Monday, September 14, 2015

Life is getting a little more normal

For those of you who did not see the beginning of this blog, and to recap the reason I started this blog, 2 years ago almost to the day, Dan and I purchased a chunk of land, mostly timber, in Pleasantville, Iowa. For those of you who don't know, Pleasantville is located southeast of Des Moines. For Dan and I it is about a 20-25 minute drive to work. The process of purchasing this land was long and exhausting, but in the end, we knew this is where God wanted us. Our daughter, Jennifer, and her fiance, Grant Palmer, had talked to us about the possibility of purchasing our home for their first home. So as Dan and I started looking for builders and plans, Jen and Grant started checking into financing. 
We found a builder, started working out our plans, married off our daughter, packed up our things, moved into our 5th wheel camper, and stayed in my mother and father in laws house for the next few months. At the time we moved there, we thought it would only be for a couple weeks, but delays with several things kept us from moving on. While we here here, we used my inlaws facilities. We did not hook up to water, we used their kitchen, bathroom and laundry. I was grateful. Our foundation was finally poured in August, Dan and I were excited to see everything start and then NOT. Heavy rains and builder commitments postponed things further. Dan and I grew very frustrated during this, and actually really sought God's will if this was something we were just not meant to do. So, we were told once again something would happen, our materials would be delivered on such and such day and the framers would come in the next day. Dan and I were very near pulling the plug on the build for the winter, so close that the only thing we had left to do was to leave it up to God. We decided we would leave it to God, and prayed that if we were to continue. things would be delivered as said, and if God wanted us to wait, they would not. Believe it or not, things were delivered and so our framing started the very last week of September, and with the building finally underway we decided to move the camper down to the land. We had water hook up at a hydrant we had installed, and we had some temporary electric set up.  We also had a port a pottie delivered. This helped ease one thing my husband was concerned about. If you have every camped, you probably get this. I had a small stove and microwave in the camper, so cooking was not to difficult. While it was warm enough I could hook up directly to the hydrant for my water to dishes in my sink. Dan would drain the water for bathing and dishes every couple of days. My laundry I would heft up to my in laws once a week. As is started to cool down, we needed to start using our heater. Bathing was quick, no long hot showers or baths in the camper. As it started to get colder we needed to start using the furnace. Every so many days, depending on how cold it was, I would take my 30 gallon propane tank to Ace Hardware in Altoona to refill. On really cold spells, I would do this every other day. :( Also when it went below freezing we would need to fill our camper fresh water tank and be very careful with how much we used. Every day life was a chore, and continued in different ways throughout the building process. Thanksgiving came and went. Christmas came and went. I was growing tired of my three to four inches of water baths in a cold camper. The camper stayed relatively warm, but our bed was next to an outside wall, and we used several blankets to stay warm at night. I put blankets up on the windows of the camper to try to keep the wind out. At the beginning of January I got sick and started sleeping with a stocking cap my kids had gotten me for Christmas. We had had LOTS of issues with our plumber. We actually still have issues with his work now, and are filling an official complaint with his company and his workers. The builder had not told us that he was actually having issues with getting the plumber to come down until much later, but it seemed that pretty much everything he did, he did wrong, or incredibly lazy. After weeks of trying to get him to do things he would fly in for 20 min. Do one little thing leave and not come back for weeks. Finally at the end of December or early January we were able to use our basement bathroom. To have a long hot shower was heavenly. To use a toilet that was not frozen was wonderful. I have been told by many " I would not live this way." But we have always just endured. We have tried to look at the end game, and be grateful for God's grace. Nearly every sub that has entered our home said two things to us. How cool and amazing our place was, and then, my wife would NEVER live like this. End game, you have to have a clear vision on where you are going, and not where you are. Always look forward. January brought a cold spell that we worried would not be survivable in the camper. It was not like we could just move out for a bit. With a camper, it has to be winterized with a special antifreeze through all the water lines. Otherwise they can burst. So it was either stick it out in the camper or, head to the house. So as we saw this cold getting closer and closer, I made sure the basement bedroom was painted, and we started moving everything to the basement.
Once we were in the house, our challenges were different. I had one working sink in the entire house. So dishes were a challenge. What dishes I did wash, I used plastic dishpans to wash. Lots and lots of paper and plastic. Cooking? I had no kitchen. We put a make shift kitchen together with a microwave, toaster oven, crock pot, and a camper stove top. We purchase a little refridgerator, and the freezer for while was out outside. My laundry, I still hefted up to my in laws. BUT, I had a decent shower and toilet. Made most of the other work worth it. I no longer had to fill my camper water tank or the propane tank. All this makes me so grateful for where we are now. In early July my builder walked in with someone new. A plumber. He had come to set up the rest of our toilets, and my kitchen sink. MY KITCHEN SINK!!! I cannot tell you how happy I was for this to happen. Later that day, my appliances arrived. Keeping food and drinks in the little fridge and little freezer was becoming a bigger and bigger challenge. Jennifer and I were scheduled to be leaving for California in just a few short days for a wedding, and I had been worried about Dan using the little fridge while I was gone, so my fridge was a Godsend. Water and Ice right in the door for all the contractors. The day I was coming home from California our electrical had come down and hoked up all my appliances. I now had not only one but two ovens, and a dishwasher! Still no washer and dryer yet, but things were looking promising. Dan finished the trim for the laundry room, and we were able to completely install my washer and dryer. Even though life was getting much more normal, we were still very, very busy with finishing things. Which is really where we still are. More pictures soon. I have lots more to share with you this week.  

                                This is the fridge we "survived" with for several months. 

The new one could not have come at a better time.