Dec 30, 2014

What's in the works for 2015?

In no special order looking ahead to 2015.
  • Love my husband better in his love language
  • Daniel will graduate.
  • Daniel's Senior Prom
  • Finish Daniels afghan
  • Finish my sweater
  • Plan Sarah's Senior year
  • Start Sarah's afghan
  • David new job
  • rearrange master bedroom
  • walk 30 minutes 5 days each week
  • find a new pair of boots that I love just as much as the ones I can no longer wear because my feet stay swollen since I broke (R) and sprained (L) my ankles.
  • learn entralac crochet
  • learn Tunisian crochet
  • investigate selling my handmade bags at a local shop
  • possibly get a dog.  I miss having one but at this point we can't afford to get one.  Even if we were given a dog we can't pay for food & vet.
  • read Atlas Shrugged.  David has wanted me to read it for years.  It's a hard read for me since it doesn't catch my interest quickly.  I've started it many times.  I hope to finally finish it in 2015
No Truer words have been spoken.

The sweater I'm making.  Mine is plum, burgundy flowers and green stems.

Sarah & Rusty.  He LUVs  her.

Daniel using Davids camera shooting trains.

Dec 22, 2014

Update on Sarah

On Friday, November 21, Sarah was at a friends house helping with the baking and visiting.  Around 4.30 she and her friend Samantha took their 2 dogs for a walk.  Sarah ran ahead and around the corner with her dog.  When Samantha rounded the corner she saw Sarah on the ground with Momo sitting beside her.

Samantha helped her up and they went back to the house where Sarah complained of a bad headache and was very tearful and frightened.  Jodie, Sam's Mom, called us and immediately brought Sarah home.

She had, and still has, no memory of the fall or of the next several hours.  She was continually asking the same question over and over.  We watched her very carefully over the next hours and talked to a doctor friend the next day who told us what to look for.

Today, a little over 4 weeks late she still has no memory of that time period.  We have no idea why she fell.  Her doctor said it could have been low blood pressure, low blood sugar or just simply tripping.

I've never been as scared for my child as I was with this.  This invisible injury was terrifying.  She is finally back to her normal school and volunteer schedule just in the last week or so.

I'm so thankful for the people who prayed for her and for us during this time.

Our Father's Provision NEVER Ends

The Gibsons are so blessed. 

David lost his job on 9/29 and that was it.  They offered a small "settlement" but he would have to sign all his rights to going to the EEOC away.  (Does that make sense?)

Our budget has been so tight for so long that we had very little to fall back on.

Our GOD is so good to us.  I have a list of folks to write thank you notes to.  We have come home to find groceries waiting for us.  Received gift cards in the mail, had meals brought to us.
Every time David or I start to get discouraged something happens to refocus our minds on HIM instead of on us.

Keep praying for us.  For a job.  For health.  For wisdom.  For patience.  That in all we do or say we will give glory to our Father in Heaven. 

Nov 26, 2014

Samantha's Appointment @ Wisconsin Children's Hospital

Samantha is scheduled to be seen at the Wisconsin Children's Hospital the first week of February.  She and her Mom will be there the entire week and need to raise funds for:  airfare, lodging, meals, possibly a rental car and incidentals.
You can make a donation here:
Please share, share, share. And thank you to all who have been supporting Jodie and Samantha over the past few weeks through your prayers, encouragement and donations.
Samantha takes Guitar as part of her therapy.

She also takes ballet.  Don't think they should stop the lessons.  Per the doctors ballet, and other classes, are vital to her therapy and development both physically, mentally and socially.

If you've read anything about Samantha's health issues you now that as an infant she was diagnosed with failure to thrive.  In photos you cannot tell how tiny she is compared to other girls her age unless you know how tall etc.  the other children are.  Samantha's body is proportional but tiny.  The photo above is her Mom's hand holding Samantha's pointe shoe which is TOO Big for her feet.

Nov 18, 2014

Fundraiser for Samantha

Post by Jodie, Samantha's Mom

(NOTE: this fund-raising page, has been updated for current needs, the first $1700 stated raised is from the last fundraiser, so that funding went to other needs and is not part of this trips funding. I couldn't figure out how to restart the total. working on fixing that so it is current)

My daughter Samantha was born with static encephalopathy, cerebral palsy, oral motor apraxia, an irregular chromosome string with a huge duplication, asthma, gerd, learning disabilities, sleep apnea and other health issues. As a baby she grew really slowly and had a diagnosis of failure to thrive, and was delayed in all of her physical abilities. She had many doctors, testing, and therapies. As time went on we adjusted and she learned things, even if that process was and is slower than others.

