Tag Archives: building our house

It’s Been Too Long – By M

I can’t even remember when we wrote our lost blog post, but I can imagine it was probably somewhere back in February about our son, Josiah, who is still healthy, kicking (like a baby ninja), and growing!  There have been so many great things going on for us, and we have stayed so busy that it has been hard to write, but I wanted to give everyone out there a quick update on what’s going on in the world of Michael Elizondo:

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– Staci is currently in week 29 of her pregnancy!  It’s so crazy that our baby boy is dues in less than 3 months!  Wow

– We spent Spring Break working in Josiah’s bedroom and it’s been so fun seeing it come together!  We’re so thankful for our parents who have done so much as we prepare for Josiah!  We also thank everyone who has already surprised us with little gifts here and there!

– I have to give props to my mom, mother-in-law, father-in-law, and sister-in-law for all the help they did for us as we got our flower beds done.  I don’t think I’ve moved more dirt and rocks in my life, but it feels rewarding and looks great!

– New Favorite Artist:  Zach Williams

– Staci and I just finished our 4th time watching the Harry Potter Movie Series all the way through… 4th time… does that makes us freaks?  oh well 🙂

– Cant wait til July!  3rd Batman comes out and it will be epic!

– We’re getting our first real neighbor (If you haven’t been tracking along, Staci and I had the awesome opportunity to build our house in a new subdivision.  Our closest right-side neighbors are a lot over and the closest left-side neighbors are 2 lots over, but now we will have an immediate neighbor on our left!)  Which is nice, because the loud part of the construction, if not all the construction should be done by the time Josiah gets here and that’s on his side of the house.  It does throw us off when we look out our back windows and see men walking around in the backyard next to us.

– Our son is coming so soon and we can’t wait!

– I am loving this NBA season.  Although I am still a little bitter about the lock-out (millionaires fighting over money *roll my eyes* is pretty ridiculous in my opinion) I am loving watching my Spurs dominate.  I’m holding out for Championship #5!  Let’s See it in June!

– Staci celebrated her birthday, and although we didn’t get to celebrate the way that we had hoped it was still a special day/weekend!

– Love our new toys, thanks to our Tax return!  New DSLR camera and HD Camcorder!  They’ll be perfect for documenting our little one and all the family events that we’ll be celebrating in the future!  (I know you nay-Sayers who disagree with getting a return, but it works for us, and it’s nice to get a little gift every spring… better than dreading tax day for sure)

– I hope Fox Renews Alcatraz for season 2!  That was a really good show!

– Speaking of good shows and Fox, Touch is absolutely incredible!  go to Hulu and watch now!  Oh and Once Upon a Time on ABC is good too, but Staci likes that more than me 🙂

– We will be parents in less than 3 months!  That is still so unbelievable to me!

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We hope that all is well with you, and hope to get some more posts up here regularly.  We know that it will be harder and harder once Josiah gets here, but we want to keep you all in the loop!

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Now that you know a little bit more about what’s going on in our world, how are things in your world?

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– M

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Craziest Summer Ever – By M

For those of you who subscribe to us, and others who casually read our blog, you may notice hwo Staci and I have not posted since mid-July.  Welcome to our crazy summer life!

I decided to throw some thoughts and other random things about the summer into this post.

– So I did the math the other day and 42 days out of 78 day summer we spent doing some kind of a youth activity (not including Sundays for Sunday school)!

– Within those 42 days, we spent 24 of those days outside of Beaumont and 22 of those nights were spent out of our own beds due to our 2 mission trips (UM Army and Big House), 1 camp (Lakeview), and 1 conference (Youth 2011 in Sacramento)

– Oh yeah the days above only include days spent away due to our youth.  We were also gone on a week long vacation in New Braunfels, TX (hittin up good ol’ Schlitterbahn and Canyon Lake).  We also spent several nights in Houston with Staci’s cousins who live there.

– Throwing out a round number, we spent a good 2/3 of our summer busy and away from home!  CRAZY!

