Friday, September 20, 2019

2nd Japanniversary and More

September 4th was our 2nd Japanniversary!  We have been now living in Japan for over two years.  The whole thing has gone by quickly and times and very slow at others.  It has been a huge adventure and I have grown a ton as a person.  Our family has even grown by one over the last year.
The actual day was a perfect representation of our life here.  I did the usual school routine in the morning, full of fun and craziness and lots of messes by Calista (food coloring dumped on our floor).  Then Bob came home for about a minute to grab Tucker and head to young men.  Then I attempted to make a cake.  I put it in the fridge to cool so I could frost it and before I knew it Calista had dug the whole thing apart.  It was super difficult to frost after that and I just ended up dumping powdered sugar over the whole thing to get it to look white.

Bot got home after the kids normally go to bed.  I was frustrated and tired and so we quickly took a picture and ate some cake before going to sleep.

I tried to quickly run into the grocery store with Calista while Bob stayed in the car with the other kids.  The store ended up being so crowded!  It is usually crowded, but this time we were waiting in line partway down the isle.
 Those yellow things in our basket are sooo good!  I don't know what they are called, but if you are ever in Japan you should get them.

 Just had to throw in a Calista picture here.
Here is another little snippet of our lives.  Kids playing and fighting and being crazy all at once.  I love it...except the fighting part.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Just Can't Wait to Be King Audition

Tucker tried out for the high school musical again this year.  I got a video:

It was extra stressful because we knew that about ten kids would not get parts.  The directors (also our bishop and his wife) said that while they would love to cast everyone, they just don't have room on their small stage and backstage area.  I totally understand.  But both Tucker and I were stressed about it.

This year they are doing The Little Mermaid.  Tucker was called back for the part of Flounder, he didn't end up getting that (I think he would have been great) but he did get a part on the ensemble. 

It is going to be fun to watch in November! 

Monday, September 16, 2019

Outdoor pool/Wibit

We finally made it to the outdoor pool on base.  It only took me two years and we went on the very last day it was open.  It was just always so hot outside I really didn't think it sounded fun to go outside at all.  But I promised the kids we would go and so we did!
 It ended up being a lot of fun.  Next summer I'll try to go more often.

Tucker was the only one who could go on the Wibit course.  You need to pass a swim test first.  The good thing about that Penelope finially decided that she wanted to pass the swim test and that she would do swimming lessons again once soccer is over.

On a totally random note, I saw a couple different KitKat flavors at the grocery store and wanted to share.  Here is Sweet Potato,
 and Chestnut.
I didn't buy either.  I've had enough to tell that I wouldn't like these.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

First Day of School 2019

We started school up again shortly after we returned from Alaska.  The summer seemed to go by so quickly!  I wasn't ready to start and feel like school shouldn't start until after Labor day, but the public school was starting and the kids wanted to go ahead and start.
The first week was rough!  Bob was on a weird noon to midnight schedule so he got to be home during our homeschool time.  It was great having his help, but it was really hard to get back into the swing of homeschool.  I also got a bad cold, so that didn't help.

We did manage to take first day of school pictures.

Now that it has been a few weeks we have settled into a routine and things have gotten much easier.  I wasn't sure at first how we were going to work in a new History curriculum but so far we have manage to have time every week to get it done.  Next week I'm going to start Leon on harder and more time consuming language arts material, which I'm sure he is ready for.  My concern is that it will add about 30 minutes of one on one time he will need each day.

The only way I've been able to fit everything in is to extend our homeschool day.  The kids now start about 30 minutes earlier and sometimes we have some work to still do after lunch, whereas before we were able to get it all done by lunch (not counting quiet reading and individual work they do on their own).

It is exhausting, but fun at the same time.  I love that I get to spend the day working with the kids.  It is so cool to see their growth everyday and to be a part of it.  The fact that they get to go at their own pace and aren't compared to others is a nice bonus.  One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is the family bonding it builds.  I love that my children play together for hours everyday.  There are days when I'm tired and think that it would be nice to just send the kids off to school, but when I really think about it feel that homeschooling is best option for us.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Space A Home

Our flight out of Alaska did not go very well.  We had an early flight so we dropped off the rental car the night before and walked to the base airport (it was probably a 20 minute walk).  Actually we started walking but people kept stopping and asking to give us a ride that we gave in and let them drive us.

Unfortunately they only had six seats open on the plane, or at least that is what they said.  We tried to convince them to let Calista and Beatrix be lap children and not have seats, but they said no.  So Bob took the kids and Beatrix and I stayed behind.  I waited in the terminal for over an hour hoping something would happen and then I talked to the desk clerk to see if there was a chance a seat would open up.  He said no so I started walking to the hotel.  They said they didn't have any rooms available, but I was hopeful that if I just waited in their lobby something would open up.  
After Bob boarded the plane he saw that there were extra seats and asked if I could come on the flight.  They said yes and called the terminal looking for me.  I must have just left :(  When I found out about that I was pretty upset.  So Bob got to hang out with the kids and deal with jet leg without me.
 They even went to a cool space art party.

