September 27, 2017

Back to the grind

After a laid back and fun summer, it was time to get back to the grind of school. First, we had to find out who their teachers were going to be. The kids got ready and wanted to look their best. I caught Aidan fixing the back of Arabella’s hair because he said it was, “looking a little crazy.” Haha!

We got to the school where the new classes were posted and the kids quickly found their names.

Time to go meet the teachers!
Arabella’s teacher, Ms. Bell-Watkins

Aidan’s teachers, Ms. Fisk and Ms. Phillips. He is in a joint class where these two teachers team teach both of their classes together. They both seemed so nice.

Maya’s teacher, Ms. Castle hadn’t gotten to the island yet so we met the teacher that would be covering her class during the first week of school. She is here now and Maya just loves her and tells me almost every single day that Ms. Castle is soooo nice.

What a relief it was to meet the teachers and to be able to look forward to another year of school.

Then, a couple of days later, they were ready!

We are well into the school year and still have happy kids so I’m a happy mom.

Happy 4th In Okuma!

June was busy. June was REALLY busy. It’s kind of crazy but as of right now I’ve forgotten a few of our trips and adventures because they just don’t stop happening. That’s not a bad thing and it’s most definitely not a complaint. So, out of order of everything else we’ve done, here is our 2017 4th of July.
We had such a chill weekend. Rich has his run up Mt. Fuji coming up and on top of that, he was selected to represent the Pacific Air Force bases in the Air Force Marathon. He is on a team of 5. It’s a pretty big honor so he has been doing some rigorous training in preparation for it. Sooooo, all that said, with all of the trips we’ve been taking and his training and work, he has been exhausted. We wanted to just relax so we went up to Okuma and did absolutely nothing but bum around on the beach. I think I took a total of 10 pictures.

At one point, Aidan came bounding out of the water, grabbing on to his arm and side. Maya came out after him saying that she touched the top of a jelly fish.
Poor think, his sting looked pretty painful!

The culprit was captured and set out on the rocks to soak up some rays.

I went to get him something for the sting but by the time I got back he was back in the water!
So, that was pretty much the extent of our 4th. On the actual 4th of July we were back home. We grilled and then went to the movie theater to watch Despicable Me 3. I often think to myself, not just on the 4th of July but often, how grateful and blessed we are to be from America. I’m grateful to be a military family and to be stationed in Okinawa. Seeing many parts of Asia has made me appreciate our freedoms more than I could have imagined. Especially our recent trip to South Korea during all of the craziness that was going on in North Korea. Freedoms that we take for granted regularly are what dreams are made of for those oppressed in North Korea. While I give prayers of thanks for my freedoms, with the same breath, I pray that others can enjoy the same freedoms I do.

September 13, 2017


Well, it sort of feels like a lifetime ago, back in May we hopped a ferry to one of the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa, Kumejima.

 This was shortly after our big trip and super busy visit from Becca and Julie, so we were still a bit exhausted but exited to spend a couple of days relaxing at our beach hotel. We booked this trip through ITT so they did all of the transportation work for us and even took us on a tour of the island. Upon arrival, we had lunch at a local restaurant then immediately started our tour. First site was these super cool rock formation.

“Hey, Arabella, smile and be normal for this picture, ok?”


Shisa have seriously become my favorite! They are such an important part of Okinawan culture that I just love.

Map of the island and some of the sites of interest we would be stopping to see. Also, our ride.

They took us to a temple ruin where there really wasn’t anything but we had to take a picture anyways.

Our next stop was my favorite and most impressive.

There were coral and shell impressions in the rocks.

The theory behind this formation is that if

Family pic!

Next stop was this freaky slope. Here's an excerpt I found online about it:
Known as a “ghost slope” in Japan and as a “magnetic hill” in other parts of the world this natural phenomenon is fun activity to do while exploring Kumejima Island. Obakesaka is easy to try just look for the sign “おばけ坂” go to the “bottom” of the hill and put your car in neutral. Magically your car will start to roll “up” hill or so it would seem.
In reality the reason Obakesaka works is because the trees and shape of the landscape create an optical illusion of an up hill slope, when it actually slopes downwards.

Lastly, we went to see this 5 trunk tree. Another excerpt:
One of Kume Island's most beautiful natural landmarks is an Ancient Pine tree that is so large and so old that it has five separate trunks all feeding into the same tree. Records indicate the Ryukyu Pine (Pinus Iuchuenis) was planted in 1839 and is a designated natural treasure of Japan.

After the tour of the main sites to see on the island, we went to our hotel. We spent the next day and a half just relaxing at the pool, only leaving the hotel to go grab a bite to eat. The kids LOVED getting to do nothing but play in the pool all day and I loved doing nothing but chill. Rich is a big kid so he pretty much played with the kids the whole time.

We did go down to the beach during low tide to explore a little bit.

Aidan practiced some karate.

The night lighting down the hallway to our room was so pretty.

Some of my favorite shisa I've ever seen.

We didn't have a car and we didn't really need one so we got around on foot.

It was a good, laid back, getaway.
It was a good, laid back, getaway.

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