Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Long Shot



 

Daddy Denomstrating How To Shoot...
...Dylan's Face Just Kills Me In This Picture, Click To Enlarge!


Amy Having A Turn

Recently Amy has been very interested in learning archery.  There is a local archery group near our home that meet together to practice field archery...however Brian and I advised her to practice a little at home first; to at least become familiar with the equipment before trying the archery group.  Luckily my brother had a bow and arrows tucked away, that she could borrow to practice with. 


...You Can Actually See The Arrow Flying In The Top Right Corner!

Amy has literally spent HOURS shooting arrows back and forth across the field in front of our house.  Then about two weeks ago she managed to hit her target and inflict a "mortal wound"  Ha!  Dylan of course was in on all this action too and really wanted to have a turn, but the bow is an adult bow and would be much too heavy for him...


Don't Mess With Amy!

...So one night, after my husband returned home from work, he proceeded to make Dylan a homemade bow out of a tree sapling!  So inventive!  In fact I think he had more fun making it, than Dylan did...but only just!  To be perfectly honest, I was a little skeptical that the bow would work at all, but I was totally wrong!   The bow shoots the arrows very well!  It is light to carry and the string is easy to pull back, so it is perfect for Dylan!  We had a few pumpkins in the garage that were staring to rot, so the guys brought them out for target practice!  Wish I'd got a photograph of that one...but I missed it!   


One morning, a week or two ago, Amy and Dylan both begged to be allowed to practice archery before school.  I allowed them, as the day before I had declined, and then just when they had finished their school it began to rain...and rained ALL day!  They were so disappointed; so that morning I allowed it.  Archery is educational too of course; they could learn all sorts of stuff...spacial awareness, probability, physical education, first-aid???  Ha!


Hope You All Enjoy The Rest Of Your Weekend!


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Me, A Messy Eater?




"I Just LOVE Yoghurt!"


"Using My Spoon Is Just SO Frustrating!"

 

"So I Use My Tongue Instead...Much More Efficient!"


"Ha, I See You Watching Me!"


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sleeping Like A Baby




A Sleeping Dylan, Four Days Old

I felt like I wanted to write this post a couple of months back, when I read several comments left on another blog, discussing co-sleeping V's crying-it-out.  I wish to now offer it here, plus discuss the approach I have used with all of my children.  We do not all have to use the same approach in order to have healthy, happy, children.

Often the crying-it-out method is seen as the only alternative to co-sleeping.  I strongly disagree with this view.  Although personally, I would condemn any parent who leaves their child to scream themselves to sleep; we must all be careful of simply assuming that a mother who doesn't co-sleep, is hard-hearted and is guilty of depriving her precious baby of cuddles and happiness!  I have not practised co-sleeping with any of my children (except in times of illness) and yet my children have never had to cry-it-out!  Though that is not to say that I would never co-sleep with any future babies; because I actually think I would like to try it, and I believe that it may be better for baby.

However, I did want to share the approach that we have used in the past...

During the first 2-4 weeks of having a newborn, pretty much anything goes in our home.  For the first six months of our babies first year, we keep them in a basket/crib next to our bed.   After 2-4 weeks I will slowly begin to get the baby used to being settled, ready for sleep at scheduled times (when they would naturally be starting to get sleepy), by sitting in a darkened room whilst being fed.  During this time I do not make loud animated sounds, indicating awake/play time but I may talk or sing quietly.  When baby is sound asleep I will transfer him/her to the basket/crib.  Of course if the baby actually cries out, (not simply makes noises during sleep) I will pick him/her up and offer cuddles again.  This is done over a period of a few weeks, wherein the baby will come to see that he/she is safe whilst asleep and not fuss when transferred to the crib.  I will leave the room quietly once the baby is sleeping soundly in his/her crib. 

At this point I want to stress the following:

  • I would never attempt any of the above/below if the baby is sick or suffering from colic.   
  • The baby would already have had all of his/her needs met; fed, changed, burped...etc.
  • I do not let the baby become over-tired, this will only cause him/her to become fussy and resist sleep.
  • If the baby refuses sleep, I don't beat myself up about it; I would comfort the baby and simply try again at the next nap time.  Allowing yourself to become stressed will only add the the babies agitation.