– It was really rewarding though.  UM Army was incredible and Big House was lots of fun.  It was great bonding with the students at camp, and, what can we say, California is awesome and the conference was great!

– … well let me rephrase that last sentence… Sacramento and San Francisco were awesome!!!  L.A. was overrated.  No offense!

– The Holly wood sign was pretty cool though, but about the scariest road I’ve ever driven on in my life.

– The Golden Gate Bridge was really pretty.

– Oh yeah we still have one more overnight “Lock-out” with the students this weekend! yikes!

– TX represented well at the Youth 2011 conference (3 different main entertainment acts and teachers were from South East Texas!)

– Our house is almost completed and we move in literally 2 weeks from today!!!  (For more pics on the house check out my facebook page)

 

All in all our summer may have been outrageously crazy, but it was way worth it!  I love our job and house down here and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!  God has really blessed us and we are excited to see what God will do in the future!

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What have you been up to for the summer?

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-M


Building Our House – Part 4

If you’ve missed Parts 1-3, you can find the links here:  Part 1; Part 2; Part 3.

Over the past couple of weeks, there haven’t been drastic changes (like us going from having a slab to having walls and a roof in 5 days!) but there have still been exciting additions.  It’s still just so crazy how fast this is all going!

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5/26/11

Two Thursdays ago, we went to visit the house, and saw that we now have windows!

The front one isn’t really what we were picturing–it seems squashed.  So when we went to pay another part of our deposit the next day, we asked about it.  We’d actually never met our builder (at least I think that’s what he is…he is the one that owns the company who is building our house), and he was in the office on Friday.  His name is Tom, and he is very nice!  It makes us even happier to be building through them.

Anyway, he asked how everything was going and if there was anything at all he could help us with.  So we (very hesitantly–we didn’t want to be “those people”) told him that the window wasn’t really what we were wanting.  And he said it was absolutely no problem at all.  They’d get it fixed (at no cost) and not to worry at all–they want us to be 100% satisfied and excited about building with them.

I can’t tell you how much this impressed us.  He even went out and looked at a few houses with windows like what we were imagining and took pictures to send to our foreman.  They really do go above and beyond to make sure their customers are enjoying the whole building process.  We are SO glad that we get to deal with such a great team to build our house!

Now…back to the house.

We are going to love these big windows in our living and dining rooms!  It seemed so much more “real” with the windows in.

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5/28/11

My cousin, Paul, and his wife, Liz, came to visit last weekend.  We had SUCH a great time with them!  It was super relaxing, and just what we needed.  We took them out to our house on Saturday.  They’d also shingled most of the roof!

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6/1/11

Michael and I were at the Texas Annual Conference (the annual conference for this area of United Methodist Churches) from Sunday to Wednesday of this past week, and when we got back, we went to check on our house and write some Bible verses on the boards.

They’d put our cedar beams up in the front!  We can’t wait for them to finish the front porch–I know we’re going to love it.

Sheetrock filled our living room, and they’d also installed our guest bath tub.

I think I’d mentioned in our last house update that we wanted to write Bible verses on the “walls” before they were sheetrocked.  My dad was the first one to give us the idea, and then Michael’s parents suggested it, and other friends had similar ideas.  We thought it was a great idea!

In order to keep things somewhat short in this post, I’ll wait to share the verses we used.  We’d looked them up and printed them out earlier in the day, and we just went around with Sharpies and wrote on the wood.

I absolutely LOVED this.  It just felt like we were claiming God’s promises and His truth for our household and for our lives.

We also signed and dated over the front door.

“But as for me and my house we will serve the LORD.”  Joshua 24:15

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6/4/11

On Saturday, we went back to see if anything had been done, and they’ve delivered our bricks!

Woo-hoo!  Now things will pick up again.  I can’t wait to see it all put together.  Ours will be the first house in any of their divisions to use this particular brick.  I hope we like it!

