And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

Monday, October 27, 2014

2nd Annual Pineapple Carving

I have to say that this is by far my favorite island tradition that my family has started since being on Okinawa.  In fact...I love it so much, that I think we might just continue the tradition when we move back to the states.  Pineapples are not only delicious to eat, but they carve really easily, and they look so cool with a tea light in the middle of them. 

This year we got together again with the Layton's and we decided to invite the Gapinski's as well.  We are glad we did, because the event was a lot of fun with more kids.  Their exuberant joy over all things holiday seems to rub off on us old folk adults.  We started off the evening as we always do (okay "always" is a bit of an overstatement here...but we have for two years in a row now) with mummy dogs and pineapple for dinner.  To beef up the meal a little bit this year we also added chili, Cheetos, roasted veggies (for the health component), and pumpkin cookies. 

After dinner we moved into our family home evening portion (this activity fell on a Monday; two birds, one stone).  We sang a lovely rendition of I am a Child of God, and then moved into a lesson about 5 little ghosts (carrying on with the Halloween theme) that taught us about obedience and repentance. 

The adults then took the kiddos over to carve their pumpkins...Don't they look so cool!!  I love the way their leaves look coming off the top.  Also the way their ribbing looks with the tea light in the middle.  So. Much. Fun!! 

We ended the night with a rousing game of "Don't Eat Pete."  If you have never played it you are missing out!!  This was the perfect game to end the perfect evening.  We are so lucky to have such great friends that are willing to come join in on our fun island traditions.  I love that we can adapt our traditions to fit our island life style; especially when the new traditions are even better than the old ones!!!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Block Party...Halloween Style

I love living in our neighborhood.  We have the best of both worlds...we get to live off base, and have all American neighbors.  When we first moved here I thought it would be great to live off base and immerse ourselves in the culture by getting to know our neighbors.  However, in talking to all my friends who live off base they rarely even see their neighbors let alone make friends with them.  Well we have mostly American neighbors and they are all fantastic!!

This year to celebrate Halloween this year we all dressed up the kiddos, blew up the bounce houses, and brought a yummy dish to share!  Of course I made the traditional sloppy joes, and even hand carved a few slices of cheese to look like pumpkins :)  They were the first to go...despite my efforts to tell people to eat the non-carved ones. 

We had such a fun time soaking up the pleasant weather with good conversation, and great food.  I love our neighborhood!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

8 Months

8 months old...and growing leaps and bounds.  Parker never ceases to amaze me at the things he is learning to do.  I find myself trying to compare him to Dominik, but the two are like apples and oranges.  Dominik was very cautious and liked someone always present, and Parker is incredibly adventurous and independent.  Dominik figured out how to do something and then was comfortable doing it...Parker always is pushing boundaries and seeing what else he can do. 

Right now Parker is taking two naps, one at 10 and the other at 2.  He is eating quite a few solids (gum soluble), including bananas for breakfast, and some type of a veggie for dinner with lots of snacks in between.  He is still eating a bottle every 4ish hours, 4oz during the day and 6oz with rice cereal at night.  Parker goes to sleep all on his own in his pack n' play for naps and bed time.  He sleeps with a blanket near his face and likes some type of snuggle guy in there with him...just like big bro.  He still takes his binky during the day and always when he sleeps; we don't foresee that going anywhere anytime soon. 

Parker is crawling all over the place and getting into EVERYTHING.  He still prefers to army crawl when he needs to get somewhere in a hurry, but will crawl when he is just leisurely cruising.  He is curious about everything and has to investigate anything that peaks his curiosity (which is everything and anything).  He recently started pulling himself up to his knees on things...and then shortly there after started pulling himself up to standing.  He still has yet to figure out how to get back down once he is standing...but has no problem just letting go and seeing what happens (usually results in tears, but sometime he tucks and rolls into something soft). 

He continues to amaze us with this new found skills, and we are enjoying how much he is starting to play with big brother.  They are the best of friends and I absolutely LOVE watching them interact!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Taiiku no hi

Taiiku no hi, or Sports Day is a national holiday in Japan to commemorate the 1964 summer Olympics held in Tokyo Japan.  The Japanese use the Sports Day Holiday to promote sports and an active lifestyle.  Since Dominik currently attends a Japanese preschool, we were able to participate in a Sports Day Festival.  We were originally supposed to be in Kyoto for the event, but typhoon VongFong cancelled our plans...Silver lining was our opportunity to attend Sports Day!!  We had so much fun!!

The day stated off with some light stretching, and got right into the races.  There are 4 classes at the preschool that start with the 2 year olds and move up a class with each year.  Dominik is in the B class, also called the Sakura class. Each class got to do different relay races with parents, sometimes grandparents, and sometimes all by themselves.



Japanese basketball for the Grandparents...

Just before the closing ceremonies there was an Eisa presentation where the kids go to wear a new uniform and do their dance while playing the drums.  Dominik was not a fan of the hat and much to TJ's dismay, took it off about half way through. He hasn't quite embraced the traditions of uniforms yet...but we are confident that he will soon enough. 

We are really enjoying Dominik's new preschool and the insight it is giving us into the culture all around us.  We really love the Japanese people and are so grateful for this opportunity to celebrate one of their holidays with them!!


Typhoons are becoming quite old hat around here.  We have a nice surplus of food storage, always have water on hand, and know where all our extra flash lights and batteries are stored.  Quite a big difference from our first typhoon on island.  Luckily none of the typhoons have been anything other that a lot of wind and rain...and the most damage was our pain and suffering caused by no power, rendering our A/C completely useless.  Granted the weather is a lot cooler than in the last typhoon, but in terms of humidity, our house was definitely uncomfortable. 

Things were looking like the eye of the Super Typhoon were coming straight over our house...things were not looking good!

The water is never anywhere near the boardwalk...but during the typhoon it was coming up and over!!

Our good fortune through all these typhoons though are our awesome neighbors.  During the storm we had a water balloon fight, a fort contest, a lantern lit dinner, and all sorts of fun powerless activities.  Our moods would come and go with the power, but we were in a bit better spirits than during the last typhoon.

We are so blessed that this typhoon was not worse than it was, and are so grateful that we were kept safe from any harm or danger!!  The most damage was to our awesome fence along our boardwalk...the fence is solid concrete if that gives you any indication as to the force of the water during the typhoon!!