Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cliffs of Moher

A couple of weeks ago, some fellow American friends came over from Dublin to visit for a couple of days. We took them to one of our most favorite places in the country (though we have several).

The first time we went to the Cliffs of Moher (pronounced MOW-herr), was 7 years ago, and I'll never forget the sense of awe we both felt the first time we saw them. A lot has changed as far as where you can walk, etc, but they still remain just as majestic as ever. I also love the factoid that the Cliffs of Insanity scene in The Princess Bride was filmed here. :o)

A scenic look out on the way

When we got there, it wasn't too cold, but by golly it was windy! It was also after lunch and quickly approaching nap time, so Cailyn snuggled in for awhile.

Daddy and his girls...not sure why they look so nervous??

Hannah and her new friend, K, who is 12. Hannah thought K was the coolest thing since sliced bread. I love the way she's looking up at her..."Imagine me and you, I do...." :o)

Can you see the face in the cliff side?

They just seem to go on forever!

The first time we were here, some *ahem* people we knew laid down on the very edge and dropped a huge took 16 seconds for it to hit the water.

Speaking of hitting the the top left of this pic, you can see a fence. That wasn't there the first time we came, but it's there now, for pretty obvious reasons. Unstable seacliffs, strongs winds coming in off the ater, and idioic people make for a bad combination. On that fence is a plaque in memory of all who have lost their lives here. Having said that, there are still countless numbers who climb the fence and take a walk in the wide, wide world...and teeter out onto what I have dubbed "Idiot Point."

Trying to get a closer look...

At the top right of this pic, in the hillside, you can see some dark sort of polygon shapes. Those are the windows for the visitors center! It's like a scene out of Hobbiton or something! Last time we were here, there was a freestanding building that was far too tiny to accomodate the growing numbers of tourists coming each day.

Soaking up some sun while she can

While the lads went exploring, the girls enterained themselves with some climbing...

...climbing on benches, NOT the wall. LOL

We came back via the "coast road". I know now why they call it're practically driving in the ocean! Anyway, most of the way home we had a view across the bay of our own home! The windmills are our landmarks, and while we weren't EXACTLY sure where, our house is somewhere in the area of the orange arrow.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

1005 - A Photo Odessy!

So, our schedule has been so crazy lately. So, when we've had quiet moments at home, I've either wanted to spend them with Seth and the kids, or sleep. LOL So, when I finally got around to getting photos off the camera, there were 1005 of them!!!

Seth did a couple of posts over the past couple of weeks, which helps, since the photos on the camera go back about a month. So, this is the oldest set of pics that were on it.

It was one of the first warm(ish) days we'd had (we've since had several that were warmer!!) and everyone had told us about these woods about 20 minutes from the house where we just "had" to go see. There's some great trails, tons of trees, a playground, and lots of rocks and tree stumps to climb on and explore. The kids had a blast just running willy-nilly and exploring all over the place. We had fun just being outside all 4 of us and watching the kids have fun. These woods are absolutely gorgeous. We need to go back now that things will be even more in bloom. But, the whole thing is covered in this green moss, that the pics just can't capture true to life. It was like walking in a scene from Lord of the Rings or something. It was amazing!
We're outside and can run and jump and climb!!

Indulging Mom and Dad in posing for a pic

"A bridge!!!!" Hannah was so excited to see this bridge and play on/around it. She made a bee-line straight for it at near lightning speed!

On another rock. They are so excited b/c they both climbed up ontop of it all by themselves!

Hannah helping Cailyn down off the rock - so sweet!

There were all kinds of interesting shaped trees, but by far the most fascinating was this one - that Hannah deemed a Honey Tree. Both kids spent a good long while looking in this hole for honey, and calling out, "Heeelllllooooo?!?!" at the top of their lungs. I can only assume they were looking for Winnie the Pooh??

We all spent a lot of time climbing around this tree and looking at all the interesting things to see in and around it. Yes, that is a huge boulder that the roots are growing over!

Not to be outdone, Cailyn climbed up as well, and was quite pleased with herself! Her new way to rejoice in her accomplishments is to fling her hands up and either say, "Ta-daaa!" (much like Hannah used to do!) or say, "Woo-hoo!!!"

