Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Welcome 2009!

Happy New Year!!
It is about 1AM on January 1, 2009; I am going to bed.
Morgan and Lynn, it was just not the same without you.
And no sausage balls.......
Yes, I am slightly drunk. Thank you for asking.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Growing up

My baby has started school. I am happy and sad all at the same time. Morgie, can you believe Garrett can go to school?? I know Morgan gets it. She still sees that little baby that moved in next door. I wasn't actually looking to put him in preschool right now, but this kind of happened into my lap, so I decided it must be a sign.

This is the day we visited the school. The teacher, Ms. Jana (she's the only big person), is really great. We arrived just in time for good mornings and calendar. Then story time.

Sorry for the blur, Ms. Jana is very busy. One thing that I really like, morning snack is fruit salad. Everybody brings a fruit to school each day, and that makes the fruit salad for snack. I love that idea. Isn't Garrett so sweet sitting waiting for his bowl? I'm not too sure about the little girl with her face in the bowl, but it makes me laugh.

So after spending time there, Garrett went for a trial day to see how he (and mommy) did.
As you will see from the picture I took when I went to pick him up, he seems pretty comfortable........

Nuff said.

Garrett will be going twice a week for now. I think it will be weird having him gone, but nice to have time to myself. Jerry is convinced I will be bored. Only time will tell.

Christmas Morning Part II

We got laser tag for the boys. This was getting ready for round one. It didn't last long. Everyone kept "cheating", new rules kept popping up, receivers were being turned off during the game; I'm sure you get the idea.

Garrett was very excited to get Spike. He was a little scared at first, but Spike doesn't move too fast, so he realized it is not going to get him. As you can see, Spike is a fairly large dinosaur.

And that is pretty much all the still pictures I have. I know, sad.

Christmas Morning Part I

I didn't take may still pictures, I was using the video camera most of the time.

Do you think Steven is excited? Yeah, we can't tell either.

Wait, now we know how excited Steven is! Or he is just tired. Steven and Vaughn were the ones who woke us up! It was 6am when they came to get us! Geez, teenagers are supposed to sleep half the day.

Catching up to Christmas

This a picture from Seth's school's holiday performance. Wish I had known that only the 4th and 5th grade actually do the year will be much better for actually seeing Seth. It is quite the production, very cute. Click the picture, I wouldn't want you to miss seeing Elvis......

Out shopping and having lunch, Garrett and I found some reindeer. I think this one has to pee, but that is probably the mom in me.

And we made cookies for Santa, each of the boys decorated their own. Like the mug with Iraq on it? For Santa, no less. It was a hint, maybe Santa can keep Jerry home. Santa is magical you know, and magic is what it would take for that to happen.

Santa travels by fire truck in Japan.....escorted by MP's

Santa visited Camp McTureous Christmas Eve day and handed out bags with goodies. He was escorted by the military police and had a few elves with him.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Cake Wrecks

Check this out, so funny. The last cake.....OMG.

Merry Christmas Eve/Christmas!

I know it is Christmas Eve for most of you, but it is Christmas morning for us. We have opened all our presents, created mounds of paper and boxes, ran out of batteries. Right as rain around here!
We hope all of you have a fantastic Christmas Eve, and a great Christmas morning. Merry Christmas :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

O Christmas Tree

First, I had completely forgotten about this picture. These trees are all over the island, well, the parts I have seen. Aren't they funny? The needles grow upward. I think they are fantastic. I want these in my yard in Michigan. Wonder if they need the semi tropical climate. I am going to look into that.

Now, onto another tree. I know this picture is a little blurry, but it was the best I could do. I wish the pictures were better. The tree is much prettier in person.

Please ignore the speaker on the wall near the top of the tree. If I thought I could get Jerry to take it down, I would. However, I live in the real world.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Exciting Times

There are several exciting things happening around here. Well, exciting for me, maybe not for you, but I am positive you are dying to know what is going on. I will indulge you.

