Saturday 31 January 2009

This morning I got a call from the hospital at 5 o clock saying that mum wasn't well. She had gone in the day before. So I went in to see her. She has pneumonia and had been unconscious for hours. I went home and had a few hours sleep and then spent the day with her today. She came around earlier, but is pretty bad. I know there is a God, only He could keep this woman alive.

Will give more information as I get it. I covet your prayers, just once:-)

Neither mum or any of my family are saved.

Friday 30 January 2009


Every now and again while working, Niall is given second hand tv's. Last week he had a 14 inch portable tv in the car and so I text a message to some people I know asking them if they wanted it for free and saying that the first person to text back could have it. Well, 4 people texted back! So I gave to tv to the first and put the names of the other 3 on the back of Niall's work book for future reference.

That night, someone gave Niall FIVE more 14 inch portable tv's so we had a fine time distributing them!!!


A few days ago we read in a local paper about a film being made in Ireland and how some of it is being filmed here in Dundalk. We heard again while in the radio station so we went along on Wednesday for the audition for extras and had fun just enjoying the experience! They took photos of the three of us, also Emily who was with us, took out clothes and shoe size and said they would ring us if they needed us.

Yesterday Niall got a call up for a part in a swimming pool but for reasons of modesty he refused. However, Sean also got called back and he and his bike is needed for a scene on Friday! Ther are filliming the scene literailly at athe end of our street! Will hopefully post more potos of the event when it happens:-)

Space Station

On Wednesday evening, just before seven o clock the International Splce Station passed overhead. Sean, Emily and I went outside and had a look. We joined up with a few other children and watched it fly past, it was so quick!

It was a bit thrilling, just thinking that there were three men up there in it!


Last week Niall had to do a job in a local B&B and as Sean was away for the day I decided to go and keep him company. Niall has been telling me about this house for a while now and had wanted to show it to me. It truly is lovely

The owner is a young man and he has transformed this home into what it is in only three years. He is planning to create a tea garden soon. I think Heather L will like this!

Tuesday 27 January 2009


I am just lying here on the sofa feeling a bit sore. (that time of the month) The fire is lit, it's dark outside and Seán is working on his maths. I am in my pyjamas, I have a hot water bottle on my back and am very comfortable.

I would like to write something profound like Amy sometimes does. Something pleasing and pleasant like Debby. Post beautiful photos like Heather.

I really enjoy reading your blogs. Yes, yours....


This is just a few.

I will continue to do my blog my way. It's the only way I can! It's been so good to get to know you all through this window. I know we mostly only see the finer view, but sometimes it's all we can take.

It gives me a glimpse of God's creation that I wouldn't see otherwise. It gives me something different to look forwards to.

Anyway, wherever you are and whoever you are, I hope that you draw close to God, savour the moment, appreciate the now and see it in light of eternity:-)

God bless.

To everybody out there, my son has added a followers list on the right hand side of his blog. Will you pop over, say hi, and sign up? Also, if you have any kids or know any children who have blogs, will you get them to say hi too?

Irish Boy Sean


Saturday 24 January 2009

Chris Cleeve on TV

I love some of this guy's writing. If you like it drop over and get more. I copied an extract of a part of his post of TV...

All recent generations of parents have worried about their children’s exposure to TV. My own mum wouldn’t let us watch Grange Hill – a show that now seems positively Victorian in its mores – lest we become common. I had classmates who were even worse off than me. One girl’s family didn’t allow television in the home at all. Of course we teased her mercilessly in the playground and spun her all manner of yarns. After we’d got to her, the girl seriously believed that Blue Peter was one of the Smurfs. Needless to say she was doomed to be a loser and a social pariah, and she has since proved it by becoming a neurosurgeon, raising three lovely little girls, and having over 300 friends on Facebook.

Remembering how badly that girl was teased, I relented and asked my 5-year-old if he would like us to get a television. He looked up at me with a serious expression and said: “Okay, but first I want a machine gun. Not a toy one. A real one that goes dagga-dagga-dagga and actually kills people.” “I see,” I replied. “And, um… how do you know about machine guns?” “Oh,” he shrugged, “I just saw it on the internet.”

Friday 23 January 2009


Last week we got word that Seán has been accepted into Bush Post Primary School out in Cooley. We three are over the moon about it. It's the only school we wanted Seán to go to but it was the only school we weren't sure he would get into.

But listen, he won't be gong for another while yet, perhaps a couple of years!

It's a technical school and has a very good range of subjects. The first-year students take all the subjects and then they can decide which ones they continue with and which ones they drop.

