I’m sick of the gun debates

Personally, I wish no one had guns but sadly that’s not reality. Given the second amendment, I understand why people want their guns, and I’m ok with them owning some: pistols, rifles, even shotguns. Now I don’t see any reason to own AR-15 type rifles.

I hear many gun owners whine about losing their guns, as if an assault weapon ban would actually remove ALL of their guns. Fear not you’ll get to keep some.

The ‘guns don’t kill people, people do’ arguments are annoying too. Usually followed with arguments that cars can kill people, hammers are weapons too. But what these other items have in common is they ALL have real alternatives uses, i.e. a car is meant to transport people from one place to another, a hammer is meant to bang a nail in. You know what doesn’t have an alternative purpose? GUNS. You know what they’re meant for? TO KILL SOMETHING.

Another argument that drives me nuts are hunters. ‘Oh I need my guns to hunt’. Ok you can have your rifle, but you don’t need an AR-15 to hunt. Unless you just want to kill something and shred it. Besides if you’re a real hunter you’d be out there with a bow or hell hunt that animal with a spear and a knife.

And recently there was this video of a 911 call where a wife defends herself with a gun. Again, no one is trying to take ALL of your guns away. So that’s not really a good example of why we need guns. Besides for every example of someone defending themselves with a gun, there are 10 other examples of DEATHs.

And why doesn’t anyone that quotes the second amendment ever include the first part of it “A well regulated militia,”?

I will agree with my gun toting friends that gun control isn’t the only answer, and that mental illness and other factors need to be looked into. But unlike them, I still think we need gun control, specifically bans on assault weapons like the AR-15.

</rant>

New house (2012)

Many of you know but some don’t, this year (2012) we embarked on a wonderful adventure and, with God’s grace, had the opportunity to build a new house. The adventure began one Sunday afternoon in February, our anniversary to be exact. We met with Andrew Pinter of Pinter Construction to look at a .60 acre wooded lot. The neighborhood had stagnated because of the economic downturn with many of the old builders out of business. But we saw promise in the subdivision especially the location which put us just 5 miles from our old house which means commutes, schools, and routines wouldn’t have to change much. While I was hesitant to make any decisions that day (pretty typical of me), Liz just KNEW this was the place. So we put a deposit on the lot that day.

Front of lot in winter

We spent the next few weeks pouring over plan after plan. Ultimately we decided to modify one of Andrew’s plans to suit our needs. The original house had your typical gable roof and not much character (in our opinion). We made most of the changes to the front elevation and the kitchen. Finally, on April 13th we signed the contract to start construction of our new home.

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BEFORE
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AFTER

Mid April we walked the lot to select which trees we wanted to keep, I wanted to keep them all but that wasn’t realistic and ultimately we did need a yard for the family. One of my favorite are the 2 oak trees that ultimately flanked the front of house. In the next two pictures I’m standing in the middle of the lot. The first picture is looking from the back to the front of the house at the 2 oak trees. The second picture are the trees we left (seen with orange tape) plus the wooded lot that behind us.

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Looking from the back yard to the front 2 oaks
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View of backyard from the front.

After they cleared the lot, next steps were to dig the foundation footers. They dug and poured the footers, then the truck that delivered the foundation materials had “JESUS CHRIST is LORD” on the side which was somewhat apropos. It was exciting to see the process progress.

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Jesus Christ delivers our foundation materials
Footers
Footers
Triangle Brick: Oxford line
Triangle Brick: Oxford line
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Brick foundation

The framing began in late May, and they had it pretty much done by the first week of June. The goal was to get the roof on and the house dried in. It’s amazing how fast framing crews can frame a house.I think this was one of the fun stages as you see the house start to come together.

Front porch

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Last time we will see the sky from inside the house.

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By June 30th, they made a lot of progress with the framing. Here the house has the siding, shakes, board and batten, shingles, and gable details. The stone, columns and metal roof come much later.

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Front elevation

Then one warm Tuesday night in July, I played contractor myself and installed the speaker wires for the rear channel speakers and a pair in the screened in porch for some summer tunes. Most builders don’t like you doing stuff, but Andrew didn’t mind one bit, he actually helped me get started. I also ran CAT6 and CATV to the attic for future expansion. Check out the finished speaker installation below.

Surround done (next stop porch)
Running speaker wires
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Finished speaker installation

As work continues inside, the outside gets stone. But it is no less fun to walk through the house checking the progress.

Front with stone

Liz and her CBS friends came to the house one hot July night to write scripture on the floors, studs, and walls.

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By mid August, the house has been painted, columns put up, stone installed and rough grading done. Inside the plumbing, electrical, cabinets, drywall, and more were all done. While it looks done, there is still quite a few months more of work left. At this point we still had to pick out tile, stain color, and confirm interior paint colors.

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One evening in August, Marco found one of our many visitors. Here he holds one of the frogs that were hopping around the backyard during the summer.

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Then on November 4th, we moved in to our new home!

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This post contains just a few of the pictures taken through the process. Feel free to checkout more: new house album.