Friday, May 15, 2015

Mother's Day Outing - Ikei Island

Last Sunday, we had Mother's Day here in the US. My oldest daughter made sure to keep her siblings quiet and let me sleep in! I don't know when that happened the last time, it felt wonderful. To then walk out in the kitchen and smell the fresh brewed coffee, see the table set beautifully with a nice breakfast and even cut fruit salad, well, then she had me almost in tears before I had even read the cards that she and her younger siblings had written for me and colored. 

So, Mother's Day couldn't really have started off any better, and then we decided to go to a beach for the day. With the upcoming storm, Chris had to be within an hours reach even with his day off, and I found that the three islands that one nice beach on Ikei Island which was just about an hour away. 


Just the drive there was breath taking, it was one beautiful view after an other, and so much to see. We could have made so many little stops just to look around and to stop for beautiful pictures, but we wanted to get there as soon as possible, as we didn't know how or when Chris had to get back to work. We got there just after noon, and it was just as beautiful as the pictures I had seen had promised!!

The entrance to the beach!

Beautiful warm turquoise water. Beautiful smooth sand. Gentle little waves, what is there NOT to love about this??!!

When she was a little girl, one of her favorite movies was "Barbie -The Island Princess" 
Today, she is my very own Island Princess!!

We had never seen anything like this before. I first thought that it was a surfboard being pulled behind the jet ski, then he started to move up! Pretty cool, but it must have been hard, and he fell head first into the water a few times before he got up. 

The water was so warm and so wonderful, and we enjoyed it so much! It was hard not to take a lot of pictures when it was so beautiful. I was a bit bummed about that I had forgotten to take the camera along, but luckily the pictures from the phone came out pretty good!

 In Paradise!!

 I love this picture! Happy smiles all along!!

After taking a lot of pictures that I wanted to do for Mother's Day, we walked around some on the beach and all of a sudden Cassie found a hermit crab. These were the first ones that I had seen on the beach, and now compared to the ones that we found on our beach here at home the other day after the storm, these were really small. Still, so much fun to try to catch them, and to see them crawl. We collected a few, made a square and tried to have a race!

 Isabella holding a tiny one!

 Ben giggled so hard when the crab tickled him on the hand! 

I wanted to get a picture of the whole family, and we tried, but we clearly have some practice to do before we can fit all 5 of us in one picture. OR, we have to get a selfie stick that is very common here! Handy to get a longer arm for sure!!

This turned out to be the best one, where we at least can see all of us, 
if not all of Chris and Cassie..

 The net was out to protect the swimmers from the poisonous jelly fish. Swimming outside the net was strictly prohibited! 

 Another little hermit crab.
 They didn't really want to race...but we had a good time cheering them on!

 Isabella cheering "her" crab on!

This was for me the first time to be at a beach like this. I have never been to any (to me) exotic places with beautiful beaches. To me, this is heaven on earth! I could have stayed forever. I enjoyed it so much, and I feel very blessed that we now call such a paradise island our home! Amazing, and when I look back at the pictures from that day, I get reminded of how beautiful clear the water was. I can still taste how salty it was. So special!

 Brother & Sister

My soon to be 5 year old twins! 

The reason why I get to celebrate such a day as Mother's Day! 

My three beautiful children, the best that has ever happened to me. I feel so incredibly lucky to be their mommy! They are my world, my everything! They will never understand how much I love them, maybe one day when they themselves have children, they will know.  I couldn't imagine my life without them. Couldn't stand a day without hearing their voices and feel their arms around me.

I love you so so so much!!!

After a long day at the beach, they more or less kicked us out at 5pm, when the beach closed! A bit surprising, but we had to leave anyway, as it was about an hour to get home, get the kids in the bath tub, get dinner going and Chris had to go into work. It was a great day, that I will never forget. I will hopefully return to this beach many times during our time here in Okinawa, and we might even find other places that we love more, but my Mother's Day on Ikei Island will be kept in my heart as a treasure forever!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Treasure Hunt After The Storm

When Chris came home Tuesday afternoon, he really needed his sleep, and even if the weather wasn't totally sunny, it wasn't really raining either. Cassie and I had been talking about all the big shells and corals that must be washed ashore after such a storm, and we were eager to get to the beach and find out! So, I packed up the kids, picnic and sand toys and drove to the beach here on our base, just a few minutes from home! I can't believe that we are so lucky to have a beach just around the corner. Not walking distance with kids, but almost!

