We Have Power!

Thursday brought electricity to our future home on the hill! Kerry’s cousin Scott sent us a couple pictures of the bucket trucks in the morning. The install guys called me to verify pole placement. I was so nervous to tell them yes…that’s right where it should be…it’s so permanent.

We went out Thursday evening to check the poles out and watch the sunset from our new basement. I’m sure Kerry gets tired of driving me out there, but it’s been so fun to go out almost every evening and watch the sun go down from our ‘someday’ deck.

They also made the relief cuts in the basement this on Thursday before the weather turned cold. I sat in the corner of our future guest room and watched the sun disappear slowly behind the clouds. We also got word this week that we have been ‘officially’ added to the docket for rural water and they’ll start working up our estimate this week.

The Ground Level

It’s amazing how much has been accomplished in the last 10 days! I’d imagine our builder and his crew sleep well at night, I know I would.

We’ve been blessed with beautiful weather the last few days…perfect weather for pouring more concrete. I’ve wondered a couple times if Kerry wished he could be out there helping pour these last two days. He poured concrete when we were in high-school and first married (I get to wear some of his profits as my wedding band) and always enjoyed it.

This week the last window well, retaining walls for the walk out basement were formed and poured. We’ve also seen the beginnings of plumbing for the basement bathroom and mechanical room.

Yesterday (Tuesday) they poured the garage floor and laid the support mats for the basement floor.

It was fun to get a message from Scott, Kerry’s cousin, today that there was a concrete pumper truck up on the hill. We knew we were getting a floor today! It was fun to stand at the top, look down and imagine the layout of the rooms downstairs. The kids thought the echos when they yelled were pretty impressive.

Picking up Rocks

When we first started planning our new home site, I had dreams of using some of the top soil for raised garden beds in our new backyard. I figured “well…they’ve been farming it for years, there are a few rocks, but surely there is good dirt under there”.

As we saw the piles take shape, it became very apparent I would NOT be using that dirt for raised beds in my backyard. I found myself wishing I would have paid more attention in science class and to rock types. There were lots of rocks and pseudo-rocks that crumble or peel away when you grab them.

We spent part of this last weekend picking up rocks saving them back for landscaping. There were some really pretty red colored ones but when you’d pick them up they would just break to pieces. Yet others would hold tight. So we decided if the rocks survived a roll down the hill, they would get loaded in the back of the truck and put against the fence to save for later.

I also spent some time with Kerry and Don looking at some old barn wood that I may ask them to put in the new house. Hello Pinterest!

We can see walls

It was a miserable day yesterday. Cold, rainy and in general a gray winter day. So we didn’t venture out to see the progress on the house.

It snowed last night and was pretty chilly again today, but we couldn’t resist taking a trip to the hill to see what our brave builders accomplished in the yuck. I don’t know how they can work out there and not be completely chilled to the bone at the end of the day.

We were excited to see the forms off the basement walls and coated with rubberized stuff. The footings for the window wells, garage and retaining wall were poured today.

We were blessed with yet another beautiful sunset while we were up on the hill this evening.

Skipping ahead

There is lots to fill in between closing and today. I’ll write those posts later…because God opened big doors for us. From building permits to getting electricity and water. But I’m skipping ahead to right now because we have a basement!

My mother-in-law sent these to me around noon on the first day.

They started digging the basement on Monday November 30. My mother-in-law sent me a few pictures around lunchtime. It was so exciting to know they were up on our hill digging.

We could hardly wait to go out after Kerry got home from work and see what they’d done. Imagine our surprise when the whole basement was done and footings were poured!

It so cold up there, but we got a picture of us ‘standing’ in our basement living room. The boys had lots of fun scrambling up the hills of dirt. They almost looked like mountains from the road.

For years the rocky ground was farmed by Kerry’s family. Now seeing all that dirt and rock piled up I gained even more of an appreciation for the struggle it was to harvest a crop from the ground.

I plan to have the big boys gather some of the larger limestone rocks from the piles and save them back. I’ll use them for landscaping and flower beds. I’m sure we will have to move them more than once. My good friend Annette has shared with me her boys’ love of moving rocks so I look forward to sharing the tradition. 🙂

We went out again Tuesday and the walls were poured. It feels surreal and so very exciting. I may have teared up a little watching it all get started. We were blessed with an incredible sunset again and I look forward to watching it set from my deck for years to come.

Pack it up and say goodbye

The night before closing was a little bittersweet. We’d been working so hard to get everything packed up and clean that whole week. That evening found us trapping chickens (we left some behind), wrestling a treadmill up the basement steps and taking the last few loads to the storage units.

We finally loaded our last trailer around 8:30 or so. In the 6 years we lived there we’d added 3 children and countless memories. I walked through each room checking for stragglers and remembering our time there.

I stopped in the hall office and looked at the walls and turquoise door. I remembered how grateful I was to be hired full time at ATI and have a ‘need’ for a home office. We painted it Thanksgiving weekend before I started full time and I smiled at how much we praised God for the blessing of that job…and how we continue to do so.

I walked in Lily’s room and saw the red footprints on the carpet by the closet door. Before she was born that room was our schoolroom. One afternoon some little boys found their way into my supply closet, opened the red paint and painted the wall. A little brother walked right through the paint on the closet floor and into the bedroom. There were still 3-4 Theo sized foot prints outside the door.

I stood in our master bedroom and thought of the tears we cried and joys we shared there. How we’d hugged each other tight after Kerry’s cancer diagnosis standing in the doorway. I thought of the 3 babies (Gideon, Theo and Lily) born in that room and smiled at the beautiful memories of their first cries echoing on those walls. I can still see the sun streaming in the windows as I labored with each one, hearing our midwives sitting at the desk talking.

I walked through our basement and chuckled at the thought of sucking water up with the shop vac when I was 7 months pregnant and it rained for days. Aunt Lucy and Uncle Chilsen outside helping drill holes in the sump pump barrels in the window wells two weeks after we’d moved in. I was grateful for the restoration of the basement and new carpet that took place a couple years ago after the ‘back up’ incident just before Christmas.

Our laundry room was always full and busy…my day wasn’t complete until the washing machine ran at least twice.

I stood the longest in the kitchen and living room. The heart of our home. I smiled as I thought of the first time we met our dear friends the Wallace’s. They came for dinner and stayed until bedtime. I remembered the joys of gathering our crew around the table and sharing our highs and lows of the day. I grinned and sighed, thinking we’d never again get a text from our neighbor Martha “Do you guys need some pickles/green beans/cucumbers?” Or “We need a judge…come get some of this meat and tell us which one you like best”. We had the best neighbors. 🙂

And the school lessons…I taught some of my boys to read their first words in that kitchen.

As I switched off each light, I thanked God for the blessings He’d given and prayed for the new family who would live here. We took our last laps around the yard and pond and thanked God for the memories around the fire pit and kayaking in the pond (ask Kerry about the killer tadpoles sometime).

We drove out of the driveway at peace and grateful for all the life we’d lived there. We headed west and on to a new chapter up on the hill, thankful for the doors God had opened to make our dreams become reality.