Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday, December 27

Today was much like other recent days, in that it involved a lot of shoveling and plowing. We weren't able to make it to Green Bay for church this morning, as we could not get plowed out because the inch or so of ice under the snow is making it near impossible to plow. Tomorrow we will head over tho the town hall to get sand mixed with salt to spread every where to make some traction in order to plow. Tony worked on a new logo for the Able Church and a brochure for Living Hope Church's new Megaruselum program. All of us watched a little football! Jen and Marceaux where in green bay and attended church and came back to Camp Daniel in the afternoon. Molly is in Eagle River with her parents still and spent the afternoon finalizing our plans for the booth at Evangelical Free's Youth Convention in Green Bay coming in 2 weeks.

Saturday, Jen and Marceaux had Christmas with Jen's family. John and Sue were (and are) still visiting their children in Minnesota. Tony, Karol and kids slept in and enjoyed a day off except for some snow plowing.

Christmas day at Camp Daniel involved lots of food and family. We had 35 (10 people weren't able to come) for a Christmas dinner homemade ravioli, mostaccioli alfredo and ham. We had a lot of fun visiting with Camp Daniel staff, friends and family. Molly and her parents made a heroing trip from and from Eagle River.

On Christmas eve, the Piantine clan went to church at Cornerstone Assembly of God in Athelstane, then ate and opened presents. All of the other Camp Daniel missionaries were out of town with their families.

Thursday the 23rd, Jen and Marceaux went to Green Bay to help the Mandiches with a meal outreach at a building downtown.

Last Tuesday, the Kelly's left on their roadtrip to Montana to celebrate Christmas with Tim's youngest sister and her family. Thankfully, their 24 hour drive was crisis free, (other than a few "are we there yet"s) which wasn't easy with Tim not being fully recovered from jet lag from his trip to Kenya. Tony and the guys spent the day in Green Bay helping prepare the sanctuary for the Christmas Eve service by building a stable and setting up lighting.

Last Monday Molly left to visit with her parents in Eagle River for about a week. Jen stopped by the Kelly's after work to work on both Tim and Chrissy's shoulders injuries. Then she did some paperwork for the Able Special Olympic basketball team. Marceaux led the Hartley House guys in a bible study on John chapters 4 & 5, then worked on a discipleship handbook that he's putting together.

On Sunday, the 20th, Molly and Jen stayed after Church with some of the girls from Able to bake Christmas cookies. The cookies were trayed up and given to the needy at the Thursday meal outreach. Marceaux and Tim Mandich put a hitch on Sally Kelly's (Tim's mom) van, so that they could pull a trailer to Montana. But really, the most important thing that happened on this day involved a Steeler victory over the Packers! Karol insists that the touchdown pass by Roethlesberger to win the game was a birthday present. Tony worked some more on the Camp Daniel website as well as on blogs for our missionaries.

Friday, December 18th, was the Able Christmas party. They presented a living nativity story and and Tim and Janice Mandich presented a christmas out reach . That service is a special one that's loved by everyone.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday, December 17

News from Camp Daniel:

Molly will be helping out the Weidner family this winter. Micah and Sabrina Weidner, and their kids Elijah and Lydia, are part of the summer camp staff, and really, just part of the Camp Daniel family. Sabrina works full-time at a school working with kids with disabilities, and Micah is in his last year of schooling to teach the visually impaired. For the upcoming semester (which is Micah's last), he has to be in Milwaukee, leaving the family in Luxemburg. Lydia is two, Elijah, whom as down syndrome, is 5, and Sabrina whom is pregnant, could use some help with dad away. So Molly will be staying with Sabrina and kids for 3 days a week starting in January, helping out in whatever way is needed. Molly is really excited to be able to serve, and I'm sure that the Weidners are anxious for the love and quality of help that Molly will bring.

Yesterday, Sue Koch took Brian, Richard and DJ to the Piggly Wiggly in Crivitz to ring the Salvation Army Bell. This is the third year in a row that the guys have volunteered a shift during the holiday season. Afterwards, all the guys and John and Sue had dinner together, then made Christmas cookies. It was a special evening for them all.

Speaking of special evenings...The Camp Daniel missionaries went on a Christmas outing Monday evening. We all met at the China Buffet in Green Bay, then went together to the Meyer Theater, downtown. We enjoyed a free Christmas concert put on by the Allouez Village Band. We all had a great time, and found the quality time together to be worth the snowy drive home!

The whole of Tuesday morning was flew by during our weekly "family meeting." Among many other things, we discussed the future of Able Church; what makes a church, a church; how to do the Able Church in a new location; what is the goal of Able Church, and many other questions not to be answered in one sitting. The Able Church is so revolutionary, that much thought and discussion go into most every aspect. Nothing is taken for granted or assumed. This whole subject is far from closed.

