Living as a Family

Growing up !!!
Growing up !!! | Source

Our Family is Extending !

At the time (over 12 years now) our 2 sons and our youngest son's partner were living happily in their own home next door to us.

They would all come over every weeknight to collect their dinner (did not cook for them on a weekend), they usually took it home to eat at their leisure they liked to eat a little later than we did

This particular night was a little different, holding hands, smiles as big as the moon, something very special was in the wind. As they hugged and kissed me, at the same time whispering in my ears one either side:

"Mum you are going to be a grandmother"!

Oh my goodness I had dreamed of this honor for a long, long time, and now it was really going to happen. I was on cloud nine. Oh my gosh what a wonderful, wonderful feeling.

Having to wait another 7 months was going to be hard (for me, I guess that sounds a tad selfish) every single day felt like a week.

I had to find something to do in my spare time, so off to the craft shop to buy baby wool in every color that was available.

While I was knitting my fingers off, my husband was making a wardrobe with draws and hanging space, suitable for a baby, It was beautiful and it housed the many items of clothing that I had made perfectly with room for more.

So the time went a little quicker.

Eventually the time had arrived and we were presented with our first grandchild, the most beautiful little girl on the planet. (I was asked to be at the birth) An honor that I never expected, It was the most incredible experience that I have had the pleasure of being asked to participate in.

To see my Granddaughter enter into our incredible and beautiful world, surrounded by so much love and happiness. It was a feeling that I could never explain, It is still with me today.
Another surprise that almost made my heart burst,she was given my christian name as her second name,that's another feeling that blew my mind.

The Family comes to a Decision

Summer had just begun and that particular year, even for Australia it was extremely HOT.

As our Son and his Partner, at that time, didn't have a cooling system in their home. our grand daughter spent a great deal of time in our home.

It was wonderful that I could spend this very special time with her.

Lots of hugs, kisses, playing with and feeding her, taking her for long walks in the evenings when the weather was cooler. I recalled being called by a friend 'a besotted grandmother', That was OK, because it was true. :) :)
Then on one particular evening while the whole Family were dining together, the idea of us buying a large property, ( 2 acres) to be exact came about, sounded wonderful to me. still is!

So we went 'for it', looked around the different areas, week after week, as we wanted to be in a rural area, but not too far from a shopping center.

Eventually we located a property that was perfect and suited us all!

"Accommodation for 3 separate Families".

Purchased it!... Sold our old houses!... Moved out!... Moved in!... Too easy?

Not really that easy! Trying to decide what to take, what to give away, packing, cleaning, making sure the garden looked it's best, organizing a carrier. Phew!!!

We had been in that home for 28 years, so had collected a 'bit' of stuff. All in all it went pretty smoothly. :) :)

Rose Garden

Underneath the Arbor leading to the Rose Garden
Underneath the Arbor leading to the Rose Garden | Source

The agreement we all made at the time was to live as a family for 5 years,then decide what we wanted to do after that. It is now way past 5 years, and all is going really well.

The property has a very LARGE garden, which requires a lot of weeding, mulching, pruningĀ  etc, but it looks beautiful, so its well worth the time spent.

We also have about one and a half acres of grass to mow, thank goodness for the ride on, as it makes it so much easier.

Our children like to look at a nice garden , but are not one bit interested in doing any of it, My partner and I do it, but that's fine, Gardening is my favourite Hobby, but most of the other chores are shared.

Our work saving ride on mower.
Our work saving ride on mower. | Source
Our colorful Water Tanks
Our colorful Water Tanks | Source

Over the years the guys have destroyed two mowers and we have recently purchased a new 'Ride On' mower,

it's great, not that I use it, that's the guys chore. As we are located on a busy road the boys built a retaining fence for the safety of the kids and dogs so I have a small Electric hand push mower that does all the fiddly bits of grass.

The guys tell me that the 'ride-on' has a 33 inch cut with a 16 hp motor, but who cares, to me the color 'red' is much more interesting. :)

No Town Water !

I much prefer fresh water and we are not connected to mains water at all.

Our water supply comprises of 3 very large water tanks, and 3 poly tanks which harvest the rainwater from the roofs of the houses. All the tanks are interconnected and we hardly ever run out of water.. During the drought we did run low and it was only a matter of a phone call and within a day our tanks were replenished. We sure could taste the chemicals ! Yuk,Yuk.Yuk. Our Granddaughter started doing her Rain Dance every day and sure enough after about a week it started to rain and eventually broke the drought.

