Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Special Family Day

Yesterday was one of those days that we just don't get enough of!  But thanks to one of our dear church friends we were able to take a day of complete fun -- spending it at Holiday World.  It's only about 2 hours from us and we had not been there.  Our friend got the tickets for us a few weeks ago and we just had not been able to schedule the time.

Our daughter, son in law and both grandkids joined us and it was such fun to watch the faces of grandkids ages 7 and 4. 

We covered the entire park and Luke (7) rode everything he could.  In the end he even rode (with his dad) one of the roller coasters that caused us all to hold our breath just knowing he was riding it!  He made it through but probably had nightmares last night!  He did have fun and by the end of the day the "melt down" was in full force.

Liv enjoyed the last part of her day the most because we were in the little kids rides and she just went from one to the other and laughed with each one.  But in the end she also went into "melt down" mode.

It was perfect timing as it was time to head home.

We had such a good time.  God provided the perfect weather day and thanks to a very special friend we were able to leave work behind and be kids again --- for the entire day!

Until next time . . . thank you Lord -- for fun!                                     Susan and Monty

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Starting crunch time

With October just around the corner and Don needing to be back in his home by the 10th we are trying everything we can to push things along.  It's been a tough road with the lack of volunteers but today was a great blessing!

A local men's rehabilitation center in the county to the south of us came and worked this afternoon and will return for 2 days next week.  David is running an amazing program where the men residing there volunteer their time every afternoon.  David said today he has so many people needing their help that he can hardly keep up.

They did great work this afternoon finally getting the ceiling insulation in the family room.  The intense heat all summer kept us from getting this done since it had to be done via the attic.  Today was a perfect day with cooler temps and partly cloudy skies.

They also worked on the sheetrock in his bedroom and made some much needed repairs to the front door area.

These men are such blessings and please remember to hold them up in prayer as they each are going through tough times in trying to turn their lives around and follow Jesus.  David (the minister) also needs prayer to keep on keeping on in this calling on his life.

Until next time . . . our thanks to the HeavenNevaeh men!             Susan and Monty

Monday, September 24, 2012

She gave her whole weekend plus

This morning I put together the list of everything needing done at Don's in order to get him moved back home by October 10th.

By the end of the day I was able to remove 2 of the items.

Rich worked on Friday and Saturday in the master bedroom and has wall insulation in with most of the sheetrock.  He texted me very early this morning saying he would be returning this week to finish with the ceiling insulation and sheetrock.  He's determined to get it done.  I love that kind of dedication!

Shelley gave her entire weekend, her 3 days off work -- to tackle the painting of the dining room.  And she also remained dedicated and got the job done!  It wasn't easy as the trim around the top is a bear not to mention the trim at the bottom!  She did a wonderful job and this afternoon I stopped by and was thrilled to see the outcome!  Don did a good job in picking out his own color (most men refuse to do so) and I know he will be thrilled when he sees it.  Many thanks to Shelley for spending all 3 of her days "off" working harder than if she had been at work!!!!!!!  Don't you wish you had a neighbor like her?!

My morning got a bit de-railed with a dead battery in my truck that left me stranded in the parking lot but just one call to Monty and he had me back home so I could take his truck.  I was on my way to paint the treehouse for our grandkids and even though I got a later start than planned I did get it done.  It looks great and is now ready for the cedar trim that we can hopefully get done this Sunday afternoon.  Luke relayed his thanks via the phone this evening as he was on his way to his gymnastics class.  He was excited because he said at last week's class he "got a muscle" so his mom and I both hope he gets another one this week to help balance him out!!!!!     :)

Monday with it's more than usual last minute change of schedules and yet so much accomplished!  A great day with sunshine, cool temps and the best volunteers!  Thank you Lord!