Following that, over another few weeks, I will slowly begin to get baby used to being put into the crib whilst only just asleep; before he/she is in a deep sleep.  Again if the baby cries out, I will soothe him/her with quiet cuddles.  After baby is happy with this, I will begin to leave the room before the baby is asleep.  In my experience, this stage is usually reached by about 6 months of age.  I stay on the other side of the door in case I am needed for a few minutes, and then I go about my usual business with a baby monitor close, so I can hear if the baby cries out (we have a large house with concrete floors on both levels, with solid wooden doors, so a baby monitor is necessary!)  Some ladies might think that at this stage the baby will kick, scream and cry because I have left the room...but mine never have!  It is my belief that they feel so secure in the gentle way they have been "trained" to sleep, that me leaving the room doesn't bother them at all at that stage.

So yes, in using this slow method of "sleep training"  my babies have all been happy to fall asleep alone by about 6 months of age.  This is such a blessing for me and them.

I hope that for some ladies reading this post has been informative, in that those of us who don't co-sleep are not all simply leaving our children to scream for hours on end!  There are other kind and loving ways, in which we help our children to fall asleep. :)


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cheesy Whirls - Recipe




Megsie And Grandad, Eating Cheesy Whirls!

Cheesy whirls are SO delicious that you soon get absolutely fed up of making them!  Every time there is a party or pot luck dinner someone will always request them!  It is not the healthiest recipe I use, but did I mention that they are very tasty!  These are such a family favourite, that Amy is absolutely aghast at the thought of me sharing the recipe with you all...sorry Amy! ;)


Ingredients (I usually double or triple this recipe and either freeze half, or serve more people)

One small/medium finely shredded onion (I shred mine in a baby food processor)
One pack of puff pastry *no I don't make my own, puff pastry is quite beyond me!*
2 Fresh eggs
150g Dehydrated potato flakes
200g Grated cheddar cheese
Handful of chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Method 

Preheat your oven to: 180C/355F/Gas Mark 4.  Place all the ingredients into a large bowl, and add enough hot boiled water to mix to a stiff consistency.  This sounds easy, but can be tricky to get the right consistency; too wet and you'll have a hard time cutting the roll with your knife, too stiff and you won't be able to spread it over the pastry.  

Roll out the pastry as shown below, and spread your mixture all over using a fork; leaving a small margin all around.  Using your fingertips moisten the margin with water.  Next roll up your pastry and mixture like a swiss roll.  I usually roll it about a little to lengthen it if necessary and pat in the pastry on either end.  Using a large, sharp, floured knife cut into pieces about 1" thick.  

Re-shape and pat down each cheesy whirl slightly on a floured surface, and place on baking trays lined with baking paper.  You will need to space them out a little; I usually do 8-10 on a large tray.  Brush the tops with a little milk and pop them into the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  

This recipe makes around 15'ish individual cheesy whirls.  Additionally they can be frozen cooked or uncooked, so they are perfect to make ahead of time for a large crowd, and simply cooked from frozen on the day! 





The Ones On This Tray, Had Just Come From The Freezer

 

"No Grandad, I'm Afraid It's All MINE!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I Hope You All Have A Wonderful Week!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Randomness



So I thought I'd yet again drop in and dazzle you all, with some recent happenings and some random thoughts, which are whirring about my brain at this late hour!  Lucky you!

  • Our schooling is going well!  My husband has recently offered to teach Amy math for one hour each Thursday morning!  This has, and will be such a blessing to both me and Amy.  One, because math really isn't my forte and two, because he is such a great teacher and Amy will surely learn better under his tutelage than mine!  During this study time I will spending time doing something fun with just Dylan and Meg; last week we took out all of our musical instruments and made a "joyful noise"!  Currently my husband and I are reviewing our approach to the children's schooling, and discussing if it might not be better to source curriculum from overseas.  There are no homeschool/Christian curriculum's to choose from here in Ireland.  If you want Irish textbooks then you only have a choice of the different ones used in public schools.  We do not wish to teach our children much of what is offered as "fact" in some/all of them.
 
