Archive

Posts Tagged ‘iowa’

Mission: Iowa – Day 4

This was our last full day of work as we’ll head out after lunch on Monday. There’s more than a twinge of regret as we leave several work projects left unfinished. Yet that’s the nature of a mission trip; it’s rare to be the first ones on a job and even rarer to be the last. What we do is about those middle steps, the long sludge toward the finish line when the end goal seems far away and the workload overwhelming. Sure, we finished our entire task at Mack’s, and so long as we keep our perspective, we may feel more at peace with leaving things unfinished at Josh’s, Carol’s, and the Piano Store.

I started out with the crew at Josh’s house this morning (Brett, Kelsey, Jacob S., Nathan, Nick, Loretta, Eric, Jack, Alex, and Sam) and finally had a chance to meet Josh. He granted me an on-camera interview to hear his perspective on the flood and how it’s affected his family. On the day of the flood, they heard of the potential danger and he sent his wife, Sara, and their two boys, Noah and Juilius (now ages three and two, respectively), to his parents in Cedar Falls and he went to work that morning. While there, he learned of just how high the water rose in his neighborhood; one of his co-workers lives in his neighborhood and waded to work with a video on his phone. Life changed that day. His family wasn’t allowed back in the home for weeks. Refurbishing the home started right away but resources and funding was limited. Throw in a layoff due to several stores closing and his managerial skills being needed less and less, and the year has been one of slow progress and setbacks. Still, Josh tries to keep his hopes up as much as possible on behalf of his family, seeking work, rebuilding the home, and providing for his family. I asked him if his sons understood what was going on and while Julius is too young, the older boy, Noah, refers to the home as “the wreck” with that wry humor only a child could get away with. Noah lost most of his Thomas the Tank Engine toys in the flood, so I ran out to Toys R Us and picked out two new engines – one for him and one for when his brother was old enough to join him in play (they received Percy and James, for those discerning Thomas fans). Noah gave me a big smile and said ‘thank you.’ This last interaction was at the end of our work day and I bid Josh farewell.

My interview with Josh was outside and my interaction with Noah was downstairs. Meanwhile, the crew was busy at work on the main floor. More and more drywall went up while other sheets were mudded, sanded, mudded, sanded, and so on in that cycle. They really had an efficient team, understanding how to work with each other and how to help. For example, I helped with mudding and dusting in the morning and while it was something I found I had a knack for during the Excelsior UMC mission trip to Texas last December, Jacob S. had some new pointers for me in terms of technique and efficiency. Connie made a run out to Home Depot and picked up an electric sander which Nick wielded with ease. The dust storms we kicked up were something fierce and while the masks we wore to protect our precious lungs were helpful but hot, Josh had the central air conditioning running for us. Now that’s a rare gem in the mission work world. Another group who arrives tonight and begins work tomorrow will be here for a full week and are getting an early start at Josh’s house. I hope they do amazing work; Josh told me he really hopes to have the house finished in time for Thanksgiving. It’s an ambitious goal and I hope he meets it with the help of his family and more volunteers.

At Carol’s house, even more sheetrock was going up, not only on the walls but also the ceiling. The crew of Victoria, Trevor, Alex, Bob, Kent, Marcus, Matt, Holly, Olivia, Jenna, Jordan, Pat, Jacob B., Connie, Katie, and Louann divided their duties amongst them. Some were constantly sanding while others were mudding. A crew cut new lengths of sheetrock to put on the ceiling with a hand-crank lift that held the board up while Jenna and Jacob B. screwed it in tight. One of the last things Alex O. and Trevor did before they had to leave early was take down a fresh piece of sheetrock because the crew forgot to install insulation underneath it. Luckily, they caught the error and everything’s back in place the right way.

