Category Archives: SOWER Projects 2024

From the plane to the party

No –  really.
Gary picked me up from the airport after my trip north, and we drove right to the 2024 SOWER Florida Rally/Reunion. He’d already moved Lizzie to the reunion site (Groveland, FL – west of Orlando) and the party was well underway by the time we arrived. In fact, we arrived just in time for the group picture!
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While what we both really wanted was a nap (I’d been up since 4:30 am to catch that 6:30 am flight home), we decided instead to give the cornhole tournament a try.
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We lost the first game, but (surprisingly) won the next two, and somehow became the first-place winners of the losers. Who knew there was such a thing? Our prize was being one of the first couples through the dinner line! Whooohoo!
The reunion party did not disappoint! We loved catching up with some of our old  dear SOWER friends, and we also loved meeting some brand-new couples! Two couples hadn’t even been on their first project!! I love to see the excitement as these new folks are beginning a journey that has meant so much to us!

We were inspired to “Stay Strong in Today’s World”,
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and enjoyed a musical evening with Dane Bailey,  the Singing Auctioneer,
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(who then did a grand job the next day being an actual auctioneer!).
We also enjoyed several meals together – all excellent, and all lots of fun!
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Someone just couldn’t resist!
We did manage to sneak in a much-needed nap, but it was just a quick power nap because we didn’t want to miss the wonderful fellowship with friends old and new that these SOWER Reunions afford.   We’re so thankful for the team that put all of this wonderfulness together! And for all the love that was in the air the whole time!

Almost caught up!
Steph

Where have I been???

Oh my! It’s been almost two weeks since my last post – and much has been happening! There have been RV moves, airplane rides, family and friends, hugs and tears, memories made, and memories remembered! I’ll try to catch y’all up with those comings and goings in the days ahead, but meanwhile – here’s a real-time update!

We’ve arrived safely at our March SOWER project location –  Hope Children’s Home,  located in Tampa, FL.

This ministry is less than thirty miles from where we were serving last month, but it certainly feels like a whole new neighborhood! We’re much closer to Tampa (Bad news – traffic. Good news – Costco is nearby!) and the ministry here is completely different. Here’s a little excerpt from the Hope Children’s Ministry’s website-

Hope Children’s Home cares for neglected, abandoned, and abused children – loving them and equipping them for the future.

Hope Children’s Home originated in Florida, and we have been rescuing children giving them a safe, loving, Christian home for over 50 years! We have an open 55-acre campus tucked away in the middle of Tampa. Among many buildings, you will find a fully-functional Christian school and six cottages where the children live. 
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We’re working with four other couples, three of whom we have never worked with before. So we’re looking forward to building new relationships and helping out at this very special ministry.

There may even be a baby to hug now and then!

Winding down

We still have several more days of SOWER work for this project, but since the next few days could get pretty busy, I figured I’d get a head start on the wrap-up!
Last week we ladies concentrated on rags. Yep – every housekeeping department relies heavily on rags, and when there are always towels that are not up to snuff for guests, why buy rags when you can make them? So we cut up towels and zig-zagged around the edges of a multitudinous pile of towel sections!
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One of us cut, and two of us sewed.
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It was a bit of a linty job
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but still fun to sit at the sewing machine and enjoy each other’s company.
As for the guys – well, they had a list of lots of smaller jobs, so I really can’t report on what exactly they accomplished. But I know they were busy –
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and they came home tired.
Oh – but I can report that the sign lighting job was a grand success!
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Speaking of lights – today we ladies joined the men at the start of the day in changing out all of the fluorescent lights in the kitchen to LEDs. It was quite the task, and our jobs were to be the hander-upper-tool-getters for the guys on the ladders.
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And I did get a rare picture of what appears to be men reading the directions.
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Shhhhhhh…..

It hasn’t been all work around here, but it’s getting late and that alarm is going off at 6 tomorrow. So the fun stuff will have to wait until tomorrow!
Thanks for stopping by!
Steph

It happened last week

We’ve made it through our first week at WOL and it was a good one! Though I have to admit, we’re pretty happy that our weekend is here!
I don’t have any pictures of the guys working, but Gary did come home today with some ‘job done’ photos! The three of them had been tasked with running electric service to three different signs so lights could be installed. Like this one that is all the way done-
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But as neat and tidy as that looks, it did take a bit to get it that way! Ditches and conduit and fittings, oh my!Untitled
By the time they ran out of week (and parts), they had completed 2.5 of the signs.
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(Still waiting for the actual lights on the last two.) But all in all – those guys worked hard and the host was very pleased with how much they got done!
Meanwhile, we ladies had a variety of jobs! We started in the laundry
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moved the second day to deep cleaning the laundromat used by the RV park (and us!).
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Days three and four were spent working in the lobby of the main building.
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We were tasked with doing some of the cleaning that doesn’t get done during the daily cleaning.
Like detailing the banisters
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or cleaning the vents
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or even sprucing up the greenery!
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So while it wasn’t especially hard work, it was a fair bit of up and down (those pesky baseboards were everywhere!), so tonight my thighs are feeling like I just spent yesterday gardening for the first time in the spring. And those muscles are not being very happy!

So with week one done, we’re looking forward to a nice restful weekend. And a couple of doses of ibuprofen.

Thanks for stopping by!
Steph