Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 2008

This year I remembered to get out onto the seawall just outside our apartment in time to take some evening shots of the kids. So, you are seeing the East China Sea in the back ground.

Andrew was very excited to be:

Darth Vader!

This costume didn't make it in time for Halloween last year so it was with much anticipation that it was worn tonight!

Logan was the Storm Trooper, which was great until he decided to morph into:

The always popular Spiderman.

Josh only wanted to be one thing...a "bad" ninja.

It wasn't to hard for him to get into character for this costume.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

White Beach

As I was trying to think of something to post, I remembered that I had some great pictures from our last camping excursion. I use "camping" in a very broad sense. We rented camp trailers that had airconditioning, microwaves and a bathroom. YAY! I practically grew up in a tent so I feel zero guilt what-so-ever "camping" in comfort. :)

This is how I spent our time while "camping." Rough isn't it?

Andrew, always photogenic even with crazy beach hair.

Eating pumpkin cookies for brunch.

We had the whole beach to ourselves. How lucky is that?

We went with a great family that we have become quite close with here on the Island. They have two of the most adorable girls on the planet (arranged marriages are in the works...kidding! Maybe?).

The kids had lots of fun playing night games with the megabats swooping overhead and then plenty of beach time in the morning. Our campsite was right on the beach!

Another vacation weekend for the books...or I guess just the blog. Our simple and easy life is rapidly coming to an end so we hope to take advantage of as much "fun" as we can. Gotta run!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Logan's Love

Logan found a hibiscus flower blossom on the ground at school the other day. He put it in his pocket and just couldn't wait to give it to me after I picked him up. He handed it to me saying, "Isn't it lovely? I got it for you, mom." Never has a crumpled up wilted flower ever been so beautiful. I love this kid.

I often will find little hearts cut out around the house that have "mom" written on them, courtesy of Logan; he is so sweet.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

You've come a long way baby!

It was only 6 years ago that we began the adventure known as "dental school."

Time went by fast, and before we knew it:

Dana was graduating Dental School and swearing in for the Air Force. We thought that we might just be in for a quick 3 years.


Three years turned into four when we decided that a residency program in Nebraska would be a good idea. Dana learned a lot at residency but the two primary pieces of knowledge were:

1. He really liked Oral Surgery
2. He really liked the Air Force

So, we moved to Okinawa for what we thought was going to be three years. Dana has been enjoying work because he does surgery 4 days a week. I have been enjoying life because we have been on a paid tropical vacation for the past 14 months (that is Dana on the left).

Then Dana took a test or two and did an interview or two and was offered this:

A slot for the 2009 Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery program at a stateside airbase. And you know what? He accepted it.

We are comin' home!

P.s. You know that quick 3 years we were going to do in the Air Force? Well, that just turned into 11. Sweet Mercy, someone give me some chocolate!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sushi Lover

Yesterday, Joshy and I were out doing errands while the older boys were at school. Of course, Josh has the same appetite that I do and by 9:30 in the morning he was hungry again. So, we ran into a grocery store looking for a suitable snack for being on the go to accomplish the rest of the days to-do list. As we are walking into the store, Josh tells me he wants sushi. "No way is he having sushi for breakfast," is what I am thinking. So, we walk past the sushi counter on our way towards a nice lunchable for him and the tears start to roll. "Mom, I want sushi!!!"

Is this really happening to me? Is my 3 year old baby demanding sushi? Does this not strike anyone else as a bit odd?! Sure, he has had a few bites of it as we have had it at different restaurants here...but a WHOLE plate of breakfast?! Well, guess who won? Not mommy. We come back to the sushi counter after putting the lunchable back and the nice sushi girl made a fresh tray of california rolls for my sweet little persistant child. He possesively carried it all the way back to the van, tore into it and ate THE ENTIRE TRAY. Good Heavens!

I guess he really does like sushi.

So, fast forward to the next day (today). I am taking him to pre-school. "Do you want to go eat sushi for lunch with mommy and Katie?" I asked him. He was quite excited with the plan. So, here are pictures of today at a fun little corner sushi house. This restaurant is a bit different and fun as you sit at a booth or barstool and choose the sushi you want that is coming past you on a conveyor belt. Let it be known, that I don't love sushi. But, this place had SO MANY yummy rolls that I walked away a bit too full. It was delicious!

As you walk in the door, they have this cute poster up so as to inform the sushi-naive like myself as to what we are eating.

The cost of the sushi that is going past you on the belt is determined by the design of the plate. That way you know exactly what your bill will be after you are done scarfing down as much delicious sushi as you want.

Here come the goods!

This was the first one Josh picked out (with moms help). A beef steak sushi, IT.WAS.AWESOME. The sauce was finger lickin' good.

Josh LOVES sushi but not getting attacked by the super sticky rice. So, I am sorry you have to look at my weathered (do I have cowboy hands??!!!) hand, but I am complying with the 3 year olds wishes at the moment.

