Category Archives: SOWER Projects 2015

Our SOWER Ministries where we have worked in 2015

New Month, New Day, New Job

Well, we’ve just completed our first day at New Life Ranch, located in the NE corner of Oklahoma. We arrived yesterday, after a lovely drive through South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and finally Oklahoma. Yes, there were a lot of fields and not a lot of curves, but we still enjoyed the drive. Especially Nebraska, since we hadn’t traveled through that state before.
Kansas Road
(That just leaves North Dakota on the ‘haven’t been there yet’ list. Maybe next year?)
But I digress –
Our first day on the job went really well! We ladies had a bit of a slow start, waiting for the office team to arrive to get us started on some data entry, but all in all it was a good morning.
Once we get that task completed, I’ve been told we’ll be moving on to sewing curtains. Oh, my. Computer work and sewing projects – they really know how to spoil a girl!
The guys got started right away on a new gatehouse at the main entrance.
New Life Ranch-6
It’s a pretty little building, but it started this morning with only a concrete slab, so I think they are making some great progress. Of course, getting 5 guys to work on such a small space can be challenging!
New Life Ranch-9
Nothing like a ‘little’ new construction to make the SOWER men happy!

Since there is another batch of volunteers here, we’re in some temporary parking at the moment.
New Life Ranch-1
But while it will be nice to move up to the regular RV park, this spot is working out really well. We’re quite centrally located and Gary has a nice little garage for him to work on some of the finishing touches of the RV Reno. But our official spot looks like it will be pretty nice too!
New Life Ranch-5

Here are a couple more shots from a little walk-about I did today to get a feel for the lay of the land.

New Life Ranch-4 New Life Ranch-2
New Life Ranch-7 New Life Ranch-8

So our first SOWER work day in two months went really well. It feels good to be back in the saddle again – here at New Life Ranch!


Oy, such a month! Since it was such a fun and busy month, I thought it would be best to do just the highlights. You know Рthe People, Places, and Things!
Since I knew this month would be filled with great People, let’s start there.
These People!
UntitledIt’s been six years since we traveled to Alaska with these good friends, and we just don’t get to work with them as often as we like. So this was a precious month indeed as we worked alongside these dear friends. We also did a fair bit of playing and laughing (and dare I say, ice cream eating)and even managed to pull together other area SOWERS for a little extra fellowship. Untitled
Then there are These Ladies –

For as many years as I can remember these two precious ladies and I have managed to get together to celebrate our birthdays. Since I’ve been on the road we’ve rarely managed to do it in November, but we do our very best to make it happen anytime we can. To be able to spend a day with these kindred spirits was nothing short of marvelous! Might've been 46 years since high school, but we still found plenty to talk about. ūüėä #UMHSclassof69 #oldfriends #reunion

Another perk of our nomadic life is being able to connect with high school friends around the country. And although Facebook gets a lot of bad press (much of it justified,) for us wanderers, it’s been a great way for us to reconnect with some of those friends (and stay connected with new friends we’ve made along the way!). And although we certainly weren’t¬†all that far from “hometown”, it still was a treat to connect with a high school friend for a lovely catch-up lunch! I hope we can do it again!

But let’s face it – the BEST group of people that we got to spend time with during this last month are THESE folks – Untitled
The kids and the grands (with a lovely Spanish exchange student to add to the fun!). Yes – these were the hugs and kisses I was most looking forward to!
Mini-golf, meals, (more)ice cream, fun and games galore. I had thought we might be able to help them out with some house projects, but the Lord arranged things so all we got to do was enjoy each other’s company. What a delightful time we had with them all!
This month had us in some great places! We checked out 3 Farmer’s Markets (Lancaster County has the BEST Farmer’s Markets).


Gotta love me some Central Market. #Lancaster #central market Roots Market. A Lancaster mainstay. #Lancaster #rootsmarket #sowerlove #instacollage

(No pictures of the third one, but if you want to stop by I could share an amazing stuffed pork chop with you!) We dined at some great local restaurants, walked along quaint streets, did some Costco shopping (our favorite!), checked out some of my favorite (from days gone by) fabric shops and enjoyed the beautiful Lancaster countryside. IMG_3706
Yes, the places we saw were grand!
And that leaves the THINGS we did!
And Oh, the things we did! Truth be told, Rosie and I (after our extravagant gardening start) pretty much worked on painting door frames.

But we still managed to make it a little exciting. There were a couple of ‘hard to reach’ spots that were the offensive pinky-mauve color, and Rosie took on the challenge. 20150723_083010
And when it really got dicey, she let me hold the paint can.

Honest, it was a big help! ūüôā The guys did all kinds of interesting stuff – Untitled
Pretty much our job assignments at Manheim Christian Day School were to help get the school ready for the new year. Holes were patched, shelves were built, furniture was moved (to facilitate the floor cleaning crew), things were fixed and pinky/mauve was painted white. Oh, and those weeds were pulled and and shrubbery was trimmed. We left some ‘things’ for the next batch of SOWERS, but we all had a grand time taking care of lots of “things” this month!

Yes, it was a great month. We took care of some of the mundane things in life (we installed a new toilet!), and we got to see the sweet love between two brothers.

Oy! What a blessed month! A blessed month indeed!


The New Job

We’ve had a busy week here at our July SOWER project. Often as we start a project the first day is kind of slow. You know, we’re getting acquainted with where things are, getting an idea of the what order we should be tackling the job list, and generally just getting to know the project. Since our fearless leaders, John & Rosie, have been here before there was no such lag time on this project. 8AM Monday – we had our job. The landscaping around the school had exploded with all of the early summer rain, and our job was to tame it back into submission.
It was a big job, but we were up to it!
And sometimes some of us were actually up IN it!
Along with the weeding and trimming, all the trees had to be trimmed so there was a clear view of the parking lot, so there was definitely some ladder work involved. (When they couldn’t be climbed that is!)
The truck came in handy for pulling out some dead stuff. (It’s a well honed skill we’ve obtained¬†from all the rock pulling at the Cabin!)
We girls stayed a bit lower to the ground…..
and after a mere two days, everything was back under control.

