Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Roof . . . Broken Truck(s) ?

This was the view from our front window at 8am yesterday morning.  The roofers were here to put our new roof on.  The men were unloading their tools and tarping all around the house to try and catch as much of the debris as possible.

The noise was enough to send the dogs into a day long tizzy of barking and fearfully trying to hide.  The scraping of the old shingles, the stapling of the new felt paper, the unloading of the shingles onto the roof and the nail gun nailing on the new ones was nearly deafening at times.  Amazingly they were done with everything, even the cleanup, and pulling away from the house before 3pm!
And here is the finished product!!!!  No, we don't live in a storage barn but the way our house sits is up too high for me to get a good picture of the roof so . . . the storage barn is the best view I can give you.  I love the green shingles and we are both very thankful to the insurance company and the workers who did such a great job!

Monty spent the day at work and with his truck (once again) in the shop.  This time it was some sort of switch and thankfully they got it fixed without charging us 3 arms and 4 legs!!!!! 

My truck ---- well ---- today my neighbor is changing out the broken fuel pump!  Since there are 2 fuel tanks that means 2 fuel pumps and with the first (and largest) one out it was time to get something done.  The truck has been missing when I drive it so time was of the essence.  Steve is working on it as I write and I pray it will all go smoothly as it isn't an easy job!  These are the kind of neighbors everyone should be blessed with!

So I had to miss Bible study!  Sad for me!

I did make it to Lowes to order 2 more boxes of flooring for Michael's and to pick up the bifold door jams.  He and his family have been continuing on the installation of the flooring and this morning he told me they only need 2 more boxes.  Seems 3 boxes were damaged on both ends making it impossible to use them so I will get them returned.  They are doing a great job and will be finished as soon as these next boxes arrive, hopefully in the next couple of days!  I can't wait to see it myself!  Then it will be on to the kitchen --- praying for God's continued provision!

Tomorrow is "leap" day.  We all get one more day to enjoy being a blessing to others!  What can you do to make someone elses day a bit better and put a bit larger smile on their face?

Until next time . . . God bless you all.                                        Susan and Monty

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Word of God is alive and active . . .

Michael and his family had worked all the evening before; moving out all the materials, scraping the floors, shopvacing them and getting them ready for the start of flooring.  What a great job they all did as it saved us alot of time on Saturday morning.  All we had to do was go in and get started.

Rob started with preparing the bathroom floors for the vinyl.  He layed down the luan flooring to assure that the surface would be smooth and flat.  It gets stapled to the existing subfloor.

From there the sheet of vinyl is layed out in the family room floor, marked and cut to fit.   Keith and Michael keep an eye on Rob either making sure he's cutting it properly or learning how to do it themselves??!!

Meanwhile Cody is making sure all the staples are sunk in the flooring as they should be.  Can't have even one sticking up or the vinyl will get torn.

Now it's time to dip the paint roller in the adhesive and cover the newly laid luan flooring and then smooth the vinyl down.  Then Rob takes a very heavy roller to roll over and make certain there are no bubbles underneath.  Then . . . done!

During all of Rob's process Keith is in the back end of Michael's bedroom preparing to install the laminate flooring that will cover the rest of the house.  The insulated foam padding is laid down first, which protects from moisture and helps as a noise barrier.  Then, strip by strip the flooring is measured and cut to fit and put into place.

Once Zac arrived he jumped in to be Keith's assistant.  It's a great teaching opportunity as Zac and Cody and family will take over the flooring installation during this upcoming week when volunteers have to go back to work. 

Mid afternoon brought Sus and Schel over to see all the progress.  Schel immediately got involved in an electrical "issue" which really turned out to be rather funny in the end.  As they looked and tested and searched Sus and I said a quick prayer that God would "reveal the hidden."  Within seconds they realized that an electrical box had been covered over when the walls were installed and ta-da, the problem was fixed when the box was opened up and wired in!  Atleast Sus and I were smiling!!!