First, we finally got a car for Jerry. Hugely exciting for me; I am no longer trapped at home on weekdays!! Okinawa is much more appealing when you can go places. There is a small downside, he got a Subaru Impreza WRX STI (if I don't include those six letters I get corrected and several nasty looks), which will at some point garner my I-think-I-am-a-racecar-driver husband a ticket. Oh, and it is white, just like my van. I KNOW you are loving that Yee.

Second, Christmas shopping is done. Whew. Now, if you would, please cross your fingers that my last few boxes get here before Christmas Day. Being that we are now at the mercy of the postal service, I feel a screwing in our future.

Third, and most importantly, I snagged a panini maker really cheap at the PX today. Mmmmmm. If any of you have some good panini recipes, throw them my way. I am so excited!

I know, I know, I told you it was exciting around here! And our Christmas tree turned out so pretty! I really love it this year. It is the first artificial tree we have had, but it is nice all the same. I will take some pictures soon. I need to have a cup of tea and relax for pete's sake. Go, do the same, after sending me panini ideas of course.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


One of my college friends, Brent, is now a teacher, an amazing one. He sent me an email with a link to the music video his class made. It is great. Take a look.
Boom De Yada Video.


As your kids get older, they become so much more self sufficient, in good and bad ways. Garrett dresses himself pretty much all the time, even for bed. It is nice; I love it. Lately he has come up with his own unique style. Here is a little video to illustrate what I mean.

And, yes, this is everyday, for now. I love kids.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Cutest Pizza Ever

Hunting for Christmas gifts, I found this site Mahar Drygoods. They have some of the cutest things. This is one of my favorites, the pizza set. I do think it is kind of pricey, but G has a birthday not too far away.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Hunting of a Different Sort

We needed to get out of the house today, so we went to a beach. I was so excited, we found a lot of sea glass. I am hoping to collect much more over our time here.

Here's Boo sitting on the sea wall.

Like the tongue sticking out me? He's such a nice boy.

I think the sea glass is so pretty. As you can tell, some started life as a beer bottle. We got some nice shells too.

Collecting shells, and sea glass after mommy mandated we all look for it. Luckily the boys were happy to help me out. Garrett is not in this picture because he just could not move on down the beach. There were shells everywhere. He would start to head toward us, stop pick up something else and run back to the pile he had started. It was really funny, he just could not walk past anything.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Stuffing recipe

This is the recipe I used. I did not use it to stuff my turkey, so I used more stock than the recipe called for since I was baking it in a dish. And I used 1/2 wheat, 1/2 white for the bread cubes. Since we do not have Golden Delicious apples I used a Wojin apple. That is one of only about 3 kinds here. And apples are crazy expensive here, as are potatoes. Gotta love the produce embargoes. Oh, and I added the apples and cranberries to the skillet to warm them through a little before adding to the bread cubes. I am going to get a picture of the green onions sold at the Japanese grocery here. They are huge. You'll see. Someday. I promise. Someday.

  • 1 1/2 cups cubed whole wheat bread
  • 3 3/4 cups cubed white bread
  • 1 pound ground turkey sausage
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 Golden Delicious apple, cored and chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 3/4 cup turkey stock
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the white and whole wheat bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until evenly toasted. Transfer toasted bread cubes to a large bowl.
  • In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned. Add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to blend flavors.
  • Pour sausage mixture over bread in bowl. Mix in chopped apples, dried cranberries, and parsley. Drizzle with turkey stock. Spoon into turkey to loosely fill.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving! We just got done eating Thanksgiving dinner, hence why I am on the computer; I am too full to move! For the first time ever I made dressing from scratch. I appreciate the dressing, this may be a sign I am growing up.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Critter watch 2008 continues!

I took this picture at a friend's house over the weekend. This plant is literally right next to their sidewalk. I know it is hard to see, but there is a big spider right in the center. I don't think so. She and I could not co-exist.

Garrett and I found something interesting in the house today, a little lizard. We think he came in to get out of the rain today.
Loading these pictures today made me realize my camera has the wrong date now. I guess if you cross the international date line it would require you to reset the date on various electronics.

