Monday, March 29, 2010

Kumon is Kickin'

Have you heard of this? Kumon originally started in Japan. I can remember all the Kumon centers located all throughout Okinawa. I had never heard of it until we moved there. The program is an after school program that focuses primarily on Math and Reading. They also have a Junior program for preschoolers. I am kicking myself for not enrolling my kids in it while we were in Oki, but you can imagine my surprise when I saw these workbooks in the Bookmark recently.

It has been just what I've needed on the off days that Teage doesn't go to school. He loves the bright pictures and small workbook pages, I love the inventive way they teach basic skills like fine motor. These workbooks focus on coloring and folding with a little social exercise to use with each one.

The wipe off math flashcards are perfect for getting him involved in the process of learning to write the numbers. He can already write his name (and of course type it) and most of the numbers 0-9. Once we count the dots, I flip it over to reveal the total and he writes the number...he loves the anticipation of it all.

I am on the hunt for get info on finding a center in the states (LUCKY) you can check out their site HERE!! Gotta love the Asians for kickin' Kumon our way!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Holland + Softball

Been working my heiny off (well not exactly, my heiny is in fact still full force) on getting the house to look like home for weeks now. SO OVERWHELMING to go through boxes and boxes of "stuff". With the exception of our photos...I just wanna trash it all and start over sometimes. But, since I married a full blown hoarder I guess we'll hold on to that early 90's first year promotion Caller ID box we got from Bellsouth (back when we actually "lived" in FL)...seriously?? NOT!! I finally got through to George, I think, and convinced him that these artifacts WILL NOT be worth money on Ebay someday. Right after I researched how much my old beanie babies would be worth today...hee hee. Purging these things has been extremely cleansing for me. I feel so much lighter and more organized than I already am. It IS taking a year and a day though...will it ever be over??

Moving forward...we spent our first weekend in our new home, away from our new home. Saige had her first competitive softball tournament held in the Netherlands and the whole Fam Bam was in tow to cheer her on.

(Note to self...while it was great being together, next time we are doing a one parent swap out. Teage had his fill of sissy playing ball about 3 hours into day one and all JD kept saying was "Is it over yet?")

Let me first start by saying that we were shacking up old country style. Our accommodations were in the middle of two dairy farms (which was pretty, but smelly) and so our rooms were like little farmer rooms. No sheets, no pillows, no towels, had to bring all that stuff with you. You were guaranteed only a bed for each person who paid. Something I didn't really understand until we arrived (there were communication breakdowns all leading up to this trip). I imagined it being quaint, but not bare. What did they have there you ask?? Self serve kegs and wine...go figure. Europeans are all about prioritizing.

Once we got settled and rested, we were off to the field...I mean gym! This was going to be an indoor softball tourney for our girls. Can you imagine playing softball in a gym?? There was no right field in existence. If the ball bounced off the ceiling and you caught it, it was an out..if it bounced off the wall it was foul, that kinda $hit. BIZARRE! But the girls were excited to play no matter what...

She was totally nervous, but confident she would kick butt (her words). She played left field two games and third base another game. She normally plays shortstop or second (like someone else we know). So it was new for her, but she did awesome. The girl has an arm I tell ya. Here are some shots of her playing from the weekend (as a spectator of an indoor softball game, you are separated from the gym by a curtain of nets, so forgive the blurry ones here and there).

The scenery was incredible there. We were all so surprised how much the homes there looked just like any old neighborhood in the US. It was refreshing to see that. No wonder so many people retire there...and I thought it was just because of the good coffee ;o)

George just wanted to find a McD's like he does in every country we visit

This is a running joke I have with him...every time we see a windmill he says "Look everyone, that windmill is so HUGE".

Eerily calming

It was good to get back home...and open more boxes, woo hoo. I think the kids felt the same way we did about going home...

Overall it was a great experience and I'm glad we could go and support her...little did we realize that four days later she would come home from school tryouts and tell us she made the Varsity Softball Team!! We are so proud of her...and will be making permanent appearances at all the upcoming games. I have a feeling my camera will transformed into a sports only camera before too long.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

New House

The official move (the last of several in this country) has finally occurred. We are now residents of Vogelweh/Kapaun. The townhouses are nice...and new. The best on base housing we have ever lived in and did I mention new?? So no decrepit pipes, 13 sheets of wallpaper, or creaky floors :o) Of course it is they always are, but we will manage as soon as we downsize the 18,000 lbs of stuff we had delivered here (WTF?). Seriously, we need to have a yard sale.

I took some pics.

The kitchen...
The living room...

Leading to the 2nd level...

Who doesn't want a closet door like this?...

and...his & hers sinks?

There is some serious family fun and porch time to be had here...

First attic (will hold a craft area for me)...

Second attic, a place for Saige and her friends to hang out...

Isla Casa in Deutschland...

What you didn;t see was the laundry room, the kids' bedrooms, the office or the garage (or what George likes to call "man land"). Those will come later once set up...

We already have the office/guest room done and the kitchen is complete. The livnig room is almost there, too. Sooo, we will be up for visitors in NO TIME. Book it :o) Popo will be here this summer (so excited). So jump on the bandwagon.

Next up I got a post featuring our Netherlands trip!!! {minus a coffee shop visit :o( ...this time!}

P.S. Breaking news.... Saige made the VARSITY softball team. 9th grade and on Varsity...we are so proud of her!!!

Until next time,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


The hiatus is over...for reals!!

I can now get back to being my old blog lovin', facebook wanderin', web tycho schoolin', gradespeed stalkin', and reality tv streamin' name a few. It makes me giddy...

Look for for more posts to follow!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wednesday without Words (on Thurs.)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Mortals

We had the pleasure of catching up with an Oki friend recently. She happened to be JD's 3rd grade teacher when we moved to the rock, and soon became a friend of the family's. Ms SeeTai (her for real person name is Tara), and her son came to Wiesbaden from Italy for the European HS Wrestling Championships. Tai did good for his first year considering I would have pulled my kid out of there screaming "Don't hurt my BABY!" Have you ever seen young kids get wrestled to the ground with their neck bended back and their eyes rolling back into their head? It was disturbing for me to watch. This is another reason why I can't stomach the idea of watching a UFC fight. Scare Me!!

Anyway, luckily it was close to lunchtime when we got there so we headed out to a Greek place and did some catching up. They are really nice people and it was awesome to have a former Oki peep to reminisce with. Saige and Tai are in the same grade and I fondly remember him hanging at our house a few summers ago. While it was short and sweet, I appreciate the time we had and the laughter. Hope to see them on a future trip to Italy soon...

Mother Earth-er

Oh my gosh...the earthquake in Okinawa, the horrible devastation in Chile and Haiti, and now...the wind has taken over K-town! Yesterday started out to be a fabulous sunny day, and then on a dime it turned into South FL's hurricane season. There were trees broken everywhere and some landed on the fence line around the post. HUGE military security issue as you can imagine. What gives? Somebody has really pissed off Mother Nature...please take care of our Earth!

Do your part:

Concern Worldwide US

World Vision

American Red Cross

101 Ways to Help Planet Earth