Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Facelift continued

I have been searching for the right picture/ photo for my blog title. I couldn't find one.
So after discussing this with Dermot, we set off setting items up that made up the title and tried to find the best place for photo taking.
So with Dermots help we chose this one above.
It reflects my day, my life, my faith.
My Nanna gave me her tea cup and saucer sets, when I was setting up a flat, when I started my nurses' training. Little did I know that they would truly become precious to me. But I will leave that story.
My Mum added to the collection this year. Its Royal Alberts' 100 year celebration this year. It is very pretty and I was delighted to receive it as a gift.
We grow several varieties of Roses in our yard, and one of our favourites is the one in the blog photo called Princess de Monaco- beautiful perfume, strong lasting rose, and so pretty. So we have roses in our home many months of the year. Brid has started placing them in everyones bedrooms and in Dermots' office, bathrooms and living area, but always a rose next to Our Lady.
Our Lady was given to us by my Mum, when I said I would like to have a statue like ' my Nanna had'. That was a long time ago, many Rosaries and prayers ago.
Our children are situated around her with holy cards, oil and scapulars surrounding them all.
I think you can just see my blue Rosary beads which are my Nannas. She used to re-sight this whisper of a prayer, every night as she stroked my back to settle me to sleep, when I stayed there as a child. As I was not brought up with Rosary, it wasn't until I heard it said that I remembered the whispers of this prayer.
You see Our Lady has been drawing me close to Her and Her Son for many years. She has been protecting me and guiding me. That is why when Brid when suggesting names for my blog, all these things sat so well with me
So all these items remind me of my Nanna who was my Rock when it came to my faith formation.
My Nanna died before I married Dermot, but she is always in our lives. Everytime I pray the Rosary or say a Novena or move my beads I am immediately reminded of this beautiful woman I call my Nanna.
So there you have it.

Monday, 29 December 2008


It is now time to change the background on this blog and we'd like to introduce to you our three young ladies.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

We are ready

Completed Quilt.

. On the Machine, nearing completion.
Quilt in bits, it just looks like it is complete.

Now read the happenings

Our Grocery shopping is done, gifts purchased and wrapped. Brid's Christmas craft projects complete and wrapped, next batch of cooking done, Our hearts are so ready.
We will go to Confession tomorrow.
The last few weeks, I have been working on a special project of my own, for Kristie, as you can see from above. Many years ago I made Louise a quilt for her birthday, but never got around to making one for Kristie. Soooo......I made one for her for Christmas. She's a bit of 'greeny', and doesn't really like commercialism, so this is a good present for her.
We were all working together to finish it, because I ran out of time. Dermot was on the cutting station, and Brid was what we call in the Operating Theatres the "scout"- or runner.
Louise dropped in today, and she was on the ' I need a womens' view' station. She somehow liked that.
Now I can relax and enjoy some well deserved rest.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Carols in the Domain

Tonight we are exhausted but full of Joy.
Yesterday we decided at the 'last minute' to go to Carols in the Domain. Now anyone who knows me, knows I love Carols, and watch it every year. I also say every year, I would love to go, but this year we actually did go. It was sensational. We couldn't find a spot to sit down at first because it was packed, but we made the best of it. One of the organisers said it was the biggest crowd they had ever had.
Brid danced and sang and just got caught up in the atmosphere. So did we.
We decided to stay overnight, so this morning we went to Mass at St Marys' Cathedral @ 10.30am. And if anyone knows Dermot & I, yes that is about the right time for us to go to Mass- we are not early risers-(we have trained all our kids to get up late. Much to the surprise of many. )
Mass was a High Solemn Mass, and it was really beautiful. Of course next was the Cathedral Shop- we found the perfect Christmas Nativity decoration.
I left the rest of the day up to Dermot. What would we do??
So Centrepoint Tower it was. I browsed a shop or two, but he had a plan. He got us Skywalking tickets Wow!, on Centrepoint Tower, I was pretty excited, and so was Brid. Brid remembers the 1st Aussie series of 'The Biggest Looser' - and how they Skywalked around the tower. So we got suited up, and out onto the tallest Tower in Sydney- Awesome- I am not scared of heights at all, and this was so incredible, just to be doing this.
Brid had many questions for the guide, and when I load on the photos onto my computer, I will post photos. We were all attached to a rail, so we could jump up and down on the glass and it was strong enough to support us all.
Afterwards we walked to The Rocks, Firstly to the Irish shop and then, to our favourite watering hole- The Mercantile Hotel- or Molly Malones as we call it. It has the best Guinness, Dermot tells me.
There was Irish music playing, and as Brid learns Irish dancing, we said it would be OK for her to do a Reel and Slip Jig in front of the Musicians. She enjoyed herself, the musicians had a smile on there faces as well. Brid is a born entertainer.
Anyway, we had a wonderful weekend. Something we have wanted to do for many years.
It was too hard to organise when we had little ones.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Christmas Cooking

Christmas Cake.
White Christmas and Shortbread on the right.

Well we cooked lots of things this week including Shortbread, Christmas Cake- finally, and White Christmas.

Shortbread is a favourite of our family. It was made Monday and now we have just 2 pieces left-and everyone says- 'not I '. We shall just make more. You see I don't roll it, I put it straight into a foiled lined tin, score it, and straight in the Oven. It's very soft and light , and obviously moreish!!

The Christmas cake is something I have made since I was 17, even when we lived in the UK. I asked Mum to send the recipe over. I made 3 the year I was in the UK. My Dad and I love it, so its worth making. I divide the cake up on the day. Half for me, and half for my Mum & Dad.

