Friday, April 30, 2010

Light blue meets dark blue

The light blue shirts of UMCOR met the dark blue shirts of PDA and all joined in working together in both Collier and Justine's and Lawrence and Arnesha's homes.
The theme ?? Sheetrocking!!! And then some more sheetrocking with some patching thrown in for fun. Each home is buzzing with activity. You would think they had all worked together all their lives and yet they hadn't even met one another until they had to start working together! Everyone is doing an excellent job and both homes will be completely sheetrocked and taped and mudded and ready for texture by the time they are finished tomorrow.
The dark blue PDA shirt team is on their last day today. We thank them for all their hard work. They also managed to patch the subflooring in Collier and Justine's home - moving forward with each step.
The weather has been less than cooperative today also -- the skies dripping with moisture and the fog is already setting in here along the coast so tomorrow won't be any better. The teams are "watching paint dry" in a manner of speaking.
Some of them did take advantage of the contractor appreciation luncheon at Lowes today. I think a few of them even played a couple of games and won tshirts and/or hats!
They did add a bit of "excitement" when they discovered a gas leak at Collier and Justine's. Collier was making the call to the company asap.
Lawrence is doing a bit better with his back - thanks to a local chiropractor - who had to see him twice today! We hope he is back up and working again as soon as is possible.
You can also see one of the garage doors Monty has been working on the past couple of days. Installing them is usually a group project but he's decided to tackle it himself and is doing a great job!
Tomorrow morning we welcome yet another team and we are praying the weather will be a bit better than today but . . . the weather man doesn't seem to think it will happen -- oh well -- there's always work to be done no matter what the weather!
Until next time . . . bless someone today! Susan and Monty

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

More on the way

Yep -- 2 days and no pictures! We can always hope for tomorrow! :)

Our 2 teams of sheetrockers are working away -- but one team decided to divert a bit and repair the subfloors in Collier and Justine's -- and boy am I glad! They've got floors falling through and this means that when the taping and floating of the sheetrock does happen no one will fall through the floor in the process!

Lawrence and Arnesha's team are continuing hanging the sheetrock on the ceilings and that's quite a tough job. Working over your head all day isn't easy. And with Lawrence down in the back -- he reached just the wrong way yesterday and is a mess. He will be going to the chiropractor tomorrow and hopefully will get some relief. Meanwhile the team also has the new hot water heater installed and when the gas is turned back on they will actually have hot water. We are also in the process of getting bids for a new roof. The first one was a bit too high so a couple more are in the works after today.

Monty has spent the past 2 days installing new garage doors for another family. That is also a tough job, especially when you are doing it alone. He is enjoying himself though as the house is directly on the bay and I think he wishes he had his fishing pole! :)

My afternoon was spent getting some belated medical testing done and all came back fine and dandy. Now all they need to do is get the results back home to my own doctor and everyone will be on the same page!

Tomorrow morning we orientate another team. Their leaders arrived late this afternoon and took a quick tour of the jobs they will be working on. They will divide into 2 teams and join the 2 already working. They told me that sheetrock is their speciality so here it is . . . ready to go.

Until next time . . . what's your speciality and have you used it to bless others?
Susan and Monty

Monday, April 26, 2010

Welcome Conroe, Texas

This PDA team is from Conroe, Texas - just a bit north of Houston. We welcomed them this morning for orientation and off to work they went.

They are divided between Lawrence and Arnesha and Collier and Justine. We took the tour of both homes first and then they divided themselves as they saw fit. One thing Monty and I learned a long time ago is that the dividing of teams is a God thing. This team seemed to get it worked out and were all busy hanging sheetrock when I checked on them.

This week we are sitting out of Joyce's in order to give her some rest. Going through a life time of memories in cleaning her garage last week wore her out and she was looking forward to some rest. We have a team coming in to work this Saturday and we'll put them back with her to hopefully get the water to the sink, the base trim and door trim on and then we'll be ready to send in the carpet layers!

It was good to hear a comment from our departing Michigan team letting us know they made it back before the bad weather set in. Those were some pretty rough storms and we thank God for getting them out ahead of them.

