Friday, December 31, 2010

The ticking clock . . .

With just hours until the ball drops, the fireworks go off, the pots and pans are banged with wooden spoons, the champagne flows and lips meet in a kiss --- however you celebrate the end of this year and the beginning of the new year --- so many things go through my mind.

Has God been pleased with me this year?

Have I been obedient to what He has called me to do?

Have I loved others as myself?

Have I given all I can give?

Have I loved with everything I am?

Have I forgiven everything and everyone that needs my forgiveness?

Have I asked for forgiveness when I needed to?

The answer to each of my questions is a resounding "NO" . . . but God! He understands, He listens, He knows and He loves --- me! You!

Ending each year brings both sadness and joy to my heart. Yes, I am sad that 2010 is ending as I think it was a great year. Yes, I am anxious to see what 2011 has in store. But in the middle of it all, all the confused feelings and thoughts, one thing matters, only one thing! I know God loves me and has been with me throughout every year ending and thus He will be with me throughout each new year beginning! That promise is what counts! That promise is the foundation of my life -- no matter what year we are ending or beginning on the calendar! I hope it's the same for you.

Be safe this evening, in whatever you are doing.

We thank all of you for your support over this past year and we pray you will be blessed beyond measure for your love, your prayers and your support!

Until 2011 . . . Susan and Monty

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Energizing ourselves . . .

I don't have Christmas pics on this entry -- they are on the other computer and I promise I'll get them to you as soon as possible.

Christmas was super great We spent the day with my family in Columbus and the following with all my kids and kids in law and grandkids -- first time in many, many years and long overdue! Watching those grandkids open their gifts, hearing Luke literally screech that "it was on my list, it was on my list" was priceless. Seeing Liv lay on her handmade blanket that I spent so much time and love on -- more than priceless!

All in all - perfect and so many reminders of how thankful we are to be able to be home and share it all with family! I'm so glad we celebrate Jesus's birthday! What an amazing and priceless gift He gave us then and continues to give us each day!

Today was my weekly Bible study. I really missed it over the past 2 weeks. With so many things going on it just couldn't happen but today made up for those lost weeks. Pastor Martie had a message that really hit home for me in so many ways. She talked of staying connected with God, how important that is in order for us to be victorious in the daily battles of being human. Each time I go I realize just why God told me to be there each week. Yes, He literally spoke to me as we were driving home from Texas with that directive. Boy oh boy, am I glad He did! Since their trip to Equador they have experienced so many of the same things we have experienced and having that understanding in common means more than I knew. Sometimes here at home I feel like an outsider, like no one truly understands this calling God has placed on my life and no one truly understands the trials and sacrifices and blessings that come from it. Having not one, but two women who "have been there" and "get it" means the world to me!

In just a couple of weeks the Pastors that they met and ministered to in Equador are coming here to the states. They will be attending a conference in Texas first and then coming here, to cold and frozen Indiana. We may not attend this church on Sundays but we are a part of this church and this mission and I am more than excited to see what God has in store for all of us! It must be big because all of us are being "challenged" in many ways and those "challenges" always come before amazing movements of God! I get excited just thinking about it!!

Be sure and stay tuned!

Until next time . . . stay connected to God, stay strong and be blessed. Susan and Monty

Friday, December 24, 2010

Are you ready?




Someone needs to be moved to the "naughty" list!!! Yes, this is the same someoone in both pics and he spent quite abit of time "hanging out" there!!!
It's Christmas Eve day and we have the ground covered with snow and possibly more than 6 more inches due to fall tonight! A white Christmas is guaranteed -- along with some major shoveling!
We pray all of you are ready -- ready to enjoy some goodies, open some gifts, spend time with family members and remember the real reason for this season. Without Jesus, God's ultimate gift for each one of us all the other gifts under our trees would be meaningless!
If you don't have a home church or your home church doesn't have a service tonight -- check the newspaper for one near you. We are so excited as we are being joined by our daughter, son in law and both grandchildren and attending one downtown tonight. You'll be glad you did!
Merry Christmas to you and yours! Love to all! Susan and Monty

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Getting closer . . .


Somewhere behind that pile of snow is a sunshine pottery piece. I'm beginning to think it won't be seen until spring! With plenty of snow already on the ground and another storm coming in Christmas Eve we are assured a white Christmas!!
Yesterday was my day to babysit my friend, Rhonda's son. With school out for the holidays she is unable to work unless she finds someone to care for him. I took him yesterday and we headed to my parents house. My brother, Mark had some much needed bird seed for me and I needed to pick up some mail. The weather was a bit iffy in the beginning but the roads were cleared and off we went. I don't think he had ever ridden anywhere that took an hour to get there and "are we there yet" was asked more times than I can count. We finally did get there and he had so much fun playing with their dog, Humphrey. After lunch we headed outside where he spent nearly 2 hours playing in the snow and building a snowman as tall as he is. Living in an apartment doesn't give him much space to play outside and he took full advantage of it yesterday. He was soaking wet and by the time we headed back -- quite hungry. A quick stop at Wendys drive through and not only was he satisfied, the trip back seemed alot shorter since he could eat the entire way! We picked up Rhonda from work and by the time they were home I doubted he would stay awake long enough for her to fix dinner! It was a great day! Tomorrow night they are both coming to our house for an early Christmas dinner.
Today brought the end to shopping and gave me some time to do some baking. I could stay in the kitchen baking all day long -- if I can give it away! I'll be taking some of the baked items to my parents house on Christmas day and my daughters the following day.
I still feel as though I need to pinch myself -- being home with family, friends and neighbors for the holidays is such a blessing! We do hear from folks in Texas and will miss seeing so many of them. Yes, Hank and Cherie and Blake -- you are our Texas family and we miss you more than you know!
We pray all of you are ready for whatever the Lord has for you this holiday! Remember -- dont' get too busy and miss what He has especially for YOU!
Until next time . . . love to all. Susan and Monty

