The Mommy Bloggy

Reflections of a Mother's Heart

Answered Prayer May 25, 2012

Filed under: Devotions — Michelle Ferguson @ 1:40 pm

Three years ago, Logan’s dentist prompted me to make an appointment with an oral surgeon to evaluate a 5-year molar that had failed to erupt in Logan’s mouth.  I had not even been aware that this was an issue, but I guess that’s why we go to the dentist!

After our initial visit with the oral surgeon, he decided we could wait a year and re-evaluate this molar.  I scheduled the appointment for the following June.  In early June of 2010, while my family and I were vacationing in Kentucky, I received a phone message from the surgeon’s office asking me to reschedule Logan’s appointment because the doctor would be out of town.  Well, I never rescheduled that appointment.  Then, at Logan’s next dentist appointment, the dentist again encouraged me to pursue this molar issue with the surgeon.  So, I did make an appointment to follow-up in 2011, and at this visit, the surgeon gave us two options:  1)  He could try to “force” the tooth in by exposing the molar and attaching it to an anchoring device or 2)  He could surgically remove the molar.

My husband and I  honestly did not like either option.  When we could see a perfectly formed tooth under the gum line (however, totally covered by bone) on x-ray, it made me sad to think of having it removed.  God made that tooth for a purpose and I just wanted it to come in.  So we began to pray that God would bring this molar in on its own.  Logan joined us in praying, and he prayed so faithfully.

At Logan’s next dentist visit, the dentist encouraged me to meet with an orthodontist because now that Logan’s 5-year molar on the bottom had not come in, it was causing the molar above it which should normally rest on top of that molar, to come down out of the gum too far.  It’s called supra-eruption, too much tooth exposed.

So last summer, Brad and I met with the orthodontist for an evaluation.  He agreed to treat the supra-erupted molar and communicate with our oral surgeon on a strategy.  Several months went by and we never heard from either doctor, so at the next dentist appointment, the ball got rolling.  The orthodontist called and made a series of appointments with me for Logan to have the supra-erupted molar pulled back up into the gum line.  He was going to handle this supra-erupted molar and the surgeon would handle the “failed to erupt” molar.

By this time, the orthodontist and surgeon agreed that Logan’s molar should be surgically removed.  I felt a peace about pursuing the work to fix the supra-erupted molar, but I still felt no peace at all about removing the bottom molar.  So we took steps this spring to fix the upper molar.  After spacers, impressions, and a fitting, Logan has had the appliance, literally screwed, to the roof of his mouth with a band attached around that upper molar to force it back up into the gum line.

Last Saturday night, May 19, as we were putting Logan to bed, he said, “Mom, I feel something in my mouth I want you to check.”  Having no flashlight handy, I grabbed his small bedside lamp and shone it into his mouth.  I could not believe my eyes…Logan’s 5-year molar was beginning to break through the surface of the gum!  I about started crying!  I had been told by the surgeon, “If that tooth hasn’t come in by now, it never will.  It’s fused to his jawbone.”

We all rejoiced greatly!  After three years of praying, this molar was coming in!  I had really given up praying.  Logan’s molar was number one on my prayer list, but often it got skipped over.  I thought God was going to answer our prayer in another way, like removal.  However, Logan did not give up praying.  He prayed almost every single night for that tooth to come in.  God showed me through this Answered Prayer that I shouldn’t give up praying for something when I don’t see God working.  He is working.  He is waiting for the right time to reveal the “prize.”  I took great comfort and hope in this because God is at work.  He is faithful to answer the “small” things, as well as the “big” things.  He is so good!

Praise God we did not pursue surgery to remove that molar!  Praise God we waited for Him to reveal what He has been at work doing the whole time!  Praise God He is faithful and true!  Lindsay reminded me that “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).

I did take Logan to the orthodontist this week because at the same time I noticed his molar coming in, I noticed “sores” on the roof of his mouth and he complained that it felt like his gum was growing over the appliance.  At our “emergency” visit, the doctor explained that Logan’s tissue was reacting to the appliance and had inflamed around it.  He decided to remove the appliance to allow healing of the tissue to take place.  I pointed out that Logan’s molar was beginning to come in and he made a comment about not knowing why sometimes teeth do that.  I replied, “Well, Logan has been praying for three years for it to come in.”  The doctor responded, “I guess that’s your answer,” and I agreed.



Kale Chips May 24, 2012

Filed under: Recipes Worth Sharing — Michelle Ferguson @ 11:24 pm

A couple of weeks ago, I was flipping through the television channels and came across a Dr. Oz show.  Since Brad was not at home and I was interested in the topic of discussion,  I stayed to watch.  Dr. Oz, being known for his healthy eating and lifestyle, shared some ways to substitute unhealthy snacks for healthier ones.  One idea he shared was eating kale chips in place of fried potato chips.  Since my family and I enjoy cooked kale, my curiosity was piqued, and I tried the recipe out.

After washing and drying raw kale, place on baking sheet (I use stoneware), drizzle with oil (I use grape seed oil), and sea salt.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, watching that they don’t brown.  These kale chips are unbelievably crunchy and delicious, even kid-approved in our house.  We like them with a lot of salt!

I’m glad I ran across Dr. Oz’s show that Friday night!


Monkey Bites

Filed under: Recipes Worth Sharing — Michelle Ferguson @ 11:13 pm

Getting my kids to eat bananas when they were babies was no problem, but now that they are older, they shy away from them.  So, inspired by a frozen treat at Trader Joe’s, I began making what I call “Monkey Bites.”

I slice a banana, about 1/4 to 1/2″ thick or so, dip the slices in melted chocolate (semi-sweet or dark is best), and freeze.  There you have it…a healthy treat my kids will eat!  They love these kind of bananas!  Must be something about the chocolate!


Gem Mining May 21, 2012

Filed under: The Ferguson Family — Michelle Ferguson @ 1:27 pm

On Friday, my family and I headed to Hiddenite, NC for a day of gem mining at Hiddenite Gems, Inc.  We paid permit fees to sluice and creek.  At the sluicing table, we each sat at a bench in front of a wooden sloped “sink,” with running water.  We each had screen boxes which we filled with scoops of dirt from our 5 gallon buckets.  As the water ran through the boxes and we washed the sand out, gems and rocks were left behind.  Each scoop of dirt was like a Christmas present to Luke.  He couldn’t wait to “unwrap” the sand to see what was hiding within.  He was so excited about finding his gems, including sodalite, quartz, crystals, amethysts, and aquamarine.

After sluicing, we had a picnic lunch at their picnic area in the woods.  During lunch we were surrounded by these bold ducks (I called them turkey ducks because their heads look like turkeys).  They knew we had food, and they knew we had kids!  Kids who drop things, so they hung out with us and were pretty aggressive.  Chasing them away only helped temporarily.  Then, a cute squirrel made his presence known at the next picnic table.  I threw him a couple of pieces of my sandwich wrap which he gratefully consumed.  After a few minutes, we noticed he made his way to a trashcan and went inside it to look for more lunch.  Lindsay walked over to the trashcan to toss him a piece of bread, and I warned her that if she startled that squirrel he may jump up and land on her head.  As soon as I said that, she tossed her piece of bread, and that squirrel came flying out of that trashcan with all fours spread in the air, like he’d just been shot out of a cannon.  I was so startled that I let out a blood curdling scream, then I laughed my head off!  It was the funniest thing!

Then we made our way to the creek where we spend the next 2 1/2 hours mining for more gemstones.  We all had water shoes, which was a big help, and the water was C-O-L-D!  I believe Luke found the most gems.  He would simply reach down, pick up a handful of sand and find a gem!  Or he would catch a glimpse of a gem from above the water, reach down, and pick it up.  He was amazing!  We did rent a screen box and shovel to take to the creek, which was fun to use to filter out sand we dug up.  Almost every time we would find a precious gem.  We did find lots of gems and we got excited about every one!  The kids absolutely loved playing and digging in the creek!  When they were done, they were wet, cold, and sandy, but we had taken a change of clothes for them, so they were happy to be dry again.

There is also an emerald mine where you can dig, but we chose not to do that.  One recent discovery there, produced an emerald worth $10,000!  Hiddenite Gems’ motto is “You fine ’em, you keep ’em.”  And so we did, our plastic bags full of precious gems, and my heart full of precious memories of our time there.


Spelling Lessons May 17, 2012

Filed under: Homeschooling — Michelle Ferguson @ 8:26 pm

Last week while my daughter was taking a spelling test, she commented, “I know all the letters, I just don’t know the right order.”  Not very encouraging to a homeschool mom…sigh…

Today, my son (who is sometimes a better speller than his sister, despite being two years younger) wrote “afishils” in a report he is doing on the state of Pennsylvania.  Sounding it out, I figured it was supposed to be “officials.”  I had to laugh…I guess those phonics lessons have paid off??

These times remind me that life has a new lesson every day.  We are never in a place where we know everything.  I would like to think I learn something new every day, but I must be intentional in doing this.  I read books on parenting, homeschooling, being a godly wife, and books just for fun, of course!  I peruse blogs of like-minded people, and I skim our local weekly “Times” paper and FOX to catch up on the latest news.  My Bible is my main source of teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training me in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).

