Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Don't give up on this blog!

Hello! Just to let my few readers know that we are still blogging, it just hasn't been possible! First the laptop was packed early in Ireland. Then we were in Canada and completely jetlagged. Then we got home to our Internet, phone and fax lune being down and won't be fixed until tomorrow! I'm in blogging withdrawals! So this is a quick update on my iPhone to let you know I will catch up soon! Currently we are at Dell Children's hosital waiting for Madelynne's MRI to be completed. I was strong this time until the hand off. I just can't handle my baby being sedated :( I know at this moment there are other parents dealing with much much bigger issues with their babies, a little sedation is nothing in comparision, but it still gives me nerves and makes me bawl! More posts coming soon!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Moran's on the Weir

Wednesday, Oct 13.
One business man who works for the IDA, that Ruben has gotten to know quite well, wanted to take our family out for supper, along with his wife.  They look us to a seafood restaurant, Moran's on the Weir, and it was amazing food.  Only seafood and shellfish, the boys gobbled their salmon, Mike and Noella where quite impressed with their appetites!  They do not have grand children yet, but Noella kept Madelynne happy for a while, so that was a nice break for me too!
Another amazing thing about this place besides the food, is that it was established in 1797, and the current young owner is the 7th generation in his family to own it.  That's neat history.  
Ruben has ate here many times, so I finally got a chance to check it out!
Not quite sure why Mason was not happy in these pictures!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Supposed to be packing...

I should be packing, but need to catch up on my blog before I forget something important right?!  :)
Thursday, Oct 7; Ruben had to go to Dublin for the day, and went on the train.  Had a strange day with the kids, had a weird pain in my chest, but I believe I had just slept bad!  So I took the kids to Busy Bees again, while worrying the whole time what was wrong with me!  It went away by Friday AM!  Thursday night we picked Ruben up at the train station.  This DID NOT sit well with the boys!  They wanted to go on the train too and cried the 30 minutes home in the car!  So Ruben promised them another ride before we left Ireland.  That helped!  Just how to work keeping the promise... hummm.

Friday, Oct 8; I had my FIRST me alone time away from the house since getting to Ireland!  Boy did I need it.  Got an Indian Head Massage at a lovely spa in Oranmore.  Wow, that was good, I think it needs to be an option in spa's in the USA.  It was just what I needed.  Ruben had the day off, so we headed to the pool next.  Then back home before heading to Athlone (1hr away) for the first gospel meeting there in about 20 years!  Just before leaving we grabbed some clothes and booked a hotel, so that the boys and Ruben could ride the train home in the morning. Sat morning, Ruben and the boys swam in the fantastic pool, http://www.sheratonathlonehotel.com/gallery and Madelynne and I shopped in the mall attached to the hotel.  Perfect!  Then at 1pm, they caught the train and Madelynne and I picked up 2 excited boys and there days 1 hr later!  Ruben mentioned as they were waiting for the train, a 4 year old girl with her grandparents, was going on her very first train ride and was quite excited.  So the boys joined hands with her and were jumping up and down all excited as the train pulled up.  I guess it was a super cute moment!  It was a lovely little getaway!

Sunday you can read about in 2 previous posts.

Monday, Oct 12; the workers came early (and spent the night), whisked the boys away to Busy Bees and I got lots of laundry and organizing and packing done.  That night we went to Cava for supper/tea.  It is Spanish tapa's. http://cavarestaurant.ie/ Ruben has ate there many many time, brags about it, so finally we all got to try it and wow, it met all the high expectations!

Tuesday, Oct 13; lazy day, Ruben came home at 3 so that I could take him back to work and have the car to take Madelynne to the Dr, making sure she did not have an ear infection.  Then the lazy day changed.  Still annoyed with myself!  It's hard to explain without a picture how you drive into where Ruben's office is.  As I was pulling out, I had shoulder checked once and it was clear, but as I was pulling out, another car was there and I side swiped him.  His car got scratched the whole way front to back, but no dents that I saw.  Our car lost the hubcap and bumper dented, all on the front right driver side.  It was a big hit, all 3 kids were sleeping, stayed sleeping through the whole ordeal!  I was so glad we were still at Ruben's office cause I had no clue what to do!  I called Ruben, he came back out and took care of things, what a wonderful hubby eh!  The other driver could barely speak English, so he called his girlfriend to come interpret!  We had to call the Garda, they showed up and were comics!  They made me feel better!  Information was taken and they are going to have fun putting my TX license info in their computer!  According to the Officer it's pretty impossible!  Now the insurance guys can take care of the rest.  Thankfully I was insured on the rental!  We return it Saturday, so we'll just keep driving it as is and let them take care of the rest!  We made it to the Dr in time.  No infection, yay, just an irritated throat and teething.
Tuesday night was our last bible study in Galway.  Sniff sniff.  It was supposed to be the last time we saw Laura and Julie, but we couldn't handle that!  So they'll stop by on Friday to say good-bye :)  We said our good-bye's to the few others with promise to return. :)

