The Renovations Continue…

We brought our home on Tate Road in Brixton approx 14 and a half years ago. Back then it was a house that needed major repair, but I saw heaps of potential in it, and it was a huge home. And we needed huge! With six children we needed the space. Space away from close neighbours and space to make noice! The boys were getting older, bigger and louder. They all loved living life loud! Daniel played various musical instruments, and he also loved to get into the garage and do some welding and grinding on his old car at any time of the day or night. Matthew, the eldest, had left home but he added to the family with his beautiful partner Rebecca and our lovely first grandchild Leeara. And they were here often as well, so we definitely needed this house. I saw rooms, plenty of them, and with the attached flat we would have two bathrooms! So very necessary. Robin saw work and tons of it!

The house from the driveway
The house from the driveway
Side view with the fish pond in front of the house
Side view with the fish pond in front of the house
The front of the flat and the kitchen window on the house
The front of the flat and the kitchen window on the house
Looking along the house to the flat
Looking along the house to the flat
The back door on the house
The back door on the house

The whole front lawn had been planted out with conifers. They were the first to go. The very weekend we moved in we had a big bon fire, and a chainsaw cutting down the conifers and any other trees we didn’t want. That fire was relit many times over the next few years.

Looking up the driveway to the gate
Looking up the driveway to the gate

We also had lots to demolish inside! Robin would go to work each day and come home to another pile of rubbish, and bare walls! The poor man never had any down time….but I was loving the challenge! We were lucky enough to have two kitchens, laundries and bathrooms. One could be used while the other was being renovated. And the kitchen in the house was ugly…and needed a complete rebuild. It also needed new french doors and a lovely big deck outside. All fabulous additions which we have been well used for many family gatherings over the years.

A partly demolished kitchen in the house
A partly demolished kitchen in the house
I still made the bare kitchen look like home...sort of!
I still made the bare kitchen look like home…sort of!
We have benches and a sink
We have benches and a sink
The windows come out and the French doors go in
The windows come out and the French doors go in
The new doors are in!
The new doors are in!
The new doors from the outside
The new doors from the outside

I started to paint the house in colours that were commonly used on old villas. The first big job was to clean down the windows so they would open. The whole house had been sprayed with a protective coating which glued the windows closed! Once cleaned off I could then paint the window frames. By the time I had spent hours on a couple of the windows and exposed the rotten timber underneath, we made the decision to replace all the wooden windows with aluminum ones! And by that stage I had gone off the colonial colours and decided to paint in more neutral colours! Thank goodness I hadn’t gone too far! And…we are still trying to remove the spray coating off the walls. Only part of the front wall left to do….thank goodness! Robin’s and my wrists and elbows are getting too old and painful to keep on doing all the scraping that is necessary. What we have done looks great and eventually the flat will be painted the same colour and it WILL look fabulous!

Jo and Jess outside the lounge window. Note the new colours!!!
Jo and Jess outside the lounge window. Note the new colours!!!
The front of the house with the garden still in front of Jessicas bedroom
The front of the house with the garden still in front of Jessicas bedroom
The veranda off the house lounge
The veranda off the house lounge
The start of the deck
The start of the deck
The deck in progress
The deck in progress

The place also had two big fish ponds. One was by the back door which was really unsuitable for little children so that was emptied straight away. Not a fish in sight! It had a dead hedgehog in the pool and it had poisoned all the water. What a smell! And….what a lot of rubbish from it. Emptied….smashed up…and then refilled with dirt…yes, a BIG job! The other fish pond was on the front lawn. I kept this pool for about 10 years as it was loaded with fish. The annual pool clean up was another big job but the reward of seeing the gold fish and lovely water lily flowers was worth the effort. Eventually I decided that the effort put into maintaining it was more than the joys I got from those flowers, so out it came as well. Much easier to mow a flat grass area than go around a pool as well!

