Thursday, December 17, 2009

Merry Christmas from our new house!

Just thought I would send out one last blog before I'm cut off from the internet for a few days.  Tonight we had our open house!  Most of the group was moving in, but we decided we would move on Saturday just to make things easier.  We did move a few boxes over and our plants and it was pretty exciting to see our things in our house!  We are for sure going to need to get a gate for the stairs because, of course, that is the highlight of the whole house for the kids.

Here's a few pictures from our open house, plus (almost) all of the houses.

We're thinking of sending this as our Christmas card.

All the families in our group at the ribbon cutting

House #2 (house #1 is in Payson and I didn't want to drive there, but it looks just like this one)

House #3 Jason and Lisa's new place

House #4 Monica's house

House #5 Our house

House #6 Rhiannon's house

House #7 Carina's house(my only neighbor so far)

And house #8 the Fraser's place

And there you have it. Our 6 months of labor and we finally have our houses.  Almost feels too good to be true!  Merry Christmas everyone!  

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

We Did It!

6 months, 8 homes, and a lot of blood, sweat and tears later we are finally finished!  Our open house is this Thursday, and we will be moving in this Saturday!  Its going to be an exciting end of the year!  We finished all the outside work the day before the huge snow storm.  It was perfect.  Almost if someone knew we needed decent weather to finish :)  We've been inside cleaning ever since grateful that we finished in the nick of time.

Its funny how when you are in the midst of something difficult it seems like it will never end at times, and then when its all done you think, "that wasn't so bad", and you even miss it.  That's where I'm at right now.  I am excited for the landscaping in the spring, and for helping the next group that will be starting soon.

I'm not particularly excited for the actual packing up and moving part of it in the snow, but its supposed to be 37 and clear on Saturday, so it shouldn't be too bad.  Still, if anyone wants to help it would be very much appreciated!  We are also sad to leave our awesome neighbors.  Vaeh has made good friends with their foster son and they play so well together.  We'll have to make frequent trips up to keep the friendships alive.  I am excited to have Jason and Lisa as neighbors again though!  For those of you who don't know we lived together for a little over two years, and even though its GREAT to have your own place its nice to have family close by.

I am so grateful to have had this opportunity!  We have made great friends with our neighbors, have learned a TON about building, and in general it was just good to work with our hands to accomplish a goal.  Even though there were many a hard time, it was generally a fun experience!  I would do it again!

I was going to send Christmas cards with a picture of our family in front of our new house, but it will most likely come after Christmas.  If anyone wants one email me your address!  Merry Christmas to all as I probably wont post again until after the holidays!

Our lot before the building started.  We are holding a golden shovel in case you can't see.

Here's Jason and Lisa's lot

Here's the mostly finished house.  I don't have a recent one.  One of theses days I will post a picture of all the houses finished.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A little family talk

So it occurred to me that I haven't really posted about family life in a while, and the last time was a little depressing what with the crazy mom rantings.  Life has been pretty crazy since we started building, and the kids have definitely suffered.  Joseph has become super clingy(sleeping with us almost every night) and Vaeh has become very attention hungry.  Understandable.  I try and take it all a day at a time and recognize they miss their parents.  They go with my mom 2-3 times a week, which is a lot considering previous to that they rarely went with any babysitter.  Since the start of building I basically see the kids more, and Aaron less.  Needless to say some days I really enjoy building to get away.

Aaron and me about to celebrate our 4th Anniversary(picture taken by Vaeh.  Not bad for a three year old!)

Vaeh is 3 and a half and is a typical three year old, from what I've been told by other moms of three year olds.  She is extreme in every emotion!  If she's happy, she's bouncing off the walls, if she's mad, it gets ugly.  She likes things to go her way, and is very stubborn, just like somebody else in the family;)  She is also very sweet, smart, and a great sister.  She loves to sing and dance, but only if you're not looking.  Its very cute.  I think our neighbor Martha is her best friend.  She wants to be over there all the time, which is funny because Martha is my age. (You're the best Martha!)  She is currently learning the sounds letters make courtesy of PBS kids :)

 Vaeh at her gymnastics class(which she pretty much hated)

Joseph, or Jobie as we like to call him, is a doll.  He is happy all the time if his parents are around.  I've heard he is usually agreeable for others after about 5 minutes of crying.  His laugh is adorable and sounds like he is trying to fake it.  He is sort of walking.  By sort of I mean every few days he feels brave enough to take a few steps, but hasn't given up crawling yet.  I think it will be soon though.  He loves playing with his sister, which can be inconvenient since she mostly feels like he is taking her stuff.  Every once in a while they play really well together and it is priceless!  He is a daddy's boy all the way when daddy is home.  When daddy isn't home he will settle for our neighbor Joseph. He is like a surrogate daddy to Jobie.  Needless to say our neighbors will be sorely missed when we move. 

