Monday, May 31, 2010

One Million Arrows - The Video

I did try to post this video yesterday, but there was a problem embedding the code; 
it was far too wide and needed the embed code changing manually!)

 This video speaks volumes about the book itself!  It is very moving so grab a box of tissues before you press play!...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

One Million Arrows - Book Review

When it comes to combat, what is the purpose of an arrow? Once a branch is gathered, it is honed, shaped then skilfully prepared to inflict a deadly wound against an enemy. Once launched, an arrow aims high and heads straight for a target, without getting off course. The ultimate goal for all arrows of God is that wherever they land, they produce mortal wounds against the Enemy of darkness-wounds of light, love, truth and life. This is exactly the picture God had in mind when He referred to our children as arrows in the hands of a Warrior! - One Million Arrows Pg 27
I was firstly inspired to read this book after I read this review by Joy at The Stay At Home Missionary.  A few weeks ago I ordered it for my husband and myself to read it together.  The moment this challenging book arrived we began to read that very night.

This book is simply inspirational!  To all parents who wish to raise up godly children as arrows for the Lords work, this book is filled with ideas and practical ways in which we can achieve that.  I very much enjoyed reading the inspirational stories of teens who are doing great things in the name of Jesus Christ and whom are changing their countries, cultures and lives of others people, in doing so.  It was also insightful to read what values and goals the parents of these children had, for their families.  This book challenged both myself and my husband as who we are as parents and what our goals are for our children and family as a whole.
Julie Ferwerda tells the reader, the story of Dr M.A Thomas.  A man whom has been rescuing abandoned and orphaned children in India for many years and now his mission work has also spread to Haiti and Malawi.  Dr. Thomas tells of how he was challenged by the Lord through the scripture Psalm 127:3-5 to gather one million arrows and sharpen them for the His glorious works.  

I found the resources section in the final pages of this book extremely informative and encouraging.  I was so excited after reading the last page (epilogue from Dr Thomas) that I was thrilled to find resources for books to enhance family spiritual growth, information given on ministries benefiting orphaned, abandoned and needy children worldwide.  I was also pleased to see that it was indicated, at which ministries, were personal mission trips were welcomed.   

This book truly highlights and challenges us in our greatest mission for Christ.

Will your family join the movement for Him?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Our Wonderful Day In Thomastown Park

Wow...what a busy day that was!  On Tuesday we met up with our homeschooling group at Thomastown County Kilkenny for the last meeting there until September.  I have really enjoyed our last few visits there as I posted here and here.  Today we had organised to make circular card crafts with the children, but the weather turned out to be so great, that we stayed for hours in the playground next door and never used our function room at all!

Amy, Dylan and I were actually quite late to begin with, arriving 40 minutes after the designated meeting time.  Which was not a problem as we were one of the first families to arrive anyway!  Amy quickly found her friends and played on her rollerblades, whilst Dylan and I proceeded into the park with our H.E.N regional contact Ciara.  I was quickly introduced to another lady with two children who had only recently started to attend our Thomastown meetings.  Dylan and her 4 year old son became firm friends almost immediately rushing off to dig through the wood chipping upon the ground and play on the slide together.

One of the mama's whose idea it was to craft on that day, invited some of the younger children to an outside picnic table to do the planned craft work, under a big shady tree!  It was lovely to see the children being able to be outside in nature and good weather whilst still creatively learning and enjoying themselves!  The older ones declined to do the craft, preferring instead to talk and play together whilst assisting their younger siblings.  
The sunshine was glorious and was enjoyed by all around, as more and more mama's and children arrived.  We began to bring out our picnic baskets towards lunchtime.  Dylan ate quite alot that day; mainly chips and hummous!  I had brought plently of salad sandwiches, fruits and diluted pure orange juice.  One kind lady was handing out wedges of watermelon to the parents and children...although I declined (yuck!) it was wonderful to see happy children, running free with their hair blowing wildly; their mouths dripping with melon juice!  I love being surrounded by home educated children, they totally inspire me!


I noticed rather immediately when the local public school finished for the day and a handful of children entered the park with their mothers,  the atmosphere between the children playing suddenly changed.  The peace that had lasted all morning and through the early afternoon ,was decreasing as the schooled children began 'claiming' certain areas of play equipment and shouting mean things to our children.  Of course our older ones just ignored this behaviour.  Though at one stage Amy was kicked by a six or seven year old boy; she told him firmly not to do it again and he left her alone, though a little while later this same child pushed Dylan to the ground!  I was furious; though admittedly I said nothing to the child, I just scooped up my wailing son and cuddled and soothed him till he felt better.  I'm not saying that all publically schooled children are mean or badly behaved...but that is what I observed that particular day.

At around 4:20pm I glance at the time and was astonished!  I realised that I needed to start heading for home to allow me time to prepare our evening dinner.  The drive home was very pleasant, cool and breezy in contrast to the hot sun we had been sitting in all day.  My poor exhausted little guy fell fast asleep in his car seat within a few minutes...though he slumped right over at such an awkward angle that I'm sure he must have been very uncomfortable!  Despite our tiredness and a little sunburn we all agreed that it was the best Thomastown meeting to date for our famil.  We are looking forward to meeting all our friends again soon at many wonderful selected destinations until the winter comes once more, and brings us back to Thomastown!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Our Ultrasound!

