Saturday, February 27, 2010

Blessed Endings

First thing yesterday morning we welcomed our returning Grace UMC team from Corpus Christi. We sent them right to work painting the exteriors of both Vicky's and Robert's homes and all the while praying the rains would stay away to get both done! The skies opened up a few times but only for short durations and believe it or not -- they turned Robert's house the most beautiful mint green and Vicky's the hottest pink in the world! She picked her color and you just can't help but smile as you drive up to the house! Both teams are back today and trying to really get them both finished -- and the skies are crystal blue to thank them!
Along with them arriving yesterday we had to say farewell to our team from around the Dallas area and some of our PDA team from Illinois. The rest of the PDA teams all worked about half a day so they could see some sites and be ready for the evening.
Why ready for the evening? It was House Blessing time for Hsilda and Cipreano! And what a blessing it was! Hsilda told me she was going to have her Pastor there along with some family and friends --and she had live music that rocked the house! All the team members were there and all left so filled and yet teary eyed with joy! Hsilda had also cooked more mexican food than the law should allow and the festivities went into the evening. In one of the photos you see me with her case manager (and a dear friend to me) Tony of the Boat People SOS. He is managing quite a few of the cases we are working with and he also loved the joyous occasion last night! Even though these teams didn't do the work in their home -- they represented all those "angels" that had done the work over quite a few months. Thanks to all of you -- you know who you are and we only wish you could've been here in person!
This morning we welcomed another team -- Bob and his group from the Baytown area. They are working at Teresa's with exterior painting and yard cleanup. Teresa's health doesn't allow her to be in the sun so they have all jumped in and are cleaning and organizing along with putting the finishing touches on her newly rebuilt and painted home.
And now it's time to bid farewell to both of these teams and prepare for next week. I am working on weekly reports and preparations of which team will work in which home. And of course there are the material deliveries going out to specific homes tomorrow (yes, Sunday) !! My count of team members for next week is quickly approaching the 50 mark and that doesn't include the team of electricians coming for Saturday!
It's a very busy time of year and we are thrilled to be finishing homes and starting new ones. Make sure you stay tuned as I think we are having yet another very special house blessing next week and are starting yet another new project.
Just in case you have lost count -- this week we had teams working in 11 homes --- all at the same time -- and you wonder why I meet myself coming and going! What an awesome dream Monty and I get to live ----------- all thanks to all of YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Until next time . . . be a blessing to everyone you see! Susan and Monty

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Heights, Depths, No Boundaries

If we were being paid to do this as part of our job we would have walked off and quit!
What a laugh! When we're volunteering and serving because our heart is in it -- there are no boundaries and today was proof -- double proof!
The morning started early -- we needed to get to Joyce's to check on the plumbing problem and see what we could do. It didn't take long to realize that no amount of snaking the pipes was going to release a clog that most likely has been there for over 40 years! The team set in to start digging the line up -- and they dug -- and they dug -- and they dug! They found the line and found where it was broken -- in more than one place. And then there was still the clog where they couldn't find the line. It was clear that after 2 hours of trying that we all needed some professional help.
Now -- finding a plumber after disaster? It's easier to find a lost diamond in the middle of the ocean than find a plumber -- no kidding. It took 3 phone calls of "sorry we can't help you but maybe so and so can" before we got even a possibility. And after continuing to dig and continuing to try and find the problem we got the call -- one angelic plumber had mercy on us and came to our rescue. I was expecting him to give me an estimate and then tell me we would have to wait who knows how long before he could find the time -- but God! He said he was trying to retire and he knew the team would be able to do the work? The team wasn't quite so sure but after the plumber spending some real quality time with them they assured me "we can do this" and they meant it. They headed off to get the materials needed and after I checked on them a couple more times during the day they were doing fine and were completely replumbing around the problem area. And Ms Joyce ?? She has more patience than the rest of us could hope for in a lifetime! After the plumber left she told me she had to go and shed a few tears of joy and thank God for sending one of His angels!
This team only works half the day tomorrow and I have no doubt they will accomplish miracles! If they can work through the digging and the smells and the challenges of today -- they can accomplish anything this life throws at them!
And as if one plumber angel isn't enough for a day -- God blessed me with two!
I had an appointment to meet one to give me an estimate for Rosaland's house. The fear of seeing his estimate was about to get the best of me until he told me his company does work for Habitat for Humanity and he knew the constraints we are under! Isn't God amazing!
From working in those depths I headed to Logan and Janey's and saw the heights that this team reached -- literally! After building the deck and a ramp that extends nearly 60 feet long they put together the design and built the most awesome roof over the deck that I think I've ever seen! It's complete with drip edge to keep the rain water from crashing on your head while on the ramp to hurricane bracing it and even angling the railing to keep the edges smooth! The women were nailing on the shingles and by days end it was fabulous and should make it super easy for Logan to use his wheelchair and get outside and into the yard whenever he wants to!
So much more went on this Thursday -- Teresa now has flooring in her new bedroom and family room and she told me her granddaughter could play on the floor for the first time in her little life!
Mel and Billie are completely painted outside and their bedroom and family room are also walled in and taking shape like you wouldn't believe unless you see it.
Jocelyn has been working along with her team and was in tears of joy at the color of her newly painted walls today! She is usually in so much pain she can't do much and this week her pain has miraculously disappeared! She can't wait to see her new kitchen come to pass next week!
Carol was getting her new window installed and was thrilled to know her dryer would no longer vent to the inside of her home and her washer is now properly installed. Her insulation in that wall should be done tomorrow and preparations ready for the team next week.
Brian and Carol's team really took to heart the lesson in sheetrock finishing that Monty gave them yesterday and it looks fantastic. They will be patching and spraying their ceilings tomorrow and it has been transformed!
Allan and Rosemary's is almost all painted and they will be reassessing their rebuilding plans next week so we will sit out a week and then be ready to send in teams when they have a final plan.
The only sad note of the day -- we said goodbye to Monroe and his Amish teams! They have been here with us for the past 7 weeks and have accomplished things we thought nearly impossible! They were amazing to get to know and we will miss them! Having them here for 7 weeks -- we got used to them and will have a vacancy in our hearts starting tomorrow when we realize they aren't here with us! Thanks Monroe -- we love you!!!!!!!!!!! See you next time!
And this evening was the special dinner where the PDA camp invites all the homeowners where their teams have been working to come together and share their stories and thanks! What an awesome and blessed way to bring the week to an end! Lives changed forever --- both homeowners and volunteers!
Also, our Canadian who suffered the stroke was taken home today!! Praise the Lord and thanks Charlie -- we love you and know God will continue to be with you throughout your recovery!
It's another of those days where I find myself realizing -- on a whole new level -- the perfect timing of our Lord! But more than that -- realizing that He is always there for us and how deeply He must love us!
What an awesome God we serve and how humbling it is to serve Him and see Him change lives every single day and numerous times each day!
Until next time . . . thank God for your own blessings! Susan and Monty

