Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Plea for Help

Will make this entry short and to the point.

Our disaster relief account is empty!!!!!

This is the account we use to help homeowners, to purchase tools to do the jobs and to keep our disaster relief going.

This account is separate from our personal account. 

We are in desperate need of funds for the disaster relief account and so . . . this is a plea for help.

For those of you who have donated in the past --- we sincerely thank you.

For those of you who haven't yet --- this is your chance to help rebuild lives by rebuilding their homes.

Tomorrow is the first day of hurricane season and we need to be able to be prepared . . . and an empty account isn't a good thing to start this season with.

Please take this to prayer and see what God would have you to do.

If you have questions, please leave a comment in the comments section.

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

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

No "I" in team

It's taken a team over the past few days.

Tom and his team worked on Friday, my birthday, and I was nowhere around.  They had all the materials they needed as I had brought in a load the night before.  Don even worked with them this time and he is thrilled with his new bedroom windows.

Today a miriad of things happened -- all with me out of commission. 

Lowes delivery of the special ordered counter tops arrived at Michael's and the Lowes commercial sales men themselves were there to unload them. Michael reports that they look really good and will look even better when Rob gets them set this Saturday.

Tom and team returned to Don's to continue the roof work. This time they did need materials and Don stepped up and had what they needed right when they needed them. 

Even though Tom will be gone for the rest of this week and in Florida next week the work will continue. 

I talked with Mark today and he will gather a team to start working on the inside.  We need to remove the destroyed carpeting in Don's master bedroom along with parts of the walls and ceilings.  Then we will be ready to start rebuilding it.

Also today I received a phone call from a woman who also went through the tornado last year and still needs some work done.  They are still working on their home but lost their storage barn.  The Amish came in and built another storage barn but the old one needs torn down.  This will take a team of volunteers --- with no experience.  I told her we would start reaching out and see what and who we could find.  This is called reaching . . . anyone interested?????

So even though I was out of commission things are moving forward --- just like they are supposed to.  Disaster relief is always team work and the past few days have been wonderful examples of that!

My thanks to everyone who stepped up and stepped in to help and keep the progress moving forward!!!!!

Until next time . . . time to rest and get my blood sugar back to normal and blood pressure up.  I thank God for a completely clean bill of health.  Doc said all was okay and "see you in 10 years!"  God is good!!!!!

Susan and Monty

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday Solomon!

Yes, this is what my birthday looked like! 

Painful!  We still have no idea what we hit but the hole was the size of a half dollar (remember those?)

And today is yet another birthday in our family -- Solomon's very first birthday!  He is so thrilled, can't you tell. 

We hope all of you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  We pray for safety for all the Indy 500 race drivers and the fans.  We pray for all our veterans and we thank them for their service.  We thank God for our freedoms and pray we do not take them for granted, and for forgiveness when we do.

Until next time . . . American the beautiful!!!  Land of the free!!!!             Susan and Monty

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bam --- It's my birthday!

From yesterday -- Shannon with his chainsaw cutting away at the downed trees at Don's.  You can get an idea of the immense size by the trunk he's near!

AJ packs the cut logs to Shannon's truck.  When I ask Shannon if this type of work was in AJ's job description he said only one word describes his job = "everything."    :)

And today was (is) my birthday.  As I write this I've only got 15 minutes left so . . .

It has been a great day!  Monty and I started off with a couple of quick errands, some breakfast and then we headed to the shooting range.  I was anxious to see if I could score Rifleman again.  Shannon had everything ready for us -- including a small cooler with ice and a big bag of pretzel M&M's inside!  My absolute favorite!  He had an awning for us to put up and some cardboard "person" targets to use for our pistol practice.

It was a great morning and although the heat was quite intense by the time we left we had a really good time!

On the way home, headed up the highway, we heard a sound that seemed to come from underneath my truck.  Within seconds we knew -- the back tire had blown!  So . . . it's a good thing I keep the local towing shop's phone number in my phone.  They were on their way when I got a phone call from Pastor Randy.  He had just passed us and turned around to see if he could be of any help!  You bet!  We unloaded all the guns and equipment and Monty into his truck so he could take Monty home.  Within minutes the tow truck was there and had my truck loaded and we were rolling to drop it off at the tire shop. 