A special update on Tim - our brain surgery guy -- he now has the stitches out and had 2 full days of doctor appointments last week. Looks like he is heading toward chemotherapy to hopefully kill off the remaining part of the tumor that could not be removed with surgery. Please continue to keep he and Jenn and their upcoming baby in your prayers.

We hope you will continue to follow us this week. It's always special when nearly "hometown" folks come to help their own!

Until next time . . . who have you helped lately? Susan and Monty

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Day 6

The ice cream truck struck gold when they stopped at Joyce's this afternoon -- just what the teams needed to give them that extra push on a Saturday afternoon!!!
Although the weather was forecast to be rainy God had other plans. The winds blew and brought in a nice front with sunshine and lower humidity and temps in the low 80s - perfect for a Saturday work day.
Orientation welcomed 2 fairly local teams, one from Pearland and one from Huntsville. Pearland headed to Kim's to help install flooring and Huntsville went to Joyce's to continue clearing out the garage and attic space above it and work some more on the fence surrounding her property. You can see the men at the fence working hard to make sure it's level and straight. The garage is now cleaned out which required Monty and trailer to make 2 more trips to the local dumpster. Ms Joyce was also shocked to see the structural damage to the ceiling joists in her garage -- the weight of everything stored up there actually broke some of the joists! Guess what next weeks team will be working on?
Our team from Austin continued their work today both at Joyce's and Collier and Justine's. They were hanging sheetrock at Collier and Justine's and even though I am writing this early evening they are still working away on the ceilings. I spoke with Justine to let her know another team would be arriving on Monday morning and she was both excited and yet sad -- sad to see these and the teens that worked there all week go home. I assured her she would grow to love each new team and yes -- it's always tough to see them leave! She was thrilled at the progress and when I asked her to make a trip to Lowes to pick the color of her counter top she was even more excited. We always purchase the ones directly off the shelves but it's still nice to have the homeowner select the pattern they would like.
Austin team also continued their work with Lawrence and Arnesha -- you can see the new siding they are installing. What an amazing job both inside and out. The insulation inside is nearly complete and they were waiting for the delivery truck to arrive with the sheetrock. Such energy and hearts of service!
Day 6 was just a packed full as days 1 through 5. Next week will be the same with a team arriving to work Monday through Friday and another arriving to work Thursday through Saturday! Each day brings us closer to more house blessings!
On a side note -- a prayer request for Rosaland and her family. Her daughter and family (quite a few children) lost everything they own - and their home - to a house fire! Everyone got out okay but the daughter had to reach inside a window from the outside to reach one of the children! Please keep them all in your prayers.
Until next time . . . I want to wish a Happy Birthday to both my son and my father in law as they both share a birthday tomorrow! We wish we could be there to celebrate with you, to hug you and to tell you how much we love you both but . . .
Be blessed and bless someone else! Make their day! Susan and Monty

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 5, Day 1 and a House Blessing

First thing on the schedule this morning was orientation with our Austin, Texas team of 24. The winds were blowing and the skies threatening but we gathered and they went off to 3 locations, helping each team that was already there on their day 5 and final day.
Part went to Collier and Justine's where they helped insulate and sheetrock.
Another group went to Lawrence and Arnesha's where they also insulated and worked on exterior siding.
The final group went to Joyce's to help with the clean up of the garage and the fencing going all around the property.
Each of the teams joined right in with the ones on day 5 so they could continue the work tomorrow and also prepare for the next incoming teams on Monday. You would have thought they had all worked together all their lives! Amazing!
Monty was back at Joyce's to pick up yet another load of trash for the nearest dumpster and by tomorrow there will be another load! They are really getting things cleaned out and in the process finding priceless things from the past. Underneath it all was a church pew -- the one Joyce was saved on! With a little TLC and restoration . . . my oh my!
And then everyone was excited about the house blessing scheduled for Mel and Billie's. Even though most of the teams had not met them they were standing in for all those teams who put their hearts and souls into rebuilding and could not be here. The team of youth and their leaders who completed the punch list this week did an absolutely fantastic job and the house was beautiful! You can see the kitchen in the background of the photo of Billie and I.
You can also see by the first photo just how many people were there! The house literally overflowed with family, friends and neighbors -- clear out into both the back yard and front yard!
The camp manager of the PDA camp - Jane - came and gifted them with a beautiful flowering plant. The very first team who ever worked there sent a wonderful bouquet of purple flowers. Friends brought gifts for the bath and kitchen -- all in blue!
It was both awesome and yet sad to see the rebuilding come to an end. The entire process took 6 months and it seemed like 6 weeks!
I do know Mel was ready to cook on his new stove and they both --- not to mention their cat -- will be glad to have some peace and quiet in the house now!
We are so thankful to God for allowing all of us to represent Him and His perfect love! Lives rebuilt by rebuilding homes! What an awesome God we serve and we are humbled to do so on a daily basis!
Thanks to all who loved this family back into their "home."
Until next time . . . where we once again start the day with an orientation with 2 more teams coming to spend the day . . .
Welcome Home Mel and Billie! We love you! Susan and Monty

