Thursday 23 October 2008

Catching up.

Here are a few photos by way of an update of what the MacCarthaighs have been getting up to lately...

I like this one. This is Niall with Sean and our little friend, Joshua, (he stayed for a sleep over while his parents went to a wedding) picking out a nice bun to eat from the cake shop.We went to Dublin for a few hours on Monday. We had vouchers for a free meal in The Hard Rock Cafe. We had a feast there for just over €40 (mostly vouchers) and then we went to the Phoenix Park to check out the wild deer.

We went to the Library to do some home schooling for a change of scenery. Here is a photo of Seán playing dominoes with a twist... They are a box of dominoes I bought in a museum last year with, and I quote...
"seven works of art from Tate's collection".

Patrick Caulfield
John Constable
David Hockney
Sir Howard Hodgkin
Piet Mondrian
John Singer Sargent
Joseph Mallord William Turner

Well, its nice to get a bit of culture into the boy the fun way!!!

Yesterday afternoon we went to the Grammar Schools open day. We have Sean's name down there as second choice. Our preference is still the Bush Post Primary. However, we must wait until the time for him to go to school, which will be in three years, to know if he will be accepted because the Bush is out in the countryside, and they might not have room for any town children that year. It all depends on how many places their are and how many children will be applying for the places. Ultimately, we will be waiting on the Lord to open and close doors though.
Sean was fascinated with everything in the Science room. He had the chance to re-direct water with a balloon, without the balloon touching the water, and he made his own lightning!

I also got the chance of some women's fellowship in Barbara's home. She had a coffee morning and we girls had plenty of chat and prayer.

We went to John and Ann's home for lunch last Saturday and on Sunday we had lungh out with the lads in Annagassan... Great company and great food!

Tuesday 21 October 2008

Fun E Mail

This is an e mail my husband got today. Now, before you get all annoyed about the fact that the joke seems to be on the Americans, be forewarned, the guy who sent the e mail is an American and he sent it from America, ans I promise, when we get an e mail full of Paddy jokes I will pass them on too!!

Hope you enjoy them!

AT&T fired President John Walter after nine months, saying he lacked intellectual leadership.

He received a $26 million severance package. Perhaps it's not Walter who's lacking intelligence.

Police in Oakland, CA spent two hours attempting to subdue a gunman who had barricaded himself inside his home. After firing ten tear gas canisters, officers discovered that the man was standing beside them in the police line, shouting, ' Please come out and give yourself up.'

An Illinois man, pretending to have a gun, kidnapped a motorist and forced him to drive to two different automated teller machines, wherein the kidnapper proceeded to withdraw money from his own bank accounts.

A man walked into a Topeka, Kansas Kwik Stop and asked for all the money in the cash drawer. Apparently, the take was too small, so he tied up the store clerk and worked the counter himself for three hours until police showed up and grabbed him.

Police in Los Angeles had good luck with a robbery suspect who just couldn't control himself during a lineup. When detectives asked each man in the lineup to repeat the words: 'Give me all your money or I'll shoot', the man shouted, 'that's not what I said!'

A man spoke frantically into the phone: 'My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart'. 'Is this her first child?' the doctor asked. 'No!' the man shouted, 'This is her husband!'

In Modesto, CA, Steven Richard King was arrested for trying to hold up a Bank of America branch without a weapon. King used a thumb and a finger to simulate a gun. Unfortunately, he failed to keep his hand in his pocket. (hellooooooo)!

Last summer, down on Lake Isabella, located in the high desert, an hour east of Bakersfield, CA, some folks, new to boating, were having a problem. No matter how hard they tried, they couldn't get their brand new 22 foot boat, going. It was very sluggish in almost every maneuver, no matter how much power they applied. After about an hour of trying to make it go, they putted into a nearby marina, thinking someone there may be able to tell them what was wrong. A thorough topside check revealed everything in perfect working condition The engine ran fine, the out-drive went up and down, and the propeller was the correct size and pitch. So, one of the marina guys jumped in the water to check underneath. He came up choking on water, he was laughing so hard.
Under the boat, still strapped securely in place, was the trailer!

Thursday 16 October 2008

My 'Day in Court!'