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Serving = blessings








The past 2 days have been amazing! Yesterday was our annual Christmas Gift Wrap day and what a day it was! I was scheduled to work 2 shifts which was a 4 hour stretch. It felt like 4 minutes. From the first gift to the end of the 4 hour shift there was never time to look up and look out into the mall. The people were lined up at each of our 8 wrapping stations and more than content to wait however long it would take to get their gifts wrapped.
Pastor Dave and I figured out it was the 19th year for the wrap!!! What an amazing outreach this is! As I said, there are 8 stations where people can get their items wrapped with tissue paper and placed in the appropriate sized box before selecting a paper of their choice from the 9 different papers and then selecting the color of bow to match. Their last choice is whether or not to put a gift tag on the gift. When they leave they are speechless as we take absolutely NO donations of any kind! When we advertise it's free -- we mean it! No matter how many gifts they bring, all they have to do is stay with them while they are being wrapped. I had one gentleman who had been there earlier in the morning with 17 gifts and when he found out we were there for only 1 day he came back in the afternoon and purchased 15 more --- he has 7 children!!! One womans husband had just had heart surgery and we saved her a bundle with wrapping -- not to mention praying for her! One story after another and one blessing after another -- blessings to those with gifts and blessings to those of us doing the wrapping of the gifts! A real feeling for the real meaning of the season and a reminder of just how much God gave to us in Jesus!
Today Monty and I were treated to lunch by our friend and neighbor, Shelley. She goes to church with us, even though she worked at Walmart until midnight last night! And do you have any idea what working at Walmart yesterday was like??? Bless her Lord!
This afternoon we headed out into the city. We were blessed to be asked to deliver gift packages to children whose fathers are in prison. Wow!! Another reality check! We had 5 deliveries to make and it was awesome! Each mother was so happy to have gifts to put under the tree that said "from Dad" and at one household I thought the 2 small boys were going to burst with excitement! Inside their apartment they had absolutely NO furniture in the family room or the dining room -- but they had a small tree with some lights on it and those presents were being placed under that tree as we left! In another home the babies were still napping so we had a chance to visit with their mother and she immediately broke down in tears as we entered with our big bag of gifts and a beautiful basket filled with gifts just for her! She told us she and her mother have been looking for a church and hopefully we will see them next Sunday! At the end of our stops I felt both sad and happy. Sad that these children have to suffer so -- yet happy that in a small way we were able to bring a smile to their face and a good memory of their dad to their hearts. Many thanks to Maria at Vineyard who put this all together!!! Jesus has a special place in His heart for children and I think He has a very special place for these very special children!!! Bless them Lord!! Bless them!!!
Once again -- it is my hope and prayer that you are doing something extra special for someone this season. So many need so much and if each of us does just a little it will add up to alot! When Monty and I first headed to Mississippi following hurricane Katrina and into a town where 26,000 homes were destroyed someone asked us "how do you rebuild 26,000 homes?" Our response was "one home at a time" and it will get done. Amen and Amen and Amen. Let's try that with one person at a time -- think what kind of world this would be if we all did that!!!
Until next time . . . Lord, we thank you for the opportunities you give us to serve You!
Susan and Monty

Friday, December 17, 2010

White on white




Me shoveling the remainder of the snow away from the trucks and our best friend -- the man who plows our streets open!
Yep -- once again we were recovered in white- on top of the white we already had! But shoveling yesterday morning was a bit more difficult as this snow had a thin layer of ice on top making it much heavier and more difficult to work with. But never fear -- I donned my full suit coveralls, less than lovely had, heaviest gloves possible and trusty boots and within a couple of hours had us all dug out. I have a good time doing this for many reasons but one is getting to visit with my neighbor across the street, Evie. We both have husbands who have had heart attacks and are the ones doing the shoveling --- and we both love it! Really! We were laughing yesterday and saying how beautiful it is, even if it is alot of work!
After getting everything cleared off it was time to head into town. I have a really good friend, Rhonda, who is a single mother. Her son is 7 years old and she has dedicated her life to caring for him the best way possible. We had already scheduled a shopping day yesterday. She has no transportation (takes the city bus everywhere) and had the day off work. But the snow caused schools to be closed so she got a neighbor to watch him for a few hours. We headed into town and she was able to get his Christmas gifts. As we were shopping I wondered -- what does SHE have under the tree for her? She has no living relatives -- can we imagine that? Her friends are limited as she wants to protect her son from people coming and then leaving his life. Can't say as I blame her. But we had a fun day shopping and then ran back to pick him up and bring him with me for another hour so she could donate plasma. She does that twice a week to help make ends come closer to meeting! It was a good day and a day where once again I counted my blessings!
Today Monty is once again working on vehicles -- his this time. Seems there is something wrong where it won't warm up-- not just the thermostat. I am no mechanic so I won't go there but he'll once again be under the truck in sub-freezing temps!
Later today I am headed to church to pick up gifts that need delivered to children who have parents incarcerated. Have you heard of Angel Tree? Our church is big time involved and had a great party for all the kids on Wednesday night but quite a few families couldn't make it because of the weather so Monty and I volunteered to deliver gifts to those who missed out. It's an amazing organization and once again should make us all count our blessings. More forgotten children!
I pray you are reaching out to do something special for someone else this season. There are SO many places you can help! And then I challenge you to keep it up after the season is officially over. The season might be over but the hardships, the challenges, the difficulties, the pain isn't for so many! Give it some thought -- stretch yourself and feel the blessings come back to you a hundred fold!!!!! I promise that will happen --- but most of all --- God promises that!!!!! Trust in His promises!!!! You'll never be sorry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Until next time . . . "love your neighbor as yourself" Susan and Monty

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter Wonderland Part 3 on its way


It didn't take long for the morning sunshine to be covered by the incoming snow clouds. Snow clouds look alot different than rain clouds, I had almost forgotten! Almost!
With our third winter storm looming and the warnings posted all over the radio and television it looks like this one could bring 5 to 8 inches on top of what we already have! Stay tuned for photos. I know the folks in the south have enjoyed seeing them -- be thankful you aren't experiencing the single digit temps that come along with it all!
Monty is a bit under the weather today, nothing he can put his finger on -- just a case of the "yucks" I think. He had his flu shot so hopefully the stuff that's going around and hitting the young kids will skip over him.
Yesterdays meeting with one of the local Pastors went really well. He was already familiar with the missions class educational material and was excited to know we were starting this class. He is the missions director for this church of around 3,000 members and also had alot of input for us. We are excited to see the results and know that God already has all the people chosen who are supposed to attend -- we can't wait to see who they are!
Yesterday I also awoke to a message saying my weekly Bible study was cancelled. The holidays are a very busy time and they decided to take a break this week and next week. I understand but so look forward to that study and always come home so filled up -- unlike anything I have ever experienced so I will miss it -- alot! Pastor Martie --- you just don't realize . . . thank you for being obedient to God's calling on your life!!!!
And now I head off to babysit my grandchildren for a few hours to give their parents a chance to attend a work Christmas party. The snow will begin anytime now . . . pray for everyone who will be out traveling.
Until next time . . . white Christmas?????? Susan and Monty

Monday, December 13, 2010

Be someones "snow angel"















We had to dig out coats that have been stored away for a few years!!! These were taken yesterday -- another winter wonderland -- the whole day!!
The snow started falling even before we left for church. Our neighbor, Shelley, and us piled into the truck and off we went. I think the trucks are wondering what in the world has happened to them since neither of them had ever been off the coast until we brought them here! No problem, through the snow we went.
Pastor Dave and Lisa were both home sick in bed with the flu. In the nearly 13 years Monty and I have been going to Vineyard I can't ever remember Pastor Dave being sick and missing a Sunday! And to make it worse (for him) yesterday was the children's Christmas program -- his favorite thing! The kids took a completely different twist on the Christmas story -- they told it from the perspective of the animals! Amazing and we all had tears -- of joy and laughter and all of us left with a new way to tell the story of Jesus's birth!
After service it was time to meet with all those who have signed up for the annual gift wrapping day being held this Saturday at the mall. We wrap gifts -- completely free -- no donations accepted -- and for me it's Christmas! We have to cover a few "rules" and everyone will be blessed beyond their wildest dreams while blessing others beyond their wildest dreams! I love how God works that way!
A quick bite to eat and Shelley had to be off to work. We spent the rest of the day removing snow from our porch and sidewalk -- I lost count how many times as the snow came down in some of the biggest flakes I've seen! Beautiful!
Schools were delayed 2 hours this morning so I didn't need to take my grandkids. I decided to bundle up in my coveralls (yes, girls can wear coveralls), hat, scarf and the biggest and thickest gloves I could find as the winds were (and are) howling around 25 miles per hour!
I knew my neighbor had his first rehab appointment this morning. He's been waiting for this for weeks. He had liver surgery and knows this is the first step to recovering more of his strength.
The snow had drifted up the front of their garage door and they had already pushed through it with their car. After some time I had the driveway and walkway cleared. It's great to go out early, when everything is still so pure white -- watching the birds flock to our feeders. Their chirping and songs tell me how thankful they are to have those feeders -- a reminder to myself to be more thankful! The neighbors called later to ask if I had seen anyone at their house on their drive?! It's fun to do things unseen! :)
This afternoon I have been working on a somewhat gourmet meal -- for a couple in our church who have been -- and are still -- in a battle! Reid was diagnosed with brain cancer a few months ago and has already undergone surgery. He then developed blood clots -- in numerous places, and is really struggling and praying and healing. We, the church, are bringing meals to them on a nightly basis and we are blessed to be the ones on the schedule for tonight! I love cooking, especially for others! A few disposable pans and a quick trip to the grocery and we've got everything in the oven and will be on our way in a couple of hours!
It might be winter here, a time when folks think of staying inside where it's warm. But . . . there are soooooo many opportunities for all of us to reach out and help someone else. If you're like us, all we need to do is step out of our door and there are opportunities right in front of our faces in all directions.
Be careful -- you might get some much needed exercise and you will definitely be blessed!
Until next time . . . another pastoral visit tomorrow to promote our missions school so please keep us covered in prayers! Thanks a bunch! Susan and Monty