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thresa's House Blessing

We started her house around Jan 25th and today we officially blessed it and called it "home."
Thresa's house was packed with the volunteers we have this week and although they hadn't worked to rebuild her home they represented all those who did. It was especially nice for Rich who spent 3 weeks helping her rebuild and he was thrilled to see the results. Too bad Monroe wasn't there as his teams of Amish got the whole thing started!! It was great to have her family there and her mom was on the other end of the cell phone listening to the whole thing and even got the opportunity to thank everyone -- through all her tears of joy! It was an honor to be the hands and feet of Jesus and we know the blessings will continue long after the rebuilding!
Our teams had a busy day long before the house blessing started. The teens only worked half a day so they could go to Galveston for the afternoon and enjoy the beach. This evening Rich got a special deal and they all went to the Houston Astros baseball game! They earned it with all the hard work they are doing!
Our Michigan team kept at it all day. They nearly have all the windows in at Lawrence and Arnesha's and tomorrow will be putting some siding on. They are also installing insulation at the same time!
Joyce's team continued working on the kitchen cabinets and counter tops and are nearly done with both. The outside team worked with Monty in cutting down trees, clearing the last of the shed, digging a trench to repipe the plumbing from the house to the city line and digging post holes in preparation for the fencing. What a busy team and they are quite thankful for the sunny days and warm weather.
Tomorrow we have the leadership of our newest team arriving. They will tour the 3 jobs they will be working on over Friday and Saturday and Saturday we will have yet another team come for the day and join in with tomorrows new team. Confused???? Yes, keeping up with all of them is quite a challenge -- my nightmare is that I forget a team and yet they show up for orientation and I'm not prepared! :)
Be sure and stay tuned as Thursday is always the day where everyone is running full steam ahead!
Until next time . . . welcome home Thresa! We love you! Susan and Monty

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


They came from Connecticut, they came from Michigan, they came to work and they came to bless!
Monday morning orientation filled the church. Some are returnees and some are on their first mission trip in a disaster area.
Rich and his team of all high schoolers from Connecticut are divided in 3 teams. One team is working on the punch list at Mel and Billie's to prepare everything for their house blessing this Friday afternoon. They are in every room, every closet and nearly every corner touching up, fixing, patching and everything else they find to make it "spit shined" by Friday afternoon.
Another team of his is working back with Kim at her place. They are painting and doing most anything needed to get her home wrapped up also. She's getting closer and closer each passing day.
The 3rd group started a new job at Collier and Justine's house. They had quite a bit of gutting to do and did an amazing job! They met the usual "inhabitants" of roaches and termites but got the job done and cleaned up nicely to prepare for the rebuilding to begin. You can see the girls with the old cabinets lined up at the street "free for the taking." The usual plumbing "issues" are arising and the team is working through them one at a time.
Groups of teens can be an amazing blessing with their enthusiasm and energy and strong backs! This group has great leadership and thus it's quite the learning experience for each teen.
Our group from Michigan is divided between Joyce's and Lawrence and Arnesha's. You can see the windows going in at Lawrence and Arnesha's along with some major re-framing to accomodate them. Their windows were very old and odd sized so we have to make some structural changes for the new, hurricane rated ones. They are also continuing the plumbing work and making good progress.
The other part of the group is installing kitchen cabinets at Joyce's along with the demo of a shed that was in the back yard. You can see the pile of debris that came out of it -- and that wasn't all. Monty has been driving trailer loads of trash for the past 2 days and has another full day tomorrow. They are also digging the post holes for the new fence and will need to divert their digging to assisting the plumber tomorrow. With the extensive problems we will be digging up the entire line going from the house to the city hookup -- which is the width of the entire lot! I did go and get them some new spades and shovels -- "gifts" take on a whole new meaning in this type of work!
It's been a very busy couple of days and it will continue throughout the week. Thresa's house blessing is tomorrow afternoon, another team of 24 volunteers partially arrives on Thursday late afternoon with the rest ready for orientation on Friday morning to work through Saturday!
The freight train is rolling full steam ahead and we are so thankful that the teams keep coming because the work keeps coming!
Until next time . . . pray for our volunteers! Susan and Monty