As we were traveling the driver was curious about our disaster relief signs on the truck.  We talked quite a bit and his main question was, "how do the both of you survive being volunteers?  How in the world do you keep your bills paid?"  I told him God always seemed to provide and by the amazed look on his face I don't think he fully comprehended it.

When we arrived at the tire shop he unloaded my truck and was getting ready to drive off.  I caught him and asked him where my bill was as I could take it to my insurance company and get reimbursed.  He just waved and said it was his contribution to our ministry!!!!  No charge!!!!!  And when I gave him a hug and told him that is was because of people such as himself that we are able to pay our bills --- I think he got it!

Monty came and picked me up and we had barely enough time to get home, showered and head to Columbus to have a birthday dinner with my mother, brother and his girlfriend.  We had reservations at one of the nicest places in town where both my neices work.  The food was delicious and we were done in just enough time to get to the music concert my best friend was having to remember the tornados one year ago.  Her sisters house was heavily damaged but is all rebuilt and in great shape now.  My aunt joined us there and we all had a good time.

My truck will be done tomorrow -- it requires 2 new tires (ouch) but I know that as always -- God will provide!

It's now midnight -- my birthday is over -- and I am blessed!!!!!

Until next time . . .            Susan and Monty

Thursday, May 24, 2012

All over the place

Sorry no pictures tonight!  Hopefully tomorrow?

We were both up and out early this morning.  Monty had a doctors checkup (all is great) and then an estimate to do.  This one was for installation of a 20 ft metal awning over a trailer porch and ramp and installing a new entry door.  The awning could be tough but . . . he'll do it to perfection!

I started with mowing.  Seems that's nearly a daily thing.  I wanted to get started early as I had a powerwashing job to get to.  Susie's storage barn needed cleaned before I paint it.  Hopefully I can get it painted late next week.  Monty built a set of steps with a landing for her a few weeks ago and she has become a real friend.  She has a list of "to do's" for both of us!!!!     :)

Before I could even get finished I had a call from Tom (Hartsville) saying he was on his way here to do a bit of work on Don's roof and make final detailed plans for the team of volunteers he is bringing back tomorrow.  They wanted to reframe the areas for new windows in all 3 bedrooms and needed the materials.

After talking with him I headed to Lowes to pick out the windows.  We're going to put a double window in his master bedroom and single ones in each back bedroom. 

When I arrived with my load Mark was already there with Tom and planned on working with him through the evening.  Within a few minutes Pastor Randy also showed up.  Seems his back is quite a mess and so he won't be able to help much on the job.  Please keep him in your prayers.

And I also discovered both of Monty's coworkers at Don's.  Shannon had his chainsaw and AJ was helping load the wood from the downed tree.  Shannon not only heats his house with wood, he uses it year round because he also heats his water heater with wood.  He will continue getting as much as he can haul and when we take down the other 4 trees next week (hopefully) he will be able to work as much as he wants and take as much as he can haul.

By the time I got home it was past dinner time.  We did get a bite to eat and now I am ready to end this day.

Tomorrow?  I am really looking forward to!  It's my BIRTHDAY!!!!  Monty made plans for us both to NOT work (think that plan will hold up?) and we will be going target shooting in the morning, have a nice lunch somewhere and then come home to clean up and head to see my parents and attend a concert put on by one of my best friends to remember the tornado that struck here one year ago tomorrow.  Yes, the same one that hit Don's house also hit my friend's sister's house which is right next door to my parents' house.

The day will be a busy one.  The day will be a fun one.  I enjoy my birthday every year and don't care what the number might be -- I am loving life and that's all that counts!  God saw fit to love me enough to bring me into this world and the least I can do is thank Him and honor Him by enjoying that day!

Until next time . . . as my dad would say, "happy birthday eve."               Susan and Monty

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sharing with middle schoolers!

I did it last year and Dee Dee invited me to come back and do it again this year! 

It was great!

For the entire day, class after class, most of the time with two classes joined together, I got to share the idea and concept and realities of disaster relief to 7th and 8th graders on their last full day of school.

And surprisingly they were interested and interactive.

Some of the 8th graders remembered me from last year and I even recognized some of them.  They were still interested and even though I can't remember what I said at each class -- they thanked me in the end and were a great audience.

Even some of the teachers sat in at different times and I hope they also enjoyed and learned a bit more about the subject.

We gave each student a list of supplies to bring in tomorrow morning so we'll see how it goes.  They did a great job last year and my hope is that my truck gets filled up.

