Thursday, January 29, 2015

My Little Preschoolers

Like A Girl

I absolutely love this commercial!! 
This is exactly why I would never tell my kids that they are acting like a girl - or like a boy! 
It should never an insult to be either gender! 
THIS is a commercial that should be aired under the legendary Superbowl commercials this Sunday, when a lot of people (both genders) are watching. I'm sure it would hit home to most people!

Watched it Jenny's blog this morning, and it's too good not to share again!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cherry Blossoms

Lanterns at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Nago City

While I'm doing a lot of research about different things, I came across a lot of information about the upcoming Cherry Blossom Festivals that are coming up on Okinawa. I'm a bit upset to miss out of these festivals this year, but will for sure be there snapping my own pictures next year!

Nakijin Castle Night Display

 Cherry Blossoms during peek season on Mt. Yae

 Japanese White-eye feeding off a Cherry Blossom (Yaedake)

 Cherry Blossoms on Yaedake

All pictures borrowed from this source:

Oki Preparations - Countdown: One More Month!

Today, January 27th, it's exactly ONE more month to go before we land on Okinawa! One more month....where did the time go??? As you can understand, it's been a lot going on here lately for obvious reasons, and not much time to catch up. Anyway, we have a much better plan on what's going on now:

- We have had our tickets changed. As it was way too difficult to travel to Tracy, CA to drop our car off and then rent a car and drive back to LA to fly from LAX up to Seattle, we now have made arrangements to drive to Oakland, CA, drop the kids, all the luggage and myself off there, and Chris will drive the Honda the rest to Tracy himself, get all set up there and then rent a smaller car (with all our luggage it would have been almost impossible to rent a car...), and drive back to us in Oakland. Then we will fly from Oakland - Seattle on February 25th. Coming in a few hours before we have to wait around for an "all nighter" at the airport before we fly out of Seattle early morning on February 26th.

- We have had the movers here on Friday afternoon to estimate and check on what we bring for our different shipments. NOT a wonderful afternoon to say the least. What a stress, going through the rooms, and to check off things on the lists, what can go where, in what shipment, what is too big to go at all etc etc. After total chaos for a while, we have some idea of what we can bring. Luckily, we will have the movers come and pack up the Express shipment (30 days) and the Household shipment (75 days) at the same day! Crazy? Yes normally, but for us I think it will work good, as we then can see if there is still space weight wise in the Express, then we can shift a few boxes around, but if we already are reaching the 1000 lb limit, we can still put them in the Houshold shipment. And vise versa. So hopefully, this will work out!! I will just have to pay close attention to what they pack where..

- I have had a yard sale over the weekend and sold lots of stuff, and also sold a lot of the furniture that we had planned to sell. In fact, I had to pull a few ads off Craigslist, so Cassie would still have a bed (the futon we had planned to sell) as we sold her bedroom set. It's hard to know when to put the ads out, sometimes there is no interest at all, and sometimes they just blow up your phone with calls and texts a day after you put them up. Rather have it sell early than to sit on them in the very end..

- I still have had a lot of planning and organizing regarding Rusty's travel. Still working out details there..

- There is a never ending running around getting things done, making appointments and trying to schedule everything fitting into times when the kids are in school, so they don't have to run around with me all the time. It's stressful enough anyway, and I'd like to spare them of as much as possible of the planning and stress around it all.

- But, the countdown has begun. For good or bad, it's only another month to get everything ready!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pre Packing & Estimating Weight..

Very true, as above in the comic strip, the oversea PCSes are extremely limited on weight allowances. At least for our branch of the military, USMC, and I only wish that I could estimate 1000 lb/room right now. Instead, I have to try to organize our 4 bedroom house with about 2000 sqft plus a 3 car garage with lots of boxes and "stuff" into 2700 lb, that's it! Everything above that, goes to storage here for 3 years.

