Saturday, May 24, 2014

May 24th - Tiller and Trenches

This week we got a trencher to get ready to bury our sprinkler pipes. We'll have to get it again because we weren't quite able to finish before we had to return it. On Saturday Jon and Debbie came to visit and brought down the tiller so we could make quick work of the weeds and just rake them up and dump them in the lot across the street. 

We also raked a bunch of rocks but we didn't do too much since the trenches will just turn up more rocks. We tried to mostly get the bigs ones and get rid of weeds.

Big shout out to our great friend Monte for letting us use his landscaping rakes to get the rocks out of the way, Brandon our neighbor for picking up the trencher for us through a source that we were able to use free of charge, and Jon and Debbie for helping out and bringing down the tiller.

The size of rocks we've been digging out

That my friends is a tiller. What a beautiful piece of modern machinery

Remember the area of yard that Brillante was helping with? Yeah I dug up all the weeds (before we had the tiller) and we raked them all up today

The first section we worked on before it was tilled. Almost done

The gas man came by and marked where the line was at so we don't have any accidents there


Another giant rock

The mountains may be beautiful but they create issues as far as landscaping goes

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May 17th - Sprinkler System Meeting

We met with Nathan on Saturday and he explained to us how the sprinkler system is set-up, installed, trouble-shooted, yada yada yada. And it sounded about like that to me. I've decided I'm a visual person so explaining things verbally is wasted on me. 

We did find out that we won't need to de-rock the yard and median (I'm calling it that for lack of a better name) until after we have trenched for the sprinklers. Also, I found out that installing a sprinkler system takes time, hard work, brains and I really hope I don't some how manage to screw it up. Let's be honest here though, Skylar is going to do all the thinking and I'll throw rocks into the empty lot across the street so I think we will be okay.

We're still deweeding for now though. Hopefully next Saturday, we will be far enough along that we can rent a trencher and go to town. Then put in the sprinklers, de-rock, bury everything and go from there. We will see my friends. We will see.

We're getting further

Still a lot to do though

And we have to do this side too. That's right two sides

Come stay at our house and we'll put you to work! Only part of the reason why we love the Selfs: good friends do each others' yard work.

This was after a few hours of work on the area Brillante was just at. We're getting there

The first side: how much we have left

A shot from the beginning. We're getting there

Well. Let's see how next Saturday goes

May 10th - Yard work

You know all those people who say they love yard work? They can't possibly be talking about this kind of yard work.

As with most things that we have done with the house, I have no idea what is actually going on (until after I've done it a few times). I was under the impression that if we got into the house before we had to do landscaping, then we could do it at our leisure. I was, sadly, mistaken. When we rolled our construction loan over to a normal mortgage loan, we signed a contract saying that we would have the landscaping done on June 1st. Say what?! Normally it takes about 2 months Nathan told us and we have, now, about 2 weeks. HA! But we will get what we can done in that amount of time. Apparently the penalty is that if we don't have it finished by then, USDA reserves the right to hire an outside company to do the landscaping with our money. (I think anyway. That could be slightly off).

We were blessed with a rock garden for a front yard. What we need to do is: dig up all the weeds, trench for the sprinkler system, install the sprinkler system, test it, bury all the pipes, de-rock the rock garden, lay sod and hope at that point everything works so that all the grass doesn't die.

Yard work. This was not what I had in mind.

All these weeds has gots to go

And all these rocks has gots to go too

Our yard which is deweeded and just needs to be derocked

See Skylar all the way at the end of the walkway? This is how much further we have to go


Monday, April 21, 2014

April 19th - Moving Day

We received a lot of flack from our neighbors in the group about having built a house and not moving in as soon as we could, When are you guys moving in? Some time this year? Didn't you build this house? Don't you want it? All in good fun of course. But since I was still in class we waited until that was all finished up so we didn't have to commute and I wouldn't have to stress.

But because of that when moving day came around, we weren't as packed as I would have liked. The night before Skylar and I rented a van and took over as much as we could: our dresser, a ton of storage stuff (decorations, baby/boy clothes) movies, books, bookshelf, anything we could do with out for the night and that would fit in the van. We packed it tight! And then next day we still had to make 3 trips out to the house to get everything. We should have just rented a big ole Uhaul. But it worked out. While the boys were packing up the cars and trailer that Skylar's grandpa brought down, I was able to just keep packing stuff up.

I can NOT believe how much stuff we had in our apartment. We ran out of boxes and we had even asked JC and Missy for the ones they were done with from them moving and I still had to ask my mom to run over to the store to see if they had extra boxes. It worked out but it was a little nuts.

Grandpa packing up the trailer

Our car loaded up with odd shaped items

Jonas snoozing through it all

Our house filled with stuff

The washer that we will probably sell to get a set

Cohen sleeping soundly on Easter morning.

Well that's it. We'll need to make an after shot to go along side the before but it was an incredible experience. We learned so much and made good friends and now we're in our home. The past 10 months flew by even though at the time it seemed as though it would never end. But it's over and we're reaping the benefits. Thanks to everyone who helped: self-help, our awesome neighbors, my wonderful mom for babysitting all the time, it was definitely a group effort. Here's to our home!

April 3rd - Open House, project completion

We did it. We did it, we did it, we did it. It felt like we would never finish the houses, that we would never really move in but then one day, we were done.

The open house was great. A lot of our neighbors came out to meet us and check out the houses so it seems like a really friendly neighborhood with TONS of kids. Which is great for us. There are plenty of families having kids and plenty of families with kids already.

Sponsors came out that work with Self Help all the time and told some great stories about the benefits of the program: people starting their own stucco companies afterward and things like that. Other future participants came and looked at the houses and I remember being there! I remember being so excited and thinking, dang, they made this? Well the answer is yes. Dang yes, we made this.

A somewhat decent shot of our group (left to right)
Adam's wife Jen and their daughter, Michelle and Brandon (behind), our supervisor Nathan, JC and his two sons, Jim (behind, who is in another group but came out and helped us in the beginning), Skylar and Cohen, me and Jonas, city official, and Jane and her daughter

Nathan being Nathan and taking care of the pulled pork. He once again smoked the food for the open house

Skylar chatting with JC

Jane smiling at babies

Adam with Jim and Adele

And Cohen stuffing his face

Even though it's blurry, this picture cracks me up. This crazy kid.

New couches! One of our first steps in moving in...another post coming soon? I think so!