Business Studies
Home Economics
Technology - wood
Technology - Metal
Technical Graphics
Art (craft & design)
Physical Education
Career Guidance
Civic Social & Political Education (CSPE)
Social Personal & Health Education (SPHE)

School Programmes


The school has a running track and they also have a new gymnasium. Here is a little of what the school says about that...

There are a huge range of extra-curricular activities that take place both during and after school hours in Bush Post Primary School.

These include gaelic, art, soccer, athletics, choir, camogie, crafts, rugby, drama, aerobics, music tuition and basketball. Each year the school runs a 'Superstars' competiton in which teams chosen from across the year groups compete against each other over a range of events.

Some of the things that I like about this school so much is that for a small school (475 students) they have 3 computer suites, 3 science labs and really good engineering and wood technology facilities. Perfect for boys!

Also, they have a starter class for children who have not been learning Irish. I am not obliged to teach Seán Irish as a home-schooler but when he goes to school he will have no choice. From what I have been able to find out, the other schools would put him into a class with children who have been learning Irish for six years and be expected to catch up. I am DELIGHTED to say that Seán will be able to learn the Irish language at his own pace and not have to take exams. He is into his 4th year learning the Russian language and so between that and starting French & Irish, he will have his hands full.

Another thing I like is that the Principal is not planning to increase the numbers of the students in the school. A lot of the schools in Dundalk have anything between 600 & 800 students in their schools.

The school itself is out in the countryside, the Cooley Peninsula, which is beautiful and only a couple of miles from Carlingford, where Seán goes sailing during the Summer. It is about 12 miles away from where we live in the town but that's not an issue. We will drive Seán until we are confident he is able to go on the buses. (one into town and the other to the school)

This is what the uniforms look like.

After an interview with the Principal last year, we feel confident that all that can be done in relation to bullying and drugs etc is being done. We were given a tour around the school last Summer by the caretaker and then we also attended their Open Day and gave Seán a taste of it. On the way home n the car he said, 'I love being home-schooled, but, you know, I am ready for school now, so when do I start, next week?' The wee pet, he was a bit disappointed to hear he wasn't going for another two years or so.

So what about our plan to give Seán his transitional year before he goes to school? Well, we are going to have to have a talk with the Principal again and see if she can hold Seán's place for an extra year. I can't see it happening, but God knows, and if He wants Seán to go to school in 2010 that's ok with us!

I can't tell you how happy I am about this. When we heard about it, I cried, and we all thanked God immediately.

Our motto "Ar thriail na tuiscine" translates as "In search of Understanding ".

- The sun of knowledge rises over the land and sea of the Cooley Peninsula.
- Student's arms are raised bearing symbols of study and industry.
- Over all is the torch of eternal youth.


Thursday 22 January 2009


Do you remember I posted about a good sale that was on in Eason's a couple of weeks ago? Well, I went through the items that I bought, (mostly for 20c each) bagged them and now have them ready for distribution!!!

Some are for birthdays and for next December.

These are for Easter. The people that I am close to (and who have children) and I have come to an agreement over the years not to buy Easter eggs for each other, as the children get too many as it is. However, I know some people who give Sean eggs every year. I can't afford to buy them eggs back at €4 or €5 a pop, so what I do is look out for good quality gifts at a fraction of the cost, put them away and give them out at Easter:-)

I also bought five school bags for 99c each (I think they were about €8 each) and will give them to Sean's granny to give to her five grand children instead of eggs.

Last January (08) I bought pencil cases worth €10 for 99c, put them away and plan to give them to five of Sean's cousins this Easter:-)

I got these books for 'half nothing' in the sale too. I have put some away for gifts and I h ave kept some for home schooling. Most were €1.99 or 99c but I splashed out (!) and spent €4.99 on the large one about Irish Paintings. At full price, most of the books were over €20. However, I bought one book at full price at €7.99. It is a coin book. You collect the Euro coins from certain countries in Europe and put them into the book. It's really nice and I look forwards to helping Sean with this project. Worth every penny.


Yes, we have heard of Obama over here in Ireland.

Yesterday my little 5 year old neighbour came home from school and announced that Bocco Rocco is now the new President in America!

Also, if you want to see how the New President was celebrated in Ireland go to this Irish blog. Annie is a friend of mine so pop over and leave a comment!


Saturday 17 January 2009

Kids and the things they say...