The day was an amazing day!  The team ended up working until dinner time when Sus and Schel treated them to a bean dinner being held at one of the local churches!  What a great time for all of them and what a great blessing to work all day and then have such a blessed ending!

The flooring looks great and is a dramatic change --- but --- the most dramatic change is in Michael's face!  His smile would cover the earth if possible!  Zac and I were talking about it when we happened to be outside at the same time.  I overheard Zac make a screeching noise and at first thought he was frustrated about something.  When I asked him -- he said he was just so excited for Michael that he had to "let it out!"  That joy of the Lord thing combined with the Word being alive and active!

Our deepest thanks to all who have been sacrificing their "days off" to come and be a blessing.  I know each and every one of you has been, and will continue to be, blessed in return!

Until next time . . . is your faith alive and ACTIVE???                  Susan and Monty

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

After 40 days --- he's a winner!

About 6 weeks ago Monty had his regular appointment with his cardiologist.  His heart is just fine but the doctor "suggested" that Monty drop atleast 25 pounds! 

He's never been on a diet in his life!!!!  All throughout his childhood and early adult years he was so skinny that when working in pest control he could knock out a cement block in someone's foundation and fit himself through it!

Those years have come and gone . . . and a few pounds crept in.

So . . . seeing as how everyone else at his place of work felt they also needed and wanted to drop some weight they made it into a game.  41 days ago they all had an official weigh in, documented it on paper, complete with signatures, and decided that at the end of 40 days they would weigh in again and the one who lost the most weight would get the prize of $1.00 per pound of weight lost from each of the 4 people who did not win! 

Who says adding a monetary prize at the end doesn't work?

This morning was the official weigh in and Monty WON ---- he's lost 16 pounds in 40 days!!!!!!!!

I give him credit -- he's worked very hard!  I know about nutrition and took the opportunity to "purge" the house and have been having alot of fun cooking low calorie meals and have been following a 1200 calorie per day diet plan each day.  Now we all know that I could make as many low calorie meals as I want but he had to do his part.  He has done so well and we have actually enjoyed all of this.  He wants to continue and try his best to drop the rest of the weight and then maintain a good weight.

For now --- I am just so happy and proud of him for sticking to it -- for being dedicated --- and for now feeling the physical results too!  He has more energy, he says he can tie his shoes with ease and laughed when he had to "remake" his belt and purchase suspenders to keep his britches from falling down around his ankles!

And of course, the financial winning just adds to the fun!  Great job Monty!!!

Of course, if this was the man you worked for you would understand the fun side of working!!!!!  How can you not smile when looking at this?????

Until next time . . . keep going Monty!!!    I love you, even with there being less of you!!!!!!    :)
Susan and Monty

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The provision of angels


Another angel has come forth and today I was able to order and pay for the flooring for all of Michael's new home!!!!!!

Once again God provides just what we need just when we need it.  Never too early and never too late, always right on time!

It was fun getting it ordered as the men at the contractors counter know me quite well by now and enjoy hearing what we are doing.  The man who takes care of me actually remembered when Michael was in his motorcycle accident all those years ago.  I didn't even give his name, Jerry just remembered and was amazed as I told him how this all came about and how it's going.  You could see the light in his eyes and the fire in his heart as he thought about regular people just coming together with hands and feet to help and donated funds!

Many times I have said this and I will continue to do so . . . we all need to remember that we might be the only Jesus some people ever get to see . . . so . . .

Many heartfelt thanks to the two latest angels who have stepped up and stepped out and provided more than just funds for flooring --- they have provided hope and life and love!

Until next time . . . bless someone else today and show them the heart of Jesus!    Susan and Monty

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

LOVE ---- it's the first and foremost command Jesus gave us!

Today is Valentine's Day -- and this is what I woke up to this morning!!!!!!

God blessed me with a husband who understands that command from Jesus!

I see miracles every day thanks to Monty!

I love you Monty and I thank God for bringing us together!

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!

Until next time . . . take the risk and show your love today!             Susan and Monty

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Michael

It was (and still is) bitter cold out today and the snow was just enough to blanket the ground (and make our steps very slick) but we headed off to Michael's to do some thorough cleaning. 