Carol reportedly stopped by the home to grab a few things and she chatted with Kent. She’s staying in a FEMA trailer in the meantime and is quite grateful to everyone for their help. This was also the home where Josh’s house crew came in the late afternoon when their work was finished (they reached that point where there was nothing left to do for the day except wait for the mud to dry). It was also my first stop with ice cream sandwiches and bars in tow. I was able to hand off some ice cream sandwiches to Bob and Louann before they had to depart back for home and while they were only with us half the trip, they did a lot of great work to help the crew. Working so close to home like this is a grand convenience, though it’s also given people in our group fresh feelings on watching people in our area become instantly distressed in poverty. As Eric pointed out during worship last night, this could happen to any of us, any time, through some sort of natural disaster. I think people in our group are really weighing that in as they do their work.

There’s not much to say about the work at the Piano Store that hasn’t already been said because while a lot of work gets done, it’s as if it never ends. It’s hot, it’s moldy, and a little dangerous. Yes, our fourth person stepped on a nail today, and it was my brother, Jordan. He joined the ranks of Kaitlyn, Jack, and Matt with a trip to the ER and a fresh prescription of antibiotics. Still, the workers persevere and did their best to get as much done as possible. Jerry, Bobbi, Maddie, Kaitlyn, Jake, Jordan, Alex, Sam, and Ron shattered walls, splintered floor boards, stripped off metal siding, and threw yet another heaping helping of rotting building into the truck trailer-sized dumpster. While Jerry served as the final bucket brigade person sitting inside the dumpster the other day, today it was Alex and the youth made a silly game of stacking / throwing debris into a pattern that resembled a living room complete with couch and end table. I handed my video camera to Alex and had him tape it a little bit but I haven’t seen it yet. His enthusiasm told me, however, that it must have looked pretty funny.

We all packed up and headed back to the church in the 4:00pm hour so we could grab our swimsuits and head down to the Marion Municipal Pool. Connie stayed back to prepare dinner and Victoria stayed out of the water due to a stomach ache though she watched and smiled as everyone else jumped in the water. Most of the girls and guys swam and chatted, many of the adults swam for a little while and then found themselves simply relaxing with conversation on the far side of the pool, while a group of the guys alternately did crazy dips and dives off the diving boards when they weren’t busy watching a local foursome of two guys and two girls do some of their own diving board spectacular, too. To tell the truth, it was hard to tell if their attention was on the guys who were doing overtly stylish, impressive flips or, well, the girls. You’ll have to ask them. 😉

We came back from the pool to find a taco dinner waiting for us. After some free time we held an evening worship with music (The Shoo-Bop and Lean On Me), scripture (Philip approaching his brother, Nathan, to say he’s found the messiah in Jesus and to, “Come and see.”), and small group discussion. We raised up the good things that have happened on the trip and the things that could be improved for next time, as well as explaining who we’ve gotten to know and how from the opposite church (Excelsior UMC / Minnetonka UMC) and from the opposite age group (adults / youth). We also discussed our new jobs for Monday morning. One contingent consisting of Jack, Jake, Jerry, Jordan, Alex, Nick, Sam, and Ron will head over to the Piano Store to take one last literal whack at the walls and floors while the rest of us will divide into two teams. One team (Connie, Victoria, Pat, Jenna, Kelsey, Holly, Katie, Olivia, and Jacob S.) will prepare meals for those like Carol who are forced to live in a FEMA trailer for the time being, while the other team (Eric, Kent, Kaitlyn, Maddie, Matt, Marcus, Nathan, and Jacob B.) do some gift-card fueled school supply shopping to help community outreach groups gear up for back-to-school needs. Many of us were bummed out to learn we wouldn’t be returning to Josh and Carol’s house but as I mentioned earlier, fresh crews start there tomorrow and we wish them the best of luck and success.

The plan for tomorrow is to pack and stow our gear in the trailers, clean up after ourselves at New Life Community Church, work our jobs in the morning, eat lunch at a park, and head home in the early afternoon. Parents, we’re encouraging youth to give you a call once we’re on the road with an ETA. Keep your comments coming, and the next time you hear from me, we’ll already be home!

-nm

Here’s a few photos from the day’s work and play. Click the pick once for a larger version, and then again for a really big version.

