Monday, June 28, 2010


First and foremost we ask for prayers -- that what is currently tropical storm Alex will not become hurricane Alex and will not come crashing into the Texas area! Our God is almighty and ruler over the winds and the waves in the seas and with all our prayers coming together miracles can happen. After all, miracles are just prayers that have been answered!

The past week has been filled with all sorts of things, things we have missed out on while in the field. The photos show our grandchildren -- Luke at his final baseball game where they received their trophies. It was so fun to see them hit the ball off the tee and run the bases! The other photo is them when they came to our house yesterday and saw a small dog for the first time! They have a rather huge chocolate lab at home and their other grandparents also have large dogs. They were amazed at how Bitty can jump and how fast she runs! It was such a joy to see the expressions on their faces and to hear Liv beg to bring Bitty home with her! Oh how we have missed those small priceless moments!

We also spent most of the weekend once again working outside in our yard. We got some of the trees trimmed and more weeds and quite unruly and unwanted shrubs removed. Monty got a bit overheated as the heat index here was near 100. Without the humidity we are used to he forgot to drink enough water but a bit of rest and he was good as new.

Today has a couple of things in store. One is a trip to Monty's heart doctor for a long awaited check up. Although he has been feeling fine he is way overdue for that annual checkup.

From there we will be headed to see the grandkids again -- the family needs a ceiling light fixture hung and a large mirror hung on the wall. They've been doing a bit of work in their own house and need a bit of help with these. It's a good excuse for us to see everyone anyway.

We heard from Timothy this morning -- always a good way to start the day. He and his wife are busy getting their own house completed -- too bad it's just not closer to us! :(

Yesterday was church and it seems our assistant pastor will be undergoing surgery sometime this week to remove the cancerous area on his colon. Another friend of ours is facing surgery to remove both his stomach and esophogus --- not a simple surgery and so both can use your added prayers.

Although the days seem to fly by we are trying to get some rest. Not being awaken by an alarm is a pleasant change and I think Monty is enjoying watching television way into the night! The thing I find most awesome is being able to wash clothes and not have to put quarters into the machine -- and to wash whenever I want to! It's also nice to have full sets of pots and pans and dishes and to cook meals once again -- real meals! Those little things that aren't so little when we are out in the field.

Once again, please pray for all who might be in the path of this storm -- pray that it blows out long before any damage can happen anywhere!

Until next time . . . blessings to all of you! Susan and Monty

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

58 Years!!!!!

Happy 58th wedding anniversary to my parents!!!! Awesome! What a blessing you have been to all of us kids and who knows how many others over the years!!! I love being your daughter and love both of you!
Today was the day when we had to face reality --- Timothy could not stay with us forever! This morning we sadly put him on a plane home. He was a blessing beyond words over these past 3 weeks, helping us pack up and make the long trip home, helping us with anything and everything we needed to try and get settled in and being a friend like no other! We thank his wife, Lindsay, for sharing him with us for so long and we look forward to meeting her some day soon! To Timothy -- we love you more than you know!
My brother Ross and his daughter Katy and her two boys also left for home this afternoon. It's hard to believe how quickly the weekend past by. It was good to see them and my only wish is that we could do it more often.
The rains continue to fall here -- and the winds with it. Monty's mother and step fathers home was hit hard last night. They said they were just straight line winds but they took out a barn, many trees and one of those trees landed on the truck. They were without power for quite some time but saved by their generator. Seems like every day the alarms go off for some kind of warning! Welcome back to the midwest!
Until next time . . . blessings to all. Susan and Monty

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Fathers Day

Of course, I am the one who forgot my camera!!!! Go figure?

Anyway, we had a fantastic Fathers Day, one that ended all too soon! Pastor Dave had a wonderful message about the importance of fathers -- something we all needed to hear whether we are fathers or mothers!

From there we were off to my parents for what turned out to be a family reunion! My brother and a daughter and her two boys from Florida were there, his other daughter and her daughter from Missouri were also there along with the rest of the clan that lives right there. It was awesome to see them -- first time to see the baby from Missouri and who knows how long it had been since I saw her mother! My son and daughter in law along with my daughter, son in law and two grandchildren were also there. My youngest daughter spent the day under the weather and was missed greatly by all.

As always with my family, the laughter was most likely heard in the next county! The stories went on all day long and into the night. The best had to do with my brother in Florida and his pink house and his guy who mows his lawn!!!!!!!!!!! Priceless and left us all in tears with sore stomachs from all the laughter!

