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Graduation Day

March 17, 2010

It seems like only yesterday that my Turd started school.  It was only September that he did start attending his little Japanese School but who’s keeping track anyway?  Tuesday, March 16 was his official end of the semester/school year/period.  The kids are out of school for the next couple of months (I think).  By the time school starts back up for Turd’s little friends, we’ll be in Tampa hopefully starting a new school too!  

Ya know, when I look at these pictures I realize that my kid isn’t as big as I thought he was.  You see, ever since he was about 4 months old people would tell me how BIG my baby was.  And I just nodded and agreed and went on my merry way.  Didn’t really think too much of it.  But judging by the rest of the kids in these photos, he looks pretty average!  That’s all a mom really wants for her child.  To be of average height/weight/size.  Now the girls, well most of them are Okinawan and they’re just naturally tiny/petite/small.  I, on the other hand, have never been called tiny/petite/small.  I have always been called short-waisted/hard to find jeans for/broad.  I think people were just trying to dance around the fact that I am slightly thicker than the average girl.  But whatever.  I can’t help for the way that I am.  I was raised on carbohydrates.  It’s what was always for dinner.  

Now this boy, I’m really trying hard to help him lead a healthy life as far as what’s on his plate.  I try to make sure that there is a veggie on his tray.  He loves broccoli.  Don’t ask me why.  I honestly believe that he likes it so much because they look like little trees.  I’ve force-fed him peas and cauliflower but they just don’t add up to the little trees.  He definitely is a carnivore.  He loves him some meat.  No worries there.  As for the carbs, he sure does love them too but if Momma and Daddy aren’t having them, then neither is the Turd.  He does love him some Yakisoba and Soba (two noodle dishes), so I let that be.  

Onto more exciting things.  Eating healthy is very important but we came here to talk about Graduation!  Look at this cheeseball!  What an exciting day for him!

Before we go too much further with the pictures, let me just say that I did not teach him how to smile this way.  I usually don’t ask him to smile.  I usually ask him to look at me.  And then he does faces like that.  But I do love his little scrunchy face.  Makes me want to bite his cheeks.  Except, that may be bad.  We’ve taught him the no biting rule maybe I should abide by it.

Can he be any cuter?!  I mean, come on!  Is it the outfit?  Is it the hair?  Is it the eyes?  Is it his freakin’ cheeks?!

More so, I think it’s his personality.  I see the Okinawan ladies especially, giggle at him when we pass them by in the store or wherever.  Because he’s usually talking about a mile a minute and pretty loudly too.  He hasn’t quite mastered the whispering thing yet.  Guess that’s what church is for.  I sure learned how to whisper in 3 seconds when I went to church.  Or else I got taken to the crying room or out to the car and my mom’s hand met my back end.  Actually, that’s a lie.  I don’t think my mom ever spanked me.  But she sure could yell loud enough to make my ass hurt.Makes your heart melt, doesn’t it?  The longer he holds this smile, the squintier his eyes get.  It doesn’t get any more precious than this!  Oh no, wait!  Yes it does.  Picture him buck-ass naked and him smiling like this.  Yup, made you laugh didn’t I?

I strayed from the whole point of this post again, didn’t I?  Turd’s Graduation.  Yes, this little man graduated from the Angel Class.  Had we been staying another year or so, he would be going to the D-san’s class next (I think).  Which would be like going from Preschool to Kindergarten in the States.  Except he’s only 3.  So maybe he’d just be graduating to a more advanced preschool in the States?  

I found myself with tears in my eyes right about now.  I think it was more because this was the beginning of many “ends” we’ll be making in the next week and half.  It’s sad we’re leaving lovely Okinawa.  Home for the last 6 years.  The longest place we’ve ever lived together as a family for both Paul and I and the 3 of us.  We’ll be saying goodbye to many friends.  We’ll be bidding farewell to our favorite restaurants and our favorite stores.  

