John & Paula Oliver
|Oliver Family Updates - 2014|
Copyright © 2017, J & P Oliver
Last Updated on July 30, 2017
December 2014We celebrated Thanksgiving a few days early this year, as Joy had her wisdom teeth extracted on Nov. 25, two days before Thanksgiving; her pain level was pretty high for a couple days, but we're thankful that she's recovering well now. In other dental news - Hannah got her braces put on, and Paula is now in the process of getting a crown (on the tooth that had the root canal).
Vehicle-wise, thanks to some guidance from a helpful local mechanic, we replaced the starter on our Honda Civic (and tightened down a loose battery cable), and now it's starting fine! However, the A/C compressor (clutch pulley bearing) has been having problems and has gotten louder and hotter - to the point where, when I arrived at NTM yesterday morning, some smoke was coming out from under the hood - time to do something!
So this morning, the forementioned mechanic was able to change out one of the belts, temporarily bypassing the A/C compressor, so our Civic is now back in business again (albeit without A/C). Meanwhile, my mom & stepdad just purchased a 2005 Honda Odyssey and so we are the thankful purchasers (they gave us a good deal) of their 2004 Honda Odyssey. It seems like we've been constantly having issues with one vehicle or another, so it will be nice to have an extra vehicle, as it's hard to get by with just one.
On the home front, you may recall that back in May, a 1/4" plastic line (to our refrig) developed a crack (while we were on vacation) and flooded much of our house, damaging the laminate flooring in several rooms. In September, I finally re-laid the kitchen floor, replacing many of the laminate planks. It looked pretty nice, until...in mid-November, Paula noticed that some of the new laminate planks were now looking swollen and water-damaged! Looking further, we found water along the wall behind the refrig. Oh no, another leak!
Long story short: We eventually determined that the source (of this new leak) was not the refrigerator, nor the recently replaced 1/4" line to the refrig, nor the dishwasher, nor the plumbing under the sink. That's right - it was in the wall! I cut out a section of the hallway wall (behind the sink) and found that the 1.5 inch (50 year old) copper drain pipe had developed a hole along the bottom of the pipe, so much of our kitchen waste water had been streaming down into the wall!
So now we're in the process of getting the area dried out and the mess cleaned up. The kitchen laminate will need to be replaced again and we may end up replacing some of the wallboard and copper pipe as well. As in May, we're thankful that it was water, not fire, and we're reminded that as much as we enjoy our new home, it's just temporary.
On a positive note, Paula had opportunity again this November to volunteer with Little Pink Houses of Hope at a week-long beach retreat (in New Smyrna Beach) for families dealing with breast cancer. This organization ministered to us in 2012, so it has been a special (and fun) opportunity for Paula to serve other families in the same way.
We're also happy to announce that this month (December 30), we celebrate 25 years of wedded bliss! (Ok, we've had our share of non-bliss moments too, as we both fail in many ways, but by God's grace, we endeavor to love and forgive and take fresh starts.)
Thanks for your prayers for Hannah (who's been having some double-vision issues). Her MRI of the brain turned out fine, so we appreciate continued prayer (insight and guidance, appropriate prisms, etc.) for us and the ophthalmologist.
Thanks for your love, prayers, and encouragement. We wish you a Joyous Christmas season and an excellent New Year!
November 2014When is the best time to go to the dentist? 2:30, of course. Dental issues have been a big topic for us lately. Paula just had her first (and hopefully last) "tooth-hurty" root canal, Joy is now scheduled to have her wisdom teeth extracted Thanksgiving week (during school break), and Hannah is scheduled to start orthodontic treatment (aka, braces) tomorrow morning (November 6) - yikes!
Paula has recovered from her root canal and is still, as far as we know, in remission from her 2010 breast cancer - for which we're thankful! She's been out in Tucson, Arizona for a few days (but is flying home this evening), spending some time with her mom and sisters, and visiting our friends at Desert Son Community Church.
We were blessed recently by some volunteer mechanics who come down to Sanford each year. They worked on our Honda Odyssey, replacing the A/C compressor, faulty temperature sensors, and front brake pads - very much appreciated! Our Honda Civic has also been having some issues lately (A/C compressor, and problems starting).
We would appreciate your prayers in dealing with these car issues, and also for Hannah, who's recently started having some double vision issues. We've seen a pediatric ophthalmologist, who's adding some corrective prisms to her glasses to hopefully help her alignment; he's also scheduled an MRI - to rule out any possible brain issues.
October 2014Our son, Nicholas, just turned 21 on October 1. He continues to work as a cashier at Universal Studios (Islands of Adventure), and recently moved closer to his work, renting a small room from a family down in Orlando.
Hannah got her Learners License in September and so she and Joy are now both learning to drive; Joy is getting lots of driving experience (to school, work, and church), as she works to accumulate the required 50 hours minimum for her regular license.