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

8 Jobs at once!!!

What an amazing day! Monty and I were on the road from job to job the entire day -- and there just weren't enough hours in this day!
Very early we started out here in San Leon. We've got Sam and Ethel helping us with teams this week and they are watching over the 3 teams here locally and even with the 4 of us we were on the road all day long.
Our first stop was Janey and Logan's to check on the deck construction and you can see the men with the bunny ears -- it started the day with hilarious laughter! They were going gangbusters on the deck and ramp both and no doubt had both of them done by the end of the day. Inside they were scraping doors and preparing to paint and working on counter top and sink installation.
Next was Brian and Carol's where Monty was happy to give his "sheetrock finishing 101" lesson to the team who have the entire house to finish -- with the final 2 coats. Sam was heading to Galveston to the warehouse to pick up interior and exterior paint for their home and they were thrilled and headed off to get painting supplies.
Next was Allan and Rosemary's where they are also painting inside, ceilings included. That can be tough on ones neck but they were amazing.
Next was Mel and Billie's where we were "seeing blue" for sure. Outside they were finishing the first coat and starting the trim painting. Inside they were finishing some rooms with paint and getting ready to move Mel and Billie out of their bedroom into the newly redone spare bedroom so they could tackle their bedroom and get it started. The blue is beautiful and I can't wait to see it completely done.
After a quick bite for lunch it was on to Texas City to see Jocelyn's team. She had also been helping again today and even with her physical inabilities she was thrilled to be helping and sounded as giddy as a kid while working with her team. She and her beloved protector were taking a short break on the bed when we arrived. They are also preparing to do an entire interior repainting and it should be beautiful. Her ceiling fans were also going up and tile repairs getting ready to be made.
Next we headed to Teresa's with some floor adhesive for her Amish team who are laying flooring to prepare for the final flooring. Her 2 rooms are completely new and wonderful. And as you can see in the photo -- Monty has a new girl in his life and she is beautiful!!! Teresa's granddaughter is a doll.
Next was a peak at Rosaland's as the electrician is now complete and passed the city inspection with flying colors. Now on to the plumber and then we can return with volunteers. We hope to get the exterior completely painted with our weekend teams coming in this week.
Next was Joyce's where we discovered some more major plumbing issues. All it took was a phone call to Monroe and he and some of his Amish will be there tomorrow to get the issues resovled. The walls are down to the studs so he has a clean slate to work with. The PDA team was thrilled to have the help and will be learning quite a bit about plumbing tomorrow. They were also getting her family room repainted and it looked great.
Last but not least weas Carol's where they also had her wall completely exposed and had replaced some damaged studs. They also found out that there wasn't any insulation in that exterior wall so no wonder Carol always felt a draft coming from there. That will be corrected tomorrow and the wall and new window will be a tremendous change for the better.
And then it was past dinner time and the rains with sort of sleet were falling. The temps are taking another dive tonight but should rally around noon tomorrow. We cautioned the teams to check weather conditions before starting out tomorrow and if an extra hour was needed before starting out to please take it.
As we traveled today and got the chance to visit with each team member and each homeowner it made me realize just how much is going on this week --- with the teams as well as the homeowners. The connections between them are already growing deep -- and it's only Tuesday!
We did get an update on our hospitalized Canadian -- he is doing much better, was sitting up in the chair and some slow speech is returning. No word on how long he will be here or if they will try and get him back to Canada. Time will tell.
Be sure and stay tuned for the rest of the week. So many jobs going, so many things happening, so many smiles and even more laughter mixed in with hearts of service and the joy of learning new ways to show Christs love to total strangers!
Until next time . . . "love thy neighbor" and change your own life. Susan and Monty

Monday, February 22, 2010

New Day -- New Jobs

Over 50 volunteers spread out over 7 homes and I didn't even take one photo -- where was my head? Spinning on a Monday! :)

We packed Pastor Bob's little church with our orientation this morning! Presbyterians with Methodist with Amish and who knows who mixed in. It was awesome and the way God wanted it to be!

Our PDA team from Illinois is working in 2 new homes, Jocelyn's and Carol's. Each has their work cut out for them but all are doing fantastic. They are gutting some walls, rebuilding others and painting everywhere. They also are working at Joyce's house where they are removing kitchen cabinets in preparation for the new ones coming in a couple of days.

Our UMCOR team from around the Dallas area are working on the final odds and ends inside and building a new deck and ramp at Janey and Logan's. When I met up with them at Lowes they were heading out with materials so I added a new kitchen sink for them. You've heard of "everything including the kitchen sink" and it becomes reality here many times!

Monroe and his Amish team returned to Mel and Billie's and Teresa' to continue the transformations there. Mel and Billie's house was literally turning blue -- the beautiful blue she picked out for the exterior. They are also close to getting the spare bedroom ready to move Mel and Billie into so we can continue with the rest of the house. It's looking great. Teresa is also getting ready to be moved to her new room so they can work on the rest of her home.