I hope to find a small community of Okinawans in Tampa so that I can still speak my terrible Japanese and insult them when I say something terribly wrong.  But I heard that I will need to brush up on my Spanish.  Brush up?!  I took French in High School!  Don’t suppose anybody will need for me to count to 10 in French and point me to the nearest  le Biblioteque?!

I will miss the friendly smiles of Okinawa.  I will miss these two very patient Senseis.  I mean, they have to be patient don’t they?!  Who else would put up with a dozen 3-4 year olds constantly having to go pee-pee or having an accident in their pants or spilling their drink or hitting or kicking or whatever?  Do you see me raising my hand?  I don’t think so!

Oh I just love this picture.  Peace!  That’s just what I hope for my heart when I leave this island.  Peace in my heart that this is what’s supposed to happen and someday we’ll get to come back to Oki.  I’ll plant my butt down and never leave this great place.  It sure has taught me a lot about myself and who I am.  I’ll never forget that.

Most of all, Okinawa gave me this baby.  If it weren’t for good ‘ol Oki, there probably would’ve never been this little Turd.



Drum and Bugle Corps

March 9, 2010

These guys performed the same day as the Silent Drill Team.  They too, were amazing!

There wasn’t any gun-throwing.  Which is good because I’m not sure that it would have been a good idea with these ginormous bugles.

But their fancy footwork definitely was something to talk about!

This here, reminds me of back in the day when I was in the high school band.  I played the quads, those there in the way back.  This 5’2″ frame held them suckers for about a mile while I played them.  It sucked.  But when we played in pep band, I didn’t have to march so it was way better.

I wonder if these dudes were as proud of themselves as I was of them?

Such an awesome experience.  Something that I thought I would never see in my lifetime.

Paul took video.  I’ll get it up soon and let you all know!  Chills, I tell you!  Chills!

Marine Corps Silent Drill Team

March 5, 2010

And Drum and Bugle Corps.  I cannot forget to mention them!  But I edited the Silent Drill Team’s photos first.

Let me being by saying that this performance was outstanding!  I’ve seen many videos of the Silent Drill Team but nothing compares to sitting in the audience and watching it live.  I can’t say that it was at all silent though.  I have to say that I may have been the most annoying guest at the show today.  Anyone that was sitting around me probably wished that I’d just shut my camera off and shove it in my bag so they could enjoy the performance in silence.  My dear hubs finally told me to, “Knock it off!  That’s really annoying!”  I felt it.  I heard it.  I knew it.  But did I stop?  Nope.  I do not learn.  To my credit, I did try to figure out how to turn the shutter sound off.  Couldn’t find it.  I was wasting too much time looking for that when I could have been snapping away!

Here.  Just imagine the shutter going off every couple of seconds:

At this point, I’ve decided to snap along with the clicking of the guns.  Makes sense huh?  But I began to see that I was missing all the action.  A Few Good Men.  Do they all look that, um….Sexy?

Now this one is probably the coolest photo. I had originally snapped it and it was way off center. I was trying to get all the guns in there. But when I cropped it in tighter, I just got this amazing, intenseness! It would've only been better had I been hovering right over the top of them! Awesomeness!

Gah!  Chills.  Can you just feel the power?

Dude's not even going to bat an eye. He'll barely move to catch the flying gun!

You can just see the tip of the gun just above the other dude who’s back is toward us.

And Bam! Like Butta!

Yup. Still got it.

If I were your mother, I’d be crying and I would have been standing in the bleachers the whole time.  Just because I’d be darn proud of you!

Speaking of pride.  There was definitely a huge sense of pride running through me during that performance.  I don’t know how anyone wouldn’t.  I mean, those toy soldiers all dressed up in their uniforms and oozing United States Marine Corps Pride baby!  I didn’t tell them that my hubs is United States Air Force.  But the pride was still there baby!  Woo Hoo!

