Friday, December 30, 2011

Our Surprise Finally Revealed...



Yes, we've got a new puppy!  Isn't she sweet!  Our kids had no idea, as Brian and I kept it secret for weeks!  All of my family are VERY surprised that I could hold it in for so long!  Brian took both Amy and Dylan to pick up the puppy, though they had no idea where they were going.  They rang me at home as soon as they had her in the car!

Bella is a complete nutter!  She slept for about 3 hours when she first got home, and then terrorised Scruffy for twenty minutes before falling asleep again!  She is a pretty clever pup too; waiting till we let her out in the morning to do her poop.      

 All Our Kids And We Are So In Love With Sweet Bella! 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Our Christmas 2011...

Yummy Christmas Cookies!

My Honey And Me!

Wow, what a wonderful Christmas time!  Our first being the proud parents of three children!  We had so much fun!  We have enjoyed chomping our way through mountains of cookies, playing board games, constructing play sets and Lego, reading new stories, learning about new technology and a host of other exciting stuff!  ...Hence the lack of blogging!

As you might remember from this post, my husband and I were convicted about not doing "santa" this year or any other.  I'm pleased to report that despite this blatant parental abuse, our children did not spontaneously combust or revolt;  in actual fact they were joyful, happy and thankful for their gifts...crazy huh?  Who'd have thunk it!  :)  We hope you enjoy our Christmas photographs!

Sleepy Girl With Her New Dolly!

Our Gorgeous Boy!

Amy's iPod...She Was VERY Happy!

Crazy Guy!

He Was Speechless For About Two Full Minutes!!!

    Cool Board Games!

    Off To Do Some Work!

    Cheeky Miss Meg!

    Dyl's Lego Pig-Farm

    Happy Chappie!

    Our Whole Family Can't Get Enough Of...
    "Angry Birds"!!!

    We Hope You All Had A Wonderful Christmas!

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    The BIG Three Zero!

    Yes, today is my birthday.  I am now officially thirty years old!  Wowza!  I'm truthfully not upset by reaching this milestone at all.  To mark this occasion, in true dedicated blogger fashion, I thought I'd take the chance to list thirty things (in no particular order) that I love and am thankful for!

    • I am thankful for my salvation!  Jesus died for me and I love knowing that one day, I will walk with him in glory!
      • My wonderful husband and six adventure packed years together!
        • Three amazing, smart, beautiful, funny and wonderful children! 
        • Our stinky farm dog...Scruffy.  
        • Black olives...they're just too good!
        • The ever increasing stacks of amazing books that we own.
        • Our ever-so-patient extended family.  Who suffer through all our craziness with a smile (mostly)!
        • Our home...big, bright, colourful, cozy and filled with LOVE!
        • The Bible...I love God's perfect, preserved word.
        • Our own home reared growth hormones for us! 
        • Random acts of kindness.  :)
        • Dr Seuss books...they are so good, so good you see!
        • Homeschooling!  I love being around my kids all day and learning together!
        • Hymns...what a wonderful way to praise God! 
            • Date nights with my hubby...very few and far between, but always so special! 
            • Water that is safe for our family to drink, right out the tap!
            • Faithful Word Baptist Church sermons!  
            • The learning spirit that abounds within our home.
            • Like minded people, who work to protect human life, from conception until natural death.
            • My fellow brothers and sisters in Christ!  For encouraging and challenging me!
            • A brilliant mother-in-law!
            • Our small hobby farm...I love the green fields that surround me!
            • Bangers, mash, yorkshire puds and onion gravy! Mmmmmmmmm!
            • Fellow bloggers...thank you for giving me the godly counsel, challenging and educating me!
            • I'm so thankful that my husband truly is, my BEST friend!
            • Chubby baby toes! 
            • I'm thankful that my husband is able to provide so well for our family.
            • Charity/thrift stores!  My favourite kind of shopping!
            • The Internet!  How did we ever cope without it?!??

              Monday, December 19, 2011

              Pre-Christmas Catch Up!

              Musical Meg!

              God is so good!  Wow, December has been an awesome month so far!  Here are some of the things that have been happening, plus a few long awaited photographs of my adorable kiddies...though admittedly most of them are of camera lover Meg!

