Monday, November 28, 2011

Name The Calf - Competition!




Still Being Cleaned By Mammy!

Yes, just two days ago, our labouring cow has finally delivered our newest baby calf!  She certainly took her time;  labouring for the past week!  I had yet to see a calf being born, despite living on a farm for the last few years!  But today I managed to see some of the labour, and even get a few photographs too!  If you are easily grossed out then you might want to skip the next photograph!  Ha!

 



The new calf is huge!  Normally our calves aren't so big, but this guy is a cross between an Aberdeen Angus and a Charolais!  Not surprisingly, it is a boy also...they usually are!

 

Normally we name all our cows that are born on our farm.  We have had some funny ones over the years: Tarzan, Alan, Buttercup, Peanut, Socks, Ferrari, Cupid, Pepperoni, Jim-Bob, to name but a few!   But as for this guy, we are completely stuck for a name...so we had an idea:

 

 

We are going to let one of you decide!  Please leave your name suggestion in a comment, and sometime over the next few days, we will draw a name out of a hat!  If your children want to get involved too, then please leave all their suggestions in a comment also!  We can't wait to see what you can come up with!



Friday, November 25, 2011

Oh No, Not Another "Hate Group"!



This topic has been on my mind a little over recent weeks!  I guess you could say, that I have just gotten so fed up with the truly ignorant comments, people like to leave over the internet. Over the last while, a lovely anonymous commenter left these comments on my blog:

Anonymous said...

Ma'am, I'm aware that you don't live in the United States, so you probably don't know this, but Pastor ********** church has been classified as a hate group and is on a watch list of possible domestic terrorists.

I don't think you realize how this comes off: this is like posting a video that Osama bin Laden made and saying that you totally agree with it.

You're free to have your own opinions, but please, form them without input from terrorists.

Anonymous said...

In that case, I severely misjudged you. I did not think you'd be the type to support terrorists. And the ************** Church is basically an American version of the Taliban. There's much documentation on it if you Google it- the Southern Poverty Law Center is a good place to start (this is an American organization that tracks hate groups and domestic terrorist organizations).

But hey, no one's stopping you if you want to live under these kinds of laws. I hear Saudi Arabia is quite nice this time of year.

Anonymous said...
I see you didn't heed my warning during the summer and are still listening to the American Osama bin Laden. Mark my words, this lunatic is going to end up on the news after he or someone from his congregation carries out a domestic terrorist attack. I would stake my life on it.

To be perfectly honest I published the first one, because I felt the person was trying to be kind, though perhaps in a misguided sort of way.  I also thought it was very cool to be addressed as "Ma'am", something we don't get a lot of in Europe!  The subsequent "warnings" only made the commenter look stupid, by leaving such comments.  While I do appreciate someone genuinely trying to advise in love, I do not appreciate ugly comments.

A hate group for those of you who are interested is defined as: a group who promotes prejudicial behaviour.

Hmmm...perhaps we could label the Atheist associations around the world as a hate group?  Or what about abortion clinics, homosexual support groups or others which hate God, Christianity, Christians and almost everything we stand for?

I'm sorry to burst the bubble, but God does hate some people, even though He has loved every person at some point.  We as Christians, are commanded to hate those who hate God, and others whom He has rejected and bring everyone else to Christ.  The SLPC would label every church that truly preached Gods word a "hate group". 

So, please if you are ever tempted to send me comments like the ones above; please don't, because it will only waste my time in having to click "delete".

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, 
rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;
but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers,
having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth,
and shall be turned unto fables.
~ 2 Timothy 4:2-4


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Amy's Examination Day!




Yesterday our sweet Amy sat her first piano examination!  She did her best...though it will be about four weeks before she gets her results.  Amy worked hard to prepare herself, and we are glad that she will soon see the fruits of her hard work!


Amy's grandad took her into the city to sit the actual exam, Brian was on a work break at that time, so he joined them also.  After they got home and we had a lovely dinner (Amy's request) and we surprised Amy with these beautiful cupcakes, as a reward for her hard work from daddy and I!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Irish Couples And Indian Surrogacy...




