Christmas eve…

Dear friends
OK.  The weekend before Christmas is over – school finished, ward Christmas party, wedding anniversary, and Son2, our youngest, was baptised. And yesterday, I finished work until the New Year and my dear husband had our boiler serviced (so at least we should stay warm!).  And what else this week…, dinner for the missionaries and new friends and Daur2 had her ears pierced, once each, in the lobe – looking pretty! 

So now we have less than 24 hours to buy & wrap gifts for each other, decorate the house and tree (oh, take it down from the loft first and tidy the front room,  aka my dear husband’s study), deliver cards to neighbours and nearby family.  Alot can be done in 24 hours with 6 pairs of hands and 6 pairs of feet.  It’s 0745h, I think I need to get some of them moving…  I remind myself:

Jesus is the reason for the season

And refuse to feel pressure, stress, anxiety, for more than 24 hours! We’re going to enjoy the day preparing together 🙂 #ASaviorIsBorn #HeIsTheGift #ShareTheGift.  I wish you all a peaceful,  family, friendly, Christmas  🙂 … did I just hear sleigh bells?…

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charity

Dear friends

I love this definition of charity which was in the visiting teaching message this month – here’s the link to the talk https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2010/10/charity-never-faileth?lang=eng  It’s Prophet Thomas S. Monson, at women’s session,  October 2010.

Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others.

I can definitely work on these!  As I do, I know I will come to know our Saviour better,  and so I can trust Him more.

changes…

Dear friends

It has been a really long time since writing.  I am sorry – I hope you can forgive me.  It has been a very busy time with changes for the family, and at work.

New term, new schools, new journeys, new friends for the children.  Within the visual changes outside with Autumn we often see changes in our lives too, particularly here where the academic year runs from September to July.  They are all settling well and its strange to think their combined age is 50 years!  Time keeps ticking.  I had a friend that once told me that a friend of hers had given her the advice to see difficult times in our growing children’s lives as phases – I’ve done that and this present phase is great.  I am grateful that they are healthy, I am grateful that, generally, they are good friends to each other.  I am grateful that each of them has chosen to follow our Lord Jesus Christ and I pray for each of them that they may stay close to Him, through all the good and bad times to come.

At work, we continue to hemorrhage good staff = 😦  When we work on projects together, I feel like we’re another big family – and as architect, I’m that mother hen who gathers the consultants together and lets them know it’s going to be OK – or I make a terrible mess and forget something crucial – I really should have got that quote for a habitat/ ecology survey back in the summer when they could look for invertebrates (slow worms!!).  It’s hard to explain about how I feel about the other consultants – they are like brothers, big brothers, little brothers, chatty brothers, quiet moody brothers, best friend brothers.  The best way to describe it when you work on a project together, and you stand as lead consultant, as project architect, is that you’re not really any better than anyone else, you’re simply ‘standing on the shoulders of giants‘ and that’s what helps you to see further, to see more.  For me, the consultants are the giants.  I could never be, and have never wanted to be, a structural engineer, a mechanical engineer, a civil engineer, an electrical engineer, but I have the greatest respect for them because without them the thoughts in my head would not stand up, be lit, be warm, or be safe!

I submitted an application to be registered as a conservation architect.  I may have mentioned before that this is something that I’ve been working towards and the current application round closes on Monday.  I started it a while back but to collate the dossiers, on four projects, well, lets simply say I was up until 0100h this morning.  The assistant was off and I had cleared my diary to get it done and in the post by 2pm.  Unfortunately, the printers thought otherwise, and after a couple of trials with the nice paper – the ink not fixing, changing settings, annoying colleagues (oops, a brother 🙂 )who also wanted to print urgent documents (I deleted my 60 page document from the printer queues… I’d selfishly sent it to the three printers not realising it was going to take so long…), learning how to use the binder – I printed on ordinary paper, bound three copies, and met my dear husband after school’s were out and posted it special delivery, to arrive by Monday.  I’m very excited about it and really hope, and pray, that I’m accepted.  There is one other conservation architect in the entire UK business and he’s nearing retirement.  My conservation engineer brother, who sits behind me, is often traveling out of town to far flung corners of the UK, so I’m hoping it will bring some interesting opportunities. I’ve desperately been trying to remember and find a talk which touched me about continually improving and being prepared for work but I can’t find it – sorry, I think it’s by Dieter F Uchtdorf.

And today (Saturday), my dear husband and I spent nearly 10 hours (so Son1 informed me!) away from the children; road trip to the London temple 🙂

And I’ll finish with a scripture a great, thought provoking scripture:

Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
2 Nephi 2 v25

missing them…

Dear friends
Our two eldest children are spending the week at FSY – For the Strength of Youth. It’s like a 5 day youth convention for LDS youth, 14-18 years, from half the country, held every two years. They come back on Saturday.
The house seems so quiet and spacious.  As my dear husband noted:

Four less feet…

It’s been a chance for Daur2 to shine and do the washing up every day. For Son2 to shine by emptying the bins. And for us all to reflect on how much we miss the teenage banter 🙂

working life

Dear friends, at the weekend I drove the road which my boss of the last 8 years has driven – it took about an hour one way.
So yesterday (Monday) I had to ask why/ how he drove that distance for so long (he’d been there a few years before he recruited me) – “because of the team,” he replied.  I was touched by his response – he is a widower for 13 years 6 months with a son who is 13 years and 9 months, so if anyone had reason to quit a long commute it’s him. He quickly added that he loves driving (he does have a thing for cars!) and it’s an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening to himself. I respect that, I enjoy solitude too.

Work friendships are important too even if we don’t like the work, after all we do spend 7-8 hours a day working!