Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘At Home’ Category

Settling In

Hello friends! It’s been a while! Sorry for the long delay in updating the blog and thanks for coming back to read. Things with the house are moving at a MUCH slower pace now that we’re actually living here and now that Allen is working in Chattanooga (STILL amazed by the Lord’s timing on that – moved into the house and started a new job all on the same day)!

Getting the foundation fixed and getting the house livable before we moved in was a huge praise, but we confess, since we moved in not a whole lot of progress has been made.

Allen and Claire were able to lay some tile by the back door

We’ve continued some small projects like painting and putting vinyl siding back on the parts of the house where we had to remove it. But then…some parts of the house still look like this:

But until we can get to it, we just close the door and ignore it!

And now we are just taking some time to actually enjoy living in the house and are settling into a routine. And since we’re not ripping up floors and cranking foundation jacks anymore,we’ve been able to turn our thoughts to other things, like farming, which is why we moved here in the first place!

I’ll take a moment here to do a little explaining, because I think we’ve confused some people. We’re not actually living on the farm right now. The house we have been renovating and are now living in was my grandparents’ house “in town.” My grandfather and his sister also owned the farm property which is 4 miles outside of town (long commute, I know). My grandfather’s sister lived at the farm until she died at which point the farmhouse and the acre it sits on was sold out of the family (maybe someday we can buy the house back and renovate that one to-it’s older than the one we’re in now!). But the rest of the 140 acres of farmland was held by the family and is now owned by my dad, his sister, and their cousin. We all met together a few weeks ago and we shared with them our vision for what we would like to do with the farm and they have agreed to let us start with a half-acre next year (2013). Using only a half-acre out of 140 feels really puny, but if I learned anything at the ag conference we attended in January, it was to start small! Besides, Allen is going to be working full-time off the farm, so it will mostly be just me and my collinear hoe. Note-I don’t actually have a collinear hoe right now, so this is a big hint for anyone who’s looking for birthday or Christmas gift ideas later this year. My birthday is June 20th 😉

We weren’t equipped to start at the farm this year and the fields are already being leased out for pasturing horses and growing corn, so this year we’ll just be doing what we’ve always done, a backyard garden. And spring is here! Allen tilled up some new ground and the girls and I have already started our seeds for summer crops and planted our first round of spring plants.

I have also started volunteering at Crabtree Farms in Chattanooga. They are a non-profit farm with a focus on education and outreach. I figured if we’re going to run a farm, I ought to learn from people who actually have a successful working farm!

And for the ministry side of the farm, I will begin volunteering this week with a local ministry here in Dunlap called Serenity Pointe. They have an established and effective ministry for helping those who are struggling with drugs, alcohol, homelessness, etc. I have MUCH to learn from them.

Thanks for following us on this journey and our prayer is that God will be glorified in every step!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Home sweet home. Finally! After 4 months of renovations, we are now officially residing in the century-old family house.

The last weekend before our move-in date, we had our own version of Extreme Home Makeover.

We were hugely blessed to have a crew of 8 people come help us get the house live-able. My parents, Allen’s parents, Allen’s brother Philip and his wife Cory and even Cory’s parents came to help us (we must have looked really desperate)! And this wasn’t just a crew of well-intentioned friends and family. These people are TALENTED! Some skilled electricians and carpenters, fantastic sanders, experienced tilers, professional grandkid watchers, and painters, and Allen’s brother is really good with puddy. We got A LOT done and without their help, the move-in probably would have been delayed for another 2 weeks

But even with all the help, our to-do list before move-in was lengthy. By Sunday, the final trim-work and paint touch-ups were still not done in the girls room, the floors in the hallway had not been put down, general clean-up still needed to be done, not to mention that no one had any beds to sleep in. So, we moved out of the apartment and in with my Nana for a few days. And I’ll just take a moment here to brag on my Nana (my mom’s mother). This gracious and servant-hearted woman has done our laundry for nearly four months, she has kept our dog for us, she has fed all of our friends and family that have come to help us, and she’s done it all joyfully. Meredith (our 2-yr-old) still has a little trouble saying “Nana” so she calls her “Manna.” I think it’s kind of appropriate. She has been like manna from heaven for us; God’s provision for us while we lived like nomads (Exodus 16:31-32).

