Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Working on the inside...

Usually, as the winter months approach, I start thinking about how exactly I can spend my extended period indoors. I dream of catching up in school, getting some organizing done, maybe catching up on organizing photos and blogging. You know, all the things you are pretty confident you will have time for with outdoor temps dropping into the -30 degrees Celsius mark and lower. The kids and I had been in school for most of the year so far, trying to make up for the time we miss on furlough when we are not as easily able to do school work. Our furloughs are very short (about 5 months) and we just don't spend time with our noses in the books when there are family members to get to know and new friends to meet.

Then, it happened! The US dollar became very strong against the Russian ruble and before you knew it, we were getting almost twice the amount of rubles to dollars! After a long waiting period of not being able to even think about finishing the inside of our house because of the lack of finances to purchase the necessary drywall, paint, and numerous other supplies, we were able to start calculating exactly how many pieces we would need to finish the first floor. I couldn't believe it!

As you can see from these photos, we still had quite a bit of work to be done inside.

This is the foyer (that is the front door).

The kitchen needed the most expensive work as our current cabinets are falling apart and provide no where near the amount of space we need for our family. Plus the drywall needed to be completed on all but one wall.

The Kitchen

All of the first floor ceilings look like this pic below still and must be completed.
What will be our living room.
We have been using it as a school room since it has no furniture in it.

After several trips to the home store where we purchase most of our supplies, we ordered the drywall and it was delivered within a few days. I didn't even have to help unload it from the truck as I usually do, since there were three guys who arrived on the truck. I did have to help my husband carry it all inside though since it couldn't sit out in the cold weather. 

Between two stacks in the hallway between the foyer and living room and one stack between the kitchen and dining room, we were encouraged!

That was 35 sheets of drywall that were just screaming to be installed.

Just beautiful!
So, if any of you know my husband, you already know that he did not sit and think about what he was going to do with all this material!

We also were able to purchase drywall mud, tape, glue, paint for some rooms upstairs (finally!), base coat paint for downstairs (more will be needed later for upstairs), electrical boxes, wire, light switches, and the list goes on. What a blessing!

We went to work!
And, boom, it is almost March. Winter is almost over and our house is getting done. Here is a photo we took on our phones (so with the daytime light the color is not as rich) as we were painting the living room.

Here is the beautiful muted teal color that went on our dining room walls.

Tomorrow we must tackle the kitchen drywall as the area just around the window is the only part of the first floor that does not have drywall up! We have been busy!

The living room is completely painted. The dining room is now completely painted.
We look forward to posting more pics when the entire foyer is painted.
Then, we pray about the kitchen cabinets. We have picked them out and were about to order them but couldn't. The exchange rate is still good for us but, prices are going up now as a result. We were told this price increase would definitely affect the price of cabinets. Please pray we can order them soon!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Out with the old and in with the new - stove that is!

The mess has begun! In our old house, built way back when, we still hold Sunday school for our children and teens. We have been doing this since we moved out of the old house and into the new house back in December of  2012. Without a warm little family living inside, cooking, baking, and keeping the stove stoked, the house is even colder inside. We have said that if the house was warmer, we could hold other meetings in it and it would just plain make Sunday school more pleasant. However, we were not able to afford to put in a new heating system in the old house when it at least had this stove in it,

...and the new house had no heating system at all.

Thankfully, once all was prepped and ready for us to put a coal burning stove into the new house we received a substantial love offering which allowed us to purchase this stove.

