All posts by steph

A different Waco Weekend

We loved spending a couple of extra days in Waco following our February SOWER project.  While we did get to spend a bit of time with the kids and the grands,
(A fun Chick Fil A dinner with the boys!)
our primary focus was working on the house, pressing on with getting it ready to sell.
While Gary continues on with the electrical ‘stuff’ –


I’ve been working more on things that present a more visible result. For example –
Somewhere in the history of this house (it was built in 1918) a great deal of wallpaper was put up in the closets. (At least it can still be seen in the closets – perhaps it was other places as well!). But since this wallpaper was put up over ship lap, it was nailed up, not glued. It also has a fabric-ish backing that disintegrated over the years (century?). The attic space was not only completely covered in this wall covering, but all of the shelving and trim – even the attempt to make it a cedar closet – was installed over it. (Actually, that’s probably what held it up!)
Pretty gross, right?
With (what I hope was) adequate protection, I began the task of reclaiming those walls!
The good news is without it being glued, big swatches did come down at once. The bad news was those blasted nails!
It was a long and dusty day, and with some help from Gary, we got it all pulled down and cleaned up –


Looks pretty spiffy, right?

But oh those little nails…..

We also got some yard work done – mowing the grass and cleaning up the sidewalks – and continued with some interior deep cleaning (you know, behind appliances where it’s always scary!).

We have this month away from the house and selling-the-house related projects, and I think that’s a good thing. We had a pre-inspection of the electrical work, and Gary does need to make some modifications on his original plan. It’s always good to take a step back and take a breather from big projects, and we’re thankful we have the opportunity.

Right now we’re getting settled at our March project (see Where are we Now for more details) and working on staying warm!! Hopefully March will become a little more lamb like as the month progresses!

Have a blessed weekend, friends!

February, Oh February…

Where have you gone!! I know it’s only the 21st, but, oh my, this month is going by fast! Today is the last day of our February SOWER project here at Forest Glen Springs. It’s been a busy month! Gary’s been doing some remodeling on a house on the property and Daniel has been using his welding skills on their new gate. Kristy and I have been Painting. And painting. and painting. Pretty much the interior of a three bedroom/two bath house got a nice fresh coat of khaki paint with white trim.
There was a little delay on some parts for the projects the guys are working on, so we’ve had some extra help with our projects!

We ladies were more than happy for the extra help. Plus, Daniel is WAY better at painting ceilings the we ladies are! Kristy and I finished up just in time to get it all back together, and while I don’t have an official before picture, we were happy with the results.(Almost) before
to all tidied up and (mostly) ready to go!
Better, right?
Here’s that corner Gary was painting!

Although we had some health issues (Gary’s back had him down for a day or so and Kristy lost some time with a nasty ear infection) and we were a bit distracted with working on our Waco project at the same time, it was still a good month. We were not only the first SOWERS to work at this camp, but our co-laborers Daniel and Kristy were on their first project.
Here’s the first group shot of the first group to serve with a first time serving couple!
So many firsts!

This afternoon we pack it all up, and head to Waco.
We’ll be camping at our favorite campground on Waco Lake for a long weekend, and it will be nice to have ALL of our life with us as we continue on with house projects and spending time with the kids.

Yep, we just keep rollin’ on!
Have a great weekend, everyone!

Waco Weekends

Ah – since our February SOWER project is just 30 miles from Waco, we’ve been spending our weekends at the house getting it ready to sell. So while I could update you on how shiny the oven is or how sparkly the windows are getting – or even how much progress Gary is making on the electric upgrade
I’d much rather share the really important parts of the weekend. Like pictures from Taran’s birthday party (he’s FOUR!!!)
or the surprise connection with friends from Doylestown who were playing tourist in Waco!
(Special thanks to Facebook where I saw that they were in town! Such an unexpected delight!)

So yes – we’re making slow and steady progress on the house. And we’re thankful for that! But we’re much more thankful for those special moments we get to share with family and friends!

Thanks for stopping by (especially after such a long lull…..)!

