Coming Home

Posted by tom | Dec 10, 2006

On Friday, I (Tom) returned from a Spiritual Formation Seminar on Early Christian Spirituality at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary by pulling into our new stone driveway. A new house, which we should by occupying by the end of the week . . . by God's grace a new home to bless family, friends, neighbors, the People of God.

A big thank-you to brothers-in-Christ from Elizabethtown Brethren-in-Christ (the specific local incarnation of our home, i.e., the People of God, into which we'll be adopted later this morning) for helping us unpack the storage unit and set-up the dining room table on Saturday.

A few minor updates on the house: first floor painting finished, dryer installed, furniture mostly in place (except for the bunk beds which need the final touches of paint). Looking forward to having conversation with you over tea sped along by our hot water tap :-)

Only have the basement, which includes my office and books desiring to be freed from the bondage of boxes, framing/drywalling, some loose ends of HVAC, the basement windows, and a variety of little things to go (e.g., install washer, replacement back screen door, replacement hall closet door). Should just take a few hours when Peter and Becky visit next weekend, but if you'd also like to help out let me know.

Power on-line!

Posted by tom | Nov 30, 2006

After helping Hayley and Ellen pick out some books at the Scholastic Book Fair and then rushing to pick-up Eden from E-town BIC's Kid's Playhouse, I came back to PP&L in the drive-way. We now have lighting to testify to Theresa's great color selection . . . those promised photos will be easier to take and painting will go deeper into the night. HVAC and the excavation team return tomorrow. We'll move some stuff into the house this weekend. We may be occupying sometime late next week (or at least have enough stuff in the house to make it appear that we're living on-site). In Good Christmas Cheer, Tom

PP&L Surveyor visit and other updates

Posted by tom | Nov 28, 2006

Good thing I was working out of 1834 this morning . . . I saw the PP&L truck pass by and a survey person looking confused, thinking our property was behind the 1844 mailbox instead of the new modular sitting where he parked the truck. We should have power by the end of the week, possibly earlier (much better than the sometime between Dec 5-8 quote we received last week). Yeah! That will make the HVAC roar sooner, the paint go on faster, and boxes find their home with a flurry of activity.

Other news . . . Just heard back from the excavator. He will return to our site on Friday. He's been delayed by a problem w/a disc in his back and rain at another job. When he returns to 1844, he'll finish off his work. But probably not the basement windows as they're still not in stock because of delay in shipping around Thanksgiving and all the hunters which are in the field instead of in the factory.

Also, talked with the Occupancy office today, we can start moving stuff into the house. I'm going to try to clear out the Middletown storage unit by the end of the month. Waiting for the driveway, grading, electricity, HVAC, and back deck. That's all, did I mention, Carl got a dear? :-)

Field Report

Posted by tom | Nov 27, 2006

It was all over by 8:00 am. After a two hour drag I thought I was getting old because it was a tough drag even downhill. When I got to the cabin I found that he weighed 170 lbs. field dressed. That's very big for around here. It's seven points because the eighth one is broken off. 18 inch outside spread.

-- Carl Ginder, Theresa's Dad

Bringing home the meat!

HVAC/Electric Update

Posted by tom | Nov 22, 2006

HVAC will run the basement zone line next week, cut temporary return registers (which will then be fed thru the 8 ft ceiling after its up) and heating registers (which will then be extended once the rooms are framed out). The heat pump will arrive next Thursday. They can install it, but PP&L isn't going to visit us until sometime between Dec 5-8. PP&L received the inspection confirmation, but they were waiting for us to complete the process before sending anyone out by confirming the trench was prepared and that we are the ones assuming responsibility for payment.

Pray for us as we're both experiencing frustration in different ways as our move-in date is creeping back toward Christmas (w/gifts buried in storage somewhere), Urbana (would be great to have the house set-up before we live our kids w/family for a week while serving delegates in Urbana's Open for Business Track, and preparations for a new year of family/ministry life.

Let the paint flow

Posted by tom | Nov 21, 2006
So the water pump, the remaining door, the sink, and the dryer pick-up occurred. In addition Theresa has been rolling up mother earth and wine grape . . . or something like that.

The HVAC began before 7:30am on Monday. But no backfill or driveway as of yet. Just talked w/the occupancy inspector this morning and the front door is fine for egress on the first floor. We might wait on the deck out of the first floor back until the spring or until after we've begun the occupancy permit process. Waiting on PP&L & Comcast (basic with internet, providing the connection to the outside world for our Vonage phone which seems to be working out well enough from our current location). A few more housing pics here, I'll try to get better lighting on the shots showing the paint, had to do with an early morning picture as the electric line being run to the house was being used in the basement.