Sunday, April 18, 2010

France comes to our backyard

This has been quite the weekend!
Friday we sadly bid farewell to our PDA and UMCOR/NOMAD volunteers. They were all amazing and we will miss them but also realize they have families of their own to return to.
The above photos show the team that worked with Thresa and blessed her with the gift of her very own shopvac! They all just had way too much fun to call what they did "work."
Another photo shows Lawrence and Arnesha and their team at work replumbing the house! This has got to be one of the dirtiest jobs we do and this entire team jumped in (literally) and dug and piped and leveled and blasted concrete and dug some more! Amazing -- and for most of them this was their first mission trip to a disaster area!
I had to add the flowers as this is a kind of wild flower that is covering the roadsides and makes me smile as I spend my time on the roads from job to job! This patch is in our front yard area.
And then we came to Saturday! I had the dogs scheduled for their annual rabies shots. Never a fun time for them. This time they also were in need of a couple more updates, a total of 3 shots each, a blood test and some stuff up their noses! And to top it off -- the vet clipped their nails! To say they weren't happy is quite the understatement. It took all the afternoon and by the time we got home it was dinner time so we slipped out for a quick bite. By the time we returned Samson - our Chinese Crested Hairless - was in full blown reaction to the shots! He was swelled up all over with whelts and bumps and redness and tongue swelling and mouth twice its size along with itching and near insanity. I knew what was happening and within the hour we were at the ER for pets. An IV and a few more shots and a waiting time to make sure all was working and we were on our way back home -- as it's now bedtime! They told me I got him there just in time and I should have known to watch for this as it's happened once before! Today he's much better and needless to say we won't do multiple shots again!
But --- when I did get home I find Monty in the back yard with a flashlight and I see a camping tent? Who knows what he's up to! Come to find out this family from France was en route home via the Houston airport -- 2 days ago -- when the volcano made flights back to France impossible. They had spent one night trying to sleep at the airport and decided that was one too many. Since they had vacationed here by camping throughout California they decided to rent a car and head out looking for a campground -- in the dark! Monty and I are still wondering how in the world they made it here?? Only one answer -- God!!!!!! The camp owner/manager sent them to Monty saying "he will know what to do" and of course -- Mr Hospitality set them up right in our back yard where he knew they would be safe. :)
They got a great nights sleep and this morning we let them use a shower and bathroom where they could feel human again. We all then went to breakfast at our local Mexican restaurant where they got a real kick out of ordering and learning how to fill a tortilla! We took the above photos and promised to email them to them. We are also awaiting word as to whether they can fly out today or not. If they cannot we are going to make arrangements with the church in Houston that houses volunteers for us. They should be able to stay there until flights resume. Monty gave the daughter a cross necklace that was given to him by a group of Russians from Siberia who hand carve the crosses from a special tree that only grows there in Siberia. He could have given her a block of gold and it wouldn't have meant as much as that cross did!!!!! We really enjoyed visiting with them and thank God for directing them here to us! As Monty and I have said so many times -- in mission work these days -- the world comes to us!! Please pray for their safe travel home and that God will continue to guide them throughout their lives just as He did here in little San Leon RV Park!!!!!!!!!!!!
Later this afternoon we are heading to Galveston to visit with Tim and Jenn and see how they both are doing since his surgery to remove the brain tumor. When I spoke with Jenn yesterday she said he is doing well, tired but improving daily. Please continue to keep them in your prayers also.
Tomorrow morning we welcome more teams who are coming to do whatever it is God has for them. They will be continuing some of the jobs and starting a new one. Pray that God will provide divine appointments for them and the heart and strength to fulfill each appointment!
Until next time . . . look around and see the world coming to you! Susan and Monty

