A Bit of Reflection

Over a year ago;  March 12, 2009, we got the keys to our first home. We were so thrilled! It wasn’t much of a home at the time but God really gave Chris and I a vision of what it could be. Here’s what it looked like when we bought it.
Our new house

We’ve made a few changes to the exterior view of our house :)
Front of house

And our first family photo in front of our new home.
Welcome to the Burns Home!

Not only the house has changed, we have too, especially the kids :)
Burns family - Done with our house!!!

Our old livingroom which is now the diningroom
Other side of our livingroom

Here is our new dining room
Dining room

Did you notice where the stove was supposed to go in the previous picture? Well, it rained in the house for two years without a stove and we got to fix all the rot caused by the rain :) The construction repairs were a great learning experience for Chris!
Chris is tearin it up!!

I think there were a total of six areas in the house that had floor rot from the water damage, we had a few guys help us at different times with the repairs, and like I said, Chris got to learn a lot along the way. Dean and Byron came and helped repair not just subflooring in our entryway but also supporting beams to hold up our doorway! Thanks you guys, it’s nice to have hard floors to walk on now!

Lots more rot in the entry
Dean and Byron are here working on the floors today!!
Here’s the front entry way after all the many repairs!
Front Entryway
Dean and Byron are here working on the floors today!!

The family room
The front part of our living room

The room we spend most of our family time, we love it!
Living room

The old front steps
Guenna at our front porch a little unprepared for the weather

New steps that Chris built
The kids are excited for a break!

The laundry room
Excited about the changes already taking place!

I love my laundry room!
Laundry room

The kitchen, after we had torn out all the cabinets. Don’t you just love the wall paper?! That was the wallpaper through the whole house!
Little by little, almost finished gutting the kitchen

My beautiful kitchen! It’s one of my favorite places in the house, it was so fun designing it and getting to be creative, dreaming and planning for the future with kids that I get to teach to cook!
Kitchen

This was our first family bedroom, which we now call the “Red Room.” We all slept in here and huddled around our little heater since there was no heat in the house and still snow on the ground in March! Connor had just started crawling when we moved in, we had no carpet only really nasty dirty subflooring!
Lunch in the dining room, like our family bed?

I look forward to many years of homeschooling in this room!
Homeschool room

The nasty old master bathroom, the amazing thing is that about half the floor beneath this tub was completely gone, totally rotted out!
Bye bye nasty bathtub!

Our new master bathroom. Such a huge blessing!
Master bathroom

Our friend David, tearing out the old guest bathroom.
David tearing out the bathroom

A nice clean guest bathroom :)
Guest bathroom

A look from the kitchen, into the diningroom/livingroom
House repairs

The updated view
Kitchen

Where I did my dishes for about 4 months, by the way, I was VERY thankful for this setup, when we first moved in I did the dishes on the back step with a hose for about a month, that was hard on the back! :)
Sink works great, notice the fancy plumbing, complete with hose and drain? :)

Where I get to do my dishes now!
Recent house repairs

Filling up our first garden box
Filling up the garden box
We were thrilled to see that we had two apple trees that produced several boxes of really delicious apples!
Apple picking day!!! This is only part of them :)

Our garden, just getting planted for the second year!
Garden boxes, ready for planting

All of our babies got the chicken pox, the week BEFORE we got indoor plumbing!
Cheerful boy in spite of all the owies

Cait got the biggest goose egg, while we were AT the Urgent Care!
Cait fell on her head at the drs office :(

The creepy boys room, the boys did NOT like sleeping in there until after we got all the holes patched and walls painted a non-creepy color :)
Finished mudding and priming masterbath, now mudding creepy boys room :)

The boys love their new bedroom, such a fun boy room!
Boys room

The old back steps, even improved by a step San built!
San fixing our step, yeah!!

Chris building new steps on the back porch
Watching daddy work! Wish I could help him!
Our new back steps and finished porch!
Back porch

We had the learning experience of being able to design our kitchen, and then build and install the cabinets ourselves, a lot of work but we’re so glad we did!
Siding progress and upper cabinet progress

As you can see, we had a few siding issues! We replaced the siding on three sides of the house, along with eight new windows, two new exterior doors and seven new interior doors. A lot of work and extra money but we are glad that we did it all now :)
Starting the siding!!
We’ve made a few improvements on this corner :)
Front of house

Starting the siding!!
Siding progress!!

