Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Last of May

Here it is...June is already lurking at my door and I can't even keep up anymore. There has been a lot going on at home and out of home. Saige is winding down her middle school career (scare me), JD is closing the door on grade school (double scare me), Teage keeps a constant look of your typical UFC fighter with his rough-housing antics on the daily, George thinks he has stumbled upon his back-up career plan of all-time softball player (God help me...for real), and I have been gripping with my bloody fingernails so to not fall off of the edge of sanity! You know how they say...change is good, but stressful?? Genius!! Stressful is the understatement. I'm pretty good when it comes to stress, above average while under immediate pressure...but that is because I can totally feel when I'm about to break and that allows me to "check" myself with a much needed relaxation technique, or even a good cry. The changes going on and about to go down in the Isla Casa are down right gritty and testy. I think I am holding it together ok, however with the "unknown" move vastly approaching and my kids sensing it that just = Mommy punching bag! Imagine 21 questions x 3 on the regular + a husband who just want to squeeze in as much ball time as possible before we leave. I sometimes think my personality starts splitting off into two at a moment's notice! They better watch out...

Seriously, I am fine and the kids have no idea that mommy's cuckoo right now, and George always continues doing what he does, so all is well in his eyes. I stress myself out more than anything (as most women do). SO...I decided I needed some pampering and made an appt for a cut/color/and head spa treatment today, Japanese style. It was BLISS! Just what the doctor ordered...I really needed my hair cut and touched up anyway. I went to new lady this time since my beloved hair person moved last month. She is a gem. I wish I found her sooner and not let my hair get so out of control this time around. The salon is on the beach and the ambiance was unbelievable. See what I mean...

George and the boys came too and walked the seawall while I got beautified. He took some cute pics as well.

Here are some pictures from Saige's 8th grade celebration and then some...

She's so big...(sad face)...

The FRG also had a fundraiser this past week...the age old Pie in the Face. I showed up to oversee the goings on for the BN since Amanda was gone...nothing more! BUT, Lo and Behold, my beloved friend Steve Elle decided it would be cute to put a price on a pie for me. If being the only female to receive a pie that day wasn't enough, I spent the rest of that day smelling the remnants of whipped cream in my nostrils. WRONG!!! That's ok...cause paybacks are a comin'!

Man, I am a trooper!! :o)

Tuesday my baby boy turns 3 and WOW has time flown by! We are having a little birthday party for him at his school. He's gonna be so excited...Can't wait to blog about it!! Meanwhile, Saige keeps telling me how many days it will be until she hits the big 14!! (I almost just fainted when I wrote that)! "Next year I can get my driving permit Mom"....*sigh....

Love Ya!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fam Bam Breakdown

All things's a cute description courtesy of Wordle!

Wordle: fambam

Friday, May 22, 2009

Photo Book

Thought I'd share my little photo book I made for our families back home...

Click to play this Smilebox photobook: Photo Book

Oh, What a Night...

Thursday started off a pretty good day except the fact that I was going to being saying bye to the hubby the next day...he went to Korea for the long weekend to play in a softball tournament (yeah, I am a good wifey)! It started with a peep into the live American Idol Finale at around 9am, then moved on to a end of the year lunch at JD's school, which led to the big event of the night...

So the FRG hosts annual events throughout they year, like the Egg Hunt, Holiday Party, 4th of July BBQ, BUT there are also a few contests as being the Chili Cook-Off and another the Best Dessert. Up until now I had never made anything to enter these contests because I was usually bogged down with helping run the event or whatever. But, I decided about midday that I would make something quick and easy this time. My peanut butter balls are ones I make typically during the Holidays, aka Peanut Butter Buckeyes.

They are the bomb as most of you know. I mean, who doesn't like Reese's?? Well, ok maybe all the people that are allergic to peanut butter don't slap their mamas for them. Good thing no one in 58th seemed allergic because they were voted BEST OVERALL Dessert!! Can you believe that crap?? Had Saige been home that hour or so it took to make them, she could have made them easily...and that was the winner??? Hey, I guess you can't knock the classics! So, yeah that was a trip!! I had someone walk by and say "It's like a party in my mouth"...and we all like parties no matter where they are right?! SWEET! So I walked up and nabbed my prize which consisted of a Signal orange apron, gift certificates, and the most obnoxious trophy one could ever win...a ginormous fake cake!! But, I was more than happy to accept (mostly because it is passed on to the future that means I don't have to pack or find a place to put it). What a surprise though, really...

