Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bathroom Saga...

For some time now, we have been concerned about the softness of the floor around the commode in our hall bath. One day, mid-October, I was cleaning the floor around the commode and as I leaned on the commode to wash the floor beside it, I heard a "crack" like rotted wood snapping.

I decided it was time to investigate. I put up this sign on the door and closed the room down. 
It's really hard to keep your hand off the knob when it's such a habit to use that room! :) :) :)

So the next evening, we pulled up the linoleum and Dan removed the commode. And this is what we found.......serious termite damage.....AND LIVE termites!! :O

The room sat like this for a few days till Dan had a chance to explore and see how far the termite damage had gone. We were hoping not too far!

In the mean time, the termite inspector came out and sprayed the live termites.

When Dan was pretty sure the damage went under the shower, they began tearing out the wall between the commode and shower.

He had to cut the shower in pieces to get it out of the bathroom door!

I will take a break here and explain our living conditions, for those who don't know.
We moved to FL in 2005 and Dan worked as a missionary chaplain under GEMS for two years, then he was hired as an OPS(little pay and no benefits) chaplain, for the next 6 years. Part of our support was to live in the front part of the ministry house in Blountstown. When Dan got hired as an OPS chaplain, we were able to continue living here. Now that Dan is working at a private institution, we were able to continue living here, just paying rent now. We are so thankful for this!!

So, this project is falling on the ministry and as an attempt to help the ministry fund this project, we volunteered to do what work we can and we also set up a GoFundMe account. The bathroom project alone is going to cost close to $2000 then we will also have to replace some carpet. Please consider how/if you/your church family/your business could help this ministry. Every few $$ helps! GEMS does not have a large bank account and supports 8 chaplains and their families monthly. Your help would be a blessing!! :)

So, onto the project. We could tell, after removing the shower, that the floor damage continued under the vanity. After removing it, we also found mold/mildew behind the vanity and on the floor.

This is a pic of the rotting wood on the bottom of the vanity.....seems there had been a water leak in there at some time!??

Most of the top layer, the most damaged part of the floor, tore up.....

Mold/mildew behind vanity....

So then we pulled up the hall carpet outside the bathroom door and found more mold/mildew under the carpet padding. The floor out there was also loose, which just required some new screws to hold it more squeaky floor outside our bedroom door! :) :)

Closer up of hall floor. :P Yuck!

Because the worst of the termite damage was right at the wall that connected to Danny's bedroom, we pulled up his carpet too and discovered more termite damage in there. Thankfully it wasn't a big area, and we found no live termites there. But some of the boards were almost completely eaten up!!

So, Danny's bed and "stuff" got moved into Tamara's room.
(we are waiting to get a quote for carpet, hopefully next week, then he can move back into his room.)
We will all be ready for this project to be over. :)

I will say, I think the kids are enjoying this temporary arrangement....I hear them talking quite a bit after lights are out at night! :)

More work in the bathroom......tearing out the sheet rock to check for wall damage. Thankfully there wasn't any in the walls. You can see where Dan cut out some of the bad flooring.

Tearing out the bad boards in Danny's room....

This is what they looked like!!

Down under the house, putting in some reinforcements and then putting in the new flooring that had to go under the wall separating Danny's room and the bathroom.

Having fun in the midst of it all! :)

New plywood in the bathroom....

and in Danny's room....

Drew Ayers, a contractor friend from church, came out and checked out the project and gave GEMS an estimate to finish it. It was approved, so this week the plumber came and changed the plumbing a bit to put in a tub, instead of a shower. The commode will also be at a different place and we will have to put a little smaller vanity in, but I think it will be SO nice to have a tub in there!

Drew came on Wednesday and put up new sheetrock and textured it. He will be back Monday to paint.

We were SO blessed by a good friend in GA, Mark Peachey, who offered to donate tile and his time to lay it!! He will be coming next Saturday! After that, the plumber will come back and install the commode and Drew will put in the vanity. Then it should be mostly finished!! :)

We will be getting a quote for carpet this week. The carpet in the hall and Danny's room need to be replaced, but we may also replace the carpet in the other two bedrooms. We are really hoping it will be approved and we hope to see a difference in the amount of dust in the house and sinus issues!! :/

Hope to post more pics soon!! :)

Picture Post :)

First week of November.....first scrape worthy frost of the year! :)

That same morning, heard the dogs barking. Went outside and discovered a pig in our yard. Wasn't sure if it was wild or not? Danny was SO ready to get out his gun. We later discovered it was the neighboring farms pig. They got him back in the pen, only for him to show up again later in the morning! Not sure what his fate was? 

