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The Family Bandwagon
Tuesday, 31 December 2013
Saturday, 21 December 2013
I won something!
A week or so ago I saw a competition on The Livingroom (I think it was -- we weren't actually watching, just surfing for something to watch). Typical "25 words or less" with a website under tenplay -- or maybe I just went to the site looking for a way to win an Xbox One? Whatever the case, I entered (with a barely witty appeal to the competition sponsors, Temple & Webster) ... and a few days later I got a call telling me I'd won!
Not a small prize, either: a $20,000 living room makeover, complete with our own personal interior designer figuring it all out for us, and delivery and "bump in". We don't even need to be here! Once I'd gotten over the feeling that it must be a joke or a mistake, I was excited: what with the house and everything, we were planning on a pretty austere Christmas (no presents for each other, but of course we have some stuff for Jules). But winning this competition is OUR Christmas present!
On Friday morning I met Jess, our designer (see her style on Pinterest). She toured the house, measured stuff and helped me pick some "styles" from a bunch of magazines. Really just a fact-finding mission for her -- she'll go away and select some things from the suppliers to Temple & Webster and get back to us with options. Since we do most of our "living" throughout the whole house, there's a good chance at least (I'm flying blind here really) that her suggestions will run all the way from our little kitchen to the outside balcony where the dining table is. We might even get some bedroom stuff, towels, and possibly garden supplies! Who knows. I'll yay/nay stuff when she comes back to me, then I expect there will be a bit of back and forth until we're set on the "look", if not the individual items. So freakin' excited!
(Dee's taking a passive role, which was a surprise to me (perhaps doing our place in Cockatoo was stress enough?). She just wants to come in one day and have a new living space, which I totally understand. It will be a surprise! Luckily I'm reasonably confident that I can pick stuff that she will like -- and, more importantly, veto those that she would hate! And of course I'll try to take some "before" and "after" photos -- they're the best part of any reno show, aren't they?)
In other good news, our house sale is now unconditional -- the buyers have been approved their finance, and the building inspection was clean. We're going to ask if they want to move up the settlement date (it's February at the moment) but I'll be taking a (frequent-flyer points) flight down to Melbourne (and a visit to the 'go if I can squeeze it in ;-)) to get the last of our stuff. (Yep, part of the sale deal included the furniture, so we don't have too much to move. Perfect, as we were just going to sell it on gumtree anyway!)
I really feel like our karmic investments are finally paying off.
Friday, 20 December 2013
Tuesday, 17 December 2013
Monday, 16 December 2013
On top of that Shihan contacted me to say he'd decided to come to Bendigo for a training session rather than doing one in Melbourne. That caused a mad rush to find an available hall, since my usual dojo was pre-booked. Thanks to Cheryl's quick thinking and Lisa's useful contacts I was able to organise the EUC Hall. I've since discovered my estimated 8-12 students has ballooned out to more like 20. The Melbourne guys disorganisation led to Shihan deciding to come to Bendigo in the first place, so I shouldn't have been surprised to find out only today that there's about 8 coming up. Anyway, the logistics are sorted I think and it's a huge win for the Bendigo club - hopefully if we look after him Shihan will consider coming here for gradings in the future too :)
Speaking of the dojo, we had our end of year BBQ Sunday. Cheryl did a Herculean effort organising stuff for that -and- did the actual barbecuing while I waltzed around teasing the teenagers and generally not being very productive. She is a saint. I was sorry to see Daria wasn't feeling well, and Lisa took her and Trin home. Lucky for Jared and Carolynn Nanny couldn't resist the temptation of a free hamburger and took us up on our offer to join us for lunch so she could shuttle them home afterwards ;)
We've been organising our costumes for Lisa's birthday party too. We're being a bit secretive about who we'll all be going as - all I can tell you is I've done my best to grow a beard in the last month for my costume. Oh and we're very thankful Edith is nearby and knows how to sew :)
After that Christmas day is going to be relaxing by comparison, even with two very excited little kiddies ;)
That'll do from me. Oscar's got a Kindy concert on Tuesday during which he'll apparently sing "lots of songs" and Nanna, Granddad, Nanny and Nanny's Nana are all coming to watch, but I might let Cheryl post about that after it's happened.
