Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Where has the time gone..........

I can't believe I have a 20 month old, one who continues to surprise and amaze me with how much she is learning and picking up. Cydney is full of personality and always on the move. She enjoys singing and dancing, playing with "digee", helping me with laundry and picking things up to put them away, Elmo, playing outside, and exploring her surroundings. She is very attentive to her surroundings and those around her, mimicking everyone's gestures as well as things they say. Her favorite phrases are "Thank You" and "Welcome".

Her favorite time of day is when Dada calls and she gets to tell him stories about her day, show him her new "tricks" on Skype, or just give him lots of Kisses!.
She is missing him a lot and I know will be very excited to see him again soon. We like to take lots of pictures to keep dada updated with what is going on at home and new things she is doing. Following are what we have been up to during our recent trip home to visit.
Sitting at SeaTac USO, waiting on flight to Tulsa. Thank goodness for this USO, gives us a chance to get some comfortable rest while waiting between flights on our way to or from Japan.

Meeting Grammy, Pop Pop, Aunt Cait and Aunt Jo at the Airport upon arrival from Japan:
(very tired after close to 30 hours of travel and waiting in Airports, but very happy to see family again)

Enjoying Oklahoma sun, not much sun in Misawa this time of year.

Riding "Bullet"

Watching Elmo and Friends:

Every trip home requires a little Pokes!!

Trying out Gymnastics:She loved it and we look forward to getting enrolled in classes once we get settled in Vegas.

Riding rides at Incredible Pizza:

Bouncing around at the Bouncy Barn:

Getting together with old friends and meeting new ones:
While in the States this time we took the opportunity to travel to San Antonio to see old friends who we had made in Misawa and have since moved away. Lucky for us there was a big group of them stationed in and around San Antonio, giving us the chance to catch up and let the little ones meet each other for the first time. These three are all within a month of each other. Being together again was fun and brought back memories of fun times. We are excited to be moving back to the States, so reunions like these can be more frequent.

San Antonio Zoo: Cydney enjoyed the warm sunshine and walking around while helping to push the wagon. She also enjoyed exploring the Children's Area with hands on activities.

Children's Museum in Seminole OK:
Cydney enjoyed exploring the museum, playing with the magnets, bubbles, going through mazes, riding trains and anything else she could find to do. We will be sure to visit this place again anytime we are back in Oklahoma.

On March 11, 2011 I woke up to the news that Japan had been struck with a 9.0 Earthquake and resulting Tsunami. The epicenter of the quake was 200 miles South of where we live in Japan. The following days were full of feelings of worry, relief, guilt, and unknowing. I was worried about our friends who were there at the time. How were they doing, how was the town of Misawa doing? They had lost power, so communication was down. Few friends who had Iphones were able to update Facebook and email out what was happening and what the outlook was. Not only were they dealing with the aftershocks of the Earthquake and power outages, it was still winter in Misawa and it was snowing. Living without heat, water, and power for a few days was certainly an inconvenience. After a few days power was restored to the base and town. I was able to get more information about friends and the situation on base. Misawa was not hit as hard by the Tsunami as the towns and cities further South were. I was relieved to hear that our friends were doing fine and dealing with the inconveniences as well as could be expected. The ladies here are a strong group of women and handled the situation with grace. Everyone jumped at the opportunity to help wherever they could, donating money, time, clothing and goods to those in need. I had feelings of guilt, guilt that we were safely in the States and enjoying time with family. Guilt that we were not there to endure the same hardships they were having to deal with at the time.

The next couple of weeks were spent deciding when the best time to return to Japan would be. Once things had settled down in Japan, and the volunteer evacuations were complete, Space A flights were once again opened on the military flight we had planned on taking back to Japan, and tickets were booked for our return.

Cydney got her pictures taken by Madison Vining
Proceeds of her Be The Change photo sessions are being donated to Japan. Thank You Madison for taking these pictures and helping the cause in Japan.

Celebrating Easter a little Early:
Coloring Eggs

Hunting Eggs:

After 8 weeks away, we are back in Japan. Upon returning we were happy to find our home in good shape. No major damage (weren't expecting any structural damage) only a few items had been knocked off shelves and out of place. The biggest mess was the pantry where containers of rice and brown sugar had fallen and busted open as well as a bottle of vinegar breaking and spilling everywhere. The smell was pretty bad, but aired out after a day or so. We are very thankful nothing more was "wrong" with the house. We are now home and awaiting the return of the squadron. Looking forward to seeing "dada" and getting to spend some time with him again. Then we begin the craziness of moving! On our way to Vegas, so excited and happy to be going back to the States.

Until next time,