Two weeks ago I accompanied an acquaintance of mine to the Court House in relation to a traffic charge. She is a young foreign woman who had nobody to go with her and so I was glad to go along to comfort and support her, just as my pastor Stephen supported me when I had to attend court seven years ago, but that's another story.

Well, we sat in the well-lit and bright hallway for most of the day rather than sit in the overly crowded and stuffy room full of the accused, the solicitors and Guards (Policemen). Eventually, we went in and sat agape, listening to the madness, I mean the different cases the Judge had to trawl through.

To cut a long story short, a young man stood up along with his interpreter. He was from Poland. There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between the Guard, the Judge and the interpreter. The Guard hadn't the paperwork in order and wanted the case to be put back for three months. The accused complained. This went back and forth at least four times, with the interpreter in the middle of course. It was suggested that the case be put back only two weeks. Again, the accused complained. You could tell that the Judge really wanted to sort the whole thing out and gave the accused plenty of leeway. Eventually the interpreter said, "My client wants to know what the charges are?'....

The Guard said that the accused had used abusive language and was drunk in a public place...

(Now, I am gong to have a little fun with this one, so stay with me here!)

Initially, I was bemused and wondered to myself what kind of abusive language this young Polish man used, when he couldn't speak a word of English and needed an interpreter, but then again, you never know...

Then I thought of the charge of being drunk in a public place.

Less than half an hour before this small drama was taking place, when I was in the hallway, a drunk came in to the Court House, into the courtroom and then back out into the hall where we were. He was young enough, in his late twenties. He was so 'plastered' that he fell on the floor just inside the moving doors (which were opening and closing, opening and closing) and rolled back and forth and side to side like a tortoise who couldn't get off his back, and in between all this he had a cigarette going from his mouth to his hands and back to his mouth again...

I looked around and saw a Guard who smiled at me and walked away. I caught the eye of a young Latvian man and indicated to him to help me. He nodded, so I went over to the man on the floor, looked him in the eye and asked him if he needed some help getting off the floor. I was quaking a bit but reckoned that he might not hit a well-dressed woman in a court house! Well, he said yes, so I told him he had better throw away the cigarette before he burned us both, which he did. As I reached out my hand to lift him, the young Latvian man crept up behind him and hoisted him onto his feet and we plonked him down on a bench, his feet barely hit the floor.

When I went over to pick up the burning cigarette to throw it outside, (just as well I wasn't done for littering!) another Guard came over and said that there was a car coming for the drunk, and he walked away!

Now, all this is ok, a bit strange..., but ok. What I found, and still find amusing, is what was going on in the next room with the Polish guy - the one who was being charged with being drunk in a public place!

And so, the story for the Polish guy ends with him saying he was due to fly out to Poland that day. On hearing this, the Judge decided to 'Strike' the charge and let the Polish man go! One happy man!

The drunk's girlfriend came along, mortified. She, her friend and her mum carted him out of the Court House and into the back of a taxi. My heart went out to them both. I followed them and spoke to her. I told her that I was once engaged to a good-looking fellah just like him, he was a nice guy too and good to me... but he drank and eventually, after drinking for 10 days and 10 nights, he died in a car crash leaving me six months pregnant...
I told her I would pray for her and she started to cry...
I have been down the path she is on, and I think I went further than she is at present...
I know her face, and I hope to meet up with her again some day and have a proper talk, tell her about the love of God.

As for my acquaintance, well, the Lord worked a miracle for her, BIG TIME, and all is well. The Guards, who were not generally having a good day, turned up trumps for her and intervened in her case, greatly to her advantage.

I have to say, having a good look at all the people in the Court room, on either side of the divide, I couldn't help but think about the Lord and how he came to save the people who were sick and not the people who were well; the sinners and not the righteous. The room was full of sinners, all already condemned. The contrast between the two groups - those on either side of the law - was stark. But it struck me that the chances of the Lord forgiving and saving the poor, drunk, thieving, lying sinner are higher than the Lord forgiving and saving the rich, proud, self-righteous, covetous (which is idolatrous) sinner,

of which I am the chief...

Wednesday 15 October 2008

Something gross!

No, it's not the 8 children I looked after for a short while today in a neighbours house, although some would think that the term 'gross' might apply here!

No, it's the potatoes Niall found in the back of the press today...

Would you believe it if I said that, last year while we worked on an experiment that took several months, we tried to get a similar result with a potato and it was a complete failure, and then this happens all on it's own!

Tuesday 14 October 2008

Transitional year

Here in Ireland, children can stay at home when thay are babies or they can go to play school quite young. Normally, they start regular school when they are four in junior infants. When they are five they go into senior infants. When they are six they are put into first class and on it goes until they are tewlve and finish primary school in sixth class.

Next, when they are twelve they move into secondary school (first year, second year, third year) and after the first three years there, they take their junior certificate exam. At a lot of schools, they now have a choice of going on for another two years, at the end of which they take their leaving certificate exam, or they have what is called a 'transitional year'.

The transitional year is a year that the students 'take it easy'. Of course they continue in their regular studies but they have the oppertunity to participate in 'extra' activities. It all depents on the school. Some schools offer horse riding, golf, sailing and such like to the students. Some travel and all encourage the children to get a few weeks work experience, in whatever field that particular child wants to work in as an adult, an office, factory, hotel, hospital etc.

Well, Niall and I have decided to give Sean a 'transitional year' at the end of his primary school years, when he is twelve, before he goes on to secondary school.

We feel that this move will help him and be good for him in so many ways. We won't be 'holding him back', but rather, we hope to be arming him, strenghtning him and preparing him for a much easier transformation into the 'school' system.

The plan, Lord willing, is that I will buy a new set of sixth class books and go over them in the first six months or so of his transitionall year. That way, we will be going over sixth class work but not the exact same books he had done the year before.
For the second half of his transitional year we will also buy his school books for the first year in secondary school and go over these and give him an idea and prepare him for what is ahead of him.

It won't be a lot of hard work and grind, but rather, like the transitional year when children are fifteen/sixteen, we will be concentrating on the arts, music and travel. We are very blessed becaues we live between Belfast City (in Northern Ireland) and Dublin City (in Southern Ireland.) Each City is only 50 miles away from us, and this means that we regurally get to visit these citys and what they offer. However we do hope to be able to travel around Ireland more and visit musumes and places of historic intrests that we can't normally reach.

We are planning to travel with him. I plan to take him to London for a few days in the December of that year. We could visit the usual places of intrese, London Bridge, Covent Gardens, Madam Taussaud, the theatre etc, but the place I most want him to see is 'The Metropolotan Tabernacle' in Elephant & Castle. This is a huge Baptis Church where Peter Masters is pastor and where CH Spurgeon once pastored. I want Sean to see that God has different sizes of Churches/families around the world and that they are not all the same as our own Church.

Niall is making plans to take him to Holland for a few days. We have a friend called Rob who lives there. He is a streen Evangelist and lives a remarkably full and very interesting life for the Lord. Again, there are lots of places of intrest that Niall could take him to in that country.

As a family we are thinking along the lines of taking Sean to Albania... The Baptist Missions have a family over there and we would love to renew our contact with them and hopefully stay with them for a few days. Not only would I like Sean to exsperience life for Christians in a poor country, but I would too.

Well, we can lay out the best of plans, but unless the Lord is with us they won't happen! However, we have a few pound put away for Sean'e education and we also have two years to save up for these trips so hopefully they will go ahead.

Mostly though, when Sean will be thirteen and in first year, he will be one of the eldest in his class, be a bit bigger, (he's a bit of a light weight at present!) better fit for sports, for his academic work, his character will be stronger but mostly, he will be able to stand against the worldliness he will have full exposure to, stand and Lord willing hold fast.

Monday 13 October 2008


Well, things have started to hot up here in Dundalk with regards to Halloween. People have started to decorate their homes with the usual cheap goolish fare and the fireworks are popping. Do I sound too harsh?
Before I was savded 7 years ago I was in the middle of al this, thinking it was good fun. I never gave it a secont thought, just like Christmas... Think about it, an aethiest celebrathing the birth of Christ??!!!
What was I thinking.. Well, that's the point, I wasn't thinking...