> > (written by kids)
> >
> > You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like
> > sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep
> > the chips and dip coming.
> > -- Alan, age 10
> >
> > No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to
> > marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later
> > who you're stuck with.
> > -- Kristen, age 10
> >
> > Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by
> > then.
> > -- Camille, age 10
> >
> > You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at
> > the same kids.
> > -- Derrick, age 8
> >
> > Both don't want any more kids.
> > -- Lori, age 8
> >
> > Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know
> > each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
> >
> > -- Lynnette, age 8 (isn't she a treasure)
> >
> > On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually
> > gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
> > -- Martin, age 10
> >
> > I'd run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the
> > newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns.
> >
> > -- Craig, age 9
> >
> > When they're rich.
> > -- Pam, age 7
> >
> > The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with
> > that.
> > - - Curt, age 7
> >
> > The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry
> > them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do.
> > -- Howard, age 8
> >
> > It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone
> > to clean up after them.
> > -- Anita, age 9 (bless you child)
> >
> > There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?
> > -- Kelvin, age 8
> >
> > And the #1 Favorite is........
> > Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck
> > hit her.
> > -- Ricky, age 10


I was at a sister in the Lord's home last night. Her daughter was going on a deb's night. There were lost of their family & friends there and also, I am glad to say, her Christian family.

Here is Niall, the Pied Piper:-)

Wednesday 14 January 2009


I have never, never, NEVER looked forwards to the Spring time, ever.

However, I have got to say that three things have changed me in recent years and made me look forwards to it.

1 I got saved. God has a wonderful way of opening your eyes to things once unseen and giving you an appreciation for His creation, whether it is the human race or nature, whatever.

2 Home schooling Seán has helped me look forwards to Spring time. I know I have to teach him about the changing seasons, planting, growing etc and so while I am teaching him I am learning more about it myself, and enjoying it!

3 The good weather we have in April/May. It doesn't seem so long to wait for good warm weather if you know you are going to get it in April, which is, after all, just after February and March :-) June and July seem so far away, and let's be honest about it, some times the weather in these months is nothing to write home about.

So here I am, In January, looking forwards to our April Summer, where I can home school Seán outside, go to the park, go for walks, plant plants and eat outside with sun factor on!!! In the mean time, I have Niall's 50th birthday, Valentine's Day, St Patrick's Day and Easter to look forwards to, all before our Irish Summer!

This is what the back garden looks like now...

This is what it looks like in the Summer...

Sometimes this is where I have a few moments to myself...

This is me sitting out at the front of the house last spring relaxing while Seán worked on some of his books :-)
Seán working on one of his crafts out in the back garden.
A nice sunny St Patrick's Day!
Home schooling in the park, sunny if not very warm.

Seán and his friends in shorts playing out front in April!

So, what are you looking forwards to?

Tuesday 13 January 2009

SALE, everything 20c each!

First of all I would like to say that Seán made a full recovery :-)

Today my friend Natasha phoned me to say that there is a sale on in Eason. It's a book shop. It's not cheap but sometimes they have the most amazing sales. I phoned Niall and asked him to pop over and see what he could get.

He came home with two big bags of goodies and here is what he got...

1 Hannah Montana notebook €5.99 - we paid 20c
3 Zip it bags (I think these were €30) €14.99 - we paid 20c each
1 Dora notebook and pen €2.99 - we paid 20c
3 Hot Wheels drinking bottles €4.99 - we paid 20c each
2 Hannah Montanna drinking bottles €5.99 - we paid 20c each
2 High School Musical bottles €5.99 - we paid 20c each
4 In night garden colours (I think these were €4) €1.99 - we paid 20c each
1 Rainbow magic gell pens €6.99 - we paid 20c
2 Totally Tracey work books €1.99 - we paid 20c each
2 Hyuandi twin set ear phones €11.99 - we paid 20c each
1 3d Stereo ear phones €9.99 - we paid 20c
1 Magnetic tape dispenser €2.99 - we paid 20c
1 Magnetic note pad €3.99 - we paid 20c
2 Plastic A4 folder including writing pad €1.99 - we paid 20c
2 Zip A4 folders €2.99 - we paid 20c
4 Office file folder €1.99 - we paid 20c
2 Office arch binder €2.99 - we paid 20c

When I added up the prices above it should have cost ..... €193.57!!!

Total amount of money we spent.... €7.oo!!! UNBELIEVABLE!

The carrier bags alone cost Niall 22c and yet every item on sale was only 20c!

Niall went back into the shop and got some more goods. I have put a bag of items away for gifts for people's birthdays over the next year, for gifts instead of Easter eggs at Easter and some have even been put away for gifts until next December!

I kept a zip bag for myself!!!

