Slow week for Reno

We had a very slow week with our Reno at an almost stand-still this week.  The slab was marked and cut, but nothing else happened.

markings-for-the-slab-to-be-cut

Inside the house was a different story with loads of packing, cleaning, chucking out stuff, shipping stuff off to Vinnies and general moving around to keep some sort of normality going.  I am typing this from the dining room as that is where my office is now (in the corner of course), my scrapping is now done from a corner of the lounge room and we are well on the way to having the old studio cleared out ready for paint and floor coverings.  On the floor coverings – we can’t put down the flooring in the new studio for up to three months due to the slab being new (when it is eventually poured).  Anyway here are some extra pics from Quentins part of the exterior work last weekend, resheeting the entertainment area roof and grinding off the old footings (mostly so we didn’t break our necks everytime we walked out the back door!).

the-ground-off-post-footingsre-fixing-the-roof-sheets

Last Saturday night we had Sarah over again and we all shared a big platter of chips (from up the road, naughty I know), salad and home cooked chicken.  Noah decided that he didn’t want his little plate he wanted the whole platter to himself.  He has also started to use the typical childhood cheesy grin accompanied by the word “Cheese” when having his photograph taken.

a-big-boy-dinner-and-a-cheesy-grin

 I couldn’t resist taking this one on Wednesday, isn’t he so gorgeous?  I think so.

how-cute-is-noah

We have some Reno action!

Yesterday we had most of the airconditioning units fitted.  Just three to go once the new studio is finished.
28-aug-2009_2580

This morning saw us go from this bare slab in the back corner of the yard to the final result of our Entertainment area being moved.  Here are some of the happy snaps of the smooth event that was the crane and several mates having some fun. (If you hover over each image there are some captions as to what was happening)

The bare slabThe crane was a tight squeezeFitting the slingsWe have lift-offIsn't this awesome!Swinging across the yardAlmost thereComing down into positionJust a bit more guidance neededNearly thereQuentin & Andy giving the foot a helping hand

And whilst all of the excitement was happening I was dropping Milton and some of his mates from Scouts at the Mount Etna National Park for a day of Caving.  This was the final step in his leadership training, to organise a group activity.  Milton loves anything adventurous, caving included.

Miltons Caving Day

I had to include this pic of my little man enjoying a bath this afternoon.
Noah the Bath Addict

Extra Stuff

Milton did really well last Friday with the School Band at the Eisteddfod, on Monday again with his fabulous Trumpet playing and today the Year 6 Choir won a third in the Sacred section and performed stunningly in the Primary School section as well.

We have some great crops coming on in the garden at the moment.  We have Cabbages, Tomatoes and always Strawberries.  The boys think that the Strawberries don’t make fruit because Naomi-Jon empties them every morning and night.

TomatoesOur Strawberries do fruit!cabbage

Noah just loves his new Lorraine Lea sheets, they match Elmo.

noahs-new-sheets 

And I have finally got an almost good self-portrait.

self-portrait

Reno Update

This is what I came home to last Monday (17 August):

17-aug-2009_252817-aug-2009_2530

This is what we had by Wednesday afternoon (19 August), all done without any machinery because the concrete crew couldn’t make it:

19-aug-2009_252119-aug-2009_252219-aug-2009_252319-aug-2009_2525

This is what I came home to today (Wednesday 26 August), not too shabby at all:

26-aug-2009_251026-aug-2009_2513

And Saturday we will be moving the Entertainment structure to go on these lovely little feet:

26-aug-2009_2515

What have I been up to?

Mum turned 69 on Friday and we went to the new Library Square Brasserie.  The two hour wait was a bit much, but the meals were divine and well worth the wait.

Happy 69th Birthday Mum

Last night I did these two pages with some new products from 3 Bugs in a Rug at the Scrapbook Fantasies Super Saturday Crop…

16-aug-2009_1800

Robin by Alicia Redshaw

I have realised that I have created 157 cards so far this year, and I have been mostly so busy that I haven’t shared them here.  I will definately have to remedy this situation.

I had an absolute ball at the Scrapbook Fantasies Retreat at Kinka Beach last weekend.  I taught two classes to the 57 Scrappers in just two sessions of two hours each, what a blast and everyone seemed happy with the results. (sneak peeks are on their way when I am at work next)

I have to say a huge thank you to my family, friends and everyone who attended…you are all the reasons that make this event worth the effort and keep me coming back every year.

Mum Scrapping up a storm at the Retreat

Mum Scrapping up a storm at the RetreatThe Traditional Retreat Birthday Celebrations

Naomi-Jon wearing head protection to scrap!
Naomi-Jon wearing head protection to scrap!
Retreat Group Photograph

Retreat Group Photograph

Our Professional? Photographers
Our Professional? Photographers
Part of the Crop Room

Part of the Crop Room

I didn’t get as exhausted as usual and I have had a pretty healthy week since getting home, which I would attribute to my jaw, headache and posture problems being on the mend.

Milton has been at a Scout camp this weekend and Quentin has just ducked out to collect him from a Wakakirri dress rehearsal at School.

