Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Adventures in Housing...

Last Thursday we were told we can find our own housing and to try to get it by the next Thursday!

Thursday night we scoured the internet searching for places and realtors (trying not to panic)

Friday we went to Church and then looked at 3 properties. The first was a villa that was TOO big, the second a villa that was TOO small, and the third was an apartment that was JUST right (yep...we felt a bit like Goldilocks)!

Saturday we looked at 1 more property and decided on the one from Friday. Saturday night we talk to our realtor and we was going to get us the info we need by Sunday.

Sunday we call and call him and no answer (really trying not to panic). Sunday night we meet with a financial planner and he says he will call is realtor friend and have him call us. The new realtor calls us Sunday night and we make an appt. to show him the property we want on Monday.

Monday we show him the property we want and he says "I rented that one out last week"! We then say we will take the other one that he showed us on Saturday (it was a lot smaller than we would like but we would make it work). He calls us back a few hours later and says that that property was rented out the night before (he also said we had "no luck")! LOL! He then promised that he will find something that will work for us. A few hours later he calls and says he has 2 for us to look at on Tuesday.

Tuesday we go look at an apartment that is too small and a villa that is being renovated and will be ready in 2 weeks. We decide to have the realtor meet us at "housing" and explain the situation and see if they will let us take the villa in 2 weeks. I then head to a mall that is near "housing" and just as we are about to pull into the parking lot the realtor calls and asks if we want to look at one more. He says it is brand new and he thinks we will like it. Since he is just on the other side of the mall we go meet up with him again and head over to the last place. Once we get there the doors are locked and we can't get in. He calls the landlord and he heads over. He ends up not having the right keys (the apartments are very new and the keys are at the bank and the bank is closed). Our realtor goes hunting around and finds an unlocked window and climbs in. There is a chair nearby that we use to help the kids and myself climb in as well. The apartment is a nice 3 bedroom with a decent sized maid/storage room that we can use for a 4th bedroom. We put down a deposit and are working on getting all the documents needed to take to housing to get everything taken care of. Hopefully we will be out of the hotel next week...just in time to start SPRING BREAK!

Read part 2 HERE!
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Monday, March 3, 2014

Abayas, Skype, Birthday, Border Run, and Camels

We have been in the UAE for 30 days now (and yes, we are still in a hotel)!

On Thursday, Feb. 20, we had our first guests! A family in our branch came by to visit and brought us homemade chocolate chip cookies! YUM!

Friday, Feb. 21, we went to church (still getting used to this whole church on Friday thing) and had a wonderful potluck meal with our branch afterwards!
Church at the Villa
Saturday, Feb. 22, we went shopping to find supplies that Unicorn needs for Youth Conference. She will be going on a Trek in the desert and needed a sleeping bag, mat, backpack, flashlight and 2 abayas (traditional dress for the women in the Middle East). We found everything she needed except the 2 abayas. Unicorn was also able to Skype with her father and her (half) brother back in the States.

Sunday, Feb. 23, we FaceTimed with my sister and her hubby and their puppies. We are especially grateful for technology here as it is nice to be able to talk with family in real time! A friend came and took Unicorn and me to a store that has abayas and we were able to find 2 that fit her (the only 2 in her size actually). She also took us to the supermarket so we could get some dinner and snacks. Then Unicorn went to Seminary.

Monday, Feb. 24, was the second day of ice skating for the kids. They are really loving this activity and are doing very well. I love that they all have their lesson on the same day at the same time!

Tuesday, Feb. 25, Unicorn had Mutual (youth group) and they went to the Rugby Club and played Frisbee Golf.

Wednesday, Feb. 26, we FaceTimed with my mom and step-dad and my mom's mom!

Thursday, Feb. 27, hubby went to Abu Dhabi to pick up his Emirate's ID card. This is big because now we can work on getting ID's for the kids and me and we can buy a car (after he get paid)!

Friday, Feb. 28, Unicorn's birthday! Can't believe she is 14 already! We also Skyped with my dad, step-mom, Gram (dad's mom), and Aunt & Uncle (dad's sister). Then it was time for Stake Conference. Hubby and the girls went and I stayed back with Monkey as he was showing signs of a cold.
Happy 14th Birthday Unicorn!
Saturday, Mar. 1, Unicorn and I went and got mani/pedi's for her birthday. Then we all went to Bawadi Mall and had Unicorn's birthday lunch at TGI Friday's, did some shopping, then had Cold Stone ice cream for dessert.
Unicorn getting pampered
Me getting pampered
Unicorn's pedicure
Unicorn's manicure
My cuties
Being silly
The birthday girl!
Singing to Unicorn for her birthday!
Cold Stone ice cream!
Sunday, Mar. 2, we got up early and did a border run. A border run is where you leave the UAE and come back under another temporary tourist visa. We should only have to do this once as hubby already has is resident visa. We will submit the necessary documents to get resident visa's for the kids and me as soon as Unicorn gets back from Youth Conference this coming weekend. On the way back from Oman we saw a pick-up truck with at least 5 camels in it! It was also Seminary night for Unicorn.
How many camels can you fit in a pick-up truck?
Monday, Mar. 3, today we were able to watch the Gilbert Temple Cultural Celebration. This was neat as it is the area we just moved from. It also made us a bit homesick. Then it was time for ice skating lessons. I really can't believe how well they are doing. The girls are skating forwards, backwards, and in circles. Monkey is getting pretty good at walking on his skates. He is still quite nervous about it though. Today was Ladybug's first day at Activity Days. This is when the girls at church ages 8-11 get together and learn and have fun together. She had a great time, especially since she isn't technically old enough to go. She was invited to join them as she will be 8 in May and there are only 3 other girls in their little group. Other good news today, hubby got paid, got his bank card and got his medical card! Next up, housing and resident visa's for the kids and me!
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