I shifted plants and created new gardens, demolishing others. I made footpaths, pulled out hedges and we made garden edgings. My weekends were filled up with weeding and maintaining the beautiful garden areas around the section…and I loved it.

The garage window is seen just behind this overgrown garden
The garage window is seen just behind this overgrown garden
These trees were along the right hand side of the garage
These trees were along the right hand side of the garage
The lawn outside the flats ranch slider
The lawn outside the flats ranch slider
The back lawn
The back lawn
Planted out the back garden
Planted out the back garden
The garden in front of the flat
The garden in front of the flat
Looking across the front lawn
Looking across the front lawn
The back garden grows!
The back garden grows!
The plum tree and house behind
The plum tree and house behind
The new deck
The new deck
The front fish pond and new gardens behind it
The front fish pond and new gardens behind it
Garden looking through to the flats driveway
Garden looking through to the flats driveway
Looking back to the driveway
Looking back to the driveway
walkway from the flat to the front lawn
walkway from the flat to the front lawn
view from the deck when the wisteria is in flower
view from the deck when the wisteria is in flower
Looking across the front rence garden
Looking across the front rence garden
View from the end of the driveway across
View from the end of the driveway across
One of my vege gardens last year 2012. The other one has potatoes in it
One of my vege gardens last year 2012. The other one has potatoes in it
View across thegarden along the back fence
View across thegarden along the back fence
The flats back yard
The flats back yard

Robin was rebuilding the walls inside the house and doing a great job, but we eventually got a builder in to help out, especially in the bathroom and laundry area….of both the house and the flat. I started doing the plastering, but that also got to become too big for me, so a plasterer finished off the walls as well. But, Robin and I did all the painting and wallpapering. We picked all the earthy colours of bright yellow, terracotta, dark blue and green! Yuck….what was I thinking? I did actually love it all at the time though! Hence the reason that ten years later, I have now almost completely redecorated the whole house. I only have the passageway and the office left to go! Phew!

Looking from the back door out to the garden

Looking from the back door out to the garden

Look at the bathroom!
Look at the bathroom!
That was the bath!
That was the bath!
Ahhhhh the flats bathroom
Ahhhhh the flats bathroom
The laundry and toilet on the left
The laundry and toilet on the left
The flat lounge (our bedroom for a few years!)
The flat lounge (our bedroom for a few years!)
Looking from the lounge in the flat to one of the bedrooms
Looking from the lounge in the flat to one of the bedrooms
The flats bath and shower
The flats bath and shower
The flats kitchen
The flats kitchen
Ahhhhh....why did I put apricot coloured wallpaper in the bathroom? That goes!
Ahhhhh….why did I put apricot coloured wallpaper in the bathroom? That goes!
And blue in the laundry, back door area
And blue in the laundry, back door area
The bathroom in the flat gets a reno job
The bathroom in the flat gets a reno job
The bathroom looking through to the flat laundry area
The bathroom looking through to the flat laundry area
And why did I paint the bathroom that colour?
And why did I paint the bathroom that colour?

We lived in the flat as well as the house until there were only five of us left at home. The girls had their own rooms in the flat and Robin and I had always used the lounge in the flat as our master bedroom. It wasn’t until the middle of one night when Ben, our youngest son, had had a bad dream. He came wandering through the house into the flat in tears and said that it was quite scary to have the whole house to himself at night. I hadn’t even thought about him being the only boy left in the house. It was the push we needed to shift into the house which left the flat available for rental. Bonus! We painted over the wallpaper in the flat to give it a quick tidy up and then finally renovated it entirely between tenants only two years ago. The walls were painted in a neutral colour throughout, and now the house is nearly finished being painted in the same colour.