Advertisements
Categories: inspiration Tags: ,

Mission: Iowa – Day 3

Today started with something pretty important – acknowledging that today is Jake’s sixteenth birthday! I pulled him into the middle of our circle of thirty-four people and he spun around as we all sang happy birthday to him. We were soon joined by local help. Connie and Alex have family living in Cedar Rapids and Alex’s two cousins, Brianna and Michelle, and their friends, Becca and Ellie, joined us as we worked all day. Four crews divided and went to their respective locations: Josh’s house, Mack’s house, and the Piano Store again as well as a new location, Carol’s house.

Our work today saw quite a few accomplishments and moments of progress. At Mack’s house, a new crew of Pat, Jordan, Sam, Holly, Jenna, Olivia, and Katie finished the entire paint job of the house interior. Every gray cement brick was coated with the thick white paint and Mack was pleased with the job the team did. In fact, the team finished early in the work day and were able to trek over to Carol’s house to join a crew of Kent, Bob, Barney, Alex O., Trevor, Brianna, Michelle, Becca, Ellie, and more (sorry, I don’t have the roster on me right now). Carol’s house was on the same street as Josh’s and the Piano Store, just the next block down from the Piano Store, in fact. There’s a large pile of debris piled in the front lawn including some brand-new sheetrock that unfortunately had to be pulled only three days after it was put up due to a leaky roof ruining some of the great work that was done earlier in the week. The crew put up wall installation, mudded some drywall, put up new sheetrock, and had a special team working on a precise measurement.

Turns out a new doorframe was less than level; one end stuck up by three-quarters of an inch. That meant using the sawzaw to cut out a chunk of doorframe, pulling out some sheetrock, lowering the overhead doorframe boarding, and then reinstalling the whole sh-bang properly. As the group at Josh’s house had to do yesterday, some of the work volunteer crews have to do is not repair or construction but correction work do undo something not quite kosher from other volunteer crews. It’s a bummer and one hopes the next crew in doesn’t have too much correction work because of what we did. Instead, we’re hoping our work ends up being the kind of work that has Iowa UMCOR calling us to find out when we’re coming back to do more.

Meanwhile, Josh’s house was busy with a crew consisting of Ron, Nick, Nathan, Brett, Alex and more. Everyone was in high spirits to return to the home after having done so much work on it the day before, plus Josh tossed in an added bonus. He turned on the air conditioning. It’s amazing how a little gesture like that can not only help one’s physical stamina stay strong during a hard work day but also boost crew spirits. Dry wall was still at the top of the list at Josh’s house and the crew worked diligently to get their work done. Over at the Piano Store, a slightly-altered-from-yesterday crew of Jerry, Bobbi, Marcus, Jacob B., and Jake continued to gut the building. Jake was excited to smash sledgehammers into walls and pry up floorboards with a crowbar for his birthday and we weren’t about to stop him. They worked with another crew from northeast Missouri who was finishing up their final day of work after a week in town, first on the ground floor and then also in the basement. I was witness to a large truck coming to haul away the giant dumpster and it gave me better perspective on how truly big it was – essentially, it’s the size of a truck trailer and it was filled to the brim. The truck hauled it away, dumped its contents, and came back later that day to receive more moldy wood, rusty nails, and other assorted bits of junk.

I went on a solo adventure for a little while today, as usual. I ventured out to the new home of the Cedar Rapids Library… in the mall. “Library” is not necessarily synonymous with “mall” for me, but there I was, posting yesterday’s blog and photos in the library computer center, a former Steve & Barry’s Clothing Store space next door to Yonkers. The mall was dead with what seemed to be a lot more empty store fronts than occupied. I asked the librarian if this was a result of the flood or recent economic woes and apparently those were factors but the mall was already on the decline. The hollow shell of what was once a vibrant area for so many people, however, seemed to really fit in with the neighborhood we’re working in this week. Some houses look great, others are boarded up tight. Some are having work done on them while others are likely abandoned forever. The parallel imagery wasn’t lost on me as I walked past empty, gated shop space in the mall to see the new library. It’s a broad, open space that reminds me of a miniature Barnes & Noble only without the charm and selection. I can’t think about that entire library collection getting wiped out without getting sad about it. Still, it’s wonderful to see the county doing their best to get such an important community aspect back up and running, and there’s even something poetic about them putting it in a location where less and less people were coming recently. Perhaps the library can help the mall revive a little bit, who knows.