   Now she is a beautiful 17yr old, kind and caring teenager. Biologically she is 17, but because of the delays and static encephalopathy she is more like an 11yr old. Within this last year she has had new medical issues emerging. The doctors believe these issues stem from the genetic abnormalities. Unfortunately her genetic duplications are rare and unstudied. So there is little at this point that we know and have to try and deal with stuff as it appears.  She has episodes where she loses time and what is going on around her, leaving her confused and unsure what just happened.

   The neurologists has now diagnosed her with autonomic issues. We are working on trying to get her a lightweight cooling vest, because she doesn't sweat and her body doesn't regulate its temperature well, putting her at risk from the heat and the cold, like hypothermia. She been dealing with vertigo, migraines, nausea, abdominal pain, all over pain, sensory issues, and mental neurological issues more.

We recently found out she has bile gastritis on top of the GERD. She has been having a lot of trouble off & on with eating and getting enough nutrition. She is on several different high calorie nutrition drinks & 4 different meds just for this. If she keeps losing weight and not getting enough nutrition, there are a couple of surgeries or feeding tubes options they may try if needed. Autonomic issues cover the GI tract also, and other issues she has I stated above. So at the hospital she will be seeing many doctors. She will be seeing an autonomic neurologist, gastroenterologist, cardiologists, sleep specialist, and geneticist.

    The Children's Hospital pediatric neurogastroenterology, motility and autonomic disorders program has one of the few state-of-the-art pediatric autonomic laboratories in the country equipped to help diagnose children with autonomic disorders. We live in North Carolina and this is very far and we need to stay for a week. We need to raise money for air fare and lodging. There will also be many new bills adding to my current medical debt. But she needs this and hopefully they can help her more. Giving us a better diagnosis for the genetic & other issues. So we can know how to medically and emotionally help her in the future.

    Because of her static encephalopathy and learning disabilities, Samantha is delayed and has to attend some therapies and counseling. Psychologically there is a lot to deal with because of the static encephalopathy, learning disabilities & oral motor apraxia. Any help we can get to make things better and allow her to deal with daily life issues and situations would be great. If we can get a better diagnosis and know how to help treat some of the medical issues that would be wonderful. We just want her to be as happy and healthy as she can be. To live the best she can later in life as a productive member in our society.

     This is the best I can do to sum up the issues without going on for many more pages. A child with disabilities needs many services and it can be overwhelming financially, no matter how much you do to keep up with it. I thank you so much for taking the time to read some of our story. If you can donate to our fund to help Samantha get the continuing care that she needs we thank you sooooo much. Sharing the link to this page, so others can see it is also a great help. Thank you

Samantha's Facebook page

Samantha's page to donate

Oct 20, 2014

God IS Good!

Job Update:
David's interview went very well but he hasn't heard anything. We are praying that this week he will get a definite answer either way. Meanwhile he is applying for everything he can.
Money is tight but our God is good and he is providing. We have a roof over our head, a full freezer and fridge and cupboards, we have water, electricity and gas, both cars are running. God IS good!

Oct 9, 2014

More Waiting on our Awesome GOD. Waiting without fear!

David is home and his interview went very well. Now we're just waiting again. But I'm not worrying. I feel a peace about this whole situation. We met this morning with a financial planner to learn what to do with his retirement etc. This is a Christian company with very conservative values. If anyone is interested I can give you the contact info for the planner we met with.
Thank you again for your prayers and kind words of encouragement. Our Father God is truly an awesome GOD.

Oct 6, 2014

Thank you for your prayers....

David just left for the airport. Please pray for him. He's feeling nervous and uncertain about the whole thing. A lot of it is the fact that he will be on a very tight schedule tomorrow afternoon and may not make his return flight. I can't tell you all how much your prayers over these last weeks have meant to us.

Sep 29, 2014

Prayer to stay calm

Today is the day. David has headed to Charlotte to be officially terminated. We are surprisingly calm about it. Please pray that he will be able to make wise decisions about how to handle things financially.
I have a killer migraine today. I'm sure part of it is stress even tho I feel calm. But the other factor is this weather we're having.
Next Monday David heads out of town for an interview. Pray for a safe flight for him then and for wisdom in the meetings he will have.
Most of all pray for our whole family to trust in our Father who has promised to supply ALL our NEEDS.

Sep 23, 2014

Drying Racks, GOD is good

A young mom I know, Kathryn Wentz, quite frequently posts, "God is good". This is true. Unfortunately I too often forget. Today I was reminded in a simple yet profound way.
It's easy to see God in the big things and forget He's in the small things too. We're told in Matthew 10:29-33:
“. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, theref...ore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
He watches over the tiny sparrow and knows the number of hairs on every head.
The way He showed His care for us was a simple, wooden laundry drying rack.
Our dryer has not been working for several months. When the repair man came to fix it, he said it wasn't worth fixing. So since warm weather was approaching we decided to just wait and get the part needed ourselves.
Meanwhile we have been hanging our laundry on the line and drying racks. Today, with cool weather coming David felt we needed to purchase 1 more drying rack. He called around and found 1 hardware store that had 1 rack.
Before he headed into Concord to buy it he took Sarah to the bank. On the way back she saw a drying rack on the side of the road. So they went back, picked it up, and brought it home.
One simple need. A Father who cares about the tiny, unimportant details. Being in the right place at the right time.
And if He cares about a drying rack how much more does He care about the job situation? And even more about our salvation.
GOD. Is. Good.

Sep 6, 2014


I am so tired of the constant migraine.  Some hours are better than others, but today is just too much.  I'm hoping that a lot of the problem is the stress related to David's job situation.  That as soon as we know something, anything for sure I will have at least a decrease in the level of pain and nausea.

So, I'll keep trying to avoid as many migraine triggers as I can, keep my blood sugar levels down, help David in any way I can, homeschool the kids, coach Science Olympiad, pay the bills, cook the meals, get the groceries, assign chores, keep trusting that He who began a good work in me will complete it.  It may not be this side of Heaven, but it will happen.
Sarah and Rusty, my parents dog.  He LOVES Sarah.

So if the Gibson family crosses your thoughts would you please pray for us?

Aug 23, 2014

No. Migraine. Today!

I.  do. NOT have a migraine today! 
I've had a bad one since Monday.  Never below an 8 of 10 on the wonderful pain scale for more than a few minutes. 
When we got home yesterday from Hickory I was ready to chop my head off.  I couldn't get to sleep last night until about 2 or 2 a.m. and the migraine was still there. 

I got up migraine free but leery, and made a grocery list.  David and I ate breakfast at Bojangles, went to Aldi and got groceries.  Came home and put them away, started the BBQ on the grill and here it is, 3 p.m., and NO MIGRAINE.

I cannot tell you how happy am right now.  I was really worried that I wouldn't be able to go to church tomorrow morning but now, even if I wake with a migraine tomorrow, because I've had these hours free of pain, I think I'll still be able to be there AND I might just be able to go to the youth group cook-out tomorrow evening.  Though I won't be able to eat what they are having.  No nitrite and nitrate filled hot dogs for me. 

Now I'm going to get off the computer, check the BBQ then work on straightening out the school bookcase.

Ta-ta for now!!

New Tradition to Observe

The Gibson's, David and I,  have a history of cooking NC style BBQ. 

The back story:  David & I met at Troutman's BBG on Church St. in Concord.  I was a waitress and he was a customer. He and his family had been coming there since he was 12.  He was 22 when we met.   Over the years I worked at 3 different locations and when I left I had been a store manager for several years.  While there I learned a lot about cooking bbq which I have put into practice ever since.

Second back story:  Daniel excels at finding perfect little gifts for us. A few Christmas's ago he gave me a fridge magnet that reads, "Dinner will be served at the sound of the smoke alarm."  Truer words have not been said.  Not because I can't cook but because our smoke detectors are extremely sensitive and unless the oven is spotless almost any cooking will set them off.

Today is BBQ cooking day.  On a gas grill.  On the carport.  Invisible to passing cars except for the billowing smoke from the hickory chips which are smoldering away in a metal Ikea silverware basket that is perfect for this.

This is the Ikea container.  I have 3, only 1 is used on the grill.
Ikea Stainless Steel Caddy I use

Lots. Of. Smoke.

It's hard to photograph smoke.

So, that new tradition I mentioned. 
Having the Fire Department or County Sheriff  arrive because a passing motorist thought our house was on fire.  Today it was the Sheriff. 

The funniest thing about today's incident was that David and I had talked about them showing up on previous occasions and are thinking about cooking again and taking it to the guys at the Fire Dept., about 1 block down the street. 

Mmmm!  BBQ

And... for my non-southern friends.  BBQ is a noun, not a verb.

Listen to Rhett and Link for more info.

Aug 16, 2014

Update on David's job situation.

