Sunday, September 11, 2011

Let There be Light!

First---for the biggest news of the day:  we're moving back to Minot!  Yes, it's true...but unfortunately, it's not #5 Fairway that we will return to just yet.  Instead, family members have offered their home to us until we can return to Green Valley.  Every day I am reminded of how generous and kind people are, and we seem to have the most amazing network of family and friends.  So, THANK YOU, David and Marsha.  We are so excited to be together again as a family.  Calvin and Natalie really miss their daddy, and I have to admit, even I do!  ;)  We'll be moving back sometime this week, so watch out Minot!  Rebuilding mode will kick into full gear when I get back!

Unfortunately, that means we're leaving Grandma and "Papa," as he is known to all of the grandkids.  Over the past few months, Calvin and Papa have become buddies. 
Calvin tries to steal Papa's seat every morning as he does the crossword puzzle.
He loves to help Papa with the yard work, especially watering the flowers...

...but by far, his favorite thing to do is drive up to the post office and get the mail. 
It's the highlight of his day! 

Mom and Dad have been amazing, and we're so lucky we have them to help us with everything.  We'll be sad to leave, but I know it just means we're that much closer to getting back into our house.

Speaking of that, our siding isn't 100% done yet, but we'll complete that soon.  In the meantime, we're moving on to electrical work.  Remember how I mentioned how kind and generous people have been to us throughout this whole ordeal?  That includes our electrician, a family member who is donating his time to help us get electricity back into our house. 

Here is the master (Curt Moore), directing his apprentices this past weekend. 

Curt and Perry figuring out the master bedroom wiring.

 Jim and Jeff strung lots of wire.  They also fight about everything like an old married couple. :)

More master bedroom work.  Curt's a perfectionist.  He's my kind of guy!

I'm so excited to have the lighting I always wanted in the house.  Also, I will not miss wondering what the switch by the patio door was supposed to turn on.  There was some wacky electrical work in that house, among other things. 

We ran into our first big problem this weekend...our contractors framed out our kitchen window about twelve inches from where it was supposed to be, which is centered above the sink.  We haven't ordered cabinets yet, so hopefully that will be an easy fix.  **fingers crossed**

I'm really glad I'm done making decisions about where lights should go, because I've been stressing over it for weeks now. 

Meanwhile, our neighborhood has turned into a FEMA trailer park.  I love it, because it means others are busy working on their houses, too.  I don't want to come back to an empty neighborhood, because we love Green Valley and hope others can't stay away, either. 

There's much more to come in the week ahead.  Hopefully we'll finalize the kitchen cabinetry, decide on a fireplace, add subfloors, finish electrical work...oh, yikes.  How overwhelming!  It's going to be a busy autumn for us!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's Startin' to Look Like a House Again

First of all, let me say: I have the coolest family ever. I am continually amazed at the wealth of knowledge my father and brothers provide when it comes to home improvement. We are so lucky to have them helping us rebuild our home. What a weekend!

So let's take a trip back in time. This is our house, pre-flood, looking all neat and tidy. Notice the green, green grass. Wow, do I miss that!

After the flood, our house was reduced to 2x4s.

Then, the OSB went back up--it started to look like a house again! This is our house as it looks today. The windows and doors are now in, and the siding is nearing completion.

The siding looks FANTASTIC--and I like the new stone front better than the old stone.

Again, I say, building a house is not what I ever wanted to do. I would MUCH rather renovate over a period of many years. There are so many decisions that have to be made in a short period of time, that you feel you're making all of the wrong decisions. It turns out, the siding is all coming together as we had that's a huge relief.

Thank you to all who helped us get to this point! I don't know what we'd do without you...and don't go anywhere, because we still need your help! :)

Inside, the fireplace is gone, and the rooms have been framed out. It's all coming together!! I'm starting to be able to imagine what things will look like.

So the big question is: when will we move back in? I'm still hoping we can host a big Thanksgiving dinner, but we may be able to enjoy a very lonely, dark Halloween in Green Valley. One can dream!