We had a mishap or two today. We misplaced the key to Loretta’s van and had to run to the dealer for a new one at a bummer of a price tag (it was high to begin with but made higher due to weekend pricing). We also found that Matt had also had skin piercing from stepping on a nail yesterday. When it went through his shoe, he didn’t feel like it hit his foot at all but after closer examination right before bed, sure enough there was a small mark. Like Kaitlin and Jack before him, Connie took him to the ER for antibiotics and he was eventually able to return to work, joining the Piano Store crew. At the end of the night, Jacob S. said he had a sore knee. Sensing nothing immediately wrong, Connie and Louann have asked Jacob to let them know if anything comes of it and he intends to do some work sitting to take weight of it tomorrow.

Leaving mishaps behind, there were plenty of funny and uplifting stories today. Mack’s praise of the crew who painted his house simply never stopped. Jake got into a light argument with a gas station clerk about whether or not Dr. Pepper qualified as a Pepsi product and thus for the sale price (it’s made by Cadbury and possibly not distributed by Pepsi in Iowa is our guess). Pat finally got to leave painting behind and get a start on drywall only to be disappointed when it was time to clean-up only thirty minutes into his new job. Youth and adults alike laughed and danced during LYFE Camp favorite song, Ah-La-La-La-La-La-Lei-Lu-Ia (Ah-La-La-La-La-La-Lei-Lu [Hey!]), including verses like “pinch a neighbor’s cheek,” “squeeze another knee,” and “bump another rump.” And people took time during the evening worship service to share their observations of the positive things members of our group have done this week, as well as look inward and discuss what they have done that surprised themselves this week. This reflection was done in small groups and the intimacy lent itself to some excellent sharing and complimenting all-around.

Lucky us, Connie’s brother, Brian, and his wife, Carol, invited us to their home for dinner and relaxation. Brian was the grill man and we gobbled up burgers and hot dogs and then lounged on lawn chairs, played pool in the basement, jumped on the trampoline, and sang songs as Alex O. and I pulled out our guitar and ukulele, respectively. At the end of dinner, I watched Connie carry out a beautiful white sheet cake for Jake’s birthday. Someone gave him a celebratory do-rag (I don’t think it’s an actual “celebratory” do-rag, it just ended up that way)… but then I got one, too, and Kelsey got a Happy Birthday princess crown. Turns out the birthday cake was in honor of all three of us, with Jake turning sixteen today of course, and then on Monday, the last day of our trip, Kelsey turns sixteen and I… turn… um… older. Maybe thirty, I couldn’t say for sure… At any rate, the gesture was a nice surprise and the ice cream cake was delicious. All in all, the evening was a nice reprieve from the hot work day we’d had and it put us in a mood of gratitude for Brian and Carol’s hospitality. After dinner, we returned to the church for the aforementioned worship service, some conversation, a game or two, and then bed.

I’m exhausted so I’m leaving it at that, dear reader. Thank you for your comments and for reading!

-nm

P.S. Kelsey and Loretta took some great snapshots after the work day at dinner and evening worship. Take a look!

Brian (right) shows Pat the moves on the foosball table.

Brian (right) shows Pat all the right moves on the foosball table in the basement.

img_1082

Olivia, Holly, Katie, and Jenna take over another hammock as a group.

Nate and Alex strummed a few ukulele/guitar duets while folks saying along and listened.

Nate and Alex strummed a few ukulele/guitar duets while folks saying along and listened.

Bob and Louann drove down a day later than the main group but have made their presence known through hard work and great cooking.

Bob and Louann drove down a day later than the main group but have made their presence known through hard work and great cooking.

Ron, Pat, and Barney have a nice after-dinner chat in Brian and Carol's backyard.

Ron, Pat, and Barney have a nice after-dinner chat in Brian and Carol's backyard.

