Saturday, November 17, 2012

Day 17

I posted about this in my first thankful post...but wanted to wait until I had some pics to share with it. But, I am EXTREMELY thankful for the organizers of the awesome Hero's Triathlon that was held here on base last month. My kids were so excited to sign up for it. I was a little torn because it was the same date as Patrick's Combat Endurance Challenge...but I knew it was important for them to do something like this. Being able to foster their enthusiasm for this healthy event was something I was not about to pass up! I knew it would benefit them physically, mentally and emotionally. They were so proud when they signed up...I knew it would be an awesome day for them when the actual tri came! And it was :-)
When the day came, it was a bit chilly and gray. But that didn't stop the 100+ kids to come out and participate! They had different age brackets that had to compete in differing lengths. Evelyn had a 50m swim, 1 mile bike and 1/2 mile run. Gavin was 100m swim, 3 mile bike, 1 mile run. All the kids were sooooooo well behaved and so encouraging to the other kids. It brought tears to my eyes watching the positive characteristics flowing out of these kids. It was really inspirational. And to know my kids were a part of it made me proud. And to top it off, ALL the monies raised went to a non-profit charity to help stop human trafficking called the Polaris Project. I am so very thankful that people are willing to volunteer countless number of hours and energy to help kids and help a wonderful cause! Oh...and ALL the kids got these awesome medals! The 1st, 2nd and 3rd (girl and boy) in each division also got a trophy. There was a DJ, bouncy houses, games, food, etc - totally can't wait for the next one!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 16

Today I am grateful for the lovely friends I have made in my Peace Lily Culture Group. I have been fortunate to be in 3 different groups and have loved my experiences in each one! Today, we hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for our ladies. We had all the usuals (well, almost all) that completed a Thanksgiving feast. I made the turkey (I borrowed my friend Lynn's electric roaster and I will NEVER cook a turkey any other way now), some hot spiced apple cider and a Pumpkin gooey butter cake. I woke up at 6 to start the turkey but it was worth it :-) We also helped them decorate Christmas cookies (Lynn baked dozens of cookies with 4 different frostings) and made a cute craft (picture coasters). After lunch we sang songs, played games, ate desserts (we had a professional baker on hand who made a toffee cheesecake - Lord help me - as well as an award winning apple pie) and we sat in a food coma and chatted....just like real Thanksgiving!!! We also taught them how we go around the room and speak of what we are thankful for. Needless to say...we were ALL thankful for the friendships formed in that group!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 15

I am grateful for the great teachers we have had so far in my children's education. Today, I was lucky enough to sit with Gavin's awesome teacher for over 30 minutes to discuss his progress and accomplishments. She creates portfolios for the kids to showcase their work through the year and take pride in what they have done. And she doesn't poo-poo if there are areas that need improvement or need to keep an eye on further. Gavin excels academically (usually) so we also want to make sure he is being challenged and not creating problems if things are too easy. So far, so good! The PTO has purchased some awesome software that they can do for homework that tracks their progress also and can deepen their knowledge on a subject instead of just increasing the amount of subject matter once they compete a level. His teacher pointed out the importance of this concept and I am grateful for it being implemented in her classroom. And although I enjoy being part of his education (and Evelyn's), I can rest assured that he has had the best of the best teachers so far!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 14

Every year on this day, I have to be grateful for my mom and dad and their 'oops' that was born on this day 23 years ago. My sister, Kaitlin, has brought so much fun and joy to our family...and is truly one of my best friends. We have gotten even closer over the years (as she is going to my college alma mater and is in my sorority) so we have so much more to bond over! She has also gotten pretty cool and funny and is fun to grab drinks with! But my favorite is snuggling with her on mom's couch watching friends or Grey's. Have fun in Vegas - and STAY SAFE!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 13

I am grateful for being able to be part of wonderful 'spouse' organizations. My passion for these types of groups started when Patrick was in residency. I saw the real need there was to support the significant others' of the hard working residents. Not many people understand what it is like to be in your shoes during these times. Many people think "Oh you are a Doctor's must be rich". HA - FAR from the truth! Or some people don't understand how you can plan vacations or holidays or nightly dinners without your other half. But when you are amongst others in the same situation, there is a peace that comes with knowing you are with people who understand. Today, I am grateful to not only be part of the Yokota Officers' Spouses' Club - but to be their President. I was filled with pride as our members donated TABLES full of toys and canned goods for local charities. Also, when we were able to raise over $1250 from a silent auction (with items/baskets donated from members)for Operation Warm Heart which helps our own community in times of need. And I was almost moved to tears to watch our group help the red cross in sorting holiday cards for our service members. It truly was a great way to get ready for the craziness of the holiday season...and to start off on the right foot of giving.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 12

Today I am thankful for 3 day weekends. Especially ones where Patrick is NOT on call! And where the weather is perfect one day (great for outdoor fun), miserable another day (indoor fun) and in between on the next (either outdoor or indoor). This weekend found us heading to Mt Fuji on Saturday for family pictures. The weather was amazing, the scenery was perfect and the kids were being great. It was totally an awesome day. I can't wait to get our pics back as the setting was 'picture-perfect' and the time of day had the sun setting for the perfect lighting. After our pics we stopped at the BEST burger place in Japan, Moosehill Burgers. HIGHLY recommend it! Sunday was pretty miserable outside. We stayed in and worked around the house, watched The Great Pumpkin and Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and wrapped presents (they have to be mailed this week to guarantee Christmas delivery). Sunday night, we got a babysitter and Patrick and I headed out for a date night! We went to an indoor go kart racing stadium that is pretty close to base. What a fun time we had!!! We raced together once (he let me beat him on one lap - then he took off and ended up lapping me...TWICE!). Then he did a round by himself and a round with some other Japanese guys. He was loving it - and it was a good break for him. Then we went to a late dinner at a yummy Italian base right outside the base. We were home by 10...but it was still fun to be fun again :-) On Monday we celebrated Veteran's Day. It was iffy as a family, we decided to go to Round 1 for 3 hours of crazy fun! Our friends the Webbs and Odoms came also which made it even better. The girls would watch the kids so the guys could play, then the guys watched the kids so the girls could go to the "Relax" room. The kids had 3 hours of non-stop fun! And we are topping it off with a BBQ to finish off the long weekend! It was only 3 days - but we packed in a LOT of fun!