Friday, April 30, 2010


This is our apple tree. We know for certain because when we moved in there were two apples hanging on it. Some of the other plants are still a mystery but we do know we have rosemary, hydrangea, clematis, another apple tree, a cherry tree, possibly honeysuckle and a tiny Japanese maple in a pot.

Somebody call 9-9-9, a fire burning off the back porch, oh, oh...

9-9-9 is the emergency number here in Ireland.  We haven't used it yet, but we keep it close at hand.  Some of you know about my pyromaniac tendencies:  the John Deere lawnmower incident of '04, the Kirby vacuum debacle of '07, etc.  So in true 'Fire Starter' fashion I baptized our new home.  It goes a little something like this:  Last Friday Bailey's friend Jocelyn spent the night.  I got up in time to make pancakes and bacon before heading off to the quilt guild meeting.  I made bacon in the microwave on a thick newspaper and paper towels.  As Davis says, "I can see where this is going."  After the bacon cooked I was preparing to discard the newspaper and almost put it in the trash bin when that little voice inside my head said, "Denise, that might not be the best idea you've ever had."  So, I carried it out to the back rock garden and left it there.  About one minute later Jocelyn said, "Is that fire outside?"  "Why yes it is."  As if Scott had not learned anything from Mythbusters, he proceeded to pour a pitcher of water on it.  I followed with a dousing of baking soda for good measure.  And that folks ends our lesson on spontaneous combustion.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Rite of Spring Meets Rite of Passage

Can you mow one handed?
The grass grows a lot in Ireland and so do young men.  This is Davis' first foray into unassisted grass mowing albeit with a Jetsonian, hovering, weed eater type vacuum lawn mower.  It took him about 4 minutes to do the whole front lawn.  Don't you love the smell of freshly cut grass?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Membership has its privileges.

It's official.  I am a card-carrying, dues-paying, show-and-telling member of the Irish Patchwork Society Eastern Branch.  A lovely lady named Mary sat by me and got me up to speed on all the goings on of the guild.  Pat Murphy's cousin's wife Ann saw me there again and was so kind to invite me to her sewing group that meets the second Saturday of the month.  It's on like Donkey Kong.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A gorse is a gorse, of course, of course...

It's everywhere, it's everywhere! All over the hillsides in Ireland that is. It smells like coconut, too.
These are pictures of from the harbor and hill of Howth. Enjoy!

Sur-prise, Sur-prise, Sur-prise--Gomer Pyle

Have you ever planned a surprise for someone?  Well, not only did God get Craig and Merschon on one of only 200 flights out of Europe Friday, He also got them to Chicago 30 minutes early so they could run to another airline to explain why they needed to be in Dallas for the Missions Resource Network dinner.  He got them on that plane, quick change of clothes in the airport, picked up by the Smiths and to the banquet 5 minutes early where they were able to talk to people interested in sending out missionaries.  Whew!  God is good!

Poor Scott Eads is stranded in Dublin until this Friday so we kidnapped him, fed him some dinner,and took him to Howth to watch the sunset.  He is our first unofficial representative from Central church in Huntsville; I hope we passed the test!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A volcano in Iceland, really?

These people can't get home
because of this.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm only going to say this once...

The infamous peanut butter pie recipe came from my friend Diane who saw it in Cooking Light magazine.  I have no idea what issue, etc.  Here it is for those of you who would like to give it a shot:

Peanut Butter-Banana Cream Pie                      
Crust: 1 cup wafer cookies 
            1/3 cup packed brown sugar          
            2 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted                    
Filling:  3/4 cup packed brown sugar                       
           1/2 cup cream cheese  
           1/2 cup peanut butter                                  
           1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract                        
           1 (8 oz.) container Cool whip                         
           1 1/2 cup sliced banana                                  
           1/4 cup choc syrup
 1. Preheat oven to 350.
 2. Place cookies in a food processor; process until finely ground.  Add 1/3 cup brown sugar and butter; pulse 2 to 3 times or until just combined.  Press crump mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray.  Bake for 10 minute, cool completely.
3. Place brown sugar, cream cheese, peanut butter and vanilla in a bowl, beat until smooth.  Fold in cool whip. Arrange bananas on top of crust.  Spread mixture over banana, drizzle with choc. syrup.  Cover and freeze 8 hours.  Let stand at room temp. 15 minutes before serving.                                                                                                                                                                      I doubled the filling part because it didn't seem like much and I'm glad I did.  Thanks Diane for passing the recipe along!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Opposite of Spectacular

This is how Bailey described how she felt Friday night after too much ice cream, too much pizza, too much popcorn and too much fun.  It's how I feel right now with too many allergies, too much coughing and too little voice to talk. 

Holla to Huntsville

Today we were blessed to have Scott Eades from the Central church in Huntsville, AL worship with us at Ranelagh.  Scott works for a company that has an office in Shannon so he comes here periodically to do internal audits.  I'm not sure if the employees like to see him coming but we did.  He even stayed awake until at least 2 pm when Scott dropped him off at his hotel. 

Another Huntsville phenomenon, Flat Jesus, made his appearance in Dublin on sightseeing day.  (Holla Lisa!)  He had a good time with Flat Stanley, all the way from Paragould, AR. 

Today was the warmest day since we have been here as you can tell by Davis and Bailey's afternoon wardrobe choices.  Davis got some awesome baby duck pictures at the park behind the church building.  Awww, how cute!

Scott Eades and Leslie Coffey

Those crazy American kids wearing shorts.

Flat Jesus listening to a band on Grafton Street

Flat Stanley hangin' with the seals in Howth

My favorite person on the team

Our team

Happy Birthday Scott!

Craig and Merschon Hutson

Shay, Juli and Ashlyn Smith

Jo Ellis
Our whole team got to be together today at church and at our house to celebrate Scott's 43rd birthday.  We have so loved being on the same continent at the same time.  Just a few more days together and then we go our separate ways for a little while.  Please be in prayer for the Hutsons and Jo to find sending churches who have a heart for the city of Dublin.  The Smiths will return the later part of June to stay and just in time for Camp Shamrock. 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

It's All Rugby to Me

Finton and Winnie treated us to an evening of sea bass, salmon and Leinster vs. Some French team on Friday in Howth.  Winnie grew up in Howth and her dad still lives in the family home so we got the grand tour including the summit area, otherwise known as 'Make Out Point.'  Don't worry folks it was totally rated G.  After dinner we joined the locals at the pub to watch hometown Leinster pull out a win.  At one point in the match the referee made a penalty call.  Really?  Because the whole match looked like one 80 minute long penalty from where I was sitting! 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mr. Jaime, This One's for You.

The never ending stairs.

My mom would have taken this picture.


Davis and Jo were treated to a hike with Big Finton on this national holiday in County Wicklow at Glendalough, where the monks used to hang out.  Here are some great pictures Davis took.

10 minus 1 and counting

showing Grandma and Granddad

hail on Bailey' birthday

Nine years old that is. Bailey had a great day opening presents, playing musical chairs, eating cake and talking to Grandma and Granddad via Skype.  Most of the little girls from church were able to come plus our neighbors, Dale, the Jessups and Jo.  Our niece Maddie also celebrated her birthday, the big eight, April 2nd in Cabot.  Our girls are growing up!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Oh, the weather outside is?

Last night while eating dinner with friends we experienced rain, sleet, snow enough to cover our skylights and sunshine in the span of 7 minutes.  This morning it hailed.  I couldn't get my camera out fast enough to take pictures.  The Irish say that March is the month of all 4 seasons.  Now we understand.