What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Firm Foundation


I have been meaning to do a post on the goings-on of Matt and his many projects but, you see, the man is always GOING.   I soon realized I couldn't possibly do just ONE post of all the things he has done/is doing because it would be impossible to fit it all into one post!  So I'll try to break it down into more manageable bits.  Even still, I bet you will be feeling vicariously tired by the time you finish reading these posts.

The biggest of Matts' big jobs (so far, that is) was repairing the foundation of our house.  When you buy a home one of the first things you look at is the foundation and smart people run (very fast!) away from homes without good ones.  (We missed that memo apparently.) 

It was in HORRIBLE shape- with cracks throughout and actual HOLES in spots.  The North and South ends of the front part of the house would have to be entirely rebuilt.  (The back half of the house is a stone foundation and is still fine, despite the fact that it is a hundred years OLDER than the front half.  How's that for irony?!)

We paid Matt's brother to use his excavator to dig out around the foundation.  While the foundation was dug, we decided to fix a drainage problem around the house too- so he dug a nice neat path through my entire front yard as well.  (Lovely.)


 They fixed the drainage problem by laying down a new pipeline.  Before, the gray water would overflow into the basement.  Now it follows the appropriate path into the ground.  Thank GOODNESS.  Basements smelling like gray water is beyond nasty.


Then, Matt spent nights after work taking out the wall, brick by brick.

After the wall was taken down~ then he had to rebuild them.  Mix sand and mortar to make concrete, haul bricks.  Mix more sand.  Level them.  Mix more sand.  Build them.  Let them dry. Parge it.  Tar it.  Bury it. 


And then, when he was done the first side,  he had to do it all over again on the other wall.  



It took several weeks from start to finish.  There were several nights when the house stood without hardly a foundation at all- big gaping holes on either side.  I can tell you, I was nervous just to be in it with four rambunctious children.   

As you can see, he had many helpers and watchers throughout the whole process. 

The truest sort of handy man, we are very blessed to have him.

And now, thanks to his hard work, Hopestead House has a firm foundation.  And a yard of dirt.  ;-)


Anonymous said...

SMART people who don't know how to repair foundations and will be scared by the cost, run away. SMARTER people who know how to repair, see the potential of diamonds in the rough and make them their home using the labor of their hands, stay :)

P.S. Thanks for the recipe. See, I knew you were nice. :D


~Carla~ said...

A house built on a solid foundation of rock is the only way to go... ;) I love your blog... you inspire me.

Bonnie said...

Looking at these I kept thinking "what if the house tips over?" I'm not surprised in the least that the stone foundation is in good shape. It was put in when people cared enough to build things to last.

Terri said...

Great job, Matt!

Jamie Allen said...

{ummmmmm} WOW

Anonymous said...

What's that song that comes to mind? oh yes: "What a man what a man what a man what a mighty good man"

Cathy said...

I love the photos of your children watching the men working. It reminds me how whenever my children watched men working like that, everything stopped. That was homeschool for the day.

Bonnie said...

Saw this shawl the other day and thought of you:


(scroll down a bit I think)

that is all.


Leah T. said...

Many long hours of hard work but it looks great! :)

Mr. G's Mrs. G said...

This post reminds me of when we had to dig out the front of our house to seal the foundation (it had never been done), and put in french drains. Like Matt, my hubby and kids did most of the work. Thanks for sharing!

Here is our foundation story...

So thankful for these manly men! :)

Praise God!

Leah said...


I really like the one with Adele in the dress and headband (so cute!) totally engrossed in what Daddy's doing.

Anna said...

I LOVE the fact that your kids are out there watching daddy work:-) It's so precious, and I remember doing that when my dad had a project going. They are learning from their papa:-)

HisWillingVessel said...

Wow Rebecca we have the same issue with our house and we too apparently missed the memo about checking the foundation of the house first before getting it. One half of our house the foundation is over 100 years old and also had cracks and holes and all kinds of problems. Then the other foundation is like 14 years old and doesnt have any problems. So how did you guys fix the problem? Because we have alot of issues because of that problem. Any suggestions? We need help badly! Would love some input from you!

HisWillingVessel said...

Oh and in your bio it is nice to see that someone else has the same issue where some days just snapping a picture and making a palatable dinner is the most creativity you can manage. Some days I can do sooooo much of the things I want to do. Yet other days it is like you said I am lucky if I accomplish those two things you mentioned. Wish I knew why some days I can get tons done while others I am lucky to squeeze by . Funny how that is. And are you guys planning on having more children? I thought I remember you saying you wanted many but after you hit 3 things seem to get more hectic. That number 3 seems to change everything. But to be honest once you get thru the 3 the rest that follow don't change the dynamics as much as that 3rd one did. So if you survived the 3rd one, which you did since you are on 4, the rest don't change things much. Especially since now you have 4 before the others that can help with the ones to follow :) Take it from one that knows :)

Rebecca said...

His Willing Vessel~

We fixed the problem by rebuilding the foundation! It was a big job but someone had to do it! ;-)

I guess it depends what sort of foundation you have...stone foundations often have cracks/gaps/holes. Concrete block foundation shouldn't have ANY. It also depends on how big they are. Ours were awful and compromised the strength of the structure. But honestly, I am SO not the person to talk about it. I just happen to have a handy husband who knows about it and I take his word for it all. :-)

As for children- we'd love plenty more children. I am actually very surprised I am not already pregnant again. This is the longest it has ever taken me! But I often remind myself, just as I often remind people who only want one or two... it is GOD who is in control of the womb and not me. So- we shall see!