Before he left we had gotten pretty far on the siding. We're using hardiplank, which is fiber cement. It lasts much much longer than wood, doesn't need to be painted as often, and is way more fire resistant. The downside, it takes freakin' forever to hang!! We're using it to trim the windows and doors too - see below.
We bought our first load from McCoys then realized we could get it A LOT cheaper at Home Depot (for the exact same thing). Unfortunately the new load was ... yellow. So now we have a multi-color building. But, we always intended to paint it - the panels only have a primer on them anyway.
Here is a bonus photo of my cutie pie husband (I haven't seen him myself in 12 days!), from before he left, in his cold-weather work clothes, contemplating what to do next.
Our new estimate for completion is February. We've still got a lot of work to do on the inside.