Many thanks to Dee Dee for inviting me, for introducing me time after time, for making sure I had lunch and for just caring enough to have a real heart for helping others!

Until next time . . . have a great summer Brown County Middle School.         Susan and Monty

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

One Down . . . Four To Go

This morning started with Bible study.  And in their new church!  Stonegate has been renting space for the past 7 years and they were finally able to purchase a church -- and what a beautiful church it is!  They have been working day and night over the past 2 weeks and it is amazing!  God promised them a building and as we all know -- He never breaks His promises!

After Bible study it was time to head back to Bloomington for a quick doctor appointment and just before going inside I got a call from Rita telling me the men were at Don's removing the tree NOW, not Thursday!  And she thought I would be upset!!!!!  Are you kidding!!!!!  I was overjoyed and couldn't wait to get there and watch!

There's high and lifted up . . . and then there's this!  And "this" has a chainsaw in hand and uses it as if it were a feather!

There were only 3 men who took turns in the bucket.  Sometimes they just cut the branches and let them fall and other times they had to tie off the branch with a rope in order to get it to fall where they wanted!
This branch may not look very big in this picture but my oh my . . .

When I left they were down to the trunk and said that was the most difficult part. 

We are so extremely grateful for these men and their willingness to be such blessings to Don.  We are also over the top thankful to Rita who went above and beyond to help us out in this situation. 

The Southern Baptist tree team has their truck in the shop and could possibly be here this weekend (or next) to take down the remaining 4 trees.

I had to leave Don's and go to a meeting about taking over as director for the local COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disasters) --- take note of what that stands for as I won't be typing it out each time I refer to it.  I do have some paperwork to get under my belt and we scheduled our next board meeting and our next open meeting.  It is our goal to sort of "revamp" the COAD and bring in as many organizations as possible.  It was a great meeting but . . .

I have always been amazed at the lengths satan will go to distract us from what God has for us and this meeting was a perfect example.  If you embarrass easily you might want to stop reading right here and catch the next blog.  If not . . . read on and realize . . .

As I said, I had to leave Don's to make this meeting.  I was in a rush.  All the time I was at Don's the tree "shrappnel" was flying through the air.  I thought nothing of it although I did sort of stick my head out my truck window as I was driving to hopefully have any sawdust blow out of my hair.  I guess I didn't think about other things flying through the air.

As soon as I walked into Barry's office and sat down I felt something in my bra!  (I warned you!)  Now it's rather difficult to feel something in there --- let alone feel it start to bite!  And it continued to bite, over and over again!  Not knowing where the restroom was and thinking each bite would be the last (and being an idiot) I kept "readjusting" myself in hopes it was the end.  And with each readjustment it would subside -- only to bite again.  By the time the meeting was over I was nearly ready to strip my shirt and bra off right in front of anyone who happened to be there!  I did refrain and when I got to the truck I did find a rather nasty ant and let's just say . . . the ant is no more!!!

It was yet another object lesson for me.  satan knows how important this COAD is and that God has called me to this position.  He also knows God has something very big planned for all of us and he was determined to stop me during that meeting -- which is part of why I refused to excuse myself and break the focus of our meeting.  So . . . lesson to self . . . satan has no boundaries (like I thought he did anyway)!!!!

The meeting was a huge success, Don's rebuild is moving along with huge success, lives are being changed and God is glorified in the entire process! 

So satan . . . take that "bite" and put it where the sun don't shine!!!!!!

Until next time . . .it's only when we give up that the blessings stop!             Susan and Monty

Monday, May 21, 2012

Birthday! Birthday!

My grandson celebrated his 7th birthday Saturday.  We had a blast watching him play baseball and enjoy his first party where he invited school friends.  The noise that comes from 10 kids makes all adults glad my daughter and son in law have a basement!  It was alot of fun and I'm sure he's still discovering presents.

Today is Little Bitty's 11th birthday.  Can't you see how thrilled she is to be wearing her birthday hat!

And . . . Samson and Solomon are even less than thrilled to be sharing in the party!  I think I better save the hats since Solomon will be 1 on Sunday!

Today I heard from Tom, our team leader of the Hartsville team.  He is putting together some men and will hopefully be coming over this Thursday to continue the work on Don's house.der

Also coming to Don's on Thursday?   The men who will be removing one of Don's trees.  Yes, the Southern Baptists are still working on geting their equipment repaired and will be coming over to remove the remaining 4 trees.  This is a separate case.

