Saturday, October 6, 2012

Gained more than I gave, so much more

Yes we there were some work days that went from 8:30 in the morning until 6:00 at night but these were so overshadowed by the smiles on Justin's face and his anticipation each day when he came home from school to see the progress in his new room.  And overshadowed by the joy and gratitude Debbie - Justin's mother - showed throughout each work day as we took over much of her house with our spackle dust and muddy feet and saw dust.  And overshadowed by the celebration and dedication the final day - with hugs and pizza and cake from Debbie and Joe (Justin's father).  I will miss them all - including Neil and his workers (Chuck, Dennis, Lee), and, of course, Summer (Justin's sister). 

We (11 of us) worked in harmony in two small rooms for 5 days, working around daily wet paint and floors covered with tools and supplies and 4 ladders.  We looked forward to our daily devotion (thank you Paul - you knew what we needed to hear and read each day), we laughed together, we shared meals and snacks together, we found some great restaurants, we had terrific mentors and willing learners.  And we had wonderful fellowship amongst all the Hancock folks.

Yes, I gained much more than I gave and I treasure the time together, the relationships rekindled and new ones developing, and the opportunity to be a part of such a worthwhile experience.  Thank you everyone (Hancock, The Fuller Center, Debbie & Joe & Justin)!!!!

More pictures to share ---

Doug and Tom tiling

Mike tile cutting
Cheryl & Janet - bedroom floor installation

Favorite pit stop & caffeine fix

New found friends
Janet & Summer - Justin's sister

And the Faith that was a source of strength and determination and support, always.

The runner for tile pieces --

All finished!

Amazingly enough, we finished. The bathroom and bedroom, minus just a couple of punch list items, and a final inspection, are ready for Justin to move in.

Friday had the now usual assortment of all kinds of tasks: connecting the sink faucet and drain, installing the toilet, completing the shower hookup, assembling the ceiling fan (nice breeze!), laying the bedroom floor, running baseboard, running the extra molding on the baseboard we realized we needed after running the baseboard, actually turning on the water (with no small amount of trepidation), mounting the grab rails, and of course, lots of painting and touch ups.

At the end of the day, we had a formal dedication ceremony. Lots of the local Fuller folks and Justin's extended family came. The church's minister said a few words, and Merle (Neil's wife - the President of the NJ Pines Fuller affiliate) presented the (symbolic) keys and a Bible, and led us in the Fuller Center traditional "Oyez!".

Everyone gathered for the dedication

The finished product

From the kitchen, looking into the bedroom - you can see the bathroom door on the left

The  bedroom from the kitchen door

The wall-mounted sink with the wall tile

The shower

Photos from Jim

Summer and Debbie

Justin with Joan

Praise for the showerhead

Well, we closed out the week with a moving ceremony to dedicate the 99 & 99/100% completed bedroom and bath for Justin. We did it!

Afterward there was a pizza (by Justin's mother Debbie) and beer (by our "boss" Neil) party.

I've been so tired and it's been so late when we've gotten back to the Motel that I haven't input the last two days. But I'll share one of the secrets that's helped keep me going -- A Waterpik Massage showerhead! The pusating jets of hot water do wonders for sore neck & shoulders.

But now the long drive home after a most gratifying and definitely fun week where we worked hard, enjoyed each others' camaraderie achieved so many things. We really felt that our MISSION - for Justin, the Fuller Center, HUCC, and God was accomplished.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The case of the missing pencil

Yesterday I learned two things. One of our supervisors, Dennis, taught us how to install Prego interlocking laminate flooring in Justin's bedroom. It wasn't quite as easy as the commercials on television, but it was so satisfying to see the room transform before your eyes.

The only tools required are a pencil for marking the length of the piece at the end of each row, a chop saw to cut the end pieces, and a block of wood and a hammer to"persuade" the pieces to interlock securely. We were a little slow at the beginning, and a little uncoordinated, trying to keep our tools close by so that we didn't have to get up and down too often since my knees don't like that very much. We kept losing our pencils, but there was always someone working nearby to offer another.

We were so pleased to see it coming together and we almost done when our foreman arrived on the scene. As he walked into the room, he got a very strange look on his face. Suddenly he started jumping around on the floor. To our surprise there was a lump under the flooring. Now what were we going to do?

Neil got a long straight edge and started fishing under the floor. Was it the foam under layer that got wrinkled or could it be the sub flooring that was lumpy? No. it was the pencil we had lost! Boy was I glad that we found it before he'd nailed down the threshold!

So today I learned that like you count sponges in the OR, you have to count pencils when you lay flooring. :-)


One of the projects that we undertook on Wednesday, courtesy of Janet, was to plant bulbs in Justin's front yard for a spring surprise.  Janet brought 36 daffodils, jonquils and tulips along with bone meal and a bulb digger.  She was so well prepared!  We sprinkled the daffodils and jonquils in a naturalized pattern and planted the tulips in bunches.  While we were at it, we raked the yard and picked up all of the construction materials.  It was wonderful to have an outdoor project since having 11 people in two small, hot rooms is sometimes a little uncomfortable!

Faith Fenske

Learning the wet saw

We got a lot done on Thursday. The sink is mounted, then we could set the wall tile in the bathroom. Meanwhile the laminate flooring was laid in the bedroom. The ceiling fan was assembled and mounted, and the electrical service was turned on. Door trim was cut and fit, including some tricky finagling around some of the ...uh... inconsistencies in the existing walls. And the painters of course had all kinds of work. Somehow we managed to avoid completely getting into each others' way in the small room.

Janet and Faith continued cleaning up the yard and planted bunches of bulbs.

The flooring saga was not without excitement. After about half the floor was laid, Neil came in and said "something doesn't feel right". The floor seemed a little too bouncy. Turns out there was a stray pencil that somehow found its way under the flooring. Oops. Some fishing with a long wallboard T-square managed to retrieve the errant troublemaker and the floor was stable again. Whew!

My fun task was learning how to use the wet saw - what we use to cut tile. Scott showed me the tricks and I spent the afternoon cutting a zillion pieces of tile into all the many sizes and shapes that Doug and Tom needed. It's pretty messy, but a very cool tool. Certainly kept me busy!

Today's pictures:

Cheryl gets to use her favorite tool: the chop saw

Doug finishing up the wall tile in the bathroom

Joan and Daryl finishing up the tricky painting around the shower stall