My first stop was the usual, Lowes.  I got the vinyl for the bathrooms floors, the adhesive to make sure it sticks down well and the underlayment to make certain it has a really smooth surface.  Rob was not sure if he would make it today or not since he is helping his daughter with her science project but whenever he gets there he has materials and can be ready to work.

Keith was busy finishing up the paint.  He is excellent at the cut in work and as you can see, working around the ceiling trim isn't easy.  Yes, in a perfect world all the trim would wait until all the painting is done but . . .

This was the first time Keith's younger son, Joey, came to help.  His older brother, Jonathan, has been quite a few times but today he was working on a Habitat for Humanity project and Joey decided to come.  Here he is doing what most kids wouldn't have a clue how to do --- clean the shower!  He's even smiling (I asked him to do so) and I think he was actually having a good time!  He got them spotless and cleaning up after construction can be a tough job!

When he finished with the showers he moved on to cleaning the ceiling fans and lights!  What a great kid! 

John started out by trying to help me stop the leaking in my front fuel tank.  Since the fuel pump went out and the tank was full when it did, the fuel has been slowing leaking down the side of the truck.  John was able to siphon a small amount but we found out there's a security screen inside that keeps people from siphoning the fuel!  So . . . he was able to get enough out that I don't think it will leak now! 

Next John moved on to taking out trash and also helping clean the showers. 

Between all of us we got it pretty well cleaned up and managed to stay warm in the process. 

Michael was not feeling well at all --- a really nasty cold that he's been battling all week -- and to top it all off ---- I didn't even know that TODAY IS HIS BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So . . . HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHAEL!!!!!  Sorry you feel so yucky!  May our Almighty Healer have you up and well quickly!!!!

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

Friday, February 10, 2012

Ta - Da

There she is!  All repaired and actually in better condition than before the tornado struck!  Perfection in every area.

The weather today was a tough one!  The snow was blowing and the temperatures were really cold.  To top it off, when I arrived the men were waiting on help as they had locked the keys in their truck and one of them had their coat inside the truck!  And they were laughing hysterically!  He also had so many cuts on his hands -- but the cold helped that -- he said he couldn't feel them!   What servant hearts!

Putting their heads together working out those special cuts . . . notice the ones who don't even have gloves on!
This is the damage upstairs!  When the roof was torn off and the chimney damaged the water came inside.  This is where the chimney meet the ceiling in the upstairs bedroom.  Mark has been working on it and atleast in this picture all the yucky stuff has been removed and even before noon today he had it looking amazing!  He came back -- after working a full day at his job -- and continued working on these areas.  He will be back in the morning and probably will be able to prime it and paint it and have it also look better than it did before! 

Billy lends a hand in putting on the trim around the ceiling in the dining room.  He had saved  - and marked each piece as he took it down before we started!  We did have to replace a couple of pieces but were able to match the stain and once again - beautiful!
This is the whole crew!  Pastor Randy is on the far left and Billy is on the far right!  The smiles say it all! 
It's been amazing to work with these men this week and I look forward to offering them another project and watching them change the lives of other homeowners --- and their own!

Tomorrow I head to Michael's where we will be doing a thorough cleaning in the trailer in preparation for installation of the flooring.  I will stop at Lowes first to pick up the vinyl for both bathrooms and we are still standing on God's promise of provision for the rest of the flooring.  We will be ready when God sends it!

Until next time . . . thanks so much to the Hartsville team!  You guys are super awesome and may Gos super bless you for your service!                                    Susan and Monty

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Irony --- at its finest!

They continued moving upward all day today!  Most of their focus was on the soffits and facia areas.  This is where their perfectionism really counts!

