Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

I found that being surrounded by military people for the last year and growing attached to so many of them and their families that Memorial Day meant so much more to me this's amazing to me the sacrifices that they make each day - it's like that one bumper sticker...if you can read this thank a teacher, if you're reading this in English, thank a soldier...I look around Japan, which is a fairly free country and I marvel at how many freedoms we take for granted and how ungrateful we sound when we start complaining about war and this and that bill or politician. Anyway, off my little soap box - thank a soldier the next time you meet one for all the freedoms we are provided!
Onto my weekend...Friday was Spring Concert as I said in the last post and Saturday was the church picnic and baptism service. Now I've thought a lot about this - I was baptized as a baby so I left it at that until now. I have come to realize that for myself, I need to make my own public statement of faith by being baptized on my own accord, claiming what I've always believed and making it completely mine. This year has been one of growth and complete trust in God. I look back over the year and realize how much all of this craziness was part of His plan for me...I've been amazed at every turn how I've been provided for mentally, emotionally, physically, and ways that have surprised me, blessed me, humbled me, and just made me feel loved! Anyway, all that to say I was baptized in the East China Sea on Saturday as a reminder of all of that!

Before we started Pastor Clay reminded people of John baptizing Jesus by submersion and we are commanded to do the same

Getting ready to go under...I think this was the point that Pastor talked about us leaving and what a blessing we've been to the church...I cried coming to Japan and am crying leaving...can we say EMOTIONAL?

Rocky and Gina with us after the baptism
The WHOLE group :)
My Japan-mate, soon to be CA-mate, and I...LOVE YOU!!!!
On Sunday we headed to Kim's house for yummy food and fun! We had a great time hanging out with her and the kids (as always!) I would appreciate prayer for their youngest (Matthew) they found polyps of some sort in his throat and one under his armpit and the doctor's assistant wasn't very positive about it so they're running tests - pray for peace and that it turns out to be nothing or easily taken care of! On Monday we headed back to Forest Adventure with Lisette, Robert, Sage, Rocky, and Gina -SO FUN with a group!!! We laughed and talked the whole time...Adrienne and I were total pros this time around...MUCH better on the landing!

In the bus
Gina doing her test before heading out on the course
Sage and I waiting our turn
Adrienne on the net bridge
Lisette making a landing!
Part of the obstacle course at the end with Sage and Adrienne
Robert and Lisette
Best view of the day :)
ahhh Rocky and Gina are doing 35 new things for their 35th anniversary - this is number something :)
Japan-mate and I (again)
Afterward we headed to Pizza in the Sky...followed a truck of pigs for random!

Adrienne napped...AGAIN...I have a whole page of Adrienne the car, on the chair, in her bed, in Osaka, in Tokyo....I should write a kids book about napping.... :) I will nap in a chair, in a lair. I will nap on a bed, with something red, I will nap in the car, I will nap with a star...
At Pizza in the Sky with Rocky, Adrienne, Robert, (front row) Gina, Lisette, and Sage

As we're waiting for everyone to finish in the bathroom Rocky walks over with this frog that he found...I started laughing at how casual the whole thing was...

...then he put it in front of the door of the bathroom - Adrienne and Gina got a good laugh as they came out!
More Pizza in the Sky - it's a converted house and the first restaurant in Okinawa to be owned and run entirely by women...YUMMY food!
Overall, a GREAT weekend - lots of fun, food, and friends :) Not many left here in Okinawa!

Spring Concert

Spring Concert...makes me miss San Gabriel - different being just another teacher rather than being in charge...another time, another place. Anyway, it was crazy with 18 recorders, 3 costume changes, and all the usual craziness backstage - ahhh theater life :)

Backstage for rehearsal...

Poor Mai was the dog...this costume was SO hot...I ended up fanning her every time she came backstage!

Concert Day - Sarah you would have died...this whole set change, that took about 5 minutes to do, was for a 3 minute scene...think realist to the max! OY!

My little class
The whole group
Some of you know that the recorder has been the bane of my existence at school this year - a HORRID instrument in my humble, non-musical opinion...they turned out ok, but seriously - no one should have to hear this EVERY day for the last 166 days :( Enjoy...insert evil laugh here!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Last tour book day...

