1000's of roots

Designing and tending regenerative systems of life for the next generation and beyond.

Getting into our cabin by December 25th . . . with a picture tour.

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Soon to be home sweet home.

We left Alaska just over a year ago, a family of six in a big red truck, towing a 27 foot travel trailer.  We left with many hopes and dreams of building a debt free agrarian community somewhere in Missouri.  Now we’re a family of seven, still debt free, still living in our trailer as we work on building our 20 x 20 cabin/home on our 20 acres in rural southern Missouri.  We have the same hopes and dreams we left Alaska with, but the journey has been far more difficult than we could have imagined.  If you would like, you can get a glimpse of what our journey over the past year has been like through pictures in previous posts.

One of the biggest challenges we face every day as we build this homestead is the craziness of trailer living . . . no place for anything, no organization, having to haul water, dirt everywhere, back and forth to the cabin, mess, mess, mess . . . it’s time to get our cabin done!  That is our priority.  With seemingly hundreds of other priorities before us (how to keep the chickens out the garden, the geese from pooping on our building materials, and the wood cut for winter heating to name a few) and with the funds run dry, it will take a miracle to get into our cabin by winter, but that is our hope.

Here are some pictures that show how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go to be able to move into our home.  Will you hope along with us?  If you have faith in Yahweh, will you join us in prayer for a miracle?  With Him, all things are possible!

Digging holes for our cabin pillars in January of this year.

Digging holes for our foundation (concrete posts) in January of this year.

Our cabin being framed up.  One day of work with the help of many volunteers and it was dried in.

Our cabin being framed up.

The roof going on.

The roof going on.

Screwing in the soffit.

Screwing in the soffit.

With the long,cold winter over we were finally able to move onto our land and get back to work on our cabin in March.

With the long cold winter over, we were finally able to move onto our land in March (we were living about an hour away driving back and forth all winter).  Being on our land made the building process so much easier.

The solar system is up and running and 2/3 of patio roof complete.

By the end of the summer, the solar system was up and running and 2/3 of the patio roof complete.  You can see our current shelter (the trailer) to the left.

The front patio pallet fence is just temporary to help keep animals out.  The plan is to enclose the front for a green house and add the third side patio roof (to the right of the cabin) to be enclosed for a milking area/summer kitchen, with the root cellar below that.

One 1500 gallon water catchment tank is in place.

One 1500 gallon water catchment tank is in place.

This tank is for garden and animal watering.  It still needs to be painted and have a clean out and overflow installed.

Just behind the front water tank is a huge hole for the future root cellar.

Just behind the front water tank is a huge hole for the future root cellar.

The root cellar will be our main cold food storage as we don’t plan on having a “normal” refrigerator.  The sooner we get it completed, the better.  The ground is eroding toward the foundation of the cabin.

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The back of the cabin and the start of our cabin water tank tower.

The tower needs to be about 7 feet high so that it can hold another 1500 gallon water tank that will gravity feed into our cabin.  Since this picture was taken we were able to put up a few more rows of block.  We still need the gutters and plumbing to get the water into the tank.  You can also see that we still need to complete the metal siding on these two sides of the cabin.  The random black pipe going into the back wall of the cabin is the first of four that still need to be installed for a passive geothermal cooling system.

Our wood cook stove!

Our wood cook stove!

We just cleared our cook stove off a couple of weeks ago and fired her up for the first time!  We were able to make dinner on the cook top!!  We need to install two more feet of piping for correct height above the roof so the chimney will draft properly.

This is the front left side of the cabin opposite the cook stove.

This is the front left side of the cabin, opposite the cook stove.

We need to finish installing insulation (which we have), but we ran out of wall boards and don’t want to put in insulation down where our one year old can get at it until we have the wall boards to cover it.  We also need to install our finish flooring that is currently sitting out in our old barn.

This is the front door.

This is the front door, south facing.

The pole hanging down in the above picture is to operate our opening skylight, part of our passive cooling system.  The electrical is all in but we still need a few more fixtures and light bulbs.  As you can see we need a lot of wall boards.

This is the left rear of the cabin.

This is the left rear of the cabin . . .  mess, mess, mess!

The back corner is where we are planning to build the bathroom.  We do have most of the supplies for the bathroom, we just need:  tub surround, lumber, plumbing, and door.  All of the “stuff” you see is storage and construction materials because, did we mention that we (a family of 7) are living in a 27′ travel trailer?  We definitely need some shelves and cabinets to get organized!

This is the right rear of the cabin.

This is the right rear of the cabin . . . more mess!

Under the back window is where our triple bowl laundry sink will go and in the far back corner will be a pantry.  We still need our hot water pump and some misc. plumbing parts to complete our water system.

The view from the top of the stairway.

The view from the top of the stairway.

We still need to seal the stairs and put up railing.  The custom made pocket gate door has been a huge help (thanks Papa!).

Our side of the loft, mostly finished.

Our side of the loft, mostly finished.

Our “bedroom” just needs lighting and a few more wall boards.

The children's side of the loft.

The children’s side of the loft.

We need to make custom bunk beds to be able to fit 5 children into an 8 x 11 area with a divider in the middle.  They will be nice and cozy.

Progress on the cabin has been slow over the past month since Kip had to take on part time work an hour away in Springfield just to provide for our most basic needs.  His hope is to only have to work there for a short season.  We also hope and pray that we can get this homestead up and running to where we can produce much of our own food using “beyond organic” methods.

Thank you to all who are hoping and praying along with us and to all who have already given of your time and resources to help us.


Kip, Carrie, Caleb, Joshua, Nathan, Esther, and Joseph     ><>









One thought on “Getting into our cabin by December 25th . . . with a picture tour.

  1. Wow! I’m so impressed by the progress you’ve made Smyths! Seriously. Your countless hours of research, planning, and more than anything, PATIENCE and TRUST in the Lord is evident by the really neat looking cabin that is ALMOST done. Hang in there. It will all come together one day at a time. Love you guys.

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