As we pulled into our new driveway after the most perfect 4-hour drive, the feeling was absolutely sureal. After looking, praying, and processing our way through this huge life decision on where our family was supposed to move to… we were finally here! Check out the beginning of our journey here!
We convoyed in our separate vehicles (my dad came with us to help get us settled) over the mountains in winter to arrive with basically just our clothes and blankets and some food in tow (And I threw in a small TV too) and headed off to our new 10-acre property. We would camp in our new/used trailer that we would call home we purchased two weeks prior, while we renovated the existing 1974-year-old home that had absolutely no evidence of updates or maintenance in its time.
The first night started with amazing friends that had moved out this way a couple of years prior. They came over to help us get the trailer set up and share a homemade dinner with us. The ground was mucky from melting ice which made setting up the trailer a bit of a pain. But we managed… The following weeks continued to be hard with a cold snap that came in with more snow. Let me tell you… trailer sleeping in -18 is not fun! It took Ryan some days to get the trailer set up so it, and us wouldn’t freeze in the extreme cold. Have you ever camped in a trailer between homes? How was your experience?
Just a few short days in, we started pulling apart the house with my dad’s help. It started with us wanting to know to what extent the damage was behind the walls. The inspector’s report was not promising and so it was good to find out everything that needed to be replaced. Well, the demo got away on us and a couple of weeks later and two very large garbage bins later, most of the demo was done except for our little bit of kitchen and one working bathroom so we could survive camping. It also took us a couple of months after that to fully gut the home to be ready to rebuild. Demolishing the interior framing and drywall was hard work but went pretty quickly. It was all the nail pulling from the 2×4’s we wanted to reuse and from the trusses to have a clean slate to work with that took months more. Pulling out old plumbing and electrical wires took a while too.
We kept antifreeze in the lines of the trailer during the cold season to keep the water lines from bursting, so the working bathroom and kitchen were a must with no running water in the trailer. The gas fireplaces in the house were a bonus and kept the home just warm enough so we could dine and cook and shower in the home still.
We learned as we signed the papers at the lawyers a few days before we moved onto the property that one of the homeowners had given away the washer and dryer which had been in the contract as ours. Thankfully my sweet sister and brother-in-law who were eager to see the property delivered us a new washer and dryer we bought as they rolled in the next day. After purchasing their own adventure homes, they understood the process of moving into something that isn’t quite move-in ready!
One night I woke up to Ryan standing there quietly. I was like “What are you doing?” haha! He said, “There is a mouse in the trailer!” At that moment, he grabbed the chip bag, scrunched it up, and threw it in the garbage. “Caught him!” He said. The garbage can spent the night outside until Ryan could deal with the mouse in the morning. Needless to say, we cleaned the trailer from top to bottom and put mouse traps all over the trailer and the property, and have now ordered a couple of barn kittens!
The adventures continued when we quickly found out that the spring melt meant that the extra seasonal water mixed with our high clay content and the high water table in our ground, means that water doesn’t drain quickly. So we found out our septic tank pretty much backs up every spring season too. Feeling very thankful to have learned this early on in our reno process so we could put in a proper septic system with an outside pump and proper drainage to keep water away from the house. Better to learn this now than find out after we redid the basement and found water down there. The extra expense was not one that we had hoped to do, but knew it could be a possibility. Now I think I know why there is no carpet in the basement…
Seeing there was some drywall removed in one of the upstairs bedroom closets, I wondered why this was until it rained for the first time… There was water dripping from the ceiling down onto the floor and into the basement. It also dripped onto the stovetop as I cooked. We wonder if the roof has never been replaced. Stucco on the exterior was also cracked (probably due to water leaks) and was in need of new siding. All the bathrooms have leaked at one time or another, some without shower walls, and the plumbing in the ground wasn’t hooked up properly and had been leaking. Finding out all this, we removed all the stucco from the exterior, jackhammered the floor in some areas to allow for new plumbing, and had to replace the roof. Thankfully most of the plywood everywhere was in good condition with the exception of replacing only a couple of boards.
So, now the demo is almost complete, proper drainage is put around the home, new water and electrical lines are in place on the property, and the shop is almost complete as we add new insulation, concrete floors, and sheeting to finish the unfinished very large shop. The garage doors complete the shop to make it a usable space and a good interim home while we continue to work on the home. Trying to not get too anxious to get the reno’s done in there too as I know it will come in due time.
Feeling super thankful Ryan knows how to do these things properly. Things that would overwhelm most. This property feels worth it between the amazing location and the beauty that surrounds this rural home.
We knew these things could be an issue which is why this felt like such a big decision with a big investment. But we do know the Lord has called us here and when He calls us He will provide. We are getting to know amazing trades we can use for future projects as we build for others in this new area. The community has been incredible. And we feel YHWH’s goodness in the land of the living. We pray for His provision, protection, and blessing as we trust Him each step of the way. We know it’s only by His mercy and hand we can do what we are doing right now.
What big hurdles or life changes are you facing right now? How are you moving past them to find victory over your circumstances?
With spring finally approaching I find myself excited and trying not to get overwhelmed trying to plan out my new large garden space, plan animals for our new/old barn, and order all the things for our home as we give it a complete overhaul. Spring can be such a beautiful time to start fresh, get all the things decluttered and organized, and feel like you can get everything ready for the summer ahead. Now wondering if we will be move in ready by summer??? Sign up here to follow along with our journey!
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.1 John 4:4 NIV