Friday, October 12, 2007


I literally gasped when I opened this picture on my computer just now.

This is Madilyn Neathery - Knyte, Logan & Nikolas' sister - the ONLY sister. Yeah, her mom will tell you she can be a pill. And she's definitely having a hard time adjusting to having a baby brother. But she's got this adorable little muppet voice and is so darn cute to those of us who don't have to discipline her.

Gorgeous. Taken in the driveway today after the kids got home from school. (The horn she has in her mouth was her brother's from the bus monitor.)

Here are Nikolas, Maisey (Madilyn's nickname) and Mia with their new toys:

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Lovely Afternoon

Craig was lucky enough to have a day off yesterday, so when Mia got home from school we walked to Coffee Casa and then back around on the sea wall. It was a really lovely afternoon - it's still very warm, but much better yesterday than it has been in quite a while. We brought the glorious new baby (the 70-200) and our glorious 6-year-old baby (pictured below).

Mia on the concrete tetrahedrons, aka "jacks":

I LOVE this picture - it's our desktop right now. The graffiti on the sea wall just looks like dripping multicolor paint, and the whole picture is just interesting to me.

A while ago I was walking and looked up to notice this guy - I thought, "hm, nice pink and turquoise wet suit, dude." Ends up it's a mannequin, and I've been meaning to find a sunny day and bring the zoom lens to capture this. It's just in some random stairway in an apartment building on the 4th floor.

The surf is still pretty choppy after the category 4 typhoon (Krosa) that blew by Taiwan this past weekend. At high tide the splashing waves were really interesting. Coming from southern Cali, the ocean here is usually more like a lake. I wonder what these surfers are thinking - they'd be better off buying a ticket to Hawaii most days.

I think this one's pretty interesting too.

I finally gave in and handed off the camera. I like this one of Mia & me. The rest of the photos can be found here. I think they came out pretty well.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I'm Not Sure I'd Eat Here

The Long Weekend

It's Tuesday. I'm sorry I made you all wait for all this, but the post here should catch up. I've really barely been in front of my computer let alone at home for a few days!

Mia's birthday was Thursday, and as I mentioned in a previous post, Craig was on a 10-mile hike after work so he wasn't home to celebrate. We put off the celebration until Friday, so when Mia got home from school she opened gifts from family & friends. She got (among other things) books of "why" (yes, she's at that stage and starting to read big-time, so she should go LOOK IT UP), an origami set, clothes from Gymboree (that are adorable and fit great - long-time family friends sent them and she wore an outfit from that box to the birthday party, see below), The Jungle Book DVD, a game for the DS, more clothing from her parents, and a Littlest Pet Shop set.

That evening we went upstairs to Hokulea, the yummy restaurant on the top floor of our building, where I finally took some food pictures. Here's the Funky Franky Roll (spicy sausage wrapped in a banana pepper and then rolled in lettuce, rice, seaweed, roe, and some kind of sauce. Craig wanted to try it and he dug it):

My delicious lomi lomi salmon appetizer:

My beef with mushrooms entree, which was good down to the licked plate:

Craig's gigantic pina colada girlie drink. He wouldn't pose with it for me:
All in all, great Friday.

Saturday was rather windy & rainy - there was supposed to be a typhoon. We stayed inside most of the day. I had a shoot at 5 which I think went great and was lots and lots of FUN (our first shoot on our own, so that was fabulous), and then we just hunkered down for a relaxing evening together.

Sunday was Mia's birthday party. We held it at Skoshi Bowl, a separate bowling alley that is ONLY used for kids' parties on weekend days. They have the whole place done up glow-in-the-dark and provide pizza and drinks and shoes and FUN. Brilliant and inexpensive idea. We came early and set up the cake & goodie cups.

This year we decided it'd be a great idea to tell guests to bring a donation to the Okinawan American Animal Rescue Society in lieu of a birthday gift. It worked out great, and we collected $100 for the cause! Our family will bring the donation this week. Mia was very excited, and we won't have to find a place for a bunch of toys she doesn't really need.

A great time was had by all, here are a few pictures. Here's Mia and her buddy Zoe (whose family lives across the street):
Here's Nicholas in his size 10 (he's 11 years old) glow-in-the-dark shoes! Dang.

The happy bowman family after Mia blew out her candles. Thanks for taking some pictures, Leighanne!
Leighanne SOOOOooo busted Mia licking her cake!

Leah & Mia ready for another game.

They developed a game where they'd roll the ball and then lie down in the lane to watch the results. See that shine? I'm pretty sure that was due to their bodies polishing the floors.
The rest of the birthday shots are here.

After the party and some cool-down time at home, we got in touch with Derek & Anne across the street (parents of the new baby Knyte). Anne offered up the babysitting services of her visiting mother, and the 5 of us (baby Knyte was just a passed out child the whole time, so that was easy) went to Transit Cafe down the road for a stellar dinner and even better company. How nice it was to have a grown-up night out, and thanks to Grandma Friedlich, a great kid night out too!

She said our kid had some pretty funny things to say... one of which was of course about vegetables. She had chicken & macaroni and cheese, and I guess some green beans were on the plate. She said she didn't have to eat vegetables and when asked why, she said, "because I'm the guest." Nice try, kid.

After sleeping off our meals, we woke up to watch most of game 3 of the Cleveland/NY playoff series, and then headed out to meet Asako (local friend and sweetheart) and the Cyr family at Cafe Curcuma. This Thai restaurant was waaaaaay down south on the island. We drove over an hour, but when we got there, we realized why this place is booked a week in advance for lunches & dinners. The food is good, but the view makes it taste even better. For those who know the place in Big Sur, we're now calling this the Nepenthe of Okinawa.

Here's a shot of my curry sampler plate (I tried it before I thought to take the picture, so the big blob of sauce on the rice was NOT there when it arrived). There was rice, a salad, a delicious piece of plain chicken, and 3 kinds of curry on the plate (all yummy). In the center is a small bowl with tapioca pearls & azuki beans. Sweet & delicious after the spicy curry. In the background of this shot to the left you can see a papaya salad that was also scrumptious. Sweet, a little spicy, and cool - great side dish for the spicy food!

Outside I found a very cool rock wall and made Mia laugh while posing, I really like this shot.

The Bowman family in front of the KILLER view!

After the nice long lunch, we went to Peace Prayer Park. It's a very big park, with many different monuments and symbolic pieces. Also a museum. The main focus is to pay respects to the people who died there during WWII. About 200,000 names are on stone slabs in the part of the park pictured below - there's a computer where you can find names you're looking for. Asako's grandfather perished there, and here are Austin & Mia pointing at his name.

Then we went up to the Okinawan Peace Hall. Unfortunately, there was a ceremony being held in the room where the large (12m high) Buddah statue was, so we couldn't go in there. However, by the entrance of that hall there was a plant and several butterflies. Upon examination, I realized these suckers were REAL!! This one was just finishing emerging from his cocoon - there were more cocoons all around him on the leaves, they are literally shining gold cocoons. It was incredibly beautiful.
More fabulous pictures can be seen at:

Hope that caught everyone up! Any questions?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Heard In The Car Yesterday

Non-military folks, the PX is the Exchange - it's the store where we buy shoes, kitchen items, some clothing, sunglasses, birthday gifts, school supplies, etc. etc. ETC.

Mia: "I want to go back to the United States."
Craig: "You don't like it in Japan?"
"No.... it's always 'we have to go to the PX' and 'we just need something at the PX' and 'gotta go to the PX' and I don't like that."
(Both of us): "Well, in the States it's that we have to go to Target!"
Mia: "But I LOVE Target! Everything is red at Target."