Category Archives: SOWER Projects 2014

SOWER projects worked in 2014

Catching our breath before starting anew

We’re settled in for the night at a friendly Walmart parking lot about 30 miles from our March project location – Trinity Pines Conference Center and I thought before we get all wrapped up in the new project, I ought to take a moment to add a bit of closure to the last project.
It’s really hard to quantify these last five months. If you’ve been following along on this Rio Grande Adventure you know we arrived to this –
and we’re leaving this behind –
And on the inside – Oh, My!
This is the upstairs/storage area. Home to ductwork, A/C units, and lots and lots of runs of wire!
This is looking down to the stage area.
But back in the classroom area (underneath the upstairs/storage area), things were really beginning to take shape-
I know that even as we left, all Gary could see was all that needed yet to be done. And I know that the list is long and days will go fast. But as I looked around, all I could see was all that had been accomplished! Not just by Gary – he was just one of many amazing men and women who heard the Macedonian Call to come and get this building built!
But we left behind not only a building project, we also left behind pieces of our heart. New SOWER friends, new MCA friends, new Redeemer Bible Church friends, students, kids – ACK!!!! This was a really hard good-bye for us! Over the years we’ve learned to follow where the Lord is leading us, and we felt that our time had come to leave, but there is always that tug. And this time that tug was fierce! That need for one more hug, one more embrace. (I must confess that oft-maligned Facebook will be a wonderful way to stay connected to so many of these good folks!)

Our travels from the valley have been smooth and blessed. Lots of straight road to start with –
The road between the Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio. A whole lot of nuttin'.
a wonderful couple of days with dear friends who are situated near Canyon Lake (north of San Antonio), and then on through Houston
Happy for the sunshine and that we're north of Houston, but it's still a bit too much traffic for my comfort zone. #givemeacountryroad
and North in I45 to Huntsville, TX – home of Sam Houston State University
Hello, giant Sam Houston!
and a giant Sam Houston!

Which brings us to right now. 🙂 So I think we’ve caught our breath and we’re ready to get into the new project. Where we’ll fall in love with more wonderful new and old friends and get to see God working in a new and fresh way once again. God has been so kind to us!

Oh, I did leave something behind in the Rio Grande Valley that I’m in no hurry to ever find again.
Twenty pounds. Whoohooo!!!!

(No real reason for this picture, I just liked it and thought I’d share!)

And then he needed me!

With all the great SOWER guys working away on the building,
I don't know of a harder working group of old dudes!
Gary hasn’t needed my help very often lately. I mean, I am fully aware that I have no skills that could possibly help take this-
and tame it into this –
Trust me, I know better than to even tap him on the shoulder when he’s making sense of this.
But one day last week he did ask me to come in and give him a hand. He said he had a bit more wire to run (and we all know I’m his right-hand-wire-pulling girl!) and then he needed me to help him label all the outlets and switches. I was delighted to be able to lend a hand!
The good news of the day was that it was just one roll of wire (instead of 5!). And even though there were a several runs, it all went pretty smoothly. And then came the labeling help.
Remember all his “code” that he was marking at each outlet?
Well, the task at hand on This Day was for me to mark on the blueprint the location and code for each outlet, light switch or data port while Gary scooted around on his red stool, read out the code and tagged each location.
While it doesn’t seem like that hard of a job, I am (sadly) quite direction-ally challenged (“no, I meant the OTHER left”) and kept loosing my place on the blueprint. Needless to say, it was a bit tougher than I thought it would be. Gary was very patient, but I was feeling the pressure that I get it right. Heaven forbid that the wiring organization fall apart on my watch!
By lunch the blueprint was marked, the outlets (etc.) were all tagged, and I was mentally exhausted. So many numbers, so many directional instructions (west wall, south wall, hall wall, outside wall), so little comprehension!
Thankfully, after the guys went back to work in the afternoon, this is what I had on my schedule –
And I call that some excellent timing!

And so it goes….

