Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Decrease In Irish Women Travelling For Abortion

Today the Pro-Life Campaign Ireland released this statement, detailing that the number of women travelling to the UK for abortion has decreased for the tenth consecutive year!  Even though these numbers are still considerably high, we should look at this news as extremely positive!

The Pro Life Campaign has welcomed the latest Irish abortion figures released today by the British Department of Health,* which show that the number of Irish women travelling to Britain for abortions has decreased for the tenth consecutive year.

In 2011, 4,149 Irish women travelled to Britain for abortions, down from 4,402 in 2010 and 4,422 in 2009. The 2011 figures show a marked decrease over previous years. 2011 is the tenth consecutive year that Irish abortions have declined and represents a 38% decline since the high of 6,673 Irish abortions in 2001.

The release of these figures follows the recent report ** from the HSE/Crisis Pregnancy Programme showing an increase in the number of women expressing abortion regret. In that study, 44 per cent of women expressed varying degrees of regret about their abortions up from 33 per cent in a similar HSE study in 2003.

In a statement welcoming the continuing reduction in the number of Irish women travelling to Britain for abortion, Cora Sherlock of the Pro Life Campaign said:

“While it is too early to draw firm conclusions, the fact that the abortion figures are decreasing while the number of women expressing regret after abortion is increasing, shows the need for a much closer examination of women’s experiences of abortion, including abortion regret."

She said: “There has been a refusal on the part of those campaigning for abortion in Ireland to take on board the research indicating the negative consequences of abortion for women. This does a tremendous disservice to women. The claims by some groups that the reduced figures can be explained by the fact that women are travelling to other countries is not backed by the evidence."
The "right to life" within Ireland is constantly under threat, let us keep working hard, to ensure that the womb is the safest place for any unborn child.  We also must work hard to offer support and help, to those expectant ladies/girls who are in great need of it; that they may escape the terrible burden of abortion. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Family Update

All Ready For Church

Hi folks, I'm back with the update on our family, as promised!  ...Well I guess I'll start by thanking you all once again for your prayers, kind words and encouragement.  This past week has been difficult for us as a family; coming to terms with our loss is a process that we must go through, in order to be able to move forward.  As the Bible so rightly teaches us; there is a time to weep and to mourn, we obviously cannot mourn forever, and so we must move forward through this period.

My Honey Blowing Me Kisses!  *Swoon*

I do not know how our family would have gotten through this week without God!  What a wonderful source of strength and comfort He is!  Emotionally I have been mostly steady, but there were still those dark times each day, when my grief would overwhelm me and I became afraid and fearful.  But God reminded me..."I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee"  He is so faithful!    

A Sisterly Duet!

The weather this week has really helped me feel more cheerful and positive.  It has been very sunny and warm!  The summer is here at long last...it usually doesn't last long, so we will make sure to enjoy every minute (as it really may only last minutes!) of it.  The kids and I have spent large portions of the last few days outside; reading, playing, swinging, eating, chalking...etc!  Recently I have been reading more and more about carcinogenic ingredients contained in sunscreens and so  we have stopped using them.  Instead I have been coating the kids in 100% organic aloe vera gel, before and after the sun.  Seeing as we only get about 2-6 weeks of hot weather every year, burning our skin isn't much of a concern anyway.


Amy Had Written This For Me Whilst
 I Was At Hospital On Monday...What A Lovely Surprise! 


Sweet Sibling Love!

Much of what I was reading, whilst outside enjoying the sun, was the new school books for the coming year!  We bought Galloping the Globe for Dylan even though he will be only be starting senior infants/K-5.  What a cool book, I'm so glad that I get to experience learning with such great resources along with my children!  Amy's science curriculum is still hanging over us; we thought we had made a good decision, but then we realised that the course we were looking at is only a 13 week course.  I hope to speak with my husband later on this week about it and make a final decision about it.

