Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Okinawa World

I had the opportunity to go on yet again another field trip with Saige this time to Okinawa World. It is a cultural learning recreation area/park. It had all the traditional Okinawan art practices (weaving, pottery, glass, & the sugar mill) there is also the Habu museum and a cave to explore. The Habu is the local venomous snake here and I am officially scared of it now. I have never seen one until this trip, but I heard stories about it's "bee sting-like" bite and how people don't realize it's a habu until their tissue starts to erode. I am already a snake-a-phobic as is and this did not help. I jumped out of my pants more times than I would like to admit. And wouldn't you know that the kids were all about it!! I will go on more about that later. The cave was what you would imagine a cave to be...dark, wetness, and slightly cooler than the outside temp. I realized when I walked down those steps that I shouldn't have worn my fee fops!! Here is my group in the cave...
We went outside and explored the area and came upon this cool wood carved shisa dog.
Saige and Kenzie stood by the real deal which was much bigger obviously.

We also came across some turtles that were just chillin for no apparent reason. I love turtles...
I enjoyed watching them make the Ryuku glass there. These guys work really fast. In a matter of 5 minutes I saw him make two of these.
While we were eating lunch, we heard the Eisa dancers beating their drums outside. I rushed out there because they are so neat and I love to hear them get all riled up with their performances. I had never seen this size drum before...it was awesome!!
So it was inevitable that I finally had to make my way to the Habu junction. They had a "show" where they obviously brought out a habu for everyone to see and then he assumed we needed to see it's teeth and venom...

I did not need to see that and that picture was 10x optical zoom by the way. No surprise I was in the farthest row back. These habu do serve some good by being an addition to making sake. There was a distillery there where they concoct this traditional alcoholic drink. This is their fate...

The kids were freaking me out when they volunteered to go up on stage and cradle the Burmese Python. What brave souls. I tell ya, I was so far back that if it had started squeezing I might have had to meet up with teacher with one less kid. LOL! Serously, is this really necessary??

I had a good time overall with the kids and on the trip. It was nice to hang with the bigger kids for a change. Of course they think they're bigger than they really are, but good kids.

I have to end the post with a recent pic of baby Camille. She looks so gorgeous with her pinky bow. Kisses to Camille...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Welcome Baby Camille!

She's Here!! The newest Isla has been born...Camille Grace Isla entered the world on Sept 25 10:30am, weighing 5 lbs 11oz. She is perfect and I wish I could have been there to meet her. Here she is after her long journey...

Mommy (Rhea) had a C-Section and so that meant off to the surgery room...here's Daddy (Alex) getting ready:

I just wrote to Rhea that she looked so calm and collected. I did not have this kind of a smile on my face...

Mine was much more exhausted, pained and crazy-looking. She makes it look easy. I know that George was glad he got to be there to see her, for the both of us! I told him to take as many pics as he could for me. I hope baby Camille didn't mind the paparazzi following her. Here are the founding members of the Isla Familia with the newest grandkids.

And lastly, a pic of the new family of four!!

Congrats to Rhea and Alex! Now it's time to figure out how to explain to Joaquin that he has to share EVERYTHING from now on...ok maybe not everything. Can't wait to see them both...miss you all!! The kids and I send our love...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kinser Fest, Ryuku Mura, a Beatdown, & a VP!

OK so I have a lot to update everyone on...I have been super busy and so I have slipped on the blogging thing. So here it goes:

Starting with last week, I got a call from the nurse at JD's school saying he'd come into her office after recess shaken and injured with what could only be described as a "beatdown". I got over there with the quickness and saw my boy laid up with a cold pack on his head, his knee and scrapes all on his face. I was mortified because all I could think was some 5th grader's gonna get their a$$ handed to them by a grown woman. But before I could really follow through with that thought, he told me that he was beat down alright...by the playground equipment. It seems he was playing tag with his buds on the play structure and ran into a pole. The shock from the pole collision caused him to topple over...right onto the ground. He got banged up pretty dang good. Cause and effect....what'd he learn? Not to run on the darn play equipment. So here's the visual...poor kid!
Of course he's all better now and only has a nasty bruise on his knee and a leftover scar next to his eye. What a tough guy!

