Friday, August 27, 2010

Birth Control Pill - Documentary

I received the link to this informative video documentary from Above Rubies.  I think that everyone should be aware of the possible effects of the contraceptive pill and educate themselves and their children on the medical facts which are so often hidden from us.  Our doctors are perscribing the contraceptive pill to young girls to regulate their monthly cycles and to 'cure' skin disorders such as acne, and we must be aware of the possible concequences!.  Precious lives and our fertility are at stake! 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

National Heritage Centre - Living History Week

The Three Amigos Entering A Stone Age Farmhouse

Last Sunday Hubby and I packed the children in the car and headed off for a day trip to the Irish National Heritage Park.  We had been informed by our regional homeschool coordinator that she and another family were planning on attending as it was a week were history 'came alive' with the use of tours and actors!

Dylan and Daddy Pretending to Be Stone Age Farmers

So we packed a small lunch for us all and proceeded the wonderful drive to Wexford.  It was a glorious day and we also had the pleasure of having a Mozart CD that Amy had checked out of the local library playing as we drove.  It really would have been worth all the getting ready just to take the drive there!

Mmmm...Whats For Dinner?

As soon as we had gotten into the reception we were informed that a family tour had just departed and that if we hurried we could catch up with them.  I did not personally wish to trek around with the group but would have preferred to amble around at our own pace, but Brian said it would be more beneficial to us to take the tour as the guide would explain each site in greater detail and we would be able to ask questions also.  He was was!

Dylan Loved The Old Straw Beds...So Decided To Test One Out!
(Can't Believe How Long He Looks In This Photo!)

Our tour guide Jimmy was a wonderful friendly man who explained each site in great detail as we went around the park and he answered any questions that were asked of him.  At the third site Dylan informed me that he had spotted the other H.E families walking up the hill to catch up with the family tour!  Amy vanished from my side and stood listening and learning with her friends.  We are so grateful that she finally has a group of friends that are caring, eager to learn and help Amy to feel that she is an appreciated member of their social group! 

A Small Re-created 'Rath' (Ring-Fort)

We proceeded to walk around with our tour, though at this stage we had been walking for some time and I started to lag behind a little, feeling a little sore around my tummy muscles.  Brian and the rest of our friends slowed down with me which was wonderfully kind of them and we continued along and still were able to catch up enough in time to hear each description Jimmy gave to our group. 

My Brave Knight And His Sword...Swoon!

On the last part of our tour we past the outdoor cafe, which smelled so delicious that we almost wished that we hadn't brought a packed lunch!  But we knew setting out that we were indeed to take along a lunch which would help keep down the cost of the day trip...and just in case we were tempted we only took enough money for our family admission.  So at the end of the trip we arrived at a viking boat yard which was breathtaking at is was situated at the waters edge and it was such a lovely sunny day that the suns rays reflected magically on the gentle ripples.  Amy, Dylan and their friends all played upon the small viking ship for a long while whilst we parents chatted.  Then we said our goodbyes to the other families (as they live close by the park, they were heading home for their lunches) we proceeded back to the car for our picnic lunch.

Some Of The Actors Portraying Early Settler Life

We found a shady spot under some trees and unpacked.  I was so hungry at this stage; we shared the food we had brought between each plate and all drank and ate some...before...the wasps came!  Urgh!  Wasps!  After ten minutes or so the children and I headed to the car to finish our lunches in peace!  We even had the windows up and the air-con on eventually as the wasps were still getting into the car!  Finally Hubby joined us and laughed at out 'cultured' lunch, complete with air-con...avocados, sandwiches, hummus, fruit, orange juice and Mozart!

Amy And Her Friends Aboard The Viking Ship!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Milk Anyone?

About two years I became aware of 'raw' milk.  My husband was indeed the wise one (again) who informed me of the difference between the two forms of milk, he, his ten other siblings and both their parents had drank fresh raw cows milk everyday during his childhood and into adulthood.  I replied "Yes that might have been fine back then...but there must be so many germs and diseases within the milk...thanks but no thanks I'll have my milk from a store!"

The Cream Of The Crop!

It amazes me how ridiculously silly I am at times!  My beloved then went on to tell me that the milk that we buy in stores has been processed so much that it is very difficult for us to process and that raw milk was much more easily assimilated by our bodies.  So I began my investigations!  Wow I was so amazed at the facts I turned up!  Almost immediately I ran back to Hubby begging him to allow us to buy raw milk...and that was as far as I got.

Starting To Come Together...

Why?  Because the Irish government has, since 1997, made it illegal for farmers to sell raw unpasteurized milk! Read this pamphlet produced by Teagasc.  Among many of the farmers we know it has long been thought that much scare-mongering has gone on from the governmental Department of Agriculture, to scare the general public from consuming non-pasteurized milk...simply to line their own pockets! 

TaDa!  Homemade Butter!

I was aghast!  To stumble on this wonderful source of God given nutrients and then to be told that I can't access it!  I actually was quite cross about this, as I felt that it was my Husbands decision; to make an informed decision for our family, whether or not we would consume raw milk...not the governments!  Also just for your information the government has also made killing your own livestock, on your own farm illegal (it must be sent to an abattoir) as is selling or giving your meat to any third parties...though at this stage they are still allowing it to be consumed (once back from the abbatior) on your own premises by ones own direct family.

Fast forward to several weeks ago...we were able to acquire raw milk!  I am so thrilled!  However my Husband does not wish for me to consume it throughout this pregnancy simply due to the fact that I have not yet built up a tolerance to any natural bacterias that will be present within the milk, this was seconded by one or two dairy farmers that we know.  So I must wait until the baby is born to begin enjoying small amounts to build up my tolerance.  My Mother-in-law consumed raw milk throughout her whole childhood and through her subsequent eleven pregnancies and she was never affected by any illness due to raw milk.  Our children thoroughly enjoyed drinking their 'farm' milk, our son went to collect it with my Husband so he is a little more excited by it, he even states that it tasted like cows!

We haven't gotten any for a few weeks but hope to organise our collection and storage of it better to enable us to purchase the bulk of our milk this way.  I also made raw butter (see photographs) from the cream we collected from our raw milk (I followed the tutorial given by Jackie at Homestead Wannabes - Thanks Jackie!) and also with the last of the milk I made a sour soft cheese...which I was told tasted quite like blue cheese mixed with goats cheese but it was very pleasant!

I know that raw milk is very 'old hat' to you guys in America but I am so thrilled to be able to finally get my hands on some that I just had to share about it!  Though Irish readers please understand that I cannot reveal from whom we are buying our milk...sorry!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Our Wonderful Mama Hen!

These are some photographs I managed to get over the last few weeks; firstly of our newly hatched baby chickens along with the best mother hen in the world...our only White Sussex hen.  You may notice from these photographs that only four of the chicks are her own breed and another four seem to be that of our remaining hens breed; Welsummer's..and that just leaves one little guy who seems to be brown like the Welsummer chicks but who has a large stripe down his back?


Fluffy Little Lovelies!

Next are our newly aquired Bronze turkeys who are only one day old in thses photographs!  They are bought in for us to fatten, process and consume for our family over the coming year.  They are so beautiful to look at!  And so full of energy!  Though this breed of turkey are by far the least intelligent (thats bad by turkey standards!)  They are so daft that fall to sleep standing up all the time and fall over and then if it rains and they are outisde their shelter...they just stand there in the rain looking super perplexed and make absolutley no attempt to go for cover!

One Day Old Bronze Turkeys

It has been a rather full time job lately caring for all these little guys...making sure that they have all the food and water that they need and cleaning out!  Urgh, baby poultry poop stinks!  Also my parents have had around forty baby ducking (Khaki Campbell breed) hatch out.  They were housed with one poor mother who kept them all as well as she could.  Unfortunately some of them died and one terrible stormy night their enclosure leaked in water and one or two died of cold...we spent all morning washing the mud off all the others and drying them with a hair dryer!  Phew...maybe explains why my blogging has been non-existent!

 One Week Later! 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rejuevenate With Serene

A little while ago whilst browsing the Above Rubies store I came across this 'un-cook' book with an accompanying DVD 'Rejuevenate with Serene - Recipes for Energy' I thought, I need that!

So I ordered it for our family to read learn and watch together.  Our whole family had watched it and read the book also, including both of my parents!  About half of the book is common sense; being that we all know that a diet consisting of pizzas, burgers and cakes are going to make us fat and give us ill health.  But Serene directly addresses the importance of eating whole foods in their natural state i.e not cooked!

Since reading, watching and subsequently learning from this Above Rubies collection our families diet has improved dramatically!  We still enjoy our meat (mostly home-reared), homemade bread and dairy (we have found a source of raw milk...more on that in another post!) but we have included so much more fresh un-cooked produce into our mealtimes!

