"Rags to Riches" - Episode 6

Rags to Riches - Episode 6 - Final

It wasn't long before the twins grew up and they were great company for Zachary. With more children, earning money through paintings was important. I needed to produce more paintings and sell them to get some money behind us. I continued to paint several times per day. 

Jaxson was a  great help and took over running the house and the garden. We continued to sell our produce and found a retail greengrocer who wanted as many blackberries as we could muster. So they were a godsend making us thousands each time we sold them. 

Being so busy, Zach's birthday came around quickly and he became a handsome teenager that had high hopes in becoming a CEO of his own company. He did well at school preparing him for the stress and pressure he would surely face if he pursued his career choice.

We ate at the table as often as we could, as that time together allowed us to keep updated on any information from the twin's school and Zach's high school and work placements. 
"How did you go with your homework . You struggled a bit last night," I asked Jackson Junior."
"It's good, Zach helped me--"
"an' me, Mummy," Jess finished.
"He's so clever, just like daddy," Jackson Jr. said.
"an' Mummy too, Jacks," added Jess frowning at her brother. 

The twins would finish each other's sentences. Jax and I giggled every time. 

Jax and my love and desire for each other never wavered, there were few times that we argued, and when we did it was more about what the children needed and/or wanted and I controlled the budget so there were things I had to refuse. 

The making up and romantic gestures by Jax, always softened the blow when we did argue. 
"I'm sorry, I realise that the kids can't have everything they want, but because we struggled for so long and things are now a little easier, I just hoped that--"
"Let me try another few paintings, hopefully it will bring in enough so they can get their bikes from "Father Christmas" hey?"

As a result, the making up became the best part of all. The good ol' locker became our regular "making up" spot at the nightclub we spent so many wonderful hours. 

Mind you, it became a little trickier now we were getting older. The cramped space just didn't appeal to us as much nowadays. As it turned out purely by accident I ended up pregnant again. That stressed me out trying to keep up the painting.  Now I would need to double my efforts.  

"I don't know how we are going to afford another child, Jax. I'm getting so tired lately, with being pregnant and we are not getting any younger." Jax always stayed calm and level-headed.

"Hey, you are pregnant and that can't change. We will all chip in and help. Even if you paint all day between rest, eat and sleep. We will get through this. Zach and I have already discussed things. He is happy to cook the meals every night."

"But his study, his dreams--" 

"I worried he'd be distracted from his study, too, but he offered. Even the twins, said they would help with the cleaning. Kori, you don't seem to have come to terms with the fact that we are a team now, You are not alone anymore, Sweetheart. You've survived alone for so long, but not anymore."

"I know why I married you, Jax. I've been totally oblivious about this until now. Thank you, my dear, sweet love. I feel like a great burdon has been lifted from my shoulders."

The new baby was a beautiful girl, who we named Adele. She grew quickly and in no time she was starting pre-school. The twins were about to have a birthday and Zach finished high school the year Adele turned five. He spent a lot of time with his brothers and sisters and helped out around the house. But I could tell he would soon want to move out to continue his own life.

I had just hung up my latest masterpiece when Zach brought home a girl he'd become close to through high school. We met Sophie and loved her immediately. She had secured employment on the path to a Tech Guru, extremely clever with computer programming and hoped to make a business through creating apps then moving on to whole games. 

Jackson Junior also met a girl who he believed his soul mate. Morgan seemed nice enough, though her choice in clothes seemed a tad strange. Maybe my age is catching up with me as her choice was the latest fashion for teenagers. I took this picture of Sophie and Morgan, one night when we all sat around the fire telling stories and roasting marshmallows. Sophie is the one standing and Morgan is sitting. 

Zach moved out with Sophie a few months after the twins became teens. Jax and I were happy about the union/ We felt so proud they'd saved enough to even build a house. With Zach's business prowess and Sophie's IT skills they managed well. Only a small house but they did it on their own and fortunately it wasn't too far away. It was a sad day to see him go and the twins and Adel missed him terribly. The goodbye party was happy enough but underneath it all, they were as sad as we were to see him go. 

The party slowly broke up and the mood of the group became rather sober. Jax left in fear he may break down, and didn't want the kids seeing him. Watching him walk off like that, brought a wave of sadness, bringing tears to my eyes. Jess yelled, interrupting my self-absorption.

"Wait, I have a brilliant idea! Why don't we form a family club, where we meet regularly and join into various activities, like painting, swimming now we have a pool, and you know how much we love bonfires." Jess looked at me and smiled. "That is really where mum started. We could call it 'Rags to Riches' club, that is how mum has achieved so much when she started with nothing. What do you all say?"

Everyone raved at the idea and when I told Jax, he beamed.  

So that is what we did. Every few weeks now we get together and share stories, sing and dance around the bonfire, swim, paint...oh and play video games - an extra that Sophie suggested. Most nights were late and Adele missed a lot of them, being so young and still needing her sleep to perform at school. Jess' idea couldn't have come at a better time with everyone following so many different paths. We could easily have lost touch. Particularly now the twins were young adults and moving out themselves.

It wasn't long and Adele, too, grew into a gorgeous teenager. Everyone said she looked like me. I couldn't see it, but people told me regularly. She was mad on sports, or anything active.

But her studies came first. She was studious and nothing distracted her from studying and cramming as much as she could in that pretty little head of hers. Her work paid off as she became a straight 'A' student while getting accolades from all her teachers and the head of school personnel.

When Jax offered to help her, she accepted. Deep down I knew she really didn't need his help.

