A Quick Look At What’s Happened So Far
Having a house given to you doesn’t just happen every day. Let alone a 2,100 sq. ft. home of your dreams with vaulted 12 foot ceilings. Okay, I will try not to brag to hard. But seriously, I have always wanted a cottage style house with vaulted ceilings. Dreamy eyes and praise hands will never stop!
It was an exciting moment when we decided to move the house ourselves knowing we couldn’t afford to have it moved by a moving company. I could see it all in my head, the house on our hill, all painted white with a cedar front door and shutters with fruit trees along the whole stretch of our front yard. And maybe there was also a little daydreaming of being on talk shows and in magazines talking about how crazy it was that we moved our house ourselves without professional help at all, while recycling as much as possible and not going into debt to do it. The usual hair and makeup team were included!
I tend to make the mistake of telling people my daydreams, I just get so excited. While I have had a lot of people who’ve been excited and offered encouraging words to us—people who just knew we could do it, I have also had those who began to tell me I was giving up my hopes of having this house by thinking we could move it without hiring “professionals” and that we would never do it. Ooohh, how that lit a fire in me!! I started saying, “I will show you just how amazing my God is. We WILL move this house OURSELVES!”
While it would have been easy to listen to what they had to say and get discouraged, especially when we hit a major setback by missing our deadline to have the house moved, we kept our heads high. I think this part really makes it so much more of a WOW story. I mean, the fact that the house fell and split right down the middle made this a “give up right now” or “this is a serious strength building challenge” moment. But, as overwhelming as those conflicting emotions could have been I never felt like we couldn’t do it, the first thing I said to Nate as we stood in the house looking at the sky through the roof and seeing the walls falling apart around us was, “We are not giving up. I want this house!” And, we did not give up, even though it took us a month of not giving up. We got the house back into moving condition.
Through the whole process we chose to only speak life to this project—no matter what others said! And we reaped what we sowed. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” -Proverbs 18:21 (KJV)
I am not someone who has anxiety; I’ve never really experienced it before. But let me tell you, the day we officially moved the house I learned exactly what it feels like. I was chugging lavender and chamomile tea all day and breathing like I was giving birth to the house. I even had to sit down in the grass a few times to keep myself from passing out as I watched our broken house bounce up the hill.
There was one time in particular that I know there were angels keeping our house from rolling down the backside of the hill. The driver had to slam hard on the brakes as the house began dragging his truck down the hill leaving ditches in the ground from the tires trying to stay in one place. Both the house and truck slid backwards about 8 feet down the steepest part of our hill and then stopped abruptly. There is no other explanation than that there were Angels behind our house holding it in place. We had to get a large tractor to help the house and truck back up the hill to the foundation. I didn’t take any video of this part because it was my biggest sit down or pass out moment.
Here is the list of people who got the house jacked up and moved: Marvin, Nate, AprilDawn, Simon, Unnamed, Jim, and David. Yes, that is right, the seven of us did it. We moved a full-sized amazing house. I still can’t get over it! People ask if it’s a modular home or trailer; and, no it isn’t. It is a 2,100 sq. ft. stick-built house that weighs about 48 tons. Though I do think it is okay if I brag about this and gush over just how grateful I am to all the hands and hearts that went into making this happen, the biggest thanks go to Yahweh!
Now, no matter what we ever face in life, we can say from experience, “It’s not as hard as moving a house.”
Also, a big thank you goes to my mom Sheranna and my grandmother Rachel for all of the cleanup work they did and for keeping us stocked in water and snacks. We wouldn’t have made it on those hot days without all the sustenance and ice pops they brought us! <3
After we got the house settled onto the block foundation we built using recycled cement block, we started working on the roof. We removed all the old shingles, patched up the big rift in the roof from when the house fell and installed our ivory tin roof. I picked the ivory color not just because it makes a beautiful roof but also because it will help keep our power bill down due to the fact that darker colored roofs absorb the sun’s heat which, in turn, causes your AC to run wide open.
Once we were done with our roof we started work on the siding. Our goal was to get the house dried in and then to start working on the inside. While we did our best to stick to this goal, the weather had other ideas, so we flip-flopped from working on the outside on nice days to working on the inside on the rainy/snowy days. (Living in the south means you never truly know what weather you are going to get, it changes fast and often.)
When picking our siding I really wanted something simple and classic; so, I picked cement board. It is the same fire grade as brick but way quicker to install and the paint will last longer than it would on wood siding. Before we installed the siding though, we changed out windows and weatherproofed the exterior of the house.
It has taken us a while to accomplish what we have done because we only really get to work on the house on Saturdays—and in the spring and summer every other Saturday due to Nate’s job. But, if you count all the days that we have been able to work on the house since we originally got it, it adds up to around 60 days—and those are not all full days. That’s only 2 months of work. I wish I had documented the hours. Just thinking about everything we have done, recycled, not gone into debt for simply to get there faster, and how much God has given us with this project, has given me a surge of desire to try and tell you everything in this one blog post; but, I will restrain myself. However, if you would like to read more about what we have accomplished in the 60 days we have worked on this house, just scroll up towards the top and look on the right side of our blog to find and click on more post titles.
Don’t click away just yet though. I have a fun little video here for you to see a quick recap of our progress. Let me know in the comment section below what you think of our house so far and what you would like to see in the New Year. 2018 is going to be amazing!