Friday, December 10, 2010

Planning . . . and waiting. . .



My snowman!!! He's a bit smaller and shorter as the temps actually got above freezing yesterday and today but he is hanging in there. He might get a chance to "grow" if we get the additional snow forecasted for tomorrow and Sunday!!!

I've been pretty busy the past couple of days. Since I decided to not do any more baking as I'll just sit and eat everything I make, and there's only the two of us, I have switched to sewing. I found a really cute pattern for a Princess blanket for my 2 year old granddaughter and a Cars one for my grandson. I couldn't resist and have been busy making each one into a quilt. They turned out pretty good and I'm anxious for them to open them at Christmas. Most of all I am thankful we will be here for Christmas!

Next week we also have another Pastoral visit scheduled. This one is with the missions Pastor at one of the largest churches here in our hometown. We are excited to be able to share our vision of our upcoming missions training school. This church is very active in missions and hopefully there are folks who will be able to get signed up for the classes. January 18th will be here before we know it!

Speaking of our school, I would ask for prayers for the director of IGO missions school as today he underwent back surgery. It sounded pretty extensive and we thank you ahead of time for the prayers for healing and God's covering.

We also heard from our UMCOR friends in Texas today. They are busy closing down the relief effort and finding it to be quite a job! Their last day will be the 31st of this month and what an amazing job they have done over the past 27 months! So many families helped and so many now in homes where they are safe, sanitary and secure -- and super blessed!

One last thought --- I am amazed at how God has been speaking to me through nature the past few days! Yesterday and this morning I was watching all the birds at our feeders. There were blue jays, redbirds, turtle doves, downy woodpeckers, flickers, red headed woodpeckers, the large pileated woodpeckers, chickadees, crows and sparrows ---- all eating at the same feeders, all making room for each other, all enjoying the seed both in the feeders and on the ground. In the Bible God promises to care for us and uses the example of His caring for the birds -- if only all of us could gather round the table together, all the nationalities, all the cultures, all the races, all the denominations . . . each making room for each other and all enjoying the love of Jesus!!! That thought made me smile . . . I think it was a glimpse of heaven! How about a little heaven on earth??

Until next time . . . Lord, thanks for the object lesson! Susan and Monty

Monday, December 06, 2010

How cold is it?????




Yes, both Bitty and Samson would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas (even though they weren't thrilled with the new duds)!!!
I don't know how long it's been since Monty and I have experienced temperatures like this! A very long time and we would have been happy if that time could have been extended! As I drove the grandkids to their other Grandma and to preschool this morning around 9am the thermometer read 9 degrees! Yes, single digit 9!!!!! And that didn't take into account the wind chill which was below zero at that time!!!! The high for the day?? A whopping 22 degrees!!
Needless to say the snow isn't going anywhere anytime soon!
We decided to go out anyway. We needed a Christmas tree!
Let me back up a moment . . . when we arrived back home here in June I was cleaning closets and drawers and took 2 truck loads to Goodwill. One of those truck loads was all Christmas decorations, including our tree. For the past 5 years we have not been here to use any of it and I had a huge sense of guilt for all those who may have lost their jobs (or worse) and didn't have the money for decorations for their families. Since we thought we were only going to be here for 3 months it seemed like the thing to do. So off I went and off it went! Am I sorry? No way! Yes, I had years of "things" but they were just that -- things! And somewhere there are families who are smiling as they put up their decorations -- some new ones they were able to purchase as a surprise this year!
But back to our tree for this year --- sales are great, especially 50% off sales. Our tree this year is a wee bit smaller than years past --- it's a whole 10 inches tall. Yes -- inches!!! It sits atop a small end table and has the tiniest decorations on it, complete with a star on top. And we smile each time we look at it! It's beautiful! And most likely everything will fit into a ziploc bag at the end of the season!!!! :)
Each time I look at it it helps me keep things, and this season, in perspective. It's not about the biggest, the most beautiful, the most expensive or even the latest gadget --- it's about family, about sharing and expressing our thankfulness for each other and about Jesus birthday! He came into this world as a small baby in a barn in a manger. Not the biggest nor the most beautiful of places and definitely not the most expensive bedding or clothing were awaiting him. But . . . he came for us, for you, for me --- and THAT is what this season is all about! Looking at our itty bitty tree reminds me even more of all "that".
Until next time . . . be blessed and be thankful. Susan and Monty

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Tis REALLY the season






















Amazing! We haven't seen anything like this in over 5 years! I love getting up early, before the trucks come through to clear anything, seeing the beauty of it all! I love how it covers up all the ugly, turns it all pure white and beautiful! Kind of like Jesus does with us! I do know that it's time to trash the pumpkins though!!! And Bitty and Samson were less than thrilled with it all, especially since Bitty had snow up to her belly and squatting was a bit difficult! I did shovel a path for them!
The snow held off just long enough. Last night was our annual Workers Appreciation Dinner - the 20th one! We haven't been able to be there for years and it was really special for us. The meal was fantastic and it's always great to get to see so many friends in one place where we can all visit and laugh and share! Thanks to Pastors Dave and Lisa for making this all possible. And thank you Lord for holding off the snow until we all were home safe and sound!
Remember to enjoy each day -- no matter the weather. But if you are fortunate enough to have a site like this out your door today, look for the beauty, look for God's hand and smile!!!! As they say "and this too shall pass!"
Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A Time for Every Season





Yep -- this was the scene early this morning. It's still the scene late tonight! We're definitely not in the south anymore!

I must admit that I enjoyed going out early and brushing the snow off the front deck and my truck. There's something about the freshly fallen snow, the pure white and the crisp cold that makes me smile. Don't get me wrong; I didn't miss it while we were gone, but I did enjoy this morning! How many others will I enjoy? Time will tell!