It takes total concentration when you are working this high off the ground --- and right in the place where the electrical lines come into the house!
He is busy focusing on making jut the right cut on his soffit material.
Scripture tells us that where two or three are gathered together God is right there in the midst of them.  Amen and amen!
Putting the peak on the facia and making it match perfectly!  If he gets his nose any closer to the house he'll have it resting on the power lines!
Meanwhile Mark works on the dining room ceiling.  He's sanding and sanding to get that perfectly smooth surface and will be priming before the evening is over.  He also has some major work to do upstairs around the area where the chimney goes through the house.  The chimney was severely damaged and has been completely rebuilt but the damage inside is extensive.  Mark will be working on that tonight and by Saturday no one will ever know there was any damage anywhere.  Mark has already worked a full time job today but he's still there, lending his expertise and bringing a smile to Billy's face.

Billy told me today that he's really going to miss these guys and will be lonely once again when they leave!  They will be back again tomorrow to finish up and I know Pastor Randy plans to make sure Billy isn't nearly as lonely as he used to be.

And at the end of the afternoon Billy helped me load more than a rick of his seasoned firewood to take to Michael's this Saturday!  He wanted to be able to give back to someone else in some way and this is a good one!  Blessed to be a blessing!!!!!

Now for the irony --- I'm still amazed!

We have noticed that a few of our neighbors have been having new roofs put on over the past months.  We just chalked it up to the age of the homes (ours is approaching 20 years old) but still wondered.  So this morning Monty headed out to ask the roofers about it.  Before I know it the owner of the roofing company and Monty are back here and up on our roof. 

The surprise?  Our roof has quite a bit of damage from the same tornadoes that damaged Billy and Don!  Not only our roof --- but our siding is damaged and broken in areas that are above our heads and thus we haven't noticed!  I was shocked!  And after seeing for myself I was doublely shocked!  Seems nearly everyone here has damage and I shouldn't be surprised because we live less that a quarter mile from where the tornadoes touched down!  So . . . a call to our insurance to file the claim has me waiting on a phone call from their adjuster who I will turn over to the roofer and . . . looks like we will be getting a new roof of our own!

I had to laugh!  Here we are working on others homes and hadn't even thought to check our own!  It just shows Gods provision and reaffirms His promise that He will take care of us when we take care of others!

Until next time . . . am I really going to be picking out my own shingles and not someone elses????  :)
Susan and Monty

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Colder and climbing

My first picture as I arrived at Billy's this morning.  The laughter and smiles told me they didn't mind the cloudy skies and colder temperatures.  They were here to get the job done and getting it done they were.

With each strip of siding they are climbing higher and higher and having to extend the ladders taller and taller. 

As you can see by this picture -- the garage is basement level so reaching above the garage makes the heights a bit higher.  By the time he gets to the top of the second level he will actually be at the height of a third floor structure.  Obviously he has no fear of heights!!
Their attention to detail and perfectionism is amazing -- and much appreciated.  One thing we always stress to volunteers is that we are building homes for Jesus and thus we don't take the shortcuts.  Our goal is to do it the right way, not the quick way.  These men already have that ingrained in them and you can tell it by their work!
Each piece is placed with care and precision as they climb higher and higher and closer to the top.  They they will move on the to the facia and soffit repairs.
A good overview of the entire project and how they are insulating with new insulation as they move up with the siding.  What a difference this will make, especially since this side of the house faces west. 
The dining room ceiling looks fantastic!  The battle of using 12' sheets of sheetrock was well worth it.  The 4 pieces were a perfect fit and the only cutting required was the corner over the stairway!  The first coat of mud is on and after a bit of sanding they will be ready for the second coat.

Billy was once again all smiles.  He loves watching them work and having men enjoying spending time with him!  Relationships --- lifelines!!  Most of us just take them for granted.  Not Billy!

They are planning on returning tomorrow to continue working on the dining room ceiling and the facia and soffit outside.  Our hope is that the sun will return from behind the clouds but even if it doesn't -- the sun is still shining in all their hearts and anyone who steps on the property feels its warmth also!

