Okay, there once was this blogger who had been flat out so waited AGES to update and get around to it cos she's a bit slack too. Not that there was nothing to blog about, just that it went on the back burner. So she sits down one day to update, looking forward to telling the stories behind all the pictures she had put in her blog as a draft a few days earlier. Well she drank coffee and typed like the wind and eventually was happy with her massive blog post that would surely take anyone an hour to read... :-) but....when she went to save it in Blogger, the big mean Blogger machine at up her post and said it could not process her request at this time. She went back to her compose page to copy and paste her blog entry so she could update at a time more convenient to the obviously inconvenienced Blogger but nay! She could not because the entire post was gone so she was left with nothing but her original pics and no text. It was a sad day.
Due to slightly massive frustration with Blogger, my first update in just about forver will now consist of dot point pic explanations and I'll attempt a proper post once I get over my annoyance and mistrust of Blogger.
1. Lachlan's Shuffle Up Day where he went from the Upper Junior part of the school to Middle School, the equivalent of graduating primary school (well, the little ceremony thing most primary schools have anyway). He was quite chuffed with himself and so was I.
2. & 3. The Christmas tree did go up, a week before we moved, because it just didn't feel like Christmas without it and I needed a visual reminder that there was something to look forward to. It has birds, bugs, beads, crystal thingies, feather stuff and other assorted crap on it.
4. & 5. Doug wanted to take the kids to Triple 8 Racing's open day at their new workshops at Banyo. Was pack, hot, crowded, but the kids all sucked it up beautifully and all "said" they had a good time, more for Doug's sake I think.
6. (Below) Caeligh's little "graduation ceremony" from her kindy. They made them all these cute mortarboard hats with tassels. She really did like it even if it doesn't look like it here. The ceremony was combined with the Christmas party which was the Friday night of the last day of "regular" school for the boys. She's been on holidays ever since and loving it. Don't know how I'm going to convince her to go school...
7. & 8. Despite all the chaos of working and moving and end-of-year school stuff, I promised myself we would get away for a few days. The older boys were going to their dad's for a few weeks so Doug and I took the little ones to Dicky Beach at Caloundra for five days. We bummed around, spent a lot of time at the pool and the beach, taught James to duck dive for dollar coins (the most effective motivational tool ever for a child who wants to learn how to swim properly but is all wussy about gettnig his face wet!), at fish and chips virtually every night and it was fantastic. We're planning to go back this Christmas but undertaking the very brave step of purchasing camping gear throughout the year and doing the whole family camp for two weeks if we can. I don't know anything about camping but if you know how to do it comfortably (if there's such a thing, and we're getting a powered site so that will help) then I'd love for you to share your hints or tips!
9. The new mailbox at our new home. That one picture means a lot to me and represents a lot of things for our family. We absolutely love the house, love living in it and already everyone is happier. Caeligh has her own "girly" room, James has his own room, Lachlann has his "fortress of solitude" and a set of double bunks in his room and so does Blayd. They're all pretty happy campers right now. Doug and I have a "grown ups" bedroom with a nice Ikea bed, matching double deep drawer chests on each side of our beds and NO COMPUTERS IN THE ROOM!!!!! It felt like a bit of a battle to be here once we got our application approved. It was so strange that all the other houses I enquired about/looked at/went to inspections for were also being eyed off by a dozen other people. This one I had registered my interest for a couple of weeks before but they were having trouble getting the existing tenants out (the tenant had sublet the place to uni students and was thus an absolute hovel when I came to inspect it) so it took longer than I thought and by the time I was phoned about an inspection date, it was a week and a half out from Christmas and I had to check with the RE agent about how many other people were going to come look at it because I was getting tired of competing with everyone else. She said only one other person had registered interest which was bizarre to me because it's a rare four bedroom and study in Calamvale with separate formal dining (now my scraproom cos I'd never let the kids eat on the carpet!), formal lounge (for a grown-ups lounge room that isn't full of toys etc), a dining, living and rumpus rooms in front of the open plan kitchen, lots of big windows, reasonable yard, master with ensuite and walking distance to school and staggering distance from the Calamvale pub and sort-of nightclub (oh wow, anyone who's a southsider in Brisbane probably has some really good/bad/dodgy memories of their Friday and Saturday nights at the 'Vale! I know I do!!!!). Anyway, the RE lady said only one other person had registered interest so I jumped the gun and asked if I could sub an application before I even viewed the place. She said yes, but I would have to inspect it first before they could give it to the owner for approval. So I did all that over a couple of days, losing quite a few working hours while I was at it, just scanning and emailing documents, finding the right paperwork, etc. I turned up on the Friday 12th December to inspect and the other person didn't! I couldn't believe how it felt like (small God moment here) a path had been completely cleared for me to have exactly what I had been working for with absolutely no competition. I couldn't quite believe it myself. The owners accepted the application straight away as they wanted people in by Christmas and we wanted to be in by Christmas. We did the bond payments the week later (now we're up to a week before Christmas, I'm still working full time and