It was my morning to go and pick up the grandkids. I take Liv to her other grandma's and then take Luke to preschool. He attends a Cathlic preschool and I love that the focus of this season is actually Jesus! The bulletin boards all along the hallways are changing from turkeys and pumpkins to manger scenes and candy canes. He brought a home made manger home. It was made from paper and had strips of yellowish paper inside along with a piece of paper that had baby Jesus on it. A note inside said that each time he is "kind" he is to put one piece of "straw" in the manger and hopefully come Christmas morning Jesus has a nice soft manger to lay in! Great teacher, right! They are also really into the Advent calendar and take turns opening the surprise for each day until Christmas.

And right after lunch I am back at their house where Liv is brought back to me for the afternoon until Luke and Dad are home from school. It's a special time where just the two of us play and read books until nap time. What a blessing they both are and I thank God for this special time with both of them!

Last but not least -- it's Wednesday -- and that means "Survivor" night for us! Yes, we are huge fans and even while we are in the disaster field we set aside this night for the both of us! No phones, no doorbells, no anything else. We've not missed a season yet. If you're a fan, you understand. If you're not, sorry!

Until next time . . . thank God for all the seasons in our lives! Susan and Monty

Oh --- almost forgot --- I am finally on facebook!!! Wonders never cease!! Look me up under my full name, Susan Scales. Whoopee!!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Finally -- A Dream Comes True





Yes, they were born and died in 1935 and 1949 --- and until today have never had a marker at their graves!

My mother had an infant brother and infant sister and today everyone not only knows their names, they know where they are buried! It's something my grandmother (my mother's mother) always wanted and just couldn't afford.

Thanks to Monty's brother, Tony, who God has given the amazing gift of stone carving -- there are two markers on their graves. He did an amazing job, carved them from solid limestone! He has made us a bird bath and his step mother a bench -- both are wonderful with detail. Tony has a talent that he doesn't recognize as a gift. These monuments were a first for him and we are all so grateful to him for what he did. It definitely brought tears to my mother's eyes and I had a tough time myself. Tony -- your gift was such a blessing to my family and I thank you from the bottom of my heart! And many thanks to my brother (in the photo) who is here from Florida as he was the one who lifted and carried the stones to their sites! His brute strength is also a gift!

Placing these stones topped off our Thanksgiving weekend. Thursday was spent with my family and of course we all had way too much to eat. The highlight was 5 of us girls rescued a stranded puppy and brought it home for my mom! After the flea bath and hair trim and bandaging of some wounds she now has one of the worlds best lap dogs! Friday I spent getting ready for all my kids and their families who came to our house yesterday. My parents a two brothers and nieces also came along so we had quite the house full. Once again, food left over.

And then today -- the perfect ending. We hope all of you had a blessed time with family -- or extended family. We had the special blessing of the Happy Thanksgiving voice mail from Cherie in San Leon, Texas -- you made my day girl!! Last year we spent the day with them since we were so far from home and I thought of she and Hank and Blake throughout the day this year. Love you guys!

To all of you -- be blessed this week and remember that the Advent season gets underway. It's the time where we prepare our hearts for the birth of Jesus. Shopping aside -- remember the real reason for this season of giving and thanksgiving.

Until next time . . . love to all. Susan and Monty

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to All



Yep -- that's the view from our front door -- very wet!!

In this area of Indiana we have spent the entire summer and most of the fall in a severe drought -- so much so that we had a burn ban the entire time!

And now -- today -- the skies opened as the temperatures fell and we have so much water we actually have puddles! The old saying about "when it rains it pours" is quite appropriate today and supposed to be through tomorrow also!

It is our hope and prayer that each and every one of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. For some the holidays are dreaded. For others, they live for them. Either way we need to remind ourselves of all the blessings we DO have. It doesn't take much to see someone else less fortunate than ourselves, no matter what our situations.

So let's all take tomorrow, whether we are spending it with family or by ourselves, whether we are eating a feast or a sandwich, and really THINK about our blessings! Let's thank God for all He has given us, for all He hasn't given us that we truly deserve and for Him saving a place in heaven for us!

Until next time . . . I am reminded of the old hymn we used to sing, "Now thank we all our God, with hearts and hands and voices . . ." Susan and Monty

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful Season











Saturday was work day at our church. Monty isn't in any of the photos as he was the one behind the camera. It was quite the day and we are glad Pastor Dave could smile behind that blower as he was "in the line of fire" when the guys took down a couple of trees! They shattered as they fell and he was behind his video phone and had no idea just how close the shards came to him and his phone!!!! He told me later his guardian angel was gone -- hit by flying debris!! :)
They got alot of work done while I stayed here trying to get rid of this bronchitis mess -- still fighting!
Sunday I felt well enough to get outside and tackle some of our own yard. The leaves were piling up and I enjoyed being out in the mid 60 degree weather! Of course, by Monday morning it looked like I hadn't done a thing but I still enjoyed the day.
Yesterday was spent taking my grandson to preschool and working on our ministry newsletter. I have been struggling with it for weeks and even though I thought I had it --- after this mornings Bible Study I trashed the entire thing and am in the process of starting over! It just didn't "feel" right and I know that feeling is God speaking. I just couldn't "get it" until this morning. Hopefully I can get "it" out on paper and mailed before too long.
Yes, this is the season of thankfulness -- a season I think should last much longer than one day a year! We ALL have so very much to be thankful for -- no matter what our circumstances!
Blessings and love to all. We are thankful for YOU!!! Susan and Monty

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Homeowner updates



A beautiful view of Lake Michigan!

Wanted to give you a couple of updates on Texas families!

First -- Mariano and Maria and kids called me over the weekend and made my day, my week and maybe my month! If you remember Mariano lost his means of income when the oyster boat he worked on was destroyed. For a while he was traveling to Louisianna for weeks at a time just to get work in fishing. And then the gulf oil spill . . .

He is now back to oyster fishing in Texas and able to be home each evening. And because there is no oyster fishing allowed in Louisianna the prices for the oysters has risen dramatically thus he and the family have a decent income and things are going well! Something about that "what satan meant for destruction God means for good . . ."

I also heard from Ms Joyce -- she sent us a beautiful placque. She is still unloading boxes inside her home and taking her time in doing so. She and Ms Frances are fine along with the grandsons. She sent her thanks and her love and if she only knew how much we miss all of them!

Next -- heard from Thresa today. She has a brother along with his fiancee living in Ohio. Her brother has been diagnosed with bone cancer and not doing well. His fiancee has just been diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer! Neither one is able to work and times are getting really tough for them. Thresa has been on the phone for days trying to get them help with lot rent payments and utilities. She wondered if I had any contacts and I gave her a couple of ideas. Please keep them all in your prayers as this is a really tough time and somehow the upcoming holidays can make those times hurt even more!

And I just heard from the engineer who was overseeing the rebuilding of Rosaland's house and today he signed off on his part of the rebuilding! Praise the Lord! Texas City wasn't the easiest place to work and he was such a wonderful man who went out of his way to help us in anything we needed. It was good to hear from him and know that all is well.

This morning we had another Pastoral visit to present our upcoming missions training school. We drove to Columbus to see my parents' Pastor Gary. Their church has been so supportive to us over the years and we love visiting there. They are already so mission minded and we hope there will be those who want to learn even more about how they can reach others with the love of Jesus.

