The girls taking the public transportation to the swimming pool with their cousins. (February 2015)
Our family photo taken in Drake Park with all three of my daughters (October 2014)
Enjoying the beautiful view from the top of Twin Peaks (July 2015)
Exploring the ruins of Palenque during our Great Mexican Road Trip. (May 2014)
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Monday, March 23, 2015
I picked five different kits to try out: Little Passports USA edition, Little Passports World edition, Tinker Crate by Kiwi, Doodle Crate by Kiwi, and Green Kid crafts.
I will highlight the Little Passports USA in this first review.
|The First Shipment and it came with lots of goodies|
|It has a plastic keeper to hold everything that you will rceive in the kits.|
|A Scratch Off Activity Book|
|A Field Guide to mark off the states as you visit them and more|
|A list of the states as well as activity pages to fill in about yourself|
|Pages to write down observations about each state as you visit them|
|A 2 sided booklet that features 2 states per month|
|Fill the booklet over to read about the second state|
|Activities and information about each state are included in the booklet|
The girls opened the box and pulled out the map and flipped through everything oohing and aahing about it. They don't like to write a lot so they didn't really touch the booklet besides flipping through it briefly. The next months shipments are sizably smaller since they only include a new booklet with two new states, an activity, two postcards, and some stickers.
Final Rating: Great if your kids are get involved but it didn't hold Erika and Mia's attention so I cancelled our subscription after 3 months. Perhaps we might sign up again before we start taking road trips around the United States.
Sunday, March 22, 2015
I found one gentleman with a three bedroom piso who handled the rentals on behalf of his grandmother. Since we wanted to take whole piso for both periods, he offered to give us a discounted rate of 575€ per month with all utilities included except electricity and internet. It is located near a supermarket called El Corte Ingles which is rumored to have an ice skating rink right behind it! I have never lived in a large metropolitan area, much less right smack dab in the middle of it. We may not have a vehicle for several months, if at all, so I want something that is centrally located for access to the University, schools for the girls, groceries, and recreation.
I asked someone in Salamanca if they wouldn't mind going over and checking out the apartment in person to make sure that it was in a clean area and not in any state of disrepair or neglect. With the Euro dropping so low these days, we are looking at a furnished apartment with utilities included for approximately $600USD a month in a downtown metro setting. Mia is really excited that one of the bathrooms has a bidet so she can try one out. After living in Mexico, anything looks great after that.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
got 2 suckers and a candy toilit he got one for his little sister. we had a water fite.we played Cops and robers.we played LEGOS.
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Right on the nose on January 6th, I jumped online and submitted my application to the Auxiliares program and I scored the low admission number (inscrita #) of 44! At current time, I believe we are just tipping 4,000 applicants. Placements are traditionally assigned to applicants who are already in the program and renewing for a second year. Then the new first year applicants start to receive their regional placements and have three days to accept or decline. On January 23, I received the email that my application had been registered and moments later, the email that I had been accepted into the program. That means we are a green light for Spain, one way or another.
I've been able to do more research into the Master's program and the class schedule generally runs from Monday through Friday from 9am to 2pm. That wouldn't allow me any time to also participate in the Auxiliares program and teach the required 12 hours a week. The Master's program then became Plan A as the money from my housing allowance would actually pay more than the wages for teaching English. I hope that I'll still be able to pick up some private tutor classes in the evenings and weekends.
Our projected savings are right on target and we hope to bring a little more than we had hoped for which is good. We received a healthy tax refund this year which went straight into savings. My paternal grandfather who passed away recently made me a trust fund grandbaby, literally. I have to share it equally with all of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings but hey, even $1 makes me a trust fund baby. Thank you Grandpa Dick! I used your gift to buy our tickets to Spain and pay off our bankruptcy attorney. We depart September 4th at 3:40pm from Portland, arrive in Iceland at 6:15am and get a 10 hour layover to explore to Iceland before catching a 4:15pm flight to Madrid. In Iceland, we'll be renting a car to drive into Reykjavík to explore town and find some breakfast. Then we'll head out to the Laxnes Horse Farm for a two hour ride on the famous Icelandic horses. Afterward, we'll catch a 4:15pm to Madrid where we'll arrive just after 10pm and stay in a hotel for our first night in Spain. Then rent a car and drive to Salamanca to explore our new home!
The dollar is almost on par with the Euro right now so our money will get us farther during our stay in Europe if it remains on this course. When I traveled to Europe, the Euro was around 1.27 and now it's down to 1.04. Thankfully, we'll be living on the USD instead of earning the Euro so this means we'll be able to afford more vacations while we're there!
I'll update about my challenges in getting the necessary paperwork to even apply for admission to the University of Salamanca. I did manage to get both my and Erika's passports renewed along with getting the passport card for border travel in case we need to travel to Mexico or Canada while we're applying for our Spanish visas.