Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hamura Tulip Fest

I say this at the beginning of every post: one of these days I will catch up on this blog :) I swear I am just eternally 2 months behind. I just got back from a fabulous trip to Korea with my neighbor and Mallory, and can't wait to blog all about it. She has a blog too, so we said we would type up the blog together. So now I have even more of a reason to catch up!

Anyway, back in April I went with some friends to the Tulip Festival in Hamura City. Like everything the Japanese call a "festival" it was basically just a field of tulips and people looking at them, and some food vendors. Not real "festival-y" by American standards, but I think the US and Japan just have different translations of that word. We had a fun time though. The tulips were beautiful.
This is the irrigation stream thing. It runs thru the fields and helps spread water to different parts.
There were 7 of us total on the day's trip: Karen and her son Nathan, Shalece and her son Alon, Jane, Mallory and myself. Here are the 3 babies.
Mal trying to pull of her hat, the little stinker!
This is an adorable little Japanese kid. Look at the cute outfit- it was this plastic bodysuit, I guess so they could get in the fields and not get their clothes dirty or wet. It had a little dog picture on the front, and a tail sticking out the back- hilarious!
In the spring, the Japanese plant a huge section of fields with tulip bulbs and they all bloom. They even make patterns with the colors.At the end of April, they rip up all the tulips, and plant the fields with rice, so you have to catch the tulip blooms at just the right time. But luckily we did and they were beautiful. We wandered all thru the tulip fields. We let the kids out of their strollers to play. We took pictures with the flowers. We climbed up the observation deck to see the patterns from up high.

Tulip close up- this one was growing multiple flowers on one stem!We saw the water wheel where they grind up the rice to make flour.

The boy's day flags were out and flying high. Boys Day is May 5th.
We checked out all the food and drinks from the vendors, and even bought a soda and an okonomiyaki for lunch.

We ate a picnic lunch under some trees, and this lady with her pet rabbit came strolling by.
We enjoyed ourselves and had a great day. Here's the whole group,
and my sweet Mally girl!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My NEWEST blog!

Go check out my new blog:
if you want to see a bit of what I've been up to lately. I have pulled my embroidery machine back out, dusted it off, and am back in business. I hadn't done it in a while- I was a bit busy what with moving to Japan and having a kid and all- but I missed it. So, she's back out and ready to start stitching away. I've put my name out to the Yokota community, and hope to start taking a few orders soon. There are SOOOO many babies and kids on this base. Brett said he was actually a bit afraid of me getting the word out, as he thought I might get a bit TOO busy. I told him family will always come first, but who couldn't use a bit of extra spending money, right? Besides I have trips to Korea, Hawaii, and Thailand coming up- I need some cash for souvenirs! (And I'll blog all about those places soon).
Anyway, check out the pictures on the new site, and spread my name around. I'd love to make something for you too! We have an APO address, so shipping is the same price as if I was still in the states, it just takes a few days longer. And if you send a stateside order my way, maybe I'll throw in a Japanese trinket for you too!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More Mallory-Moo

Here are some more pictures of fun times with Mallory. She's so stinkin cute, so I just have to post pictures of her.
She loves bath time and her ducky bath.

She does NOT love avocado.

Her squishy nose face.
How cute is that face??
Yes Mal I do think you are cute!
Brett found a gecko on our backporch and wanted Mallory to see it. See was a little scared at first.
So was this guy.
But I think she was pretty interested by the end. No geckos were harmed in this experiment, and the gecko was released soon after.
Chillin with a bottle and a PS3 remote.

Our Hot Mamas group had "Silly Hat Potluck Day". How cute are these kiddos?
Cute collage of the kids.
The kids and moms- we are all crazy, but have so much fun. I think the little cow is the cutest. She is our "Mally-Moo" so it was quite a fitting hat!

These look interesting...I think I'll try to eat them.
Yum! Oranges are good!

What's more fun than playing in a box?

Whoo-hoo! You getting mailed to the USA??

