Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mum's Day

Mother's Day is in March in Ireland, so St. Pat's weekend party kept on going, with Mother's Day on Sunday!
We had a nice lunch out after meeting and then had a quick photo session of this mum and her kiddies.  The pictures with Madelynne on my lap I find quite comical!  Madelynne had an extremely smelly diaper... hence the looks on the boys faces.  :)

St. Pat's 2012

We had our first St. Patrick's Day in Ireland and I really enjoyed myself!
We started getting in the celebrating mood the night before by making our own pizza's.
Saturday morning we had green shamrock shaped pancakes with mint chocolate icecream. :)
At noon we had normal food with green jello that had gummy snakes and marshmallows in it.
At supper we had salmon... but had to tint the rice!  I have to say food coloring in rice doesn't taste the greatest!
The rain decided to stop for the parade, yay!  Especially since the parade lasted 1.5 hours because there were sooooo many old cars in it, and there is an MC that says a blurp about every thing coming down the line!  The parade started with St. Patrick himself :) holding a wooden snake!  Guess we have alot to thank him for since he scared away all the snakes on this island.  Good man!

All in all, it was a fun St. Patrick's Day, any reason for a party in this house, we are game! As party means ice-cream!


Wednesday 14/3/12, the day we weren't looking forward too.  It went toooooo fast.  But alas, we said good bye and thankfully they had an uneventful trip home.  Thanks a million again for crossing the ocean to see us.  Love you all so much!


Tuesday 13/3/12 we headed to Dublin for the day and night.  For some reason I have about 8 pictures and that's it!  We went on the Green Bus tour, stopping along the way, walking through the fancy shop streets, stopping at the Disney Store, a must for Rachael :).
We took a city bus from the hotel into the city centre, and I think that was the biggest highlight for the boys!  They are been asking since we got here to go on one of those and ride up top.  We've done the tour bus before, but they wanted a city bus.  Then they had the gull to complain because we didn't ride the train!  Sigh... :)

I love love love these 3 photos.  The emotion, the love...

Bedtime stories

Something very special for the kids was bedtime stories with Grandma.  It was music to my ears being in another room hearing all the giggles as Grandma read!  :)


Monday 12/3/12 we left Ashford to another castle turned abbey, Kylemore Abbey.

On the way to Kylemore we saw this wandering sheep.  Great photo eh!! :)  We also drove along the Killary fjord, Ireland's only fjord.  It's not quite up to it's summer beauty.  This picture is a typical cemetery, but with the fjord in the background.

Kylmore has an interesting history, it's romantic and tragic, you can read about the Henry's on the Kylemore link.  This was our second time to visit, it is as pretty as ever!  The walled gardens were welled groomed, but the flowers were only just being put in.  Walking along the lake and the whole setting beside a mountain, chorus of birds chirping, etc made me a bit nostalgic, felt like walking along the lakes in southern Alberta.  Very peaceful! 


Sunday 11/3/12 some of us went to Roscommon for meeting, some stayed behind and walked to mass.  What was special for us was for Ruben's folks to meet the friends in our area, the ones that have captured our hearts here!
From there was our surprise for the family....
Supper and the night at Ashford Castle!  
Thoughts on this place... don't even think twice about going, don't think about the cost, just go!!!  Only people eating or staying there can cross the gate and be on the grounds and see the castle.  Because of that I thought it would be a be uppity/snotty.  But not at all, I felt like a guest at someone's home, all super friendly, such a pleasant atmosphere and so relaxing.  Decompress!  I think it was a good surprise :)  Rachael was walking on air!

After being escorted to our rooms and shown around, we walked around the grounds before it got dark and of course, fantastic photo opportunities!  Madelynne was getting very keen of Uncle Dane at this point, she wanted to be holding his hand... a nice break for mamma!

Supper was in the Dungeon.  My first time to have Garlic Creme Brulee.  T'was interesting!
The next morning after breakfast, we wandered through the hotel, gift shop, signed the VERY OLD guest book and then headed off.
I had heard so much good about this place I had my reservations, yet was so excited to go.  It deserves 10 stars and after writing this post and checking out it's website again, I want to go back now!
Our room was in the original part of the castle over looking the fountain.  Loved hearing the fountain all night!  This sweet poem was on our pillows after the beds were turned down.  They even put out slippers for us all, including the children.  The boys love wearing their's around the house now.  So many nice little touches.... sigh, did I mention I want to go back now?