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
I've been to China so I'll do a short post about it and put it up in full on my travel blog. So China was great fun I got to bond with a few of the girls (all younger than me) and fall out with them over little things, like knocking on the door and running away lots of times and invasion of privacy. We climbed the Great Wall and visited all the places the emperor and his family lived and visited. We spent 7 days for 3 hours dancing although I didn't do all the hours because I managed to get sick and injure myself :/ I have lots of photos that I will put up on facebook at some stage too. We had lots of eastern food and the occasional western food, like KFC, McDonalds and chips and tomato sauce. The photo is from the second day at the Ming Tombs :)
Also went to check out toys. Visited Big W, Target and Toyworld. Yoiks!!! Think I know what I want to get Lily and Oscar if they're still there when I get back. Damien seemed to think they'd prefer toys Nanny had chosen over money. Got some things to wrap for Trin and Daria but I think they'd rather the money and I'm sure Jared would too.
I'm lending the trailer to a friend next month (or February) so I put the current rego sticker on (was 2010). Took some hunting to find where to put it. Then discovered the paint was peeling from the numberplate so I scrubbed that, spray painted the white and today made a rough job of redoing the black. Looks much better. The trailer really needs a coat of paint. Not sure if that will happen.
Dancing is winding down. No Tuesday's now. Castlemaine tomorrow will be the last until March. A few Christmas dances coming up. We went to Maryborough on Saturday and I was pleasantly surprised to find I could do all except one. (provided I had Clive to dance with).
Glenn do you want to keep the Big o Box of cables? I thought Carolynn could check if they are out of date and if I could take them to the recycle yard. I found a suitcase full of floppy drives etc that I'm tossing.
I have three Christmas trees this year. Lisa's light up purple one in the lounge, a small one I quickly decorated to take to Spinners and a small fibre optic one the girls decorated(so well I had to loosen the tinsel so you could see the fibre optics.)
Started the Christmas lunches last Friday with the Gadabouts, Monday Probus, Wednesday Day Club, Friday Mad Hatters. Nana also went to the War Widows today, but didn't come to the Gadabouts. Thursday I'm going to Nana's to help get ready for Christmas. I changed her smoke detector batteries on Monday so one job done.
Carolynn has settled in well here although we're hardly ever both here at the same time. She and Lisa cleaned the old room last Sunday and the carpet cleaner is coming Thursday. That will finish her with them once she gets her bond back.
Looking forward to Oscar's kinder concert next Tuesday. That week will be for getting ready for Lisa's party.
Love to all. Waiting for more news.
Saturday, 7 December 2013
We've been quiet on the Bandwagon (and other places) for some time now. Mostly we've felt squeezed, I think - moving, work, the house in Cockatoo...
Happy to say we have one of those mostly sorted out now - we have accepted an offer on Baker Street! ("Mostly" because it's contingent on their finance and a building inspection - we SHOULD be fine but will know on the 19th.) Less than we wanted, but it is just a liability for us, an ongoing source of expenses and stress. So it's a massive relief!
We had a long lunch and the afternoon together yesterday, and today (Dee's actual birthday) we are... scrubbing the outdoor furniture, eaves and pavers?!? Don't tell ME I don't know how to show a girl a good time!
(Disclosure: Dee is scrubbing. I'm playing cars with Jules. # DadLife)
Otherwise things are okay. My work at Palantir is always busy, but especially so at the moment because my pilot finishes in January. Dee is submitting a proposal for funding her own project which would see a 12 month extension to her contract, so we have our fingers crossed on that one too.
Jules is totally settled into day care, and his vocabulary is steadily increasing - a speech therapist claimed he was not as developed as he should be but I think that's bollocks: he's a shy boy, so didn't really want to talk to her. He does still love his dummy so we're trying to encourage taking it out to speak.
I think I've said it before but we all really love living in Sydney. This area is so nice, Dee's work colleagues are great, we can cycle into the city, there are beaches and parks and markets and cafes.
Christmas is coming up mighty fast. We are staying up here this year, so will have to get on a Hangout on Christmas day. The Melrose family are visiting (from Scotland) on Tuesday so that will be fun; Dee's mum and brother are joining us for Christmas.
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
I spent last Saturday at home cleaning out the shed, or attempting to make more room for my own stuff. There was still a lot of stuff belonging to Adam's family. I've bagged up clothes for Cheryl's mum or sister to take to the Phillipines, thrown out heaps of old schoolwork, and found a heap of books. I was going to keep the books, or donate them to playgroup, but since it's likely we'll see Rick in just a couple of weeks I'm considering giving him the option of delivering them. Under the books was a photo of Adam from primary school, I'm keeping that. I made room for 2 of Carolynn's tubs so that means there is a little more room in the laundry, but I have a long way to go to make this house less cluttered.
Jared has finished up at school, including 2 weeks of orientation and Bendigo Senior. He's made some new friends. Hopefully he'll help me out around the house for the summer holidays, but I won't hold my breath. He's warned me it's time to get him to work shortly so I'll cut this short...