Friday, 30 April 2010

Our 'House'

Okay - so it's not really a 'house' yet but it WILL be and we are very, very excited! After looking at so many small, run down houses in our price range for 18 months, we had pretty much given up on finding a house that was suitable for us. The most frustrating thing was that we weren't being overly picky and put offers on three houses (all of which obviously weren't accepted) and it just seemed like there was no way we could afford a house that would suit us.

The things we were looking for wasn't anything flash like an inground pool (although that would be nice!) or that it was a huge mansion - we were just wanting something that would make our lives easier and something that would be ours. The things we were looking for was that it would be accessible for Noah (or could easily be changed to be accessible), that it wouldn't need too much work on it or if it did it would be a bargain price so we could afford to do it up, and it would be big enough for us meaning at least three massive bedrooms and lots of storage, or one big main bedroom (since Noah sleeps in our room) and 2 other big bedrooms.

We stopped going to open homes about 6 months ago after the government stopped the First Home Buyers Boost. It was quite depressing to know that we had looked at all of our options of buying at the time that they were giving out extra money for first home buyers, but nothing suitable and cheap enough came up. We even considered building with Eden and Jared building for us, but just the cost of blocks plus how much it would cost to build put it out of our price range.

Our priorities even changed a little after 18 months of looking and we even started to look in areas we weren't keen on living, including areas out of town. Finally a couple of months ago I got an email alert that sounded promising. A few days later the real estate agent and a builder turned up with the plans for a house that had everything we were looking for - four bedrooms, double garage, fully accessible for Noah, in our price range and close to everything still and the best thing was that it hadn't been built yet.

The builder was lovely and said that he wasn't keen on building until he found a buyer and that the good thing about it for the buyer (us!) was that although the plans were already drawn up to suit the block, it meant we would get an allowance for everything in the house such as the kitchen, bathroom, floor coverings and window furnishings which meant we could choose almost everything for the house.

So a few more visits with the bank, real estate agent, builder and solicitor and lots of phone calls back and forth, we signed the contract to build a brand new house! We would've loved for Eden or Jared to have been able to build a house for us, but it has worked out really well for us, even though they can't do it. The block isn't huge but we are just excited that we will have a house with everything we had been wanting and needing, and the best thing is that the builder has adjusted the plans to suit having a wheelchair and has let us design the bathroom so that we can hoist Noah in and out of the bath and shower. Oh it's going to be heaven!

It's been very exciting going up to visit 'the block' (or as Harri says 'let's go and see if he has a block on there yet!') and see lots of exciting things happen. Who would've thought that seeing machines dig would be so exciting!

We are feeling very blessed and excited as it should only be 3-4 months until we move in. The slab is just about ready to be laid!

oh...and for anyone who is interested it is still in East ward boundaries so the Westies can breath a sigh of relief ;)

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Renting no more!

Finally after 15 years of renting and 18 months of looking for a home to buy, we are soooooo excited we no longer have to buy Thursday's paper, or have as one of our favourite sites to look up on the net!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Super Saturday

On Saturday we went along to the Hawthorn training session and 'Super Saturday' at Aurora Stadium. Hawthorn was playing the Kangaroos on Sunday which we would've loved to have gone to, but we are happy they are playing three Saturday games this year. The boys often think that going along to the training sessions and meeting the players are better than the games anyway.

We all put on our Hawks gear on and looked like a bunch of bumble bees :)

Kobe looked so cute in his hand-me-down jumper from when Jalen was a toddler.

He was soooo excited to meet Hawka for the hundreth time! He never gets tired of seeing him and waved to him the whole time we were there.

The team took a long time to arrive but the boys had fun playing together while we waited.

Nicki and Alex and the kids also came along which was fun.

Finally the team came out to train, and Harri was so excited to see all the players that he talks to Aaron about all the time at the moment.

It was fun watching them train and listen to Harri give commentary on who each player was.

At the end of the training session all of the players came over to the fence to sign autographs. We were in an excellent spot right on the fence, near the change rooms so all the players came over including Harri and Aaron's favourite - Hodgie.

When he got to us one of the girls that work for Hawthorn (who was with Aaron on Thursday at the school fair when he was being Hawka) asked Hodgie if he would get his photo taken with Harri for the website. Beforehand everyone was told they were only able to sign autographs but didn't have time for photos so it was very lucky that Harri got to get a photo with him. Hodgie was so lovely and asked Harri if he wanted to jump up on the fence to sit up near him for the photo.

Jalen was also asked to get his photo taken with Campbell Brown for the website. Harri was in tears as Campbell didn't come over to sign anything but was signing stuff through the fence as he was walking into the change rooms. After lots of tears Harri convinced us to take him over to see if he would sign something for him. He did sign his book, and Harri was a very happy boy again.