It was our first day back to church today (as we missed last Sunday's service - our church only meet once a week at present) and what a wonderful day it was!  We had such a lovely time that we didn't want to leave!   We had the privilege of meeting a missionary family to the Philippines who where there visiting.  The visiting Pastor showed us a DVD of his church there and the people in their community; it was humbling to watch.  We enjoyed wonderful fellowship afterward with our church family.  It was so wonderful for me to meet with the other women and share our hearts together; I feel so blessed to be there amongst some truly godly women.  Amy and Dylan both enjoyed talking/playing with their friends, and as for Meg...well she ran around laughing, visiting and eating the paper cups and napkins??!!  Funny girl!!  


I Hope You All Have An Enjoyable Week!

Friday, May 25, 2012

In The Garden

I actually took the following photographs about a fortnight or so ago.  So since I had them already loaded up, I thought I'd go ahead and treat you all with some shots of my beautiful, youngest two kiddums!

Thank you to all the ladies who have left comments and emails, expressing condolences for our loss, asking about my recovery and praying for us...you have been such an encouragement for our whole family.  I have just begun working on a little (may end up being large) family update, and that way I can let you all know how we are doing, and what fun things will be happening in our home over the next few weeks.  So until then...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

And The Lord Hath Taken Away...

Dear Friends,

We are saddened to let you know, that we lost our baby over the weekend, at 12 weeks gestation. We are heartbroken, but we have great comfort, in knowing that our precious little one has gone straight home to Heaven.

Much Love ~

Brian, Sarah and the kiddies. Xx

Friday, May 18, 2012

New Commenting Rules

Recently I have been thinking about my approach to publishing the negative comments I receive.  Normally I don't really mind the offensive, obnoxious comments, but for some reason over the last month or two, they have really started to suck the fun out of blogging for me.  Plus the Bible warns about keeping "company" with fools; so here are my new rules for the comments I will allow:

  • You do not have to have a Google ID to comment; anonymous comment are allowed as long as they meet the criteria in the following point.

  • You may only leave positive, constructive comments, even if you disagree with my point-of-view.

So, from this point forth any negative, critical, or similar type comments will be immediately deleted, and will not be given a platform on my blog.

I care neither whether this decision is "approved of", nor considered "unfair" by certain individuals and groups on the internet.  Thank you for taking the time for reading, and I hope all of the nice readers/commenters will understand my reasons for making these changes!  :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The "It's About Time" Update!

Flowers My Lovely Two Men Picked For Me!

So as usual, things are pretty much hectic and crazy in the O'Neill home!  Of course we wouldn't have it any other way!  Our crazy schedule is just part of the reason why my blogging is almost non-existent; the other part being that I'm asleep or almost fainting with tiredness most of the time!  Happy reading!  ;)

School is winding up for the year, and we are all looking forward to a more relaxed pace in our learning.  Both Dylan and Amy have 2-3 weeks left to go - Hooray!  We usually keep working on some subjects over the summer, like: music, languages and some math, that way it is not so hard to "switch-back-on" come the new school year.   My hubby and I have been discussing recently whether we would buy in some of our curriculum from the US, and here is why:

There are NO home school curriculums to choose from here in Ireland; and certainly NO Christian curriculums either!  This is mainly because homeschooling is still pretty rare here, and there are even fewer Christian homeschoolers; there just isn't a market for the kind of books we would like to use.  I won't bore you in this post with the ins-and-outs of our frustrations, but after many hours of deliberation and a final discussion, we think we have found a better way to go forward, for the next year or two at least!  :) 

After reading reviews online, we have decided to use Galloping the Globe curriculum for Dylan in addition to his math, phonics and reading programs; that we are already happy with.  I ordered his books just a few days ago, and he is very excited for them to arrive - yes, I am too! 

Amy will continue with the books she already has for the most part; except for science, which we will be sourcing from the US.  At the moment we are considering both Abeka and Apologia for our science curriculum.  Hopefully my husband and I will be able to sit down and take a look later on this week, at which might work the best for our family.  Any advice on science curriculum would definitely be appreciated, if you feel so inclined! :)

Dylan's Math Book!

