Saturday, April 30, 2011

Odd Things That Siblings Do!




 Amy Has A Great Idea!


She Volunteers Herself...


 "Hahahahaha!"


"Stop The Barrell!"


Dylan = Bemused, Amy = Slightly Dazed!


Ha! Mama Caught The Whole Thing On Camera...Surprise!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Fathers Health Update...




Thank you all for repeatedly asking me about my fathers health.  I am so sorry that I have not posted about it sooner.  His angiogram just two weeks ago turned up no further blockages and his stent is still in place with no build-up or movement.  At this stage the doctors have no idea what could be causing his chect pains.  His symptoms are still pointing to angina, but the stent should have stopped his pain?  We are really in 'no-mans-land' at the moment.  Though his own local doctor does seem to be taking very good care of him and for that we are extremely grateful!  Apologies ladies once again, for not updating you sooner!  I will try to keep you updated over the coming weeks.  Thank you for all your prayers, they are very much appreciated!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Parental Failure? ...Please!




Another day, another idiotic news article reported by those buffoons writing at the Irish Independent office!  I sometimes wish my father would stop bringing this paper into our home...but then what would I have to blog about? ;)  This time, they and the medical profession are wagging their fingers at us 'failing' parents, who do not vaccinate our children.  Shame on us all for not believing Big Pharma when they tell us, that injecting mercury and aluminium into our babies is safe!

You shouldn't eat fish that may have traces of these metals, some of which will then be excreted, by the functions of the gut during the digestion process...but its a-ok to inject them directly, in greater proportions, into a tiny baby repeatedly over the first few months of life!  Erm, sounds a teensy bit unbelieveable to me...but hey what do I know I only have my childens best interests at heart instead of whopping $$$$ signs!

(my emphasis' are highlighted in bold)

Parents were yesterday warned to ensure their children get all of the jabs against potentially fatal diseases as figures show a drop in the uptake of vaccines.

The Health Service Executive said infants need five GP visits in the first 13 months of life for full immunisation -- and if they fail to get the necessary booster shots then the early vaccines are worthless. 

Dr Alf Nicholson, a paediatrician at Temple Street Hospital in Dublin, said that many parents are not getting their children vaccinated, despite the fact that they are free of charge.

This failure by parents  means we are just below the numbers needed for herd immunity -- meaning that if an outbreak occurs, it will spread rapidly amongst those who have not been immunised.

"We need a vaccination rate of about 90pc or 95pc for herd immunity," he said. "But at the moment we're at the 88pc or 89pc mark.

"About two years ago we had a major drop in the numbers getting the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine because people were concerned about the link between MMR and autism. But that's been completely refuted and the numbers have gone back up. But they're still not high enough."

He said the problem was exacerbated by a very strong anti-vaccine lobby in the US and Europe -- but each country was handling the problem in their own way.

"In Hungary vaccination is compulsory," said Dr Nicholson. "And in France it's linked to child welfare payments. So if you don't have your child vaccinated your payments drop."

Dr Brenda Corcoran, of the national immunisation office, said there has been a drop in numbers getting the Hib booster and third doses of PCV (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) and Men C vaccine, which protects against meningitis and septicaemia.

"We have seen a number of measles outbreaks in Ireland in recent years, which could have been prevented," she said.

A new guide to childhood immunisation for parents has been launched to coincide with European Immunisation Week, which runs until Saturday.

A new immunisation tracker has also been launched to help parents keep track of their children's vaccination history while also sending them timely reminders of when a further vaccination is due.
The tracker, which is available on irishhealth.com and iTunes, sends parents reminders when their child needs to be immunised, or needs a booster shot.

Protect
Among the vaccines given is one for tuberculosis (TB) at birth, a six-in-one shot, which must be given three times to protect against polio, whooping cough and other diseases; and the MMR vaccine, which is first given at 12 months.
Separately, the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) has also raised concerns over the drop in uptake of life-saving vaccines.