After 4 months of waiting he was put on administrative leave for 30 days. After that we will be without any income or insurance. Please pray that during this time we will not be fearful and anxious but instead will trust our Father to continue to guide and provide for us.
David continues to get job interviews but nothing ha been offered so far.
Through all of this he has been a wonderful example of grace under pressure, trusting in our Father, and taking each day as it comes. He gave his all at work to the very end.
Thank you for all the messages, prayers and encouragement. It has shown me how highly the people he works (worked) with regard him. They are shocked by this whole situation.

Aug 7, 2014

The sum is greater than the parts...

It's one of those days when the combination of migraine symptoms is worse than any one symptom alone. Especially the nausea. Give me one or the other but both pain and nausea make it much harder to cope. going to my family doctor today since my BP has been running high. Maybe that will help. I ordered some Baltic amber beads from esty yesterday and hope they arrive quickly. I'm going to make a bracelet to attach my medical id tag to. Hoping that each little improvement... or change I make adds up and things become more tolerable.
Usually I look forward to the start of a new homeschool year. Not this year. I'm dreading it. Even though the kids are in high school and mostly self taught I still have to plan it, purchase the books and then grade their lessons. It just seems like too much.
I'm so thankful for this group. I hate that we are all here because of this horrid disease, but so thankful that there are others in the world who understand. For so long I've felt alone. Like I truly was the only one who had these specific problems with migraine. But now I know I'm not and I thank GOD for this group.
Hoping as many of you as possible have a great day.

Aug 3, 2014

Music and GOD, my thoughts today

There's no space that His love can't reach
There's no place where we can't' find peace
There's no end to amazing grace
Take me in with Your arms spread wide
Take me in like an orphan child
Never let go
Never leave my side
I am
Holding on to You
I am
Holding on to You
In the middle of the storm
I am holding on
I am
Love like this
Oh my God to find
I am overwhelmed
With a joy divine
Love like this sets our hearts on fire
This is my resurrection song
This is my hallelujah come
This is why it's to You I run
There's no space that His love can't reach
There's no place where we can't find peace
There's no end to amazing grace

Read more: Crowder - I Am Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Music speaks to my soul more than any other media or form of communication.  I'm no musician in the professional or even very talented sense.  My piano skills are mediocre at best.  I play piano for my own relaxation and enjoyment.  My voice is no longer in tune with constant practice, but my heart if full of music and I can't wait to sing HIS praises in heaven! 

Focus on the lyrics.  It's the words that speak to me. 

It's the words that grab my attention and my heart.

Wes mentioned in the sermon this morning that "good" is not enough to describe GOD. He said peanut butter is "good" and that doesn't even begin to compare. In truth there are no adjectives in any language on earth to totally describe HIM. If I want to use the adjectives in my heart language, American English, to describe GOD then I can never use any adjective ever again to describe anything else. And that still wouldn't be adequate.

Jul 15, 2014

No News is...No News

Right now we are in a "hurry up and wait" mode.  No news, good or bad on the job situation. No new job. 

Migraine is a constant 8+.Going to see my neurologist tomorrow to try to figure out a plan of action.  I know that stress is a lot of this. 

So, how can I reduce the stress? 
  • Keep my hands and mind occupied with profitable pursuits. 
  • Pray without ceasing. 
  • PRAISE without ceasing.
  • In everything give thanks.   
  • Eliminate as much junk in my diet and life as I can. 
  • Exercise daily
  • Spend time daily with my husband, just the two of us.

Plan is made.  Time to implement. 

Jul 10, 2014

No news on the job front means uncertain times.

David's job situation is still uncertain. According to the "PIP" paperwork his last day should have been today. His boss has NOT kept any of his obligations in this mess and even had the gall to tell David that they designed this PIP so he could not pass it. Never-the-less David has continued to go to work with a cheerful and loving spirit. Continuing to give his all to serve his clients, vend...ors and fellow employees.

His health is suffering and so is mine. Right no, as I type, my chest feels tight and my head is about to explode.

He has had 2 very good phone interviews with a company in GA. A company that is so much bigger than his current one. He also has an interview scheduled the 22nd in Raleigh, NC. But no offers so far.

Please keep us in your prayers. Right now I am frightened. I know that our heavenly Father is in control. But. It. Is. So. Hard.

Please just pray....

Jun 29, 2014

Migraine Disease Stinks!!!

We were at the Vision center at Walmart getting Davids new glasses. They had these sunglasses that fit over your regular glasses. So I bought a pair to try. They fit over my glasses well and I can't see the edges in my peripheral vision. The idea is to be able to stand wearing sunglasses inside when my migraine is bad.
So annoying. I had to leave the church service 2x this morning because of my migraine and then a 3rd time because I started coughing. I missed half of the sermon. It seems like, no, it is true, that I miss so much of life because of this horrible, invisible disease.