As if the night couldn't get any better, completely blindsided, the FRG leaders were recognized by the 10th Support Group with the Commander's Award for Public Service.

I was so pleased about how the evening was turning out....AND THEN...I got hit with the icing on the cake (no pun intended)!! The Bronze Wahatchee Medal was established for individuals who have voluntarily contributed in a significant way to the improvement of the Signal Corps community. It is by nomination and must get approval through the Signal Regiment in Fort Gordon, GA. The Battalion Commander, Steve Elle, has only seen 2 given out in his career. He nominated myself and Amanda (my FRG counterpart here) for the third and fourth. It was very moving and highly appreciated. Volunteering isn't peachy keen all the time and Lord knows it is never for the money or the rewards. It comes from the heart and once in a while it is nice to know that it is valued. That is what LTC Elle tried to convey and it rang loud and clear for me. Thank You to him for his thoughtfulness and warm heart.

I will cherish it forever. The Soldiers and Families have been my recipient of "giving back" for a long time...and will continue to be!

Man, I think I am catching up to George's award count LOL!!

Anyway, I had to share the "pat on the back" moment with everyone. I was feeling good about it...I'll be updating about our long weekend without hubby later in the next few days. Gotta make a plan to entertain the youngsters....Love Ya!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Capping off with Field Trips & an Update!

Oh how I've missed you my little bloggy blog!

Things have been slightly hectic (which I accept is the way of my life) these days. With the PCS coming soon, my mind is in 20 different places all day, know the usual anxiety a woman goes through every time she has to move her whole family to a new country. I swear the guys don't achieve the anxiety level we women do. My hubby is so the "go with flow-everything will work itself out if we wait" PCS-er. I am the "gotta know what's gonna happen so I can plan out what schools my kids are going to and what neighborhood they are going to hang out in" PCS-er. As you can see, my PCS pre-planning mentality is way better :o) Maybe not on the mind, but definitely for our livelihood. So our orders aren't in our hands yet, but I expect them in the next couple weeks. Germany looks pretty promising since that is the one place George has always had an option of going to throughout his career. Tampa obviously was too good to be true, but it was fun to imagine living so close to our roots. Actually, since we are going back to Germany and George will be getting deployed from there...we will get choice of assignment when we leave there, soooo I still see Tampa in our future!! Until then, we look forward to showing JD where he was born and getting to visit all the fabulous places in Europe we missed the first time. I'll keep everyone posted as soon as we get orders...once that happens we will be in hyper-space mode with getting all the appointments and clearing in order. Can't wait...

In other news...I had, yet again, another field trip with JD this past week to Ocean Expo Park. We have all been there, but it was one of the first places we saw when we moved was nice to get in a refresher visit before the move. JD had fun of course...mostly at the dolphin show. That boy is not ashamed to show his excitement about anything...gotta love it!!

*what a great way to look ahead on your day*

*my group(the girl on the upper right was anti-photo taking)*

*i love his ability to never care what people think*
*he stuck his tongue out and JD got wet from his huge splash*
*as you can see there was one who was a little cute though*
*"Look Mom, it's Dory"**Saige's favorite fish-the Lionfish*

*I didn't even tell him to make a face*

One of the other things I have been doing is volunteering with Army Family Team Building (AFTB). This program is designed to empower, ready and educate Army Soldiers and Families in order to strengthen self-reliance. I recently completed Instructor Training and taught my first class on Problem Solving. Another great way to give back to the community. I love the power of volunteering!! Anyway, in light of me being a volunteer there, AFTB had one of its field trips to promote morale and to also enjoy the beautiful weather we have been having lately.