Young adults and children are most likely to carry the bacteria that cause meningitis -- inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord -- and septicaemia, the blood poisoning form of the disease.
Up to 300 cases are recorded each year with one-in-10 patients dying. And 20pc of survivors are left with after-effects including brain damage, deafness, blindness and limb loss.
Clodagh Hegarty, medical information officer, said: "Many types of bacterial meningitis can be prevented through vaccination.

"It is vital that parents ensure their children are fully vaccinated against strains of meningitis and are also aware of the signs and symptoms of the diseases as this can save a life."
- Edel Kennedy

I will again link to these two books which gave our family lots of background information, on the very disturbing issue of vaccinations.  I have blogged about this issue before here, here and here.  It is our duty as parents to ensure that we are aware of all the facts (regardless of what our final decision may be) before you agree to allow your children to be vaccinated.



It seems to me, that injecting unknown drugs, that have unknown side effects, and could potentially harm my child is more of a parental failure than not immunising!  I will once again implore any mothers reading who have not researched this topic, to do so before agreeing to immunise your children further!  But be warned that in educating yourself and protecting your family you could have your 'child allowance' payments cut as an...incentive?  Sounds like fascism to me...


Monday, April 25, 2011

Our Easter Weekend!




I hope you all had a blessed Easter weekend!  I have so enjoyed reading some of your blog updates, about your Easter/Resurrection celebrations.  We have enjoyed some wonderful weather here in Ireland at the moment, which is lovely after the deep frost we experienced this winter.   We did a lot of gardening over the weekend that needed to be done, and though there is still a little work left to do, our garden is looking much nicer and cared for!  I replanted my hanging baskets with lovely deep purple, lilac and white flowers and I cannot wait until they are in full bloom!  Amy and Dylan were very helpful in picking up stones off of the lawn, raking and collecting grass cuttings and hosing down the driveway!   Today my poor hubby once again battled with our large lawn areas and his old trusty push along mower!  I think he will be in need of a back rub later!


My husband and I decided we would watch 'The Passion of the Christ' on Saturday evening after our children had gone to bed.  The movie had been recommended to us by numerous people.  We hoped that it would help us to identify what Christ suffered in order that we might be saved.  We had discussed that we could make it a yearly tradition.  This did not at all go according to plan!  We watched around 45 minutes of this movie before Brian instructed that we should turn it off!  He felt that it was doing neither of us any good to watch it; he was right, I was in floods of tears!  I am quite emotional when it comes to violent or upsetting movies anyway...but this film was on another level.  I was also quite afraid of the devil and demons depicted in this movie. 

Brian and I have discussed very often, that we should judge items such as movies and music that come into our home, by imagining Jesus was watching/listening with us.  If we feel that He would not approve, then we should not watch or listen.  That may sound childlike and simplistic to some, but we have found it a helpful way to make sound judgement within our home.  Brian thinks we should not watch this movie again.


On the morning of Resurrection Sunday, we gathered the children onto our bed for family Bible time.  We read from the book of Matthew.  The children (and Brian) enjoyed their chocolate eggs also while we read!  I felt such an overwhelming sense of gratitude to our Lord Jesus Christ for my gift of salvation!  Praise Him!

After this we got dressed and simply spent lots of quality time together as a family.   In the late afternoon we invited some family members (none of whom could attend) and my parents for a barbeque dinner. Brian played hurling with Amy and Dylan for a long time after dinner was over, and I got Meg ready for bed and chatted with my mother as I went.  It was a lovely evening filled with family, fun and good food. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week!



Friday, April 22, 2011

...To Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before!




Sorry about the heading; my father was a die hard 'Trekkie' growing up!  So...yes we are indeed proceeding into another unit study!  Astronomy!  I am so excited for our family to study this subject since I do not remember one thing about astronomy from my school days..and it wasn't even that long ago!  Firstly we have begun to read a DK Eyewitness Book daily, which Amy fills out when we have finished reading our daily portion...it is rather simplistic but it will give her a foundation on which to base further research.  Since commencing our study we have checked out armfuls of Astronomy books from our local library!  Most of the books are repetitious on the basic facts...but some have provided us with new tidbits information.

