Friday, February 26, 2010

The Third Floor

It is really hard to take a good picture of the little boys room because it is long and narrow. We divided the third floor into half lengthwise, placing the boys room to the left of the stairs, which run up the middle of the house, and the girls on the right. Both sets of bunk beds and matteresses were given to us. The boys have never had more than a matteress on the floor, so they are very pleased with thier log beds and bunks, with one for Gabe to grow into.

This is Rose's nook, so far. We are still in need of shelves for her pretty things. Mr. Berard had the idea to split the floor from rpsl to rpsl, providing areas in between column support logs similar to a ship birth. The girls have one large room, some what divided for each girl. It has worked out wonderfully for them. They can be together as they wanted, but have their own space to decorate. It is also efficient since Rose is a night person and stays up late with her lamp on. Her light is sheilded from Anna and Bethany by the half wall.

This is Bethany's space, the first time she has had a bed. She and Ben previoulsy slept on the couch in the living room for lack of any other space. She is happy to have a pretty spot of her own!

And here is Anna's beautiful bed given to us by a friend. She is excited to be able to look out the window at the stars from beneath her bedcovers.
We are all learning that running up and down two flights of stairs several times a day is great excercise. Several of us are getting thinner already. We also have discovered that some sort of bell is going to be needed for communication from 1st floor to 3rd. Calling up the stairs for dinner just doesn't reach, so a runner has to be sent. Fortunately, we have several to choose from. :-)
I am a nesty person, so I thoroughly enjoyed making up the children's beds with flannel sheets, comforters, wool blankets, and quilts to give them a warm and snug sleep. My mom has been saving bedding for years for just this occasion, so we had everything we needed to go from 5 beds and a couch to 10 beds. Now I am looking forward to unpacking the rest of the boxes and having a place for everything! It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The "Off-Grid Life"

The view from my bedroom.

I awoke today to cloudy skies and a sloppy slush falling outside my bedroom window. 
 We have had several days of clear and cold weather, which is perfect for our solar power,
 but today looked like a generator morning.
 We are teaching all the children 5 years and up how to start and shut down the generator, 
and how to tell if the batteries are charged, still charging, or in need of charging. 
 We are still learning what we can have on in the lodge when running just off solar. 
 Did you know that an old computer monitor pulls the same wattage as a hair dryer?
 Me neither, but after leaving the monitor on all night I figured it out. :-)

I love bad weather, and a rainy, snowy day suits me just fine. 
 Perfect for a pot of our favorite herbal tea, a fire, and peaceful quiet music, and a bowl of beef barley soup, a frugal favorite of ours,(except it is venison) of course.

Here is Bethany all snuggled up for a nap in the window seat next to the fireplace in the living room.
 I enjoyed a nap here myself Sunday afternoon. 
 It is also a good place to nestle up with a book or watch birds and deer in the forest. 
 We have 7 regular deer around the house. 
 John just bought a bag of grain for them yesterday. 
 Every time we go for a walk or putter the van softly down the 1/2 mile driveway they are sure to be spotted.

We are still unpacking boxes, putting the plumbing for a bathroom sink together, 
and washing dishes via water warmed on the stove. 
 It is all coming along. 
 You would have thought that we told the children we were going to Disneyland, 
but no, actually, daddy hung up closet rods. 
 They were ecstatic. 
 Amazing what a few days of depravation will make you thankful for!

In the meantime, here are some recent kid quotes to make you smile:

"No, Ben, you can't put packaging tape on a leg wound."

"Anyone seen Gabe's bottle?" "Look in the bathtub." "Yup, there it is."

"Why are there mashed bananas in the dish towel drawer?!"

Bethany: "that's Billarious!!!"