Bathroom in the flat
Bathroom in the flat
Bedroom two
Bedroom two
Bedroom one
Bedroom one
Looking out to the deck
Looking out to the deck
Flat dining area
Flat dining area
Flat lounge
Flat lounge
Kitchen back wall
Kitchen back wall
The updated kitchen
The updated kitchen
Laundry room
Laundry room
heated towel rail added along with new paint work
heated towel rail added along with new paint work

In 2011 we included the outside games room and the house back door area into the renovations. We had put a French door in our bedroom approximately five years earlier with the intention of putting a new deck off it. The project in 2011 incorporated a new deck extending from the back door right to the driveway. The games room was always the room that needed the most fixing, but that didn’t stop Daniel using it as his own little flat….followed by Simon and then Ben. Robin and absolutely love the room now. He has a great computer set up and I have it as a scrapbooking/craft room. The room is also fabulous for a sleepout for visitors. We put a roof and doors on the deck and also now have a conservatory that warms up beautifully all year round.

the deck roof has been removed
the deck roof has been removed
The french doors off our bedroom
The french doors off our bedroom
The side of the garage and games room
The side of the garage and games room
new construction
new construction

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

The flat and the house
The flat and the house
New path around the flat. Flat still needs painting!
New path around the flat. Flat still needs painting!
The new craft room nearly finished
The new craft room nearly finished
Back yard
Back yard
View from the deck off our bedroom and conservatory
View from the deck off our bedroom and conservatory

We have had so much enjoyment both living in our home, and renovating it. It is set on a half acre section and we have no immediate neighbours. I can look out the windows and admire the lovely view I get from each window. The gardens are now well developed and there are lovely mature trees. We can eat from our vegetable gardens and have enough fruit trees to both eat and preserve the fruit.

Now - Looking at the garage, porch and back door area
Now – Looking at the garage, porch and back door area
Now - My back garden - along the back fence
Now – My back garden – along the back fence
Back fence garden and vege patch
Back fence garden and vege patch
Now - The front of the house showing the part still to be cleaned up and painted
Now – The front of the house showing the part still to be cleaned up and painted
Now - The french door into the kitchen
Now – The french door into the kitchen
Now - looking at the laundry and toilet door
Now – looking at the laundry and toilet door
Now - looking out one of the dining room french doors
Now – looking out one of the dining room french doors
Now - the fireplace lounge
Now – the fireplace lounge
Now - our bedroom...still have to buy new bedside lamps
Now – our bedroom…still have to buy new bedside lamps
Now - looking down the nearly finished lounge
Now – looking down the nearly finished lounge

Yes…I love my house. It is, and probably always will be, a work in progress. It has never been perfect. It is old and there is a lot of maintenance needed, but to me it’s better than perfect…it’s home!

 

Worlds biggest Procrastinator

Okay so I have been home for three weeks and have managed to get back into work life okay. I actually worked three days last week (paid employment that is). But getting back into jobs around the house has been a little harder. When I first got home, I was so tired I was in bed by 10pm (the latest) and waking up at 7am, all refreshed and ready for the new day. Lately, it’s been back to the old habit of staying up late (11.30) and not wanting to get up in the morning! And I wasn’t going to do that again! In my defense though. I have weeded two gardens, loaded them with new topsoil (thanks to Robin for his help) and put in heaps of new vegetable plants. I have also made some new worship DVDs using backing tracks so we can sing along with them at home group. And…I have emptied out our lounge and filled and sanded the walls ready for painting. That’s my job for today. To undercoat! I was really motivated when I decided to freshen up the lounge walls, but this morning my arms feel tired and heavy. I really don’t like sanding and as I pushed myself too far yesterday, I am suffering for it today.

So here I am. It’s 8.30am and I am still in bed…planning my day…checking out Facebook, the daily news and Instagram, and generally wasting precious time! I MUST get up! But I did find a fabulous blog page and thought it would be great to share it. This lady has fantastic ideas on how to make food look interesting for children and ultimately make it irresistible to eat. I’ll attach some photos and maybe you can go to her blog page and see how she constructs each meal. Enjoy looking 🙂

http://kitchenfunwithmy3sons.blogspot.co.nz/?m=1

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Now wouldn’t you just love your food to look like that! That Mum must have some skill in organizing her time. No procrastinating for her! Okay….I’m getting up and going to race around and make up for lost time. That lounge wall will have its first top coat on by the end of day, even if it’s another 11.30 bedtime 🙂

Grandie Fill!!!