  • You might have noticed that I am in the process of spring cleaning my blog a little.  I'd love to re-design it a tad as well...but I really don't have the time or patience for that, maybe in the future perhaps!  Since I began blogging just shortly after I got saved, some of my old posts do not represent what we believe now, based on what we've learned through reading the Bible...so those handful of posts will be/have been deleted.  Yes, I could have left them there to show how we have learned and progressed through our Christian walk...but I feel that when someone just "happens" upon my blog, I do not wish to lead them away from the truth by the things I have written in my spiritual infancy.  So best have them gone I figured.  Next I have added a few more labels to my categories of posts to help someone searching for specific things, so I have been adding some new labels to old posts...please be patient with me!

  • Speaking of spring cleaning, it is that time of year again!  I actually do look forward to it, because it gives me the boost of motivation I need to get a few sorely neglected areas of my home cleaned and reorganised.  I will be blogging my chore list very soon, and that way I'll be held very accountable for any chores that simply get.........forgotten!

  • Miss Meg...what a sweet little mischief maker she is!  She now has her two top front teeth in and they look a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e!  She has inherited my family's trait of having gap between her front teeth...this makes her look even more mischievous when she laughs out loud!  So cute!  I have a post coming up all about the new things she is doing, and her favorite things to play and mess with!  So keep a watch out for that.

  • And yes speaking of upcoming posts, I have so many things that I wish to share with you all.  I have a few great recipes, health articles on the uses of plastic kitchen utensils and storage, family updates...and yes probably a rant or two!  Ha!
 
  • Just this evening my husband has taken Dylan with him to spend the night caring for his mother. It is the first time Dylan has ever spent the night away from home without me...and I'm a little unnerved about the whole thing!  I suspect that this is what is keeping me awake at such a late hour.  The house feels empty when even just one person is missing.  Dylan however was just delighted, packing his "sleep-over" bag and driving over with his Dad!  

Apologies for the lack of photographs in this post, but it is really late and I'm now off to bed!  Goodnight everyone!


      Thursday, March 15, 2012

      What Not To Do...




      ...Buy a white dog, when you live on a farm!  Yuck!
      ...and yes, this is cow poop!


      Bella-Smella!



      Tuesday, March 13, 2012

      Dylan's New Quilt!




      You've Gotta LOVE John Deere!


      I have a wonderfully talented friend "S", who made a beautiful handstitched quilt for Meg when she was born (I'll try and post a photo sometime).  It is stunning and we all love it!  Dylan often sneaks it away from Meg in the car, when we are going on a journey.  I really wanted to learn how to make them, and "S" promised me they were really easy.  So easy in fact, that she reckoned even I could do it!  So just recently, I went ahead and ordered fabric that I knew Dylan would love!


       I Wrapped It Up In The "Farmer's Journal" Newspaper!

      Often it was hard to work on this project in peace, as Dylan insisted on driving one of his tractors over and back on the fabric, as I tried to stitch it together!  One reason the I chose this particular "tractor" fabric, was that it had lines all over it...and let's face it, any monkey (even me!) can do a running stitch over an already-done-for-you line!


      So Happy!


       The Teddy-Fleece Underside...
      ...not sure why this picture wouldn't come out the right way up?

      The best part is the boy who gratefully received this quilt, cares little about the imperfections and mistakes I have made; but treasures it because he knows his mama put love into each little stitch!

       

        All Snuggled Up, Pretending To Be Asleep!


      Monday, March 12, 2012

      Closet-Calvinism




      Closet-Calvinism.  Is John Calvin's heretical theology hanging in the back of your closet?  What about your Bible study group, homeschool curriculum or even your church?  No?  I think you might just be surprised...

