Weeks 7 and 8 of Working on New House

We are getting down to the wire on actually moving in to our new house.  Only 6 more "sleeps" here in this house...Daniel made a paper chain to help countdown!

We've been busy little beavers the past couple of weeks. Again, with the bulk of our work getting done on Saturdays.  We've been packing a picnic lunch every Saturday, and we end up staying 8-10 hours.  It is the only day we miss afternoon rest time, a sacred time at our house.

We aren't big on sandwiches here, so we've been taking "Tuna and Egg" for lunch on Saturdays, along with some apples, and having a picnic on our kitchen floor.  "Tuna and Egg" is basically Tuna Salad...but I got my recipe from Kris and she called it "Tuna and Egg", so "Tuna and Egg" it will always be to us!  (I've been making our mayo for several months, we like this recipe....and this one.)

If you take a closer look at the above picture, behind Elisabeth you'll see my new BFF.  

That would be shelf liner.  We've been spending lots of quality time together lately.  Lots.

I've done the three back bathrooms (the other remaining toilet is in the laundry room, remember?  which is still "under construction"...more info further down)...and about 75% of the kitchen so far.  By the time all is said and done, I will have bought (and used!) 160 sq. feet of liner.

I really am not a neat and clean freak (sometimes I wish I was more so)...but last weekend I got the bug to re-paint the two hall linen closets.  They just looked....blah...and kind of dirty.  I cleaned them good first, but they still needed some help before I'd feel good about moving all our stuff in on top of them.

Elisabeth and I painted the walls in the closets and the other 3 older children had fun painting the shelves out in the carport.

They did a great job!

This is probably the most serious...and quiet...LK has ever been:

Besides our weekly "Tuna and Egg" tradition on Saturdays...Lao Lao has gotten us started on another tradition.  This one is much sweeter.

She has been running to DQ and bringing each of us our favorite blizzard!  She's just doing her part to keep our energy up so we can get lots of work done, right?

I also spent some quality time with Jas' sabre saw recently:

Our current closets have great organizational systems that the previous owners had installed.  Our new house doesn't.  After re-pinning a great pin from my friend Shanna...

...I figured out a way to copy part of the idea with some bookshelves we already had.  But the bookshelves were a little too tall...soooooo, sabre saw to the rescue! With lots of coaching by Jas, Elisabeth and I did it!  I forgot to take "after" pictures...I'll need to include those in the next (last!) house work post.

Next, Jas took care of a project (4 projects?) that I was excited about.

I now know that I am officially OLD, because I just confessed to being "excited" about new potties!

Yes, FOUR new potties.  I don't know if the four that were there were original to the house (meaning almost 50 years old) or what.  But let's just say that they had seen better days.  I tried not to go to the bathroom while we were there working.  TMI?

Here Jas is trading out the toilet in our master "water closet":  (our shower and toilet are enclosed, but adjacent to our vanity area, which then leads into our closet)

Jas had some supervision while doing this job...which is great, because you just never know about our crazy daddy!

Jas had to run to town during this project.  The boys' toilet and the girls' toilet had no shut-off valve with their toilets.  Meaning: if there were a problem of some sort with the toilet, you couldn't shut the water off right there at their toilet, you'd have to run to the laundry room and shut off the water to the whole house.  I don't like to even think about the scenarios that would lead to needing to shut off the water at the toilet...so 'nuff said.

Ahhhh....nice, clean new potties!  

I also painted in the girls' bathroom.  We liked the color that was there, but it needed to be touched up because of spackle and such. You can see that their vanity area leads into the actual "water closet"(with a pocket door).

This bathroom connects to the girls' room, but it also connects to the hallway, so it will also be our "guest bathroom".  Elisabeth wanted to change the color to something more, ummmm....vibrant.  I was totally ok with the girls picking their color for their bedroom, but **I** wanted some say in this decision since this is the bathroom our guests will use.  Yes, I used the Mommy card...trump.  I won.

Like I said, we actually really liked the color that was already in there.  When we bought the four potties, I decided at the last minute to go ahead and buy the paint to do this bathroom.  But I had to just eyeball the paint chips to try to match the color, since we hadn't brought a swatch to match.  And?  I did pretty darn good, if I do say so myself!

In this picture below, I had painted to the left of this door, but not above it and to the right of it (because we knew that the project to the right of the door was just about to happen, more details below):

Jas and I had a hard time telling where I'd painted and where I hadn't!

Jas had been collecting a list of projects he wanted to call in some professionals to do, and now it was time to call them in!  We go to church with the father and one son, and at our previous church we were in Sunday School with the other son.  They were out there for two days, and we are very impressed with their work.

