Before introducing the team of volunteers that came to help us, I'd like to take you on a little picture tour and attach some dates to show you the progress on our property and house. We bought the property in February 2008. We bought a chainsaw and began clearing some trees to open up the view a little and make place for our camper and house. The kids were great helpers and Shirley and I cleared a good size area, leaving the stumps. In the following picture from February 23, 2008, the kids and I are taking a break.
Then on March 28, 2008, the men from We Care Program had a staff work day and we cleared most of what is clear today. We rented a Caterpillar D5 to help remove stumps and shape the ground. Some of the men started building our shed. This picture was a goofy shot of celebration at the end of the day.
On April 23, 2008, we had Pat Hurst and Hurst Well Drilling come and drill 365 feet to get us a good well. Shortly after this we had Bobcat Creations of Odenville install a septic system.
A friend, Wally, began digging out our basement and leveling some of the surrounding areas. Here is the basement after part of the dig on April 28, 2008.
Alabama power installed two poles from the neighbors poles to our site. On Memorial Day, May 26, 2008, we were able to move the camper up to the site. We were not sure if the the truck would be able to pull the camper up the hill to get here. So we emptied it out and hauled everything up to the shed and drove up in 4WD.
Shirley and I dug the footers out and called for concrete on July 3, 2008 from Webb Concrete and Building Supply.
Over the next month, I designed the concrete forming system that would allow us to embed some insulation in the basement walls. On September 2, 2008, we got the first sections of the formwork started.
On September 18, 2008, we poured our first section of basement wall. This was almost the 10 year anniversary of when Shirley and I started emailing.
On October 2, 2008, we formed up for the second pour. Here you can see some of the inner workings of the formwork.
On November 28, 2008, we had some help pouring the third and final height of the end walls from Don and his boys, Brandon and Perry, from We Care Program and Bryan from Harvestfield Church. The concrete truck was just barely high enough to drag the concrete into the forms.
We continued pouring concrete to get up to the full height of the basement, putting in six windows and five doorways. On March 11, 2009, the lumber came from Webb Concrete and Building Supply for framing up. Shirley and I got the basement interior walls nailed together and the sill plate around the main part of the house put on before the crew from Pennsylvania began to work.
The work crew from Pennsylvania arrived on Saturday, March 14, 2009 and stayed till Thursday, March 19, 2009. In that time 12 volunteers (primarily from Middle Creek Church of the Brethren) framed up our house, poured concrete floors in the basement and put paper on the roof. The project was a success. The team was great, and God blessed us with safety as the house got up pretty high. Here at the end of the week, some of the crew stands atop the tower lookout.
We praise the Lord God Almighty for his kindness and protection to provide us with all these blessings, and to take care of us up to this point!