Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Edging closer to christmas!

Hi everyone...

gee the time has flown...the last couple of months has seen us celebrate and reflect on what would have been Eli's 7th always, we wonder what he would have been like as a little man, and how we would have been as a was a very reflective day, again with tears and beautiful sunshine. Very low key day which usually just unfolds for us...nothing specific is ever planned, it just 'comes' as is. The lead up, we took archie to the melbourne show and then the aquarium - he had an absolute ball, but we continually miss our son and archie definitely misses his 'big' baby brother eli...
eli certainly had the brightest star in the sky that night.

We are continuing to be booked steadily. We have a couple of families coming through at the end of october and had a family through the holidays which was terrific...we are looking forward to the summer months - and i know archie is keen to play with our next 'visitors'.

The cottage works are slowly coming along...very dependent on this spring weather, but looking forward to having it all completed by christmas!

There is really not much other news from us...just busy with every day life doing 'stuff!'...

we have done a couple of presentations and just gearing up for christmas now which will be on us before we all know it...

our next big 'day' is melon's anniversary of the day he died...i remember as if it was yesterday. 12.55pm on Sunday 16th will forever be a day in our memories...

take care everyone and have a terrific couple of weeks!

lots of love and sunshine
the simpsons

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Slow and steady!

hi everyone

we have been busy with just general lives, but very aware that we are moving into a very difficult time of year for us...eli's birthday, the anniversary of his death and then into christmas 6 weeks later. We also have petes birthday and mine in january..and of course fathers lots on and lots of time for reflection-as we always do...

We have had the fortunate luck of helping another two grade six students do their rotary awards this year - their community service they chose to help the cottage. While one of our kids dropped out for various reasons - Jackson and Kelsey have done a terrific job in identifying a number of things kids who visit (at their own age 11-13) would like to play with (minus computer stuff!)

so thanks to both, we now have a netball hoop, a sandshell complete with toys and stuff and some very clever football posts (star pickets and poly pipe!)...they managed the whole thing from go to wo and have done a great job...

I asked Kelsey what helping the cottage means to her..and she wrote the following:

"My name is Kelsey and im 12 years old. Im doing my grade 6 rotary and i chose volunteering my time for Melon's Cottage." I am motivated to help Melon's Cottage because it was a cause that helps families have time away from the hospital.
The best thing about helping out Melon's cottage was being able to buy equipment for the kids my age that wasnt already at the cottage. The project allowed me to witness the generosity and support that businesses have towards such a wonderful cause"...

well written kelsey - well done :-) Couldnt be prouder....

The other thing which is going a little slower than hoped is our concreting and cottage upgrades...we are really hoping to have the works finished off by mid september, but im thinking its now likely to be a bit longer... :-(   but we will get there   :-)

we would also like to shout out to Glenn and his mates for organising a fishing day with some of the proceeds to the cottage..Glenn and co...we cant thankyou enough! The money has helped pay for all the sports stuff that Kelsey and Jackson organised for us! WIN WIN!!!

alrighty, thats it for us now...will touch base in another couple of weeks...bring on the nicer weather and sunshine!!

love and sunshine
the simpsons

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Busy busy everywhere :-)

Hi everyone

We have had a really busy couple of weeks with a couple of presentations, a trivia night and our concreting finally starting...couldnt be happier!

Our great mate Marnie came along to a presentation for the Metung Lions which went really well...its a real pleasure to keep all of our services groups up to date with how we are tracking...

We have also had a very amazing family come and stay at the cottage recently...our sincere thoughts and condolences are with you have families come and stay with us truly validates what we do is needed, and that even in this very small way, we know we can make a difference to those who come and stay with us...

We also attended a Trivia Night in Melbs which was especially put on to raise money for melon's cottage. Wayne and Alexa Black who run trivia nights, save one night a year for a charity...this year they chose us! We cannot say thankyou enough to lex and wayne and all the volunteers on the night who made the event a huge success! We even had very very special appearance by Andrew Wishart who belted out a couple of tunes for us to entertain the crowd! All the hard work they did (especially lex pulling together a massive prize list!!!) raised just over $12,000 for our cottage. It was especially nice for lex to come and visit the cottage first hand so we could show her what the money will be used for... which brings us to our next point...

as you know, fundraising this year will contribute to bringing our little cottage up to DDA compliance (fancy standards for wheelchair access) we have widened our paths (hence the concreting)...we will be working on the side balacony and installing a new door, and making a couple of minor adjustments inside. Its been on the table for over 8 months, so its wonderful to have the money to be able to do it with all the amazing fundraising, but it will be even better to further improve the access to some families. We are really a massive thanks to all those involved, and i will keep the pictures coming...on here as well as on facebook. For those who havent connected to us on facebook, just type Melon's Cottage and you will find us :-)

There is also a major fishing event being held in Lakes Tyers shortly where some tin rattling will be happening - so will try and write about that one next time...its busy busy!

