Sunday, August 10, 2014

IHN, Sunday August 10, 2014

When I arrived at FPC this morning not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse (which I hope was outside!)  Then Denise arrived and soon Madeline came out of the Host Room thinking we were the little boys up and about...but they were sound asleep.  Winston came out and she and Madeline reported a good over-night.  When they arrived last night they said the boys were having a great time with David and Ira--using them as the foundation for the building they were constructing out of blocks.  What wonderful volunteers we have!

The Take Down crew assembled quickly, Todd, Kim,  Anna Marie, Jean, Katie Sue and Bertis.  Madeline finally had to wake up Lee and her children.  Unfortunately J.R. was sick at his stomach during the night.  He was bright eyed this morning.  Madeline went to the store to get some meds just in case--always good to have our Parish Nurse on duty!

When we began to roll beds into the hallway J.R. got busy too and helped Katie Sue roll beds--he is an enthusiastic little boy and actually provides good help as well as a lot of smiles!

The truck arrived and everything was it was a quick load.  Putting away the things that our ours, and sorting the dirty laundry for Sarah and Robbie, Zanne, Marie and Tim and Debbie, cleaning the refrigerator, making sure the Youth Rooms are back in order all went quickly and well because we had such great help.  And because we now have storage in the closets right in the Pit!

Madeline, back from the store, drove Lee, Kawani, J.R. and Zanora (ZZ) to the IHN Day Center.  All the goodies from the refrigerator were loaded into the van and off they went.  Madeline discovered that only half the car seats were in working order and wisely took the non-functional ones into the office.  She has seen too many accidents with children going through windshields and windows to let that go by without action--thanks Maddie!  Lee got everything put away in the kitchen while Madeline worked on car seats.

The Take Down crew finished and got everything back in its place, and the keys returned to Roger.  Great crew means light work!

Maggie and Cynthia were the Day Center hosts this afternoon.  Lee's Dad picked up her and the children and they had nice family time--and even got to see their grandfather/great-grandfather.  What a treat for him!   Lee said she had hoped to get a nap--but guess what, she wasn't able to do that!  With a 5, 3 and 1 year old is that a surprise?  She doesn't start her new job until Thursday, so hopefully she will get some rest the first of the week when the children are in school and day-care.  She had such wonderful things to say about the FPC/CCI volunteers--now that is not a surprise!

I (Kitty) was the van driver and when I got to the Day Center the children had Maggie and Cynthia very engaged.  The guests got in the van for a short ride to Emanuel Episcopal and we walked up and up and up to their lovely, newly renovated IHN quarters.  Their volunteers immediately were smitten with ZZ and the boys were thrilled with their playground.  It will be a good week!

Please keep Lee in your prayers as she begins her new job.  One of our volunteers was so impressed with her that he contacted someone he knows who works with the organization and put in a good word for her.  And very importantly she is a very good Mom!  Keep the children in your prayers...yesterday one of the little boys asked "do we move today?".  I thought how much I take living in one place for granted.  While moving weekly isn't ideal, the families are provided with a safe, comfortable place to stay and are surrounded by caring people--and get good food, and clean sheets and towels, and are driven to and fro with care.  THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR A VERY GOOD WEEK.  It is not every week that there's a birthday celebrate.  The birthday girl's last little bit of cake--and balloons and hats went with her--and the family took wonderful memories of her first birthday.

God bless you one and all.  Our next Host Week is OCTOBER 19 -  26th.  It is our last one for 2014.  Hope to see you then!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

IHN, Saturday August 9, 2014

Not quite as early on Saturday morning, Ed and Kitty K made sure Lee's family  was up and led them upstairs for a real treat in Fellowship Hall.  Breakfast, lovingly prepared by Daryl with help from David.  It is an amazing feast and a wonderful gift for the guests and volunteers.  Lee said that her boys really ate a lot!  And everyone enjoyed it.

Ed extended his volunteer time by driving the van to the IHN Day Center.

Kitty D was the On-Site coordinator and put clean sheets on the host beds.  It is such a treat to just walk to the closet and select what is needed instead of having to go through bins!  Thanks again Kim and FPC Youth for sharing!

Kitty also was the afternoon Van driver.  Lee and the children were ready to roll and all were in good spirits.

David, back again for the third time this week...this time as Evening Host, was waiting when we got to the parking area.  We stripped the beds from the second family's room, with the help of Kawami and J.R. to get a head start on Take Down tomorrow.  They had fun jumping on the beds--but David and I didn't join in!

Ira, the other Evening Host arrived and immediately hit it off with the children.

Katherine, Bertis, Addie and Eliza brought dinner--Addie's favorite meal.  While they were setting up Eliza played games with the boys and the rest of us played "pass the baby" with sweet ZZ, she is a doll and so cuddly.

Ira and David set the table with help from Addie.

Dinner was a lovely pasta with sausage, broccoli, and parmesan--all in separate bowls to suit the taste of all the diners.  Also a large bowl of honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon.  Everyone filled their plate and dug in with delight.  Dessert was ice cream--and there was still a little birthday cake left (before dinner was served that is).  One ballon was still holding up nicely.  Lee showed me the photos that Jayne had printed and brought to her.  It was fun looking at everyone having such fun at the birthday party.

