Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Sometimes I can hardly imagine we have been living in Foley for almost a month. From an unpacking stand-point, hardly anything has changed. Every day or two we rearrange stacks of boxes to find something or move them out of the way for construction, but we've unpacked very little. However, the house itself has changed a great deal.

We finally saw the end of stump 1 and stump 2.

The large machine in the back of the above picture quickly ground the stumps into the beginning of my new compost pile and the Bobcat hauled it to the new garden site.

After triumphing over the stumps, the pool installers quickly built the pool.

I like the idea that beach sand sits under the pool, though sometimes I think it would be nice to have a beach too. I wanted to create a beach by the creek at the back of our property but everyone I know insists it will wash away when the creek floods during heavy rains or tropical weather. Sometimes I hate practical details.

Once the pool contained water, the kids decided to try it out. Had it not been so cold, I might have been tempted to join them since to this day we have still not added chemicals to it.

But I am a wimp and wouldn't even get in for poor little Michael who wanted to swim so much. He ended up being a good sport about the whole thing and watched from the deck when I assured him the water freshly pumped from our well would be too cold.

Our kids and our neighbors' kids convinced each other to brave the cold for a good 45 minutes. Dallas, our neighbor, watched his kids freeze in our pool, probably grateful his kids could swim well enough that he didn't have to get in himself.

We love the fact the stumps required so much earth to be removed because now the pool is in a perfect position relative to the deck. However, because so much dirt was moved from the foundation of the deck, we are having to fill in the area between the deck and the pool with some of the removed earth. This is no easy job and Kurt and I figured it was a great opportunity to develop the kids' work ethic.

Actually, we gave the job to Gregory and he recruited his siblings. He even put Michael to work. Michael loved helping and for awhile, worked harder than anyone.

Normally Kurt and I would help, but we have so many projects going right now. Fortunately, God has graciously supplied help for our many projects.

For example, until a few days ago, several people worked very hard to put as much dry-wall dust into the air as possible. And, the more dry-wall dust in the air, the more dry-wall dust on all of the surfaces and in all the cracks and crevices in the house. Multiple applications are best for full coverage.

We have some wonderful friends who've been helping us tear down and rebuild our home. Our neighbor Dallas is one of them. He got sucked into our house remodeling projects when Kurt needed some help removing a wall and applying final coats of mud.

(I won't go into the pleasures of sleeping on the dining room floor next to the area where walls are coming down and dust is being set free. You will have to imagine how fun it is to have such work take place next to you during normal human sleeping hours.)

I will admit I really like the open look of our kitchen now that the structural wall separating it from the living room has been removed. I especially liked it when the ceiling didn't come crashing to the ground. Especially since it was 2:00 a.m. and I was trying to sleep next to the area in question. I will confess I worried when Kurt and Dallas wanted to hurry and remove the wall before "Bob the Builder" saw what they were doing. (Bob has been pretty much in charge of projects and keeping us reasonable during the whole process here.) I recalled when we talked to Bob about the wall, he said something about structural walls and then sort of ignored it afterwards. However, even Bob liked the end result when he saw it.

When Bob arrived about a week ago for a 3 day remodel marathon, things started moving fast. He brought the most BEAUTIFUL counter tops and open cabinets for our larger kitchen. (He built the cabinets and the counter tops in his home workshop and is a custom cabinet maker [and homebuilder] by trade. If you are in the Pensacola area and ever need cabinets [or a custom home], you really NEED Bob's telephone number!)

For hours, all I could do was stare at them. They are so pretty and there was a time when I really feared I would have to live with the dilapidated pink counters that came with the house. Once the counters went down, Kurt helped install a brand new sink. I'm so excited about all of this I won't even let Gabrielle do the dishes. I don't think she minds.

Bob also sort of taught me how to install tile in the sun room. I helped with the Thinset anyway; he did all the hard parts.

Before we started the floors, Bob removed the wall the prior home-owners installed in the doorway between the master bedroom and the sun room. Eventually we'd like to add French doors to the opening.

Unfortunately I had to order the grout I wanted for the sun room tiles so the work in that room stopped. But we were able to move everything from the master bedroom into the sun room so work could start there. I started by painting the walls a nice pretty green and right before he left, Bob gave me a quick lesson in laying the snap together wood floor.

I got about 5 rows down when I noticed the floor had started unsnapping. So I pulled it apart and tried again. And again. And again. My neighbor Dallas saw my distress and he came to the rescue. But he made the mistake of trying to teach me. And once I started helping, the floor had to be pulled out and redone because all of my work started coming apart. (Dallas says it is not my fault, but I don't know how he arrived at that conclusion.)

In the end, on the seventh try, Dallas and my husband got the floor down, including the closet.

Kurt started reinstalling the molding yesterday. Today I noticed a couple rows of floor in the closet coming apart. I care, but I'm sorta wishing I hadn't noticed it maybe. . .

While we were still trying to install the floor, my friend Cathy from church and my neighbor Donna came over and helped paint some of the kitchen.

The kitchen still needs work, but I already love it a great deal. When things get crazy and they do, it is my happy place in the house.

Michael and the other kids are getting tired of living out of boxes. Gregory says it is like a camping trip that never ends. I agree.


Anonymous said...

Wow! It is really shaping up :)

The Gingerbread House said...

Ye Gads Deborah! I don't know which I love most ..that giant pool that I'd love to have at my house or...that giant kitchen...boy! what a lot of closet space...I can just imagine the cooking I could do with that counter...making bread dough and kneading it out had to wait a spell , but ain't God Good:o).

Heather said...

Wow, what a project. Michael sure has lost his baby-face. Where did it go? He looks a lot like Gregory in that picture. Any foxes or snakes in your new place? Did you move your chickens and turkeys?

Deborah said...

Foxes and snakes, but we haven't had a confrontation yet. We moved some live chickens, but much of the poultry went into the freezer before we moved.