Paula and I recently hosted a special prayer time for Michelle, a Christian friend we met in the chemo infusion room years ago. It was encouraging to see a number of folks come alongside and pray for Michelle. As Christians, our future is bright, because of Jesus Christ!
Around our house, a co-worker was a big help to us by installing a ceiling fan and light in our new screen room, making it more useable during the warmer seasons and in the evening. We also, this past month, repaired our garage door opener, replaced a number of sprinklers and the old (non-working) sprinkler controller, and repaired our kitchen laminate floor (that had been damaged by flooding back in May); we still need to redo the laminate floors in the two bedrooms that were also affected by the flood.
At NTM, along with helping to support our NTMAA users at USHQ and around the world, I'm continuing to record a number of NTMAA training videos. We've also been meeting periodically to discuss possible ideas as we consider moving NTMAA to a web-based system at some point in the future.
September 2014Here's some of our latest news & updates from the Oliver family:
August 2014July was quite a traveling month for our family. First, Paula flew to Arizona (July 1-7) to spend time with her mom, sister, and a supporting church there, Desert Son Community Church.
Then, on July 9, our family (minus Nicholas, who works full time at Universal Islands of Adventure in Orlando) left on a two week driving trip to NTM's Wayumi campus in Jersey Shore, PA.
We had a great experience at Wayumi (a missions trip youth camp for high school students) with tribal missionaries sharing real cultural examples, good teaching, and a fun learning activity each afternoon (language learning in a tribal village, a simulated flight to Venezuela with the adventure of customs & immigration, a 3 mile hike with 18 waterfalls, and a GPS reconnaisance survey).
On the way up and back, we enjoyed seeing family in South and North Carolina and friends near Washington, DC (where we spent two days touring the various memorials and museums).
We thank God for safe travel over our 2500 mile trip, for the good Bible teaching and missions challenge at Wayumi, and the opportunity to visit family and friends, and tour Washington, DC.
July 2014Here's some of our latest news & updates from the Oliver family:
June 2014Thanks to my mom & stepdad sharing some vacation points with us, we had a nice Daytona Beach vacation in early May. However, on our last night, around midnight, Nicholas called and informed us that he had just stopped by our house (to pick up some mail) and found several rooms flooded!
We quickly packed up and drove back to Sanford to find the ¼ inch refrigerator water line cracked and spewing out water. We vacuumed and mopped up the accumulated water in the kitchen/dining area, living room, office area, foyer/hallway, and two bedrooms. The ceramic floors in the foyer/hallway are fine, but the wood laminate floors (in all the other rooms) did not fare so well. Nonetheless, we are thankful - no one was hurt.
NTM is considering possible options for moving our NTMAA system forward prior to Windows 8 being phased out in 2023. We recently spent a week with a Canadian company, Qwantech, who may help develop a future web-based NTMAA system, for use in the U.S. and at our overseas locations.
May 2014Here's some of our latest news & updates from the Oliver family:
April 2014Here's some of our latest news & updates from the Oliver family:
March 2014Nicholas recently received his hard-earned Office Support certificate from Seminole State College; he continues to work part-time at our Goodwill, but is also looking for a suitable full-time position somewhere close by.
Meanwhile, work around our house and yard continues. With the much appreciated help of some NTM friends, we repaired our laminate floor (damaged by a refrigerator drain pan leak), replaced an older ceiling fan, removed a thirty foot oak tree, and built a wooden bench for our yard.
We're also looking into the possibility of adding a curved drive to a corner of our front yard - either concrete, pavers, or gravel - to accommodate more parking, make it easier to pull in and pull out, and reduce the mowing area.
Our special February highlight was hosting a gathering of 35 people in our home (overflowing from our living room into our kitchen and foyer) to "send off" a young friend (20 years old), heading to India as a new missionary.
February 2014Here's some of our latest news & updates from the Oliver family:
January 2014December 30 was our 24th wedding anniversary and Paula's 3rd cancer-versary, three years since Paula's doctor found a cancerous lump in her breast; we are thankful that Paula is continuing to do well!
2013 was, for us, the year of the house. We learned on Jan. 3 that our short sale offer had finally been approved, we closed on Jan. 22, and then spent seven months making many needed repairs, moving in on August 23. We continue to make repairs and improvements, but are now enjoying this nice home that the Lord has provided!
Nicholas is continuing to work part-time at our local Goodwill store; meanwhile, he recently completed the requirements for the Office Support Technical Certificate at Seminole State College (SSC) and would now like to find a full-time job somewhere.
Joy has also taken some SSC classes as a dual-enrollment student (she receives high school and college credit for the classes); she also enjoys her weekly piano lessons tremendously.
Hannah loves her FLVS (Florida Virtual School) online classes and recently also, after completing her Computing for College & Career course, passed the certification exams and so is now (at age 14) a Microsoft Certified Office Specialist in Word, Excel, and Powerpoint!
Here are some of our praise and prayer requests for 2014:
PRAISE & PRAYER REQUESTS
Thanks for your love, prayers, and encouragement!