Overnight Hosts are Madeline and Winston.  Another good IHN host week is drawing to a close.

God bless you every one!

Friday, August 8, 2014

IHN, Friday August 8, 2014

Bob and Mary made sure Lee and her children were up for the day.  The birthday celebration yesterday was a clear success, lots of enjoyment for everyone.  Not only did the children all receive books, but the boys got some fun wind-up toys.  Zanora, the birthday girl, got a couple of soft toys; one a yellow star that sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" which Lee said the boys sing to her as a calming device!  Thanks for your thoughtfulness wonderful volunteers!

Kawami was reported to look so good in his Downtown Academy uniform and was off for his second day of kindergarten.  J.R. will be dividing his time between Bright Beginnings and an early childcare education program through Clarke County Schools.

Patty or Steve drove the morning van, and after being Evening Hosts on Monday night I'm sure everyone was glad to be with them again.

The volunteers have found Lee's children to be well-mannered and fun to be around.  On Thursday Al enjoyed rousing games of Foozball and then Air Hockey!  Lee is a good Mother, dealing with them calmly and lovingly.

Friday's On-Site Coordinator was Denise and she got things ready for the evening.  She reported that there was still plenty of delicious looking birthday cake left over (what a great left-over!) and the balloons were still making the place look festive and happy.

Donna and Glenn arrived to be Evening Hosts--and they deserve a special pat on the back for coming  this week as they are moving into a new home!

Chuck brought everyone "home" this afternoon in the Van. Our van drivers make the program possible--getting everyone to the right place morning and afternoon.

Terry brought dinner-- hamburgers and french fries which were a big hit!  Heidi said last night "...much to our surprise Zanora ate a lot of lasagna, we never thought she would, but boy did she.  The boys dined on grapes, glad I brought them as an afterthought."  You never know who is going to eat what!  Thanks to all our food volunteers for doing such a good job with meals that are tasty, have lots of variety and thought put into them. The guests (& other volunteers) give you high marks.

Tonights Overnight Hosts are Ed and Kitty K  They have the bonus of enjoying a Saturday morning special breakfast prepared in the "big kitchen" by Daryl.

GOOD NEWS TO SHARE:  One of our guests during the mid-June host week was Lashawn.  She took a job at Walgreens while she continued to look for work that better matched her skills.  She has received an award for employee of the month!  Off to an impressive start.  Also she will begin work as a Medical Records manager in October.  This is wonderful news!!

Keep all the families in your thoughts and prayers.  Your warm, caring welcome to them makes a huge difference in their lives.  Good night and God bless you everyone.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

IHN, Thursday August 7, 2014

Overnight hosts Sara and John are early risers and made sure Lee and her family were "up and at 'em" this morning.

Tommy was the van driver and had the privilege of taking Kawani for his first day at Downtown Academy.  And of course took the others too.

Sara did the laundry--she always does double duty when she spends the night...thanks so much!  Every task is important during the host week.

David was the On-Site coordinator.  He got fresh linen on the host beds, unlocked the doors and welcomed the volunteers.  He said that Kawani had a good first day of kindergarten!  Lee had said he was very eager to begin.

What a day this was--first day of kindergarten for Lee's oldest and first birthday for her youngest, Zanora.

Jayne was the afternoon van driver for the fourth day in a row (super!) and I know she was happy to wish Zanora happy first birthday.  She's enjoy being around a baby this week!

Carol B and Carol R were the evening hosts.  They got everything set up for the birthday celebration!
Heidi and Al brought dinner, wonderful lasagna (which was on the guest wish list) along with delicious bread and tomato and cucumber slices. AND...Birthday Cake and Ice Cream!

The table had a festive birthday cloth and was adorned with birthday hats.  Bob and Mary are the overnight hosts and he brought his guitar.  There was singing, gifts for all three children--a real joyous birthday evening!  All the children received books.

Carol took some great photos but I am not clever enough to include them here.  :(
Imagine a precious, pretty little face with icing all over it:  forehead, nose, cheeks, chin and of course around her mouth!  As David said "she enjoyed her birthday with all her senses".

What a treat for Lee and her family and our volunteers to celebrate together.  About a year ago we had a birthday cake for a boy who was about 11.  As we were lighting the candles his older brother and mother were in the kitchen and said it was the first time they'd had a birthday cake in five years!  We take so much for granted.  THANKS to all who made Zanora's first birthday fun and happy for her, her Mother and her two older brothers.  I hope all her birthdays are at least this happy and filled with this much love and caring.

Sweet dream, God bless one and all.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

IHN, Wednesday August 6. 2014

Forrest and Elaine got our guests up and moving this morning to face a hot day in Georgia.  We are grateful to have a college boy give a night to help IHN--and his Mom too of course.

Chuck drove the van and got all where they needed to be when they needed to be there.

