07 June 2008

Still here

...but very soon, going there. We're on the move again. As I look down below at the previous post, I realize it was written nearly a year ago this same month, and we were also moving. Hopefully once we get a bit settled and have internet access, maybe I might actually blog again? I'd like that.

Anyway, just thought I'd post evidence of the actual moving. These boxes were packed in Ireland, then shipped across the sea in a container, stored in a storage unit in California for the year, and now loaded up on a Budget moving truck and driven to the new home in Colorado. And then we will get to open them! I can't even remember what all is in them...

The actual truck in the photo was driven out a month or so ago. We'll drive a smaller one out with the rest of our belongings, and all of us, in a little over three weeks time. Thought you might enjoy seeing how tall the 13 year old is. Taller than me, he is! And the bench on the ground? My dad built that for us when we lived in Portland, Oregon while they were there visiting... waiting for Ryan to be born. I have an old picture of prego me and my dad sitting on that very bench. And now it's resting in our back garden in Colorado. Life never stays still for long, yes?

We have tons of space in this new house. Come visit us!!!! Cead Mile Failte... always.

30 June 2007

Boxes everywhere. Yes, we are counting down days now. The container arrives at our home on Saturday next. That's in seven days. We had friends come over yesterday and help us bring down the plethora of boxes and sundry from the attic. We are most definitely moving!

Last night, our church family threw us a most wonderful goodbye party. I am stuck for words when I try to think of how to write what God has done in our lives through these precious people. Through His church here in Ireland. We are deeply changed and enriched and forever grateful that they embraced us as their own.

Yesterday also was Ryan and Lauren's last day of school at Scoil Eoin Phoil. Ryan has spent seven years with his classmates and Lauren, four. It was a bittersweet day, full of laughter, parties and goodbyes. We are indeed grateful for the principal, teachers and families who have been a part of our lives during our time with them.

A few pictures ~ starting at the very beginning...

Ryan & junior infant (kindergarten) classmate Eoghan during their very first sports day.

Lauren (just turned 3) on same day with Ryan's classmates, Aaron & Ross.

Ryan, now age 12, leaving for school last week.

Lauren (2nd from left) and classmates at a goodbye party they surprised her with on Wednesday. She loved every minute.

Ryan's classmates gathering around him yesterday for a final emotional goodbye. The goodbyes and hugs went on for some time...

Soon new adventures await. But until then, in the midst of the boxes, we are living each last day here in Ireland with gratitude and tear filled joy.

12 June 2007

Our most beautiful daughter who is full of laughter and life is nine today. Happy Birthday sweet girl!!

P.S. The Italy trip was brilliant! A very sweet time away for Rod and I. Plus the country is so incredibly beautiful. It was a dream trip for me. A gift...
Here are some pictures of stunning Italy and a few of us too, enjoy!

21 May 2007

504490780_51004f49cfA full weekend. Full of friends and celebrations. Eating gorgeous cakes and french pastries, made by the beautiful Argentinian, whose birthday we celebrated. Eating biscuits and drinking tea at the parish centre after watching many friends make their communion. Drinking coffee (me) and jumping on bouncy castles (Lauren) at communion parties that afternoon. Having Ciara over on the Sunday to shop and then go to the birthday gathering. And as always on the weekend, spending the Sunday morning with those we love most here in Ireland, our church family. A weekend of friends and celebrations.

Lauren hugely enjoyed the communion day on Saturday. Not only did she get to be involved in the mass, but she got to do parties afterwards as well. Every child had a party in the afternoon, and since Lauren didn't make her communion and we weren't throwing a party, she was free to just go play! Perfect... (pictures)

At the end of the mass, before the kids got up to sing their final song, the parish priest began to speak about how people may have noticed that there was a girl there that day who had brought up a gift and would sing in the choir, but wasn't all in white, etc. He said her name was Lauren and that she wasn't Catholic, but that she wanted to support her friends and be involved with them and how she was such an integral part of their class. So he was welcoming her and her family on this day. You can imagine how surprised we were. All her classmates were grinning hugely at her... and i think she just sat there in shock. We were so proud of her at that moment. Knowing, on so many different levels, how significant that statement was. Many a conversation was had after the mass and at the parties that stemmed from Father Hurley's words. It was a rich day.

And now the weekend is over. And in three days time, my husband and I are getting on another oh, so comfy, Ryan Air flight and flying (sans children) to Italia!!!!! I'm assuming that most of you taking time to read my words, know how hugely excited I am about this trip. The one place I've really wanted to go before we leave Europe. And that is an understatement. This holiday is a gift to me from my husband. He is good to me. And many of you as well, have been a part of the journey in freeing me to go. Thank you.