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Life of a Military Wife

I was raised in a military family. My grandfather was a West Point grad and was retired Army, my father and other grandfather are Naval Academy grads and had Naval careers. My grandpa even served as a submariner in WW2. I have uncles who also served in the service. I am married to an Air Force pilot, and have my brother-in-laws and a sister-in-law who are or were military as well. Many of my friends and parents friends are military as well. I firmly believe in the military and their cause. I love the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States and defend this country.
Sadly, I was reminded this week that defending this country comes at a price. The highest price of all. A friend from back home, who was a classmate of my younger brother, was killed while serving as a Marine in Afghanistan. He had already done 2 tours in Iraq.
Brandon was a great guy- funny, outgoing, the life of the party. I knew him from events my brother participated in while growing up, and he always made me laugh. He was over 6' tall, but more like a big teddy bear. Always so nice to others.
I remember well the summer I spent with him in England. When I was in college, my dad was flying in/out of London one summer, and we had friends from Kingwood (the Olsen's) that had moved to London as well. Brandon came over at the same time to visit Adam Olsen. So all of us spent time together touring London and having fun. I remember Brandon trying to "speak British" while on the subway. His fake accent was hilarious as he tried to say excuse me, which sounded more like "es-shoes-me" and "mind the gap" every time we pulled into a subway station. Walking across the famous London Bridge, he spit off the side into the river. The police saw us, and kicked us off the bridge, and we had to wander thru quite a large part of London before we could figure out how to get back home again, without recrossing that bridge! We all were mad at the time, but got quite a few laughs about it later. Thinking about it now brings a smile to my face.
It's hard to believe that that happy, funny, joking guy is really gone. He leaves behind his mom, dad and 2 brothers. He also leaves behind a beautiful wife and 2 little boys (ages 3 and 1). I think maybe that is what gets to me the most.
I try to imagine myself in her shoes- the ever-supportive, loving wife who goes about her life day to day while her husband is deployed, and she raises 2 small kids. That part I can do. In fact, I don't have to imagine it, I've done it. Brett has deployed 5 times. While it is scary to have them gone, it's part of the job and you know it.
Some say the hardest military job is that of the military wife. We do put up with and sacrifice a lot, but we all know that going into it, and we love our guys enough to know that just comes with the territory. You carry on with your life because it almost becomes routine to have them gone. You keep your cell phone close to make sure to get to talk to them when they can call. You enjoy the short phone calls/emails you do get, and count down the days until they return. You plan a homecoming party and make a "welcome back" banner, because you know they are going to come home again.
You know it is possible, but you don't think about them not coming home. I can't imagine it. Or having them return home, but in a casket. It's my nightmare, and my heart breaks into a million pieces for Brandon's wife, who is living that nightmare right now. A picture of his casket being delivered home on a C-17 was posted online, and his wife responded with "welcome home my love- I'll be there soon" (she was going to meet his remains in Delaware). I read that and just cried for her, for him, for their children, for our country to have lost one of its own & one of it's best.
I pray I never have to experience that pain and sorrow first hand. I pray for Brandon's family that they may have the peace of knowing Brandon is in a better place, and died doing what he loved- supporting our American way of life.
Thank a military member today. Be proud of our troops, no matter what your view on the current war is, and send up prayers for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Freedom isn't free, and I am so very proud to be in the 'military family'. Brandon, you are gone, but will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace. Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice. You will be remembered as a hero.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Showa Park Part 2

After taking Mallory on my own and showing Brett the pictures, we decided to take a family trip to the park a few weeks later. So...we loaded up the stroller and a picnic and the camera and off we went.
Mallory sitting in the stroller, all loaded down with "picnic gear".
Waving hello
Mally and Daddy
The Japanese are crazy about their pets. This woman has a CAT on her back, complete with a shirt, hat and backpack!
Beautiful cherry blossom trees
It's a longhaired Maverick dog in a suitcase!
pretty flower patterns
grape hyacinths- these are the "fake bluebonnets" as I like to call them.
getting a ride from daddy
cherry trees in full bloom
hangin out on the blanket
our family :)
cherry blossom petals stick to your nose!
silly family picture
mommy and mal in the cherry tree
cell phones are delicious
cherry blossom tree in full bloom. they are so pretty. they don't las long (about 2 weeks max) but are gorgeous about mid-april every year. one of my favorite things about japan!