Building Oak Haven – a bit of stress

The past week and a half presented a bit of stress.  More so than the typical stress of building. A few months ago, our oldest son’s girlfriend invited us to her commencement ceremonies in Maryland where she would receive her master’s degree. Knowing we would be nearing the end of the building process, we gave a tentative maybe, not really expecting to be able to attend, but hoping that we could.

My parents live about five and half hours away from Baltimore, an easy day’s drive. When my mom was taken to the hospital yet again, this time from the rehab facility, and put back on the ventilator, Jon and I felt a strong nudge to make the trip. She has been in and out of the hospital, on and off the ventilator so many times since January we’ve lost count. We decided it was worth the crazy trip. Thankfully, she was able to be taken off the ventilator and before we left she returned to the rehab facility. The weekend of our visit just so happened to fall on Mother’s day weekend and my parent’s anniversary.

Unfortunately, the stress started the weekend before. While Jon was at a men’s retreat with Journey Fellowship, I caught up on house building paperwork and one of Juve’s tile guys worked on the master bath.  I’m not sure why it clicked when it did, but when I was checking out the work he was doing on the master tub, I suddenly had a horrible sinking feeling. We had measured to make sure the tub we selected/purchased would fit length and width, but we never measured height. And we had purchased a deep tub. I ran and grabbed the measuring tape. Yep. It was standard height of twenty-two inches, four inches shorter than our new tub.  I broke the news to Jon when he returned and made a frantic phone call to Ferguson’s where we purchased the tub. Unfortunately it was Saturday so the best we could do was order a template for a tub that might fit the cutout. I had hoped it would arrive before we left so we would know if the shorter tub was an option. It did not arrive and we’re waiting until we get home to find out. I realized as the master shower was being tiled that I never asked to have the niche shelves put in the guest bath. I always love having a little extra space when I travel and visit and wanted the same comforts for our guests. But I had forgotten. Now I’m exploring possible options for the same function. We also ran out of some of the decorative tile in our master bath, about two and a half feet short. Another minor inconvenience waiting to be finished once the extra tile arrives.

Jon and I spent the week leading up to the trip frantically getting as much done as possible.
Hollywood Crawford installed the garage door two days before we left and we were able to finally lock up the house. We installed crown molding and trim to all the cabinets so they’d be ready when Fernando comes to stain them.  San Antonio Granite Works and Universal Form Tops came out to measure templates for our counters.

Fortress also showed up and set up the forms for our driveway, sidewalk and AC pad. They were poured while we were gone.


Our youngest son has plans to work at Baylor over the summer, however, the apartment he’ll live in was not available until a week after he had to be out of the dorm. So he joined us for the road trip, driving home the day before we left.

We put in long days, driving from Texas to Alabama the first day then on to Virginia the second. I was very disappointed when we arrived too late to to visit with our daughter, her husband and our sweet grandbaby. We made the decision to press on for Maryland the following morning and didn’t get to see them then either. They would follow us that evening. Unfortunately rain and D.C. traffic turned a four hour drive into seven. We did have the chance to see our oldest son during dinner and then visit with his girlfriend’s family that evening. It was fun getting to know them.

The next day we attended the commencement and were blessed to spend the afternoon and evening with the kids and grandbaby. We had a great dinner at a steak and seafood restaurant.  It made the whole drive one hundred percent worth it. An awesome way to spend Mother’s Day eve.


On Mother’s Day we headed to Pennsylvania to visit my family. We met my dad and sister then surprised my mom at the place where she is staying for rehab. The surprise and joy on her face made the trip even more worth it. Priceless. She and I spent the following day together and Jon and I took her and my dad out to dinner for their anniversary, joined by my sister, aunt, and cousin and her husband.



Then we made the long trek home. During the long hours on the road both ways, we had interesting discussions with our son and entertained ourselves with the audio version of Words of Radiance, book two of Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. When we finished that, our son read to us from Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection by Sanderson.

Now that we’re home, we have more work and meetings scheduled, more shopping planned and problem solving to tackle.

Grace & Peace

Posted in Hill Country Living | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Building Oak Haven – moving right along

Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings. Our land will yield its bountiful harvest.
Psalm 85:12

I am always amazed with the way the Lord blesses us with little answers.