Sean asked Niall to spend €10 of Seán's money on these things (which he did) and so in a couple of months time, when the weather is fine, Seán will have another yard sale and sell his goods for 50c each and make the grand profit of 30c per item :-) Ah well, it's all a bit of fun!

He enjoys it and so do the children in the estate...

Here are a few photos of different yard sales he has had over the past couple of years. The sale he had in the first photo was shared with two of his friends.
On another occasion he also planted seeds and when they grew into flowers he had a plant sale. Also, you may remember last Autumn when he harvested his two apple trees and sold the apples for 5c each!!!


Would you pop over to Sean's blog and say hi? He is still sick and would love the encouragement :-)


Monday 12 January 2009


Let me introduce you to Marie.

She is our Pastor's wife and her story of how the Lord saved her should warm the cockles of your heart!

So, sit back and just take the couple of minutes or so it takes to read this and to be edified!


Before I begin I would like to mention two verses of Scripture that mean a lot to me. The first is Romans 8:28, ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.’ This is the verse that I hold onto when things are difficult and the truth it contains has brought me through many difficult days. The second verse is 1 Samuel 15:22-23, ‘So Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.” This is the verse that helps to keep me on the straight and narrow. How awful we think witchcraft is1 well, in the eyes of God, rebellion – that is disobedience to God – is in god’s eyes as the sin of witchcraft. That often stops me in my tracks.

My name is Marie Murphy. I am married to Stephen and I have two sons, Stephen and Daniel. I am from the Dundalk area and I was brought up about two miles outside town in what was then the country.
Do you know when you have one of those moments when you feel as if something really important is happening and afterwards you can always remember where you were when it happened? Well, I have had several of those and looking back, I can see that it was God interrupting my life and catching my attention.
The first time it happened I was eight years old and I remember being at home one day, actually I was walking up the hallway in my parents’ house, and as I passed underneath the trapdoor in the attic I suddenly thought, ‘What am I doing here? Why am I alive? I must be here for a reason. Surely you just don’t exist and then stop!’ the thought really scared me and I did not know who I could ask that would not tell me not to be silly. I did not know anyone who would answer my question seriously. So I told myself not to be silly and tried to forget it.
A few years later, when I was in first year in Secondary school, I was in history class one day when it happened again. The teacher was teaching us about thc reformation period in history and we were learning about a man called Martin Luther. Martin Luther opposed the Catholic church teaching on selling indulgences. This is where the Catholic church taught that if you paid the church money for ‘indulgences’ you would get reduced time in purgatory or get straight into heaven. Martin Luther opposed this and he opposed other teachings as well. He was excommunicated from the church. Now I was only thirteen but even I knew that only God could decide who got into heaven and you definitely could not buy your way in.
It was as if the world stopped and stood still. I suddenly realised that if Martin Luther was right and he was excommunicated hwere did that leave the Catholic church?
Instinctively I knew that I would get into trouble if I asked this kind of question. Again I kept it to myself.

At home I had a really good life. My parents worked really hard to give us all the things they didn’t have growing up. So I had a very happy childhood. I was the middle child in a family of five, tow older brothers and two younger sisters. We had a ball! My parents were very loving and instilled in us many good habits. Lying was not tolerated and there was never any fear in the home.
Where I lived in the country there was a lot of drink about. I can actually say that one of the nieghbours I never saw sober in my life. Around us many families were plagued with drink. One family who lived close by had a son my father’s age and he used to come home drunk and beat his mother and sister. This scared the wits out of us as kids. When he was sober he was grand and when he was drunk he was awful. I promised myself I would never date a guy who drank. I was so scared that I would grow up and marry someone like that.
I remember my Dad once saying that drink had no place in the family home. He himself had taken the pledge and so, whilst we saw at close quarters the devastation it caused, we never had to suffer it in the house.

When I went to College I was an ardent Catholic and really missed religion teaching. One day I saw a notice on the college notice board advertising a Bible study in one of the teachers’ homes and decided to go with a lot of friends.
The poor lady, I was such an ardent Catholic that if the Pope did not say it, it was not true! I was very defensive and challenged everything.
Then one day the third thing happened. I was at a Bible study and I just read on myself when everyone else was talking about something and what I read changed my entire life. Matthew 13:54-57, ‘When He had come to his country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter’s Son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things? So they were offended at Him. but Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honour except in his own country and in his own house.” Reading this I realised that Jesus had real brothers and sisters. The Catholic church taught that Mary stayed a virgin all her life, that she only had one child, Jesus. The ‘Holy Family’ was Joseph, Mary and Jesus.
Both the Catholic church and the Bible could not be true. I had to think. I kept tossing it back and forth in my mind, but no matter what way I looked at it they both could not be right. In the end, I decided that the Bible that the Bible was God’s Word, then it must be true si I would believe it. I had no idea of how this would change my life.