Until next time . . . thanks Hartsville, Indiana!!!!                           Susan and Monty

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Billy's Blessings; Day 1

Early this morning I was off to Lowes to pick up all the material I had ordered yesterday.  The volunteers were on their way and ready to start both inside and outside.  The orders were already pulled from the shelves and the tickets ready for my signature and within 10 minutes I was out the door and on my way to the church for day 1 orientation.

These men drove all the way from Hartsville, Indiana; about an hour and a half away.  They didn't mind and even joked that some had not even eaten breakfast!  But they were ready to get to work.

Immediately after the orientation we headed to Billy's and he was also waiting and ready to go.  They got my truck of materials unloaded, which wasn't an easy task since they opted to work with 12' long sheetrock and it's a bear to handle, no matter how you do it.  They were up for the task and before long it was inside the house and they were off to rent a lift to make the installation process a bit easier.

The men outside were ready to start putting up the insulation which goes underneath the vinyl siding.  They had already removed all the old damaged siding yesterday and it would be loaded on my truck a bit later in the day.

I headed off to pick up the siding.  It had to be ordered from someplace else and they made it so easy to get all the details accomplished.  It was also loaded on the truck quickly and after lunch I would deliver it to the team.

At lunch time the team treated Billy to lunch at the local Steak and Shake and from the sounds of it they all had a really good time.

They came back and unloaded the siding and went straight to work.  The first starter pieces went up and from there the only direction they were concerned with was upwards!

By mid afternoon the men inside had nearly all the sheetrock on the ceiling in the dining room and were determined to work late enough in the day to get the first coat of mud on.  They were more than thankful that they had rented the lift and even found that to be a bit of a challenge since the room isn't all that large and manuevering was less than easy.  But the smiles on their faces and the sound of all their laughter proved that the joy of the Lord was in their hearts and nothing was too difficult for them.

Billy was smiling from ear to ear and working away like a little worker ant.  He had a magnet outside picking up nails from the roofers who put the new metal roof on a few months ago.  From there he was here and there -- the man loves to clean!  He told me today that his wife kept the house clean (she passed away in 2008) and he was determined to do the same!  He also told me that this was incredible and he was having so much fun!

God had this team selected for this time and for this project -- His divine connection once again shining through and telling me that He has it all under control! 

The "before" picture of the side of the house after the old damaged siding has been removed.
Here you can see the very first starter strips beginning to go up and Billy down by his basement garage picking up nails with his rolling magnet.  You can also see the retaining wall on the left that has fallen in and how the one on the right is leaning.  This team has plans to repair both!
Just an example of the smiles I was talking about!  Priceless!
Even with the lift (the yellow thing) hanging sheetrock that is 12 feet in length is a job!
Pastor Randy had the job of cranking the lift as the others make sure it's in the right place.  Tough to crank and look up at the same time!
The first pieces of siding are up.  It may be an uphill climb but the guys were laughing saying they were getting too warm!  This side of the house is on the west side and it was a very sunny day!  But they also know this is Indiana and tomorrow the weather could be totally different!  I told them they were good till the sun goes down!  They laughed!!!!!

Awesome day for the volunteers, for Billy and for me!  But even more awesome for God to see His people doing what He called them to do . . . help the people!

Thanks Pastor Randy and the Hartsville team!  We look forward to seeing you again tomorrow so be sure and stay tuned!

Until next time . . . remember -- we may be the only Jesus someone sees!            Susan and Monty

Sunday, February 05, 2012

New mercies every morning

The two pictures below show the awesome job Monty did with the skirting on Michael's trailer!  Most of it was donated from another trailer that had been relocated, the rest was purchased with the funds that came in from donating angels!
This is the front, sign still in tact and showing everyone who drives by just Who is in charge here!
View of the back - which will also transform when we get to adding the deck and ramp!

Yesterday the focus at Michael's was getting the ceilings painted.  Michael's cousin, Cody was ready and waiting when I arrived with the painting supplies.  Keith was on his way as soon as he finished at the car lot.  His son is now driving age so the car Keith has been driving was passed down and Keith got the chance to get himself a new one!  And even after all that (we all know what a hassle that can be) he came and worked at painting!

