Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cherry Blossom Bonus

Long time no blog. I have no excuse. Just not been in the mood to blog it up lately. However, whenever we go on a trip I must display and recap ASAP!! It's a compulsion.

We hit the road on a bus tour and traveled to Nago (the northern part of Okinawa) where the annual Cherry Blossom Festival takes place. Apparently it is a huge deal with people from Mainland and surrounding areas making the stop to see them. If you are unaware of what a cherry blossom looks like...

They are beautiful and very PINK!! Which always make me think of Spring (my favorite season)! In order to experience the full capacity of the cherry feel compelled to walk up a wearisome, sharply inclined staircase that rewards you with a clearing of fallen leaves at the end. It was wretched, but we did it!

The kids had a great time feeling like explorers in a new land. JD could have bet his savings that he was entering the birthplace of Kung Fu.

Once we made it back down the mountain, there were one of the typical Okinawan street festivals. We made our way to the stage and watched the Eisa dancers and Taiko drummers (also custom to Okinawa).

Good Times...

The best picture of the day could have been a dang magazine cover. Yes, that was shot with my regular Canon Powershot. It's not always the fancy cameras that generate good got to have a good eye behind the lens :o)

Other than that, things are running full steam ahead as usual. I am back in class this term after taking last term off, I am still going to the gym regularly, both my kids made the honor roll again, the big kids are knee-deep in Cheer and Basketball season, Teage is my little motormouth (far surpassing both Saige and JD), and so far JD is showing major signs improvement with his medicine.

Last, but not least....while the details and specifics aren't clear, we have a slight possible chance of moving this summer as opposed to November. We are shooting for Korea or Germany (Europe) as our next assignment with a visit to the states still in taking place in November. I will keep everyone posted as we gain new information.

Oh...check out my hubby doing a little public speaking at his boss' farewell dinner...

Back to blogging soon....Love Ya!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Decisions, Comedy Night and Field Trips

I know it has been a while since I have been working the blog. My bad! To be honest, things have been kinda busy yet calm. However, the time has come to fill everyone in on the recent happenings at the Isla Casa. An update, if you will.

I always like to divulge the more stressful things first and get that out of the way.

JD started taking medicine this past week. If you know me well, then you know that I am strongly against drugging kids and I still feel that way essentially. We took him for an evaluation with the Developmental Pediatrician here last month. With his diagnosis of Autism since first grade, his inability to stay focused and on task in the classroom has not improved while everthing else has. I wanted to have him seen again since it had been so long and to approach this dilemma (since he will be starting middle school next year and I want to provide the best possible situation when that comes). So, we met and she (the doctor) spent some alone time with JD after her and I talked. She was actually very nice and explained to me that he may benefit from a little medication therapy. I knew it was had been put out there before. I was less than enthused and could not answer right away. She totally understood my concerns and my reservations about medicating him. So the hubby and I took the Winter Break to discuss, research, and decide what we should do. Our decision was to TRY it. My personal beliefs and my ideals had to be pushed to the side for a moment to make the right choice for my son. Does that mean I am ok with it?? NO! Does that mean I am sold on it completely?? NO!! Does it mean that I am willing to do whatever it takes to set my son up with the best possible life and education?? YES!! We have to try.

I explained to her that it had to start small, which she agreed. The medicine is called Concerta...go ahead look it up. It helps in an ADHD diagnosis. He is not "hyper", but obviously exhibits the syptoms of inattentiveness. So therefore, the same medicine applies. He is taking 18 mg a day (the smallest dose available) and I made it clear that I was only going to give it to him the days he is in school. She said that was fine and actually better. She only gave me a 30 day supply (remember this is a trial period). After two weeks, I will call her with any concerns or if I see any noticeable changes during that time. From there, we can decide whether or not this is something worth keeping him on. Sooooo......with a knot in my stomach, he took it on Tuesday for the first time. I had already emailed all the teachers he works with and explained the situation. They are watching him for me also and reporting back anything they see. Day one, nothing noticeable...Day two, a little more focused....Day three, signs of irritability at school...Day four, great day at school! That is it so far. But..he hasn't lost his appetite, not been able to go to sleep, or had any stomach pains (all key side effects). So that is the status so far. Hopefully next week will go ok. I will make sure to report back with that. Now, like I said, my views are still the same. I am sketchy and leary, and if this doesn't work out....I will never have to answer to this topic again!! But, I am hoping for the best....wish him luck! :o)