And last --- but not least --- I want to wish a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my brother (Mark)!!!! We are going back to Columbus tomorrow night for his birthday dinner. Love you Mark and look forward to seeing you tomorrow! We're not getting older --- just better by the year!!! :)

Until next time . . . blessings! Susan and Monty

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A true Monday







Isn't the inside of this church great? Take special note of the cloth covering the altar -- the person in the wheelchair! It and the banners speak volumes!
Monday -- a mixture of many things going on. The temperatures have taken a dive and the rains are beginning to fall making it feel cold to the bone. But in the midst of all that we have been watching the birds at our bird bath -- splashing around so much with so many birds that we have filled it twice just this morning! They are filled with joy -- no matter the weather -- I think they believe that deal about God taking care of "even" the birds!
This afternoon we will be making another local Pastoral visit to talk about our upcoming missions training school opening in January. This is a Baptist church that has been heavily involved in local missions as well as overseas. Some of you remember the flood that struck the midwest in the summer of 2008. The city just to the west of us still has not completely recovered. Their government buy-outs of a particular area are in the final stages and this church wants to be instrumental in the rebuilding of new homes for those in this area. We are excited about this venture and hope to learn more about it, and how we can help, this afternoon.
Monty has been working the past 2 days on getting the cover over our camper. We have never had to cover it before because we were always living in it. It's been an adventure all its own! Yesterday he and two other men worked and worked to get it over the camper. It weighs a ton and is less than user friendly but they did manage to get it over and under. Monty went back this morning to tighten some straps and do some touchups. Let's hope it works!
I have been a bit under the weather since leaving for our trip last week and at my doctor's appointment yesterday she informed me I have bronchitis! Yuck!! No wonder I have been coughing and feel as though 300 pounds of weights have been sitting across my chest! Two prescriptions later and today I can already feel a difference. Welcome back to the cold!!! :) It did cause me to miss my Tuesday morning Bible Study this morning and I don't like that!
We hope all of you are doing well and buttoning up for the winter.
Until next time . . . blessings and love! Susan and Monty

Monday, November 15, 2010

Not so "distant" now


Correction -- I referred to our Michigan trip as going to see "distant" relatives -- sorry Daddy! They are "cousins removed" ??? We spent days trying to figure it all out and I still don't have it straight -- but -- they are definitely NOT so distant now!
The 4 of us women had a blast! I met family that I have only heard about over the past 50 years and now I have the faces to go with the names! We laughed so much we had stomach aches and it was so amazing to hear their stories of when they were kids growing up and remembering this and remembering that. It brought to reality (once again) how God is all about relationships and how we should all cherish our families -- even if we don't know them all that well.
Carol and John were perfect hosts! We had dinner at their home the night we arrived and it was incredible! She had taught school all day and put together a wonderful feast for all of us! By the time we left we no longer used their front door -- family gets to come in through the garage and that feels good!
Friday was spent with other relatives making the spur of the moment trip to spend time together. Even if we had planned this for months it wouldn't have been any better. We spent the entire afternoon and evening telling stories and catching up on way too many years apart! We all shared dinner that evening and bid farewell to those who had come for the day. For my part I sure hope I don't have to wait so long to see them again!
Saturday we found the local Thrift Store -- after all -- we are women and we do know how to shop! We also learned how to use the photo machines at Walmart -- thanks to the Mexican gentleman also printing his photos! We knew all too well that each of us would return home and download all our photos onto our computers and not have any "hard copies" to share with Carol and John as a thank you gift! That "episode" also brought plenty of laughter!
Saturday afternoon Carol took us on a tour of one of the most beautiful downtowns I know I have ever seen! So quaint with so many shops that aren't your usual run of the mill shops! I want to thank my mom for purchasing the chocolate covered pretzels for the both of us! !!!!!!!
We also were able to tour John and Carol's church, Christ our Savior Lutheran Church. I will have some photos of the inside on future blogs. It was beautiful and really touched the core of my heart with their desire to touch all people with the love of Jesus!
Another wonderful dinner hosted by Carol and John on Saturday evening and more story sharing. After all those years apart there were soooooooooooo many stories and I know we didn't really scratch the surface!
It was tough saying goodbye -- the time went so quickly and we had such a good time. I have to say that I really did feel like it was my family!!! There's just that feeling down deep inside that we have when it's "our" family! It's a good feeling!
And then it was over. Our trip home yesterday was uneventful -- something you want when you travel. I will have more photos over the next few blogs and hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them.
To everyone in this family -- my family -- I want to say thank you for sharing, for welcoming and for most of all loving me -- someone you also had only heard of and maybe seen photos! We MUST do this again soon --- REALLY soon!
Until next time . . . distant isn't as far as I thought! Susan and Monty

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Headed North????

Yep -- it's November and tomorrow I am headed north -- to Michigan!!

Am I insane? Maybe -- but -- I have the opportunity to go along with my mother, my aunt and a distant cousin that is so distant I don't even know her. Why? To visit another distant cousin I also don't know!

My aunt put this trip together and asked my mother to go along (the guys just don't like to travel) so she agreed and when I heard about it I sort of invited myself. I am really looking forward to this -- 4 women on the road and in a hotel room for 3 nights! Oh the stories that will come from this trip --- but we might need to make the pact that "what happens in Michigan stays in Michigan"?

Anyway -- please keep us in your prayers as we travel the nearly 7 hour trip. This is something I never do -- and have missed oh so much!

Also-- please keep Monty covered !! in prayer while I am away. Like most men -- he doesn't do all that well alone! :) He does have food in the house and both dogs to care for along with keeping our bird feeders full -- which can be a full time job! I (and he) appreciate your prayers.

Until next time . . . we'll return Sunday . . . spend some special time with your family! Remember that God is all about relationships!!!! Susan and Monty

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Understanding another . . .



Sometimes you just need someone to understand - to "get it."

Being a woman in a field where we do alot of construction doesn't make that very easy for me.

Being a woman missionary makes it even less easy!

As I was driving home from Texas this June I distinctly knew God was telling me to return to the Tuesday morning Bible Study I had attended years before. It wasn't a request -- it was a definite statement. No need arguing with God that it's a 40 minute drive and with the price of gas . . .

Today was one of those "oh yeah -- NOW I know why you wanted me to be there!" Pastor Martie and her best friend, Susan just returned from a trip to Equador a couple of weeks ago. They spent a month there -- away from home, away from family, helping others, bringing others to the Lord through their actions more than words!

As I sat in Bible Study this morning listening to them recount the many blessings from God while they were there, the miracles, the life changing moments it dawned on me -- they understand -- they get it! They have "been there" and have experienced the Almighty power of God! They have seen His hand, felt His touch in the darkest hours, heard His direction for them, they know!

Finding someone -- just one -- with whom I can relate has been nearly impossible. But God . . . He tells us that with Him nothing is impossible and this morning I once again realized He never lies!

As I was driving there in this way warmer than normal crystal clear day I saw something I have NEVER seen in my life --- and now I know it was a sign from God about just how awesome this morning was going to be -- an eagle flew directly in front of me -- crossed so close to the front of the vehicle I could've counted his tail feathers if I hadn't been so shocked! I was so overwhelmed with excitement and yet --- that excitement dimmed in comparison to knowing there are not one -- but two -- women with whom I can relate, with whom I can share, with whom I can confide in --- oh how I love God!!!!!

I pray YOU have that person -- or those people -- who get it, who understand, who have experienced it --- whatever your "it" might be. I hope you will let them know what a blessing they are to you!

