Sunday, October 25, 2009

Happy Sadness

We are down to the last day or two here in our home. We will officially begin residing full-time at our property on Monday. Tonight is the last night we'll be sleeping here. While we are very excited, this whole experience is bitter-sweet.
As a child living with my parents, we moved a lot. They are missionaries, and although we never lived in any foreign country (they now reside in Canada), we lived in many different houses. I could never get too attached to one location, because the location constantly changed.

Fast forward to my life now, with my own family, and I've been privileged to experience the opposite of all that, having lived in our little home for 10 years now. Wowzers. It has been so good for me to have security and enjoy making our house a home. (Thanks, Jeremy.)
(This is our bedroom, after the crawl space, aka black hole, was unloaded.)
(This is our new bedroom, in the camper.)

We have brought three babies home here and have made countless memories. I never want to be wrapped up in temporal things, but I must admit to myself: moving out of this house is hard.

Our renters will move in on Nov. 1st, so I'm planning on having all next week to clean and make ready their new residence. We will be moving into a pull-behind camper and we'll be living between that and the cabin. Our plan is to live there until we complete our basement. We have finished the footers and slab (pictures to follow in another post), and our next step is to build and pour the walls. Then we'll build a temporary roof over all, with materials we can reuse in the Spring, and move in. Our generator system is on its way to Anchorage, and our wood-burning boiler furnace will make its way down from Fairbanks this week.
In the Spring, we'll begin construction on our log home.

Last night was fun for our family. We originally planned on staying in the camper at the property last night, but things changed and we were here, but without our beds, etc. because we had mostly "moved out". So we went camping in our house. The kids had lots of fun playing with whatever scraps they could find on the floor where the couches used to sit. Anna set up shop and the younger three played "store" while Ryley and Jeremy were at Home Depot. Josiah and Isaac were the customers, and they paid for random store stuff with coins they found laying around. When they were bored of shopping, Anna hired them as plumbers to fix things in her store.

After dinner, they built forts in the living room and slept in sleeping bags.We'll miss our home. And we will enjoy our last night here. "The last time always seems so sad, but it isn't really. The end of one thing is only the beginning of another." -Laura Ingalls Wilder, in These Happy Golden Years

Specialization is for Insects

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Working the Land

I'm on a quest to do a bit of updating. We've been working on the property to make it as ready as possible for our moving in full-time (which will officially happen this coming weekend).

One of our first tasks this fall was the setting of the water tank. We have a very fast moving, fairly wide creek running almost through the middle of our 20 acres. We will be using this as our water source. Well-drilling is a bit risky (as it is everywhere), mostly because not much has been done in the area. We know that the creek never freezes up, and the water is of high quality.
Of course, there are many variables one has to consider when using surface water, so we will be filtering it as though everything is wrong with it. On any given day, a moose could die and land in the creek above our property; parasites could come and go; the possibilities are many. We bought a 300 gallon tank, scooped out an area in the creek, thereby widening it, diverted the water over to that area, and set the tank (to the sides of which holes had been drilled, thereby letting water swirl in and out, so as never to be stagnant). This sounds easier than it was, by the way.
Jeremy built a "power house" around the tank. It is heavily insulated and built upon concrete pilings we made. This power house will not only house the water tank and pump, but also the generator, batteries, and inverter. (We will power the house with this system). In every season but winter, we will also set up a hydro system which will be set just below this power house. The water will then generate power, filling up the batteries, instead of the generator, which will run off diesel.

Are you still reading? Have I bored you yet? Next up was the running of the water line. We have 500 feet from the creek where the power house is up to the house site. We dug a trench down that distance, between 8 and 10 feet deep. Little by little we'd dig, Jeremy running the excavator, while I placed the line down deep. Along with the water line, we ran some electrical wire which will carry power up to the house from the power house. This was a tedious job, as a big percentage of our soil is actually sand. The sides caved in many times.

After the work of the trench digging was done, I had a chance to play on the equipment. On the property was an old outhouse which needed to be buried. I got to dig the hole, knock the outhouse in it, smash it down to pieces, and bury it.
Anna was fighting a bit of sickness during this particular weekend. She spent a lot of time in the cabin coloring and reading books on the bed.

My Boys

Life has been incredibly busy around here. I thought I'd post some various pictures of the boys, giving you a glimpse into their daily lives.

Ryley got braces and other dental "appliances" recently. After the pain of day 2 passed, there isn't much to complain about, except for the fact that it's hard for both of us to remember that he's now supposed to brush after every meal.
Isaac unearthed the face paints. We also found out that he's a bit allergic to whatever toxin is in them. He broke out in quite a rash that lasted for about a week after finally washing the paint off.
Although not too huge a fan of grapes, Josiah recently found a reason to eat them. There is an unlimited amount of faces a boy can make with the help of but a few grapes. And I have LOTS of pictures to prove it. They have titled this look "The Camel" after a recent trip to the zoo. Several weeks ago, Josiah and Isaac caught this spawning salmon in the creek. After a full summer of catching minnows, this big boy caused quite a stir in our little world.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Wisdom of Dr. Seuss

This afternoon, during Quiet Time, Isaac requested that I read Horton Hears a Who, by Dr. Seuss. I have always loved that book, mostly for its overt pro-life message. Today as I read, however, I noticed yet another message with which I agree. As is the case with all classics, I learned something new as I read it. Allow me to share a part with you.

The Mayor of the speck, in an effort to prove to the Wickersham brothers and their gang that "we are here", had required all townspeople to make as much noise as possible. He then found one Who who wasn't doing his part. The Mayor scooped him up and took him to the Eiffelberg Tower.

"'This', cried the Mayor, 'is your town's darkest hour!
The time for all Whos who have blood that is red
To come to the aid of their country!' he said.
'We've GOT to make noises in greater amounts!
So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!'

"Thus he spoke as he climbed. When they got to the top,
The lad cleared his throat and he shouted out, 'YOPP!'

"And that Yopp...
That one small, extra Yopp put it over!"...

This epiphany is important because it reminds me and encourages me during this point in history in which we now find our United States of America. No voice is too small. It takes unity and every single conservative Christian citizen in America to stand up and shout, making his voice and convictions heard.

"So open your mouth, lad. For every voice counts!"