One cute note to end this post with.  Monday morning before the workers arrived.  Chase asked me, "when we go back to Texas, our workers will be different right?"  He was quite concerned about that!  They are quite attached to Aunty Laura and Aunty Julie!

Musings about Ireland - the Accent and Irish Language

The accent has been fun to copy!  It's the "Th's" that make me laugh!  Most do not pronounce the "h" so Thursday sounds like Tursday...
Three like tree
Tree is tree
Thirty like terty
Thanks like tanks
Thanks a million is common so it's "tanks a million"

I can't figure out how to spell out how Truth is said!

"T's" in the middle of a word are silent. Water is wa-er.

I love saying this.  Meet me on Tursday at tree terty. Tanks a million!
Got it?!

Sayings we are not used to:
Not at all!  (Instead of No worries! or No Problem!  It is used all the time!)
Just Grand!
Being Bold!
Got a bit of the dose.  (Meaning got a bit of a cold)

The Irish language looks like Russian to us!  You cannot even try to sound it out.  You just have to know what letters make what sounds.  Like French is in Canada, you see it on all signs under the English.  I believe depending on where you are from, you pronounce it differently as well.

Failte is said like Fault  (This means welcome, you see it everywhere, very nice)
Tuam is said like Tomb

A lot of towns start with "Kil"  ie. Kilmore, Kilworth, Kilkogan, etc etc.  Kil means church.
And about the other half of the towns :) start with "Bali" which means valley.

And this is just the beginning, and I be adding more as I think of things.  And you kid Irish folk can leave comments with more that I can add as well!

Monday, October 11, 2010

These folk, we will miss!

Sunday, Oct 10.
We know it's not the physical beauty of a place that makes a trip, but the people you meet and can have sweet fellowship with.  It's because of these folks that we will miss Ireland.  Too bad they made us like them so much!  :)

Thank-you for the warm welcome and making us feel like family.  Ruben will get to see them soon, not sure when the rest of us will, but we will!

Back: Mervyn, Robert, Trevor, Jodie, Errol,David, Sydney.
Front: Ruben, May, Susan, Shirley, Joan, Madelynne, Julie, Astrid, Laura, Arlene.
Front front: Chase and Mason.
Missing: Nicola, Abby, Giles, Gailen, Adele.

David and Arlene's house - driving by hence blurry!

Sorry Julie, caught you off guard,
but Madelynne looks so cute!
One picture I actually told them to stick their tongues out!

Proud of our kids!

Sunday, Oct 10
Sunday was a very big day.  And I just had to blog about how proud I was of the boys today, not gripping or whining, but simply fitting in and behaving and sitting good in meeting, as they do now anyway.

The day started with a 1 hr 20 min drive to meeting in Roscommon.  Windy bumpy roads :)
Then 1 hr meeting.
Then a quick run around and feeding Abba the horse.
Then lunch out.
Then a 2 hr 30 min drive to Clifden.  A VERY bumpy windy road :)
A stop for ice cream for the good boys on the way.
Then tea at the workers batch.
Then 1 hr gospel meeting.
Then 1 hr 20 min drive home on the VERY bumpy windy road.

Even I was getting squirmy and sick to my stomach!  I kept asking if they were ok, and they were! They were happy to be at these places too.  Madelynne slept for all the driving except 30 min of it.

I was just so proud of them, because it was our last Sunday here in Ireland and we really wanted/needed to be in all these places for the "last" time on this trip.  So even though you can't read my sweet children, THANK-YOU!  ( I did vocally thank and praise them too!  I find I don't do this enough.)

