Thursday, September 30, 2010

Random Stuff

This morning we had a farewell breakfast with Dustin's shop. Last week when we did some farewell's they didn't have his gift ready so they decided to do a breakfast this week. So at 7:45 this morning we were at the Tee House watching airplanes land!

We had a nice little breakfast and then they gave Dustin his S4 Hall of Fame Certificate. It is basically something the shop does for people leaving and the rule is only 10% has to be true.


Then they presented him with his going away gift.


After that was all finished Grace and I ran a few errands. I found out the co-op at the gym was going to be closed today (my last day!!) so Dustin watched Grace so I could still go to yoga this morning. They got to go out-process at the library!

By the time I got home they were home and Grace was already napping. This afternoon we spent some time cleaning the last of our balconies. We have been getting ready for our move but now we are in the final days before the movers come so we really have to get busy and get stuff done. We even started packing our suitcases!! We will be staying in lodging for a couple of weeks and I am not sure how the internet is there. I know at one time there was only internet in certain lobbies but that may have changed, we're not sure. So I most likely won't be posting much until we make it back (and then I will have some pictures of Tokyo and Disney Land!!!) so I thought I would post a couple pictures of Grace.

These first 2 we took this evening while Dustin was "grilling" burgers. We gave away our grill so he used the George Foreman. Anyways, Grace found the buns on the table and pulled them off and grabbed 2 to eat!




And on Monday, our mama-san brought Grace a pair of Kimono shoes to go with her Kimono as a going away present! I pulled out her Kimono and had them teach me how to put it on her.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Cars

Not only do we already have our house when we get back but we will both have new cars! Right now we don't own a car in the states and we will have to sell both of the cars we drive here before we leave (can't ship them and we would have to have major alterations to meet all the regulations in the states). So we got hit up by the car salesman at our local BX. Back in May (I think) there was a great rebate on something similar to what we planned to get for me. After doing some research we discovered that even buying something used with low miles we would be paying almost what we could get this brand new vehicle for. So we got it! It was custom built and everything. It will most likely even beat us to Oklahoma.

And then we just heard that since we are close to our PCS they have some great deals on already built vehicles. We went in yesterday after doing a little more research to see what we were looking at in the way of something to get Dustin to and from work. He said he wanted something basic and with good gas mileage. Well, they sold us on a 2nd vehicle! They were offering a good rebate plus an additional incentive since the car wasn't being custom built.

So.....

Dustin will be driving this:



2010 Ford Focus in Blue Flame
(I think he is most excited about the color!!)


And me and the kiddos will be riding around in this:


2010 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
in Deep Cherry Red

and, yes, we are getting it with the heated leather!

This is just another reason why we are so excited to be moving back.
I will admit it was a little weird looking at the cars here. I think someone must have put the steering wheel on the wrong side of the vehicle ;-)
Hopefully learning to drive on the wrong side of the again will be pretty simple.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Moving!!!!

WE ARE MOVING!!!!!!!!!!

We finally got an RFO (request for orders) last Saturday. Then it was off to set up a meeting to get the official orders. After we got the RFO everything else has happened QUICK. Dustin went to a meeting to see when he would get orders and the lady was prepared to type them up right then and there. However, since we are taking a little vacation in Tokyo on our way back there was a memo he had to get and have signed but his commander. So he went back with the memo the next day and had orders in hand by 9am!

Then it was off to set up plane tickets. Which, again, take a little longer since we are going to be stopping in Tokyo. We have to wait for an airline to approve a free stop-over.