She was so happy, could not keep the smile off her face. :) :)

Each concrete tank holds 22,000 liters of pure rain water, and all have been painted with various things such as pet dogs, birds, snails, rabbits and other animals to reflect the local habitat.

I hate the chemicals that the so-called authorities put in our town water supply.

Harvested rain water, in my opinion, is much better for our Grandchildren, plus it tastes much nicer than tap water. (We now have 2 of the most gorgeous grandchildren on this Planet).

Our little grand daughter
Our little grand daughter | Source

Teaching the Grandchildren

I absolutely love being able to see my Children and Grandchildren every day or we can go for a week or so without seeing any of them, we do have that choice.
Sometimes we go for Nature walks down to the back paddock, and at various times see Rabbits, Foxes, Lizards, Spiders, Frogs, and lots of Birds, Snails, Ants, and on one occasion a Snake. I was not happy about that, snakes are not even close to my favourite pet.

One thing I have learned in this experience is that your Children have their own lives and ways of doing things. You may not always agree, but you have to accept that they are individuals, sometimes you may just have to ZIP it. :-)
Also you may be called upon to babysit at very short notice and often, this I dont mind, as they do grow up very quickly and go their own way.


We now have one absolutely beautiful Granddaughter and one very handsome Grandson.

They both light up our lives, and make us smile and laugh every day,each has their own individual way of doing things and are loved so very much.:):)

is this what's it's like living with the family? Hmm that face does look familiar

Living as a Family - Go For It.

If you are contemplating doing something like this, from personal experience my advise would be "GO FOR IT" maybe it will be the most rewarding thing you will ever do in your life.

To me it is better than ORBITING AROUND THE MOON....

So if you decide to try living this way I wish you LUCK and hope that you enjoy every minute of this new experience of living as a family :) :)

Roses from our Garden
Roses from our Garden | Source

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Comments 55 comments

The Rope profile image

The Rope 7 years ago from SE US

I have a couple of friends who are also sharing land space with family and in-laws, it's also working well for them but they share your philosophy. I think that's the key. It's a wonderful idea, glad to know it's working out for you. Thanks for sharing!

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 7 years ago from australia Author

THE ROPE Thank you. It!s great to know that others are also Happily sharing their lives with Family. Good for them. :) :).

VacationAustralia profile image

VacationAustralia 7 years ago from Australia

What a fabulous idea! Living with and having family close is the best!

I love this hub! So well written, it seems like you have been writing for many years. Thank you for such an interesting hub.

earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

Family is everything isn't it? I think you will be very popular on hubpages... so many people will relate to your love of family!

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 7 years ago from australia Author

VacationAustralia..Thanks for your vote of confidence,It is very much appreciated. And yes having Family so close is the Ants Pants. (hug) :)

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 7 years ago from australia Author

earnestshub. Love of family is extremely important to me. I hope you are right about the other. :)

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

oliversmum, your account of the adventure over the last 7 years is very interesting and you hold the readers interest very well.

I, like everyone else, can't wait to read more about your adventures. Please keep the Hubs coming :-)

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 7 years ago from australia Author

agvulpes .Yes it has been extremely interesting,maybe you are thinking of doing something like this yourself,I hope so ,Its worth it. I am working on a new hub,but it is a little way off yet. Thank you for your encouragement. :) (HUG)

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

Oliversmum, as a matter of fact I have been doing just that myself and have found the experience to be great. We do seem to agree on that don't we?

However the work load has got too much for us and it is time to use our minds and not our bodies so much, and we will be downsizing in the not too distant future. :-)

Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 7 years ago from Northam Western Australia

That is a brilliant way to go. Great for all concerned and everyone can help one another and share the chores ( most times) You will always get the slackers even with family members,

Really good hub, look forward to your next ones.

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 7 years ago from australia Author

Eileen Hughes,Thank you ever so much for your kind words,We do have a lot of fun living together.I am working on another hub. :) :)

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Oliversmum, how awesome to have the grandkids so close. If it were possible that would be the only thing I would wish for to complete my life.

loved the great hub

regards Zsuzsy

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 7 years ago from australia Author

Hi Szuzsy.Thank you for your encouragement,it is very much appreciated. Well one day it may happen for you.Our Grandchildren are very precious to us.

Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 7 years ago from India

Sounds like a delightful life! Having family around is a blessing...most of the time! And yet, I've learned the joys certainly outweigh the minor irritations. Welcome to Hub Pages oliversmum...waiting to hear more from you. :)

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 7 years ago from australia Author

Hi Feline Prophet.Yes it is a wonderful way to live,thank you for your kind words,they are very much appreciated.:) :)

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 7 years ago from United States

Oliversmom, I enjoyed your hub. I'm a grandmother also and yes, my greatest pleasures have been my children and grandchildren.

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 7 years ago from australia Author

Hi pamela99. thank you for your lovely comment,I do feel

lucky that we are living this way with my children and my

beautiful grandchildren,it's the greatest. :) :)

Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

I see I'm in the company of people I highly admire!! Wow!

Fantastic piece! Novice? Hmmm. I adore gardening, but it can be tough on the knees!! I miss my flower beds and the picture of your roses takes my breath away! It's tricky to grow them in my area because mildew gets on the leaves, but the scents are heaven! So you grow flowers, and grandchildren wonderfully!

Congratulations on your start - can't wait to hear more adventures/advice! I was serious about the knitting advice!!

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 7 years ago from australia Author

Hi Candie V,What can i say,you have blown me away with your kind words. A Novice yes, but have had some great advice from a couple of folks that i know.gardening can be very hard on your knees plus otherthings,our Roses are beautiful but have been neglected this year because of the heat over this summer. white oil or milk sprayed on the leaves of your roses may help,yes our Grandchildren are beautiful. I would be happy to help with your knitting,but i'm not a very good teacher.Thank you so much :) :)

Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

Ok, fine, I'll let you off the hook for knitting instructions. I hate it when the gauge changes cuz my tension is off! Do you cast over or the other way?

I'll give the milk spraying a try! Thank you!!

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 7 years ago from australia Author

Hi Candie V. I personally cast on by going thru the back of every stitch, it gives you a tighter bottom line, and always knit into the back of every plain stitch, to me it looks nicer and I always use Tortoise Shell needles,they seem to give you a smoother texture,( if you can still buy them) they stopped selling them over here many moons ago.I hope the milk works for you.:) :)

Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

What an absolutely delightful life you have made for yourself and your family. I LOVE the photo of your little angel and the roses and your descriptions. I can only hope that my son will want to have anything to do with me by the time he is ready to settle down and raise a family!

Cheers to you and your partner for a job well done! MM

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 7 years ago from australia Author

Mighty Mom Hi. Thank you for your very kind comment.It really is a wonderful way to live.Our Angel is just that, an ANGEL.The Roses are beautiful too.I hope your son decides to try it this way with you,it could be wonderful for all concerned.Thank you again from both of us.:) :)

Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

OOOH! MM has found you too! The fans you are getting are the best of the best (well, with the exception of me.. I'm only average) as far as I'm concerned! I keep looking to see if another cartoon character shows up hiding somewhere on your avatar.. something orange?

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 7 years ago from australia Author

Candie V. Hi, Average you say ? Surely you are pulling my leg. Girl?, you are far from average just look at your score?

Something orange you say? Hmmmm whatever could you mean, well you never know who might show up do you! ;) ;) ;)

Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

Hahahahaha!! The score bounces around more than a bottle in the ocean - just wait and see! And, no, you just never know!

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 7 years ago from australia Author

Candie V. Hi.You were right I didn't have to wait long,I believe my head was getting a little too big anyway,did you check your mail. Thank you .:) :) (hug)

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

What a wonderful first hub! I enjoyed hearing about you and your family (and yes, I do agree that you have the most beautiful grandchildren). You are certainly blessed! Thanks for sharing this with all of us :D

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 7 years ago from australia Author

Dohn121. Hi.Thank you for your encouragement,and it is a wonderful life,and we really are blessed,not everyone gets the opportunity to live this way,and we are extremely proud Grandparents, and Parents.Thank you again.:) :)

k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California

I would love to try this! I love being around my family, they are my favorite people. :D I'm with you on the rider is much more interesting. And your roses are beautiful!