In order to remove this particular tree we were going to need to access the adjoining property, which belongs to the county water company.  They insisted we provide them with a certificate of insurance.  This isn't possible as all the organizations involved operate with volunteers only = no insurance.  So it required another plan B and this is it.  With this plan the insurance is covered so = success!

I also had another meeting this afternoon.  We are still in the process of my becoming the director for the local Monroe County Community Organizations Active in Disasters (MoCOAD).  We rescheduled this months meeting until next month to allow us to get all the details taken care of and for me to put together an agenda for next month.  Tomorrow I will sign the final documents necessary and hopefully "get this show on the road".  My initial plan is to sort of "redefine" the COAD and use this redefining to educate and regroup.  I have alot of ideas and pray God will lead me in the direction He would have me, and this organization go.

Tonight is also a "milestone" in the life of my mother.  For the past 21 years she has been the director of the Hot Meals served every single Monday night at their church.  These meals are open to anyone and everyone needing a good hot meal.  Some weeks they have 50 people, some weeks nearly 90.  We all know times are tough and my mother has dedicated herself week after week to making sure these meals are just that --- meals.  No cold sandwiches on her watch!  The people who come have been so very blessed by not only her food, but her heart for them.  She has gone above and beyond in this entirely volunteer position.  I don't think even her church knows all the work and heart and love she has put in over the past 21 years!

To my mom --- you are an amazing example for me and I honor you and thank you for making such a positive difference in not only these peoples lives -- but in the world around us!  I love you and know God has some very special jewels in your crown!

Until next time . . . what are you doing to make a positive difference in our world?   
Susan and Monty

Friday, May 18, 2012

Jim Carey's "Majestic" Grandmother

Okay -- so it's sideways???  I corrected it but . . .

It's done!  Yesterday shows you the "before" in case you can't see what I'm talking about.  I had fun painting it but did get a bit shakey when I had to use an extension ladder to get all the way to the top!

When I finished today I headed to take Monty a sandwich at the job he was working on.  He was replacing some faucets and doing plumbing work for Ms Maudie.  What an amazing lady!  Guess where she spent her 77th birthday (back in 2001)?  She played Jim Carey's grandmother in the movie "The Majestic"!!!!!!   She told me the entire story of going to audition and how they filmed for 3 months and because she had a speaking part, even though it was only 5 words, her paycheck was a real paycheck!  It was such an honor to meet this little lady and for her to share such a wonderful experience with me!

After coming home and mowing lawns for 3 of my neighbors I finally got to check email and found out that the article on Don's rebuild was in the Indiana Daily Student newspaper.  If you would like to read it and see the pictures you can look it up on Facebook and scroll down a bit to the article where you will see a picture of Don and me.  If you don't do Facebook you can put in the following web address


That should take you there as well.  Looking it up on Facebook is alot easier!    :)

Helping to making my day today was hearing from Tom, our Hartsville team coordinator, saying they are planning on returning next week to continue working.  And major note to self --- even if you wear gloves and pull up poison ivy while cleaning up Don's yard --- you will still get it!  On my face, arms and back so far!!!!!  Yuck!!!!

Also making my day -- today is my grandson's 7th birthday!  He is so excited as his mom, my daughter, took snacks to kindergarten.  And all he wanted to do this evening was have a family picnic at the park and then go for ice cream.  His party is tomorrow afternoon, SpongeBob SquarePants themed!!!!  Where do the years go?

Until next time . . . many thanks to the Indiana University students who came and visited with Don and really did capture the heart of disaster relief!!!!                     Susan and Monty

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Almost . . .

No picture until it's completely done!

But after working the entire day I have the disaster relief storage barn nearly done.  I have to have a taller ladder to reach the top and Monty brought me one late this afternoon. 

That's where I will start tomorrow.

It's looking really good.  This thing is older than Abraham I think!  Soaks up the paint like a dry sponge.

And the paint is really deceiving -- starts out looking nearly hot pink when it's wet and dries to the dark red I wanted.  I've never seen paint do this.

So, I will have pictures tomorrow.

Until then . . . blessings to all.                                                               Susan and Monty

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Another Plan B

Well. . . how well I know about truck "issues" and it seems the men who were planning on coming and taking down Don's 5 trees tomorrow have exactly that!  The truck that hauls their heavy equipment is broken down.

