Friday 30 May 2008

Teaching Sean

Sean has has a couple of very easy weeks as far as schooling goes and so this week he got back to normal.  Last Summer I marked out his books in such a way that he should be finished by the end of June and therefore have the Summer off.  However, Something nice has happened...  He has finished all his English books early and next week he should be finished his History, Geography and Science book, leaving him with just his maths, which he will be finished by the end of June, which means that he is in fifth class, ahead of time!

I am glad for him because you know how boys are, he likes to excel,  and I am glad for me because it just gives me that little bit of encouragement that I need every now and again.  

Kate, (our teacher and sister in the Lord who comes up from Dublin City every couple of months or so to help me and give me advice etc)  came to visit us on Monday.  We showed her some of Sean's work and also went through the maths book for next year.  It takes quite a jump between 4th and 5th class and so needs that little bit of extra attention from us.  She is happy with his progress.  I like having her call because she is a source of knowledge,  strength and encouragement to me and although I am more comfortable with my abilities in teaching Sean, I still need accountability and advice, so thanks Kate!

Tuesday 27 May 2008

Progressive Poem

I have been tagged again and this time I have the great honour of adding two lines to a humours poem about Jack. (Great way to meet new people this tagging!)

Pure, from my life as the good twin, in Australia started the ball rolling so to speak followed by Nicole at 168 hours, followed by Megan at even the smallest. Here is the poem so far and my own (or should I say, my husbands!) contribution to it...

I have a friend who's name is Jack,
He is a hypochondriac.

He spends his days combating germs,
And memorising Latin terms.

With great distress he will disrobe,
He's proud to be a nudophobe.

With Kleenex always kept close by,
He faces each day with a sigh.

I now tag Nadia from South Africa. Nadia is a friend who lives here in Ireland and is a writer. I am VERY curious as to what she will think of this!!!

Go for it Nadia!

Oh, and it's my birthday today!!!

Monday 26 May 2008

Welcome to the Annagassan Viking Festival 2008

A blog called 'Adventures in Dundalk, Ireland' have posted about the Annagassan Viking Festival which is held in August. (Annagassan is where my pastor Stephen lives) We went to the Festival last year and met up with some of the 'Vikings'. I have put the dates in the diary and hope to go along to the Festival this year too.

To find out more about this festival click here.

Tuesday 20 May 2008


Tamara from 'Of Noble Character' tagged me today and so I spent a while thinking of answers to all the questions... I quite enjoyed doing this and found some of them a challenge, so here goes!

Favourite person (outside family)... Mary.
Favourite food... Fresh fruit salad, fried mushrooms & fried tomatoes and fried bread with a fried egg inside with brown sauce added...mmmmm! (not necessarily all at the same time)

Quirks about me... Well, I don't like answering the phone and I get very grumpy when I don't eat regularly.

How would the person who loves you most describes you in ten words or less... I tried to be good here and told Niall that this isn't a list of all the things he loves about me (He is so good at that!) but rather, it's a list of words to describe me. However, he gave me this list and said that some things are best left private! (I do love him!!!)
She's my huggable, hopeful, hilarious, heart-warming, helpful, hibernian, heavenly heroine!

Any regrets in life... Not submitting my life to God sooner.

Favourite cause/charity... Giving Bibles to people who don't have any.

Favourite blog recently... This one!

Something you can't get enough of... Knowledge and discernment from the God/Bible.

Worst job you ever had
... The worst job I ever worked at was drift-net fishing with my dad out in our boat as a youngster. I hated it and I was scared because I couldn't swim... However, I have had other jobs that were ok but some of the people were pretty horrible.

What job would you pay not to have... Definitely a waitress. Work too hard...
Pay too little..

If you could be a fly on the wall, where?... Peter Masters study!

Favourite Bible ve
rse right now... God used this verse along with others to show me that He was saving my dying dad in December...
Job 33:14-18 For God may speak in one way, or in another, Yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, When deep sleep falls upon men, While slumbering on their beds, Then He opens the ears of men, And seals their instruction. In order to turn man from his deeds, And conceal pride from man, He keeps back his soul from the Pit, And his life from perishing by the sword.

Guilty pleasures... Eating loaf bread & butter with strawberry jam! (preserves)

Got any confessions
... Don't read my Bible/pray often enough.

If you HAD to spend €1,000.00 on yourself, how would you spend it?...
I would go to visit my friends and sisters, Sheila in Mississippi and Jean in Virginia!
Sheila (on left)
Jean (on right)

Favourite thing about your house... It's open fire!!

One thing you are bad at... Can't answer that, there are too many... It's not pride because I am going to answer the next question!

One thing you are good at... Being a mum to Seán.

If you could change things about your circumstances, what... I wouldn't change anything.

Who would you like to meet some day... John MacArthur, I think he is an excellent Bible teacher and also happens to be blessed with a good sense of humour.

