We have come to the end of eight months of the "perfect layoff." Kendall has found a new job and will either be starting on Thursday or next Monday, depending on how long it takes them to get his laptop and badges and all of that.
First, information about Kendall's job: The company's name is Axis and is only about a mile or so from our house. It is a contract company very similar to the place he worked before, so he will be doing contract work for another company called Tenneco, which does work for Caterpillar (surprise, surprise!). He got a good salary just slightly more than his last salary and quite a bit more than unemployment. :) He is very excited to be back in the working world and have enough money that we can start going on weekly dates again. (I'm looking forward to that, too!)
I will, however, really miss having him around the house. I will miss being able to share the work load around the house and have to work things around a work schedule again. It has been so nice to go visiting teaching without all of my kids and be able to pick up Avri from preschool without waking up my napping children. But we will take the good with the bad.
The reasons that I call the past eight months the "perfect layoff" are many. We have had so many countless blessings these past few months. Kendall was laid off right at the time when the weather started to get nice, and now that it is getting cold and we are getting close to the holidays he will have a job again. During this time we completely reworked the front yard, tilling the entire thing up, removing 6 truckloads of roots and planting new grass. We put in new flower beds, flowers, and a drainage system that will keep the water flowing away from the house instead of right into the basement. Kendall finished about half of the retaining wall in the back yard as well, as much as we could finish on our limited funds. We planted 2 large gardens and learned vasts amounts about not only gardening and growing our own food, but also about food preservation. We were able to can hundreds of quarts of tomatoes, pickles, pumpkin, applesauce, banana squash, green beans, peppers and salsa. We learned how to hot water bath and pressure can, blanching and freezing and dehydrating foods as well. We organized the entire house, Kendall tried his hand at electrical work and was surprised to find out he's quite good at it. Kendall has done home improvement projects in many places fixing things that we've wanted to fix since we moved in. We have "read", or more precisely, listened to many books on CD while we worked on our many projects. We have spent countless hours helping out neighbors in need, and Kendall has spent at least as many hours working on Eagle Scout projects for the boys in his troop. We have made Christmas presents for the kids that they are going to love. We have spent extra time on church callings. The kids have had more time with their Dad in the past eight months than they have been able to spend with him probably in their entire lives. Talmage learned how to throw a ball in the air and hit it with a baseball bat. Avri has learned how to read. All 3 kids took swimming lessons and overcame their fears of the water. The Lord has continued to bless us financially so that we have been able to make ends meet on very limited funds.
Our testimonies have grown so much during this time. The Lord truly does have His hand in our lives. He watches over us. He knows what we need and when we need it. I truly believe that He knew we needed this time together. He knew our neighbor would be needing extra help at this difficult time in her life. He knew that we would not have had the time to learn all of the things that we did this summer without a very different lifestyle. We have had a great opportunity to re-evaluate the importance of food storage and following the prophet's council. President Thomas S. Monson said, “Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year’s supply of food … and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year’s supply of debt and are food-free.” Kendall and I have contemplated this many times and are grateful for the choices that we have made to follow this counsel. Now more than ever we can see how important this really is. Thank you all for all of your thoughts, your prayers, and your help. We have felt your love and concern for us and we appreciate it so much.
2 months ago