So . . . they will not be coming up tomorrow or Friday and will see about next week.

Plan Bs are used quite a bit in disaster relief.  I can't say I like them but atleast we have a plan B.

Pastor Randy has injured his back and his doctor does not want him up on the roof (surprise, surprise) so we are also a bit delayed in completing the shingles.

But . . . I have learned that what we think is a delay is not at all.  God has perfect timing so we will wait for that timing.

Until next time . . . I will be painting our IGO storage barn tomorrow!     Red!      Susan and Monty

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rob makes great progress

Sorry I don't have pictures but since I was at Don's on Saturday and couldn't be two places at once . . .

Rob made amazing progress at Michael's.  When his counter tops come in his kitchen will only need appliances to be called complete!  Rob got the remaining cabinets all set, powerwashed the exterior in preparation for primer and paint and even drilled through the railroad ties used in landscaping so pieces of rebar could be inserted to hold them in place!

We are getting ever so close with each step!  And miracles continue to come from every direction so we continue to believe in another one when it comes to the appliances!

I hope all of you moms had as great of a Mother's Day as I did!

Monty and I took his mother to lunch after church and really had a good time.  I don't think I've seen her laugh like that in a long time and it was fun spending some time together. 

My daughter had an extremely large and equally as beautiful hydgeranga (sp) plant for me and my son took me to dinner -- just the two of us. 

And today I met my own mother for lunch and had a big plant that she had been looking for.  I won't even begin to try and spell that one!

And now we are looking forward to Thursday when the Southern Baptist team comes up from southern Indiana and starts the downing of Don's trees.

In the meantime, work on his roof will continue as Pastor Randy's time allows.

Be sure and stay tuned as this week is bound to be filled with unexpected miracles around each corner!

Until next time . . . Happy Day After Mother's Day to all of you Moms!!!!    Susan and Monty

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Transforming the Outside

There may have been only 5 of us in numbers --- but we did the work of 4 times that many people -- and had a blast at the same time!

It was work day at Don's.  All in preparation for the tree men to come in Thursday.  I think even they will be shocked at how different things look, how much better they are.

Mark and John decide there is a way to move a huge log!  Wrap a rope around it, drag it through the yard and then just plain man-handle the thing onto the burn pile!!!!

Machette Mark!  In order to clear the overgrowth in what used to be Don's dog pen Mark took matters to a whole new level --- and it worked wonderfully!

John takes apart the pen sides and we stacked them on the side of the garage.  Don plans on giving the whole thing, including the dog house, to his brother so his little dog can enjoy more of the outside.

Teresa hauls away a big bunch of debris from Don's side yard.  The pile is nearly as tall as she it but no match for her determination.

The Indiana University newspaper called and wanted to come out today and get some info so they can do an article.  They were there over 2 hours and interviewed Don -- in great detail -- and then each of us.  They had their jaws on the ground most of the time!  In the end they decided this article of theirs was NOT going to be a short one!  I challenged them to come back when it's all done and do a follow up!  They agreed!  Don said the most important thing the volunteers do --- bring hope!!!!!  My heart was happy --- he "got it".

John and Mark decided to use my big red Ford and relocate the shingles that will be in the way of removal of one tree.  As usual -- the Ford got the job done!!!!    :)   Especially after having repair work done over the past 2 days.  Out of the shop and ready to work!

Jerry joined us in the afternoon and came ready with his chainsaw.  He was able to remove some of the smaller trees and was extremely helpful.  The man sure knew how to use his chainsaw!  Not an easy task and something we never allow anyone to do unless they are very experienced.  He was!

Mark and Teresa pose amidst some of the tree debris they are hauling to the burn pile!  I love their bright yellow Southern Baptist Disaster Relief shirts!

Last, but not least -- girl power on the job!!!! 

Many thanks to everyone who came out today and made such a great difference.  Yes, the yard looks a million times better --- but --- you are truly rebuilding Don's life by rebuilding his house (and his yard).

Until next time . . . don't forget that tomorrow is Mother's Day!!!!  I don't know about you but I sure do love my mom and am thankful to God for me getting to be her daughter!!!!!

