Category Archives: Pictures of the Adventure

Photos of our travels and stops along the way

Over so soon???

We’re starting to get ready to move on down the road, but before I get too involved with tucking away things and pulling out the bungee cords, I thought I’d do a quick wrap up about our time here at French Camp Academy (FCA). This is such an interesting place – mostly Christian boarding school, but also community center, historic area (including a café, pottery shop, and bed and breakfast among other delights!), observatory, and summer camp. Our work was concentrated mostly on the school campus, where the guys and half of the gals were working on a 5-plex staff building.
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Plumbing, electrical, windows, painting – so much was accomplished at that house!

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Meanwhile, the remaining two ladies (that would include me) were happily sewing away over at our meeting room.
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Come spring, FCA will be hosting a big Founders’ Day Celebration. That’s going to require lots of costumes for all of the participants, and in an effort to get a bit ahead of the game (especially since she had some Sewing SOWERS this month) we started in on making or remaking costumes. I must say it’s been a good long while since I’ve sewed detailed (as in pin-tucks and set in sleeves (with a gusset no less!)), but it was a fun challenge! Let me just say that the second one went much faster than the first one did!
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We also made aprons (4 with bibs and kerchiefs), and even a simple dress to put under the aprons!
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Some of us ladies even expanded our horizons to include millinery skills in the afternoon!
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Who knew??
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Overall, lots was accomplished this month in the ‘work’ department. But I think what really made this project stand out were the people we interacted with. At every turn folks were engaging us with kindness and thankfulness. We enjoyed evenings out with families and friends,
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got together with several other SOWER couples who live in the area
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and even managed a connection with our friends from Oakridge Camp in Oklahoma, who were down at their sister camp, Pineview, in nearby Kosciusko.
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On our off time we (well, Gary mostly) kept busy getting the trucks changed over (It’s amazing how much stuff accumulates in a truck over the years. Even found Gary’s missing Passport – so that’s a really good thing!) and getting the new one ready to tow. I’ve been working on some sewing projects (when I wasn’t working on my hat-making skills), and generally trying to keep on top of life in general. We struggled some with limited phone serve and sketchy internet, but all in all we’ve made it work and have enjoyed our time here. We’ve worked with great people,
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at a Christ-honoring ministry that is touching the lives of young and old alike, and have come to the conclusion once again, that we are blessed beyond measure to be able to do what God has called us to do!

Now I’d better get back to those “we’re pulling out on Wednesday” chores!

Thanks for stopping by! If you’d like to see a couple more photos from the month you can find them HERE. =)
Steph

A Quick Catch-up

Hi!

I’m sitting here in McDonald’s in Kosciusko, Mississippi, taking advantage of some decent cell phone service and a nice clear WiFi signal. We’ve been having a great project, but with our limited connectivity I haven’t been able to do any updates.  Gary’s getting a bit antsy to get on our way so…..

Good News – the kitchen sink saga has been resolved without having to throw away the entire rig.
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Everything seemed to spring a leak – incoming, outgoing, filter- during the repair, but eventually all was returned to normal.
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More good news – the project is going very well. The rain finally stopped and we’ve been blessed a lovely string of beautiful days! Work is going well (more on that in a later post) and probably the hardest thing about work in that in the room right next to my work area THIS is happening –
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Oh, the Smells!!!

Looks like my internet time is about to end – can you see that red truck through the window? Pretty sure the engine is running!
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Thanks for stopping by (and for your patience between posts!)
Steph

Full arms, Full hearts

This past weekend we took a quick trip to Waco to greet our newest grandson, and love on the rest of our Waco clan!
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It was a super sweet couple of days, where we snuggled with the littles and hung out with the not so littles!
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It was a laid back couple of days
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and we thoroughly enjoyed our time with the kiddos. Little Deacon spent Saturday night back in the hospital, enjoying a ‘spa day’ under the lights (the dreaded bilirubin count was getting higher instead of lower), but by morning his ‘numbers’ were back in the right range, and he was home Sunday afternoon.  God is good!

We did have a opportunity to see some friends, make sure a couple of our favorite Waco eateries were still delicious, and even stopped at the Parrott Ave house and greet the new owners. (Yikes, I know that was risky, but we had a gate opener that we wanted to return so it seemed like a legitimate reason to stop. They were delighted to officially meet us, and remain totally thrilled with the house. I confess it did our hearts good to know that all was well!)

We left Waco knowing we wouldn’t see these darling kids until next summer, but oh so very thankful for Facetime and Skype and any of the other miracles of technology that allow us to watch ALL these babies grow!
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Today we had another addition to the family! This very day we welcomed this sweet ride into our family-
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Not as exciting as that little Deacon, but still a pretty big deal in our world!
Thanks for joining in our JOY!
Steph
PSSST – if you’d like to see a couple more photos of those cute grandboys – you can check them out HERE!