Last week we noticed what we thought was fog in the sports field next to our estate. We went to investigate and found that it wasn't fog, but the smoke from fireworks...

Check out the photo...

We, as a family don't like hanging around our home on Halloween night. Kids come and knock the doors for the usual trick or treat and when Sean was younger I didn't like him to see all the kids in their fancy dress. He was just too young to understand wht was going on. I was happy to go away for the evening to protecct him from this.

This year we have decided to have a birthday party in the Church centre... Who's birthday? Niall's, he will be 21 years saved on Halloween night! We are going to have a cake, balloons, party games etc and share the party with whatever Christians turn up. Everybody who is saved will be encouraged to give a small testimony of how God saved them. I am quite looking forwards to it and think it is much better than staying home, turning out lights, closing curtains and trying hard not to listen to the door bell while we watch a movie!!!

What are you guys planning?

Saturday 11 October 2008

Last day!

This is my last day blogging about what my family eats this week for 'Happy to be @ Home'.

I have enjoyed doing it, and am glad that I did it. It helped me to tune in more on what I am feeding my family and what other people are feeding their families. I think too that it did me no harm being accountable to someone for a while in this area, even if it was for only a week!

Also, because I have been taking notes about what I have been cooking and eating and who I have been feeding, I realised what a blessing it is to be able to share what I have been able to prepare and cook.

This week when I made lasagne, I made an extra one for Mick, a brother in the Lord who has ME and because he is going through a rough time at the moment, can't really cook for himself. He lives with two other guys so to give them a break, I sent it over.I also took over a dinner to my step mother who is having chemo and is not feeling too good.

Yana had some dinner too when she called over to me for the ladies meeting after work. She was hungry and tired and had two helpings of the lasagne! (Boy, that lasagne went far!)

Sean's granny shared our lunch yesterday, and I prepared a container of fresh fruit for a very long term, unwell sister, Angela, who went into a nursing home for respite.The Bible says that we ought to look after the foreigner, fatherless and widows, but it was really my sister in the Lord 'Jean' (from the US) who, unknown to herself at the time, taught me the reality of this and had been a huge influence on my Christian life. She used to cook a dinner and leave it hanging on somebody's door if that person was flying in during the night cold and tired. She would often times prepare Sunday lunch and invite the Church over. Sometimes she would visit us and bring over, what we over here in Ireland would consider "exotic" foods, like banana bread and corn bread! So, thanks Jean, and like you commented on my 'day one' post...

Yea for you! It seems you're taking up where I left off!

I really hope to take more heed of what I am buying, cook more in bulk & freeze/give away, and pay attention sometimes to how I present it! Heather L has been a source of inspiration to me here on her blog "Blackberry Rambles" She is just brilliant at dressing a table, indoors and out!

And before I tell you about what the MacCarthaighs have eaten today, I want to say that today as I stood at my kitchen sink peeling potatoes, my mind went back to the past, to my mum standing at her sink peeling what seemed to be a half bag of potatoes most days to feed her family of 12... I remember her cooking rice and pasta when NOBODY else had a foggy notion what they were. I remember her cooking chicken maryland... for 12 people, how did she do it? She cooked monster pies, dozens of pancakes etc... May the Lord bless her and save her.This morning we are minus Sean. He had a sleep over in his grannies last night and won't be home until this evening, so I had crackers, yogurt and hot drink and Niall had cereal and juice.

For lunch I made veg soup. I have just recently began to make my own soup. My friend Mary told me how simple it is, so I cook potatoes, pop in a bag of pre-cut mixed veg (Am I lazy? maybe, but it is easier and cheaper) add in seasoning, sunflower seeds etc and cook, until cooked!!
Our pastors wife is away for a few days so we plan to bring some of this soup to the Church service tomorrow and Stephen can help himself to it whenever he wants it.

I picked up these stuffed potato half's with chive dip on sale in Tescos, so I baked them, grilled these lovely fat sausages and we had them along with fresh vegetables. I don't normally serve two processed foods together, but that's just the way it worked out on the day.

What do I like about my kitchen?Well, I bought this scroll the last time I was in Mississippi. I like the colours in it and it also has part of the scripture 1 Kings 8:36

'You may teach them the good way in which they should walk.'