Susan and Monty 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Preparation for Work Day at Don's

The front of our house!  The colorful lawn chairs?  Yep -- I discovered spray paint for plastic and had some fun.  The neighbor told me today that every time she looks at our house she can't help but smile!  That's the reason I painted them!!!!

Monty taking a look at all the trash coming out of our little storage shed.

Look very closely and you will see John in the "loft" of our storage shed.  He did an amazing job of getting it all cleaned out and ready to use.

Michael's "partial" kitchen.  We are awaiting the counter tops but in the meantime -- creativity!  Micheal made it possible for him to use his microwave and a small refrigerator. Those counter tops will cover this area and then make a turn to the right to create a bar area.  Rob will be building a support frame underneath the bar area to support the tops.  You can also see the opening in the cabinet area between the drawers.  This is where the sink will set and the opening will enable Michael to roll right up to the sink and work.

This is the other side of his kitchen -- waiting for Rob!  Tomorrow will be more cabinet installations for Rob as once again he will return to put this home together for Michael.  These are setting where they will be placed and then another counter top will cover them.  They are on the opposite side of the kitchen -- you can see the back entry door opened.  They will have 4" cut from the bottom of them to make them the proper height for Michael.  That will bring them underneath the window.  This will be an additional work area for Michael and alot more storage.  As I have said before, everything is custom designed for Michael's use!

And tomorrow is our big work day at Don's house.  We are believing that alot of people will come out and help us get ready for the removal of the trees to begin Thursday.  There is alot !!!! of work to be done, all cleanup.  No skills are required and the notice was in this weeks paper so . . .  time will tell.  The weather is forecast to be perfect so please keep this -- and all the projects going on -- covered in prayers!

Last, but not least, my almost 4 year old granddaughter after her spring music concert at school a few nights ago --- priceless!!!  At first she told her parents that she was not going to sing, only dance.  But she did sing, and when the teacher put the microphone up to her little face she sang out and nearly brought tears to all our eyes!!!

Next week will be her older brother's concert -- another priceless evening!

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

Thursday, May 10, 2012

MS and Michael miracles

As promised, here are some really good pics of Monty's trip to Mississippi with the men from Genesis church.  They were a great team and did even greater work while there.  You can see the bunk beds they mass produced, see them working the machinery Pastor Kenny rented for them and see an overview of the camp. 

Men and their smart phones!!!!!!   

What an assembly line they got going!

Bandanas help soak up the sweat -- MS is HOT this time of year!

Those piles of tree debris (which appear to be quite small in this picture) are actually nearly 30 feet high!!!!!

Once again -- many thanks to Genesis church and this team of men who worked in hot and tough conditions and put their beliefs into actions.  You all did an amazing job, made miraculous progress and helped change the lives of those campers who will be attending camp this year -- not to mention Pastor Kenny himself!!!

And . . . an update on Michael.  It didn't take me long to spend the funds donated by my mom and Catholic Charities!  I spent nearly 4 hours yesterday getting all the rest of the cabinets, the kitchen sink, the sink faucet, the exterior paint and border color and ordering all the counter tops!  I had everything but the counter tops in the bed of my truck and with the help of Michael's neighbor -- we got them all unloaded and placed inside the house ready for Rob to come and install this Saturday!  His kitchen looks amazing already and I can't wait to see the final result.  The counter tops will take a couple of weeks but that will give us plenty of time to have everything else ready for them.

Michael had a smile on his face that I know is impossible to remove!  And THAT is what this is all about!

Rebuilding lives by rebuilding homes (and camps)!!!!!  The best "job" in the world!

And Don's ---- Pastor Randy will be back later this afternoon to continue work on the roof.  John will be going to give him some extra hands and feet (and muscle).  The tree removal is scheduled for next Thursday and Friday!!!!!!

Praise the Lord for all the miracles He continues to pour down!!!!

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

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

God's limitless provision

One of the first few things that came to mind when I hurt my ribs on Friday morning was that something really big must be about to happen since satan was attacking so fiercely.  I was right!

The night before I got hurt Monty left for a long weekend mission trip back to Mississippi to continue helping our friend Pastor Ken rebuild the Christian retreat camp.  4 men from another local church also went.  They had a big 15 passenger van so Monty was able to sleep most of the way down and back.  Those men gave it all they had!  They worked from sun up until after midnight most days and were able to literally set up a "factory" where they mass produced bunk beds for the cabins, cleared debris and did more than I could possibly list.  All were way more than tired, pretty beat up and yet filled with joy when they returned home late last night.  As soon as I figure out how to get the pictures off of Monty's phone and onto my computer I will post them.

