A catch up!

Sit down, grab a cuppa and lets have a good old catch up!

Things at the little old cottage are MOVING!  We are up to painting the second lounge and master bedroom.  The tiles for the ensuite are on order and by this time next weekend we should be in.  Though the ensuite will not be done which is totally fine.  We have a slow combustion wood fire to heat that part of the house ready to go in just in time for winter.  Next week I shall have some finished room photos to share!  Though I’m keeping it as a blank canvass as we will literally be putting it straight on the market the second it is done.

Next house I keep telling myself.  Next house I can mark it with OUR stamp.





Henry has had a birthday, he is now FIVE!  Can you believe it?  Such a sweet cheerful little fella.  Angus and Will are also going great guns.  There has been an interesting dynamic shift between them all.  Will is transitioning to “tweens” and Angus and Henry are gravitating towards each other and have become great little buddies.  I love listening to them play and create their own little stories togeather.

I was worried when Grant finished up at the shop that with him being home full time that I would find it would challenging.  But I needn’t have worried.  I love having him about and a real sense of peace and contentment has settled upon the home.  We are no longer tired, hurried and stressed.  The boys are more relaxed, and I’m loving having my best mate about to chat with throughout the day and share the little things with him.

(Can you guess Henry's fave lolly?!  Chosen from the original Women's Weekly cook book.)

(Henry with his main birthday pressies from us.  His favourite book the Velveteen Rabbit with his very own Velveteen Rabbit handmade from beautiful mohair from Etsy.)

Farm planning is in full swing.  Researching areas, schools, climates and districts is our latest hobby.
 We have a few bookmarked.

Planning the logistics has been an interesting process.  We have decided that buying a block with no house and then getting a kit home and Grant getting his owner builder liscence through the company is going to get us the best value for money.  The budget will be TIGHT.  We will likely be totally off grid with generator backup for when solar isn't enough..

The biggest challenge is working out where to live while we build.  We want to be together as we are a family that is happier togeather.  Both Grant and I hate the idea of renting and the week to week pressure of coming up with a sum of money, whilst trying to build a house with nothing to show at the end of it.  So after a little pondering and comparing pros and cons of a bunch of possibilities we are going to sell the old Franklin van and buy a big coach and convert it.  Then when we get to the farm build a farm shed and line out a bay as a lounge so the kids can spread out in bad weather.  Then we will have a fantastic bus to travel and holiday in at the end of it all, and we will be able to stay togeather on the farm.  The joy of a bus is that we can pick it and “move” into it before we leave.  Meaning that in theory the final move should be a little less stressful.  Beds will be made, Clothes will be organised, we will have a fully functioning kitchen....A little haven of order amongst what will otherwise be a huge life change.

(little puss pretending she is prowling in the jungle) 

This plan will also allow Grant to work nearly full time on the house build, and ensure any cash we bring in through his bugs/etc can go towards the build and the trades we will need to help like electricians etc.  The bus will be off grid.  A dollar saved is better then a dollar earnt and all of that.  Grant is in the process of getting his articulated, heavy truck liscence and we are hoping this will allow him to pick up a little casual work carting stock or whatever once we move.  That with his business management/shop hand skills and agricultural experience gives him a broad foundation of work avenues to follow should he need it, which we know he will.  I should qualify for a little study allowance next year with my theological studies which will also help.

(Aggie freshly groomed)

So it sounds crazy, and huge, but to us....It’s the natural next step.  The thing we have been working to our whole married life togeather.  I will not however NOT be building a tiny home.  I have done the living in a small space with a family of 5.  All of us sharing a bedroom for months on end.  It is not for us long term, whilst I appreciate the benefits and celebrate those for whom it suits, and I'm more then willing to live on a converted bus for a season.  Our next home It will be a spacious home in which each person will be able to have their little piece of privacy.  Where family and friends can come and stay and a place where the boys will have room to progress through their teenage years togeather.  It will be a farm house, with a big mud room!  I dream of a spacious kitchen and lots of space for food preparation and cooking.  There will be places for hobbies to be explored and developed, Scottish Terrier puppies to be born and raised and no doubt our own share of sick and abandoned baby farm animals that will need to be cared for.

Well I feel I have chewed your ear off!  I best toddle and get on with feeding these boys of mine.
Much Love,
Emma
xx

26 comments

  1. sounds like you're all set! good luck on acquiring a bus, i have some neighbours living in a bus at the back of their family house, they are quiet & i wouldn't like to be them out in this cold atm, i don't know if they use the house as well.
    i love big old farm houses but a small cottage will do these days lol.
    you have a young family so space is needed;
    i often think of our ancestors & the tiny cottages they lived & brought up a dozen children in!
    anyway keep us updated with what you choose & where you end up;
    in the meantime good luck in your searches.
    thanx for sharing

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    1. Depending on where we are we will likely be putting a little wood burning stove into our bus for heating. As well as in the lined out part of the shed.

      I too think of the big families brought up in the tiny old cottages. When my Mother was growing up she slept in the bed with her two sisters top and tailed. She does not remember this fondly! I think there would have been a huge amount of challenges living in such a small space. I don't mind small living....But I like the idea of each person having their own little "space" in a home. As an introvert this is something I very much need myself!

      xx

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  2. Wow, it is all happening, Emma. I do hope you find a place to build your dream home where your boys can grow up. Thanks heaps for giving us an update as I have been wondering how you were going.

