All posts by steph

Contrary to popular belief….

We have not fallen of the face of the earth. It’s been so very quiet here in this corner of the internet because we have been totally and completely consumed by getting this sweet little house in Waco ready to sell. Although we have an interested party, they are not sure it will be happening for them (although we would both like it to!), so we have moved ahead with getting the house market ready. And you know what that means, right? Exhaustion!
Let’s start at the beginning. We were so blessed (and I mean like blessed our socks off) to have our dear friends Don and Jenny join us for our first week of the Waco Reno. What a great way to kick start the process! While Gary was working (mostly) in the attic on the electrical upgrade,
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Don began tackling some of the outdoor challenges. The lawn got mowed (thanks to a sweet neighbor who loaned us her mower), some of the weeds got wacked (thanks to Josiah’s weed wacker) and the deck (and any number of other areas) got a long overdue pressure washing!
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Jenny and I were hard at work doing interior painting.
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They were here for 6 days – and it was a great way to kick-start this renovation!! By the time they left Don had made a good dent in the yard work department (along with being our spackle – fix it guy as we moved from room to room) and Jenny and I had gotten five rooms painted. Phew!!
Although I’m trying to put together some good before/after shots (when I remember to take the ‘before’ pictures that is), here is a sneak preview of the living room makeover. (Ok, it’s really just a paint job, but makeover sounds so much more official.)
Before –
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and after –
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We finished off our time with Don and Jenny with breakfast at Magnolia Table.
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While Chip and Joanna did not stop by, we had a great breakfast and are pleased to pass on the tip that if you arrive around 8AM on a Wednesday, you don’t even have to wait for a table! You’re welcome.

I’ve so much more to share, but today was filled with lawn clean up, weed pulling and floor scrubbing, and this tired puppy is heading to bed!! Thanks for your patience as we navigate these getting-the-house-ready-for-market days.

Before we start April…..

Let’s finish up March, shall we? (Oh, you say, but it’s already April 6th! I understand your confusion. But let’s just say – for today only, that it’s the end of March. Please?)

Following our March SOWER project at Panfork Camp, we hit the road for Big Sandy, TX where the 2019 Texas Roundup was being held. We pulled in a couple days early
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but before long the campground was full of rigs (and SOWERS ready for a great Roundup!).
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A SOWER Rally (or Round-up as we like to call’em here in Texas) is simply a gathering of any SOWERS who can make it – whether you’re just starting out on your SOWER journey or have been serving for decades – for a time of fellowship, fun, and ministry refreshment. For us personally it’s a wonderful time of reconnecting with folks we’ve worked with in the past and also an opportunity to meet some of the new faces that we hope to serve with in the future. Between the speakers and the activities, it’s always a great reminder of just why we do what we do. This year’s Round-up was no exception! Here are just a couple of the highlights –

  • We were blessed two mornings with messages from Lew Sterrett and his team from Sermon on the Mount.
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    So many Biblical lessons were shared – if you ever have the opportunity to hear him (or someone from his ministry) I urge you to take advantage of it! He was excellent!
  • We shared lunches and dinners together – always a great time of fellowship! Whether it was catered by ALERT or a good old fashioned (and always delicious) SOWER potluck
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    (Oh yeah, baby. Desserts!)
    Or the beautiful banquet ALERT put on for us –
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    (Don’t ask me what I’m doing in this picture – I haven’t a clue!)
    the fellowship around the table is always sweet!
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  • Our days always started with a time of worship, and we were led by the incredibly talented Salty Strings.
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    John and Connie not only share Christ through their music ministry, they are SOWERS too!! We loved getting to meet them and get to know them!
  • Another tradition at SOWER rallies is the auction. While it’s true that we are basically just trying to sell stuff we don’t want to other folks that don’t really need any more stuff, we certainly do try to have a good time while we do it!
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    Money was raised – and laughter did happen!
  • But of course, the main attraction and true blessing of any SOWER gathering are the people!

