Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Grace can....

sit up!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Jumping on the Bandwagon

We bought a Wii over the weekend and I think we are hooked :-)

Growing up, my favorite video game to play was Super Mario and Dustin, on the other hand, never played any video games. While we were back in the states during our leave he had a lot of fun playing on my Dad's Wii so I decided to get him one for his birthday. Well, he thought it wasn't a good idea because when do we have time to play video games??? So over the weekend while we were at the PX we just happened to end up in front of the Wii's and he decided he wanted it! Now after Grace is in bed we can play Wii together instead of flipping through the channels hoping to find something we both like on TV.

Any recommendations on must have games? So far we have Wii Fit and we won Mario Kart and Tiger Woods All-Play on ebay so those should be here in about a week.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Okuma Trip

We are back from our short trip to Okuma. We left on Wednesday morning, made it there for lunch and then went to class. This was a retreat paid for by the chaplain here so we had classes to go to but since there were so many people (our entire battery) they had break us into 4 groups (2 family groups and 2 singles groups) and cram the classes into one 3 1/2 hour class. That just meant a lot more free time! Our class was right after lunch on Wednesday and then we had the rest of the time free. Dustin played 18 holes of golf. The course is so small that 18 holes consists of playing the course twice! We played putt-putt (mini golf), got our feet wet in the ocean, and just spent a lot of time relaxing. The entire trip was paid for so the only thing we spent money on the entire time was golf, putt-putt, and a cup of coffee. We got some really good use out of our new stroller. Grace absolutely loves it! She took at least 3 naps in her stroller while we were there (1. during our class 2. at lunch 3. on a walk) which means it is comfy. She went everywhere in her stroller (or our arms!) And because she wasn't in her infant carseat the servers would always bring her a cup of water with a straw at dinner. Well, we let her try out the straw and she was able to get some water through it! She also blew bubbles in her water through her straw. Her new thing is blowing air out of her mouth and "spitting" She is so cute!!
Ok, now to the pictures...
this first picture pretty much sums up the weather while we were there... cool and rainy. Guess what? Today we are home and it is SUNNY! **edit: It just rained again **

Grace in her new stroller

wading in the ocean (wait... let me be PC here... just for Terre... the East China Sea)

Grace and her Daddy getting their feet wet

Walking out to the water

So cute!
She makes some funny faces... this is her blowing spit!

Pretty beach!

Watching the waves

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Tomorrow we are leaving for Okuma, the military resort on Okinawa, for two nights/three days. This is an all expenses paid trip courtesy of the Army! And did I mention that this is what Dustin does for work the next three days?? Hopefully the weather will be nice so we can let Grace enjoy the beach! I have all of her cutest clothes packed (sort of... they are just thrown in the suitcase right now) and her adorable little bathing suit and matching dress and hat, her hot pink crocs.... now we just need her sand toys, some sunscreen and a beach towel!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Dustin!!!

Today is Dustin's birthday!! He said he got everything he wanted when he went to get Grace out of her crib and she looked up and smiled :-) We took Grace for a long walk (a little too long!) And now it is time to go to the commissary and start packing for our trip to Okuma next week. This evening we have plans for bowling and dinner!
Here is a picture from January - Dustin feeding Grace a bottle for the first time!

Happy Birthday Daddy!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Biz Bucket

The Biz Bucket is a very wonderful thing. It takes any stain (baby poop included!!) out of even the prettiest little outfit. Just a little Biz and a little water and a little soaking and it looks brand new. The only bad part is that they don't sell Biz on Okinawa. (hint, hint...)
Here is another video... at the park!

P.S. MOM - I don't need the enitre BOX of biz... a few ziploc baggies of it will do. And I know there is some leftover in your laundry room. I just hope the postal customs people don't decide this is the box to search! And I was thinking of something else but can't remember right now so if I ever think of it again I will email you.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!!