I continued to attend the studies each week and I loved them, but I was a bit worried. This college lecturer was not a Catholic. I did not know what church she attended but it was not Catholic so I thought that if it was not Catholic it must be Protestant. I went to visit a friend of my brother’s who was a priest and I asked him the difference between Catholics and Protestants. He said Protestants did not believe in transubstantiation and they did not believe in Mary. I made sure that this was the only difference and, armed with this information, I went back to the Bible study thinking no one wuld catch me out. What I discovered was that this lady did believe in Mary and so did the others who called themselves Christian.

By this time I had met Stephen and became engaged and wanted to have the best relationship and marriage you could have. Stephen was a nominal Roman Catholic but just to please ma he came to some meetings. In November 1979 a weekend away was organized by a group of Christians including Chris Mayers and lady who ran the Bible studies I attended. The weekend was on relationships and naturally I wanted us both to attend. The couple who spoke at the weekend had teenage children and what I remember most was a lady, Joan Cardoo. I disagreed with everything she said about the role of women and in particular the role of married women. I thought she was from the Stone Age with her ideas. She spoke about the husband being the head of the house and about submission. In my books she was way off. However, what I could not deny was the relationship she had with her husband. It was so close and you knew watching that it was no pretence. It was what I wanted in my marriage. What also stood out was the relationship they both had with their children. It was obvious that their son really loved and respected them and he was very open with them as if they were friends. They had everything I wanted and she believed everything I didn’t.

The following March (it was a St. Patrick’s bank holiday weekend) there was another weekend away. This time the topic was, ‘How certain can you be?’ It was, ‘How sure can you be of where you will spend eternity?’ The speakers were Reggie Fry and Pastor Dunlop. Stephen told me on the way home that he was saved. I did not understand.

Imagine three years of Bible study and I still could not see. We went back to my parents’ home and Stephen explained it to me. He explained to me that I was a sinner and how awful my sin was in the eyes of God. But, because He loved me, His Son took my punishment the cross, how really it was my sin that nailed Jesus to the cross. My eyes were suddenly opened. I was devastated. The awfulness of my sin hit me and I saw how terrible I was and I was overcome by the fact that someone loved me so much that even though He knew me, the ‘real’ me and all the things I had done and would do in the future, He still willingly chose to die for me. I was broken and humbled and I asked for forgiveness and asked Jesus to take over my life and change me, and He did.
That was March 1980. I married Stephen that year in August and he is a total blessing to me. We have two sons, Stephen and Daniel who are 20 and 18 and who both belong to the Lord. He has also provided me with a daughter-in-law who also belongs to Him and she is a treasure.

After I got saved all the things I had heard over the previous three years started to fall into place. Now I realised that as Christ was the head of the church and loved her so much that He died for her that is the way a man is called to be head of his wife. It is a high calling with a huge responsibility. If you are loved so much, and constantly love and blessings are heaped upon you by your husband, then submitting to him is not a problem. You know he has you as a priority in his life, after God of course. It would be hard to resist that kind of love.

As regards bringing up your children and having a good relationship with your husband. Forget the ‘How to’ books, the Scripture shows us how to love and tells us how to discipline. It tells us how to be parents, friends, brothers and sisters, how to be peacemakers, how to witness. It tells us so much. The problem is following it all and being faithful.

I know that I have been so blessed and I know that I have seen the results of God’s faithfulness in our children. Sure we made plenty of mistakes and neither of us is perfect or anywhere near it. But God is gracious and loving and quick to forgive and He has truly blessed us.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love children. Well, there is another reason I do get involved in children’s work. I think of the questions I had as a child and there was no adult that I felt I could ask who would take me seriously. Now I know that I am not unique and that all children have lots of spiritual questions. So who do they ask? If they live in a Christian home of course they can ask their parents. But what if they don’t? How many children live in Christian homes? Not many, so what about those children? As Christians we need to be there for the next generation. At the club on Friday I was asked by some of the children about some pictures on the front of some c.d.’s. What really shocked me was what they considered decent dress. As long as the girl had any top on or whether it was her hair that was covering her. This was acceptable, after all they said she was a popstar and she needed to promote her records. These children are between 10 and 13. This is the guidance and answers they receive from the world. We need to be available to them and show them the alternative.