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....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Falling into place

We have been in Okinawa for a week now. It has been interesting, frustrating, very cool, and very sad. Pretty much all those at the same time too. We have accomplished a lot.

We have a house.
We will have a phone, cable, and internet by the end of next week.
We attended the Newcomer's Orientation Brief.
Jerry got his Japanese license.
We bought a van.
We have not killed the kids.....
see? We have gotten a lot done.

This picture was from the first day here. Look at those snails, and Garrett's jubilation.

The pictures are out of order, but this is the view of the Pacific from Tengan Castle.

Tengan Castle. We had Sunday brunch there last weekend, it was fabulous.

This is the view from the front door of the lodge we are in until we actually move into our house.

The very first morning we were here. We were just outside the lodge trying to figure out where to go. We had been up since about 2am, and were a little stir crazy. We have adjusted well to the time difference. Jerry and the kids are pretty on schedule. I still get up between 0430 and 0500 each morning, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

We are ready to get out of the lodge and into the house. It is very challenging to try to keep the boys from being too noisy. We get our key today, but our express shipment won't be delivered until Monday. It will be an interesting weekend.
I am going to try to take more pictures. I have taken the camera with me most everywhere, but I just haven't gotten it out. I am usually trying to pay attention to how we are getting somewhere. I find it very difficult to get my bearings here. I generally have no idea which way is up. I did not take my license test yet, I do not feel ready to drive yet. This way Jerry can't try to make me :).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


We will be incommunicado for the next bit of time. Maybe for days, maybe weeks. Since I have no idea what to expect, it is hard for me to tell all of you! The packers are packing us for storage right now. Tomorrow afternoon we will be out of the house on base. Thursday morning we leave for Japan. Wish me luck, since it looks like we will have 15-20 bags with us! Yes, that does include carry-ons. Like that makes it better. The next month is going to be pretty crazy. I will update on here as I can. Now, get your passports in order and come visit us in Japan!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Family visit part 1

So, all the family has gone back home, and we miss them already. We had a great time and lots of fun.

This is from left to right, Jer's dad, Jer's mom, Garrett, Jerry, me, my sister, my dad. This was Jerry's change of command. He had to give up his company, he's still pouting...
The order of these pictures is not ideal, but oh well.

This is a little shark that was stuck to pier when we went to Ruby's.

My dad makes friends everywhere he goes.

I thought it was cute how Vaughn was admiring the lightpost. Right after I snapped the picture he started shaking the bejesus (yes, that is the technical term) out of it. Not sure of the end goal other than death, by big light bulb or mommy.

On our way back to the car after Ruby's, Garrett got the thrill of a lifetime when 2 trains came by right next to us.

Grandpa lost his feet.

My dad, isn't he just the cutest?

I LOVE this picture of Garrett.

Vaughn and Steven with Grandpa.

Funny picture, this is my sister Beth's foot next to Vaughn's foot.

I have many more pictures I want to put up, but I have so many things I have to get done. We fly to Japan next week. All the little details that we have to get done to be ready. I have less than 7 days left in this country, how bizarre.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Happy 8th Birthday Seth!

I can't believe Seth is now 8! Time really does fly. Happy birthday baby, we love you.

Did you wear your buffet pants?

For the kids' birthdays it is tradition that they choose dinner for that night. Seth wanted to go Hometown Buffet, and off we went.

Obviously, Yee never listens to me when I of these days she is going to miss something good.
Great picture of Tim.

I LOVE the next series of three pictures. Vaughn took these of Garrett. I think they are really funny.

Here's a picture of most of us. Seth was apparently getting full, he needed to lay down.

Jerry with his parents and Steven. They arrived Sunday. They are going to take one car to Michigan for us to store while we are gone. Thanks mom and dad.

The birthday boy himself. Did we forget to mention he seems to have morphed into a pirate anytime there is a camera or someone speaking to him?

Garrett and Jessa. He had to sit by his Jessa.

The Boo Boo (aka Vaughn).

We were all so full, we did not do birthday cake after we got home. Seth was more interested in playing his new nintendo ds anyway. I figured since my dad and my sister were arriving the next evening we could just wait and then they could do cake with us. Some things just work out well like that.


Garrett and I picked up Seth's birthday cake and cupcakes for his class. Lucky for Garrett there was an extra one for him. He ate it as we walked back to the office and Mrs. Donner thought I might like a napkin, I'm not sure why. Anyway I snapped a photo of G before he washed up. And this is after he had practically licked himself clean. As you can tell he was asking why I wanted a picture of him.

Best Buds

Garrett has a new best friend next door. Not that we have forgotten Kaybra :)
Jack moved in back in August and he and Jack get along very well, except when Garrett gets tired and cranky. This is a great picture of them. You have to click it and see the funny little face Garrett is making, and Jack's little feet lifted off the ground.