The Toothless Wonder

Seth lost his other front baby tooth. We like to call him "toothless wonder".
In true Seth fashion, there was a lot of drama that last day when it was barely holding on. Thank god it finally came out. Now he won't starve to death or exist on a soft foods only diet.
*Edited* I forgot to tell you, because I am sure you were wondering, the tooth fairly left yen, not dollars! Seth got 200 yen, he was really excited. Since the dollar has only gotten weaker since we got here, that is a good deal for him.

A Feast

Seth's class had a Thanksgiving feast last Friday. The dish Seth asked me to make was Warm Winter Lemon Cake. Jer, Garrett, and I were there with Seth. They had a great spread, yum!

The things we need?

These are a few pictures of our household goods shipment arriving. It is interesting the things we sent for the time we will be here. It was much easier here before all this stuff got here. Our house here is much smaller than we had in Cali, and it is an adjustment.

Un-crating all the boxes.

We gave Garrett this box of Hot Wheels and it kept him very busy. After not seeing these for almost 2 months, they were like new to him. BTW, that is our front door that is open in the picture. I will have to take a better picture of the front of the house some time. The previous resident left me a nice flower bed.

The crates still waiting to be opened.

Our own name on a crate!

We had the movers unpack the boxes since we (read Jerry there) knew there wouldn't be anywhere for the empty boxes.
So, here is the poor little munchkin trying to eat some mac and cheese amid the initial chaos. We had to clear that little spot for him to even sit down.

This is what the house looks like after the mass unpacking.
One side of the living room.

The other side of the living room.

Steven's room.

Vaughn's room. He was NOT happy when he got home from school and saw this.

I made a lot of progress over the weekend in getting some of the last things put away. We haven't hung any pictures yet. And, of course, all the curtains I brought are the wrong size. It never fails.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

There ARE reasons.....

1. Mommy's still sick
2. He likes to dress himself
3. Seriously, who could ask him to change, he's so proud
4. We make him wear a sign saying "I dressed myself"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Oh no, momma's sick!

I am S.I.C.K. Like laying in bed, shivering, then sweating, coughing, thinking I may throw is NOT good. The boys are very worried. The husband is trying to be supportive, and keep the kids in line. This is the first time I have been out of my bed in 18 hours. Yeah, it is that bad. Say A prayer that Okinawa doesn't kill me.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween in Japan? Why yes!!

So, we moved over here not sure about the Halloween thing. We talked to the kids and Steven and Vaughn didn't want to trick or treat, but Seth and Garrett did. We sent costumes for Seth and Garrett in our express shipment so they would have them if they needed them. Well, need them they did! To start, our street has a neighborhood block party. Full out too, chili cook off, costume contest, pumpkin carving contest, lots of food and treats. It was really great. I took Seth and Garrett trick or treating with Garrett's new friend Jack; Jack's dad came too. Also, the base we live on was open to our Japanese neighbors. At first we did not see many Japanese kids. By the time we got back to our cul de sac whoa! There was literally a MOB of people at the end of our street. It was absolutely crazy. Next year we can try to be better prepared, about $200-$300 of Halloween candy might do it.......I really couldn't describe what it was like. You'd have to experience it.

Seth, Garrett, and Jack (Larry from Veggie Tales) going to the first house.

This is our block party before trick or treating started.

Seth is his costume, a zombie (according to him).

Garrett was Buzz Lightyear, his wings lit up at the top corners. Definitely made it safer and easier to see him once it got dark.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Familiar things and new things

This is one of the entrances to the Okinawa expressway. Basically a toll road that runs the length of the island. It does have the highest speed limit on the island; a whopping 80 km/h! You really don't go anywhere fast in Okinawa, good thing it is little.

Looks familiar doesn't it? There are also a lot of A&W's. The old drive up kind. We have not gone to either yet, I'm sure we will eventually.

The Colonel's chicken is apparently big here too......

Driving down one of the roads. Have you ever seen smaller, I mean, cuter cars???

We are standing next to the exchange parking lot on Camp Foster.
That's all the pictures we have for now. Jerry took a bunch of pictures of a car he is dreaming about, and I do mean dreaming....