So, I'm pre packing, sorting out things, putting in piles in different parts of the house what goes on our Express shipment (1000 lb) and what goes on our 75 day shipment (1700 lb). NOT a very easy task, as you have to try to think about what you need right away in the house, what can come later, what do you put into storage here, what is not worth it to bring at all, but rather buy new there...

Lots of things that you have to part with for 3 years that you don't want to, but need to. Kids are upset about not being able to bring all their stuff, having to sort through and decide on what to bring and when...

The house looks like a tornado went through it with things, toys, clothes, boxes and it's piling up EVERYWHERE, and I'm somewhat overwhelmed on where to start..and the moving company is coming tomorrow to estimate our weight and to know what goes when and where... I had not planned for them to come already, and I found out yesterday that they are coming tomorrow, so not much notice there.

And, did I mention that I'm having a yardsale this weekend, so I have to get things ready for that, as we won't have time later on. That means I also have to take pictures of some furniture that we are selling and post on Craigslist and hoping to get it sold, and if it's on there, people can come and look when we have the yardsale anyway, and hopefully feel the need to buy more things than what they come for...

So, 15 minutes break over, finishing up my coffee and time to roll up my sleeves again!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Volleyball Camp & Winter Weather

I was just scrolling down my pictures in my phone, and of course there is a bunch of pictures that I still have to down load, but I wanted to post the ones from about 2 weeks ago, when Cassie was attending a volleyball camp all Saturday. I drove her there in the morning and it was cold and the car showed the outside temperature to be 36F!! And that was close to 9am, when normally the temperatures would be much higher, even during our "winter". I know, most people smile at these temperatures, but like our local meteorologist stated, it was almost 20 degrees below normal even during the day's high.

Anyway, back to the volleyball part. I had found this camp online, and Cassie was so happy that she was able to attend. Girls 10-16 I believe the age group was, perfect! That meant some beginners, and some High School girls that have lots of experience to play with. She loves to play, and has been wanting to play all fall. As there isn't a team here in town, she was attending practice of a traveling team, but that didn't work out for us in the long run. To travel to Phoenix, Flagstaff, Tuscon and even further away in AZ just to play every weekend, no, it wouldn't work for us.  So she attended their practice and some Saturday camps during the fall. Now, the school will have try outs for the school team in volleyball, but not until the beginning of March, and of course she is very upset and bummed about missing this. Three of her best friends will be trying out, and they have been practicing together and would have so much fun with it.Well, I just keep crossing my fingers that we will find a good team for her in Okinawa. She is so motivated, I just wish she doesn't loose her interest.

During this camp, her best friend A also got to go, and they had of course a lot of fun together. I only dropped her off at 9am and came to pick her up at 4pm. A long day, with lunch break. I wish i would have come a little earlier, then I would have seen Cassie play match, but now she was practicing her serve with her friend when I came 15 minutes earlier to pick up. I only had my phone, and it was some distance to the second net, so the quality is bad, but it's fun for her to have these pictures.

 Cassie & A.

 The other group that was finishing up their game.


 Awhile ago, it was time for the kids to get much needed haircuts. Benjamin's hair was really long, and we had the intentions to get it cut before Christmas, but it was hard to get any appointments. Now it was probably the longest he has ever had. Isabella needed a good trim, as her hair is so thin and she was happy to feel special and get a hair wash there too.

I had thought that I got before and after pictures, but I didn't, but here are some of the before.

Last week, when I had to take Cassandra for her allergy shot, the little ones were having a playdate with a friend, so I only had Cassie with me. So after the shot, we took the time to get her a cut too. Even if she only needed a trim, she probably got a good three inches off, and if feels so much softer. Downside with having such long hair- she had to stand up during the whole cut, as the hairstylist couldn't get the chair up high enough for her to be able to cut it straight otherwise.

Here during and after, while she still was styling it before leaving the salon. Now it's only my turn left to get a good haircut before the move. Don't know when we will be able to get a good place next time, and as it always takes some time to get organized after a move, I have booked my appointment for next Monday!!