Happy Easter everyone!! Grace had a wonderful first Easter and I think we might have had even more fun that her just watching her with everything. We did her egg hunt and saw the Easter bunny yesterday. I was a little impatient so I mentioned how it is always a family tradition to hunt eggs the day before Easter for my family! On Friday night we went to our friends' house and dyed Easter eggs. We learned how to use crayons to draw on the eggs before dying them to make some pretty cool designs. I made a cute polka dot egg and Dustin made an egg that says "Grace's First Easter 2009" We made some cookie dough last night so it could chill overnight and be ready to roll out this afternoon when we got home from church. Grace was a good little helper! We went to church this morning and then out to eat for lunch and Grace had to wait patiently all morning for her Easter basket. We were all a little tired this morning because Grace decided she didn't want as much sleep last night as usual. Dustin did get a picture of her in her bunny PJ's before I put her Easter dress on so we didn't have to do a reenactment for a picture. And the dress in the pictures is NOT her Easter dress. She did wear her dress but barely made it through lunch before we had to bring it home to the Biz Bucket so I didn't get a single picture of her in it today. I am so glad we have lots of pictures from our photo session while we were in the states.
Enojoy the pictures and videos!
Grace in her bunny PJ's

Waiting to see all the fun things in her basket

My Giggly Girl

Family Photo

First look at her Easter Basket

Hand Puppet for Bathtime!!


Spoons and Bowls for her cereal

Her Chickie

My little helper :-)

Our Peanut Butter Easter Egg Cookies that we "painted" with egg yolk, water, and food coloring

Saturday, April 11, 2009

She is 4 Months Old!

We should have posted this yesterday but since we didn't I am doing it today.
It is hard to believe that Grace is already 4 months old. I picked up some cute cupcake tins today and thought that instead of making spring cupcakes I might save them for her birthday. That seems like a long time from now but she will be ONE in 8 months! She has grown so much in the last 4 months. Time seems to be flying by! She is so much fun and so cute. She loves to laugh and play. We have learned so much about her. For example, her naps in her crib are ALWAYS 45 minutes long, she likes the Bible story books that her Grandma bought for her at the dollar tree MUCH better than Baby Einstein, she loves to hear how much her feet stink, she likes it when we kiss her belly, and sometimes she just wants her clean, dry diaper to be changed. Here is a picture we took of her today that I just thought was too cute to not share!

Eggs and Bunnies

Today we took Grace to see the Easter bunny and then we did a little shopping and found a sand bucket and a few other sand toys. We got a little Easter candy for Grace to try but that won't happen until tomorrow. We are going to make some egg shaped peanut butter cookies for Easter too! This evening we had an Easter egg hunt and I think Grace did pretty well. She got LOTS of candy (she is going to have to have a little help eating it all!!) and she ended up with $23.15!!! We were discussing who had more fun hunting the eggs and opening them up to find out what is inside... I think maybe the adults :-) I wonder what the Easter Bunny will leave tonight??
Thanks Grandma for all of the eggs!!!
We saw the Easter Bunny!

Fun and colorful eggs

The eggs in the clover patch

The eggs in the shade

Ready to find eggs!

Prize Egg!!!!

Like Father, Like Daughter

Finding eggs with Daddy
Basket full of eggs!
Opening the eggs - this one was her favorite!

The Loot - Lots of candy, $23.15, Easter basket, and empty eggs!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cute Videos

Here are a couple videos of Grace from today. In the first one she is having fun and laughing after waking up from her nap. And in the second one she is practicing for the world's strongest baby competition ;-)

Monday, April 6, 2009

New Car!!

We sold my Dingo and got a mini-van! Thats right, we now own a Mitsubishi Chariot (sounds a lot better than a Dingo!) It seats 6, all of the back seat can fold down flat (make a nice changing table), flip up for extra room, or come all the way out for maximum space (good if we need to haul something!) It is also equipped with a navigation system, however that is in Japanese so we aren't quite sure what it is saying to us. Maybe we can find someone who can show us how to work it better? It makes for a good map though! We will be glad to not have to move the stroller to the front seat anymore for our grocery trips. We love it! Now to just figure out how to get the carseat installed properly. Why do they make carseats so difficult to install???

Thursday, April 2, 2009

You might live in Japan IF....