Until next time . . . thank you Lord, thank you Pastor Martie, thank you Susan!

Susan and Monty

Thursday, November 04, 2010

First Pastoral Visit

Today we had our first "official" Pastoral visit to promote our upcoming school. I have spent days making calls and arranging appointments to take in the packets of information we have compiled. All our paperwork is now put together with everything one would need to have a full understanding of our school and the organization behind it.

It was great to also visit with this Pastor and his wife since they were very instrumental to our going out into the field of disaster ministry in the first place. I remember the day this gentleman took us to his personal bank and took out cash as his donation to our cause!!! Those kind of things are always remembered and set a wonderful example for us about missions.

We have quite a few people interested in classes and since we have the paperwork ready it's now time to get down to business! Time is ticking and before we know it the holidays will be past and that third week of January will be upon us!

And as usual, life itself continues to move -- kids and grandkids -- back and forth to home and preschool and babysitting! My daughter and son in law and grandkids stopped by last night to show us the new truck they got! Now the kids are really excited as Grandma isn't the only one who drives a truck! And my daughter also told us she has been named the Young Outstanding Lawyer of the Year for the entire state of Indiana!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Praise God!! She as worked so hard to maintain her career along with being a wife and mother and has done a wonderful job! We are so happy for her and I am thrilled to be her mom!

Also --- a belated happy birthday to our youngest daughter's significant other --- Zac -- you are already a part of our family and we love you!!!

Blessings to all and until next time . . . Susan and Monty

Monday, November 01, 2010

Candy!!!







This is how pitiful things (we) get when our kids are all grown and it's Halloween!!!! The pug belongs to my youngest daughter and her boyfriend!!
First of all -- I don't need comments about the "evil" of Halloween. I have always taken the attitude that it doesn't hurt kids (or adults) to dress up one night a year and go around collecting candy from the neighbors. If a neighbor decides to not give out candy -- they just shut off their exterior lights and it's no big deal. Of all the trick or treaters we had come to our door no one was "improperly" dressed, no one in satanic costumes, just a bunch of kids filled with smiles and thanks for their candy. We all need a bit of fun in our lives every now and then! Life is way too serious and I, for one, loved all those smiles and laughter.
We were even able to enjoy dinner in the middle of tricks and treats -- thanks to our neighbor, Shelley, who made a super fantastic chili and brought us a big pot! I don't know what all she put in there but it was amazing and I am hoping she will share her recipe. Seeing as how we are going to be here throughout the winter I think chili will be a necessity!
We are working away on the details of our upcoming satelite school here at home. Many are interested and as soon as we get the final paperwork from Alabama we are ready to start our visits to local Pastors. Even though everything can be seen from their website we are still printing most information out on hard copy so they have it right at their finger tips. Please keep us, the Pastors and the entire school thing in your prayers. We know it's Gods calling and get more excited each day!
I would also ask for a special prayer request for our other neighbor, Tony. He had a lobe of his liver removed a couple of weeks ago, tumors! Although he is in no pain, the incision is causing a multitude of problems. One area became very infected and had to be opened, and left open, to heal properly. This will take weeks! And now today it seems he has managed to pop open more stitches causing even more problems. He and Evie have already had a tough summer with numerous health problems and now this! Pray for not only God's healing but also His comfort and loving hands to uphold them both!
Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Back and forth



Yesterday was my grandson's party at school -- he is in the preschool class and they got to parade through the gradeschool classrooms in their costumes and then enjoy some great snacks! What fun to be a Grandma!

We are working away on the initial preparations for our missions training school. I am awaiting an email from the Alabama headquarters that will have the class schedule and registration paperwork along with some brochures.

Yesterday while babysitting for my granddaughter (she was napping) I was making calls to local churches to schedule appointments for us to come and share our information with them. In turn they will share it with their congregations and those interested will contact us.

We already have 6 students who are waiting for the registration forms and while at the bank this morning we were talking with the branch manager who also is a friend of ours and both she and her husband are interested. They know they are both called into missions "somehow" and feel this is the first of many doors God is opening for them. We whole heartedly agreed!

Monty has been busy continuing to fine tune both our trucks. With winter just around the corner -- something we haven't experienced in quite a few years -- he needs to do a bit more than in the past. Our camper is fully winterized and will only need covered. Camping World donated one of their full sized heavy vinyl covers and it should be arriving any day now. What an amazing organization and what a priceless blessing they have been to us!!!

On Monday evening I took off for my parents house. My mother had some out patient surgery and I took the opportunity to go and spend the night and spend some time with them. I also got to spend a bit of time with a couple of my brothers and see the new house my youngest brother and his wife bought! What a cute little cottage style house on a small lake near where they live! It's always great to spend some unexpected time with family!

My mother is getting along fine after surgery and we pray this will correct the problem she's had for awhile now! We thank you ahead of time for your prayers of healing also.

Until next time. . . spend some time with your family! Susan and Monty

Monday, October 25, 2010

How do you know it's Him?



Painted pumpkins for the grandkids!

Over the years we have had one question asked repeatedly and the past 3 nights God has put it on my heart to write about that question.

"How do you know it's from God?"

Many times I have mentioned that God told me this or God told me that. For some, that might be confusing. Hopefully I can add a bit of clarity -- from my perspective anyway.

I admit that I have not audibly heard the voice of God. I hear it through others and through my own heart.

Examples:

When we first decided to go into disaster ministry we had the idea and that was the only thing we had. As soon as we made the decision to go for it my brother loaned us a camper trailer, a truck to pull it was donated to us from a local church and with those two things we knew God was affirming our obedience to His calling.

When we arrived in Mississippi we wondered how we would find the people to help. No problem -- God brought them to us. Yes, some of them drove right into the church parking lot where we were parked -- asking for help. Another affirmation.

Once we had the homes, how do we fund the rebuilding that needs done? Once again, God not only sent us the volunteers but He provided them with hearts and pockets that were deep enough to make it happen, week after week.

Over the years we saw so many miracles and if you have been reading for awhile -- you've read about them. When doubting Thomas said he had to see to believe --- we've seen so many times that belief just comes!

When we decided to come home for some "rest" time this June --- all from God. The timing was directly from him -- the first of June. And guess what -- things and homeowners and homes just "fell" into place at that exact time!

Then came the decisions of how long to stay and what next? Once again God spoke -- very plainly.

We were seriously thinking of returning to Texas. They had asked us and it was a thought. But the more we thought about it the more "things" just didn't line up. Trucks were not selling and just nothing was working like it had in the past.

Then God . . . it was very clear that we were not to return to Texas. We made the call to let them know and guess what --- within a few days we were told that they were closing the entire relief effort due to lack of funding! All the time we were thinking we were supposed to "go" and all along we were supposed to "stay."

Stay? And what will we do? Well, LOTS of folks here need help with LOTS of things. Yesterday we mowed and raked and took care of leaves for 3 of our neighbors. Monty has been here and there with this and that.

And then God spoke again -- start a missions training school while you are home? What an idea! What a great idea! We talked about it and made the decision to not ever argue with God as He always wins! :) And within 48 hours from making that decision and putting things in motion BOTH trucks sold! Affirmation in a big way! Really big!

So, you see --- God has everything all planned out. The ONLY thing we need to do is be obedient when He speaks and asks something of us. His direction will never steer us wrong. In His will there is not confusion, turmoil, dread, panic, fear, etc.

