Where to begin?
Well, I'm a year older. Last Wednesday was my 29th birthday, and tomorrow my hubby will celebrate his 32nd birthday (by going to work, yaaayy....). We don't do big bashes for our birthdays, but a couple friends took me out to lunch at a sweet little tea room, my bestie wrote me a hilarious song to the tune of You Are My Sunshine, and my sweet much-younger-friend Emily babysat the kids during my tea room lunch date and an impromptu haircut. Hubby and I celebrated our birthdays together with a visit to the ultrasound tech who revealed the gender of our next little baby (due in January, in case you forgot). We're thrilled to be welcoming another girl into our crew!
Saturday, a friend of ours tied the knot. The wedding was just lovely, and I can't wait to get to know his bride better! My parents offered to watch the kids all day, so Brandon and I had a wonderful kid-free day together. Every time we get opportunities like that I think, "We should do this more often!" It's really nice to have focused time with him!
|Waiting for our ultrasound appointment with Molly Jo|
|Photos of Baby Girl Shiloh!|
|A fun kid-free day with my hubby!|
|Announcing Chad and Kay Oliver!|
|Gorgeous wedding reception|
The Big News
I've been wanting to write some about this but it just hasn't seemed like the right time. Now I think it is, hopefully, safe to start talking about this next little journey in our lives. We're going to build a house!
Brandon and I try to live by a no-debt policy. We prefer to have as little debt as possible. After struggling financially and having stacks of bills looming over our heads, we made a commitment to never use credit cards again and, if we must borrow, to only do so when necessary. It was necessary to use credit when we needed a new van (because our last one was beyond fixing), so while we now, unfortunately, have a car payment, I'm very thankful that we don't have two car payments!
Anyway, Brandon and I have long dreamed of building a small house for our big family. It seemed the impossible dream since we are not rich folks by any means and we did not want to take out a mortgage to buy land or build a home (construction loan).
By the grace of God, we now have a place to build! I felt like the Lord was telling us He is going to provide everything, and we do not need to worry or obsess about it. (Obviously all things come from His hand, but I mean that, since we do not have a lot of excess money, we need a miracle!)
I can't express to you how amazing it has been to see Him work. We have over $10,000 worth of free material so far, some of which is for our house, and some which is for our friends' home!
Part of our dream to build a home (out in the country) was to live around people who are like family to us, and to live as a community— gardening together, sharing meals with one another, helping each other out. We have been doing this for a while with two families who live on the NW side of (outer) Houston, and now we will be joining them.
Here's what's going on. Our friends David and Shae are tearing down their old and falling-to-pieces home and building a home which we (as couples) have worked together to design. We're all very excited about this! Shae has been wanting to do this for many years and it's finally coming about!
During this process, they will be living in a small shed (which we, meaning my husband and some other men, helped rebuild earlier this year).
Behind their house (and behind their shed) we are about to begin building a barn for us to live in (less than 700 square feet). We haven't decided whether we will just live in the barn long term and slowly add on to it or if we will just live there while we build a bigger home.
Our current lease is up at the end of September, so we hope to have it dried in by then (meaning, we can live in it without being rained on). That means we have less than two months to get to that point! If it doesn't happen, then hopefully our very-nice-landlord will let us go month-to-month until we are ready.
It will feature a small bump out for our washer and dryer and some storage (homeschool stuff) two small sleeping lofts, and a privacy wall to hide our bed from the main living space (rather than having our very own room). We're very excited because this adventure allows us to free up more of our income (meaning that we can live on less), which, hopefully, some day, will mean Brandon can quit his job and do something he really, really enjoys (that is less stressful) with our boys by his side, like building custom kitchens and other fun furniture. (But, who knows- the Lord could come back before then, right?)
|A sketch of what our barn will look like.|
|Our soon-to-be-neighbors, David & Shae and Terry & Nanci |
(and their awesome daughter Emily). That's Terry & Nanci's
house in the background which Brandon helped build!
|A community meal out in front of David & Shae's shed-house.|
|Brandon putting the soffit on David & Shae's shed.|
|Nolyn modeling our free trusses! Thank You Lord!|
|Keagan with some of the free material we received!|
We landed MANY metal studs! Enough for our whole barn!
Well, so, I think you're fairly caught up! Join me tomorrow for more photos of the cuties! (I don't want to overflow this post more than I already have!) Also, excuse typos because I don't feel like editing. I'm such a bad blogger.