Friday, January 27, 2012

Home - a timber house on a green hill…

Well it’s official, we are putting down roots! 

We are settling down, pertaining to Geographical location, as opposed to calming down our exuberant personalities!!! 

We have moved out of our camper trailer….that took all of hmmm, 2 hours! And we have found places for all our bits and bobs and managed to spread out! The children have unpacked their toy boxes and rediscovered all manner of treasures they had hidden away. I have tried to fill the new kitchen but the fact of the matter is our stuff is very minimal. There is just soooooo much space! It’s wonderful to have room to swing the proverbial cat after living in a 1 room tent all together for the past 2 years! We are so thrilled to be living in this little green patch of paradise. The children each have their own Bedrooms! Wooo Hoo! Daniel and I have privacy! Wooooo Hooooo! The Fantastic Four even have their own Bathroom! Bliss!
This beautiful property we now call home is nestled amongst the greenery (did I mention it’s green???) of a nature reserve. This means we are not permitted to have pets. Oh well…who needs pets when you have children, right? There is a rainforest and trickling creek down the back and we do share the property with a neighbour although we have not yet managed to cross paths. Her house is right along the creek and we are a whole house block up the hill. I do hope we get to meet soon. I am a big believer in getting to know your neighbours! The house water is pumped from the creek, so we are adjusting to all this means for a family of 6. There is no rubbish disposal, so we are adjusting to that as well, Saturday is currently “Dump Day”. The house is a 2 storey timber home, with lots of wide open space. There are high ceilings and no hallways!  And wait for it……there’s even a stage! I know……random! We fully expect our family will make use of the stage! At this stage it has been set up as a creative corner! All manner of creative resources are just begging to be used…. We have quite a collection from home-schooling during our travels. Paints, watercolour pencils, wax & oil crayons, textas, coloured pencils, glitter glue, coloured paper/cardboard/wrapping paper/crepe paper/drawing paper…. There does seem to be a lack of glitter though. And since we moved in I have had to buy glue or sticky tape, or both, every time I grocery shop!!! Clag is my friend! The beauty of having a creative corner is that it is always in use! They have been busy creating Art work to personalise their Bedroom Walls! Some really Beautiful work too! The down side I guess, is the mess. Honestly though I am loving seeing The Fantastic Four busily creating after so long of constantly travelling and the restrictions of that lifestyle. 


The road where we live…it’s so very green!

“Creative Corner” set up around the edges of the stage area!

This is Josie’s Bedroom. She wanted to be able to look out over trees…well she has trees one way and rolling green hills the other way.

The sleep-out upstairs! Mostly used for playing games!

This is my Bedroom Smile

The Kitchen…is enormous!

The Dining Table is in the middle of a very wide, open space

A broader view of our space…

We call this ‘the road to nowhere’ it’s directly above the Dining Table!

The ramp that’s being built into the top level of the house

My sister Kris, her kids: Benji, Zoe & Kita and The Fantastic Four standing on the bridge over our little creek in the rainforest down the back!