Rob also came and by the end of the day they had nearly all the painting completed.  Keith will return this next weekend to finish the cut in -- he does such a great job that we gave the entire job to him!

I had to be in and out early as I still had to drop a work bench to our secretary and her husband in their new home.  The rains didn't help things but it got done and I was on my way back home to spend the rest of the day with my mother, my aunt and my daughter and her family.

It was fun taking my mother and aunt to see my daughter's family's new house.  She has worked so hard in decorating and it's just so beautiful! 

We all got to enjoy a nice luncheon together and from there their family had plans with the kids and we headed out to do a bit of grocery shopping.  By the time we got home it was time for them to head home.  A great way to spend a cool and rainy day!

This morning Michael and Cody came to our church.  Everyone was so excited to meet Michael and get the chance to put a face to all the work the've been hearing about.  I know he was a bit embarrased when he was introduced but I think the warmth of the people crowded around him at the end of the service took the embarrassment away!  He and Cody were still visiting when we left!

And now we are heading into a new week!

Tomorrow I will be getting a materials listing for Billy's house and the work will begin there on Tuesday morning!  Pastor Randy and his church and his friends are going to take on the entire project!  What a blessing!  So they will start with replacing the ceiling in his dining room and then move outside to replace all the siding on one side of the house and repair both sides of what used to be retaining walls before the tornado.  We are so thankful to Pastor Randy and Mark for taking on the whole thing and know Billy will have his socks blessed right off his feet --- as will the volunteers doing the work!

So be sure and stay tuned . . .

Until next time . . . pray for a safe Super Bowl this evening!!!!                   Susan and Monty

Friday, February 03, 2012

Another Angel?!

Yep -- another pair of angels came out of nowhere and made it possible for Monty to go and purchase the remaining skirting for Michael's new home!  So early this morning he was headed to shop and got it all done by early this evening.  He said it looks beautiful and completely transforms the look of the place.

I know what a good job he does, the perfectionist he is, and that God blessed his hands as he worked today.

The weather was perfect and now the skirting will further protect Michael from the cold and critters and just make it look like a real home!

We are so very grateful for this new pair of angels and once again thank them for their obedience when God put it on their hearts to give -- and to God for His perfect provision.

I am heading to Michael's first thing in the morning and will have pics for my next post.  Tomorrow the focus will be on painting all the ceilings white. It is the final touch and will really make everything look crisp and clean.  The walls are already to perfection so now let's have matching ceilings.  I called Keith as he is our awesome cut - in man and he will also be there bright and early.

While Monty was finishing the skirting I was helping our church secretary and her family move out of their newly sold home.  We packed box after box and loaded them into the bed of my truck and then went and unloaded them.  I don't know how many trips we made but it was alot and we got alot done.  I have no doubt that they will be working late into the night as they wanted to clean the house for the new incoming homeowners and there were still a few things to pack. 

They also called Habitat for Humanity's local Restore and they came and picked up many great things that the family donated!  Many other families will be blessed by these donations.

By evening we were both quite tired and yet fully enjoyed our day. 

Tomorrow will bring my mother and aunt here for a nice visit.  They want to see my daughter and son in law's new home and we also plan on treating ourselves to a nice lunch somewhere.

We hope all of you will be cheering for your favorite Super Bowl team this weekend.  It's been fun for us, watching the local news - we live less than an hour from Indianapolis!  Go teams!

Until next time . . . there ARE angels among us!  Watch for them!             Susan and Monty

Wednesday, February 01, 2012


An angel told me Michael is going to be getting his new flooring!!!!!!

This is the next BIG step in getting him closer to his brand new home!

Once again, God providing just what is needed right when it is needed.  He's amazing! 

This angel is equally amazing!

Are you able to be someone's angel today?????

Until next time . . . thank you, Michael's angel!!!!!!     :)             Susan and Monty

Almost forgot --- Michael made me promise I would post this picture of me doing his trim last Saturday!  I'm always the one behind the camera -- much more comfortable there but here you are Michael!   :)