Today I once again missed Bible study . . . but . . . God showed up in a way that was so overpowering and so joyful!  The Southern Baptist Conference Disaster Relief came to take a look at the 5 menacing trees on his property.  These trees have been so stressful for me because one of them literally hangs over the house and has a broken branch threatening to fall on his brand new roof.  We have had numerous people come and take a look at removing them but everyone looks and then sighs and says they are just too big for them to handle.  But God . . . and the Southern Baptist!  This morning George and Terry drove up from New Albany, Terry living in Henryville and told me he lost the roof on his own house in the tornado, and decided this was just the project for them!  They not only have the manpower -- they have the equipment!  Both Don and I couldn't believe our ears when they agreed to do the job!  Pastor Randy's church will house them for the couple of days that they will be here and will also help out with food and necessities they will need.  Mark will head up our Saturday work day this weekend where we will be doing mass cleanup all around the house to prepare for the arrival of the tree removal equipment and the men.  I cannot thank Mark enough for his planning and putting that plan to work!!!!  He and his wife, Teresa, not only worked on Billy's house when we were rebuilding it - they have worked day and night on Don's and will continue to do so as we move to the work on the inside!  An amazing couple who have hearts to help others in their deepest needs.

No doubt Pastor Randy and his "daughter" Kandi will continue to work on the roof and anything else needed.  I must apologize to Kandi for the misspelling of her first name!  And when you see "daughter" in parentheses --- she isn't "blood" related --- but is his daughter none the less!  God has blessed Kandy and Pastor Randy and his wife with this extended family and you can see the love in their eyes constantly!  I love how God is all about relationships and how He weaves us all together!

As soon as we finished up at Don's I headed off to get John set up with his job of cleaning out our new "warehouse" that I pictured a couple of days ago.  It was filled with trash but that doesn't bother John.  He dug right in and had the job done in a few hours!  It's now ready to store our tools and items we have been trying to cram in our own storage barn -- and our house!  Much thanks John!

I had to call Jane, with Catholic Charities, to tell her the great news of Don's trees.  As we were talking she asked me how we were coming with Michael's trailer rebuild.  I told her we were doing fine and were just waiting on funding to come in so we could finish the kitchen and get him moved in.  What she said next caused me to need to sit down!  She donated more than enough funding for us to get the rest of the cabinets, the counter tops, the kitchen sink and faucet and the exterior paint.  And with the donation from my parents on Sunday ---- there will be funding remaining to put towards the appliances!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Absolutely amazing!

My next call was to Rob to let him know he could plan on working at Michael's on Saturday and then to Michael!  Both are more than ready!  Rob has been the lead on this entire project and again, without him and his heart of love --- I don't even want to entertain that thought!  I do wish I could clone him!!!!!!!  But somehow I just don't think the cloned Rob would be as good as the real Rob!

And this is only Tuesday!!??

I love how God works.  I love how He continues to provide just what we need at the exact time we need it.  How He knows.  How He cares.  How He loves!

We doubt, we worry, we stew, we fret, we think, we plan, we mess up . . . and all the while He just loves and provides and forgives and loves us even more!

I pray both Don and Michael will feel all this love God has for them.

I pray that each and every volunteer will feel the love God has for them.

And if you are in the area and would like to help us with clean up day at Don's this Saturday . . . let me know and I'll give you the address.  I know God will be there and if you come on over you just might meet Him!!!!

Until next time . . . super thanks to everyone involved in all these projects and most of all . . .  Thank you Lord !!!!!!   You're the best!

Susan and Monty

Saturday, May 05, 2012

"Down" time --not by choice

Remember when I talked of opening a disaster relief warehouse right here at home?  A warehouse that we could keep stocked and be ready to take in supplies at a moment's notice?   And how I was reaching out to everyone and everyplace I knew to see if there was donated space available?  And how I was hitting a brick wall at every turn but not giving up?

Surprise!!!!!  The above is a picture of our donated warehouse!!!!! You think I'm kidding?  You think wrong!  This is what has been donated!!!! 

Don't laugh!!!  It needs to be cleaned out, filled with trash.  It has a small upper "loft" area and shelves!  It has a window!  After a good cleaning and a fresh coat of paint . . .