And at the end of the day --- we learn our dearest friends --- the family with 10 kids --- are expecting baby number 11 ---- praise the Lord!  Please cover this family in your prayers!  God knows a great set of parents when He sees them and we are so excited that He has chosen to add to their blessings!  The entire family is beyond thrilled and we join in their joy!!!!

Until next time . . . God is oh so good --- and still doing miracles daily!        Susan and Monty

Friday, September 21, 2012

The "hits" just keep coming . . .

I realize I hadn't posted any pictures from Monty's birthday celebration.  These were taken at the Maui team cookout at Becky's on Saturday night.
This was his cake -- sock monkeys!!!  Priceless!

I also realize it's been a few days since I last wrote and I am sorry.  Once again the time goes . . . well, I'm not exactly sure.

I can't believe it's Friday already but in one way I am glad.

Walking Ms Gladys's dog, Benji, has been keeping me a bit busier than normal.  Each day I have taken her meals and always take some time to sit and visit with her.  It breaks my heart that she is so alone.  Today she asked me to help her with her washing machine.  Her grandson in law had put some tape on the dials so she could feel where to set them but the tape had worn down to where she could no longer feel.  So with a little creativity I had her able to do her washing and drying once again.  I also made her a pan of scalloped potatoes (from the box) like she had mentioned in one of our conversations.  She laughs when she says Benji has more energy than ever and next week I plan on reading the Bible to her.  She has brought such joy to my life and I thank God for bringing her to me.

Today a friend from our church, Rich, went to Don's to do some work.  He had one of his friends come also and John came to lend a hand so this morning was a busy one.  They did a bit of electrical work in preparation of hanging the sheetrock on the ceiling of his bedroom.  They got the wall insulation installed and will be returning tomorrow to continue.  I had the plan of getting his dining room painted but that didn't pan out.  My day got "rearranged" and so . . . my neighbor, Shelley, may be going over and doing it on her day off tomorrow. 

With the men's team coming next Thursday and Friday afternoons I hope some real progress will be made.  October 10th is getting closer and closer and each volunteer makes a huge difference.  I was able to return quite a few things today and get a good credit -- so I can turn around and spend it on something else!  I like it when I get to take things back.

This evening we will be taking our grandchildren to dinner.  We love doing that and let them select where they would like to go.  I wonder if it will be the pizza buffet again?  They are so funny and it just makes our day to spend time with them.

I did go over to their house and planned on painting the treehouse yesterday -- until the skies turned dark and the rains started falling.  So . . . another day rearranged for me.

Tomorrow we will be spending time with my son and daughter in law at a local fall festival.  I pray the rains will stay away and love the idea of needing a sweatshirt!!  I have so waited for these cooler days and am thankful for each one!

With everything going on in all different directions I still have been taking "hits" from satan --also from every direction!  Scripture tells us that his one and only goal is to "steal, kill and destroy" and I have felt those "goals" daily -- each day with a bit more intensity!  Last night I found myself outside behind my neighbor's house (she wasn't there) and out loud shouting at satan!  I have thought about doing it so many times but last night brought me to the brink and I shouted!  I called out the name of Jesus and pled His blood over everything and told satan to pack it up and get out of here!  I am so over him and have enough bruises to last awhile!  Will you join me in those same prayers and statements of faith!?

I pray all of you enjoy your weekend and have many things to praise our Lord for when you are in your local church on Sunday morning!  No matter how many "hits" -- the blessings out weigh them and by reading the end of the Book I know we ultimately win!!!!!!!!  

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

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monty's Birthday

God has shown me divine appointments many times over the years and Friday afternoon was one of those. 

We live in a subdivision of nearly all elderly people, most being widow women.  Between Monty and I it seems we are always doing something for one or more of them.  We've lived here for so long that we know nearly everyone and they know us and what we do and watched over our home while we were away for nearly 5 years.

One little woman and her husband used to sit on their front porch each evening and as we walked our dogs we would stop and visit with them.  He loved telling Monty his stories of his military days -- the same stories over and over again!  When we returned from Texas we heard he had passed away.  I have often wondered how she is doing but would see her granddaughter's car there on weekends so I just assumed . . . and we all know the results of doing that!

On Friday afternoon I was walking my dogs when we saw her little dog outside and so we went to the fence to say hi to him.  She popped her head out the back to see who it was.  She told me she was completely blind and thus couldn't see me but she remembered who I was and what we do.  I asked her if she was doing ok and if she needed anything.  She said her little Benji missed going on his walks --- nothing for herself!  I told her I would be happy to take him for a walk and would be back shortly.

I took my crew home and walked back to her house.  Benji is 12 years old and yet jumped for joy when he saw me coming toward him with his leash.  We walked the circle around her street and he was done for -- quite out of shape from not being walked for such a long time.  When I went back inside to let him in and talk with her a bit more we got into alot of conversation.  My main concern was that she had gotten so thin and frail so I asked if she was eating okay.  She said a friend brings in Golden Corral food once or twice a week and she makes that last!  "Makes it last?"  That nearly sent me over the edge!  I asked her if she would like for me to bring in food every other day or more.  She smiled and said "that would be wonderful."  She then asked me if I ever went to Walmart?  Do I go there?  I practically live there and our neighbor, Shelley, works there!  She broke into a huge smile and I told her I would make sure I spoke with her daily and walked Benji every day the weather allowed.  She said her granddaughter still comes on weekends so she would be okay then. 

Her next comments brought tears streaming down my cheeks and guilt pouring over my entire body!  She asked me if I knew what she missed the most in loosing her eyesight --- "reading the Bible!"  She told me how she used to get up in the middle of the night, fix herself peanut butter with crackers and sit and read her Bible.  The tears were also streaming down her little wrinkled cheeks!  She said she even has the entire Bible on a CD series but can no longer use the CD player since she cannot see!   So . . . God nearly hit me over the head with a 2 x 4 in saying, "read to the woman!"  I almost heard His audible voice on that one!  

When I got ready to leave she handed me her garage door opener.  I looked a bit puzzled and she answered before I could say anything.  She knows we don't have a garage and thought we might be able to use hers!  After her husband passed away she got rid of their vehicle and said it just sits there and thought we might be able to use it!    God and His divine appointments!!!!!!!!  And the blessings He brings with them!!!   I get to walk her dog, bring her food now and then and read the Bible with her and she gives us the use of her big garage ---- happy birthday Monty!

That evening we were invited to dinner by friends of ours that we met years ago, when we first started our disaster relief ministry.  Their church welcomed us in and actually had a couple of services for us where they opened their doors to the whole community and we shared a bit of what we were doing and how God was working and they took an offering for us.  Bob and Debbie were huge players in both of those services and have also been attending our COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disaster) since I became the director.  They said they had something they wanted to talk with us about and thus the dinner.

God has called them to start a ministry where they go into disaster situations immediately following the disaster  -- and serve meals.  What an amazing calling!  They had a few questions and it was an opportunity for us to encourage them!  It's going to be so exciting to see where God takes them in this whole thing!  One thing for certain --- they are about to embark on a journey where they will see and experience God like never before and their lives will be forever changed! 

Our Saturday and Sunday were spent at the shooting range again.  It was awesome!  The weather was perfect and the event was so packed that yesterday we had to divide everyone up into 2 groups when it came to shooting targets.  Alot of kids this time and seeing fathers bring their sons to something like this where they learn the proper way to handle firearms and to respect them is great. 

Saturday I left a bit early to come home and get ready for our Maui team cookout.  Becky had us all come to her place (where I have now decided I want to live -- she has 5 acres of log cabin and beauty) where she had BBQ with all the fixins.  I brought a birthday cake for Monty since his birthday was the next day.  We all had such a good time remembering and getting to know everyone even more. I brought the 2 big picture books I made and they enjoyed looking at them since they were usually busy working when I snapped the picture and sometimes didn't even realize I was doing so.

Sunday morning at the shoot was one of those divine appointments for me.  The gentleman giving the Word is the same gentleman who has the team of volunteers who will be working on Don's  house next week and the following week.  I met him when his team volunteered to build the handicapped ramp and deck at Michael's.  I also got to meet his crew.  We are all excited to see what God has in store for them when they come to Don's.

I also brought a big birthday cake to the shoot and everyone had fun wishing Monty a happy birthday.  Our dear friends, the family with the 10 children, called and sang the best happy birthday song ever to him!  It brought a smile on his face that spread from ear to ear!

Alot going on --- Lowes coming to measure for Don's flooring in the morning --- my son coming down in the morning to check out another elderly widow woman's heating and air system --- God's hand in so many places and I am so blessed to just be the empty hose laying on the ground that He selects to flow through! 

Life truly is good!  And God is even better!

Until next time . . . where is God pointing you?                    Susan and Monty

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Ups and Downs

Yesterday we buried a dear friend.  Carla was only 55 years old.  Less than a year ago she discovered she had cancer.  Life just isn't fair sometimes!

Yesterday I got a reply email from a local rehabilitation facility -- the one who built the deck and ramp on Michael's trailer for us -- and they are going to come and help on Don's house!  They work around 3 hours in the afternoons and will be able to get us on their schedule for a couple of weeks in row.

Yesterday I asked another friend of ours, Rich, if he would like to hang the sheetrock in Don's and he said yes, possibly the end of next week.  Monty offered to help him.

Yesterday I continued receiving responses from the COAD members saying they did receive my emails.  We have had continual issues and problems with this so I decided to take matters into my own hands and so far -- so good!

Today it's rainy and cooler than it's been in I can't remember!  So cool that I had to close some windows!!!!!!   Indiana!  I love this weather!

Tomorrow and Sunday we will be back at the shooting range.  Monty is trying to achieve Rifleman status.  I might be bumped from actually shooting since I've already achieved that and there might be too many folks signed up?  No problem --- either way it's a great weekend.  My brain can use that "down" time.

Sunday is Monty's birthday!  Now we've all heard the saying that "age is just a number."  Well, Monty isn't good with numbers (unless it's a tape measure) and just the other evening he came home from a job saying how they had had a conversation about his birthday coming up on Monday (he isn't good with calendars either) and how he would be 50 years old?  I looked at him rather funny and first said that his birthday was Sunday, not Monday.  That was ok.  But then I told him that he would only be 48  -- not 50.  He had a shocked and puzzled look on his face.  I tried to explain that since he was born in 1964 he couldn't be changing into a new decade without the year also ending in a 4 --- none of that clicked at all!  So then I tried to re-explain that since he is 10 years younger than me most all the time and since I just turned 58 then . . . do the math.  He still looked a bit dishelved but did the math and then --- this huge smile came over his face and he said, "boy, do I feel better!"     MEN!!!!

I will be bringing a big birthday cake to the shooting range on Sunday --- with 48 candles on it!

Ups and downs . . . all of which map out life itself.  Something we should all be much more thankful for --- especially when attending the funeral of a friend younger than yourself!!! 

Blessings . . .                 Susan and Monty

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The push is on . . .

Don's . . . with his new front bedroom windows, new roof completely done and the new siding all across the front.  Since this was taken Don has chosen the color for his siding and started the staining process.  He chose a blue gray that goes really nicely with the gray shingles.

And now . . . Don must be moved back into his home by October 10th.  If we all do the math correctly that means less than 30 days from today. 

He has been living with his brother since we started this project and his brother is being relocated with his job.

So the push is on --- big time!  We need volunteers to get this house back to a home for Don!

What needs done, you ask?  

