Kentucky Folk, New Floors, Badin, and Home!

Week 5 at Hinton ended about the same way that Week 4 did. On Thursday, my team stayed hard at work until about 4:30, when we finally started cleaning up. It was such a long day, and I’m not sure about the rest of my team, but I returned back to the hill grumpy, achy, and sleepy! But a fast shower was a quick fix to all of those things. And looking back, we did a heck of a lot of work this week! We successfully put down vinyl flooring in the living room, cleaned out the kitchen, painted the kitchen and the cabinets, ripped up the kitchen floor, put down floor tiles in the kitchen, and installed a new ceiling fan and new bathroom light for the family! Not only did Mike teach me how to put down vinyl flooring this week, but he also taught me how to remove baseboards without tearing them up, and also taught me how to cover up a snake hole with a sheet of tin! We accomplished so much, and I am so proud of each person on my team!

Hannah worked her butt off all week. I actually can’t remember asking her to do something for me, because she had the initiative to start working without me! She was pretty shy at the beginning of the week, but by the end we were good friends. Thank you for being awesome Hannah! Abbie, your positive attitude helped us get through the week. You were always singing and playing with Melony! Thank you so much for being such a pleasant girl. You helped this week run smoothly! And Olivia, you were right there with Abbie playing with the kids, and the kittens! But you still got a lot of work done. The front door you helped paint looks great. Thanks for having a smile on your face all week! Kamila, I’m sorry I spelled your name wrong earlier in the week on your note! I feel terrible about that. But you were the perfect addition to this team. You told me you were worried about your short attention span, but it ended up working out great since there were different projects to work on this week! Thank you for your random yet beautiful out loud stories and prayers! And now for the boys: James and Matt. I know I made you lift and move way too many pieces of furniture this week. But it’s good for you I promise! Matt, you have a great sense of humor. While you were a huge help this week physically, your good spirit helped lift the rest of us up! And James, I loved seeing how you opened up throughout the week. You were so shy on the first day! Thanks for everything.

I had an awesome crew, but I couldn’t have led them without Mike Lehman. You clearly were brought back to this work site for a reason. This youth group is so fortunate to have a strong Christian man to set an example for them! I had so much fun with you, even if your joking around did take some getting used to (haha). But seriously, thank you for everything. I definitely had the best adult leader out of anyone else this week!

Wednesday, the Versailles group invited me to Helen, GA with them for tubing and dinner. I am so glad I said yes! It was a lot of fun, and I got to know some of the other people in their church that weren’t on my work team. They really are a great bunch of kids, and we are blessed that they came to Hinton this summer. They were veterans at this thing, because they’ve been coming for years. They knew more about Hinton than I do! It was refreshing to have people who knew the basic routine and flow of Hinton. It took some of the heat off of me this week!

Thursday night after the dinner at Hinton with our family, we brought them to McDonald’s for ice cream. It was a special treat not only for the kids in the family, but for my team too! It was the perfect way to end an exhausting but wonderful week.

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I just found out yesterday from Matt that I get to go back to the same house next week again! That is the best news that I have heard all week. After the Kentucky group left Hinton last week, I came back to High Point for a week off. Sunday and Monday I was lucky enough to go to my friend Nicole’s lake house at Badin Lake. Her boyfriend Keith, and our good friend Nathan came with us. We had so much fun, and it was the perfect place to relax and unwind. The only not-so-relaxing part was my attempt at wake boarding. One day I will be able to get up and ride the wake! That day just wasn’t Monday I guess.

I’ve spent so much time with my parents this week. I forget so easily how awesome they are. I guess I take them for granted because I’ve always had them around. But I’m learning more and more how rare it is to have two amazing parents that are always there for you. My mom is literally my BEST friend! I think I’m the luckiest girl in the world to be able to say that. We’ve had a bunch of laughs and good times this week. I’m going to miss them the rest of the summer, but they’re coming up to Hayesville this weekend to participate in the Festival on the Square. I’m so pumped!

I got to see Zack (my brother) Friday night and Saturday morning, but he had to leave for a mission trip to New Mexico with our church. I wish I could have gone with them! I hate that the one week that I’m home, he isn’t. He’s an awesome little brother. (Really, I should say younger brother because there’s nothing little about him). I have been praying for our youth group, and I hope that Zack and the rest of the kids are having a wonderful time!

I mentioned already that I went to the lake with Nicole and her family. Well, we’ve been able to spend a lot more time together than just those few days! It had been too long since I’d seen her last. Nicole is one of those friends that you want to keep around for a long, long time. She picks me up when I’m falling down, which has happened a lot the past couple of years. My friendship with her means more to me than I can put into words! She’s actually coming up to Hayesville with me and my parents this weekend. I can’t wait to show her my favorite place in the world! We’re going to be living together this fall in Raleigh. We went shopping this week for things to put into our house, and it’s been so exciting. I don’t know exactly what it’s going to be like living in a house together with Kathryn and Virginia, but I know it’s going to be great. I love you Nicole!

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Thank God for Nicole and for my parents, because not only did they simply keep me busy, but they made this week fun. Jake left for Young Life camp Saturday afternoon, and has been gone all week. I was able to see him Friday night and Saturday some, but it wasn’t enough! I did wonder if it was making it harder on us to be able to see each other for just a short amount of time before we were apart again, but then I decided it was all worth it. It’s just hard to be at home and to not have Jake here. I’m away from him when I’m at Hinton, but I am SUPER busy while I’m there, so I don’t have a lot of time to mope around and miss him. Here in High Point I have all the time in the world, and not a whole lot to do. I’ll quit complaining now! It really is cool to see how our relationship can grow when we’re physically not together much this summer. I thank God every day for Jake Sipe. And I haven’t been able to talk to him much, but I hope that his week at camp has been everything he expected and more. The guys that he led and served this week are some lucky kids!

I realize that this is a really long post, and I apologize! But I still have a little more to say. It has been so weird to be away from the family that I’ve been working for over the past two weeks. I didn’t realize how much I have grown to love them in such a short amount of time! I can’t wait to get back to them. To some of you, it may seem like this family is blessed to have Hinton come and work in their home. But truly it works the other way as well! I am so blessed to hang out with these kids and to get to know the rest of the family. I hope that my next work team is ready for an awesome week. Because I can already feel that it is going to be even better than my last two weeks at Hinton…and that really is saying a lot!


One response

  1. Ashley,
    So glad you had a chance to relax. I will keep you and the Jones’ family in my daily prayers. I would love to send them a note if you can find a way for me to send it. Keep up the awesome work!! You are making God proud!!!!!Love you , sherri

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