Let’s face it – January has been a pretty unusual month for us. We started it at the beach, took a 2400 mile road trip mid-month to meet family members that we didn’t know existed until a few months ago, and still had a good three weeks of work here at ALERT Academy!
And when I say a Good Three Weeks I mean a Good Three Weeks in the Sewing Room!
I’ve done some sewing off and on over my years as a SOWER, but this was the first time I got to work in a designated Sewing Room! And while I wasn’t piecing quilts or making bags, I was sitting in front of a Bernina sewing machine with my foot on the pedal and my eye on the needle! What a delight!
I started off sewing on stripes and patches for the young men who had moved from Basic Training to 1st Responders.
(Fancy nails courtesy of our mani-pedi day in Destin with the girls!)
Once we had all the shirts caught up, I was moved to Grill Bags.
Grill Bags? It’s actually pretty straight forward – the guys need these grill bags to carry their grills when they do their overnight hikes and the ones they had were in pretty bad shape.
I finished up the grill bags today, and tomorrow it’s back to sewing on patches! This time it’s flags on a batch of new shirts!
And the good news is – when the February project starts next week, I’ll still be right there in the Sewing Room. Ahhh…..
Meanwhile – Gary has been busy too! He’s been working over in a set of dorms (used primarily for Basic Training) repairing some tile work. Our schedule is different enough that I haven’t actually seen him at work, but there is this one picture of him that verifies that he is indeed working.
I never doubted it – did you?
So January has been a very full – and very different month! Since we took our week off in the middle of the month (with our Find the Family Road Trip), we start right back up next Monday. But before we head back to work, we’re looking forward to a sweet Waco Weekend, visiting with our kids and their cowboys! I understand there will be chicks hatching on Saturday AND they have a couple dozen eggs they’ll be sending back with us! Now that’s a win-win!
Thanks for stopping by and Happy February!
I think the last time you saw the bathroom renovation progress it looked like this –
The walls were down, the existing showers had been removed, the ceiling taken down and then replaced, and the new showers were being installed in what had previously been a storage room. (Remember those ammo box walls?)
While there weren’t enough hours to get the bathroom all the way done – they did get it from here
And looking toward the new showers –
From here –
to this –
There is still plenty to keep the staff busy during the quiet(er) winter months, but they have a good start on what is probably the most spacious dorm bathroom on campus!
At least they left it tidy!
Sometimes our projects end nice and quietly. This month finished with a bang! This past week has been jam-packed with so much goodness, I hardly know where to start. So I guess I’ll start at the beginning!
Sunday we drove up to Yukon to worship with our friends Pam and Eric. It was lovely to celebrate the third Sunday with them, and then we enjoyed some delicious Japanese Curry and lots of good conversation!
Yea for catching up with friends from our ‘previous lifetime’!
Monday was a workday, of course. These three ladies painting bunk beds with brown oil-based paint need to take all kinds of precautions!
That evening we were invited to join the staff for a Christmas party! The food was amazing (all of the chefs’ specialties), and the evening wrapped up with a lovely time of caroling.
We even managed a festive group picture!
(We clean up pretty nicely, don’t we?)
Tuesday after work we ladies had a little crafty afternoon. Tammy, our fearless leader, does something called Chalk Couture. It reminded me of stenciling, but on a whole new level! Tammy had all the supplies and was an excellent teacher!
That evening we took our final trip to InterUrban Restaurant in Chickasha for their Tuesday $8 burger night.
Eight dollars. And crazy good!
We moved to another building and tackled another batch of bunk beds!
We got them all sanded and ready for stain.
And then it was time for more fun! We ladies took a classic “Ladies’ Day Out,” and headed into Chickasha for lunch and a bit of Christmas shopping. Great fun – and we ended the day with a visit to the Leg Lamp.
Because, why not?
That evening, we finally got over to The Ridge – a “fancy” venue that the camp uses for weddings and other small group events.
We had our final meeting at the Ridge and then ended the evening with some fun games. So lovely!
Today we left the bunkbeds behind and helped out with preparations for the upcoming Winter Retreat for the Prison Fellowship Angel Tree children. We were honored to be a small part of making Christmas special for those kids and to help them understand what being part of the family of God means!
See what I mean about Jam-Packed???
But just like that – our December project is over. We’ll be hanging around through the weekend, but the first of our team is already on their way home.
It was such a lovely month! We’ve made some great new friends, got to hang out with our buddies here at Oakridge (it’s one of the few locations we’ve returned to several times), and were able to help out with some long-overdue renovations*.
And got some bunks painted!
Thanks for stopping by!
*Update on the bathroom reno will have to wait until tomorrow. This is already Way Too Long!
Man, the guys have been working hard these last two weeks! With this bathroom remodel/redesign came the moving of the plumbing. Never a pretty job!
Yes – there’s always more mess before the actual reconstruction can take place!
With the walls and ceiling down and the new plumbing ditches dug, it was time to begin the reconstruction.
I’m standing where the new showers will be. The vanity/sinks will be moved to the opposite wall, and the commodes will be spaced differently.
Showers are getting plumbed
and electric is being run.
Once all the wiring was completed, onto drywalling the ceiling.
While work continued on those showers, Eep and Bruce worked on the lighting.
It’s coming along nicely, but there is still a long way to go before it’s actually functional. We’ll just have to wait and see how far they get next week!
Meanwhile, across the hall, we ladies continued painting bunk beds. Sanding, priming, and (oil-based) painting. Six bunks down, four to go!
Job security, to be sure!
It’s been an interesting start to our new projects. While we ladies were working on getting bunk beds ready to paint,
the guys got started on a bathroom remodel. And as often happens, what started as “we need to make some improvements with these showers” turned into “why don’t we take down this wall and move the showers over there.” The first wall was about as easy as taking a wall down can be.
Remove drywall, remove studs, and done.
But then they tackled that interior wall. It seemed to have some interesting depth to it, but I don’t think any of our guys were expecting to see what that wall was actually built from.
Wait. What are those things?
These walls were constructed before the current owners took possession of the camp, so there’s no telling what the reasoning is for this interesting use of ammunition boxes. (Ft. Sill, home to the Field Artillery School (USAFAS), is located about 30 miles away, so maybe there was a big over-stock sale back in the day?).
Ah, but the stories these walls could tell!
I’ll keep you posted on the bathroom remodel and those bunk beds in the coming days, but here’s a picture of Gary I snapped before lunch. Did I mention they have to move the plumbing in the concrete floors?
Thankfully he’s NOT the one using the jackhammer! Phew.