Beatrix and I sat in the lobby and eventually a room did open up!  I was grateful and we hung out in the room, where we both almost instantly fell asleep.  A friend who lives in Anchorage came and picked us up and took us to dinner.  It was really nice of her and I had fun!  Then back to HGTV.
I really should have enjoyed my almost kid free time, but I felt pretty upset the whole time about missing the flight and I was also stressed about getting on the next flight.  I didn't have a car and just walked a little bit around base, but mostly hung out in the hotel.  It was two days before the next flight to Japan, so not too long.  I'm glad it wasn't an indefinite amount of time.  I actually looked into just buying a commercial ticket, but there was nothing direct form Alaska.  Everything had one or more layovers and took 22-27 hours.  I didn't want to go through all that and decided to wait for the Space A flight.

Of course I slept horribly before the flight.  I had to be up at 4 am to pack up and walk to the airport and I was terrified of missing my alarm. 
 Beatrix and I made and and there was plenty of room on the plane. 

But too bad for us because after a couple hours of flying, they announced that the plane was turning back around and heading to anchorage!  I've never had that happen before.  But I guess when there is a mechanical issue and you are over the ocean you just go back.

After landing we were told we were going to switch planes in a couple hours.  Ok, that was a bummer, but not too bad.  But it got worse.  After switching planes we were all set to go.  We were just about to take off when another announcement came that there was an issue with the fuel line and we were going back.  I was so disappointed.  By that time it was 2:30 and too late in the day for them to try to fix it and still leave.  We were told to come back at 11 the next day.
Of course the hotel did not have room, so now there were about 15 of us on the flight all without a place to stay (the airport closes).  So I walked to the hotel lobby and waited again.  Rooms opened up!  Just before going to bed that night I saw on facebook that the flight time changed to 6am.  I called the terminal to confirm that was correct.  I was surprised that they weren't going to notify the passengers other then by posting the new flight time on facebook.  It wasn't even clear if the 6am flight was the same flight that was previously planned for 11.  I let the two people from my flight that I could message know (both of which didn't know) and had another sleepless flight.

One family didn't get the message and never showed up the morning, and two people gave up and bought commercial tickets.  One was the wife of a man who stayed on the Space A plan.
Too bad for them because the next flight worked out and we landed before the commercial ticket people did.

Here is Beatrix sleeping during the flight.

I was so happy that we finally made it home.  Although the weather was so much nicer in Alaska.

Wow, this was a long post.  Flying Space A is stressful!  But really, it would have cost us thousands so I regret nothing... ok, I do regret not staying at the airport for ten more minutes, but that is it.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Anchorage Temple and Moose Tooth

I was happy to spend my 32nd birthday on vacation with the family in Alaska.  For a minute it looked like I was going to have the shortest birthday ever because we almost had a very early flight that morning that would have landed in Japan the next day.  But that flight got pushed to the next day which was great because that meant we had some more time to party in Alaska.

We just went drove to the store and bought a delicious chocolate cake and candles.  I love that we had what felt like our own little apartment instead of a hotel room.
We ate at Moose Tooth pizza.  It was really good, but super crowded.  I think it was worth it though, I loved my pizza.
 The kids even got a macaroni and cheese pizza.

The temple had very limited hours and weren't open the first two days we were in Alaska.  The temple was one of the main things we wanted to do so I was really happy we got to stay another day and go.
We don't have an operational temple within driving distance to us in Japan so this was important.  Tucker was especially excited to go for the first time!  It was pretty special for both Bob and Tucker.
I just hung out in the parking lot with everyone else while they did baptisms, then when they finished I went in and had a turn.  It will be nice when the Tokyo temple opens again.

Monday, September 9, 2019

SeaPlanes and Reeindeer dogs

We had a pretty strong typhoon last night and there was damage on base, so Bob got to stay home from work today meaning I have more time to post on the blog about our Alaska trip.  We were up all night from the loud winds and house moving, but we didn't suffer any damage.

So we spent some time checking out Downtown Anchorage.  The kids asked if we could do a geocache.  I didn't have any planned and we didn't have internet so I wasn't sure if it was going to be possible.  Then I remembered where one was that I found years ago.  We went to see if it was still around.  Not only was it still there, but we were able to find exactly where I signed it in 2015!  It was pretty cool.

Next we ate reindeer hot dogs for lunch.  Not my favorite but kind of felt like something we should eat while in Alaska.

 Tucker got to pet a real sled dog.
 We walked around downtown and checked out souvenir shops.
 Next we headed over to watch seaplanes land and take off.  This lake is famous for the most seaplane landings in the world.  They were really landing every couple minutes.

Ok, so this part was actually the next morning, but I want to put it on the same post anyway.  We got up early and went on a bear hunt
 We were unsuccessful in our search, but did enjoy a nice nature walk.
Next we went to an airplane museum.  It wasn't my favorite, but Bob was into it so we wanted to support him.

Flying is huge in Alaska.  I learned that most of Alaska is not accessible by cars, and that people in Alaska have more pilot licenses then any other state per capita.  Bob wants to get his, but I would rather he didn't.