Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Best cleaning tool a girl could ever have

I finally found it.

The tool of dreams.  A girl's best friend.  The be-all and end-all of cleaning tools.  The creme de la creme...
Well, you get the picture. 

Today I tasked myself with cleaning the RV for our scout camping trip this weekend.  As I began organizing items into various piles (oh you know, like dirty socks the boys forgot to bring in from several weeks ago, and half-empty water bottles, and the like) I was finally able to see the edges on the top part (the overhang area).  And it needed some TLC.  So I came up with this brilliant idea of using a vacuum.

Since we had just finished fixing our dryer vent and used our shop-vac to do it, I thought, "Hmm.  It's light and small.  It will fit just nicely in the RV and I can lug it around w/o all the weight." 

It was a magical moment.  The heavens opened up and angels started singing.  At least in my imagination.  It was pure bliss.  That little shop-vac sucked everything up!  Including ants, small Lego's, and various sundries things.  I think it even picked up some stray chiggers.  Probably hanging out with the dirty socks....

I was so shop-vac-happy I decided to come inside and look for the wide attachment tool to do the floors.  Genius.  You know those hard-to-get corners?  Have no fear, the shop-vac is your answer.  Just point the nozzle in there, and wa-la, instant clean (unless it's glued in there...then you have different issues.) 

And did you know it can do cushions too?  Yes, this amazing machine works on anything.  In fact, I shoved it into a dark corner and who knows what went up it.  Probably some more Lego's.... 

I think it can even do liquid items.  But I haven't tested that theory (with my machine) yet.  And let's hope I won't ever have to. 

But I did decide that little machine is coming with me now wherever the RV goes.  The only thing that could have made it better was if it had been pink or purple. ;-)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Helping Tornado Victims

We have been blessed with a team of 5 guys from Faith Bible Church in the Phoenix, AZ area.  They got in contact with our church to ask if they could coordinate coming out to help the tornado victims in the area.  And you know us, we opened up our home to house them while they are here.

It has been Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.  And the ride has been a blast and exhausting.  These guys drove 27 hours in 2 days to get here last Saturday!  And their humor and commodore has been great.  They started working out in Oatchee (or something like that...I'm too tired to find out the exact spelling).  Between yesterday and today they tore down the remaining structure of one couple's home:

They are using a winch to remove the last rafter.

 Men from our church helping remove nails from reusable boards.

AZ team removing debris.

AZ team, our church team (Andrew in front of Bill and I), and another team 
in front of the last wooden frame.

Cleaning up ladders and misc.  Now the family can build a new home on the foundation.  Woo Hoo!

Here are just a few photos of some other devastated homes around the same area:

And here is the base where volunteers come to get "marching orders", drinks, and lunch.  All operated and put together (including the tent) by other volunteers.  Was pretty amazing.

This is where they will be working tomorrow (July 20) to help sort through and throw away debris.  Lots of work ahead of them!  (I will be staying home with Josh and Andrew, but Bill and Robert will help out).

We have enjoyed having the AZ team here.  They have also enjoyed our lake and field:

One of the men playing baseball with Andrew.

Getting some fishing in.  Seems the duck want in on the action too!

It was  pretty exhausting today, but so worth it to help these folks out.  And now is the time to help when FEMA and other organizations have pulled out.  As you can see, there's still a lot to do.  Hopefully some of the people being helped will be encouraged.

The AZ team will be leaving Friday morning to head back to their homes.  Meanwhile we have enjoyed laboring and fellowshipping (especially the wonderful meals that our church family have been bringing over for us to enjoy!)  Tomorrow will be a Brazilian meal and we will also share some of our ministry videos.  We have enjoyed talking about ministry, both sides.  It's neat to see fellow believers work together for the common good.

Well, I wanted to update folks on what's been going on in our little part of the world.  Seems we never hold still.  Although, I am looking forward to some down time tomorrow while the crew is out working. 

 "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."  Ephesians 3:20-21

Monday, July 4, 2011

Home again, Home again...

Happy 4th of July!

We are very happy to be back in our "stable" home again (the other one rocks... and you can take that to  mean all kinds of ways.)

We returned this past Thursday and have been busy already.  We did return to a nice, clean home, minus the 8-legged creatures God created which took up residency while we were gone.  At least they didn't allow any other bugs to take up residency.  But just getting to sleep in our own little beddy-byes was luxurious.

And I had a blast baking up a storm:

Homemade hot dog and hamburger buns, 2 loaves 7-grain bread, cut-up fruit, corn beef in the crock pot, and cherry scones for breakfast.  Yum!!

In comparison, this is the kitchen we have had for about 6 months out of the last 8:
(Notice the "counter space".  It typically ends up being the top of the stove.  Also, the oven doesn't cook evenly since the flames are right on the part where you set your stuff to bake.  We use an inverted pan to create some space between the flames and the baking item.)

I don't tell you this so you feel sorry for us.  I tell you this so you understand my joy when we do come home!  It's probably how a dog feels after he's done with his shower.  Oh the joy of being free!!

By the way, I would LOVE to have someone donate a 40ft RV with slides so we could have a little more room for a family of 5 (3 being growing boys).  The amount of time we seem to be traveling surely justifies my need.  (You can sympathize with me at this point.) 

Bill, on the other hand, has already informed me that, well, in Biblical terms, "His grace is sufficient for me" (or in this case, "us").  But it doesn't hurt to ask, right?!

We have a bit of good news!  We had been trying and trying to get a loan modification on our home so we could keep it, and our loan company FINALLY decided to work with us to modify the monthly payments.  This is a REALLY big praise!!!

Needless to say, we have taken the house off the market and should be able to make the new payments.  The only other concern is that we are still only at 20% of our support level so we are looking into ways of making ends meet by having some kind of side job that is flexible enough to allow us to travel and not complicated enough to take us away for our real job, which is continuing to work as Believer's Bridge home base.

In yet other news, we will be hosting a Bible church team from AZ who will be working with others to help the tornado victims around our area.  I believe there will be about 8 men.  That will be the week of July 17, so please keep all of us in your prayers that all needs will be taken care of.  Our church will be helping provide meals and we will house and feed them (think sleeping bags, air mattresses, and our ministry chafing dishes for meals).

We will be home for this month and than off to Peru in August.  After that we will return back to Florida for 2 months to strengthen the bonds we began forming while just there.  After that we hope to head toward the West coast again to strengthen the bonds we made when out there.

Well, once again, hope all are having a wonderful 4th of July!