The school holidays are now over. I am in a mix of emotions! So happy to have had the grandsons to stay and have lots of Nana cuddles, but sad because all too soon the time was up and they have now gone back home to Palmerston North. They are fabulous little boys. G2 is quieter, very thoughtful and loving, and an absolute lover of computer/video games! He reminds me of his Uncles, C4 and C1. He gets totally into this other world. His Mum and Dad have to make sure that he is having adequate breaks away from the computer as he would play games all day. He is actually quite clever and has left me one of his games to take care of. I have been sucked into the quest, and have been feeding his little monsters and looking after his ‘earnings’ as best I can, but it is getting very close to me saying ‘no more…that’s enough!’ G2 won’t have access to my computer again until the next School holidays and I am NOT going to keep doing this for 10 weeks! Far too time consuming and very addictive I must say! Even if the look of his gorgeous pleeding eyes remains forever burned in my memory…I will stop arghhhh!

G4 is far more active than G2 but that could also be his age. He turned 4 in May and he hasn’t a care in the world. He makes the most of every environment he is in! We went to the indoor playground, the local parks and to the zoo, and he ventured off in all directions in each place. About 2 years ago he ran straight into a wall in McDonalds playground because he was running so fast and got an amazing bleeding nose! Blood everywhere! Believe it or not he did exactly the same this holidays…at McDonalds as well….same place! You just have to love him though. He has such a cute look of innocence and gives love so freely!

Both boys slept in C5 room in our old bed. Yes Robin and I have finally brought a new bed..after 23 years of marriage…and I love it. I have had longer and more refreshing sleep than I have in years. It’s not a soft bed but it has memory foam and moulds to your body shape. I haven’t had an aching hip or shoulder since sleeping on it! Yay! But…back to the boys…every morning they would come and hop into bed with me. I loved it! Even though they would have a cuddle and then one would lay with my iphone and the other with the galaxy pad…we were together and that was all that mattered! I miss them soooo much.

Whee...Jayden goes down the slide
Whee…G2 goes down the slide
Christian in the ball play
G4 in the ball play
face down in the ball pit!
face down in the ball pit!
Jayden learning to play table tennis
G2 learning to play table tennis
Stacie helping Christian play table tennis
Stacie helping G4 play table tennis
Smile for the camera Christian
Smile for the camera G4
Just look at that cute face :-)
Just look at that cute face 🙂
The look of concentration
The look of concentration
all in onesies!
all in onesies!
a favourite park to visit. Lots of boys activities!
a favourite park to visit. Lots of boys activities!
Just too cute...love him!
Just too cute…love him!
Lovely pose Christian :-)
Lovely pose G4 🙂
both boys on the big swing
both boys on the big swing
Jayden posing for the camera
G2 posing for the camera
Christian loved this!
G4 loved this!

Looking back, I can now see that God was working!

Way back in April I posted about my job ending at the ANZ Bank and how upset I was about the way I was treated during the whole process. I must admit I hadn’t really enjoyed my job as much after the ANZ dropped the National Bank Brand, but I was good at my job, and I felt that their unwillingness to offer me another position was very sad. I also had the perfect working hours and couldn’t imagine finding another job with part time work available. Little did I know that God was in control, and He had a plan for me that He knew I would be really happy with. I believe that we can ‘cast our cares on God, because He cares for us’ but as I cast my work cares upon Him, praying for Him to work out the details, I didn’t really think he was answering when the ANZ job ended.

But on my post on the 22nd of May, I told you about my new job and how it was an amazing answer to prayer. I have now worked about 10 days and I love it! I am really happy! I am meeting lots of really interesting people. I am helping people that are sick and hurting. I am using a computer daily and doing all the reception duties mainly on my own…and it’s great!