      Just recently my husband and I discovered that the church we had been attending for the last year is Calvinistic.  We has no idea and were incredibly surprised and upset by this discovery.  Nowhere on the churches constitution does it mention Calvinism, TULIP or any of it's other deceptive descriptions..."Doctrines of Grace"...etc)  It would seem that the Bible is right, when it points out that false teachers do seek to "privily" deceive us.  "Closet-Calvinism" is everywhere!

      On the last day we attended service there, my husband and I near about died, when the pastor told us he was going to preach on the first point of Calvinism.  At that stage we didn't know a lot about Calvin's theology, but we were already alarmed by what we did know

      On the way home we discussed this topic together, and made a decision to research it thoroughly; which we did over the next two weeks.  We read the Bible passages that Calvinists claim "prove" their theology, and ones that completely refute, it in context, over and over.  We also read other articles online and watched sermons on this topic, then we checked and re-checked everything we read/heard back with the Bible. 

      Often when speaking with others, researching pro-Calvin sites or articles, we became aware that not one solid scripture can be given to "prove" that this theology is biblical.  A lot of what seemed to be given as "proof" was really only the relaying of supposed denominational history.  Just because a group of Baptists way-back-then, held to this false doctrine doesn't mean they were right.  Often also the person relaying this "history" was way off the mark...Baptists were not "formed" out of the Reformation!  Other times to find "proof" an author or speaker would take out his modern paraphrased Bible and/or go "back to the Greek" and try very hard to make it fit...but it never did.  This last thing really irked my husband and I.  At one time we were told by another in person that, "even though the Bible says Jesus died for all men...it doesn't really mean all men!"  Oh right, silly us for taking the Bible (perfect, preserved, KJV) word for word *slaps forehead*

      Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 
      ~ 1 Timothy 2:6
       
      For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because 
      we trust in the living God,who is the Saviour of all men,
       specially of those that believe. ~ 1 Timothy 4:14

      And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only,
       but also for the sins of the whole world. ~ 1 John 2:2

      And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: 
      for we have heard him ourselves, and know
       that this is indeed the Christ,
       the Saviour of the world. ~ John 4:42

      He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all
      how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
      ~ Romans 8:32

      ...And On, And On, And On...

      Needless to say, my husband decided that we would not be returning to a church that preaches false doctrine.  It can be hard as relatively new believers, to navigate our way through all of man's false teachings, but we feel that when we take a teaching and examine it next to the Bible...God's word makes light work of sorting out who the wolves are!  We are so thankful for it!

      Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, 
      but inwardly they are ravening wolves. ~ Matthew 7:15

      A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition reject;
       knowing that he that is such is subverted, 
      and sinter, being condemned of himself ~ Titus 3:10-11

      Our family have now found a new church to attend!  We are thankful to have found another so quickly, and hope that we will gain instruction, knowledge, enjoy fellowship and win people to Christ.  God truly has been directing our steps in this area, and we feel sure that we are where He wants us to be.


      Friday, March 9, 2012

      Recent Happenings...




      Dylan's Self Portrait!

      Well there has certainly been a lot going on around here lately!  I have a few blog posts in the making, but haven't seemed to be able to get along and finish them.  So today I thought I'd drop in with a few thoughts and stories from our home over the last few weeks!

      • My very kind hubby recently allowed me to purchase this amazing stand mixer by Kenwood, for our kitchen!  I am so thrilled about it.  It should be arriving in about just over a weeks time!  We've been at a loss since my bread machine died a few months ago and are all looking forward to making more bread and other baked goods again!  Yes you can always make these thing by hand (and we have)...but who has time for that everyday! ;)  If anyone has any great links for bread recipes using stand mixers, I be so appreciative if you leave them in the comment section, thank you!
       

        Dyl Playing Hop-Scotch
         

        My Hubby...A Baby-Wearing Daddy!
         
        • I've recently had a major FB clear out!  Ugh!  I seriously didn't know I had acquaintance with so many immoral, and downright nasty people!  Although I did delete some old childhood friends simply because I never hear from them, and we don't have anything in common anymore.  I often have a love/hate view of FB and had been pondering the whole "friend" thing for a while...and so it was time to "purge out the leaven"  
         

          Miss Meg Thinks That Eating Chalk Is Really Fun!
           
