Friday, September 30, 2011

Red is the Rose

Heard this love ballad the other day, I'm guessing it's and Irish classic.  Thought I'd share it.

Guess what?

In 18 sleeps, we will see my parents!!!  Yes, they are coming to visit... we are just slightly excited.  OK... A WHOLE LOT EXCITED :)

I'm sure my father will get a kick out of driving on the "wrong" side of the road, but can he do that plus handle round abouts?!  :)  I am the round about cop!  Ask Ruben!  There are some super duper confusing ones here.  So in prepping Papa for this task, here are a couple links!

I like the road safety slogan, Expect the Unexpected, because that is what it is!!  You can ve boogieing along and come around a corner and there is a tractor driving at 5km/hr.  I could say more but leave it at this!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cortez family

We treasured our days at Grandma and Grandpa's.  Also spent some time at Roland and Christy's, Ruben got to watch the game and Christy, Mary and I got to shop :)
Mary made a cute brownie cake for me, thank-you!  xxoo
Very sad we didn't get to see Rachael, Dane and Gabriella :( but that's how life goes when kids get sick!

3 M's!  Madelynne, Marisa and Mary

Saying good-bye... :(
We love you all.


Russel and Andrea and kids

Aaron and Julia and kids and 1 more VERY soon!


2 favs

Pictures tell the story!

Putting these together the song that went through my head was:
The more we get together, together, together
The more we get together the happier we'll be
Cause your friends are my friends
And my friends are your friends
The more we get together the happier we'll be!

We do miss our TX friends...  Love you all!

Love my girlfriends!

“The better part of one's life consists of his friendships.”
-- Abraham Lincoln

I got to spend a little time with some of my Texas besties.  Missed seeing some :( but treasure the time I got with the ones below.  Missing pictures of some too.

Ranetta, Andrea, Julia

Karolyn, Emily, Ranetta, Kimberley

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pens and Madelynne...

This wee one likes anything that writes.  We have to really be careful when at others houses to make sure she doesn't go to town drawing all over anything and everything!
At hotel in London


Harrods store at LHR
 Time to up-date our trip... may as well start with airport and airplane fun!
The boys get soooo excited on the big planes, but when at the airports, the esculators, travelators, trains, buses, carts, etc are just as exciting!  To all 3 kids, it's a really big adventure!!  Every plane Madelynne would see, she'd point at it and say "look plane" in her cute accent, with the same enthusiam as the first plane she saw!
On our way to TX, Madelynne slept some, but the boys were awake for 21 hours!!  By the time we got to Dallas, they were tired, and flight delayed 1.5 hrs to Austin.  So we sugared them up to last a bit longer!  If you know our boys, once they fall asleep, they are very cranky and difficult to move... we don't have strollers for them!  So it was a must for them to stay awake!  (My hubby's theory: Flights east to west it's good to stay awake, then go straight to sleep on arrival.  Flights west to east you need as much asleep as possible on the longer flight because you arrive in the morning!)
On our way home, all 3 kids fell asleep before the plane even took off in Chicago!  They all slept until 40 min before landing in London, lovely!  But unfortunately I couldn't sleep worrying about Madelynne falling off the seat and she would get mad if I buckled her in, and the last thing I wanted to happen was the airplane to hit a big air pocket and Madelynne hit the roof!  By the time we got on the plane in London to Shannon, I was T.I.R.E.D!!  Madelynne and I were asleep before that plane took off, the boys and Ruben soon after!  Madelynne slept through getting luggage, transferring to car and all the way home (1hr drive)!!
Madelynne loves stickers, and they really were a life saver!  We left a trail of stickers every where!  The iPad was also very handy for Madelynne!
The kids are amazing travellers, I hope this keeps up because we have a few years ahead of us with long flights!
Airport fun

Airplane fun

Gotta love being so small you can sleep anyway!!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Oath of Allegiance

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen;
that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;
that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law;
that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law;
that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law;
and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion;
so help me God."

US Citizen I am!