As soon as we made the decision to start the school both Monty and I felt a sense of peace that we have not had since we arrived back home! It permeated our entire bodies! We knew!

You will know! You will feel that sense of peace. You don't have to have it all figured and all planned out. Just be obedient and say "yes" and let Him take care of the rest. He will give you all that you need -- He promises! And He keeps His promises!

What does He have in store for us next? I don't know. I'm not worried. I DO know it will be awesome, amazing and a blessing!

Until next time . . . what is He saying to you? Susan and Monty

Friday, October 22, 2010

Progress!!

Some of you have asked, others might be wondering??!!

Our update on things thus far . . .

We have sold one of our trucks!!! Praise the Lord for His perfect timing! One down and one to go! Keep praying.

As you may remember, I travel to the next city south of us every Tuesday morning for Bible Study. This was a direct command from God -- as we were driving out of Texas He told me I was to return to that Bible Study (after more than 3 years gone) and although I wondered why I decided I should be obedient. Pastor Martie, who leads the study, just returned from a mission trip to Equador and my, oh my, was her world changed! And now there are many things that will be happening in regards to that trip. Monty and I have made ourselves available to assist them in whatever ways we can. Stay tuned as I know this one is going to get interesting and I'm excited to see what God has in store for all of us!

And here at home . . . as you know there WERE alot of storms this hurricane season. But God! Not a one of them got into the gulf to cause damage! He DOES calm the seas! All the while Monty and I questioned what God was calling us to do? Where were we to go? When? And each of those questions were asked to us day after day after day by family and friends. There just wasn't an answer ---- until now!

Without a doubt --- as clear as can be --- as awesome as God is --- He is calling us to stay here! To stay home! We were thrilled with that call but . . . what is it that He would have us do while we are here? And then He spoke again . . .

"Build a missions training school at home." Do what ????? "Build a missions training school at home."

And so . . . we are building a missions training school right here at home!!!!! The third week of January we will open an extension of International Gospel Outreach right here at home! WOW! We are in the planning and preparation stages right now. A host sight needs to be decided on, materials need to be ordered and sent to us, registration forms need to be completed and most of all --- Monty and I need to get the word out!!!!!

The mission field has come to us!! You don't have to drive far from your own home to experience a different culture and/or language. We ALL are in the mission field and we ALL need as much training as possible to become better at whatever God has called us to do!

This is the school Monty and I attended, graduated from, became licensed through and are ordained through. It was life changing for both of us and we are excited to be able to be used by God to reach out to others, through both teaching and life situations --- to be able to learn more and more about where each of us fits in the mission of life!

Be sure and stay tuned as things will be happening quickly. Classes will begin in January and will be completed in June --- just in time for the next storm season to begin! See what I mean about God's perfect timing!! And it still surprises me! It still excites me! I pray it always does!

If you are interested in these classes, or know of someone who might be, please get in touch with us or leave a comment on this blog. Your life will be changed forever! I promise!

Until next time . . . be blessed and be thankful! Susan and Monty

PS --- to read more about International Gospel Outreach and the school you can log onto:
www.igoministries.org and look through the training sections.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Here and abroad?



The beauty of red maples! This one is in our front yard and was taken a few days ago. As of today it's completely barren! Winter is surely coming!

So much is going on that I don't know where to begin. God has been speaking some pretty big things to us and we're trying our best to listen and obey.

We could use your prayers for direction, guidance and strength.

All things are good, some here and some there, some farther than there. I can't go into them right at the moment as it would confuse all of us even more . . . but God . . . what an awesome God!

In the meantime --- I, personally, could use some prayers for healing. I had more dental work done yesterday and although it was just to remove a broken filling and replace it I had trouble regaining the feeling in my face and neck after the numbing shots. Instead of taking the predicted 90 minutes it took 7 hours --- and during that time I evidently bit my tongue without knowing it! And I mean BITE! I have been unable to eat since then and it's quite the mess! Thankfully our mouths heal quicker than anywhere else on our bodies but it's still extremely painful! Thank you ahead of time for those prayers!

Be sure and stay tuned as things are happening, plans are being made and it's all so very exciting!

Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Friday, October 15, 2010

Live Feed







If only dogs could talk?! The dogs here would tell quite the story and probably have us owners taken away by the folks in the white coats!
Samson wasn't thrilled with his spiked mohawk colored green and tattoos. Bitty was thrilled with her pink tutu, boa and painted toe nails. Argus was truly a pumpkin -- the shirt fit like skin! The Barktoberfest was a huge hit with dogs dressed in everything imaginable! The "winner" was dressed like a yellow duck -- and he left the hat on all evening! We all need a good laugh now and then and this was a great laugh for all (except the dogs)!
We are awaiting the live feed of Timothy and Lindsey receiving their missions license. If you log on to this at just the right time you can log on and watch for yourself. They are on TN time which is 1 hour earlier than here in IN and the same time as TX. Log onto www.igoministries.org and you can see the title of this years conference. Click on that and then the star in the corner to watch the live feed for tonight, Friday, at 6:30pm their time. We are so anxious to watch and know God is about to change their lives forever! What an awesome God we serve!
Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Off They Went





The past 3 days just flew by -- so much going on and so much fun!

Timothy and Lindsey left in the wee hours of this morning; headed for TN where tomorrow they will receive their licenses in ministry through the same missions training school we attended, International Gospel Outreach. They will hold this license for a year while they complete their schooling and then will receive their ordination. We are so happy for the both of them and so glad they also recognized the calling God has placed on their lives and their obedience in following that call. We miss them and wish we could be there tomorrow night! God is about to pour out even more blessings on them!! Hope they hold on tight!

You can see a Halloween preview that we all got to share in the other night! Grandchildren!!!! We received a phone call from our grandson saying they were baking chocolate chip cookies and could we come and have some? Are you kidding --- me pass up chocolate!!!!!! Off we went and they had baked kid size ones (good for me) and we had a blast when they wanted to show us a preview of their costumes! My daughter tried and tried to find the Ariel princess wig and when she did wondered if Liv would wear it. Wear it? She didn't want to take it off!!!! They sang songs for us and we all were doubled in laughter! What a great evening!

My parents also treated us to a fantastic evening at their house. My mom outdid herself in cooking -- something Timothy remembered and was very excited to experience again!! The laughter could have gone on for hours but we had to get back home. We had been gone all day and dogs can only keep their legs crossed for so long!

We also took a tour of the Indiana University campus yesterday. The leaves are at their peak in color and when a freak rain shower fell we decided to duck in one of the ethnic places and grab a snack. Later in the evening Timothy and Lindsey had a conference to attend on campus. Lindsey is pursuing her degree in medicine and some schools came to show off their "wares" so they had a great time getting to see some of the midwest schools and their programs.

After a very late dinner where our neighbor, Shelley, joined us they had packed and caught a quick "nap" before heading out in the wee hours of the morning. We did receive a text that they arrived safe and sound.

Now we are focusing on still trying to sell trucks. Monty has a gentleman driving up from south of Louisville, KY to take a look at his this evening. Pray that it sells!!

And also this evening we are taking our dogs to Barktoberfest --- and it should be a riot! The apartment complex that my daughter manages is having this for all their dogs. They also had the drool in the pool day and you saw photos of that. Thank goodness for the dollar store as we were able to "outfit" each dog for only a couple of bucks. Wait till you see the photos!!!!!