The guys in the middle of a game of Sorry!

The guys in the middle of a game of Sorry!

Alex and Jack sport some spiffy plastic forks that have a shiny coating and nearly the heft of actual cutlery.

Alex and Jack sport some spiffy plastic forks that have a shiny coating and nearly the heft of actual cutlery.

Victoria takes a well-deserved break in a hammock.

Victoria takes a well-deserved break in a hammock.

Olivia, Holly, Katie, and Jenna take over another hammock as a group.

Olivia, Holly, Katie, and Jenna take over another hammock as a group.

Kelsey took my senior photo, twelve years too late!

Kelsey took my senior photo, twelve years too late!

Brett, Sam, Alex, Person, Jacob S., Nathan, and Jack relax on some primo landscaping.

Brett, Sam, Alex, Nick, Jacob S., Nathan, and Jack relax on some primo landscaping.

Michelle, Ellie, Victoria, Jenna, and Kelsey pose for the camera just before dinner.

Michelle, Ellie, Victoria, Jenna, and Kelsey pose for the camera just before dinner.

Boys will be boys in this action trampoline shot.

Boys will be boys in this action trampoline shot.

Nate (turning 30 on Monday), Kelsey (turning 16 on Monday), and Jake (turning 16 today) can't help but smile as the group sings "Happy Birthday."

Nate (turning 30 on Monday), Kelsey (turning 16 on Monday), and Jake (turning 16 today) can't help but smile as the group sings "Happy Birthday."

"Mmm, I gonna eat all dat caaake!"

"Mmm, I gonna eat all dat caaake!"

Kent, Jerry, and Bobbi enjoy a post-dinner ice tea.

Kent, Jerry, and Bobbi enjoy a post-dinner ice tea.

).””]Evening worship gets kicked off with the audience participation song, "Ah, La, La, La, La, La, Lei, Lu, Ia (Ah, La, La, La, La, La, Lei, Lu [Hey!])."
Jordan and Trevor "pinch another cheek, pinch a cheek next to you, pinch another cheek and sing this song..."

Jordan and Trevor "pinch another cheek, pinch a cheek next to you, pinch another cheek and sing this song..."

Alex (center) tries to recover from too much cheek-pinching.

Alex (center) tries to recover from too much cheek-pinching.


Categories: inspiration Tags: ,

Mission: Iowa – Day 2

Today was our first work day and it was a full, rewarding one. We woke up in the 7:00am hour, had a breakfast of cereal, oatmeal, and English muffins and made up our sack lunches and packed them in the cooler. Since we already made our work teams the night before, we were able to head out to our three work destinations by 9:00am or so without much hassle.

Everyone in our group had designated work areas today save for Connie O. and me. Connie moved from site to site, running to get supplies and make sure groups had whatever support they needed, including a run or two to the hospital (more on that later). Meanwhile, I had the freedom to drive downtown to post the blog, go get supplies for sites at Home Depot and Everything’s $1, and video tape at each of the sites for documented posterity (yes, I got my hands dirty, too, mostly from sanding drywall). By going to each site, I write about what I saw a little easier.

I first traveled to Mack’s house with the work crew, Kent, Pat, Alex, Sam, Jacob B., Holly, Katie, and Olivia. The night before, UMCOR liaison Melissa told our group that Mack was truly a character and storyteller, someone we’d have a blast meeting. She was right on the money. Mack regaled us with tales of his thirty years as an iron worker, preached precariously up on eighty-two stories up, as well as what his home and yard were like during and immediately after the flood. He pointed to the garage and said the back wall was gone, floating in the backyard between the garage and the house. Next to it was a giant, waterlogged carpet that had been pulled from someone’s home like an orange peel. It had swirled around in the water until it folded on itself into a carpet crepe. There’s still plenty of debris in his backyard: broken down bicycles, spiky boards of wood, aerosol cans and an extra transmission on top of his tarp-covered car. The detail that stuck out the most was when Mack pointed to his roof and asked the group to look at the third row of shingles – that was where the water had risen after the river overflowed into territory somewhere in the thirty-odd feet deep. Sure enough, there was the water line, staining his shingles. The water had covered his entire first floor and now there was nothing left in it.