Just the other day on our way to church, my husband told me of a disturbing news story he heard on the radio while at work.  It was reported, that some barren Irish couples (or homosexuals) are now travelling to India, to have children via an Indian surrogate mother.  The Irish couple who were interviewed on the radio, complained about living in such a "backward" country such as Ireland, where they felt people should be able to avail of surrogacy, without having to travel to India to buy have their child via a surrogate. 

The following is the subsequent news report that ran in the Irish Times just today (my highlights underlined)- (for the full article please click here):

JASON AND ROSS, a gay couple from Dublin in their 30s, are busy packing their bags with nappies, baby wipes, and toddlers’ clothes. “I suppose this isn’t your everyday pregnancy,” says Ross, with more than a hint of understatement.

They’re on their way to catch a plane to India. In a few hours, they’ll see their new-born twins for the first time – a baby boy, Nicholas, and baby girl, Alexis. Their birth is part of a growing trend of using surrogate mothers to carry children for couples who can’t have a child due to fertility problems or, as in Jason and Ross’s case, the lack of a partner of the opposite sex.

Nicholas and Alexis’s birth was was made possible through the involvement of four different parties: the egg of a Canadian donor was fertilised with sperm of Jason and Ross; the resulting embryo was then transferred to an Indian surrogate mother. In addition, two different organisations in the US and India facilitated the egg donation and surrogacy process.

In building their family, Jason and Ross are at the forefront of a reproductive revolution which is re-shaping our definition of the human family.

In Ireland, there is no law governing surrogacy. The Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction concluded in 2005 that surrogacy should be permitted, subject to regulation, but nothing has been done about this.  As a result, would-be parents in search of surrogate mothers are going abroad to countries such as the US, India or the Ukraine, where there are well-defined legal frameworks. There are no official figures for surrogate children in Ireland, although passport authorities here are aware of at least 35 children over the past 18 months.

Surrogacy is proving a vital source of hope for childless, would-be parents. But the emerging commercial market for surrogate babies is also raising unsettling ethical questions. In stark contrast with adoption – which requires a thorough and often painfully slow vetting process – anyone can enter into a surrogacy arrangement abroad, whether they are suitable parents or not.

Finding a surrogate mother was another challenging step. The cost of surrogacy in the US was prohibitive – all in, it was likely to cost them around €100,000. So, they looked to India. After searching around, they opted for a centre in Delhi which was recommended by other Irish parents who had used it. It would also cost far less – somewhere in the region of euro20,000. The surrogate mother would receive around €4,000 and would carry eggs by the Canadian mother, fertilised with Jason and Ross’s sperm

SURROGACY, HOWEVER, is increasingly under fire on a number of fronts. Many religious groups are opposed to the process. But a wider source of unease is the commercialisation of surrogacy. While it’s illegal in many countries, such as the UK, to pay for surrogacy, the industry in India is estimated to be worth up to €2 billion.  Sometimes, surrogate mothers – often poor – find themselves as pawns in a lucrative arrangement between agents and relatively wealthy foreign couples. Contact between the contracting couples and the surrogate mother is generally discouraged and sometimes banned, so they have no real way of monitoring the process.

Surrogacy in numbers

  • 2 billion The estimated worth in euro of the surrogacy industry in India next year.
  • 35 The number of surrogate children born for Irish parents that authorities know about.
  • 20,000 The typical overall cost of surrogacy in India, in euro.
  • 85,000 The typical overall cost of surrogacy in the US, in euro.
  • 4,000 The typical payment to a Indian surrogate for carrying a baby, in euro.
  • 25,000 The typical payment to a US surrogate for carrying a baby, in euro.
  • The surrogate child: no nationality, no passport, no legal parent.
INSIDE THE bubble of their spacious family home in Glasthule, everything seems well with the world.

One-year-old Robyn Maye-Coffey is cooing and laughing in the next room. Her parents are warmly recalling her christening and first birthday party. The photos around the kitchen, meanwhile, capture her transformation from a tiny 3lb tot to a wispy-haired, bright-eyed girl.

But outside the bubble of their home, it’s a different story. Officially, Robyn has no legally recognised parent or guardian. She has no nationality or passport. She cannot leave the country or enter another one. And she is caught in this bizarre twilight world because she was born to Irish parents by a surrogate mother in India.

“As long as we don’t leave this house, it doesn’t really affect us. You can almost forget about everything,” says Mike Coffey. “But that can’t go on forever. She needs an operation on one of her eyes. But we can’t sign the legal documents as parents. Under Irish law, she’s nobody.