They’ve also delivered our tub and done a lot of the plumbing.  They’ve also started putting in the pesticide things in the walls.  I don’t know all of the technology, but I know that there are going to be all of these little tubes (the black things) in the walls for pest control.  Once a year, someone will come out and connect to the outside of the house and use these tubes to spray inside the walls for bugs.  Pretty neat, huh?

They’ve also cleaned everything up, so we have a feeling they’re getting ready to lay the sheetrock soon.  It’s been so much fun to see this whole process unfold.

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–Staci

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Building Our House – Part 3

It’s crazy to think about all that has happened in the past two weeks!  We went from having form boards to….well, you’ll see.

5/10/11

While we were at Catalyst, we got a call saying that they were about to pour our concrete.  We’d been out there on Tuesday (almost two weeks ago) and it looked like this:

5/14/11

When we got back from Catalyst, we went to see our house and it looked like this:

We had a slab!  We also had a “SOLD” sign in our yard!

5/16/11

When we went back on Monday evening, they had the walls all marked out, and the lumber had been delivered.

It was so much fun to walk through and picture where everything was going to be.  Michael “pictured” a little too much.

So these were the boards to build our house that we saw on Monday…

5/18/11

…And THIS was our house on Wednesday:

AAAHHH!  We couldn’t believe it!  We though that they might have the walls up, but we weren’t expecting all of this at all!

To say we were excited is a huge understatement.  Here’s the back of our house:

I took this from far away so you could see how long our backyard is.

All of the extra supporting boards were still up, so we walked through the walls to get from one room to another.

So that was Wednesday…

5/21/11

On Saturday (yesterday), we drove up to find this:

YAY!  It’s ready to have the shingles and bricks put on before too long!  We’re really excited about our front porch–I think it’s going to be one of our favorite parts of our house.  The little pieces of wood are going to be replaced with cedar beams, and the back will have brick and slurry.

When we walked in, we saw that they had removed all of the extra boards.  This is on the back side of our living room.  We’re SO excited about the big windows!  The door leads to our back porch.

Here you can see our breakfast nook and through the walls to our bedroom.

On the other side of the living room are two bedrooms and our office (which could be a 4th bedroom).  The middle room and office are shown here:

The back/side of our house:

I found this little weed flower while I was taking pictures, and decided to get creative.

Our house will be finished before we know it!

They should be doing the electrical and plumbing this next week.  We’ll keep you updated!

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We want to write some Bible verses on some of the boards before the sheetrock goes up.  Do you have any suggestions?

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–Staci

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Quick Update – By M

Staci and I just got back from Catalyst Dallas.  If your not familiar with Catalyst you can check it out Here. So there’s a lot to be updated on… So I’ll list some things out and we’ll probably address most of them in upcoming Blogs and such!  We just have SO much to share!

1.) Catalyst is an incredible Christian Leadership conference.  Check it out and try to go sometime.  It will blow you away!

2.) I totally pulled the star-struck card like a million times this week while at Catalyst.  Too many awesome Christian leaders and entertainers!

3.) Talked with Jon Acuff – Blogger/Writer/SCL, Carlos Whitaker – Blogger/Musician, Tyler Stanton and Tripp Crosby – Bloggers/Comedians, Craig Groeschel – Pastor/Writer, Pete Wilson – Pastor/Blogger/Writer, and many more!  That was exciting!  And it’s so awesome when you see how down to earth all these men are.

4.) Heard from some incredible Speakers

5.) Listened to awesome live music

6.) Spent some incredible awesome quality time with my wonderful wife!

7.) Another really cool part about the conference was running into some friends we expected to see, as well as some that we did not expect to see.  (Including my 5th/6th grade Sunday school teacher, and my youth group worship leader)

Ok… Now Non-Catalyst events:

1.) Saw some friends at Staci’s Forge Reunion

2.) Had some awesome friends come into town

3.) Went to the beach!  And I poked a Jellyfish! (I know… way too easily entertained)

4.) Baked a-bajillion cookies/cupcakes/brownies/and tons more in the last two weekends. I think I’ve decided to start my own cooking show!