My pregnancy is running along nice and smoothly so far (currently 10 weeks along), for which I'm grateful!  My nausea has mostly passed, although I am still very tired!  Often times even when I've napped for a whole hour in the afternoon, I'm still exhausted by the evening.  I'm already taking my iron supplement to help me from becoming tired due to anaemia (my iron levels are pretty low without supplements during pregnancy).  I take Spatone iron supplement throughout most of my pregnancies and post-partum, because it really does get your iron levels up quickly, it is easy to take with a glass of orange and it doesn't produce that usual side effect, that taking iron usually causes! 

My thoughts about this pregnancy are a first for me; it is the first time that I find myself feeling completely overwhelmed somedays!  Overwhelmed by the thoughts of mothering 4 children...4 seems like 100 on those days!  Haha!  I know irrational thoughts are completely "normal" during pregnancy...but I still have moments of "How on earth am I going to do this??!!"  If you are a mama with 4 or more kiddies and you know I've spent crazy amounts of time on your blog lately; fear not, I'm not stalking you, I'm simply trying to glean all the tips and advice that I can before December rolls around! ;)

About two weeks from now, will be our first visit with our new midwifery team and our first ultrasound.  We'll hopefully be able to talk with them more about our wishes to home birth!  Excited!  The kids are all looking forward to the appointment too...Dylan even remembers coming to the hospital for Meg's ultrasound, when we "looked at the TV and saw the baby"! 

Speaking of Dylan and babies; he thinks that the "baby" on my pregnancy ticker is our real baby.  He thinks it is showing "live" footage of what our new baby is doing right this very second!  He is a hoot; almost everyday he will ask to "see the baby" and exclaims at any changes!  ;)

 Delicious Homemade Donuts...Yummmmm!

Meg "Making Dinner"!

Finally, we are LOVING our new church!  LOVING IT!  Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming, that we feel like we have just been there forever!  Every week we feel absolutely privileged by the amazing sermons we get to listen to, and learn from.  Just last week our pastor preached on biblical, God honouring marriage...so convicting!  There is no avoidance of certain topics just in case people get "offended"; while our pastor is NEVER mean, he does not hold back, always preaches straight from the Bible, and has zero tolerance for sin in the church.  We are glad for a strong pastor!  Did I mention that we are LOVING our new church!!??  :)


 Little Miss Meg, All Ready For Church!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Sweetest Boy

Yes, my boy is definitely the sweetest boy in the whole world.  Oh, I'm not biased, it's true!  Let me give you some examples...

  • Most days whilst he is hard at work outside "farming", he will actually stop his important work and go pick a flower/flowers for me.  He will bring them to me with a kiss, and go straight back to his work! 

  • After we have read together, he in tucked into bed and we have prayed, he will say quickly as I'm closing the door "Babe, I can't wait 'till your baby is borned!"  ...Yes, my son calls me "babe", just like his Dad does! ;)
  • Dylan often makes porridge for whoever would like it in the mornings!  He is fast becoming an amazing porridge maker! 

  • When Dylan is older, he and his wife will live in their purple house, packed to the brim with the one hundred children he wants to have.  Of course this house will be just up the top of the lane; near to the shop that sells ice-cream!
  • When Amy is on her sleepover at Grannies house.  Dylan will often volunteer to complete some of Amy's normal morning chores.  He LOVES to unload this dishwasher.  He is usually very careful and does a good job...there have only been one or two breakages! ;)

  • Dylan bought the above card for me when he heard the exciting news, that he was going to be a BIG brother again!  He took his hard earned pocket money, and picked out a card that he thought I'd like the best.  In the evening when his Daddy came home, he asked him to write down what he wanted the card to say!  Isn't he just the cutest?  He even drew the hearts himself!  Did I already mention that he is SUPER excited?!??

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pasteurised Pregnancy?!??

Just last week, I checked out a week-by-week pregnancy guide from our local library.  Yes, we did already own one, but I cannot find it since I moved it back to the attic!  I just LOVE reading what developments our little one will be making each week; so I though it best to just loan one until our own turns up!  I was flicking through the pregnancy dietary recommendations just last night...and my jaw dropped (yes, this does happen a lot!)  I will quote the section I read:

..." To protect yourself and your baby from hazardous bacterial infections, such as listeria, make sure all milk you drink is pasteurized, and all the cheese and other dairy products you eat are made from pasteurized milk ("raw milk" cheeses are not.)  Juice, which can contain E. Coli and other dangerous bacteria when it's raw, should also be purchased pasteurized.  Even eggs now come pasteurized (which eliminates the risk of Salmonella without changing taste or nutrition)."