It has just occured to me that in the week since our first ultrasound, I have totally forgotten to post about it!  My only excuse is that it is hard to get dressed these days without feeling like I need to nap again.  So without further ado...

 Introducing Our Newest Little Blessing 
(the little white fuzzball within the dark area...just incase you couldn't tell!)

Last Thursday was the big day of our first ultrasound for this pregnancy.  We were all very excited although Brian and I were both quite apprehensive and anxious about it; we were afraid incase anything may have been wrong.  We were early for our appointment so we had a little waiting to do but thankfully we were the only patients waiting to be seen.  Sure enough the doctor came and was friendly and had a reassuring manner.  We had explained to Dylan the evening before what would happen at the ultrasound to ensure that he didn't get worried or concerned for me.  He was more interested in what the doctor was doing rather than watching the screen!

Everyne gathered around and then we saw baby!  I lovely little white fuzzball with a strong healthy heartbeat.  I was quite overcome with emotion and shed a few tears of joy and gratitude.  A few minutes later we left the building feeling light, warm and happy.  It was an incredible day for our whole family and we are most indeed looking forward to welcoming our little one into the world later this year!

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127 - KJV

Irish Christian Home Educators Association - New Website

Up until now, there has never been to my knowledge, an Irish online resource for Christian home educators.  That has all changed recently with the launch of Irish Christian Home Educators Association.  ICHEA was established in 2010 to provide resources, contact and ongoing support to fellow Christian home educators throughout our country,  which was sorely needed. 

Our familiy up until now had been fulfilling our need for information, resources and encouragement by visiting websites and blogs mainly in America and Australia.  It is very refreshing to know that we can now gain access to some of those things here on our own soil and comforting in the sense, that we are now in contact with other Christian home educators; as intially we wondered were we the only ones!  

We would like to offer those at ICHEA all our support and best wishes for the future of their website and we pray that many are blessed through this wonderful new resource.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Why Not Stay At Home?

I recently read this article at Ladies Against Femininsm and it struck such a chord with me.  I have heard many similar conversations from women around and about me and it simply makes me sad.

My husband and I have known many friends, relatives and aquaintences say to us; about having more children or having mama stay home to care for the children; "We can't afford any more children" or "We just can't afford for me to stay home".  Having known some of these families very well, then we would be of the opinion that they certainly could!  We feel that what they are really meaning to say is; "We can't do that and maintain our current lifestyle".  Many of the same families, who uttered the above statements to us, have two foreign holidays every year, fashionable store-bought clothes, his and her new cars (in Ireland it is something of a humiliation, if your car isn't above a year 2000 registration!), X-boxes and nintendoes...etc!   Truthfully they are not prepared to 'do without' and 'sacrifice' those things for their families sake.  My heart is heavy when I think that those 'things' don't bring true joy and contentment.  Not to mention that we are biblically instructed to lay our treasures up in heaven, not upon the earth!

Alot of the time I am 'justified' to stay home with my children, by 'well-meaning' ladies because our family can 'afford it'!  I can assure you that we are not rich except in each other, and though we are financially stable, we must still monitor our spending carefully and we do make sacrifices to enable me to stay home full time to care for our family!  Please don't misunderstand me, and think I am saying that those luxuries are bad, period!  No, we just must not let them, take our primary focus off our families or allow us to misjudge what is really important!

Additionally there is another side to this story and that is the mama's who sadly do not wish to be around their children all day.  This I think is the saddest issue to be raised.  I feel in my humble opinion that most of these mama'a, lack biblical direction or any direction at all; also there may be scheduling or discipline issues with the children that leave mama feeling like, she alone, could not accomplish all that needs to be done to sucessfully raise her children!  We, in the nature of Titus 2 must encourage these women as much as possible; and show them that it is possible to do most of what a mama needs to do for her children and that it will bring sheer joy, happiness and contentment!  Though I do have one or two aquaintences who continually express their displeasure of having to stay home with little ones and that they cannot wait for school age to pack them off so they can get on with something more exciting, when trying to encourage these women I get so disheartened when they praise me as some sort of super-woman (quite far from reality!) and so that somehow excuses them because I am seemingly somehow just more capable than they!  This is the part that is so frustatring to me, as I work darn hard to learn to cook for more people so we can demonstrate hospitality, discipline consistently so my children are mannerly and well behaved,  I feel the responses I hear from these ladies are simply excuses for not trying.

I do not have everything under control at all times, I mess up dinner, my laundry is overflowing, my children are not perfect...I am not perfect.  But ladies we were given this sacred role by the Lord and we must embrace it and strive to do our best; and if we are lacking in skills then we must try earnestly to learn all that we can from others mothers who are more experienced. 

