Saturday 30 January 2010

A different kind of day



Yesterday my family were involved in something very unusual, something you wouldn't necessarily have the chance to participate once in a lifetime.

Fifty years ago my mother had 6 children and was expecting her seventh, Caroline, when her youngest child, Frank, died. He was only 13 months old and after a week in hospital he died of meningitis. It was a very tough time for mum, and it was all the more awful that she and dad walked into Frank's room at the hospital to find him dead. The staff hadn't time to tell them in advance.

When the day of the funeral came mum had Frank in his white coffin on her knee in the front seat of the car but was so distressed she couldn't attend the burial. So dad took Frank and buried him while mum stayed in the car. He was buried in a relative's grave but Frank's name was never put on the gravestone. Yesterday, finally our family placed a grave marker in the form of a book on Frank's grave.

It was a bitter sweet moment. My other three brothers were there along with four of the girls, some grandchildren, some friends and of course mum. One of my brothers spoke about what had happened around the time of Frank's death. We all had the opportunity to add anything we felt was appropriate and then we placed flowers on the grave.

It struck me that I have five family members in Heaven now. My dad, my brother Frank and three babies that mum miscarried. It is a comfort for me to know this. Wouldn't it be great if all 16 of us meet there!
If only more people knew that children who were miscarried, aborted or who died young are all in Heaven, for sure. What a great comfort it would be for them! Maybe they would think longer and harder about Heaven and whether they will themselves end up there with God and their children or whether they will be cut off from them for eternity, in Hell...

Yesterday, a few tears were shed. Marie, the oldest child, remembers some of what happened. It's not something that was talked about much. Mum never mentioned Frank's death and as the family grew, we were brought up knowing not to talk about it, as it hurt mum so much. Somebody asked mum how she felt the day of Frank's funeral and she said she was distraught, part of her life was empty, but she had to go home to cook the dinner...

Frank was the only child out of eleven who had curly hair.
She still has a lock of it.

Thursday 28 January 2010

These are fun!









Photos


Recently I posted my photos using my iphone and although I can see them on my blog, others can't so here they are again, and hopefully you can see them as I am posting them on the imac...
So, Jeff, Cassandra and Kaber, I hope they were worth the wait:0)









Recently I posted my photos using my iphone and although I can see them on my blog, others can't so here they are again, and hopefully you can see them as I am posting them on the imac...

Saturday 23 January 2010

Decorating

We decorated our sitting room recently. I am just delighted with the results and am very grateful to live within one hour of Ikea!

Decorating

We decorated our sitting room recently. I am just delighted with the results and am very grateful to live within one hour of Ikea!
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Day out in Kings Court., Dun Na Ri

This afternoon we took a few hours to ourselves and went, along with a friend of Seans, to Kings Court. I have wanted to go there for over 35 years now and I finally made it today. Let me explain...

When I was about 8 years old I was at the swimming pool in Blackrock and my sister and I met two young girls about our own age there. We got along very well and exchanged addresses so we could become pen pals. They lived in Kings Court and to me, well, the name sounded very special. (It was a bit like when I was younger still and mistook the word 'dining' room to be 'diamond' room!)
We wrote to each other a couple of times and eventually our friendship fizzled out but in the back of my mind I always wanted to see what the area looked like. Well I finally got there and let me tell you, I wasn't disappointed:0)

There is a very pretty river running through it.
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We found a clear area and Niall and the boys had a bit of fun with the archery set.photo.<span class=

This is how the Sean and Kevin entertained themselves on the way home... Oh the joys of an apple phone:0)
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Handy gift

During a previous post I showed you some things I had been buying and putting to one side for gifts.
Well, I gathered them together and made two gifts out of them. I asked a neighbour to wrap the for me and they turned out very well. Niall and I dropped one of them over to a sister from the Church, Kate who is very under the weather and bed bound for the time being. I hope it cheered her up!
It's fun of goodies for Katie like a face mask, bath cushion, fun mug, candle etc. I have another one put away for another occasion as it arises.
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21st birthday.

My nephew Dean was 21 last week. His mum threw a party for him and we had a good time meeting people we hadn't seen in a while. For a gift we got a t-shirt for him with photos printed on it, back and front and writing saying 'Happy 21st Birthday.' Then we got everybody there to sign it for him! photo.<span class=jpg">We took his 13 month son home with us to mind for the night. One of the best babies I have ever had the pleasure to mind!


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Engagement!

Two women I know are engaged to be married this year. Sigita, Sean's swimming coach, is marrying Con from Kerry in September, and Kate, our teacher from Dublin who helps us out with the home schooling is getting married to Sean from Dublin in August.

I got a nice small set of glass candle holders and two long life candles for Sigita as a gift along with felt hearts I made from a 'Jamie Oliver' kit courtesy from Becky.