We took Wednesday off for Gary’s once every decade colonoscopy (he’s good for another ten years!).
(It’s amazing the things I document, right?)
And then on Thursday we moved inside the school to work on some interior chores.
IMG_3494 IMG_3495 WaterfountainScrubbing

It was a good work week and right now we’re right in the middle of a beautiful weekend, filled with flowers and family and friends!
Sower friends
Where there are Sowers, there will be food!
Gotta love me some Central Market. #Lancaster #central market
Central Market, Lancaster City
Enjoying the city
Lancaster Saturday
And grandboys!

Hope you’re having a beautiful weekend, too! Thanks for stopping by!


We’re getting settled at our July SOWER project – Manheim Christian School, but we had a great “week-between” so here are just a couple of highlights (or low-lights as the case may be!).

  • We had to pack-up and leave in the rain. Ugh.
    Rainy day departure On our way! Not too thrilled about the weather, but trusting my driver and prayers! #ontheroadagain

    While it certainly isn’t our favorite weather for moving the house, we managed to arrive safely at our first destination –

  • Mike and Robyn’s house¬†in Chambersburg, PA. ¬†We go to my nephew Mike’s medical practice for our annual check-ups so we park in front of their house for a couple of days while we take care of business.
    While we’re always happy to get the yearly¬†poking and prodding and squishing taken care of, we’re much more pleased that we get to spend time with these cuties!
    Puzzles were worked on, games were played, stories were shared and adventures happened.

    ChambersburgJuly2015-2 ChambersburgJuly2015-1 ChambersburgJuly2015-21
    ChambersburgJuly2015-6 ChambersburgJuly2015-16 MollyDive

    We even like their mom and daddy pretty well too!  We truly did have a wonderful couple of days with these guys Рand we get to see them at the end of the month too!
    (There are a couple more pictures HERE if you’d like to see more of this sweet family.)

  • We left Friday for the¬†last little leg of our trip to Manheim¬†and we did something on the way that we have never done before. We stopped at a truck wash and lined up with the big boys for a wash.
    Waiting with the big boys for a wash! And man, does she need it! #abouttime
    We were impressed that they actually washed it by hand and we were pleased with the end result.

    Now the following pictures will be a bit embarrassing since they demonstrate just how dirty we’d let our house become (parked under trees is my official excuse), but they also demonstrate what a new lease on life our girl has!

    Looking pretty sweet, isn’t she? I think¬†it was definitely $56 well spent. ūüôā

  • While we were at Mike’s house we discovered that our house batteries were no longer holding their charge. ¬†Even if we’re plugged in to shore power, if our house batteries are dead the refrigerator doesn’t run (even if it’s on propane), the water pump doesn’t work and the toilet doesn’t flush. ¬†Needless to say, it was high on our list to be remedied once we got parked at the school. ¬†The only thing we did before we returned them to Costco was a quick lunch with our Lancaster kids and grands!

    This obviously isn’t the whole family, but I just loved this picture of the ‘men’ checking out something on the phone! So on to Costco with our hearts and tummies¬†full. However, THIS Costco doesn’t sell golf cart batteries (????) and they couldn’t help us. Things were looking a bit grim until the Costco guy offered to help us find a local battery store that had what we needed. So a mere $400+ later we were back in business.
    Cooling, pumping, flushing. All good. At least now the batteries are as shiny as the outside, right?

So there you have it – just some of the highlights (and not so highlights) of our couple of days between projects. We’re enjoying a peaceful¬†weekend at our new spot before the rush of the project begins.

So far the neighbors have been nice and quiet!

Hope you all had a grand 4th of July. God Bless America!

A Short Week

OK, so¬†it’s not that short, but I guess since it followed our short Vermont weekend, it just seems short.
First – the weekend. Even with just slightly more “awake” hours at the cabin than driving hours to get there, it was an excellent weekend. Although it was a very purposeful weekend (we were primarily there for our annual Cabin Association meeting), it wasn’t all work and no play. It was a beautiful Vermont weekend, the meeting went very well, I got to spend the day with all of my siblings and a precious niece, the afternoon with two cousins I hadn’t connected with decades, and a full weekend with one of my sons. I guess the true test of it being a heart-full weekend is that I took very few pictures. But trust me – it was well worth the drive!
Back in Montrose, life and work continued on. Gary finished up some details on the the walkway steps and moved on to the next part of the plan – the ventilation under the building. So even though today was a beautiful day in the neighborhood,
Gary ventured into the crawlspace to begin the process.
Thankfully, he wasn’t in the crawlspace for that long today (that will come later when he’s hooking up the exhaust fans). ¬†Most of the day was spent putting in the vents (i.e. cutting holes in the floor). Since he needed me every now and then, I stayed close by and worked on washing windows and doors. Yes, I do do windows. After a spring of concrete dust flying everywhere and sawdust whipping in the wind, it was lovely to seem them (well, the ones I got done anyway) looking shiny and bright. (It almost made me want to come home and wash my windows! Maybe next weekend…..)

So why the short week? Well, Gary will only be working a half day tomorrow and then we will be hitting the road to upstate New York to visit some friends. ¬†New places, good friends,¬†and I hear there’s even a hot tub involved. ¬†While it might’ve been a (sorta) short week, we certainly are looking forward to a nice lonnnnggg weekend!