              • As of today the O'Neill Family Homeschool are now on our Christmas holidays!  I had pictured in my mind of having a long peaceful sleep, followed by a more relaxed pace morning routine...didn't really happen like that at all!  Last night we were woken at 3:30am by the phone ringing.  My dad had heard a labouring cow bawling and so had gone out to see what the commotion was.  She had birthed her calf through the night, but the poor little guy had rolled out under the fence, and was now lying in the lane half frozen to death!  He must have been there a while as he couldn't stand and he even had a cold tongue.  Brian was very worried!  I stayed in bed for a while longer, but Brian and my dad loaded the calf into the back of the truck and took both mother and calf to the warm shed.  Brian then proceeded to milk the cow into a bottle (despite her best efforts to kick him away) and managed to get the calf to drink it.  The calf seemed immediately revived and by this morning he is standing up.  If he had been found even half an hour later, he certainly would have died...we are calling him our Christmas miracle!

              Amy Finishing Up Her School!

              • Another amazing event of today, is that my parents have gotten themselves a cat!  Anyone who knows them will be amazed at this, as my dad HATES cats!  But given their annual mouse problem, they decided it would be best to keep a cat about the place.  So, "Mog" now sleeps in their shed and will hopefully prove to be a good mouser!

              Sleepy Head!

              • My hardworking husband recently upgraded his pick-up truck.  The one he had was very old, rattled somewhat, and was only two-wheel-drive (no good on our farm, or indeed driving to work in bad weather).  So we decided that the time was right for him to upgrade!  Due to certain "miracles" we are absolutely certain that God's hand was upon this project!  Such a blessing for our family!
                Dylan Working On Amy's Congratulations Card!
                • A wonderfully kind fellow blogger, recently sent us handmade gift, for our sweet Meg's upcoming 1st birthday!  Our family feels so humbled by such  kindness and generosity!  Thank you again! :)   
                  • The cloth nappies are going brilliantly.  Although there have been a few leaks, when I have forgotten to change them more regularly than disposables...oops!  A little while ago, my mother bought me a lovely lambswool jumper/sweater from a thrift store...which I then accidentally shrunk in the wash!  So this week I purposefully felted it in the wash, and cut it into boosters for Meg's sleep time nappies!  I'm happy to report that they work well!  Waste not, want not! :)   
                    Catching The Breeze!

                    • We have a wonderful surprise in progress for our family at the moment!  Which we should be able to reveal sometime after Christmas.  No it's not a baby!  Watch this space! :)

                      • Yes, as I've already mentioned Meg's birthday is indeed approaching!  I cannot believe that her first year has gone by so fast!  At this stage I actually have nothing at all planned for her gifts or cake...but by the end of this week, I hope to have everything organised and planned!  At the time of Dylan's birthday, I decided that I would like to bake all of our childrens future birthday I will need to think up something girly but very easy to make.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! 
                         Meg Helping With Laundry!

                        • Our family are planning to take the gospel this coming week (along with some yummy cookies), to the people who serve in our town, as a way of thanking them for their hard work throughout the year.  It is not something we have ever done before, neither have we ever heard of anyone else doing such a thing!  If any readers have done things like this in the past and have any advice of tips for us, I would be very grateful if you would leave a comment! :)
                        Making Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies!

                        • Last night our church held its annual Christmas Carol Service!  My parents both went!  There was lots of tasty treats to eat.  We made some yummy "spiced pumpkin cheesy whirls" and some festive shortbread (angels, stars, bells...etc).  Dylan's singing was just precious!  Amy and three of the other older girls sang a beautiful hymn together!  I think many people were blessed by the service!
                        So, there are some of the many things we have been up to lately!  My "To-Do" list for this week is HUGE...I think that I might be in for a few late nights. The Christmas season has been SO busy this year...but generally things are pretty much hectic here all year round anyway!  
                        Hope you are all enjoying your week!

                            Friday, December 16, 2011

                            Amy's Examination Results!

                            As you might remember from this post, our eldest daughter Amy, recently sat her Grade 1 piano examination.  Amy and her wonderful piano teacher, worked very hard to prepare for the exam.  Amy and I prayed that morning, that God would steady her nerves and lend her strength and courage.  Praise the Lord; we are thrilled to be able to let you all know that:

                            Amy Passed With HONOURS!!!!!  

                            We are so proud of Amy!  It is so wonderful that she can now see the fruits of her diligence and hard work!  Now that this examination has been achieved, Amy has set her sights on being able to perform in this years New Ross Piano Festival!

                            Thursday, December 15, 2011

                            Government Backtracking On Abortion Issue?

                            Just last year I published this post on the issue of  "A, B and C vs Ireland" at the European Court of Human Rights.  Just a few days later I also published the findings of that hearing.  Since then pro-abortion lobbyists have badgered, our now coalition government, to legislate abortion in our country.  Even though the ECHR stated that they respected Ireland's rights to set its own laws on this issue.  That's right, there was no action necessary!  Here is where we are now at:

                            The Government yesterday announced its intention to establish the expert group on abortion in the next few weeks. It will be a 14-member group and is being put in place as a response to last year’s ruling on abortion from the European Court of Human Rights. The make-up of the expert group will be critical in deciding whether or not abortion legislation is introduced. The Government has said that the group will be in place by the end of the year or shortly thereafter.

                            As you just read, the Irish government is currently putting together an "expert group", comprised of fourteen members who will decided whether or not Ireland will legalise abortion.  The fate of thousands, perhaps millions of babies will now be placed in the hands of these "experts".  This saddens me so much.  In previous years our governments have held public referendums on this issue, and allowed the people to vote.  The Irish people have thus far voted "no" in overwhelming numbers.

                            By avoiding a public referendum, we perhaps are beginning to see evidence of this legislature being stealthily pushed through.  Our media is also attempting to sway public opinion by the means of extremely biased news articles. 

                            Yesterday I received a link from the "Pro-Life Campaign Ireland", to the following news article that ran in today's Irish Examiner.  It saddens me to read the depths to which the media will sink, in their attempt to sway public opinion, and push their pro-murder agenda.  (See full article here)

                            ...NOW, of course there exists a vocal contingent that doesn’t want the minister to do that. Those on the pro-life side of this debate find it abhorrent that such legislation, enshrining in statute a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy right here in Ireland, would be introduced. To those people I say, tough. European law takes supremacy over domestic law and the ruling of the ECHR is binding. Although, there’s no legal compunction to like it.

                            Meanwhile, proving the law really is an ass, the advent of the internet means that many women, instead of opting for expensive travel to Britain, are simply going online to buy an abortion pill which they then have delivered to their homes. In 2009, the Irish Medicines Board reported that it seized 1,216 such pills in 60 separate consignments — 52 addressed to women and, in a sinister development, 12 addressed to men. As the recession continues to bite, an increasing number of women are likely to simply opt to induce their own abortion at home, and pay €70 online, instead of travelling abroad at an average cost of €1,200.

                            Furthermore, recent surveys have also found the electorate’s attitude to abortion is changing with three-quarters now favouring a relaxation of our restrictive laws and more than 50% of GPs believing abortion should be available to any woman who wants it.

                            So, while the minister’s talking shop will likely have some very worthy debates, and maybe he’ll even surprise the cynics by introducing the appropriate legislation at some distant point in the future, it is the anachronistic ban on abortion in this country that remains the real problem...

                            Due to the cold way in which the writer of the above article deals with abortion, I'm assuming that she has ever seen what an aborted baby actually looks like.  I wish I could show her.  I fail to see how she deems it a "woman's right" to be allowed to murder her baby within her own country.  Her response toward the people who work hard to protect innocent lives, is that it is simply "tough" angered me.  Obviously a person of  such moral standing, is unwilling to offer us more heartfelt reasoning when talking about the potential killing of a precious child.  If like me you took issue, that the editor of this newspaper allowed such a biased and inaccurate story to run, then please feel free to leave a response:

                            If you are a reader of my blog who lives within Ireland, and wishes to protect the innocent life of the unborn, please take just two minutes of your time to:

                            Email your local Fine Gael Oireachtas respresentatives.

                            Sign These Active Petitions:

                            Don't Let Labour Call The Shots On Abortion
                            Stop Bullying Ireland Over Abortion
                            Block Internet Abortionists

                            Tuesday, December 13, 2011

                            Our Beautiful New Swimsuits!

                            Ok, so you'll probably remember this post a while back, in which I asked for advice on how we could get stylish, yet modest swimsuits for Amy and I.  Well, lots of ladies left comments with helpful advice and suggestions!  Again, thank you all for taking the time out of your busy days for doing so!

                            Obviously sewing our own would have been the much cheaper option, which lots of you pointed out.  We only had one snag...I cannot sew well enough at all!  So it seemed as though we were still in a pickle as to what to do, when...

                            My Suit...A Bit Dotty Like Me! :)

                            ...A sweet and kind fellow blogger offered to sew our suits up for us!  I was so amazed by the generous offer, that I was probably speechless for quite while (like five whole minutes) afterwards!  So Amy and I ordered our pattern and fabrics a week or so later.

                            Amy's Bright And Cheerful Suit!

                            Despite being a busy, homeschooling momma to six children and a Pastors wife, Mrs Anderson had our suits made up and mailed to us super fast!  We are so thankful for her kindness and generosity!  Their family is such an encouragement to us!   Amy and I were absolutely thrilled with our suits, and lots of people have complimented us on them!  I think we may have started a new fashion here in Ireland!