*I'm a geisha...NOT*

We spent the afternoon at the Ryukyu Glass Factory where we watched the local glass makers create items for their shop. It was so neat to see how incredibly fast they were. They also had this game where you had to throw a ping pong ball and if it landed in a glass, you got to keep it. I decided to play and won FOUR glasses! SWEET! What a deal since they are pretty pricey to purchase retail side. Check out how they make a glass Shi-sa dog in three easy steps...

*Step 1-get a glob of red hot glass ooze*

*Step 2-use a pipe and shape the body of the dog*

*Step 3-be enamored by the gorgeous color it turns into when it cools and the cute finished product*
*Group Shot*

We also went to this wonderful place for lunch called Pizza in the Sky. It is obviously named that because of its beautiful coastal view of the island.

The food was simple and yet delish!! It consisted of one kind of pizza and one type of salad with many fresh juices to choose from. The menu was quite cutesy, so I had to show it along with the yummy pizza...

After lunch we headed to the Pineapple Park (which I experienced not that long can see the pics from that post here). The only thing I can say about that place now is that I stumbled upon these shoes...ok flip flops without the flip or the flop. I had to get them and see what they were all about and I decided on the ride home that I would walk in and announce to Saige that I bought her a souvenir. Her first response was "Cool", because they were in a plastic bag and she didn't see the big picture. Once she did, her face turned to that of confusion.

S: What is this?
Mom: Flip Flops
S: They're broken!
Mom: No they aren't, they are topless.
S: Um ok, NO I don't want can have em Mom.
Mom: At least you could try them on since it was my gift to you.
S: Fine...Wait why are getting out the camera? AAAHHH, they are sticky to my feet.
Mom: *giggle giggle*

Needless to say I had her give me her best foot pose and VOILA!!!

Great way to end the week. OK I'm off to run some errands and go play Bingo with some ladies I know. Fun Fun Fun...Hope everyone else is having a great weekend, too...Love Ya!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Golden Week

Well, another week has come and gone and the weekend is looking very promising! Here in good old Japan, Thursday was the beginning of Golden Week. This marks the celebration of the former Emperor Showa's Birthday along with several other holidays mixed into one week. The traffic becomes unbearable on Monday and Tuesday and all around the island, residents are flying their carp streamers. Koinobori (the koi streamers) symbolizes the holiday known as Children's Day. Check only celebrates the boys in the home. WOW! How sexist is that?? I guess the Families use this day to pray for the health and success of their sons. How telling of the Japanese culture. I noticed early on when moving here that the males are treated with more respect even in everyday life. Situations like eating out...they serve the men first before the women. Most of the people first bow to the men as well. I have heard many other differences between the men and women that are a little less desirable and maybe not well-suited for my entire audience. Anyway, I caught an awesome picture of the streamers hanging nearby the seawall. They really are beautiful when the wind catches them...

The other celebrations of Golden Week include Constitution Day and Greenery Day. Also held during this week are the Dragon Boat Races. These will take place next week. The Army and Navy have a men and women team that competes. I haven't had a chance to see it yet, but hopefully I will this year. We'll see. But, this is what it looks like...

Teage finally had a field trip with his little school and we went to the zoo. I am so lucky to get to go on so many of the kids' field trips. I experience a great deal with my lucky am I?! We had a great time....

This deer was sticking it's whole head out to reach Teage...I had to pull him back. Oh, and deers make the weirdest sound. Have you ever heard a deer talk?? Sounds like a baby...

I rarely see hippos out of the water. It's running joke in my house about Moto Moto on Madagascar 2..."Girl, you HUGE"!


Teage really liked the crocs....they were scare me!

Apparently, he couldn't get down and walk around her, so he decided to do the 'step-over'...

Check out "Dumbo's" teeth (the kids were calling him that). They are sideways...I heard that they were, but never saw them until now.

And lastly, the zoo was PACKED because of Golden Week and about a hundred local girls came up to Teage and wanted to touch his cheeks and take pictures with him. They kept saying "Kawaii"...for cute! He loved every minute of it!!

Ok well, off to the flea market...maybe we'll will find some treasure there. Love ya'll!

(It looks like we might know something soon about Tampa...keep up the prayers)