By the time we arrived back home it was nearly midnight --- and I felt both happy and sad inside. Happy that we were all together and sad that it was only for a day! One of the things we miss so much while we are out in the field is family. Yes, we meed so many amazing people who welcome us into their homes and lives and they do become family to us. But . . . there's nothing like being in the midst of blood relatives, feeling the warmth and love and sharing in the stories and in their lives and seeing us all "sort of" grow up!

I will admit that having one brother and myself referred to as grandparents takes some getting used to! :) Even though we are all getting older it makes no difference. As we all sat around the table sharing our meal and lives and seeing the smiles on our parents faces --- I think -- I know it was a great blessing to both our parents and all the rest of us.

It was the best kind of Fathers day a family could have!

Ross, Sarah and Peyton, Katy and Logan and Dylan and the rest of the "crew" -- it sure was good to see all of you and it feels so good to be home!!!!!!!!!! I love you all and only wish we could get together alot !!!!!!!!!! more often!

God bless each and every one of you as you head back home! I know how much of a blessing it was for me to see all of you and I am so very thankful to have such an amazing family! Thanks Mom and Daddy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We all turned out pretty good didn't we!!!!!!!!!!??????????

Until next time . . . how about calling one of your family members that you don't see very often!
Susan and Monty

Friday, June 18, 2010

Happy Birthday David

Today is Monty's son, Davids birthday and we would like to wish him a blessed and great day! We miss you but hope we can see you sometime while we are home (he lives in Detroit).

With Timothys continued help we are still making progress in getting things put back together around home. He has worked on both trucks with still more to do. The gears in Monty's Ford need some major work and we are weighing our options along with costs. Mine just needs some tire alignment and our local Tire and Wheel buddies can take care of that for me.

Yesterday I met my old boss, his wife and their boss for lunch. It was good to see them and spend a bit of time with them.

Monty and Timothy were asked to meet with the missions Pastor at one of the local churches here. We have done presentations to them over the years in hopes of raising some financial support but to date . . . This meeting sounded a bit more hopeful and I will be putting together another presentation next week so please keep all of us in your prayers!

Speaking of prayers, we just learned that one of the pastors here at our home church has been diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his colon! Please keep both he and his wife in your prayers as there are also some other complications. Our God is all powerful and all healing and we pray for both for Tom.

This afternoon Timothy and I got to spend some time with my nieces. Katy and her boys are up from Florida to visit and with it being her birthday we knew exactly what she would want to do to celebrate --- go horseback riding! We had a great time, laughed alot and I know Katy has the pictures to prove it! My brother (her dad) also flew in today and Katy's sister will fly in tomorrow so this Sunday is a big family reunion for all of us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!

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

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tune Up -- Fill Up

Yesterday Monty and his family attended the funeral of his grandmother's brother. It was a good time to see everyone and I know they were glad to see him.

Timothy and I headed off to dig up some hosta plants that seem to be flourishing at my daughters house. She was thrilled to have us dig up some and bring them here to replant where I pulled out some old and dying shrubs. Timothy also measured for some new flooring that they want us to "help" install sometime in the next month. It was a quick chance to see them and the grandkids once again! Priceless!

The rest of the day I spent powerwashing -- the decks that have more paint peeling than sticking on them! What an enormous mess! I also managed to clean most of the exterior of the house and guttering. I think I had more water and chipped paint on me than anyplace else! It was good to get it done which means my next step is to sand the heck out of each deck -- clean down to nothing and then prime and repaint them both!

Timothy worked on trucks -- and then worked some more on trucks!

By the time Monty arrived home we were both quite tired. And then the storms came in -- black skies and blowing winds and pouring rains -- along with 2 tornado touch downs someplace near here. We escaped damage but tonight looks like it might be worse!

Today I got the first chance I've had to get some refilling of my own. I returned to a Bible Study held in the next town to the south and it was awesome!!!!!!!!!!! A woman pastor holds it each week and as we were driving home God was quite clear in telling me I needed to be at that Bible study each week! He was right! It was all about fear and the power it has when we let it in! Believe me -- I'll be there next week and each week here after.

And once again -- the guys were under the trucks working on problems and getting things done. Timothy and his "gear head" is amazing and such a blessing to us. Having older trucks and putting the amount of miles on them that we do is tough on them. Keeping them maintained is also tough and now that we have the time and Timothy with his knowlege - thank you Lord!

I also spoke with Alan back in Texas today and all is going well there. This is a big week of over 200 volunteers so many homeowners are getting closer and closer to being done while others are just beginning! He and his family will be heading up here to Indiana in August and we will be sure and get together and catch up on all sorts of things! Family!

We are so thankful to be home, to be able to get some much needed work done on so many levels and we are thankful to all of you for continuing your support of our disaster ministry. This is catch up time along with preparation time -- catching up on needed things and preparing for the next adventure.