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    1. Thanks Chel. I have been pondering the direction to take the blog now the boys are getting a little older, which is part of the reason it has been a little quiet. As well as ongoing health challenges.

      xx

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  3. Thrilled with your update. I look forward to hearing more, as your adventure continues. Peace and grace to you and yours!
    Patricia

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  4. Wow, things are certainly moving along on the home front and future plans. The bus sounds like an excellent idea for what you are planning.
    The Tiny House series is now on tv and is full of amazing, practical and clever ideas that you can use when fitting out the bus.
    A small space like bus living means you will be able to spend more time hands on with the building.
    There was a very good post on finding a property at Arbordale Farm blog, worth checking out for some practical hints (take a spade ! )
    Lovely catch up and Happy Birthday Henry.....where is the little cutie in the baby carrier ? ?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I know! Goodness that time seams like just yesterday!

      I LOVE tiny house shows and we often watch them with great interest. There is great ideas on youtube as well. I tend to fall down the rabbit hole!

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  5. Nice to have some time together away from the shop and the birthday cake looks great and who doesn't love m&m's or smarties on top of their cake. Kathy, Brisbane

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  6. A wonderfully newsy post dear Emma and I love the sound of your plans. Oh my goodness, I made that exact same birthday cake thirty five years ago for my daughter turning five years old.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Great minds huh Sally?! This is why we are friends!

      Its the original Women's Weekly cake book too, my mothers from when we were kids. Its well loved now! Though Henry didn't know what some of the things actually were like the telephone and the TV in it. hahaha!

      xx

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  7. Emma so glad to hear that all is well in your world. So much is happening for you and will continue to happen for a while yet. Keeping us updated would be right down the bottom of the to do list, so thanks for taking a bit of time out for this.
    Much love.

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    1. I do enjoy blogging very much and all of my lovely readers remind me of that without fail for which I'm deeply thankful.

      Part of the reason the blog has been quiet is my on going health struggles and also now the boys are getting older I feel hesitant to speak for them like I did when they were younger. Will for instance is carving his own story which I feel is his to tell if that makes sense. But I think I have nutted out a new direction which feels "right" for me. :)

      xx

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  8. What freedom there is in taking your time to find the right place for your family to settle in and to have a bus so there's not the pressure to rent a place away from your land. A big adventure but what an opportunity! Looking forward to seeing where you choose to go. Meg:)

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    1. I love this little community and their positive "can do" attitude to small and simple living! I have been strongly discouraged by well meaning people to NOT move our family into a bus and to rent instead. But I really do believe this will be the best decision for our family during this season of change! And will allow us to travel to visit friends and family cheaply and in our own time if we happen to move into another state, which at this point in time looks like the best option for our finances and for our own family.

      xx

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  9. This is all so exciting for you, and I'm sure. scary at the same time! Love to read your updates and really looking forward to reading about where you end up and what you do. I looked up Jindabyne as I had never heard of it. Looks like a fabulous place with so many things going for it. Take care, from Janice in W. Canada

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    1. Thanks Janice! It’s really beautiful and certainly on our list. So many wonderful adventurous things for the boys to get up too!

      Xx

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  10. So pleased to hear that you are all well and happy! Best of luck with the hunt for a bus and a new home, how exciting to be planning such an adventure!

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  11. How nice to catch up on the goings on Emma and also all the future plans. I imagine the renos are keeping you guys busy still. I'm sure it'll be a little bittersweet to see it all finished and straight on the market. But of course it will make the space for your future plans so that will be great. The bus plan/adventures sound like they will help with the overall goal - I imagine it'll be a little crazy but having that end goal in mind will no doubt help. Especially when you can carve out and eventually enjoy some space for your family and yourself.
    Look forward to catching up on your plans as time and health allows. Take care of yourself.
    Cheers,
    Laura

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I do hate the idea of leaving the cottage just as we get it lovely and functional for our family. Mostly for the boys who are SO excited to be getting their own space. But a means to an end and this was always going to be a short term plan.

      And whats life without a little crazy right?

      Xx

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  12. So exciting for you all Emma. A bus will give you some continuity rather than renting and having to move, especially if building time blows out, I wish we’d thought of it when our three children were young and we were building. You sound well, hope you are fully recovered. Love and prayers, Sue (lavenderlass)

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    1. I hope it works, some people think we are crazy but I can always rely on my little online village of simple living folk to be positive and encouraging about things that sound cray!

      My health is improving, and this week I feel better then I have for a long time! A little way to go till 100% but I am on the mend.

      Xx

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  13. Emma, I have been following your blog for some years now, and I really look forward to your posts. I am pleased you are on the road to recovery and have taken time out from your hectic schedule to keep us up to date on your journey.
    Wow! Planning your next chapter must be both really exciting, and a tad daunting at the same time. I think the bus is a fabulous solution to your move. Your boys are at a great age to set out on this venture, and farm life is fantastic. Take good care of yourself. I can't wait to read about where you choose to go to and your adventures along the way. I have to say I think Grant is extremely talented with all his experience in renovation projects. I look forward to seeing photos of your dream home project.
    MJ

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  14. Happy Birthday Henry! He's shooting up like a been-sprout, now. Much like my son, who turned 5 recently too. They start to lose their chubby baby features, more and more every day. They're turning into little men. :)

    You're making some wise decisions about the property - namely, being able to find ways to fund your costs of living, through re-skilling. The beauty is, you can do those jobs, part time, instead of knowing you have to clock in every day of the week and not see your family for 20+ years, or however long it takes to pay of the mortgage!

    Congratulations, for moving forwards. :)

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