Now, on to something a little less serious...Another field trip with the middle schoolers to a park. I think it's weird that they think these kids are still into playgrounds. It was still fun of course because they had me as their kick a$$ chaperone LOL!! I think I had about 10 kids in my group, double the size of the others...geez. I couldn't get rid of them if I tried. Maybe it's because I don't mind getting in there and playing, too and I definitely don't have a problem making fun of myself. Check it out...

Good kids....

Next on the list of blog-worthy events...we went out to the Comedy Show last night to see Bill Bellamy. He made is way all the way over here to fricking Japan to do stand-up for the little old us. It was great. He is still so funny after all these years. I can stll picture him, Tiffany-Amber Thiessen and Peter Facinelli in Fastlane back in the day. So here are the best pics of the night. Comedic adventures...Good Times!!

This next one is my fave....

We had a blast and Bill's still got it!!

Ok now off to take the girls to see Twilight. They finally are playing the movie here in Oki for the first time. OK so maybe I've seen it streaming online already (shhhh) but I would like to see it in color and without a constant muffled tone. Ahhh, a cheesy dramantic!! What's better...??

Until next time....Love Ya!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

100 Things About Me...

It is fun to learn anything new about someone you know or love. I am usually very open about who I am, but you never know!! Here's more than you need to know about MOI...

1. I am 34 years young.

2. I have four bothers and sisters (and we all have bdays in December).

3. My parents divorced when I was 23 and pregnant with my second child.

4. My favorite color is dark green.

5. Mayo and Poi are two things I will never voluntarily eat.

6. I am a strong woman with standards and that sometimes turns people off; good thing I don't care what people think.

7. I moved away and started college when I was 17.

8. I have lived in 8 states and two countries.

9. My first job was at a car lot at age 13; next to babysitting my siblings...I really mean paying job.

10. I am a mutt: Hawaiian/Chinese, French, German, Blackfoot Indian, and I think a few other things, too.

11. I attend University of Maryland and I'm in my second year there.

12. My best friend lives in Indiana and I miss her CRAZY!

13. I am a member of the Family Readiness Group for the Army.

14. I love to dance...I will bust out into some dance moves at any given time.

15. I have no religious preference. I just believe in God, praise and talk to Him wherever I am, not only on Sundays in a church.

16. I do not like coffee...only the frozen vanilla drinks they sell at Starbucks.

17. I am in denial that I have changed dress sizes since having my last baby.

18. I love to eat veggies...every kind and cooked any way.

19. I am not the most punctual person. But I AM making an effort to better that.

20. I am 5'3" and like being short.

21. I do not get enough sleep as I should....and it's hard for me to naps during the day.

22. I was a Varsity cheerleader my Sophomore year of HS.

23. My son is diagnosed with Autism.

24. I am great in math...but not as great as my older sister (she teaches AP Math classes and College courses)

25. I am one of the best friends you could ever have. But I believe in quality, not quantity!

26. I voted for Obama.

27. I have one crown that I got on my birthday (yes, like three weeks ago).

28. I love facebook...even when I said I would never really get into it.

29. My three kids are growing into well-mannered, responsible, and loving people. I couldn't be a prouder mom to have instilled that in them.

30. I cannot wait to visit my mom's side of the family in Hawaii this year.

31. I have realized my enjoyment in writing...beginning with this blog.

32. Peanut butter chocolate ice cream is the best ice cream out there.

33. I jumped on the bandwagon and read Twilight intensely...but couldn't get into New Moon.

34. I am addicted to soda pop...something else I am trying to work on.

35. The movie Grease reminds me of me and my sister Thyme when we were silly girls.

36. Right now I cannot lift my arms (I got worked at the gym by Mrs Tammy)

37. I haven't washed the dinner dishes in about a year since our daughter took that chore over (refer to's all part of the plan).

