Thursday, February 7, 2013

The BIG Reveal

If you read my previous posts about our lives these last six months or so, you will remember that over the summer we won a home makeover sponsored by a local radio station thanks to my lovely sister-in-law's winning essay about our family and how my husband's long-time service in the Navy has made it so difficult to do needed updates to our 1930's farmhouse. If you missed the story, read about our crazy life at the posts listed below:

There was plenty wrong with this farmhouse when we bought it that we were aware of. Updates needed to be done (there was only one bathroom, for example, the kitchen walls were old paneling, and the existing bathroom's floor was caving in and the walls and ceiling were covered with avacado colored tiles) in nearly every room, but the bones were basically good, and the land was beautiful (14+ acres). The drive to our property is as peaceful as it gets, and the feeling of "home" is all over the place.

But having two "enclosed" porches that were not heated or cooled was just not working, because our family of eight needed the space. The windows were all original to the house, complete with lead weights in to raise and lower those windows that weren't painted shut. The roof was the original metal roof, and had leaks in several places, The aluminum siding, probably done in the 70's, had seen better days, and the age of the house guaranteed that our closet space would be minimal. Things kept popping up unexpectedly, and over time it was weighing on me heavily, especially with Hubby's extended hours spent at work on several important projects (meaning little time at home for even small repairs, let alone upgrades).

Winning the makeover was a gift from God, to me, to show me how much He loves me and that He will be there and take care of me and the rest of our family. It was a gift that was particularly timely, especially considering things that were going on externally and internally. It is my personal miracle and I am just so very grateful and blessed by it...God's grace and love is amazing. He knows what we need and exactly when we need it. I just can't state it any better than that. We all can't wait to pass on the blessings as we have been so abundantly blessed.

The time lapse video below will show you what went on at the house over the course of several months. You will not see the incredible changes inside...those that have made the most impact on the kids and me as far as our daily routine goes. Of course, the exterior changes are the ones that make the house a safe and comfortable place to lie our heads down in at night, even in the midst of a storm. The interior ones are those that make things run more smoothly and constantly make us all smile all day...kind of like how our own interior changes can light up our faces and help us be the better person. The exterior changes can make us stronger and more ready to be of service.

The exterior and interior changes that were done started with a tune up and maintenance on our existing HVAC system, and the addition of another exterior unit to run two Mitsubishi Mr. Slim units to heat and cool the front and back rooms making them usable in all four seasons. Framing in of the front porch allowed for new windows to be installed (and one interior window to be removed and drywalled over) giving us more wall space that we definitely needed. The interior walls of the former front porch were then drywalled and painted (instead of the walls being exterior siding) and a new wood laminate floor was added (and leveled, which was difficult). We received two new doors leading into the house from outside and from the front porch. This new space (now called "the sunroom") has become our first ever classroom! They even added a few new outlets...those are always appreciated.

Our HUGE water heater that used to be in the middle of the back room's wall (making it difficult to use the space) was moved into the utility room, which also had a closet system and swinging doors added to make it into a family closet/laundry area. Hooray for that one! The same closet company provided a shelving unit for the small downstairs bathroom, too, making it much more usable. We were generously given all new windows, which has helped with our heating bills enormously this winter, and new siding was put all around the house in a lovely shade of blue to match the other existing structures. 

A new shingle roof was installed, and this allowed the construction guys the freedom to drywall our formerly water-stained dropped tile ceiling in the back room, and they also painted the paneling a calming shade of blue. This room became our Lifetime of Learning Library. We added a laminate wood floor on our own, so this room is now finished, too. The electricians moved our fuse box to an exterior wall (which took it out of the boys' room...a very good idea) and gave it an upgrade and update that it needed BADLY. Lastly, a wonderful landscaping company came and added some shape and cohesiveness to our raised bed gardens, planting some evergreen shrubs and perennials for us to enjoy.

In any case, our blessings are overflowing and we are constantly appreciating something that was worked on this fall and summer and thanking the Lord most joyously. I hope you enjoy the video. It always makes me cry (happy and grateful tears). I will try and post pictures of the update interior in the days ahead, though I am having ACL repair surgery early next week and may be out of it for a while (see how the Lord provided a safe place before my time of need?? Do you need any more proof that He is there and He is listening? I don't.)

Thank you, Lord for everything you have given us, from this incredible Operation Homefront Home Makeover to the sacrifice and gift of your beloved son, Jesus Christ. Please bless all of the wonderful and generous individuals who sponsored this contest, those who worked so hard on the project each day and were so kind to us, and my family who supported us throughout the entire project (and that special person who made it happen). Thank you all so very, very, very much. 

Blessings to you all. Thank you so much for visiting the new Blessing Farm! (I can't wait to see how it looks this spring!! I am going to send Tex into the woods to collect daffodil bulbs and put them everywhere!)


Beverly said...


Phyllis said...

How are things with you all. I hope you are all doing well. Beautiful home!

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