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rollin' Rollin'

Morning came early and Monty was out the door headed to Ms Joyce's house to work on installing the new water heater. A couple of trips for parts and quite a few of Jeannie's team to help and the work was underway. But -- just getting to it in her garage took a half days work! We'll have a team in there next week to sort and organize and toss and save -- it's piled to the ceiling thanks to her kids and them needing "storage." The guys made progress and the work will continue tomorrow.
Meanwhile the women were installing -- and completed -- her kitchen flooring. The painting of decorations also continued and is amazing!
The men were installing the bath vanity and getting it plumbed in.
By the late afternoon they were planning on starting the installation of her kitchen cabinets when my phone rang informing me the main base cabinet was broken! Guess where I'll start my day tomorrow? I called Lowes and they'll have the new one at the door and ready for me first thing in the morning! I also managed to get her fencing materials ordered for the team next week. She had 350 feet of fencing all around and Ike managed to destroy it all so here we come! She is thrilled at the thought of some privacy again!
The team completed the repair work at Pastor Bob's church and I hope to capture a photo tomorrow! Thanks so much team!
I never made it to Lawrence and Arnesha or Thresa's -- not enough time in the day -- especially when I had to make my very, very overdue dentist appointment! I hate to admit that I hadn't had my teeth cleaned in nearly 3 years and although that went very well they found 2 back teeth completely cracked and in need of crowns! And we have no insurance! But the dentist is giving me a break as they are right here local and understand what we are doing so once again God is providing! Thank you Lord -- Your perfect provision!
Tomorrow is the last day for all the teams and always filled with all sorts of happenings so be sure and stay tuned!
Until next time . . . remember to be a blessing to others! Susan and Monty

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Special Talents

God always sends us just who we need when we need them -- this photo is a great example.

Ms Joyce was blessed with hand painted windows in the door that leads from her family room to her kitchen -- sunflowers!!!!!!!!!! Her kitchen was literally covered with sunflowers before we gutted it and she was thrilled when the team had a special surprise volunteer who not only knows how to paint but teaches others! It's absolutely beautiful and will be a visible reminder of all the teams who have been and will be working in her home!

Some other team members got the skirting on Janey and Logan's home and we are finally pronouncing it "done."

They also finished Jocelyn's house and Monty even made it by to pick up the extra pieces of materials. Jocelyn is thrilled and wants to do some volunteering herself! All she has to do is give me a call and I'll put her to work!

Another new project was also started today -- the repairs on Pastor Bob's church ceiling. Their air conditioner had leaked over time and damaged the ceiling. I kept telling them that we would be happy to repair it when the leaking was stopped and it's now stopped so by this Sunday the congregation will no longer have to see the damage located just above the altar area! Good job team!

Mel and Billie's floors are being painted and general cleaning underway. We already have set their House Blessing for NEXT Friday late afternoon so next weeks team will be spit shining and cleaning and making it double awesome! Their appliances should also arrive next week - just in time.

Thresa's progress continues and this Friday will also be our last day there! What a transformation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lawrence and Arnesha are making headway with the plumbing -- after digging up the trench completely around the house and flushing the lines to unclog and start repiping! It's a nasty job and far from clean but this team has literally "dug in" and have no limits to the blessings they are pouring out. I got the windows and insulation ordered today as the electrician only needs a couple more days to have the house completely rewired! Busy, busy, busy! I even noticed the neighbor sitting outside in his wheelchair taking photos of all the activity!

Everyone showing God's love without saying a word -- and people watch -- and people see -- and people believe!!!

"Love your neighbor as yourself" but into action!