This past weekend was the Kinser Fest (it's another base and basically a money pit o' fun). So I ventured out with them and a friend of Saige's . Let me first say...IT WAS SCORCHY!! I mean I was sweating in places nobody needs to sweat. AND, the stroller was in the other car which is parked at the airoprt still, thanks George! So there was mild chasing of a runaway two year old and nothing to cart the obscene amount of blow-up prizes the kids won. Saige was the first to get her hands on a game...
Teage got in on the action, too!

This was his winnings...
All JD cared about was the bungee trampoline. That boy had so much fun, he kept saying "I'm flying Mom...look at me". The bungee worker guy came over and catapulted his little butt even higher a couple of times. He eventually started doing flips.
By the end of it, I was ready to get on that thing, but I had THIS looking at me...so we moved on to the next thing.

Once we were done with all the game action and a little lunch, Teage wanted to go check out the military vehicles and copters. This is where the chasing began...

He did manage a pose for me with his Stitch doll that JD won for him. Cutie!!
Finally, I did my good parent volunteering for the week by chaperoning a field trip to Ryuku Mura. Here I am with my group of seven...

You pretty much walk around and they have little areas set up where you can see authentic scenarios of the Japanese culture. Inside this building is the replica of a rope used in the annual "tug of war" they do in the streets here, where thousands of people come out to play an old fashioned game. It was so huge!

We started following the path guided by these weird looking pink elves. One of the kids in my group (who is Japanese American) told me that there's a legend that if you play on these statues, they come and kill you at night. NICE!! I'm just wondering why they're cross-eyed.

Then we came upon a vending machine that had a fish on the box...a few steps later I see what was really going on. Freaky...there were like hundreds of fish up in there.

Why was this thing right next to where we stopped for a snack break?? We quickly left. The boys wanted to "capture it and pet it". Uh NO!

There was a pottery factory that you could walk through and see them actually making the shisa dogs. It was pretty neat. Check this guy out..hard at work!

And the finished product...

JD wanted to get the coconut drink and I was about to buy one...until I got closer and noticed it had gnats all over it. It was still cool-looking though.

Oh and I think I will do this whenever the whole fam can come back...for $10 your whole group can dress up in kimonos and get a picture taken just like these chicks did.

Next we headed inside and waited for the first show. They performed traditional Ryuku dancing...it was neat!

These guys were funny. Were they making fun of us all taking pictures of them I wonder...

Next thing I knew, some white-face painted dancer came up to me and tried to pull me on the floor. I told everybody around me they better get up with me. They did and had us doing this...again, were they clowning us??

After the show was over, JD wanted to go up there and throw some yen in the moat looking thing and make a wish for an Indiana Jones adventure...and yes I bought that hat there because he said it was an Indy hat and he needed it for his cub scouts camping adventures coming up soon. (He is officially going to be a boy scout now, more on that later).

So we continued to walk around and saw these makeshift Japanese homes. It was cool to see how the traditional homes would look inside. I wish someone would invite me over to their Japanese home so I could experience a traditional sit-down ritual. That would be awesome!

We had a little more time to kill before we saw the last performance...so JD found this little fountain to sit next to...and then he screams out loud "Mom, look, that dog is peeing...ewww gross!". The kids started cracking up!

He also came across this throne and decided it was meant for meditation...whatever works!
And lastly, we watched the Eisa dancers and Taiko drummers. They were a perfect finale to a long day. Great times!

One last Isla info...Saige is running for Vice President of her school. I am so proud of her taking the initiative and stepping out of her comfort zone. I know she would do an ab fab job. I can see myself already making buttons and posters for her in the very near future. You never know...she could be the next....uh Sarah Palin????

Uh no...she's got nothing on my baby girl!!! Vote for SAIGE!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lego Debo

Hey there...so I was so excited to get JD to that Lego contest this past weekend. It was the Grand Opening of Toyland here at the PX and so I assume the contest was promotional hype. But JD went the Harry Potter route and made all the characters from ALL the movies and the Quidditch Game and the Knight Bus. A trio of Potter if you will.