PS. Hayley & Ellen will have to wait until they're 9 for 4-H training with Alpacas at a local farm :-(

Stairs Installed

Posted by tom | Nov 17, 2006

Just a quick update, pics coming but I have to get some rest . . .

The pumping of the concrete into the basement went fine on Thursday. Good thing that we had already covered the windows as 'the rains came down and the floods came up.' We also had to eventually cover the entrances. The electric inspection occurred today, ready for PP&L :-) The steps, the doors, and the double basin utility sink were delivered and mostly installed today. Tomorrow Carl and I will work on the water pump, finish the one door, finish the sink, pick-up the dryer, etc.

HVAC and backfill will begin on Monday. After backfill, the excavator will work on the driveway, necessary for occupancy, and the deck out of the first floor back, if necessary for occupancy (we've received conflicting stories). Hopefully the windows will arrive by early December, should have ordered them on our own. The cable will arrive sometime in the next 2 weeks. Vonage is up and running.

Rain sets back progress

Posted by tom | Nov 9, 2006

Only the HVAC operations manager and the electrician were on-site yesterday. The HVAC operations manager walked through the basement and we discussed the equipment layout. He'll be ready to go once the basement floor has set (note: the pouring of the floor has been rescheduled for next Tuesday).

The electrician was able to take care of the interior wiring, set-up the box, etc., but the rain prevented the digging of the trench for the lines (note: this may occur on Monday).

Currently mom and the girls are taking advantage of the warm and sunny day to clean closets, mirrors, window sills, etc. You might wonder, Why aren't Hayley and Ellen at school?

Today was a parent-teacher conference day. We rejoice in your prayers and encouragement during this transition! According to official sources, Hayley and Ellen are adjusting very well in reading, writing, arithmetic, and friendship :-)


Posted by tom | Nov 6, 2006

Here's a promo pic pasted on the lot next to the real modular on the lot. Not bad. As you've probably noticed, we decided against the garage. Today the siding facing Theresa's parents' house was completed as the sun went down.

On Wednesday, the basement floor will be poured, the trenches will be dug for various utilities, and the utility lines will be run to the house. We're still waiting for the basement windows and doors. Pics of Carl cutting out a second basement door on the way.

for one more day (Pirates make the news)

Posted by tom | Nov 5, 2006

Yes, I have to agree with Jon's comment regarding addiction. But I have to admit that I too swung by a Starbucks the other day. After an excellent IVY Jungle Regional Conference hosted by Biblical Seminary, I had some time to burn before visiting with my supervisor, so I carried in a stack of books to read for an upcoming Early Christian Spirituality Spiritual Formation Elective at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. While successfully ordering a pumpkin spice frappuccino, Mitch Albom's new for one more day caught my attention.

And not long afterward, I was reading a very personal story about Chick Benetto, a man beaten down by life in the years since he briefly played in the major leagues for the Pittsburgh Pirates (and part of a ficitional World Series against the Baltimore Orioles in 1973, if I remember correctly that was the A's and Mets).

After an awkward attempt to end it all, he is given an extra day with his mother, Posey, who teaches him one more lesson that might just save his life . . .


I'm acclimating

Posted by tom | Nov 3, 2006
I'm beginning to re-acclimate to rural life. But after city living for 10 years I have changed. I have become a self-admitted coffee snob, courtesy of Starbucks Coffee School that I attended. And although the rest of the world complains about Starbucks taking over the world like a plague, a coffee shop of any sort, and especially the siren variety, is a particularly difficult thing to find around here. The closest Starbucks retail store is about 20 miles from here. But there is another option--one that I've scoffed at and chastised my parents for succumbing to. (More)

In the house

Posted by tom | Oct 31, 2006

Theresa, Tom, Eden, and Carl had a sneak peak of the place this afternoon while basement work began w/a flurry. See a few more here. We'll have additional pics the next couple of days, but right now we have to head out the door for an opportunity to get to know our "new" community a little better.

House being set

Posted by tom | Oct 26, 2006

The house is being set in place. Here's some pics. A couple more are posted and a few more will be posted in the next hour or 2.

Crane arrived!

Posted by tom | Oct 25, 2006

House to be set tomorrow morning. Work begins around 7:30am :-) More pics tomorrow.

House arrived!

Posted by tom | Oct 23, 2006

What a busy day w/phone calls regarding a possible source of fill, the skeptics forum presentation on Wednesday, friends dropping by (Jen, Great to see Trevor. You missed the house delivery by minutes!), Don Kraybill's presentations on the Amish showing on PCNTV sometime toward the end of the month or early next . . . heading out to meet a new friend in ministry ("Hi, Joel!") and an old friend in ministry ("Hi, Terry!") as we listen to Justin Barrett's research regarding "Why Would Anyone Believe in God?" at F&M.

