Project 1650 to 1340: 12/27/21

It’s been a while since I updated on our house. For a while, I was just ignoring it – living my life and forgetting that we had to down-size and move! A few weeks ago, we had our first big inspection after the “mechanicals” were installed (ducts, electrical, plumbing, etc.) but before the dry wall was hung.

We walked through with the construction manager who was straight forward and patient to answer all our questions. There were some disappointments such as no walk-in shower in the master bathroom. This wasn’t in the contract so it wasn’t a breech, but the one builder guy had said he’d TRY To get us one. Obviously, he couldn’t. Overall, everything was fine.

Tonight my daughter and I drove by to take a look: we have dry wall and texture on the walls and the laminate flooring is installed. Hard to see in the dark:

We took some measurements of the bedrooms and Anna tested out the size of her closet, which is 5’9″ ….. the same length as she is!

The brick and stones for the outside of the house have been delivered and are just waiting for the masons to do their job:

We were told we’d close around January 31st … maybe sooner. That’s getting REAL … real close! Yikes!

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This past weekend, we went by the new house twice – once during the day and once in the evening. The newest thing is there is a roof/shingles.

Next is the “mechanicals” (or some such?) – which means the utilities are being prepared for hook up. After that is finishing the sheetrock. Then we’ll have our first official inspection. Moving right along … but not too fast! We have A LOT to do before we move – to include one last Christmas in our beautiful rental home.

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Just to remember the first time we saw our house framed – Saturday, Nov 20.

The main room (not-so-great?!) room:

from the back to the front

The back of the house / kitchen area:

Garage / front entry:

South side:

North side – aka “the ark” view:

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Project 1650 to 1340: SUPRISE!

Last time I heard from our builder, we had a slab … and framing was many weeks in our future because other homes were supposed to be framed first. No big deal. We aren’t planning to close until end of January — 2022. That’s a hundred days away … or it was 92 days at last blog post.

SO when an update video from our construction manager popped up today, I wasn’t really expecting much: maybe some dirt moved around or the cement work (side walk in front of our house) completed. Nothing exciting. BUT this guy apparently likes surprises!

The crew has been busy framing OUR HOUSE this past week!! What!!?

Here’s the crazy thing – my first thought was: WAIT!! I wasn’t ready!!

But seriously, I am SO ready. I want one last Christmas in my big, pretty rental house – and then I will be 100% dedicated to down-sizing and packing.

Not that I am not excited!! I am excited!!

I just can’t begin to wrap my head around all the changes we are about to face moving further away from the life we knew for 8+ years. Although our jobs and schools and other things will remain the same, the routes will be so different – the neighbors will be new – and the area just a little unknown but ready to be explored.

Can’t wait to get to our new subdivision tomorrow to see the house for myself!

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Project 1650 to 1340: Concrete Evidence

Well, it is definitely transitioning seasons here in NW Arkansas. It has been gray and rainy for days and days and days! Except over the weekend, we did have milder but sunny days, which I enjoyed! But once the work week started, we need the heater on and listen to the constant rain dripping outside.

I hadn’t held out much hope for progress on our house with this wet weather, but maybe there were more non-rainy days than I remember — because last night my oldest daughter and I took a little drive by our new subdivision — and we found this:

Can you tell what that is? It’s about 7:00 p.m. – on a cold, murky evening. Picture taken with my old cell phone. It’s a CONCRETE SLAB! I have no idea when it was poured … but there it is! It was kind of surreal to walk over the layout of our new house and imagine where this room and that room would be. It was also a sobering reminder that we are indeed down-sizing. Further motivation to start consolidating our STUFF!

This is some kind of hook up for my laundry room. We also found another home like ours that is framed and walled in to remind ourselves of what the layout was – and how big (small) the rooms were going to be.

I realize these pictures are poor quality – but THIS IS OUR HOME! Still hard to believe … still hard to imagine this neighborhood completed. But it will happen eventually.

I can get a little discouraged when I realize how different it will be living in a smaller home again – with neighbors super close around us. It isn’t ideal – but it is progress toward – God willing – reaching more financial goals and such. And my current biggest thought is I need to be praying for the RIGHT neighbors to surround us. This is a new area of perhaps ministry or friendship or who knows! I tend to want to be reclusive, and a privacy fence will be the first thing to go up once we can afford to add one … but I know we are where were are supposed to be. And nothing God does is without purpose. We just need to let Him show us!

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Project 1650 to 1340: Inside Scoop

My last post is all about the exterior of our new home … the one I am lovingly calling our RE-STARTER home. I love that God gives us fresh starts and new chances. Sometimes we have to re-build from ashes … and this home is kind of my reminder that God hasn’t forgotten us.

Link to previous post: Exterior

As I said previously, in a home like this, in a development like this, you don’t get a lot of say-so. You take what the builders offer – and in our case, we did get a few “upgrades” which are a step beyond builder grade -but mostly, everything is pretty basic – “neutral” as they like to emphasize. We can add our own touches later.

