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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Summer Math and Reading for the boys!

I'm so excited!  I found a neat website called K5 Learning that has all sorts of cool things for the boys to work on over the summer so they don't get behind.  They are offering a free 6 week trial to bloggers, check it out!

From their website:
"K5 Learning has an online reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students.  I've been given a 6 week free trial to test and write a review of their program.  If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their  open invitation to write an online learning review of their program. - See more at: http://www.k5learning.com/review-k5#sthash.Tj4jjaeo.dpuf"

Once I search around a little bit and have the boys test it out I will post a review.  This is PERfect timing, I always worry about them forgetting everything they learned over the summer.  It would be even better if they had an Android or iPhone app to go along with it, and they may, I haven't looked yet.  Wish us luck!!!!

Live For Today

      So I've been thinking lately about where I'm at and what I'm doing in life.  Obviously, I'm in Japan, but it's more than that.  Physically, I'm in Japan, but my head and heart have been in the US.  Which I think is probably silly, because no matter what, we are only in Japan for a finite amount of time.  I had been feeling really homesick, and kind of bitter about the military, darn them, they took me out of the country I know and love, and away from my family.  Wahh wahh wahh, etc.  But then I had a realization-I need to just stop and enjoy where I'm at.  Yes, this is not my home country, yes, a lot of things are different, yes, Japanese people are......really nice, but almost....not sincere?  I guess living in the southern US for the past ten years has kind of spoiled me!  I've grown accustomed to people bending over backwards to be nice and accepting.  People waved me on at a 4 way stop, people held doors, people waved it off when my kids acted badly, people always made excuses for me if I was not in the mood to do something, and so on.  It's nice, but does it make me grow?  Does it help me?  No!
     Now I'm not saying I don't love those people and their friendly, well meaning ways.  I have made so many dear friends, and am thankful they were put in my life.  But I do think that a little of this Japanese culture has been good for me and my family.  My kids see Japanese kids walk around with no supervision (seriously, like, 4 and 5 year old kids walk/ride their bikes to stores that are waaaay farther than I would let my almost-7 and almost-9 year old go!), and they wonder why.  It's hard to explain the cultural differences sometimes-apparently child pedophiles and kidnappings are unheard of here?  And their road systems are so organized, people DO NOT jaywalk, EVER.  They stop when the little red guy at the crosswalk light is red, and they go when he's green.  It's that simple.  So it makes sense for them, but not for my children, no way, no how.  I guess part of me feels like I have not taught my children well enough for them to be able to do that.  I feel like that about a lot of things.  I guess I just need to realize that's part of life.  And live with it.my sig

Friday, April 18, 2014

Successful Children

So I was thinking today about what defines a "successful" child in a parents eyes.  I thought about certain people, and how their parents might feel about them, but I'm not going to name any names or give anything away because I don't want to be hurtful, only thought provoking.  
Would you think success is defined by your child being a rich investment broker with 2 houses and a boat and 5 jet skis, even if they had to sacrifice their own family?  Would you think your child is successful if they lived in a run down trailer with no electric or plumbing, but they loved their spouse and children more than anything in the world?  What about if they were gay/lesbian?  Would there be any way for you to see them as successful if you disagreed with the way they live their life?  
I'm not sure how I would feel about that.  I love my boys unconditionally.  There is nothing they could do to make me not love them.  They test my patience, try my parenting skills, and drive me nuts, but without a doubt, they are priceless and my love for them will never ever ever stop.  I have high hopes for them, but lately I'm realizing that's MY hopes-theirs might be different!  Seems kind of like a DUH moment, but I never thought about it before.  
My kids are growing up into their own unique selves, and it doesn't always fit into my cookie cutter view of what I want them to be.  They do things different than I would-but it's ok!  Frustrating to sit back and watch, but....ok.  
This is one part of parenting I never considered-the part where you let go and sit back and watch what they will do.  I was so in the mindset of "protect them from this", "don't let them do that", "they need help with that, I can just tell", almost to the point where it was holding them back.  I have Adam to thank for opening my eyes to the fact that I can't do everything for them forever.  I have to let them figure stuff out.  It's still a struggle, sometimes I control myself, sometimes I fail.  But I realize that if my kids aren't doing and growing, they're faltering and shrinking, and no parent wants that.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Japan!

So our family has started a new adventure in Misawa, Japan!  We are currently living on Misawa Air Base, in Misawa Japan.  Japan is a beautiful country with lots of things to see and do. I will try to keep this blog updated with our fun travels and pictures.  Here are a few to start with:


Steak flavored Doritos?  They have some of the weirdest flavors and combinations of flavors I have ever seen before!  Someone mentioned they had seen Pepsi flavored Cheetos the other day....not so sure about that one :/
The Japanese are kind of obsessed with Kit Kats, so far I have seen strawberry, green tea, and we are currently looking for the rumored pumpkin flavored ones!  I love pumpkin flavored anything.  Adam has taken a liking to the many cream filled pastries they have here, I haven't taken any pictures yet though.  They are quite delicious!  

This is the building you will see directly out the front gate, we haven't been to it yet, but it looks interesting.  During the day the street in front of it is one way, but after 10 pm it turns into a two way street for some reason.  Not quite sure why though.  




Some random road signs, it's a little disconcerting to not be able to read what they say, but common sense tells you what most of them are.  Adam and I both took a short course to obtain our Japanese drivers license, cars drive on the left side of the road here, and the steering wheel is on the right side of the car-crazy!  On base, you can go LEFT on red.  Adam has done most of the driving, he's pretty much a pro at it, just like everything else ;) I have driven a few times, and it's not as horrible and scary as I thought it would be.  You have to be much more aware of your position on the road, I've almost hit the curb a time or two.  Off base driving is different than on base, the streets are narrow and tiny, everyone's cars are much smaller, and the signs are different too.   
Well, that's all I've got got now, just little snippets of our everyday lives, I've been keeping a written journal also, and this weekend the kids will start theirs.  Hopefully this weekend we will do some more off base exploring, maybe some apple picking, or something else fun.  I will update next week.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Faith

I was thinking on my way home from work tonight about the amount of faith we put in people. Sometimes it's blind faith, sometimes absolute faith, conditional faith, but we have a lot of faith nonetheless. Then when those people let us down or don't do what we expect, we are disappointed. Why is that?
I mean really, one person is just that-ONE person.
I was listening to a news story on NPR about how an advisor to the president was stepping down on my drive home. They mentioned how they were surprised he was stepping down, because he had only been in his position for a year. Then they mentioned that he had not seemed ho really "fit in" and that parts of his job had been delegated to someone else. Why are they surprised he is stepping down? They took away part of his responsibilities and gave them to someone else who "fit in" better!
I mean really, what did they expect?! Duh.......

Well, here is a photo I recently took of Anthony in a tree at Herman Park. I messed around with an app called Snapseed. I think it turned out cool.

I've got lots more on my mind right now, but I've also got to go to sleep. Blech, priorities......

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