It's been awhile since we've updated things here, but there's a really good reason for that! We have officially moved out of the house we were renting in Lakeway & are now living on the land in our old converted Eagle tour bus complete with all the necessities (sacrifice is part of making the dream of mortgage-free home ownership come alive, so no complaints here. We also want the kids to look at things like this as more of an adventure so they'll be more likely to step off and live their dreams into fruition. So basically we frame this as "it's like living in a long, skinny apartment!")
I (Jessica) am past the halfway point in my pregnancy, so there's a little extra drive to get to work on this house & bring baby home to a more suitable abode.
Kevin and I took an installation class with Nudura some months ago & are grateful for the ongoing support of this exemplary company, especially now that we're stacking the forms. From now on, we'll refer to the concrete forms as ICF blocks (Insulated Concrete Form blocks.)
I've got some pics to really give you an idea of how these suckers work...
This is what the inside of the ICF block looks like. The re-bar is part of the structural support which is pretty sweet; the inherent quality of concrete is that once it is cured, it becomes self-supporting!
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"It's like it's baked into the walls..." (putting personal touches into the bones of our family home)
Have you seen the movie "War Room?" It came out a couple of months ago and even kicked "Straight Outta Compton" out of top spot in the box office! I got to see this movie alongside my grandmother, mother and daughters - four generations holding hands across 5 seats in the theater that day. That movie is part of a special memory I hold dear in my heart.
Well, one of the amazing lines was when a couple of prospective home-buyers was walking through a home that was for sale.
The gentleman homebuyer entered a closet off of a bedroom - walked out - walked back in. When his wife and realtor inquired as to what he was doing, he observed "Someone has been praying in here."
The realtor agreed and explained it had been the owner's prayer closet.
The gentleman responded that it was "like it's (prayers) been baked into the walls."
I loved that his character was able to sense that.
Anyhow - while Kevin & I have been dreaming and planning all the details of this house, we've gotten encouragement from my mother (who lives in Virginia.) She came up with the idea that we could use some decorative crosses (that she's enjoyed for years but needs to release since she is in a season of life where small chotchky-like material possessions are weighing her down.) She thought it would be pretty sweet to somehow tie them into the ICF walls just before pouring the concrete. In my brain, it immediately synced with that line from War Room (with concrete inherently thermogenic, they may be "baked into the walls."
I love this creative idea - thanks, Mom!
So today, we set out to get those gorgeous crosses inside the walls! (We tied them with tie wire into the ICF webs.) Wanna see?
And then the concrete pump truck arrived to fill our walls with concrete!
Pretty simplistic, isn't it? There's one guy holding a controller that determines the direction of the boom, as well as the speed/on/off (you don't see him - he's on the other side of the house closer to the pump truck.) And then there's the guy you see here, directing the hose exactly where it needs to go.
And here on the left, you've got a closer view of the pump hose and boom. ICF requires a specific consistency that is vibrated into each crevice - not too much, not too little.
A picture is worth 1,000 words.
This window buck's concrete will be vibrated & troweled smooth. (This is also one of the bucks in which we hung a cross.)
Kevin is one dedicated general contractor - and I'm one happy camper!
That's right. This family of 5 is scheduled to become a family of 6 this coming February! I'm 15 weeks pregnant as of 8-17-2015! The kids are elated! Kevin & I are thrilled - we've so enjoyed the kids over the years and adding to our little tribe is going to be great fun!
The whole family thinks another little boy would be pretty sweet, but we're excited to welcome whoever God has planned, boy or girl.
This news has caused the homestead project to jump into overdrive - that's for sure!
Last Tuesday, we became the proud owners of a SLAB! Kevin and Hunter did pretty much EVERYTHING themselves over the last couple of months - they were getting sick and tired of dirt work even though they typically enjoy running the machinery.
You may be wondering why the sprinklers are on - OUR SLAB! Well, when Kevin was in school (U.T. Austin) he studied engineering with an emphasis on concrete engineering & learned exactly this practice - 'wet curing.' Given that this slab is built on solid limestone rock, it made this the perfect slab for wet curing (no concern of erosion beneath or around slab.) Wet curing reduces surface evaporation of moisture that the paste (portland) needs in order to hydrate to its strength capacity. I'm excited - I'm learning while this whole adventure is taking place - so are the kids!