In order to get him back home (we are leaving the back 2 bedrooms completely gutted with nothing more done until we get him home -- he doesn't need those to get back home) we need to put up a small amount of insulation (wall and ceiling), sheetrock in his bedroom along with finishing it and painting it, paint the dining room, install laminate flooring in his family room and carpeting in his bedroom.

Not alot of work --- one good team of volunteers could have it all done in a week!

But . . . getting those volunteers has been more difficult than pulling teeth (as the old saying goes).  Yesterday I made a poster and sent it to the Amvets facility hoping to get some help.  They were huge in the immediate aftermath of the tornado last year and just maybe there are some who would like to be in on the final project?  Am praying!!!!!

Don has had the patience of Job on this project.  He had planned on doing so much of the work himself --- and then he got a much needed job!  Work must come first and even with working he has already done soooo much!

If you -- or anyone you know --- can help out in any way with bringing this project to a close PLEASE let me know!

"Rebuilding lives by rebuilding homes"  --- it's time!

Until next time . . . "as you did for the least of these, you did for Me."          Susan and Monty

Monday, September 10, 2012

I didn't even know it was Grandparent's Day?

It wasn't until I looked at Facebook late last night that I realized it was Grandparent's Day!

We celebrated it all weekend.

Our grandson has had a dream of a tree house for quite some time.  His dad found a great design in one of his magazines early last year.  When they moved into their new home this January Luke patiently waited for his dream to come true.

All summer we talked about building it but with the extreme heat that seemed to last forever this past weekend was our first opportunity to get it done.

My son, Ryan came down and helped us on Saturday.

We started with the digging of the 4 holes to set the support poles.  Monty took advantage of Ryan and Tyler's youth and muscle!

Ryan checking to see if it's deep enough?  Nope -- it had to be deep enough for only the handle of the spade to show!  Keep digging!

Tyler and our ergonically correct post hole diggers.  No matter, his shoulders still felt the burn!

After getting the posts set we were on the way.  We got the floors in and the rail around the "deck" of the house.  So cute!

 With the rails up and everything ready for the actual house part and the darkness setting in we decided to enjoy the pizza dinner Stacy brought in for us all and continue our plan tomorrow morning.  Ryan wasn't able to make the trip back and we knew we would really miss him.  We had so much fun all day Saturday.  Luke and his friends couldn't even wait for us to get it finished before asking if they could take a look from up there.

Sunday morning got started with trying to figure out the design for the house part.  The magazine wasn't too detailed in their plans and Monty has studied it all the night before and even into Sunday morning trying to figure out just how it was to be built.

His idea --- sidewalk chalk!  Yep, draw it out on the driveway to make sure we had the right angles in the right places.  And guess what --- it worked great!  I love his creativity!  (among other things of course)

With Ryan not there we needed Tyler's muscle even more and he was up for the task!  He learned to use all sorts of power equipment and told us at the end of the day that he was going to get one of those impact drills -- no matter if he couldn't think of anything he needed it for right away!  He used it all day long putting the screws in everywhere.

Okay --- I have no idea what happened to this picture as it uploaded here.  It doesn't look like this on the computer?????  Blogger has it's own mind sometimes?  Anyway, you can see the frame start to take shape.  Luke smiled when he figured out how the A-frame house got its name.

The end result?  Success for sure!  Those smiles tell it all.  It still needs a bit of cedar trim, a coat of primer and paint but the kids could care less.  They were thrilled.  We even "borrowed" a ladder that a neighbor was getting rid of to fill in until we can build one. 

The finishing touch was adding the hammock underneath!  Priceless!

The highlight of the weekend for us?  A picture is worth a thousand words!

So Happy Grandparent's Day to us!!!!  It couldn't have been any better!!!!

Until next time . . . it's such an amazing blessing to become grandparents!!!!    Susan and Monty

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Heaven Rejoices

Yesterday morning Carla went where she knew she was going --- and heaven in rejoicing! 

I went to see her Friday afternoon and . . . we received the news before noon yesterday.