I dont say much about the families that come through for many reasons, but what i will do is start inserting some of their comments that they have left in our guest book. I know i say it all the time, but to see the difference it makes for some of these wonderful families who stay makes every day truly is a privlidge.

Anyways, will sign off today and leave happy sunshine kisses your way.

love and hugs

the simpsons

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Trivial stuff!

Hi everyone...

Well, this last fortnight saw us head to the Urban Funk Dance Group's show which was held at the Central Pub with all proceeds coming to the cottage. All of the organisers and kids did a ripping job and it was a terrific night with around $1500 raised!

We have also hosted a family this week, but unfortunately couldnt get too close because archie has been struck down with tonsilitis...we know how frustrating it could be when people who were sick would come to visit us when we had we ALWAYS declare cooties to the families...and unfortunately just couldnt get together...i do know however they have had a great time...and thankfully they have been able to do a few things while here...the weather has finally turned to winter!

We are gearing up for the Trivia night to be held in Flemington on 19th July. We still have 2 tickets available on our tables, so if you are keen to come along...we would love to see you. Lex and Wayne have done an amazing job...and there will no doubt be a couple of surprises on the night...hopefully some more deatils to unfold over the next couple of weeks! Thanks to those who have already signed up...pete and i are looking forward to catching up with you!

We have a couple of more presentations to do over again, busy busy but looking forward to it.

Archie is being more and more aware of melon as each day passes...he asked the other day when his baby brother can come home...i guess for us it will just be one question at a time as he wraps his head around it. When we reflect it really is one of those things that we want and need melon to continue to be part of the family, and its a very delicate conversation which unfolds almost each day. Im sure we will get there!

anyways...thats it from us for these few weeks...if youknow anyone who would like to come and stay with us...please encourage them to come and visit...we would love to see them/or YOU!

take care

love and sunshine
the simpsons

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Hi everyone

In a big effort to blog a couple of times a month - here we are :-)

A massive fortnight in the Simpson house...we were the recipients of an amazing gift of $23050 courtesy of the EastGIppsland Convoy for Kids proceeds...i honestly shed a tear or two...that amount of money secures our future for around 5 years! its amazing to think that that amount of money can make such a big difference for us but it does...when i can work out how to get the photos onto the blog from my phone, i will make it a priority! A small community group to put on such a HUGE event is fabulous...the other great thing is the money was split three ways, so we received some as well as AngelFlight (which is close to my heart) and Camp Quality! some very very happer campers as receipients thats for sure!

We also hosted about 15 VCAL students from the local Secondary College who held a casual dress and market day with proceeds coming to the cottage! Approximately $380 was raised - but the best part is the students were able to come up, actually see the cottage and what we do, and hopefully keep us in mind as they grown into young adults...its lovely working with the local kids...and very cool we can make an impact on them :-)

We are still pretty busy doing presentations and do perhaps 2-3 every month or two...just depends on what is going on...Pete recently did one for the Lakes Entrance Legacy Widows which he enjoyed immensely...Pete is very passionate about legacy..his wonderful poppa does some amazing work with Legacy in Deniliquin :-)

We have had the builder up to look at the work needing to be done, so we are hoping we can get a quote and works started really soon...we are also working toward a quote for some concreting and landscaping that will keep us very busy!

We are also working slowly towards the trivia night to be held on the 19th July! We absolutely CANNOT WAIT! will keep you posted on that too!

take care everyone and stay warm!
hugs and warm winter sunshine
the simpsons

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Oh dear...i promised... :-(

I have just had a look at how long its taken me to get around to writing the has been absolutely forever, with a few big anniversaries in between...
Im sooo sorry! Time has definitely got away from us...

where to begin!

November 16 saw us reflect again on Eli's loss...incredibly difficult...many tears and we still find it very hard. Archie is now becoming more and more aware of Eli's presence in the simpson family which is just so very sweet. I often reflect how Eli's life is going to continue as we encourage archie to know his big brother...i guess it will come as it comes.