This is what the rim joist (the 2×6 beams that support the perimeter of the house) looked like in  many places) Thankfully that all got fixed before we put on the new siding, put in the new windows and added all new trim.
Lots of rot in the rim joist, but our builder can fix it! :)

The beginning of a little makeshift shed we built to store our tools, off the back porch. It has proven to be one of the best uses of extra wood.
The beginning of our temporary shed!

The only thing wrong with this shed is that we didn’t finish it sooner!!
New Tool shed

Built a little wall beneath the siding to nail the skirting to, Sanford helped Chris with a lot of that, they did a great job and when it was done it looked like they knew what they were doing! :)
Guys working on the skirting, thanks San and Tam!

When the rainy season came in full force we quickly realized that the money we spent to “repair” our roof was probably not very wisely spent. It was a hard pill to swallow but we knew that we were going to have to replace our roof this year (our decision was based partly on the fact that water was pouring down our newly sheetrocked walls, and dripping from our windows, inside the house!)
North side tear off done and porch roof repaired

First snow in our new house, the kids were sooo excited to build a snowman! We were just excited that we had a new roof and skirting (although we had not insulated our pipes yet so our pipes were frozen for a couple weeks until it warmed up a bit!)
First snow in the new house!

First Christmas in our new house, feeling very blessed and thankful for the warmth of our family and home that was becoming more and more like home every day!
Christmas 2009

Spring is here! The boys helping me plant five fruit trees in the front yard
Working on stairs and railings

A new skylight means new sheetrock in the ceiling below the skylight.
Recent house repairs

New skylight, I painted it green like the walls in the kitchen
Skylight

Welcome to the Burns’ Home!! We are so thrilled that this is our home. God has been so faithful to us these past 13 months. Today marks a great milestone, we no longer have to work hard to make sure the appraiser is happy, we can just beautify our home for our own enjoyment. We have many plans for our future on this land, and it’s a blessing from God that we have space for our family to grow. In fact, in two months we are going to have another baby girl, we are all so thrilled about that and can’t wait to see who the Lord has added to our family. We are also so thankful for all the help we have received from our family and dear friends. Now to have a bit of a break, let the BBQing begin! It’s going to be a fun summer! Can’t wait to get out to our garden this week and finish planting our seeds. Thanks to all of you for all your support and so many prayers and words of encouragement, can’t wait to have you over for some fellowship!

Front door

Now this is just the beginning…

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22 Responses to A Bit of Reflection

  1. Chris & Jenni!

    Wow. What a great way to display all your hard work! Really enjoyed looking thru all of your pictures to see what you’ve been doing this year. God has really blessed your family! Hope you do truly enjoy this break after all of this – and now with the baby two months away, what better timing! So awesome!

    Love you!
    Angela

  2. debra howard says:

    chris and jenni,
    even though we don’t keep in touch, i have followed the progress of your home and the status posts that you have posted. with tears of happiness for you i want you to know how proud of you i am. i remember when chris first started working with me at fbc, aidan was just a baby then and you were renting some small house. now seveal houses later, a fire, 4 more kids, what a blessing from the Lord. i am really happy for you.
    your friend, debi howard

  3. nanajudi says:

    I can’t tell you enough how proud I am of you!!! Thank you for posting these comparison pictures, I have seen the house pre and post repair, but it is great for all of us to see just how much you have done!!
    I love you all so much!!

  4. Sigrun Berry says:

    I’m blown away!
    This is amazing and a testimony of God’s love for us.

  5. Krystle says:

    Wow Wow Wow!

    I cannot even begin to say how beautiful it is. ALL of your hard work and determination paid off.
    One year ago did you ever think you’d be where you are right now? Look at your journey in getting here… so absolutely blessed.

    Congratulations, what a beautiful home!

  6. Wow. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Jennie says:

    I can’t believe the difference you’ve made! It looks absolutely amazing! I only wish I could visit you and see it in person! I hope you have a wonderful summer enjoying your beautiful new house. xx

  8. Ariana says:

    Blessings on you! What a sigh of relief and beauty to look at pics of your amazing house! So happy for you guys and so thrilled to see how faithful the Lord has been to you. What a faith builder!

    Love you guys!