We have been offered:

“luxury” laminate vinyl flooring (saddleback II in brown) by Mohawk(TM)

Our house will also have the little bit of vault at the walls/ceiling in the open space (living/dining/kitchen area) –I am sure there is a real builder’s name for it!!– to create some interest and illusion of openness as the house below:

^not our house^
also NOT our house ^ 🙂

carpet in bedrooms only: Prodigy Retreat by Mohawk(TM)

Walls will be Sherwin Williams(TM) agreeable gray + pure white for trim:

Lastly, my small – but adequate kitchen:

laminate countertop in “Spring Carnival”. I am getting a flat top counter/bar or whatever you call it, which is what I’d hoped for.

And lastly, my biggest perhaps disappointment at first: pecan colored cabinetry. I wanted bright, clean, white initially, but as I think more about it – the builder mentioned the darker one hides dirt/grease better (ha!) and also, my current dining room table is a pecan-color as well. So there will be a tie-in there.

^not my house

It will be fun to watch it all come together! In our own house!

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Project 1650 to 1340: No Going Back

Yesterday I got the call (actually a text) that we’ve been waiting for. The builder was ready for us to come sign our contract for our new house.

I know I’ve been talking about it for a while now … It was probably mid-July when we first decided to finally pursue buying a home again. Even so, the doubts arose just a little bit before the appointment yesterday:

SO MUCH MONEY … but lower monthly payment than rent. It is OURS; and if we do move again, hopefully it has resale value.

NEW LOCATION … it’s just 13 miles north of where we are now – but still, a new zip code. BUT also, a GREAT location as far as easy access to anywhere in NW Arkansas. Downside is a longer commute to school/work.

LESS SPACE … but we do have 1 less person living with us these days with another (no hurries!) leaving the nest some day sooner or later. Plus, forcing ourselves to really consider each item we move in, and each item we discard will give us a simpler, more meaningful lifestyle. Here’s hoping, anyway!

SO as I mentioned, this is not my dream home .. but it is my RE-STARTER HOUSE. And God willing, we will be closing by January 31, 2022 (2022??).

For my own record of the process, I am sharing a few details we found out yesterday about our new home. This is not a custom home – and while it will have a few “upgrades,” they will be more practical than fancy. We can do our own thing going forward, but for now, we are mostly under the guidelines of the builder and the community they are developing. It is almost like a giant Lego package of carefully fitted pieces and color-coded parts.


brick + stone: elevation D below


not quite like that but similar^

Front door will be black fox, a black/brown.

garage door will be sahara (no example)

vinyl siding only in the back (bricks on sides also)


Our lot is still just footers but there has been some gravel poured to get ready to pour the foundation slab. It’s been raining A LOT lately so not sure when that will happen.

So, this is IT. No going back (unless the bank fails us or something bizarre happens). I do think God is in this and has led us here. And so, HERE WE GO….

More later on the inside scoop (literally! – the interior details).

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Project 1650 to 1340: On Good Footing

This week we had a nice surprise when we drove up to our new subdivision! The footings have been started on our lot.

It is exciting – and yet also a sobering reminder that we are DOWN SIZING. I guess our house is long and lean — like I said before – kind of reminds me of Noah’s Ark.

I wonder how many cubits 1340 square feet equal out to be??!

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Project 1650 to 1340: Check-Up

My oldest daughter and I took a little Sunday drive up the road to check out our new subdivision. 4 homes have officially closed … and probably 20 lots are in various stages of the building process. One advantage, I supposed, as we are building in close proximity to other houses, is that the longer it takes to get our house finished, the more established the subdivision will be. And hopefully, it will feel less like we are living in a construction zone.

The other fun thing to see was the SOLD sign on our lot. I think that is just a marketing scheme and allows the builder to drag us along with a feeling of ownership even though we are NOT under contract yet. ha!! I’m on to them!! 😉 But still, it is cool to see the sign -and the title company does have our earnest money … so it IS one step closer.

Our little lot is just waiting for footings and a foundation.

Otherwise, as I realized how much I need to rest in the Lord last week and dwelled on that, the theme seems to be ongoing in my social media feed. I’m definitely going to need the reminders at work this upcoming week.

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A Little Interruption:

On the home front, we met with our builder and realtor this afternoon. We put down our “earnest money” and now we wait some more…

But things should get serious (vs. earnest!?) once the lumber package is complete and some other paperwork is completed from the builder’s corporate side, I guess. In the meantime, the lot is being prepared, and the footings might even be poured within a few weeks! Even before we sign the contract.

In the meantime, work continues to be overwhelming, and life in general has been kind of exhausting. I won’t bore anyone with the details, but today I hit a wall, which my boss totally understands and gave me the day off. He’s owed me that for a long time as we’ve been short staffed since forever, and I haven’t had a true day off since my mom’s surgery in April.

Last night, as I wasn’t sleeping, I came across this reminder on Instagram, which I think really prompted my need for a day off:

As I had the house to myself for the first time in forever, I was able to re-connect with the Lord, and let Him calm my weary thoughts. Ironically (or providentially??), my daughter’s college ministry group’s theme for study right now is “REST.” She gave me this card of their ministry study guide.

Anna’s student ministry has also been S.O.A.P journaling through their Scriptures. I did this today with Matthew 11:28-30. Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer definitely gave me some perspective on how often I rely on my own strength and independence to power through a tough day. No wonder I am feeling so empty … and so I let God fill my “cup” back up today.

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