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Oh, my! When we all joined hands and sang our SOWER theme song, the room resounded with “Hear Ye the Master’s Call!”
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(If this picture is just showing several blurry white balls, and you would like to actually see the picture, just click on the picture. 🙂 )

We can’t thank enough all the people that worked to put this most excellent Roundup together and ALERT Academy who once again so graciously hosted the event! What a wonderful way to finish up our busy winter season!
We pulled out on Wednesday, delighting in the spring green, and ready to tackle our next project!
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Wrapping up March

OK, so March isn’t actually OVER, but our March SOWER project at Panfork Camp has come to a close, so it seemed a good time to give a little review of our time there!

Since you already know about the De-Bunking we did-
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and the Great Lifeguard Chair Challenge
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I thought I’d give you some details about the other major job that was tackled during our project.
One of the staff houses sustained some major water damage over the rough winter just past. Plumbing need to be repaired/replaced, drywall needed to be removed and flooring needed to be redone. It involved a bathroom, a closet, a laundry room and of course, the room that all of those doors opened up to!
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It was a mess, and with the new director and wife moving in  (hopefully)  by April 1st, the timing was critical. Lots to do, but the guys were up to it!
They started with the floor
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(though in hindsight, they would recommend doing the floor AFTER the drywall, etc. You know, construction dirt).
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Work progressed at a nice rate,
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while we ladies were busy painting the trim for them to re-install,
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and doing any other painting we could do while not being in the guys’ way!
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By the end of the three weeks, the room was finished, the plumbing worked, and all was good!
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Of course, there was other work that was accomplished. While the guys checked off several other maintenance jobs (which included, but was not limited to, pulling up more carpeting in another building)
Dorothy & I did some spring cleaning in one of the guest houses –
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and Larry spent some more time under sinks and behind toilets.
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It was a rough winter on the plumbing at the camp!
We ladies also tackled the job of sorting all those screws, nuts and bolts that came off those bunkbeds!

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It’s all about organization, folks! (And not being afraid of getting dirty!)

This really was a sweet project! Although Panfork Camp has been around since the 1940’s, this was the first time that SOWERs were here to help. We were honored to be in that first group!
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I’m not going to lie. The Texas Panhandle is not the prettiest part of Texas.
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This time of year it looks pretty barren. And brown.
But I sense, that when the trees break out of their winter mode, and the kids start coming here to learn about Jesus and the Hope that is in Him, this will be hallowed ground indeed!
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(If you’d like to see some more Panfork photos, you can check them out here!)

 

 

 

 

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to…

Build a Lifeguard Chair.
We had a prototype.
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We had 20 pages of instructions and a variety of tools.

We sorted our pieces
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and counted our screws.
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Let the building begin!
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There were a couple of areas where we needed a bit of man power,
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but for the most part, this was a Girl Power project from start to finish!
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We might just have to update our skill sheets!

Getting Our Kicks on Route 66

I cannot say that we have gone out of our way to explore “The Mother Road” – Route 66. But in our almost 15 years (!!!) on the road, we have bumped up against it once or twice.
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Back in 2008 we followed it for day and ended up in Oatman, AZ – now most famous for their wild burros.
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Many years later (2017) we found it running through the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert
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Right now we are serving at Panfork Camp, located between Wellington, TX and Shamrock, TX. Route 66 goes right through the middle of Shamrock, so you know it’s a pretty big deal in these here parts. In fact, one of the art deco buildings (a gas station with a cafe) was the inspiration for one of the buildings (Ramone’s House of Body Art) in the Pixar Cars Movies.
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(Ramone’s screen shot from this website)
We loved checking out this iconic building – now the visitor center. We may or may not now own a “U Drop In” T-shirt.
From Shamrock we headed East, part of the way on Rte 66 and part of the way on Interstate 40, with Elk City, OK in our sights. Elk City is home to the Route 66 National Museum Complex. Oh my, there was so much to see!
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and really????
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Women did that???

All in all it was great fun to explore this little section of Rte 66! I’m glad we’ve bumped into it again in our travels!