Here is a "You might live in Japan IF..." list that I found online (well, I put several lists together). I thought it was pretty funny and could relate to some of the things on here!

  1. Your 3 year old is throwing a tantrum screaming "but I want yakiiiii-sobaaaaa!"
  2. You graciously accept a little candy from a sweet local and actually give it to your child.
  3. You think nothing of the same sweet lady holding or touching your baby
  4. If you travel by plane for less than 12 hours and make only 1 connection...it's a quick trip.
  5. Consider spending $4000 for a car to be a lot
  6. Find it perfectly normal to not always know exactly what you ordered to eat at a restaurant
  7. Driving more than 20 minutes to get somewhere is far
  8. When you visit friends and family in the States and they suggest stopping for a quick bite at Chili's you yell "NO" instead of politely declining
  9. You think Sushi Zen is expensive sushi
  10. Exclaim "where's the corn?" when you order a local pizza, taco, pasta, anything.
  11. Take seeing the ocean every day for granted
  12. You start buying turkeys and pumpkins WEEKS before you know you will actually need them (in case the good ones are gone later)
  13. You stop mulling over purchases and start buying things you MIGHT need later (eg. space heaters, turkey roasting pans etc) as soon as you see them, thinking it is better to return something you don't need than to need something that is no longer available to purchase - aka the island mentality... (totally me!!)
  14. If the BX has something you don't expect them to have, you buy 5 of them!!!
  15. You no longer look at the price of gas; you just pull up to the pump and fill-er-up
  16. You realize that you are more likely to go through a yellow light than to stop...unlike you used to do!
  17. Going 80 clicks on the expressway actually feels like you're going really fast!
  18. Seeing motorcycles and scooters using the roads and sidewalks interchangeably doesn't even phase you and they no longer startle you when out of nowhere they suddenly appear right next to your car.
  19. You frequently have conversations with family members trying to convince them that yes, they can call you just like anyone else in the US. Dial the number just like any other number. Yes, it really is a normal phone number. We promise.
  20. You sit down at a restaurant and don't mind when the other person starts eating his/her meal because it came out 5 or 10+ mins. before yours
  21. Your family has at least one ever-so-tacky but delightfully comforting mink blanket.
  22. You have patiently explained to those back home more than once "You can use a regular stamp"
  23. You find yourself bowing unconsciously instead of saying the ever trite HI!
  24. You have bought a dual-time zone clock for your folks back home, set to Okinawa time, yet they still call and say, "Oh...I don't know what time it is over there in China".
  25. You get a letter from a pal with eight stamps on it, and JAPAN in large letters across the bottom.
  26. You find yourself standing erect at the beginning of a movie.
  27. Hey, can either of my kids (both born in Japan) be president? Not that I would wish that on them. Curious, nonetheless.
  28. You thought you would never choose decor in an "asian theme" and now your living room resembles a Shanghai Hotel Lobby.
  29. Misplacing your ID card gives you a worse feeling in your stomach than losing a credit card.
  30. You wish that the military could insert a barcode under your skin instead of having an ID card and orders.
  31. There's an earthquake somewhere in Asia and everyone thinks you must have felt something.
  32. You find yourself lazily writing "textiles" on ALL your customs forms at the post office, while scratching out some random date and signature. Textiles does cover pretty much everything though, right?
  33. You sheepishly-shrug (feeling undeserving) in your seat when a young, cute Marine salutes your car.
  34. You have no problem dropping 5,000 Yen at dinner. It still doesn't really seem like fifty bucks to me.
  35. You don't lock your car off base. You do lock your car on base.
  36. You can meet all your shopping needs, at 11 PM , at Family Mart. Wouldn't be caught dead in a 7-11 after dusk, though.
  37. You don't dare step into the commissary when TC-2 is announced unless you are prepared for a line all the way back to the milk!
  38. You have junked at least one vehicle or purchased one with a Power of Attorney.
  39. Going to the beach doesn't mean packing a suitcase.
  40. Even your stomach sweats.