First, they re-plumbed the laundry room:

The water heater was in this corner...

...but Jas wanted it moved to this (outside) wall..so that the pressure release valve could be vented outside.  In the other corner, if the pressure release valve gave way, it would just shoot hot water all over the laundry room...now that would shoot through this wall (Jas cut the hole) to the outside.  Much better.

The other problem with the previous water heater?  It was 40 gallons.  In our current house our water heater is 50 gallons, and we have on occasion run into issues with running out of hot water.  So Jas went ahead and bumped us up to an 80 gallon model:

Back to the project in the girls' bathroom.  The men cut out this rectangle out of the backside of the "water closet", so they could remove that drywall and running some plumbing up....

...so that the girls could have a shower head in here:

We'd probably been out to check out the house 2 or 3 times before we realized that this tub was just a bath...it was not plumbed to be a shower.  Not a terrible problem, but the girls are used to taking showers, and while we had the guys out anyway, they went ahead and fixed this issue. (We still need to cover the drywall above the tile with something appropriate for a shower.)

Plumbing for shower: done.  But now we have a big rectangle cut out of the backside of this wall.  Elisabeth went to town sanding the ridges down.

That was the first step to make this wall good again...but the next step will be done in the next week's work.

Another area the Plumbers/Electricians worked on for us:  the gas stove. 

Heretofore if you touched the hood and stovetop at the same time, it would shock you.  Not cool.

I don't know the ins and outs of what they did to fix it...but fix it they did.  Thankyouverymuch.

Truthfully, I'm a little freaked out by the gas stove.  I've never used one before and it scares me a little.  I know that I'll end up loving it (that is what I hear)...but right now, not so much.

Another project they worked on for us....the lights at the end of the driveway:

Both sides of the driveway entry look like this.  I love it!  And WOW - that jasmine is smelling so great right now.  The lights were not working...and we wanted them to.  Our electricians took care of that for us and we love it!

They also got this light working for us again:

It is on a pole right off our driveway, next to Jason's workshop.  We're finding that it is dark out in the country.  We're glad to have this light out there.

Speaking of Jason's workshop, the electricians also got this subpanel installed out there for Jas.

The workshop is 15' by 15'.

This is smaller than he is used to, as his workshop at our current house is 18' by 23'.   He says that his tools and equipment will probably fit in here, but that he won't have any room left to actually work out here!  He'd eventually like a bigger space.

I joke with him that this might make great space for chickens or goats.  I can see nesting boxes on those shelves already!

This is the other way that Lao Lao helps out when she comes out the new house during our work sessions....

Keeping Mr. G happy!

Please tell me we're not the only ones who wear Christmas jammies year round

It's such a rough job...but someone has to do it!

Now that the laundry was re-plumbed, it was time for Jas to start putting the laundry room/pantry/mud room/pool potty back together.

He and Papa (my dad) put insulation in (the room had not been insulated before)....

...and then it was time to start hanging drywall.

Hanging full sheets is one thing, but of course there are lots of places where you can't hang full sheets.  And this is where it gets tedious...and this is where I would cry and gnash my teeth and call in a professional.  But not MY hubby.

I'm going to brag on Jas here.  I am seriously so impressed with how well he handled all this. 

He measured and wrote down numbers.  And then went into the next sheet laying on the ground in the sun room/play room and would measure and cut out.  So tedious.  

But he did great.  Perfect.  He would take the sheet he'd measured on and cut out different shapes and slip right up into place. Voila.  Like it was no big thang.  

Seriously.  Look at this:

I'm just amazed.

He just laughs when I brag on this...but I'm really impressed!

For the past few days we've been trying to remember to take a few things with us when we head out to work at the new house.  Might as well!

The children have been very helpful.  

I haven't packed one thing from their rooms yet.  They've done it all.

So now out at the house, we have some boxed beginning to pile up in the dining room...

...and I couldn't stand it anymore and had to move two little pieces of furniture.  Just this buffet, which I think will stay in the kitchen...

...and this shelf in the family room:

And - as of yesterday - we now have two Boston ferns hanging on our front porch....

...because a Southern home just isn't complete without ferns hanging on the front porch, right?


  1. Charlotte WigginsMay 14, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    I am loving your photo journal of the progression! I am so impressed by the talent and skills you all possess...not to mention your dedication to hard work! This home will mean so much to you as you look around and see all you have accomplished and you are already making memories as you work together as a family to make this your ideal home! Can't wait to see the completed project!

    1. Awww, Mrs. Charlotte - that is so kind. Your precious daughter knows the way...come visit us with her sometime SOON!



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