Until next time . . . bless you! Susan and Monty

Sunday, June 13, 2010


The past few days have been nothing short of a whirlwind!

Accomplishments -- the yard is now free of any dead and/or overgrown shrubs. The grass has been mowed and the shrubs trimmed. The trees are still waiting for their turn. The mower was also repaired to make the mowing even possible. The garbage disposal is now "unlocked" and working like a charm. The broken kitchen drawer is also repaired and rolling once again. The "items" removed from the camper trailer are more organized and atleast findable (if that's a word).

Things remaining -- you don't want these things listed! Being away from our house for 3 years makes this list just way too long . . . but . . . we will get to them in due time!

Yesterday was a great day -- a reminder of the blessings of family and being home to enjoy them! It was the celebration for my granddaughter's 2nd birthday. She and her 5 year old brother had a blast! She had already made the decision, and was quite vocal about it, about the kind of party she wanted --- a Princess party! Princess it was!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The dress up shoes, bracelet and earrings she had on when she greeted us at the door were only the beginning -- there were plenty more Princess gifts waiting. She got everything from more dress up clothes, shoes and jewelry to a Princess phone and a Princess big wheel! She smiled with each one and when it came time for cake she had to have one of the flowers! Priceless!

Prior to the party we went to visit some of our old friends and had fun remembering and laughing and sharing life in general. It was a double blessing to see that all have "grown up" and are doing well!

After the party we were able to have dinner with my parents and share even more laughs. By this time Timothy either thinks we are all insane or . . .

At the end of the day I had a feeling that I haven't had in a long time --- the ability to see family and friends is indeed priceless. Having all my "kids" in one spot -- long enough to even get a photo -- really warmed my heart and was just what I needed. Being out in the field God has always placed an abundance of children in my path and getting to know and love them lessens the pain of missing my own. But . . . yesterday was great and I thank God for allowing us to be here and share in all the joy of family!

This morning we were able to see more of our church family and Monty and Timothy are actually taking a much needed nap as I write this.

Tomorrow we will be back at it. Monty has a family funeral to attend, the brother of his grandmother passed away last week.

Timothy and I will come up with more to do, no doubt about that. He plans on staying with us another week before heading back to his awesome wife in Florida!

I did get an email from the UMCOR team in Texas saying how much they missed us. I think of them and the homeowners every single day! I have talked with some of the homeowners and all are doing well. Next week is a huge week of volunteers and I will check up on them all and see how they are progressing! It's tough to have your heart in more than one place!

Until next time we thank all of you who continue to hold us up in prayer and help support us financially. Without YOU our ministry would not be able to continue. We WILL be back out in the field at the end of our sabbatical -- exactly where God sends us!

Blessings and love to all. Susan and Monty

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

You want me to do WHAT?

First of all -- I can't believe that the last blog entry was number 1,000!!!! Sure surprised me!
Anyway --- what a whirlwind the past days have been!
We have unloaded and unloaded and tried to find room for everything but . . . impossible! Having to unload every single thing in the trailer was unbelievable but it was successful. Monday took us to my parents house for dinner and to meet up with one of the case managers I had there. Eric wrote a book about the Columbus floods and it was so good to see him and a few others that worked on the long term recovery team. It was soooo good to see my parents --we both have missed them so very much!
Yesterday was our trip to Elkhart to take our trailer for its roof replacement. The trip seemed excruciatingly long -- just too many hours of driving over the last week! We did make it there by very late afternoon and were back here quite late at night. They assured us they would take care of the roof and give the entire thing a "good going over" so we are very thankful for that. The heat has taken its toll on the caulking and some other things. They should have it done in about 2 or 3 weeks and that's fine with us since we don't need it until the end of July for the RV Rally in Louisville, Kentucky.
The above photos are priceless! Servanthood at its finest! Timothy was trying to make his feet smell better and Monty knew the remedy using tea. He soaked forever and Monty got a kick out of washing his feet for him! These two are amazing and have made life such a joy through all this transition!
Today they headed off to get some repairs done on trucks while I continued working in my landscaping and yard. When you're gone for over 3 years things get a bit grown up and are a real mess --- but --- a day at a time and I'll get it all back in shape. I so enjoy working in the yard so it's a form of therapy for me!
Tomorrow . . . who knows! What I do know is that God is blessing us with Timothy for the remainder of this week and hopefully all of next -- even with today being his 3rd wedding anniversary!!!! Thanks for sharing him with us Lindsay!!!!
Until next time . . . blessings to all. Susan and Monty

