Once Upon a Time…

by | Jan 24, 2011 | Home Improvement, Home Sweet Home | 22 comments

I have a few extra minutes this afternoon and thought it would be fun to share a picture of what our home looked like when we first moved in nearly 11 years ago!  I remember the day my Dad called asking if we wanted to come and look at a little house with so much potential where he was doing some electrical work.  The sweet old woman who owned the home was planning on putting it up for sale so she could go and live with her daughter.  

Other than the paved driveway, I don’t see anything in this picture that hasn’t been changed.  The retaining walls behind the house are gone… In fact, that is where the kitchen, dining room, and family room are now!  All that dirt got moved around to the side, creating a level play area for our children.  The chimney is now covered with stone.  The little “deck,” orange front door, windows, siding, roof, etc, have all been replaced.  Not to mention it has nearly tripled in size.

Thankfully our little home has grown with our family, because I just can’t imagine trying to fit all eight of us into the little two bedroom house that used to be here.  Deo Gratias! 
“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”  ~ G.K. Chesterton


  1. Sarah

    A perfect house that you've made your home as your family has grown! Priceless.

  2. Magdalena

    What a difference! I would have never thought that one can make such a beautiful residence out of this small house. And one can see, your home is filled with love – it has character! 🙂

  3. Shelly

    Simply a beautiful home, Jessica!!

  4. Gardenia

    see what we can do with small things when God is at its center. A lovely blessed home.

  5. Sara

    Very nice changes! I'm sure the nice lady wouldn't recognize it.

  6. Kelly

    What neat pictures, Jessica! It really puts it into perspective how much your home has grown! What a blessing to be able to fill it up and then expand and fill it up some more. 🙂

  7. fadfd


    Grown and showered with the graces of God!!

  8. Anonymous

    My kids were just asking about how many bedrooms you had when you moved in (don't ask me why, lol) and I told them I thought it was only two! It is a hoot to see it in your newlywed days!

  9. Allison

    What a sense of accomplishment and foresight you must feel seeing how you were able to transform this place with your creativity, patience and hard work. These skills and gifts are obvious in your spiritual life as well.

    Thanks for the inspiration to see beyond…

  10. Kelly

    OMG! You really have made some big changes 😉 God is good!

  11. Robina

    how sweet. love your mountains in the background. I heart them. I am so eager for the renovations in our home to be over and then I can share pictures as well.

  12. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you everyone!

    Amy ~ We only had the two bedrooms, and our one bath(less) utility room, until we did our first addition when I was pregnant with our 4th. 🙂

    Robina ~ I love the mountains too, and most of the things/animals that come with them… The poison oak and cougars I could do without! 😉 I can't wait to see pictures of your new home!

  13. Jamie Carin and Claudio Romano

    What an incredible tranformation!! Your home is beautiful outside and inside! I love the view behind your house. How many bedrooms/bathrooms now?!

  14. Jessica Gordon

    Technically our home is a "Two Bedroom/Three Bathroom" home with "3 Bonus Rooms." lol!

    Let me explain… When we did our first addition, we added on Three Bedrooms and Two Bathrooms, to the original Two bedrooms (one of which, our current schoolroom, got smaller with the addition of a hallway). However, we didn't want (nor could we afford) to upgrade the septic system (which did, and still does, work just fine) and since the size of the septic is based on how many bedrooms (aka: rooms with closets) are in a home, we opted to just add bonus rooms. Does that make any sense?

    Since I wanted to have a closet in our Master Bedroom, we actually had to take out the closet in what is now our school room (we added it to the living room for our entertainment center) and actually ended up putting two closets in the Master Bedroom (Hubby didn't want to share, and I really wanted a walk-in).

    The school room is just fine without closets, and we added closet organizers to one wall of what is now the older girls bedroom, but someday I would sure love to have real closets in the girls room and nursery. 🙂

  15. Regina

    that first picture is awesome. i dont remember ever having seen it before. i saw interior pics, but i dont remember the outside. you guys have done a great job with it.
    can we sell some phonebooks so i can redo our new kitchen?

  16. Jamie Carin and Claudio Romano

    LOL Jessica that is so funny about the destinction that a bedroom is a room with a closet! Again it is all beautiful!!

  17. Erin

    Quite a transformation!! Expanding as you go is a great idea when you have the space around the sides and back of the house!

    That is funny that the size of the septic system is based on number of bedrooms… I would think it'd be based on the number of bathrooms!

  18. Mom2Seven

    Beautiful transformation! +JMJ+

  19. Lori N from MN

    Its beautiful – Godly centered, inside and out!

    Its true about the septic, ladies. Here in MN too, the septic is based on the number of bedroom, not occupants, nor bathrooms! Go figure.
    Blessings –

  20. Angela

    What an amazing transformation. Your dad has a 'good eye.' I love before and afters.

  21. Jessica Gordon

    We definitely had the "space" to expand… Getting approval from the county was a whole different story.

    Our original plan was to add on the bedrooms/ bathrooms (which you can see on the right side of the picture) and then add the living room/dining room on the left – matching the addition on the other side, with our deck butting up to the living room on the left. However, since we live next to "Woodland Resource" the county would not allow us to expand the house to the left at all!?!?

    Since our home was "pre-existing" before the zoning change, we were/are allowed to add on to the other three sides (to a certain extent) with permits, etc.

    Thankfully we were able to hire a great architect/engineer who helped us figure out how to go through the kitchen and add off the back, and it turned out wonderfully (including a bigger kitchen than I would have ended up with otherwise) but it was a lot more expensive in the long run.

    The funny thing is, we can build any other structures (detached garage, etc) on that side of the house, just as long as it is not living space. The "rules" and "requirements" that the county sets are so ridiculous!

  22. Misty

    Wow! How beautiful – the house and the natural surroundings. God Bless!


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