Flashback to 2015

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hope you all had a wonderful Sunday. It started as a gloomy day this morning but as the day went on we had some glorious sunshine. We were up early to get lunch started before going to church. We really enjoyed being back in our home church today. Bro. Barry had a wonderful message out of John 9: 1-41. After worship we enjoyed being back in our Sunday School class. Our church is such a blessing. Enjoy visiting other churches as we work and travel but it’s always so good to be back at Lester Memorial. We had the LOLs for lunch again today, since we begged off last weekend and Michelle was back with us today as well. Meat loaf, peas, mashed potatoes, salad and key lime pie that we made from key lime juice from Key West. We all enjoyed the time together.

After lunch we walked with Barry and Donna – 4 miles, and then later they come over for a visit and key lime pie. It was so good to have time with them again. We miss our dear friends when we travel. We need to plan another trip together. Just before dark we walked one more mile to get our five miles in for the day. It was a wonderful Sunday.

Since we don’t have any pictures for you today and since we aren’t at Murphy Harpst Children’s Center (MHCC) thought we would share a few pictures and information on the MHCC from our spring 2015 project. We were journaling at this time but not posting a blog, so we thought we would post some excerpts from our journal.

March 9-March 26, 2015

Today we completed our packing of Fred and left exactly as we had planned. 8:30 departure from home with stop at Aunt Helen’s for hooking up the Colorado and turning off the water and then “On the road again.” We both agreed that it felt really good. We had only been home from Florida 6 weeks but it was great to be rolling down the road in Fred again. We feel so blessed to be able to travel and work at the NOMADS Projects.

The campground
The campground

What a beautiful drive in the bright sunshine. After the snow and ice of the past two weeks…..this was a great drive. Our team leaders Jim and Mary Jo were awaiting our arrival, leading us in to the campground on the back side of the Murphy Harpst Children’s Center (MHCC) campus. MHCC is a children’s home primarily for troubled, abused children who have been removed from their home, most with no chance of returning there. The campground is quiet, secluded and with lots of great areas for Scout to enjoy.

Scout loved the Silver Comet Trail
Scout loved the Silver Comet Trail

After getting set up in our site, and visiting with our leaders we got the bikes out and took a tide on the Silver Comet Trail. What a great bike/hike trail this is. Of course, the section we decided to ride today is the only section on this trail with big hills. Boy – we could tell we have been doing our riding in flat Florida.

We were originally scheduled to work on remodeling some dorm rooms but all the permitting has not been completed for that project so we will be working on the dining rooms. The dining rooms have lovely old hard wood floors so our first task was to cover the floors for protection. Then we began what became many hours of scraping, and steaming old wallpaper from the walls and repairing trim and walls in preparation for painting later in the week. Unfortunately, it was determined that we would have to remove a lot of old wall paper and paste prior to painting. We first tried to paint over the wall paper and it bubbled up all over the wall.

It was our turn to give the morning devotional at 8:00. We thought it went well and then it was another day of painting. Yep, all those years of saying how much we don’t like to paint and…. God works in mysterious ways or maybe it’s just His sense of humor. Anyway, we are getting a lot of practice and we are getting pretty good at painting. However, we really aren’t sure we want to admit it. By the end of the first week we had one coat of paint on everything and we had spent many hours working high on the scaffolding. You know your legs can get pretty sore from climbing up and down, up and down that tall scaffolding.

Week two was more of the same in the dining rooms with the addition of prepping walls and trim in the administration building. A group from Atlanta was coming in to paint on Saturday and we worked to have it ready for them to paint. We also took time to have some fun with a Saint Patrick’s Day party on Tuesday. A “pitch in”, grilled burgers with all the fixings, with a camp fire and of course, green cake, affectionately called “moldy cake” by the team. By the end of our third week we had completed our dining room project as well as several odd jobs around campus and the prep for the Atlanta team.

Thank You card
Thank You card we received from the kids on our last day

We were really pleased with the way everything looked and the MHCC kids were so appreciative. It was such a privilege to work to make their world a little brighter. And in the mist of all the hard, hard work, we made some wonderful friends that it was very hard to leave. No good byes, just “see you down the road at another project, and safe travels”, and lots of hugs.

Check back in tomorrow because we are considering a road trip tomorrow if the rain holds off.

Prolific Pine Pollen Prognostication

Friday, March 24, 2017

Yesterday was, as we planned, a stay at home day. We had breakfast, walked, worked on Aunt Helen’s taxes and around the house and walked some more. We did a total of 4 miles, 2 after breakfast and 2 after lunch. We also picked up our pace. We are about back to our normal pace. One of the things we noticed while walking was the beginning of the “yellow car season.” The pine trees are just starting to release their pollen. The oaks are also doing their thing. We actually had noticed the increase in pollen when Max started sneezing shortly after getting up. He is much better but the sneezing is just really not a good idea. Ouch! Believe he will make use of antihistamines until his abdomen heals up a little more.

