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Single Mom Builds an Entire House by Watching YouTube Tutorials

An Arkansas mom-of-four couldn't afford to buy a home, so she built one, learning how through tutorials on YouTube.

This weekend, I helped my daughter and her friend create a tornado in a bottle from a YouTube tutorial, and I felt pretty awesome about myself. That is, until I learned about a mom who built an entire house by watching YouTube tutorials. Oh, okay. Um....

mom builds house with the help of youtube Cara Brookins/Facebook

The thing is, author and single mom-of-four Cara Brookins didn't have money to buy a big enough home for her family, nor to hire a builder to construct one, according to CNN. So naturally, she decided to build it herself!

"Things can get a little expensive when you are escaping an abusive relationship and have four children," Brookins told CNN.

This enterprising mama first found an acre of land in Bryant, Arkansas. Then she watched good old YouTube to learn what she would need to build her dream home, and figure out how much it would cost.

Brookins next undertook the task of making her dream a reality. It would take $130,000 and about a year to erect the 3,500-square-foot Inkwell Manor. Her kids—Hope, Drew, Jada, and Roman, who were ages 17 to 2 then—helped out. "The entire process brought our family closer together and we learned that nothing is impossible. We found new hope," Brookins said.

brookins family Cara Brookins/Facebook

A firefighter, whom she paid when she could, also lent a hand. And brick by brick, the six of them constructed a new start for the Brookins family.

At the end of her journey, this amazing mom not only had a home for her family, but also a new book idea. Her tome, Rise: How a House Built a Family, chronicles the process of building the house, of course, but also of rebuilding their lives and moving forward after domestic violence. Brookins hopes the book will inspire others to think big, and not let a negative situation spell doom, but instead, a fresh beginning.

I for one am beyond impressed by this mama's moxie. And maybe a little ashamed that I felt like such a star for figuring out that tornado in a bottle thing.... But never mind. You go, Cara!

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.