December 20, 2014

A Humble Request

Dear Friends
Our lives have been in great turmoil and transition since early in the year.  Many of you know this through Facebook and our blog.  We have tried to make the best decisions for our family but unfortunately, some of the largest ones were not so good.  Our bad business decisions have crippled us financially.  It was the decision of starting and trying to expand our car mechanic business that pushed us into a free fall.  Like many things it was not all bad.  God showed us much through the experience but in the end we lost all of the little money we had.   We have been praying in earnest for months about the next steps we should take and as many of you know, Michael has gone back to school to start a new career in nursing.  This was through a long discernment process during the spring and summer.  We knew this would be a huge sacrifice for our family but we chose it because we knew it would be best in the long run. 
We have to be out of our house by the end of January and are not sure where we will be able to go yet. Adrianne and the children may have to stay with her mother in Maine for a few months so we can save money.  Through our prayer s we have seen that we need to humble ourselves.  So many of you, our friends, have asked what can be done to help.  We didn’t know what we could ask for but we know we needed to ask for help and be willing to take what people could give.  We know many of you are in tight financial situations.  But still we would like to ask you to donate to our family.   No amount is too small in helping to alleviate some of the great pressure we are under.  We would like to at least pay off one of our essential bills: heat, electric, phone or rent (they are sadly beyond our means).  It will help us get a fresh start when we move into a new apartment. 
We are so grateful for any help you can give us.  God has always provided for us and we know He will continue to do so.  Please pass this on to as many people as you feel comfortable with in order to help our family.  Thank you and God bless you all.
In Gods mercy,
Michael and Adrianne Niall

April 13, 2014

Easter Can Be Healthy

 Our family loves our family traditions - Easter brunch, baskets, egg hunts. We discovered we could still have a traditions, but make them healthy for our family. We decided to change things for the better this year.

Dried fruits in Easter Basket

What did we do?

We made our Easter Baskets and held an Easter egg hunt with healthy choices. And guess what? Our children loved the Easter Baskets and Easter egg fillings just as much as any other year!

How did we do it? 

We gave them mostly Dollar Tree toys and garden supplies. Yes, they also got treats. What did we add to their baskets? They got dried fruit, a few pieces of dark chocolate covered mango, a Larabar, and fruit leather. (Side note: My children love Larabars and they don't get them because they are too expensive.)  What about Easter eggs? We added stickers, coins (pennies, dimes and nickels), balloons, wrapped prunes, raisins, organic fruit snacks, and a few other toys.

This is what our children's Easter baskets looked like:

We did have a little more sweets in the house than normal, and I would have added a chocolate bunny except they got one from a family friend. We decided that we were not going to make the holiday about sweets, because they always stay around longer than we want. We really don't want the children eating sweets. The less there is in the house the better it is for everyone.
How did your family do this Easter? Add your comments below and let us know what you did!

April 2, 2014

He is So Cute........ ~Wordless Wednesday

When he is sleeping!!!

He is truly sleeping and so cute! 

Waking up but not fully awake and still cute. 

March 29, 2014

'Tis the Irish Season

The children are a quarter Irish (on daddy's side.)

 Early on in our homeschool journey we found Irish Step Dancing. Adriana has been dancing for four year. 

James and his dance partner and friend, Greta
This is James' second year dancing.  
Most likely Thomas will begin dancing next year. It is a lot of fun and daddy dances around the house with them.

James and Thomas with some friends. 
This is our dance season. We have a number of shows thought the year but most come around St. Patrick's day. We had 6 shows in two and half weeks. On top of the shows we add extra Irish Step classes to get ready for the shows.

Monica, Greta and James
Last night was our last show. It was a great season.

As always thank you Kathy and the Irish Rhythm School.    

March 27, 2014

Funday Sunday!


The scenery on our hike

Sundays are sometimes like lent in our house.  Daddy works six days a week and we have one day to reconnect.  By the end of day Sundays Daddy is thinking about work again.  This is not enough time to reconnect never mind get much of anything done. 
When we have a Funday Sunday I get so excited.

Tree Tapping

This Sunday was a Funday Sunday.  We enjoyed leaning about maple sugaring at Sweet Water Sugar in Royalston Massachusetts.  James learned that you can use a machine to make (well heat) the sap from the tree.  The sap becomes maple syrup.  Thomas learned you can make maple syrup jelly with the maple syrup.  Adriana learned that you can make maple syrup soda!  She also learned all the steps like tapping the trees and heating the sap until it gets to a certain temperature becoming maple syrup.
Can you see the long line coming down the hill into the giant barrel.
(double click the picture to enlarge) 
From tapping to outdoor storage.

Filtering all the bad stuff and dirt out. 

Then heating to 190* and pouring off

Finally the pour the filtered syrup into jugs, Yummy! 

Mama loved the whole process.  The farm had a whole line of trees tapped and a huge bucket out side of the shed coming into the shed to heat up.  Watching the whole process was awesome.   

Adriana's eyes are smiling!  
Tasting the maple syrup! oh-ya

After the maple sugaring we went to the Quabbin for a family hike.  We enjoy Sunday family hikes.  We hiked to a shore where James, Thomas and daddy climbed a dead tree and Adriana through rocks into the water while Mama took picture.


It was a beautiful day ended with dinner and a rosary. 

Does your family have any Funday Sunday traditions!
James stepped into a puddle on our hike out of the Quabbin.  Their is something dramatic on every Funday trip. 
round button chicken

February 19, 2014

Silly Lilly

Thomas has renamed the character in the book "The Story of Ferdinand" by Munro Leaf. His new name is Silly Lilly. I can't disagree with that type of logic.
Out of the minds of a three year old. 

February 18, 2014

de Niall Post Peter

This is a new blog I just started.  I am not totally abandoning this blog but it has been a long time since I last updated it.  I am starting a blog about my journey and my families journey through a pregnancy after we loss Peter.  Hope you join us on this journey. 
Click deNiall Isle Post Peter to join us on this journey.