Tuesday, June 20, 2017

It's Paid

Just a quick update on this pending issue -- the money came out of our checking account, so that means the checks were "cashed" and I guess our process has started.

Let's hope they don't schedule the biometrics for when we are away in Florida!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Guess What?

Well... we had used an older form (although not expired according to the writing on the bottom, NOT TRUE!) to submit this and all the paperwork came back in the mail yesterday. If I cursed, you could insert curse here.

We did know it was an older form, but I had carefully checked the new form against the old and THEY ARE EXACTLY THE SAME -- but when bureaucracy is involved and is the rule of law, the fact that the forms are identical DOESN'T MATTER!

We could have sent the newer forms on that day, but we would have had to fill in the whole 20 page application forms again for both of us and and I would have had to drive to the university to get my husband to sign his form and then mail it.

All things work for the good, though, so perhaps if it had gone through the date for the isometric appointment (finger printing) which I'm told comes really fast in the heels of submitting the application would have been during our trip to Florida, so maybe now it will be when we are back in a month. Hopefully. ]

Yeah... I was so mad and stressed out I didn't even want to look at the papers.

Second reason to be thankful (apart from the hypothetical one about the appointment) is that there were a few small mistakes in the form and we printed out some emails and receipts to prove our association memberships (they are all academic associations such as the MLA, BTW, I don't know why they would want to know that, but they do, just in case we're member of some iffy thing like a communist association or something).

OK. Fingers crossed that we won't get it all in the mail again next week. That would be upsetting!!We are submitting the same document copies -- which have received a line of printing at the bottom and even the same checks. It wouldn't be trouble to write new checks (they have only been stapled through, that's all), but making the document copies and notarizing the translation certification paper would be a pain. Sigh...

Wish us luck. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Week 4: Exercising and Helping Refugee Family

This has been the most intense week yet, bordering CRAZY intensive!

And I just had to create two new labels: Exercising and Helping/Volunteering. The second one is already a HUGE part of my life as you may recall from last year's post about my "'indiscriminate and reckless' helping," but this year the helping is quite difference and more practical.

OK, so thanks to my friends Laura & Cali I worked out SIX DAYS this week, starting Sunday, and for four days (Sunday to Wednesday) we did it at SEVEN IN THE MORNING! I never, ever, EVER even wake up at 7 am, only when I'm in a trip and have to. I'm a night owl, so I love sleeping in. I did, it though! And I've enjoyed working out a lot. It's mostly Barre led by our friend Laura, mixed with some Pop Physique (yesterday and today we actually did it with Pop Physique DVDs).

Starting Monday, I began to make and drink a green leaves (Kale, Collard greens) + frozen fruit + orange juice smoothie after I got home because I need the calcium. I am bound to have osteoporosis, given my slight frame and the fact that my mom has it really bad, so I need to do this: strength training (Time magazine from last week) and calcium rich foods.

I was really tired on the first few days, particularly because I didn't sleep much one one of the nights, but I've been getting enough sleep and also taking my medication some days (Wednesday and today), which helps with staying alert. I'm glad that many of our friends have been joining us in exercising, so I think that I'll be able to exercise a lot and be in incredible shape by the time we travel to Florida. This will be the first time in my life that I'll actually be pretty fit at the beach!!

I also helped the newly arrived refugee family this week a lot. They are from Congo (but lived in a refugee camp in Rwanda for the past 17 years) and have six kids, aged 20 to 6 years old. Last Saturday I drove them home from church (in a large 15 people van -- I hated driving it) and spent time with them walking to a local park (after we gave them a used soccer ball). Then I visited them Tu, Wed. and Thu. On Wednesday I also went grocery shopping for them, in addition to helping them learn how to use the cleaning products in the house and trying to teach them how to use a washer and drying (they still can't do it on their own).

Everything is new for them and they don't speak the language (only the dad speaks some French), so it's overwhelming both for them and for me. I hope to write more about this later, I need to go clean my house now, it's a wreck! (also because my husband has been working like crazy with summer teaching and we've been watching movies too). 

Friday, June 02, 2017

Week 2 Recap, Week 3 almost recap

I've been busy with all kinds of things lately.
                     ... this was the original first sentence of the post...

But week 3 is almost ending in a complete meltdown (mine), so I can hardly even think of whatever happened last week to try to recap it. Sigh...

So, yeah, last week was ok. I could have been more productive, but then, who couldn't?

I give you a tentative Week 2 recap (preview of all weeks here):
The party on Sunday was good, it was quite a success (because it ended up being a surprise for the graduate, even though she had cooked for our "Game night") and I have some photos for you! I like the cell phone ones better, but the blogger app doesn't work, so here are the DSLR camera ones. ;-P
 potato salad prepared by the unsuspecting graduate for her own party.
 Her husband took this one... you get to see my hair.
Passion fruit "mousse" (more like a cream ;-)
arepas! :-)

My brother-in-law arrived on Monday and K picked him up. I don't remember Monday -- oh, it's coming back to me now! On Monday I went with my son's class (and all the 5th and 6th graders at our school) to a water park. On Tuesday I missed the farmer's market. :-(
    BIL left on Wednesday morning to pick up my mother-in-law from the airport and that evening we had another game night, this time with our friend's brother just arrived from class trip.
    On Thursday I didn't go to yoga :-( and did three loads of laundry, when I was going to hang the first one, look what I encountered outside!!
 I hate snakes!
I had to force him not to play with it!
That evening we also had the 8th grade graduation and as a parent of a 7th grader I needed to stay and help with the cleaning. It was a great reception with TONS of food! Next year will be just as good, if not better! (we'll make sure it is).

On Friday it was K's birthday and I got up super-early (after having stayed late watching all the extras in the DVD of the movie we watched that night) to cook my husband breakfast (he had to go teach by 9 am). His mom and brother arrived in the afternoon (just as I'd left to go grocery shopping) and we spent the weekend with them (playing board games and talking, etc. --> I should have another post for board games. We like to play Dominion and Seven Wonders and we got Ticket to Ride Rails and Sails for K's birthday -- it's much better than plain TTR!).
         Week 3:
Thankfully K didn't have to work on Monday and when we went to eat out at Olive Garden to celebrate my youngest son's 13th birthday. I again cooked breakfast to serve in bed to him on Tuesday and mother- and brother-in-law left to New York where he was going to have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday.

What messed up week 3 (this week that hasn't ended yet) was putting this together, trying to mail it, figuring out we had forgotten a document, copying the document, writing a letter, getting it notarized, etc... and hence my almost meltdown. Good thing I mailed it today. Oh, yeah! And we've been having plumbing problems (leaky faucets and toilet tanks) and we finally had a plumber take care of it all yesterday afternoon. It sure is a relief to have a good plumber!

Oh, yeah, and we are sponsoring yet another family of refugees (the fourth one!). This time a family of 8 (6 children from 7-10, the oldest, at 23 had to stay behind) from the Congo. I cooked dinner for them yesterday and, with my not-so-good French tried to communicate as best as I could with the father of the family who speaks some French too. I should blog about this experience, I hope I can do it.

I also need to blog about the films we've been watching...

I hope this wasn't a too horribly boring "update" post!

Paying Up

OK, so this is it a quick note to inform you that we finally decided to "pay up" (1450 -- which would pay for airfare for both of us to Europe, or a really good TV or a respectable pc computer) and say "yes" to the whole "bearing arms" thing (the law won't require us old folks to do it, anyway) and the whole allegiance thing and become citizens.

I am not excited at all, but at least I'll be able to vote.

photographic evidence.