I won't go into all the details about the installation of this stove as that is described in several older posts here and here. Needless to say, it is a huge process.
We moved into our new house on Christmas Eve of 2011. We enjoyed our heating system which provided much more heat than we ever "experienced" in our old house. One thing about heating a house in the middle of Siberia is that even after the hours of planning, it is still "trial and error" once everything is up and running. In the time since our installation, we have realized a few changes that we need to make like installing a few more radiators in certain rooms.
As we spent the next few winters using the coal burning stove we learned through experience that it has to be maintained about every 2-3 hours maximum in the colder months. It is just as time consuming as that old stove in the old house pictured up above, with the exception that you had to go outside to stoke the newer one while the older one was in our kitchen! One problem that we didn't foresee with the coal/wood burning stove was the increased exposure to fumes and smoke. My husband tended to the stove most of the time. After a month or two of being exposed to that smoke, he became ill with bronchitis. For two weeks, I took care of the 'stove stoking' and his condition improved. So, we had him go back into our stove room a few times a day and immediately he started coughing again.
My husband had been looking into pellet stoves since we began this heating system journey. We had always dreamed of one day buying a pellet stove for several reasons: it is a much cleaner way to heat, the inconsistency in the quality of coal here varies greatly, and eventually, we could even possibly make our own pellets. As we looked further into pellet stoves, my husband was able to find some difficult parts in another city. The Lord worked it out for them to then be packed in a friend's mom's container to be shipped by train along with an order she had made, decreasing the shipping cost greatly. Things seemed to be coming together for us to one day own a pellet stove, except the stove itself. They were still pretty pricey.
In 2013, and just as we were about to leave to the US on furlough, another missionary who was coming to live in our house and take care of our ministry while we were gone, decided that a pellet stove was sounding pretty tempting to keep from having to run outside every 2-3 hours to stoke the coal stove. So, they were kind enough to purchase the stove with our approval, install it as my husband planned, and use it in our absence. We are still paying that purchase back to the missionary I believe, but we look forward to trying it out ourselves this winter!

Here she is!

That pipe that you see leading out of the range of the photo connects to a barrel which holds the pellets. 

The temperature can be set and an auger feeds the pellets into the stove so there is little to no "maintaining" the stove. It's pretty basic and low maintenance! Perfect! My husband could probably explain it all in greater detail so if you have any questions, just ask them in the comments below and I will have him answer them. :)
The building the stove is housed in was an old "banya" built by the previous owners of the property and small house. We plan on tearing it all down and rebuilding a nicer building which will also serve as a warm room for garden seedlings and be connected to a stable for our goats to winter in. The goal was to do tear down and rebuild this past summer, but we were financially unable to do so in time before summer ended and the time when we need to use the heating system approached.

So, having said all that we can return to the stove in the old house. Only now, it looks more like this:

Then, my hubby was able to do some more work on it a few days ago and now it looks like this:

Now that we have the pellet stove to use for the new house this winter, we can put the coal burning stove into the old house, in the same spot where the original stove was located. I am so excited! Normally, we can not take our gloves and hats off in the winter time during Sunday school. Even with this stove going and a cannon heater right beside us, it is cold. We are planning on purchasing radiators just as we did in our new house to install in each of the four rooms of the old house. If the coal burning stove is positioned in the place of the original one, it will be in the middle of the house thus making it easier to design a circulating pipe system to reach all four rooms. This house being much smaller in size, the job will be completed quickly once we have the necessary supplies. 

We had a bathroom in the old house for our family to use, but without the house being heated year round, we removed the tub and closed off the wall temporarily before removing the toilet and bathroom completely (to the right of this pic below). We had a terrible time with mold and mildew in the house while we lived in it. So, we are trying to keep all moisture out of it as much as possible. I would also love to re-wallpaper the walls since, in the treatment of the house twice for mold and mildew, some of the wallpaper had to be removed from the lower parts of the walls (also visible in this pic). Another reason for taking out the bathroom is that it wasn't convenient to have a bathroom right in our bedroom/living room and it still wouldn't be convenient to have it in the middle of our Sunday school room! We still have an outhouse on the property so that is sufficient for now. 

We would also love to begin teen meetings (in the old house) during the week as that is something we headed up during our years of living in the city and working at Krasnoyarsk Baptist Church. We have had several parents mention their desire to see us begin holding these meetings. We need to get an effective heating system installed as soon as possible in order to hold more meetings in the house. Even though the kids are from Siberia, they don't like to be cold! ;)

Back to School Sunday - August 2014
Please pray for us in the endeavor to purchase the necessary items including radiators, pipes, and all the little parts that are necessary for us to be able to get this project completed before November arrives and the weather gets really cold. I will be sharing this post on our ministry blog as well.