Many thanks to "Happy to be @ Home" for inviting me as a guest blogger to their site. It has been a great help , and encouraged/pushed me a little bit!

My husband and I are Christians/Saved/Born Again... Whatever name you put on it, it means that we have trusted our lives and future lives to God via Jesus. We have confessed and repented of our sins, been forgiven and now live our lives to serve Him.

If you would like to know how God has changed our lives, you will find my life story here and Niall's here.

May the Lord bless you all indeed,

Ruth MacCarthaigh.

Friday 10 October 2008

Day 6

Almost there!

I am continuing to blog about what my family eats this week for 'Happy to be @ Home'.

This morning the guys had cereal, juice and toast. I had my crackers, yogurt and hot drink.

For lunch I cooked rice, striped the chicken that was left over, put the meat into the wok, added a chicken stock cube, frozen veg, sun flower seeds (I put them in everything) and some fresh herbs from my garden.
I ate it.
Sean ate it.
Niall ate it
Sean's granny ate it.
My step mum will eat it.

It must be ok!

When I was shopping up North yesterday (Northern Ireland is just a few miles across the border) I bought these large muffins so I put ham and cheese in them, made sandwiches and served it with a glass of milk.Last night we lit the fire and relaxed with our most favourite drink... Coke Floats! Well, Sean and I live it, Niall likes it served separately... Philistine!

What do I like about my kitchen?Over the years we did a lot of work and out reach with the children in the area. Sometimes they came and gave me little affectionate notes and pictures, so I framed a couple of them and have them hanging on my wall. I just love having them, and their memories, especially when the children are growing up around me, and I know they will eventually become adults and leave the area...

Thursday 9 October 2008

Day 5

Failte! This morning Niall gave us breakfast in bed again! I know, I know, you think it is just so I will blog about it, but I know him well and he really is like this!

Well, this morning we had porridge and drinks. It was lovely and warm and good food to start a wet Thursday morning.

Here is a photo of our chicken dinner... I must confess that I didn't cook it myself but bought it pre cooked... I love the salad and the bread is Polish! Sean is not fond of salad so I gave him tortilla chips and raw carrot.

Toasted cheese sandwiches are always a favourite with Sean and me and easy to make for tea.

Something I like about my kitchen? I bought these small pretty pegs in a shop a couple of years ago for about 25 cents. They brighten up the curtains very nicely I thought, and add a bit of humour to my kitchen!

Tuesday 7 October 2008

Day 3

Hello again!

I am continuing to blog about what my family eats this week for 'Happy to be @ Home'.

Well, this morning we all had porridge and juice for breakfast.

For lunch we ate out in the 'Roma". I suppose it would be a bit like a diner. It's a treat for us and a break from cooking for me! After some home schooling in the Library, Sean and I had a cheese omlet and chips, (fries, the nice big ones)and Niall had chips, rice and chicken curry. I have the rice and curry sometimes and love it! I don't normally have soft drinks but today Niall & I had coke and Sean had a milk shake.

To help out a friend, I have agreed to mind her two boys after school Tusday to Friday for a month, and so when they arrived here I gave them a snack. It was fun trying to find out what each boy liked and disliked but I got there in the end. As you can see, Denis (spider boy!) had bread without butter, apple, tortilla chips and milk!This evening we will have Lasagne from yesterday and tonight we will probably have a light supper, cereal, my usual hot drink and a hot chocolate for Sean...

Last nights womens meeting went well and here is a photo of an apple tart made by Annie: it didn't last long! We had crackers and cheese,popcorn and nuts, Yana took along a chocolate cake and I had made up come melon and black grapes on cocktail sticks.... and left them in the fridge!

(I ate them in bed later!)Something I like about my kitchen? I have a basket on my table with three devitional books in it. 'Morning & Evening daily reading' by C H Sprugeon.
'My Utmost for His Highest' by Oswald Chambers.
'Little Book of Devotions - Honesty'.

I find that after any meal is a good time to read through them.
See you agaiin tomorrow!

Monday 6 October 2008

Day 2

Today is the second day where I write, as guest blogger on 'Happy to be @ Home' about what my family eats.
Today is a busy day that started late. Sean had a boiled egg in a cup, with a dab of butter and a pinch of salt. He also had toast, orange juice and on top of all that, he had a hot chocolate drink!!

