John & Paula Oliver
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Oliver Family Updates - 2014
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    Last Updated on August 25, 2017
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    December 2014

    We 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 2014

    When 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 2014

    Our 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 2014

    Here's some of our latest news & updates from the Oliver family:
    • In late July, our daughters enjoyed a few vacation days with my mom & stepdad at a water park resort down in Orlando. Then in mid-August they had a great week at Camp Kesem, a free camp for kids whose families have had to deal with cancer.
    • Joy & Hannah are back in school now, though - including some dual-enrollment classes at SSC (Seminole State College) two days a week. It's a special opportunity, as they receive high school and college credit for these free dual-enrollment classes.
    • Around the house, we recently added a little screen room off our kitchen/dining area (see our pictures on Facebook at www.FaceBook.com/JohnKOliver), and also installed a laundry tub in our garage (a project I had started over a year ago, but postponed when it came time to move in).
    • At NTM, I recently had opportunity to help our NTM Bolivia bookkeeper setup and start using our Bank Recon subsystem - to reconcile their Dollar and Boliviano bank accounts on a monthly basis with their corresponding general ledger accounts.

    August 2014

    July 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 2014

    Here's some of our latest news & updates from the Oliver family:
    • Joy and Hannah recently returned from a great week of FUGE camp in Ridgecrest, NC with other youth from a local Sanford church.
    • Then, on June 28, our Joy turned 17. She celebrated by having several friends over for an overnight birthday party, with dinner, swimming, a campfire, smores, and breakfast the next morning. My birthday (July 4) is next - a special one this year, as I'm turning 55 and will thus be eligible for more senior discounts!
    • Paula just flew out to Tucson, AZ, for a week to help her mom and sisters and visit one of our supporting churches there, Desert Son Community Church.
    • Around the house, we completed one of our major projects this past month - adding a circular driveway! Now there's less lawn to mow, additional off-street parking, and we're enjoying being able to just pull in and pull out!
    • At NTM, I've been giving one of our accountants some NTMAA training, so that he can better help us support our stateside and overseas bookkeepers. I've also started recording some NTMAA videos to help our users and fellow programmers.

    June 2014

    Thanks 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 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 2014

    Here's some of our latest news & updates from the Oliver family:
    • Nicholas is continuing to enjoy his independence. He has recently found a full-time job at Universal Studios in Orlando, and may also continue part-time with Goodwill for a while.
    • Hannah turned 15 on April 18 and had her birthday party on April 27, with 20 friends over for fun games and ice cream cake.
    • Joy is continuing to work a few hours each Saturday at a local jewelry store, owned by our neighbors. She and Hannah also appreciate opportunities to babysit from time to time.
    • Around the house, Paula is enjoying her new hydroponic Tower Garden, as well as her other plants and flowers. I've been working on a trench to help with our patio drainage. We've also been replacing and upgrading our Windows XP computers.
    • At NTM, I've been enhancing the way we process transfer donations (gifts from one missionary to another). We've also met with a couple payroll companies - to consider oursourcing some of our more complex monthly payroll processes.

    April 2014

    Here's some of our latest news & updates from the Oliver family:
    • We've had our first launch! Our oldest has spread his wings and flown the coop. Nicholas is now renting a small room in an Altamonte Springs 3/2 condo, about 12 miles south of us.
    • Meanwhile, we've enjoyed having my dad, down from South Carolina, stay with us for a couple weeks - in our new guest bedroom! It was a special time, as we don't see him very often.
    • Our Joy has recently started working part-time at a local jewelry store. In addition to earning some money, it's a wonderful opportunity to gain some experience in the jewelry business.
    • Around the house, we finished off the kitchen quarter-round trim, installed a refrig water filter, and continue to work on the plants, lawn, sprinklers, and stormwater drainage.
    • At NTM, I've been helping to implement some improvements to the year-end donation statements, revamping our NTM@work expiration procedures, and adding various other enhancements.

    March 2014

    Nicholas 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 2014

    Here's some of our latest news & updates from the Oliver family:
    • Paula's mom, Joan Mayshar, flew out from AZ and spent a week with us here, then Paula flew back to spend a few days with her in Tucson and to visit our supporting church there.

    • Around our home, our big accomplishment for January was having our 6' wood fence (and three small 4' fence enclosures for our trash cans, pool pump, and well pump) replaced. The fence turned out very nice and we hope it lasts for many years!

      Here's a couple shots of our perimeter fence, as it was when we purchased the home:

      Our perimeter fence, as viewed from the road.  Note the 
      gate thrown to the side.

      Our side yard inside the perimeter fence, along the East 
      side of the house.

      The fence along the western side of the house.

      Now, some shots of our nice new fence:

      The front of our new home, with our new wooden perimeter 
      fence.

      Our side yard inside the new perimeter fence, along the 
      East side of the house.

      The new fence along the western side of our home.

    • We've also been laying some paver walkways around our house and were recently the happy (and thankful) recipients of some marble pavers that some friends (who were moving and didn't need them) shared with us!

      We used most of the larger pavers to make a nice walkway from our driveway, through the fence gate, and continuing to our side patio:

      The front of our new home, with our new wooden 
      perimeter fence.

      Our side yard inside the new perimeter fence, along 
      the East side of the house.

      We used the majority of the smaller pavers to cover the dirt floor of our open air shed (which also contains our shallow well pump and sprinkler system valves:

      Our perimeter fence, as viewed from the road.  Note the 
      gate thrown to the side.

      Our side yard inside the perimeter fence, along the East
      side of the house.

    • At NTM, we released three new versions of our NTMAA system (our first releases in six months). I've also been providing some fellow missionaries with additional training in our NTMAA system and also in our purchasing/inventory/sales subsystem.

    January 2014

    December 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

    • Thank God for His great salvation and the work He is doing around the world, reaching the lost with the Gospel of Christ. Pray that He would continue to raise up folks to partner with us in this important task - through going, giving, and praying.
    • Thank God for our three precious children, Nicholas, Joy, and Hannah. Pray that they will come to know, love, and serve God, develop in maturity, and walk with the Lord.
    • Pray for us in our relationships: with God, with each other, with our children, with others - that we would be the man & woman, husband & wife, Dad & Mom that God wants us to be.
    • Thank God for the nice home we have been able to purchase here in Sanford, for the friends who helped us get it fixed up, for safety during the repairs, and for the new kitchen which Paula really loves!
    • Pray for guidance regarding the future of our NTMAA system. It continues to work very well, but folks have been considering possible options if and when a future version of Windows may perhaps render 32-bit Windows programs (including our NTMAA system) obsolete.
    • Pray for wisdom and guidance for us as well, as we desire to invest more time in various priorities and relationships.
    • Pray that God would give us humble hearts and make us a real blessing with family, friends, neighbors, believers, and unbelievers.

    Thanks for your love, prayers, and encouragement!