So, during the last week, Allen and I would put the girls to bed at Nana’s and then head back to the house to work until 1, 2, or 3 o’clock in the morning (it got later each nightJ). And finally, on Friday, the double-blessing came. Allen started his new job and we were able to spend our first night in the house. Hallelujah and praise Jesus!

There are still some ongoing construction projects, but the girls’ room is completely finished, the kitchen and bathroom are functional (very important) and we have…a dishwasher (oh, how I missed it)!

Here are a few before and after photos of the completed projects.

The girls room: Before

Closet shot of the girls room "Before"

In the midst of construction

Yay!! All finished and clean!

New, bigger closet. Essential for two girls whose grandmother's love to buy clothes for them!

Two happy girls, loving their pink and purple room!

The girls’ room and the study was where most of the construction was done. The study is still a work in progress, so we just close that door and ignore it for now.

The other rooms involved only minor repairs with some cleanup and painting.

Living Room: Before

Termite damaged wallboard removed

And now! Warm and cozy! With boxes still to be unpacked

Kitchen: Before

I put verses on the walls in a few places before we painted. Surrounding ourselves with Scripture

Not a drastic change in the kitchen, but even a little paint and a new countertop can make a difference!

And some pictures of the fun we had during our weekend of Extreme Home Makeover: Jones Edition

My dad was our master electrician for the weekend. Replacing fuse blocks in our old school fuse panel. I hope our house doesn't burn down :-/

How many people does it take to put up a beaded tongue-and-groove ceiling?

It took three of us to hang the ceiling, but they left me to paint it all.

Claire and Meredith even helped paint their room

Claire helping her Gigi paint

Cory and her mom, cheerfully cleaning up trim to reuse in the girls' room

Cory's dad was our master carpenter. He did the majority of the trim-work in the girls' room. Allen's brother Philip is in the back showing off some mad puddy skills.

Allen got to buy a flooring nailer for this project. I think this whole thing has just been one big scheme for him to have an excuse to buy new tools.

Further renovations will still be ongoing for quite some time (at a much slower pace since Allen has a job now!), but WE ARE IN!

And, as I sit in our new (old) living room, I just have to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has helped us get to where we are now. Housed and employed! To all of you who have prayed for us, sent gifts or words of encouragement, helped us with construction, watched the girls for us, or even just read the blog and cheered us on, thank you!

And… I’m going to get mushy here…I have to say how proud I am of my husband. I have watched him through these past several months persevere through seemingly endless dead-ends with the job hunt, and persevere through some of the most frustrating circumstances (like re-plumbing the entire bathroom) and he does it so joyfully and with eternal optimism. He is one who can truly rejoice in all things. And I am more in love with him now than ever. I can honestly say this has been one of my favorite experiences for us together as a couple. As far as the renovations, I am often slower at much of the construction work than he is and there has been a much bigger learning curve for me than for him, but he is patient, he is encouraging, and he’s an excellent teacher (even though he’s winging it on a lot of this stuff too). And as far as the unemployment, I have seen his faith increase, I have seen our marriage strengthened and both of us humbled and brought to our knees before a loving God who provided for us every step of the way.

I am grateful that he chose me for his wife. I am blessed to call him my husband. I am thankful that my girls have him as a role model for their future husbands. I have watched him become more like Jesus through this and he makes me want to be more like Jesus. So Allen, thank you and I love you.

Now, enough of the mushy. How about some fishy faces?

How could you not love this man?

Read Full Post »

Two Weeks till Move-In

Well, the foundation work is complete! All of the temporary jackposts have been removed and the north side of our house is now supported entirely by a new foundation wall. We even had help from the girls on building the wall.

Watching and learning

Helping out

And I think we have some of the most beautifully colored capstones in town!

We’ve also been at work getting other parts of the house ready for the move-in (only two weeks!). After a hard freeze, we had several pipes burst in the bathroom and ended up re-plumbing the entire bathroom.

Trying to thaw out pipes with space heaters.

The high on this day was 32. The kitchen was the warmest room, so we had a nice candlelit lunch.

Allen has decided that he hates plumbing. In the course of replumbing everything, we had numerous blowouts due to unglued joints or a sundry of other problems.