Ah, raw milk *sigh*.  If only our government would stop lining it's pockets at the expense of our health.  It is unofficially "banned" for a farmer here in Ireland to sell his raw milk to another; all for our "safety" of course, but there are ways and means of getting it for your family.  This topic actually makes me really mad.  If the process of pasteurisation kills bacteria that "might" be in our milk, what do you think happens to all the lovely nutrients?  Yes, they go too...as we all know expectant mothers needs as much goodness and nutrients as possible.  We were hoping to be able to milk the freisian cow who was due to calf last week, but since the loss of her calf we cannot.  Hopefully in the future, we will have a gentle enough freisian cow, to milk for our families needs.   

Onto my next point ~ Who'd have thought raw fruit juice could be "dangerous".  I have often seen pasteurised fruit smoothies for sale in the supermarkets.  Whilst been very expensive they are also very deceptive in their description of the pasteurisation process..."gently pasteurised, just like milk"  Yes, and don't we all know how "gentle" that process is!  Thanks but no thanks, I actually want some vitamins and nutrients left in my fruit juices.

And finally...Wow, I hadn't even realised that you could buy pasteurised eggs!  That is INSANE!  It seems as though Ireland has thankfully not taken up this crazy form of food "safety".  I find the process of pasteurising eggs very suspect; even when we wash the eggs from our farm we use cold water, so as not to cause the eggs to spoil.  But heating the eggs to 130 F for 45 minutes must be a-ok?  Expectant mothers should be consuming eggs that have high nutritional value, not more de-natured dairy products that are responsible for so many health complaints. 

Guys come on; good farm fresh milk, cheeses, yoghurts and eggs are bad for our health?  But injecting pregnant ladies with a toxin laden H1N1 vaccine is perfectly safe?   If safety of the mother and baby, really is the reasoning for these bizarre recommendations; considering all the risks and potential hazards that pregnancy itself may pose, why not simply pasteurise the whole pregnancy; make it "safe" and mark it with a big red P!  Hmm...perhaps we wouldn't want to give them ideas like this, who knows what they'll come up with next?!??

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Yes, yes, I've been such a slacker-blogger.  My only excuse is that I'm again experiencing that first trimester fatigue, and I am spending most of my spare (ha!) time asleep!  Most days I'm getting in 8-9 hours sleep a night, but I'm still needing about an hours nap, 5-6 days a week too.  On the day/s that I don't nap, I try and catch up with everything that I got behind on already!

Sorry no pictures on this post.  I do have a family update coming up, complete with lots of pictures of my lovely kiddies.  Just another area I have been slacking in!  You'll just have to make do with my ramblings this time instead! 

My husband and kids have been GREAT, in helping pick up my slack.  Amy has taken on doing a few extra chores (on her own initiative) just to help me get finished sooner in the evenings!  Such a sweet girl!  One night last week I felt pretty bad, and went up for a nap after dinner.  I woke about an hour later to find Brian putting Meg to bed himself, and when I went downstairs about twenty minutes later, I noticed straight away that most of my chores had been done for me!  I was SO grateful, as I had been dreading facing them later that evening!

One FANTASTIC thing that has happened lately, is that my husband has agreed to me home birthing this time around!!!!  I'm so excited!!!  We will be receiving our care/labouring with the Domino Midwifery service that is run out of our local hospital.  We have used this service before (but different local hospital), but had the births in the hospital.  I LOVE being in the care of experienced midwives and not a rough, ill-mannered male obstetrician!  The reason we've had to change hospital is because, while the one we usually attend does offer home birth, they can't offer it to me because my last two babies have been over 10lb, and that goes against their policy.  I was really disappointed; until the other hospital that offered home birth, said their policy was different! :)

Well, that's all for now until I can upload my pictures and finish my other posts!  Hope you are all having a blessed week!