Time continues to move, we continue working away and God is constant through it all! Isnt' He an amazing God!

Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Monday, October 11, 2010

He's Baaaack -- and this time he brought his wife!


Yes -- Timothy has returned!!!! And this time he brought his wife, Lindsey -- the first time we have met her! We are thrilled.
They arrived yesterday morning after driving from Florida all night. They are actually on their way to Tennessee and yes, this is out of the way but . . .
It was so good to have them back and we are looking forward to the next few days. Lindsey will be looking at Indiana University and their medical programs while Timothy prepares for receiving his missionary license with International Gospel Outreach this weekend in Tennessee. He has been attending their online classes and is excited about the future God has for him. He has always had a heart for missions and is working in that field in a church in Florida. This education will be so helpful for him now and in the future.
Please keep them in their prayers as they travel over the next week and as they both continue in the callings God has placed on their lives!
Also, on a side note -- please pray for our neighbor, Tony as he will be undergoing surgery to remove one of the lobes of his liver -- cancer! This all happens tomorrow and the man has already been through so much!
Until next time . . . be blessed and bless someone else today! Susan and Monty

Friday, October 08, 2010

Grandparent's Day!

For the first time --- I got to experience Grandparent's Day with my 5 year old grandson at his preschool! Awesome!

I got to have the afternoon "shift" and his other grandmother took the morning. When I got there they were finishing recess and in we headed for some play time. We spent all our time at the legos where our imaginations ran wild and he wished for more legos at home! Suggested we make a trip to Target after school!!! :)

After playtime it was snack time with cookies, cheese and crackers --- all a huge hit!

Then it was time to head to music where we all participated in good ole Farmer in the Dell where I got to play the rat --- headband with ears and all! What a hoot!

Then we had a special treat watching the High Flyers Trapeze artists practice. They were all quite interested -- for the first 10 minutes and then their attention span had stretched back to the playground. The teacher agreed that was a better place for them to be and off we were.

By the end of that it was time to go in and pick up back packs and head home. I offered the choice of a donut or ice cream and he choose the carmel milkshake at Dairy Queen!

He had been so excited during the entire day -- today was the day he would get to ride in a truck for the first time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And it was a Ford!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even better --- of course we have no idea why it was better!!

He laughed at how bumpy it was and as we pulled into his subdivision I allowed him to ride in the bed of the truck! He was screaming with delight down the entire trip and his dad said he heard him coming down the street about 5 houses away!

What a day --- what a blessing for me as I have missed out on the other 3 over the past 3 years! And I even got to meet my daughter and granddaughter for lunch before going to school! It just doesn't get much better than that!

I am so thankful that God still has us here -- rebuilding relationships with family! After all -- isn't that what God is all about --- relationships!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And tonight we get to have dinner with my other daughter and her boyfriend!!!!! Thank you Lord!!!

Until next time . . . do something special with your family this weekend! Susan and Monty

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

For Sale






This might seem like a strange blog entry but "a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do."
Those of you who have ever volunteered with us will recognize the top photo and the second one. That Chevrolet S10 ZR2 has been my "baby" for quite a few years. The ole' dependable white Ford has been Monty's for more years. The red Ford is a fairly new addition.
Now here's the situation. We were able to pick up a somewhat newer truck that can pull heavier loads than Monty's existing Ford. We do NOT need this many trucks and we DO need the finances -- times have been more than tough this past year -- as you all well know.
So . . . I am letting all of you know what we have available and if you are interested in either of them please leave your information in the form of a comment on this blog. I will get back with you asap.
Our goal is to sell 2 of the 3 shown here -- the white Ford must sell and then I will drive either the red Ford or my Chevrolet -- makes no difference to me. We just HAVE to sell 2 of them.
Here are the descriptions:
2001 Chevrolet S10 with the ZR2 package.
4 wheel drive, extended cab with jump seat in the rear
Automatic, power windows, locks and cruise control
all tires have less than 3,000 miles on them and they are the oversized tires
The full size ladder rack, tool box, bed liner, grill guard and awesome winch are included.
This truck is in excellent condition and has truly been "lady driven"
159,000 miles
1995 Ford F250 with the 7.3 Powerstroke Diesel
2 wheel drive, 5 speed
extended cab with full rear seat
new tires
long bed with both goose neck hitch and rails for 5th wheel hitch (which we will sell separately to anyone interested)
150,000 miles
1997 Ford F250 Heavy Duty
2 wheel drive, automatic
extended cab with full rear seat
long bed
power windows and locks with cruise control
this truck has never seen snow or salty roads!!!!
159,000 miles
There they are -- let us know if you, or anyone you know, is interested. They have all been maintained well and are in excellent shape.
Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Lessons Learned

The past few days have been some lessons learned for me. Some great, others not so great.

One, spending time with my mom has been alot of fun. We went to an auction sale (her territory for sure) and had so much fun. She even spent the night with us! Pajama party!!!

Two, spending time with my kids is priceless! Catching up on things (being gone for extended periods of time makes life tough) and whether it's painting with them or just being a part of their lives it's all such a blessing.

Three, spending time with grandchildren and seeing the smiles on their faces when Grandma comes to see them is -- angelic! We watched our grandson (age 5) play baseball, played with both of them in their back yard with swings and slides, read books and watched them grow right before our eyes -- it's truly a God thing! I even get to participate in Grandparents Day at preschool this coming week!!!

Four, having a tooth pulled that is already broken in two places and having it break apart while being pulled is NO fun! That happened two days ago and today I feel like I've been hit in the side of the face with a baseball bat! I know time will heal it but it still just plain sucks!

Five, seeing the leaves falling with the rains today is something we haven't seen in years! I admit I like the sunshine alot more but with the drought so severe that burn bans have been in effect and farmers fields have gone up in fire -- the rain is a good thing -- a cleansing thing!

So it's been a busy week of learning life lessons and having the moral be --- the good always outweighs the bad!!! God is always good!!!

Until next time . . . be blessed in all of your life lessons! Susan and Monty

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

One Hundred Sixty Nine !!!
















Tissues, bars of soap, body wash (mens and womens), shampoo, razors, toothbrushes with toothpaste, wet wipes --- and so much more!
Sunday School Missions Day was a HUGE success with a total of 169 toiletry bags packed full for Monty and I to take with us on our next journey! What a blessing these will be for those who have lost it all! Not only the things inside but the love that was packed right along side everything else! Priceless!
The items came pouring in with a donation from a local store that sent it over the top! The kids took everything and sorted like with like before starting an assembly line that many of them made repeated trips through. Some were still working long past the time for Sunday School to end. And a few parents even got in the act and caught the contagiousness of the love and laughter. One little boy even brought his own greeting cards and wanted to make sure that I knew that one family would get the most special bag of all -- his! A mission mind packed inside such a small package!
After seeing the huge outpouring of love from our little church Monty said he wants to have the next project be a fund raiser for a semi truck so we can haul everything!!! It brought quite the laugh but somehow I wonder . . . the little church that could?! No one told them they were too small, that there weren't enough members to make a difference, that they didn't have the money, etc. They believed God for a miracle and as always -- God came through and they will ALL be blessed!
We are so grateful, so overwhelmed and so loved! Amazing!
Until next time . . . what can you do to make a difference? Susan and Monty