I will share here some links and resources that we will be utilising in our study:

(These websites /resources are from a creationist perspective)

www.creationastronomy.com
www.answersincreation.org


(Most of these websites are given from a big bang/evolutionary perspective...use with caution)

www.primaryscience.ie
www.scienceweek.ie (science week isn't until November but many old resources are still available)
www.irishastronomy.org
www.science.ie
www.nightsky.ie

Alas, yet again whilst researching and reading alongside Amy my cage was rattled, on the inclusion of the 'Big Bang' theory as a scientific fact!  I remember reading a long time ago that some secular homeschoolers in the US were cross that they could not get curriculum based on the theory of evolution!  But the opposite is true of Ireland and indeed of Europe...there are no european published childrens books that explain Creation!  How frustrating!

Big breath...however we now have ordered and received Apologia 'Exploring Creation with Astronomy'!  I think I am more excited about studying this text book than Amy!  I discussed this text book with Brian and we agreed to wait and start studying this book in our coming school year so as not to start something new as we are approaching the end of this year.

So dear ladies, I am wondering whether some of you have any links, or book recommendations on the subject of astronomy that you have used within your own family?  Thank you!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Frugal Family Tips!




A lot of ladies I know often sigh at the the thought of having to go back to work, after the birth of a new baby.  It makes me so sad for these families.  Everyone loses out when mama's feel pressured to work outside the home.  Family life is so blessed when the mama is home full time!  So I thought I would address some ways in which a family can save money, to allow for the blessing of more children and for the mother to stay at home to care for her family:

  • Pray to our Lord Jesus Christ for your families needs!  You will be surprised at how your needs will be provided for!
  • Do not be too proud to accept donations of furniture, clothing, toys...etc.  Not because you may need to, but because it makes good sense.
  • You can save a lot of money by doing home haircuts!   When I used to colour my hair I used to do it myself at home and it always turned out nice.  Also most times now my husband cuts my hair!
  • Being a stay-at-home-mother means that you will save on travel, childcare, clothing and food expenses that you would incur if you worked.
  • Stop feeling as though you need to holiday every year...if you feel the need to 'get away' go camping on home turf!
  •  Buy a used family car that is in good condition.  Brand new vehicles depreciate in value immediately!
  • Learn how to do basic mechanics yourself to avoid unnecessary costs.
  •  Hang your laundry outside to dry were weather permits.
  • Mow your own lawn and wash your own windows.
  • Do not buy convenience or take away foods.
  • Buy used curriculum and story books.  Our family bought a car boot full of books last year for €40!  What a blessing for our family library!
  • Put  a stop to all greeting/birthday card purchasing.  Birthday cards can be seriously expensive so if you must send them, just send to your immediate family
  • Buy most/all clothes for your family from thrift/charity stores.
  •  Grow your own fruit and vegetables. 
  • If you cannot afford vet bills do not get a pet.
  • Research for better quotes on car, home and life insurances.  It pays to shop around.
  •  If you are a good seamstress (I am not!) sewing for your family could save you a lot of money on clothing and you would be able to tailor the clothing to suit your familys standards of modesty.
  •  Buying gifts for family at Christmas time in big sales throughout the year makes good sense.
  • It seems obvious, but turn off lights and any electricals when you are not using them.
  • Stay away from the doctors office.  Unnecessary costs for unnecessary drugs!  Educate yourself and keep your family healthy!


    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    The Surprise!




    Amy, Dylan And Friends

    My husband and I have been plotting a nice surprise for our children for a few weeks now!  My husband really should get the credit for this wonderful idea as it was initially him that suggested it!  We firstly searched the internet for ideas and we could not believe the prices some of these companies were charging!  Talk about expensive!  We discussed various options with a carpenter friend of ours and selected what style swing set we would like.


    Weeeeeeeeee!

    A few days later I ordered the swing attachments and the slide from a local company and arranged for them to be delivered as soon as possible.  Our friend then began to work on this project at his home; cutting the timbers to size...etc.  Then on Friday he came out early in the morning to begin.  Our children knew what the surprise was at this stage, as it would have been pretty hard to keep that secret when it was being built right in our garden!  Our nephew helped to construct the swing set as he is an apprentice carpenter; that ensured the job was finished that very day!


    Our Nutty Boy!

    Since then lots of fun has been had!  Dylan loves the slide and zooms down it as fast as he can go!  Amy has been having lots of fun on it too and she cannot wait until Meg is big enough to be able to sit and swing in her baby seat!

     

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Why So Bold?




    Recently I have touched upon some very controversial topics.  I have often quoted scripture to clarify why these topics are not pleasing and sometimes abhorrent to our Lord.  Some readers and commenter's have gotten very offended at what I have written; some have felt disgruntled and said nothing, while some have felt downright angry and have let me have it with both barrels!  Maybe you have wondered why I have chosen to address these issues so boldly.  To those readers, here is why...

    Our society has become a modern day version of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Fact.  As Christians we should be acutely aware that our society is literally drenched in sin!  I do not state that because, as one commenter put it "my mind is in the gutter", but simply because it is true.  Everywhere we turn we are bombarded by it: music, advertisements, movies, fashion and even toys.  We need to see the big deal.  If our Lord says we should be concerned then we should be concerned!  I understand that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23), however we must still acknowledge that as Gods chosen ones, we must stand firm and shout out against all forms of sin and its tolerance in our society.  We cannot sit on the fence!

    They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them:
    But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.
     And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.
    Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils,
    And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.
    Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.
    Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance. - Psalm 106:34-40

    Even in seemingly 'religious' countries we are dwelling in the gutter.  Just last week Ireland has had its first same sex 'civil partnership' performed!  This is a big deal!  The Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin!  This 'partnership' is just the first step; a way for the perverts and the liberals to bypass the predominant Catholic (we do not support Catholicism) church in Ireland and to soon introduce gay 'marriage'.

    Homosexuality is rampant in our society.  Our young men have never had so much pressure put upon them to accept, or even to welcome homosexuality.  Our young ladies are targeted by 'cool' movies in which characters imply that it is uber fashionable to have a gay best friend!  When we as Christians, weakly whisper that being gay is 'sort of wrong' the liberals roar with laughter and mock the Almighty!  We need to shout out that being a homosexual is an abomination!

    At present, in the Republic of Ireland abortion is still technically illegal, but for how long?  Amazingly though, abortifacient contraceptives are available here, as is the murderous 'morning after pill'.  How long before our government introduces the early abortion pill?  The pro-choice campaigners shout louder than we do.  Why...because there are more of them.  The devil is winning.  Even Christians are deliberately cutting off their seed, afraid to trust God.  We need to be bold, to tell what is not being told and to show what is not being shown! 

    The Bible likens our children to arrows in the hand of a mighty man.  Why?  Our understanding is that God wants our children to be sent forth into the world to strike a deadly blow to the enemy.  Are we as parents, watching out for the evils in our society that threaten to mislead and corrupt our children?  We need to train up our children for His army!  We need to sharpen His arrows!  We need to be bold!

    Lo, children are a 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 127:3-5

    If we do not take a strong stand against evil, we will become desensitized to it; it will eventually become part of our own lives as we start to accept, tolerate and even participate in it.  This has already begun to happen in the church.  When are we going to wake up?  When the enemy has won?  We cannot whimper and whine about the state of our society; we must act and shout out against it!  We are at war! 


    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Prayer Request...




    My Lovely Dad!

    On Thursday this week, my father is attending hospital for an angiogram.  Late last year he was diagnosed with angina and the hospital arranged for him to have a heart stent fitted for a blockage he had.  Since then my father has still been having pain in his chest and the doctors will be checking to see whether or not the stent has moved, is being rejected and/or if he may require more stents for further blockages.  On Thursday while my father is having his angiogram the doctors have informed him that if necessary, they will perform any necessary stent surgery there and then.  So we are all a little worried for him.  I would like to kindly ask that all you dear ladies would pray for my father in the coming days, so that the Lord may protect him, and guide the hands of the doctors.  Thank you all so much!

    But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. - Isaiah 40:31

    Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. - Deuteronomy 31:6


    Monday, April 11, 2011

    A Beautiful Day!




    My Tulips That Outlasted Nextdoors Sheep!

    Yesterday was such a beautiful day!  The sun shone all day long, it was also the warmest day this year yet!  After a little lie in, in the morning, we all got ready for our Sunday morning family Bible time!  We read 1st and 2nd Thessalonians plus the daily chapter of Proverbs.  I just love reading our KJV, the writing is so beautiful and I think our children really enjoy it too! 


    A Very Serious Worker


    "What Do You Mean I Missed A Spot?!"

    As you can see Dylan helped Brian to wash all of our outside windows. Not a small task!  They were really dirty, particularly the ones at the back of the house.  This was one of the chores that was on the 'big list', under Brian's name...so he got to check that off!  It was so lovely to look out of the clean upstairs windows in the evening at the orange and pink hued sky!


    My Beloved Lilac!

    For the last three days I have been doing a thorough and utterly ruthless deep clean of Amy's bedroom.  I hasn't been pretty!  Firstly I went through: each drawer, boxes, behind the wardrobe, under the bed and any other hidey hole I could find...secondly I bagged anything that was nice but too small for attic storage and then I threw away anything that was either rubbish, holey or broken!  Next I cleaned it and moved in the spare bed ready for our guests.  I'm still not quite finished and it will need doing again before our guests arrive.  I would like to have been finished this chore by now, but deep cleaning with a baby in tow is not one of those activities that moves quickly, as she needs to be fed, burped, changed, played with and kissed a lot...so I don't really get much done while she is awake!


    Gardening Helpers!


    A Brother And Sister Team!

    Amy and Dylan helped Daddy with chores, by clearing the lawn areas of any twigs or small branches that have fell over recent weeks.  They worked well at this for a while..though I think Amy's chore partner lost focus frequently and kept wandering off! 



    Nanny And Grandad With Meggie!


    Ahhh...Mans Favourite Pastime!

    Brian mowed a lot of the lawn, but it is a very big job that takes quite a while with a push along mower so it didn't all get finished.  Hopefully one year we will be fortunate enough to be able to purchase a ride-on mower, I'm sure my husband would be blessed (and relieved) if we had one!  I went off shopping later on in the afternoon with just Meg and my mother and we brought back ice-creams for everyone.  Everyone was thankful for a delicious cold treat on such a warm day!


    "Grandad...Stop Goofing Around, This Is Serious!"


    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    Hit And Miss!




    I know that many ladies that read here, have little boys; and so this question is for you.  How have you encouraged your little boys to aim a little better when going to the bathroom?  My husband has obviously tried to coach Dylan on how its done but he seems to be aiming less accurately everyday!  My downstairs bathroom is starting to smell a little...eeew!  I think to combat that problem of wee running underneath the base of the toilet, can be combatted with running a bead of silicone around the base...must get my husband on to that asap!  I have heard of some people using a pingpong ball in the toilet water to give something to aim at...but it seems a bit gross to me?  What happens to the ping pong when someone uses the bathroom for another reason?  So I am hoping that some of you may have a few tips or pointers that you would be willing to kindly share with me!  Thank you all in advance!


    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    Recent Happenings...