Bolo Point All Shook Up

March 1, 2010

After a weekend of potential natural disasters, I thought a nice post about another thing we’re going to miss about this island.  What?  You hadn’t heard about the 7.0 earthquake whose epicenter was 50 miles from Okinawa out in the Pacific Ocean?!  And you didn’t hear about the impending tsunami that was headed our way either?!  Well, now you have heard and Okinawa is great.  Thank God for the smart minded Japanese and their engineering!

As far as I know, no damage has been reported from the earthquake.  If anything, it shook our furniture and shifted it a little.  It woke up the whole island I’m sure.  I know I slapped Paul on the chest and asked him if he felt the house shaking.  He said, “Yep.”  And then I think it rocked him back to sleep.  I know I was freaked out a little.  Want to see what woke me up?  My dresser jiggling across the floor:

Crazy huh?

When we finally rose from the dark of our bedroom, we set out to explore because it was nice out and we didn’t feel like being stuck inside the house.  We only have 3 more full weekends left here so we’d better get out there!

We went to Bolo Point otherwise known as Cape Zampa.  Paul had a picture in his head that he wanted to take.  It was breathtaking as always.  Just a little overcast and really humid.  Ewww.  

There’s a new walking/running path out there now so we walked it to see where it led.  I think it would’ve took us right back into town had we followed it all the way though.  But I had walked enough.  My dogs were tired and I was sweaty and tired.  

This little man could’ve walked the whole path.  He had so much dang energy.  So I let him run amuck.  I was thinking ahead…sleep longer!  Did that happen?  I think the Turd was up by 9 am!  Dangit!  Why does he always foil my plans?!Sometimes I feel like he won’t sleep in for fear of missing something.  What that something is, I don’t know.  He sneaks into our bedroom all the time now.  If not in our bedroom to sleep with Momma, it’s in the living room on the couch all snuggled up with his buddies and his favorite blanket.  Blowing bubbles on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  Well, running bubbles is more like it.  And what a more perfect picture to end this post.  Hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Oh!  BTW, the tsunami did grace us with it’s presence but we live on the opposite side of the Pacific so we didn’t get to see it.  From what I heard, it didn’t get very big.  Thank God!

Until next time.

Yomitan Pottery Village

February 23, 2010

On Saturday, we needed to get out of the house and do some exploring.  The sun was finally shining and the temperature was bearable.  It was just an overall perfect day to go out and about.  I knew there was a pottery place nearby but I just never knew exactly where it was.  We got some directions and we were off to see what it was all about!

We arrived at the village and much to our surprise there were these men frantically running around with super hot sticks.  We stopped to see what was a’happening:

Then they did this:

It looks so dangerous!  But so dangerous it’s sexy!  Don’t judge.

After watching all of that we just had to go and check out all the handblown glass they had for sale:

Amazing, right?  Well, nothing in there was in my budget.  So we left the glass area with nothing.  It’s ok.  My goal before I leave is to have some Okinawa glass packed and ready to shine brightly in our new home!

So we move on to the pottery:

These little green guys were my favorite. Probably because they were obnoxiously lime green and had lime green marbles for eyes!

Here's Paul's favorites. So conservative.

Check out these cute little charms!  I’m not sure whether they were bracelets or like a cell phone charm or whatever but they were charming:

This was my favorite.

I would use this for my toothbrush cup or even a pen cup:

Turd thought these little guys were so cool because they had geetars!  His dream is to one day be in a rock band and play geetar and go, “Ja ja jar!  Ja ja jar! Ja ja jar!”  Seriously, that’s what he does when he imitates a guitar!

This little dude was made of all shells!

Then we saw this little guy and Turd just had to do this:

It’s times like this we realize the reason why we keep him.  He entertains us.  If not for him, we’d be a boring old couple who have no fun.

Onto more pottery fun!

Some saki and sanshin...this is the Okinawa way.

Some more dudes made of shells!

Now this was probably THE neatest thing there.  Paul was studying these here balls and realized after taking out the flowers that were stuck inside there, that the hole just so happened to be in the shape of our Okinawa!  How cool is that?!

Probably my favorite picture!

Would have been much better had my chubby hand not been in there.