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 7 years ago from australia Author

K@ri.Hi. It really is a wonderful way to live, the mower is cute isn't it,the roses are beautiful,but suffering a little with the heat,maybe one day you will get to live this way,I hope so. Thank you for your very kind comment. :) :)

maggs224 profile image

maggs224 7 years ago from Sunny Spain

Great hub, I am truly enjoying reading your hubs, I love your philosophy and lifestyle. Do you have a digital camera? I would love to go on a virtual nature walk with you, your place sounds delightful, it would make a good hub. You are very blessed and in writing about your life you have become a blessing to those of us lucky enough to find you.

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 7 years ago from australia Author

maggs224. Hi. Thank you for your beautiful comment and encouragement, It is appreciated more than I can say. We do have a wonderful lifestyle with our children and our beloved grandchildren. I don't have a camera but my husband is a very keen photographer, So a camera would not be a problem, and a nature walk sounds wonderful. We do have a Sporting/Recreation complex across the road from us, with walking tracks, Lakes with lots of birds, fish, and other wildlife, It is really great. Once again I thank you. :) :) (hug)

Cathi Sutton profile image

Cathi Sutton 7 years ago

What a lovely Hub! I am so glad you joined Hub Pages, and will be following you closely. I think it's wonderful to have a family home where everyone is together on the same little piece of the planet. This would be my dream come true, (old mother hen that I am). What adorable grandbabies you have! Please keep up the good work! I look forward to reading more of your Hubs.

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 6 years ago from australia Author

Cathi Sutton.Hi. Thank you, I was a little unsure at first, but am feeling a little better about it now, It is a great way to live, and it's such a pleasure to have our Grandchildren so very close. I do hope your dream comes true, and I like old mother hen's, They are pretty special people. Thank you again for your lovely comment. :) :)

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 6 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

So glad I read this hub tonight, made me feel warm in thinking a family would buy 2 acres of land and live together! What a gift for your grandchildren(the photos are adorable!) :) Its a blessing that you all have this, as not all familys get along.

I am looking forward to reading more of your hubs!

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 6 years ago from australia Author

VoiletSun. Hi. It is wonderful that reading this hub made you feel that way, It was,in our situation what we all wanted to do, No question. Our Grandchildren are a beautiful gift from our Son and Daughter In Law. We know how very lucky we are to be sharing our lives with our family. Thank you so very much for your lovely comment. :) :)

katyzzz profile image

katyzzz 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

How about getting those partners to get married. Sounds like a good idea to me, but I guess it will not make me popular. I do realize there is a lot of love in your home but I fear the guys may not be measuring up.

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 6 years ago from australia Author

Katyzzz, thanks for your offer of marriage guidance :) But we feel that we have a pretty good handle on things the way they are.

My partner and I have only been together for about 50 years now and we seem to understand each other pretty well.

In our Politically Correct part of Australia the word 'partner' can be used for a couple living together 'male' 'female' 'married' 'de facto' it makes no difference. So we are all 'partners' in one way or another.

In my honest opinion having a 'marriage certificate' does not necessarily mean a 'couple' will have a long happy married life, you only have to look at the divorce rate which appears to be on the increase.

LOL. I find your comment about the guys not measuring up very amusing :) I don't know which part of Australia you know about but I have not heard any complaints about the guys measuring up where we live :)

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

This brings back such happy memories for me. My parents bought about 2 acres out of a 40 acre piece of land that my grandparents owned. We lived across a field from one another surrounded on two sides by woods. Naturally there was a path between the houses. As we were growing up, my grandfather started selling off a few other parcels and a few houses were built so that gradually there were a few other neighbors.

My grandfather's hobby was roses and gardening. My mother and grandmother did loads of canning and preserving of food.

My grandparents were like a second set of parents.

We all moved together from Wisconsin to Texas and only lived a block apart.

So I not only understand your lifestyle...but actually lived it in my younger years. WONDERFUL!!!

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 6 years ago from australia Author

Peggy W. Hi. Well I am really pleased that this hub has brought back such beautiful memories for you, It is a fabulous way to live, Sharing your life with your grandparents and nature is the best way for a child to grow up, as they seem to get the best of both generations. Canning and preserving food is something that I have never done I am ashamed to say. And still being so close together this day is just wonderful. Texas is A great sounding name, I love it. Your beautiful comment is so very much appreciated and I thank you :) :)

2uesday profile image

2uesday 6 years ago

Hi Oliversmum this was 'heart warming' to read and I loved the photos, I had forgotten that babies could grab their ankles like that so it re-kindled some happy memories for me. Thank you for sharing this.