We were at the Vision center at Walmart getting Davids new glasses. They had these sunglasses that fit over your regular glasses. So I bought a pair to try. They fit over my glasses well and I can't see the edges in my peripheral vision. The idea is to be able to stand wearing sunglasses inside when my migraine is bad.

Jun 24, 2014

2nd Job Interview

David had his 2nd phone interview yesterday with AGL.  It went for an hour!  He was fortunate his battery did not conk out.  But I think he put it on the car charger as soon as we pulled out to head to our doctor appointments.

So...things look good.  He feels that he is in a very good position to get this job.  Pray that he will  be able to get a severance from his current company.  They have in the past in similar situations but are telling him "We don't give severance."

Pray that we wait on our Father and don't run ahead.  That we don't assume.  That we make wise plans as we go forward. 

Thank you for all the encouraging words.  It really means a lot to us. 

Cayenne Pepper used to treat migraine pain. It Works!

I know I've posted this at least twice on FaceBook. BUT since all 3 of my siblings suffer from migraines. And I have at least 4 friends, 3 of whom are on FB, that have migraine as well. I'm posting again here.  Maybe someone will find it and be helped.

Make a thin solution of ground cayenne pepper and water. Dip a q-tip in the mixture and gently wipe it around inside your nostrils. It has worked to relieve my head pain every time I've used it.
Don't use a lot of pepper. More is not better. The capsaicin in the pepper somehow blocks something to relieve pain.

I checked with my EENT doc yesterday to make sure that applying this solution to mucus membranes would not cause any problems. He said I'm fine.

There is a spray commercially available, but I haven't tried it because
1, I feel I have more control of the placement with the q-tip and
 2, I keep cayenne on hand for cooking anyway so this remedy is essentially free

Article on using cayenne pepper in the nose to treat migraine pain

Jun 22, 2014

2nd Job Interview

David will have his 2nd phone interview tomorrow.  Please keep us in your prayers as we go through this.  There are so many uncertainties and questions as we learn, once more, to wait on our Father.

Jun 14, 2014

Cayenne pepper in my nose? On purpose? Yes, please...

I posted several days ago about my experiment using a thin paste of cayenne pepper in my nostrils to treat a migraine. I've used it several times now and it has helped to at least lower the pain every time.
Now I find there has been at least one study using a nasal spray solution to treat migraines.

intranasal capsaicin may be an effectivemigraine treatment/

Jun 12, 2014

Good-Bye Wisdom...Teeth that is.

Tomorrow Daniel goes to have his wisdom teeth removed. He's a bit antsy about it and I'm NOT looking forward to it for him at all. I'm actually dreading it. One more thing to get out of the way before David's job is gone.

Jun 10, 2014

Life marches on and GOD will provide...

David had his HR meeting yesterday.  He was told that the company does not give severance packages.  He told them about the 2 people, both over age 50, in his department who have had the same thing done to them in the past 18 months.  So there is a precedence set.  While he was in the meeting with HR he got a phone call from another company about a job!    I know GOD will continue to provide what we need.  But still struggle when I'm too tired with not being fearful.  Thank you for your words of advice, encouragement and your prayers.

Jun 6, 2014

Another day, Another Migraine....

Went to bed with a bad migraine, woke up still in its clutches.  Took meds and am making a to-do list or the kids so that by the time I'm groggy again they can handle most of the day and hopefully Ill be a bit like myself by the time David gets home from work.
I know stress is adding to this.  I think I'll put some of my favorite hymns on to play while I rest.  Anything that takes the focus off of my pain and puts it to better use is a good thing.

Jun 4, 2014

Continued Prayers needed

Please continue to keep us in your prayers. Pray especially for me today as I tend to freeze up in stressful situations and as a result become of no use to David or anybody else.

Because of the stress my migraines are a lot worse and I'm unable to keep food down.

I'm sending in the paperwork to retain a lawyer so we will have legal guidance from here on out. Hopefully that will relieve some of the stress.

Not knowing is one of the worst things to deal with...

Jun 3, 2014

Prayers for wisdom needed

Please keep us in your prayers. David's job situation has become increasingly hostile over the past several years and he was recently put on disciplinary action. He has been with the company for over 25 years and doing his current job for at least 5.

Today his boss told him that there was no way that David could meet the goals set out for him as part of the disciplinary action even though he... has already met several of them.

We need wisdom on how to proceed. Do we need to hire a lawyer. There is definitely discrimination based on age going on as well as harassment in other forms and also his boss has not kept any of the conditions set out in the action.

Pray for peace, wisdom, and strength for us as we go through this trial. Pray that David will be able to find another job.

