Well, minor change of plans, y’all! We just got a shipping container delivered and will be turning it into a tiny shipping container cabin!



Goodness, where to even begin?  I’m still reeling from all the sudden changes we’ve made in the past couple weeks!


Basically it came down to two pivotal, late-night conversations:


The first big talk we had was about the future big house. The dream house. Matthew really wanted to build our forever home out of precast concrete panels, like the kind used for commercial buildings. This would have given us 8-12 inch thick SOLID reinforced concrete walls. Oh… and the same for the roof.  Basically, he really wanted to create a giant bunker. And since we live in Oklahoma, with tornadoes, wildfires, tornadoes,  ice storms, flash floods, tornadoes, mild earthquakes, and tornadoes… Well, it’s actually a crazy awesome idea!


But. Being debt-free is very important to us.  We have a small loan on the land already, and some credit card debt from when we failed at moving to New England last Summer and had to move back across the country unexpectedly. We really, really want to get these debts paid off, then NEVER borrow a single penny again. Ever.


Which is why We started the cinder block cabin in the first place. It was something we could build in steps, as we had the money. With the plan being to save over several years until we had enough for the dream house.


Confession time here:  We are terrible at budgeting and saving. So conversation number one was when I sat down with Matthew and told him my fears. I didn’t think we would ever actually save the money needed upfront for the concrete panels. I thought we would likely keep putting it off until “next month.”  There would always be something more pressing to do with our income. Building his shop. Buying him a work truck. Building a barn. Buying a family cow. Tools. Medical expenses. Fencing. Driveway repair.


Always something more urgent than saving for the bigger house.


He agreed.


So then I asked what he would rather do…  Would he rather continue building the 800 square foot cinder block cabin, and plan on adding on in a few years when we outgrew it?
Or would he rather go up a little higher and build a second story onto it now, doubling the space to make it 1600 square feet?  And was that even possible structurally?


Without a doubt, he would rather build a second story, now!


Thankfully, Matthew tends to over-engineer things, which means the foundation he was building was overbuilt for the simple little cabin. It can EASILY support an additional story. Thank the Lord! So nothing needs to be redone at this point.


So, guys, we are NOT building an 800 square foot cabin. We are building a 1600 square foot forever house!  With 2 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, and an art / homeschool/ craft area upstairs too!


I love it. I love it. I love it!


Okay, 2 or 3 weeks after that conversation, we had the really hard one. The painful one.


The money one.


See, 3 times the checking account had run dry a few days before payday.


And we needed to talk. How are we doing? Is this actually sustainable?  What can we possibly cut to make this all work?


Trying to provide our family with a rental home in town, while also making the land payments, and buying building materials was just way too much. Out of the things we were trying to do: Rent, Build, Give, Eat Nutritiously… We could only do 3.


So I asked what if we gave up the rental?  What if we built the goat barn and used it as a tiny house for now?


Matthew seemed so relieved!


Living out there would not only eliminate rent, it would cut down on utilities (our rental is small, but drafty and old) and reduce our gasoline bill drastically! (He is driving from our rental to our land all the time. And the land is actually the same distance from his work as the rental is anyways!)


Well, over the course of a day or two the goat barn idea morphed into a shipping container. Yes, we could have built the structure cheaper, but having the container delivered was fast. Within a week of talking about it, the container was on our property. Thank you Infant of Prague for helping us find an affordable one so fast!  You always hear us in our needs!


Now the structure is DONE and it’s only finishing left to do.  Doors and windows, insulation, interior walls, flooring, some basic electrical and some simple plumbing.


We went out there yesterday armed with sidewalk chalk, and sketched out where the furniture would fit, and then where doors and fixtures should go around it all.  Will it be tight?  Incredibly so!  But it will work!


We placed the new-old container at a 90 degree angle to the smaller storage container we already have out there, with a plan of making a tarp-covered outdoor patio / kitchen space in the “L” between them. This will make the whole thing so much more livable!  We also have the storage space of the other container, and Matthew is thinking about a carport tent from Harbor Freight as a temporary workshop for himself, freeing up a little storage space for household stuff.


So there you have it. We never set out to be tiny house people, especially with soon-to-be 4 little ones running around! But this is where God led us. And I am so, so grateful!
Excited, terrified, hormonal and emotional… But grateful!


Now we just gotta get it all done before this baby is due!!!



In Corde Maria,

Jessica Ghigliotti









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