Our second PDA team is working at both Brian and Carol's and Allan and Rosemary's. I think the team at Allan's were derailed upon arrival since their son, Matthew called saying their main water line was broken and needed repaired! God's perfect timing again!

Matthew is also making it his mission to daily visit our PDA team member who is hospitilized here and not able to return to Canada just yet. He reports that he is getting a bit stronger day by day and appreciates all the prayers. Please keep them going as he has a long road ahead of him.

Even though this week just began we are already looking to the end on Friday. We will be having a House Blessing for Hsilda and Cipreano and their family at 6pm that evening. We are so excited and Hsilda was actually thinking about cooking dinner for everyone until I informed her we would have nearly 60 volunteers present -- and then she thought again and decided that was a bit much!!!!!!!!!!!!! Her own Pastor will be attending along with a few friends. It's always exciting to bless a home and the homeowners and I think that's why they are waiting to officially move in. If you are in the vicinity give me a call and I'll let you know where! The more people the more blessings!

And also looking forward in the week we will be welcoming our Grace United Methodist team back to work on Friday and Saturday and Bob will be bringing another team to work on Saturday! So the number will surpass (way surpass) the 60 and we are thrilled and blessed!

Be sure and stay tuned --- and I promise to try and do a better job taking photos!

Until next time . . . be a blessing! Susan and Monty

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Health Update

I am sorry to report that our Canadian team had to leave for home without one of their team mates.

The doctors gave their "verdict" and their team mate did have a stroke and will remain here in the hospital for an indefinite period of time. They are taking good care of him as he is in one of the best medical facilites specializing in stroke patients.

We will all be keeping him in our prayers and ask that you do the same. He is a long way from home with no family near by and will need all of our prayers.

I will keep you posted as I get updates.

Until next time . . . bless someone today! Susan and Monty

Friday, February 19, 2010

Canada Delayed

Yes, our team from Manitoba were scheduled to leave today. They might be able to go tomorrow. Early this morning one of the team members wasn't feeling like himself and as the morning went on he didn't get any better. He ended up in an ambulance and at this time he is still there and will remain there through the night. All of his tests are coming back okay but they have a few more to go. The entire team decided to stay and hopefully they will all be driving back tomorrow healthy and happy! Keep them in your prayers.
That team wrapped up at both Janey and Logan's and Allan and Rosemary's doing fantastic jobs at each and preparing for the next incoming teams on Monday. We thank them for their 2 weeks of service and know God will bless them for their service and hearts of compassion for the lives they touched forever!
You can see the priming going on at Mel and Billie's and thankfully Lonnie was there to hold that shrub back from the house! :) He has been the driver all these weeks for the Amish and we have kidded him about working -- he's been awesome and we get a kick out of teasing him.
The Amish continued their work in both Mel and Billie's and Teresa's today and will be returning to both jobs on Monday to start their final week here with us. Amazing work and amazing folks!
The PDA team that has been working with Joyce and Sam and Ethel's house also wrapped up their last day. The team with Sam and Ethel have literally transformed that home for this elderly couple. They even went the extra mile and brought in furniture! Their hearts were touched beyond anything they expected and I know this couple will be blessed beyond their wildest imagination!
And then you can see the Amish working on the front door installation at Robert's while Monty and the electrician are underneath trying to figure out the electrical problem. They never did get it figured out completely but then there's always the next time.
Ms Joyce is still not happy that her team is leaving. We had a long talk with her while the team was sheetrocking her ceilings and finishing the structural repairs on the back of her home. She talked about how important the first impression is and how amazing this team had been for and with her. She said her life will be forever changed and they are all true angels! We agree!
The week has been awesome, wonderful and filled with blessings. There's no way to count them all and just trying to reflect back over the week brings a smile to my face and warms my heart.
And the most wonderful thing is --- we get to do the same thing next week with new teams!
Until next time . . . we thank all the teams and we keep them in our prayers knowing God has wonderful and special blessings just for them!
Susan and Monty

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Keeping up

Sorry I don't have photos this evening -- I'm doing well to just hit the keys in the right order to make words!

It's been another day where I know I met myself on the roads and it was quite the site!

Our day began with the news of a train derailment in Santa Fe which made it impossible for me to check on Teresa's house. She was far enough from the site that she didn't have to evacuate but the roads were closed. The Amish made their way there and continued the painting of the exterior of her home. We are thankful she and her family are all okay.

I spent the first couple of hours of the day getting material orders ready for 6 different homeowners! I even had the sales folks confused but we made it through and everything got to the right places!

From there it was off to deliver those materials and meet with the electrician that will begin at Rosaland's tomorrow. He hopes to have it all completed in a couple days. From there we will be bringing in a plumber and when they are finished we can return to volunteer labor. The city of Texas City requires us to use contractors for both electric and plumbing and we are here to abide by their rules for sure.

Joyce and her group were thrilled at the progress going on there. We did have to take a step back and realize that her entire set of kitchen cabinets are beyond repair and must be removed and replaced. We also must bring in a plumber there as she has serious issues in the bathroom. The team is doing a great job at rebuilding her soffits and getting her new ceilings in and walls painted. She broke down in tears at the thought of tomorrow being their last day with her. Even though I assured her another team will come next week she is certain they won't be the same! Just wait till next week!

Janey and Logan's team have nearly all the base trim in and will be wrapping up alot of the things Logan has on his list of things still needing to be done. I did get the material ordered for the construction of their back deck and ramp which we will work on next week.

Allan and Rosemary's team also finished their flooring project and are also working on base trim and realizing that tomorrow is their last day. I still can't believe both these teams came all the way from Manitoba, Canada!!!

Mel and Billie's team started the priming of their home while waiting for the finishing of their sheetrock to dry. They should be closer to getting them moved into the new bedroom and then tackling the rest of the house. I still can't believe how awesome the outside looks!

As I mentioned earlier, Rosaland's siding is all complete, the reframing of her bathroom is done and with the electrician starting tomorrow we will be stepping out for a week or so. It also looks fantastic!

We also were able to get some exterior paint donated and will be painting Robert's house next week. The Amish are working on installing his entry doors and the electrician will install a couple of exhaust fans in his bathroom tomorrow and he and his family will officially move in over the weekend! Welcome home Robert and Olga and girls!

I also spoke with Vicky and she will get her exterior paint so we can get her house painted next week. Now --- if we can just get the weather to cooperate we'll be painting the town some really pretty colors next week!

On a very personal and somber note -- we need some very powerful prayers! We have just learned that a very dear friend of ours who is barely 30 years old has been diagnosed with a brain tumor -- at nearly the same time he and his wife learned they are expecting their first baby!!!! Please keep them both in your prayers. God is the Almighty healer and we are praying for His power to prevail in this situation.

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

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Beautiful Tuesday

Wow -- the ground was literally covered with a hard frost this morning that made me think I was back home! Then the sun came out and the temps went up to near 60 and I knew I was not at home! Thankfully! :)

The trimming of Mel and Billie's exterior is nearly complete and has really made it look incredible! They might even be able to use their new shower tonight if the water testing is successful. With work going on inside and outside it's quite the busy place.

Rosaland's siding is on and the trim is also nearly complete. They plan on starting priming tomorrow and framing her bathroom and bedroom closet back in to prepare for the electrician to start his work.

Teresa's is now primed on the exterior and they were sanding away on the walls inside preparing for primer and paint. The Amish women joined the crew and if you look closely at the photo you will see their unique design to cover and protect their shoes.
The flooring is all in at Logan and Janey's and looks great. They are working on the trim and some finishing touches in the bathrooms before going to the kitchen to work on countertops.
Allan and Rosemary's flooring is also coming along well and nearly complete. They also will focus on trimming when done with flooring.
The team at Joyce's were thrilled to see the POD storage container show up! They had nearly boxed themselves into a corner inside and were busy packing boxes and furniture in the storage to prepare for taking down ceilings and flooring inside. We have also called for an estimate for her electric and heating and air as both aren't working safely. The team is going to literally truck away trash and debris tomorrow and load it into our dumpster located at Rosaland's.
The day of sunshine and warmer temps along with dryer air made it great for everyone, no matter where they were working. Let's hope the weather forecast is correct and it holds throughout the week!
Many times I have written about the relationships that are built between teams and homeowners and how they can last a lifetime. Teresa called me with a perfect example -- she just received a hand written birthday card from the first Amish team that worked on her house -- each and every team member signed it with their address! She admitted that it's the best birthday card ever! Volunteers just don't realize the effect they leave with homeowners! It's life changing --and life giving!!!!! God has to be smiling!
Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sunny and windy Monday

We enjoyed the warm sunshine yesterday -- until -- the wind warning came to pass and we felt as though we might tumble over in the trailer.
This morning brought continued winds but not quite so strong.
The sun was back out and the teams were ready for orientation.
Our team from Canada went straight to work continuing their work at Allan and Rosemary's and Logan and Janey's. Both were running full steam ahead this afternoon and had a list of a few materials that I'll be bringing them tomorrow. I can't believe they are both on their second week of working flooring on their knees and are still able to stand up straight and walk! A God thing!
Our Amish had a day of teams arriving so they were only working at Rosaland's where they continue putting on the exterior siding. Tomorrow they will return to both Teresa's and Mel and Billie's. Maybe Mel and Billie will have a working shower by the end of tomorrow?? I know they are more than ready but also have been more than patient and we thank them for that!
Our new team is from the quad city area in Illinois and started two new jobs. Part of them are working at Joyce's (photos above) where they are packing up her belongings to be stored in the storage unit arriving tomorrow so they can remove ceilings and flooring and put it all back together again. We already ran into some major plumbing issues that will require us to remove most of her bathroom but we will take it all one step at a time. The rest of the team went with leaders Sam and Ethel and were doing a similar job of removing contents to be able to rebuild, prime and paint. It's tough when the homeowners are living in their home and we have to take things apart and aren't always able to put them all back together the same day, or sometimes the same week. We do what we can to keep things livable for them and we appreciate their flexibility.
You can see Joyce's grandson and his "no teeth" smile! With today being President's Day he was home from school and had a blast helping the team with packing things in boxes! He latched on to one of the volunteers and it was no wonder -- she's a kindergarten teacher! Another God thing!
As we go forward with this week we are also preparing for the weeks to come. I just received an updated volunteer schedule and next week is huge but March is "huger?" We are so thrilled that the volunteers continue to come and we are expecting God to show up and show out and for many folks to be able to finally come home
Until next time . . . be a blessing and be blessed! Susan and Monty

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

Wishing all of you a very Happy Valentine's Day!

When you live so very far from home on a holiday, no matter how "small" that holiday is -- it's tough sometimes. Even with great conversations over the phone it's still not the same.

And then comes a small knock on our already open trailer door and I see the 5 children who have become so near and dear to my heart -- Mariano and Maria's kids! There they stand with a pretty red package, a long stem red rose poking out from the top -- and their smiles beaming from ear to ear! And then everything is put in perspective!

Monty and I will have our Valentine's Day dinner out this evening and our hearts will be extra blessed just because 5 children came knocking on our door!

"Family may be miles away from us but --- "family" is also right here!

Until next time . . . be a blessing - brighten someones day! Susan and Monty

Friday, February 12, 2010

The rain finally !!!! stops

I didn't think the rain would ever stop! ALL DAY LONG yesterday and the fields, yards and everything look like we had inches!! Thankfully today the rains stopped and all we had to deal with was the colder temps and lots of mud!!!!!!!!!!!!
Allan and Rosemary's tile floors are fabulous and the team will be working in the last room left on the first floor soon.
Logan and Janey's flooring is also going in along with their bathroom coming together. Won't be long and they can actually have a bedroom and bathroom all to themselves.
Teresa's is all sided outside and looks incredible. A bit of primer and a couple of bits of paint and it will be beautiful. The inside rooms are nearly ready for both also. Please keep her in your prayers as she is quite ill and trying to rest but with the sounds of sanders, hammers and such it's not easy!
Rosaland's siding is going on along with the trim. She will also be ready for color transformation next week -- if we have no rain!
Mel and Billie will finally have a working bathroom tonight -- it's been a few days and they have been very patient! Going without a bathroom can be a bit stressful but the wait has been worth it. It has been completely redesigned and will give them so much more room, not to mention a new large size shower, new toilet and new vanity.
Brian and Carol are all sheetrocked in and today was the last day for George's weekly teams. We will miss them and are so thankful for all the work they have done! It is now a home and that is priceless.
What a week -- blessings, challenges and hearts overflowing with service for others! And some of them are even working tomorrow!
Until next time . . . join in the fun and help someone else today! Susan and Monty

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Sue

Yes, Sue decided this is the way she wanted to spend her birthday -- helping others! Brian and Carol are glad she did! The entire team went to Galveston for a nice dinner to help her celebrate! Thanks Sue -- we hope it was one you will always remember.

The skies were pretty cloudy all day and the colder weather had arrived but it didn't stop anyone from working. The Canadians still thought it was warm!

My first trip was to the Houston area for our weekly UMCOR meeting early in the morning. From there it was a quick stop for some materials for our team at Janey and Logan's. When I arrived to deliver it I was amazed at their progress. They were nearly ready to start flooring!

We then stopped in at Mel and Billie's to see the delivery truck had arrived that morning -- a mix up on their end but it did finally make it. They had the subfloor down in the bathroom, nearly all the sheetrock hung, were working on flooring the front deck area, sheetrocking the back room and most of the water was pumped out from underneath the house. They still needed plumbing done in the bathroom before putting down flooring and fixtures.

We were back to get materials for the deck flooring and picked out bath flooring for Mel and Billie while there. It's always a challenge to select things like that for other peoples homes but I think they will be pleased with what we chose and it will match the new paint color nicely. When we arrived back they were home and Billie had fun posing on their old toilet now sitting outside!
The folks at Allan and Rosemary's were coming along very nicely with the tile flooring. They were a bit upset when telling us Allan had fallen down their stairs but said he wasn't hurt. That's been my biggest fear there and hopefully we can do something to make those stairs a bit safer.
Brian and Carol's team have nearly all the sheetrock hung and most of it taped. They were headed for a few more materials and were excited to see it coming together to look more like a real home.
By the end of the day we were meeting an electrician at Rosaland's. He will give us a bid on doing her house. It was amazing to drive up and see men on the roof with its final touches, men inside, men outside adding the new plywood, installling new windows, installing new entry doors and then house wrapping -- all in preparation for the brand new siding! What a difference! It almost took ones breath away and Rosaland had a smile that shown from down the street. They only problem was that when the dumpster driver changed out the full one for an empty one he hit the chain link fence gate and as I left he was on his way to see what they could do to repair it for her.
Lives being transformed right before our eyes as we see houses become closer and closer to being homes!
We're living the dream for sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Non Stop

