With a little bit of help from my friends, The Gifted Gypsy remodelling project is really and truly starting to happen! Tonight I feel greatly encouraged by the practical assistance I’ve received in getting our new housebus on the road.

I first met Chantal at Elijah’s unfuneral where we chatted about arranging a play-date for our daughters. No dates were set, and I was waiting for the bus to be completed before I followed up on the invite.

Yesterday, I discovered I was sittting next to Chantal and her husband Brad at the Life Gratitude Class! We spoke about what was happening in my life, and Chantal offered Brad’s services as a dandy handyman.

I grabbed the opportunity and we took the bus around to their property today. Brad and Chantal spent most of last year travelling around Australia with their two daughters — in the house-truck that Brad built!

Brad was very helpful in 1) not laughing at my crazy ideas and 2) introducing changes that would make our bed set-up even better. After we talked it all through, he got out his tools and made a start on the bed frame and wall-mounts while I learned more about their travels from Chantal.

Bradley Meadlarkin working on The Gifted Gypsy, August 2012
While I chat with Chantal and supervise the girls' play, Brad works in The Gifted Gypsy. He's helping me fabricate a bed frame over the front seats.

Calista in front of a doll-house, August 2012
Calista and Brioni spend most of the afternoon indoors, playing with the doll-house.

Most of the other girls’ fun happened outside. Seven-year-old Chiara and five-year-old Leonie have a terrific playhouse with a sand-pit located right next to an in-ground trampoline. It didn’t take long for the girls’ game to start blurring the lines between sand-pit and trampoline.

Jumping on the trampoline at Chiara and Leonie's house, August 2012
After a decent amount of sand is thrown onto the trampoline, the fun really starts!

Jumping on the trampoline at Chiara and Leonie's house, August 2012
The girls aren't bothered by the texture of the sand under their feet.

Jumping on the trampoline at Chiara and Leonie's house, August 2012
I love the way the sand bounces with every jump!

Jumping on the trampoline at Chiara and Leonie's house, August 2012
Aisha uses a toy shovel to add more sand to the trampoline mat.

Aisha sweeping the trampoline, August 2012
When we suggest that it's time to clean up, the girls eagerly grab brooms and quickly push all the sand off the edges.

Chantal says that their in-ground trampoline is even more fun when there’s been a lot of rain. Her girls love to jump on it and watch the water puddled below bounce through the mat. We’d love to try that out one day too!