September 9, 2016
Our Oki summer has come to an end. I have to say, I was really sad about the kids going back to school and having to get back on a busy schedule. It surprised the heck out of me how much I truly enjoyed 85% of my time with the kids. Of course, that 15% made me want to run away and not come back until school started but it didn’t kill me like I thought it would.
This will be a summer I will not soon forget for so many reasons. This was the first summer in years that we were able to do fun stuff as a family without a trach baby or 3 toddlers. The kids are old enough now that doing stuff isn’t just work so we were able to go on sooooo many adventures and wore ourselves out with our non-stop weekend trips.
I love that the kids learned an invaluable lesson about the value of working, earning and saving. On the first day of summer I made this chart and the kids LOVED it!
Every single day they worked hard to earn tickets and at the end of the week they could exchange their tickets for money and I would take them to Daiso or the Exchange. I also told them that I wouldn’t be buying them anything that they didn’t need so if they wanted a toy or a special treat they had to buy it themselves. The first week they all blew their earnings on random toys at Daiso. Two weeks later Aidan and Arabella decided they wanted to buy a milkshake from Burger King and Maya had earned enough money to buy a Snackeez.
Aidan had buyers remorse when he saw what Maya was able to buy by saving her money.
As the summer went on Aidan continued to ask me for chore after chore after chore and wouldn’t spend any money because he wanted to earn a $20 bill. He earned that bill and has continued to save. He is now up to $60!!!!
Also through this experience I was able to see just how golden Maya’s heart really is. There is a lady that will on occasion set up shop at the Exchange where she will sell her balloons. They are priced based on how elaborate they are and range from $1-$5. (These pictures are from the first time we saw the balloon lady. I didn’t have my phone with me during this last time)
Well, Arabella doesn’t like doing chores and doesn’t care to earn money so she rarely had money. One day we saw the balloon lady and all of the kids wanted a balloon, so I told them they could buy one with their money. Aidan immediately decided he would pass. Arabella didn’t do chores so she didn’t earn any money, she was so upset about that. Maya had $4 and really wanted a balloon so she chose a $4 balloon but quickly changed her mind to a $3 balloon so that she could buy Eva a $1 balloon. That act of pure love melted my heart.
Before I had the kids working to earn money they had no appreciation for money or things. If one of them broke something they didn’t see it as a big deal because, in Aidan’s words “You can just buy another one.” This is no longer the case at all. They rarely ask for anything because they know I’ll most likely make them earn it and they definitely understand the value of and appreciate anything that we do get for them.
Some other summer randoms…
My dream of teaching my kids how to make knotted friendship bracelets came true! Well, with Maya at least.
Shaking her bum while helping me make breakfast.
Arabella making fort messes and never cleaning them up.
We have all grown a lot in the year that we’ve lived on this little island. It has been a really tough year but I can now officially say I am 100% adjusted to our lives out here and can’t imagine how hard it’s going to be to leave our Okinawa home in 2 years. We’ve got lots of things to do and places to see before then so we’re gonna get on it
September 8, 2016
Waaaaaay back in July we drove up to the aquarium to enjoy some fireworks. It was such a unique thing to see and experience a huge gathering with the locals. The fireworks were cool but the real experience for me was just seeing everybody set up, cooking and just hanging out waiting for it to get dark.
The view was stunning!
I seriously could not get enough of this sunset!
As it got darker, we set up camp.
It was a fun night. Never mind that it took us FOREVER to get home. I love our little island!