And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

Monday, April 21, 2014

Presence of Greatness

This past Monday I had the opportunity to attend a leadership training meeting with the General YW President Sister Bonnie Oscarson.  She is on a Asia-pacific "tour" and is travelling around to teach/train all the YW and their leaders.  Sis Oscarson is a former mission presidents wife as well as a temple presidents wife. She is currently serving at a time when the mission age for females has been lowered, and the church is hastening the work for the salvation of souls; coincidence she is the General YW president...I think not!! 

She brought such a special spirit to the training meeting and to all our YW.  We could feel her love for us, and through that love, we could feel the love of our Savior!  She is such a special person, and we are so grateful for taking the time to come all the way to little ol' Okinawa and train us.  We look forward to using the resources she taught us in helping our YW to make and keep sacred covenants as they prepare to enter in the Lord's holy temple. 

He Sent His Son

Easter is probably my favorite holiday.  I love all that it represents, and how it makes us examine the unending blessing that come to pass because of it.  I'm grateful for the opportunity that I had to speak in sacrament meeting, and to share my testimony of Christ's atoning sacrifice!  I also had the opportunity to give the lesson in YW and I'm so grateful for their testimonies and our chance to go over Christ's final week together.  Their testimonies are so pure and their spirit so genuine; I love learning from them!!

I'm also grateful for the good friends we have made while here in Okinawa.  I'm grateful for the Easter dinner we were able to share and then the Easter egg hunt our kids participated in to show them the sacrifice that was made for them and how they can apply it in their lives. 

Most of all I am grateful for my Savior and all that he did for me. I know that He lives, and I know that He loves me; all of us!  He truly atoned for our sins, our sorrows, our trials, our sicknesses, our burdens, and so much more while in the Garden.  He loved us so much that he endured unspeakable things and then hung on a cross while maintain his composure, and forgiving his accusers; showing us the perfect example of love and compassion.  I know that his all encompassing sacrifice brought to pass everything in my life that brings happiness.  I know that as I yoke up with him that my burdens can become easy to bare and that he will take the majority of my load.  I'm eternally grateful for the forgiveness that he grants me and the grace that he gives to help me become worthy to kneel before my Heavenly Father in prayer.  I know that because of Christ's love, we too can be risen again and live in eternal bliss with our families.  I hope and pray that I can take Christ's example and live more like him each and every day!!

Bunny Day

So differentiating Easter between the Easter Bunny/candy/egg hunts, etc... from the spiritual side of Easter has always been a challenge. Yes I want to partake in the fun side of Easter in all its chocolatey goodness...but I also want to make Easter about Christ...aka: the real meaning of Easter.  So, in an attempt to have fun and still be spiritual, a friend suggested that we do "Bunny Day" on Saturday and then Easter on Sunday.  The two are together all encompassing, but place emphasis and value to the spiritual side of things by getting everything else out the day before.  So, this year we did it...and we LOVED it!!  Saturday and Sunday were both wonderful family filled days that were well spent. 

Unfortunately TJ's command is on lock down (someone in the command got a DUI, and therefore everyone in the command is on special watch and can only be at home, or on base...with the exception of church), so all of our festivities had to be at our house or at church...but lucky for us, we love our neighbors and we have a beach in our front yard :)

Saturday stated off with a beach Easter egg hunt with all of our amazing neighbors.  It was potluck style where everyone brought 12 filled eggs per hunter, and a side dish to share. The kids hunted for eggs, and played in the ocean, all the while the parents visited and enjoyed some yummy food.  It was great to get to know our neighbors better and enjoy the beauty that is all around us.

That night we dyed eggs, ate some candy, and played games as a family.  Then mom filled the Easter baskets, and set them out on the table :)  sneaky parents!!  Can't wait to celebrate the other side of Easter!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

2 Months

I can't believe my baby is already 2 months old!!  While I am very excited for Parker to be old enough to finally play with his big brother...I am sad at how quickly he is growing up!!  It seems like just yesterday my sweet little Dominik was just a swaddled infant curled up on my chest...and now he is a ginormous 4 year old!  Well I vow to try and remember everything I can about my sweet little Parker as much as I can, because while yes he will grow quickly...I want to be able to look back and remember him at each stage!!

Parker's 2 months Stats -
Weight: 13.6lbs
Height: 23.75in
Head Circ: 41cm

Parker is just now starting to smile :)  He will interact with mommy, daddy, and big brother when they can catch his attention.  He mimics when you stick out your tongue, and will sometimes track.  He is on a strict diet of mommies milk, but does have the occasional formula bottle when mommy needs a break, or dad is on duty.  He goes about 3 hours in between feedings during the day, and will go on a 4-7 hour stretch of sleep during the night time, with the longest stretch being from 8pm-2am"ish."  He is awake a bit more during the day, but is still napping between almost every feeding.  He is content to just chill in his swing or play mat, but really loves it when you will sit and talk with him.  His most favorite thing to watch is the ceiling fans, which he gets the biggest kick out of.  He genuinely laughs every time they catch his's pretty cute!!  He doesn't like dirty diapers, and really enjoys hosing mom and dad off if they leave him exposed for longer than he feels in necessary. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Breakfast with Heros

Lucky for us here on the lowly island of Okinawa there is a little thing called MCCS (Marine Corp Community Service).  They put on special functions for families that make you forget about the fact you are on a small island surrounded by no family.  Well, today the special event being put on was a breakfast with superhero's.  So we all dressed up as superhero's and headed down to the Kadena Officer Club.  The party was chalk full of all Dominik's favorite superhero's both big and small.  I would have to say that his favorite superhero's were the ones his size who he quickly became best of friends with!

Overall the breakfast was gross, but the look of sheer joy on Dominik's face as he came face to face with his idols made the event spectacular!!

Working for Eggs

TJ's command has thrown their fair share of parties in the short 8 months we have been here.  Some have been great, and others...not so great.  This past Friday they threw an Easter BBQ celebration for families...and it was pretty great.  While the food was pretty awful, TJ was able to get off work at 11, we were able to enjoy a sunny afternoon at a beautiful beach, there were good friends all around, and Dominik and Parker were able to meet the Easter Bunny and hunt for his eggs.  A good time was had by all; both young and small. 


We feel so blessed to have TJ working for such a great command...not only for the fun parties, but that the whole family is invited...and TJ gets the afternoon off!!