Prosource received most of our tile order and Juve and his tile guys tiled our guest bathroom and most of our tile floors. Some of the tile was on back order but it came in Thursday (an answer to a little prayer) and Juve’s guys should be back out again today to finish the laundry room and our  master bath.

guest bath

kitchen tile

my study








Maybe I should have had everything delivered

A&M Electric and Trenching installed all of our canned lighting and set up power to the house. Once our driveway and AC pad is poured, they will be back out again to install all of the light fixtures. I stopped by Ferguson and picked up a load of our fans and lights when I was over on that side of town. We have all of them except for a couple of lights on back order, track lighting I will pick up from Home Depot today, and the under the counter lights I still need to pick out.




Bill’s Cabinet Shop finished our cabinets about a week ago and finally, with most of the painting and tile done, we were ready for them. They delivered on Tuesday. Jon and I were a bit overwhelmed as the delivery guys unloaded them into our garage.

Since the beginning, we planned to install and stain the cabinets ourselves. As we surveyed the work ahead of us, thankfully, Jon and I were of one mind: contact Fernando and get an estimate for staining. He came by the next morning and gave us a price within our budget.  We are quite relieved to not have to tackle this daunting task and I am actually looking forward to restaining of few pieces of our furniture in the future.

Refrigerator cabinet in background

A very dear friend of ours, Rick Jones, and Jon’s dad showed up Wednesday morning to install the cabinets. Jon could not have done it without them and we so appreciate their hard work.

I’ve never had custom cabinets before and I have to admit, they were different than I expected.  For example, rather than a mere cabinet to install over the refrigerator, we have a cabinet frame for the refrigerator with the upper cabinet attached. Same thing for the double ovens. And instead of small sections of cabinets and drawers, we received large sections built together. Jon and I finished the island on Friday; it fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. The workmanship of the cabinets and the wood (knotty alder) are beautiful.
Our house is beginning to look like a home.

Ferguson also delivered the remaining plumbing hardware this week, however my farm sink was damaged. After a couple of quick calls, we’ll have the new one delivered on Monday. Which is very important because the San Antonio Granite Works and Universal Form Tops will be out to make templates for our counter tops. Hollywood Crawford will also install our garage door (another answer to a little prayer).

Still so much to do, but we should be about six weeks out from completion. We’ve been in contact with Supreme Lending and Navy Federal with regards to our mortgage. Navy Federal has great mortgage rates right now, but Supreme Lending (who helped set up our construction loan with Sonora Bank) was able to come back with some competitive numbers as well. Time to start filling out the paperwork.

We already love living out here in River Chase. We’ve talked to several neighbors on our street and we look forward to having a house warming party and getting to know everyone. Jon and I have also spent several early mornings sitting out on our pack patio, enjoying our coffee, watching the deer, and listening to the birds. Indeed, the Lord pours down His blessings and I am thankful.

Grace & Peace

Posted in Hill Country Living | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Building Oak Haven – getting to work

Unique Drywall finished the sheetrock and texture last week and it was finally time for us to get to work (as if we haven’t been already, lol). We started painting on Thursday and had the house completely primed by Saturday evening. A big shout out to Jon’s Dad and his paint sprayer.  It would have taken us a lot longer without it.  JDR Construction also show up to rock our kitchen bar and fireplace. We realized we had yet to purchase our mantel and they needed to install it as they worked up the wall. So, we stopped painting long enough to make a quick trip to Cornelius Contracting to select one and bring it back. It’s made from sycamore wood and makes me think of the song of Zaccheus. We love how the whole thing turned out.

On Sunday, we did our best to rest. Instead of painting, we shopped for more paint and stain at Sherwin Williams (they had an awesome sale over the weekend) and lights at Lowes. The rest of our lights have already been ordered from Ferugsons. We continued to paint on Monday and Tuesday and now have paint on every wall, but still need to cut in and touch up.

Yesterday, A&M Electric sent a crew of four or five guys. They spread out through the house installing plugs, switches and canned lighting. They’ll finish up what they can today and then come back to install the rest of our lights sometime next month. JDR Construction also came back, this time with a Bobcat to scoop up all the chunks of rock, sand and mortar from around the outside of the house. They piled it up in front of the garage to use as filler/base for the driveway. Since we had to have a side entrance driveway (per POA covenant), there’s a three foot drop off from the garage floor to the ground.

We’ve been notified our cabinets are finished and ready to deliver. Juve, the tile guy is supposed to show up today to start installing tile floors, showers and tub surrounds. Once we find out when he’ll be done, we can schedule delivery of the cabinets. Then we’ll get to work installing and staining them.