We finished off our little outting by heading to one of our favorite coffee shops for brunch and coffee/babyccinos. This place is fun b/c you never know what design they are going to put on your drink. :o)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

We've been getting a lot of questions about what our life is like over here.  Even though our day to day stuff always changes it seems, one thing always makes a difference on what we do: the weather.  Ireland of course is known for being green.  What makes green? No, not yellow and blue, but rain, and lots of it.  So far since we've been here, the weather has been pretty good.  Even still, we've learned to take advantage of any day that is bright and warm when it's given to us.  Even if it's just a short walk, we take advantage.  So, today was one of those days.  Jen had been in a class all week, so this morning was full of Seth catching up on some work and Jen doing some much needed shopping for the household.  After the girls got up from their nap, we headed outside for some fun.  Recently we invested in a frisbee and today we tried it out.  We had a blast, and of course, we got some great pics!

Sisters playing together

Great form, huh?

Finally caught one!

Pure joy!!!

Something about our sweet girls laying in flowers.  
Makes for beautiful pictures!

Last of the Spring flowers

This wasn't today obviously, but it fits. With rain, you get rainbows! I saw this on my way out of the door the other night.  It was a double!

One of the favorite things about our house is that we can see the Cliffs of Moher across the bay on clear days.  We got a new lens for the camera last week and we were excited to see how close-up we can see them now!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday Cailyn!

Alright, this is late, by a day.  We celebrated Cailyn's birthday on Sunday with some friends along with Easter.  It was a great day! We had wonderful weather so we went for a nice walk and then had some cake and opened presents! We are so proud of Cailyn and it's been so wonderful to watch her grow, especially over the last couple of months.  Her use of words has just exploded over the last few weeks.  We can't quite always get what she's trying to say, but she's doing really well and it's really fun to hear what's coming out of her little mind! Happy Birthday Cailyn! We love you VERY much!! We are so blessed to have you as a part of our family!

Cailyn doing some exploring on our walk

The Cake made by Jen.  Cailyn LOVES Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!
(Jen could not find blue food coloring, so if you notice like Hannah did, the slide is NOT blue)

Her first look at the cake

Here it comes!! Time for cake!!

She blew out the candles with ease!

Obvious sign of sisterhood


proper cake eating techinque

Could I get some help here?

what a cutie
I like in this picture how she's just enveloped in the present.

Thank you everyone for my presents! I love them all!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

An tEarrach, Casca, & Uibheacha

Title: The Spring, Easter and Eggs
Pronounced: uhn TARR-ahch, KAHS-kuh, IHV-uhl-huh

We've been blessed with some AMAZING weather the past couple of weeks. We've only had a couple of days of rain, and the temperatures are really getting warmer! So, we've been able to get outside a lot more, which has been great for all of us!
Daddy and the girls playing some football (aka soccer)

I love the smile on Hannah's face in this one. She was also giggling like a mad woman!

Getting a running start...

...and FLY!!
(after Seth saw this he said, "Maybe that's a LITTLE high..." :o) )

The flowers are still going full force in our yard. Some of the daffodils are starting to wither, but we've seen some new kinds starting to sprout up. I can't wait to see what they are! The girls spend ages exploring all the flora and fauna in the yard.

What a sweet girl!

The drawback to Spring: allergies! I happened to catch her mid-sneeze! If you look closely, you can see the orange pollen on her nose...

Hannah picked her favorite daffodil

"Look at THIS!!"

This is what was causing the commotion. The girls were absolutely fascinated by this little guy. Hannah ran out the next day to check on him...but he was gone.
One of our weekly activities is story hour at the library at the next village over. It's a great way to get to know other kids and parents, and it's done in a great balance of English and Gaelic. We've not been able to make it the past couple of weeks for one reason or another, so we were all glad to be able to make it this week for the Easter egg hunt! And we got the BEST day (weather wise) for it!
Hannah listening to the instructions:
"There are enough eggs for everyone to get at least 6..."

"And there are different things inside the eggs! There are prizes..."

"And sweets."
She IS her mother's daughter!!

And they're off!
(notice, NO jackets of any kind!!)

One of Hannah's first takes

Cailyn held her own! She knew exactly what to do.

Hannah was so excited about every little prize/sweet she got. Here she's showing Daddy a tiny little fuzzy chick.
All in all, it was a great day! We're planning some fun activities to help us learn and know about the real reason for Easter. We've been talking about how we celebrate Easter because Jesus died on the cross, but came back alive. And bunnies, eggs and candy are just some of the WAYS we celebrate. We are going to try our Empty Tomb Cookies again this year, and hope they turn out better.