And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Sunday

This year for Easter we were all so excited to have Grandma join the festivities.  The dark cloud looming over the day was the fact that it was her last night with us, but we still tried to make the most of it.  Grandma helped me wake up the boys and make them Bunny Bum's for breakfast (I'm so proud of how they turned out!) while the boys went through their Easter baskets. Parker hid under the table and ate almost all of his candy.  We all got dressed and ready and rushed off to our 9am church services.  The sacrament talks were excellent and brought messages of the resurrection and the hope that it brings.  They left me filled with the spirit and even more grateful for my Savior.

I taught sharing time in primary and it turned out amazing.  I brought big pictures in from each day of the week leading up to the resurrection of the Savior.  Then I had a display table that had an item for each day.  I had the classes read some scriptures and quotes for their day and then pick their item off the table.  We discussed what happened each day and talked about the implications they had in our life.  The spirit was strong and I hope that I was able to make the importance of the atonement a little more understandable for them. 

After church we came home and dyed eggs and prepared a yummy dinner. Ham is definitely not my first choice of dinners, but accompanied by some delicious potatoes, Jell-O, green beans, salad, rolls, and a key lime pie...the Ham becomes a magical tantalizing of the taste buds.  We were supposed to devil the eggs that we dyed too...but we completely forgot...whoops!

The rest of the evening was spent watching the new church Easter movie called #Hallelujah.  It depicts the meaning of the atonement in our lives and uses pictures of the Savior.  Very beautifully done and the perfect way to end a perfect Easter!!

Bunny Day

This year for Easter weekend we had Grandma in town so I have to say that our festivities were much more joyous!!  We had a pretty busy weekend planned before we knew she was coming (well TJ knew) but she was a trooper and tagged along for all of it.  There was a soccer game at 12 and then grocery shopping followed by our 3rd annual Yaka Beach Egg-splosion.  This is my second favorite Easter tradition we have here on Okinawa (second only to pineapple carving).  We invite the branch and everyone brings some food, filled eggs, and lots of fun. 

We all ate yummy food and then the parents hid the eggs while the kids waited in great anticipation.  as soon as TJ gave the all clear, they were off!  Parker followed Grandma along and found his eggs and Dominik was like a blur as he ran around and gathered his. Then we sat and enjoyed the loot.  Dominik wasn't feeling too well and asked if he could go home with Grandma.  Grandma likes any excuse to go home and snuggle and TJ and I were able to enjoy some adult time with our friends while we had a bonfire on the beach.  Win-win if you ask me!!

The end of the night entailed putting the boys down and prepping the baskets.  I absolutely love putting Easter baskets together and there is no way I'm about to let an oversized and creepy bunny take the credit for them.  My boys know there is a fictitious bunny that I sometimes make them take photos with but their mamma (and sometimes daddy) does the fun stuff! 

Mom's Easter Flowers

Daddy's Basket

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Uchina Farms

Since we were already down on the southern tip of the island we wanted to check out another attraction on our Oki Bucket List.  Originally the attraction started off at Itoman Wine Farm but it closed down shortly after we arrived on island.  The facility underwent some renovations and reopened as Uchina Farms.  I do have to say that of all the "Zoo" type places that I have been in Japan this one is probably the best taken care of.  The animals all seem relatively happy and healthy and there are quite a few different species that you can feed, pet, or just observe.  There are beautiful nature trails throughout the entire place and even a "Long Golf" (think croquet meets miniature golf). 

Coolest flower I have ever seen!!

My favorite attraction was definitely feeding the zebras.  Zebras are definitely my favorite animal and I always love seeing them from afar in zoo's, however, here at Uchina Farms you can actually feed them and pet them.  I never realized that they are essentially horses just with cool stripes.  Parker and Dominik enjoyed feeding the kangaroo and were surprisingly fearless as the large animals hopped over and snatched the carrots straight from their hands.  Grandma and her tender heart still though the animals were in poor and destitute situations so she wanted to make sure that they all got a little bit of food...even the ugly ones.  I guess that we are just accustomed to the poor conditions within Japanese Zoo's. 

Overall I would say that the farm is a must see if you are already down in Naha sightseeing.  The farm is relatively cheap and you get to experience some things that you would never be able to do elsewhere.  I had a lot of fun and I'm so glad that we did it!!