    Dylan 'Ploughing'

    Wow, where did the weekend go?  We have been enjoying some lovely weather here at the moment, well a few days of sunshine is worth mentioning...isn't it?  There is definitely a feeling of summer in the air which is lovely and makes me excited for lots of outside play, barbeque's, afternoon walks and ice creams!  My husband had a great idea for a lovely surprise for our children just a week or so ago; so we are busily planning in secret!  Watch this space!


    Our Re-Organised 'School' Board

    In a few weeks time we have relatives of mine, coming over to stay with us for the week and I am so excited!  As I have not seen my Aunt for almost 7 years!  So at the moment we are busily preparing for that and Megs dedication which will be happening the day after our guests arrive.  Anyone who knows me well, will know that I already have a looooooong 'to do' list written up on the board in preparation!  There is a list per family member so no one feels left out!  So far we have gotten a few items checked off but there is still plenty to do.  Over the last few weeks I have re-organised our school board (see picture) and taken down some old work to glue into the children's folders.  You might notice our picture of Flat Stanley pinned to the board...I hope to post and do something with 'him' in a little while.


    Silly Siblings!

    Sunday was Mothers Day for those of us within Europe.  It was so special to have all three children sat on our bed first thing in the morning presenting me with a card, jellybeans (my favourite) and some lovely flowers and a patio rose!  Amy bought my card and rose out of her own money and she signed it for the other two.  I actually got teary-eyed when reading it...I felt so blessed to be the lucky Mama of three treasures! 


    Our Meg 'Devouring' Books Already!

    Later on on Sunday we got ready and went to visit Brian's youngest brother and his wife; they had just been blessed with their second son and third child!  We have been promising to visit for a few weeks but it was hard to find a day and time that suited them and us...but we got there at last!  Their baby was just adorable...though I didn't get to have a cuddle as Meggie was asleep in the Ergo and then the tired little chap fell asleep in his crib!  Maybe next time...


    Beautiful Meg!

    Just today I received my copy of Above Rubies which at this stage I just glanced at.  I have been chomping at the bit waiting patiently for it to arrive!  I will try and sneak in a quiet sit down with a cup of tea later on today and read an article or two!  I especially cannot wait to read Jackie's article!  I hope you all had a great weekend and a very pleasant start to the week!


    Daddy & Dylan Doing Storytime!

    Saturday, April 2, 2011

    Queer As Folk...



    This article was just this week featured in the Irish Independent.  The story told of a Swedish footballer who; it is claimed is only the second professional footballer to 'come out' publicly as a homosexual.  Urgh!  Why as this even news, why was it used as a headline, and why should we care?  Well we should care because firstly these perverted individuals are acting against the word of God.  We should care because this man and his "orientation" can influence children who see this newspaper article and perhaps cause them to think that is is normal to think and act in this way.  We should care because our warped society tells us that being 'homo-phobic' is wrong and it is not!.

    You may wonder then, why I chose to read this article considering that I find the topic disgusting; quite simply I was intrigued to read from what 'angle' this article would be told from...I was not surprised by what I read.  The interviewer actually told this man that he would be considered by many now to be a historical figure akin to Buzz Aldrin!

    Seriously a historical figure?  In our modern times, an effeminate queer is all of a sudden news worthy and someone for young men to look up to...as a sports personality or as a historical figure?  Really?  What kind of man gives another a pat on the back for coming out as a homosexual? 



    Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination.

    Leviticus 18:22


    Friday, April 1, 2011

    Shepherd Boy - Kim Lewis




    Today I just wanted to share with you all a wonderful book; Shepherd Boy by Kim Lewis!  What a lovely story!  This book would please any little boy (or girl) who has an interest in farming or farm animals.  We first became aware of Kim Lewis' talents, after checking the above story out of the library...such beautiful illustrations.  Our family loved reading this story so much, that we ordered it for ourselves from Amazon along with: Emma's Lamb, and Floss.  These books are so treasured within our family that I just had to share them!