Tag Archives: Japan

The Ferris Wheel

Madison has been asking to go on the ferris wheel since the night we got here four months ago and I have put it off as long as I possibly could.   It is a huge, impressive ferris wheel, but it goes very very slow and I was told not to go on it in the summer when it is hot.

Now that the weather has cooled down considerably, we decided to brave it and went this weekend.  It was very slow, but there were some beautiful views and we had a nice, slow, peaceful ride.  I actually don’t think Madison will ask to go again because it was pretty boring, but I am glad we went.  Here are some pictures from our afternoon…

The biggest building in the background of this picture is the hospital on Camp Lester where the baby will be born.

The mall, Jusco, and a hotel. This is part of “American Village.”  According to Matt, the water in the background is the East China Sea.

A trip to Cocok’s

Ok, I know as soon as you all read this post, you are going to be booking your plane tickets to come visit me.  Just give me a little warning so I can get your room ready 🙂

Madison and I had the most amazing afternoon.  We went to Cocok’s, which is a spa/salon here that specializes in toe art.  I am really picky about my toes – they are very sensitive and generally, I don’t let anyone else touch them.  The only people who have ever cut them are my mom, my husband (when I was too pregnant to do it myself), and me.  And of the four pedicures I have had before today (all for special occasions), I haven’t enjoyed a single one of them.  I just don’t like people messing with my toenails.

However, today was amazingly different.  I was still uncomfortable with the filing and clipping part of the pedicure (which didn’t take long at all), but the pedicure also included a foot bath, a thirty minute foot/leg massage and, of course, the art.  It was so wonderful.  Madison got hers painted also (although I didn’t spring for a massage for her), and so she was still and quiet and so good.  It was such a peaceful afternoon.

This picture really does not do my nails justice.  They are beautiful.  And I think this is an indulgence that I will continue to treat myself to until the baby is born, since bending over is quite uncomfortable and clipping my own toenails is out of the question for a while.

Madison’s were very cute, and she did stay very still, but the second she was “dry,” she rushed off to the play area and her’s did get a little smudged.  If she wants to do it again, she’ll have to sit longer and skip the play area.  In case you can’t tell, that’s a smiling pink daisy with clouds in the background.

We ended the afternoon with a trip to the new Starbucks that just opened across the street from Cocok’s and  to the 100 Yen store.  It was a very nice peaceful day, which I really needed.  I also got my car cleaned out (a good idea since Matt will be home in a few days), so driving is once again a nice peaceful experience for me too.

And I’ve already decided on the purple reindeer for my Christmas pedicure…

Happy Halloween!

Matt is back in the states for some training, so for the third year in a row, he missed Halloween with us… At least he was here for Madison’s birthday this time, and this is definitely not the worst holiday he could miss. Luckily he hasn’t had to miss Christmas yet, and he did get to take her to a Halloween party on base before he left.

On the 30th, we carved pumpkins. Last year, my dad was able to visit a couple weeks before Halloween and carved a pumpkin with Madison, so this year, she kept saying how sad she was that Pap wasn’t here to cut everything. I think she thought I was incapable of carving a pumpkin, but it turned out really well.  Madison drew the face herself and I cut it out. And she actually reached in and pulled out some of the guts herself…

I also took Madison to a Halloween craft class on base the day before Halloween. They made bags for collecting candy. She made hers all by herself and was very proud of it.

Then, for Halloween, Madison was (surprise!) Supergirl! Maybe she has gotten all of that out of her system now. She was a very cute Supergirl though.

Our neighbor’s kids were Tinkerbell and a tornado. I thought the tornado was a very clever idea. I’m going to keep that in mind for the future (for any sons I might have…)

Halloween in Japan was… interesting. Apparently, Halloween is not something they traditionally celebrate here, but they all seem to want to. Americans can sponsor the locals onto base and they can go trick or treating here. And not just the kids – there were adult locals trick or treating too. Very strange. While we were trick or treating, I think I heard as much Japanese as I did English, and when I was passing out candy, kids were thanking me in Japanese.  Which was cute and was definitely a unique experience.  Unfortunately, I don’t know how to say Happy Halloween in Japanese. I guess they probably understood anyway…

FYI, all of our Halloween pictures are online at Flickr if you want to check them out 🙂

My baby is five…

So apparently, November is National Blogging Month or something, and you’re supposed to try to blog every day for the whole month.  Since I’m not doing too good at updating and I really would like to do better, I’m going to try it.  We’ll see how it goes…  I’m already a day behind, but I didn’t know about it yesterday, so that’s okay, right?

Madison turned five last Saturday.  I can hardly believe she’s that old.  It definitely does not seem like it’s been five years since she was born.

In the past, we have always done family birthday parties, but this year we were too far away from home to do that.  Instead, we had a family party on Friday night, before her birthday, ate pizza (and dessert pizza), watched The Little Mermaid, and opened family presents.

Then on Saturday we had a party with some of her new friends in Japan.  She picked a Supergirl theme and we had it at the park, which was a great idea.  That saved a lot of clean up for me and Matt.  Although I will say, after our first real party experience, I am really glad that we don’t have to do that for another year.  Maybe we can make it two.

And by the way, here is the cake I finally came up with…

Not what I had originally planned, but not too bad either.  My mom was suitably impressed, and Madison loved it, which is all that really matters.

Normally on her birthday, we also go have birthday pictures taken, and we haven’t gotten around to that yet.  There really aren’t a whole lot of portrait studios around here, and the few I have found are outrageously expensive.  I think I’m going to try to take them myself, so wish me luck…

Good news!

Well, it looks like I have been completely stressing out over nothing for the last few months.  Which is normal for me, so okay.  We got a letter way back in April, I think, saying that concurrent travel was no longer authorized because of rennovations to the temporary lodging there.  That means that Madison and I would not be able to travel with Matt over to Japan – we’d have to wait here in the states until he found a house and then travel over by ourselves.  Needless to say, I was not looking forward to that 13+ hour plane ride as a single parent! 

Well, I looked into it to see if I would find any loopholes, and I thought I did, so I had Matt email someone over at Kadena and see if maybe we could come.  And guess what!  It doesn’t matter, because starting in August, they will be automatically authorizing concurrent travel again!  So we get to travel with Matt and I am so excited.  I will say part of me was looking forward to the couple extra weeks with my family,  but I so didn’t want to travel alone, and I want to help pick out our house and our new cars, and be there before school and all the social activities start – you know, OSC, PWOC, Girl Scouts, etc…

The funniest part of this whole thing to me is that we were supposed to leave in April when the letter came out, and Matt’s training has been delayed so long that the summer PCS season is almost over and that little letter that I was stressing out about so much doesn’t even matter anymore.

Back from Kentucky (and other ramblings)…

We officially got back into town on Sunday night, but it seems like I have needed the last two days to recover from 11 days away from home…  It’s cliche, but I really did need a vacation from my vacation.  I am planning to post pictures from the trip tomorrow.  For now, I’ll just say we had a really great time, did some really fun things, but I am so glad to be home.

This is the longest break we have had from homeschooling since we started. I tried to schedule our other vacations so we still had half weeks of school and I always took work for us to do at the airport, but this time, we drove and we were gone for a longer period of time.  When we started with school again yesterday, it was hard to get back into it – especially reading.  And we are going to be going out of town again next week for about 5 days.  I have toyed with the idea of just taking a break for the summer, with the vacations we have scheduled and our upcoming move to Japan, but I really don’t want to do that, especially after seeing what happens after a week break.  I am going to try to keep going with a toned down schedule until we actually get to Japan (which I have an update on…  keep reading 🙂 )

I think part of our problem getting back into the routine this week is swimming lessons.  I signed Madison up for lessons which started yesterday.  They are in the morning and by the time we get home, the morning is gone, I am starving for lunch and it is really hard to start school.  BUT… she loves her lessons so far.  We go everyday for the next two weeks for this class, and I plan to keep signing her up until we move.

And now, the news you have all been waiting for – or at least the news I have been waiting for… since December…  After being in Oklahoma for more than six months (two months longer than expected), Matt told me yesterday that we are almost done here – it looks like we will be done the beginning of July.   Then we will spend a few weeks with family in Kansas and Matt will leave for Japan the end of July.  Madison and I will have to wait for Matt to find us a house since the lodging on base there is being renovated, and then we will come over, hopefully sometime in August.  Part of me is saying “YEAH!” and the other part has really started to like Oklahoma and the proximity to our family.  And a big part of me is not looking forward to being homeless for a good chunk of the summer…

But today I cycled into “move” mode.  I made a list.  I ordered Vonage phone service, since we are able to use that in Japan if we set it up before we move.  I sorted Madison’s toys into keep/sell/give piles.  I cleaned out the hall closet.  I started to figure out what I can make with the groceries I have left and planned to give our apartment notice tomorrow.  I really REALLY started to get excited.  I mean, as much as I like OKC, I am ready to get to Japan.  I am ready to have all my stuff back and be able to paint my walls.

Then Matt came home and told me there was another delay.  But hopefully, even with that delay, we are still on the same schedule.  I’ll let you know (and hopefully it will be soon, but this is the Air Force, so…)

So, we are back from vacation and getting back into our groove.  Don’t forget to look for pictures tomorrow!

5 things I am happy about this week:

5.  I found out they have Starbucks in Japan!!

4.  I made the tastiest chocolate cake ever, trans-fat free, thanks to the Pioneer Woman.

3.  My wonderful husband took me out to dinner last night at Texas Roadhouse, where we had great service and even greater steak (plus he took me to Starbucks after dinner 🙂 )

2.  I discovered Headsprout – more about that later

And finally… the number 1 thing I am happy about this week…

1.  We bought a new desk!  Anticlimactic, I know, but we have very very little furniture in our temporary apartment right now and I have not had a place to set up the printer or to organize anything.  So… last night, as I was on the verge of a mental breakdown from the messy pile of stuff in our living room, my dear husband took me to Wal-mart where we bought the cheapest, ugliest desk for $37.  We brought it home and two of the pieces were broken, which I guess were not important because we put it together anyhow, and I spent the rest of the evening reorganizing my homeschool/office stuff, and stayed up till 3 am planning our next year of homeschool.  Ironically, even with virtually no sleep, I feel better now than I have in days.  It was like I was sinking into some kind of depression state and buying an ugly desk was all I needed to snap out of it 🙂

If I could, I would snap a picture of it real quick, but our camera randomly broke while we were at the hockey game, so you will just have to trust me on this one 🙂 Luckily, I will not be allowed to take the desk to Japan…