Snow, snow, everywhere!

I’ll be honest. I haven’t really felt like writing anything since the last post. It was very refreshing to write honestly and was enough for at least a few days! God is the best thing that has ever happened to me and it feels good to share that.

We got our stuff delivered almost a week ago now. It went well really, better than we thought it it would. The removals men worked really quickly and were lovely. We’ve got one bedroom set up properly now (with beds!) for all of us and its lovely, very cosy and has a nice feel. The living room is also set up for now. It’s lovely having a couple of almost normal rooms. The rest of the house is quite crowded really as we have a lot of things and as of yet not much storage. That will change in the future. So we’re trying to keep that in mind. It’s easy to get wound up if we let ourselves and it isn’t worth it.

it’s snowed! We woke up this morning to quite a surprising amount of snow.

Chris was quite excited because it meant he could go out in his nobbly tyred jeep. The windows man was coming to quote us today and got to Ballinaglera village and then Chris went and picked him up for the short journey to us. I was impressed! Nothing was stopping him trying to get here! He’s coming back next week with the fitter to measure up and then we will hopefully get a date. New windows should make the place quite a bit warmer, which will be great!

There’s a lot on my mind at the moment!

I find writing a blog quite easy and enjoyable in some ways and not in others. I enjoy it, I find it quite therapeutic in a lot of ways, I find it difficult sometimes to discern just what I should write (and not write) and in how much depth. I have a lot of depth… I also love that it is a record of our journey and what God is doing with us and our lives.

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Writing as I feel is required and being truthful can be quite difficult when I start thinking about the readers and unless I’m vigilant I can start tailoring content so I have it easy, just get approval and write things people want to hear. I get that, I do, we all want to hear nice things. It’s just that was not the aim when I started this blog. The aim was to be open, honest, truthful and vulnerable (as well as quite comical at times). I wanted it to help people who may be thinking of doing similar things, to be an encouragement whilst being open and to portray God in a real way to people who do not know Him.

I have also not really had time nor the energy to actually go into much depth recently about how this time has been for us individually and as a family. It has been exciting at times and new and a blessing, but also stressful, new and speaking for myself, sometimes terrifying. We all find different things frightening and strangely, probably naively, I didn’t think moving here would bother me. I thought it would be exciting and new and that I would just throw myself into it. But in many ways I have been scared because it is so new, and I have frequently felt very anxious and stressed. I am very imaginative and I have to keep a firm grip on my thoughts and imagination, otherwise I get carried away…Bert and Ernie ing as Chris would say (because of a clip that he remembers from Sesame Street).

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Escalation is what it means! Thinking something and then moving onto something else and then something else and then the whole world blows up.

Strangely, this has been good for me, although uncomfortable. I’ve had to get with God, to do as he says frequently “do not fear” and the only way I’ve been able to do this is by spending time with him and reading his word and then the situation changes almost without me realising. God makes me loving and kind, without Him, I am nothing, I have nothing. Thankfully, He is always with me because of Jesus and no matter what I think or feel he is always with me. He has made me (and anyone else who gives their lives to Him) a promise that He will never leave me nor forsake me and that is HUGE. Think about it, God who made you, who knows every hair on your head, who knows your thoughts before you think them, who knows absolutely everything about you…Loves you and will never leave you. He forgives you every sin ever, past present and future and does not change His mind.

God loves you. He also loves me. Jesus died for you. He died for me too. Jesus rose again for you so you can have new life with God. So can I and I have.


Perfect love casts out fear. Now that I find, is true. Again, I repeat, try Him.

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Getting started on the changes (maybe/possibly soon)

We’ve decided to stop messing about and Chris got serious today about getting in touch with people and getting quotes and organising work to be done. A fella came from a place called H & F and quoted us for a Stanley range and heating supply and fit. We’ve changed our minds again…and gone for the oil fired range (instead of solid fuel) that also heats the radiators and water now. So we are going to go ahead with that, we just need to get an electrician in first and also get an oil tank set up outside.

We took the chimney breast covering down and unfortunately it wasn’t a stone chimney breast but concrete rendering,

So after we get the range installed we are going to get it all plaster boarded. At least the stone covering did actually need removing in order to get to the chimney and check it out properly. (I also didn’t like it at all). The chimney also needs lining, which H & F will also do.

Chris was on a roll! He then arranged for an electrician to come next week and rang up another company too, to get a quote for new windows (which are really needed, the bedroom one is pretty rotten in places). We may have managed to get an oil tank too and possibly someone to build a stand for it. (Thanks to a friend we’ve made since we got here).