Allen and his nemesis: CPVC

I had to overcome my claustrophobia to crawl under the house and insulate the bathroom floors

Usually the procedure involved both of us. We would set all the valves and joints and make sure everything was glued or threaded tight. Then I would go out to the main valve near the street and turn the water on and Allen would stay in the house to check for leaks. One day however, I wasn’t able to be there so Allen was on his own. He glued all the valves and joints and then went to turn on the water. Everything seemed fine as he went back inside to check the lines for leaks. He leaned in to check one of the valves more closely and began to hear a hissing sound. Suddenly the valve shot off the end and flew 10 feet and hit a window. Water started gushing out of the pipe and by the time Allen ran out to shut off the main water, there was quite a flood. This happened more than once. I think we went through every towel we own trying to clean up messes from leaks and blow-outs. We managed to get the bulk of the plumbing done ourselves (with assistance on one weekend from my dad). But we eventually caved and called a plumber to finish the job. He is now Allen’s new best friend.

We also hired out the drywall for the girls’ bedroom, the study, and one wall in the living room where we had to remove the wall paneling due to termite damage. The pros can have it done in 5 days where it would probably take us three weeks. All the dry wall was hung yesterday and they are beginning the taping and mudding today.

Drywall hung in the girls' room

Drywall in the study

Living room drywall. The hole is for a mantle and wood-burning stove to be installed later

The rooms are actually beginning to look like real, finished rooms!

And as I type, we are in Little Rock, AR for a conference put on by the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group. Allen and I were fortunate to receive 2 scholarships to this conference from an organization in Chattanooga called Gaining Ground. They are a non-profit organization that promotes local food production. We were particularly fortunate because they typically only give one scholarship per farm. We apparently found favor in their eyes (or sympathy, due to our complete lack of experience!) and they awarded us two scholarships. We were also able to attend a seminar near Atlanta last week given by Brian Fikkert, author of When Helping Hurts and executive director of the Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College. The seminar was on effective methods of poverty alleviation. We figured that was a good prep for the agriculture conference to get our hearts in the right place for why we want to farm and who we plan to serve through this endeavor. If you want to re-read the post about the vision for our farm, click here.

In our next blog post, we’ll update you on what we’ve learned from these two seminars and we’ll share with you our take-away points. Stay tuned!

COUNTDOWN TO MOVE-IN: 14 days!

Read Full Post »

A Firm Foundation

THE HOUSE IS LEVEL!!!!

The rotten sill has been replaced, the foundation has been lifted, and the first phase of a new foundation wall is now in place! After six weeks of work on the foundation, we are so near to being finished that we can almost taste it.

We’ve gone from this…

to this…

Our new foundation, almost complete!

For a very brief recap of what we did:

Approximately a 26-foot section of the foundation on the north side of the house was rotten due to termite and moisture damage. The sill, which had been a 2×8 sistered with a 2×4, had been whittled away to about 2 inches around. To repair it, we began by removing part of the floors to access the foundation. There are only 10 inches of crawlspace, which isn’t enough space to work from underneath. Then we dug 2x2x2 holes and poured 10 inch concrete footers to install 4 floor-to-ceiling jackposts. The tall jackposts supported the second story of the house and took the load off of the exterior wall so that we could remove and replace the damaged foundation.

Floors removed and jackposts installed in the corner bedroom.

Footers and jackposts in the study. Notice the water. We had about 5 inches of rain around Thanksgiving. Made it nice and muddy.

We removed the rotten sill and replaced it with 26 feet of 3 2x8s that we bolted together. We dug a 2-foot deep trench under the new sill and poured a concrete footer.

I think about 70 bags of concrete have been used in this process. And we didn't have a concrete mixer. My arms are tired.

Then we placed 30 ton hydraulic jacks under the new sill to lift the foundation and level it. We installed threaded jacks to hold it in place and have now built the first phase of the new foundation wall.

New sill with red and silver hydraulic jacks to lift the house and bring it to level.

The first phase of our new foundation wall!

If you’d like to read about when we first began the foundation work, click here.

By God’s grace the foundation work, which was the biggest hurdle, is almost complete. What’s next on the to-do list before we move in?

  • Replace the bathroom plumbing (we had several pipes crack during a hard freeze a few nights ago).
  • Lower the house down off the jacks and finish the foundation wall.
  • Lay subfloors back down
  • Build a new closet in the girls’ room
  • Drywall the girls’ room and the study
  • Lay hardwood floors in the girls’ room, study, and hallway

All in 24 days! By God’s grace, I think it will get done. If not, then by God’s grace, we will survive living in a construction zone. Notice the theme here…all of this is by God’s grace alone!

