PitBullLady (Barbara) and her family are blessed with a lovely, small home with land where her children and furbabies grow, learn, and enjoy life. She has a very animal oriented life with rescued dogs and one rescued horse. Barbara has worked as a para-legal and as director of a non-profit child abuse prevention organization but she and her husband chose to have her become a stay-at-home mom just before the birth of her youngest two children who are now 7 and 8. At that time the family consisted of two little ones and two teens. The eldest is now in the Air Force and setting into life with a lovely wife and two little ones on the west coast, after his return from Guam and then Iraq.
Recently, life has been a struggle for Barbara. Her husband, Wayne, lost his long established 28 1/2 year job, due to company down-sizing and moving jobs to India. Another blow was struck to this family, when they lost their health insurance. Two of the children suffer from allergies and asthma, and one was diagnosed with arthritis after waiting six months to be diagnosed (becoming ill only one week after the loss of job/insurance). All of the children have growing complications and increasingly time consuming side effects. Thankfully, the children now have insurance but finding medical providers has been a bit of a challenge.
Wayne was able to obtain new employment in a new career field installing commercial playground equipment. The family invested money into his training and certification based on a promise that the new employer would reimburse. Unfortunately, those promises were not kept.
Wayne and another employee of this second company ventured out on their own and started a new business which has been doing as well as any in Michigan's depressed economy. Several jobs that were lined up were canceled or put on hold over the fall and winter due to the cold Michigan winters. Wayne continues to pursue part-time employment to hold them over until the weather warms up but the search has proven unsuccessful at this time.
Barbara and Wayne volunteer at their church with the youth ministries. Barbara and Stephanie, her teen daughter, are involved in three different 4-H clubs and the little boys belong to two clubs. The organizations that the family are involved with include the Horse Judging Team, Therapy Dog Visits, the local Humane Society, and many more dog and horse rescue organizations. They are also starting Dog Safety Programs for the schools. While all of these positions are voluntary, they remain vital to this family. The parents believe these activities to be vital for growing children and the activities are fulfilling and life changing.
Barbara is an amazingly talented needlefelting artist. She maintains a storefront on Etsy at PitBullLady. Needle felting is accomplished by taking natural wool and felting it by poking with a needle until the fibers mat together. Her art is incredibly beautiful.
After asking for prayer and support, her shop received 3 orders that helped make Christmas and New Years a little merrier. Their spirits were raised even more than the dollar amount received. Barbara said: "The support of the Esty community has made the worldwide web seem a little smaller, more caring and friendlier. Thank you, wonderful new friends."
Barbara's flickr pictures can be found here.
Links to 2 of Barbara's many dog stories:
Kindergarten Dog Safety Program
Adventures of Ready: Teaching 150 school kids
Many thanks to PitBullLadyDesigns for the photographs and information, and to thegypsyjewels for her sensational writing. As for myself, I only edited and put it together!