I would love to hear some of your opinions, on the article at Ladies Against Feminism, in particular what advice you yourselves give to mothers who ask you "How do you do it?" or what replies you give to ladies who will put you on pedestals and put their own abilities in mothering down?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Beginners Guide To Gaelige

Top of the morning to you!  You may remember this post, where I described our day out in Thomastown meeting with other homeschooling families.  That day we participated in an Irish language workshop with a fantastic and enthusiastic Irish speaker.  Today I wish to give you all a crash course in beginners Irish or Gaelige (Gaelic).  So gather your children, wear something green, put on your best Irish accents and have fun!

Gaelige/Irish - Dia duit
Phonetic Pronunciation - Deea gwit
English Meaning - Hello   

Gaelige/Irish - Dia is Muire duit
Phonetic Pronunciation - Deea iss Mwira gwit
English Meaning - Hello (in response)  

Gaelige/Irish - Conas atá tú?
Phonetic Pronunciation - Cunus a taw too?
English Meaning - How are you?

Gaelige/Irish - Tá mé go maith
Phonetic Pronunciation - Taw may gu mah
English Meaning - I am well

Gaelige/Irish - Go raibh maith agat
Phonetic Pronunciation - Gu rev mah agut
English Meaning - Thank you

Gaelige/Irish - Níl mé go maith
Phonetic Pronunciation - Neel may gu mah
English Meaning - I am not well

Gaelige/Irish - Cad is anim duit?
Phonetic Pronunciation - Cod is anim dit?
English Meaning - What is your name?

Gaelige/Irish - ----- is ainm dom
Phonetic Pronunciation - ----- is anim dum
English Meaning - My name is -----

I hope you all had fun with you Irish language class!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

One Potato...Two Potato...Three Potato...Four!

This morning we were supposed to meet with our local home-educators group at a lovely waterfall in Mullinavat,  I was very much looking forward to attending, as was Amy.  However after discussing this excursion with Brian last night, we both decided that given our pregnancy scare last week (I had been spotting) we should not do anything that might require me to carry Dylan for any long periods of time, until we are given the all clear at the ultrasound next week. 

Instead we volunteered to help my father plant potatoes!  Our plough attachment on the tractor has broken and cannot be all the work is going to have to be done manually.  Which wouldn't be so bad if (1) we hadn't started so late in the season and (2) that we had buckets of time everyday to complete the task as soon as possible!

Amy was the first to head over into the walled garden to help; Dylan and I followed a little while later when we were ready.  Amy had already filled the wheelbarrow with manure ready for the planting.  As my father continued the difficult task of digging the holes for the potatoes, I filled the first layer with manure, whilst Amy and Dylan followed behind me planting one potato in each hole.  Once all the potatoes had been planted, I then filled a second layer of manure on top of the them. 

The children had a blast; messing about in the manure, looking at the worms and swinging on the gate!  We were at it for about one hour, but we got around twenty-four potatoes sewn, which was rather good for an hours work, I thought. 

Money is the root of all evil, and yet it is such a useful root that we cannot get on 
without it any more than we can without potatoes. - Louisa May Alcott

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Sweet Things In Life!

This evening as we were finishing up our late dinner, we were visited by my father, who was wheeling a wheelbarrow down our driveway containing a beehive!  This beehive had been abandoned by the bee colony like many others we know within Europe for reasons unknown.

There was still quite a bit of honey there, although the hive had been raided at one time or another and some appeared to have been taken.  My very clever Hubby (the one with the sweet tooth!) cunningly talked my father into leaving us one of the combs to bring inside the house for us all to taste and delight in!

What a great idea and it tasted delicious!  The children loved sticking their fingers into the comb and watching the honey ooze out and they sucked their sticky fingers with gusto! 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What We've Been Up To...

You may have noticed that I have not been posting much of late and you would be right!  We have been so busy lately that my Beloved and I barely have time to talk to one another before falling into bed exhausted!  But please don't misunderstand this for complaining...on the contrary, we feel so blessed to be able to have the opportunity and means to hire contractors to landscape our rental property and other big works!  It has been a rather stressful time but also a time of great happenings!

Giving to the fact that we had all been terribly ill last week...I had alot of laundry!  I had just began to make a 'dent' in it guessed it our 'temporary' water pump went caput and we had no water for a few days!  To say I complained would be rather an understatement as I felt very disheartened seeing the laundry starting to mount up again!  However I was blessed to have my mother offer to do some loads for me!  So my huge pile is now manageable once more!  Today while I went out for lunch with a friend, my Hubby organised a man to come and replace the pump and get the water going again!  I am so thankful today for running water, just turning on my dishwasher feels miraculous...well to me!

The children and I have been trying to catch up on some schoolwork that we missed while we were all sick.  Though I confess that I am finding it hard to get back into 'the swing of things' this week and am having to be rather disiplined about our routine!  My pregnancy symptoms are starting this week and I have had nausea on and off for the past three days, coupled with indigestion and chronic tiredness( I have slept most days a total of 10 hours, 8 at night and 2 at lunchtime)...but I am so thankful for them!  Yes you heard me right!  I am so grateful to have these symptoms, as they are assuring me that yes, this pregnancy is real and that I didn't just dream it!  Though I don't remember having nausea or indigestion starting so early with my other pregnancies? 

So there you have it!  Thats what has been keeping me from blogging...though we have quite alot of exciting things planned in the near future so I will keep you all posted!