Tuesday 29 June 2010

Summer

Phew! Things are moving fast for me these days. There was my birthday, Sean's birthday, Holiday Bible Club, Sailing Camp, and a million things in between. Anyway, I am back now and heading off to visit some of you :0)

Wednesday 2 June 2010

Birthdays

I feel like it has been quite a while since I blogged. Things have been just too busy here and although I am trying to slow down our pace of life, there are just some tings that must be done so it looks like we will just have to hold on tight and wait it out!

It was my 45th birthday last Thursday. Our family had a great day and I will blog about that soon. Right now we are concentrating on Sean's beach/birthday/family BBQ to be held, Lord willing, tomorrow if the weather is good. It's a big undertaking but we hope, like the last few years, that it will turn out good. A day for our family, my extended family, our church family, friends and neighbours to meet up and have a good time. The tide will be in around four o clock which should make it all the more fun for the kids.

Well, must sleep now, it's already quite late.

Oh, one more thing, Sean got an -A in his Russian test today!

Talk soon :0)

Tuesday 25 May 2010

Break

We thought we would take a break and spend some time together around the home, catching up on some DIY. It's been about three years since Niall took a break and it was hard going trying to persuade him to take four days off! Anyway, we all took from Wednesday until Saturday off, Niall from work (well mostly. He had a couple of jobs he couldn't cancel) and Sean and I off school work.

We got plenty of things done around the home. I did some gardening work, weeding and planting. I also did a lot of work in a neighbours (new sister) front garden. She is busy at the moment and a bit under pressure so I thought it would be a very pleasant way for me to spend a few hours and help a friend. Also, while Niall took Sean to a Gospel meeting up north, I bought two 99's from the ice cream van and brought them over to my other new sister in the Lord. We both sat in her kitchen licking away goodo and her grand children (who she rears) looked on in disbelief! How dare we old folk eat ice cream! Ha Ha!

Niall and I had to treat the decking out the back of the house and that took a good while. Thankfully the weather over the weekend was fantastic, hot, hot, hot! In between all this DIY we headed off to Roach Castle for a few hours and also got to the new playground in Blackrock where Sean met up with a friend.

Sunday was hectic! We had our regular church service followed by the fellowship lunch (held outside). Then we went to a neighbours 40th Birthday party. She is Nigerian and we were the only white people there, quite a feat! Then we went up North to a Sunday evening gospel service and then on to a youth meeting where the teaching, fellowship and food was really good!

So, we are getting back to normal now. Niall is back to work and I am teaching Sean. The weather is sunny but a bit cold however, it's just great looking out at the sunshine. Tonight we have an opening of an art exhibition that we are invited to. My sister is a member of the group of artists showing their works. We go every year and sometimes we even buy some paintings. This year I hope to pick up one to give as a gift to a couple from the church who are marrying in September.

We will be minding Artem & Denis for three days this week which pleased Sean no end and we are are also planning Sean's birthday/family beach BBQ for next week if the weather permits. My birthday is on Thursday and I know what gift my family are giving me!!!

Next week I have the Women's Mini Marathon to walk in Dublin over the June Bank Holiday and we also hope to go to Bloom in the Phoenix Part with our friends Frank and Mary Moore....

Phew, I feel worn out already!

Where ever you are and whatever you are doing during this season of your life, I hope the Lord is with you and blessing you all.

God bless.

Friday 21 May 2010

Testing, testing...


Niall wants me to blog today so he can see if the Internet link we have been using these past three days is any faster than the usual one we use, so I am going to find a couple of photos, post them and see how long it takes me.

Here goes..Kevin

Sean
The Murphy's
Yuck!
Me & Sean
and again...
Sean & Janet
Jean
Dad
The bearded one!


Yep, it seems to be working fine, and it's half the price...!
It's a keeper :o)

Thursday 20 May 2010

Answers

Well, I am working through my mini crisis lol! Thanks for your comments and encouragements. I appreciate it.

But seriously, I needed so much to have a good chin wag with somebody and that's just what happened. There is a lot of stuff going on within me with regards to my church and my place in it and it has been a tough three or four years. It's not getting any easier as such, but my understanding is increasing and with that, I hope my maturity?
Sadly, every few months I feel overcome by it all and need to touch home with Niall. He goes over things with me and helps me to remember what's going on, and settles me down so I can move ahead and keep up the good fight, so to speak.

These are testing times, well, all times are a time of testing when you are a christian!!! The brilliant thing is that with the testings and trials comes a closeness with God and a growing in myself.

It's a win/win situation, as I always say :0)

Tuesday 18 May 2010

Things have been a bit hectic here these days. A man we know had been dying in hospital and so we have been praying and visiting and consoling. He eventually died and was buried last Monday. He had no children but left a wife behind who is old and has been ill for a very long time. She is in respite in a local nursing home for a week and although Niall has visited her twice, I haven't made it yet.
A family friend flew out to one of the Canary Islands last week to be married and so eight of my siblings flew out to attend. I looked after a six month old great nephew for eight days. He is one of the nicest and well behaved babies I have ever known and yet it was still tough, getting up for the night time feeds and attending him around the clock.

Sometimes there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day, you know?

Sometimes I think that I get too busy with the day to day stuff and then find it hard to catch up and care for the needy members of the body/church. There are a few who need a lot of attention and I am not sure if I neglect them and feel guilty, or if I don't neglect them but am left feeling like I can never do enough and feel guilty anyway...

I find it a hard thing to measure. I wish I knew what to do. I wish I could talk to somebody about it.

Thursday 6 May 2010

Field trip

On Tuesday I took Sean out on a field trip... to Paddy Clarke's Photographers. We were there before just over four years ago. Emma Clark took us into the studio and took photos of Sean. Then she took us into the back office and spent ages showing Sean and then allowing him to use the computer there. He had great fun as you will see in some of the following photos!










As you can see from this photo, both Emma and her dad Paddy have won lots of awards for their hard work in photography. Emma, you are lovley, thank you so very much! Well done and may the Lord bless you both in your private and work lives.

Morning blogging.

http://s0.geograph.org.uk/photos/02/63/026389_7d3f0e85.jpg

It's a rare thing for me to be on the mac in the morning. I usually have breakfast, family bible time, prayer and then straight to schooling Sean when I wake but this morning both Niall and Sean needed a lie-in so I got up, had breakfast, read one of my daily readings and sang prayers to God, yes, I sang them instead of talking to Him. I found the song 'Be Thou my vision' and sang the words/prayer to Him.

Anyway, Sprugeon's morning thought was 'We dwell in Him', 1 John 4:13. It's about Heaven and looking forwards to being there.

When I was younger and an atheist, I used to look at old buildings, broken down ancient cottages on rocky hillsides that used to house huge families many generations ago, old castles and old fields who's landscapes hadn't changes in years and years and think about the long, long time ago that people lived in them or tilled them. It all seemed so long ago to me. I would think back to the Viking age, Tudor age or the times of the Pharaohs and think it was so long ago. I would ponder evolution and the millions, nay billions of years they say the age of the earth is and I would think it was so long ago.

This has changed.

Slowly, and unexpectedly, as I read my bible, pray and live with God, I have found that the creation of the world wasn't that long ago. I have found that David didn't live that long ago. I have found that I can identify with Abraham, Rahab, David, Paul and Mary Magdalene. We have a lot in common. They were failed human beings full of sin and love for God and so am I. Stephen my pastor once said to me soon after my conversion that there is no new sin in this world. People sinned the same six thousand years ago as they do now... Boy, was that a revelation to me. (well it would be, considering I believed that people gradually evolved from animals) It completely opened my eyes to a lot of things.


I read in the bible that once I was forgiven of my sins and converted I was joined to God through His Holy Spirit. 'We dwell in Him'. In John 17 Jesus Himself said '... for those who will believe in Me through their (apostles) word: that they all (me) may be one, as you, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.'

Wow, Wow, Wow...

When I pray, sing, talk to God, I am with Him, I am in Him.

I think what I am trying to say is that when I talk to God, when I am with Him, I am with the same person who was around at the creation of the world. The same person who talked with Abraham, David and Mary talks with me. The same person who has converted Martin Luther, Spurgeon and MacArthur converted me. When I am aware of this and am a part of this, well, time it doesn't really seem so very long to me any more.

I have noticed that as a result of this train of thought I anticipate Heaven, my home, more.
I am in Him and He is in Heaven...
I feel like (and I hope this is not making light of God and His holiness) when I am talking to God that I am in a different country but keeping in touch with home through Skipe. Everything that is familiar, lovely, desirable and good is in Heaven, I belong there and will be home soon. Until that time I will keep in contact with my Father regularly and with great anticipation.

So, whether I look back of whether I look forwards, this life really is, as God says, a vapour, fleeting and passing.

Friday 30 April 2010

Happenings.

We have been getting on with things as usual these past weeks. Sean is still doing well with his swimming and loving it. Sigita had been giving him one-to-one lessons which really helped him, so much so, that when he went back to his Aura classes, he was able to skip three levels, move on to the Saturday morning coaching class and was placed in the advanced class. I take him to the pool every Thursday for the open swim there and sometimes he spends two or three hours there practicing his lengths, meeting and playing with other kids and just horsing around, as you can see in this photo!

