Thursday, June 30, 2011

More excuses

Okay, I thought I was going to get some pictures posted last week.  I do have some good excuses.  Swim lessons and a baby don't mix well (she misses a nap every day), baby has not felt well (only a few hours of fitful sleep last night - no temp or any way to diagnose the problem), I have been reading Raising Cain (very insightful - probably an annual re-read), couldn't get my latest pictures to load, and we made "the switch" (we are Mac users now - and I have been slow to sit down and get everything moved and loaded).

So any way - pics...

too cool to get in the splash pool for pics, but demonstrated swimming without prompting.  

It has been so much fun watching them improve their swimming skills.  Tennyson is a little brown bear from 2 weeks in the sun (sunscreen, hats, shade, long sleeves when I could) as are the rest of them.  Hopefully we can have fun in the water without me having to be in 4 places at the same time.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

MIA and a new lesson.

Sorry I have been MIA.  First week of summer and it has been full.  We have swimming lessons in the morning - so I spend all morning getting 4 kids ready and out the door on time.  Early this week Jason was without a car, so that occupied my afternoons.  So the last few days in the afternoon we have been catching up on naps, laundry, and such.  Pics tomorrow.

We learned a new lesson.  Do not eat Mexican food on a small island in Japan.  It was not awful.  It was over priced and blah.  Mexican food is cheap and yummy.  This was neither.  The plate of chips and salsa had a handful of chips and small salsa for 450 yen (the yen rate is 78 yen to the dollar - so add 20%).  A plate of nachos was 1000 yen (about $12).  So we learned our lesson.  I cook better Mexican food and it is cheaper.  I guess we will be eating tons of Mexican food when we visit the states.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Celebrating the Year's Accomplishments

We had a potluck celebration to celebrate all that our Kindergartners learned this year.  This year was so wonderful for Grahm.  They sang us some songs in English and Japanese (Months of the year and days of the week).  They also did the ABC's of their class - A is for... 

We could not have asked for a better teaching team.  We loved Ms. Ermel and Ms. Patrice.  Grahm learned and grew so much this year.  Ms. Ermel gave us a poem about working with our flower to help it grow over the last year and the poem so wonderfully captures how I have felt as well.

I've worked with your flower,
And helped it to grow.
I'm returning it now,
But I want you to know.
This flower is precious:
As dear as can be.
Love, take care of it,
And you will see
A bright, new bloom with
Every Day.
It grew and blossomed
In such a wonderful way --
In September just a bud,
January a bloom.
Now a lovely blossom --
I'm returning to you in June.
Remember, this flower,
As dear as can be --
Though rightfully yours,
Part, will always belong to me!

They really fulfilled their role as a teacher.  I entrusted them with his learning (and in some ways they spent more time with him than I did) and they helped him to grow.  (I feel very differently about Jayce - kind of wilted my bloom).

Grahm will really miss them.  As Ms. Ermel was saying goodbye to Ms. Patrice and giving her the gift the class made (Ms. Ermel is leaving K5) they teared up and so did Grahm.  He was hiding his face in my skirt and wiping his eyes.  It was a few minutes before he could turn back.  It melted my heart.   He wont talk or hardly move when he is upset.  He wont take a hug or come near you.  Ms. Ermel told me that on the last day as they were getting their individual goodbyes that Grahm clammed up and did this.

Ms. Ermel and Ms. Patrice you will be missed - thanks for a great year.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

End of Year Teacher Gifts

Lucky for us (I guess), school just ended today.  So, I had plenty of time to see all the great ideas for Teacher gifts.  Here is what we gave to our teachers this year.

I saw these cute boxes on Shalet's blog.  She has a knack for finding lots of cute projects out there.

I stumbled across these book shapes (I am looking forward to a fall pumpkin or maybe a pineapple, hmmm).  The tutorial can be found here at CheekyMagpie.  I like using old mini-boden catalogs for this project, the colored pages brighten it up.  The black and white version is classic.  So easy and fun to make.

This is what I did differently for this  - I used course sand paper and sanded the edges to smooth them (be careful or you can tear pages).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Welcome Home Skirt

A long time ago (before dental school) Jason wore "Utilities" - Navy working uniform.  I loved all of his uniforms.  Since he no longer can wear this uniform, I re-purposed it. 

To make this skirt, I cut out two rectangles (1 front and 1 back) as wide as I could.  I added a waistband with elastic (so the buttons do not go all the way to the top).  Then I added ruffled navy grosgrain ribbon to the hem.  I really wanted you to see the pockets and the embroidered labels. I also wanted to keep the creases, there are the 2 in front and the 3 creases from the back of the shirt. 

I think this would be the perfect little skirt to wear to welcome home Daddy after a long deployment or for Charlotte to show off how patriotic she is.  Go Navy!!
(Not a happy helper)

Friday, June 10, 2011

He Loves Me Skirt

He love me... he loves me not... He Loves Me.

This skirt is made from an old polo of Jason's. 

1.  Cut off the bottom portion of a shirt, cut it the length you want the skirt to be, plus 1 1/8" for the elastic casing.
2.  Serge or zig-zag stitch the cut edge of your skirt to tidy up the edge (not necessary since knit doesn't ravel).
3.  Fold over 1 1/8inch and press. 
4.  Top stitch the casing closed, leave an opening for your elastic.
5.  Measure your child's waist and cut elastic to that measurement.  Thread through casing, overlap ends and stitch together.  Top stitch the opening closed. - Now you have a skirt.

To embellish.
1.  Cut out a zillion little hearts from remaining fabric.
2.  Start near the bottom of skirt and sew on a heart, I used a machine - but you could do it by hand.  
3.  Sew on more hearts bunching them close together and placing points together to make a flower.   I used 4-5 hearts to make a flower.
4.  Start randomly placing flowers on skirt to your liking.  Remember that you are adding weight so do not put them too close together or the skirt will start to sag.

EDIT:  Do not dry in the dryer.  I had to iron all of the petals back open:(.

Linked up at :  30 Handmade Days

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Shurijo Castle

Shurijo Castle functioned as the central structure of the Ryukyu Kingdom over a period of approximately 500 years, and was restored in 1992 (pamphlet).  The Ryukyu Kingdom was more heavily influenced by China than Japan as can be seen in the architecture.  The castle was beautiful and was restored using traditional building and lacquering methods.  The lacquering methods used here in Okinawa can only be done here due to the specific climate requirements.
 Just outside the castle .

 The throne room.

 Cool large Brass Bell.
With one of the Shisa's

Old gate.  The gates signify that you are about to enter sacred ground.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Japanese Awesomeness

The Japanese think of everything.  Have you ever been somewhere and had yucky mouth.  Maybe you ate a piece of candy, cookie, lunch, etc... and now your mouth is feeling less than fresh.  You just need to look for a drinking fountain and you might find it equipped with an extra option.

It leaves your mouth feeling all fresh and happy.  The US needs some of these.  Maybe Jason will have one at his clinic one day.