The weekend after we unpacked everything into the House, I looked around and wondered how on earth we were going to do this? Re-establishing ourselves after selling and giving away everything we owned to travel Australia 2 and a bit years ago!!! There are all sorts of hurdles to be jumped and obstacles to be navigated. Mostly though it feels like we are on holidays in someone else’s home. I am sure that will pass. Isn’t it funny, I have happily used our plastic plates, bowls and cups as we’ve travelled but now I long for the day we are financial enough to purchase a Dinner set. I have my eye on one already. I have been content with making do with an 80 Litre fridge freezer, and now I am eagerly anticipating storing such decadent things like ice-cream and ice-cubes in a much bigger receptacle! I have used a great variety of washing machines as we traversed the continent but I long for the day we can bring home a washing machine that is all ours! I have been enjoying a little reprieve from Home-schooling the Fantastic Four. It has been wonderful to start over at a new school, but also quite daunting. The uniforms, the school bags, lunch boxes, the shoes, the hats….the great influx of “stuff” that comes with that territory. It has been great to hear their daily reports, and a great relief that they’re enjoying their new school. I pray they will make good friends. It’s early days yet and I have to say it’s been a struggle for them in the “making friends” department.  I am sure that with time and a good deal of prayer that will happen Smile  As Daniel is working, he takes the car, drops the children off to school in Atherton and continues on his way. The kids are loving this time with Dad. However it has posed a problem for me in that I am “stuck” at home. I don’t mind really, it has been nice to potter around the house, I have even managed a little sketching (watch this space). We had to find a way for the children to get home from school, and thankfully there is a bus service that will pick them up from the front of their school and deliver them safely to Malanda. As a result I am getting my daily exercise walking the 1.5kms down our hilly road, across the dodgey 1 lane bridge perched nonchalantly across the swiftly flowing creek, to meet the Bus and then the 1.5kms back across the dodgey 1 lane bridge perched nonchalantly across the swiftly flowing creek and up our hilly road home again. Quite an adventure, especially in the rain!

The dodgey 1 lane bridge perched nonchalantly across the swiftly flowing creek

The walk is quite pleasant really!

Nearly Home after an afternoon stroll!

Settling down in North QLD means MANGOES! Yummo!

It has taken quite a lot of getting used to living in a nature reserve. It’s not all that different to living in a tent really. “Nature! It’s all over me!!!!” The thing about wildlife….they just don’t respect Human boundaries. We have been amused by the buzz we have created in their Habitat. There is an abundance of brown Beetles here, I have no idea what they are….but come nightfall they fly in through the windows (forgot to mention, we have no screens!) and proceed to re-group and play the latest Beetle Game. Last night’s game was how many walls can we fly in to!!! A very rambunctious game! I have to admit quite a few Beetles were harmed in the proceedings Smile. There are an abundance of Butterflies, and yes we regularly see the beautiful Blue Monarch Butterfly flutter by. The other really cool thing we see are Fireflies! They like to provide a twinkling fairy light effect around the Gardens after dark. We’ve seen a few inside the house after all the lights have gone out as well (thanks to the screen-less windows again). Every night this week I have done the washing up with my mate “Kermit” the green tree frog perched on the windowsill. Daniel informs me that Kermit is an unoriginal name for a frog, but it works for me. Last night must have been ‘Bring a friend night’ because there were two green tree frogs perched there. Now I have to come up with another name, something original… any ideas??? Talking about names….there is apparently a timid tree Kangaroo living somewhere around the creek down the back, and his name is Bruce! We have not yet had the pleasure of seeing Bruce. Perhaps the cacophony my four children create has kept him away. We have marvelled at the little antics of the Firetail Finches. The critically endangered Star Finches are so cute! I have also spotted some Red-browed Finches as well. Suffice to say, there is an abundance of birdlife to be observed. We have been woken every day by the morning Gossip amongst the bird community! I believe the collective noun for a group of birds should be a “Gossip of Birds” as opposed to a “Flock”. Hmm, just a thought. There has been the odd arachnid, yuck! And we discovered a snake skin on the bricks on the driveway (as in very close to the front doors) the day after we moved in! Eeeeek!
As I sit and write this we are coming into our 3rd weekend in a timber house on a green hill in Malanda. The last few weeks have been quite tricky at times, and yet we feel so very Blessed. God is amazing! I am so thrilled He has called us to settle here. It hasn’t been easy, in fact it has been a whole other adventure! We still feel a little clueless as to why here…? But that’s okay. We hold a few small pieces of the jigsaw puzzle and we’re seeking the other pieces. Just as it takes time and a few failed attempts to put together a jigsaw puzzle, it will take us a bit of time to re-establish our family and find what it is God would have us do here. In the meantime we are looking at the big picture (the one that the Designer displays on the jigsaw puzzle box lid). We may not know “what’s coming next” but our Lord and  Saviour does and I’m okay with that! We’re just praying for that next piece in the puzzle…

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