Tag Archives: Gateway Academy

Turning the Corner

We’ve turned the corner to the last week of this month’s SOWER project. Man, these go fast! But we’ve turned the corner on our siding job too!
By the end of last week the entire back of the building was complete. I’m really glad that we started on a relatively easy stretch of siding (as Gary was training his trusty assistant (me)) because the last part of the job had some major challenges.
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See all those things coming out of the wall??? Yikes! Measure twice, cut once (worked most of the time), and don’t forget you have to lace the boards behind the pipes!
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Oy! What a time we had! But by the end of the week – with a little help from some of the boys with getting the top boards up – the back side of the building was complete, the windows and doors were trimmed out and we were ready to move on!
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It was time for us to turn the corner. Actually we turned two corners!
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Gary took a little time over the weekend to get the siding off the first section of the front, so once we got our supplies moved around to our work area, we were able to get right to work this morning!
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(Are you coughing yet, just looking at that dust??)

UntitledRemember that picture of me grimacing as I was holding up a board? That prompted a sweet text from a SOWER friend alerting us to a TOOL that is actually designed to not only hold up the board, but also keep the reveal constant. We did a little more research and found just the thing at a local Lowes, so we were able to test it out today.
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Thanks, Larry – that set of Gecko Gauges has made all the difference in the world!! Especially on those 12 foot boards. They haven’t replaced me completely, but they have certainly made things move much more quickly! And with much less drama on my part! =)
It was a good start to our last week (and made being able to complete at least this section of siding more likely!).  And that’s a very good thing!

Since it’s Monday, if you’d like to check out a “Mondays are for Memories” post, HERE is one from the last time we were here, back in 2008!

As always, thanks for stoppin’ by!

Steph

Your mission, if you choose to accept it…

is to finish installing the Hardie Board siding on the Gateway Academy education building.
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Gary is always up to a good challenge, and with me as his trusty helper, we got right to work!
First, you have to remove the old siding.
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and hammer in any renegade nails, etc. that would get in the way of the new siding.
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That went pretty quickly, and by the end of the work day, the first section was ready for its new siding!
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Of course, Gary handled all the power tools (I can use a power drill, just not through concrete Hardie board), but I was still pretty useful as an extra pair of hands, tool fetcher, level looker, ladder holder,  and general go-fer girl.
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Tuesday went well, and when we woke up Wednesday morning to this view out the front window
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we decided to shift our work hours to a little later in the morning. Brrrrrr…. We’re working on the north side if the building so it’s never going to be in full sun, but we thought it would be good to let it warm up a bit. At least our saw horses could (mostly) be in the sun!
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It was a beautiful and bright day, and even with the chill in the air we still got a fair bit accomplished.
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Since getting the boards up is really a two person job (three person if it’s one of the 12 ft. boards), Gary’s been cutting the pieces to the correct size in the afternoons (when I’m not working), and then when we start in the morning we can get right in to putting up the siding.
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Here I am holding up my side of the board (with some extra grimace for the camera!)
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And then there’s the great Ladder Straddle that happens sometimes….
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By the end of this morning, we had finished up to the doorway, except for the very top row.
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After lunch, (so I’ve been told) Gary ripped off the next section of old siding, pre-cut some boards for next week, and even got some of the students here to help him with those long 12 ft. boards on the top row. I’ll verify that tomorrow!

It was a good first week. Oh, it was a little colder than we had expected, but then again, that was frost on the grass, and not snow! We dug out our hats and gloves and dressed in layers. Lots of layers! And we were please to ‘accept our mission’!

Thanks for stopping by!
Steph

 

 

New Month – Familiar Neighborhood!

Today was another ‘on the road’ day for us as we officially moved from our November project in Mississippi to our December project in the FL panhandle. Here’s what I wrote over on the “So where are we now?” page –

Nov 27 – Dec 22

Gateway Academy/Teen Challenge
1213 Hope Circle
Bonifay, FL 32425

We worked at this location on our fourth SOWER project, back in March of 2005. Wow – over 15 years ago! After that first time we returned for two other winters as an SOA (SOWER on Assignment – extended months usually for a particular purpose) to help set up the air conditioning in a new building. Although we may have stopped by a time or two, the last time we worked here was May 2008. So while some things seem familiar, others (like almost all of the staff and of course the boys!) will be new to us! And we do like that aspect of things. Hopefully we’ll get to connect with some friends from those good ol’ days and get reacquainted with the area. I’m counting on it being another blessed month!

We getting settled after a full day’s drive and looking forward to doing a bit of exploring over the weekend. Or maybe we’ll just take some naps! But this I know – no alarms for the next two mornings! Yippee!

 

Oh – Here are the answers to Wednesday’s geography puzzler. Sorry, Doug, you only got 50% correct! But thanks for guessing!

Kansas
Montana
Arizona
South Dakota

Mondays are for Memories – A Teen Challenge Christmas Story

Since we are heading back to Teen Challenge next month I was looking through some of my posts from back during the time we served there in 2007 and 2008. I found this one that reminded me about what special times those were! Here’s…..
A Teen Challenge Christmas Story – (original post date 01/06/08)

Homemade Cookies. Fudge. Bags and bags of candy. Hot chocolate mix. More Candy. More Cookies. Lots and lots of goodies arrive at Teen Challenge over the Christmas holidays, sent by parents and grandparent of the students. But let me tell you about one box that arrived for one of the 1st platoon boys with Happy New Year wishes for the staff and students.
It came from NYC – overnight UPS. Inside the box were 2 large bags of cooked rice, 2 large bags of red beans and rice, 4 containers of what looked like baked beans but with some added goodies, a pork roast and a bag of gravy. (Oh, and a couple bags of mini-chocolate bars!). The food arrived still a little frozen, so we put it right in the fridge and figured out what day we could serve it. Gary & I were “on” for New Year’s Day, so it seemed the perfect chance to serve this food that had traveled so far and had come with such love. But since we weren’t exactly sure how it all “fit together” we called the son in to act as our guest chef. As would be the case with most 14 year olds, he really had no idea how it “fit together”, but he offered what advice he could and was pleased to be part of the process. Since I had to add some rice to the dishes, I asked him to give it a taste, since I really had no idea what it was supposed to taste like (not being an expert in red beans and rice!). Little did I know it is against regulations for the cadets to taste any food before it has been served, so he refused (very politely, of course!). After much persuasion and assurances that he would not be written up, he finally took a spoonful of the rice. One taste and with his eyes closed, a smile spread across his face.

“It tastes like home.”

So thanks, Mom and Dad, for sending that little bit of home. And for letting us share it with 40 other young men who were longing for “home”.
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All the “boys” are back from their Christmas break, we’ve said good-bye to our Sower friends who were here in December, and ten new Sower couples have arrived for January. Should be an exciting month – especially if Gary gets to start some of the A/C –Heating work.

And if tomorrow’s Monday – it must be spaghetti and meat sauce day!