5.) Saw our home’s foundation that was poured while we were away!  Frame goes up next week 🙂

6.) Had my first meal at a Rainforest Cafe.  A little underwhelming, but still good

7.) And I’m sure lots of other things, but I want to try to keep this at least somewhat brief!  Hope to have more up soon!

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What have you been up to these last few weeks?  Who has ever left you star-struck?

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-M


Building Our House – Part 2

It’s still so crazy to think that we’re building a house!

Last week, Michael and I signed the contract to start building.  There were about a million things to read and sign, and we looked over every inch of the house-plan to make sure it was all like we wanted it.  I think I’m probably the first person to ask our realtor if I could take pictures of everything.  But you all know me…

Signing off on the floorplan:

Reading and signing the contract:

Can you tell we’re excited?!

While we were waiting on our realtor to check on something, I decided to take a few pictures of the show room to show you all some of what we had to choose from.  All of the selections–and especially all of the selections in the “non-upgrade” bracket–are some of the things we have been most impressed with during this whole process.  They have SO much to choose from in the standard price.  And a lot of the upgrades are so minimal that it really isn’t much of an added cost.

These are all of the tile options that were included in the standard price (you can see some of the other options behind me in the above picture):

These are the bricks (a lot are in the standard price, and then there are upgrades too).  We picked an upgraded brick and it was only $200 more for the whole house:

The ones on the hanging rack on the wall are all of the different stain options in our price range.  Then they have 2 walls with all of the cabinet options, including upgrades:

Anyway, we’ve been really happy with all of the selections.  Our builder does an excellent job of making sure everything–even the standard selections–is quality.

When we were finished signing the contract, we went out to take a picture with our lot and our contract.  This is it!  We’re really building a house!

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Yesterday was our day off, and we decided to go and see how everything was coming along.  We were both trying so hard not to get our hopes up that we barely even talked about what we hoped they’d have done.  I think we were bracing ourselves for nothing to be started.

While we were in Tyler last weekend (I had a Forge reunion, which was INCREDIBLE), we passed this house on the way to and from our meeting place.  We really liked the way the beams still made somewhat of an arch, and we took it to James and Jared to see if we could do something similar with our front.  It’ll be a lot more narrow, but they said that we can!

We also signed off of the final final drawing of the house-plan.  YAY!  We asked Jared what the best-scenerio would be for the end of June (when my parents and Em come to visit), and he shocked us by saying the following:

The form boards are down now…

Next week we should be pouring concrete…

Then the walls go up…

Then then the outside…

And in 4 weeks we should be close to sheetrocking the inside!

So by the time my family comes, we’ll probably be at the tiling stage!

We couldn’t believe it!!  It’s all going to happen so fast.  And we were scared that nothing would be done this week…  When we drove by our lot, this is what we saw:

Form boards and plumbing!!!

Our property line:

From the back of our lot looking out:

Now that they have the property lines out, we were able to see how big our backyard is going to be.  It’s HUGE!  We’re so excited that it’s going to be as big as it is.  I was standing at one line, and Michael was at the other.  Keep in mind that it’ll all be cleaned up before we move in…

While we were taking pictures, our neighbor came over and introduced himself.  He and his wife and their kids live in the house right behind Michael.  Eventually we’ll have someone between us, but right now it’s an unclaimed lot.  It was SO good to meet our first neighbor.  We’re anxious to get to know their family.  He said that they love the neighborhood and their house, and just everything about our builder/team/neighborhood.  We went over and saw his backyard, and it looks even bigger when it has green grass and a fence.  We’re so pleased with the lot we chose!

We snapped one last picture of the plumbing, since it’ll be all covered up the next time we come out:

We’ve decided to try to go out to see the progress at least twice a week.  Our neighbor said he used to come out every day, and he’d still see huge changes!  I think we’re as excited about this whole building process as we are about actually moving in–well, maybe not AS excited, but still.

