Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Starting the build: Earthworks

 Mahalah, Jem, Anwen, Ben and Gideon Read. John Ross in dozer.
Photo credit: ABC Central West Melanie Pearce.

Tuesday the 17th of May was a VERY exciting day for us. The dozer arrived on site and by that afternoon the block was transformed. We had begun. 

3 Vista Lane is now officially a work site! Big thanks to Canowindra local business, John Ross Earthmoving, for tackling our huge job. Not an easy task. 

That afternoon Melanie Pearce, a fantastic reporter and photographer for ABC Central West, came out and did an excellent story about our journey so far. 

We are really happy with how she managed to capture the real essence of our story so well. Spot on. Check out her brilliant article and photos at the ABC Central West web page, here. And feel free to on-share with anyone who may be interested. 

The big dozer arrives on site

The first few passes- goodbye grass!

Ben, James Isaacs -our builder- and John Ross inspect the first days work

Mahalah up at the top gate after the first day

So, the journey takes a step up. We are so grateful for all the hundreds of people who have helped us get to where we are at this week! 

For more details as they happen, stay in touch by heading online to our Facebook page. (You can view it even if you don't have a Facebook account). 

Jem xo

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The Silver Shovel Ceremony

On Saturday we held the Turning of the First Sod- what an amazing day! We were blessed with gorgeous weather and were joined by over 50 family, friends, and supporters..

Our designer Dick Clarke from eco building design company, Envirotecture, said a few words about our project, and recognised the local indigenous traditional owners of the area. 

Then Ben spoke about our vision and our hopes for our kids behind it all. Ben explained how we also recognise the Original Owner of the land and explained how this whole process has been a 'leap of faith' that we're taking with Him.

After Ben, we asked our friend Dave Bullock to pray and dedicate the land and the building process to God. Then we and the kids dug in a silver shovel and posed for some pictures. 

The celebrations continued for us that evening as we had far-flung friends and family staying the weekend. 

The day was such a community event- we couldn't have done it on our own. Thank you so much to everyone involved on the day, and to everyone who attended. I felt like hugging them all! How lucky are we?!

A special mini-film of the event is currently in production- keep an eye out for it! 

Ben explains our vision

Myself, Ben and Dick Clarke out the front of the crowd
After the ceremony Anne Ward invited everyone back to Finns Store in town for a sumptuous 'high tea', put on by the committee of the local charity, 'The Read Triplets Trust Inc.' 

The trust was established a year ago by a group of philanthropic locals, to support the ongoing special needs of Anwen, Mahalah and Gideon. At the moment they are fundraising towards the house, and are entering a team again in this years City2Surf. That would have been more than enough, but they have gone above and beyond, and have established a long term Trust, beyond the completion of the new house, anticipating the ongoing long-term costs we will face in caring for Anwen, Mahalah and Gideon in their disability. This is the Australian country spirit at its finest ... 

More exciting news on the 'Read Triplet Trust' coming soon!

Nearing the end of the delicious 'high tea' at Finns

Now that the we have officially 'turned the sod', we look forward with excitement to launching into the project this next week with the Earthworks first up, provided by local earthmoving expert, John Ross. 

Then will come the forming up and pouring of the slab, and the need for a plumber. (Calling any plumbers?!) 

We are very grateful to Canowindra builder, James Isaacs, for overseeing the project and to builder Peter O'Brien from Peter O'Brien Constructions, based in nearby Blayney, for offering to help us out in this first stage, with some labour and materials!

This really is a modern 'barn-raising', and it's astonishing to think how we even got to this point, after realising 3 years ago that we needed to do something to accommodate our kids, but having no means to do so on our own.. 

In the middle of the night, when all is quiet and I get a chance to let it all sink in.. that's when I have to shed some heavy, grateful tears..

L to R: Dave Stiles, James Isaacs, Ben, and Dick Clarke meet over the house plans

So far we have raised an incredible $245K and the Read Triplet Trust has raised $47K. The house is going to take more than this to complete. We are grateful to everyone who has helped us come so far, but we still need help to get the kids there.

For those who may like to support us in building this 'miracle house', the building account details are:

Account Name: B & J Read Triplets Special Needs
Account BSB: 082 500
Account Number: 396 905 753
Bank: Canowindra NAB

Contact us at for any further details. For frequent updates as things unfold, check out our Facebook page (You don't have to have a Facebook account to view it!)

Thanks so very much,
Jem xo