 Amusing to watch though,  how hard Jax tried to help. Adele knew all that he tried to say, but she never once discouraged him, or claimed she didn't need his help. She is as thoughtful as she is beautiful.

Adele made many friends and she didn't hide the fact that she wanted to keep this house going even after we'd passed on. She loved our home and she couldn't believe how I started out. This made her all the more determined to  keep the family and extended family close.

When Jax talked with her about this, he became overwhelmed with emotion.

When she told me, I felt so happy, but it also made me face the fact that we may not be around to share that with them and the sadness overwhelmed me once again. Knowing how far I'd come...we'd come, up to now only made the thought of not being here worse.

"We'll probably have to move out at some time to a smaller place, and I can't stand the thought of this place being sold to anyone else." 

"Mum, you've built this place up from literally nothing, you have so much to be proud of. Look at my successful sisters and brothers. They are all doing well. They have their own places, people who they care about. Show me the latest photos again." 

This is Zach and  Sophie's place, they didn't want anything too big.

"Oh look!" Adele said. "They've had blinds put out the front."
"Yes just about every time I go there they are cuddling on that front porch, so I suggested they get blinds so they are at least protected from the hot sun and it would prevent their furniture fading."

"I can't believe Morgan's family turned out to be so rich. Their place is huge." Adele shook her head.

"I know, no one realised it until they moved in together. Mind you, with Morgan aspiring to be a professional artist the whole top floor apart from the main bedroom and ensuite, is a studio for her painting and sculpture. I suspected she had loads of talent a few times. When everyone came over for the family gathering, the first place she made a bee-line for was the easels and her work is amazing."

"Some of her work is unusual, but you're right she is very talented. I wish I could paint like that."

"You have plenty of talent, Sweetheart in lots of areas. Many people are flabbergasted when I tell them what you can and have already accomplished at your age."  

"They chose that spot between lakes because Morgan felt it gave her inspiration. They can often be found fishing in the lakes, too."

"Gee her family must be loaded! Do you know how much it cost to live there?"

"Yes that's how we found out about their wealth. When Jax Jr. told your dad and me, I think it was as much of a surprise to him as to us. "

"Keep going, show me Jess' place."

"This is Jess' place, it doesn't look big from the front but you should see what she has recently added around the back."

"She's recently found a room mate hasn't she? I'm surprised she hasn't got a boyfriend or someone."

"Er...yes, she has, her name is Amara Da Silva and she is a up and coming actor. I don't know if this is the right time, but Amara is Gay, and...I think Jess may be also."

Adele's eyes widened, and there was a brief pause. "Oh well? That does explain a few things. What does Jax Jr. think? He is her twin after all."

"He's very happy for her actually, and so are we. Amara is a lovely girl and really talented. They will do well together I think."

"Oh well as long as she is happy, that's what's important."

"Look,  since Amara has moved in they have built an outdoor movie theatre and a games room, would you believe. Jess has started her own movies and games club also. So all your brothers and sisters are doing well, just like you, Sweetheart."

"I can only hope that I will be so lucky with love as they have and you two." At that point Jax joined the conversation. Overhearing what was said, he blew me a kiss. 
"Yes we are still spring chickens and our sex life, well--"
"Whoa, Dad, stop, too much information! Your 17 year old daughter does not want to hear about that side of your relationship, please." 
We all laughed and got back to the conversation. 

"Now that you're here I have a proposal, but it'd mean you and mum may have to pay out cash yet again. What I'd like to do is keep this place going, the garden, the club gatherings. I don't want to ever see it stop. Mum and your blood, sweat and tears have gone into this place making it what it is now. If you and dad can see your way clear to add a granny-type flat to this block, then you two can stay here and not have to move out. When I have a partner and a family, their grandma and grandpa will be close by, you two have your independence and privacy. The plus is that travelling will be non-existent. You'll be here for the birth of our kids, the family gatherings and everything."

I looked at Jax and raised my eyebrows. "What do you think, Jax?"  

"I think our youngest daughter is way more mature than her age. I love the idea! but we will need to run it by the others."

"Yes I had every intention in doing that also."

At the next family gathering, I asked everyone around and explained what Adele had said. 

"Before doing anything, I wanted to run this by you all, you are our family and your dad and I want you all to have a say in what Adele has proposed." I could see Jax watching them trying to gauge their reaction. 

"Jess looked a little nervous. I called her aside later. Adele knows about you and Amara, Hun, you don't have to be embarrassed or worried. The others know and are supportive there is no reason why your little sister won't be either. She was quite okay with it when I told her."

"Oh thank goodness, thank you, Mum." 

Jess hugged me tight and her whole mood perked up. "By the way, Amara is completely welcome to join us in our family gatherings too."

After that, the whole family were unanimous and keen to see us get started on the Granny Flat. After a tense day, and the decision made, everyone went home, Jax, Adele and I sat in front of the pool and dozed. Emotionally exhausted. We were so glad everyone agreed.

This is the final episode of my "Rags to Riches" episodes and this is how Kori and Jaxs' home looks now.
The granny flat hasn't been added as yet, because at the end of the challenge this is how their place looked. I have added more landscaping and will be reducing the size of the house to add the "Granny Flat" to continue with the story.

 This is a rough idea of how the budget went. It's not all of them, but gives a glimpse of how it travelled.


  1. Beautiful story Jen. I love the diversity in the children and how they are all so gifted. Kori and Jax are just beautiful. Are you planning on taking it to the $1 million simoleon challenge?

  2. Haven't decided that as yet, Piroska. What I'd like to do is play out the kids' lives.

  3. That would be a great idea


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