Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fun and Busy day

Yesterday we went to Mona Kids Jungle for Maggie's 2nd birthday. It was a huge indoor jungle gym/playground. We had lots of fun! We are definitely going to have to go back when Grace is a little older and can run around. After playing for a while we sang Happy Birthday to Maggie and then we got to eat birthday cookie and ice cream. Grace even got to try a few bites of ice cream. She also got to try the Jello Jiggler's! Grace was worn out by the time we left and slept the entire way home.

The birthday girl! Maggie talked her mom, Kelly, into getting in the balls with her.

Grace in her party hat - She was looking at a balloon

Going down the roller slide!!

Grace loves anyone who will play with her. Here she is with Lisete.
At the bottom of the little slide taking everything in


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Eating ICE CREAM!!!

After we got back home we had to get ready for the cookout at our house! All the officer's in Dustin's battery came over for hot dogs and hamburgers. Someone brought over some watermelon and Grace got to try that too! What a big day for Grace!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

While we were without internet...

Here are some pictures of what went on at the McGriff house this last week.

The movers came and packed up our house and then delivered everything to the new house all in one day. 263 boxes is what I think they said!

Grace was a little helper with all of the unpacking

Time to try out her pool on the big balcony

I think she likes it!

Grace's best friend Maggie came over for the evening and they got to take a ride in the wagon together.

They play really well together!! And Grace will be getting to play with Maggie a lot more now that I am finally able to join the co-op at the gym!



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We have internet!

We got our internet installed today so we now have internet and our phone again! We have been so busy unpacking and finding places to put everything that we hardly missed not having it. We are almost finished moving in. Hopefully we will finish it all up this weekend so I can take some pictures to post. But until then here is a video of Grace. She is getting so big and is doing so many new things!

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Just had to post this

Grace was being very curious about everything while eating her lunch today. I decided since she was trying to touch the spoon and the jar and her food that I would just let her have the spoon. She ended up being very messy!


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We still have internet. I was planning on turning in our modem today since I didn't think we would be using the computer much but we needed to list the lawn mower up for sale. Hopefully I will be able to find the time to turn it in tomorrow. If not I will for sure have time Thursday after our final inspection.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Moving!


We got the keys today! There is toilet paper in the bathrooms and shower curtains are hung. We bought curtains today and I plan to hang all of those tomorrow while we are there for the delivery of our government appliances and furniture. Grace has a pile of toys in the middle of the living room to keep her occupied. She even has some food there! Things are coming along.

We won't have internet access or a phone for the next week so most likely I won't be posting anything for a while. I plan to try and find a wireless connection sometime but probably won't update on here until we get internet in our new home! So, since I won't be able to put any new pictures up here is one I took a couple weeks ago while messing around with the different settings on my camera.



Friday, June 12, 2009

Just some pictures

Grace loves to play with Dustin's beret. Here she is wearing it!

Dustin and Grace took a walk on the sea wall while I got my hair done

Grace relaxing in her stroller

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Puppy is one of Grace's favorite toys!

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She loves to SPLASH!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

All Set!

We are all set for the move! We will be doing a walk-thru of the new house on Monday and getting the keys. On Tuesday our government appliances and furniture is being delivered. Apparently, we will be getting different stuff than we have now and the stuff we have will just stay here and someone will pick it all up after we move out. It seems like a waste of manpower if you ask me. And on Wednesday the movers will be packing up our entire house and then delivering it all that very same day! We are going to start moving some things on our own Monday and Tuesday. I want to make sure we have enough clothes in our closets and linens for the beds, all of our toiletries, and some of Grace's favorite toys all accessible. We are also planning on moving a lot of our dishes and cookware because I think that would be easier than unpacking it and washing it all. Yesterday I signed up for internet. It will probably be about 2 weeks before they can install it. I guess that will just give me more time to get unpacked and settled before I can post pictures :-)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Signing the Lease

Dustin signed a lease today. We are going to be moving into the Blessing Hill apartment sometime next week most likely! Now we need to start getting ready for the movers to come and I have no idea where to start. Tomorrow is our pre-inspection for our base housing. Then we will take all of the receipts from the housing agency showing we paid all the move-in expenses and set up a date for the movers to come and our final inspection. I am going to assume that pretty soon we will be without internet for a day or two and until then we will be pretty busy trying to figure out what we want to move and what we want to sell, trash, or give away so I might not update on here very much for a while.