And when we return, we will then go about living our final month here in Ireland, full of people and parties and packing and percipitation (mainly from my eyes...). Again, most of you know that leaving this country and the people that I love here is deeply painful to me. And yet, most of you know... my God. And that there is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. And that He delights in bringing beauty to all things. And so, even now I can say with certainty that before I leave and when I am gone, for all of us, there will be much more laughing and dancing and also weeping and mourning, because this is life and it will continue on. And He longs for us to experience it in all it's fullness. For that is one of His many gifts to us. And this time in my life is nothing, if it is not full... in all it's simplicity and complexity. It is full. And it is good. Because He is.

18 May 2007

Tomorrow my daughter's class is making their communion. This is quite the big deal for her whole class, they have been preparing for this day for ages. All her friends are talking about what they're going to wear. And what they are going to wear is white. White dresses, white shoes, white gloves, white bags, white things in their hair, etc. White. As Lauren is the only one not making her communion, she gets to choose something different. So yesterday we went shopping. We had much fun, mother and daughter, searching for a dress with colour. Just for her.

Now those of you who know my daughter know that dresses wouldn't be her attire of choice. However, she most definitely loves to twirl (like her mom...) once she's in one. Or should I say, dance (again, like her mom...). It was quite the delight watching her finger the fabric and hunt for that perfect dress. I must say she has good taste (again, like her... ahha!).

So the short story is, we found a colourful, fun dress plus sandals and she loves them. Tonight as she was holding the dress while twirling around, she had a conversation with her dad about how beautiful the dress was, how beautiful she was and how beautiful it was when the former was on the latter. I can't recount this word for word, but the bit that made me laugh was her question. Her dad had said, that with the dress on, she was absolutely stunning. He had also said, when she asked, that without the dress on, she was totally beautiful.

So her logic led her to ask ~ "So which is better? Absolutely stunning or totally beautiful??"

She is.

04 May 2007

Tomorrow Ryan will be twelve. Wow. And tomorrow we will all be on a plane flying to Germany, so today was the party. Perfect party, as it was open day for Spiderman 3. So we took 16 kids and an extra adult friend and went to the movies! Ryan has made some great friends over these past years. They are good kids. And they are part of answered prayer for our boy. Of which we are so grateful.


I would be more prolific about the night, the film, the kids, etc., but we are leaving on a jet plane way too early in the morning. And, no news here, but we're not fully packed. Thinking it will be another late night. Auf Wiedersehen...

P.S. Is a post script proper blog ettiquette?

P.S.S. I've been wanting to write about our church's weekend away. So I will real quick... Every year our church (Dublin West) goes out to the country for a weekend. Hence the title 'weekend away'. A couple of weeks ago, the kids and I (Rod was in the States) journeyed to Ovoca Manor in Avoca and had a few wonderful days away with our church family. These weekends are always a special time with one another. God meets us in significant ways every year. Plus there is always a massive amount of laughter with this group! We love them deeply. And have been blessed much through them. I have recently posted our weekend away photos on flickr. I hope they will give you just a small glimpse into our family here. Enjoy!

P.S.S.S. I guess now I should finish packing?

13 April 2007

Ooh, I'm tired. But content. We had two of Ryan's friends over the last few days and they were great. They basically did boy stuff... which included throwing a broken VCR out the window (the window, the second story window, with a heave and ho and a mighty throw, they threw it out the window... anyone??) and smashing it to pieces on the ground with a sledge hammer. I liked that bit... hit it a few times myself, I did. Maybe that's why my back's a bit achy today?

The biggest part of the two days though was the filming of Ryan's latest script, The Sorrows of War. Rod took them scouting for locations on the Wednesday and on the Thursday we did the actual filming. It was hard work, but brilliant fun. So proud of those boys!! Rod was the cinematographer, except during his two cameo roles, a prisoner and a dead man respectively, I held the camera. I also acted as the script girl (helping with dialogue and such), the water girl, the prop girl, the 'good work lads!' girl, etc.

At this moment, Ryan is in the other room editing it with sound effects. So cool. He hopes to show it at our church weekend away, next weekend. It's been a joy for Rod and I to watch this come to fruition, to watch Ryan pour himself into this project. To see him discover that he can bring the pictures that live in his mind to life.

Of course, I took tons of still pictures as well. And some day I'll get them up on flickr. Preserving memories takes work! ha...

And one last thing I have to say, just cause... I'm going to see Madeleine Peyroux in concert tonight at the Olympia!! With my two jazz friends... who make me laugh and bring beauty to my life. Two of my favourite things...