So way back in April I couldn’t see the future and I was wondering what was going to happen. Now I can see that God had it all in hand. He helped me let go of my old job and He opened the door to my new job. He took away the sadness and frustration that I had at work and replaced them with contentment and satisfaction with a job I enjoy.

Praise God!

During the stage from unemployment to employment again, I have had 2 more trips to Sydney and have also planned a trip to Italy with my sister Judy and niece Teresa, for 2 weeks in August and following that 2 weeks travelling with C2 and D2. I will leave NZ on the 1st of August and return to New Zealand on the 31st of August. I am so excited.

I have also been able to do some more house renovations. I have stripped wallpaper, prepared walls for painting and then painted three rooms! And they look great. Robin finished our bedroom walls for me while I was away in Sydney. I took some photos to show C1 and D1 the changes. I love them…what do you think?

No updating here but look at the clean fresh dining area!
No updating here but look at the clean fresh dining area!
Didn't update this, but it is clean and tidy
Didn’t update this, but it is clean and tidy
This area used to be dark blue and it didn't have the big storage cupboard...which I am loving!
This area used to be dark blue and it didn’t have the big storage cupboard…which I am loving!
This are is the fireplace lounge looking into the big lounge. This was the last area I painted before starting again recently.
This are is the fireplace lounge looking into the big lounge. This was the last area I painted before starting again recently.
My new bedroom colour with a new Duvet cover and pillows.
My new bedroom colour with a new Duvet cover and pillows.
Joanna's room. This room used to be dark green! What was I thinking?
C5’s room. This room used to be dark green! What was I thinking?
This is Jessica's room. It used to be blue. I painted this room quite awhile ago.
This is C6’s room. It used to be blue. I painted this room quite awhile ago.

It’s January 2013!!!

I can’t believe how fast the last year went! Who would believe that we are now heading towards the middle of January 2013 already!

Well….life is great! I had a fabulous Christmas and even managed a week in Sydney with C1, D1, G1 and G3 (and had a night out with C4 and D3). Robin and the girls were also in Sydney for Christmas day so we had a lovely family time. C6 and I had to fly back home on Boxing Day because I had to work the next 2 days and C6 had booked to go to ‘Rhythm and Vines’ music festival.

Since being back home I have had Simon and the 2 boys staying plus C4 and D3 came to stay for about 5 nights as well. We tried to do as much as possible together for those 5 days. C3 left and went up to Hamilton where he is going to be best man for his friends wedding, and C4 and D3 flew back to Sydney. I still have my 2 grandsons staying and have been having so much fun with them.

Robin and C5 got back home on the 6th of January and both have been working again this week. Life is slowly getting back to normal and that means routine!

C5 turns 21 on the 15th so the next big event will be her birthday dinner. Luckily for me, she has booked her party at a local venue so I won’t have to be preparing food.

My crafting life has had to be put on hold during the Christmas season, but I have plenty of photos printed out ready for when time once again becomes available. I can’t wait! One thing that I have managed to fit in though is shifting a heap of my very old photos from their old unsafe photo albums, to new albums that are acid free. I purchased lots of photo life pages from ‘Simon Says’ and have found them a very quick way of getting the photos into albums and yet making them slightly more interesting than just plain photo albums. I have a long way to go before finishing them, but I am very happy with the progress so far.

I also made a few crafty things for gifts and also for selling in my sisters craft shop. I will attach some photos!