Noah has had a great weekend visiting Bob and Katrina’s new farm twice already and feeding the ‘Gongkeys’ (Donkeys).

Noah and the DonkeysSam the DonkeyNoah found a fun farm toy

Naomi-Jon is proving to be a bit of a mystery at the moment, revealing on Sunday night (whilst coming home from Kinka Beach) that only one of her ears works!  Yes, I was shocked, speechless and completely ashamed of myself for not knowing this piece of vital information.  Anyway we have a hearing check appointment and an allergy testing appointment in the next two weeks.  The allergy testing is just an add-on as her Eczema is just getting worse no matter what we attack it with.

Our Echidna Girl

STOP PRESS!  We have been promised that our new entertainment area slab will be completed by next weekend!  Fingers and toes crossed this time.

In preparation our little indoor palm that went wild in the garden had to come out today…

The Indoor Palm that grew wild!

I wanted to share some older pics from my trip to Brissie with Billie in June…we obviously spent a day with Lance from Rusty Pickle and I caught up with my cousin Rosy for dinner as well.

Billie, Lance and myself after a hard day of scrappingWith my cousin Rosy

Update…

So July has been and gone…Where did it go?  Well we had a really busy month around here. 

The highlights in no particular order are:
Noah turned 3
Milton went to a cool Scout Camp called ‘Aliens’
I had a huge month at work
Quentin continued his fill-in at work
Naomi-Jon redecorated the Barbie house at least five times
Milton attended a Music Workshop and they put on a fabulous concert
We picked the first of our corn, zucchini and strawberries
Naomi-Jon completed her first communion
I got braces, and boy do they hurt (still wearing a bottom splint for the moment to help keep my jaw in place)
We postponed the pool construction AGAIN
We got a bit closer with the Reno
One of my pages appeared in Scrapbook Creations Magazine
My website has more than it’s fair share of issues
All the kids were sick
Naomi-Jon got a few badges from Cubs
We had a fabulous time together
…and heaps more

Here are some pictures from Noah’s Birthday dinner.  (Yes we let him cut his own cake, although he did more of a hack job on it)

25-jul-2009_1255

25-jul-2009_128325-jul-2009_1292

Naomi-Jon eating our first Corn Cob.

26-jul-2009_1241

Reno Update (20/4/09)

We spent a few hours on Sunday afternoon removing a lemon tree, pruning the frangipani and fairy trees, pulling heaps of weeds and running loads of garden waste/prunings through the mulcher.  We also planted some corn, zucchini, tomato, chive and strawberry plants as part of our re-landscaping the front gardens.  We had beautifully landscaped gardens prior to the drought, but didn’t seem to have the heart to re-start the process once we had the water to use (we lost several thousands of dollars worth of plants, as well as over 30 rose bushes some of which were very rare).  We decided as part of the Reno that we would also make-over the front gardens by removing all small non-edible plants (except gingers, emperors and two roses), keeping most of the larger plants (lychee, mandarine, palms, frangipani and fairy tree to stay, jasmines to go), add some pathways that are rustic and low maintenance, plant as many edible fruits and vegies as possible to fill the other areas and add some extra little fun niches and hidy-holes for the kids imaginations to run wild (they already have concrete animals, mini-ponds and kid-sized passages).  Eventually we are going to replace the current bridge beam retaining walls with block walls that will match the house and the feel of the gardens (not in the budget yet).  Anyway we made a start and here are some pics of the results so far.
Some harsh pruningTomato and ChivesCorn, Zucchini and Strawberries

We are aiming to reduce the size of our Carbon Footprint with everything we do in this Reno with recycling, solar power, smart air-conditioning, insulation, pool covers, sustainability and the garden changes of course.

We have received the corrected plans that are very interesting and have already generated some great builders quotes.  The solar and air-conditioning are still in the quote stage, but we are happy with the verbal quotes so far.  The pool is on order and the floor coverings have been decided upon.  We may be changing our mind about painting ourselves at this stage as we are having trouble getting the time off together to achieve such a big job.  We should be starting the construction some time next month (fingers crossed) and Quentin has even got the OK from the Crane company for their part of the job – don’t ask as it sounds really silly but saving us two weeks, a lot of potential damage to the entertainment area and about $2000.

Hot Pink Frangipani Cuttings

I have a heap of Hot Pink Frangipani cuttings to give away after our brutal pruning of the gardens on the weekend.  If you want some and know where I live just drop by and help yourself, if not leave me a comment and I will let you know how to get some.  I have had complete strangers stop me and ask for cuttings over the years, because it is truly gorgeous and a prolific flowerer (even with the harsh treatment my husband dishes out at our place).
Hot Pink Frangipani Cuttings

Reno Update

The pool is all organised and under budget, but won’t be installed until July.

The plans are still on their way after some dramas with the original plans not being exactly correct, but Ben has made adjustments, allowances and some real headway with the designs.  It all looks to be a simpler build and shouldn’t take too long to construct.

The entertainment area is still standing as we have had a lot of work and family stuff happening (see family update coming soon) that have pushed the project back a bit.

All-in-all like any Reno nothing is going to plan, but have had some good wins with the budget (a truely rare thing).