Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Even the wind and the waves obey Him . . ."

"Even the winds and waves obey Him."

Asking you to join us in praying that the winds and waves of hurricane Sandy obey Him!

God is the God of everything -- this may be the biggest storm since records started being recorded but . . .

Mark 11:23 tells us that when we "say to the mountain" --- meaning our current "mountain" is this hurricane and we are to speak TO it --- out loud --- speaking with our mouths!  Tell it to "go in Jesus' Name."

Please join us in these prayers because "where two or three are gathered together, there He is in the midst of us."

Until next time . . . blessings to the east coast.                                  Susan and Monty

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Holton --- here we come

Yes -- we are planning 2 different trips to the city of Holton, Indiana.

Holton is a small town that took a direct hit from the March 2nd tornadoes. 

When I attended the INVOAD meeting a couple of weeks ago I talked with the Phil, who leads their long term recovery committee.  He mentioned that they need volunteers desperately.  With the "newness" gone and the winter weather knocking on our doors they need to get folks back home.

I mentioned this to our local COAD group last week and they were on board to schedule a trip.

I also got a few questions from folks at our church asking if we had any trips coming up.

So . . . we have a church trip scheduled and a COAD trip scheduled.

Each trip will only be one day but hopefully we have alot of people sign up and we know that with God's help we can accomplish more than we can ever imagine!

Pray that those God calls to go on these trips will be obedient to His call.  "Rebuilding lives by rebuilding homes."

Also --- let's all join together in prayers for those in the path of hurricane Sandy.  Again -- our weather causes us to forget that hurricane season is not "done" until November 30 and hurricane Sandy is a very real and threatening reminder.  We have dear friends in New Jersey (hey Jack, Sue and team) and Monty and I will be praying for all of them.  Jesus calmed the storm in scripture and He's still in the business of making "the wind and the waves" obey Him!

Until next time . . . be blessed.                                       Susan and Monty

Monday, October 22, 2012

All Over the Place

These past few days have literally been all over the place.

Let me back up . . .

The HeavenNevaeh team of men returned to Don's on Thursday and Friday afternoons last week and did an amazing job rebuilding the subflooring in his hallway and installing the new flooring.  They even jumped in and started cleaning his household furniture and moving it back inside the house as we had stored it in the back two rooms that are just gutted out -- so we could get all the flooring installed.  They set up his bedroom and now as soon as he has the gas turned back on he is ready to move home!  We will continue working on rebuilding the back bedrooms as time and volunteers permit.  Don has said he will be continually working on them also -- as soon as he gets moved home!

I also took the director of the team, David, down to see Billy's retaining wall.  He knew another gentleman who said he could gather a team of men and get the job done fairly quickly.  Pray that can come about as Billy has also been waiting a really long time and with winter weather just around the corner. . .

Thursday afternoon was our C.O.A.D. (Community Organizations Active in Disaster) monthly meeting.  Quite a few members came and we had alot, and I mean alot, of discussion on the topics on the agenda.  One of the main ones was the application for a community grant that had to be on the desk of the "powers that be" by the following day.  We also put together our "Wish List" for the local newspaper and area.  And in the not so distant future we will be scheduling a trip to southern Indiana to help with the rebuilding from this springs tornado.  They were all excited about the idea of doing that so . . . let's go!  I also hope to put together a team from our local church and heard from one of the COAD members this morning that their church is putting together a team and planning a trip!  Go teams!!

Friday had me up very early working on the grant application and all the items that were required.  I had it all together and on the table by noon.  I did meet with our local grant expert and was told that it looked good and when I dropped it off I actually got to talk with 2 of the men who will be making the final decisions and allotments so I felt that was a divine appointment!  Please pray that the funding we asked for does come through so we can continue to teach and prepare and be the hands and feet of Jesus when needed most.

The weekend just flew by -- not even sure where it all went.  I did "change seasons" with all my flowers and such yesterday afternoon since the temps were pushing 80 and the sun was shining bright!  I love it when it's just me and God working outside together!

Late last night I received a text that my dear friend, Bev's father in law passed away!  I know this has to be a very difficult time for the entire family!  It's never easy and sometimes satan loves to bring about chaos and confusion at the most difficult times!  Please cover the whole family in prayers for peace and comfort and love.

Until next time . . . peace and love and comfort to all of you!                      Susan and Monty

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Tuesday -- and another Bible study missed.  This time I was attending a conference about serving on the board of directors for not for profit organizations.  It lasted all morning long and was worth every minute.  Since both Monty and I are the directors for IGO Disaster Relief and me being the director for Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) for our home town the knowledge was appropriate and priceless.  Many thanks to the local Volunteer Network for hosting this class.

I have been working many hours in preparation for our next COAD meeting this Thursday.  There is so much I want and need to cover and had hoped to hold a board meeting before but schedules just didn't allow it so we will be covering alot of ground.  We are applying for a piece of a local grant coming and need to put together the proper information and paperwork by the end of Friday - this Friday.  We also will be featured in our local area under what's called a "Wish List" and those needs also need to be identified. 

The main theme of the meeting is a question and answer period discussing our disaster plan.  It's quite a few pages long and each member received a copy to read and study and bring their questions.  I don't - by any means - profess to have all the answers but . . . we need to make certain we are all on the same page when the next disaster happens.

Thursday and Friday of this week our HeavenNevaeh team of men will return to work on Don's house.  They will start on replacing the damaged subflooring in his hallway and then installing the flooring to match the rest of the house.  Don has not moved back home yet due to trying to get the natural gas turned back on.  In a disaster it is shut off and getting it reconnected can have one jumping through many hoops!  He's getting help from his local township trustee and will hopefully have it resolved and back home very soon.

We will also be making a trip back to Billy's house to take a look at his retaining wall that still needs rebuilt.  Finding any volunteers to work on that has been more difficult that finding the needle in a haystack deal.  More than a bit frustrating for both of us.  God will provide just who we need, I just wish I could set His watch to match mine!   :)

And --- I haven't mentioned this to any of you yet --- but I interviewed for the position of school bus driver and got the job.  With our donations really suffering I need to bring in some income and take some of the weight of the world from Monty's shoulders.  We've been home for 2 years now and by the looks of things we will be home throughout the upcoming winter.  So . . . Todd, a dear friend of ours mentioned the need to me and with his connections as already driving and having good friends there -- all I had to do was fill out the online application and the job was mine.  I have already taken my drug test and completed my physical today.  Now comes the studying as I must obtain a CDL - B license with riders of air brakes, passenger and school bus driving.  The book itself is intimidating but with God's help I will get through it and pass all 4 tests, get my learner's permit, take the hands on training from the school system, get my actual license and then get my bus route.  Pray for me -- big time!

I close this with some really sad news.  Our dear friend, Cheryl, had a miscarriage a few days ago and our hearts go out to her and her entire family.  In times like this there are no words, no answers -- just the arms of Jesus to hold her up! 

Until next time . . . God is good ---- all the time, even when we can't see it.     Susan and Monty

Friday, October 12, 2012

Lot 50

Monty doesn't get mentioned all that much in my blog and for those of you who wonder what he's always doing . . . take a look at these pics! 

The kitchen.

Bedroom carpeting.
There are no words!

Looking into the master bath with white mold growing on the ceiling to the right of the ceiling fan!

Seen enough?  This is yet another trailer he is rebuilding.  THIS is what he is doing all day every day.  Sometimes he's underneath working on sewer lines (no pics, you don't want to see those) and other times he's up on the roof making repairs (where I found him today). 

On this trailer he decided to take some "before" pics and will be taking some during the process and then at the end so you can see the "after".

No, none of this is Webster's definition of a disaster but these homes have been abandoned and are in a state of disaster. 

Once again God has educated him through all the experience we received over the past years following disasters and rebuilding homes.  I never cease to be amazed how incredible God's plan is and how He orchestrates our lives!  What an awesome God! 

We are on the verge of another weekend.  Take some time and stop and smell the flowers and thank God for all your blessings!  Solomon seems to be standing in amazement at the beauty!  Do we?

Until next time . . .                  Susan and Monty

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

He's packing

First thing this morning, an hour before they were scheduled, the carpet installers were at Don's and ready to go.  They were just putting down the tack strips when Don stopped by to meet and thank them.  (Don is the one on the far right of the picture)

The bedroom looked wonderful when they finished.  I love the color and Don was especially happy since he picked out the color and being a man -- had some doubts!     :)

While Don was there he joined in the "fun" of finishing the teeny areas of flooring that I had been working on.

Getting those last few pieces was literally like assembling a puzzle and took not only the both of us but the reporter that was also there.  We got it done and were thrilled at the results.

After everyone else cleared out I got busy finishing painting the bedroom (Mark had obviously worked till late last night getting the walls and ceilings ready and I am so thankful for his heart of service) and installing the rest of the base trim in the double family room.  By the time I got that base trim done the walls in the bedroom were dry enough for me to start installing the base trim in there.  I was glad I got that second coat of paint on it yesterday morning before "drowning" my phone as it really looked good today.

It took me all day but when I got done the house was ready for Don to pack up his clothes and his cat and move back home.  He said he will be arranging his furniture and packing over the next couple of days.  He has a water leak in the hot water heater and needs to fix it also before moving in.  And he needs to get his natural gas turned back on so he can have heat.  He isn't hurrying and couldn't thank everyone enough for all the work that they have done.  He is looking forward to continuing the work himself.  He is really good at construction and likes doing it and with being back home he can continue the rebuilding process and have fun in doing so.  He will let me know when he needs materials.

This is a view of the bedroom all painted and carpeted.  The only thing left is trimming around the windows (I ran out of materials to do so).  It's so beautiful and such an amazing transformation!

I had such a good time doing some hands on work over the past couple of weeks and realized just how much enjoyment I get out of it.  It's been a long time.  My muscles know just how long it's been but hey -- they will calm down and I look forward to doing more on the back two bedrooms that we haven't even touched yet!

We'll be seeing alot more of Don over the winter!  There's still quite a bit of work to be done so if you are inclined to lend a hand -- and the rest of you along with it -- just let me know.

Welcome home, Don --- welcome home! 

Praise the Lord!               Until next time . . .                       Susan and Monty

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

It's Where ?????

Tuesday mornings I am usually headed south to Bible Study.  Not this morning.

I woke up during the night (nothing new) and decided to get some more work done at Don's.  The carpet installers will be there in the morning and I knew if I ran to Lowes and got the base trim for his bedroom I could get it painted (to match the walls) and it would be dry and ready for me to install after the carpeting is completed.  I also thought I could get a coat of paint on his front door and really spif up the family room.

So off I went. 

In and out of Lowes will just what I needed and at Don's early enough to get it all done before noon.

As I pulled into his driveway I noticed the dumpster was gone!?  I wasn't happy as it wasn't full and I planned on keeping it there until we are completely done with all of the house!  A few text messages later revealed a new driver had made a big mistake and he was on his way back with another one (an empty one) so score one for God trumping satan's plan.

I was painting away and got a phone call.  Answered and taken care of and back to painting.

I knew I had an appointment at 1:00 so thought I better check the time.  Checked my shirt pocket for my phone and it wasn't there?  I knew it had been there awhile ago as I took that phone call.  The pocket has a button on it -- but it wasn't buttoned!?

I searched and searched - room after room - retracing my steps with no results.

The dumpster driver arrived and I needed to make sure he didn't land the dumpster on the temporary power lines on the ground -- remembering he was a new driver!  He did great.

Just as he was pulling out I stopped him and told him I'd lost my phone and would he be so kind as to call it so I could listen for it and find it from its hiding place.  No problem, he dialed.

I ran inside and heard nothing.  Checked back with him to make sure he called the right number.  He did and tried again -- and again -- and again.  No sound!

Then it dawned on me -- could it be possible?  I had been painting with the gallon paint can ??? Oh no, surely not.  Of all the places I had been and the opening in that can can't be 6 or 7 inches across?

So I grabbed a screw driver to stick into the can and --- well --- you've probably already guessed it by now --- sure enough --- I hear my phone banging around!

Shocked I reached my entire hand and arm into the can and pulled up a rather nasty phone -- more than soaked with beige paint, running off the phone and my hand and down my arm!

When I told the driver I found it and where he just shook his head and laughed -- glad it wasn't his phone!

I closed the can, dropped everything I was doing and wrapped both the phone and my hand in paper towels and headed to the phone store.  The only thing on my mind was salvaging all my contacts in the phone.

The store was only a mile away and when I walked in they all knew exactly what had happened!  They tried not to laugh but I could see their smiles breaking through and decided I may as well join them!  What's done is done so let's move on.

It was completely destroyed -- but God -- somehow they were able to save the contacts! 

Now came the "hold onto my seat" for the upcoming cost!  I knew we didn't have the hundreds of dollars it was going to take and quite frankly was on the verge of panic!

When the clerk looked up my account he realized I am eligible for an upgrade the end of this month and said he could give me a "loaner" phone until then.  How awesome!  I didn't care what it looked like or what it did or didn't do -- as long as it could send and receive calls and texts I was good!

I made it to my 1:00 appointment and only had to apologize for not being able to get home and change clothes before arriving there.  When they heard the story they also laughed, thankful it wasn't their phone!

I guess I should've gone to Bible study but I did learn something -- God does have the ultimate plan and although satan tries with all he has to mess that plan up -- God always wins!

They WERE able to save my contacts.

I did NOT have to spend any dollars (yet).

I DO have a working phone.

Don DOES have painted trim and front door.

I AM smiling and thanking God for His perfect love!  In my before bed devotions last night the focus was on feeling joy in the midst of trials.  Joy????  Well, it wasn't easy but by the end of the day I can laugh about it and realize just how awesome God really is!  Thus --- joy!!!!

Until next time . . . this is NOT what a phone should look like!

And this was taken after I tried to clean it up!  Oh my!!                             Susan and Monty

Monday, October 08, 2012

Roller Coaster

First of all, thanks for the prayers for Monty's back injury.  He went back to the chiropractor this morning as getting out of bed was more than difficult due to the pain.  He missed work today and will hopefully be doing better tomorrow after some major icing of the areas. 

I started the morning at Don's.  I was going to finish the flooring since Monty loaned me his jigsaw but decided to get the major portion of the master bedroom painted instead.  Mark is working on the sheetrock in the newly rebuilt area and I knew I could get the old part painted and then hopefully can have the new part done before the carpet installers arrive on Wednesday morning. 

My main problem was getting all the furniture out of the bedroom for the carpet installers.  I made a quick call to Don and since he was off work today he was able to get out there and remove everything from the room!  How awesome this was for me since that furniture was big -- and way too much for me!

Maybe tomorrow I can get the flooring done or I may wait until the carpet installers are there and work on that at the same time?  Depends on when the rest of the bedroom is ready for paint.

Don is planning on moving back in as soon as the room is done so hopefully that can be Wednesday.  Pray for us all.   :)

When I finished with the painting I needed to help Monty with some things at home.  No lifting for him so here I was . . . and we got everything done.

As I went to take care of Ms Gladys and walk her little dog I was glad to see that one of her granddaughters had taken her to lunch!  She was so excited when she got home --- until she got a phone call.  (now remember that she is nearly 89 years old and blind).  Someone called her home phone and told her she owed a substantial amount of money and that if she didn't take care of it right there on the phone the police would be at her door to arrest her!  She was so very upset and told me that the Holy Spirit told her this was a scam.  Her granddaughter was still there and tried to call the number back and talk with them.  All she got was someone with a foreign accent who told her not to call there again!

Satan is such an ugly and vile thing and reaching out to try and bring fear and confusion into this little elderly lady's life just makes me so upset!  I am thankful she realized it was a scam but realizing that didn't calm her down -- the fear was already there!  As I took my walk to take her trash to the dumpster I once again (outloud) cursed satan and his plans and in the name of Jesus blessed her and her house!  (I think other neighbors may have been ready to call the men in the white coats to come and get me)!!!

And now I prepare for this evening -- 2 important meetings.  The first one is a question and answer meeting about the possiblity of getting a grant for the COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disaster).  This is something that would be a major blessing and so please pray that God will intervene and put His hand of provision into the works.

The second meeting (thanks to Bev scheduling for me) is the Town Council meeting where I will be able to share about COAD.  We need more organizations involved and in order for them to consider it they need to know who we are and what we do and plan to do.

Both meetings are extremely important and back to back.  I pray God will give me the words I need and take away the ones I don't.  Please join me in that prayer!

Until next time . . . as our Jersey team always said, "yea God -- boo devil"      Susan and Monty

Saturday, October 06, 2012

98% there

The men from Heaven Nevaeh working on Don's flooring on Thursday. 

Today when I finished.  I am 98% there and just need to borrow Monty's jigsaw to finish the last row.  The base trim is also nearly complete and hopefully Monday I can say it's officially done! 

It was a productive day.  Sheila returned and focused her efforts in the kitchen and after being there for hours she was still working when I left.  It's looking amazing and when I sent Don a text (he was working) he was thrilled beyond words!  He won't recognize the place!

So the carpeting is rescheduled for Wednesday morning and hopefully Mark has the mudding and texturing done by then -- and maybe I can have the painting done also.

If we can get this bedroom finished and Don moved back in it will be the first time he's been able to sleep in his own bedroom since May 24th of 2011.  That's my goal so pray we can make it happen!

I am also asking for prayers for Monty.  He really injured his back over the past few days and had to make an emergency trip to the chiropractor this morning.  Even the chiro said he hadn't seen a back that bad off before!  He's having difficulty standing up straight and getting in and out of the truck is a real challenge.  Hopefully the adjustment will hold and with each passing day he will be feeling better.

Until next time . . . let's all take tomorrow as an opportunity to join our church family and do some praising to Jesus for all He's done for us!                                                 Susan and Monty

Friday, October 05, 2012

Flooring and cleaning !!!

No pictures this evening but maybe tomorrow.

Yesterday the men from Heaven Nevaeh returned and concentrated on installing the laminate flooring.  They made great progress and had the most beautiful weather day to do so.

Today Sheila returned to continue cleaning the bathroom and I have no doubt that it is the cleanest it's been since before the tornado!  Don will be so thrilled.  She admitted she is a perfectionist and after seeing her work -- no doubt!  Just what you need in a cleaning person!  An angel for sure -- and she is coming back tomorrow!  And bringing help!

I worked yesterday with the crown molding and got it all done.  I also got more base trim and got it stained and some painted to put in the dining room.  Again, the weather was perfect and almost immediate drying time.

This morning I had a blast attending my granddaughter's preschool for Grandparent's Day!  It was so fun watching them sing songs and work on poems and absorb knowledge like dry sponges!  Priceless.

From there I headed back to Don's and did more trimming.  After I got as far as I could I decided to tackle the flooring myself.  I admit I have not physically installed it but have seen it done a thousand times and had such fun learning and getting it done.  The men got it started, which is the hard part, and all I needed to do was follow their lead.  Hopefully I can finish it tomorrow.

Near the end of the day Mark came to my rescue in the mudding of the master bedroom area!  He is an expert at this and can make it go so smoothly and so perfect and so quickly that I was happy to step out of there and give it all to him! 

We also had the students from the newspaper, The Indiana Daily Student, return this afternoon.  They did a great article in the beginning of our rebuild and spent hours with us that day.  They called yesterday to see if they could do another article and once again spent the entire afternoon with us.  They were amazed at the progress and stayed to watch the flooring being installed and the cleaning being done.  The photographer and her mother were still there visiting with Mark when I left at nearly 5pm.  And they want to come back tomorrow morning!

I made it home just in time to get our grandkids and take them to dinner with us.  Always a hoot and such a blessing to us both.  They each ordered pancakes -- as usual.  They came back here and played for a long time before their parents came to pick them up.  It gives their parents some time for themselves and we have such fun.

Tomorrow is Saturday and I will be at Don's all day.  In my own little world -- with the Christian music playing -- God and I having some fun.

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

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Bringing a bit of "Heaven" to Don's

Yes, the men from Heaven Nevaeh returned this afternoon and brought a bit of heaven to Don's.  Not only did the clouds and heavy fog leave, the sunshine broke through and they were able to work in great temps and accomplished way more than I had dreamed -- and they will be back tomorrow afternoon!  They started by clearing out the other side of the family room, which was literally packed floor to ceiling with furniture.  The carpeting under all that still needed removed and they made haste in getting it all cleared out.  As they removed the carpeting in the small hallway area they discovered an area of subflooring that has been wet and must be replaced.  Their comment was "well, we already have the materials on site so let's get it done." 

I had a wonderful surprise helper today.  Ms Sheila came over to do some cleaning!  I was concerned that she might feel overwhelmed when she saw all the work that needed done but she just smiled and started working in the bathroom.  I had to make a run to get her supplies and by the time I returned she had already found some things and just worked with what she had.  She did smile again when she saw I brought her a bucket!  She cleaned the furniture as the men brought it outside and never stopped working the entire day.  She said she might be able to come back tomorrow and would for sure be back Friday and would be bringing a helper!  Now that's my kind of volunteer!!!
If you take a closer look at the above photo you will see the color that Don selected for the exterior wood siding.  It's a bluish color and looks really nice with the gray shingles.  He hasn't gotten alot of it stained due to working and the rainy weather but he'll get it done.  All we need to do is get him moved back home and he'll be right there every hour he isn't working and so he can still be working - at home!    :)

I worked on the crown molding trim and painting windows all morning along with making sure all our materials were on site and ready to go for the men.  We had 52 boxes of the laminate flooring and once again --- thank goodness I have a big truck with a full size bed!

It was a really good and productive day and once again all the volunteers were smiling as they were working!  I love days like this one!

As I was coming home I stopped by to check on Ms Gladys and take Benji for his afternoon walk.  She had trashed piled up by the door and so I gathered the rest of her trash and loaded it into my truck.  Just as I was returning with Benji I heard her screaming from the kitchen!  I thought she fell but she had dropped a glass into the sink and heard it break.  Now remember that she is blind so broken glass in a sink is a disaster waiting to happen.  She was okay and so I got it all cleaned up and safe for her.  She was upset as this is the first time she's done anything like this but all I could think about was what if I hadn't been there?  She promised she would call me if she had any other accidents.  I have grown to love this tiny little elderly lady.  She has stolen my heart and I hope you will join with me in praying for her health and safety!

The Heaven Neveah men will be back tomorrow and I have a bit more to do with the trim.  Mark will be finishing up the sheetrock mudding that I started the other day and with him being a pro I have no doubt it will be ready for me to paint sometime over the weekend to be ready for the carpeting on Monday.

Busy, busy, busy and I love every single minute of it!  Things are getting done, God is being glorified and THAT is the ultimate goal!

Until next time . . . to God be the glory!  Let's keep working!                 Susan and Monty