We’ve also made this a family affair. We were graced by the help of my wonderful family this Christmas. My parents along with my sister and her husband all came for a few days after Christmas to help with the house. We were able to get a lot done and we were incredibly grateful and humbled that they would all take their vacation time to help us out. Here are some pictures of all the fun!

My sister, Ashley. AKA, Rosie the Riveter

My mom and sister, helping with some demo work in the girls' bedroom.

Ashley's really going at it! That wall paneling doesn't stand a chance!

My sweet and beautiful mom, cleaning the nasty floors. Thank you Jesus, for the gift of mothers!

Old countertop ripped off.

New countertop! Yay!

My handy dad, installing new water and electrical lines for the washer and dryer (so we can move them out of the kitchen).

My dad installing a new hot water heater. Thank you Jesus, for the gift of hot water (and the gift of loving and handy fathers)!

My brother-in-law,Matt, looks really thrilled to be mixing concrete!

Matt did most of the demo work in the study. This was my dad's room when he was a kid and underneath the wall paneling was the wallpaper he had with racecars, planes, and boats.

Ashley and I peeling of ancient wall paper in the hallway.

Mold. Eww!

All the dirt we dug out from under the house...has been moved outside to use for raised garden beds!

Claire and Meredith "helped" rake leaves a few weeks ago, so we layered leaves with the dirt for the garden beds.

We’re going to try and get Allen’s family up here next! Stay tuned!

COUNTDOWN TO MOVE-IN: 24 days!

Read Full Post »

Christmas came early for the Jones family! We’ve had some very exciting things happen today. First, I got a call this morning from the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group and Allen and I have both received scholarships to attend their conference in Little Rock, AR in January. They normally only award one scholarship per farm, but we apparently impressed them with our vision and were graciously awarded two scholarships (thank you Jesus). They have many programs at the conference that are geared toward young and start-up farms. If you want to see what we’ll be learning, click here. So, in a few short weeks we’ll begin our first lessons on how to be real farmers!

Second, Allen has a job interview with the City of Chattanooga! His interview is the Thursday after Christmas, so here’s hoping for the best!

Lastly, Allen received his documentation in the mail today that he is now an official Registered Landscape Architect. He took his licensure exams this past summer and passed on the first round for all exams (I’m going to brag here-there’s only a 30% pass rate for first time test-takers)! So now he has his own license number and he’s legit, which should help in the job hunt. As one friend of his commented on hearing the news: “Congratulations, now you can get sued!”

Praise God for his goodness and mercy as he leads us on this journey!

On another note, here’s a construction update from Allen. We have to be out of our apartment by the end of January, so our move-in date for the house in January 28. Let the countdown begin! 39 days!

We’re on the rise:

The month of December has been a busy one at 89 Spring St.  Since our last post, the house has been lifted four inches.  The process has been fairly simple, but the labor has been quite involved.  28 feet of the outer sill on the north wall has now been removed and replaced with a new pressure-treated sill.  So it turns out the 1920’s addition was completely supported by a single layer of brick that went two courses below grade.  These bricks have had their abuse from the elements over the past 90 years, so obviously the foundation needed some attention.  To achieve this, a 28’ trench about 2 feet wide and 30” deep (approx. 5 cubic yards of dirt for the non-math folk) was hand dug.  The first layer of the new foundation is 4” of crush and run and a 6” reinforced concrete slab for the new footer.  Hopefully my structural friends at KHA will approve.  Slowly but surely, the past week and a half we have jacked up the house using hydraulic jacks and blocks of wood and metal jack posts.  The house has come up close to 4 inches from its original state.  Laura was quite nervous when we first started jacking… something about hearing a lot of cracking and popping.  At one point one of the storm windows popped out and fell on me.  For lifting the house 4 inches, the visible damage has been minimal.  A little drywall cracking upstairs, shingles popping on the roof, the vinyl siding buckling, tiles in the bathroom shifting, etc.  But now doors that so desperately wanting to close all these years are now content sitting squarely in their door frames and the gaps in the windows can now be addressed with a little weather stripping (instead of cloth rags stuffing the gaps between the window and the frame).

The only snag we’ve hit so far in jacking the house up is a busted water line under the bathroom floor. But if that’s the worst that happens, I’d say we’re in pretty good shape.

New sill in place.

The orange string is where we want the bottom of the sill to be. We have a long way to go!