I have yet to pick up or make something for Kate. She will be visiting us soon so Sean can take his maths and English exams. I am sure I will get something appropriate though:0)
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Library

During the week I took Sean to the Library to home school. It makes a change from the usual and we both enjoy it. It's a beautiful restored old building and a pleasure to be in. I found this nice wee poem hung on the wall, have a look!
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Mum's 78th birthday

Mum was 78 on Wednesday so all of my brothers and sisters, except one, made it to the restaurant for the birthday celebrations. It is an Italian restaurant out past Ardee and the pasta dishes and pizzas were lovely. There were grand children and great grand children there too, along with friends. We had a very good night and finished it off with Daisy's cake. This is a fruit/Christmas/wedding cake. Years ago mum got the recipe from a woman called Daisy and every Christmas mum made it. Somehow, over the years mum lost the recipe and was very sad about it. But somehow my sister Caroline got her hands on it and make the cake especially for mum's birthday! We were all amazed and delighted with it!
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Navagation

Our brother in the Lord and friend Mick has taken on the teaching responsibility of teaching Sean all about navigation, reading charts etc! We are delighted that Mick is teaching Sean this because it should go a long way towards making his sailing training this Summer easier for him. Please God he will be going on to level 3 which is a pretty tough level and includes learning about navigation.
On top of that it gives me and Niall the chance to see Mick more often because, due to his bad health he hasn't been able to attend any of the church services in a year now.

So, thanks Mick :0)
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Monday 11 January 2010

Sales and gifts

This time last year I decided to take advantage of the great sales there were around the town and go buy gifts, as many as I could afford, for birthdays throughout the year and for the following December. Well, it turned out to be a great success because as the year progressed, instead of trying to find the money and buying presents, or worse, forgetting about the birthday until the last minute and having nothing, I just went upstairs to the bag I had hidden away in one of the wardrobes, found the gift, wrapped it and gave it!Well, this year, although the bargain's weren't as great as they were in Easons last year, I have REALLY ENJOYED shopping and snapping up any good deals I could. I am delighted with my booty and enjoyed going through them this evening. I took some photos, so here they are...

For Birthdays.

I got Sarah a small Dora bag full of pencils, erasers, copies etc. I also picked up a pencil case along with a special pen that lights up when you write. The total cost was €11.97 but I paid €3.82

Kerri will be getting a Princess poster art set, pencil case, set of erasers and a light up princess pen. Total cost was €8.47 and I paid €1.74

For Cara I got a mad pink make-up bag, nail varnish, two Bratz books and a light-up pen. Total cost €15.18. I paid €2.48.

Cillian is getting two books and a fancy Ben 10 pen. One of the books (a jigsaw book) isn't in the photo. Total cost €32.20 I paid €3.32
For next December I got Mary O's family a gift of tableware. A tablecloth, table runner, place mats, napkins and napkin rings totalled €42.00 and I paid €12.50. I got the silver box for €1.50!

Little Sarah gets a set of bed clothes and a nice quilt. I hope to buy a nice cushion too. Bed clothes and blanket were €14.00 I paid €6.

For Lucy I picked up a beautiful soft red dressing gown, red socks and a set of 2 pairs of pj's. Total cost was €17.00 and I paid €8.50.

I picked up some cloth napkins and lovely napkin rings. The set of 8 napkins and 8 rings were €18.00. I got them for €4.00.

I also got these notepads and pens for Seán's Russian teacher Lisa and for Kate, our teacher who comes to see us every once in a while to see how we are doing with the home schooling. The books and pens were only €3.90 per set!

These fun NOISY animals will go to two good homes next December! € 8.00 each but I paid €1.00 for them.

This gold table cloth and candle rings are for Anne. I have to buy two nice candles to finish the gift off. The table cloth and rings came in at €17.00 but I paid €5.00 I picked up the same table cloth and rings for my own table :o) I plan to use them on Valentine's Day for Niall's birthday.

And for Easter...

These very cute bunny slippers will be for Sarah and Lucy. They cost €4.00 each and I paid €1.00!
I have teamed one pair of these slippers up with books and drinking bottles that I bought during the sales last year for a family with 5 young children for Easter (instead of Easter eggs). I think the total was about €45.00 and I got them all for about €9.50.


One last thing. I have started to pick up small gifts that I can group together to give to somebody who's not well. A 'get well' gift. I have bought things like bath pillows for 99c each, slippers for €1.00, 2 x face mittens for 50c, mugs that say 'take it easy' for 50c, face wipes etc. All I need to get are a couple of face masks and then I will have two gifts to give somebody during the year as a 'pick-me-up' :o) I might gather them together and ask a florist to wrap them to finsih it off.
This is a photo of the things I have bought this month. I hope they are well received during the year and that they bring others as much enjoyment as they have given me!

So, the final tally is... 20 gifts priced at €245.82, I bought for €74.02, saving €171.78!

So... That works out at less than €4.00 per set of gifts (as in dressing gown, socks & pj's)

I did spend about another €20 on bits and bobs that may come in handy during the year, or next year.


Ahhhhh, I enjoyed that!