Monday, August 31, 2009

Life after Japan...

Let me start by saying I'm really not sure if anyone still checks in on this blog considering its titled "Adventures in Japan" and i have now been back in the states for a few months. Life back in the states has taken quite a bit of adjusting. It's been great to be home and see family and friends, but i'd be lying if i said i didn't miss Okinawa. Some days are better than others, that is for sure. In the middle of July, Alison, my japanmate, and I moved into an adorable apartment in Sierra Madre. It doesn't get much better than this! God has continued to bless us in our return to life and settle back into the craziness that is California. On top of moving, this summer was filled with catching up with the wonderful people i haven't seen in a year as well as teaching summer school and getting ready for a new school year. I am back at San Gabriel Christian teaching first grade and i'm pretty sure it's safe to say that this is the most excited i have been in the last 4 years to start up school. Today was reporting day number 1 and the kids start on Sept. 9. In addition to teaching, I am also assisting the Varsity Volleyball team at Maranatha High School. In the midst of the busyness of work, I plan to make a continued effort to remember the lessons learned in Okinawa and take time to rest and enjoy life. All in all, I am looking forward to a great year and am excited for all that God has in store!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Last week in Okinawa...

Here are our happy faces...School is out!

Sunday, June 7- We celebrated Pastor Wes's birthday at one of the clubs on base. Some of the board/council decided to pose as a gospel group and make an appearance at the party. it was quite hilarious, and resulted in an encore.

Sorry, some of these are out of order and i can't seem to fix it, oh well...The next two pics are from our last time of fellowship with our church family at Rocky and Gina's on Sunday, June 14, the day before we left.
Sage and I
Okay, here are a few more from Pastor's birthday party. Isaiah was having a good ole time chillin next to Pastor as he was answering some funny and somewhat embarrassing questions about his past.
My Japanmate and I
Here are the rest of the pics from our time at Rocky and Gina's
The Braund's
Michelle, with Alison and I
Pastor Wes and Carol, Alison, and I
On Monday, June 15, our last day on Okinawa, Rocky took us to his work where we got to fly the simulators, KC-135. We obviously didn't have the special clearance to get into where the F-15's are.
We had a blast! I am quite the pilot, though you shouldn't rely on my to land the plane. I had some problems with that one! haha
Here is the simulator from the outside.
Is this a scary sight or what? :)
The pilots!
Robert, Lisete, and Sage stopped by on Monday afternoon to say goodbye before we headed out to the airport. Sure gonna miss them, though they are on their way to England next!
Rocky and Gina brought us to the airport where we said our goodbyes...for now!

Monday, June 15, 2009

On my way home...

This last week was amazing! We had a great time relaxing and spending time with the people we love here on Okinawa! Last Sunday was a birthday party for Pastor, went to the beach a few times, packed and moved out of our apartment, and spent the last 3 days with Rocky and Gina, which included a trip to Rocky's work today where we got to fly the KC-135 simulators, so cool! Currently I'm sitting here at the airport in Taipei waiting for our flight to LAX. The internet isn't working so well for me so you all will need to wait to get the pics and details from this last week. But man has it been an amazing year! I am thrilled to be coming home but it saddens me to leave the life that I've had here in Japan for the last 11 months. I know now, more than ever, that God truly did have a plan for me here in Japan, one to grow me and change me in ways I can't even explain! I look forward to what lies ahead and can't wait to see how God will continue to mold me and use me. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support throughout this last year. You have all been missed and I can't wait to catch up with each of you again!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Final week of school...

This last week of school was busy with getting the kids and the room ready for summer. On Wednesday we had a potluck lunch for the kids and their parents. I made my kids a dvd of their pictures from the year with some music and showed it at this time. The kids loved it and were yelling the name of the person who popped up on the screen. it was kinda crazy but for now that was okay. :) After the potluck the plan was to drive out toward Naha to go to Mona Kids Jungle, though when we got there it was closed, so instead we headed to the beach that has a big pirate ship for the kids to play on. The plans were different but the kids had a ton of fun!
Here are a few of us driving to Mons Kids Jungle
After finding that Mona Kids Jungle was closed here we are a bit crazier headed to the beach!
They have this awesome zip line for the kids...they entertained themselves on this for almost 2 hours!
Here I am with a few of my boys
Thursday was a half day of school, the kids last day, followed by the awards ceremony and kindergarten graduation on Friday. We went back over to Ashibina where had our Christmas and Spring Concerts. The morning ceremony was for the little ones on my campus. Each class did a little presentation. I was SO proud of my kids. They hadn't been doing a very good job practicing during the week and I was getting so frustrated, but boy did they pull through! I was so impressed. Such a great way to end the year! I also had to give a short little speech and read off their names for awards. The reading of the names scared me a bit, but I think I pulled it off quite nicely :)
They were so adorable all dressed up in their Sunday best! :)
Here are a few of them receiving their award from Mr. Elofson
Afterwards a few of my kids practically attacked me, grabbing me by my neck so excited to take was kind of intense! This one isn't so bad, I left out the crazy crazy ones! :)

Monday was check out day from our classrooms. I wasn't sure what to expect exactly but currently it is Monday at 11:30am and I AM DONE! Now with 7 days left on the island, we will be spending our time packing and cleaning our apartment, going to the beach, and spending some quality with our church family! Whew, what a year! :)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Camping and Hiking...

Last weekend we went up to Okuma, campground/resort for the military, with Lisete, Sage, and Gabby (another girl from church) but also met up with Rocky and Gina and the Rice family, from church. The plan was to do the real camping thing and sleep in a tent, but with the rain the day before and the morning of, we decided to get a cabin instead. It worked out great though cuz our cabin had a fire pit. I have been "craving" a bonfire for months! Smores were included in the fun!
Here's our cute little cabin...
Rocky working his Royal Ranger magic on the fire
my japanmate :)
Anita, Lisete, and Gina got into the chocolate for smores a bit early!
Rocky, Gina, and I...have i mentioned they're amazing people? cuz they are :)
Self timer skills :)
Here we are the next morning waiting for Rocky and Gina to head over to Hiji Falls
The start of our hike to the the distance you can see Sage and Gabby
We stopped off the trail to feel the cute are they?
This is the view from a bridge we crossed on the way to the falls
Here are some of the stairs we had to climb....I can guarantee that I was exhausted before even starting this set of stairs!
We made it!
Hiji Falls. check.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sayonara Dinner...

This week has marked the beginning of the end of my time here in Okinawa as school is winding down to the last 4 days, boxes are being packed, my classroom is being taken apart and is looking more and more like it did when I first walked in 10 months ago. I am amazed at God's hand in this last year and how he has guided and provided every step of the way. It is so incredible to see how he has used my job, the church, every moment of being in Japan, to provide growth in my life. I say it a lot and I will continue to say it, I am blessed!

Tuesday night was our Neighborhood Sayonara dinner at Kitakaisen. Jerard and Collen, Earl, along with Alison and I will all be leaving the island in the next 2 weeks. More than 50 people came as we shared in food and fellowship. These people have been more than just "people from church" to me this past year, they have been family! To be honest, I never imagined I would be a part of something so awesome while in Japan!

Gina's cake for us :)
Matthew, Samuel, and I
Sage and I
Benny and Pauline
My japanmate and I :)_