Saturday, September 10, 2005

September 10th 2005

I thought I had just updated like, yesterday... I guess I'll go back a little and tell you what happened since the last time.
Well, the truth is we didn't do very much while we had company, we used it as an excuse, and took it easy. By Wednesday we started thinking about home again, and so a few of us kept working past the quitting time. We got some of the drywall hung in the entry way, it looks so much nicer!
This week we insulated the whole house. There was a race on the inside to patch all the torn up walls before the insulating crew, (Dad,Chris, Merrie, Jack, and Lincoln while he was here,) got to us. There was a few remarkable incidents, like when we were all working upstairs or outside so we didn't notice the library room closet filling up with insulation! Or when we had to pull the drywall off the stair wall to close off the outside wall so that we didn't end up filling the whole bottom of the stairs with insulation. I think that has been the messiest job yet!

Lincoln, our guest from Kentucky, left on Thursday. Thanks for coming out to see our project. And thanks for letting everyone use your ipod. : )

On Friday we had some people join us for Pizza Night. We had a nice time, and GREAT pizza!

Today Dad, Uncle Rick, Chris, Justin, Mandy, Willie and Jack worked on the house a little while, we're getting ready to start installing the vinyl siding. Dad hopes we'll be done with the vinyl siding in 1 week!

Pray that we are able to stay focused, working for God and not man. The Lord has been more faithful to us than we deserve, and we are grateful for His constant provision, and His everlasting promises.
We're off for a little family outing. More later!

Dad insulating...or insulating Dad? He says he really liked it!

Merrie Loading The Insulator Blower

The Beginning Of Vinyl Siding

On The Lighter Side Of Things...
We had too much fun this weekend! One evening we were waiting for Dad and Mom outside of Sam's Club and we were looking at this boat all equipped for skiing. Naturally we were drooling over the thought of water-skiing and the owners were very humorous. They allowed us to pretend to ski behind it!!! See Pictures

He Always Wanted To Pilot A Boat!

Ever tried skiing in a parking lot?

A Change Of Plans...
Remember we were hoping to finish the siding in one week? Well...

On Sunday Afternoon we were relaxing at the lake when we recieved a phone call from a friend in Houston Texas, who is helping with the hurricane relief effort. Apparently there is a group of 2,000 children who have been seperated from their parents since being evacuated or rescued. They need these kids to be transported back to Baton Rouge LA. Where they will be reunited with their families.

Dad, Justin and Mandy are planning to drive the bus down there tomorrow and do whatever they can to help.
We would appreciate all your prayers this week, as we do hope to continue work on the house... You can imagine it won't be the same without Dad and Justin...

For those of you who know that I (Mandy) am the one who does the website, never fear, updates will continue, Lord Willing! Tiffany says she'll do them. (So if you don't get any updates you know who to talk to!)

In route from Houston to Dallas

Waiting for passengers, Reunion Center

Status of the Hurricane Relief Shuttle Service...
(and of the vinyl siding installation)
By dusk Tuesday, we were nailing up the last vinyl siding on the back of the house- one side down, three to go. If the rain will let up long enough to take the scaffolding down, we'll have a picture.
EDIT: Have you ever tried to take scaffolding down in the mud and rain!?

We sat out front for about an hour that evening, enjoying one of the most spectacular thunderstorms we've ever seen. Once, no less than forty forks of lightning came off the horizon at once!

By midnight, Dad, Justin and Mandy were on the road to Houston. (No, they didn't drive through the storm- it was behind them.)
They called us this morning at nine. They had just arrived, at exactly the right time. Everything was ready for them to fill the bus. They were on the road again in short order, carrying people who were sheltered in the Houston Convention Center, but have parents/family members waiting for them in Dallas.

Justin and Brandon, the on board Comedians

Entertaining a little friend

The rain finally stopped and we moved the scaffolding to the west side of the house. Sorry about the shadows on the picture.

While it rained, Willie, Merrie and Annie started putting up drywall. They put a ceiling on the diningroom and finished patching in around the stairs. Uncle Rick and Chris worked hard to prepare for installing the siding. They managed to put three rows of siding up between the rain drops. Everyone else pitched in where needed: "Uh, could you put a screw on this tip?", Willie asks, standing on the table, with a screwgun in one hand, holding drywall to the ceiling with the other.

With a significant part of the crew in Texas (and two of our cameras!), there was not much picture taking today. :(

In Texas...
Our bus left Houston for Dallas this morning carrying 1.) a mother with four children, looking to join the father and a fifth child in Dallas 2.) a single mother, separated from her family since the hurricane- her father and four-year old son had gone to Dallas, her mother is in Baton Rouge, 3.) a fourteen-year old boy whose family is at a shelter in Oklahoma, and eight other people, including one other family group, and all the worldly belongings they were able to carry out. The bus was filled to capacity.

Mandy shared how little their efforts were, compared to the need. But the difference they made to each family is tremendous. The single mother was a changed person when she recognized her son across the Dallas convention center after being told repeatedly by officials that he'd already transferred somewhere else.

The Thomas family

We enjoyed a visit from the Thomas family over Thursday night. They are moving to Kentucky, and they stopped by on the way.

We were visiting with them around midnight when we got a long letter from Mandy...

The bus was kept hopping all day yesterday, shuttling people around Texas, to places where they hoped to make a new start. They brought one really grateful party of four to an apartment, shuttled a family with six children around town on errands- they had been recently "adopted" by a well-to-do family, but needed transportation to gather things for housekeeping. And they connected two homeless men with a friend north of Dallas.

By the end of the day, the recently bustling convention center had been emptied for a scheduled convention. Anyone who didn't make other arrangements, was deposited at the Reunion Center. Dad offered transportation to people wanting to make a break from there today. (Would this be the third or fouth shelter for some of them?)
Then Dad found a nice motel room with free Internet and Mandy and Hannah had a good night's sleep. Dad and Justin slept in the bus, after a trip to Walmart for some bug repellent and itch remedy.
Today they shuttled people around to fill out rental applications for apartments.

Meanwhile, besides visiting the Thomases, more and more of our house is turning blue! Chris and Annie are installing the soffit. Uncle Rick is attaching vinyl window framing as fast as he can, trying to keep ahead of Mom and the others who are putting the blue stuff up. They have blue all the way up to the windows on two more sides of the house. And Willie has changed the shape of the ceiling over the stair case to accomodate taller people (like Dad and himself).

This morning Kaylee was going around singing, "Dump, dump, dump..." I caught her eye, and gave her a questioning look. "That guy, who fell or something", she explained. :) Oh! Humpty Dumpty!

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