Friday 28 December 2007

Ha Ha! Sean came over to me just now to give me a good night hug and kiss and he said "Oh! You smell like hamster!" (Guess who got a present of a hamster recently) I said "The cheek!" and he said "No, it's a nice smell.' High praise indeed from a 9-year-old boy! I have to either take a shower or change my hairspray!

Saturday 22 December 2007

Tooth Fairy!

I am very interested in hearing about an alternative to the usual holiday/traditions and I found this one on Check it out!

When my daughter lost her first tooth, she was so excited. All day she talked about it, and that evening she mentioned something about a tooth fairy. We had never talked about the tooth fairy, and had never really planned on doing the tooth fairy. By her own conversation, it was obvious she knew it was all a game.

But she expected there to be some cash under her pillow.

And I had none. Not so much as a penny. So I had to think fast. And wrote the following letter:

    Little Mouse,
    You are growing so fast. It was not so long ago you were running about, scaling cabinets and getting into mischief like Baby Bear. It was not so long ago you depended on us for everything like Baby Bug. I still remember when you got your first tooth.
    Now you can do all kinds of things for yourself. You can cook and clean and even sew. Sometimes you get into trouble, but mostly you are a big help. You are beginning to put childish things aside, like it says in 1Corinthians 13:11. Including your first baby tooth.
    So for your first tooth, I thought we could have a tea party. We can have fun planning it out together. Does that sound like fun?
    Mommy and Daddy

We made scones and had a tea party together, using the tea set I had brought back with me from Germany. We have a regular tea time in our daily schedule. Every afternoon (according to my schedule, anyway), we sit down to tea and have a sort of book talk. Generally, this follows the traditions I learned as an exchange student in East Frisia, a part of northwestern Germany. It is what I know. But, for educational purposes, we have also had formal English teas, looked a little at the Japanese tea ceremony and had our own Middle Eastern tea.

It is amazing how much there is to learn about a culture just through talking about our reading while practicing a local custom.

Of course, now that we have tea time regularly (if not every day), my daughter is asking for something else for the next tooth she loses. So I’m going to have to start thinking some more. At least she doesn’t have any loose right now!

I like that story. During the year we looked after our friends' two children while their parents went to Germany for a few days. During our stay in their home we took the dog 'Snoopy' out for a walk. For some reason the boy had Snoopy's lead in his mouth and suddenly there was a yelp (the boy!) and I say something white fly through the air. It was his tooth... We didn't find it but I put a euro under the pillow just in case it was the thing that the parents would do... And they do!

The next time we stayed it was closer to Christmas and we settled down to watch 'Polar Express'. The girl asked me if the helpers were real, and if that wasn't bad enough she asked me if Santa was saved! I forget how I answered but I got through it without lying to her anyway!

Mac Day!

Well, we had our family day yesterday and all went well. We had planned to have it on Saturday but Niall decided to have it a day early to surprise Seán and boy, did we surprise him! For 4 days we (That is, Niall and Seán!) had been blowing up balloons, over 300 actually and we were keeping them in Seán's room. So on Thursday night, when Seán was sleeping, we put them into large plastic bags and transported them and gifts into the sitting room. We put all the gifts on the siting room floor and covered them all with the balloons, poppers and crackers. This year we did something slightly different. Niall went to a shop and got 12 balloons filled with helium so we tied little presents on the end of them and it all added to the ambience!

Yesterday morning I got up early and started setting up everything, putting on lights and getting the video camera working. I went into the hall for some reason and met Seán tripping down the stairs shouting 'It's MacCárthaigh Day! It's MacCárthaigh Day!' at the top of his voice rubbing his eyes and almost falling down the stairs! I said 'Today is Friday' and sent him back up. It was disappointing because I thought he heard us the night before, but he hadn't. He genuinely got his days mixed up and when dad took him down moments later, I had video ready and captured it all!