We are still schooling at home and getting on with that. I realize that things were becoming a bit stale in this department so we go to the Library more often and I have booked a couple of field trips for Sean. Next Tuesday we plan to visit Paddy Clarke's Photographers where they will allow Sean to use their cameras to take photos and then they will show him how to use the computers etc. We went to visit them four years ago and were invited back so we are looking forwards to that. The week after that we hope to visit a book binders workshop.Sean 2006

Last week we went to the park to do some work there. It was pleasant enough weather and Sean enjoyed running around in between working on his books. I took this photo of him up in his (and half the kids in the town) favourite tree and thought I would compare it with a similar photo I took a few years ago. I am keenly aware that this kind of fun behaviour will end very soon and want to capture it before it disappears altogether. However, I think he will swap this for some other form of play like basketball and football when he goes to school next year :o)Sean 2006Sean 2010

I am still helping this little lady with her homework a few evenings a week. The proceeds are going towards Sean's sailing boat. She is a wee dote and working well for me.My sister Caroline and her son David has opened a cafe in town and has agreed to allow Sean to work there on Friday afternoons and pay him a small amount to put towards his sailing boat! It's all very easy stuff, rolling up cutlery in napkins, tidying tables etc. He is really enjoying being there, meeting people, getting free food, soft drinks and tips!I go along too and instead of her paying me money, we came to the agreement that Niall, Sean and I can eat there free once a week which suits us all very well. She is also displaying and selling Sean's gift mugs. They are selling very well in Blackrock and the Hospital shop which is encouraging Sean. The knitting club is back up and running, this time in Paula's home.. or garden. When it is held in the garden about three girls come that usually miss out because they are not allowed into anybody's house so that's a real plus.We're lovin it!


Wednesday 28 April 2010

Finally!

I finally have the time to do a bit of blogging and post some photos.

April is a month in Ireland when we have the National Spring Clean and this year I signed our estate up to take part in it. Instead of organizing a one day event we decided to have a clean up for a few hours in each week of April. We had bags and gloves sent out to us by the organizers which was helpful and encouraging. Encouraging because I was able to show the children here the letters and items etc., and stirred them up for the clean up; to help them feel they are a part of something bigger.
They are great kids for the most part, very willing to work and all I have to do is go outside with a yard brush or watering can and they all come a-running! Of course the older kids wouldn't join in in a fit... but they had their day with planting, cleaning and Bible Clubs in the past, and I am happy enough to let them move on. There are plenty of youngsters to keep the show on the road and me active!

One other thing that is encouraging us to tidy up is that Cluid, who own these homes are having a competition to see who had the nicest estate/apartment block and the first prize is €400. Well, you would think it was €4,000 the way the kids got all excited about it! I told them that 'if' we win, we will hire out a big bouncy castle for them for the day and buy loads of ice cream lol!

On the first week of April we swept and tided up a couple of different areas around our small estate.

The second week we spent sweeping and digging around a very dirty area just off the entrance to where we live. Initially this was planned to be the entrance to a new estate but due to the recession and lack of funds the project has been put on hold. Sadly, kids use this place to hang out, smoke and break glass etc., so it really needed a clean up. There was quite a bit of digging involved here because grass has grown along the kerb but we had two spades and lots of willing hands and eventually got it done. This, for me was the best day because although the work was hard and the day was hot and the children had to take turns with the spades, yard brushes etc., they worked very well together with no falling out. I was very proud of them.This little 2 yo helped for about two hours!
We worked very hard at it and ended up buying two boxes of ice pops and sitting on the curb enjoying them.

On the third week we swept up. We also washed the doors etc on the community Centre and washed chalk graffiti off lamp posts. The kids really enjoyed this! (You can just imagine the fun they had with the water!) We finished off with chocolate bars as a treat.

This last week we had a full clean up where we picked up litter from all over the estate. We also planted ivy along the long wall that is on the way into this estate. This time we had drinks and pringles as a treat.

I really enjoyed getting the kids involved in the National Spring Clean. I think it is a great idea and look forwards to taking part in it again in 2011. So, to celebrate this months activities we have booked the Garda van (free use of 14 seater police van and police driver) for next Thursday and hope to take about 10 of the kids who have been working with me for a tour of some of the pretty estates in Co Louth. We may stop someplace nice like the Bally Mac Hotel for a drink and snack in their lovely gardens and hopefully during all of this we will take part in a treasure hunt that Niall promised to organize! Happy Days!