                            Sunday, December 11, 2011

                            Times Are Tough...

                            Not only is our country, currency and the entire continent in serious financial trouble...but our government has just announced another stinker of a budget!  So times are indeed tough...

                            Meg's "post-budget breakfast" consisting of a shoe and some crumbs! Ha! 

                            Monday, December 5, 2011

                            The Great Cloth Nappy Experiment!

                            The great cloth nappy experiment, has been a success!!  Little did I realise, when we first considered switching to cloth nappies, that there was so much learning to be done!  Firstly I would like to thank you all, especially "TwinkleToes", for all your invaluable advice.  It was so wonderful to get tonnes of top tips from "veteran" cloth users!

                            I have spent what seems like hours, researching cloth nappies online, over the last few weeks.  There was so much to take in; sifting through and picking out the nuggets (no pun intended)!  Overflowing with information, I was eager to tell everyone all I had been learning...suffice it to say that now, everyone is so over hearing about poopy nappies!

                            My ever-so-patient hubby, has been driven mad with me talking nappies; last time I approached him, he innocently gave me the fork he was holding, turned around, and said "Now stab me as hard as you can!"  So, since I can no longer bore my family with nappy talk...I am letting loose on you dear ladies!  ;)

                            So, at present we are using TotsBots EasyFit All-In-Ones, with an additional fleece liner.  They are brilliant, especially for novices like me, as they are so easy to use!  And as for washing all I have to do is remember to stick the velcro tabs back and throw it in the machine!  Drying takes a while longer, as drying outside is not possible at this time of year, and I don't want to use the tumble drier. 

                            Even though my hubby no longer wants to discuss: bamboo vs microfibre, all-in-ones vs pocket style or boosters and flushable liners...he has kindly agreed to me purchasing a half-a-dozen more cloth nappies for Meg!  All of which will save us money in the long run!  Hooray!  I think Meg herself will be delighted, as I'm sure they feel a lot nicer on her little tushie!

                            Saturday, December 3, 2011

                            An Inconvenient Truth

                            Recently I shared an news article on my facebook account, that featured a photograph of an aborted baby.  Some people were offended and upset by this.  I was contacted in love, by an old friend, who kindly asked me to not post anything else about abortion, as it was upsetting many of my childhood friends.  Although I understand why this person felt the need to contact me, I cannot, and will not stop highlighting this issue.

                            You may think "I cannot believe Sarah, posting these awful and horrible photos, she has really gone one step too far this time"  But wait a minute...I didn't take this picture, nor was I the doctor who did this.  Why are you angry or upset at me?  Is the dead baby in the photograph awful and horrible?  No, it is the act of abortion that is awful and horrible.

                            When faced with a photograph or news article such as this, it forces us to admit to ourselves the ugly realities of abortion; the ones we don't want to know about, and especially, the ones we do not want to see.  The fact is, abortion kills babies.  The truth is, is that you should be upset by seeing images like these.  But don't waste your tears on a photo.  Cry for the thousands of children who this happens to, daily around the world. 
                            I am not judging women who have made a terrible decision, such as abortion in the past.  It is up to us, to believe on Christ and receive forgiveness for this.  But pretending that abortion doesn't kill babies, to help yourself deal with the guilt of a past abortion is selfish.  You owe it to your child's taken life, to acknowledge that he/she existed, and was a precious eternal soul. 

                            Putting our heads in the sand, will not help us assuage feelings of past guilt or shame.  Looking away will not change this baby's fate, nor the fate of any others.  Deleting me from your "friends" list will not erase the image of the dead baby from your mind.  We must acknowledge the ugly truth, and be a part of stopping it.  If something is too horrible to look at, then it is too horrible to be happening.

                            In summary, I hope that this post has been helpful to those who were offended, those who wondered why I would publish these posts and even those who are struggling with the guilt of abortion.  I will not be offended if anyone deletes me from their facebook account; but I shall be disappointed, that you would rather look away, than face the truth and choose to help other children avoid this same fate.

                            Friday, December 2, 2011

                            Name The Calf Competition - Results!

                            Thank you all for entering our "name the calf" competition, it was SO much fun to do!  We had some lovely names suggested, as well as some slightly quirky ones too!  Ha!  So just last night Amy and I wrote all the names down, and popped them into a bowl.  Everyone got together and we let Dylan pull out the winner...

                            ...The winner was Brynn who suggested the name "Alex"!!!! Congratulations Brynn!!!!

                            Introducing "Alex" The Calf! :)