We had some snow, the day after the last blog:

but it didn’t last very long, I think there’s more in Derbyshire at the moment than here. It was very pretty though, J keeps saying he wants to build a snowman, but we haven’t managed it yet. It has definitely got colder, but we keep the fire going and the radiators warm and all is well.

We’ve finally got the kids PPS numbers, the doc wrote a slightly sarcastic letter to the PPS office (which made me (not so secretly now) smile), but we still got them. So that’s a plus! It means we can now apply for medical cards, child benefit and maybe get J a pre-school place.

Finally! My tooth has been filled, no root canal, although she said there was a chance I would still need one and that I am apparently now more prone to abscess development. But more than a full day later and I am still pain free. Praise Jesus. So here’s hoping it stays that way. They were ever so good, got me in really quickly, explained everything well and weren’t as expensive as I feared they may be (as dentists are all private over here I think). Hopefully that episode is over, lesson learnt…don’t wait two months when having tooth pain… Go straight away!

I’ve never had a dentist that fits you in quite easily and quickly and without fuss before. Quite a nice experience in a weird way.


Weekly round up…

Well, having put the title, I now can’t think what has happened! Right….

The plug the immersion was wired to, started smoking whilst Chris was having a wash. His lightning reflexes ensured it didn’t get any further than that and it’s now been redone properly (by Chris).

The woodworm sprayer came on Monday and that’s all done. One off the list. Which is great!

Littlest has started walking and keeps saying “what’s dat?” At everything. Which is really sweet.

My tooth, which I have been delaying dealing with as we don’t yet have medical cards, became unbearable, as in the pain was horrific. So I went off to a dentist today and it turns out there’s a large cavity which currently has a temporary filling in. I’m going back on Monday for filling or root canal, depending how it goes….

On the way, in the car, the pain was absolutely horrific, to the point where I just did not know how I could carry on. I’m talking on a par with childbirth but without the end result. I started singing as in worshipping Jesus, then yelling because the pain was awful, then begging God to heal it, then saying I know you can because you can do anything, why aren’t you? Then saying please just take it away even temporarily. You know what? I then realised it wasn’t hurting and it stayed like that until after I saw the dentist. He heard me. That temporary relief was beautiful. I don’t understand why it wasn’t totally healed but I guess I don’t need to. He still heard me.

I love this picture, I just put it on Facebook. Me with my children, at different stages of my life. I am so blessed with them. It’s hard and frustrating sometimes, then at other times amazing, but definitely blessed.

Apparently it is going to snow tonight, the weather in general has been really mild so far for January but it’s definitely getting colder now. Guess we will see in the morning!

Demolishing to rebuild

Well, we are on a roll, we’ve just about decided that we aren’t going with the oil fired heating but instead are going to use a traditional type solid fuel range and use that to heat the radiators and water. We are also just about certain that in order to do this, the fake chimney breast in the kitchen is to be removed.

this is the culprit ^. We think there is a stone chimney breast behind it. The stone you can see is not the proper stone wall. It needs to come out. It’s gonna be messy!

Chris having a little peek ^

In other news, we went to a new church today (new to us anyway), it was pretty amazing because we knew as soon as we got there that we’d be back and that it was probably where we will keep going. As soon as we walked in it felt like home. That’s the amazing thing about God, He knits us all together through Him and you can be as at home in a roomful of strangers as with people you know well.

Rainbow on the way home (please ignore the hat reflection 😂)

Happy Saturday again!

Time seems to be going so fast! Follow up to my emotional “finding a Doctors surgery post”is that we are now ok and registered at one that seems excellent.

The doc was a bit peeved that the PPS office needed a letter from themselves saying our kids needed a number in order to get a medical card. He seemed to think it was ridiculous that we hadn’t just been issued with the PPS numbers (As everyone needs them) and I am inclined to agree. It’s a lot of messing about for no reason. Especially when we already proved residency.

Anyway, the letter will be ready on Monday for me to then make an appointment with the PPS office to go back in and actually get them a number. Then I can actually apply for child benefit, get J into pre school and apply for various other things.

Our belongings are apparently (hopefully) being delivered around the 24th. But they have said they think the country roads will be too narrow for their vehicle, so they’re now looking at quoting us for a shuttle service… so we are waiting for that quote.

The house is being sprayed for woodworm on Monday and we thought we could take the floor in the bedroom up. It turns out we can’t as the plaster board and frame cover the floor boards. So the plasterboard ceiling in the dining room/bathroom is coming down today instead. This may be a good thing however, as we can then redo all the downstairs in the same way. More work for Chris though.

