Hello Dear Reader!

We’ve missed you, and we’re glad to be back again in Sebring, Florida with Habitat For Humanity. Donning matching green shirts through the airport on Saturday, October 28, the team turned heads and created interest in our mission trip. “You’re taking vacation time to go work?” We also got into classic airport shenanigans with photo ops, moving sidewalks. We’re not actually sure how we got to Coney Island. Tampa traditions old and new: classic flamingo picture and a new attempt at a synchronized jumping photo in front of the mural. We’re still working on that.


We shocked ourselves by being so early to church we had time to walk the prayer labyrinth. Atonement Lutheran warmly welcomed us again; in addition to a blessing and well wishes, they made a delicious cake for us.  Later, we decided to try a new restaurant – the Gator Shack. Guess what we ate? If you guessed chicken gizzards, you’re right! For future reference, pick the gator over the gizzards. Our next stop was Istokpoga Park for a stroll. Local legend says Istokpoga is the Seminole word meaning “a lake where someone was killed in the water.” With gator on our breath, would we be targeted? Rest assured, we all made it out safely.
Nature Watch: One wood stork, two cranes, a sad gecko trying to get in the pool (arms too short to open the gate), creepy crawlies, and a bear (or at least the sign of one).
Night Watch: The team relaxed by the pool with the brightest full moon (the one in the sky, not the one we saw earlier at Walmart) and relived the day sharing pictures and laughs. Airdrop anyone?


Monday was our first day on the job site on Inspiration Drive in Sebring, FL. We surprised Frank, our site supervisor, with St Luke’s T-shirts. The question everyone was asking was “Can I be Frank?” Click on the following photos to meet our 9 team members and find out our Top 9 Reasons to do a Habitat For Humanity build…

Day 4

Tuesday was another work day on the build site. Seeing as it was All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween for ye pagans), the team has designated today’s blog: “Choose Your Own Adventure Habitat Halloween!” Click on the photos and read their tales.


Dear Reader, you’re still reading? This is great. Let us tell you more about the three teams: Team Tile, Team Spline, and the Sill Plate Glue & Bolt Team.
Team Tile (Cindy, Lori, and Diane) persevered and continued to look for the Wizard of Oz, but to no avail. They’ll continue tomorrow. Lori, on the other hand, found the bathroom, and Diane only found the closet but realized it was a dead end job.
Meanwhile, the Spline Cutting team cut splines (Bill and Kevin). No one really knows what a spine is, but we now have 66 of them. If Fred was here, he would tell you it’s not a body part.
The Sill Plate Glue & Bolt Team (Carrie, David, Lynn, & Dave) discovered the artistry of sandwich-making by layering various woods, glues and bolts for the foundation, but soon discovered their creations were tasteless. This team also built a stud pack (for holding the ridge beam) and Carrie found a happy face in the effort.
But, wait…there were 4 more surprises: The group was delighted to see Robert, our site supervisor who retired last year, who came for a visit (and lots of hugs). Ruth Ann & Paul from Atonement Lutheran Church invited us to their home for a delightful dinner, and Carrie & David celebrated their 15th Anniversary.
The last surprise …despite Santa still being on summer vacation, there was a sighting and evidence of elves at work. What surprises will tomorrow bring?



At breakfast, the “2 Pancakes in 1 Minute” machine set the tone for our culinary theme today. Our wall panels were like S’mores without the chocolate and needed toasting (burning out smelly styrofoam). Meanwhile the indoor tile crew whipped up some “frosting”(mortar) and continued to decorate the floors.

We also lost power. No electricity? No problem! Frank to the rescue with two generators and 800 feet of extension cords.

The Gingerbread House builders were excited to get the first wall panels in place. Holding up the wall in the gusty wind was important, and to the unsuspecting eye it looked like a heist with guns (caulk and nailers). Despite the hullabaloo below, Carrie the Riveter got the job done.

Lynn called the blue port-a-potty the Magic 8-Ball, even going so far as to make people ask a question before entering (Will the fire ants bite again today?). After Frank and Diane shook the “8 Ball” while Lynn was in it, it’s now called the Leaning Tower of “Pee-sa.”

Cindy just kept working and tiled herself into the corner. “Nobody puts Baby in a corner!” Lori always seems to be tiling in the bathroom. We’re concerned. And now Diane seems to be in the bathroom as well. Perhaps it’s something they ate?

And finally, Robert came back to visit us again (we think we’re his favorite crew). We’re like one big family, and it’s wonderful to serve together.



On the last morning of our build Kevin shouted, “Time to load up for another rodeo,” and we boot scootin’ boogied into the van.
We worked hard to finish up as much as we could tiling and putting up walls. Team Tile was busy doing “fancy cuts” and playing Tile Tetris. Diane was the Mixmaster Mortar DJ and Lori finally finished the bathroom (tah dah!). Cindy and Diane finished a bathroom and a closet (it’s still a dead end job.). Rick, a local volunteer, spent most of his time in the kitchen, but we have yet to see a dish.
Meanwhile, outside it was the “gun show” but they were so caulky about nailing it. And then it was MC Hammer Panel Time which included gluing and more fancy cuts (Are you sure they need windows?). A We were able to finish the back wall and half of each sidewall.
The rodeo’s grand finale included trick sawhorse riding and lassoing stunts. The team took one final photo thinking about the future family that will have their first home here.