Friday, September 29, 2006

We Even Have Fun!

In spite of our busy times here, with building, canning and just living, our boys manage to find time to have fun. David and Andrew built a sled for winter sliding, but decided it would be just as fun to use it in the fall! No need for snow, with the help of Mountain Fire Keeper's garden tractor. Maybe some day we will actually use the tractor to till the garden!

There are advantages to pounding on shingles, since the sunsets are beautiful from up on the roof.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Big Game Hunter

My brother and his wife are here visiting for a few days, and brought our son Andrew's gift from my parents for his 10th birthday. Andrew was thrilled to receive a .22! Just as he was on the phone thanking Grandpa and Grandma, our son Jonathan came running in to say there was a muskrat near the house, and for Andrew to get his gun! Andrew handed the phone to me to explain what was happening, and ran out. He then came in a short time later, stating matter of factly that he had shot the muskrat!
Here is Andrew, the big game hunter.

Andrew, enjoying the cake that Aunt Pam made for him. David is enjoying all the attention as well!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Our Friends,The MacDonald Family Singers

Just wanted to write about our time with the MacDonald family. Actually, I will send you to Carol MacDonald's blog and Bonnie MacDonald's blog since they have already told about our adventures!

Our son Jonathan first "met" the MacDonald's son Vincent in a discussion group called the Banjo Hangout, and began corresponding when they discovered they both were homeschooled. Jim's parents went to hear them when they were ministering not too far away, and became fast friends. We were so blessed to have them come and spend 3 days with us. We worked them kind of hard and they had quick lessons about homestead living, but hopefully they enjoyed their time here.

If anyone would be interested in having the MacDonald Family Singers minister in their area, you can check out their website here.

Just an update: My brother Mike and wife Pam are here helping us out; the men spent the entire day yesterday feverishly working to tarp the roof once again, since rain was predicted for late afternoon and night. It is raining off and on again today, and I can very thankfully report that the rain stayed outside this time! What a relief!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Checking In

Just a note to let you know that we are still here, but a bit worse for wear. This past week we had 2 families staying with us: the Henderson 7 from 1-1/2 hours away, and the MacDonald 10 from Massachusetts. we had some fun times together, and the men and older boys in the families worked diligently on our house, installing sheeting on the sides. One side is completely finished, with 2 more well on their way. Then early Friday Jim came down with the flu! While he was in bed all day, Victor MacDonald and Paul Henderson led the charge and directed the other workers' efforts. By Sat. morning Jim was feeling better, but then it began to rain, so that was the end of construction.

The rolled roofing on our flat basement roof took quite a beating with all the activity, and Sat. night's rain decided to join us in the basement. We had just about every bucket, wastebasket and bowl in use, catching water. Unfortunately, someone left Jim's computer monitor uncovered, and now it isn't working. I am now without a monitor while it's being used at Jim's desk. Hopefully we will get our old laptop up and running for the boys and I. Until then, I won't be able to post any photos or blogs unless we can sneak in and use Jim's computer when he isn't busy.

The rain has stopped for now, and we expect frost on the pumpkins tonight. Thankfully, Mountain Fire Keeper was over while we were heavy into the construction, pulled all the tomatoes, squash, pumpkins and onions for us, and reset the plastic for the hoop house back into place so we have all the vegetables inside, covered with blankets. I haven't had time to do any canning lately, so I have a bunch of ripe tomatoes in the house awaiting the water bath. My brother and sister-in-law will be arriving for a visit and work detail on Wed., and then there is the possibility of more families coming to work on the weekend. Never a dull moment around here.

I'll post more when I am able to do it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Photo Journal

Well, the truss company was supposed to let us know when they were going to deliver our trusses. Instead, on Wed. afternoon we received a call from the local lumber comany, telling us the semi driver of the truss company couldn't maneuver his truck into our driveway, so he left the trusses at their business! Thankfully, the next day the lumber company brought them in with a pickup truck and a flatbed trailer. Jim and the boys and the 2 men were able to unload them from the trailer.

One family arrived on Friday night, and set up their tents for a cold night of approximately 40 degree weather. Other families arrived on Sat. morning, and the men set to work on the house. The ladies and young children occupied the kitchen, preparing meals and having a great time of fellowship. It was tough to get the men to stop long enough to eat! Two families came from over 3 hours away, and had to get up early enough to do chores before they headed to our place. I am constantly amazed at how the Lord has blessed us with so many caring friends, willing to sacrifice their time and money to come and help us out. I think both days we had approximately 30 friends here -- including children.

This was the challenge for the weekend: installing 19 trusses up at least 16 feet on the house.

This is a photo of one of the trusses being brought in through my future kitchen window.

Looks VERY SCARY to me! I'm thankful I was inside taking care of children and food!

Getting closer to being done; I think this was taken as the men were finishing up for the day on Saturday.

I think a prerequisite for carpentry is to be part monkey.

What a blessing to have been able to borrow so much scaffolding.

Now it's starting to look like a house -- or a barn! Someone said it looks like they could store their combine in it!

Part of the crew in action.

Getting down to the end.

Is that my son Jonathan way up there??

A job well done. We are so grateful to the Lord that there were no mishaps.

It definitely looks like fall is in the air.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Building in Progress

I think we are on our second week of building, and these photos will show you how far we have come. It's really true: a picture is worth a thousand words! That's great, because I'm short on time!

Here's the beginning of our first wall.

Jonathan and Peter are the apprenticed workers for the day with Jim. They have become experts at wielding a hammer.

Even David is willing and able to help out with the building process, and holds a very steady board.

I guess the wall is showing some progress! The pop-up camper is what we lived in for 3 weeks when we first moved up here; we lived there until we woke up one morning to 27 degree weather, and knew we needed to make other arrangements! Anyway, the camper has become Jim's construction headquarters.

I should have one of the experts in here telling me what these photos represent!

This must have been taken just before our friends came over to raise the walls and brace them. In the background you can see the wall to our hoop house, and the blue tarp covers some of our chickens.
The wall is up!

And I think this is the other wall that was raised. It was a good thing the walls were well braced, because 2 days after the walls were up we had wind gusts up to 45 miles per hour. Thankfully the walls stayed up.

This is a photo of the beginning of the 3rd wall, where the peak is starting to take shape. I neglected to mention that the house will have a main floor and a loft, where the boys will have their bedroom. Jim decided it would be better at this time to raise the walls for both levels at the same time, and then later build the floor for the loft area.

Good progress at the end of yet another beautiful day.

Here is our work crew -- minus Peter, who is taking the photos. (I must have been glued to the stove with more canning.) Samson, Andrew, Jonathan, Jim and David.

Jonathan enjoys wearing a harness so he can do some free floating!

The building crew on an electric lift that a friend's neighbor graciously offered to us for use for a few days. We need to take it back soon, since someone else has asked to use it.

In the meantime, this is the view from my clotheslines. We have 9 Bourbon Red turkeys that love to come and visit me as I hang clothes. They enjoy spending their day scouring the countryside for bugs, and then hang around their pen in the evening until Peter gets them back in for the night.

This is the view the boys will see every day from their future bedroom in the loft. We haven't cut down any trees by the lake until we check out our view from the main floor, and will then decide what we want to do.

I will include more photos as I can. If the trusses arrive by the weekend, we'll have a possible large crew of families coming to help set them in place.