Thanks for reading along, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated!

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–Staci

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Building Our House part 1

Another thing we’ve been busy with is planning to build a house!

We found a great developer a few months ago, and we started meeting with one of their Realtors to talk about us building one of their houses.  We narrowed it down to the plan we liked, and then a few weeks ago we met with them again to talk about some changes we’d like to see.  We went ahead and met with our lender to get pre-approved to build/buy, and then waited to hear back from them.

Our Realtor called Michael on Tuesday and said they were ready for us to come look at the plan on Thursday.  So yesterday we met with them again and not only did we get to see the new drawings, but we also got to PICK OUR LOT!  We had no clue we’d get to do that already!

We wanted one of the lots that backed up to a really great tree line so that we’d never have anyone behind us, and we’d be able to look out and see all of the trees.  So we drove around and found our favorite, and our Realtor highlighted it–it’s ours!

I don’t have the official new drawings, but here are the original designs and a ghetto-fied version I created with the changes.

Here’s the front of the house.

We’re going to replace the columns in the front with cedar columns and change the siding on the porch to what they call slurry.  It’s basically brick with mortar on top of it, with some bricks showing through.  Here’s a picture of a house with something similar to what we’d want (just in a different area).

Here’s the original floor plan.

And the one with our changes.  We’re going to enclose (and add to) the covered patio to make it an office.  We’re also going to add a closet so we can re-sell it as an office/4th bedroom.  We’ll then add the patio onto the back of the family room.  We’re going to change the windows, and then take out the wall at the breakfast area.  We’re also going to take off the top cabinets in part of the kitchen and turn it into a bar to open up that area into the family room.  We’ll take those top shelves and put them where the breakfast area wall was so we don’t lose our cabinet space, and we’ll have an extra little bar/serving area.  Sorry for the poor quality…but this can at least help you picture it better.

We were/are SO excited!  This will be our first house to own, and we get to pick everything out ourselves.  Both of us went through the process of building houses like this with our families when we were growing up, and now we’re getting to do this together!

Since today was our day off, we told them yesterday that we’d come back to pick out our brick and vinyl (siding) today.  After lunch, we decided to drive around some neighborhoods and look at brick, vinyl, mortar, etc. to see what we like.  Our tastes were all over the place.  We knew for sure that we liked the more distressed brick look, but we went from more red-ish to brown-ish to who knows what.  We snapped pictures of some that we liked and took them to one of the ladies at the office.

She ended up driving around with us to try to find out the addresses so we could see what bricks they used, and then we went back and pulled out tons of brick ideas.  We ended up picking a more neutral-like color with some black and red-ish accents.  Then we picked our vinyl, roof, garage door and mortar style.  Here’s what we ended up with for the outside basics:

Since that’s all we really needed to decide today, she said we could either go and come back later for the rest, or we could just get it all picked out today.  We chose the latter.

It was so much fun picking everything out and grouping it all together to see what works best.  We’re really happy with our selections!  We chose the cabinets, counter-tops, tile, carpet, paint, bathtubs, sink fixtures, appliance colors, doors, and probably some other stuff that I’m forgetting.  We basically picked everything except the types of windows and the backsplash.  Here are our indoor basics:

It took us about 3 hours including driving around to see bricks, doors, and door/cedar colors.  It’s crazy to think that we just picked out everything for our new house!

What’s next:

On Monday or Tuesday we’ll meet back up with them to see the updated drawing and make any changes we have.  Then they’ll draw up the contract and we’ll hopefully sign it the next week.  They’ll start work at the beginning of May and we’ll be ready to move in September 1.  Our lease is up the middle of September, so this will be perfect timing to get all moved out/in.

I know it’ll be here before we know it!  We’re so excited, and we just wanted to share all about this with you all.  We’ll keep you posted on the progress.  We can’t wait!

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–Staci

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