In other news, Grace had her 6 month well baby appointment today. She got her 3 shots and was so brave! She is right on track with her growth - 15 lbs 9 oz. and a hair over 25 inches. Developmentally she is doing very well also. She has found her toes (7 month achievement) and can sit up very well. We will also be getting her 6 month photos done pretty soon. My mom has made arrangements for us to go with a professional. I guess my snapshots aren't good enough for 6 months pictures ;-)

Monday, June 8, 2009

And the housing hunting continues... Days 4 & 5

Day 4 we started off pretty excited for our first appointment. We thought we would be seeing another apartment but since it has not gone through the housing inspection she didn't want to show it to us. But we did get to see a wonderful apartment! It is on the 3rd floor (there is a picture and it is the one with the For Rent sign) with a HUGE balcony. It has nice ocean view too! The inside had a nice kitchen with a dishwasher (!!!), 2 full bathrooms, a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, a huge living area, and you can tell it is brand new. It really isn't in the area we are wanting to live but it would be an OK area. Basically, it is just a little inconvenient for me since I go to other areas more than Dustin. He pretty much drives to work and comes home and then on the weekends we might do a little shopping and go to church but it wouldn't be any further than the are we want except when I want to go to my weekly Bible study, the pool, or the hospital. The other problem with this apartment is that they want about $300 more a month than our housing allowance. We are trying to negociate rent which means talking to the agency who then has to talk with the owner and then get back with us. If we could get them to come down a little more and include some utilities we might be OK with paying a little out of pocket. But the rest of the day and today didn't really turn up anything. I quit taking my camera in the houses with me. I was shown a house in the are we want and was really excited until I realized that it had a Japanese kitchen (the oven is literally a microwave!). I had specifically said I was only interested in a place with hook-ups for the government appliances! Tomorrow we have 3 appointments and 1 of them is only showing us houses in the area we really like. We drove by some apartments to see who the agency is and Dustin called to see what is available and they are showing us 3 places! We also went over to a friends on-base house to see what the new stuff looks like and it is really nice! So we have our gameplan: We are going to keep looking but not settle and not pay out of pocket. If we find something we love, GREAT! If not, when they offer us a house we will take it if it is new. Otherwise we will find something off-base that is nice but maybe not perfect. Right now we are both excited about possibly living off-base. We have been on-base for over a year so it would be a nice change, especially if we could see the ocean everyday!

The best place we have seen!

Master bedroom with bathroom and walk-in closet

Kitchen

Dustin and Grace on the big balcony

The view

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Only in Japan

I thought I would take a break from blogging about our house hunting adventures to blog about our funny adventure yesterday.

For the past couple of months, our friends James & Kelly has been looking for a slide for their little girl. I was helping by putting my addiction to Okinawa Yard Sales to good use! We had both found a few but had always been to late. Finally, a couple weeks ago, I got one!! I was so excited that I finally was able to buy a slide that I hurried to pick it up. The nice man that was selling it took it apart and helped put it in my van. It fit PERFECTLY after I took Grace's carseat out (don't worry, she was at home with her Daddy!) layed the seats down. I was even more excited to put it together so when James & Kelly dropped Maggie off that evening they could see it. So we cleaned it all up and started to put the puzzle pieces together. It was a major pain to get back together because a couple of the pieces just did not want to fit together. Finally, we had it all set up! And Dustin said he was NOT going to take it apart again. So how were we going to deliver it James & Kelly's house? Put it on top of my van!