What makes you feel sexy... Ha ha! How can I explain this?!!... Niall purring like a big wild cat; you know, that sound people can make at the back of their throat!

Who is your real life hero... Niall is, really.

What is the hardest part of your job... Seán watching and copying me...

When are you most relaxed... right after prayer.

What stresses you out... Not spending proper time with God.

What can you not live without... The Bible, Vaseline for my lips and hand cream!

Do you agree or disagree with the recent article that reported that bloggs are authored by narcissists... Isn't it a struggle not to be? Isn't that what most of our sin is all about? It's all about me, me, me...

Why do you blog... I blog so I can have female Christian company. So I can find out how other women like me, teach their children. So I can get help and advice from Godly Christian women about home, children and husbands. So I don't feel like I am a weirdo teaching Seán at home, not celebrating Christmas, not having a TV etc. So I don't feel alone in living like I do. I like knowing there are people like me out there!

I have to tag...

Two newish bloggers... Don't know of any BUT I really want you to visit these two blog sites and definitely leave a message for them!!! HERE & HERE

Two blog friends... Cassie, Home schooling four... and Ruth, Ruthie's thoughts and memories.

Two bloggers I would like to know better... Anna, Pleasant View Schoolhouse and Laura, The Peanut Patch.

Thanks Tamara, I enjoyed that:)

Monday 19 May 2008

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

This April my home town of Dundalk was encouraged to read the book "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" by John Boyne.  Conor McAteer, who is Home/School/Community Liaison Co-ordinator for St Vincent's Secondary School has been behind a lot of what has been happening. There was a book-signing in Hughes & Hughes Bookshop along with a radio interview and poster competition.  

Niall told me about the book and the fact that there was a push to get children to read it during the month of April and we both decided to make a project out of it.  The book is a story about two nine year old boys who meet up during WWII, one a German boy, the other a Jewish boy living in a concentration camp.  I had already been reading 'The Diary of Anne Frank' to Seán and had also got lots of books out of the long term School Library about WWII.  One was about the Blitz in London, another all about the 1940's and another about a German girl who lived through WWII and lost her Nazi father.  This book and 'The Diary" book showed both Seán and me the contrast between the lives of these two girls, but also the similarities. 

For the last two years Seán's school books have touched on WWII.  Also we got a loan of a box set of DVDs all about the war and we also let Seán watch SOME parts of 'The Pianist' and all of 'The Diary' movie that was made in 1959 and which had won 3 Oscars.

So, we bought the book and I had a chat with some friends of mine and encouraged them to let their children read it too.  We ended up having my Seán, Sean Rooney, Molly and Emily reading it.  We decided to go a couple of steps further and not only get Seán to blog about it on Seán's blog, but we also planned to have our own radio show about it.

So, with books and recorder in hand we went to the book signing.  The children got to ask the author John Boyne (an Irish man) some questions, got him to sign their books and then interviewed him for the radio show!  While they were there they ended up being interviewed themselves for a show that was going out on air the next day!  They also got photos taken of
one of the winners of the poster competition, and Niall also interviewed her for the show.

We went ahead and had our live radio show on Dundalk FM100 and had a great time of it! We played parts of the recordings we made on the night of the book-signing, of the author and of Conor, played some big band music associated with WWII  and got the children to read short pieces from the book.  

All in all it was a great project to be involved in and to finish it off. We have been invited to
attend a committee meeting at the Redeemer School tomorrow to give a small talk about how we got involved with the book and all we did in relation to it!
The video below is a compilation of four short clips (about 3 and a half minutes long) taken during the Radio Show.

Wednesday 7 May 2008

Young Winston Churchill!

Last night while we were watching a movie, Seán turned around and said to us, in his best British accent... 'We will fight them on the beaches, we will fight them in the air, we will fight them in the streets, we well NEVER surrender!'
He was trying to repeat the speech that Winston Churchill, (the British Prime Minister) said during WWII. Niall and I exchanged looks and really enjoyed it realising this was one of those precious moments that we can look back on where our 9-year-old quoted Winston...

This morning when I told a neighbour this latest story she laughed and said that at least Seán had quoted Winston Churchill, her son Sean would probably quote Will Smith!

It was funny!

As I type, Seán is outside in the hot May sun playing boy shooting games with his pals... (don't know what else to call them!) They are using two clothes-horses, two large umbrellas, towels, various toys and have also up-turned the garden table!!!

Monday 5 May 2008


Last wek Niall and I took Sean and Dylan to W5 in Belfast City. We went a couple of times before and were looking forwards to going again and since Dylan will be leaving us for the Summer in two weks we decided to make a special day of it for him. We packed a lunch, and when we got there we paid in. You can come and go as often as you like all day long so we took in a movie and then went back in to have another play!
It's a faboulious place and I recomend it to anybody.