In the sister's batch, up on the 3rd floor just off the town square in Clifden.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Musings about Ireland - Food

Where to start!  I'm just going to ramble, no specific order, just what comes into my head!
It's different, but in a good way.  There is a lot of food we cannot get here, but that's OK, it's part of the experience.  The ONLY thing I missed, was the selection of gluten free mixes and pastas.  We brought with us a lot of rice noodles and gluten free pancake mixes, etc, so when we ran out, we were in withdrawals!  There are only a few things here, and very expensive.
There are only a handful of fast food places and even less with drive-thru's!  Seriously, I've seen maybe 10 drive-thru's in all our travels on this side of Ireland!  I must say I miss having a coffee drive-thru.  I think that is a business we need to start over here!  There are none!  Imagine, you have to get out of your car and go into the shop to buy a coffee :)
I have LOVED Tesco online grocery shopping.  With Ruben gone with the car during the day, the last thing I feel like doing by the time he gets home, is grocery shop!  I can't figure out why the grocery stores do not do this in Texas.  Safeway did in California.
Expiration dates on food average 2 days once you open the package, not 7 to 10 days!  Many many less preservatives in the food here, same for fruit and veggies.  So you just order a small amount twice a week so that the fruit and veggies don't go bad!
Another reason to shop often, most houses have small fridges!  Only the new ones have the big "American" size fridges.  The caretakers of these vacation homes brought us a second fridge that's kept in the main hallway.  That is handy!

Fruit and veg selection is less, root vegetables are used the most.
Roast meals with potatoes, carrots, parsnip/swede and sometimes yorkshire pudding (YUMMMMMMM) is a typical meal, especially if you have company.
The roast will either be beef or lamb, beef is grass feed, so it has a different taste to it.

Yogurt is different, creamier, I love it.
Eggs are never kept in the fridge!  Why do we do this in North America anyway?
Bread is big.  It is very common to have toast and tea for lunch.  Lots of biscuits (cookies), scones and pastries.  Here in Ireland they are known for Soda Bread.  Ruben loves it.  To me, it needs half the amount of baking soda!  So I'll just stick to the other lovely grain breads.  Bread doesn't last more than a couple days if sitting out.
No box macaroni and cheese!!!!  You may see 10 things on the shelf that are pre-made boxed pasta meals.  That's it!  
I've had a difficult time finding a cheese I like.  We've pretty much stuck to cheese strings!
The cereal isle is 1/3rd the size you'd see in North America.  Ireland should be proud!  Weetabix are a staple in houses, I quite enjoy them too!
Chocolate... even the cheaper brands taste like expensive chocolate.  It's just grand!
Custard is HUGE.  Forget ice cream with your dessert, it's custard on top.  A common dessert is trifle, but not as I knew it.  It's cake bits and fruit, set in jello.  Then custard and cream goes on top.  Tiffin bars I hadn't until here either.
Hamburger meat is called mince.
No Ranch salad dressing!
Ketchup is more like tomato sauce (no sugar) and more vinegary unless you buy good ole Heinz!
Chips are fries.  Crisps are chips.

My mind has now drawn a blank, I may keep adding to this post as I think of more things!

Musings about Ireland - Coffee and Tea

Carte Noire - Arabica Exclusif
Coffee... very seldom do you see a drip machine besides the ones for commercial use.  French press is popular, but mainly it's all instant!  When I first mentioned this on Facebook, it was amusing how many comments I got of people worried for us not getting good coffee!
But.... I actually LIKE the instant!  It's so easy, and perhaps they have better brands of instant?  Or as Kari Armstrong says, it's all about the milk added!  I have to agree.  At first I was adding low fat milk, but the same instant coffee tasted better in other homes!  So I started adding "Fresh Milk" like everyone else, which is full fat, and it's lovely!  Yes, it's lovely!!
Ruben's been using the French Press, but now after almost 3 months, he's starting to like the instant too!  :)

Tea... it's easy to generalize that woman would drink only tea, and men drink tea and coffee.  But there are a lot of men here that only drink tea.  That blew me away!!  (It should not really have shocked me as I have a father who only drinks tea without a bag, aka hot water!)  I have got into the "supper" habit of drinking tea before bed with a biscuit (cookie).  This tradition I want to take home with me!  