Read Full Post »

Vision

A brief construction update:

We are almost ready to jack up the house! We’ve replaced two of the interior foundation beams.

What's highlighted in green is what we have replaced.

A few photos documenting the progress:

One of the beams we replaced. This used to be a solid 2x8 piece of oak. The termites munched it away to nothing.

On a side note here: The last 2×8 for this beam we had to nail in by hand. We ran out of nails for the nail gun and Ace hardware didn’t have the right size in stock. Through this I gained a huge amount of respect and appreciation for the people who built this house 100 years ago. The wood they used was hard, solid oak and they nailed everything by hand. As we were nailing the last 2×8 on, Allen started on one end and I started on the other. I struggled through 6 nails, with them bending and turning every which way as I hammered. Then I turned around and Allen had already spanned 7 feet and the board was done. I’ll take the pneumatic nail gun, please.

The new beams are four 2x8s nailed and bolted together. Allen got to buy a 10" drill bit for the job. I think it made him feel manly.

Allen working in tight quarters under the wall. As someone who is mildly claustrophobic, this would have been a nightmare for me.

Quikrete for the footers

My parents came up for a few days to help. Daddy mixed concrete and Mom took care of the kids. Not sure which job was easier!

Footers set for the jacks

Next task is to set the jacks and jackposts in place so we can lift the house!

So…as you wait in baited anticipation to find out if our house makes it up in one piece, I’ll segue to another subject which I hope will soon become a major focus in our lives and perhaps even become our livelihood itself:

The farm. This is why we chose to move here. This is why we’ve come. This place is that’s been calling to me for years.

The farm is 140 acres of land that has been in my family for at least 100 years. My grandfather raised cattle and chickens here and had a large vegetable garden. My sister and I used to go to the chicken house and gather eggs when we were kids. My dad even remembers milking the cows when he was a kid. Now, no one from the family lives on the property. The farmhouse and the 1-acre lot around it was sold out of the family. The fields have been leased out for horses and corn/soybean production. But now we’re here, and we have a vision for the land…

Walking onto this 40-acre field for the first time after we moved here was surreal. I almost skipped my way across it. Except that it had recently been plowed and it’s kind of hard to skip over freshly plowed dirt. Oh, and the dirt! I grew up in Georgia where the ground is hard, red clay. But this…this is soft and brown and rich.  It smells good, too. I got down on my hands and knees and ran it through my fingers and breathed in its earthy aroma. I’m sure that sounds a little weird to some people, but I couldn’t help it. I did stop short of tasting it though. Especially since manure had just recently been spread on the field! But there are few things that incite me to worship more than witnessing new life in creation. Every year at our spring planting in North Carolina garden, I would check daily for the first signs of life. And when that first sprout would appear, breaking through the surface of the soil, I would rejoice. I would call the girls over to show them and we would just marvel at God’s creative design. There is something about watching a tiny seed grow into an 8-foot tomato plant that causes me to worship the One who designed it.

But as I walked onto the field I had my back to the mountain. A little ways in, I turned around and looked up and was just amazed. Of all the times I have been to this farm growing up, I don’t think I have ever walked onto that field and turned around to look up. I just stood there for a minute and looked at this mountain in front of me and was amazed and completely humbled. Humbled that I might be known and loved by the Creator of the heavens and the earth and the Creator of this place. Humbled that I have the privilege of being able to step onto this land and feel a connection to it that goes back for a hundred years in my family. And humbled that I have been given the opportunity to do something with it. I was also overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with the possibilities and with the potential for what God could do with this place.

The vision for the land? To feed people from it. Picture blueberries and blackberries and grapevines at one end. A small orchard of fruit trees off to the right. Greenhouses and vegetable fields at the far end. And I want it to be done in a way that glorifies God and points to Him. I want to steward His creation well by preserving the integrity of the land and I want it to be a place where people come and look up at the mountain and are just amazed. And just as importantly, I want it to be a place where service to and love of neighbor are demonstrated. Scripture tells us the two most important commandments are to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” and to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31). My hope and prayer is that this would be a place where both of these commandments are observed and applied. I don’t want to feed only the affluent who like to buy organic. We want to feed those who really need to be fed. We want to feed the poor, because this demonstrates the heart of God. God’s heart breaks for those who are broken. Even back in Leviticus, God instructed the Israelites not to harvest the edges of the fields so that the poor might come and harvest them (Leviticus 19:10, 23:22). His heart for the poor and the broken is evident all throughout scripture.

