Friday, November 23, 2007

So Thankful!

Thankful for all of my friends & family at home and here in our temporary home on Okinawa. Thankful for one of the BEST Thanksgiving dinners ever last night! There wasn't ONE thing in our feast that was only "good" - it was all outstanding. (Deep fried turkey picked up from Popeye's - don't laugh, it was possibly the best turkey I've ever had - cranberry sauce from a can, homemade everything else to include stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin pies, and fresh berry coffee cake) Thankful for lots of champagne and wine and the fact that we ate our faces off across the street so we could stumble back home in minutes. Thankful for the PS3 and blu-ray movies that entertained the kids (ours and the big man children too) for the whole day. Thankful that Craig is with our family instead of overseas like he was last year. And thankful for the opportunity to spend a few years here in Okinawa where we are having a great time, though it means missing our families. (and we DO miss our friends & family for sure!)

A few shots from the great day... the whole lot can be found here.

Little Mr. Knyte - looking at Mama.
The kid goofing around on the deck chairs out on the balcony.
Kid #5 - Tommy.
Maisy, Niko & Mia watching Happy Feet.
Logan kickin' back.

The fresh fruit coffee cake. Yummmmmm....Excuse me while I wipe the drool out of my keyboard.... Derek slicing the bird.
The beautiful table- Mia made a "fall tree" and Anne sprinkled some festive leaves and candles around. (the ceiling fan kept blowing out candles...)
The kids approve!
Hi, Nikolas. You don't know this yet, but someday you're going to KILL the ladies. Ryan, this guy reminds me of Kiki SOOOOO much. Sensitive and smart sweetheart with a smile to make the girls swoon.

Which is not to say that brother Logan is a bag of rocks- he brings out the SILLY in Mia. Fun to watch while it lasts - before "EEWWW GIRLS ARE GROOOOOSSSSSS!" It's really quite funny to see the dynamic with all 3. It works - until Niko comes down crying because Mia & Logan are stepping on his chest and kicking his head. Super.

I wish ALL of you a wonderful Thanksgiving, even though ours is over already. Now it's off to SHOP. Oh - and if you're reading this and want to send us a holiday card (I know you would just love to do that) it's no more postage than if you were sending it to anyone in the states - so please email me to let me know if you need our address. I'll probably be sending out emails to update my address book this week for our cards!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I'm Back - Much To Say!

I still exist - really I do! More pictures for you from the last - jeez, almost 10 days? Sorry.

We went to Kurashiki Dam the weekend before last, which was very cool. It was WINDY (as you will notice from our kid's wild hair in the pictures. The signs have pictures so that they're universally understood. We realized they were also very funny, and our witty child with the sharp sense of humor was posing up a storm when we said, "Do something funny".

Don't you dare leave your doggie poop here!
Ok - so she didn't pose like she was holding a fishing pole...
Having some fun in the middle of the street. Yes, I did have to move from my lying down position in the center of the road several times during these shots.

This was my fav - TOTALLY Mia's idea. (the "no swimming" sign in the background)

Holding back her hair because of the wind:

The bridge out to the mystery building in the middle of the water next to the dam (you can see the dam on the right):

Some pretty water lilies on a pond next to a croquet course (they call it lawn golf or gate ball!):
Headed back across the dam/bridge:

I like this one - just some lone interesting tree on a green green lawn.

Ok, so some stuff has happened since then, but nothing I've photographically documented. Mia's parent/teacher conference was this week. Not surprisingly, she's thriving in kindergarten and is a real leader in her class. She has a strong personality, but avoids conflict with other strong personalities - so that's encouraging. We are very happy with her progress and her development. We were talking, and even in the past 5 months we've been here we've seen a real change in her. She's growing up - she's oh so smart - she is just a great kid. We're very happy and VERY lucky.

On that note, I want to mention that not everyone is as lucky - my friend-by-blogging, Edith, and her husband Trinity are now in Hawaii after only a brief time in Okinawa. Their son, Diego, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia this week, and they immediately left to begin treatment at Tripler Army Hospital in Honolulu. We are praying for all of you, you are at an amazing care facility and I'm so very glad that you found out when you did.

Edith is so incredibly brave, honest, and helpful to others - she is blogging the experience on her site: I was in tears reading her post today...any parent probably would be, but I'm so very happy that he's getting such great care and so much overflowing love. And that his mommy & daddy are there to be with him and hold his hand, sweet baby boy. Edith, I am here to do or send anything - ANYTHING you need. Just say the word. Please let me know what would make things easier for your family. Craig, Mia and I wish you all the best and hope this story continues in every positive way it can.

Last but not least - the 7th Communications Battalion USMC Birthday Ball was last night. We got ourselves all dolled up and schlepped up to Camp Hansen for a 650-person party!

Thanks for taking a couple of pictures, Anne. I don't have any from the ball itself because I brought my small camera and it took pathetically blurry pictures. Suffice it to say we had fun enjoying the company of friends/coworkers, and decent food. Not great, decent. The ceremony was mercifully short. The drinks at the cash bar were mercifully cheap. And not so merciful was the amount of people that someone saw fit to put into this ROOM! We were packed like sardines in there. Craig said they're the biggest battalion on the island - and it showed. I had full body contact with the people on either side of me at my table. I had to squish my arms together to cut my meat. It was rather crazy. We left at about 9:30, got back and had a drink with the Neatherys who were watching Mia, and then came home to crash. Very very fun.