  9. Dan and Linsey says:

    NICE!You guys started after us and got finished before us. We are blessed to see how you have moved out of your rental days and into ownership. You have been patient and faithful. Chris, you have done a good job for your family. Jenni your good spirit is an example. Praise the Lord for what He has done!!!
    Dan O

  10. Nickie says:

    Oh wow, this is such an amazing visual journey. I’m so glad you took pictures so we can watch it and admire your extremely hard work! Congratulations on the new beautiful and solid home!!

  11. Robin says:

    What a great job!

  12. Handclaps & hurrahs! What a terrific job. And praise the Lord you have done it together. May He bless the work of your hands.

    Sharyn

  13. Nana Joan says:

    This is wonderful how you’ve put this all together. Some really hard jobs and yet you both persevered. It is no wonder why the inspector was so impressed! Dad & I could see the potential, but I have to say I’m in awe at how beautiful it turned out. I’m so proud of your work ethic and thankfulness to God, who provided this wonderful opportunity. I know it seems like forever, but now you and your sweet family can enjoy the fruits of your labor. Just think..the new baby will only look back at the photos..:o) Your little helpers will always remember “the New house” with the Coleman heater :o) Love you, Nana/Mom
    * I realize you’ll be back at it, on the Chicken Coop & Yard. :o)

  14. Mark Warkentin says:

    WOW-it reminds me of the good old days-i want to stay in the past-it makes me tired just looking at the pictures, but it is yours-so happy days.
    Beautiful, good job, so proud of you.
    -and great view-and room for Goats, Yaks, Mt. Sheep, Chickens, and Orchard-and lots of play area for your wonderful and blessed children.
    You are Blessed! God Bless you. Bro. Mark

  15. Ray & Donna Hillstrom says:

    The Lord has truly given you a vision for your home
    and the hands to perform all the task. What an accomplishment. There ia truly night and day in what you have done. I really can’t wait to see
    your home in person….. May the Lord bless you home……. Love Ray & Donna Hillstrom

  16. You guys are incredible!! What a wonderful job you did with such a mess! Thank you so much for documenting the work and sharing it with all of us.
    We knew how hard you were working by your posts on facebook but we could never have imagined to what extent. Your home is beautiful and I am sure your yard will be just as amazing as you find time to “play” in the dirt. It brought tears to my eyes to see all the love invested in your “HOME”
    We love you and will have to make a point to visit the in-laws and see your place.
    Much love Uncle Walt and Aunt Sandee

  17. Dona Morrison says:

    What an unbelievable transformation!! Your home is beautiful! I’m so glad Joan sent us this link! Congratulations to your coming ‘attraction’! ~Dona

  18. Congratulations and a race well run. We have been blessed to watch you in these months of many uncomfortable circumstances. It has been good to see you preserver cheerfully for the hope you had in what you were building for your family, a home. I am thrilled to see the deep joy God has given you with the results of all your hard work, labor and sacrifices which you have burdened in these many months. Well done Burns. Enjoy your rest… for now. : ) We love you. Crystal

    • Jenni says:

      Thank you for all the encouraging words! I’ve wanted to respond to the comments but our internet connection is so slow and the post too big that it times out before I can get to the comments :) Anyway, we have so many great and encouraging friends and family. We are truly blessed! I’ve enjoyed this first week off without the huge burden of needing to get ready for the appraiser! But I’m sure that next week, we’ll be back at it, moving on to another project! Thanks again for stopping by and seeing what the Lord can do with a couple of willing hands, He has blown us away this year and it’s a been a year of learning for all of us! Blessings to all of you, and thanks again for your many encouraging words!

  19. a. borealis says:

    WOW. The amount of work you guys have put into that place is amazing. Now you get to enjoy it! It is beautiful. I wish your family a relaxing summer.

    • Jenni says:

      Thank you! And we will enjoy it fully and have a relaxing summer as soon as the baby comes. I have about seven weeks to go, I want to get as much done as possible before the babe arrives, then I feel like I can allow myself some real rest! :)

  20. Kirsten (Freeman) Plummer says:

    How inspiring! And such a great time to view it, with the painting contractor visiting today.

    As much as we’d love to do it ourselves, we don’t have the equipment to paint walls 35 ft. high, which the contractor can do quickly and efficiently.

    So we begin the house-torn-apart summer/year, and I already envy your house-all-perfect! Enjoy!

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