Until next time . . . how about your neighbor? Susan and Monty

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Trash hauling day

Early this morning Monty was out and getting the dump trailer ready to go on a road trip. We had accumulated quite a bit of trash at Thresa's and with the new gutting at Lawrence and Arnesha's it took alot of hands and a couple of dumpsters. We don't put dumpsters at every site so we utilize the ones we do have and do some traveling if need be.
Both teams were really helpful in loading the debris into the trailer and then out of the trailer and into the dumpsters. And needless to say -- both yards were very improved by being able to clean them up!
The other photo you see is of Jeannie and her team of ladies (her husband was there also but outside when we snapped the photo) with Ms Joyce and her grandson. They are cleaning and preparing her kitchen floor to be ready to start the tile tomorrow.
The team at Mel and Billie's are doing all sorts of things from wiring the disposal to sheetrocking the old window areas in the laundry room to painting more flooring. They are all over the place, each with a task and all doing well.
Lawrence and Arnesha are getting the hang of using the jack hammer to bust up the slab floor to redo the plumbing in the house. It's a tough job and makes such a tremendous mess but necessary when you have a slab floor and storm damaged plumbing pipes. They are also on task and working away and should have it all dug up tomorrow.
The team at Jocelyn's finished! Yes, she is complete and very happy! They wrapped up all the final details and all we need to do now is make a run and pick up the odds and ends left over! Thanks to all the teams who worked so hard in transforming her house into a home!
The skies have been crystal clear and the winds keeping the temps in the high 80s. Each team is really enjoying every minute of it and we are hoping the showers they have in the forecast won't make it here to the coastline.
I also hear that Tim is home and doing well. We are hoping to get to visit them over this weekend. Thanks again for all the prayers! Now they both just need to get some much needed rest!
Until next time . . . a miracle is just a prayer that's been answered! Susan and Monty

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tim is HOME!!!!

Brain surgery on Thursday and home on Monday -- isn't God awesome!!
As per the above photos -- this is the look you get when you're the new puppy and stuck in a box while volunteers come and gut your home; and that's the look you get when you're "the man" and a new puppy arrives in your home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lawrence and Arnesha's dogs!
They all arrived ready to go this morning at orientation. They came from Colorado, Nebraska, California and all over -- a total count of 35 for the week.
Jeannie and Rob are returnees with their church team. They are part of the Nomads, a traveling group of folks from the Methodist churches that go around the country helping others. They spent weeks on the island and now are back with their church group and we are thrilled to have them back with us. They are working between Mel and Billie's and Joyce's. They are assuring me that we will be having a House Blessing for Mel and Billie this Friday!? Go Team!
Joyce will be getting kitchen flooring this week and maybe a start on her cabinets.
Other groups are finishing up at Jocelyn's with blinds, a ceiling crack and some window and garage door work. When they finish there they will be off to Pastor Bob's church where they will be patching some ceiling sheetrock. If they get time by the end of the week they will head to Janey and Logan's to finish their skirting around the trailer. Busy, busy!
Another group is at Thresa's and will also finish this week. Another House Blessing just around the corner! They were flooring, plumbing, painting and all sorts of things. Really pouring it on in the final stretch.
And yet another group started a new home today, for Lawrence and Arnesha. They had already done alot of work on their own but when the funding ran dry they didn't know where to turn. They know now! The team was gutting the kitchen and garage areas that were filled with mold and also working on a nasty plumbing problem that had them digging quite the trench just to locate the problem. Tomorrow they will be renting a cement saw and cutting up the slab to really get in to the plumbing!
A really busy Monday. Traveling from job takes me from Bacliff to San Leon to Texas City to LaMarque to Santa Fe!! It's not all that far from one to the other but visiting them all in one day and every day keeps my tires rolling!
We are so thankful for all your prayers for Tim and Jenn and ask that they continue as he will have a lengthy road of healing ahead of him. We thank God for His Almightly healing power and know He will continue to bless them both -- and the new baby on the way!
Until next time . . . bless someone else tomorrow! Susan and Monty

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Last weeks team enjoying lunch in Joyce's side yard -- thanks for all the hard work and the blessings you left behind for all of us!!
Tim is improving each day after his brain surgery. The seizures are subsiding with the new meds, he has eaten a full meal and today is to be moved out of ICU into his own room. Please continue to pray for he and Jenn as they go through this rough time. Her baby is due in September and this has really tired her out as she is staying in the room with him 24/7.
Monty and I spent all day yesterday up in Houston for Early Response Training. It was quite interesting and we actually both passed the written testing at the end! Hopefully we will now receive our ID badges that will enable us to enter immediately after a storm. The nation is cracking down on who they let in right away and from now on anyone entering will need these badges to prove identification, to show they are affiliated with a viable organization and to also show that they have been trained and know what they are doing. Too many times people come in too early -- they mean well but actually end up being a problem and not a solution. It was an all day class but worth the time.
Today we are preparing for our incoming teams tomorrow morning. This week we have 3 teams, 1 through UMCOR and 2 through PDA. The total is around 35-40. It will be a great week as they will be working in Mel and Billie's, Joyce's, Jocelyn's, Thresa's, Kim's and Pastor Bob's church here in San Leon.
Be sure and stay tuned to see how each day progresses.
Until next time . . . don't forget your prayers!!!!!!!!!! Susan and Monty

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Surgery is over!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, his surgery is over! He is doing well in ICU. It lasted nearly 8 hours and they were able to remove the front part of the tumor but the back part has a vein covering it and so he will undergo radiation treatments when he is feeling better. For now he is resting and shows no signs of speech problems-- God is an awesome God! We've all hung on the updates that came throughout the day and are relieved that it is now over! Thanks so much for all your prayers and please keep them going as there is a long road ahead.

With the extremely strong winds that came through last night the clouds went away and left room for the clearest sunshine and much cooler temps for the day. The teams enjoyed lunch together at Joyce's house, all laying outside in the sunshine and soaking it all in.

The texture and glitter is now gracing Joyce's kitchen ceiling and she can't stop smiling! Mr Sell did an amazing job and we are so thankful for his time and blessings! She is also thrilled with the new shade of blue walls in her bathroom and can't wait to get her fish motif back up. It's coming together and she can see the progress and is so happy!

The other part of the team continues working away at Mel and Billie's. The flower garden in the front was getting a brick trim wall around it while the floors were getting a fresh coat of paint that really sets off the rooms. Trim is going in all around and it's painted to match the walls so it's quite the complete look.

This afternoon I made a visit to Ms Marie's house. I was asked to go and measure for a ramp on the front of her home and a deck area with steps on the back. What I found was enough to bring tears to my eyes! Ms Marie has only one leg and is confined to a wheelchair. Her house is anything but handicapped accessible and is literally falling apart around her. The ceilings are leaking and falling in. Her kitchen cabinets are falling off the walls and the kitchen itself is so small she can only get out by pushing her wheelchair backwards. She told me how difficult it is for her to reach the stove and when she has pots on it she can't see what's inside of them while cooking. Last week she dropped an entire pot of hot water in her lap and got burned. Her bathroom is even worse. She also has to back out of it and getting in the tub is nearly impossible as she has to balance herself and get in at the same time. She does have a nurse who stays with her but even she can only do so much in that environment. The ramp and deck are the least of her worries. I got her connected with an organization where she can try and qualify for the newest funding available where she might be able to get a new home. Please pray for her as mentally she is struggling and feels abandoned. She said the only thing keeping her going was her faith -- and she promised me she would never lose that! If only we could . . .

And the update on our trailer --- it's totalled and we are now looking at the options we have.

Until next time . . . we thank Jesus for this day of renewed life for Tim!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Susan and Monty

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


Both teams are giving it their all and things are looking better each day.

Ms Joyce has popcorn texture, complete with gold glitter, on her family room ceiling and he will be returning tomorrow to do the same with her kitchen! What an amazing father and son team to donate their time away from paid jobs to bless her! The team has been working on painting walls and general cleaning and preparing for flooring next week.

Mel and Billie's team planted a beautiful flower garden in front of their house and are scrubbing floors with all they have! They should be ready to paint the master bedroom floor tomorrow. They are also putting up trim and pulling things together.

In just a few minutes Monty and I are headed to Houston to spend the evening with our dear friends and construction coordinators who have been working on the island of Galveston. He will be undergoing brain surgery tomorrow and we need to all keep them both in our prayers as she is also pregnant with their first child! Yes, he's way too young for this yet we know God has a special purpose for all they are going through. Please keep them covered in prayer throughout the day as they plan on surgery lasting around 12 hours! I'll keep you updated as I get updates.

