Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Campus Crossroads Work Day

Saturday was another work day at BMR. Ever since Stephanie was diagnosed with breast cancer we have had an outpouring of help with our project. A few weeks ago we had about 45 people out at the site over the weekend. This last Saturday we had the leaders and students from Campus Crossroads Church at UNC. Justin Wright is the lead pastor at the university based church and an experienced home improvement guy. They were looking at their next habitat project and decided "habitize" us. There were 3 leaders and about 30 students. Their energy and spirit was great.

They hung a bunch of drywall and built another massive stone wall using stones from the property. Also, some windows got painted and lots of wood from the sawmill was cleaned up.

We have been blessed by all of the support we have received recently and look forward to having the project finished and everyone back for a fall bonfire and party. The 10x40 ft porch will make a great stage for the music.

We need to be out of our current house October 15th so we are under a time crunch. If you are interested hanging some drywall stop by or give us a call!!!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Weekend Update: All Call Weekend for Stephanie

Last weekend was a big weekend at BMR. We had an all call work day. We took Thursday and Friday off work to get the place cleaned up and to get the lists together. The big items were the siding, stairs, rock wall etc.

With Stephanie's recent breast cancer diagnosis and then we got an offer on our house we really needed to kick things in gear. About 30 people showed up on Saturday and about 10 to 15 on Sunday. It was very moving.

Scott S. showed up with the JLG Man Lift again. It is one great piece of equipment for the owner builder. The carriage holds all your tools and allows you to work in a set spot way up in the air without falling from a ladder.

Ken, Debbie and their brother made quick work of the stairs. They replaced the temporary 2x4 treads with nailed and screwed underlayment. Great job guys!!!

There was the always fun job of stripping the paint off of the recycled doors. Although after many hours we may opt to purchase new solid wood doors.

One of the coolest projects was the stone wall. It goes between the first 3 columns of the porch. That is the portion of the porch that is excavated and will be used for tractor storage. It was a complete testosterone fest with the younger guys showing that they could pick up the largest rocks. All the stones came from the property and some were easily 250 to 300 pounds.

Good food was served and every one had plenty to eat.

Thank you to all.

Joel and Stephanie.

P.S. The dry wall arrived and is waiting to be hung. We will be working on it this weekend if there are any takers. We have about 6-8 weeks before our current house closes and we need to move in

Monday, August 07, 2006

Breast Cancer

We have been making decent progress on the "Retreat" recently, but the middle of last week our lives took a serious turn.

Stephanie was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. The good news is that it is early and very treatable. She will start chemotherapy likely next week so now there is extra pressure to get our house done. It makes the other pressures like the potential sale of our current house, work schedules etc pale in comparison. Now we feel that we finally see the real story behind why we chose to build a retreat in the woods. It will provide a safe and comfortable place for her to rest and recuperate during the next 8-12 months.

We have been getting things ready for a all call work party for Stephanie. It is next weekend (Aug 12 and 13th) and we hope to finish most of the siding, paint some windows, general clean up etc. One side of the house has siding and it has gone up nicely. It is poplar board and batten. We are staining the boards and then stickering and stacking them before they go up.

Coleman has a new co-worker on the job site. His name is Andrew and is great to have around. We will have some pictures of him in action posted soon.

Stephanie and I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and care from all of our friends and family during this time.

If you have a spare moment next weekend stop by!

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