Whacka-mole and Seesaw

This week we made all the pyramid forms for our concrete. Getting them in just the right place, leveled, and covered in sand without moving them a hair proved to be a task. For the guys that is. I just watched. So I use the word “very” loosely.

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Everyone should have at least one of these pyramid forms at their home. They provide ALL KINDS of entertainment for kids. My 9- year old has discovered GREAT joy in jumping from pyramid to pyramid, hiding down inside, and when Jeremiah wasn’t watching, popping up to scare him, like the wacka-mole game. This game turned into chasing each other around with the hose, and other pastimes. Now they are all in place and ready for concrete!

We received a second load of logs Sunday. That doesn’t get old. We have one more log delivery day coming.

We’ve had neighbors stop by asking what the logs are for. When we tell them we are building a log home, their eyebrows go up, jaws drop, questions flow, and “I want to come and watch!” is said.

This seems to be the widespread reaction, no matter who we tell. In fact, while waiting to meet the log man at the gas station, a stranger asked my husband what they were for. He was equally as enthralled as everyone else, asking more questions about the process, and another man overheard the conversation and got in on it with his own interest and questions.

When I arrived at the land yesterday, another stranger was in our yard hearing about it all, and thought it was thrilling, and wants to come watch. We’ve had large numbers of people say they want to come watch it go up. Whether they actually do or not is a mystery….but all are welcome!

Along with log delivery day came telehandler delivery day!! I can honestly say that I NEVER thought I’d hear myself celebrating and being excited about yet another huge construction vehicle… but I am!!

It’s enormous! For those who don’t know, a telehandler is a vehicle that can lift logs as if they were toothpicks. Gone are the days of hooking up each log to a chain to the tractor and dragging it (awwwww… and log surfing). This is also the tool we will lift each log with and place upon each wall.

The telehandler arrived and eyes opened wide.  My 9-year old was all ready to drive it. (I’m not being sarcastic, either. Got to keep an eye on that one! She goes from lip gloss, dresses, and dance class, to coming out here and fighting over tools and tractor driving)

Watching the thing drive is fascinating. The huge back tires steer it, and they appear to turn almost 360 degrees.   You have to keep a close eye on what is behind it. Both my girls have now been behind the wheel operating it… with careful and intense supervision of Daddy, or, in Reese’s case, from Daddy’s lap. The pictures of delivery day are down below.

Yesterday (Monday) was concrete delivery day. It was very exciting to see the rotating truck pull up. The truck couldn’t quite reach all our piers, so the guys devised a moveable wooden ramp system. Steve would take the tractor to the concrete truck, get a bucketful, drive it to the pier and dump it into the ramp system. From there the girls and Jeremiah and I took turns scraping the concrete down into the pyramids. Then they moved the ramp to the next pyramid. (Pictures are further down.)

After that came smoothing out the fresh concrete on top, and sticking in the rebar to put the first logs onto. After just a few of the piers were poured, we saw the need to bump up the integrity of the 2×4’s, so the girls jumped all over the opportunity to add screws to them.

My girls have had more arguments over who gets to drive and operate the tractor, and who gets to use the power tools than they have ever argued over anything. Each day I find myself playing moderator and having to remind them to take turns. I have to laugh, though, when I think about “what” they are fighting over! Not toys….not boys…not hair supplies, video games, or tv shows. Tractors and power tool usage!!! It reminds me of their battle over the sander for the McGuire House kitchen counter. Anyway, here are pictures of the concrete process.

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The telehandler arrived.   Oooooh boy.   The guy dropped it off, and just assumed we knew how to use it.  We didn’t.  Neither did he.   The logs had to be unloaded from the logger’s truck right then.  Time to figure it out!   Steve is a fast learner…

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Can you say intimidating?

After unloading all the logs from the log delivery truck, we started taking them down to the job site with the telehandler. Steve made a sling from a large strap, and suspended the logs. Reiley or I guided it with a rope, preventing it from swinging like a pendulum into trees and cars.  When in a parked position, we discovered that hanging logs made GREAT seesaws! We had fun sitting on both ends and going up and down.

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Today (Tuesday) will be spent removing the wood forms from the piers. The girls have taken turns with the power drill removing all the screws. The guys will disassemble everything. We have logs to peel, and a few other tasks to complete before hopefully starting to stack the logs and building the walls starting tomorrow (Wednesday)!

If anyone wants to come try peeling logs, feel free! They take about one hour for a 40 footer. The rest are 20-30 feet. They aren’t “hard”. But aren’t like spreading icing on a cake either. We are paying log strippers per log. Our friend Mallory came over and spent the day and evening with us last week. She peeled a whole 40 footer in an hour. She just arrived again a couple hours ago to do another one. Steve’s mom also came out and tried it. She’s 70! I got 1/2 a log done, and now need to go finish it. Wanna join me?

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In case you’re wondering how our kids can be out here so much, they are home schooled. When they aren’t removing screws and driving tractors, they are in their textbooks.

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It works for us!

The next post is “The First Logs Are Up!”  Just click on the link.  Or, if you just stumbled on this post from the internet, click on “What do Vegas and logs have in common?” to see the very beginning of this log home building process.   Or click on “What is Cottonwood Creek” to see what this whole blog is about.

10 thoughts on “Whacka-mole and Seesaw

  1. Suzanne, you crack me up. As I sit here on the telehandler watching Steve nail in a log, and wait for instructions, the girls are in the B&B studying and doing their class work. I just tutored Reese in geometry a bit ago. They come get me when they need help. Reiley got an A on both her History and Science tests last week. Maybe it’s the fresh, sawdust filled air? Lol!! When you come out, I’ll feed you.

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  2. I’m not wondering when they do school I know with a mom like you they are schooling all the time, in the books and in the screws. I would like to think that I would love to come and do some of the “work” with you. When I’m totally honest with my self I think “nah” I’ll just watch you guys through your blog. I know you have TONS more energy than I will ever have. So now I’ll wait until it’s finished and come visit you then. Love you guys!

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  3. Our kids have loved the whole process. They dreaded moving and were devastated when we told them we were building a new house.. I asked a few days ago if they were still upset. They said no. Instead they think this log home stuff is like living in Cabelas or Bass Pro and are ecstatic!! Ha ha! Be sure to read about the building of the McGuire House on this blog, too. That was fun as well. Quality family time. You will love every minute of the process. Steve and I can’t believe it has only been a matter of weeks since we took the class and it about up!

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  4. We are planning to build our 1st log home in one year. It’s amazing to see yours unfolding. Our boys are both grown and plan to build cabins on our property as well. What fun it would have been to do so when they were little! Even with them grown, we really look forward to it. Man Power! 😉

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  5. Finally got a chance to catch up on your story. I’m so excited about what God’s doing in your precious family’s life. Can’t wait to come see all you’ve done and hopefully help with what I can. Maybe we can get some visiting in while we work ?

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  6. If you have a pressure washer with a zero degree turbo nozzle, you can peel those logs in about the same time, but much less work! Keep at it. Ya’ll are doing great!

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  7. As their grandmother, I can tell you, these two girls are sharp as tacks! They have book knowledge, cooking skills, house keeping skills and building skills. They are a precious Christian family. Of course I’m bragging!

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