  41. Your 2-year old likes to play that he is a gate guard.
  42. The furthest you can go on vacation in a car is 1 1/2 hrs.
  43. You drive onto your street and your 3 year old asks, "Who's packing out?"
  44. Your 6 year old prefers rice balls to french fries.
  45. Land of the vending machines- Even on the top of Mt Fuji
  46. You buy ant spray, off and sunscreen by the case.
  47. You don't leave home without TP or tissue.
  48. You "custom order" your furniture that quickly fills your entire house- Wall to wall- through the gift shops/ teak store.
  49. You have 2 wallets in your purse at all times- one for yen and one for dollars.
  50. To your children all grocery stores are commissary's and BX's- even when you are in the states visiting.
  51. You still walk to the wrong side of the car to drive.
  52. Any 'ol chicken and biscuts reminds you of chick-fil-a (cause you haven't had the real thing in so long!)
  53. Instead of saying "yeah, yeah, yeah" you now say "hai, hai, hai."
  54. Your kids don't get excited to go to the beach or pool anymore.
  55. You aren't surprised to hear directions like "turn at the sugar cane field and the red vending machine" and " at the cream two story house withe the white box car, take a right" or when you get directions with pictures!
  56. Your 10-12 year old car with chipped paint, stained interior and a dent in the door is a sweet ride.
  57. You no longer worry about a house fire since you live in a concrete box, yet you are uneasy as your husband zips down the expressway at almost 60 mph.
  58. Nobody cares what YOUR social security number is.
  59. You watch the superbowl in the morning and the Morning Show at night.
  60. At 8 months old, your blond headed baby thinks his name is "Kawaii" and when you take your red headed toddler to the zoo, more people are taking pictures of your family than the zoo animals.
  61. No U.S. pennies for change......Yeah! Who else gives change to the nearest 5 cent?
  62. When you take cardboard to the park for the slides or else your tush will burn- Awesome ride!
  63. The bugs outside are louder then your kids in the next room.
  64. Your not an Air Force dependant yet their exercises effect your day to day life every couple of months!
  65. It's Nov. 5th and the BX has already sold out of their Christmas decorations!
  66. It's the week after Thanksgiving and the commissary finally got in some fresh cranberries--- and it does not bother you because you know you can throw them in the freezer and save them for next year.
  67. You know there is a new driver on the road when their windshield wipers go off on a sunny day and they really want to put on their turn signal.
  68. Pictures for everything, who needs to learn Japanese or to read congee?
  69. Vending machines with pictures to order food- brilliant!
  70. You call the airplane that takes you off island the "Freedom Bird" yet you bawl your eyes out as you leave.
  71. When you come back from vacation in the states people comment on all your clothes and accessories.
  72. Your kids are afraid to live off base in the states, because you keep telling them how dangerous it is compared to Oki.
  73. You were so excited when "Chilis" and "Macaroni Grill" came to town that you eat there once a week at least, and promice yourself you will never eat there again.
  74. You think that anything over $3.50 to see a movie at the theater is ridiculous.
  75. You could drive down 58 in your sleep you have done it so many times.
  76. In the local shops you wear a size XXL even though you wear a medium.
  77. Your biggest envy in life is when someone else finds a perfect piece of sea glass.
  78. 75 degrees feels downright chilly.
  79. Anyone who grows cilantro becomes your best friend.
  80. A single Starbucks opening is a major change in your lifestyle.
  81. You start worrying about all of your friends PCS moves at least six months out, and start hitting the gift shops and local resturants like they were leaving next week.
  82. You try to get in at least one more CoCok nail appointment with someone PCS'ing.
  83. You call the Dollar Store the Hundred Yen Store or Makeman.
  84. Your toddler says Arigato without prompting.

Once you're back in the States:

  1. You visit people for the first time their jaws just drop when your whole family walks in their house and automatically lines up their shoes by the front door.
  2. Show your ID card to the greeter at Wal-Mart.
  3. Everytime you walk into a $-Store you wish you had a 100Y-Shop nearby!
  4. Turn on your windshield wipers on a sunny day.


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