Tuesday night, of course, involved Able Family Night. The Able Attack basketball team played a scrimmage game against Aspiro, then it was back to Living Hope Church for pizza dinner and bible study.

As we speak, Tim and Mike are on their way home from Africa. Chrissy and the kids are anxious to pick Tim up tomorrow. If you haven't yet, you should read the blog about the trip. The link is at the top of this page, on the left. But, hey, finish this one first!

Speaking of blogs, Tony's been working on building one for Marceaux. Details forthcoming. Tony also spent time today hooking up the heater in the basement of the craft cabin. This will be more efficient and will heat up the cold tile floor in Molly and Jen's bathroom. Tony spent much of Wednesday at church meeting with a number of different people.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday, December 14

Here's a picture of the Hartley House Christmas tree. We're all ready for Christmas at Camp Daniel, snow and all. Since our last blog, it feels as though it's been all about printing. Printing problems, that is. All day Thursday and Friday were spent buying ink of every imaginable variety, dusting off old printers, and trying everything we could think of to get the two sided picture page for the newsletter done. And if the printers weren't being temperamental enough, the computers starting acting up as well. After much frustration, we did get all 800 pages printed, inserted into the newsletter, and mailed out. What a relief! Now we're extra appreciative of the fact that Molly got the campers' Christmas cards done early.

Marceaux's been quite busy as well. It seems like as one vehicle is fixed, another breaks down. He's been doing a great job of keeping on top of it. We're very blessed to have those mechanic's hands here at Camp Daniel.

Chrissy called last week and asked Tony to bring over a dryer that was in the garage and replace the one that she was using. He got it over there and got it going, then found out that the washer was spinning the clothes at all. She had clothes hanging all over the house so that her family could have clean and dry clothes to wear. After the printing issues were settled, Tony and the guys brought over a washing machine and switched it out. (Of course, even the simplest of plumbing jobs involves and bucket and many a towel)

Karol has been working on the new signs for the Christmas gift shop at Camp Daniel. It's been renamed, North Pole Gifts.

It's snowing lightly this morning, so shoveling has commenced.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday, December 9

Well, our area has received, or shall I say, "is receiving", the first snow storm of the year. The kids are all very excited. It's been a blustery affair that has turned our campus into a winter wonderland. The guys actually didn't mind the snow because that means that they're officially done with planting trees and raking leaves. Tony and the guys spent the better part of yesterday preparing for the impeding blanket of white. They fixed up all of the shovels. Some needed new handles, and most needed grinding of the ends to level them out, so as to not shovel two skinny stripes. They put new sideview mirrors and the plow on the blue truck. Marceaux got the snow blowers up and running. Tony showed the guys how to use the snow blower.

Yesterday morning we had our weekly Camp Daniel missionary meeting. We were pleased to have Tim Mandich with us again this week. He's getting a better idea of how things work around here, and getting to know us all better thru these meetings. We concluded with the 4th part of a bible study called 40 Days of Love.

Molly has been working hard on her support letter. She's hoping to get it out soon so that she can get closer to her monthly support goal of $1,500 per month.

As I said, Marceaux was working on the snow blowers yesterday. Prior to that, he fixed the brakes on Karol and Tony's van, fixed something on the white work van and fixed multiple things on Jen's car.

Last Saturday, Jen, Marceaux, John, Tina Russell, and the guys went to Waukesha for the State level Special Olympics bowling. Richard and Nick placed 6th, and Tina placed 7th. The competition must have been really stiff, because the Able bowlers all had great games. We're very proud of them this season!

Jen is still filling in for an injured therapist, and working on Able.

Karol printed labels for the upcoming Camp Daniel newsletter. The program we're using is inadequate. We're excited for the customized Access program that Ken Bork is setting up for us. It will combine all of our databases into one that everyone here can use.
Tony's been trying to print the insert for the newsletter. It's a two sided picture page that doubles as a Christmas card. Unfortunately, his printer is not very happy about this large job, and it won't print more than a page every couple minutes! Frustrations galore!!
Tony's been plowing all day. Not necessarily because of the quantity of snow, but because he gets motion sickness badly, while doing it. Tim, where are you? Oh yea, he's in Africa, where it's 80 degrees. Please see the blog following this current trip to Kenya. There's a link on the left column of this page. Titled LHC Missions.

