February has been a very busy month! We have been trying to keep ourselves afloat and enjoy some much needed family time on the weekends.
Our weeks are mostly filled with soccer, dance and dragon boat practice. Kennedy is in soccer and dance. McKay is in Soccer. Linz is in dragon boat.
I did get some more photos of the pink cherry blossoms before they are finally over. I have wanted to hang on to them because this is our last year here in Japan. Makes me sad to be leaving and perhaps never be seeing them again.
This was taken on a day where we just kind of wandered to the park and spent the afternoon looking at the blossoms and playing in the trees. Then it started to rain like crazy. We were all soaked by the end. All of us were cold and wet. But I was able to take some photos of the blossoms with rain water on them, which turned out really nice!
Going on Dates
I made a goal at the beginning of the year to go on more dates with Linz and spend more time with her. Since then we have been able to go on dates at least once every other week. We have eaten lots of yummy food and done some fun things together. We shopped the antique shops along the 58 road. We ate at our favorite garlic ramen house. We went shopping at a new mall that Linz has been scouting out. We went and ate towering milkshakes.
It has been really nice to just spend time and talk with each other. Our weeks are often so busy that we don't even get to see each other that much. So it is really niceto be able to focus on each other and make sure we spend time with one another.
Elementary School and Projects
I don't know when it became so hard to be in elementary school, but our kids have been doing so much work! Kennedy, our second grader, has been doing all sorts of projects. Kennedy has been doing so well in school. She kills her spelling tests every week, she chooses to read on her own, she is in math and science club that starts at 7 AM one day a week and goes to art club after school one day a week. McKay, in Kindergarten, has been doing art club after school with Kennedy. He has been learning to read and is doing awesome! His had writing is near perfect. He is constantly happy and loves learning. He comes home with book about science and nature. He makes me read them to him! Such a funny kid.
Both Kids participated in the school fundraiser run. They had to run laps in order to earn money for the school. They both ran over a mile and a half (thats longer than I ever run). Both did a great job!
They did a "read across america". Both read extra books and then topped it off with a parade on Dr. Suess's birthday. They dressed up as a character in their favorite book. Kennedy's whole class dressed up as the book "Green Eggs and Ham." McKay dress up as batman.
Recently McKay finished up his first 100 days of school and wore a shirt that said "I've bugged my teacher for 100 days." He got a white shirt and used his thumb print to make 100 bugs on his shirt.
Kennedy did a project on a famous person for black history month. I'll post a video of the information that she memorized and present to all who came by her table. She worked really hard to memorize it. Kennedy's mom is a public speaker professor and it made mama proud to see Kennedy do so well!
The kids have both been involved in soccer. Practices twice a week and games once a week. Kennedy has been working so hard and improving so much. He played goalie for one game and made some HUGE stops against the other teams best player. She has yet to have anyone score a goal on her. She pushes her way through and fights the other players around her. She doesn't take no for an answer and is as fiesty as them come.
McKay is one of the leaders on his team. He passes to other players and set them up to score goals all the time. He is able to zip in and around all the players on the field. So many times the other team as a break away and then McKay comes hauling butt and cuts off the player before they can shoot on the goalie. He is a super happy on the field and gives 110%. He still is one of the smallest kids on the team and during games gets pushed over by the bigger kids, but he gets up and fights and outruns them all. He comes back from games with mud on his knees and elbows.
Our youngest is hauled to all of the other two activities. But he finds a way to get into plenty of trouble and get his face in everything we do!
He loves to wake up early right now. Like 5:15 AM early. We just can't have that. But once he is up he can't go back to sleep. What do you do with a toddler that early?
Most of the time I take him to the couch and we eat cereal and then eventually he gets to watch a show while everyone else in the house wakes up. Hayden loves to play with cars. He always is carrying a matchbox car with him at all times. He also loves to be right in the middle of the action. If Kennedy and McKay are on the couch, he sits right in between them. If mom and dad are watching something, or talking, he pushes himself in-between us.
He loves to eat popcorn and snacks while he watches a show. Here are a few photos of him lately.
Other things that we have done this month included running an all women activity at church. Linz designed a banner with her new cricket she got for Christmas! She baked some absolutely amazing cookies. I only had about 7 of them.
I was in charge of a church camp out. Kennedy and I slept the night and Linz took the boys home because McKay had a 9 AM soccer game that he had to be to. So Kennedy kept me warm all night. She is like a little oven and loves to snuggle up. I guess I should use the world "camping" lightly. We drove to the campsite and had running water, bathroom, vending machines, parks all within walking distance. But we did sleep in our tent.
We had a "its great to be 8" activity at church because when Kennedy turns 8 she gets to be baptized. I was asked to give a talk at the activity. It was so good to see Kennedy making good choices for herself. She is strong and confident, just like her mom.
Our big family outing was spent at Hamahiga Island just off the main island of Okinawa. It is close enough to drive to. But it is very secluded and has a tiny population. We went there because we wanted to visit a local farm that lets the kids walk the goats down to the beach. They give the kids sticks of leafs and the goats all follow along. It was kind of fun for them to do.
Because we are super motivated on our Saturdays we show up to the island and farm at 10 AM. The farmers tell us that they don't walk the goats until 2 PM. So we had to spend 4 hours hanging out on this island. We relics of an old village. We found caves, and tide pools, we visited the salt factory that had spectacular views. We found a beach to sit down on and play. We gathered sea shells and ate snow cones. Then finally we got to walk the goats. We did have a great time, but by the time we got home we were all pretty tired. Here are some photos from that day.
This is perhaps my favorite landscape photo that I took all month. It is a bay located below the salt factory on Ikei Island. It was spectacular! It made me want to get down there and Kayak and lay on the beach and enjoy paradise!
Our countdown in our time in Okinawa is now less than 5 months! We have been here for 2.5 years! I seriously am in shock that it has been that long. We have one more HUGE adventure coming for us in a few weeks as we are traveling again for one last fun family vacation before heading back to the states. We are super excited for it and will share plenty of pictures as we get them.