I started this blog with lasts and here I am at lasts again...sad. Saturday was our last planned tour book day and unsuccessful! OH MY did we turn around a lot! Thankfully we've seen so much already that it was just another funny day spent in the car together. We decided to start the day with lunch at Charlie's Tacos - always yummy!
After lunch we headed further south on the 329...a road we had not yet explored (I know, there are some!) We were going to find the Banyan Tree tunnel and then head farther south for some castle ruins and end the day at the glass factory before heading north...WELL...ummm....yea

We turned around here...
Passed this several times driving in circles
Turned around here
Asked for some directions before finally stopping here in hopes of finding luck, but Thomas made A REALLY BAD NOISE and we were SURE we were going to have to bury him... the noise stopped and our car started up again. We never did find the tunnel though...we laughed so hard we cried, it would have been fitting for Thomas to kick the bucket on our last tour day! We were a little nervous that no one would ever find us to come rescue us though! Thankfully it was ok and we continued south to find the castle ruins...
This view was on the way...rough I know
You can barely see the motorized parachutes - but it looked pretty exciting! Anyway - we followed the signs to find the castle, no luck and did I mention that the air conditioning in Thomas is no longer working and the heat and humidity is back?
Anyway, no luck so we continued onward to the glass factory - I realized that on the way we would be passing a cave site of where part of the Battle of Okinawa took place - it was an underground hospital and also where the students/nurses took their lives after some false propaganda was issued near the end of the Battle. It was an extremely graphic museum - the retellings were heart wrenching and most of the girls were high school and college age - the things they had to see and do were horrific.

This is the top of the cave outside the museum
After the museum we went to our beloved glass factory - Adrienne found a lamp that was calling her name and it was even on sale :) Everyone will have to come visit and see our collection...if I ever win the lottery (might need to start playing) I'm coming back for more glass!

The whole outside is covered with different colors of glass pieces - it's own work of art!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Goings on...

Aimee and I were just talking about how hard it is to start blogging after a break...I also think it's hard to blog when you're busy! With things winding down here in Okinawa we've been here and there and here are some of the goings on lately :)

We had Pastor Clay and Marlene over for dinner and games - we played Hearts! It was a fun night of laughter and fellowship...Marlene is a licensed counselor and she didn't go running from the room at any point, so we must not be crazy (or at least not certifiable!)

We also had dinner with Rocky and Gina...we were trying to go to Arin Karin (the Garlic House) BUT they had "an extra holiday" ONLY in Japan!!! We ended up at the Pizza House which was good too, we always have a fun time with those two...young at heart as Rocky would say :)

The All Mothers/All Daughters...AKA All female tea was last Saturday at the Globe and Anchor Officer's club.
Pauline read a story and did some "table talk", Eva gave a short message after Kim and the girls did a little skit - Kim hadn't learned her lines, so the cue cards were really funny!

After that we were supposed to design a hat for the cat walk - ummmm, yea, I'm not crafty at all, but I did make a large fan to put on top :) Adrienne and Shay were busy trying to figure out what to do with our supplies!
Poor Emma was voted to be the model (youngest one wins!) The pink thing is my fan...nice addition huh?
I was amazed at some of the other hats - the Japanese ladies are super crafty with paper! I'm pretty sure they actually could wear their hats in public :)

After the tea we were having Alisia and Emma over for a slumber party - first stop beach, next was shaved ice (YUM!) unfortunately there was a long wait (not to pay, but to get it) and quite possibly the worst music in ENGLISH ever...I've never even heard this stuff at home - yikes! After that we decided to go up on the Ferris Wheel - it's been on our list of things to do and it was a beautiful day out...why not?

All the girls
The view from the top
Emma and I - she was a little nervous about heights so pictures were a good distraction!
Adrienne and Alisia practicing their gangsta style!
And a few words from my classroom...I taught a yen lesson and they were working with their yen to solve the problems - so focused, it was pretty funny!

We finished our bodies! Kiana's look is PRICELESS...her body must be doing something for her to make that face and Kounosuke's isn't much'd think I'd asked them to hold up something dead :)