Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summer Sprints...

It has been a busy few weeks for us in the Ward family! Currently, three of us are finally home for the summer and getting into a summer groove.

Ken has been in China for the last several weeks and has one more week to go before he comes home. We miss him terribly and we have kept somewhat busy to pass the time. Not a lot of picture taking on this trip as he is trying to accomplish a great deal of work so he does not have to go back there.

Last Saturday he sent me this picture of himself in front of a 5 story marketplace near Shenzhen.

Shopping in China

He did not enjoy the fact that he was alone or the stifling discomfort of the 110 degree heat! He said the venue had booth after booth, floor after floor of the same stuff. It was hot and everyone touched him because they wanted him to spend money at their booth. He decided rather quickly it was not an experience he would ever repeat! I'm so thankful he got back to his room safe and unharmed.

View from his hotel.

While Ken has been gone, we have been in Ohio visiting. It had been a year since we had been back and it was so nice to see family. It seems like we go days...even months without seeing a familiar face where we live now. Sad that we can still say that after living in Connecticut two years. The fact of the matter is that people are just too busy to invest in the lives of others, especially newcomers. 

My parents are doing very well. My dad still works at his printing business and my mom works from home and does all of the financials. The whole family got together for Sunday dinner and I finally managed to get a picture with my brother AND sister. This picture has not happened in probably close to 20 years. 

Lisa, Scott, Debbie

The kids, my niece(Amber) and I made our annual trip to Cedar Point. We had a hot day and short wait times! Josh announced that since he was 9 inches taller this year the rides did not seem so big to him! I laughed so hard at his innocent revelation!

Amber, Josh, Em, Me

The second part of our trip we stayed with Ken's parents. They are both doing well and keeping busy with Quinn, our (soon to be 8 years old) nephew. Ken's dad still plays golf once a week and Ken's mom enjoys her gardening and politics. Their town has a beautiful pool complex that we got to swim in. 

Trying to scoot across Lily pads!

This completes my update on the last few weeks of our summer! Now that we are home we will enjoy the Olympics, play with Buddy, dive into summer reading, sleep in AND get organized for eleventh grade and seventh grade this school year! 

Monday, July 9, 2012

In the Blink of an Eye

Summer is flying by! It seems as if we just finished school, but the reality is that it has been one month already. It is so great to be away from the hectic schedule and pace. Especially that busy end of the year pace. I'm so thankful for this time, the warm weather and all the fun activities that summer entails.

This summer has been relatively quiet so far. Emily went to Hershey Pennsylvania with a friend and enjoyed seeing the area and making her own chocolate bar.

"I love chocolate!!!!"

Are we cute or what?
Em has also been busy playing with Buddy and has taught him the most energetic game of hide and seek we have ever witnessed! Buddy just turned 1 and is showing signs of calming down. (((whew)))

Josh keeps himself busy and has quite the social life. He enjoys his air-soft guns and has regular battles with his friends. Their latest discovery was when they shook up a can of soda and threw it in the air and shot it in the backyard. The sound of awe and amazement from he and his friends was priceless!

Josh recently flew to Ohio by himself for the first time. My sister's family invited him to stay with them for the week before our annual summer visit next week. Josh was not nervous about flying alone at all. He was ready for the adventure - I'm not sure I was! The trip went fine and he is enjoying his time away.

Bye Josh!

Enjoying a car show with his cousin, Amber and Uncle Wally.
Our hearts have been heavy recently with the recent news about two men Ken has worked with that have had unexpected catastrophic health emergencies. One narrowly survived and the other one died. Both had massive heart attacks and were in their mid 50's. Both were strong, successful men at the peak of their careers.

This has been a good reminder for us about the frailty of life. In Psalm 90:12 it says: (Lord) "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
You could easily say that by putting a number on our days we are told in this verse to prioritize our days. Be wise and cut out all the insignificant wastes of time.We have had many hours of discussion about this. Both quality time as a family and also our quality one on one time have been moved to the top of our lists of things to improve. Our prayers are with the family's of the men who will forever be living with the memories of how life used to be.

No eye has seen, 
no hear has heard,
 no human mind has conceived 
the things that God has 
prepared for those who love Him.
 1 Corinthians 2:9