The teens who volunteer with the local Calhoun County Teen Court were treated to a day in Tallahassee with Judge Grover and Cissy Barfield. I went along as a chaperone.

Our first stop was to the State Supreme Court to watch a case.

Then we toured the FL capitol and met Senator Bill Montford.

The whole crew....

The chaperones! :)
Myself, Brandy, Patty, Denise and Troy.

GEMS (Gospel Express Ministries South) Annual Benefit Auction

This little girl cracked me up....she did a good job of displaying the item that was selling and then getting it to the highest bidder! :) Later she came and sat beside me and she wasn't shy! :)

The Covenant House guys are such great helpers, setting up for the auction and being runners....they add some humor to the auction, too! ;)

The RHE (our homeschool group) Jr. Board planned a surprise graduation party for Ashley Hunter. They called it a costume party and she knew about it....she just didn't know it was a party for her! :)

 Tamara and Kayla were the decorating committee.....they did a great job. Kayla did great at organizing everything....Tamara helped where she could.

Danny went as a Pirate...

Tamara (dressed as a female Hobbit from LOTR) with her friend Anna (r) and Ashley's surprise friend, Miriam, from Atlanta.

After we surprised Ashley......she was surprised a second time by her friend from Atlanta! :)

Me (dresses as a redneck hillbilly) with my friend Elly Mae from the Beverly Hillbillies! :)

The evening ended with Karaoke.
The boys singing YMCA! :)

Our homeschool group had a 5 week Co-op art class. The most fun week was when we got to splatter paint on canvases! :)

My art! :)

Hope you enjoyed a glimpse into our lives in the past month..... :)

Friday, November 21, 2014


 So, it's been quite some time since I blogged. I'd really like to do better at it, because it's a great way to journal our lives and then come back in the coming years and remember all we did. It's just so hard to take the time to sit down and write it out. Maybe that's because we are too busy?
Well, sickness has a way of making life slow down. Tuesday evening I felt like I was getting a sore throat. By Wed. evening it was starting to move into my nose and everything was getting a bit stuffy. By Thursday evening, I was sitting at home wrapped in a blanket, going from the chills to being too hot. 
 I think things are on the it's a sore throat still, a cough that feels like it's tearing up my chest and a stuffy nose. No more chills and aches.
 All this nasty made me skip two days of work and our final Life Group meeting for the year! :( 

 So much has happened since I last wrote. The biggest blessing was likely the job I got.
 Here is a excerpt from Facebook on September 11:

 A few weeks ago I interviewed for a potential job that *I* thought was a perfect fit for me and our families needs. Someone more qualified got the job, and while I totally understood, I struggled a bit with feeling like a failure. But I knew it was God closing a door and I had peace about that. I decided not to actively pursue another job and just trust God to meet our needs that were feeling overwhelming! 

So yesterday I got a call out of the blue from a women I don't even know, asking if I would be willing to help her elderly mom a few days a week. I met the elderly lady and her daughter today and to make a long story short, next week I will be starting a part time job! But to me, this is going to be more than a job, but more a ministry/life experience! I know that older people have so much experience in life and I am looking forward to learning to know Ms. Jo and see what all I can learn from the 89 years she has lived on this planet! 
Thanking God.....

Well, it's been nearly 2 months and she is such a joy to work for. I feel so blessed. It's awesome to see the improvement in her health in the last month or so!
  I really hated that I couldn't go help her yesterday or today, but she is getting ready to spend 2 weeks with her children in Destin and then in MS. I sure didn't want to carry my germs to her and make her sick. She was very understanding and grateful that I kept my germs away! :D

Another big project in our lives is renovating our hall bath. A little over a month ago, we discovered live termites in our bathroom floor and they had done some significant damage in the bathroom floor as well as in Danny's bedroom floor.
 Since we live in the ministry house, we felt it only right to try to help raise funds to help cover the expenses. We were blessed to have some friends volunteer their time and product for a few things, but the bulk of it will still fall on GEMS account!
We will also need to get some new carpet! The hall carpet by the bathroom door had mold underneath from getting wet at some point, and then Danny's bedroom floor had to be tore up to repair the termite damage. While we are replacing carpet, we may do the other two bedrooms as well, since that carpet is pretty old!

