Sunday, September 21, 2008

Walls Go Up

"It's really starting to come together" is a common saying around here. This time it's a little more true. Dad spared no time in getting to work on putting up walls. Last Wed, Thurs and Fri he built portions of the exterior walls. Tom and Dad put up some posts and one of the garage doors' header yesterday. Today they hoisted and set the 400lb beam that runs down the center of the garage. How, you might ask, do two men lift a 400lb beam? With only the utmost of forethought and ingenuity, of course - they borrowed some scafolding and some sort of chain-pully-thing from a friend and walla! Up goes the beam. But, even with all that planning and thinking, there were a couple of "DANGIT!"'s that were heard ringing though the air. After one loud expression of aggervation, Livvy asked, in typical Livvy style, "Daddy, why are you so frustrated? You're doing a great job." Uh huh.

The kids and I went spent Thurs through Sat down in Phx. We got a chance to hang out with the fam and swim one last time this season. It was a nice little retreat for us. We're glad to be back and tackle whatever this week may bring. Speaking of this week, Ben turns two months old (today actaully), Sammy turns two years old on Thurs, my parents are bringing Tom's mom up on Fri, and Tom turns 38 on Sat. What a week! Fun, fun, fun.

Here are some pictures of the hoisting of the beam and one of some cute kids.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Look What Showed Up

...our house! Well, not quite, but most of the lumber for our house did anyway. Now we just have to follow the easy step-by-step instructions, "Insert slot A into hole B..." and we'll be done!! Ha! Wouldn't it be nice if it was that easy. Now the real work begins. The guys will really have some fun hammering, using all sorts of power tools and all that other stuff. Maybe they'll let me play too :).

I keep forgetting that some of you might be interested in what the kids are doing, not just what's going on with the house. So...

Livvy started Awana's last week. She really enjoys it and already has 3 verses memorized, on top of the verses that she's memorizing in school. Speaking of school, we're homeschooling with 2 other families. Once a week we get together with 2 other girls her age and they have a lesson that includes God's World, a Bible story and some sort of craft. She loves being a big sister, a little over-bearing at times (her heart's in the right place), playing with bugs, and helping me in the kitchen or with Ben.

Sammy is loving life filled with men working, big trucks and helping Dad (and Mom). He'll be two-years old next week, can you believe it!? I've got to figure out how to make a truck cake - he'll love that. Besides trucks, he loves digging in the dirt or sandbox, playing by himself, being a tease, and getting cuddles.

Ben is almost 2 months old if you can believe that! On one hand, it seems like just yesterday we brought him home and, then on the other, it seems like he's been around forever. He's almost 12 lbs, mostly serious, totally sweet, and starting to be more smiley little baby. He's a fun little guy to have around.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Second Pour

Well...we did it and it's done. The slab for the two-car garage was poured Sat morning. We all had fun watching again as the cement truck came and the Benji's crew did their thing. Even little Ben was out watching. After the concrete was set a bit, we all lined up from oldest to youngest and left our handprints in the concrete. It'll be fun in the future to walk by those handprints everytime we leave and remember this time. Sweet memories.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Early Morning Scramble & The First Pour

Let's start with yesterday morning...early, early morning. Tom was up until 4 am getting the insulation in place aournd the pantry/laundry area. Benji showed up around 6:30 am to finish up laying the rebar in the pantry/laundry. Mike came around 9:15 am to grade and add cinders in the workshop area, which Benji then compacted. Jaime, the inspector, came around 10:15 am and...we passed! Yeah!! We had permission for the first pour. Unfortunately, Benji didn't have enough men in place to pour the concrete. Oh well, Sammy had fun playing "like Mike".

So, today Benji showed up early this morning. He layed the rest of the rebar for the workshop and the two-car garage. Jaime came again to inspect for the second pour. Again, we passed! God is so good. At 2 pm the concrete truck came and Benji and Chris poured the pantry/laundry and workshop areas. They look beautiful! Tomorrow at 9 am the second concrete truck is coming so we can finish off the two-car garage. Boy, will that be a beautiful thing. I can't wait. Below are pictures of the stages of pouring and finishing a concrete floor. Pretty cool.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Grout and Fill

Well, we passed the stem wall inspection (yeah!) and so Mike showed up with his Bobcat this morning to spread around the fill. That meant that Dad (otherwise known as Pop-pop to the kids) was out there shoveling today. Benji came a little bit later to grout the stem wall and compact the fill. Dad got to finish up running the compactor because Benji had to leave. Right now Tom is out there digging and getting insulation around the livable area stem wall in place so we can pass inspection and pour the workshop and pantry/laundry areas tomorrow. The hope is to pour those areas tomorrow and the rest of the garage on Friday. Hope.

So, anyway, here are some pictures of the work done so far, a picture of Sammy crying because we had to say goodbye to the "truck", Tom getting ready to work, Benji and Wayne compacting the cinders, and a cute little smiling Ben.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Aren't these three just the cutest! It's so fun to look at Tom, Livvy and Sammy playing together and picturing little Ben a little older playing right along with them. When did my little 6lb 6oz baby girl grow and become a little girl? And who are these two other boys? I still have this idea in my head that I'm this 26 year-old girl, free of responsibility. When did I become a wife and mom...a mom of 3 at that?!

As we're laying the foundation for our new house, I'm personally encountering a laying of a different foundation. Or maybe it's better to say that I'm trying to re-lay my spiritual foundation. Through parenting these precious gifts of God, I realize that I have lots of Biblical and/or theological "knowledge". But... I'm finding that I lack the wisdom that takes that knowledge and then can apply it to not only my life but, more importantly, in the training of our children. For myself and my children, I want my thoughts and actions to be directed by what the Bible says, not because it's the "nice" or "right" thing (how often do we moms say, "Be nice"? Why? Why be nice?). Proverbs 20:11 says, "Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right". I want desparately to be known, and my children known, for being those who follow hard aften Christ. Does that make any sense?

Anyway, onto the foundation of our new house. Things are progressing albeit a little on the slow side, especially for Tom and Dad. This past Wednesday Benji and his crew came and poured the cement for the footers. On Thursday, pallets of cinder blocks showed up; and today (Saturday) Benji and his crew were back to lay the blocks. They'll be back tomorrow to finish laying the stem wall. Unfortunately, because Benji has a "day" job, he won't be able to pour the slab until next Friday. So, again we wait.

Here's some pictures of the progress so far: