Category Archives: SOWER Projects

Catching up Vol 8, issue 27

Life these days seems to be all about catching up. I’ve got the bills paid, the taxes started (well, I’ve started to collect the stuff I need for the taxes at least), the monthly SOWER newsletter is just about ready to go and it too late to send out those Valentine cards, so I guess it’s about time I catch up with life here on my little corner of the internet. Here goes~ Continue reading Catching up Vol 8, issue 27

Look back – and give thanks

One of our favorite quotes these days is very simple –

As I look back on even just the last month, I can find so many things to give thanks for.


For the work that God has given us.
Everything from re-siding a building –
to installing a snackshop window.
to painting
to sorting and packing clothes
to painting lambs
we were thankful to be able contribute as we were able. Continue reading Look back – and give thanks

The List

A fellow blogger once said to me that Lists are a great tool to use in blogging. You know – the 10 best ways to scramble eggs or 10 things I’ve learned while mowing the grass. Since I am sufficiently behind on my blogging, this seemed like a good time to employ that List Technique. Here goes – 10 Not Terribly Related Things.

  1. Our work here at Gulf Shores is going well.  We started out sorting clothes (mostly leftover from the massive amounts of clothing that was donated just after the hurricane hit) and boxing it to be sent to Puerto Rico (or other areas of need).Untitled
    We’ve also done some post-shelter clean-up and organizing of stuff left behind, and of course, we’ve done some painting.
  2. The guys have been busy too – though totally in a different area than we are, so I have some very limited pictures.
    Mostly he and Jeff have been working over at the parsonage, hanging drywall, repairing plumbing and basically getting it closer to being able to be lived in! Meanwhile, the pastor and his wife are in a fifth wheel in the driveway.
  3. Remember those nine guys who drove down from Montana to help out? They were amazing – and even though we didn’t actually work with them, we were able to share devotions with them and some meals. IMG_5854
    They helped out in many different areas, and did excellent work where ever they went!  This is a new floor they put in the rec hall.
    These men were just an small (and wonderful) example of the folks that have responded to the great need that remains here in the Houston-Galveston area.
  4. The disaster here is almost invisible. Unlike most hurricane damaged areas, there are no (or few) blue tarps on roofs, no trees down, and hardly any visible damage at all. Once the piles of trash are picked up from the street, the houses here look like they’re in pretty good shape. What you can’t see is that there are no walls inside those houses – or at least none for the first 4 feet or so. Foundations are cracked, mold is growing, and all kinds of other interior damage needs to be repaired so these homes are once again livable.The need is still great in this area.KenLongHitchcock
    (Photo by last month’s SOWER worker, Ken Long)
  5. I finally got my “Year 13” photobook finished! Since the year officially ended on July 31st, it’s about time, right? Let’s face it – having the coupon about to expire is the motivation needed to sort through the 7436 photos I took over that 13th year, choose the ones that represent our different stops and then organize them into a photobook!
    If you’d like to take a look at the inside of  book, you can check it out HERE!
  6. Oh – we checked out Galveston Island over the weekend, and took advantage of the free ferry over to Bolivar Peninsula.
    We just walked on, rode to the peninsula, rode back and then went out for lunch, but it was a fun little excursion. We spotted some porpoises, saw lots of birds, and a fair variety of boats and ships!
    A little windswept, but having a grand time!
  7. Back in the day (a couple of lifetimes ago when I was in high school) one of my best friends was Janet Cruise. We were ‘church friends’ (and in fact she went to a rival high school), but she and her brother Dave (a good buddy of Gary’s) were a big part of those high school years. We always thought her folks were pretty cool (and very accommodating to our youth group antics), but I didn’t realize until years later how inspirational her dad actually was. This video is a short documentary about Les Cruise – one of the last living paratroopers who jumped on D-Day. Thank you to ALL our veterans!
    All American from 7 Wonders Cinema on Vimeo.
  8. Since this has taken me two days to put this all together, I thought you’d like to see the progress on our painting project –
    I think a final coat tomorrow should wrap up this painting job. =)
  9. Since we’re all about The List on this blog post – have you ever read the book “The List” by C.D. Baker? It’s an historical novel about a family in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War.  I really enjoyed it – perhaps because I’m familiar with the area and perhaps because I know the author, but I have to say it made me see the Revolutionary War in a whole new light. Check it out!
  10. On a final note – the Birthday month is going quite well! I’ve had some nice long conversations with the kids and my sisters, some mushy cards, and enough meals out to call the entire month celebratory.  Here’s a nice fuzzy photo of the Marysville Seven singing Happy Birthday to me –
    I love my crazy family