2003 was a very good year

Ellie baby
The day we moved into our Jamison home in 1981 I remember hugging my mom as the last box was being unloaded and saying that this house was IT. This was our last move and THIS was the house that our grandchildren would be coming to. Little did I know at the time that 23 years later we would be not only moving from that house, but moving into a 300 square foot house on wheels. But God was kind. Feb 3, 2003 we welcomed this little darlin’ into our family. Ellie, the only one of the grands born before we began our RV adventure, came to that ‘forever’ house several times before we hit the road. She doesn’t remember of course, but I will always hold those precious memories close.
(Actual proof that she was there!! That’s our sofa!)
Today she turned 16. Oh. My. Heart. She’s smart and kind and talented and beautiful. And most importantly, she’s given her heart to Jesus.

Happy Birthday to this sweet girl that made us grandparents. We may not be close by very often, be we carry you in our hearts and in our prayers.
Grams and Pops

The Great East Texas Area Rep Road Trip

Five Nights
Five Beds (one motel, two projects, two friends)
1387 Miles
Eleven Projects

It was ambitious plan. As East Texas Area Reps, we’re “responsible” for the fourteen projects/ministries in our East TX/LA area. Being “responsible” means that we visit (or at least call) every year or so to check that all is well and we also handle any problems that may arise (like questions about the RV sites, how the ministry operates, that kind of thing) during the course of the year. Gary decided that with a little planning we could visit eleven of those projects during our week ‘off’ between our January and February projects. So the planning began, and all the puzzle pieces fell into their correct spots, and oh-so-early on Friday morning (was that just a week ago??), off we went!
(Did you know that Google Maps limits the number of destinations you can put on a map? Hence the skinny blue line, where I had to approximate the trip from our final group of projects in the Lindale area back to our house in Harper. We did manage to squeeze in a quick stop in Waco, though, for some hugs and our mail!)

But back to the trip….
Although we were quite exhausted at the end of it (more the five different beds than the trip itself), and quite honestly are so thankful that we took notes during each visit because already we’re trying to remember who said what, it was a great trip. We have worked at most of these projects, so we already had some relationships with the staff going into the visit. It was lovely to touch base with folks and as an added bonus we got to catch-up with many SOWER friends who had been working at some of the ministries we visited. I’d like to say I took gobs of pictures at each stop, but the reality is I did not. (I know, it’s a major failure on my part.)  As we visited with the hosts at each ministry, it was such a blessing to hear of the “God Stories” of blessings and lives changed through their ministry.  I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but one of the best parts of this journey we’ve been on is seeing just how BIG God is!  Our little group of projects include many camps and retreat centers, a training center and seminary (geared largely to men leaving prison), an international medical ministry and a discipleship training facility.   How humbled we are to be able to serve at each one!  (I’ve included links to each project at the bottom of the post if you’d like more information about any of them!)

So since this was a Road Trip, it only makes sense that most of my pictures were of The Road.  Although we’ve traveled most of these roads before (who can forget I10 across the bottom of Louisiana), we did take a different route going from Gulf Coast Church up to Acadian Baptist Center.  We took the FREE ferry out of Galveston
and traveled up Bolivar Peninsula instead of fussing with Houston and I10! It was a beautiful drive and well worth the few extra miles that it added to the trip.
If you’d like to see a few more photos from the road trip – you can check them out HERE!

After we got back to our rig in Harper (you know, that skinny blue line), we packed up and headed to our February SOWER project – Forest Glen Springs – outside of Rosebud, TX. Now that we’ve had two nights back in our own bed, we’re beginning to get ourselves back in order! First up was getting this blog updated, and now I’d better get those eleven Area Rep Reports actually written up and sent into the office!!
Thanks for stopping by!

Here are those links I promised:

Camp Tejas, Victory Camp, Gulf Coast Foursquare Church, Acadian Baptist Center, Dry Creek Camp, Camp Cho-Yeh, Forest Glen Camp, Trinity Pines Camp, Calvary Commission, Mercy Ships, YWAM.