Until next time . . . pray hard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Susan and Monty

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Welcome New York

I'm going to open this with a direct response to a comment from Sean -- I have no other way to answer him --- Sean --- so glad you are heading this direction and YES -- we are extremely close to finishing Mel and Billie's and just might have their house blessing by the end of next week. Please find someone who has my phone number and keep in touch with me. We would love to see a bunch of you back here to celebrate God's miracles with this house and family!

We trust all of you had a wonderful Easter. We were able to attend a local church service that was absolutely amazing and what an Easter celebration should be!

And then came Monday morning with our newest team all the way from New York! There are 10 of them and they are working between Mel and Billie's and Joyce's. For a Monday they were amazing as they went right to work with their projects and were rolling full steam ahead today.

Joyce located a friend of hers (photo) who was an amazing blessing today -- he not only donated his time to spray the popcorn texture on her family room ceiling -- he knew how to blow the glitter on it too! Yes, she had gold glitter on her ceiling and most definitely wanted it back that way. We thought of every way possible to do it ourselves and then she came up with "Sell" who was awesome. I think he had a blast with the volunteers also! Her health is fine and she was smiling from ear to ear at the progress. Sadly -- we did finally call in a professional plumber as her tub is still causing problems and I have thrown my hands up waving the white flag! She isn't concerned -- that's Joyce!
Mel and Billie are getting trim put up and a garden planted in front of their house. Their master bedroom is nearly complete and ready for the floors to be painted. Yes, we are painting their floors a beautiful brown and it should really set everything off. Billie made it back from an extended stay with her sister and was more than smiling when she saw her kitchen and how it's nearly all together! Good to have her back home!
In all of this we are still trying to come up with a solution with our insurance on the roof of our own trailer. I have to call them again Thursday and see where we are. Not fun!
On another note -- Thresa called me this morning asking for prayers for her brother. His health is extremely poor and causing quite a bit of stress throughout the family. Please keep them all in your prayers as God is in the business of working miracles and that's just what's needed here!
Tomorrow morning is my weekly UMCOR meeting and I hope all my ducks are in a row. We are working on scheduling with us and the PDA camp as they have quite a few teams coming in over the next weeks and we are trying to spread them throughout the area not only working with Monty and I but also on the island of Galveston and the south side of Houston. Thank the Lord they are still coming! What a great joint venture this has been -- Methodist and Presbyterian working together for the sole purpose of helping others! Jesus is pleased!
Until next time . . . help someone else and be blessed yourself! Susan and Monty

Thursday, April 01, 2010

It's what day?

Here I am -- as if April 1st isn't enough of a shock -- it's Thursday?! Where did the week go?

Yesterday was spent at the UMCOR office, all of us all day, helping get paperwork organized. What a job it was but with all of us pitching in we got it done in one day! Each receipt copied and matched with each homeowner -- what a daunting task but we all have a new appreciation for Heidi who not only does this for here but also for the camp in Beaumont, Texas! Multi-tasking on an entirely new level!

Today Monty spent the day back at Brian and Carol's getting their newly purchased FEMA trailer properly strapped down to the county's requirements. The deadline was today and they made it. It also required the deck to be relocated and secured. Once again all those trailers Monty did as a kid and wondered why in the world he was doing that? God's perfect preparation!

I had to break down and purchase another printer as our little one we've loved for the past 5 years plus finally died! All I wanted was a small size printer, no fax, no scanner, no anything else -- and boy oh boy am I behind the times with that request! It took looking at 3 stores before finally finding one and although it's not as small as I would like, it works! Size is extremely important when your office area is also your eating area! Now I can get back to finishing our Easter newsletter and hopefully get them printed out and in the mail over the weekend. If you don't receive one and would like to please leave a comment on this blog with your info and I'll make sure you get one.

We are all "off" for tomorrow -- Good Friday. I have been searching for a local church so we can attend a worship service and am surprised at how many do not offer a service! All my life I have gone to church on Good Friday and I guess I need to search a bit further. I do hope all of you will find yourselves in a local service. It truly is a "good" Friday -- what if Jesus had decided He couldn't go through it? Where would we be? Scary thought!

Until next time . . . thank you Jesus!!! Susan and Monty

PS Almost forgot --- the neighbor's cat gave birth to 5 of the yellowist babies I've ever seen and the entire family is quite at home in the cat house we built for them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!