Thursday, July 19, 2012

Family Time and Rest

Unless the LORD builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
(Psalm 127:1-2 ESV)

Just as we need sleep, we need relaxation.  We need time to be refreshed - a chance to get away from our normal routine and responsibilities.  We need time to be together as a family enjoying making memories together.  After all, it has been ordained by God!

With everything our family has gone through the last two years, we were in a desperate need to get away.  With continued struggles with my health and Josh's behaviors, we were a bit nervous deciding to take a vacation, but we decided to step out in faith and go on a vacation for our family's health.
On the Ferry after visiting Liberty Island

It was the best decision we could have made, and God blessed our time away tremendously.  We had a very busy vacation with lots of sightseeing and driving, but the boys had a blast, and it was so much fun watching the wonder and joy on their faces as they marveled over the sights they were seeing.

We started out our time Wednesday afternoon through Friday afternoon (7/11-7/13) touring Manhattan in New York City seeing Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Centers and Memorial, Times Square, fun stores, and the American Museum of Natural History.
Walking through Central Park

At Hershey's Times Square Store

Lady Liberty

The boys were excited to see Dum-Dum (from the movie Night at the Museum) in the American Museum of Natural History

South Tower World Trade Center Memorial

New South Tower World Trade Center under construction

From there, we drove to Connecticut to connect with family and enjoy our time on Lake Candlewood for another Totora family reunion which is always loads of fun with our very large Italian family.

Totora Family ~ 4 Generations of Extended Family (photograph by Tim Benedict)

We left CT Sunday morning to drive back to Manhattan to worship at Redeemer Presbyterian Church and enjoyed a very worshipful, God-honoring service.  After church, we continued driving South arriving in Sea Isle, NJ where we stayed until Tuesday morning with Tim's family enjoying some time at the shore where the boys thoroughly enjoyed the sand and the waves.

David working on building a sand castle

Joshua running into the water to jump waves

Sea Isle Beach, NJ

Despite the stress of making sure we had the appropriate meds for the boys, David's transfusion supplies, and necessities for all 3 vacations spots on top of our initial concerns about going in the first place, we had a wonderful time!  God helped Joshua to do amazingly well while we were gone especially in NYC where there was constant sensory overload which is a struggle for any child with Autism.  David has continued to stay healthy the past several weeks with the increase of antibody transfusions and remaining on a prophylactic antibiotic.  God gave me several good days health-wise while on vacation.  I was definitely fatigued, but able to keep up with the family and able to participate.  My headache pain was increased from the tons of walking and heat, but still tolerable.  The end of the vacation became the most difficult, and I am still trying to recuperate, but the time at the shore was a chance for me to relax which was just what I needed.

We are praising the Lord for blessing us with the chance to get away, have much-needed family time, and rest!
Taking a break in a nearby park waiting our turn to visit the 9/11 World Trade Center Memorial 

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