Cabin Chronicles, Reader’s Digest Edition

When I started writing about our time at The Cabin in my head, I had it organized in several categories. Like Cabin Mornings
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or Cabin Sunsets
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or Cabin Gardening
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or just fun Cabin shots –
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But now that two months have passed, it seems best that I just focus in on The Dock Project. (Because what would our end of the summer Cabin visit be without a Project!)
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As you can see, our dock has seen better days. I think we could go as far as to say that it’s seen better years!! At our annual meeting we discussed removing, replacing or rebuilding it. Since a ‘ready made’ dock was a little out of our budget, and the idea of No Dock was not well received, it was decided that Gary (with the help of our VT family) would work on rebuilding it at the end of the summer.
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Let’s just say that Gary really loves a challenge!
First there was the dismantling….
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Once all the top boards were off, he moved the frame (with a little help from the 4 wheeler and no documentation) to the shore and then up on a pair of sawhorses. (Happy to report I DID actually help with that!)
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Once all the rebuilding/reinforcement of the dock frame was done,
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we just waited until we had more willing bodies and then back into the pond it went. Again with a little help from that trusty ATV!
Dragging the Dock into position
And then the real fun began!
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To say this was a family affair is an understatement!
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To say it was lots of fun (and lots of hard work) is also an understatement!
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So it’s not quite ready for diving off of, but we had to save something for next spring’s project, right?
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It was a great family day, and we give a big shout out to Dewey, Sharon, Bethany, Mike, the little guys, Talon and Alaster, and the puppies, Amaya and Sunshine (along with Elna and Henry who were up at the cabin cleaning up after lunch!) who made Phase One of the Dock Project a reality!

We only had two weeks at the Cabin this year, but we made sure they were filled with friends and family and long naps and sleeping late and waking to the sound of a crackling fire and the sweet aroma of a fresh pot of coffee. (OK, so I was the only one sleeping late and waking to the sound of crackling fire and the sweet aroma of a fresh pot of coffee, but we were both involved in the naps and friends and family!) So although this update is just about two months late, it was a lovely reminder of that perfect end of the summer we so often enjoy!! (If you’d like to see more photos of our Cabin time, you can check them out HERE!)

In a real-time update, I’m delighted to report that we have welcomed our newest grandboy into the family!
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Deacon Wood Conrad entered the world on Oct 15, weighing in at a healthy 8#13oz. Momma and baby are doing great – and the big brothers seem to be quite enthralled with this newest Conrad.
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And I’m happy to report we’re just days away from holding all that new baby goodness!

Thanks for stopping by!
Steph

Montrose Memories

SOWER Board meeting –
SOWER Newsletter done (for the moment)
Settling in at our October project 

Must be time to do a bit of catch up! I just checked back and my last “This is what we’ve been doing at Montrose” was back on July 13th. Yikes! So let’s just do a couple of final thoughts about our time at Montrose Bible Conference.
First of all – it was way shorter than usual. We were scheduled to be there from May through August, but were delayed by our Waco house project until early July. But even though it was shorter, we still had a great time serving there. We worked with two couples in July – The Westgates and the Griffins.
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We were all kinda kindred spirits, so it was a joy filled month. We ladies did a fair bit of housekeeping (read making beds and folding linens) but also helped out when we could in one of the dorm renovations.
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Gary got the Walk-in Freezer as far along as he could, but some missing panels prevented actually getting the job all the way done.
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Thankfully he was able to complete the actual refrigeration part of the installation
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so hopefully when the walls are completed they will just need to pull the switch and it will start cooling. Well, that’s the plan anyway.
I was also able to attend parts of the Montrose Christian Writers Conference, which once again inspired me to do a better job at carving out time to actually write. While I can’t say I’ve made any great strides in that department, it still was a great week filled with great speakers and writers. So glad I can be part of this! I highly recommend it to other aspiring (or published) Christian writers. Fiction, non-fiction, anthologies, children’s books, poetry – even song writing was covered this year! It’s a spirit filled week indeed. Now to just get moving on that writing thing!

We wrapped up time at MBC by working with our buddies the Schoenenbergers.  Love them!
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More beds were made, more walls were spackled, more memories were made. We worked with a super crew this summer –
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and it was great to be part of the Montrose Team!

Although our Montrose Summer was shorter than usual, it was still filled with all good things. Once again we felt we were where God wanted us – and that’s always a very good thing!
Thanks for stopping by!
Steph

PS – the sweet pregnant couple on the left of that Montrose crew picture are now the proud parents of a sweet baby girl.
PPSS – (not sure if that is a thing but) There are more pictures of our time in Montrose (and other adventures during that time) HERE!