Sunday, March 27, 2011

Indiana In The Making

Saturday we decided it was time to get out and have another adventure. So my sweet husband planned a fun day for everyone. Our first stop was at a castle not too far from the house. It was a great place for exploring and just plane goofing off.
One of the first things we saw just outside of the castle walls was this plant. At once we all commented that it was something out of a Doctor Sues book.
We quickly discovered this castle is mostly just a fortress of walls just above the jungle. This made it even more perfect for exploring.

Our brave girl had to explore every corner and climb every step. We are going to have to start calling her Indiana.

Of course on our way out of the castle there was an ice cream stand as there seems to be at most of the attractions we have gone to. So of course it was a necessary end to our castle adventure.
Next was a trip to a roller park. A roller park is a regular park like you would find in any neighborhood. The only glorious difference is the slide. It is a massive slide made of little beads and requires the climbing of many stairs to get to and a piece of cardboard to slide down on as not to let friction get the better you. Our sweet daughter learned this the hard way when she didn't wait for her dad and the cardboard before going down the slide.
As you can see going to the play ground here is a work out in and of its self.
Our little adventurer finished her first run and was on her way back up the stairs before her dad and brother made it down.
Father and son bonding on the slide as they plummet down word.
Our daughter made new friends at the park, just as she usually does when we go out.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pigeon and Broccoli Casserole

OK, this I didn't take a picture of because I didn't want to traumatize anyone, so allow me to create a fabulous mental image for you. Last night we decided to make grandma's chicken and broccoli casserole. It is a yummy dish with a deceiving title. Calling it chicken and broccoli makes you think you are eating something healthy but upon closer examination of the sauce and other ingredients you realize that every spoonful is a artery clogging good time. Although I must say my amazing sister has modified it to have less fat with the same great taste and for that our hearts thank her. So last night as I'm preparing this dish I ran into a little snag. I had the sauce mixed and all of the other ingredient ready to go. So I take my rotisserie chicken out, (purchased at my local grocery store) and begin to prepare the chicken for the casserole. Now this chicken was unusually small and looked a little different so I double checked the bag and it was indeed labeled chicken. I first went to remove the white meat only to discover there was none. In fact the breast meat was virtually non existent and what little meat was on this bird was all dark meat. I have seen enough chickens and other birds to realize this was no chicken. I'm rather sure it was either a pigeon or a dove. So I decided to modify grandmas recipe one step further than my sister had. Tonight we would have pigeon and broccoli casserole. So I thought, but I soon realized this small bird would not provide enough meet to even cover a corner of the casserole. So, I improvised as not to let the other many ingratiates go to waste we added chicken nuggets. It all turned out edible and left us with a fun memory.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

We Are All Ok

Our little family really appreciates all of the concern about our well being. We just wanted to do a quick post to let everyone know that we were in no way affected by the tsunami or the earthquake. Everyone here is fine. However, please don't forget to pray for and keep an eye out for ways to help all those who have been affected by this tragedy.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Moment for Grattitude

Since we have moved here, we have found many things to be grateful for. We are grateful for new experiences as well as being grateful for things we may have once taken for granted. I thought I would share a few with you. This is the view as you step outside our front door. My sweet husband has taken many pictures of this view because he is still in awe that we can see the ocean out our front door. Every time we walk into the house at sunset he makes sure that we all stop and recognize the beauty we have this opportunity to be surrounded by.
Another thing that we have learned to love and be truly fascinated by are the bats. As you can imagine they are a little difficult to get pictures of, but they really are something to behold. They are about the size of a pterodactyl and very cute. At night we can hear them flapping and squeaking out side our bedroom window. The other night I finally managed to pry my eye lids open so I could have a look at them. I saw them climbing from branch to branch eating fruit out of the trees in our backyard. Then as one would take off I couldn't help but be so amazed that something so huge could remain so allusive. My goal before I leave is to get a picture of these critters. The problem isn't seeing them, they aren't shy. In fact we have found they are fond of doing very low fly byes so close their faces are easy to see even in the dark. The problem is that they are so fast and well camouflaged when they are holding still. So some day we will hopefully have a picture to show you of these bats before our time here is up.

This mourning a kind and merciful neighbor introduced me to the produce markets here. Our usual shopping spot we have learned is not always the best option for produce. For a family that usually eats a fruit salad or some kind of fresh fruit every night, this has been a big deal. Thanks to certain bulk chain stores, we could come by all kinds of produce any time of year in huge quantities, great quality for a reasonable amount. You would think fruit would be easier to come by in Okinawa than in the middle of winter in North Dakota, not so. My first trip to the grocery store we decided to by some strawberries, a tiny carton for the same price as the bulk size in the states. We got home opened them up and found that they had rotted starting in the center. It wasn't visible from the outside. We made several attempts with only one purchase even being edible. Then I kept hearing I could get good strawberries at the produce markets. Could it be, is it so, it is. Now we aren't talking bulk size strawberries and the prices still weren't great. But the fruit that had disappointed me so regularly as of lately caused me to remember why I was in such hot pursuit of this piece of ambrosia. I cut them up for the kids for lunch and then realized I hadn't put any on their plates. I just kept washing and popping them in my mouth, I couldn't stop. Finally I managed to spare a few for my sweet and very deserving children. So hopefully by now you are all craving the delicious sweet taste of the divine fruit known as the strawberry and are off to buy yourself some, or at least buy and eat a good helping of what ever your favorite fruit is.
Another miracle my eyes were opened to were the beautiful flowers for sale. Big beautiful flowers of all kinds for such a small price. Flowers I would spend a small fortune on in other locations cost me just a couple of dollars here. Since we are still surrounded in boxes and not quite settled in I only bought a small bouquet of orchids rather than going over board with some fabulous arrangement. This bouquet of orchids only cost me just over four dollars. That wouldn't even cover the cost of tax for what I would pay for these in other places. I love the flowers.
Last but not least can I get whoop whoop for the microwave. After living with out one for a bit I realize I am totally dependant on it. The beauty of being able to throw some thing in and have it ready in minutes is amazing. It saves on time and dishes. The particular microwave we use was a gift from my brother and his wife when I got my first place. It has now done quite a bit of traveling with me and for the first time I am truly appreciating its ability to turn a flat bag of popcorn into something fluffy buttery and divine that manages to delight even my children. So pick a week and see how often you use your microwave. Then be thankful you too belong to a microwave generation. OK so these might sound like small things, but they all have one thing in common, sadly I had to live with out them to truly appreciate them. Is it possible to truly appreciate something you have been surrounded by your whole life with out having to have it taken away first. Just a thought. Our lives are amazing and a blessing, so take in a deep breath and savor every sound, taste, smell.... ( OK maybe only most of the smells), sight and what ever else your senses absorb and soak in life. Drink in the amazing life you have been blessed with and appreciate every experience in brings you. It is so much more fun that way.