The first floor had skeleton studs separating the rooms but no walls to speak of save the cement brick walls serving as the home’s exterior (under new vinyl siding Mack installed on his own a few weeks back). It was this brick that the group set to coating with thick latex-based paint that would serve as water sealant. The work was not for the impatient or for those not willing to experiment with different approaches. One person would roll a thick layer of paint on the brick while another used a stiff-bristled brush to do touch-ups, dotting paint into the tiny holes and crevasses in the cement. Eventually, the group found the best tool was not a brush but a dishwashing scrub stick, its thick, sturdy bristles perfect for getting paint into the tiny blank holes like brushing one’s teeth. Other highlights from Mack’s house include wearing full body disposable painters suits (it was not the kind of paint one gets on their skin and comes off easily, much less clothing) and mixing the $150 5-gallon drums of paint by rolling them back and forth between two people as if playing a game of Kick the Can with something much bigger and heavier.

At Josh’s house, our largest group consisting of Ron, Barney, Loretta, Victoria, Kelsey, Jenna, Jacob S., Brett, and Jordan tackled drywall duties. They weren’t alone; MUMC’s Eric, Nathan, and Nick showed up, too, after getting on the road from Minnesota in the 5:00am hour. They did correction work from previous volunteer groups, including a lot of sanding from drywall mudding. I picked up a few 1” x 2” wood planks at Home Depot so they could cut struts to put behind new sheetrock with fellas like Jordan, Nick, and Nathan on measure-cut-and-drill duty. The group also did a lot of their own mudding and then sanding. The sanding was time-consuming and masks were more than necessary. Jenna sanded so much that there were streaks of dust between her eyes and painter’s mask like some sort of crazy make-up job (I was thinking David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust character myself). They also had a chance to meet Josh, the home owner, and learn that while the main floor where they were doing their work was still uninhabitable, he and his family had living space both upstairs and in the basement. However, it wasn’t until October, 2008 that they were able to get into even that space. Keep in mind, the flood was in June, 2008. That’s a long time to go without a place to call home.

The third work place, just blocks from the first two, was the Piano Store. What was likely a home that was once converted into a piano store, it didn’t look like either, anymore. There was already a crew at work when Bobbi, Jerry, Matt, Marcus, Kaitlin, Maddie, Jack, and Jake arrived and there was another that came to work later that day, too. The work was literally demolishing the inside of the house. The group donned worksuits like the painting crew at Mack’s plus masks as they hammered, crowbarred, and generally ripped the insides out of the moldy, smelly building, piece by piece. The pieces went into a dumpster so large that workers had to be on ladders to get up into it. While the other two work places weren’t too hampered by the downpour of rain we received about an hour into the job, the Piano Store crew had to spend time in the rain gathering up debris for the aforementioned monstrosity of a dumpster. The group was not only rewarded with working in the rain but received our casualties of the day. First Kaitlin, then Jack stepped on a nail. Connie and Loretta took Kaitlin to the ER for infection treatment and antibiotics (Jack, too, when his turn came later). Parents received the obligatory informational phone calls and after a chat with the doctor, they were able to return to work with ease.

We ceased working as 4:00pm approached and we returned to the church to grab our gear and make our way to the high school field house for showers. We came back to the church hungry for a meal of pasta whipped up by Connie and two more group members who showed up just in time to help cook, Bob and Louann. Meal time was fairly silent as tired folks simply chowed down on the grub. Plus, we didn’t have much time to tarry; we’d nabbed tickets for the Cedar Rapids Kernels minor league baseball game against the Fort Wayne Tincaps. The game had some good action and the between-innings entertainment featuring Bird Zerk and his mascot family had us all laughing. I tracked the game on a scorecard and looking at it, I can tell you the Kernels defense was great but offense not so much and they lost, 5-2.