On Monday morning Harri woke up and asked if the Hawks won on Sunday. I told them they lost and he said 'they are all so lazy, except for Hodgie -he's the only one who isn't lazy!'. He is quite disgusted that they have lost a few games already, but would never want to put Hodgie down. I have a feeling that he is going to be more Hawks obsessed than Aaron if that is even possible!

Monday, 26 April 2010

Friends and Family

A few more photos (okay...maybe more than a few!) from last weeks photoshoot with the Prebbles and Christies. It's been lots of fun editing them and seeing the fun and relationships that they have together. I'll save some more for another blog many photos at the moment, not enough time!

Sunday, 25 April 2010

My Hero

ANZAC day to me is about thanking our heroes for what they have done for our country and remembering those who didn't make it back. My biggest hero in my life is my Pop and today is the first ANZAC day without watching him march proudly down the main street of Deloraine. We always love going out with the boys and watching him as he goes past with that proud look on his face.

To me ANZAC day will never be the same again, but it will always be a very special day to remember what those amazing and brave men and women did for us, and to remember the biggest hero of them Pop.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Best Friends

A while back I was asked to take some photos for the Christie and Prebble kids before Jack goes on his mission to Fiji for our church. Tayla, Jack, Sam and Jordan have been best friends for years and love hanging out together, so I was excited to take them as I knew they would be fun photos to take, although I knew Jordan wasn't overly keen :) Teenage girls and boys are so different!

I really wanted to take some different photos to the ones that I took of the three girls and wanted to make them as natural and fun as possible to catch what they are like together all the time. It's been fun editing them and there are a LOT more to come. Here are a few of the first ones I've edited.

I LOVE these next two as it shows the usual relationship between siblings.

Back to the editing.... love it!

Friday, 23 April 2010


Last night was the KMHS fair. Aaron and I arranged for 'Hawka' to come for an hour which the boys were excited about. When I turned up with the boys Aaron was just about to walk outside with the Hawka costume on! The person who was supposed to be in it hadn't shown up so Aaron of course volunteered to do it! How excited does he look!!

The girl from Hawthorn gave him the big talk about what Hawka does and doesn't do and he said to her 'don't worry - if you know how much the club means you would know I wouldn't do anything to disgrace the club'. He then showed her his moves with the hi-fives, thumbs up and a few dance moves and she said 'this is going to be great!'.

The boys were cracking up laughing when they saw him...that was until he put the head on and then Kobe started to freak out a little bit and kept backing away from him.

Once Aaron went outside Kobe realised that it was actually Hawka and couldn't get enough of him. He kept on following him around waving to him and wouldn't leave him alone.

Aaron said it was a hot and sweaty hour, but lots of fun. The funniest thing was his comment about how you got 'random people come up for a photo like older men'. I couldn't stop laughing as I had to remind him that HE is usually one of those 'random older men' going up to Hawka for a photo and his excuse was 'only for the boys'. Yeah right Aaron....we all know what a big kid you really are :)

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Welcome to Holland

I couldn't describe what it's like having a child with a disability any better than what Emily Perl Kingsley did, so these are her words and exactly how I feel about having Noah in our family.

"I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland."

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Hollybank Forest

Over 16 years ago Aaron proposed to me at Hollybank Forest. It is such a beautiful place, and we hardly ever go there so we thought we would go out last weekend for a picnic and a play. I was so excited when I saw all the beautiful autumn leaves. I think Aaron's words were 'we're going to be here for a loooong time boys!' as he knew I would want to take lots of photos.

It was a beautiful day for Noah to lay in the sun and enjoy being outside.

Aaron and the boys spent most of the time kicking the footy around which amused the Chinese tourists a lot!

Kobe and I had lots of fun going off into the forest to take photos while the boys played footy. Kobe loved exploring everything and didn't mind at all the leeches that kept on getting us! :(

Harri really wanted his photo taken with Aaron. They have become great buddies since Harri has discovered a real love for footy. He has always liked it, but now he is more like Aaron and is obsessed with it - checking out the stats, talking about different players and who is injured and who is suspended and discussing the ladder. He kept saying 'pleeeease can you take a photo of me and Dad? I promise I will smile really good for you!'.

We thought we'd take a quick walk down to the river before we left. Kobe thought he would be helpful and tried to push Noah!

As helpful as he was, there was no way of getting around a tree right in the middle of the path, so it was the end of the road for Noah. Having a wheelchair can really make things tricky at times!

Aaron and Noah headed back to the van while I took the boys down to the river for a quick look. Harri was so funny yelling 'I can see a pool!!!".

It's definitely somewhere where we should go more often. I'm already imagining how pretty it will be in the spring time!

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