Doug is packing up the old house and it's getting a bit crazy) and had the electricity put on Saturday as the cleaners had to come back because the tenants did a crap job of cleaning the house (not surprised, it would have taken me a week to clean the dump they had turned it into - so bad that at the inspection, I politely took off my shoes at the door - as you do - but by the time we got to the main bathroom that everyone shared, the RE lady says "Oh, you don't have shoes on, you don't want to come in here, just look from the doorway"!!!! Yep, that bad. Think a house full of guys with no cleaning ability or inclination at all who apparently are impervious to disease and plague! lol Anyway, house got recleaned over the weekend and carpets done a second time (cheap, nasty "Rental Beige" carpets I call them, to go with the nasty "Rental Beige" vertical blinda and "Rental Beige" walls!) and we got our keys late Monday morning - the fourth day before Christmas. Far out, I was stuck at the old house that afternoon, still typing while furniture was being moved around me! Cass did an amazing job. Honestly she stepped in, told everyone how and where to pack, move and shift everything, she knew the fastest, safest way to get it all done and I don't know where I would have been without her! If you ever need one of those people (you know, you can HIRE someone to coordinate your move while you go away for the week or something!) to take charge of a move and set up your new home for you then she's the girl. I told her she should do that for a business because honestly, I had trouble knowing where to start, but she took our tiny, cluttered house, showed me how to declutter and what to throw out, and has helped turn our new place into what feels like home already. She's even repainted some of my old, crappy furniture so it doens't look old and crappy anymore! CASS I CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH! It's her birthday on Sunday (25th Jan) so if you're a follower of her blog, take a moment to stop in and wish her a great day. I'm still trying to think of what I can do to repay her for everything she's done for me so I'll let you know how I go with that one. Anyway, it was a race to the finish line but by Christmas Eve we were mostly in, mostly unpacked and only the garage and my scraproom were still packed up and we had a wonderful Christmas with my mum, stepdad and sister, plus Doug's mum, coming over for Brunch and then we had everyone back Boxing Day for lunch. I love waking up every day in this house and am genuinely thankful for how everything fell into place. Already the house has managed to stay 99% perfectly clean and tidy for a whole month, not because I've been really anal about it or anything but because there is a place for everything, we only brought with us what we needed/loved and I'm slowly training the children on how to do little things to help maintain the house like putting stuff away, doing a load of laundry every day, turning on the dishwasher each night, etc. I know they sound like no brainers but I'm not very organised and not a good housekeeper so I'm really proud of all of us right now for trying our best to keep our home clean, tidy and welcoming.
10. Our new and massive dining table which currently seats ten but I think could fit 12. Cass's husband, Kelly, very cleverly used a couple of huge pieces of MDF on top of each other for strength that we had at our old house, we bought legs from Ikea, the chairs from Ikea, Cass's dad came over to her garage and routered the edge for us so it looked nice and more professionally finished, and Kelly painted it for us. It took six people to move it the 50 metres from Cass's place to my place on Christmas Eve in time for our big family brunch on Christmas morning. Think of all the room we'd have for a crop night at my place!!! Let me know if you're interested!
11. I came back from holidays to find Cass (who had very kindly offered to look after the dog etc) had repainted an old pine table that was in my garage, plus she salvaged a big wall mirror and repainted it. This feature sits in my hallway and I absolutely love it.
12. Cass's husband Kelly also bought these fab red cannisters (sorry, bad lighting in this one) as a house warming gift for us. Cass and I were really impressed!
13. You guessed it, this is my office/scraproom and yep, it's the only unpacked part of the house left! lol Because I had to work full time again literally the day I got home from holidays, it has been one of those things that came down to doing only what was absolutely necessary, like setting up my computer and transcription equipment and so all my scrap goodies are sitting in boxes, baskets and tubs. I did a proper tidy up yesterday and now everything is lined up along one wall behind me and much more orderly looking. I figure I need some "thing" from Ikea, and if you're an Ikea fan you'll know what I mean. I need some kind of furniture or storage system or some "thing" to put all this scrap stuff into some kind of order and I figure that to be reasonable (so unlike me), I should just leave it all packed up until I have somewhere for it to go otherwise I will be overtaken by product and lost in the mess. Now that I am lucky enough to have my own room for scrapping, I want it to be clean, organised (sort of and as much as I ever am), and full of things I love so I'm basically waiting for the money to get back up to speed (crappy being self employed over Christmas when clients are away and money is really slow), and I want to invest in a storage/furniture system that works, not buy cheap, half arsed stuff that will "do the job for now" until I get what I really need. For the first time in my life, I'm actually willing to wait. So impulsive usually! lol
So that's it, not as long as yesterday's failed blog attempt but better than nothing. BTW Wicked Princesses are having a garage sale www.wickedprincesses.com.au before our February kits arrive. I wil have some layouts from the amazing December Dragon kit up this week as I've been scrapping a bit at Cass's place. Also, there'll be new Kaisercraft soon too which is fab.
I'm not American but hey, congrats USA on your new President!!! He rocks!!!
Have a great Wednesday everyone! Love Lu xx