The sushi chefs stand in the center of the oval shaped belt and continuously make fresh sushi. Here they are searing some salmon for a roll. The salmon had a slightly blackened taste to it and was so fresh and perfect that it just melt in your mouth.

Shrimp tempura taking a stroll down the belt. I didn't see that one go by again, so it was gobbled up in a hurry by someone.

Quail egg rolls. I did see these go past several times. No way Jose!

Oh and one other thing that Josh and I have a deep and abiding love for here:

Peach Water. You know those "peachies" gummy candies you can buy on any candy isle? This drink tastes just like the candy, except much less sweet; so good!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Girls Day out making Shisa!

A girl needs to get out every once in a while and what better way to do that than with a bunch of friends. So, we loaded a van full of us and took off up to Nago to spend a day making shisa at Sachi's place.

Here we are ready to rumble, or I mean, play with clay. :)

First we had to decide what pose we wanted our shisa to be in, and then what color clay (give at least 24 hours notice to Sachi's husband on the clay if you decide to do this).

This is the pose I chose as it is the same as the shisa in front of our building. I also went with the yellow clay (actually, I chose white but yellow and white were lost somewhere in translation while speaking to Mr. Sachi). On the left is my bucket of tools.

Ok, mid creation here. None of us girls really had a clue as to what to do (which really made it even more fun) but we just started packing on the clay to the form. Every once in a while, Mr. Sachi would come along and slap on some ears, or maybe lips or even some claws. I loved it when Mr. Sachi came to help me out as I am play-doh impaired and need all the help I can get.

Ta-dah! Here is the finished product! I quite like the little guy (you can tell it is a guy because its mouth is open...I don't make the legends, I just read'em). If it had been a girl then the mouth would have been closed. All told, it took 2.5 hours to make our shisa. I started with no expectations but in the end I am going to be really really sad if my little shisa doesn't survive our eventual PCS.

Thanks girls for all the fun!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

10,000 Eisa Dancers on Kokusai

We were able to attend a huge national celebration here in Okinawa a couple of months ago (yes, that is how far behind I am in blogging). It was amazing, humid and deafening all at once. Located in the heart of Naha is the very popular and touristy Kokusai Street. Many vendors, shops, markets and restaurants can be found here.

Once a year, Kokusai Street hosts the 10,000 Eisa Dancers Parade. Eisa dancing is a local traditional style dance and costume performance. The main event are the taiko drums and oh my goodness, they are loud. Once the drummers start, then the sanshin players are added then top that off with singing and dancing. It gives you chills to listen to and is so outstanding that it brings tears to your eyes (or was that just the humidity running down my face?).

The sanshin players.

This sweet little girl was standing not two feet from Andrew for her entire performance. She kept making eye contact with him and smiling. I think I took 50 pictures just of her. She was absolutely adorable.

Can I take her home, please?

Him too. One more boy in the family would be great!

This shot does not do the performance justice. Seriously, there were 10,000 dancers!

Here we are that same day at Fukushuen gardens. I have an earlier post on this garden. I love it here. It is a haven of complete serenity and beauty tucked right in the middle of the city.

I have no idea what this plant was called, but wow.

I love the old buildings. Especially when they are weathered with time just a little bit (or a lot). The color that peeks out is fantastic.

My two sweeties. I am so blessed to have three sons that love each other so much. They are all best friends.

We went to a great tempanyaki restaurant here that served the kids drinks in a "skull". The boys loved it and were terrified to drink out of it at the same time. If you know Andrew at all, you know he is (as this picture captures) working through the logistics of why and how mom and dad want him to drink anything out of a skull. :) In the end, he drank my water and I drank his "punch."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Golfin' Buddies

Have you ever sat down to do a little "blog surfing" and been so annoyed to anxiously click on someones blog only to be utterly disappointed when they STILL have the same posting up as the last week...and the week before that (and the week before that, you get the point). Well, that is how I feel everytime I look at my own blog; not a good sign. I have really slacked. I was so on top of it all at the beginning and now I am falling behind, very very behind. So, sorry. I will try harder.

Over the summer I enrolled Andrew in a golf clinic. It was so much fun! Being the overprotective mom that I am and not being overly excited about contact sports for my young boys (what mom wants to see their babies chased down and tackled to the ground?! Yikes!) I am always on the lookout for a new sport that my kids can enjoy. Something that can be fun for them without a lot of pressure. Besides turning the golf clubs into lightsabers, I think we found a winner with golf (tennis and baseball as well). Ground rules have been laid and lightsabers no longer make an appearance so no worries grandmas'.

At the end of the golf clinic, the kids were able to play in their first tournament. Other than it being a million degrees outside and being buzzed by at least a dozen fighter jets (F-15s) it was fantastic!
He looks like a pro, right?! He was loving the driver that day and had some great hits.

Josh and Logan giving it a try.

I love this kid!

I love this one too, even when he scowls at me for "distracting" him.

That grass/dirt is in big trouble, though I think the ball is safe. :)