Compared to how it looked when Chris and I was there with the twins a couple of weeks ago when it was low tide, it was now really high tide and the coral reefs that was visible all over, were now covered with water and it looked like a great beach to go swimming.

(Side note: writing the word high tide, makes me think about my beautiful white horse that I had when I was a child. His name was High Tide, and we called him Haiden. I would have loved to ride along a beach like this with him for sure, that wasn't really possible where we lived in Sweden.)

Being off school on a normal Tuesday makes you this happy! :)

We had hardly gotten all our stuff set on the beach, when it started to sprinkle a bit more..So typical. But, we quickly gathered up our blanket and stuff, and had our snack in one of the half caves on the beach. I was too scared to let the kids go in further, I just could imagine all spiders and bugs in there, so I just let them sit on the blanket and we were just about covered from getting rained on. It didn't really last long anyway, and soon we were out to explore the beach!

Chocolate chip cookies on the beach - the best kind!

We got our buckets ready for seashells, corals etc. We filled all the buckets to the rim...
Lets go to the end and walk back..

The beach is covered in pretty sea shells, corals and pretty sea glass pieces too! BUT, the big shells that I had hoped for was nowhere to be found. I guess that the waves wasn't strong enough to carry them ashore. Maybe the next storm will be stronger...

Last time we could walk around this edge on the beach and continue on the other side, now the water was too high and we had to turn around.

Cassie peaked behind the rocks, but no big shells in sight!

Walking back, we noticed that a group of Marines was walking toward us. No, they were not looking for pretty things, but more for trash! They were on beach duty. I'm not sure, but there are some units that tell them to go down and clean up, and some do it voluntarily. The beach is a place were a lot of the single Marines like to hang out and party, as it's walking distance back to the barracks where they stay.

Look at this sand!!

Cassie found a few heart shaped corals for my collection!

Tried to fit us all in this picture, but I didn't manage to get me in more than not even half. But after cutting me off it turned out to be a great picture of the kids! I love this one!!

Why didn't I get Ben and Bella to stand really close together instead!? For next time I know how to put everyone - I think!! Still, I like it, as we were having fun with it!
So green!

We found a lot of hermit crabs, some pretty big ones like this one!

How could I not take pictures of my pretty princess?!

Cassie made us all fit, a bit turned to the side - but a great shot!

Isabella showing Ben a hermit crab that she found!

"Look Ben, he's coming out of his shell..."

But when Ben wanted to see, the crab was hiding for the longest time!

Cassie found another one that was crawling away after she put him down.

We decided to skip some rocks on the water. The kids trying to figure out what kind of rocks to use. We used to do this a lot as kids, we didn't really have any flat rocks like we used to have, and we didn't make them skip much, just made some good splashes!

Ben just threw his rock. Look at the horizon in the picture, it's not a ship or anything, it's Ben's rock!
A little boy looking out over the big ocean!

Surprised by a wave!

So beautiful, and the sun wasn't even out!

We are totally getting the hang of this "selfie" thing! lol!

Isabella found another pretty big hermit crab!

The hermit crab, quickly escaping before the kids get him again!

Before we were heading back to the blanket and things, the kids started to draw in the sand, and I was playing around with pieces of coral. I asked Isabella if she could write her name with corals, and I'd take a picture of it. She started collecting the pieces and it didn't take long until Cassandra and Ben started writing as well.
Concentrating on the final letter, fitting the pieces together!

My sweet Isabella!!

Cassie's name in the making.

Voila, here she is, my beautiful girl!

Ben put a lot of work into his, collecting small pieces and making the letters big!

Benjamin all done!

After this, it started to rain some more, and we went home. I totally forgot to take a picture of all our treasures, but we had the buckets full! I already washed and dried them, and put them in glass jars, but I'll take pictures next time of what kind of sea shells we have around here!

What a nice afternoon I had with the kids, so lucky I feel to have this around the corner...