I will also add some photos of my fabulous family and of our time together celebrating our Saviours birthday 🙂

Jo Jess and Leeara Jo Ben Jess and Casey My three youngest :-) two beautiful Daughter in laws Joanna and Casey my two daughters Dad and daughter Rebecca and Casey Beautiful Joanna In the pool together Matthew and Casey Cute Casey Christmas dinner prep Christmas dinner Christmas dinner photo Ben teaching Jayden Bat down Bat down together night at the park lights two gorgeous grandsons boys doing what boys like to do At nana nanas Our santa sacks Casey and Rosey Up to mishief Christian? Dad Simon and Christian on the walkway Christian Jayden Ben and Chloe Jayden on his bike Simon helping Christian The boys at the windwand Flying Christian Jayden at Fitzroy pool feeding the rabbits at Pouakai animal farm boys feeding the animals Jayden and the goats Christian reading the map at Pukieti Map reading time a good photo spot Nana (me) and my grandsons Maori carvings and the boys Swimming at Corbett Road The water was freezing cold Cheeky Christian A Cricut creation doorstops I made for christmas My Christmas banner

Holiday is well and truely over!!!

Well we have been back home now for 2 months..and man has life been busy! We are back on the daily tredmill and the weeks just seem to go by faster and faster. But life is good! Winter is over and Summer is just around the corner 🙂 My weeks have been filled with mainly music, mainly music preparation, Scrapbooking, and work work work. I have also made about 5 DVDs of our holiday (still have a few left to do) and also made photo books of most of the holiday. I still have 2 to do. I decided to do photobooks this time round and then just print off a few holiday photos to scrapbook. I will add some photos of our latest scrapbooking pages for you to have a look at. I must admit that since I purchased my iphone, I haven’t been very good at uploading photos from the camera, and the phone is full of photos! It’s so easy to upload photos onto Facebook directly from the iphone, and I have discovered Instagram, and love uploading photos into my Instagram album. My Instagram name is also pamperstamper, so it should be easy to find me 🙂 So here are my scrapbooking pages and when I upload my iphone photos I’ll put some more photos up.

Before I leave!!!

Just thought I would add some more of my scrapbook pages before our big trip overseas again!! Yes…we leave New Zealand at 11.30pm tomorrow night and arrive in Shanghai at 7.30 am. This will be a 3 days stopover on our trip to England to see Daniel and Marysia. I plan on keeping you all up to date on my blog rather than Facebook…well I plan on it but it all depends on when and if I can get free wireless! The bags are packed and I just need to do a bit more housework tomorrow. The scrapbook room is tidy and everything put away awaiting our return at the end of July. Then it will be a very busy work room as I will have tons of photos to scrap!!! So here are the latest pages anyway…enjoy

G2’s Birthday and Taranaki Anniversary weekend

For G2’s birthday Robin and I travelled to Palmerston North, picked up the boys and spent the day together. We had a lovely time. We took the boys to the Museum and found this amazing interactive house there. Both boys loved it and had a fabulous time playing with all the things there. They tried out doing some plumbing and also helped build a wall. What a great place for children!

Anniversary weekend was an opportunity to travel to Palmerston North once again. This time I picked up both boys and brought them back to our place for the weekend. I brought their bikes back with me and on Saturday we went to the walkway. What a great day we had! Both boys loved riding their bikes along the walkway…I had to run to keep up with them! Robin dropped us off and took the car to the bridge car park. We met at the bridge. The rest of the afternoon we went to the park. A big day but one filled with fun. Here are some photos of both events.

Some more pages!!

I just realised that I have loaded up my latest pages but forgot to load up the pages before them. So I will now update my blog with them….and you will have heaps to look at and be inspired by 🙂 My next post won’t be scrapbook pages….okay 🙂

A sample of my latest pages

Our Welcome On Wednesday (WOW) scrapbooking and card making mornings are well on the way for this year. We usually have 4 of us here each Wednesday but have actually had 6 ladies a couple of times. It is such a lot of fun and even though we only get 2 pages done each week, we all enjoy being together and the bonus of creating beautiful pages. I love scrapbooking! I also love looking through my finished albums. So as you can imagine everywhere I go I take my camera with me. I can’t miss another scrapbook opportunity, even though I still have heaps of photos waiting to be scrapped! I hope my pages will inspire you to create some for yourself. I certainly don’t mind you copying my pages….I also get ideas from other pages I see and love…enjoy 🙂