And then we had to set up transportation for our household goods (HHG) and unaccompanied baggage (UB - a smaller shipment that is somewhat "express"). CHECK. Then I went to set up government appliance pick-up. CHECK. Then to give our notice to the housing agency. FAIL. With the time frame we have everything else set up they housing agency would not sign off on our papers so we can clear housing until the day Dustin is scheduled for his final out. Major fail! So it was back to square one. We changed every single pack-out date. Everything had to be moved up by 2-3 days. This means we also had to extend our time in lodging by and extra days. So as is stands now we will be living in a hotel for over 2 weeks. But on the brighter side, we MAY get our stuff (or at least some of it) before Thanksgiving :-)

So right now we have been trying to organize and sell things that we aren't planning on taking with us. None of our curtains will fit in our new house. The Japanese have some really neat rods with eyelets and the curtains have hooks that hook right on. They are SO easy to open and close. I really wish we could take them but I know I would have to find someone to alter them to fit our windows and then I would have to find a place to special order the rods. So now we need to sell 7 sets of sheer curtains and 7 sets of the decorative curtains. There are also lots of other things we are trying to sell or have already sold - AFN Dish, Dehumidifiers, rugs, recycling bin just to name a few. So now our house is starting to look a little bare (we have already taken down a few sets of curtains!) I have been keeping my calendar withing reach. There are only a couple of days between now and when we move where we have nothing scheduled. I am sure that will change!

But we are really excited about getting back close to family! I know Grace is going to LOVE having her cousins to play with too. And she is also very excited about meeting Mickey Mouse! Yes, that is right. We are taking Grace to meet Mickey before we come home. We are spending a few days in Tokyo on our way back. One of those days will be spent at Disney Land. We really haven't planned out too much of the rest of our time in Tokyo though. We do know we want to see the Tokyo Tower and the Imperial Palace. I am sure Dustin will come up with more to see and do, that just might have to wait until we get on the plane though since we are going to be BUSY from now until we leave.

I think this picture that we took of Grace last weekend at Mona Kids Jungle shows just how happy we are to be moving back to the US!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Step-tan-su

A few weeks ago we ran across some beautiful Japanese paintings while we were out souvenir shopping with my Mom. One of our favorite paintings we have now was one that we bought while we were in Paris and then had framed when we got back. We have a few prints from New York. So why not get a painting to mark our time in Japan? It is actually 4 paintings that make one larger picture. They are still packaged up and waiting for the movers or otherwise I would take a picture and post it. We discussed where we could fit a painting like that in our new home and decided the entry way would be perfect. Now all we needed was a table to go underneath. I thought it would be nice to have a table that had an Asian look to it so we decided to start looking today. After talking about what we wanted and where to look we decided that maybe this would be the perfect place to put that step-tan-su that we have been wanting for 2 years.

After a lot of searching we finally found the perfect one!

{Step-Tan-Su}

{It can also stack so it had a long flat top}

{showing the details}

But this last picture is how we plan to put it in our new house.

Now we just need to find a few things to decorate it a bit. I have some ideas in mind but now we just need to find what we are looking for!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pedicures

Today we got pedicures at our favorite little salon! This is one of the things I will miss when we leave here, but according to my Mom there is a place that is similar back home so I will definitely have to check it out. Grace normally just sits in my lap and we read books or watch a movie but today I decided to ask if they could paint her toes too. I told her this morning we were going to get our toes painted and she has talked about it all day. She was pretty excited!! After she watched her friend Maggie get her toes painted it was Grace's turn. She sat SO still and did SO good! I was really proud of how well she did. Grace asked for green paint but the lady who was painting Grace's toes was having trouble finding a green so I told her that pink would be OK. And we told her that Grace likes flowers.

{sitting very still while getting her toes painted}

{watching the lady paint her toes}

{being so patient!}

After her toes were painted Grace tried to blow on them to help them dry. Then when she was all done she told the lady "Arrigato" which means Thank You in Japanese!

{Finished Product - pink with flowers on her big toes and hearts on all the others}

Her Daddy was waiting on her to be done with her pedicure so he could take her home to make dinner. She probably enjoyed that a lot more than waiting another hour for her Mommy's toes to be all finished. I am planning on taking her back one more time before we leave!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our day in videos


Today Grace was waiting for her Daddy to come home. She was so excited to show him some paintings she had found on the refrigerator. After waiting, and waiting, and more waiting she decided to try to open the door. She told me it was locked! So if the door is locked how will Daddy come home? So she did the what anyone would do if the door was locked. She grabbed my keys and started trying to find one to unlock the door. She tried every single key and none of them work. I don't think realizes we don't even have a key to that particular lock!