We look forward to posting pictures of the completed project!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Technical Difficulties

I am posting on all of our blogs to let everyone know that all of our photos were accidentally deleted from all three of our blogs. Please forgive this error. I am working to get them back on as they were before but it will take lots of time to get this accomplished. I will start with the most recent posts and work my way back. Thank you for your understanding!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Coal burning stove installation

Well, here it is...the moment many of you have been waiting for, definitely a moment we have been waiting for! We were able to install our coal burning stove just before the really cold weather set in.

As a "for now" measure, we used the "banya" building that already existed when we purchased the house and property. Thank the Lord for the friends who sent us special love offerings "out of the blue" which allowed us to buy this stove. We know God works all things out for our good and there are no mistakes with Him!

We did have to break up the concrete floor and dig a ditch out from the banya to the new house like you saw in a previous post.

We also had to cut a hole through the ceiling of the banya and the roof in order to place the smoke stack. Then through a hole in the side of the attic space of the banya we insulated around the smokestack with special heat resistant insulation to prevent the immediate area around the stack  from getting too hot.

Here we are just giving everyone one more reason to pray for us - putting in a smoke stack on a frozen roof in the middle of Siberia! ;)

In this photo, my husband is preparing to tether the smokestack in place.

A smoking smokestack on a cold winter day is a beautiful thing!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Siding - Summer 2012

One of the major house projects we had hoped to complete this summer was to have siding installed on the house. Last Fall, David and I completed two rows of the house wrap ourselves which, if you remember from our posts, was more than a challenge for us due to the height. To finish the job, he asked another missionary to help out with the higher rows which required using scaffolding. We worked to cover the house with house wrap before last year's winter weather arrived to help protect the OSB. 

Fast forward to Spring and the above photo proves that we definitely had some strong winds during the winter months.
With the OSB exposed we knew that we needed to get the house wrap on again and do our best to purchase the siding needed to close it all in.

Praise the Lord, just in time, He provided the funds for us to be able to both purchase the siding and pay to have it installed.

As soon as the weather was warm enough to work comfortably, the men whom we hired came out to begin the process. Due to our extreme cold temperatures here in Siberia, siding is installed a bit differently than in the States. As you can see the siding is divided into three sections on each side of the house. These shorter spans help prevent sagging as a result of our drastic temperatures in summer and winter.

This photo below is not the greatest picture but you can see the trim pieces all on along the roof and the drain pipes, even though we have to finish them on the bottom end, are in place. 
I can't tell you what a blessing it is for us to have an all siding intact, closed in, and completed looking house! 

We plan on finishing the foundation walls, where you can see the yellow insulation below the siding, off with artificial rock at a later date but we are excited to have this "siding" chapter closed in our home building process.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pouring the front porch and steps

It's been a long time since we have posted on several of our blogs so we are attempting to update them with what you have missed since we have been MIA. Here is a simple post showing how my husband poured the cement for the steps up to the front door of our new house. 

Nothing major but much nicer than walking on a "balance beam" that we used before the steps to get into the house!

After a rainy day.

Another project completed!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


We recently were able to find one store that had several things that we needed for the new house: doors, a few sheets of drywall, linoleum for our bathroom, and a bathtub for the kid's bathroom. We had been waiting for most of these items we wanted to buy to be available in the store so that we only had to pay for one delivery truck. 
If it wasn't so frustrating it would be funny how sometimes trying to buy simple things like door handles can be more than difficult. We tried on four or five attempts to buy the handles, and other components (which are all sold separately now) at one time so they would all match. 

I had found this beautiful handle which I loved in antique bronze.

I had tried and tried to find another variant that I liked but every time we went to buy them, the stores didn't have all of the necessary parts for all the doors we needed to buy handles for. 
Finally, after waiting a bit longer, we were able to order everything we needed. 
And, I was able to have THE door handle I originally wanted! 

Now, my hubby and I have a door AND a bedroom to call our own - almost as good as Christmas!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...