Our pup is underwhelmed by the whole process

Grace & Peace

Posted in Hill Country Living | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Building Oak Haven – Time flies

I thought I’d have more time, now that we’re at the camper and not running back and forth to the property. But somehow, that doesn’t seem to be the case. What a blessing to have sold our house and not have to worry about it any more.

Because, for the new house over the last week and a half we:
– met with Amaris at Prosource to finalize and order our tile selections
– met with Bianca at Fergusons to review our sink, lighting and appliance selections and determine lead times needed for order and delivery
– met with Zulma at San Antonio Granite Works to walk through their granite remnants (they have LOTS) and get an estimate for our counters

Venetian Ice

– visited Triton Granite and selected our bundle of Venetian Ice (Jon loves the river rock pattern it has)
– stopped by Cornelius Contracting to check out their selection of custom mantels made from local Hill Country trees (they are a tree care and land clearing service and repurpose the wood)
– sent Craig at 84 Lumber changes to our interior door selections for a revised bid

My Study




While we were busy running from place to place, Unique Drywall sheet rocked the whole house. It was messy business (like everything else) but they did a great job cleaning up/sweeping out.



They started taping and mudding earlier this week, but we were told they wouldn’t be able get back out to finish until next week. We were pleasantly surprised when a crew showed up late Friday afternoon. And even more delighted when the crew returned Saturday morning. Hopefully they will be back to texture early next week.

Looks like priming and painting is in our very near future. We’ve also been informed our cabinets will be ready for delivery by the end of next week! Which means staining is coming up fast.


While I will never bemoan rain in Central Texas, the recent storm events have made our stay in the camper a bit interesting. As the National Weather Service issues severe weather warnings, we are praying them away. Even though Jon enjoys a good storm, the camper isn’t the place we really want to experience one. The mud also makes life a bit challenging.



Due to our cramped living conditions, our Baylor Bear opted not to come home for Easter, so we decided to drive up and visit him. We had a great evening with him listening to his college adventures and thoughts on life. Sunday we worshipped in the University’s Ferrell Center with First Woodway Baptist Church. It was an awesome service, reminding us because of the Resurrection of Jesus
– death is not final
– sin is not victorious
– new life is available
He is Risen Indeed!

We also enjoyed lunch with another Baylor family from San Antonio. Jonny will be working as a research assistant at Baylor over the summer and rooming with their son. We’re sad we won’t have Jonny’s help to trim out the house, but we’re excited for the great experience/opportunity for him.

Grace & Peace

Posted in Hill Country Living | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Building Oak Haven – Rocked it


JDR Construction finished up the exterior masonry, both our stucco and our rock. We love how it all came together. As the masons hung the rock we could tell Chunks of flint filled the layer from where our rock was cut. It gives us an authentic feel for the local area (chunks of flint can be found all over our property). Fry Roofing also finished up the last details of the roof.


We’re now living the camper life until the house is finished. There are  some challenges, but we’ve spent plenty of time in in the camper thanks to many trips to Pennsylvania. The camper creates book ends to our time in Schertz. We lived in it when we were house hunting and waiting to close and now Here we are, living in it once again

Come on in!

Last week we finished packing out the final bit of the house on Mountain Brook. We saved a few things until Friday (like the rug, TV/DVD player and folding table and chairs), because on Thursday evening we hosted our community group for the last time in our Schertz home. What an amazing 5 1/2 years. The house has been an awesome blessing filled with incredible friends who have prayed with us, worshiped with us, studied with us and most importantly shared their lives with us. I know our new home promises more blessings to come. So glad we can continue to worship and share our lives with many of the families. 

Over the weekend, while Jill was away at a women’s leadership retreat, Jon hosted family at the construction site, including his brother Jim, in town for a conference, and his Uncle Charlie and Aunt Michael Anne who are visiting as well. They had a picnic on the back patio. Thank you Uncle Charlie for your tips on staining our cabinets and doors. You’re welcome to come back and visit again in a few weeks when the cabinets are delivered. 😉

Looks like ice/snow formations

Boerne Construction Spray Foam sprayed out the house with foam insulation. They had a few issues with equipment along the way, but we now have a very climate controlled home. For a little extra, they also sprayed out the garage.

Love the imagery

   I took a picture in the attic and it revealed this picture. God’s Word Lies in our foundation and fills our framework and now we have the reminder of the cross above us.

Ready to hang

Unique Drywall delivered the sheet rock. They are supposed to start this week, hanging, taping, floating and texturing (monterey drag).  Before we know it, we’ll be breaking out the paint rollers and brushes and getting to work. 

 Grace & Peace


Posted in Hill Country Living | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment