Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Moving In

My apologies for this being so late. I wish I had a good excuse but I don't.
We are now in our house! Many of you already know this, but there are also many who think we're still in the dreadful hotel. So I hope this clears things up for you.
We only have a few more boxes to unpack, but it'll be another month or so before my mom doesn't feel the urge to move things around anymore. I'm hoping that happens sooner than later for the kitchen cause I'm tired of opening every single drawer and cupboard before I find the silverware. That being said, my mom also has the amazing talent of making our house look decorated and beautiful within a week so I can't complain much :)
All of the kids are slowly getting accustomed to school and finding their way around. The biggest problem for them so far is understanding what their teachers are saying. It also doesn't help when they ask for the teachers to repeat what they've said. They happily comply, but it's at the same speed as it was before. It's not until they specifically ask them to slow down that any progress is made. I'm starting to think that we Americans must sound pretty stupid because we talk so dang slow.
My (Logan's) online schooling is going great as well :) I've been applying for colleges in the states recently and pray everyday that I'll get accepted to something. Cross your fingers for me!
Our Branch has been so friendly to us as well. We are all making great friends, and are actually having an American Football Party at our house Monday week (a week from Monday in Irish). We've invited the whole Branch to watch the Greenbay Packer's game that day. We're going to have some American football party snacks to see what they think of them. Chips and salsa, seven layer dip, pretty much Mexican food (which doesn't exist here sadly).
To all those who are coming to visit, or want to come and visit, Please do! We would LOVE to have you all come and share this great adventure with us. We made sure to get a house that has room for guests, so visitors are not just welcome but expected.
In the next blog are some pictures of our house. Instead of trying to match up my writing to the picture I'll explain here what the pictures are. The ones of the house are self explanatory. There's a smaller building that serves as our shed. The one of the green pastures is the the view from our door if you look toward the left. The asphalt road leading past the shed to the gate is also the view from the front door, but this time looking to the right. The last one is of a road we were driving on a while back that I think you guys would enjoy :) not close to our house but still pretty cool.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Hello again!
We hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year's because we sure did. It was so refreshing to visit our friends and family. I really believe that it helped "wean" us from our old home/life, and as a result, help us embrace our new life here.
While we were listening to the beautiful testimony meeting in Highland, we realized how much we've been blessed to belong to such strong ward families, and how much we want to bring that to the people here. The gospel is a blessing that we should never take for granted, and I pray that my family can share our blessing in our examples, testimonies, and love to all that we have the pleasure of knowing here.
We finally have a house! In all the times we've moved, I don't remember ever feeling so grateful for our new house as I do now. My family joins me in saying THANK YOU to all those who helped us (in our crazy two-month journey of being "homeless") by letting us stay with them, eat at their home, ect. We are trying to unpack quickly, and knowing my mother, our house will look absolutely lovely in no more than two weeks :)
Well, the furniture man is back to unload more. My muscles are needed! ;) Cheers!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

This post is from Brian - A lot has happened since our last post.  
We received a phone call with the news that my Mother had a severe stroke the 16th of December and that has created a whole series of events that changed what we thought we would be doing during the Holidays.  Once we realized the seriousness of the situation (the expectation was that she would not last more than 4 - 5 days) we quickly had a family counsel with my siblings and I began looking to fly our family back to the States for the funeral.  We were able to get a flight out of Ireland on Christmas Eve which we booked.  My mother ended up passing away that Friday night, less than 2 full days from experiencing her stroke.  It was a peaceful passing and we are grateful that the Lord mercifully allowed her to go in dignity and without pain.  

Because of the quick changes in plans Lareen and I quickly decided that Santa needed to make his visit a full week early - and so we arranged (very quickly) for that to happen and we had Christmas a week early on Saturday morning.  It was the first time for us having Christmas in a hotel and a week early, but the kids were great sports about everything given the circumstances.

The following week we had our hands full, we had decided NOT to rent the original house that we were waiting to get finished (it had too many issues and we didn't want to live in a partially finished house for the next few years with a Landlord we didn't feel we could trust).  So, we went back to a house we had looked at before and liked and decided to go with it but it had some issues that needed fixing and we needed to get that in order so it could be done when we got back from the States.  Thankfully we have a good friend and fellow member of our Church who is a General Contractor who took the lead on getting these things done.  We simply negotiated a rent credit with the Landlord for the stuff we needed to do.  We will be living in an old Farm House on 100 acres right behind the horse racing track.  Our address is:  Touchwood Stables, Dooneen, Crecora, Co. Limerick, Ireland.  Again = there are no numbers.  I know it's weird.

We also had the issue of getting our container of furniture and goods worked out.  It was due to arrive while we would be in the States.  So we worked it out to have it collected by the logistics company we are working with in Ireland, they would empty the container, then reload it into smaller trucks with lift gates to lower stuff to the ground (much easier than the way we loaded the container - brute strength).  Then they will take our stuff to the house and some friends and church members will help get it into the house in various staging rooms.

So, we flew to the States on the 24th made some surprise visits to friends in Utah on Christmas Day, picked up Logan's friend Ashley to spend the next 10 days with us and on Sunday Morning we went to Music and the Spoken Word in SLC and then drove to Idaho Falls for the viewing.  It was great to see my family and the viewing and especially the time we spent afterwards sharing memories of my Mother, as a family, was great.

The funeral also went well the next day - great speakers and musical numbers.  A real tribute to one of the most Christlike people I've ever known.
We were able to visit family and friends in Western Idaho for the next few days, including New Year's Eve with all of Lareen's family.  

We're back in Utah to get some things wrapped up before we take off on Wednesday.  It was so great to be attend our Ward in Utah and visit all of our friends here today, we went to lunch and dinner with good friends here who invited us to eat with them and we filled our buckets with love and we are ready to go back to Ireland, live in a home that we can invite people over.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hannah's Post :)

Hi everyone this is Hannah and i am going to brief you on my first day of school which was Friday, December 10th. We were actually going to start in January but the Principal of Cresent Comprehensive College, which is the school we are going to, had us start before we had
planned so that we could get a feel for the school and have a start at making some friends. :) So we dropped Emma off at her school at 9:30a.m. and then we went to the Cresent. We got there at around 11:00a.m. dressed in our School uniform attire feeling a lot like Hogwarts students we went into the Principals office. He gave us our classes that we were going to be in and the Group also. The Group is the same 30 kids that you are going to go around to all your classes with. So all of the grades have like 5 different Groups of 30 kids. I was in the group of kids called Suarez. Then he had us meet a few people and then he had some teachers show us to our the class that our Group was in. I followed a teacher outside and onto a field where they were having a "double period" with another Group for P.E. The teacher introduced me to a girl named Kira and she took me around the school and showed me everything. Then we went back to P.E. and got there just as it was finishing. The next period that they have is German, i really don't know how that is going to work because i have never had one German class! :) Well anyway i went to German and i didn't understand anything! Then i remembered that the Principal only wanted us there for 2 hours so i told everyone i had to go. I walked over to the front office and i waited there for Jarom and Logan. While i was waiting some more girls my age came over and asked if they could wait
with me until my parents got there. I said sure and so we talked for a while and then i saw Jarom coming. All the girls said that we looked exactly the same. :D hehe Dad came in and we found Logan in a room talking to five girls her age. Then we went to pick up Emma at her school and went back to the hotel. Over all it was a very successful day, i met a lot of new people and friends! YEAH! :)


Emma's Post :)

hi this is Emma and here's how the 1st day of my school went. well i got there a little late(on purpose) so we went to the principal office and there she told my teacher Mrs. Ryan to come down to her office we asked if I could start that day right then. Mrs. Ryan walked down and told me some comforting info. I walked into the classroom and EVERYONE was talking. I sat down and got started on some spelling pages. after that we had snack time after about 10 to 15 min. of that we had sauce witch is pretty much like resess but with no lunch before that. so me and tons of followers everyone were like magnets I could hardly breath. when sauce was over we went back to class did more work but half of the time she was speaking in Irish, gaelic and man its confusing. our uniforms are a white shirt, sweat pants, and slippers. well that was my day bye!

by: Emma Packer