Tag Archives: okinawa

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.

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.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming…

I don’t even know what to title this post. I have to say, the longer I have gone without updating, the harder it is the convince myself to sit down and blog. For one thing, I have so much to share, I’m not sure where to start. And I know I won’t include everything. I’m sure, however, now that I can blog on a regular basis, once I get this really long review of our last three weeks out of the way, I’m going to do a better job. I’ll force myself, for your sake…

So we are semi-settled in here in Okinawa now. We have a house on Kadena, which I actually like much better than I thought I would. It is a three bedroom, two and a half bath, two story quadplex. We are the end unit, so we definitely have the nicest yard. The kitchen is pretty big – it’s probably the most cabinet/counter space I have had in base housing, so I’m happy. The things I don’t like? No carpet – the whole house is what I would call school cafeteria tile, and very small bedrooms. We are planning to buy some rugs though, so it’s nothing we can’t overcome. Matt has already painted the bedroom blue for me, and we have green paint waiting for the homeschool/office/scrapbooking room. Once we find out what the baby will be, we are going to let Madison pick the paint for her room, and once I find a couch I like, Matt has agreed to even paint the living room for me. I am so lucky!

We got our stuff from Oklahoma a couple days after moving into the house and we have government furniture here, but we are still waiting on our main shipment from Florida with our furniture and bookshelves and everything I want to feel like this is home. We’ve been told that it will be here before Oct. 1, so that less than a month away. What I really want is my bed. The whole time we were in Oklahoma, we slept on an air mattress. A really nice air mattress that wasn’t too bad actually, but it got punctured in the move here, so we are sleeping on a government mattress, and they were out of double beds, so we have two twins pushed together that regular sheets won’t fit on, and I really want my own bed. I can’t remember much of what else we sent (since we could only send 1/3 of our stuff and it was packed last October…) and I know I keep buying things we already have, but I don’t know if we brought them or not.

Matt bought his car a few days after I found mine – it’s a ’94 Nissan Skyline. It was a really good buy, although I’m not sure if we’ll keep it. It is a little small for Matt since he’s so tall. I still like my car though, although I wish it was a little bigger so I could transport stuff, like furniture, etc…

Last Monday (Labor Day), we went on a tour with Tickets and Travel here on base. It was a really good experience and a good way to get acquainted with the area I think. We went to some castle ruins, the Nago Pineapple Farm, a glass factory where we got to blow our own glass (even Madison), and out to lunch at a fantastic restaurant. I would take the tour again just to eat there again

We’ve also been snorkeling a few times, which was actually really cool. And that’s saying a lot coming from me, because I am not much of an outside person and I am definitely not a beach person. We saw a lot of cool saltwater fish and now Matt wants to set up a saltwater tank with fish he catches. I think this is going to be his new hobby. Aside from the normal fishing and metal detecting, of course.

Today we have officially been here for 4 weeks, and I think we are adjusting pretty well. I had the hardest time adjusting to the time, although I think I’ve discovered the real reason for that – Matt’s snoring. Now that he’s taking Sudafed, I’m sleeping much better. We have been able to get involved with some things here, so we are starting to feel at home and make some friends. Madison has made quite a few friends between church, neighbors, Matt’s work friends families, etc. She started ballet lessons at the youth center last week and will be starting Girl Scouts sometime in the next few weeks.

Madison also officially started Kindergarten today – more on that later. I meant to start much sooner, but I definitely overestimated the amount of stuff I could get accomplished while moving across the world and being pregnant… One of the main reasons for the delay is that I ordered some materials before we left the US and they just arrived last Friday – it took about a month. Kindergarten in public school here only started last Wednesday, so we aren’t too far behind them anyway.

Overall, we like it here. I have to say I miss Target much more than I anticipated. People warned me, but I didn’t believe it. There are so many things you just can’t get at the BX or locally. I’m sure I’ll adjust, but in the meantime, I am compiling a list of things for Matt to buy when he goes TDY to Alaska in October.

So I guess that’s it for today. I’m sure I’ll do a much better job updating now. Really. At least I’ll try…