“We’ve been told we need to go to the High Court to sort this out. That is hugely expensive. And we’re told legislation will be put in place to regulate this, but that could take another 20 years.

When Robyn was born in September 2010, it felt like a miracle. Coffey and his partner, Catherine Maye, had been trying to have a child for years. But after numerous miscarriages and failed IVF attempts both here and in Spain, Ukraine and South Africa, they had run out out of options.

By now they were both in their mid-40s. Adoption, they felt, wasn’t a viable option. But when a doctor suggested surrogacy, they decided to give it a try.

A "reproductive revolution which is re-shaping our definition of the human family", this disgusts me.  I cannot believe that some people would turn to such measures, to fulfill their own selfish wants. Please do not send me comments telling me I "don't understand"; I have gone through periods of infertility before, and I do understand how hard it can be. But God is the one who opens and closes the womb, it is not for us to "fix".    When considering the second example of "parents" in the article above, perhaps God has closed the woman's womb because the couple have chosen to commit fornication for years?  And the first example given is so abhorrent to me that I will not discuss it; suffice to say that two perverts who have chosen such a lifestyle, should not be allowed to adopt/foster or otherwise have children placed in their care

It is beyond comprehension, that couples are either so ignorant or completely uncaring about the fact that many babies are killed during each IVF cycle.  Many people who choose IVF or IVF via a surrogate know this information, but still choose to go ahead to have the baby that God never intended for them to have.  Any God fearing Christian, should be appalled and disgusted by this.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Best Foot Forward!




Yes, I finally got around to taking the girls for their new shoes!  I love being able to say that...the girls...my girls!  Two beautiful daughters!...

...Anyway where was I?  I was actually worried that I wouldn't find anything suitable for Amy, as she takes a larger shoe size than your average twelve year old.  So normally she doesn't fit the kids section, and the womens shoes and especially boots, are too "old" looking for her.


But thankfully we found a beautiful pair of black, leather boots for her (sorry no photo yet), which she just adored!  Buying a good pair of boots in our climate is really important, as you would need to wear them for half the year, if not more!  These new ones were a little pricey, but we are sure that she will get good wear out of them...her old pair lasted nearly three years!

Little Meg was next on our list and we spotted the ones we liked straight away...it was easy to pick really, as they didn't have many to choose from.  We had it down to two pairs: one with a velcro fastening and one with a buckle.  Velcro won the day...I don't fancy struggling to fasten a shoe buckle on a wriggly baby!  Meg's shoes are just super sweet and she loved them so much she played with them all the way home!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Are Disposables Just Pants?




I'm talking about disposable nappies/diapers!  Just this week, Brian and I worked out, that to nappy a child for three years in Ireland costs just over €2000!  Wow, isn't that just crazy...no wonder people think they can't afford to have more children! 

When I was a child those who couldn't afford disposables, used terry cloths folded and pinned, usually with a pair of plastic pants on over the top to prevent leaks.  There are some terrible photos of me lurking about as a toddler, in my terry nappy, complete with plastic pants and a frown!  But in 2011 when the majority can "afford" disposables who would want to launder soiled nappies?!  ...Well me!

When weighing up the astronomical cost €2000 per child, all of us should be at least considering reusable nappies/diapers.  To be honest when I was expecting Meg, I did think about using them, but I was totally put off by the amount of choice...it all seemed confusing, and I did not (and still don't) know anyone outside the blogging world that uses them who could help me!  But with €2000 of my hubby's hard earned money hanging in the balance I've decided to give them a go!

After a little investigating I finally chose a "Tot Bots" version (plus a pack of boosters) that I thought would work well.  It should arrive sometime within the next week or so.  If my little experiment goes well, then we may just make a full switch, and use reusable's all the time for Meg and any future children.  So please, dear mama bloggers, if any of you have any tips or advice on using/choosing or laundering reusable nappies, please leave a comment...as I probably could use all the help I can get!  :)


Saturday, November 5, 2011

I Will Sing Praise To Thy Name!







I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy 

name, O thou most High. ~ Psalms 9:2


This week, much to the relief our our fellow church members, we received our first family hymnal!  Our family don't know many hymn's...this is something that we have been seeking to rectify.  Of course both Brian and I remember some from our childhoods; but even so, we want to sing praise day and night, solo and together, in the car and in the shower...a hard thing to do when you only know a couple of children's hymns!