Turd walking along…Tee hee.  This is nothing.  You should see him run!

Daddy imitating Turd. Pure entertainment, I say!

A traffic mirror. They're all over this island! If not for these, there would be many, many accidents for this girl! Wonder what we'll do without them? I guess the U.S. probably won't have crowded streets like they do here.

It was a fun day for us.  We spent the whole day in the Yomitan area and then we headed up to Onna for dinner.  I heard about this place called Jams from a hair client and then I saw it featured on the OkinawaHai blog so I thought it was a great opportunity for us to head over there.  It was probably the best Teppanyaki that I’ve ever had!  And I love me some Teppanyaki!  I highly recommend!

Thanks for sticking it though my picture heavy post!  We’re hoping to do a bunch more exploring before we leave!  Which, btw (by the way for you non-texters!) we have ORDERS!  Our itinerary says we fly out of Oki on March 27th!  Sad but so exciting!  We will be stopping off in Hawaii, OMG!!!  Paul promised me Hawaii for our belated honeymoon damn near 10 years ago!  We are finally getting to do that with our Turd in tow.  I’m happy about that.  It’ll make for great memories for him.  Well, great pictures and memories from those pictures.  You know what I mean?

We will be Hawaii for about a week and then we will fly into Orlando where dear friends Jeff and Jody will be greeting us to the Motherland.  Well so to speak, anyway.  A few days with them and then on to Tampa.  Actually, MacDill AFB lodging.  We expect to be in TLF for a good couple of months.  Not what we’d like but it’ll be worth the wait.  We’re working on some paperwork for a brand new house.  Right now, there is only a cement slab just waiting for the house to be built.  The house is scheduled to be done by the end of June.

Speaking of June…our plan for our visit home is scheduled for June 9-23.  Paul has a 20 year class reunion that first weekend we’re home so we still plan on that.  So friends, get your calendars out and write it down!  You wanna see us?  You know where we’ll be!  Family, you’ll probably get a more detailed agenda on our trip home closer to June.

Until next time people!  Borud out.

Uh, that sounds so gay.  Totally doesn’t sound like Seacrest out.  Let’s try, Okistephie out!  Hmmm?  Nope don’t like that either.  Maybe I should just rewrite the ending.

Wait!  I like Borud out.  I think I’ll stick with that.

Borud out.

Turd’s Concert

February 21, 2010

Remember my post about Turdy’s Winter Concert?  Well, here he is!

Enjoy friends!

Where I Get My Learn On

February 17, 2010

I don’t know if any of you have noticed but I’ve been really working on my photography.  In the past 6 months or so, my photography has come a long way.  By that I mean, when I look back at my pictures from 6 months ago I see some pretty so-so images.  It was about 6 months ago that I discovered a photography forum called Clickinmoms.  And that’s where I find tips, tricks, and anything you can think of to improve upon my skills.  There’s categories galore in there from starting a photography business to hard core critique to the girls who need to start right from the beginning with their cameras!  It’s a community full of moms who have one thing in common…a passion for photography.

Today, I’m taking my chance to spread the word.  If you’ve got yourself a camera and are interested in taking it to the next level, Clickinmoms is a great place to start!  Just a few perks with signing up with Clickinmoms from now until the end of March:

$25 Starbucks Gift Card
$50 ITunes  Gift Card (and prize above!)
$75 Gap/Banana/Old Navy Gift Card (and prizes above!)
$100 Amazon Gift Card (and prizes above!)
$150 Jcrew/Crewcuts Gift Card (and prizes above!)
$200 Restoration Hardware Gift Card (and prizes above!)
Wacom Intuos4 Medium (and prizes above!)
Apple Iphone or Ipad* (and prizes above!)
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital Camera Body (and prizes above!)

Now, it’s not just me that’s eligible for those prizes.  If you sign up, you’re eligible too!  When you sign up, just use the code FRIEND at checkout to get 10% off any subscription.
Click on the link above and go forth and learn!