Monthly Archives: December 2012

Marathon John

We’ve talked about Christian and Elisabeth, the other paddler and the runner in the family. This post is about John, the youngest of the Flottman family.

John’s sport is disc golf. I’ve never heard of marathon disc golf. But, he deserves to take it easy and stretch his muscles when he’s not at his job because that’s where his real marathon goes on. John’s a master ice carver, working at Ideas in Ice in Oklahoma City. Over the holidays like Christmas and Easter he’s working some long hours sculpting frozen water into things of beauty. He has an eye for art and muscles built up from lots of hauling big blocks of ice around.

It’s always amazing to me to watch someone do something they’re really good at. And watching John work with a medium that cracks easily and is constantly melting is a sight to see. If you ever have a chance to see him at a carving competition don’t miss the opportunity.

The last time I mentioned to John that he’d be great with a paddle in his hands he said he might be interested one of these days. If I could get Elisabeth in the back of a canoe, and John up front (where the power needs to be), Christian and I would both be looking at their backs.

Christian and I are taking it easy while the weather is cold but John’s in the middle of the Christmas ice carving marathon – GO JOHN!

The news from my ground crew captain, otherwise known as Sharon, the limited ultrasound nurse, is great. As you know, she finished her training and has started putting what she learned into practice. She learned on one kind of machine and had to start working using another but seems to have made that transition without too many hitches. She says it was like learning about computers on a Mac and then being handed a PC to use! She still has a few buttons and dials to decipher but she’s making good progress.

While we’re talking about her training it’s a good time to give a huge thanks to one of our White Rock Navy members. The place where Sharon works is a non-profit and relies on donations for their budget. They could hire her but were scrambling a bit to pay for her training. When she heard about the situation she stepped up and offered a donation that covered the five day class. BirthChoice now has a sonographer working 20 hours a week and Sharon has the training she’s wanted for a long time.

56 days since we “conceived” this idea, and 213 days until the MR340.



As I type this, Ned is fast and furiously addressing and signing Christmas Cards, the first mailout in several years. We have been Blessed the past few holiday seasons  to be able to focus on the reason for the season because of our serious deficit of funds. That situation has eased slightly so we have added Christmas cards back into our life. We look forward to increasing prosperity in 2013 both spiritually and financially. We are both gainfully employed at the same time. Hallelujah! A little bit of catching up for those out of the loop.  After a year of unemployment in 2009 Ned took a job in Shreveport, LA  for Centerpoint Energy in 2010. He had been expressing interest in learning to kayak and doing the MR340. I had stipulations. 1 employment, 2health insurance, 3 a physical with clean bill of health, and this had to happen by the end of April. Well this got God’s Blessing because he landed his job on April 20th and started May 3.  I was in shock and drug my feet following him,  until our townhouse sold I was staying in Dallas. He spent every minute he was not working, training for the race. After being cancelled and rescheduled he did that in August and raised $4000 for the Haiti Pilgrims’ work in the city of Boileau, Haiti. One weekend a month we commuted back and forth – about a 3 1/2 hr drive – for the next 7 months.   Then something unheard of happened. I, an RN, lost my job. It ended abruptly and I got the message loud and clear that I was to get my ____to Shreveport, so I moved over Christmas. It took me 5 months to get my nursing license in the great state of LA so I began volunteering at Catholic Charities, St Catherine’s community garden for St Vincent DePaul, and The ARK-LA-TEX crisis pregnancy center. I met wonderful people and my life changed dramatically. A month after I got my licence, Ned’s job abruptly ended without any unemployment.  He shot back to Dallas to work as a contractor while I continued to volunteer and try to figure out “NOW WHAT”.  I was loved and cared for by my Christian sisters at ALTCPC. Ned was renting a room from an “interesting” gentleman because we had just finally leased our town home because  we were never able to sell it. I forgot to mention that the week after Ned moved to Shreveport a pitiful Silky Terrier

Janie the Little Dog

Janie the Little Dog

was rescued  by our neighbor and we somehow ended up with her. She has been a huge blessing for me as a companion, always making me laugh, even as I went through 4-5 gallons of Natures Miracle. She adores and is completely devoted to me. She likes her Ned too. Fast forward, this is getting boring, I talked to our tenant when the lease in Shreveport ran out and she agreed to end her lease early and the week after Labor Day

Headed HOME!

Headed HOME!

we moved ourselves back to Dallas to our wonderful Lakewood neighborhood and town home. After many interviews I accepted a job at BirthChoice a pregnancy center for woman with the stipulation I needed to be trained to do limited ultrasounds  on our clients who were trying to decide what choice to make with their unplanned pregnancies. We offer support for numerous needs and try to love these woman so they can love their babies. It is a fairly new center with 2 locations, diamonds in the rough. We are striving to become centers of excellence. We have our hands full,  lots of needs most urgent besides funds are volunteers, especially nurses to do ultrasounds. We have both been working extremely hard and here it is the Christmas countdown and Ned just mailed our cards as I type this last sentence of our Christmas letter.

We wish you a blessed Christmas celebrating the birthday of our Lord and Savior, Jesus.  Next year we will try to get our letter in the card.

Love,      Sharon, Ned, Janie the little dog, and Bravo the cat


Making it through

In the spirit of dual blog entries, here are two for today. First, from Sharon, then from Ned….

I completed my ultrasound training this week and scanned at least 20 babies and observed 40 more! It was thrilling. I scanned one baby that was 5 weeks 5 days old who’s heart began to beat 5 weeks 1 day so I saw that tiny flicker 4 days after it began. This was 3 1/2 weeks after mom conceived. There were some very active bigger babies. I have a little more practicing to do next week and then I will be on my own.  A friend funded my tuition to make this possible. I plan to pay that forward some day and do the same. That could be an excellent designation for our fundraising- for scholarships to send our volunteer nurses to training.  The needs are numerous. Maybe you can come up with your own. I am more psyched than ever after spending 4 days scanning the Miracle through the Window To The Womb. Thanks to Jim, my instructor, and a very patient man. He made the class fun but also impressed upon us the importance of excellent technique. It’s a week I will never forget. We are past the 5 week point in our journey and our hearts are beating strong.

Sharon – limited ultrasound Nurse.

Not much to report on the paddling front, the weather is turning cold – too cold to get out on the lake. But, today is the running of the White Rock Marathon (now called the Dallas Marathon), so thousands of runners will be circling by our house as they compete in this event. And, it has me thinking about our daughter, Elisabeth.

You may remember that she’s our intrepid communications officer. Every kayak/canoe race she takes the job of posting our progress on the blog while we’re out paddling. Running is her passion. A few years ago she started lacing up the running shoes and getting in shape and has now completed a couple of half marathons. Sharon and I are both very proud of the grit she’s shown pushing through the pain and putting in the road miles to get ready for these events and she’s now planning two races within the next year. One’s out in the LA area, where she lives, and the second will be further north in San Francisco.

She doesn’t sound too worried about the first but the second involves hills – a lot of hills! They call the kind of racing I do “flat water” and I’m really grateful that I don’t have to go up, then down, then up…..

That’s the beauty of it, though. You try something new and then set another goal for yourself. Elisabeth found she could finish a half marathon on fairly flat land and has challenged herself to something tougher. Sharon got out of her comfort zone by volunteering to do something different then went after the next challenge of an intensive week long class and learned another new skill. I’m so very impressed with these two strong women in my life.

226 days left until the MR340