Hard to believe that it's finally sorted and happened! 
It's an experience I will never forget!
We did not bring the boys to the interview and Ruben and Madelynne did not dress up, as I didn't really believe it would all happen yesterday.
I had already passed my first interview.  But I was flagged for a second one. My lawyer and I were stumped why, he wasn't getting answers previously and they wanted me to bring my passport.  Ok...
When Immigration runs checks on you, they are tapped into the US border control system.  One of my trips to Canada in 08, the system wasn't up-dated with my return date.  So Immigration thought I had been in Canada for over a year.  (You cannot leave the US for more than 180 consecutive days as a Landed Immigrant).  The re-entry stamp was in my passport tho!  So that problem was solved.  He even asked if I'd flown in a private plane alot.  The border control system goes WAY back!  It knew of flights in dad's private plane back when I was a kid!  Wow!
We found it funny that due to so much travel they were confused... not because of something crimal/sketchy that most cases pull up and then requiring a second interview!  Also us being official ex-pats kind of confused things too.  Verses when the process started, we had not yet moved.
I was very glad my lawyer came this time.  He was able to convince them with code "19??b point 5" that I should be sworn in the same day as well. 
After humming and hawing on Immigrations side, they agreed and my documents were drawn up and we could proceed!
Madelynne had been so good through it all.  The officer and lawyer voiced how amazed they were at how good she was.  Then as soon as the man who can swear me in arrives, Madelynne starts screaming for me at the top of her lungs!  So I have no clue what the officer said during the Oath of Allegiance, he was laughing as he was speaking, saying he was used to kids inbetween his lines, and eventually I said "I DO!"  Then the official hand shake and all was done!  Oh and then Madelynne stopped screaming!
Just wish my lawyer took better pictures!  They are pretty much all blurry, but still they are proof! 
Next step is to go to the US Embassy in Dublin to get a US passport.
I quite like the idea of having 2 passports!  :)  The officer mentioned Canadians have the hardest time giving up loyalty to their country!  Hummm, I think I believe that!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

School is going good

The boys love school, so glad.  I think it really helps that they have each other and that they were bored at home, but, they like their teacher, they are making friends and they love learning, not just lunch!
I'm just so glad they are still young enough to want to hold my hand while walking to and from school, and not embarrassed to say "I love you" back when I kiss them good-bye at the classroom door! 
My sis asked how long our walk is.  With the boys, about 20 mins, otherwise 12 minutes!  To drive, it takes 2 minutes, but on school mornings, about 15 minutes as traffic really backs up in this wee village!  As the wind and rain pelted us walking this AM (we really need 2 cars!), I just reminded myself, at least there are no fires nearby.  Really thinking of y'all in Texas, hoping you get some rain SOON!
They have 2 outfits for their uniform.  A track suit shown in the previous post and a formal outfit, shown below.  They wear the formal outfit Monday's and then depending on PE days, basically wear the track suit the rest of the week.  I must say, this uniform thing is nice and EASY in the morning!  Love it!

Madelynne posing with the boys she misses during the day!

Off to school, Day 2.  Chase was more interested in checking out the big bunny running across the street.  :)

This was after school Day 1.  I was putting Madelynne down for a nap.  The boys said they were hungry.
They went through a loaf of bread (they are small loaves), finished up the ham and went to town eating!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

School time

Is it really?!
The boys have been very excited for this day.
Waking them up took all of 1 second, knowing it was finally a school day!
I have been eager for this day, they were getting bored way too easy! 
But still... walking away this morning, I had a big lump in my throat and was glad for sunglasses!
I think Ruben took it a bit harder than me :)

L: Walking to school, love the looks on all 3 faces... apprehensive?
R: Waiting outside for the bell to come in.

Alot of kids where hanging unto their parents not wanting them to leave.
Our boys didn't even notice, busy playing right away!

Training wheel free!

It's been a week now that Mason has not needed his training wheels!  He is quite pleased.
Also in the picture is our new to us Ford Galaxy "people carrier".


It's the start of big Sunday's again, lots of miles, but well worth it.  We got to Clifden early this past Sunday, in time to stretch our legs and have "tea" before the mission mtg.

Aunty Laura and Aunty Julie are back!

And they aren't given much peace in this house! 
We were pretty excited to see them at our front door the other day!

Aunty Julie being ambushed!