Niall had juice, cornflakes and toast.

I had my usual, which is two crackers, yogurt, hot water & milk.

I know it is a strange mixture but about 6 years ago I began to feel very tired. I would get up, make beds, teach Sean and would be fit to fall into the bed at twelve... I gave up drinking tea and my energy levels soared. After about a week they came down to normal so I stayed off the tea. However, I missed the hot drink, couldn't stomach hot water on it's own, so settled for hot water and milk. Sounds awful but I like it!

For lunch Sean had roast potoatoes and chichen with butter & salt that was left over from yesterday. (He loved it!)

Niall got himself a snack.

I had a salad, 1 roast potatoe& a fried egg. (not all together! I had the salad for brunch)

This evening we are a busy lot. Niall has the Church Christian radio show tonight and I am hosting the women's meeting in my home so I plan to make a lasagne and eat it over the next two days...Of course there will be snacks for the meeting so I will take a photo of that and post it tomorrow!

Here is a photo of something I like about my kitchen. I have it on my windowsill. When I got married almost 6 years ago a friend gave us a silver photo frame with Proverbs 3:5 inscribed on it.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding".

My friend Jean stitched the scripture and a pretty "Niall & Ruth" on it and put it into the frame for me. It's just lovely and reminds me of Mick, (who gave us the frame) Jean and the Lord!

Sunday 5 October 2008

Day 1

Today is Sunday the first day of the week and so, because I am a guest blogger on Happy to be @ Home this week I am blogging about what we as a family are eating today.

Let me first explain that every Sunday, my husband cooks! I know, I am spoiled! Monday to Saturday the kitchen is mostly mine but Niall and Sean make Sunday, truly a day of rest for me.

So to start with we had porridge, juice etc. Niall always soaks it overnight in water and cooks it in the microwave first thing in the morning.
Niall and Sean cooked the dinner and Sean lit the fire. We normally eat our lunch on our laps in the sitting room in front of a fire, and watch a DVD or play a board game. Today we had Conor with us (9 yo) and so we played a new board game called 'Pilgrims Progress'. Then we visited my step mum who is not at all well...
Today Niall put chicken legs and potatoes in the oven, turned on the timer and so, when we came home after the Church service, he served us dinner within ten minutes!To finish off the evening, we go back to the Church building for six O clock, have the first part of our Bible study, (Self Confrontation) have our tea there ( I normally bring a sandwich for Seán, crackers and a yogurt for me and Niall eats whatever is there)and then we finish the study. We go home to have supper and then bed for Sean, and we are generally not long following him!

Thursday 2 October 2008

A Week of cooking!

Starting this Sunday, I will be a guest blogger on Happy to be at Home in the Kitchens of the Week series!

Well, I am a bit nervous about this as I fall into the category of CAN'T COOK WONT COOK!
(A British TV series!). I do cook but I am not very good at it. I don't bake and don't cook large amounts of food to freeze etc but I do hope to be encouraged along the way next week and hopefully Niall and Seán will see a slight improvement and variation in what I serve them!

Here is my introduction that will be on Joy's blog....

Hello, my name is Ruth and here is a little information about me...I have a husband, Niall, and one son, Seán, who is 10 years old and home schooled. I spent the first years of my life working and didn't cook a lot, however, when I had Seán things changed a bit. I have to admit that I am still not a great lover of cooking, but I know I have to, so I try to just get on with it (gasp!!)

I have a small kitchen, a fairly big larder fridge and a small chest freezer. I don't normally cook in bulk and freeze, but rather cook day by day. I go shopping weekly and spend little on sweets and biscuits (cookies) and plenty on fruit and veg.

My son likes most foods, but has his dislikes. He doesn't like mushrooms, tomatoes, onions and anything runny! My husband is a brick and will eat anything!

I have a small cooking area and a small dining area which is bright and leads out to my small garden in which I have tried to grow apples, potatoes (in a pot!) herbs, strawberries etc.I am looking forwards to sharing my simple cooking with you all and hope that doing this will encourage me to be more adventurous in my kitchen!