Christmas was absolutely FLAT OUT with 6 families visiting from mid december right the way through to the end of January! We had that really hot spell in January and thankfully things held up pretty well. Christmas itself was pretty chaotic because archie picked up a really nasty it was a struggle. It was also time for archie to hand over his dummies to santa...but he did REALLY well although he still says now that "Santa came and took my dummies and left HEAAAAPPPPPSSS of presents" guessing he is still cranky with santa LOL

Just before the Christmas rush we were able to complete the kitchen renovations in the Cottage. They turned out absolutely perfectly. We cannot thank Adam Greenwood and his team, and the Lakes Entrance Betta Electrical store (and Voltage Electrics, Risely Plumbing and Reece) enough for all their time and effort. I will post photos at the end of the blog so you can see the difference...its absolutely amazing and for the families who have stayed with us since, they have raved about it :-)

This years fundraising concentrates on having the house upgraded for wheelchair access. We have finally got our plans sorted and are now waiting on quotes to get the work completed hopefully before the September holidays...its going to look fantastic. We only have to tweak a few things inside, and most of the work will be done on our pathways and balcony on the outside, so i will keep you posted :-)

we have been absolutely blessed with a whole heap of amazing groups and organisations who have approached us this year to get involved with their fundraising efforts for Melon's Cottage...

We have been involved with the EastGippsland Convoy for Kids which was amazing, we ran our Mothers Day Melon's Cottage Raffle which was a huge success (and thanks to EVERYONE for helping us with that) well as a Trivia Night which will be held in Melbourne on 19 July 2014. That event sold out in 4 days which is fantastic and with lots of auction items - we will definitely see you there.

We cannot forget some of the other fundraisers which were run with just a few weeks - Ambers Gift. A wonderful story of a selfless 6 year old girl Amber Wilson who donated her hair so that wig makers could make wigs for those who have lost their hair from cancer treatment and all the proceeds to Melon's Cottage. A total of approx $3,200!

We also had a raffle which was run in the honour of Les Cramp - a terrific local identity who died in March. His wonderful partner Carol contacted us and ran a raffle at our local establishments and in Les's honour, donated over $1000 to our Foundation. We will make sure that we have something special in the Cottage to honour Les's memory...

We have also been recently contacted by Casey from the urbanFunk dance group who will be holding another concert later in June at the Central Pub. As with last year, all donations will come to the Cottage - its just amazing! We have also been the recipients of many donations by our local service clubs and businesses who continue to give...its awesome to know that melon has touched so many lives...

For all those families who have stayed with us since we opened in 2012...we cannot speak enough of how these guys feel when they come and stay. I know we harp on about it, but it truly is a priviledge to do what we do...the amount of amazing people we have met and continue to meet is humbling. Archie is at a great age and like us, cant wait to meet the "families" who come and stay with us.

Alright will sign off for now...and make sure i post some photos of the last 8 months or so - thanks for being so patient...and thanks for those few who have said "you know jodes, we havent seen a blog in a while!" Can i recommend you also friend us on facebook - i know its naughty, but we do alot of our stuff on their now i know how to use it better :-)

take care everyone and i will DEFINITELY be back sooner rather than later this time round!

love and sunshine
the simpsons

Saturday, October 12, 2013

6 months gone - just like that!

hi everyone

well - I thought i should get more active on the blog and post at least once a month as a wrap up...and boy...i didnt realise that it was April since we last blogged...eeeekkkk...where has that time gone?

I will try really hard and do a short wrap up of the last 6 months and PROMISE to be more discliplined! I must admit though, its been a pretty hard winter and archie has been sick alot through the cooler months, so it will be nice to celebrate alot more sun, and hopefully heaps less illness...

I know i say it often, but we really have been flat out...lots and lots of presentations and donations coming in from all over which has been brilliant. We also had our first community working bee at the cottage which by all accounts went great! The gardens and the cottage got a big spruce up and it come out thanks so much to everyone who helped out...we are looking to do something similiar once a we will keep you posted...

we have had some terrific donations which have been amazing...$12,000 from the WoodGroup PSN in sale and we are putting that towards a new kitchen for the cottage (which is scheduled for november)...just before christmas.

We have also been lucky with big donations from our service clubs, Rotary and Lions, our local schools who have held events on our behalf, and even a dance troup! We have also received a large donation from our local Palliative care group and from VIATEK down in Warragul...its great to know that our cottage is starting to be discussed broader than east and central gippsland...

we have had a busy 6 months with families...and are expecting a full house over christmas/new year period which we (and our local businesses) are looking forward too...

Anyways, i will leave it for now...

Happy birthday also to our beautiful boy Melon...Eli would have been 6 this year on the 28th of always its a very hard time of year where we reflect on what should have been. The day he died we often spend time on reflecting what was...what we do know though is that he was so bloody brave...and for all those little poppets still fighting, keep going...sometimes you lose the battles, but win the war...good luck!

loads of love sunshine

the simpsons