 “He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth;
he saves them from the clutches of the powerful.
So the poor have hope,
and injustice shuts its mouth.”
Job 5:15-17

“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the LORD. “I will protect them from those who malign them.”  Psalm 12:5

And we want it to be a place of rehabilitation and restoration not only for empty stomachs but for broken lives. Poverty, meth, and a slew of other issues run rampant in our community and destroy lives and families. We want this place to become a demonstration of God’s grace and of his healing power. A place where God can take what is broken and make it whole again. Where people can be set free from the entanglements of sin.

How do we do it? I have no idea. But God knows. We’re just taking it one step at a time. We have a vision, and we’re praying our way through it, one day at a time, as we see God bring it to fruition. I have a friend who taught me to dream big, because God is big. This is my dream. To love and worship Him and utilize his creation to love and serve his people.

Lord, show us how. Give us the wisdom and grace to get from here to there.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples… You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:5-8, 16-17

Read Full Post »

Making progress

If you read the last post, you read about the extent of the damage we uncovered on the foundation of one side of the house and our plan to fix it. Well, now the work has begun and we should be ready to literally raise the roof in about 10 days.

To help give a better visual of what we’re doing, here is a floorplan view. The red lines are the foundation beams and/or joists we are replacing. The X’s are where we are installing the jacks.

In short, the plan is to install temporary ground-to-ceiling jackposts inside the house by the walls where the foundation is rotted. We’ll use hydraulic jacks to lift the second floor of the house and take the load off of the exterior wall. Then, we can remove the rotted beams and install new ones along with a new footer and foundation wall.

Here’s what we’ve gotten done so far:

The first step was to remove the floors in the rooms where the jacks will go. This involved removing several layers of linoleum which was glued down with an adhesive that basically seemed like black tar. To remove it, it took scraping with a roofing shovel and sometimes just picking at it with a hammer and pry bar.  I would like to meet the man who invented this adhesive and first congratulate him on creating the strongest adhesive known to man and then I would like to whack him upside the head with my roofing shovel.

I hate linoleum.

The study also had a layer of particle board subfloor. And then more linoleum underneath!

After we got all of the linoleum up, there was a 3/4″ tongue-and-groove pine subfloor. We had to pull it up where the jackposts will go. There is only about 6 inches of crawlspace under the house. That’s definitely not enough space to work from underneath, so we had to pull up the floors to work from above.

Floors up in the study.

Floors up in the bedroom. This will be the girls' room when we move in. I think we should put floors back down first.

After we got the floors up, we dug 2x2x2 holes for the jacks and jackposts. A 10-inch thick concrete footer will be poured in the bottom of each hole and reinforced with rebar to support the load of the house.

Dig woman!

Digging holes for the jacks. The wheel barrow wouldn't fit through the door to the room, so we had to carry it out by the bucket load.

Buckets go to the wheelbarrow and then out to the big pile of dirt.

2x2x2 holes for footers and jacks. Digging under a joist...not that easy.

I look way more excited about my hole than Allen.

On a side note here: we obviously get pretty filthy working on the house. I think it’s affecting our children. One morning Claire asked “Daddy, can you walk with us to preschool…not with dirty jeans?”  I think we have embarrassed our 4 year old.

After the holes were dug, we constructed 10-inch deeps forms and leveled them for the concrete footers.

Leveling the forms for the concrete footers. The jacks require 10-inch deep concrete footers re-inforced with rebar.

On Monday, we’ll pour the footers and by the first week of December, we should be ready to install the jacks and jackposts and literally raise the roof. I definitely plan to video the house-raising and post to the blog. Stay posted!

Here are some other pics just for fun.

Again...I hate linoleum.

We thought masks would probably be a good idea. Who knows what we're stirring up in here.

Some artifacts we've uncovered from under the house. My great-grandfather was a blackmsith. I think horses were some of his regular customers.

Floor tacks from the leveling mat under the linoleum.

This project has caused Allen to lose his mind.

And just to show that we don’t spend all our time working on the house:

Halloween fairies

Harris Park. Pretty fall colors.

Playing at Harris Park. We can walk there from our house. Love it!

The girls with their great-Nana

Sipping hot chocolate on a chilly night in Chattanooga

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »