Monthly Archives: October 2008

I love fall!

People say that there aren’t really seasons here in Okinawa – it’s warm weather year round.  I’m a little sad about that.  I love seasons and I especially love the fall.  One of my favorite things about living in Missouri was driving down the back roads in the fall when all the leaves were changing colors, and that is one thing I will definitely miss while living here amid all the palm trees

However, today I realized that the leaves on the tree in my front yard have changed to yellow and are falling to the ground.  So far, this is the only tree I have seen on Okinawa with yellow leaves and it’s in my front yard!  The weather is still unseasonably hot and humid, but I am feeling so blessed to have this beautiful tree to look at.

Ironically, when we moved in two months ago, I didn’t like the tree at all.  It was dropping berries onto the sidewalk, which were then tracked into my house.  I think I will appreciate the berries a lot more next summer now that I realize that this tree also loses it’s leaves 🙂

And regardless of the weather, it’s fall inside our house too – we bought lots of pumpkins to roast and puree and we are making homemade pumpkin pies, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin play-doh… the list goes on.   I’m not sure what we’ll be doing for Thanksgiving this year, but I have plenty of pumpkin frozen for that too.  I love fall…

A good day…

I had such a good day today.  Probably the best day I’ve had since moving to Okinawa.  Since moving here, I have had a much harder time adjusting than I have in the past.  Normally, I think I adjust pretty quickly, but for some reason, I have not been able to do that here.  Anyway, today was a really great day for me.  Why?  A few things, and all of them are kind of silly…

1)  They had pumpkins at the commissary!! I have been really sad that we weren’t going to get to go to a pumpkin patch this year – they just don’t grow pumpkins here – and I was afraid that I wasn’t even going to be able to buy a pumpkin.  I have heard that we normally get one shipment and if you don’t get to the grocery store within the first few days of the pumpkins arriving, you just don’t get one.  Well, today, not my normal grocery day, I just felt like I needed to go check for pumpkins.  So I went, and they had them!!  Yeah!  I bought four for baking, one for carving and one tiny one for painting.  It is amazing how happy this made me.  I had pretty much resigned myself to no pumpkins, and now I have plenty.

2) The homeschool supplies I ordered in August, a few days after we got here, finally arrived today.  I did not realize that they were going to be shipped parcel post – I would have gladly paid more for shipping if I had realized that it would take two months for the boxes to arrive – but they are finally here.  Of course, we have been doing school anyway.  Most of what came was extra, just for fun, so the fun has been missing from our weekly routine and I am so excited that it is here now!

3) Everywhere I went today, I saw at least one person I knew.  I went to Starbucks, the BX, the commissary, the post office and Pizza Hut, and saw someone I knew at every place.  Of course, the base community here is small compared to moving to an actual town, but it feels so much more like home when you run into people you know and they stop to chat with you.

Of course, a lot more happened today, but those are probably the main reasons I felt like I had a great day.  And today, I really like Okinawa…

All right already!

So yes, I realize that I have been neglecting the blog.  Sorry.  Of course, I’ll try to do better, but I’m not making any promises this time!  All I can say is the nagging helps.  I didn’t realize I had so many readers, but since I have gotten several complaints about not updating the last few weeks, I guess I had more than I thought.  I’m flattered…

So in the last few weeks, we started homeschool.  I completely intend to do weekly reports like last year, but we are on week 4 now and I haven’t done any, so I guess I’ll start with a monthly report.  I’ll make it my goal to do that tomorrow (remember, no promises), and just give you a general family update today.

We finally got all of our furniture from Florida this past Monday.  I am so glad to have it, although there are quite a few things I wish I had brought that will just be staying in storage for the next three years.  Namely, furniture.  I have some cute tables and another dresser that would have been really nice to have.  Oh well.  We have our new couches in the living room, put down some huge area rugs to cover the schoolhouse tile and painted the wall blue.  I am really happy with the way the room looks.  We have a new entertainment center coming sometime very soon, but apparently it was delayed with the typhoon.  Once that arrives, I’ll post pictures of the living room, but until then, here are some random pictures of the couches, the rug and the wall color:

We also painted Madison’s toy room under the stairs.  Actually, we’ve pretty much painted every room in the house, but I have pictures of how we did Madison’s toy room, so…  She wanted it to look like a garden and she wanted to make handprints for the flowers.  Here is what we ended up with.  I think it looks pretty good.  We also bought a rug for the floor.  These floors are hard!

We have been doing quite a bit of exploring as well.  I found a great store off base that is kind of like a Target, only way more expensive.  I think things cost more here because of the cost of shipping it to the island.  Either that people just don’t realize they are being scammed…  Either way, I mainly shop at the BX since prices there are closer to what they are at home.  But this is a great store for window shopping when I miss Target (which is everyday, but I’ve only been there twice), and it does have a really nice selection of kitchen tools (the BX does not).   And we also found a shop off base to buy Madison clothes – cute clothes, great prices.  We bought three dresses and seven shirts for about $20.

We’ve also been able to try quite a few local restaurants and most of them have been great.  There is only one that we wouldn’t go back too, a Chinese place (go figure), and the rest are wonderful.  We found a place that makes fabulous fried rice, one with good seafood, and another with great cream puffs.  And the best place is a garlic restaurant where pretty much everything has garlic in it.  I love garlic.

As far as sightseeing, Madison and I took another tour (more on that later – that is it’s own post I think…), and a few days ago we went to Monakids Jungle with some families from Matt’s squadron.  It was kind of like Chuck E Cheese, only everyone spoke Japanese.  Madison came up to me while she was playing and said “I made a new friend!  She only speaks Japanese, but she still likes me!”  It was cute.  This past weekend we went to the farmer’s market and a china store – I have picked out the Japanese dishes I want to buy before we move back, now I just need to save my money… At the farmer’s market, we bought some vegetables and some bread, and Matt and Madison bought flowers to plant outside.

(A lot of people here carry umbrellas when it is sunny to protect their skin…)

(That is bacon and eggs on toast, ready to buy from a little bakery…)

We are also planning to go to the aquarium on Columbus Day when Matt is off work.  It is the second largest aquarium in the world and was featured on the discovery channel.  It looks amazing.

I finished my first cake class and am taking a break.  Hopefully I learned enough to do a decent job on Madison birthday cake in a few weeks.  I am planning to take the next level in December.  Here are the other two cakes I made.  I have definitely not mastered the rose, but that’s ok since I know there is a store in Wichita where you can buy them 🙂  I do think my handwriting improved from the first cake.

And finally, a family update wouldn’t be complete without some pregnancy pictures, right?  I am definitely starting to show and I have started to tell people here that I am pregnant because I don’t want everyone to think I am just chunky…  We have an ultrasound on Oct 21st and hopefully we will find out what we’re having.  We weren’t going to find out, but Madison has her heart set on a girl, so if it’s not going to be a girl, we need to give her some time to prepare!

(Madison thought if I was getting my picture taken, she should get hers taken too.)

So I think that’s a pretty good update, right?  You all are set for the next three weeks.  Just kidding.  Maybe.