We do not want to take this to a lawyer because we're greedy. We do need to have our family cared for and when a company starts disposing of a group of employees, in this case the over 50's, something needs to be done.

Apr 13, 2014

Life Goes On...

This coming Monday, 4/14,  will be 7 weeks since Oscar died.  On one hand it feels like he's been gone forever.  On the other it seems like just yesterday he came in with a hurt foot. 

It really is the little things that hurt the most.  I still start to call his name when we get home.  I miss having him get on the bed with me when I'm suffering a migraine.  I miss giving him little tidbits when I'm cooking.  I even miss tripping over him in the night.

But, life truly does go on.

This past Tuesday I had another kidney stone surgically removed.  This is my 4th surgery.  The first one was in May 2003.  Numbers 2 and 3 took place within  six weeks of each other in the fall of 2012.  Each time my recovery has been different but painful. 

The first one was the worst, terrible pain all week and when the stent was removed my bladder went into spasms that took hours to get under control.  My sweet friend Lynette came over that evening and just held me and prayed for me.

The second one I reacted to the anesthesia and felt like I had been run over by a train.  Every muscle in my body hurt.  I couldn't even roll over in bed without help. 

With the 3rd one the pain meds stopped up my digestive tract.  Not fun.  I also spiked a fever and when the doctors at the E.R. couldn't find anything wrong they did a spinal tap to rule out meningitis. 

With this one, it's the pain again.  Not as bad as with the first one but still bad enough to keep me on strong pain meds.  I also had a rougher time in recovery this time. 

My final recovery room nurse, Peggy, was wonderful.  She was so kind and caring and knew what to do to make my trip home easier and safer.  She sent me home with emesis bowls in case I got sick again and she put me in 2 hospital gowns so I didn't have to mess with getting into and back out of clothing.  This was such a help since I was so nauseated and groggy.

Here it is, Sunday, 5 days after my surgery and I'm still on the heavy duty pain meds.  I'm kind of dreading going in Wednesday to have my stent removed. David will not be able to go with me so I'll be alone during the procedure.  I'm not looking forward to this at all. 

This is Life...
It goes on....

Mar 15, 2014

Science Olympiad, Regional Tournament, 2014

Full Circle Academy Science Olympiad Team took 16 students to the Charlotte Tournament on March 8.  With 6 students on Division C and 10 students on Division B we were probably the smallest team there, and we were also 1 of only 2 homeschool teams.  Congratulations to Science Hounds/ Hunters who placed well enough at regional to go to State! 

David and I hope that in a few more years the FCA team will be THE team to be on for the homeschool community. 

Overall our little team brought home 8 medals.  Not bad for a small, young team.

Full circle Academy Geniuses in the Making

Daniel and Grayson Bottle Rockets Div B

Daniel Bottle Rocket Div B
Team Poster, also the design on our shirts

Emanuel Div C

Josiah Div B

Kennedy Div C

Sarah Div C
Caris and Sophia Div B

Caris and Naomi Div B

Kindle Case using Nancy Zieman's Pattern

Sarah bought me a pattern to make a case for a tablet computer this past Christmas. Tablet Keeper Pattern

 I started one and it didn't work right, not sure what I did wrong.  But a couple of weeks ago, after O died we were wandering around some stores out near Ikea and I found a tote bag in the colors and pattern I liked, it's one of those inexpensive, reusable grocery tote bags, so I turned it into my kindle case.  It's not perfect and I think I can do a better job next time but it's usable and fills its purpose.

Feb 25, 2014

Oscar, You will be missed

Patiently waiting at the driv-thru

Yummy reward for waiting

My favorite picture.
After a battle with an injured foot that went septic in spite of all we did to treat, it we had to let Oscar go this afternoon, 2/24/2014.   I am so grateful for the care and concern that Dr Foster showed all of us as well as Oscar. All through this battle Dr Foster has been available to us, honest with us about what was happening and what our options were. We could not have had a better experience going through a very difficult ordeal.

Feb 22, 2014

Repost of an excellent artcle on parenting

Could You Be the Prodigal?

Could You Be the Prodigal?In a world where parents indulge their kids with everything they want, it would seem that these kids would be especially grateful.  Instead, a generation has become selfish, self-centered, and unprepared for real life.

A dictionary definition of a “prodigal” is “one who spends or gives lavishly and foolishly.”  You may think your teenager is acting like a prodigal these days, but have you considered that according to this definition, you may be the prodigal yourself?

