Thursday, May 29, 2008


Is it possible to become any more busy in my day to day life? When we first moved here, I was so bored. I just hadn't found my niche' yet and was unsure about myself in a new world. Now, 9 months later I am running around so much that I wonder when I will get a chance to sneak in a nap in my favorite chair. Honestly though, I love it. I am happier when I am busy and responsible for "making things happen."

Anyway, enough about me. Memorial Day was great and we were able to check out a new fun place, the Butterfly Garden. Basically a large greenhouse full of butterflies; heaven on earth for Andrew and Logan though a bit much for Joshy considering that the butterflies were quite large and unafraid. I have many great pictures to post from our fun (although extremely HOT) adventure in the greenhouse, I just will not have time to post for a few days. SO, to "wet your appetite" I leave you with this cute picture of Andrew.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I love you as much....

Logan is quick; maybe not the fastest runner "quick" but he has a sharp mind for a 4 year old. He and I play word games during the day. You know silly things like..."oh look! There goes a ketchup car!" as a bright red car drives across our path. We have now found, ketchup, mustard, sushi, pickle, hot dog and hot dog bun (mine) cars/vans. He is really fun. Anyway, we also play the, "I love you as much as a......" game. He and I will banter back and forth trying to top the other in who loves each other more. Josh looks at us like we are crazy. Andrew has missed out on this while at school.

Anyway, yesterday Logan won the "I love you as much" game. Yesterday he told me, "I love you as much as Optimus Prime, the bonus feature one." Wow. I just looked at him and smiled because I knew that in his innocent sweet heart this was as much as you could love anyone. Optimus Prime: strong, powerful, the pinacle of greatness to my son.

I told him, "ok, you win!" He was happy he won; I think we both won. I love you Logan.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Random Pictures

This past week has been hectic to say the least. Logan graduated from pre-school (pictures to come), I have been preparing for a big enrichment night, lots of Dr. appointments for everyone, life life life! So, I thought that at the very least I had better throw some pictures up on the blog until I have the time to get my life organized again; or at least pretend too. :)

One night after finally getting some of my projects done, I went into the kids room to do my nightly check-in-on-them and this is what I found. Keep in mind it is about 11:30pm at this point. How could he sleep like this? (This is Logan)

The latest round of Cocok's pedicures. The girls that work there are talented! A few of us went to dinner at an excellent cafe' and then had the works done to our feet. So fun and so inexpensive compared to the States!

Dana and I joined Nick and Rebecca one evening for a dinner at the marina's restaurant. Great view, so-so food but fantastic friends.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Washi Box

We had a great enrichment a week ago by a sweet sister in our branch, Naomi Clark. She taught a dozen of us how to make a washi box! Here is a link on washi!
You will need 6 one half gallon cartons of milk (yes, you heard me right. Start saving them!). Rinse them out and let them dry.

You will need the side panels from 4 of the cartons of milk; just cut off the top of the carton and cut off the bottoms. Save two bottoms for the washi box. You will also need a bit of cardboard for the lid and leaf shaped sides.

Next, you need either a great friend to show you how to make these boxes or a nice set of directions like these!

And these! The "box" down in the corner of the page is showing you how many pieces of a washi box you could get out of one FULL sheet of washi paper; several large boxes (of this style).

You will need a bag of this glue that can be bought at the Schilling Center's (On Kadena) Gift Shop. It is about a 1/2 cup of glue to 1/2 cup of water ratio.

You need a sharp pair of scissors, a LOT of tape, a roll of double sided tape (not pictured but you can buy it at the 100Yen store), glue and a ruler that shows centimeters.

So, I became very busy hastily creating my box with 4 extra little hands flinging glue around. I missed out on taking several pictures (crucial ones, sorry) due to trying to do damage control on the glue...refer to directions at this point or call Naomi. :) The box (lots of glue) now needs to dry for at least 24 hours.

You then will want to laquer it to harden and protect it. Apparently, this is the best laquer and can be bought at the Schilling Grift Shop(under the kokeshi dolls). Though, at the moment they are out and hope to get some "next month." Yikes! The cost was about $10.

This is another laquer that can be bought at Makeman (monkey store); it is around 700Yen.

You will want to add a couple of coats of laquer (do this outside!) to cover your box.

* Washi paper is gorgeous and expensive! The Schilling Center has a huge variety and I wanted 1 of each; I settled for two 1/4 sheets which should make me 2 boxes.
*Naomi went to great effort to measure all of our washi paper for us to make it easy. You will need to refer to the directions to get the measurements.
*The inside of the box is covered in wrapping paper (again, right measurements) though you can also use washi on the inside.
*This box took me about 3 hours to build, though I am craft impaired so it might take you 20 minutes.
*This is an addictive craft, even for the craft impaired. I will now be hoarding any milk cartons we use and I might plead for a few of my friends (you have been warned).

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Why is this??

I ran to the commissary today to grab a few items. I thought I was splurging when I bought this box of muffins for my kids to snack on; apparently I was wrong.

This very small bag of potatoes cost me MORE THAN a huge box of muffins.

I really don't understand how a small 3lb bag of locally grown potatoes can cost me $6.50; that is insane. THEY ARE POTATOES PEOPLE! Yes, I have read the news articles trying to explain why our gas/food prices are so high. I have to tell you though, I don't buy it(no pun intended)! When I am reduced to buying unhealthy pre-packed food items for my kids because they are so much cheaper than whatever we can grow in the dirt, or on a tree or vine I "think we have a problem Houston."

Grrr. Rant Over. For Now.

Friday, May 16, 2008


So, I have been "tagged." Here is a little random information about me:

Four Movies I could Watch over and over:
1. What a Woman Wants
2. Liar Liar
3. Most movies with Will Smith
4. Anything that Dana wants to see while we snuggle in the monstrous bean bag
Four Jobs I've Had:
1. Taco Bell grunt
2. Telemarketer (sorry, just hang up on them...they like it!)
3. Customer Service for a cable company (never again)
4. Shoney's grunt
Four Places I've Lived:
1. Utah (where I grew up)
2. South Carolina (mission)
3. Ohio (Dana dental school)
4. Okinawa, Japan (where I am now!)
Four of My Favorite dishes/foods:
1. Anything with Pesto
2. Cheesecake (dulce de leche)
3. Ham and Pineapple Pizza
4. Mac-n-Cheese (WHY oh why does it have to be so good?!)
Four T.V. Shows I Love:
Ok- I don't have TV in Japan, so this might be a little "dated"
1. The Biggest Loser (can I be on this show?)
2. Anything Food Network (the reason I need to be on the show)
3. Scrubs
4. Lost (it is a love hate relationship)
Four sites I visit daily:
1. CNN
2. Confessions of a Pioneer Woman
3. Fishing for Deals
4. Blogs!
Four Places I have Vacationed:
1. SeaWorld
2. Yellowstone
3. Utah (we go home to see family for a vacation)
4. Okinawa (everyday is a beach vacation here-we live on the seawall!)
Four Places I'd rather be right now:
1. In Utah with family
2. Getting a pedicure (oh! that is tonight!)
3. Recieving a "beating" from Bob and or Jillian (Biggest Loser)
4. At Target
Four Places I'd like to go in the world:
1. Egypt
2. China (next year!)
3. A cruise somewhere
4. Rome/Italy for the history and art!
Four Interests I have:
1. Photography
2. Cooking
3. History/cultures
4. Medicine
Four things I like to do:
1. Take naps
2. Read a book, while taking a hot bath and nibbling chocolate
3. Clearance Shop!
4. Snuggling with ALL my boys (Dana included!)
Four things I WISH I liked to do:
1. Not eat
2. Exercise
3. In depth study of scriptures
4. Fold laundry (as I spend a lot of time doing this)
Who am I going to tag?:
1. Sara
2. Keisha
3. Jenn
4. MaryAnn

Zakimi Castle

I am just amazed at how many castle ruins are on this small island. It seems, that wherever we go, we see signs for a new one. So much history to explore! Zakimi Castle was no exception. This ruin was around 800 years old (I forgot to take a picture of the historical marker sign on this one so give or take a 100 years). It belonged to the "lord" of what is now known as Yomitan. By the way, I LOVE Yomitan and would really like to find the "perfect" little house on the beach there to live for the next couple of years. A girl can dream.

I have seen some fantastic pictures with the sun and it's rays peaking through this doorway. Unfortunately, this isn't one of them. :) We were at the castle in the middle of the hot and humid day.

I just loved the smooth corners of this castle. Amazing.




I just can't believe how fast the boys are growing up. At times, I will catch a glimpse of Andrew walking down the hall and it just takes my breath away to see him getting so tall; he is losing his "baby face" and growing into a young man.

Logan is so sweet and eager to learn. He LOVES homework and projects. He told me the other day that "kindergarten is surely where I want to be, because you will be so proud of me." Of course I wanted to sob when he said that. I am already proud of my sweet sweet boy and DON'T want to send him off to school.

Joshy is still 2 going on 10. He has now completed his first week of "potty training bootcamp" and is doing great. He is so fun to talk to and play with. He definately has a mind of his own as well as a huge vocabulary to go with it; so fun. He will be starting pre-school in September and will love every minute of it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mothers Day

Ok, so I am a few days late. I have been thinking of this post for days but due to Blogger not allowing me to post pics the last few days and even more importantly, Joshy participating in potty training bootcamp, I have been a bit distracted.

But, as usual I can see that the month is once again slipping away and I don't have very many posts. So, here is another for you!

On Sunday, we recieved these absolutely stunning lillies at Church. Wow. Not only are they gorgeous, but I had no idea that three blossoms could produce so much incredible aroma. Oh, and they really look fantastic in my blue milk carton on the countertop.

With dad's help, the boys then picked out some great plants for the house that I have been eyeing at Makeman's (think HomeDepot) nursery. I am thinking this is some kind of bamboo plants all woven together.

This one is so cute with it's twisted trunks. The top is just a "ball" of leaves; I love it! I have even been given the go-ahead for a bonsai tree (quite pricey for a plant!). I am on the hunt for the perfect "Mr. Miyagi from Karate Kid" bonsai tree that I can put on top of my entertainment center. When I find my treasure, I will post a picture.

I also was given lots of hugs and kisses as well as a fantastic dinner compliments of Dana and the bbq grill.

This year, in thinking of what I would want to write down for a post I also wanted to mention how great the two mother's in my life are and all that they have done for our families. They have both taught me much about being a mom and wife. I want them both (Mom and Ramona) to know that I love and appreciate them. I am stubborn, strong willed, opinionated and independant; not always the easiest traits to love though they both have shown me much love. I love my mother for her strength and willingness to do whatever she can to help her family. I love Ramona for her endless praise and compliments she is always sharing with our little family. Of course, I love them both for so much more.

I am grateful to be a mother. I feel so blessed to have 3 sons that I love with all my heart and who love me. We do a lot of snuggling in this house, and I will miss it when my boys finally feel to old to snuggle with mom. Andrew said to me on Mother's Day, "You are the best woman in the whole world." Does it get any better? I just hope he remembers that in 20 years or so. *smile*

Friday, May 9, 2008


The boys started tennis lessons last week; they love it! They have lessons once a week and are in a class of 6 kids. Their teacher is Mr. Dia (pronounced Die).
Andrew loves doing the "big hits!"

Logan walks around the court like a super-hero. Chest puffed up, shoulders back looking big and strong.

It is such a fun sport for the kids and it goes year round here. They love it!

It also gives them something else to do as brothers. Of course, Joshy wants in the action but he will need to wait a year or two.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


So it is a Japanese Holiday today called "children's day." On this day, and a month or so prior to it, you see the koinobori flags flying. I love them! I looked all over for a flag to purchase but had a bit of difficulty (I wanted an authentic one, not just a bx special). So, hopefully next year I can post a picture of our OWN koinobori with the boys.

What is Koinobori?
Koinobori are carp-shaped streamers. Families with boys fly Koinobori outside from April through early May, in honor of Children’s Day on May 5 which was originally Boys’ Festival. The carp is believed to be a lucky fish symbolizing success in life so that families with boys fly carp-shaped streamers wishing for good health and growth for their boys.

History of Koinobori

In ancient times, when a baby was born, the family set up a tall pole in front of a house because it was believed that gods came down along it from the sky to protect the child. In order to make one’s house stand out toward gods from other houses, various-colored cloths were put on a tip of the pole. This is the origin of five-colored streamer.

During the feudal period warrior families celebrated the birth of boys by decorating armors made of sweet flag (iris) and setting up family-crested flags and streamers outside.

In the "Edo" period rich merchants started flying Koinobori with five-colored streamers wishing for good growth and success for their children and this custom became popular among the common people.

Why carp fish? This is originated in ancient Chinese legend. In "China" carps are believed to become dragons after climbing upstream of the "Yellow River" against rapid current and then they are taken as a symbol of success in a career.

The song “Koinobori” says that Koinobori swim freely above the roof in the sky, however, now in "Japan" it’s not always in that way anymore. If you live in a house with a garden, you can set up a tall pole with Koinobori, otherwise miniature Koinobori are hanged with stick outside apartments and condominiums. According to a handmade Koinobori company, hot seller is a “veranda set” for residents of condominiums.

These days there are some foreign tourists who buy Koinobori as souvenir. Their usages are different from Japanese one such as interior decoration, mark of yacht harbor, tying with ships and yachts and signboard of Japanese restaurant. You may find Koinobori somewhere unexpected places in the world.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Andrew's Field Trip

Andrew had his one and only field trip of the year to the botanical gardens; it was a beautiful day! This is some sort of "praying girl" shrine and a bowl full of Yen. Josh thought he had hit the jackpot and I was frantically scrambling to refill the bowl with the coins that had been scooped up.

Just surfing with the cow.

I am not quite sure what this statue is even supposed to is a little freaky, funny and creepy all at the same time.

Of course, they had the giant clam shells full of gorgeous flowers.

I REALLY need to get one of these brooms; all the locals use them. If I leave it by the front door when Dana comes home, then he would know if it has been a rough day or not and to "tread-lightly." Witches broom anyone?