for her during her difficult recovery.
Family, friends, neighbors, acquaintences - you are appreciated for your emails, thoughts, prayers, comments, concerns, thoughtfulness, gifts of hope, contributions to Kim's prayer quilt, and more. I feel as though you have walked with me through this difficult journey and have given me strength to cope. Even through all the hardship of the last 3 years, and the grief of the last month, I feel the blessings from your presence in my life. Thank you.
Hopefully soon I will have good news of Big Bear being gainfully employed, Kim on the road to a full recovery, and me on the road to healthier, less stressful living. Then my funny bone will return and so will my more spirited posts.