Thursday, July 29, 2010

Culture Club Closing Ceremony

Culture Club has been one of my favorite activites to participate in here in Japan. I had a blast getting to know some sweet Japanese ladies, seeing parts of their culture, and getting to give them a tiny taste of America as well. Like a lot of the programs here, it doesn't run in the summer months. Mostly because a lot of us military wives are mommies too, so we have to go with the school year. Anyway, we had a closing ceremony at the end of May. The theme this year was "New Orleans Mardi Gras/Jazz/Cajun" and it went over well.

The tables set up and people coming in for the event.
The centerpieces.
Marissa and Darcie, looking all cute and taking our $ at the door.
A slideshow played in the background with pictures from each groups events. I was in charge of getting the pictures together for our group. That's our group there, at one of our cooking events.
Kimiko enjoying the day
The US Army Japan Band from Camp Zama played for us.
Sheila getting in some "baby Mal" time
Our lunch was New Orleans style Po-Boy's. Yum!
Our "Group E" Culture Club with the USAJ Band.
Mallory looking all cute and eating Sheila's bracelet.
The ladies showing off their gifts from the Americans- New Orleans style ceramic hanging masks.
They received the masks from us, we gave our group photo books of all our events from the year. I made them, and they turned out nice, if I do say so myself :)
Part of our group- aren't we a cute bunch?
We played Bingo after lunch, and I won one of the prizes!! $40!!
Enjoying gifts and gab together

Culture Club will start up again this fall, and I will be participating again for sure. I really enjoyed everyone this year and can't wait to see more of Japan through this experience!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ginza Willow Fest

On May 5th, some of my friends in the Hot Mama's Group and our babies traveled into Tokyo by train to go to the Ginza Willow Festival. I've said before how the Japanese call everything "festivals". This was basically a parade going down a main street, but it was fun to watch. They had all sorts of things- floats, bands, cheerleaders, people in costume..all the typical parade stuff. The funniest part was actually the crowd watching the parade. Literally there were swarms of people watching and they would watch until part of the parade passed, and then run down the street to get ahead of the parade, so they could watch it again. These Japanese- they are some funny folks! It was hot and we got hungry part way through, so we went and had a picnic lunch in a nearby park/shady area and listened to one of the bands (who had finished the parade by then) perform. Then we all piled back on the train to head home. We were hot and sweaty, but it was a fun day out, and our first official Japanese parade!

Mallory getting ready for the parade
This was my view, if I held my camera up high. (So I'm not sure how much of the actual parade Mallory saw, but she didn't complain).
Japanese mounted police
I think these were Japanese Boy Scouts
Some random cartoon characters
That's the back of Hello Kitty's head. She's the star of the show here in Japan, so I'm sure no parade could be complete without her! See the ad for her in the shop window above her head?
Japanese "umbrella people"
Alon and Mallory taking in the parade and some sun
Some Japanese University band

cheerleaders and twirlers
Scottish Japanese- hahaha
cute young Japanese cheerleaders
a very cool balloon flower
Mallory loving the parade
and then passing out from all the fun
collages of the kids and the fun

group shots

Way Back Wednesday...all the way back to May

I know I blogged about Hawaii...but I'm gonna make you wait a bit longer for the pictures. Maybe it's my OCDness, or just my need to show off all the pics of my cutie-pie kid, but I want to get caught up on other events we did before our Hawaii trip. And I'm going to try hard to do that this week since we leave Friday for Malaysia and Thailand! (And then Lord knows I'll be even further behind!)'s a few pictures from a few things we did back in May. And after I look at these pictures and look at my daughter in real life, I can't believe how much she has changed in just a few months! If I ever get caught up with this'll see it too!

Mallory became my little helper and did the laundry for me. Can't you see that she's a big help?

Peek-a-boo, I see you!

Cutie-pie in her jammies!

Mallory enjoys some rice crackers.
Shove it in there Mallory...using both hands helps...

Mmmm...that was delicious!

Mallory enjoyed her first taste of puffs snacks, cheerios and waffles.
Look what I have...
...let me see what this is really all about...
...yep, delicious!

Mallory enjoys Daddy's Chu-Hi's, or at least licking the shiny cans.

Hanging out in my car seat.

Mallory finds that roaches are a tasty spring-time treat...ok, not really. One of the guys in Brett's office has a thing about roaches, and the GIANT ones they have here in Japan. So someone sent a big bag of fake plastic roaches to the office and they have proceeded to make their way all over base, including our house...and Mal's mouth! Eew!

Mallory went swimming for the very first time at the indoor baby pool. She LOVED it and is a water baby for sure.

As you can tell, we don't have a lot of dull moments and down time around here, but we love it that way. Staying busy means having fun!