Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The pressure is on...Jeff has started working on the house in the evenings now to insure we meet our deadline. Since daylight hours are getting shorter he's hanging up some shop lights to work by. His old lights weren't working last night so he and JJ worked by flashlight. That's dedication!

We were hoping to have the roof on by last weekend but naturally that didn't happen. This is the time when Jeff starts feeling stressed. Even though we've been here before several times and we know things really seem to slow down the further along in a project you get, he still has high expectations. He must be a "glass is half full" kind of guy.

Last Saturday, we had really nice weather so the kids and went out to see the progress and I was impressed. The size of everything is more in perspective now which is always fun to me. It makes me want to get the kids chalk out and draw in the kitchen and bathroom and fireplace and... That was one of my favorite things to do as a kid, draw life size (kid sized life) floor plans on our back patio then play house in the drawing. We never actually had chalk though, we had to go hunt for what my sister and I called "chalk rocks" to draw with. Awww. I didn't care though. It wasn't about the chalk.

I hate it when Jeff gets to the roof part of a house. I usually stay home because it makes me too nervous to watch. The roof is a 12 pitch which is pretty steep and he'll be putting on a metal roof which can be kind of slick and that makes me doubly nervous! I would prefer that he always wear his repelling gear while up there but he just ignores that suggestion.

Guess what. Today is my dad's birthday. Happy Birthday Daddy!! We're planning on having a chili picnic on Saturday out at the land while he and Jeff work...probably on the roof. What a way to celebrate, huh? Have I mentioned how sweet my parents are? They're the best!

Totally unrelated to the house...We have eggs! One of our chickens has finally started laying eggs! You can't tell it from this picture but they're a really pretty blue green color. I can't wait for the rest of the hens to get with the program too!

Isaiah's such a cute little workin' man!

See you all next time!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Roof bones

Time is really flying fast around here. Sophie's already one month old! She's starting to plump up a little like she's been eating too many sopapilla's, which by the way, isn't her real name. Jennifer, my own sister, called me after reading the blog to find out if her name is really Sopapilla or Sophia. I could never actually name her Sopapilla because years ago, that same sister made sopapilla's for us and I guess I was sick because shortly after eating them I "lost" them, if you know what I mean. That memory has stuck with me. Anyway, I don't know what any of that has to do with anything so forgive me, I'm not quite myself these days. In fact, I think "I" took a leave of absence and some other women have moved into my body to take over for a while. Like Coma Momma. She lacks energy and personality but is really good at nursing and rocking the baby, If "I" were still here and in charge of rocking the baby, I'd probably be trying to break records in speedrocking...grandma Barbee style. For those of you who didn't know my grandma Barbee, she had a lot of kids who gave her a lot of grand kids and in order to give us all equal rocking time she had to POWER ROCK us...every time she saw us...till we were about FOUR. It was borderline traumatic but now it just makes me laugh! She was the best grandma ever and I really, really miss her.

So which woman is writing this post? I don't know. Possibly the one that's married to Jeff right now...she's a little bit crazy if you ask me. Poor fella.

Maybe we should get things on track before you all start to think I suffer from some sort of multiple personality disorder.

Jeff and my dad have been out at the house all week except for rainy Thursday (they needed a break anyway.) JJ spent a couple of days helping too and I think Eric might be out there today. They've been working on the roof assembly which looks to me like it's turning out great. Hopefully Jeff will have some new pictures for me tonight and I might add them to this post. As of Wednesday, however, this is what the house looked like...

We're getting down to the wire financially and by the time we move in we may have gone over budget a little. I haven't added up our expenses in a while so I'm not sure where we're at right now and we've decided to go ahead with a few things that we we're going to leave out till sometime down the road so we'll see what happens.

Here's something interesting, or odd...We are planning on (meaning we may change our minds) taking down the privacy fence we just put up last spring and using the pickets for horizontal siding on the house. Our neighbors are really going to think we're crazy when they see us doing that because we're also going to dig up a lot of the landscaping I just put in a year ago and we're taking our big metal garage with us. We want to take everything but the grass. No, we're not pack rats, we're frugal.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Great deals!

Are you all familiar with It's great! It's like garage saling from the comfort of your own living room. You can look at what your neighbors are wanting to get rid of and if you like it, run over to their house and buy it. No waiting around for it to come in the mail and no shipping costs and usually, you can go take a look at it before you decide to buy it. We are getting some great stuff for the house like this never used, huge fireplace for the low, low price of only $320.00!!! Hard to beat that, huh?

We're fixing to go take a look at these "like new" appliances for the kitchen priced at $265.00 for all three!!! True, I would rather have brand new all stainless appliances but that will have to wait. For now this is better than good enough.

We're also keeping our eyes peeled (that saying seems so disgusting in writing) for things like a hot water heater, kitchen cabinets, exterior doors etc... The inventory is always changing so we have to continuously check for what we're waiting to find. If you haven't ever visited craigslist you should definitely check it out. Just be warned, you may be tempted to buy things you don't really need just because the price is so low and it's just a few blocks from where you live.

I already mentioned the clearance windows we got from Lowe's, well today Jeff went by Meek's to dig through their scratch and dent junk and found the rest of the windows we needed for the entire house. He paid $600.00 for four 5'x6' windows, that's what we had budgeted for only two 5'x6' windows! Our plan was to only install two of the big windows in the first building phase to mind our budget but now we'll have all of them. Yipee!!! AND, as if that wasn't enough, he also got four interior doors for $20.00 each. Sooo, now I'll have a bedroom with real walls, a big window and a door! If I'm lucky, maybe I'll also get a bedroom closet right away!

Here's a look at the tub my mother-in-law gave us. She also gave us some other goodies like medicine cabinets and a big vanity top. You know what "gave" means right? Yep, FREE! She also gave me some wonderful things to furnish and decorate my new home with. I'll have to show those things to you all sometime to. She's very sweet and giving!

Jeff's out at the land right now finishing a well house to keep things from freezing up and busting. It's going to get cold tonight. Next weeks forecast is looking pretty good though. Oh yeah, more great news I almost forgot to mention. My dad is taking off work all next week too so he can help Jeff work on the house. My parents are like energizer bunnies and are always right there working along side us.

Our cup runneth over with blessings! I know a lot of this is very trivial in the big picture of life but it always amazes me to see God working in even the everyday little things. He is very good to us!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's starting to look like a house

Jeff, Eric, Rick, Chad, JJ and Dave put in some long hard hours on the house this weekend and we now have walls! It's great to have such good friends and family who'll spend that kind of time and energy helping us!

Jeff and I spent an hour or so on the fine details of the blueprints Friday evening to decide exactly where all the windows and doors need to be and while we were going over that Jeff decided he'd go ahead and build a few more of the interior walls. So hopefully, I'll have bedroom walls!!! It's nice to be able to have a place to hide out for a few minutes every now and then and with only one bathroom for seven people I need a second place to hide. Not that I ever get to go to the bathroom by myself anyway.

Since I haven't actually been out there to see the framing for myself this is one of my favorite pictures because it was taken inside the house from the dining area. Chad (ladder on the left) is in what will soon be the bathroom and Eric (ladder on the right) is in what will be the bedroom. You can also see the opening to the second floor which is over the living room.

There was only enough time for them to start on the roof assembly but Jeff is taking all of next week off to work on the house. I can't wait! I've got to figure out a way to spend time out there and keep the baby out of the weather, preferably without having to spend the week sitting in the birth mobile, er I mean suburban! Hopefully the weather will be good. We've been having some cold, wet weather lately.

Sophie seems to be coming out of her newborn coma like sleep and I've been feeling like I'm slipping into the new mom coma. If my posts seem are incoherent filled with mispelings and not good grahmer, you'll understand why. I did get an eight nonconsecutive minute nap today though, so I'm good. Actually my sleepiness is coming from my newest late night addiction. Lost. No, I'm not talking in my sleep...I'm addicted to Lost, the TV show. We're one of those families that "doesn't have TV." So then, what pray tell, is that big black box on the wall over the fireplace, you ask? Yes, it's a TV. We don't have network, cable or satellite but we do have and about a week ago we began season one, episode one of the show. We just finished all twenty something episodes of season one last night. Maybe we should slow it down a little...if we can.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm so excited!!!

Things are fixing to really pick up. Yipee!!! Jeff's feeling a bit overwhelmed with his 1.37 mile long to do list but I think he's getting pretty excited about things too. Last Saturday he and my dad finished the floor.

I know it seemed like it would never happen but here it is, finally ready for me to clog dance all over it! Wait, I don't know how to clog dance, but I do have some cousins that know how. Maybe they'll come over and do it for me.

Jeff and I stayed up till about 12:30 last night, excuse me, this morning, getting a material list together for this coming weekend so Jeff could order all the lumber for framing the house which will probably be delivered tomorrow. Jeff went to three different lumber yards to find the best deal. There wasn't a huge difference in prices but on a project with such a tight budget, it matters a lot. My cousin, Brian, (I have a lot of cousins!) who works at a local lumber yard gave us the best prices and the lumber yard offers free delivery, which can really add up considering we haven't had everything delivered at once since we can't work on it every single day till it's done. This all reminds me, I'd like to break down the cost of everything for you all to see in a future post.

And, speaking of money...Tuesday, Jeff and I went to Lowe's to look at some windows and found five 3'x4' windows, without grids marked down from $112.00 to $44.00 each. It just so happens we were wanting that size and style for a few windows in the house...five to be exact. Can you believe that??? We saved $340 dollars! It turns out that Lowe's is phasing out these particular windows in all it's different sizes so we'll be on the look out at the other Lowe's stores in the area for the other sizes we need to go on clearance too.

Hopefully the weather will be good this weekend for all the work Jeff has planned. Oh, and hopefully the ground will be dried out some from all of today's rain. We're up to almost 5" so far and it's still coming down heavy! The pond is creeping ever closer to our back yard. (This picture might be too small for you to see, but there is a blue heron at the edge of the water in the middle of the picture.)

I wish I could be out at the land all weekend with Jeff and everyone who'll be helping him, but I'll probably stay behind to take care of little Soapy Feet. She, by the way, is a whopping two weeks old today and snuggling like a baby kangaroo in her sling as I type.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Here's a peek at a sweet little Mexican dish...

Sorry I've been gone for a while. We finally had our sweet little baby on September 2:30ish in the the the parking lot of our favorite Mexican restaurant...

Remember how we couldn't come up with a name? Well, she has a name now that was inspired by the events of the evening.

Meet our newest addition, Sopapilla.

We call her Sophia Renee for short or just Sophie. Except for Evelyn, who apparently hears the name pronounced "Soapy Feet" and when she can't remember Soapy Feet, Evelyn is content to just simply call her "Fish."

Sophie was only a few hours old in this picture and naturally all of my other pictures of her are still on my camera and my camera is with Jeff who is finally back out at the land today working on the house. So, this will have to do for now.

What's that? Am I kidding about the car, restaurant, middle of the night thing? Nope. And no, our favorite restaurant isn't a bar we'd been drinking at till 2am. Have you ever heard of those people who have their babies at home without a doctor or midwife? Well, that's us. The ultimate do-it-yourselfers. I've been called crazy many times because of it, but being prepared to have babies on our own has paid off. I have them super fast! I tell people if I don't have them at home, I'd just wind up having them in the car on the way to a hospital and now the proof is in the pudding! I have a lot of "false labor" for a few weeks before they're born and never know for sure if I'm actually in labor until about 45 minutes or less before they're born. About the third contraction into my "real labor" I began having a problem that has the potential to be very serious and so we loaded the kids up into the car to go to the hospital but we only made it 10-15 minutes down the road before Jeff asked, "Should I pull over and catch the baby now?" and I mumbled between groans, "If you want to." Don't ask me why I phrased it like that. So he pulled into the nearest parking lot, ran around to my side of the car, opened my door, reached down, caught the baby and passed her to me. Easy as pie. We then turned the car around and headed back home after a brief visit with a police officer on the side of the road who, I'm sure, pulled us over only to congratulate us on the birth of our child. He said we were going a little fast through an intersection earlier (we ran an orange light...I saw it but Jeff didn't.) The officer then pulled over on the side of the road near the parking lot to watch what-in-the-world we were doing. He was very friendly and didn't bat an eye when Jeff told him we were on our way to the hospital to have a baby but wound up having it in the car so we're going home now. That all makes perfect since, right? That's what all of us unassisted car birthers do.

It sounds pretty smooth but there was actually a lot of pressure on Jeff and he managed to stay calm on the outside through the whole thing. Me? I was in labor...need I say more? He called 911 first to see if he could give the local police a heads up (please don't pull us over right now.) Then he called the hospital to tell them we're on our way with a problem. Then he called our friend Chad and asked to speak with his wife. Only a true friend answers the phone in the middle of the night and lets you speak with his wife. She, Danielle, is a doctor and delivers babies too. About two sentences into the conversation Jeff hollered in her ear "Here comes the baby! Oh! It's a girl!" It was kind of like, "Hey, we thought since we're havin' a baby and you deliver babies, we thought maybe you might like to, you know, maybe be a part of this and listen to the birth over the phone. This makes us all best friends forever now, right?" We can come across a little retarded sometimes. Seriously though, THANK YOU!!! You were so nice to take our call and it was a great comfort to know there was a doctor on the phone.

Our greatest praise goes to God who is extremely gracious to us and has blessed us once again with one of the most precious gifts ever. His greatness and favor brings me to my knees in humility. To God be the glory!