I find it quite exciting, but then again, I’m not doing it. Good preparation for when we’re taking it all down upstairs though.

We’ve decided the oil fired heating probably needs installing prior to the roof insulation as the cupboard with the water tanks which covers part of the ceiling will need taking out ideally in order to do the insulation and ceiling properly. So we need to get some quotes.

bye again for now. Littlest one has just woken up and I need to make dinner too. See ya!

Day whatever it is In the Shepherd house…

You know we complain all the time in the UK about the health service? Well you know what, the UK health service is really good and very accessible.

There is a completely different service here where you either pay for your treatment or (if you’re entitled, for example your pay is below a certain level, or you’re unemployed, or under 6) you apply and get a medical card which entitles you to free treatment (as far as I’m aware). I am still a little ignorant on how exactly it works. But I know that each GP surgery has a price list for every treatment/consultation and that purchasing health insurance is apparently quite popular.

What shocked me today is I tried to register us as patients with a GP. I rang 4 local surgeries up, they all refused to take us on as we are not in their immediate area. I then found one who said they would take us as patients, we just need to go in and register (It’s about 8 miles away I think).

I was starting to get quite upset really, because although everyone was pleasant, no one actually seemed that bothered that we are a family with two small children in a rural area where (as far as I’m aware) the nearest A&E is an hour away. I was so so pleased when the last one I rang just said yes, we take people from your area. If I’d been there in person, I would have hugged her. Because we are in a rural area, all the surgeries are over 8 miles away from where we are living. But anyway, we have a yes! So hopefully it will go through ok. It looks like a really nice little surgery too. Maybe it’s a God thing that we ended up at this one, so I will stop moaning now 😂.

we played out this afternoon:

It was good to be outside. Aaaaaand relax! Well sort of…

bye! X

Now we (or rather Chris) is removing the ceiling…

Living room ceiling before and after and our dehumidifier (which arrived today and is up and running).

This is what has happened today basically. We (or rather Chris) have to take the wooden ceiling down in the living room and kitchen because they’re coming to spray the house for woodworm next week and we need to get to the joists. The plasterboard covering the roof will be removed at a later date and we will get them sprayed later and then insulated and then recovered. The floorboards in one of the bedrooms also need taking up temporarily. Well, every third floorboard anyway. I think that’ll be Wednesday.

My part today was taking the kids out, I went out to Sligo because we haven’t been yet. I have to say, we didn’t see loads of Sligo because we went to a retail park (I needed to get a pushchair, I was desperate) but from what I did see, it is absolutely beautiful. The view from the retail park is just glorious, there’s a big mountain and it is breathtaking. I’ve tried to find what mountain it is but have so far been unsuccessful. (I’m now thinking it may be Knocknarea, as there was a definite mound on top of it and Knocknarea has a cairn on top).

Something else too…there’s a Costa! Yes! We didn’t go, but I’ve stored the location for future reference and need 😂.

Lastly, I’ve been praying and trying to listen to God over the past couple of days and what keeps coming to mind is Ephesians 3:20:

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Believing in this and praying this for this year. Believing for miracles in every way, shape and form. I have never felt more unqualified or helpless really in a lot of ways to do anything (which is weirdly probably a good place to be in). So I am throwing myself onto the One and only living God and watching him.

See ya!

And hello from us!

Hello and welcome to the 2019 blog! When I think about life a year ago, it was just so different. I don’t think we even had a clue at that point that we’d actually be moving, never mind to a different country!

J’s birthday last year.

We’re doing things slowly at the moment, getting a bit of a routine going, looking for what grants we may be able to get on the house. There are definitely some for insulation, which is great. We are frequently discussing and planning the best way to do the cottage up, there are a lot of contrasting ideas when you look online, but we’re getting there.

Our things haven’t come yet, which is a bit testing, as I would absolutely love a bed, not just a mattress and also my living room rug would be great to have! But it is temporary and they will be here. We just aren’t sure when yet. What I have realised is that I don’t actually miss most things just mainly the settee etc, rug, stereo, beds, storage for clothes and the pushchair.

Chris has now cleared the moss off the roof and cleaned and repaired the guttering.

There he is! He’s also cleared the path surrounding the house.

Everything done makes such a difference.

The laminate flooring in the bathroom and dining room has now gone in order to dry it all out so it can then be tiled at a later date.

We’ve also just ordered a de-humidifier, which by all accounts should help too.

So, life moves on, there’s a lot to do, both in the cottage and outside and getting my head round that it all doesn’t have to happen immediately is sometimes difficult! I never realised I liked immediacy so much! But it is a good exercise for me, learning to wait and be still is good.

Goodbye for now.