38. I keep all my kids' art and writings.

39. I have one scrapbook I got in 2000 that is still not complete (I really need my very own craft room).

40. I have never owned a house....yet!!!

41. There are still 4 nieces and a nephew of mine that I haven't met since being in Japan.

42. I was never a really good roller skater, but I could still do that one leg over the other maneuver.

43. I am obsessed with Teppanyaki Steakhouses.

44. My new favorite body mist is Victoria's Secret Daydream.

45. I have only owned Canon cameras, but want one of those big old fancy ones (my anniversary is soon isn't it?...YES).

46. annivesary is March 22, 1996.

47. When Mr. Cheeks' song Lights, Camera, Action comes on I will immediately start dancing like a mad woman.

48. I love watching shows about crime investigation. I secretly wanted to be a cop when I was in HS.

49. I used to go to the clubs with my friend in matching outfits...back in the day.

50. I am definitely addicted to salt and pepper.

51. I am finding that a list of 100 things about me takes a lot longer than I thought.

52. I have done Amsterdam...all the way! (By far the best girlfriend trip I have ever been on)

53. My middle name is Danielle.

54. When I was a kid, my parents made me have a pixie cut for years. I loathed them for that!

55. I gave birth to JD alone in Germany while George was in Bosnia.

56. I wish I could get paid for blogging LOL!!

57. I have seen DMX at a club in Phoenix.

58. I am never afraid to say what I think.

59. Debbie Gibson and New Kids on the Block were my very first concerts. I heart them still.

60. I do not know how to sew.

61. I had quit college when I was 18 and wish I hadn't.

62. I could care less about video games or electronics. My husband cares enough for the both of us.

63. I don't really like cell phones.

64. I enjoy KimChi....alot!

65. I believe in miracles because I have seen them happen.

66. My husband nor I are into sports like the rest of my extended family is.

67. I think it would be fun to be an interior designer.

68. I am drawn to reality shows...all of them.

69. I don't own or wear nearly as much jewelry as most women. I do have a lot of sterling silver and white gold jewelry though, I don't get down with yellow gold.

70. I wish my husband or mother-in-law would teach my kids spanish.

71. I love going to a huge bookstore with my family...I miss those.

72. I have kissed a girl before...and didn't like it.

73. I used to work in the Post Op recovery room at a hospital in GA.

74. I have never not gotten a job I have interviewed far.

75. I look best in earthy father was right I guess.

76. I have owned lots of cars...76 Olds Cutlass Supreme, 81 Ford Escort, 83 Plymouth Horizon, ?? brown station wagon, 87 Nissan Sentra, 88 Ford F-150, ?? Opel, 00 Ford Focus, 03 Windstar, 01 Ford F-150 and the two we have here...POS#1 and POS#2.

77. I love my husband more than he probably knows.

78. I can change a tire, put together an entertainment center, host a dinner party, and take care of a home all by myself.

79. I still have all my Christmas stuff up as of today, I like the ambiance.

80. I learn something new everyday, even if I have to make myself.

81. I am a passionate person and I am moved very easily.

82. I spent a whole summer at my cousin's pool when I was a kid...loved that!

83. I think that respect is earned, for everyone!

84. I love roller coasters and amusement parks...Disney is the best place on Earth.

85. I love taking photographs of everything.

86. George and I got married at a courthouse.

87. I despise putting laundry away and grocery shopping.

88. I had a c-section with my third and last child after two natural births.

89. I get road rage sometimes...more than I should.

90. I miss my dog Penny more than anyone knows, even if it was my fault.

91. My family is the MOST important relationship I have.

92. I learned to drive on a stick shift.

93. I am smarter than any job I have had...except parenting.

94. I moved in and fell in love with my husband one week after seeing him again.

95. I went to HS with my husband; that's what I was referring to in the question above.

96. I love Spring.

97. I am pretty good with gardening...I won Yard of the Month at our last duty station.

98. I have a secret crush on Shia Lebouf.

99. I am a Capricorn, but on the cusp. That might explain a lot :o)

100. When I lived in AZ, I went to a "Palm Reader" at the fair and she told me I would have a third child someday (I totally blew her off because I already had my TWO kids set)...5 years later Teage came into our lives unexpectedly!!
Isla Fam Bam complete.....