Wow! Grandpa Ginder was all over it. Gave us a call a few minutes after delivery. Looking forward to having the house set on Thursday morning. And then off for a few days of ministry in 'da Burgh, see for some of the events.

School Fundraisers

Posted by tom | Oct 10, 2006

I wanted to weigh in with my 2 cents concerning public school fundraisers, see Will Work for School Supplies . I do make the distinction between public and private school fundraisers. I'm not a huge fan of either, but at least I can understand better the financial needs of some private schools.


Footers for the posts,

Posted by tom | Oct 4, 2006
getting ready for the Friday delivery of the I-Beam.

Tracing the marks

Posted by tom | Oct 4, 2006

they leave, I do not render people directly, rather, I investigate the evidence of their presence. Nature is something alive and ever changing, is infinite in space and in time, exists everywhere, and is often engulfing and inescapable. By indirectly placing humans in nature, I attempt to isolate and allegorize the void between them.

My personal interaction with nature is through the role of a traveler. I prefer the temporal, flowing, and portable, and embrace the grandeur, fantasy and mystery of an arrival at a new destination.

So begins the artist statement of a CMU alum whose pieces I [Tom] have particularly found provoking. Take some time to enjoy Sarah's Chautauqua Dialogues.

Call to prayer:

Posted by tom | Oct 2, 2006

Gunman Looking For Innocent Victims In Amish School Shooting, Police Say. We're currently watching the live update for this local shooting which appears to already have received international attention and will go to prayer shortly. Please join us in prayer for healing of the kids and the community (note: Pure & Simple is an informative piece on the Amish). In addition, interceed for those who are considering themselves as those w/power over life and death, not only of their own, but of others (particularly young women). We earnestly long for Jesus' return when He will destroy the Destoyer, redeem creation toward its proper ends, and bring life everlasting. Join us in crying out, No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow. Far as the curse is found, Far as the curse is found, Far as, far as, the curse is found. -- Joy to the World

The waiting is over

Posted by tom | Sep 26, 2006

for the precast basement walls. I had some appointments on F&M campus, more on this later, and missed part of the show, but Theresa took video for me. Family pic in finished basement this evening, more pics here for the interested! -- updated 2:37pm

Superior Walls set-up

A Fine and Pleasant Misery

Posted by tom | Sep 23, 2006

One of my dad's favorite authors is Pat McManus who writes on the hilarious misadventures of life in the outdoors. His book, A Fine and Pleasant Misery, describes his ambivalence towards camping. Last night, at 3:40am dad turned to me, smiled, and said, a fine and pleasant misery. Here's why.

We've been wanting to take Hayley and Ellen camping and with the first day of fall upon us and the evenings turning cooler we were feeling a sense of urgency, sort of a now or never. With an eye and a deaf ear on the forecast we pushed forward with our plans. We gobbled down our supper at home (one less hassle in the woods), threw the gear in the back of the pickup and rushed down to the farm where there is a lovely little campsite cleared in the woods. We were particularly rushing to get camp set up before dark and because dad was due to take his parents to church at 6:10pm. Mom, dad, and the girls piled in to the pickup while I went ahead on the bike (no room in the truck). I stopped my bike at the edge of the woods thinking that's where the truck would park too. But I didn't realize that the mighty 4 wheel drive would take on the forest path. So I followed the red bohemoth until it stopped, seemingly foiled by a fallen log across the path. But NO, the engine revved, the beast jostled, and with a might roar, leapt over the log. At the campsite we began pulling gear from the pick up when it was discovered that the mighty roar we had heard was actually to sound of the front tire exploding . . .


Update: Hit water,

Posted by tom | Sep 22, 2006

stopped drilling at 125 feet on the first day. Picked-up work this morning. We have 8 gallons a minute at 200 feet. Precast basement walls come on Tuesday, then the I-Beam. Sand mound finished. It even received grass seed today. More pics.

Septic in ground

Posted by tom | Sep 19, 2006

Here's a picture of the septic tank going in the ground and the kids walking to the bus stop. Dirt to cover the system coming later this afternoon. Well digger coming on Thursday. Just chatted w/the heat pump person, will be receiving more quotes . . . we're on the schedule. Still having difficulty securring a footer placement survey.

More pictures.

Bring the dirt!

Posted by tom | Sep 18, 2006

Tomorrow we'll have the septic tank delivered and then the septic system will have some dirt placed overtop. Check out more pictures.


Posted by tom | Sep 12, 2006

Before I head out to Elizabethtown College to meet various key students and administrators at an Activities Fair, here's what you and I have been waiting to see on the home front. Check out more pics here (click on a given picture to see it 'bigger'), hope to give regular picture reports and interviews but have to leave ASAP . . .

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