We got pictures from the MHCC team from the morning devotions. Frank plays the guitar, and Harry plays the auto harp with Janet playing her harp when they are responsible for devotions. We miss our devotion times with the group.

blueberry breakfast
Blueberry Breakfast

Monday when we stopped at Aldi Max spotted some blueberry syrup. Yep, we couldn’t resist so this morning we had French toast for breakfast so we could try out the syrup. It was really good!!! Today started as a really cloudy and windy day. We each had to go back for another jacket when we started out for our morning walk. Today we did 5 ½ miles, 2 this morning and 3½ this afternoon. We probably won’t increase any more for a few days. We won’t get as much walking in tomorrow because we are going to Tuscaloosa to see Anne’s mom. After the morning walk Anne had to take Aunt Helen back to get the sutures removed from her skin cancer surgery. Everything went well and she was released.

We also got an update on the OK disaster rebuild so you can see what they accomplished this week.

First Things First

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

First things first. Max got a good report from the surgeon this afternoon. He is where he is suppose to be at this point. He is suppose to still be sore and bruised and he certainly is. He is suppose to be walking a lot and not picking things up for about 2 more weeks at which time he will have his final recheck with the surgeon. So we came home and walked some more. Over 4 miles today. Max is definitely getting better – just not quite as fast as he would like. Anybody surprised at that??

Before taking Max to the doctor, Anne went to the dentist to get the permanent filling on the root canal from two weeks ago That was easy and no problems so hopefully she is done with dentist appointments for a while.

peach blossomsSo from home to Birmingham to home to Cullman to home. That took a lot of the day. Otherwise we worked on some accounting, did a little work in FRED and walked. It was another pretty day for our walking. The peach tree is in bloom so maybe it escaped last week’s freeze. The blueberries are not blooming yet so we hope they also are OK.

Thanks for all your prayers.

Saving $$

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

red maple
Red maples are about to start dropping seeds

Today started as another glorious spring day. That’s 2 in a row. More and more of the trees are budding out and the grass is growing. Love spring!! It was another stay at home day and more walking. Max needs to continue to walk to work out the soreness so we did about 3.5 miles today. He can’t pick up anything heavy, but the more he walks the better. He is continuing to improve although not as fast as he would like.

What’s the $$ about? Well Anne’s brother Sonny always says that you need to really check out your insurance every few years just to keep everyone honest. We decided to review Fred’s policy which is up for renewal next month. We received the renewal notice and new rate last week. It seemed it was up another couple of hundred again this year. Are we the only ones that seem to have always increasing rates? Anyway, today we carefully reviewed the policy – the agreed upon rate on the rig was way above the current value. It was the value about 5 years ago. So by reducing the value we saved about $1,000.00. Not saying you can do that every time you review a policy but everyone really should take time to review every 3 years or so. This applies to all your insurance – home owners, auto, life and health. We all get too busy to do this and it costs us money. And insurance sometimes makes us feel very incompetent – constantly have to look up definitions. But – the investment of some time really paid off this time. Tomorrow we see the surgeon for follow up. Praying for a good report.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Sorry for the gap in posting. Last week was pretty exhausting for both of us. We wanted to get home and get Max repaired ASAP, but things moved even faster than we expected. We are thankful for that even if it was exhausting.free ice cream cone We got no sleep Thursday night, but things have improved each day since then. Today we decided to get out for the first time. It was free ice cream cone day at Dairy Queen. Couldn’t pass up free ice cream – especially Dairy Queen. So we went to DQ, and picked up a few things at the grocery store. It went pretty well, but still certainly not 100%. However, our surgeon assures us that we will be ready for our Camp Sumatanga project in two weeks and we are looking forward to that.

We have been in contact with our team in Cedartown and they made good progress Wednesday and Thursday. Also, the current leaders at Elmore City updated their blog if you want to see the progress continuing to be made on the home we worked on there. Looks like they may finish by sometime next week. We would love to be there to see the finished project. Hopefully, we will get some pictures to share with you. Hope everyone has a good week and thanks to all of you for the prayers, texts and emails. We could certainly feel them. Please continue to pray for complete recovery.

God Is So Good!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

drone view of campground
Frank braved the cold to capture this drone view of the campground for us.

Feeling very blessed this evening.

joyce and ken sharing devotion
Joyce and Ken sharing a moving devotion that led to a discussion of the film “The Shack” that some of the team went to see last night.

This morning we got up and continued packing up FRED preparing to return home. We went to devotion time with the team where Ken and Joyce had a thought provoking devotion. We then told the team we would be leaving and said sad goodbyes. Harry and Frank helped get our ladder on the truck and while doing that we noticed the ice on the dumpster.

temperature this morning
The temperature this morning. (Actually it said 23, but changed just as the picture was taken.)

It was really cold this morning. We were so thankful that we had no frozen pipes. We went back to the campground to finish packing and pulled out about 9:15.

We had and uneventful drive home and while driving my scheduler from Cullman Internal Medicine called to say she had been able to get us an appointment with the surgeon today at 3:30. That was wonderful news. We arrived at home, got ourselves parked, plugged in and started unloading. It was soon time to drive to Cullman for our appointment. The even more wonderful news is that our surgeon will be able to perform the surgery tomorrow morning! He plans to use a block rather than general anesthesia, do the surgery laparoscopically, and said there will be about a 3 week recovery. All of this is such a blessing!!! We should be back on the road soon! We have remained in contact with our MHCC team and they have now got a replacement for us, a couple that were headed back north but due to the severe weather would like to stay in the south a few more weeks. We are so glad they won’t be working short handed. Blessings on blessings. God is SO GOOD!