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Weekend with the Tanners

Saturday, Oct 2, the Tanners showed up to help celebrate our anniversary!  Actually I didn't tell them, yet Hillard is very crafty with wood and made us a lovely wood plaque for the wall.  And wood is the present for 6 years, so little did he know he was making us the perfect present!  
Hillard, Stephanie, Rebecca and Laura arrived in time for lunch.  Laura and Julie helped us put on a Canadian lunch, pancakes, maple syrup, ICE CREAM, bacon, eggs.  Yum yum!  Here in Ireland, pancakes are usually for "supper", meaning the snack before bed.  Then Julie and Laura left to pick up Irene who's visiting and has been laboring in France.  The rest of us went for a drive along the ocean west of Galway, the other side of the bay from where we are.  We hadn't done this, and as always, it was lovely!  Sure it rained and was cold and windy, but it's so pretty! We were in the little town Spiddal, where very little English is spoken, very little English on signs either.  Got some souvenir shopping done and took the kids to play at the beach.
We stopped in at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill for supper, got my cheesecake that I must eat on our anniversary. :)  We got home to 2 dozen Krispie Kreme donuts in our window sill, that Ruben's employee brought back from London!  So needless to say, many a donut was consumed in the next 24 hours... they had to be eaten as they are best fresh!!  Plus Stephanie and Hillard had never had Krispie Kreme's so they had to try one of each, especially for the baby in Steph's belly!
Sunday meeting was at Jodie's, our last one there as this Sunday is in Roscommon.  I must say I was a bit sad.  We made yet another not normal lunch for our guests - Mexican food! The kids had an awesome afternoon just playing her while we chatted and chatted.
We loved having them here and getting to know them even better!  Yes, we have to stay in touch and hopefully see each other again before too long!  And we can't wait to here about baby girl or boy in the next few weeks!
Thanks again for coming!  XXXX

Monday, October 4, 2010

6 years!

Saturday, Oct 2.  Our 6th Anniversary!  Hard to believe 6 already!  It's been a very eventful 6 years, yet a very very good 6 years!  I won't go down memory lane in this post.  But I thought I'd post a couple pictures from the day this "Princess" (as the boys call me when they see wedding pictures) married her Prince!  And at a castle that will always be a favorite of mine, the Banff Springs Hotel.  Also here is a link to more pictures of the big day!  Ruben and Lori's wedding - Oct 2, 2004
Happy Anniversary My Prince - I Love You!
Just after our first kiss!!!  Sharing a moment!

One of my favorite pictures, Ruben sneaking a kiss during signing!
The Princess!
Our beautiful nieces and nephews!
And today!  My Prince hasn't lost the twinkle in his eye!

Sept 26 week

Not an exciting title!  But I need to journal what happened this past week!
Sunday, Sept 26 we went to Roscommon for meeting, then stayed at David and Arlene's for a yummy yummy lunch!  The boys got brave and pet and feed the horses!  They are starting to be animal lovers, even go up to dogs to pet now.  Makes this mommy nervous!  After lunch we drove to Clifden, about 2.5 hours, had supper at the workers batch, went to Gsp Mtg and then stayed the night at the batch.  That was fun!  :)  Monday morning we headed back into Galway.
This Sunday Madelynne also got her 2nd tooth!
Thursday we took Ruben to work so we could have the car and go back to Busy Bees.  I need to take my camera there.  There is a very large under 3 area, and Madelynne just cruises all over the mats and loves climbing on the blocks.  The boys love it there too.  And I drink a lovely Americano with a scone and sit back and watch!!  (ok, maybe not sit back!  I'm right there with Madelynne!)

Friday, Oct 1, Laura and Julie met us at Leisureland.  The boys have been itching to swim, this place was perfect, a good time was had by all!  
Then they kindly watched the kids while I got A WHOLE HOUR OF SHOPPING BY MYSELF!!!  I hardly knew what to do with myself!  I love this store, NEXT.  The kids are set for a little while longer now!  They all needed more clothes!
Laura and Julie stayed the night, then at noon on Saturday, the Tanner's from Co. Cork showed up, and that will take us to the next post!
This is how Madelynne likes to sit in her high chair.

Very happy with not just Daddy's phone,
but Daddy AND Mommy's phones!