Back at church, we debriefed as a large group, each work crew filling each other in on what they did that day. We set up new teams for our work places on Saturday (we’re returning to Josh and Mack’s houses, skipping the Piano Store, and picking up Sharon’s house). Then it was lights out (and cell phones out) and everyone’s in bed but me. But before I go, I want to write to you about one more thing I witnessed today.

Getting back to the work we did today, I had several observations all over the neighborhood. A lot of homes with “No Trespassing” signs and “Limited Entry” signs, put up by local and state government, keeping both strangers and homeowners out of the houses until more work could be done to make them habitable. There was one home I saw where a woman had spray painted a message on the blue vinyl siding exterior that was something to the effect of: “Lucky Me. I’m moving out and I had wonderful neighbors. God bless you all!” I’ll edit with the full message tomorrow, but such a message struck me as both uniquely beautiful and sadly tragic at the same time. But there was something else around the neighborhood, too. Many intersections had large flower pots on the boulevards, each with unique plants and flowers in bloom. They all carried a sign with a simple message: “Cultivate Hope.” I’d like to think the work we’re doing can cultivate hope even a little bit this week.

And we’re not the only ones out here this week. We’ve met groups from Ohio, Missouri, Kansas, and more – all here in Iowa working to cultivate hope. That’s some mighty find work you have us doing, God.

-nm

P.S. As promised, here are a few photos for you. We didn’t have cameras at all of the work sites but here are snapshots from Josh’s house and the Kernels game courtesy of Kelsey:

Victoria sports a trendy dust mask to help her breathe as dust falls from sanding drywall.

Victoria sports a trendy dust mask to help her breathe as dust falls from sanding drywall.

Nathan and Nick are the official power drill danger duo.

Nathan and Nick serve as our official power drill danger duo.

Ron definitely brought the right shirt on this trip when it comes to not caring whether or not one gets covered in drywall dust.

Ron definitely brought the right shirt on this trip when it comes to not caring whether or not one gets covered in drywall dust.

Jenna with sander-in-hand and mask-on-face sports her new drywall dust eye make-up job.

Jenna with sander-in-hand and mask-on-face sports her new drywall dust eye make-up job.

Eric measures out a piece of sheetrock so he can cut it to size.

Eric measures out a piece of sheetrock so he can cut it to size.

Barney prepares a few new pieces of sheetrock to go up in Josh's house.

Barney prepares a few new pieces of sheetrock to go up in Josh's house.

Jacob, Kelsey, and Victoria's Jump Series #1

Jacob, Kelsey, and Victoria's Jump Series #1

Jacob, Kelsey, and Victoria's Jump Series #2

Jacob, Kelsey, and Victoria's Jump Series #2

Jacob, Kelsey, and Victoria's Jump Series #3

Jacob, Kelsey, and Victoria's Jump Series #3

"Cultivate Hope."

"Cultivate Hope."

Jacob, Kelsey, Victoria, Nick, Nathan, and others enjoy the Cedar Rapids Kernels game.

Jacob, Kelsey, Victoria, Nick, Nathan, and others enjoy the Cedar Rapids Kernels game.

Jordan and Jack relax at the game with Eric in the background.

Jordan and Jack relax at the game with Pat in the background.

Nate gives Brett a hard time. Why? It's his job, that's why!

Nate gives Brett a hard time. Why? It's his job, that's why!

Our view of the baseball diamond at Vet Field.

Our view of the baseball diamond at Vet Field.

Several of the youth pose with Nate on a tank outside of Vet field. Left to right in the front row: Victoria, Kaitlin, Maddie, Jordan, and Nate. Clockwise from the top of the tank: Jake, Jack, Sam, Matt, Jacob, Brett, Jacob, and Alex.

Several of the youth pose with Nate on a tank outside of Vet field. Left to right in the front row: Victoria, Kaitlin, Maddie, Jordan, Nate, and ghosts. Well, not ghosts. Dust on the lens. Probably drywall dust, given the work day we had. Clockwise from the top of the tank: Jake, Jack, Sam, Matt, Jacob, Brett, Jacob, and Alex.

Categories: inspiration Tags: ,