For example several days ago I prepared a wonderful roasted half leg of lamb with aromatic rosemary and once it was cooked and rested, I sliced it thinly and served the meat with a large salad of raw thinly sliced sweetheart cabbage along with black olives, fresh tomatoes and cucumber, feta cheese, handfuls of raw nuts, chopped dates and a wonderul handmade dressing and a few chunks of homemade bread on the side.  Most of our evening dinners over the last few weeks have been similar to the above example.  One evening we had a wonderful fresh salad along with some grated carrots with sesame seeds and little raw pizzas prepared on top of wholewheat pitta breads!  The children are having a blast creating new dishes alongside me and to top it all off the food tastes absolutely amazing!

We have noticed an improvement already in our energy levels and are hoping to see more positive results soon.  But until then we are loving creating foods for our family that are packied with vitality and energy!

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may 
bring forth food out of the earth;
Psalm 104:14 - K.J.V

Saturday, August 7, 2010

EU Law...Says Who?

Recently we had our 18 week prenatal check up at our local hospital,  where we were scheduled to come in and have our second ultrasound scan, to check our baby's development and gender (I will post again on our pregnancy update).  Once we had, had our ultrasound performed we were to pop over to the 'Domino' midwives building to have our first meeting with them.  To those of you who don't know; a Domino midwifery service is one provided through your local hospital, simply put, all of your pregnancy care and subsequent delivery will be overseen by a team of experienced midwives.  We chose to go the Domino route during our last pregnancy and we were delighted with the service provided by these friendly and wise women.  So it was a complete no-brainer to go through this pregnancy with them again!

However...during our appointment with one such midwife, she asked me did I have any questions for her?  I then proceeded to ask a few routine queries I had and then I asked her about the hospitals policy for a breech presentation delivery?  The lady then told me quite plainly that it was now an "EU law to have a Casearean section performed in the case of every breech presentation birth" When I queried this our midwife then told me that it was now law and that it had been passed because of the risk of causing mental retardation and disabilities due to lack of oxygen in the case of the baby's head becoming lodged in the birth canal and the risk of parents suing the hospitals afterward!

Although I was astonished at what I was being told I believed what the midwife was telling me and our family went on our way.

...Fast forward to a few days ago;  on the way home from visiting my Mother-in-laws my husband picked up a copy of the Farmers Journal newspaper.  As he drove us home I proceeded to read the country magazine supplement...I came across the article 'Too posh to push!'  This article skimmed on the issue of caesarean rates soaring worldwide and also within our home country of Ireland and why?  The journalist published the total percentage of C-section rates at each Irish hospital but only touched on a few issues that may have caused the C-section rate to have risen to almost 1 in 4 Irish births!

No where in this article did it mention that a new law had been passed that may have increased the rate C-section deliveries...

So I hopped on the internet and to my surprise I found NO record of any such law/directive or guidline likewise!  Strange don't you think?

Think how many women are being duped into having Caesarean sections at their local Irish hospitals, due to the hospital staff being misinformed (or purposefully withholding that you do indeed have a choice) simply because it is not hospital policy!

Urgh this actually made me mad; so I now feel as though I must investigate this matter further and find out the actuall legal position this space!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Nursing Advice Please!

Now that we are now half way through our preganancy with our third child I wish to share with you my nursing experiences to date...

As I was still a teenager when I had my first daughter, I did not breastfeed her for any longer than a day and with no-one to advise me I gave up and simply fed her formula from a bottle.

With my son who was born some years later I was determined to breastfeed sucessfully...During our twelve hour hospital stay I nursed our son with no problems at all and I nursed him whenever he wanted and enjoyed feeling the bond knitting between us, however within a day or two I began to get very very sore!  Within a week I was in tears every time I nursed him; I had asked every nurse, midwife and person I knew to check that he was latched on correctly (which they confirmed?) and I myself even felt that by the looks of things he was.  So what was wrong?  To this day I'm not sure.  I nursed for a few more painful days until one day I gave in...and I weaned him onto a bottle with expressed milk.  One month later my milk dried up obviously from not being stimulated enough and I once again turned to formula!

Dear ladies, I so desperately want this nursing experience to be positive for both baby and me and although I now have many homeschooling/breastfeeding friends who will be glad to help and support me during my next season of nursing I am hoping that you would all kindly share your experiences with painful nursing and/or helpful tips to help me prepare.

Thanking you all in advance - God Bless