White Christmas is one the kids like to make by themselves, and Brid is no exception. She added everything, but the Copha.
She made this one by herself, we will take it to Sydney Homeschool group tomorrow, for the Christmas party.

So guess what we will be doing on the weekend, making more of everything, except my cake. It gets cut Christmas Day. It needs to have regular 'drinks' of sherry for a few days.
So now Christmas Shopping is complete- Just a quilt to put together-, we can concentrate on the real important things. MORE Christmas Cooking, craft and sewing and and and ....... lots of fun.

ADVENT lapbook

Brid has been finished 'school' as such for a while now, took me a while to get these posted.
These are the insides to her Lapbook that we got from 'Oh Holy Night' Blog.
Brid put this all together herself with very little imput from me, which was kinda nice, but it means she is growing up and not needing my input with items like this.

This is her title page. She was very keen to do this lapbook, and it really kept her focused on her Bible and the mystery of The Holy Family.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008


I am a bit of a non-fiction, particularly Catholic writings, buff.

I enjoy exploring the Catholic faith, and in turn deepening my faith.

Lately I have been reading books authored by Kimberley & her husband Scott Hahn.

They are powerful books, and ones, I find very easy to read. When I started reading this particular one, I thought, 'will it be dry', but 'I can handle it if it is'. I kept reassuring myself, just in case I got disappointed, " it won't be like 'Rome Sweet Home' ", but it was an easy read for me.

My latest is 'Hail Holy Queen'- Scott Hahn.
It is brilliant.
I kept stopping Dermot from reading, his book, by saying-'Listen to this' and 'You won't believe what I just found'. Every night. It was inspiring.

I enjoyed Scott continually taking everything back to the bible and Doctrinal quotes from early Fathers of the Church. I like the fact he is a 'convert', and that he knows what others are thinking. It has given me confidence to answer the 'tricky' questions.

I enjoyed his thoughts on before he was a Catholic. I I love the richness he brings to the reader in his books.

I felt sorrow for him when he explained how he threw away his own Grandmothers beads when they were given to him after her death, and joy when he was able to explain the Assumption to his former Methodist teacher and wife, who grilled him for hours.

Soooo I have asked Dermot for another for Christmas and my birthday....., and I have placed in Dermots' to read book pile.
Have you read it? Did you like it? Did you think it inspired you?

My current read is The Genius of Womenhood- Karen Doyle- an Australian, who along with her husband Jonathon are founders and national directors for CHOICEZ Media- directed at youth.
Dermot ordered this before it was published.
I have been waiting for the right time to read it. Now is it.

Monday, 8 December 2008


We had all intentions of attending A Feast day Mass today, But I have been unwell for a few days, and my desire became just a dream.
So unable to celebrate this feast of The Immaculate Conception of The Blessed Virgin with Mass, as I had planned, we stayed put and prayed our Novena and The Rosary, read the Missal and began the journey of our day.

As the morning drew on I got more tired, so Brid joined me in bed to read her Advent readers- including this gem.
We are taking this one slowly, and savouring every story. We get something out of each one. Its broken up into countries.

We have another read aloud I picked up from a christian bookshop called ' One Wintry Night'- it is the story of the Bible and ties the Christmas message and Our Saviours birth within each small chapter. It is truly lovely.

To finish off our day, we wanted to watch 'The Nativity Story'. I enjoyed it, but we needed to
stop it several times for discussion points.
Also Brid was disturbed by several scenes. ie.,the soldiers violent portrayal was enough for her. Elizabeth giving birth was another talking point.
I watched this movie last year with Kristie, but this is the first time we watched it as a family.
I am pleased there were several things we needed to concentrate on, as distractions. In the Advent Lapbook guidelines, it asked for discussion on symbolism at several points of the movie. I love symbolism, so I was in my element with that. I thought it would be a good teaching tool, as we have been discussing symbols in Narnia and other popular books.
(I will post her Lapbook when it is complete.)

All in all, our day was rich in so many ways, the stories in the readers, mirrored the scripture readings, the Gospel reading, mirrored the Annunciation in the movie.

We learn so much by just being faithful to Our Lord and trusting in his desires for us. So today, I had no choice, than just be. Thank you Lord.

Saturday, 6 December 2008


Happy St Nicholas feast day.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Crafty Brid

We have had a lot of well deserved craft fun this week. So again while Christmas carols playing, and Brid encouraging me to harmonise with her we started ...... this.....

Brid has been gathering craft ideas over the last few weeks. With ideas flowing back and forth between us, soooo in between readers, Advent lapbooking, we have been secretly ssshhh! been getting Brids' Christmas presents together.
She is painting plywood discs to put pictures on for each family member, wrapping them and putting them away in a secret hiding place.

I like 'doing' sewing from my head, let me rephrase, I rarely use patterns, which gets me into trouble when I am teaching an eager beaver, like Brid to sew. Yesterday, she made an apron, and we made it up as we went along. But it looks wonderful, and guess what Brid did 90% by herself, just me sitting next to her explaining how to move her fingers with the sewing machine.

Christmas Dress:
Brid picked out some material for her Christmas dress, so we will tackle that next week.

Skirt, first of many:-
SO along with my pattern and idea in my head- I made Brid a skirt, UUmm from another skirt, just lengthtened it. altered it along the way, and found a little frill for the hemline. Her Skirt is above- she wore it proudly to Mass today.
So here as you see are the photos as promised.