The two age groups were 8 and under & 9-12. After waiting for two hours and much confusion later, the people were judging unbeknownst to anyone except the lady that worked there. JD wasn't even around, he was too busy perusing the toys. So I rounded him up and had him a take a pic next to his creation. Well, the little boy in the hat and red shirt won the first round (8 and under I guess).
Which nevermind that the winner was the worker lady's SON! So the lady proceeded to slide all the ones she assumed were in that age group out of the way...including JD's. I said to her, that one is 9-12...she said "sorry". That was it!! So he got deboed, but at the same time he didn't even realize it. So I bought him a spongebob lego that was on sale and told him..."Here's your prize for doing so well". Whew!! But he had fun making his masterpiece and that's all that mattered.

Here are all the participants...JD looks so happy!!

So I guess this what I get when I try to get Teage to look like Baby New Year...

Love ya...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hubby Lovin' and other Fam Facts

OK so I finally got some pictures from George of his happenings in TX so far. He has assured me that he is working his butt of, but clearly he has time for a few extra-curricular activities...

I'm glad he did to get some use out of those clubs since he did travel across half the world with them. He looks funny...I guess this was an impressive drive!!
You know it's no mystery that I have him bringing me back some Arby sauce, but I guess he thought this was a nice gesture to go along with that...to me it was just torture!! Thx Babe!
As was this...gotta love a breakfast skillet!
Anyway, I'm glad he is enjoying his trip back to the states. I get to vicariously live through his endeavors each night we talk about what store/restaraunt he visited. On top of all that, I found out today that he was voted by his classmates to compete in the AUSA Board (which is an awesome responsibility and goes on his record of having done so). So he will be studying for that tonight...since it's tomorrow. Way to go BABE! He also informed me that they had a PT contest this morning. I guess you could think along the lines of a mini competition amongst all 5 classes that are there for the course. His class WON and of course he ran the last leg of the relay. Andele!! Grabbing the baton he was in second place and in the last 20 meters, he hit his stride and passed some "long legged tall guy" for the 1st place finish. You go boy!! I might have to expand the doorway when he comes home to fit his head...LOL!! I know he always tries his best and that is why it pays off for him all the time. He rocks!! I'm so proud of him.
In other news, I went to visit JD for lunch this week and to get an update on how things were going in class so far. He is doing well...he always goes through a phase where he tries to see what the teacher will take from him. Charmers do that!! But he is learning his boundaries with this new teacher and being a big dude about it. It was cute because all the kids tried to hurry up and finish their lunch so they could go outside and play...JD is all about eating his food!!
Move forward to another couple days and Saige came home from school Tuesday with the chicken pox. Yeah, I know WTF? She along with the boys are completely up to date with all their vaccines and so how could this happen you say? Apparently, some of the kids this school year had to get boosters for the varicella vaccination (which is a live virus) and so it can cause a breakout. I was not aware of this when I took her in to get her shots...she didn't even get the booster..she got a Hep A shot. But she obviously came into contact with someone that did and so Voila!!...my baby girl got chicken pox. It was VERY mild and therefore she had a quick recovery, but she stayed out the rest of the week from school. She didn't really like that...you know it kept her out of the loop with her lunch social circle. But she is all better now and spending the night out tonight. But she thought it would be cute to show what her contagious side might look like...
Teagie has been Teage...acting like a wild man in all instances. He was too thrilled about showing off his new Cars pajamas though.
And then the next day he had stripped down to his pull-up and decided that he would see if he could still fit in Poquito's kennel. What a HAM!!!
I tell ya...I think they just wait to act crazy whenever their dad leaves. It's a running Army wife joke that the sh!* hits the fan always when they are away. It's TRUE!!
By the way, how would you like this hanging around outside your backyard on any given day?? Just all part of the military life we lead. This copter kept doing circles for like 45 minutes...it must have been some training because then they had one of those chinook helicopters doing the same thing afterwards. weird...

Well, I have officially started my Christmas shopping. Layaway is the shizzle!! Teage is all set, Saige will be my hardest. Dang teenagers and there expensive taste!! Today we are going up to the grand opening of Toyland so that JD can enter a Lego Masterpiece contest. He's hard at work as we speak coming up with his very own. He's gonna smoke them all. This is SO his idea of a good time!! I'll post pics on that next blog. I hope everyone is doing well and talk to you soon!!

Love ya!!