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to life...Back to reality

Well, I am home alone again for the first time in two weeks and it feels GOOD!!! Seriously, the kids were excited to get back to school...especially Saige (recommencing of the lunch social circle). This also means back to volunteering for me, too I guess. Round and round and round we go!!
I just came back from my first day at the gym with someone who finally knows what she is talking about....HALLELUJAH!!! We did measurements at the house first and then headed to the gym. There she put me on the treadmill, tested how much weight I could handle per muscle group, and oh I forgot...worked the abs (with a jot down in her notebook after every one). She needs all that info in order to construct a workout plan that fits me individually. We start the real work tomorrow. I am excited and Tammy is so nice. I am gonna have to pay her in blood since it is priceless helping someone change their life like this. I am so grateful for her.

Before the official end of winter break, George and JD also finished their project together. JD has been asking his dad to build him a stage for him to put on plays for the kids in the neighborhood. He is planning on recreating Kung Fu Panda in theater form. We have already printed out the entire script and made it into a book for him. All that was left was making the actual stage. So, with a few wooden pallets, some carpet, and one side of our gazebo....

the stage is up and ready for production. He even added the canopy curtains in case any set changes need to be made "behind the scenes". Check out the final product...

I'll let you know when the grand opening will be!

George and I went out to celebrate one of our friend's birthday this Saturday. We had a blast and visited some off base places I had never been to. Here we are...the birthday groupies!!

Too much fun. OK well, I will keep everyone posted with my progress. Catch you later...

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year Antics

Happy Happy, Joy Joy....

Another great start to a new year...2009 is already looking fabulous! The reduced time at work for George during the holidays has been really nice and yet I also find myself wanting to strangle him here and there, too. Kidding aside...I must say that I am going to miss the family freedom we have had while there has been no school (for me or the kids) and limited work in Army world for the past two weeks. We have been sleeping in, staying up way too late, tooling around town, and of course enjoying some yummy food (you know the holidays are all about the good food). But, as we know all good things come to an end and come Monday, it is back to business.
In spite of that reality, we thoroughly enjoyed our New Year's. On the eve, I met up with some girls and did some shopping and coffee. Later on, we did the family thing...going to dinner and then a movie followed by burning things in the backyard.

Teage fell asleep right around 11:30. Poor kid, he tried to hold on.

Saige had to babysit so it wasn't our normal eve without the both of them. We did have sparklers and crackers waiting for her when she got home.

Thursday we spent checking out a few places off base and ended up at Tobaru Koen Park. What an awesome place to take the kids. So far it is the longest roller slide we have seen here. The roller slides ROCK and with a scrap piece of might as well be downhill skiing. We spent the whole afternoon there and had a blast.

OK, so I thought Poquito was going to pass out....look at his ears! He is NOT happy about this.

Saige was cold so she decided to "rest".

Actually, it has been kinda chilly the past few days. I welcome it for sure. It's comforting to be able to get all bundled up rather than sweating your a$$ off on a daily basis. I hope it lasts a little while.
After our outdoor adventure, we came home to prepare for company. Some friends came over and I finally popped open my champagne bottle. Good food and good company...always works!! Of course there was some Wii laced into that visit.

Overall, excellent week!!! Now if I could only find a way to get someone to take down all the holiday decorations for us. That means it's over right?? Can't we just keep it all up til Valentine's Day???

Well, next week I start seeing someone that's gonna train me towards my workout plan. I am officially ready for some life changes....and lookout b/c I clean up real nice LOL!!! Catch you later...Love You All!!