Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More blessings - much appreciated!!!

Don, Phil, Justin, Stan, John, Hans and Dean. Not pictured: Jesse

Jesse is missing from the group shot because he arrived early and then also left before we had a chance to take a group shot.

We have had another group of hard-working guys from We Care Program join us on the mountain for some major progress! Seven guys came and helped us get a HUGE step towards being fully dried in.

We are truly blessed to have such wonderful help - just not sure how we would have attempted this ourselves. God has been so very faithful in providing the hands and feet necessary through this whole process and we are extremely grateful.

Monday was spent sawing, nailing, stapling, roofing, moving windows, prepping for putting windows in, climbing up and down ladders, etc. At the end of the day, they rolled out their sleeping bags and found a spot in the house and slept there overnight! It was pretty chilly overnight and I was pretty glad that I was inside the camper.

Jesse worked very hard and was able to get the remainder of the roof on! Thanks, Jesse!

Tuesday morning, we awoke to a thunder and lightning storm - not exactly ideal weather for being on ladders outside and hanging windows ... or really much of anything, I guess. We decided to have some breakfast and watch to see if it broke. We all crammed into the camper for breakfast! I think that has been the most people in our camper at one time - of course the dogs all had to be inside, too, because of the storm.

Do you see where Lilly is?

The weather changed from thunder and lightning to mostly just showers (with occasional lightning mixed in), so we decided to hang some windows. They were very efficient and were able to finish hanging ALL 14 of our big windows in a very short amount of time.

We set up a pulley system to get windows and doors from the first floor to the second floor - I wish I could have captured that, but I was helping (at least a little). We handed the windows up to the next level and just stabilized it with the pulleys - it worked very well!

Hanging the window in the second story tower landing.

Dean way up the ladder securing the top of the window. Don and Dean definitely worked hard this morning - in the rain! Kudos to you guys. Next time you come up - it's for a vacation, ok?

Don from above.

Dean from above.

btw - I am having a lot of fun with my aperture setting on my camera - getting some shots where part of the picture is in focus and the rest isn't. I like it. There's a word for it and I can't remember it now.

My favorite group shots are the goofy ones - these guys do goofy well.

The End :) Guess who that is at the top of the ladder getting a smooch from their honey? Thanks, Don, for encouraging that one :)

We are thankful, again, for all of the great help that we had. You guys did a great job!

I was thinking of the scripture from the song lyrics "where does my help come from? My help comes from You - maker of heaven, Creator of the earth" - and then the rest of the Psalm was just too good to leave out. I thought it was very fitting.

Psalm 121

A song of ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;

8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Here are a couple of slide shows from each day - enjoy!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Random pics

John standing in an upstairs window.

Sunday afternoon, I hiked to the other ridge to catch some shots of the house from there.

Zoomed in.

Yay - spring! My allergies are kicking in full force, but I am still enjoying the beauty of spring!

Shipment of the doors - the rest are scheduled to be delivered on Monday. I am really looking forward to getting dried in - we are pushing to get there.

We are getting help again! Some of the We Care guys are coming to help on Monday and part of Tuesday to get windows and doors put in. Another huge blessing - praise the Lord with us!

Psalm 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thanks and an update

Thank you all for your words of encouragement from my last post - I am doing much better now. God is way bigger than the trivial things and even way bigger than the really big things in our lives! I just need a reminder of that now and again.

Still need to catch up on some z's - something about staying up until 1:30 am putting plastic on the windows to keep the rain out will do that to you :)

John has updated his blog with an "up to this point" post showing the progress and dates. He is working on a post about the guys and it should be available soon.

Some of our windows and doors arrived yesterday - our next step is to get "dried in". We are hoping to do that asap in order to protect the house from the weather.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I'm struggling today...

I had decided not to write this post after all, but then I read this and decided that it was God's nudging me to write it. I'm sure it is more for me than for you, but I hope you will be blessed by it, too. I am just keeping it real today.

I am struggling today ...

- I have still not fully recovered from being sick on Thursday night. At this point, it may be my allergies kicking in that have me feeling miserable, but I'm not sure.

- I am tired. Beat, worn out, tired.

- Feeling like a failure with my kids, as their Mom AND teacher. Feels like forever since we have sat and done home schooling. Savannah is extremely disagreeable with me these days - I get the brunt of her frustrations. I had a facebook status ready ... something like "if this is what 8 is like, we are in big trouble for the teen years". Although I can understand her frustrations, I am tired of being on the receiving end of it all.

- Overwhelmed at even just the "essentials" list for the day. (I have since recovered from that and am just tackling them one step at a time.)

- Sick and tired of base/softball even before the season has officially started!

- Mad at myself for even having a pity party, when I have SO MANY reasons to be thankful (and I am thankful ... just keeping it real that I am struggling today).

- Feeling very undeserving of so many blessings, especially in light of so many others' needs.

- In tears over our Compassion children and for many other children who don't even have sponsors. In tears over the blog that has an infant who had heart problems in utero and is now in the hospital with SVT.

- Saddened by my quick temper and being easily ruffled.

- Worried about others' opinions regarding our house, in light of being in prison ministry. Feeling the need to make it known that the support we receive has not gone into building our house - everything so far has come from the sale of our home in PA.

- Having that weight of "debt that we cannot repay" feeling. I know those men freely gave, but there is still that desire to give back.

- Wanting to know God's will in passing on the kindness. Does that mean hiring the local guy who hasn't had a job for a while instead of doing it ourselves?