Here are the pictures:

The slide next to my van

Here it goes...

Up, up, up

almost there

Just a little more..

On top of the van... now to strap it down

All strapped on and ready to go
View from the side. We had to all climb through the front passenger door to get in!

Uh, oh... it flew off the back of the van when one of the bungie cords broke. Dustin had to put it back on the car and then we strapped it back down and I drove while he held onto the slide.
I was laughing the entire way!


Stayed tuned for days 4 and 5 of our house hunting adeventures! I have appointments at 10:00, 11:30, 1:00, 2:30, and 5:00 today. Let's just say that day 4 may have turned up a possibility :-)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Day #3 of House Hunting

Yesterday, Grace and I went and looked at 7 more houses/apartments. Remember the picture of the little blue bucket of a tub from yesterday? Well, that was the very first stop! We didn't even go in. I told the agent that someone had shown us that house already so we were off to stop #2. I loved this one! Some pros: very nice kitchen with a big pantry, nice bathrooms, a walk-in closet. And of course, some cons: 3rd floor, 30+ min commute, no dishwasher, no view. But here are some pictures I took of it.



After seeing this house we made a quick trip back home for a little snack before heading to our next 2 appointments - which were both a waste of my time. I saw three 2 bedroom units, a house with ALL Japanese appliances (this means the oven would be the little microwave they had) an apartment with a tiny kitchen and no pantry, an apartment that was barely bigger than the little place we lived in while we were in El Paso for 5 months, and a couple places that had the same ugly tile that is in our current government house. I will spare the pictures from these. I am actually just deleting them all now.

Why can't we find something like the pictures above, on the first floor, with a yard, a dishwasher and a view like this?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

House Hunting Day #1 and #2

On Tuesday Grace and I walked out the door to run a few errands only to find a note taped to the front door. The time has finally come for them to renovate our house. When we moved in we were told we would probably be moving in September (of last year!) Well, that didn't happen so we painted Grace's bedroom pink and got it all set up for her. Now we have a house full of furniture and just a week before we had organized our kitchen cabinets again!

So now we must move. They are giving us until the end of October so we have plenty of time to weigh or choices. Do we want to stay on-base or do we want to live off-base for the rest of our time on Okinawa? We are looking off-base to see what is available and if we find something we just totally love we can move right away. Otherwise we are going to stay put until they give us an option on-post, which could be a couple more months away. We just want to make sure we know all our options so we can get something we really like.

So far we have seen 7 apartments/houses and we are looking at LOTS more this weekend. At least 6 today (3 different agencies), we have appointments with 5 agencies tomorrow and then on Monday are going with 3 agencies and 2 agencies on Tuesday. Whew!

I will leave you some pictures of our house hunting adventures!

The first 4 pictures are of our favorite house so far. It is about 15-20 min. from where Dustin works. A single house in a quiet area with all Japanese neighbors. There is no yard but it has a big deck overlooking a golf course. Very pretty! The downside is the kitchen. Japanese oven (small), no dishwasher, and I don't recall seeing a pantry. But the bathroom is beautiful with a huge tub!



This house was only 2 bedrooms (I don't know why they even showed it to us when we said we needed 3) but it had a huge living area and then off of that was a tatami room. Not quite sure what we would use this for. We said no to this one!
This is the shower/tub in a house we looked at
This next picture shows what I would see waking up every morning.

However, this is what Grace would see. Totally not loving the red tile floors and wood panelled walls! And it only has 1 parking spot so this would definitely not work either.
This is right outside Gate #1 so it would be very close to work for Dustin. However, this is one of the busiest roads on Okinawa!
And this house we wanted to leave before we ever went inside. I could live with the mustard yellow house and it did have a really nice yard. But to get there we went through a grave yard and then turned into an alley and then we had to wind through the alley until we finally saw this. This house looks like a castle compared to everything around it!

So now we are off to meet some more agencies to look at more houses! The first appointment of the day is in 30 min.


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