Yep --- you may have to close your eyes to imagine it but . . . miracles happen every day!     :)

But . . . none of that will take place for awhile.  Yesterday while working on cleaning out our tool trailer and cleaning our gutters I had a "run in" with our back deck steps and the steps won!

I spent the morning in the ER and thankfully no ribs are broken, just severely bruised! 

So "resting" is the prescription I got --- anyone got a Websters Dictionary so I can look up the meaning of that word?????     :)

So . . . here I am on a Saturday morning on the computer!  Does that count as resting?

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

Thursday, May 03, 2012

One man = team

Tom came to continue working on Don's roof --- and he came alone!  He is a team in himself and when he made the decision to arrive a bit before noon he also made the committment to work until dark!

I admit that having one person working on a roof alone is a bit disconcerting but I also know God has Tom and this entire project under His annointing so I will trust in that!

By early afternoon Pastor Randy and daughter Candy were on the scene and this evening they were all working away.  Tom is working in the valley of the rooflline and making certain there are no more leaks.

I truly admire someone who makes the committment to be the hands and feet of Jesus -- even if he works alone!  Many thanks to Pastor Randy and Candy for joining in and being even more hands and feet of Jesus!

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

Wednesday, May 02, 2012


With the pouring down rains yesterday afternoon and heavy thunderstorms last evening our Hartsville team took a day off --- a much earned day off!  Before the rains washed them out they were able to complete all the roofing on one side of Don's house and it looks beautiful!

They have the broken chimney down and ready to rebuild it.  It's not a working chimney as there is no longer a fireplace inside.  It's the vent for the heating and air so the volunteers will rebuild it properly for it's actual use.

They will return tomorrow to continue stripping the shingles off of the other side of the house and get the reroofing underway. 

But today --- even though he didn't know the team was off --- John called me and was already there working outside cleaning up debris -- a huge task!  I stopped by to give him a plan and it ended up that he worked all day long! 

Mark also returned and between the both of them they not only got most all of the debris cleaned up -- they cleaned up from the bedrooms being gutted and even brought a mower and weed eater to work outside in the extremely tall grass!!!!!

They transformed the outside and I am so thankful to the both of them for the dedication and service!  They are truly examples of hearts of love for others!

So --- tomorrow we are back on the roof --- the temps are to reach 90 degrees and no rain is forecast!

Until then . . . many thanks to John and Mark for today!!!!!!!              Susan and Monty

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Heavy Work brings Heavy Rains

They were back early this morning.  They even called when they were on their way with a list of materials they needed.  Off I went and they were already working when I got there.  Pastor Randy and Candy were right behind me and jumped in.  The shingles were going up quickly.

Necessity is the mother of invention and this invention worked great.  Pastor Randy backed up his truck, they stood a ladder in the bed with a gentleman holding it to help steady it while Pastor Randy put the shingles onto the porch roof where the other gentlemen could reach them to install on the roof.  Those bundles are extremely heavy and each man remembered "the day" when they weren't so heavy and much easier to handle!    :)

Meanwhile, Candy and I were having a teaching lesson on gutting.  The back 2 bedrooms still need the walls and subflooring removed and she was eager to learn.  It only took a couple of minutes and she had the process down and was working away.  Notice that she is wearing a mask -- we found plenty of black mold in the walls and to her surprise --- when removing parts of the ceiling she had raccoon "debris" falling from above!  Waste debris --- which thankfully brought a smile to her face!  Now that's a real woman for you!!!!!  

By lunchtime the skies opened up and poured down rain.  Just in time for the team to head to lunch.  When they got back the sun was peeking through --- but --- in about an hour another downpour brought things to a halt.  The lightning and thunder and buckets of rain were enough to stop everything!  The streets were flooding and at one point we had small hail.  Same thing happened this evening and it was a bit scary!

I have no doubt the team will be back again tomorrow and ready to pick up where they had to leave off.  The roof looks beautiful and I still stand amazed that this team replaced 39 roof rafters in one week!  A miracle to say the least.

Remember to keep covering them in prayers as they travel an hour and a half each way -- just to show the love of Jesus in a very practical way!

Until next time . . . oh -- almost forgot -- I got all my hair cut off today!  Shorter than it's ever been and I love it!  Will show you a picture maybe tomorrow!!!!!               Susan and Monty