Sunday, January 5, 2014

Enjoying the Holidays

We had a wonderful Christmas. We got to spend lots of time together, with friends, and together with friends. Santa made his way to our place, and left us wondering why he left so many gifts. 

Cassi got the height ruler she asked for:
And she already started putting it to good use. 
Ian making his first appearance on the hieght ruler, and here are Cailin and our neighbor, Summer. 

Ian and I got matching pirate pajamas. We look fierce and fabulous, wouldn't you agree?

He started cracking up when I pointed out that he had the same logo on his shirt as I did. 

Cailin went big this year and asked Santa for some watermelon gum. Santa was all over it. She also got a blanket and a doll. 

And Alexa also got a blanket she asked for and some dress up high heels. 

We had a lot of fun, and the girls started guessing if different people in our ward might be Santa Claus. It started when one family brought us a ladle filled with candy. Cassi exclaimed, I don't have a ladle and I need one, and that's when Alexa guessed that maybe the dad of that family was Santa. That made us laugh. 

We had a wonderful Christmas, and we hope you all did too. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Brad had to go to Okinawa (a tropical island south of Tokyo) for 2 weeks in August for a trial, so we thought "let's try to catch a space-a flight and go with him."

It took us 6 times over 5 days of going to the terminal here on base for us to finally get a flight.

But, we made it.  We flew on the patriot express with Atlas Air and have never had better flight attendants.  The girls loved every minute, especially when they got to wear the scarf and sit in the special seat.

We had a layover at a marine station, so travel time was about 9 hrs.

Cailin's face shows exactly how we felt when we landed in Okinawa.

With a good night's sleep we were ready to hit the beach the next day.  We drove about 15 minutes to an Army post that has this awesome beach.

What a perfect morning.

While Brad worked, we explored the base (on foot since we didn't have a car).  There were about 5 places we could walk to. 

The girls were convinced these statues outside the BX are to keep the bad guys away.

Free mini golf at the community center

We went on nightly walks off base when Brad got home.

This is a diagonal crosswalk through a major intersection.  First one we'd ever seen.  All traffic stops while pedestrians cross.  I couldn't get the whole intersection in the picture, but it was pretty cool.

We loved hanging out at the sea wall.

Brad's trial got delayed on Wednesday, so he unexpectedly got to spend full 2 days with us.  We rented a car and drove to the Ocean Expo Park.

 We played for a while on the nets,

saw the dolphin show,

 had more beach time,

and ate ice cream.

Then they sent us home because a typhoon was coming.

On Friday we went to the Pineapple Park.  We learned all about pineapple and got to sample all we wanted.

Then right in the middle of it was a huge seashell display that filled 2 rooms.  We were a little confused on the sudden appearance of seashells in a pineapple park, but it was pretty cool nonetheless.

Then it was more sampling and buying anything and everything pineapple.  We probably would have bought something, except that the prices were exceptionally high like this liter of juice for almost $13.

 We found a great ramen restaurant for lunch.  Brad loves ramen.  It's not my favorite only because of the seaweed they put in most of it.

So, I ordered fried rice that came out in this bowl that is so hot it cooks while it's sitting in front of you (like a frying pan, but a bowl).  I'd had other meals with the frying pan bowl, but never fried rice.  I love how the rice gets crispy at the bottom.  Such a good lunch.

Then we went to another fruit park, but it wasn't as big a hit as the pineapple park.

We were pretty tuckered out afterward, but don't worry we got one final go at the beach.  Did I mention we love the beach?  We were hoping to catch a red sunset, but the clouds wouldn't allow it.

It was a great trip.  I'm glad I didn't give up after the first five times of not making a flight.

Best of the 4th of July Celebration

Dressing up like pirates for the scavenger hunt (longest, hardest hunt we've ever done)

with our friends, the Jones family.  But we took 3rd place!

Pony rides

Face Painting

Ian's first corn on the cob

First fireworks too!

And this isn't even half of what we did.

What a great day!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ian's happy (and he knows it)

Ian is a happy baby, but now we have proof that he knows it.

A couple weeks ago, Alexa and Cailin were singing the "if you're happy and you know it" song to each other, and Alexa just decided to try to get Ian to join in on the fun.  She said "if you're happy and you know say ba-ba!" And wouldn't you know, he said "ba-ba!"  I thought for sure it was a fluke, but then she sang it again, and he complied again.  This went on about 6-7 times when I realized I needed to capture this on video.  I got my phone out just in time to capture the last few seconds of him feeling cooperative.  And get a load of his big finish. It's priceless.

We've tried several times since then to get him to do this again, but either he no longer knows he's happy, or he's just not interested in being his sisters' puppet/parrot.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fun Signs

Some of my favorite signs I've seen in Japan so far.  :)

Just one of the many perks about living overseas.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Artist

"I'm an artist," Alexa said dryly, matter-of-factly. 

Not "I wanna be an artist," and not "I'm gonna be an artist." Rather, "I'm [currently, sure as I'm sitting here, no doubt about it] an artist."

One of her friends, a little older than her, was complimenting her on a picture she drew. Intended or not, Alexa perceived it as patronizing. And she wasn't having any of it, at least not from a near peer.

And sure enough, she is an artist. She created these lovely flowers today without any help from mom or dad. 

We'll have to work on the attitude, but she's definitely a creative one. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

3rd time's the charm

Alexa figured out how to ride her bike, sans training wheels, on just her third attempt.  Cassi captured it on video. 

Now, all she wants to do is ride her bike.