What a Tuesday!! The storms blew in and out last night and the sun was back out this morning blessing us with a crystal clear day and cooler temps. Perfect for rebuilding!
Our first stop was with Mel and Billie where we met the delivery truck loaded with sheetrock and subflooring. The Amish had the old bathroom completely torn out and were working on replumbing -- after we brought in the pump to get all the standing water out from underneath the house. They were also working on removing the old ceiling in the back room and securing the front deck along with putting another coat of mud on the walls in the spare bedroom. Many hands working in many directions.
From there we headed to Texas City to see Rosaland and also meet the same delivery truck there with shingles and roof sheating. The men were working away at replacing and repairing and securing rafters and roof tails. They were happy to have the delivery so they could start covering the open areas where they removed the damaged roofing yesterday.
After a quick trip to check on the progress of ceramic tile flooring at Allan and Rosemary's we were headed back to Rosaland's to meet with the professional engineer and get his direction on the exterior of her home. He told us we are to remove all of her existing siding and replace it with a base of plywood, then housewrap it and then install the hardiplank siding. We also are replacing each and every window so Monroe was off to do some major shopping. We have to follow each direction exactly in order to pass inspections for the building department and Texas windstorm insurance requirements. He also told us how and where to install the hurricane bracing, every rafter and every stud must be tied down! The team of Amish will have more than enough work to keep them busy!
Back to San Leon to check on Mel and Billie's again. They were still awaiting the delivery of their toilet, vanity and remaining things needed for the bathroom. The truck had been delayed so much to their dismay they will be without a bathroom for tonight! Sometimes it just happens and we just have to make other arrangements. They just might get to really know their neighbors tonight! The water standing underneath the house was being successfully pumped out and the flooring and plumbing were going well. Tomorrow will be a better day --- as soon as the truck shows up!!!???
A quick check on George and his team at Brian and Carol's revealed absolute beauty! Brian and Carol had found a front entry door in the trash after the storm and brought it home. It had a cut glass insert built in the door and it didn't even have a scratch on it. This team managed to build it a frame and install it in one of the main walls of the home -- absolute beauty!!!! The sun was coming through as I walked in and it is definitely the focal point of the home. And the smiles on Brian and Carol's faces said it all!!! "Another mans' trash . . ."
The team at Janey and Logan's were busy painting and planning to start on installing the bath vanity and cabinet and will be starting on the flooring within a day or two. They did a fantastic job with the paneling, chairrailing and trim combination. Logan had quite the smile on his face as he sat back and saw it all coming together. He is doing very well with his physical therapy and is even getting up and standing for periods of time! Go Logan!
Another day of miracles, beauty and blessings! And it's only Tuesday!
Until next time . . . bless someone today! Susan and Monty

Monday, February 08, 2010

All the way from Canada

We've had volunteers from all over the United States and this morning we welcomed a group of 8 all the way from Canada -- and some of them even drove!!! Hearts of service know no boundaries! And they will be with us for the next 2 weeks.

Along with our Canadians we continue to be blessed with Monroe and the Amish community who also come from all different areas of our great nation.

And George with his groups from all over are starting their last week with us.

Monty had some truck issues to tend to early this morning so he joined us at orientation a bit later. With the blessing of a local welder the issues may be resolved soon?

Our teams were up and ready to go this morning. The Canadians who are staying at the Presbyterian camp worked at Pastor Bob's church all day. Seems the flooring that was used in the rebuilding of the church was defective. It has needed to be removed for months now and today was the day. The team got started and by the end of the day had all the flooring removed, the floors cleaned with fans blowing to dry out the moisture in preparation for the new flooring coming later. It should be a nice surprise for Pastor Bob when he returns from his trip to Vietnam. Thanks team!

Our Amish group has spread out between the continuing transformation taking place at Teresa's, working inside at Mel and Billie's and starting the roofing process at Rosaland's. It was a day where Monroe might have met himself coming and going! Teresa's is looking fabulous and I couldn't believe it when I looked at the back -- utterly amazing.

And George's team returned for their last week of working at Brian and Carol's. The walls are really looking good and with the plumbing complete they are making great progress. Should be a great week for them and we assured them that another team will follow in their footsteps next week to continue the work.

This week is bound to be another one of great blessings. Deliveries of materials are scheduled throughout the week which means many changes and improvements come along for the ride.

Be sure and stay tuned as I will do my best to keep you updated daily!

Until next time . . . be blessed and receive a blessing! Susan and Monty