Many parents lavishly and foolishly give material things to their kids. Some say it is their “right” to spoil their kids — and there is truth to that.  The truth is not as much regarding the parent’s rights, but that, yes, it will spoil their kids.  Unbridled spending on kids can lead to selfish attitudes and feelings of entitlement on the part of the teen.  And such kids are in for a rude awakening when real life comes calling.

Sometimes a parent is being extra generous out of an “I’m giving my child what I lacked as a child” attitude. Or, perhaps the gifts are being used as leverage to improve the attitudes and cooperation of the teenager.  In either case, the kids on the receiving end can become pretty comfortable with such generosity.  It can lead to immaturity, irresponsibility, selfishness and a hard time understanding finances and the obligations of real life when they become adults. In other words, spoiled kids later become spoiled adults.

I know it’s tough for loving parents to limit their giving of material things to their children, especially when they have it to give.  But they may want to keep it in check to prevent the kind of damage that I see every day in some of the teens who are sent to our Heartlight residential program.  For them it can take months of therapy and doing without material things to bring them back down to earth.
The biblical story of the Prodigal in Luke 15 wonderfully illustrates such a turnabout in thinking for a pampered, selfish child who suddenly faced the realities of life.

In Luke 15:12 the son in the story says, ”Father, give me my share of the estate.”  For whatever reason, this young man had a “give me” sense of entitlement that was pretty demanding. It was probably because he never had a need for anything for as long as he had lived. The family was obviously wealthy.

So, as was the custom in those days, the father went ahead and gave him his portion of the estate. The son gleefully took it all and moved away.  But he had soon spent his entire inheritance, all of it, on riotous living.  What a great lesson in finance!  Though he was given so much, he lost it all in a very short period of time.

Then, half-starved and thinking that his gold-digger friends would help him out in his time of need, he found out differently.  In Luke 15:16 it says, ”…but no one gave him anything.” Whether they were acting as selfish as he was, or just fed up with him, their denials told him that he needed to do something different from now on, or else he wouldn’t survive. The very next verse brings it all home.
In Luke 15:17 it says, “…he came to his senses…”  He saw the light.  When the money ran out and everyone stopped feeding this young man’s foolishness, he faced some pretty important decisions in his life.  It helped him realize his predicament and he quickly discovered what life is all about, perhaps for the very first time.

The point is…it took a very traumatic experience for him to come to his senses.  Before he could get past his prodigal mindset, he had to hit rock bottom.  Then he finally began thinking more clearly about finances and about the basic necessities of life.

Could you be the one responsible for your own teen becoming a prodigal?  Moreover, could you be the one acting like a prodigal yourself?  You are if you are catering to your teen’s every financial want or need without teaching them the value of work and how to wisely manage their own money.  Perhaps it’s time to take a look at your finances and begin to limit your giving to your teen, before it contributes to them becoming a prodigal.

By the way, a good way to counteract selfishness and financial foolishness in a teen is to teach them to give of themselves and a portion of their finances to others who are in need.  Take them down to the local mission to volunteer in the food line.  Require that they help an elderly friend or a shut-in neighbor once a week.  Take them on a short-term mission trip to a place in the world where kids have nothing.  When they interact with others who are helpless and in desperate need, they soon realize (without having to hit rock bottom themselves), how important it is to manage their own life and their money.

If you’re an adult prodigal, you may want to shift gears to lavish upon your kids every good thing they need in life, not everything they want.  One good thing they desperately need is to learn how to make money and manage finances on their own.  They’ll have to go without all the goodies you’ve financed in the past, but it’s a lesson they’ll thank you for one day.

About the Author
Mark Gregston is an author, speaker, radio host, and the founder and director of Heartlight, a residential counseling center for struggling teens located in Longview, Texas.  He has been married to his wife, Jan, for 39 years, has two kids, and 4 grandkids.  He lives in Longview, Texas with the Heartlight staff, 60 high school kids, 25 horses, his dog, Stitch, 2 llamas, and a prized donkey named Toy.  His past involvement as a youth pastor, Young Life area director, and living with over 2,500 teens, has prepared Mark to share his insights and wisdom about parenting pre-teens and adolescents.
Visit to find out more about the residential counseling center for teens, or call Heartlight directly at 903. 668.2173.  For more information and helpful other resources for moms and dads, visit, It’s filled with ideas and tools to help you become a more effective parent. Here you will also find a station near you where you can listen to the Parenting Today’s Teens radio broadcast, or download the podcast of the most recent programs.

Feb 21, 2014

Update on Oscar, hopes dashed

Our hopes that Oscar was turning the corner after his reaction to the medicine have been dashed.  The vet examined his foot this morning and was still very concerned about the paw staying cold.  Even though the pain has greatly decreased and he seems to have perked up and is even bearing some weight on that foot and the abscess seems to be draining he believes, and I agree, that the cold foot is a major concern and indicates a circulatory problem.

