Monday, November 23, 2015

October Fun and 3 different Halloween events

To finish out October we crafted some, walked some, played some and dressed up a lot!
We had a unit Harvest Party, a neighborhood trick or treat and a preschool Hallelujah Parade.

Crafting with the oldest during naptime

no one in the stroller instead it was a fun game of push the stroller 2 miles home.

Kelly -always getting into something

Getting ready for the unit Harvest Fest

Joy and Sadness


Inside Out - McP style

No rain just a rainbow during the event

We got to decorate a bowling pin and keep it as part of the festivities this month

Hallelujah Parade for preschool

Post Parade - eating the goods

Neighborhood time

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sports Day Preschool Style

Each year the girls school hosts a sports day at the local dome and it is always entertaining to say the least.  This is our third year so we have a little idea of what to expect even with the entire program in Japanese.  The girls lined up with their classes then left to get a few decorations on came back and did a short program with song and dance.  After they have finished the singing portion it was onto the sports part.  First came the soccer portion followed by foot races then tug of war and finished up with a ball toss.  Once each class finished they handed out the rewards a package of snacks- nothing sweet like we are used to in the states but always fun to try.
A picture says a thousand words - the go out and have the world see her and the hide in the crowd

Group performance

Singing and Dancing

Showing off soccer skills

A little soccer help

Class race

One was done and the other getting there

Tug O War - nothing could go wrong with that right?

Girls vs. Boys

Getting prizes

The reward for a great Sports Day

Treated the girls to CC Chicken & Waffles.
So thankful for friends with great food suggestions

Crafting during naptime

She helped cut the wood and color the words

He was thankful for some leftover pallets so we could enjoy the firepit

Friday, October 9, 2015

Family Time

This past month felt more like tag team parenting and when friends mentioned they might go camping we decided it could be a great family time.  So we stole that idea and planned to go camping too.  The day came to load up the car and the weather didn't look too great but we decided to head up to the north end of the island and see if there might be some hotel rooms at the resort area.  Once we got there and noticed it was supposed to pour rain starting at 3am so we got the only cabin they had left and kept all our camping gear in the car and we "GLAMPED".  Since it was only sprinkling in the afternoon we pulled out the bikes and rode around Okuma.  We were excited to see that some other friends were there and stopped by to say hi - they invited us to come back and join them around the campfire that night and we did.  After a little excursion around grounds we got back to our cabin and started cooking dinner over our fire in the rain.  We had one of my favorite camp meals - Jambalaya rice and sausage.  The first time I realized you could have good meals while camping was on a trip with my friends Ashley, Valerie and Judith in Alaska at Denali.  Before that I assumed people just ate granola bars and peanut butter sandwiches but since then I have grown much in my camping cooking skills (ok maybe my cooking skills all together in life)
After dinner we got together all our s'more essentials and headed over to our friends campsite.  We ate lots of s'mores, roasted pumpkin marshmallows and even got to sing songs around the campfire while my friend Karyn played her guitar.  After we had stuffed ourselves with lots of sugar and had a great time singing we packed up and headed back to our cabin (or cabinet as the girls kept calling it).  Since we had a cabin with a TV & DVD we kept our Friday night family tradition and watched Barbie Mermaid adventures.
When we woke up in the morning to rain pouring down I was thankful for our call to stay in the cabin and not a tent.  Our neighbors were making a fire in the rain and trying to cook breakfast but I decided we would have microwaved scrambled eggs and bacon!  So glad some of the meals I brought could be cooked in a microwave and not just on an open flame.  After breakfast we played a few rounds of Frozen UNO which everyone could actually play. We hung out and laughed and played around and realized the rain was not going to stop at all so we loaded up our gear and came home.  Tonight we are going to meet the friends who gave us the idea for a game night eating hot dogs and talk about the camping trip that never happened. 

Surprised Molly at school pick up - Get in we are going camping!

So excited

Playing with our whistle flashlights

Trick bike

Some dry girls

Enjoying a bike ride before the downpour


Collecting shells at the beach

Frozen UNO - family game time

Movie night

Campfire, s'mores and music

roasting pumpkin marshmallows 

Dinner time

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

For the love of the poor . . .

