Sunday, December 30, 2007

41 degrees and lots of breeze

Unlike Molly, who tells great stories of winters in Nebraska, I never thought I would willingly go out in, let alone work in, 41 degree weather! So much for nevers... here I am with Bob filling in around the footings of the house...progress.

And while we are working in front, Molly and Shannon are building block walls!

After hand hauling all the roofing up to the garage last November, Emily and Matthew are gratefully watching the conveyor belt delivery of our house roofing materials. Matt and our Christmas angels, Aaron and Russell, offload it.

This is Aaron, our first Christmas angel....

And this is Russell, our second Christmas angel.

Emily and Matthew install our first window!!! Oh how they wish they were inside a completely windowed house looking out! Brrrr. With the test window done, the front picture window is next.

See how clean our working trailer looks? See the pan warming on the cook top? Nona came up to save us from ourselves in this trailer; working on the house is all we can do. Cooking warm, yummy meals and keeping our trailer clean is appreciated! Here, Nona is taking refuge from the icy day in the warmth of the trailer.

So our family project is daily looking more like a house. Keep us in your thoughts as we push hard this month to get this house "wrapped."

Saturday, December 29, 2007

not exactly a white christmas

This Christmas, we didn't have a white Christmas.  In fact, we played with a whole lot of brown and red dirt!

While we continue to make good progress on both the roof (which is now being shingled) and the wall sheathing and windows (several of which are now installed!), the big project for the last couple of days has been playing in the dirt.

Mom worked hard cleaning up the scrap heap in the front yard.  Now, in two loads to the wood recycling area of the landfill, it's gone.  We have a front yard again!  And, we cleverly buried some broken pieces of concrete and chunks of mortar at the edge of the front deck.  
We finally got to filling in the trenches next to the house foundation.  We're hoping we might be able to use ladders and scaffolding to help install windows and put up siding, so it won't work to have trenches anymore!

While Mom supervised from the driveway, Matt and Dad cut away the little wooden dam that had held dirt from the edge of the house (a legacy from our footing-building days).
Phil and Travis worked hard on the back deck--assembling scaffolding and then putting sheathing up on the wall, so we can get closer to installing those big, big windows.
We started moving dirt to fill in trenches.  Matt used the compactor.  It was heavy.
We shoveled a whole lot of dirt.  One wheelbarrow at a time.
I didn't get any pictures today--it looks a whole lot better!  We made some retaining walls, and moved a bunch more dirt.  It's nice to walk around the house now...

Matt and I are off on a little vacation tomorrow; we look forward to what will happen while we're away.  And, hopefully, to getting the rest of the windows in and the house wrapped before it gets any wetter and wintrier (and, possibly, even "white") up there!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

a roof overhead

A roof!  A roof!

With Matt and Emily's semesters ending, and Phil's holiday break beginning, folks have been working hard on the house this week.  And, I get to report that there's now a roof!
You'll have to ask Matt about how he very quickly descended from this edge of the second floor landing.    I wasn't there.  He promises it wasn't nearly SO bad, or as bad as it might have been.  He says he'll blog about it soon.

In the meantime, he's driving down from a Sunday half-day of work where he helped put up the last fascia boards on the side of the house, and this is a quick update to say that lots is happeneing.  Now, we're reading for they county inspector to look at our roof sheathing tomorrow! 

(A Christmas Eve inspection.)

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 14, 2007

a little closer to a roof...

With the hard news of an upcoming redeployment to Iraq for Matt, we've launched into getting that roof on with a vengeance...

We hired some help from a local contractor for the past few days, as well as from a neighbor who happened by, and we're pretty much ready for a roof now, after today.  All the rafters--even the tricky ones over the back end of the house--are ready.  The plywood for the roof is on the second floor, and things are lookin' good.

Dad and I put some of the thick plywood we'd used for concrete forms on the back deck rafters, as a temporary deck.  It's swell out there.  And now it's much easier to reach the back of the house!
Josh came up today, too, and did a bunch of good things, including finally bolting some of the walls together.  He's good with a router, as it turns out.

We enjoyed some soup with meatballs from Matt's deer today--it's good to share warm things on this chilly days!  Thankfully, the sun warmed us, and the wind was still.
So, thanks to Dad and Emily and Josh, plus Aaron and Kyle and Ted.  We'll go up again next on Wednesday, after Matt's finals are over!!