Love , Love, Love my life!!
blessings to ya,

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pinch Me

We spent our first night at the lodge Friday. I could hardly sleep. I kept thinking, is this really happening, or am I dreaming?! After all this time, is it really possible that we are truly here, sleeping under the logs we peeled, placed, washed, sanded, stained, dusted, and chinked?! It seems like a far off dream that we built this whole house with our hands. So pinch me, I want to make sure this is real!!

I stepped out the front door this morning into the 17 degree briskness for my morning walk and talk with God. I am so thankful for all He has done for us, lavishly provided for us, faithfully kept us together through all the hard work, laughter, tears, disappointments, frustrations, and head scratching that comes along with building your own house. As I returned, I was overwhelmed with God's goodness, amazed that we did it and are now living here: the off grid, homeschooling, quiverfull, fulltime ministry life in our very own log home. I am not dreaming anymore, the dream has come true!

Nearly all the furnishings we own have been graciously given to us via many different people, but amazingly, seem to go together. Although we haven't hung anything on the walls or done much decorating yet, we are pelased with how it is looking. It is a great joy to see my floor plans come to life and how they are working for our family. There is still much finishing to be done, especially upstairs, but we rae feeling cozy warm and loving the space!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Garbage out, Boxes in!!!

Finally, finally, finally, we are moving in! Just as the drywall mess(and I do mean MESS!!!) goes out the door, or window, as the case may be depending on what floor you are on, the boxes are coming in and going to appropraited rooms. At this point, the shop vac is indespensible! The sheetrock dust that is everywhere must get cleaned up, the log walls vacuumed and washed the floors damp mopped, and we are ready to go. Now, understand that the house is not done, but we are exhausted of building, smooshed in our current house, and longing for the job to be over, so we are moving in on unfinished floors, with no tape, texture, paint, trim, etc. We will, hopefully, have some bedroom doors in a few days before the whole house gets moved.
Sometime in the future, we will move out of the 2nd flloor and get it finished, then the third, but for the time being we are happy just to be there and have a life besides the seemingly eternal building project! It has been an incredible journey, we have learned so much, we have poured our lives for the last 5 years into this lodge, and now, we are ready to enjoy and rest!
This afternoon, Brian and I will make a run to town for doors, the hot water heater, shower curtain rod, hopefully a bathroom sink from Habitiat, and a few more odds and ends. When get home, the 2 nd clear coat will have to be applied to the first floor flooring, then we can't walk on it for 48 hours, but we have a busy weekend planned anyway. Monday we will hopefully tackle getting the bathrooms buttoned up, but that will be another post. So long for now, even the rain cannot "dampen" my excitement today!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Pictures of Current Progress

Finally!!! Water coming up from the well!! Praise the Lord!!

A View from John's Room - 2nd floor

Standing in the Family Room - 2nd floor

Down the Hallway from Rosie's Room - 3rd floor

Standing at the top of the stairs looking into the Family Room - 2nd floor
Again, a huge Thank You to Ed Hardman, Dale Hawkins, Nathaniel Hawkins, Caleb Hawkins, Alan Imel and Josh McHenry for all their help with the drywall.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Final Pushes

We have named our home Providence Lodge because the Lord is the one who has made this possible and the One who has sustained us through it's building, and provided everything that we have needed.

We are on the final push to get moved in.
We finally have a well that produces water, the water is almost completely piped to the house.
The framing is finished on the third floor, and the electrical is completely finished.
The plumbing is almost complete, the drywall is finished on the 2nd floor (with the exception of the bathrooms) and a great start has been made on the drywall on the third story. 

This has all been possible through a very busy time of the year because of two contractors in our body of believers who have been without work for almost a month. 
So... rather than go crazy waiting for the phone to ring they have been out at the lodge more than not for the last four weeks.
They have been a tremendous help.
What a blessing they have been to us.
Working long hours even on days when I am not able to be there at all. 
Running for supplies when I run out.
A big thanks to Ed, Dale, Alan, Nathaniel, Caleb and Josh. 
All have been an invaluable help in getting us ready to move in.


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