Sunday, December 14, 2014

the hustle and bustle of it all!!

what have we been up to?!  I really NEED to blog.
 I LOVE the holidays.  I LOVE that from Halloween to Christmas- my house is full of decorations, there are parties to attend, we are busy with family traditions, our house smells like pumpkins and cinnamon, and there's fabulous food constantly!

the only bad thing is being a little homesick! my homesickness rotates cities and states and people.

this past week my friend sent me this picture from a dayton holiday party (so many of my favorite people!!) and I may have shed a tear or two. moving can make holidays a little sad sometimes!

so- I go out of my way to make the best out of wherever I am!  and I've been busy making happy memories here in japan!

here are just a few of my phone and camera snapshots from the last month or so!

the base had a holiday parade and tree lighting event last week and it made my month.  we've been to a christmas parade every year the past seven -and I was worried the tradition would stop in japan!

it was cold and perfectly christmasy.

 giant airplane parts wrapped in paper! and there was a C-130 flyover!
 the PACAF (pacific air force) band!
 santa and his hazardous materials helpers :)
they even set out bleachers for us!!
the main road on base is lined with giant christmas boards made by all of the base squadrons and organizations!  it's super festive.
our church even made one and put it up!

Last night was our church Christmas party!  it was held in the high school gym on base because our church building isn't big enough for parties!  we had a combined party with the japanese congregation.  The church gym isn't heated -  and it was below freezing out- but the kiddos stayed plenty warm running around! 
The English ward primary kids sang silent night and then Japanese kids sang it! it was pretty cool to hear in both languages!
metta sat on santa's lap four times.  she wants a stuffed cat for christmas.  Santa claus was bi lingual so even the Japanese kids got to talk to him!  his suit is the one I bought on Amazon last year for our church party. it's already been used FOUR times here this year for all sorts of base functions.   totally worth the money.  everybody needs a santa suit.
There was a live japanese band playing christmas music and mack was NOT impressed. 

last weekend we had the med group (hospital staff) children's party!  it was Polar express theme and crazy fun!  I was in charge of the food and helped with decorating and everything else.  I really love being involved and meeting people- so being on a base where there is so much for me to do is FABulous.

The decorations for the party were AMAZING.  

 we transformed the hospital cafeteria into a train and train station!  it was a lot of work- but a lot of fun!
 breakfast and hot cocoa for dinner.  A ton of zeb's and Ike's friends have parents who are also in the me group- so the party was full of familiar faces.
 here's my santa suit again :)
 ike and zeb made up christmas lists for santa that were big surprises! these kids are always making new lists.  Zeb wants an ipad mini?!  and a wii U!  and ike wants a skateboard and cash,   sorry, guys! santa doesn't take add ons.  especially crazy ones.
I didn't get any pics- but we also had an adult med group party with a Las Vegas theme?! weird, right?!  we went and dressed up the most 'vegasy' we could.  I wore a cardigan with sequins and kent wore crazy socks with his suit :)  the night ended up being a blast.  I lost my voice from getting so rowdy :)  there were all sorts of contests, games, and prizes. and free babysitting!  we won a wireless bose speaker.  it's worth 130$ and kent loves it so the night was a success :)

 this week- Ike had a school ribbon cutting ceremony for the new kindergarten building!  it's a pretty cool building.
 and there was a giant cake to commemorate the grand opening!  Ike still loves kindergarten so much. the school is awesome here.

he also had  thanksgiving program where he sang and danced the turkey tango.  he's a turkey.

I've been a little sad (okay- A LOT sad) about missing out on wandering the Target holiday aisles and meijer sales and I'm doing my best to make up for it here.  I peruse amazon's 'aisles' daily :) and we hit the black friday sale at the BX.  the BX is our on base 'target'.  only it isn't target. at all!  but- they had sales- and we went.  and this past weekend they had a moonlight madness sale from 8-11 so I got us a babysitter and Kent and I went.  It was really fun!  the crazy thing about living here is that you get to know EVERYbody so events like these are big parties with all of your friends.  it's pretty great.  we got a ton of nice toilet paper and fancy diapers for 50% off.  it was a successful evening!

we also went to costco black friday!  no sales- but they did have pizza and hot dogs :)

we also ate thanksgiving leftovers for days after the holiday.  the best part of our japanese thanksgiving were the purple sweet potatoes.  here they are before the crumb topping.  
they taste almost the same and we loved them! 

 Our house is all decorated for christmas and I love it.  we've even done outdoor lights on our little base townhome!  zeb says the candy canes are lighting santa's runway for landing.

it's also been cold enough to scrape my windows!  hooray!!  now all I need is snow to make christmas perfect!!
I want our tree to be decorated with ornaments from all the places we've lived and I got some fabulous Japanese ornaments!  some origami cranes- so little kimono dolls, and some fun folk art ornaments from the daiso (japanese dollar store!).  I love them.

it's also been cold enough to really enjoy the hot japanese ramen shops!  our favorite is just outside of the base gate.  it's super delish and waaaay cheap.  kids meals are 190 yen.  with the exchange rate right now- that's like $1.50!!


oh my goodness. and I bought strawberries this week.  for not so crazy a price.  480 yen. about 4 dollars!  a christmas miracle.

mack is 8 weeks today and I have to say- 4 kiddos has been my easiest transition.  he and metta get along great and he's a champ at running around everywhere with me,  to the gym. to the store. running outside. he just sleeps. here are the two pals at the daiso in the perfect two kid shopping cart!

Metta has had a rough week this week. she picked up a nasty cough and we took away the binky forEVER.  it's all she wants for christmas.  she even told santa.  she wants her binky back.

here she is taking her last nap with the bink.
she's been lots needier this week and always wants to sit on  my lap.  she also does crazy things when I feed mack. like shove objects up her nose. 'look, mom!'
 she's crazy obsessed with stuffed animals. she doesn't like dolls AT ALL.  but soft animals are her favorite.  she sleeps with at least 20.  and gathers them at stores.  she takes backpacks to friends' houses and tries to smuggle out their stuffed animals.  for real.

and finally- this kid- at eight weeks- smiles.  mostly at me. and mostly in the morning. 

 he also cries.  occasionally.

 one of my favorite pics from the last week or so.  mt fuji.  I was running the fog covered flight line at sunset and it was amazing.  moments like these make me realize what an amazing opportunity it is to live in Japan.

happy holidays!! christmas is coming!!!
and if you haven't seen this super short fabulous youtube video yet- check it out.  it's the real reason I love the holidays so darn much.  The glad tidings!!  the Joy our Savior brings!!


Kristi, Liezl, Quincy, Ava, Cora, and Josh said...

I wish I could snuggle with that baby Mac and let metta smuggle all the stuffed animals from our house she wants. I wish you were in that picture and your boys were here to put smiles on my girls' faces (especially Ava). But I am glad you are having fun running shopping and partying!

Amber and Travis said...

I wish you were here too! Every time there is a party, it snows or I go to target I think about you. I am glad Japan has so many awesome adventures! There will be a reunion when you get back!

Lyndsay said...

You are a fantastic mom and your kids will have the best memories! Also, I was just talking to the bishop about getting a new suit for Toledo 1. Can you advise on the best one? Ours is atrocious.

Pat and Brent said...

Love to hear about all your adventures and day to day doings. I miss you guys so much and wish I could hold little Mack -and Metta, and Ike and even Zeb though they may not like it. Love seeing the pics and so glad to know you are well and doing what you love.

Michelle Jenson said...

Awwh! Love you guys so much and miss you all. Mack's smile just absolutely lights up the whole computer screen! What a cutie! Merry Christmastime!