Wednesday, October 18, 2017

OKINAWA LIVING

SOOOOO...Our house sold. YAY!! And for a good price to a very good woman. I'm SO happy that's all through.
PHEW!
Now we're living it up in Okinawa Japan. We LOVE it here!

The delicious food!
 
 We moved here with a family whose wife is from Okinawa. She took us to our first restaurant and Japanese grocery store. It was nice having a translator for our first off base trip!
 YoshiHachi Sushi with a friend I made through my nephews (they met her and her husband in New Zealand, of all places!). She moved to the States and I miss her, but I'm glad she introduced me to my favorite sushi place! 

The beaches!
A fun beach that's shallow for days we discovered. Super warm water with super soft sand.
This is Maeda Flats, one of the best snorkeling spots around. It also has some caves and lots of poisonous cone snails. Must wear booties around here!
  
The good food! (There's TONS of good food!)
Kura Sushi, a fun sushi go-round restaurant the kids LOVE. Every 5 plates (each are 100 yen) can win you a toy, and the food isn't horrible.

The parks!
Their parks aren't made so kids won't hurt them little selves. They're made to have fun. So refreshing!

Fish markets!

The temples!
This is one of the biggest reconstructed temples and it was under construction, dang it. But we had a fun time touring the beautiful inside!

Snorkeling!
  
 Some sea urchin shells Christian and I found at Maeda Flats

 Fish spas! 
(They eat dead skin off your feet!)

  Oki Pedi's!
Everyone gets an Okinawan Pedicure at least once. They get pretty extravagant but I liked this one. :)

The pools!

Dance parties with endless food and chocolate milk!
Kiddie Disco has adult and kid dinner buffets, endless chocolate (and white) milk, and a make your own ice cream sundae bar. Oh, and dancing. :D We try to make this once a month fun time!

The zoo!
Our first trip to the zoo a guy walks by on the other side of the pathway..ON an elephant. He stops to eat some foliage and the boys stare in amazement. Pretty darn awesome.
We got to feed an elephant on Logan's birthday. Too fun!!
They have a petting zoo with chicks you can hold. They're so soft and fluffy and cute!

Fun places to play!
Round 1 has 6 stories of fun! The boys spent a solid hour in this ball pit, shooting balls at each other.

Huge snails!
We found this beast in our backyard. They're Giant Asian Snails, a pest around these parts that carry human disease. Cool yet...((shudder))

Dress up dinner parties!
Dressed up in a kimono with a bunch of other ladies and had a buffet. I think they cinched me a bit too tight so I couldn't eat too much! :D

Fun capes to explore!
Ada Cape, so beautiful! The first place we found the sound of crashing waves--the other beaches we've been to have breakers so there aren't big waves.

Castle ruins!

THE OCEAN!
One of my happiest places, the beach. I'm surrounded by them. Pinch me! I must be dreaming!

Splash pads!

TOKYO!
Among other things, Alan and I hit up Disney Sea in Tokyo. Fun for the young at heart!

Did I mention the BEACHES?!
These sunsets will never get old!

The aquarium! 
 The Okinawa Aquarium has a touch tank when you first enter full of different types of sea stars, sea cucumbers.
Lots of tanks of fish!

FRIENDS!
We play at this park by our house almost every night. The boys have made a lot of friends there.
Elijah's and his best friend walking to school together. He tells her, "I think we're going to get married when we get bigger." LOVE, LOVE, LOVE
I went on a girl's trip to the main island and hit the LDS temple. Such a fun and tiring day!
I may look like I'm holding an invisible cigarette, but I'm trying to make a peace sign. All Japanese do it. I just can't seem to turn my hand around.
For real.
A big group of us ate at a yummy Thai restaurant. Green curry and a delicious coconut shake that I'll daydream about for years to come.
The three boys have done wrestling the past 2 months (well, except C since he broke his wrist). They don't like it. I don't like the schedule. But they're getting better?
Had missionaries and our friends and neighbors over for dinner, then made hearts after a discussion about love.
So I figured that since I'm on a sub-tropical island, I HAD to buy a coconut. We had a lot of fun with it. If Miles's face wasn't any indicator to that.
I made yummy candied coconut. 
I'll definitely do that again!
And the best part? We have over 2 1/2 more years to enjoy this island.
CHEERS!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Moving STINKS

SO I love changing locations, moving from one state to another. It's fun meeting new people, discovering what each area has to offer and observing each state's culture. The people around here, for example, WORSHIP the St Louis Cardinals (the pro baseball team for those of you who don't know, and if you don't know, DON'T tell anyone from around here b/c they'll string you up by your toes). They also smile and wave and bring you baked goods. At least in my cozy bubble on this side of the Mississippi River.
We've thoroughly enjoyed the free zoo and science center in St Louis and ample good eatin'. We've lived in Bolivia (MYSELF) and the Phillippines (HUBBY) and the four corners of the U.S. and fully adjusted to each locale. The only thing that's been different here in the greater St Louis area has been...we BOUGHT a HOUSE. Our first home.
It's cute and conveniently easy to maintain. I love it. The only BAD is that NOW I carry the stress of trying to sell it.
We have orders to JAPAN. Yay!!!! Okinawa, no less, the Hawai'i of the Orient. Beaches! Sushi! Beaches!! We are stoked. I can't be fully excited, however, until we get this house sold. It's been on the market less than a week and I'm worried. WORRIED. It's all I can think about. Will it sell? Will it sell in TIME or will we be stuck with a mortgage payment after we've left the country? Will it sell too early, resulting in us being booted from our home before we have to leave? Will the boys break the house in half so we can't even sell it (sometimes I truly wonder). 
I didn't want to buy a home in the first place! For this very reason. 
The biggest turn off is that our house doesn't have a basement. Buyers want basements.
Because this is "tornado alley".
Why they'd want a house to fall on TOP of them, trapping them inside, instead of around them is beyond me. But it's what most want.
So I'll continue to PRAY it will sell. Because there will be others like me...
...who don't want an extra dark, dreary space to clean...
...with a foundation that cracks...
...with water that leaks...
...and SPIDERS galore...
...that uses so much electricity to dehumidify...
...and a sump pump (whatever that is)...
...and sewage backup.
Right?