Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Abu Dhabi Update ~ Paperwork & Authentication

In addition to selling everything we own there is a lot of paperwork to get ready to move to Abu Dhabi...especially if you are taking your family!

Documentation Needed (all teachers):
Passport Photos
Letters of Reference (2)
Criminal Background Check
Authenticated Teaching License
Authenticated Diploma of Highest Degree

Additional Documentation Needed (for families):
Authenticated Marriage Certificate
Authenticated Birth Certificate (for each child)

Additional Documentation Needed for Children of Divorced/Deceased Parents:
Authenticated Divorce Degree (or Death Certificate)
Notarized and Authenticated Letter from Child's father

Now, since there is a cost involved in the Criminal Background Check and in the Authenticating of documents, it wouldn't be wise to do these 2 steps until AFTER a letter of offer is received. However, getting your passport might not be a bad idea. We already had our passports (yes, even the children) from a few years ago. Click HERE to read about how to get a passport and how much they cost.

Passport = approx. $135 (for a first time adult - renewals and children are less)
Criminal Background Check = $50 (this could vary depending on the company you use)
Notarizing Documents (step 1) = Free at most banks if you are a member. (Our Secretary of State also notarizes for free).
Authentication (step 2) = Secretary of State (Arizona) $3 per document
Authentication (step 3) = US Department of State $8 per document
Authentication (step 4) = UAE Embassy in the USA $30 per document
ProEx (courier for steps 3 & 4) = $125 + $25 FedEx

If you are a single teacher these fees are not so bad but we are a family with 3 children and 1 of those children is from a previous marriage. This meant that instead of 2 documents to Authenticate  ($232) we had 8 ($478)!

Other than the letter from Unicorn's father and a certified copy of my divorce decree, we had all the documents we needed ready to go at the time of hubby's interview. On the 15th of November we drove up to Phoenix to go to the Secretary of State and have the documents notarized and authenticated. Then we went to Staple's to copy each document (another $2) and ship the documents to ProEx for steps 3 & 4 ($30 shipping).

ProEx will get the documents today (don't you just love tracking packages?!?) and it takes about 10 days for the process to be completed in Washington DC. Then they ship the documents back to us (another 2-3 days) and we submit our final documents to Footprints and they send it to ADEC to begin processing our VISA (which will take at least 2 weeks). At this point we have to be ready to leave at a moments notice!

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Preparing for Abu Dhabi

Getting everything ready to move across the world is a very daunting, time consuming task! We have gathered all the necessary paperwork and will be getting it notarized and authenticated this week. Then we will be sending it to Proex to finish the authentication process.

In addition to all the paperwork there is the intimidating task of selling almost everything we own! We have sold almost $1500 worth of stuff and have almost $2500 more claimed (and there is so much we still need to sell)! Some claimed items will be picked up this week while others (like our beds) will be picked up closer to Christmas. This money is helping to pay for the fingerprinting and authentication process, hubby's new suits, and some money to live on until the new paychecks start coming in.

We are also in the process of getting our house on the market. Know anyone who wants to buy a charming house in a small town just south of Phoenix, Arizona?!?

One of the more fun items on our VERY long to-do list is to get hubby a couple new suits. He hasn't had a new suit since we were married 9 years ago! This last Friday we went to a local store that sells suits for LDS (Mormon) missionaries. One thing I LOVE about these suits is that they are all 2-pants suits and the cost of alteration is included in the price. He is a photo of hubby getting fitted for his new suit!

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2013 Gratitude Challenge ~ Days 4-10

Ok...so it is easier to keep up with the gratitude challenge on Facebook! Here are my Facebook  gratitude posts for the past few days:

Day 4 - I am grateful for my hubby!

Day 5 - I am grateful that I get to sit on the only couch that is left in the house and watch NCIS and NCIS LA tonight! Yep...I love Tuesdays! 

Day 6 - Grateful for my children. They may drive me crazy at times but I wouldn't trade them for the world! 

Day 7 - I'm thankful for my parents (all of them)!

Day 8 - I am thankful for Temples. I love that Kurt and I got to go to the Temple today. I love that my mom watched the kids for us. I love that we found some nice suits on sale for hubby. I love that we got the last 2 documents that we need for Abu Dhabi today and that next week we will get them authenticated. I love that Unicorn has a friend over! I love that the house will be on the market soon!

Day 9 - I'm thankful we were able to get some things done around the house/yard today. I love that the littles did some school work today. I love that this is a 4 day weekend for hubby. I love that the kids played outside all day. I love brownies!

Day 10 - I'm thankful for ALL my siblings. I love that I got to talk to my little brother today (it is his birthday). I love that today is a day of rest. I love that I am still sitting in bed and hubby is making my breakfast. I love that we still have a couple hours until we head to church. I love that we are going to have homemade chicken nuggets and french fries for dinner! 

Want to join in the Gratitude Challenge? Just click on the button:
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Sunday, November 3, 2013

See the Light: Art Projects {Mosaic Review}

This product was a fun one for Unicorn. She had a great time (she actually did all 4 hour lessons in one sitting) and did it all by herself.
The product is Art Projects by See the Light, a Christian-based Art program. The project we reviewed was "Paper Jungle"
In a Nutshell:
~9 DVD's with 4 lessons each that lead to a culminating project
~$14.99/ea. OR $12.50/ea. as DVD of the month OR $99.99 for Boxed Set
~Each DVD teaches a different art style and artist
~Art Projects are designed to follow Art Class (a 9 volume-set of 36 Art Lessons)
~Earn 1/2 High School Fine Art credit if you complete all 9 DVD's and go on a couple field trips
 Our Thoughts:
As you can tell from the photos, Unicorn (13 years old) enjoyed this project. She had fun learning about layering and creating a foreground and background. I LOVED that she could pop in the DVD and do it all herself. We didn't have the exact sizes of paper that were on the materials list but it didn't matter...she was able to adapt the project and make it work. She even has plans to use the DVD to teach Monkey (5) and Ladybug (7) how to make a Paper Jungle. I would say that the only down-side is the price. Unless you buy the box-set and have multiple children that can use it, it is a little on the pricey side for me. However, I think the pros outweigh the cons for me!

Contact Information:

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2013 Gratitude Challenge ~ Day 3

I am grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ and for his atonement. 

To join in just click the button above.
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2013 Gratitude Challenge ~ Day 2

Today I am grateful for friends I haven't met in real life. There are many that I have "met" through homeschooling groups and through this new adventure. These friends are supportive, understanding and helpful and I am so grateful for them!

If you would like to join in click the button above!
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Friday, November 1, 2013

2013 Gratitute Challenge ~ Day 1

Once again I am joining up with a friend and doing the Gratitude Challenge. Each day I will post something I am grateful for. If you would like to join in just click on the button above!

Today I am grateful for the amazing opportunity that my family and I are just beginning to get ready for.  I am grateful my husband had a successful interview last week and that we are going to be moving overseas, to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, for at least 2 years. I can't even begin to explain how blessed we feel!
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