- Feeling so far behind in getting connected with all of the wonderful people that called/emailed/etc. during this past week. Hoping they don't think that I don't care.

- Trying to find the words to express our thanks and gratitude properly.

- Just overwhelmed at being on the receiving end so much lately. It is humbling and difficult all at the same time.

- Exasperated that my hair needs attention again and I don't see the time to do it just yet.

Thanks for listening - tomorrow is a new day :)

Psalm 136 1-9

1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.
His love endures forever.

2 Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.

3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

4 to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.

5 who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.

6 who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.

7 who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.

8 the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.

9 the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Friday recap (delayed until Saturday)

From here ...

to here in 4.5 days!!! I am still amazed at the wonder of it all.

Look closely - most of them are standing at the top of the tower! (the remaining others had already left to catch up on some z's before heading home)

After the first day

After the second day - the full crew all together

Final day shot from the top of the tower!

Pictures from day 1

Pictures from day 2

Pictures from day 3

Pictures from day 4

Pictures from day 5

Aren't you glad they only allowed me 24 pictures per slide show? :) I have more pictures, you know, many more! My hope is that putting them in a slide show would help those who don't have high-speed internet ... let me know if that was not the case :)

We are truly still processing this last week. Both John and I got the nasty flu bug Thursday night and I am still not 100%. Hadden got it last night and actually took a nap today ... although he told me that he was just going to lay down and he wouldn't close his eyes! :)

One of the guys, Doug, got it during the work week and even came and worked the next day - I have no idea how he managed. Seriously. I did not even get out of bed for most of Friday. We heard that Troy also got it on the way home (so sorry, Troy - must have been a miserable ride for you). We hope that no one else catches it because it is just not fun.

John and I are hoping to do a "who are these guys" and "recap of each day" type posts in the next few days. I need his help with those and he is currently at Home Depot.

My heart is just FULL of PRAISE to our God for sending these men to work on our house. We are so thankful for each one who came, each one who gave, each one who prayed, each one who commented, each one who called (I have not had a chance to return phone calls yet) and every word of encouragement that we so abundantly received. You'll never know how much this meant to us ... and to many others who have heard about it and have been blessed knowing that people do care and that there is love in the body of Christ! May each of you be blessed by Him who is able to do abundantly more than we can ask or imagine!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday - Quick update

The final day - wow! We are still in shock, I think. Exhausted, in shock, but beyond ecstatic with the work that was done. What a crew! We plan to update and give more details, but now is not the time ... we have to recover first :)

Good night :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday - Happy Anniversary!

Today was another HUGE day. This was also our 9th anniversary - Happy Anniversary, John!

We had another beautiful day of weather - praise the Lord! Again, the guys worked VERY hard. Roof trusses were delivered and the guys then set them using a crane. They poured the concrete floor in the basement. Leon moved a lot of dirt with the skid loader - backfill, landscaping, cleaning up. They framed some of the interior walls. Another very productive day.

Trusses delivered

We had a little mishap with the crane and some soft ground, but Leon was able to use the skid loader to help get them out. Whew!

Crane set up and ready to go!

First truss getting set in place.

Putting the last gable end in place. I have a ton of cool pictures of the whole process, but I will save that for a later day.

Crane and concrete truck here at the same time.

For LA - daily dose of your man ;) ... with a concrete truck - how appropriate, right?

I like this one - view from the bedroom level looking down at the guys pouring concrete. I made them all look up - they resisted, but finally cooperated :) Don't you know, it is easier to just give in the first time?

View from our master bedroom deck

Gary, Travis and Galen working the middle section of the floor.

Matt, John and Gary working the concrete floor.

Thank you all for your prayers, encouragement, comments and support. I haven't taken the chance to say it, but Thanks! They all are greatly appreciated!

Good night.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday - Oh, what a beautiful day!

Another great day with a lot of work accomplished.

A couple of questions have been asked, so I will try to answer them.

This great group of men are friends mostly from our home church in PA with a couple of new friends added in :) I'll have to give you all of the details at a later date - right now, I am pooped.

Yes - the house is pretty high up there. Quoting John ... 'it looks a lot higher than on paper'. It appears even higher because of the exposed basement walls (which will get back-filled part way with dirt shortly). The front stairwell tower is also offset, so it goes higher than the house. We wanted to go high in order to take advantage of the view. It is a basic rectangle with a square off the front for the stairs.

There are 3 levels - basement level (does not have garage), main level and bedroom level. The bottom level will be laundry/mud room, utility room, rec room, and guest bedroom. The main level will be mostly open with kitchen and living area. The top level has 3 bedrooms - master bedroom and one for each kiddo. Again, I'll have to do a better job with details later :)

The camper ... one of the shots towards the bottom of this post shows the house with the camper in the background. It is pretty close to the house. In fact, I walked out this morning on my path to the shed and there was a HOUSE in the way! It actually startled me and then I had to laugh at myself.

Feel free to shoot questions out - I'd love to answer them.

Here are some shots from today.

This maneuver was very cool to me. This is a cantilevered deck for one of the kids rooms. - it is about 15-16 feet off the ground. They set the board on their feet, got it lined up and then nailed it - all while sitting on the floor joists suspended out over the ground.

We rented a track skid loader and Leon has been doing a great job clearing and leveling up. We may even get to plant grass soon!

The kids had a BLAST playing in some of the piles of dirt that were mounded up.

The Budster

End of day 2. This is as high as it's going to go (except for the front tower). See the camper to the left of the house?

Back view of the house with cantilevered deck for master bedroom.

The End.

Good night.