Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Kannonzaki Fun

Bob is back to working Saturdays again, so we made sure to go to the park one more time with him while we still could.  Kannonzaki is one of our favorites.

This grasshopper blends in so well.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Phone Pics

It's time for me to share the random pictures I took on my phone.  Mostly pictures of Calista and Beatrix and their shenanigans. 

I think this next one is my favorite.

Leon and I found a beehive on an evening walk.  He was scared to pick it up at first, but I convinced him.
My grandpa turned 97 and we had a virtual birthday celebration. He seems pretty sharp for his age, I was impressed at how much he remembers what is going on with each family.
I found a picture of Leon on the Uniqlo website that I haven't seen yet.  He was pretty cute when he modeled the school uniform.  

Friday, September 18, 2020

Third Jappaniversary

We've past our third Jappaniversary and have officially lived overseas for more than three years now.  We like it enough here that we decided to extend our time and live in Japan for two more years.  If we didn't extend we would be back in Washington right now. 
There are many things that we love about living in Japan.  The general environment is really great.  The kids play outside everyday with neighborhood kids.  They go to the local parks for hours and just run around and use their imagination.  Sometimes I give them money and they go to the local 7/11 or grocery store to get ice cream or bread or eggs or whatever I need.  I don't have to worry about them being abducted or even hit by a car because the store is literally in our neighborhood.  

Our ward here is very friendly and supportive.  It is such a transient congregation that everyone is always welcoming and ready to help each other out.  I think that comes with being in a military ward, but this is our first time in a ward like that.  It is also a small ward where the majority of adults are 27-37 years old, so we fit in pretty well.

I like the weather anytime except for the summer.  June-September is pretty horrible here, but the rest of the year is so sunny.  It does get cold, but that doesn't bother me.  I really enjoy seeing the sky year round instead of so many cloudy days.  

Our house is much bigger and nicer than the one we had it Washington.  Plus get to live here rent and utility free.  Yes, I desperately miss central heating, but we do have AC which is a first for me.  I also miss having a yard, but not nearly as much as I thought I would.  The park is pretty much our yard.  Bob makes a similar amount of money but not paying for our house means we get to pocket a good chunk of change every month.  Money was definitely a factor when decided whether to extend or not.  

I love going for jogs on a beautiful boardwalk right along the water.  I never have to worry about getting hit by a car or attacked by the Bremerton strangler.  

Yes, things here are not perfect.  We really miss our families and also the freedoms that come with living in America and not being affiliated to the Navy.  The garbage situation here took me about a year to not be okay with.  Our shopping is pretty limited.  The library doesn't have half the books I want to check out, and on that note I miss the government paying for our homeschool supplies.  Our car is not great, and neither is our church building.  All that being said I think we made the right choice to stay a couple more years.

One of the best things about living in Japan is how much we have grown as individuals and as a family.  Moving really forces a family and siblings to rely and bond with each other.  We learn and grow so much by just living overseas.  It is interesting and exciting to do new things and go to new places where we don't speak the language and can't even read the signs.  It is like we are toddlers learning about the world.  We really get to see and experience a completely different culture and way of life.  It has been hard to adjust to but totally worth it.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Day to Day Homeschool

We spend about 7:30 am until 2pm doing schoolwork around here.  The whole time I have at least three people needing my attention at once.  I decided to make them wait so I could take pictures to document this busy time in our lives.  I took these pictures on two different mornings.

The computers definitely add to the crazy around here.  I don't let them have them in their rooms and our headphones took two weeks to come in the mail only to be too small when they arrived.  Scarlett and Leon pretty much have loud competing meets with teachers going on at the same time, all in the same space with Calista and Beatrix as they run around and Tucker, Penelope, and I, who are also trying to do school.  It is a little funny because we are loud, but every once in a while the kids will need to unmute so if we ever hear Scarlett or Leon talking to the computer we try really hard to suddenly be really quiet.  I can only imagine what that is like to watch and hear from the teacher's point of view.

Our COVID cases have gone down a lot over the last week.  It seems like Scarlett and Leon might go back to the actual school building soon.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Sunset Photos

Homeschooling my babies has kind of taken over my life.  To combat that I decided it is time for me to get back into some of the things I like that don't have to do with the kids. To start things off I joined a facebook group for photographers.  They do a weekly challenge and everyone posts their pictures.  It is basically a way for me to remember to take pictures and to focus on something, at least once a week that isn't the kids.  This weeks challenge was to take sunset pictures.

I took these right outside of my house in Yokosuka, Japan.

I jog along this boardwalk almost every morning, but I rarely got out at night to see the sunset. 
If you look closely in this next picture you can spot Fuji-san.  It is the mountain right next too the building on the left.
Getting out and taking these is a great reminder to me of how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place.  I definitely struggle with the heat and humidity this time of year, but the sunsets can be pretty amazing.

Monday, August 31, 2020

First Week of School

We survived our first week back to school!
I say survived it because honestly it is hard.  I think it is going better than last year, but I still feel like I'm running from child to child putting out fires all day.  There are so many log ins and links and things similar things that the kids need help with that are computer related.  

Scarlett and Leon are signed up to go to the public school, but right now it is all online.  We are hopeful that they will switch and go full time in person soon, but that is all dependent on how many COVID cases are in the area and on base.  Tucker and Penelope homeschool and Tucker does take band at the actual middle school, which is online for now.

Anyway, I spend a significant amount of time helping Scarlett and Leon with the computer, or making sure that they are on at the correct times (4 different times a day for each of them).  I also have to reteach many things to them that I know their teachers just explained.  Sometimes they can't read the directions on the work that their teacher gives them, so I need to do that as well.  I do think I spend more time helping them but is is less effective than if I just did our regular homeschool stuff with them.  But I keep doing it because I am hopeful that they will go in person soon.
That being said, so far it both Scarlett's and Leon's teachers seem great.  It's hard to tell because we haven't really met, but we don't have any objections or reasons to be concerned.  They both seemed happy about their jobs and eager to teach their classes.
Tucker is doing well with his homeschool.  It is pretty much business as usual for him.  He doesn't need a lot of my time so he isn't as affected by me not being available.  He did forget a lot of his math and couldn't really remember how to do any of his Algebra.  I can't blame him because we stopped in the middle of the book.  But I really don't remember how to do his math as I have never done it after I left school.  So every night after dinner Bob and Tucker have been doing math together.  By the end of the week he pretty much had it down.  This week he is practicing it some more, but with less help, and next week he will move on to the next lesson.
Penelope moved up a level on our English curriculum which is sort of a transition for her.  It is not too hard of a level for her, but this book is geared for her to read and complete.  It is self directed but most lesson will say things like, "Read the following passage to your parent or teacher."  or, "complete... and show your parent or teacher."  Where her previous ELA I sat down with her the whole time and guided her through.  I'm happy she can do this level because it frees up time for me.  But she is struggling a little bit with what to do.  It isn't that she gets distracted but more that she won't know the exact answer or what to do exactly and she has a really hard time guessing.  I think she is just scared of getting it wrong or doing it wrong.

We got up a little early to take the first day of school pictures.

This is such a crazy year to start school for everyone.  I'm curious to see how things turn out.