BUT...I do need to write about the numerous ways we have been blessed lately, during Will's unemployment...
But to make it fun, I'm interjecting pictures of Preston in here because I know the grandparents will be wondering why I didn't put Preston pics in.
I hope you don't mind the mamarazzi in me...
Just before the lay-off happened, we had witnessed many other employees getting laid off. In fact, JFB Homes went from an office staff of 125 employees in 2007, down to about 25 employees by the end of 2008. It was a rather sad and hard time.
We'd also been stocking up on food storage - thanks to Will. He's been very adamant about that for a long time.
But even with all of our preparations, we have been blessed in ways that we couldn't have foreseen. God has surely sent earthly angels into our lives to lighten our burden during this time. These were all things that came as complete surprises to us and were such blessings in disguise.
- Right after Christmas, our bishop handed us an envelope. He said that the ward had some extra "items" that were donated by ward members during tithing settlement. We were curious but had no idea what was inside. When we opened it later, we found 3 giftcards to Fred Meyer - one for $100, and 2 for $50 each. We actually used it to go towards buying Will a new suit because the one he had been wearing (since his mission) was wearing out, and he would be needing a new one for job interviews.
- My visiting teachers from church on many different occassions would bring dinner by, sometimes unexpectedly. They claimed that they just happened to have "extra" and thought it would be a nice break for us.
- We also received several dinner invitations from friends.
- The Relief Society President called in February and said she was worried about us (and others) in our ward who had lost their jobs and wanted to know if the Relief Society could provide dinner for us once a week for a month. I told her it wasn't necessary but she insisted, so I accepted. What a blessing it was....every single time that a meal was delivered it happened to fall on a day where it was sorely needed.
- The owner of our piano called me last month (we lease our grand piano from a private owner). I was afraid that she was going to ask where our payment was - which we normally pay for 6 months in advance all at once. But we kept forgetting to get the payment in the mail for the Jan - June payment. I had the check all ready to go, just kept forgetting to stick it in the mail. To my great surprise, she called and said she had just been thinking about us and that she wanted to decrease our payments. I said "What?" I heard the word "decrease" but thought for sure she must have said "increase". But no she said decrease. She said she knew how bad the economy was right now and figured she didn't need the money anyway and so she decreased the monthly lease payments by half, and also told us to not worry about paying until June.
- In January, my piano student enrollment went up by 5 students making my total count 11 piano students and 1 violin student. While we keep my music income seperate from our family income, this has been a blessing to help me complete my album sooner...which in turn will bring in additional future income and well, also just help me get it done faster so I can go back to being a fulltime wife and mom. :)
- We have been fortunate enough to have good health. While Preston and I have health insurance, Will does not right now and he is the one doing all of the crazy races and adventures. We are lucky that he hasn't needed health insurance. :)
- We have had friends donate items that have saves us from having to purchase them ourselves - such as toys for Preston, additional food storage items, etc.
- We have been able to qualify for WIC, which if you are not familiar with it, it is a government program for mothers and children where they may either be unemployed or under a certain income requirement. Through this program we have been able to save about $200 a month on grocery items such as milk, cheese, tuna, baby cereal, and juice.
- This might be kind of selfish, but I personally am grateful that I have had the opportunity to work on my music for this album. I can honestly say that it would have taken me twice as long to complete had I not had Will here to help me with Preston during the day. I am also grateful that the two of them have had this time together.
One more thing, you have noticed that I mentioned earlier in my post that we had put away 3 months of savings, and here we are 5 months later after the layoff. It is definitely due to several things - for one my husband somehow grows money magically on trees. Okay I'm kidding, but he is pretty amazing with a budget and somehow we seem to always get by. Thanks to also paying tithing faithfully, the Lord gives back ALWAYS. And most of all, the help we have received from friends and family through the things I have mentioned here have helped us to continue to make it through.
There are many many more things that I could list, but I'll stop here. THANK YOU to those angels who have helped us. You know who you are.
I think it is a great act to serve someone, but it is harder to accept service from others. So many times lately I have wanted to be able to donate money or food, but I am reminded that at this time our family is on the recipient end of things. I hope that someday when our situation is reversed that we will be able to help other people in need with our abundance.
And now...for more Preston pictures. :)