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 6 years ago from australia Author

2uesday. Hi. It is a wonderful way to live, and to be able to see our grandchildren every day is a huge bonus.

Yes babies are pretty flexible at that young age.

Thank you for leaving such a lovely comment, also I am glad that it brought back happy memories for you. :) :)

AEvans profile image

AEvans 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

Well thank you for sharing this story my mother lives with us and although we have our moments I would change it at this point in my lfe. :)

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 6 years ago from australia Author

AEvans. Hi. Its nice to know that your Mother lives with you, as well as being company for you, it's security for her. I believe a little Mother/Daughter attitude is ok, it more than likely puts a little spark into the day.Also its great that things are working for both of you. Thank you so very much for your lovely comment. :) :)

stars439 profile image

stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

What a lovely family and such beautiful photos. Great hub. God Bless you.

Rossimobis profile image

Rossimobis 6 years ago from Biafra

Wish my own family will one day be like this but we can't be what we are not yet i will to see if we can be what i no no what we are meant to be.One big happy family.Great Hub.

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 6 years ago from australia Author

Rossimobis. Hi. Maybe one day living with your family, as we do will happen for you. I really do hope so, it is a wonderful way of life, and if it is meant to happen it will, could be when you least expect it, and you will become a big very happy family. Thank you ever so much for your lovely comment. :) :)

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 6 years ago from australia Author

Stars439. Hi. Living surrounded by our family, especially our beautiful Grandchildren, is just wonderful. Thank you so very much for your lovely comment. I am sorry that it took so long to answer. Thank you. :) :)

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 6 years ago from Australia

Hi oliversmum it's been quite some time since I visited, and I was wondering how your progressing in your living as a family experience?

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 6 years ago from australia Author

Agvulpes. Hi there. Yes it has, but it's nice to see you here again.

Life is pretty good and things are going really well.

Our Grandchildren are growing up fast (too fast), but we see them everyday, which I love.

I believe Living as a Family has worked wonderfully for us,and would say to anybody thinking about this way of life, there is nothing better than to have your Family all together.

Thank you for your lovely comment. :) :)

barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

Kudos to you and your family. For me, I don't know if I could. But then again... living as a family has come to mean something completely different for me. It means living in the same house. However, if it is a matter of having a large plot of land and everybody still has there own space and own house, it could probably be very workable. Glad you are able to do this and it works out for everybody. It is so important to be close to family. I know because for us, we have always been on the go. We have families in two different areas so we can't just drop in because of the distance.

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 4 years ago from australia Author

barberl28 Hi. Living as a Family would not suit everybody. The main thing is, that you all have your own home and space, and of course enough land to be able to do this.(as we were fortunate enough to have had.)

With us all living in the same house, it would not have worked as well as us all having our own homes.

We have now moved on (which I have written about).

I do miss seeing my Children and Grandchildren on a daily basis,but we are in touch constantly.

It is hard when you live a distance away, you cant just phone or pop in for a chat or a coffee, that I really miss.

Thank you so very much for your lovely comment. :):)

Rachel L Alba profile image

Rachel L Alba 17 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

Hi oliversmum, Sometimes I think I would like to do that. I fantasize about buying a large piece of property and having a really big house and then adding wings onto it to house my two daughters and their families. But, then there have been some problems in both families and I think that I'm glad they lives only 10 minutes away from us but not within eye distance. We see them very often anyhow. Your plans sounds very nice to me. You sound like you have a very lovely family. God bless them. Thanks for sharing your story.

Blessings to you.

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 16 months ago from australia Author

Rachel L Alba. Hi. Yes this way of living would not suit everybody, We had many discussions, working out the pro,s and con,s, then when we were all on the same page went for it, with absolutely no regrets, The way you are living now sounds like a great way as well, close but not to close, and we know that most families have problems along the way. Living this way is worth thinking about and discussing with your family, it may work out for you all further down the track. Thank you for your lovely comment, apologies for the delay in answering. :) :)

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