video



And guess what Daddy had when he walked in the door? Grace got a package in the mail today! She loves to go check the mail, however her package came on the day we sent Daddy to the post office for us. Since Dustin is right across the street from the post office it is a lot more convenient for him to check the mail instead of us making a stop by there on our way to a different base. We opened it up and there were lots of goodies!!! She has such a great time discovering everything in the box.

video

And this one I just had to share. Grace was making her blocks fall as soon as she put one on top of the other and would say "Oh, my"
I thought it was so cute!! And then when she saw I had the camera out she wanted to watch the video. She loves to watch videos of herself more than she likes us to video her.

video

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A trip to Nago

Yesterday we had plans to visit a park. Grace has been wanting to go to a park so bad! So I told her that we would wait for a pretty day when her Daddy was off work so he could have fun too. We were only planning on going to a park that is semi-close to the house but Dustin mentioned the Pineapple Park so we decided to venture out a bit further. I found a park up in Nago to check out so we decided to go! The drive to the park was really pretty.

{Dustin & Grace enjoying the scenic view}

{Driving to the park}

{another scenic view}

{City of Nago}

We found the park but, unfortunately, most of the things that were for kids Grace's age were blocked by tree branches that had fallen during the typhoon. I think the park was actually closed because there was a rope blocking off one side of the stairs and a cone with a note on it but since we couldn't read the note we went on to the park. There was a roll-y slide that Grace really enjoyed and then she wanted Dustin to climb up on this place structure with her.


After a little time at the park we decided to head back to the car to check out a little more of the area.

{view of Nago and the ocean and mountains}



It was almost lunch time so we decided to head to a barbecue place that we passed several times while my Mom was visiting. Johnny's Burgers and Ribs. It looked pretty American!


Dustin had a burger, I had tacos, and Grace had taco rice. It wasn't bad. I found it weird that they put ketchup on my tacos (I don't like ketchup on ANYTHING!), Dustin said the burger tasted similar to meatloaf, and Grace loved the taco rice!

Finally, we headed to our last destination - The Pineapple Park. I think this was our FIFTH time there! It is probably Dustin's favorite tourist attraction on island so we really wanted to go one more time before we leave here.

{Our last visit to the Pineapple Park}

{The Pineapple Cart}

{Grace wanted to be held but soon she was trying to drive!}

{rows and rows of pineapple}

{The word pineapple stands for pine and apple}

{The Pineapple Path}

And then, of course, we enjoyed sampling all of the pineapple treats - cookies, chocolates, jelly, juice, cake, and lots more!


video



video

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Thank You"

One of Grace's very favorite things to say is "thank you." She says it probably at least a hundred times a day. And the way she says it is just so cute! So tonight we got out the camera and recorded her saying thank you while she put away her toys.

video

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Typhoon Day!

On Sunday we got a call saying "prepare for the typhoon." They tasked Dustin with being the Typhoon Rep so he was in meetings and getting briefed about the latest weather situation. The typhoon struck on Tuesday which was the day my Mom was supposed to fly out. The airport closed. So my Mom got to stay an extra day and enjoy a rain day with us! Dustin got the entire day off too!

So what do you do while waiting for a typhoon?
  • Go swimming!
  • Put on a rain poncho, rain boots, and grab the Dora umbrella for some puddle splashing in the road!
  • Pre-PCS cleaning/organizing
  • Watch to see if the neighbors are ever going to bring their clothes in off the clothesline
  • Stand outside and watch the trees dance and hear the wind sing
  • And finally, wonder when the typhoon passed us
We didn't even get much wind where we are. There was a bag of trash sitting out by the road the entire day and it never even moved. But I heard it hit a lot harder up north. Having a day at home was pretty fun. However, fighting the crowd in the airport the next day was NOT fun. The airport here was more crowded than I have ever seen ANY airport. And from what my Mom said Tokyo was WAY worse. That is what happens when over 100 flights are canceled and over 6,000 people stranded.

I don't have any pictures because my Mom is our photographer and I forgot to transfer her pictures to my computer before she left so I will just have to wait until we move to get those.

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