Did you have a good Valentine’s Day? And a good week last week? We’ve been keeping busy and I trust you have been too! Gary has been very focused on his HVAC/Electric job over at the job site.
Good thing knows what he's doing, right?
With only two weeks left in our time here, he wants to leave “his area” as organized as possible!
Needless to say, he has some great job security!
I’ve been bouncing around, helping out where needed. I often cover the front desk at the school, sometimes I work in the job site office, and if Gary needs my expert wire-pulling skills – well, I’m there for him too! And then there is also our Sewing Class –
MCASewing Class-11
And so it goes – busy days, doing what we’re called to do. And loving it!
Yesterday, while Gary was busy wiring away at the job site, 6 of us SOWER ladies enjoyed the 2014 Rio Grande Valley Quilt Show!
(I really need to work on my “group selfie” skills!)
But oh, what a grand time we had!
So many colors
So many textures
So many ideas!
We were inspired by the presentation of a quilt to a veteran
and moved by a quilt made out of the shirt pockets of a beloved husband, now home with the Lord.
We were challenged with new techniques (well, at least ones we hadn’t yet tried)
and encouraged to see the classics presented in a new and exciting way.
Our breath was taken away with the intricacies of some
and we found rest in the calm of simplicity.
There was beautiful hand applique and hand quilting
along with great ideas to do it all by machine!
We picked up some ideas to use up our stash
and also picked up some inspiration to start something all together new!
(OK, so realistically, I doubt I’ll be doing THAT one, but there was just SO MUCH INSPIRATION!).
After a sweet lunch out, we all returned to our rigs to figure out just what to start sewing on first!
So many ideas, so little time!

My Valentine’s Day ended out with a trip to a local pizza joint with my sweetie
Even the pizza place is all about Valentine's Day.
and enough leftovers to feed us through the weekend!
Hope you all have a great weekend. I think I hear some fabric calling me……

A couple of things…..

Have you warmed up yet? I feel badly even making the slightest complaint about cold weather, but just like many (if not most) of you, we’ve had a bit of deep freeze down here in the valley too. Ok, it wasn’t quite a Deep Freeze, but it was a freeze, and it sent the locals into quite a tailspin!
Winter storm in South Texas. Schools are closed, major highways are closed, even SOWER work has been canceled! Crazy! #rgvfreeze.  (Good news, though, should be in the high 70's by the weekend. Phew.)
The major highways were closed (it’s the old “bridge freezes before road surfaces” scare), many schools were closed (including ours) or had late starts. Even our SOWER men stayed home (by request of the host) due to the cold temps and muddy conditions at the job site. Pretty crazy all around! I borrowed this picture from a friend – quite a dramatic picture of the incoming cold front!
Crazy, right?
But we have a little more going on that just the weather. Last week we got together with 45 other SOWERS who are either working or living in the valley! It was a great meal, done in fine SOWER Potluck style –
Sower potluck lunch - all kinds of crockpot goodness! And lots of wonderful folks to boot!
and we even managed to herd everyone together for a good old group picture!
What a fun gang of hard working old(er) folks!
We managed to squeeze in a couple more sewing classes
Sewing 101 @ Macedonian Christian Academy
and I even got to help out in the infant nursery on Sunday!
Mmmmm.....infant nursery.
Did my gramma’s heart good!
Today wrapped up the official January SOWER project – it always amazes me how quickly those three weeks fly by! The guys made great progress on the framing at the new building, and the ladies also accomplished much! The Sewing Sowers had a blast working on some secret projects along with several throws and table runners.
Table runners
Others helped out at the school and fell in love with the students! We’re happy that most of them are hanging around for the next week so we won’t have think about saying good-bye for a while yet. Truly a special group of servants!
(Don’t look for Gary in this picture – he’d already left for work. I just can’t control the guy! :))

It’s been a busy week all around – filled with friends and fun, warm days and cold days. And the weekend ahead holds great promise. Not only is the weather warming up so very nicely (sorry, Minnesota), but I’m heading out on my first Ladies’ Retreat in many, many years. One of the blessings of being in one place for several months is being able to connect with a local church (instead of being the “professional church visitor” that we often tend to be.) It’s wonderful to get hugs when you arrive and be blessed by hearing the Word being preached by the same guy for more than three weeks in a row! (Plus, I even get to help out in the nursery sometimes – see above! :)). But to be able to join these women, who have become true sisters in Christ, for a weekend of study and prayer (and a fair bit of giggles and goodies, I dare say) – well, that is delicious icing on the cake. Oh, and did I mention it’s being held on South Padre Island? Oh, yeah, baby!

Stay warm and safe this weekend, friends! Thanks for stopping by!