Category Archives: SOWER Projects

First Week and Saturday One

Well, we just finished our first week here at Mercy Ships! It’s been a good week, and even the work has been pretty mundane –
it’s still been pretty exciting to be part of this international ministry. It’s a bustling campus as they are gearing up to launch a brand new ship in the next 24 months (or so!). Thursday we were privileged to attend their community meeting, where folks were updated on what’s happening on the African Mercy (currently docked in Senegal where severe storms hit recently), and other items for praise and prayer.
Those folks standing in the front are part of the newest “On Board” class. About half of those folks are recent hires that will continue working here in Lindale (this campus is called the ISC – International Support Center). But the rest are training for work on the African Mercy – nurses, technicians, pipe fitters, etc.

African Mercy

It was exciting to be part of this initial introduction and see how varied the needs (and jobs) are in this ministry. At next week’s community meeting we’ll actually be (though the miracle of the internet) speaking directly with folks on the ship. Pretty cool, right?

Today we are enjoying one of the first ‘no agenda’ Fridays we’ve had in quite awhile. Gary’s changed out the water filters, gotten the suitcases put away (requires getting up on the roof!), installed our new propane leak protector, and got a haircut! On my end, I’ve ordered business cards with our new address, finished putting together our “Year 15” photo book (the coupon was about to expire! Always a good incentive!)

did a little research on why our weather station wasn’t working (I really wanted to believe it was only 84 outside, but it sure felt like it was 94!) and even did just a bit of cleaning. (I know, crazy, right?) All in all, this Saturday One (as we like to call it) has been quite successful. Gary may or may not’ve just retreated to the back to do some reading (um, snoozing), and I’m pretty sure my sewing machine is calling my name!!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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.
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.
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.
Thankfully he was able to complete the actual refrigeration part of the installation
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!
More beds were made, more walls were spackled, more memories were made. We worked with a super crew this summer –
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!

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!

Fifteen Years

Fifteen Years of driving new roads and old roads, and willing to be surprised about what’s around the next corner.
Road to Hoover Dam-8
2011 Calendar saguaro-1
2011 Calendar7
Road Shots New Years 2016-33

Fifteen years of living in 300 square feet with this guy –
cfc 36
and loving him more with each passing year.
Gary Auction

Fifteen years of following the LORD’s calling and serving Him at ministries all around the country. From little camps in Arkansas
to rescue missions in Arizona
Morning Commute-8
to international ministries in Idaho
Nate Saint Plane
to missionary training centers in Pennsylvania,

we’ve been honored and blessed to see God at work.

Fifteen years – from the minutia
Walk to the Pond-13
to the top of the world.
Top of the World Hwy-5
We never could’ve imagined all the places God would take us when we set out on this “One Year, maybe Two” journey on August 1, 2004.
To Him be all the Praise and Glory!!

Catching up by phone

First of all I’d like to say “Thank you” for continuing to visit this little corner of the internet!! My posts seem to get farther and farther apart – somewhat because our life seems pretty mundane these days but mostly because it’s easier not to write a post than it is to write one! Just trying to keep it real here, friends! Since it’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote, I thought I’d just look through my phone to see what I thought was interesting enough to document. And in that looking back I realized I’ve done a really poor job of photo-documenting some of the really important stuff!
So work – SOWER work that is!
We ladies have been largely working with housekeeping – making beds and getting rooms ready for guests. No pictures of that, but surely you can imagine the whole bed-making process. =) On the Fourth we were pulled into the kitchen, and that was super fun!
Did you catch the whole red-white-and-blue theme of our attire?? Always working on getting in the spirit! It wasn’t all work, though and we did enjoy a yummy chicken BBQ
and later in the day sported our matching (though you probably can’t see them) flag earrings!
The guys have been busy working on that walk-in room.
Framing approved and on to the insulation

Insulation approved and on to the drywall….
The drywall has passed inspection and hopefully sometime this week they will actually be able to start constructing the walk-in!! (I’m home alone this lovely Saturday morning, and I’m pretty sure that Gary is down tapin’ and muddin’ that drywall!)
So in a nutshell – this SOWER project has gone by in a flash, and with just one week to go, it will be sad to see our co-workers head off.
In Non-Work news, we took a little road trip last weekend up to the cabin (YIPPEE!!!!) for our annual Dwinell Cabin Association meeting. This is where I really fell down in photo-documenting it! No pictures of the cabin, no big group picture, no pictures of the friends we got to see along the way. Ugh. BUT – regardless of my sad photo taking, there were a couple of pictures on the phone from the weekend.
Like the produce at the Farmer’s Market in Ludlow, VT
or the beautiful VT highway, with its lovely lack of traffic –
or a candid shot from our meeting.
What I failed to take pictures of are all the sweet moments we spent with friends and family. But maybe it’s just that I was too busy enjoying the time to get out the camera. Yep, I know that’s the case! Those wonderful memories are best stored in our hearts anyway, right?

Well, in the interest of getting something accomplished today, I’d best hit the ‘publish’ button on this.  I did just return from tracking down my sweet hubby, and sure enough –
he’s been playing in the mud!

Thanks for stopping by!


We weren’t sure we’d ever get here!! As our Waco Reno project stretched from April to May to June – we didn’t know when we’d be able to finally get to our summer SOWER project – Montrose Bible Conference. But here we are, and I’m happy to report that for the first time in a long time I’ve spent the last four days doing pretty much nuttin’. No alarms, no paint brushes, no trips to Lowes. We’ve been hanging around home, taking care of long-ignored house chores, doing a bit of sewing, and catching up on old episodes of Big Valley and Laramie. Ahhhh……

Back to SOWER work tomorrow! Yippee!! We’re working with two other couples so it should be a fun month. The guys will be working on the construction of a new walk-in freezer
(Yep, there’s lots of steps to go to make it a reality!)
and we ladies will be helping out with housekeeping and kitchen work. I’m pretty experienced in that – and I’m pretty happy no one has mentioned the word “paint”.

Have a blessed week, everyone!