Saturday, May 23, 2009

Quick Update

To PA and back, to our retreat and back - now to OR!!!

We have had a much needed interruption to our regular routine and even though it has been busy, I feel rested and refreshed.

We had a super time in PA being able to quickly visit family and friends (although, unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to see everyone, nor spend nearly enough time with anyone). The wedding was beautiful and it was wonderful to see two young people committed to the Lord and desiring to honor Him in their wedding ceremony and lives. Many blessings to each of them as they now walk together with Him.

I didn't take many pictures in PA, but here is a shot from the kids favorite park - climbing the spidey web!

Home on Tuesday, unpack, laundry, baseball wrap-up party, repack, go to retreat on Wednesday. Whew! Thankfully, we had only an hour drive to the retreat location.

We definitely feel like We Care is our family away from family. From the very beginning, we have felt welcomed and loved. Each event is a blessing and great time catching up with friends. The kids love being with all of the other kids, too.

We had session times that were very fitting and timely in my spiritual journey - just solid, good reminders of keeping our relationship with the Lord first, then spouses, then family, then other stuff.

We also had free time where we were able to go hiking, swimming, play softball, volleyball and putt-putt golf. Savannah and Hadden both really enjoyed playing putt-putt golf.

John is a diving machine - I always enjoy watching him dive. Here he is waving at me while in the air :)

For those of you who knew and were praying for the easement problem, thank you! As of yesterday, we have legal clearance to our property and the bank loan necessary to finish our home.

Now, off to Oregon to visit my side of the family and friends! Can hardly wait to get there!

Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Busy, busy, busy

Just a quick update - we are headed to PA early tomorrow morning for one of our dear nephew's wedding. It will be a quick trip, but we are looking forward to catching up with family and friends - if even for just a little bit.

Then, we are headed to a 3-day retreat at Shocco Springs here in AL with our We Care family.

Finally, to round out the month of May, we are heading to OR to visit family and friends!

We are all looking forward to getting a good dose of family, friends and fun.

Now, it's your turn to visit us :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pictures .... and a surprise!

As I promised, here are some final pictures of the brick.

Whoo-hoo! All the way at the top! A couple of them finished the window details after lunch.

Clean-up time. A huge THANKS to KLB Masonry, as well, for the many blessings that they provided to us. We are very grateful!

Excited to be finished - ready to get showered to head home to PA for some R&R (hopefully) with their loved ones! Thank you is not enough - but thank you just the same :)


Shot from the back.

And from the front.

From the other side. The sun was setting, so the color of the bricks looks a little dark here. We absolutely love how it turned out!

Josh had the idea of putting a cross at the top of the tower. Several people have said that our house looks like a church, so a cross is appropriate. We like it in order to give honor to the One who has truly made all of this happen.

Psalm 127:1a Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.

We want to give all glory and credit to the Lord for building the house, but we are also very grateful for the laborers he has sent to be the hands and feet!

The local brick mason, Toby, who gave us a hand stopped by today to get the mixer he had lent us. He said that we were very blessed by the good weather and only had rain the last couple of days - this spring has been a tough one for rainy days, so we thank the Lord for that, too.

And now for the surprise!!! It's John's 40th birthday today!!! Happy Birthday, honey! I love you!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Done and headed home

The brick masons are finished and are headed home to PA! Bless you guys for ALL you have done - it looks fabulous!

Pictures tomorrow! There are some local masons (that have been helping here each day, too) are coming tomorrow to finish acid washing the front tower and then scaffolding can come down.

Good night :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Getting closer and closer!

The weather was not so nice yesterday afternoon and evening. We had rain, thunderstorms, and tornado warnings. It was obviously not the best conditions for laying brick (or anything else for that matter). They did work as much as they could and got quite a bit accomplished.

Last night:
Because of the weather, we decided to take supper to the cabin instead of eating at the picnic table. Here are some shots from supper.

John, Tom (background), Savannah and Ben

Josh and Rance


Tom and Hadden

Caption by other guys: "Josh sleeping while the others are working" :)

This morning:
More rain. They put up a plastic roof in order to continue working.

I think this pretty much sums it up for this morning.

View of the lean-to.

They just keep on working anyway.

Benny doing some more mixing.

Rance bringing more brick.

Josh laying more brick.





Doc, Josh, and Ben

Doc texting after lunch

Back to work


Ben - through the upper window of the tower

Rance throwing down unneeded materials.

The kids have loved joining the men for meals. They just like being part of the crowd :)

The end is in sight! I am thrilled for them. I KNOW they are missing family and home and are anxious to get headed back. I am very thankful that soon they will be reunited with their loved ones. We will miss them - they have become like family to us and we appreciate each of them and their dedication to a job well done so very much :)

Praising the Lord for continued safety and blessings beyond measure!

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Most of the men are still here ... they had originally planned to go back last night ... but they wanted to stay and finish the job. Crazy. Seriously. But, I pray that the Lord does bless each one abundantly for their hard work. It's just amazing to watch them work hard day after day - smiling, laughing and picking at each other. Every morning, bright and early, they are back at it again.

I hadn't shown you a picture of Josh working at brick laying yet - here he is. He is the one who organized the crew and has done an excellent job of keeping things rolling. He is also giving up spending time with his beautiful family to be here with us. A million thanks, Josh! And, a million thanks to you, too, Tricia for holding the home front while he is here.

Did you know he did this, Tricia? :)

Progress continues to go extremely well. They have the full house wrapped and are working on the tower.

Ben - I need to brag on him to his wife. He is cooking breakfast for the guys each morning (they are in a cabin about 3/4 mile away)! Someone also washed and cleaned my crock pot for me - rumors have it that it was Ben. Tom has also been a huge help it sounds like - waking the crew, doing dishes, etc.

Benny - pettibone driver, scaffolding setting, mud mixing, sitcom tune singing, animal loving, hard working dude. We kind of wondered why Mercy and Lilly weren't eating their dog food ... Benny has been feeding them snacks :)

My artsy shot - I was trying to blur the foreground ...

Current progress (as of a couple of hours ago).

Rance has been doing a great job of acid-washing the house to clean up the excess mortar. I offered to help, but he told me that I could have an easy day today :)

See? Before on the left of the quoin corner - after on the right. Cool, huh?

The reveal!!! This is the back of the house - acid-washed and scaffold free. Whoo-hoo!

Two sides COMPLETELY finished!

Just for fun ... bugs just grow bigger in AL - here is a bumblebee taking residence on the water cooler.

I have wanted to post every day for the sake of the loved ones back home, but baseball/softball games have interfered. In fact, right now, John is at a softball game with Savannah or I wouldn't be getting this post finished :)

I can't say it enough - Thank you for letting your loved ones come and now thank you for letting them stay! I told each of them that they were crazy for staying :)

Oops - gotta go do my popsicle delivery!