Earlier this week, Tony worked on the gravel roads on the property, putting up reflectors and grading. He also bulldozed some areas under construction.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday, December 3

Sorry, going back a few weeks here. On Saturday, November 21, Green Bay had their annual holiday parade, and the Mega Micro Bus had it's debut at this parade. Many kids and adults from Camp Daniel and Living Hope Church came out to support our entry. Unfortunately the bus had a few mechanical issues, so Tony ended up pulling it with Karol's dad's ATV. The large Santa hat turned out well, and with everyone in bright orange, our entry was a sight to behold. This parade was a bigger deal than the Memorial Day one we did in that it was televised in Green Bay. All went well, and we're looking forward to participating again next year. The bus is currently sitting in front of the church with the hat still on. We're hoping that people will remember it from the parade and stop in to check out Mega.
Mega and Megarusalem have been doing great. Lots and lots of new kids come every week!
Back in Athelstane, we are glad to report that the last of the donated trees are planted, watered, and mulched. Usually the guys dread winter because of all the shoveling, but this year, I believe that they're looking forward to snow, so as to stop planting and watering!
Tim buttoned up the craft cabin before he left on Wednesday for Africa. He'll be on this scouting trip for just over two weeks. Tony built a blog for his trip. I have a link for it on this blog. It's We at Camp Daniel are all pitching in to help Chrissy in whatever she may need during this time.
Marceaux's parents finished their trip here on Tuesday. They had a good time getting to know Jen and her family. They did a lot of sight seeing around the area.
Jen's now back to work filling in for an injured occupational therapist in Coleman. And Marceaux has been working on the work van and Karol and Tony's van. While his dad was still here, he and Marceaux put in a few days working on the Mega Bus, and got it up and running.
John has been working with Tim Mandich, getting him more involved in Able. The new church restructuring gave Tim many different areas of supervision. We're all very excited to have the Mandich's help and guidance.
Tony took his last trip to Green Bay to the nursery. This time for a load of blue stone. They're large flat rocks that will be installed around the new fire pit. Plus, there should be enough to make a sidewalk to the fire pit as well.
Tony and Karol are in the middle of redoing the signs for the gift shop. It's now primarily a Christmas shop, so the name and logo needed to be reworked.
Karol and the guys put up some of their Christmas decorations upstairs. The tree and nativity set (the two big projects) will follow. I'll be sure to give you some pics.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Yes, the Camp Daniel missionaries are still working! Sorry for the long absence. Tony has continued to work on Megarusalem, doing detail work. The Megarusalem program has been going for about 4 weeks. It's been very successful. The kids love it.
Below is the money changer. The sign above is a spin off of the Wells Fargo logo. "We'll Go Far". The horse and carriage were replaced with camels and a chariot.
Tim and the guys have been working on Jen and Molly's cabin.
Included in this project, was the stairwell leading to the basement that's under the bathrooms. The black doorway that you see is at the opposite end of the stairwell, and leads to a storage closet that goes over the top of part of the stairwell.
More pics of Megarusalem.

As you can see in the pic below, some of the building fronts have signs painted on the facade. This is the Megarsalem Pottery and Basket

It's awesome how great this boat turned out. You really need to see it live and in person.

John and Jen have been working on organizational changes for the Able Church.
John and Sue and the Mandich's (Tim and Janice, from Living Hope Church) went to downtown Green Bay to serve a Thanksgiving meal to some homeless and struggling people. They were encouraged by the experience and are looking into having members of the Able Church do this once a month as an outreach. Marceaux's parents, Ben and Ginny, flew in from Montana for Thanksgiving. We were happy to have them, Jen's mom and Molly's parents, all for Thanksgiving dinner.
Tony and the guys have also been spending a lot of time planting the many many trees donated by Green Bay Nursery. I've lost track of how many loads of trees Tony's brought up from Green Bay. We've been blessed with a mild fall that has allowed for outside work much longer than usual.
Chrissy has been busy with Camp Daniel newsletters. The Christmas edition is at the printers now.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

The past week has been quite a whirlwind of work. I estimate that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday clocked at least 280 man hours on Megarusalem. I couldn't even guess the amount of work hours for the past three weeks. These pics of the construction of Megarusalem are from last Saturday, thru Wednesday evening, which was the deadline. Below, the stair risers have been tiled with leftovers from a Camp Daniel project, plus a few clearance accent tiles.
You can see the foundation of the mural on the right. We are super excited at the talent of this muralist. Regarding the grapevine trellis. Marceaux spent more than one day taking 2x2's and planing them into rough hewn round poles. They look great with the donated real grapevines. You just can't buy grapevines like this, still fresh and pliable. In the pic below, Anthony has started the process of stapling on every leaf and grape cluster.
The well area is almost done in this pic. 16x16 cement capstones were used for the floor and cap of the walls. Tony built a small trellis around the well to separate it from the background which will be the sea.
On Tuesday, Anthony and Tony laid almost all of the pavers, which make up about 2/3 of the floor. It was a giant puzzle with all of the different shapes and sizes.
From this point, I was too busy to take pictures, plus there was so much mess and so many people, it was hard to get a shot in, (which, of course, was a huge blessing)
So here's how it looked all cleaned up for the opening night of Megarusalem. Many details are still not done, but it still looked pretty cool. You'll notice that it looks like night, which was the intention. All of the overhead fluorescents were turned off and a couple of temporary spot lights provided the main lighting, complemented by the Moroccan lanterns, which had temporary electric tea lights in them. Eventually, the lanterns will be lit with low voltage, and more, but softer, spot lights will be added permanently.

Check out the fake fire! It even has smoke that comes out of the top of the chimney!
The boat has it's hardwood deck (leftover from Camp Daniel's Hartley House) The rustic dock has steps that lead you up to the boat from the well area.
on the left is the bank. The pottery/basket shop is on the right
The tent hides the dressing/costume area.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday, October 30

The continuing progress of Megarusalem... check out the cool wicker window coverings in the upper windows of the wine shop. Tony found them in a storage room. Just two big rectangles of wicker that happen to fit perfectly! The grout is done on the masonry below. The well, below, is also bricked and mortared. The flanking walls have patches of stucco coming off to reveal rock below that was faux finished to match the rock of the well.

Here, you see the back wall of the well. The center piece is a 12" square rock mosaic in a circular shape. The pipe for the fountain will come out of the center of it. On the surrounding walls is the color blocking for the mural.
Below are the guys as they were starting on the boat. These two pieces are quite large, but are just a fraction of the original boat. On Tuesday afternoon-evening, Tony, Tim, John and the guys went north of Menominee Michigan to get the boat. They cut away just the parts that we needed, and were able to leave the remaining boat in place. (It helped that "in place" was a burn pile.) The owners of the boat were planning to burn it, so they were happy to help, and we were happy to get the perfect boat. The guys ended up working well into the dark to get the parts cut away (via chainsaw) from the boat. I wasn't there, but the stories are good enough, that I wish we had a video of the process. I know there was yelling and running away, and Richard almost didn't run far enough...
Oh yea, there's still plenty of work to do at Camp Daniel before the snow flies. Wed, Thurs, and Friday, Tim, Nick and Brian worked on the porch for the Craft Cabin. They set the posts, they got many of the trusses set, and even metal roofing over the far end.
They also insulated the pump house.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday, October 27

Megarusalem continues...
Below is the money exchanger. Notice the dark stripe on the lower outer corner? That's the tinted plaster, still wet. Quite a color change from wet to dry. Below is the city well and the wall that will have the mural. In this pic, Tim as given it the final smooth coat of plaster.
The money exchanger getting some cool masonry work, by Tony.

Tim Mandich, sittin' on the job. I must add, that he was priming the ceiling as well.

Below is the wine shop with most of the masonry done. The plaster on this building was tinted yellow. It was the first one, so the batches weren't consistent, but the look ended up being pretty cool. So it'll probably just get a coat of "dirty".

The money exchanger another step into the process. On the adjacent building, you can see the neat wood door that Tony made. Some doors will be curtains. Above the door, you can see a white patch. That was where some of the plaster chipped off before it was fully cured, so a patch job was done. We like the authenticity of it, as the town shouldn't look too shiny and new.

You can see the black ceiling. What a fun job that was. Eventually, the lights will be blacked out as well, but for now, we need them to see.

The money exchanger with a faux finish on the upper wall and an area for the sign. This building has been dirtied up already.

This facade is really coming along. The wood trellised windows are fun. The hole on the top right will be for the time machine. The finish on this building is on step 3 of 5 I believe.

The city well, with masonry detailing. The back wall has been primed.
the building on the left is almost done and the small corner facade has a faux finish different than the rest of the buildings.

Tony, putting the joints in on some of the masonry work.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday, October 22

Since so many of us, here at Camp Daniel, are working hard at Living Hope Church, on the Megarusalem town square, I thought I'd share pictures of the progress.

The room wasn't being used for much other than playing a few ball games with the kids on Wednesday nights, so it's being transformed for the new Wednesday night Mega program, called Mega Creative Labs. It will be a hands on, out of the box, biblical learning experience for k-6 graders. Megarusalem is a biblical town, complete with bakery, wine shop, rug shop, money exchange, basket store, town well and fishing boat off of the sea.

above is the city well

above: on the right, you see the main doors into the room. To the left of that is the wine shop

above: the city well

above: the bakery

above; on the right, the wine shop. Behind marceaux is the rug vendor

above, working on the money changer and the basket weaver's

above, you see that the wine shop has been plastered. We tinted the plaster on some of the buildings with universal colorant

above: this long wall, behind the city well, will eventually have a mural on it of the sea