When I went to visit I was able to share and talk with her mother and mother in law who had been by her bedside continually.

I shared how I remembered one of the first times I saw her -- her physical beauty and the beauty within that shone bright enough to light up the room.  She sat with the single girls in church and I was more than shocked when she told me she was 41 --- only 3 years younger than me at the time!

We shared how she had a love for life and for people and how her smile was contagious! 

I remember the day she told me she and Todd were getting married.  She said she finally found her soul mate --- just like I had!!!!  She was right.

Todd is understandably struggling with all this and even though she and he had already made all the final arrangements --- we're never ready to let go of a loved one.  And especially not our soul mate!

Please cover this entire family -- and extended family -- in your prayers.

Carla always said she wasn't afraid and she was excited to get to meet Jesus.  I know it must have been quite an introduction and the celebration will continue for quite some time!

I loved you Carla -- you were such an inspiration to me in so many ways -- and I will miss you more than you could imagine.  The front row of church will never be the same!

But I also know you are with Jesus in heaven and will be front and center when it comes to praising Him!

Until next time . . .  give your loved ones a special hug today!                  Susan and Monty

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Home . . . thoughts

Leaving for home . . . the long flights ahead . . . tired and yet filled up . . . lives changed forever!

Our flight home took us from Maui airport into Dallas.  With the time change we somehow completely missed Thursday night.  Sleeping on the plane was nearly impossible as Bobby, Hannah and I had the very very last row of the plane -- the 3 seats in the center of the plane where you can see absolutely nothing!  Bev was 4 rows ahead of us.  Not only were we freezing cold during the entire 6 1/2 hour flight but we were next to the bathrooms and I have concluded that no drinks should be served while flying at night!    :)

We did have a 3 hour layover in Dallas where we tried to figure out what time zone we were in and also eat something.  When you've missed a nights sleep not much of anything sounds good to eat.

The flight from Dallas to Indianapolis was a little over 75 minutes and we were all way more than ready to get off the plane.  The hour drive home was quiet as we were all just numb.  It was good to see our families as we pulled back into the Sam's Club parking lot.  I felt like I didn't want to let go of Monty.  Bobby's dad was there waiting for him and Hannah's mom followed within minutes.  We didn't spend much time with goodbyes as everyone was tired and hungry and confused as to what day it was.

I will admit that it took me a full week to recover physically.  Sleep evaded me for nights but it was all worth it.

As I think back (and got to spend all of yesterday afternoon with Bev, Sus and Jess reliving so many of the things that happened) I realize each day just how much our lives have been changed.  I know I expected it to happen with everyone else but not much for myself.  After all - we've been doing this  for 7 years now but . . . I was surprised.  I feel such a connection with each of the team members! 

Becky made it to Bible study yesterday morning and it was like seeing a family member.  Bev gave me a ride and all we could talk about was "this" and "that" constantly.  Folks listening to us could only say they wished they would've gone!

Becky is planning a cookout "reunion" this month and I already know that we will all be telling stories and laughing and talking about how God did this and how He did that!  Each team member felt God's presence like never before and since God is all about relationships --- well --- we all know that even better now!

I have seen many, many miracles over the years and stood in amazement at each one.  My week in Maui brought even more and I still stand in amazement --- and thanks --- and wonder that God would use a plain old person like myself to work His wonders through! 

None of us knew what to expect on the trip.  All of us just said "yes" and left the rest to God. 

Aren't we glad we did!  God is the perfect planner and I love the surprises He had and the blessings He poured over all of us.

Moral of the story --- as each one said in their presentation in church this past Sunday --- "if you have the opportunity to go --- go!  And if you can help send someone else --- send them."

Until next time . . . God is such an awesome God!!!!!                               Susan and Monty

(one last view from our window)

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Sunday Testimonies/Day 7

This morning was the morning our Vineyard team gathered on the platform of church and shared with the entire congregation what God had done in their lives in Maui.  It was something they had asked to do.  They wanted to speak from their hearts, no script and I decided on no pictures on the powerpoint.  The picture books were on a table in the lobby if anyone wanted to scroll through them.