Monday, March 26, 2012


Saturday 10/3/12 we headed out to the Cliffs of Moher.  Sadly, the fog had set in, we had lunch, hung around for a bit hoping the fog would lift, but no such luck!  Look at the link to see what they missed!

Then we headed to The Portal Tomb, Poulnabrone. Sobering to think it dated back to 3000BC, where infants, children and adults were initially buried elsewhere to decompose, then transferred to this tomb.

We stopped at a fairy ring along the road, there are over 5000 of these in the Burren area.  Mounds of dirt into a ring, families lived in the middle, again, very very old!!!

Supper and bed, company were still tired and jetlagged, but getting better at this point!


Friday 9/3/12 the boys went to school until noon, then off we went to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park.  I've lost track how many times I've been there... I think it's been enough now!  We finished off with supper at Moran's on the Wier.
(Mary and Rachael, if you see any pictures you want in actual size, let me know!)

Special guests in March

Some of Ruben's family came to visit in March.  It was 6 crazy busy days of site seeing.  We loved every minute and miss them even more now!  This will be a few posts, took so many pictures!
Thanks so much for coming Carlos, Mary, Dane, Rachael and Gabriela.  We love you!

Thursday... drove to Dublin to pick them all up, including Ruben who was on the same flights as them.  Then back home, checking out the goodies Ruben brought back (more than ever!!) and then early to bed, lots of jet lagged folks :)

A hundred thousand welcomes!  (Cead Mile Failte)

This wasn't even all of it...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Papa!

There's something about a father daughter bond, and I see it with Ruben and Madelynne and it makes my heart expand with love.  It's priceless.  I feel blessed to have the father I do, I'm proud to say he's my Pops.  Love you so much Dad, have the bestest of birthdays and we'll see you in 6 DAYS!!!

3 brown eyed kiddies had ice-cream for you today :)  They love walking with Papa and counting green alligators and long necked frogs, think there will be any hiding in the snow?!

We love you very much!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I have to say, I really did not like making lunches for the boys, up until I bought these PlanetBox lunch kits.  Now I enjoy it, it's fun, I don't dread getting up to make lunch.  I like how simple they are, I'm not packing a bunch of containers or baggies.  It feels good to be Eco friendly.  The boys love them too, they are the cool kids in class with these!  
Check out their website http://www.planetbox.com/


This is out of order, but when both Alison and Kimberly were here, we had a little girls shopping trip and lunch in Loughrea.  For a small town, it's got some great boutiques and a shoe shop that has the best prices!  Madelynne liked the shoes too... kept herself busy trying on quite a few!  Lunch was at The Hungry Bookworm.  Great atmosphere and menu. 
Again, some of these photo's are courtesy of Alison.

New glasses

Daddy got some computer/reading glasses. :)  I think he looks real good with them on!
Miss Madelynne wasn't sure of them to begin with, but now likes to try them on.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bunratty and good-bye...

Kimberly had been with us for almost 3 weeks and she had not yet been inside a castle.  So last minute, the day before she had to go home, we quickly went and looked at the castle and folk park.  Even with few flowers blooming, it was pretty. 
Madelynne did not like Kimmie going into the Dungeon!
It was a fun quick girls get away while the boys were in school.

The next morning we saw Kimmie off back home.  That was sad for us all.  Thanks for coming Kimberly, we love you.  Come again anytime!  xxoo

Blurry but sweet...


We stayed a couple nights at Fota Island Resort in one of the villa's.  Any family considering this, do it!  Great spot, great villa's.  Also the Fota Wildlife Park exceeded all my expectations.  A big variety of animals, it's not a zoo, but a reserve, and it's quite fun walking along beside kangeroos... getting up close a personal with alot of animals just wandering.  Others are at a distance, the monkeys were very well loved by Madelynne.  Boy can they put on a show!  After we met up with a bunch of Cork mom's and kids at an indoor play area, was nice to meet some more ladies and catch up with other's.
Stephanie and kids joined us, it was a great day with our awesome friends.
N.B: Many of these photos and photos from the previous Kinsale post are courtesy of Alison, thanks Ali!

Some of the animals...


Cute 3

Cool park by villas.

Loved the use of corner cupboard space, sink tho small was funky.

Madelynne ready for bed... not!