passport, visa, ugh

Images All the kids need new passports.  To get a passport or renew a passport, you must follow the rules exactly.  I am generally not that great about following rules. I wasn't sure about renewing the kids passports because at this point Jessica is considered an adult.  Well, at least she can vote and be drafted but she can't drink or rent a car. 

After spending some time on the site, I picked up the phone and spoke to someone.  The Government would definitely prefer you figure it out yourself but there are still people you can talk to.  YAY!  The person told me which forms to print out and that although Jessica was an adult, since her first passport was issued as a child, she needed me for the change over because she was 19 not 21.  Also, both parents must be present unless you get a signed notarized document from your husband saying it is okay.

I printed everything out.  Got Fred to get three separate notarized documents with his signature allowing me to get the passports by myself with the kids ( they must be present ).  Ends up, Jessica does not need either us.  Emily only needs one adult.   Josh is still a minor but can do it himself 5 years from now when his passport expires.  One more thing, cash or check only.  If you don't have a check and pay cash, you need to pay the post office an additional $1.10 to issue a money order for you.  Lucky, I have cash.  Oh and you must bring an original birth certificate even though though you have already have a passport from before. One added mention, some post offices only allow passports applications during certain hours.  Ours was 10-4 and we came too late last week so we had to return today.  

After waiting in line, going through each individual application and the utterly charming people at the post office, and an hour of time, we were done.

Now, Emily is taking 3 classes this summer at Central Saint Martin's.  Each class runs for one week, 5 days.  They sent me a visa application.  I can't imagine she would need a visa for 3 weeks of art classes.  I spent some time searching the site and couldn't get confirmation on that.  Then I spent more time looking for a phone number…not.  So I figured I'd just apply for the visa.  Another annoying little bonus to make anyone without a real job feel like a total loser is that when you apply for a visa for your kid, they ask you what you do, how much you make a year, how much it costs to support your children or anyone else a month, what properties and stocks you own and what is the value.  Need I go on?  Instead, I emailed the school asking them if it was truly necessary for Emily to get a visa.

My take away from all of this, is no wonder it takes forever to pass a bill, get anything through congress or the senate and sadly how to fix oil from seeping through out the gulf coast.