          • Meg has begun to walk un-aided, but only now and then!!!  She is such a stinker about it too, because when she knows that we are all watching her, she will laugh and then drop to the floor and crawl the rest of the way!!!  Most of the time she still walks about, holding onto the back of my skirt, but very soon she will be an independent walker.
           

            • I just wanted to share with you all this blog post that I loved this week!  Sarah from The Forest Room took the time to put togther a post (complete with links) of the educational games her family uses in their schooling.  Thanks Sarah! 
             
               

              Meg "Catching The Breeze"...Again! 

              • The engine in my husbands new truck has broken down!  We are so upset about it, as he only bought the truck fairly recently.  A re-furbished engine is likely to cost in the region of €1500!!  Also for the next 8 days my father is in England with my parents car, so we are relying on just my car between our two homes!  My husband takes it to work at the moment, till he can get his own vehicle fixed up.  This means that my mother has to walk to work and back twice a day and that the kids and I are housebound!  Just yesterday my husband was home from work and so I raced around with the girls in the morning running all my errands: Library, grocery shopping, recycling and mail!  Apologies to anyone who has been waiting for mail from me...it is now on it's way! 


              A Sweet Message From A sweet Girl! :)


              Tuesday, March 6, 2012

              A New Name In Heaven!




              Yes, It's Amy!

              Just last month, our lovely Amy chose to believe on Christ, and asked God to save her! Hallelujah!

               That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
               and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him 
              from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth
               unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made 
              unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, 
              Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
                For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek:
               for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
                For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
               ~ Romans 10:9-13


              Sunday, March 4, 2012

              Our Underwater Adventure!




              Underwater Adventurers!

              As a special part of my husbands week off work last week, we decided to treat the kids with a trip to the Sea Life Centre in Bray, County Wicklow!  Of course, we kept them both guessing the surprise right up until the last minute, which definitely added to the excitement.


              Touching A Starfish

              Despite the 1.5 hour drive to Bray, Meg was a complete angel for the whole drive.  Only at one stage did she seem like she was becoming restless, so I passed back a cookie for her to munch on (normally we have a zero eating policy in the car)...the crumbs on the car floor, could seriously feed a mouse family for a week!


              Meg...Little Girl In A Big Pond!

              The Irish Sea Life Centre isn't very big or impressive, but it was enough for us to have fun in, and learn some amazing new facts about the sea creatures.   Given it's modest size, we were able to get around within about an 1.5 hours, and we did take our time looking at all the exhibits and even stayed for some of the feedings.  Dylan loved watching the Piranhas having their dinner!  Yikes, those are some scary looking fish! *shudder* 

              One great thing about homeschooling is that we can go on trips like this mid-week...which means we were able to stroll leisurely around and enjoy and learn in relative quiet and calm, without being trampled by hoards of school aged children...perhaps public schooling has some advantages after all! ;)


              After we had finished touring around, my very generous hubby bought all the children a souvenir each!  Dylan picked this plastic tube "thing" filled with blue jelly and little plastic clown fish...if you grab it at the ends it kind of jumps out of your hands!  He was literally hysterical with laughter in the gift shop...we just had to buy the thing after that!  Next we went and sat on the sea front, watched the sea (Dylan watched a tractor rolling the grassed area; you can take the boy out of the farm...!) and we ate our packed lunch in the sun!  Yes, to round this wonderful day off...we even had sun!



              Saturday, March 3, 2012

              Reams Of Ribbons - Giveaway Results!




              So, today was the deadline for my "Reams Of Ribbons" giveaway!  I love hosting giveaways because you all are such an encouragement to me, and it is such a lovely thing to be able to give something back now and then!  Thank you all for entering!  So without further ado, the winner is:

              Nikki

              Congratulations Nikki!  Please leave your full name and postal address in a comment (it will not be published) and also your email, so I can contact you once your package has been posted!  I hope your girls like them!