The church we attend here in Oki goes on regular trips to an orphanage (GH) in the Philippines and always open it up for others to join.  This summer I threw the idea out to Jon that I would like to go not thinking it would be a possibility.  Then a few weeks ago they put out an email saying the team was small and asked if anyone else would like to put in an application to join.   Jon called me up to say Ashley get the application we will figure out things and I will take off work and finish C4 while taking care of the kids.  I put in my application and was accepted and immediately started going to team meetings.  Before we headed out we realized that Jon would be leaving the island the day before I was to get home to go to mainland for work.  We talked about what to do and even discussed me leaving them team but our amazing friends stepped up and said don't worry we will help with the girls.  
Day 1 - Our team leader was not allowed to go with us because his passport expired in 4 months and they had some rule about it needing to be good for 6 months.  That threw us all but the pastor from the church looked at another member and asked him to step up and lead.  We were a team of 5 adults and 1 kid.  I talked to my mom and told her the name of our hotel and it ends up that the owners daughter go to her bible study in Maryland.
Day 2 - I got to work with the school aged boys and it was amazing.  These boys speak Tagalog, English and American Sign Language. Some of the kids in the GH are unable to speak so many of the others have learned sign language to communicate.  We played basketball and got to go to a local park.  It was amazing going to the park because we went with almost all the kids at GH and the sibling groups would meet up and play together for a little before going back to their own groups.
Day 3 - Got to worship with all the kids.  It was amazing and made me realize how much I miss working with kids during church.  We were warned that the caregiver who leads worship makes it more like a ZUMBA session with dancing and signing - that was true but the kids seemed to love every minute of it. 
Day 4 - Many of the kids go to public school and a few stay at the orphanage to get some extra hands on learning and I got to work with them.  Coming up with problems was the easy part - getting the answers faster than the kids was the hard part.  This night we also found out there was a Dairy Queen near us and that they sell Granny Smith Apples at the local grocery store - after a few days with emotions running high it was nice to have a few things I miss from America that we don't have in Oki.  Oh and to bring a few smiles at the dinner table I took the dare to eat the fish eye after we had our doubts about being able to eat our whole fish dinner and not insult the cooks.
Day 5 - I got to work with the preschool kids.  We sang, wrote, colored and walked to the park.  The caregivers gave us the opportunity to work in many of the rooms so we could meet most all of the kids.  People on our team starting getting a little sick.
Day 6 - Today was the day I feared - the toddler room.  That is a lot of little kids who are potty training and don't take naps so they sleep at night.  The caregivers in this room were amazing and made my time in this room so awesome.  The little girls had ballet and watching them get prepped and ready and dance was so fun.  One of the workers has a background in ballet and teaches classes to all the girls throughout the week.  Two of our team members had to stay back at the hotel because of an illness.
Day 7 - I got to be in the toddler room again and today was lots of reading books, doing hair and playing chase.  Also I escaped the room to go watch the big girls in their ballet class.
Day 8 - Today we painted nails for all the girls.  In the afternoon we got to take the boys to the zoo. 
Day 9 - I was pretty sick most of the night.  We think I might have picked up something from the zoo.  So today I worked in the nursery were I could hold the babies and run to the bathroom.
Day 10 - Got to do one last worship time with all the kids!!!  We handed out letters to each kid - for most of the kids I printed a picture of them and wrote the note on the back of the picture.  As we were leaving we handed them out and the kids loved the notes and they all had notes to give to us.
Day 11&12 (which was only supposed to be one day)  We headed out and flew in Taipei into Typhoon Dujuan.  Once we landed we were told the airport was closed and we needed to leave.  We left and went to a hotel.  The windows were leaking before the typhoon even hit and we changed rooms.  After the room change we went to the dining room and got some dinner and made some friends who a lot of older ladies.  The next day we were back at the airport hoping to get out.  I got my Taipei airport haircut, did some cultural experiences and enjoyed delay after delay after delay. At one point I had to call a friend to see who actually had my girls and let them know I still had no idea when I would be getting home and would they be able to continue helping me.  After many hours I was home and thankful for the many friends who stepped up to take care of the girls while Jon and I were both off island.
Getting ready to leave

Hanging out

View from my workout spot each morning

Sunday morning worship and lesson



Blocks - hours of entertainment

Had no idea how to start eating this but it was amazing.
The eyeball was worth eating b/c I got a free blizzard from my teammates

Had my hair done a lot and did a lot of hair

Game time

Everybody walks to the park even the 2 year olds

Glue, paper and toddlers - what could go wrong?


Park time

Preschool Ballet

Park time with big kids

BINGO - followed by jumprope time and basketball

Painting nails

When you run around a 4 story building with no shoes for hours on end

Zoo with the boys

Love seeing these kids during sign practice

The hotel with the most amazing papaya salad.
My mom goes to bible study with the owners daughter - small world!

Lisa had a medical background so she got to do hearing tests on the kids

The babies

One guy on our team helped set up a computer lab

Sunday morning worship


Just a little hot from singing and dancing

The best cooks ever!!

The kids drew a picture of our team

Learning we were not making it all the way home
Typhoon Dujan

Standing water in the room before the typhoon hit full force

Dinner entertainment
Learning mandarin with these ladies

The only place I have got my haircut since moving to Oki
The Taipei airport spa

Cultural experience in the airport - thankful for these moments to pass the hours of delays