Saturday, January 31, 2009

A week ending with Cherry Blossoms...

This was quite the week with sickness starting to take over my body. It got to the point that I had to take a day off of work! It was great to rest my body and even have some time away from the kids for a day, much needed. I tested a new student on Friday and she will probably be joining my class this week, make that 16 now. Also this week I arranged to have a member of the military security (police man) come to school to talk with my kids about his job since this month's community helper was Police officer. It was nothing like I had expected, they probably don't do these kinds of things very often and my kids are 4, enough said. Even with questions prepared they still wanted to know if he had a dog and played video games! haha
Friday night Alison and I went to a baby shower for one of the ladies at church. It was at a restaurant at the Awase golf course. It is off base, but owned by the us military. You know what that means? Whenever we want a good American meal we can go to the restaurant there and eat for a very reasonable price. The baby shower was nice, with games and all! I tried my hand at the "find a safety pin in rice" game and literally sucked! To be honest, I couldn't hardly tell the different between the two with my eyes open!!

On Saturday Alison and I decided to pay a visit to the blooming Cherry Blossoms. There are several different places on the island to see them so we chose one near our second home in Nago, Mt. Yaedake to be exact. The drive was a bit longer than normal and we weren't quite sure what to expect when we arrived, but rest assured, we were not disappointed. All the trees were so beautiful! We made a few different stops along the way up the cherry blossom lined mountain. I will say, however, that it was quite the journey up. Between our car trying to overheat and other cars driving down the middle of the road, to avoid getting their car scraped with the tree branches that were hovering over the road, we found the trip to be very nice!

Here are some pics from our little Cherry Blossom adventure!

The streets were breathtaking all lined with these Cherry Blossoms!
It's Sunday afternoon now and we just had Cyndi and John and their two boys over for lunch. They arrived on the island a few months after us and we have really enjoyed getting to know them! It was a great time of fellowship and now I'm thinking it's about time for my Sunday afternoon nap before church tonight! :) I am blessed with the people I have met here!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I had my first ever birthday last Saturday in another country! So weird. Alison told me we could do whatever I wanted and oddly enough there wasn't much to say. We did however have the best chicken sandwiches for lunch, did some new years shopping, read at Starbucks for a bit, had yummy soup at Tony Roma's for dinner, and ended the night with some delicious funfetti cake and tv. A different sort of birthday, but still nice!

This week went by pretty fast, thank goodness, it was definitely one of the roughest weeks with my kids, and had a new student start on top of that. Gina, from church, invited us to dinner and a movie on Tuesday night. We had Chili's and saw Bedtime Stories, a very cute movie, our second in Japan! Alison and I laugh at the fact we have no idea what movies are out and feel so out of the loop. Afterwards the three of us crashed the men's meeting at Starbucks and had some more good times there. NO, there were no single men there (I foresaw that being a question). Wednesday night was church, followed by more good times at Starbucks with Rocky and Gina. If there were any week when "extracurriculars" were necessary, this was the week! Friday was a half day to work on report cards. Another nice part of the week! :)

I decided I need to print this picture out and hang it in my room to remind myself that there IS hope and they ARE capable of sitting still! Hallelujah!
This weekend was relaxing, especially with a three day weekend in sight. The weather was also a nice change. It has been beautiful! Alison and I did our grocery shopping on Saturday and just kicked back. Sunday was church, a trip to the sea wall, and a new Sunday night addition, service twice a month. Pastor was especially excited for his sermon on Sodom and Gomorrah on this first Sunday Night Live at the Neighborhood! Since everyone had Monday off, after church we went to one of the food courts on base. It was really nice to chat with people we don't always get the chance to talk to. Everyone has such interesting stories and perspectives. There is also a fascination that remains with how and why Alison and I ended up here in Okinawa.

Today we headed to Rocky and Gina's for more fellowship, can't ever get enough of it! It's nice to be in a place where everyone is everyone else's family while on this island. We all seem to be in the same boat, except for the fact Alison and I don't have a husband or kids with us! Anyways, we had a blast! There were a few other families from the church there, including out of town relatives. There was lots of Wii playing, delicious food (isn't there always?), and sliding down the hill behind Rocky and Gina's house...oh and how could I forget, lots of laughs! Now I've only played the Wii on one other occasion, far from experienced, but today we got to play with 4 people at a time. Gina made Rocky go out and get two more controls today so more people could play. He joked that he was going to return them after everyone left today. haha He loves it! It was quite intense with some random games, some of which were IMPOSSIBLE, and eventually led into tennis and bowling. Then, oh my, the hill sliding! We all kind of said we'd let the kids do it then eventually got roped into trying it ourselves. The girls eventually worked themselves into surfing down, something I will never try! Here are some pictures and a video Alison caught today.

Aren't all these pictures so flattering?!? Action shots, like you all were actually there! (I really wish you were though!)
It's 9:30 now and I'm just getting settled in for the night and preparing my mind for a 4 day week. Thank you all for the prayers and encouragement!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Week of Prayer...

This week was our church's week of prayer, such a great way to start out the new year. There is nothing like spending every weeknight with our church family resting in God's presence. It was great to refocus and be refreshed. Each night of prayer was focused on something different and every night was powerful! Tuesday night before the prayer meeting Alison and I had dinner at Rocky and Gina's, so glad to finally meet her. After service tonight a group of us hit up Starbucks for a bit to chat. I am truly blessed to be a part of the "Neighborhood." We also had some fun tonight talking, laughing, and making up stories with some of the girls in the kid's church. One of the third graders told Alison and I where we could find our husbands...Here you go, at Toys R Us, for 1 cent, in the arcade section OR we can go to the Family Mart and reach into the refrigerators and just pull one out! If only it were that easy huh?? haha Alison and I are pretty excited about getting the chance to be on the rotation to do children's church! There are a great group of kids at the church. Good times, great people!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A new year has begun...

It was a great decision to come back a day early from Nago. We went to church for the watch night service on New Year's Eve and had a fabulous time. We had some yummy desserts, coffee, and fellowship at 9 then moved into the sanctuary at 10 to be challenged for change in the new year. It even included a fire in the parking lot :) burning up negativity that is. Afterwards we hung out and chatted for a bit with the "young folks." Lucky for me I had 2 cups of coffee before the service cuz I sure didn't have my nap! It was a really nice way to start the new year! Here are a few pictures with Pastor, Rocky, and Cindi. Yes, church people really do exist!
Over the last few days we spent some time shopping, relaxing, doing a bit of prep for the return of school, and also some reading! whoa, what am i saying?!? What has Alison done to me? Anyways, I'm now sitting here taking in the wonders of Psych Season 2, stinkin hilarious, and thinking about returning to reality tomorrow. Report cards are on the horizon and tomorrow night starts the week of prayer at church (definitely a flashback to old school Covina days). Welcome to 2009!