After consulting with a specialist O does not have a good prognosis. If circulation does not improve within the next few days it could turn to gangrene.  

At this point our goal is to get the circulation going in that foot.  Soaking and massaging the tissue to help drain it as well as keeping him on the antibiotics and as pain free and comfortable as possible.

It's hard to accept that his time with us may be coming to a close.  We're praying for physical healing for Oscar. 

The Bible tells us,  "Luke 12:6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God." 

I believe that the creator of the universe, who keeps track of the sparrow when it falls and counts the hair on my head cares for Oscar and understands our pain.  It is only with His strength that I can comfort my daughter who is grieving the possible loss of her furry friend.   I think a sudden and quick death would be preferable to caring for him for days, seeing what we think is improvement only to hit the valley of death again.  The uncertainty and wait is so stressful.

Feb 20, 2014

What we do and go through for our Fur-Baby, the long version

 About 6 weeks ago Oscar came in one evening completely lame in his right front foot.  I thought it was probably a mild sprain and treated him for several days with aspirin.   It didn't help.
 So a trip to the vets was in order.  After a very painful, for Oscar, exam the vet thought it was probably a sprain and put him on a better anti-inflammatory.  Which he took faithfully with no improvement. 

Fast forward 12 days...Taking Oscar back to the vets this afternoon. The pain meds that he has been on for over a week are not helping. He is not eating well and is really miserable. This is really hard on Sarah, these 2 have grown up together. We got him as a pup a few weeks before she turned 3. He'll be 13 on March 11. The past 5 years or so he has had allergies that turned into skin infections and now he has a lame leg that is not responding to treatment. I hope we can find out today what is wrong and get meds to keep him comfortable for as long as possible. We don't want to selfishly prolong his life if it is something bad, but it's so hard when an animal has been like another sibling. If you're inclined would you say a prayer for all of us?

That afternoon...Just got back from the vets with Oscar. Thanks for all your kind words and prayers.
Dr Foster took an x-ray and there is no cancer which is what we were afraid of. Instead he thinks that O has an abscess in that paw. So he's on antibiotics for 2 weeks at least plus his pain meds and he needs to have that foot soaked in Epsom salts twice a day. So it looks like Oscar will be with us for a while longer!!

Two days later...Oscar feels terrible, constant crying in pain.  It's worse at night.  I'm calling the vet to see if there is something he can take to help him relax and sleep especially at night.

That evening...The vet prescribed a mild sedative to help him sleep tonight.  It's an old, well tolerated drug.  Hope we can get some sleep tonight. 

Have you heard of Restless Leg Syndrome?  Last night we experienced what I'm calling "Uncontrolled Barking Syndrome" (UBS).  With his foot so painful, Oscar, and the rest of us, haven't been getting much sleep.  the video above is just a fraction of the barking he was doing.

Having a drug make you feel all disoriented and weird is bad enough.  And as a human you can at least communicate how you are feeling and understand what is happening.   Imagine your fur-baby going through that.  They. Can't. understand..

Anyway, "UBS" came on within an hour of Oscar taking the sedative.  Preceded by rapid, shallow breathing and the  loss of control of his tongue.

UBS lasted for 10-15 minutes at a time with only about a 10 minute respite.  At first we thought it was just him talking in his sleep.  But when it went on & on & on we knew something was amiss. The barking lasted from about 9 p.m. until midnight.  Finally, quiet, sleep.  For Oscar. Around 2:30 this morning he slid off the bed and is still sleeping where he landed  8 hours later.  (I snatched a couple of hours here and there.)

After talking with his vet, who is befuddled by this entire problem, not just the drug reaction, I'm taking him back in tomorrow for further evaluation.

As I finish writing this post Oscar is still very groggy and unsteady on his feet.  24 hours after that one. small. dose.

Some friends have suggested I find another vet.  I understand and appreciate their concern.  I want the best for Oscar.  But I've had drug reactions myself.  It wasn't the doctors fault.  You don't know you're allergic to something until you take it and react.  So I view it the same for my canine child.

His foot is finally draining, he's let Sarah soak and massage the gunk out of his foot twice today.  The pain in the foot is much, much better.  I think he's on the mend.

We'll visit the vet again in the morning to let the doc and his colleagues check him out as we head to the weekend.

I leave you with a few recent pics of our "Monster Dog"

He chooses to sleep this way...

and sit like this...

He's the best dog I've ever known.