In the Meantime…

August 26, 2008 at 11:08 am 3 comments

A little story of what has been going on “behind the scene”:

Preparations for our trip to Kazakhstan are a little more intense than originally planned. It’s funny how everything always comes at once. I always try to look at the hectic pace of too many projects at one time as a prelude to extended peace. Adopting a child isn’t a “project” with a beginning an end but a lifelong adventure and commitment. However, the trip to Kazakhstan does have a loosely defined start and finish. Our second major undertaking, occurring simultaneous to our upcoming departure, will have a major push this fall with the finished product blooming sometime late summer 2009.

Wondering what we could possibly be working on while we are supposedly packing for the trip of a lifetime? Oh, nothing major, just an addition to our home that includes a large living space and a garage (or what I call the barage because we are really building a barn not a garage). The end of our house (which I call the “shed”) will be ripped down in our absence and the foundation and framework for a 20’x24′ one and a half story addition and attached 28’x36′ “barage” will be started while we are in Kazakhstan. Yup…we’re a little busy right now.

The "Shed"

The “shed” has seen better days and was actually the kitchen for this 100+ year old section of the house for many years. Previous owners moved the kitchen to where it is now and left this sloping, unheated area of the house for storage. With no solid foundation and because it is really nothing more than a sided shell, the decision was made to rip it down and replace it with new construction.

In order to keep sense of sanity, I deemed this past week “house week” and this current week “Kazakhstan week”. We’ve been meeting with our builder, Jeff Shantar, very frequently to work out design details and material specifications. He and Doug dealt with permitting on Thursday and we’re hoping to have everything house wise, in place by early this week, but there are still things to be worked out and done before we go. Surprise, surprise.

With the acquisition of storage unit a week ago, Monday, our physical work was started. Attached to the shed is another outer storage area and above the shed it is a small amount of attic space. Needless to say, we have done well filling all with the unnecessary “stuff” that people collect over the years and had to move it all to into storage. If we were to go through everything that is being packed for the construction, I’m sure at least half of it could be donated or dumped. However, we just don’t have the convenience of time for sorting and the mental capacity to make decisions on saved items. These pictures really show why this section of the house needs to go. Mind you, we were not living in any of these spaces. They were just used for storage and they were FULL!!

Attic Above Shed
Inside the Shed

Inside the Shed

Outer Storage Area

Outer Storage Area

We certainly have had a good workout this past week as everything was moved. If I hadn’t been eating so much convenient junk food during this project I would have lost at least five pounds from the physical exertion. (Ahh…junk food! Sometimes it tastes so good!)
3-D Image

3-D Image

This is a computerized 3-D image of our current home and what is to be built. The addition has the windows and doors placed. Doug is pointing to the barn with his Sharpie. The section just to the left of it is the 1.5 story addition of living space that will take the place of the “shed”. The remainder of the image is our existing house. Because our land slopes down, the barn won’t seem quite so high above the original house as it appears as this image is set on flat land and our house is not.

We’re incredibly excited to get this started as we have been talking about doing it for over two years. We’ll be doing a lot of the finish work ourselves, but to get this project framed, sided, and have all of the windows in place by the time that I’ll be returning home will feel like a true new beginning. Luckily, Doug will be around for most of the major construction work. The fact that it is taking place at the same time we’re traveling is almost a relief to me, but there is so much to do before we go: permits, deciding on doors and windows, precise measurements, finalizing plans, deciding on landscaping [we must cut down a few trees…so sad], reorganizing our yard and vehicles so they don’t obstruct any work that must be done, and working out details, details, details. (I went to bed at midnight last night and left Doug still working on the plans.)

Once it is done, though, we’ll have a huge entrance area with plenty of closet space, a laundry room (vs the basement), second small bathroom, and an office all in the new downstairs area. Upstairs will be two rooms; a spare bedroom and another sitting/study/possible bedroom that connects to the upstairs in the barn. The barn will have a lot of storage upstairs and could possibly be made into an apartment someday if needed.

Our tiny house is going to feel more like our home. We can’t wait to share it with our new child and our families. Finally, a place that can hold us and overnight guests as well!


Entry filed under: Everyday Life, Kazakhstan Adoption. Tags: , , .

Awaiting Visas They’ve Arrived!

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tina  |  August 26, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Wow! I’ve never seen those spaces even half that empty. I like the 3-d image. How exciting to have all that new space. And I don’t blame you for being happy to be away while the hammer is going on.

  • 2. Carol N.  |  August 26, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    Ok, I think you have just a LITTLE bit going on in your lives…..What about that novel you should be writing this week before you go? Wait! Shouldn’t you be teaching a workshop this week? Just kidding, Kelly. It will all get done and you will be so happy–with your new home and your new little one. My hat is definitely off to you!

  • 3. Susan  |  August 28, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    ok, so i just wrote this long comment and it got lost.If yo uget this twice, I apolgize.

    What I said the first time WAS that its good that you are super busy NOW becuase once you get here, your only job is to bond with your child.
    The first thing that our translator said to us at the airport was YOUR STRESS IS OVER…YOU ARE IN KOSTANAI NOW!
    It was true. Our coordinator told us….let us worry about the process, your job is to get to know your child and you are on VACATION. I took that to heart and I’m glad I did.

    It’s lovely here…and you will be go glad to relax and slow down.
    Ps. Sean asked if you would please teach him how to knit too!!


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