Continue reading The List

Ah, Sweet October – where have you gone?

Sometimes it just creeps up on you. You are just going about with life in general when suddenly it’s time to turn the calendar over! October has been a busy month for us – three locations, becoming Texans, working a SOWER project and spending time with family. So before we start that new month  tomorrow, here’s a bit of a summary-


Aside from all the licensing and address changing and becoming Texans, we also had a sweet time with our Waco kids and grandboys!
Although Weston, the 6 year old, was in school most days, we did get to have him for an overnight and then he rode with us as we got the RV inspected.
Having him along made the inconvenience of having to move the house in the middle of our stay much less painful. There were also a couple of intense games of Battleship, which I may or may not have lost. Continue reading Ah, Sweet October – where have you gone?

Catchin’ Up….Again!

It’s times like this that I think I should just have a category called Catchin Up since it seems like I do an awful lot of that these days!There’s no point in apologizing for my 2 and a half weeks of silence, so I guess I’d better just get started – you know – catchin’ up.

The Ohio Family!
Our first stop in our drive west and south was Ohio, where two thirds of our family live. =)
We dropped the house off at a repair shop near Dayton to get some shiny new brakes, and headed to the kids with our suitcases and the truck. Since we were going to be house guests (and given our schedule) our visits were short but sweet(following the house guests and fish rule). But we managed to pack our days full of lots of fun, nonetheless!
First stop was with our Marysville clan –
There were countless games of Rummikub-
A couple Corn Hole tournaments –
A seven-year old’s birthday at the local crossfit gym-
Some birdhouse building
And even some felt crafting
Oh – and lest I forget – a fine display of gymnastics!
and Noah! They sure get good use out that blue gym mat!
Stories were read, snuggles were garnered, and saxophones were played.
It was a great visit all around!
By Monday we were off to Gahanna to see the rest of our Ohio family!
Since this visit happened mid-week, and folks were either working or in nursery school, we had a little more time to help out with some chores. There was a fence to fix (thanks to the neighbor’s tree falling on it over the summer)
and Gary decided he wanted to put a floor in the playhouse area of the swing set (our spring project!).


Gahannavisit-004 Gahannavisit-005 Gahannavisit-006

Fancy, right?
But even though we had our days mostly to ourselves, we still had some sweet visits with the kids and Mom and Dad. Pops pulled out the birdhouse project and everyone seemed to enjoy that little activity!
Before we knew it – it was time to pack up and head down the road.  Next time we need to ignore the 3 Day House-Guests and Fish rule!!

But Texas and Gary’s first SOWER Board meeting was calling!
It was a mostly uneventful trip – just a bit to much construction and way too many trucks!!!
This last week we’ve been parked at the SOWER office while Gary went to 3 days of Trustee meetings while I stayed back at the rig (mostly) and caught up with life.
It was a good meeting and we thoroughly enjoyed reconnecting with friends from when I took a turn on the board!
We finished off the week visiting several SOWER projects and then spent today wrapping up chores here (you should see how sparkling our ceiling fan is!!). Tomorrow we head to Waco, where the other 1/3 of our family live!!

So now I’m officially caught up – until I get totally absorbed in playing with the grandboys and catching up with friends in Waco. Oh well – you know I’ll be back eventually, right?

Thanks for coming along for the ride!