Jobie taking some of his first steps

Speaking of moving our scheduled move in date (as of a few days ago, which I think is pretty accurate) is December 21st.  I am not thrilled to be moving right before Christmas, but am thrilled to be almost finished.  Currently I am working on rock and have 3 and a half houses left to finish.  Our house is almost complete.  All we need now is carpet, and to have our deck finished.  It really looks like a house!  All the bathrooms need is caulk around the tubs and they will be finished.  As far as the other houses go only two need cabinets, and once the cabinets are in it pretty much flies. 

The rock on our house almost done exclusively by me :)

Life has been a ride these last few months, and I'm glad things will be settling down soon.  We hope to have a house party after we've put sod in(in the spring) so stay tuned!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

More Pictures

I took a few more pictures today of our cabinets and counter tops.  They look awesome!  And one more of progress of the stone.

Here it is, our kitchen actually looking like a kitchen.

Here's a better picture of the glossy counters.  Looks like granite!

And more stone.  Yes, its taking forever.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Home Stretch

We finished framing! *happy dance*  I am so excited that I will never have to use a nail gun again!  It almost feels like Christmas.  My job from here on out is rock and probably some caulking and I couldn't be happier!  For a while there it was feeling like I would be building forever, and now I can feel it coming to a close.  Oddly I have ambivalent feelings about it.  I have had a lot of fun, even though it has been equally frustrating I think I'm going to miss it.  I guess I'll just have to go volunteer for all the other groups. 

Update for our house:  Our house has been painted, we have all our light fixtures in, he have all our hardware(door knobs, towel racks, etc), we have linoleum in and our cabinets were put in.  We have vanities in our bathrooms with tops and mirrors, it looks like our finish plumbing was done for our showers, and our deck landing is done(it just needs a concrete pad at the bottom and then it will get stairs).   I think we will be getting counter tops today and carpeting will soon follow along with appliances!  Whoa man, its exciting!

Here's a few pictures of the finish work.

This is our kitchen and dining room before the cabinets were put in (That's the cabinets in the living room)

A close up of our linoleum. (even though its linoleum, I really like the one we picked)

The living room filled with cabinets

The start of our rock.  We still have a LOT left, but I SUPER like it!

A corner shot of the rock

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Man, this is dragging on

Here we are almost finished with the 8th house and everyone is all but burned out!  We are all starting to hate each other and are getting sick, which you can imagine doesn't make for much of a working environment.  Today is the first snow of the season, which normally might have been fun, but for all of us it is a huge obstacle to finish the last two houses.  The 7th house still needs shingles and doors and windows, and probably some other things inside too.  The 8th house is almost ready for trusses.  Our supervisor wants us to have it ready by tomorrow, but with the snow I think it would be a miracle.  I'm sick as well, so I can't go out and help.  Our supervisor has put us on a schedule so that we can be in by Christmas.  Its pretty tight, and I still have hope that we can get it done.  I am begging at this point for volunteers!  Please, we need you now more than ever!  I promise you don't even have to use power tools.  You can help us put rock on the houses, which isn't hard, it just takes a long time.  Help us get in before Christmas! 
Here's a few pictures of our house with the stucco on.  As of yesterday they put in all our light fixtures too!

Those boxes are our rock

This is from the south side.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

its amazing how drywall makes your house look more like a home

As soon as we finished building our house the subcontractors came in to start working.  So far the drywall is on, taped, and mudded, and I think they have even textured it by now.  Last time I was at the site they were prepping for stucco!  I am really excited to see all the colors I picked for our house come together.  Here's a few pictures of the house with drywall.

In our living room looking at the plant shelf over the hallway to the bedrooms

The arches in our bedroom.  I love how the different heights make them look.  This is my favorite part of the house.  This is the only thing that I built on the house that you can see.

And this is from the hall way looking over the stairs into the dining room and living room.  To the left is the door.

We are almost finished with house #6!  #7 is almost ready for its roof, and #8's lumber should be delivered today!  We are all so anxious to be finished.  Its starting to get really cold!  My next task will be to start the rock work for the houses, and in the next week they are going to start putting in cabinets.

Although I was hoping to be in by Christmas I am starting to loose hope.  Our supervisor told us if we wanted to be in by Christmas we would have to be done the first week of December so they could inspect it and have the open house before we move in.  In the beginning we were really productive, but as of lately people are leaving when it gets dark(7:30) instead of staying until 9.  People are getting sick, people are tired, and some have just gotten lazy since their houses have been finished.  We need to hurry up and finish before we start hating each other!  No, I love our group, but its like family.  You know everyone so well, its a love/hate kinda thing.

That's it for now.  Could still use volunteers!  We are pretty burnt out, so we could use all the help we can get.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Building update

I haven't blogged in a while, so I thought I would update everyone with whats going on.  We FINALLY finished framing and shingling our house.  It went up really fast, but then we started another house and most everyone left to work on it.  So Aaron and I have pretty much been finishing it ourselves. 

Here it is!  Our house was house #5 and now we are ready for insulation, then drywall, then stucco, then soffit and fascia!  It took us a surprisingly long time to finish the shingles.  First, whoever did the front was pretty careless and made them crooked, so we had to try and fix it.  Then, you see the ledge over the windows on the right, and the two little ledges over the windows on the left?  Those took FOREVER!  We had to keep getting up and down the ladder and cut shingles to get it done.  It pretty much sucked!  But I love how it looks, and I LOVE the shingle color! 

Here is a shot of the inside.  I didn't take very many because from an outsider this probably looks like a bunch of wood, but in fact this is our living room and that triangle is our plant shelf.  To the left is the start of our insulation.

This is a shot of the archways that I built in our bedroom.  You are looking into our bathroom/closet area.  I am so proud of these.  They were fun to make.

Here is the progress of all the other houses.  Here is house #2.(I didn't take a picture of house #1 because it pretty much looks like #2 and I didn't want to drive to Payson.)
This house is getting ready to be painted, then it will get underlayment for the linoleum and fixtures(door knobs, etc) and cabinets.

Here's house #3(Jason and Lisa's house)

This house has been painted and is getting underlayment right now.

Here is house #4

This house is getting ready for stucco.  Their drywall has been hung and just needs to be mudded and then it can be painted.

House number 5 you already saw(ours).

House number #6

This house is ready for shingles and will hopefully be done this week.

House #7

We just started this one.  These people are actually right across the street from us.  They have almost all the exterior walls up and some of the interiors up.  Hopefully we can fly trusses before Saturday.

House #8 (a.k.a. the last house!)

I didn't want to get out of the car to actually take a picture of the footings, but that's what's been done.  The walls will be poured on Monday and hopefully the lumber will be delivered on Saturday!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The rantings of a sleep deprived mother

I had a rough night.  Motherhood has been rough on me, as I am sure you have heard.  I probably sound like a broken record, sorry.  I am feeling on the brink of insanity and had to blow up on something, and I really didn't want it to be on my kids.  So you get to read my explosion instead.  Before I begin I want to make it clear that I love and cherish my children.  I am so grateful to them for I know that this is my GREAT life trial that I needed to grow.  Most of the time I thoroughly enjoy them, but its that percentage of the time that I am going to blog about today.

I think God gave me a daughter just like me to make me realize how annoying I truly am!  I was telling Aaron last night that she has to have everything a certain way or she will freak out on you.  You have to tell her good morning the right way, wipe her but the right way, push her in the swings the right way, and the list goes on.  Aaron has the nerve to tell me she is just like her mother!  I hadn't thought of that, and he's right:(  I know I have a huge thing about being in control, and apparently she picked right up on my worst habit!  So now we are two tidal waves fighting to see who gets to crash the beach!  I'm glad Aaron showed me what was going on,  because now, hopefully I can work on myself which in turn will help her.   Ironically Vaeh isn't what caused this rant.  It was Joseph.

Yes everyone, sweet baby Joseph has me dangling on that thin line between sanity and insanity.  Nothing would make him happier than to be permanently attached to me all day and all night!  As I type he is whining for me to hold him!  I have also said before I have the snuggliest baby, and at times I LOVE it, but at night, when I am trying to sleep I can't stand it!  My current sleep situation is as follows: we moved Joseph's crib into Vaeh's room, which she didn't like, so she sleeps on a mattress on the floor in our room, and since Joseph still wakes up at night and has to snuggle I pretty much sleep in Vaeh's bed with Joseph.  He is great about going to sleep.  He will just lay down, no problem, and I can walk away.  Its when he wakes up in the middle of the night he HAS to fall asleep next to me.  Now I used to just wait until he fell asleep and I would put him back in his crib, but it was too much for me.  I know what all of you are thinking, just let him cry a few nights, problem solved, right?  I just can't do that.  My husband and I practice attachment parenting, to one degree or another, and I have never been able to let my children cry for many reasons. 1)The sound of crying makes my insides twist and turn, 2)I can relate to them on some level, like if it was me, I would be terrified to be left in a dark room, alone, on the brink of my existence, crying my eyes out.  Bottom line, my instincts tell me to help them, so that is what I do.  I know the result, my insanity is on the line, but I believe it is what is best for them.  I don't believe you can spoil a child with love.

So that is my story.  For all of my pregnant friends out there, I know you are all afraid of labor.  Don't be!  That part was the best part for me, even the easiest.  The hard part is after, the actual parenting.  Its the best thing in the world, don't get me wrong, but it also may be the hardest.  Maybe I am just a whimp.  That is a very real possibility.  I think once we are done building life will get a little easier.  After all, Joseph and Vaeh are only seeing their dad a few hours a week now, and I am also gone more than they are used to.  Children are amazingly attuned to what's going on, and they are amazingly real.  What you see is what you get with kids.

I've run out of steam...good.  Hopefully you wont see another one of these blogs:)

Peace and sanity to all reading,


Sunday, September 13, 2009

The roof and progress since wednesday

We put our house up in 7 days(excluding sheeting and shingling the roof)!  That is the fastest we have moved so far!  We were able to put the trusses on our house on Thursday.  Minus a few minor things that didn't quite go as planned, our house looks great!  We were able to start on the 6th house yesterday and are hoping we will be just as fast there.  We are all still hoping to be in before Christmas.

Aaron having fun setting trusses
The crane putting the trusses on
After they finished Thursday night
The inside with our vaulted ceiling.  You are looking from our dining room into our living room.  To the right is our half wall to the stairs.
The next two days were spenting sheeting the garage and the back of the house.  All that's left to do for shingles is two overbuilds in the front and sheeting what's left of the front.  This is our side garage looking from the north.
The front of the garage fully sheeted.  Aaron's handy work.
The front of the house with the roof.  Anyone want to come pull our weeds?
The back and side of the house.  The back was fully sheeted in one night!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fastest built house so far

So on Saturday we started building the exterior walls at our house.  I was there in the morning from 8 to two and during that time the biggest exterior wall in the back got put up and two more were in progress.  I helped cut blocking and headers, and Aaron and Jason were working on the exteriors walls with Ryan and his dad.  Aaron, Ryan and Jason stayed until 8:30 and in that time they finished all the exterior walls, half of the interior walls and even started the garage walls!  Woohoo! 

Today Aaron and I went in the morning to get the double top plate on and Ryan came with some of his inlaws to finish the interior walls and do the stairs.  So now we are just waiting for the garage walls to get finished and we can fly trusses.  From what I've seen that usually takes a few days, so I am guessing we can fly trusses late Wednesday night or Thursday.  We'll see.

As far as the other houses go the Wilson's and Jason and Lisa's have almost finished the drywall, and Monica's roof is almost all shingled.  So we almost have 5 down, 3 to go!
Lifting the longest back wall
More lifting
And its up!
Pausing for a pose
looking at the dining room, kitchen and living room from the front door
this is the hallway to the bedrooms and bathrooms(our master is the last room in the back on the left, the kids rooms will be on the right)
The front
The back