A teachable spirit is key to classroom lessons as well as life lessons.  It is a great character trait to develop, and I try to encourage my kids to persevere and learn from their mistakes.  After all, mistakes have lead to the greatest of discoveries (like ice cream cones, potato chips, silly putty, and Post-It Notes!).


Mummies of the World May 9, 2012

Filed under: The Ferguson Family — Michelle Ferguson @ 8:02 pm

In March, my family and I went to see the Mummies of the World Exhibit at Discovery Place in Charlotte.  We made a day of it, even packing a picnic lunch which we ate outside in a small courtyard area on Tryon Street.  Our tickets included an IMAX movie (and the experience of that HUGE, surrounding screen thrilled Luke!) and admission to the rest of the museum, including an aquarium area where the kids were mesmerized by sea horses, an octopus, and shrimp.

We found the Mummies exhibit fascinating.  Mummification can occur naturally or intentionally and includes animals as well as people.  For a body to be considered mummified, it must contain original skin and/or organs.  The collection included mummies from Europe, Africa, ancient Egypt, South America, and the South Pacific.

We saw several animals on display, including a squirrel mummified in an attic for many years, a 500 year old, still-furry dog preserved in a bog,  and a monkey from Argentina found with a feathered head dress.  The focus of the exhibit were the people, real people with real stories.  We saw a 6,400 year old child so well preserved that scientists could conclude from cat scans and MRI’s that he had died from a heart defect.  Also on display was an 18th century Hungarian family killed by the plague and a German nobleman found wearing leather boots.

As we toured, I found it interesting that intentional ancient preservation included the use of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  I couldn’t help but think of the gifts the wise men brought to Jesus after he was born:  gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  It was the ancient preserver’s quest to maintain the body of the deceased for the “after life.”  They put so much focus on the body, that they ignored the spirit.

This was a great educational and spiritual field trip, where we reminded our children that death is real, and it is important to focus on growing our spirits in the Lord.  No amount of “works” or “spices” will gain us entry into heaven.  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast”(Ephesians 2:8-9).



Making a Difference a World Away May 7, 2012

Filed under: Brad and Me Plus 3 — Michelle Ferguson @ 6:35 pm

I consider this little girl to almost be my own because I’ve grown to love her over the three years that we have been sponsoring her.  Estefani is a student privileged to be part of a program at a christian day care in Honduras where she is fed, loved, educated, and read Bible stories.

Five years ago, my husband and I visited the day care where she currently attends.  That trip to a third world country totally changed my life.  Honduras is a very poor country with very poor sanitation.  I was shocked to see people throwing their trash, literally bags of trash, into rivers and to drive by piles of garbage heaped on the streets with dogs pilfering through it.  The city we visited had its mountain sides dotted with shacks that the people called homes, most without running water.  I will never forget watching two children play with simple sticks and how happy they were.  I will never forget watching a 7 or 8 year old girl darting through traffic, asking stopped cars for money while her baby brother sat in the dirt on the side of the road.  Women and children are very commonly abandoned by their husbands or boyfriends.

The Lord put it on our hearts to sponsor one of the children at the day care and in a very small way make a difference in her life.  We have packed Christmas bags for her and sent school supplies.  On Brad’s last trip to Honduras, he actually got to meet Estefani,  and he called me on one of his visits at the day care, and I talked with her on the phone in my very limited Spanish!  She mostly just giggled!

Estefani is very blessed because she lives with both of her married parents, which is almost unheard of in Honduras!  We rejoiced with her as her family welcomed her new little brother into their family about a year ago.  We receive an update on her yearly, and with her most recent update this spring, we discovered that her family did not own a Bible.  I couldn’t believe it!   I ordered a Spanish children’s Bible for her and a Bible for her parents as well.  I inscribed the Bibles with their names, date, and wrote in Spanish that God loves them.  (There is a very cool website that translates English to Spanish and vice versa!)

We have friends at church who go to Honduras several times a year, and on their most recent trip last month, we asked them to hand deliver our Bibles to “our little girl.”  They did and snapped this picture of her.  My friend asked her if there was any message that Estefani wanted them to bring back to us.  She said, “Tell them I love them.”  How precious is that?!

You may think that a gift you send to another country or even another state for that matter doesn’t make an impact because you can’t see it with your own eyes, but it does make an impact.  Look at this precious smile!  Our prayers at night usually include Estefani.  We are also recently praying that the Lord would draw her into his word and her parents, too!