We ordered our hymnal and its accompanying "music edition" from Amazon at a very good price.  Immediately Amy and I went through it, trying to find some of our favourites from church.  Amy was so great at spotting them and remembering how the melody went also! 

Just yesterday I finally cleaned off our whiteboard, ready to write a hymn out for us to learn, plus our weekly memory verse.  I can't wait to know lots of them all by heart...one of my favourites is the classic "How Great Thou Art!  What a beautiful hymn!

Do you have any favourite hymn's in your home?  


My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, 
which thou hast redeemed. ~ Psalms 71:23


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dylan's 4th Birthday!




The Birthday Boy, With His Big Sister...
...I Think Amy Was Just As Excited As He Was!


Dylan's First BIG Boy's Bike!

Yesterday, we celebrated Dylan's fourth birthday!  I cannot believe that four years have gone by so fast, it feels like just yesterday he was born!  Even though I love celebrating my children's birthdays and counting their milestones, it is so bittersweet!  If only we could keep them all as children forever...


Dyl With My Brother, 
Who Arrived The Day Before As A Surprise!


Dylan's Gift From Uncle Tom...Being Used As A Bicycle Helmet!

The evening before, I was up LATE preparing everything for the morning.  There was the cake to decorate, clothes to press, breakfast to prepare, decorations to put up and tonnes of other chores!  On Sunday nights, my husband takes his turn to do a sleepover at his mothers house, so Amy helped me organise some things before she went to bed. 


A Crop Sprayer...Organic Only Of Course! ;)


Dyl Enjoying His "Farmer-Boy" Birthday Breakfast,
With All Our Family!

So early the next morning, Dylan woke up and came in to me for a snuggle.  He was very excited when I reminded him that it was his birthday!  He had completely forgotten!  Amy then peeped around the door and also climbed in bed with us.  Within minutes, we heard Meg singing on the baby monitor...and so I was awake after what seemed like a tiny amount of sleep!


Homemade Apple Pie


 A "Build-A-Burger" Set


I asked the kids to make their beds and fix their bedrooms, while we waited for daddy.  Just as I opened my own curtains I spotted the car parked up outside!  He had woken early and hurried home, so as not to miss out on anything!  Dylan opened his cards and a few gifts from friends and family and just as he thought it was all over, daddy said that there might be another one somewhere else in the house...



Dylan's Farm Cake...
The Very First Birthday Cake I've Ever Made!

Dylan was very surprised to find a BIG BOYS bike hidden in the sitting room!  He was so excited!  For the next twenty minutes or so, he peddled it around the kitchen and rest of the house (one of the brilliant bonuses of a large home!)  After a few photos, I got breakfast on...
 

He LOVED It!


Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, is Dylan's FAVOURITE book!   He loves reading a chapter most nights before bed...so we agreed to have Almanzo's Sunday morning breakfast, consisting of lots of pancakes with maple syrup, sausages (in the book they had sausage cakes) and apple pie.  We also served boiled eggs and some homemade banana-walnut bread.  It was a delicious breakfast and everyone was STUFFED!


Yum-Yum...Birthday Cake!


Speechless!

For the rest of the day we did only the necessary chores.  Amy and I did something special together while Brian and Dylan looked at the animals.  Then we all played with Dylan's farm equipment...the battery operated wind turbine that my parents gave him is really cool!  Now Dylan can provide his own farm with electricity! 

At dinner time, my kind and generous hubby brought us all pizza from a very nice place in town!  Hooray...and because I didn't have to cook, clean up was quick and easy!  After dinner we had yummy birthday cake!  I have never made a birthday cake before and my sponge cakes ALWAYS sink in the middle!  It did sink slightly, but thankfully it didn't matter, as you couldn't really tell once the frosting was on it!  ;)

While I bathed Meg and put her to bed, Brian and Dylan drove Amy to a home schooled friends house for the evening.  They were a long time, and by the time they arrived home, Dylan was practically walking into walls he was so tired!  We popped him to bed and he said that he had, had "The BEST birthday EVER!" :)   


Clapping Hands...Completely Covered In Green Icing!


Happy 4th Birthday Our Sweet Boy!