Thursday, November 26, 2009

It Is Finished

At long last, the bathroom is finished. Below is a progression of pictures which shows the destruction phase, then the construction phase, a process which took several months.

The original bathroom. If you stood far enough away, it didn't look too bad.

The beginning of demolition. Tile shards, drywall dust, sawdust, and just plain dust made for a very dirty job. That's why I had my kids do it.

The claw-foot bathtub exposed. Because of the slant of the floor, it would not drain properly.

Destruction nearly complete. All the fixtures gone, and the plaster about to be removed. Josh and David had the job of hauling the tub down the narrow stairway. I told them that they built a lot of character that day. David told me that they learned a lot of new language that day also.

New plumbing stack installed. Since the house settled several inches and the old stack didn't, the difference pushed the toilet out of the floor. So I either had to raise the house or lower the plumbing. I chose to lower the plumbing by simply replacing all of it.

Additional plumbing for the tub installed.

Time to level the floor. Sleepers cut at an angle and new plywood made for good bathtub drainage again.

New level floor installed. Because of the severity of the slant across the bathroom, the floor had to be rebuilt in two levels, so the tub is actually two inches higher than the rest of the bathroom.

Tub set in place. Too bad the room is seven inches wider than the tub.

New drywall and new window in place. Also, the seven inches behind the tub was filled with a linen cabinet.

Some of the painting is done. Heating vent installed, medicine cabinet installed, and the final flooring is installed.

The finished product. The only thing missing from this picture is the showerhead.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The End of an Era

It's tough to see happen, but the boys have moved on from things that were interesting a few years ago. Particularly since they had so much fun building and then using these "go-machines". But, in the end, practicality won out. I needed the space in my barn, so the go-machines had to go. I took some last pictures, just for old time's sake...

The low-racer, made from a Craftsman lawn tractor

The infamous propeller-kart. This one was a blast.

The propeller-kart, rear view

On the trailer, before hauling to the recycling center. This was 1200 pounds of metal. Our place seems to accumulate this stuff.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Missing Day

Last year, we didn't have a November 5. We went right from November 4 to November 6. So this year I'll sit and bask in the November five-iness for a while to make up for last year.

We left last year on November 4 and arrived in Beijing on November 6, heading into an adventure that we had no idea how it would turn out. It was, and continues to be, quite an adventure. A few days from our missing November 5, on November 10, we stepped off the train after an 11-hour overnight train trip in Xi'an in central China. Later that day, we met our daughter for the first time. She has been with us ever since, and we have not been the same since. Abigail certainly added a whole new dynamic to our family. We thank God for our newest family member and the progress she has made. In just one short year, she has learned to speak English, she has learned how to live in a family, she is making strides academically, and she is growing physically.

What a difference a year makes.