Madeline was the On-Site Coordinator and was at the church to make sure all was going to be ready for our guests arrival.  Always busy, she also had a Red Cross representative to meet with about future plans.  Not only is Madeline our IHN Overnight Host Coordinator she is our Parish Nurse--and much more.  While she was meeting dear Sara beat her to the draw and made the Host beds--thanks Sara!

Jayne was once again the afternoon van driver and I know Lee and family were delighted to see her smiling face again!

Terry and Margaret were the Evening Hosts and provided a warm and welcoming atmosphere for the evening and the nice dinner. Terry read board books to the boys and they read along with her multiple times.  All three children had fun making animal sounds inspired by a Mo Willems book.  Margaret took photos of a peaceful, restful ZZ when she fell asleep on the beanbag--tomorrow is her first birthday!

Meal preparers Rhea and Jessica decided an "end of summer picnic" was in order.  They had chicken fingers, mac and cheese, baked beans, tomato and cucumber salad, applesauce, and ice cream bars and jello.  Sounds delightful and know it was very good!  We have the best food preparers.

As the evening wound down John and Sara were there to spend the night.  Hope everyone sleeps well.  Thanks to each of you for what you do for our guests--it makes such a difference in their lives. Your kindness and effort is not forgotten.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

IHN, Tuesday August 5, 2014

Julie and Hugh were troopers as the Overnight Hosts.  Alequia had a late work night and early morning arrival back to FPC--and they let her in at "oh dark thirty".  Thanks to our volunteers for doing whatever it takes to make things go well.

Richard once again drove the van and got everyone to either Bright Beginnings or the IHN Day Center.  Thanks for driving again today!

VERY GOOD NEWS -- Lee has a full time job (unfortunately without benefits).  She is very excited and will begin on Monday August 11.  Yea!  Keep her in your prayers, as a new job is always daunting.

Denise went by the church and put a lamp in the Women's restroom.  Yes, there are lights in there.  But the master controls turn the lights off at 10 pm and the overnight hosts then have to go to the hall and press the reset button.  If someone is "caught" in the restroom at 10 pm it is a bit of a shock and very dark!

A CHANGE - As of today Alequia and her children are no longer in the program.  We wish them well and ask that everyone keep her and her children in their prayers.

Susan is the On-Site Coordinator for Tuesday.  She put clean sheets on the host beds, made sure everything was in order and ready to welcome our guests.

Jayne delivered the guests on her second afternoon in a row of van driving.  She's reported being happy to get a "baby fix".  The three children are precious!

Ann and Tanna were the Evening Hosts.  They got the table set and the food ready to serve.  And were the genial hosts for the meal and afterwards.

Jeannie and Roger brought tonights meal -- and what a meal it was!  Pulled pork (with a special super secret recipe) and buns for those who prefer sandwiches, baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad and after all that--apple pie and ice cream!

Elaine spent the night, along with Forest, who came from his job as a golf pro.  Hope you both have sweet dreams.

Thanks to all the hard-working volunteers from dawn to dark today.  May God bless one and all.

Monday, August 4, 2014

IHN, Monday August 4, 2014

Monday got off to a good start as Bruce and David made sure everyone was up and ready to face the day.  It was a quiet night, just what we like.

Richard drove the morning Van with everyone aboard as Alequia's car is out of commission.   Arrangements were made to have it taken care of--but by the end of the day no news on when it might be back in service.

Richard dropped children at Bright Beginnings and the Moms at the IHN Day Center.  Lee had a job interview and things look good for employment for her.  Keep her in your prayers that this will be a success.

Denise picked up Alequia and family in the Van and took the children to the baby sitters and Alequia to work for a 3- 11 pm shift.  Arrangements have been made for a taxi to pick them up and take them to FPC...when the overnight hosts will welcome them in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.  We have extra special volunteers who arise to any situation!

Terry was the On-site coordinator and got everything ready for the guests--with the able help of Sissy who put clean linens on the beds!  It is clear Terry needs more training in that department, though he has delegation down pat.  :)

Molly and William and Ethelyn brought the evening meal.  There were Chick Filet nuggets and strips,  a pizza, a salad, lemonade and ice cream sandwiches--yummy!  The children, actually everyone, was delighted with tonight's fare.  Thanks to everyone who provides food.

Jayne, the Afternoon Van Driver brought Lee and her family back to FPC.  There is a little more conversation in the afternoons than during the still-sleepy mornings.  Both Van drivers will be back on duty again tomorrow, for which we are grateful.

Patty and Steve were Evening Hosts and brought along their grandchild and a friend.  What a treat for the guest children again--to have young folks to play with!!  We are thankful for families who introduce children and grandchildren early to community service and caring for and sharing with others.  There are few lessons better!

Julie and Hugh are the overnight hosts.  I hope they get to sleep early as their sleep will be interrupted.  By the way David and Bruce gave a thumbs up to the double mattresses on the host beds...hope others feel the same.

Please keep the families and the volunteers in your prayers this week.  Our lives are touched by others, and we find that in serving we are served.  Thanks be to God.