This was the time for each one, Hannah, Charles and Bobby to share from their hearts.  And share they did!  We were thrilled that both Bev and Becky from the Bedford church came to support the team.  Each one shared something different, something personal and the congregation hung onto every word from each one!  God spoke through them and it as an honor to stand with them. 

And now back to our week . . . day 7 was Wednesday, our last day on the mountain.

It was also our 14th wedding anniversary and the very first one we've ever spent apart!  Not an easy day for me.  I called him first thing and from there knew we had to get started working.  This was the day we set aside to clean the entire facility and both vehicle.

I thought today everyone would need a jump start.  We had seen a little Bistro restaurant just a couple of blocks down the road and decided we would treat ourselves and go there for a good and hearty breakfast.  It was amazing and it was fun to have us all together filling our tummies!

When we got back I was ready to jump into work but the team got all together and asked me to sit down?  Here they came with an anniversary card and a bouquet of the local flowers!  It was priceless to me and brought a flood of tears!  They said they knew just how difficult this day was for me and hoped the card and flowers would help.  Bev even took pictures and texted them to Monty along with words that I couldn't even read through my tears!  This team touched my heart so much --- they cared enough to do that for me!!!!!!

After gathering myself I got busy and made a very long list of everything that needed to be accomplished.  All I told them was where the list was and as they finished a task they were to check it off the list.  Never once did I say anymore!  They actually got a kick out of checking things off and telling how many more needed done.  Hannah jumped in and tackled the cleaning of not one but both vehicles that had been for our use all week.  That little girl worked and worked and I have no doubt the van hadn't been that clean since the day it was purchased!

We cleaned bathrooms, swept floors, arranged the shed, moved and arranged tools, swept some more, cleaned the showers and the entire sanctuary!  You name it and it was cleaned.  All our beds were stripped and the sheets washed and folded, along with all our towels that we bought when we got there and left them as donations to the cause.

Everything looked 100% better than when we arrived = our goal was met!

Our next step was getting to the hotel.  Yes, when we booked our tickets through Expedia the gentleman told us we were eligible for a "promotion" which we gladly accepted.  We had one room for our last night -- at the newly constructed Courtyard Marriott at the airport.  It had just opened in June.  When we originally booked our tickets there were just 4 of us so one room with 2 double beds was perfect.  By this time our team had grown to 7 needing to sleep so we were blessed to get an adjoining room. 

When we arrived in the very early evening and got all checked in and our jaws picked up off the floor from seeing how beautiful it was --- the younger ones headed straight for the pool!  They were there for a couple of hours before coming back and were more than ready for dinner.  We took a vote and the nearby Italian restaurant won the vote. 

The food was amazing and the fun even more.  Afterwards we took a short walk around the area and then headed back. 

For me -- sitting by the gas fire pit in front of the pool was just what I needed.  Relaxation and beauty in a place I never even dreamed of being!

When everyone made their way there also I asked them to gather round and play "high - low" which is just telling what was the high point of their week and what was their low point.  For nearly every single one the low point was having to leave!  High points were all over the place and it was a great way to close the week.

Just as we finished Alton and Linda came by to thank us and spent some time with all of us.  It was tough to say goodbye for all of us.

Tomorrow would have us all flying out at different times.  Becky in the morning.   Hannah, Bobby, Charles and I late afternoon and Mary and Charles late night.  Tonight was a great way to close the week.

Having the hotel room for the last night was such a treat and just one more time that God reached down and touched us with a great blessing!

Lord, we all thank you for being such a loving God!  Just wish we could love you back half as much!!

Until next time . . . Thanks to everyone for such an amazing week!              
What an awesome God we serve!                                               Susan and Monty