We all spent the day in our pj's, with the fire lit, and we had whatever we wanted for dinner. Niall and I had pasta etc. and Seán had fish fingers and made his own chips(fries).

We had our customary treasure hunt for the DVDs and eventually settled down to watch Transformers. I am feeling pretty bad at the moment and went to the doctor today. I got a cough bottle and antibiotic for a chest infection and cough; got a chill as well. I think the past two weeks being with dad before he died and then at the wake and funeral has taken its toll and I am a bit run down. But it's all very small stuff in the great scheme of things!

I have a sister in the Lord called Mary and she texts me now and again to keep me up to date with things. I texted her today, feeling a bit sorry for myself and then thanked God that He gives us people like these to comfort us and help us. Then I thanked Him for giving me Him!

So here I am, don't feel sorry for me. I am in my pj's again in the sitting room with the fire lit, my child and his friend playing with the Lego he got yesterday and running around popping some of the balloons, and I have you guys to talk to and your blogs to read... God is good!!!

My best gift... A beautiful handbag (I picked it out last week!) from Niall.

Seán's best gift.... Not the DVDs, Lego, Mega Bloks, sweets (remote control helicopter... gasp!) but the hamster we got him! €13, cage free, food free and bedding €1.50...!!! (By the way, Seán called the hamster 'Picard' - yes, he is a Star Trek fan. His pet goldfish is called 'Leviathan')

Niall's best gift.... iLife '08 for his iMac!

Here is a quote I received from fellow blogger MammaTee that just says it all...

We don't celebrate it traditionally either and are trying to really get away from the material aspect (although it's difficult because so many well-meaning friends and family love to spoil our children!).

Another comment I liked came from Cassie, Homeschooling Four...

Christmas is one of those tricky Holidays. As Christians, we all KNOW the reason for the season. The struggle in our home is keeping that as our focus. We don't do Santa, we teach our children that there is more joy in giving than receiving (they make "Christmas Lists" for what they want to buy others, not what they want for themselves). Still, we are so easily pulled to the greedy, commercial side of Christmas.

(Love the part about the Christmas list)

On a more spiritual aspect, we spent quite a while reading the Bible, singing to the Lord and praying. We thanked God for certain aspects of 2007. We had a lot to be thankful for, and we discussed things that we can change in 2008.

So for you guys who do your own thing on Tuesday

Mamma Tee

whether it's celebrating the birth of Jesus or not... Have a nice day!

Oh... For fancy Christmas lights on homes in Australia check this out!

Wednesday 19 December 2007


I buried my dad yesterday... He was 74 and had cancer for the past 2 years. He was pretty sick since the summertime and died painlessly in his own home with family.

He was raised as a catholic, became an atheist for many many years, and was buried in a catholic graveyard, yet I believe he is with God... why? Because of what the Lord showed me, from his Word, in the week or so leading to his death. I plan to write a post about it soon but I am tired, MacCarthaigh day on top of me and I need to rest!

Here are some details about him...

His name was Michael Johnston, his dad was called Jim and his mum was called Mona Boyle.

He was crazy about the sea, boats and ships.

He was a salmon fisherman and designed and built his own boats.

He was the pilot in the Dundalk Habour.

He has 11 children:-

He had 2 wives, my mum Bernie and his second wife, Adeline.

For over 20 years he ran his own school of motoring business and worked up until about 2 months ago!

He worked in Iceland on trawlers.

He was a member of the Royal Irish Guards and stood outside Buckingham Palace with his smart red uniform and huge black furry hat!

He was an avid reader and read Libraries!

He had a huge, almost consuming interests in Irish and world politics, Socialism and Communism.

He wrote short stories, mostly true about his youth, one which he dedicated to my son Sean. (Whom he also passed on his love of the sea)

He was very active as a youth, competing in tennis, long jump, high jump and boxing.

He had 21 grand children and 4 great grand children.

He had a full and blessed life and I thank God for it.