Don is holding up a daily calendar. The message is that this summer he is taking a vacation with Jesus. There is a bible verse at the bottom from Matthew 11:28. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Of course he did not stop there, he had to rattle off the rest of that message he said so that he would not forget it. Yeah,right. He speaks those verses so often, I am sure they are written deep inside him. He's not going to forget. We are praying that he gets to go back to work soon, but in the meantime it has been a time of renewing his body and soul. Pray for his upcoming dr. appts. 7/1 and 7/2. We desire more good news.
This is what most every house in these flooded neighborhoods looked like last weekend. Only in some areas, it looked even muddier - darker brown. House after house on street after street. I just kept praying for these folks as we drove along. There were lots of people out working, looking hot and tired, and maybe not knowing what to do next. On the top of one large heap of junk was a huge picture of Jesus. We went by too fast to snap a picture of it, but I thought wow, I hope they are not throwing Him out of their lives, but rather showing that He still reigns on top! Here is a fence. All the fences caught debris. That was fascinating and nasty. Here is a house that moved off its foundation and onto the street. I think Brad once lived there. These trees are down by the river off Otis Road where you head out to Don's folks. There's so much stuff hanging in them! And the smell about knocked you over. It hurt my nostrils and I had to leave quickly. This is a picture of Bills Brothers - guess none of us will be buying any more furniture there for a while! These photos don't begin to show the magnitude of the destruction or to tell their stories. Yes, this is all stuff, but the stories - the people - they will never be the same again.
Today we got together for a little while and we brainstormed ideas of things to do when Emily is home visiting. We decided I should post the list so that you can pack accordingly, Em! Not in any particular order, here goes: 1) ice skating (Noah's contribution) 2) a sing-along with Emmy 3) bungee jumping (Will's idea, but I said heck his dad has plenty of bungee cords and they have that jungle gym out back, we could figure something out. 4) wii sports 5) park day - picnic, make a fire, roast hot dogs, make smores, fish, hike 6) swimming 7) eat together! (we always do lots of that!) 8) have a welcome home party (Sam's idea- says he has the balloons already!) 9) family ballgame (probably whiffle ball) 10) museum 11) shopping (well, of course, that!) 12) arts day 13) paint toenails and fingernails (Lily!) 14) dart gun fight (Jack?) 15) game night That's 15 activities! It's going to be an action packed fun filled 10 days, Emily, let me tell you what! Oh, yeah, I forgot you're suppose to sing at a wedding too. Well, guess we can block out a few hours for that. We can't wait! Pack your cleats, your swimsuit, your ice skates, and any loose bungees you got laying around and we'll see you soon!
Here is my friendly husband or husbandly friend, whichever. He is doing really good. God is giving this guy a "what for", let me tell you. Well, maybe I won't tell you here, but trust me, He is. This whole injury, surgery, recovery time has brought Don down on his knees. I am so amazed as I see God's fingerprints all over him. Just working him over good. He's doing some crazy stuff to me, too. God, that is. Well, sometimes Don, too, but.....never mind!!! I was just looking at my little trellis thingy and hoping it lasts a long time. I love this old thing. I take it outside every spring, summer, and fall, then back inside for the winter. I hang random things on it. The birdhouse says "Look at the birdie!" but no birds have wanted to live there. They don't want to live in the pink flamingo either. I don't understand it. Oh, well. I was thinking I should dig around the porch and find some more stuff to hang on it. It takes on a new look each year, but there are a couple oldies on there. Just to the bottom right of the flamingo's feet there's a tiny clothespin angel who is very dirty and tattered and weathered, but she keeps hanging in there year after year, poor little thing!
Here is a photo of our church that I took around 12:30 today. I was trying not to shake, it is so disturbing. This is the driveway where you would enter our parking lot. The river isn't cresting yet. . . next week sometime???? It's unreal. This is the view from Foster Road. There is now 4 ft. of water inside, and expecting at least 8. Here is a shot looking toward my preschool classroom. We are losing our church and my workplace; Sam and Lily's preschool. It hit me hard when I ran into Ashley out there and we hugged and cried. Any given hour you happen out there, you are bound to meet a Parkviewer, so be prepared to console one another..... It will be all right.
Here is looking out from the church toward Taft. Half of the parking lot is water. Here they are shoveling sand into cones that are rigged up to a wood base and people are holding bags open beneath the cone. They could fill lots of bags rapidly this way. Damon is in the center shoveling away, bless his heart. Laura and Joe were out there for a while doing the same. Will is down in the left hand corner. Here is a shot of Will getting more sandbags. I am so proud of his willingness to work wherever there is a need. He will grow up knowing the importance of serving - just like his dad. Here are two of our good friends Ken in the red shirt and Dean in the brown shirt fastening bags. I helped in the kitchen getting food ready to serve the workers and Don did some odds and ends - no lifting! Then shortly after these photos were taken we went home....Don was tired out as he had been on his feet longer than he was use to since his surgery. Then the corps of engineers opened the water at the dam - tonight - instead of Tues. so I guess they are still working into the night. God help them.
Here are my five youngest grandkids celebrating Lily's birthday. They are precious. The birthday girl comtemplating what being 3 is all about. Beautiful cake for a beautiful girl. (polka dots!) When we were alone in the bathroom tonight, Lily told me "Now I am ready for preschool!" I believe she is. Happy Birthday, my precious girl.