Sunday, June 06, 2010

I almost forgot

I almost forgot what space was like, what it was to be able to walk all the way around the bed to make it each morning, for both Monty and I to be able to be in the bathroom at the same time, to stand side by side at the sinks and brush our teeth, to be able to open windows and feel the cool breeze pouring in, to have a full size refrigerator, to be able to wash cloths without putting quarters in both the washer and the dryer, to be able to shower and leave the water running knowing there is plenty of hot water . . .
I could go on and on . . . seeing my youngest daughter and holding her in my arms while tears stream down my face, playing with my grandson and his Hot Wheels and with my granddaughter as she asks for the Jesus book to be read before taking her nap, seeing my middle daughter and talking about helping them install new flooring in their home, having breakfast with my inlaws and having my mother in law sit with us in church, going to our home church and soaking up each and every hug wishing they would never end, talking with church family and realizing we will be able to be here when Susie has her first baby (Pastor Dave's daughter), seeing how the kids have grown and how some have kids of their own now . . .
I could keep going but . . .
The above photos --- we will NEVER be able to thank Timothy for everything he has done, is doing and will continue to do over the next couple of weeks while he stays with us. The laughter has been unlimited and side splitting and life giving.
You can also see how it is an "episode" for us all to gas up while traveling! And of course Monty and Timothy -- priceless!
And last but not least is Bitty while riding for 27 hours in the truck! Her face says it all! They have done nothing but run and look out each and every window of the house the past 2 days at home. And they are exhausted!
We have managed to unload every single item in our camper trailer, thanks to our neighbor Shelley's help, and have it packed in a spare room for now! And I truly mean packed! This week, most likely Tuesday, we will be taking it to Elkhart to the factory for them to install our new roof! And then we will bring it back and reload it with everything! It has to stay ready to roll, all things inside stay there, they aren't brought into the house for use, they have to be in place and ready for the next adventure God has for us.
Many, many things around the house need attention -- 3 years is a long time for it to sit empty! One by one, day by day we will get them done! Timothy will be a blessing beyond words because when Monty says "we" will be doing this or "we" will be doing that ---- it doesn't mean me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Until next time . . . look at your own home with a new appreciation and realize how blessed you are! Susan and Monty

Friday, June 04, 2010

HOME --- after nearly 3 years!

Yep -- 27 hours of drive time in a 3 day time period -- and we arrived home late this afternoon! The trip was uneventful -- thank you Lord -- and the scenery was beautiful. It was just a very !!! long trip. Home looked so good and feels a bit weird right now.

Having Timothy with us is a blessing that cannot be fully expressed in words! He has guided us, he has a sense of humor that is priceless and that helped us with a couple of "events" that go along with traveling! :)

Now we get things settled, or as much as possible for the next 3 months.

Tomorrow will be the unloading of every single thing inside the trailer to prepare for the trip to Elkhart to have the roof replaced and necessary repairs done. Monty and Timothy will be taking care of the unloading to allow me time to spend with my grandchildren!

My youngest daughter and her boyfriend came over to see us this evening and what a sight for my sore eyes! I haven't seen her in nearly 2 years and I just couldn't hold back the tears of joy! I am continually amazed at how quickly they grown into adults and so proud of each of my children and thank God for the blessing they are. And tomorrow I get to see my grandson and granddaughter!!!! And next will come our parents, siblings and extended family along with all our church family! How awesome that will be!

For now, we try and unwind, try and let our minds relax a bit, try and spread out in our home, try and get used to the spreading out, try and catch up with hugs with neighbors, family and friends and thank God for this break!

We thank you for keeping us covered in prayers. Remember to stay tuned as we will still be in touch with our team in Texas and at the same time seeing what God is planning for our next adventure.

For now ----------------- REST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until next time . . . Lord, thank you for our home! Susan and Monty

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Miles behind us and miles to go

Yep -- we are officially out of the great state of Texas!

We were up at 4am this morning and were on the road by 5:30 -- we knew we had to get through that Houston traffic very early!

The roads were great, a couple of missed exits and some recalculating but we did very well. The camper trailer is pulling great, especially since Monty and Timothy were able to lighten the weight by putting tools in the trucks and not the camper.

Thank goodness Timothy is with us! Not only is he making the trip easier -- the laughter is awesome and priceless! He has taken the lead with his all powerful GPS and I am bringing up the rear keeping watch over the back of the trailer as Monty pulls it down the roads.

We made it across the Texas border into Arkansas and that was it for today. The guys were exhausted and are both asleep as I write this -- fully clothed and most likely won't wake up until the morning!

We still have many, many miles to go and most likely won't get home tomorrow either. The weather has storms predicted so we'll see how it goes . . . but each mile north is a mile closer!

Please help keep us covered in prayer as this is the most important thing we need.

Thank you and bless you for everything you do to keep us following God's calling on our lives!

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