If you would like to help with this project financially, click on our fundraiser page.....
At the bottom of the first post, if you click "Show all" it will let you read all the updates. 

We still have quite a bit to raise!

I think I will wrap this up for now but I hope to come back later and do a picture post! :) Those are more fun!! :)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Estuaries Day/Birthday

Friday was the yearly Estuaries Day in Eastpoint, Florida. (an hour and 20 minute drive) We were trying to remember if this was our 3rd or 4th year going? I guess I need to look back in my photo's! 
Even though the kids are older, they still enjoy going, if just to be with their friends! :)

As has been tradition the last two years, we go down a little early and cross the bridge to St. George Island to get subs at Subway and eat down on the beach.
When we got to Subway, we saw a Mowery Elevator truck in the parking lot. We know quite a few employees from there, so we wondered if it was someone we knew. Sure enough, Keith Yoder and Caleb Willis were inside eating! They were surprised to see someone from home way down there! :)
They invited us to come see the beach house they were working at and offered for us to eat on the 3rd floor deck overlooking the beach! We couldn't resist. Scott Cloud was also working at that house! It was interesting seeing how they put elevators in!!

Lunch on the deck of a HUGE beach house....

Lovely view!!

The stairs going down the side of the house.....this house slept 40 some people!! I'm vacation!! ;)

From there we headed back across the bridge to the Estuary Reserve for a day of learning and fun!

Touch tanks....touching a stingray.

Candra and her kids....

Sarah Beth touching a starfish.

Teaching us how crabs shed their cool!

Have you ever seen a pelican on a leash? Me neither! :)
Her name was Doofy.When they rescued her after a hurricane, she had a twitch in her head and that's how she got her name. The twitch has since went away!! 

A dead lionfish....they are a venomous predator fish that they are trying to get rid of in the Gulf. Researchers are encouraging people to get rid of them if they are caught!

Beach front....

It was a lovely breezy day! :)

~ Anna, Shauna and Tamara ~

I called this a kissy face fish! He would come swimming over all puckered up and lay sideways like he was trying to see was funny! :)

Caden :)

The whole crew....minus one!
Riverbend Home Educators represent!!

The teens wanted to go walk the beach on St. George Island when we were done at Estuaries Day, so 4 of us families stayed and let the kids walk while we sat at the playground on the beach with the little kids!

St. George Lighthouse

Watching the kids play on the playground.....Denise's husband Troy works on the island so he met us there when he got off work. 

<3 Troy & Denise <3

Here come the teens......

One of the other Dad's who was working nearby came, and he and Troy took all 23 kids back to Troy & Denise's house.....then the Mom's took me out for was my 37th birthday! :) 

We ate supper at The Blue Parrot right there on the island!

We got to eat out on the deck overlooking the beach!

My dear friends.....they blessed me by paying for my yummy supper of crab stuffed shrimp, grits and cole slaw!! Sometimes as a Mom you just don't get celebrated much, so this was a treat for me! :)

The view from my seat!!

Kay, Denise, Brandy and Denise's daughter Cortney

Ready to head back to Sumatra to make sure Denise's house was still in one piece and pick up our kids! :) (They had a blast!!)

It was a great day!! And it was great coming home to my hubby!! I missed him! :)

Today, he took our family out for lunch to Sonny's BBQ to celebrate my birthday! It was a nice break not to worry about Sunday lunch!! :) I'm enjoying my 30's and still have a few more years before the big 4-0....I'll enjoy every moment I can! :)

This afternoon Dan decided to go for a run, even though it was drizzly. He asked if I wanted to go along. I wanted to make an excuse, but I had been thinking about starting back on the C25K program, and decided what better time to start? So here goes..... :)