Sunday, May 28, 2017

Getting back to real life

has been a bit of a struggle.  Getting a migraine and then a cold plus jet lag is never a good start.

However I did get some of my kitchen cupboards cleaned and organized in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep.  That's a plus.....




And I got a graduation gift in the mail from Utah State:

This is what 9 months of tuition gets you---a luggage tag...well, and the diploma!!

And while I haven't seen the rest of my family in almost a month, luckily I have enjoyed some pictures that they have shared.

Liam with Jessica
Liam with his new glasses
 Zander


Happy Mother's Day from Jena...
Gary took this picture of the Provo Temple after a visit with Ben.  He knows how much I love to see this temple!  It made me smile when he sent it to me in Japan.  I think he missed me a little while I was gone.  :)
James.....

Scarlett hanging out with her Uncle Travis--she gets some fun rides on his wheelchair, too, but hanging out with him is perfect.

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LIFE IS SO GOOD
even with a cold and homework and weeds!

Thanks for being a part of our lives and for loving us!!
Have a great Memorial Day weekend.

More donations for the library...

our neighbors dropped off several boxes of books left over from YW camp yard sale.  Children and youth books are the biggest favorites in our library so far so I was glad for the donation.  Thanks Kim and Jeff Savage.



I took these three books to Japan and back so I think they are the most widely traveled books in the library so far.  It was so great to head out to the library to grab books for the trip.  I also took my textbooks and actually had to do some homework in Japan as well but I did get two of these books read on the way to and from Japan.
If you are ever in Syracuse, stop by and grab a book.....

Saying goodbye is always a hard thing to do.....

especially when you know it will be awhile until you see each other again.

We saved a return trip to the SeaWall for Sunday night and enjoyed a beautiful walk at dusk.







Tosha and I stayed up late watching cooking competitions on NetFlix and having a brownie decadent dessert in between Cooper's late night feedings.

And although I was excited to head home and see Gary and everyone else, it was really hard to leave as well.

What a difference a year makes

May 2016
May 2017 
The outside of their apartment complex


And one parting look at Japan.  Their toilets in the airport are very complicated.  I am really not clear what each of these buttons would do...not sure I want music coming out of the toilet while I am using it...or anytime for that matter.



My flights home were on time for the most part and I arrived on time in Salt Lake on Monday evening.

Thanks, Gary, for managing things at home including Jena being sick most of the time.  She ended up with bronchitis and Gary with a cold.  And, despite trying to disinfect the house, I ended up with a cold as well so it has been a slow adjustment back to life in the USA.  Just trying to keep up with the bare minimum and rest when I can. Glad it is a holiday tomorrow as I don't think I would be up for seeing clients at The Children's Center.

Hopefully we will get well enough to visit the Utah kids and grandkids before we head off for our next adventure to Nauvoo on June 6th.

At home in Okinawa....

We did have some days with a lot of rain and we just hung out at home.  Those were great days as well, being with Niki and Cooper and talking with Tosha and Austen.  Although I was there to "help", Tosha did all of the cooking and it was all good.  She kept saying that playing with the kids was what she needed me to do....it is a tough job but someone has to do it!!

Niki started calling me "Me-Maw" early on and it stuck through out the trip.  It was fun to be his "Me-Maw" in person rather than just facetime.

Here are some shots from our time indoors....Last year my gift for Niki made him scared (the Monster truck book that roared) but the duplo bulldozer was a big hit.  He and I played legos frequently during my stay.





 Ben and Jena made drawings for Cooper and Niki
Picture Ben drew for Niki
 These all are hanging on the refrigerator at their house.....
Jena made the welcome sign for Cooper
and Ben colored the picture of children for him.


 This was a great week to visit as Cooper was just working on his social smiles.  He is a very social child and wants eye contact with who ever is holding him at that moment.
Brothers hanging out...every once in a while Niki would bring Cooper books or toys to "play with"






Niki loves to have books read to him and we spent a lot of time reading books.  This is a picture of me reading "I loved you before you were born" to Cooper with Niki joining us.
This is the blanket my mother made for Tosha.  It is their favorite one to wrap him up all snuggly while we are enjoying the air conditioning.
I brought my cap and tassel to take some pictures (I still haven't done this with my other grandkids yet because we were sick with the stomach bug before my trip and I got the cold that Jena and Gary had when I got home from Japan.  My goal is to take some type of picture of each other them with the cap and tassel and do something creative with them. We will see if that works out.)
Niki prefer his own cap.

 Trying to get as many looks of that cute face before I left.  He will change so much by the time we see him in person again.
I even got to babysit both boys while Tosha and Austen ran errands a few times and even had a date night.  On date night, the weather was good so we went out side and played with bubbles. Niki spent about 30 minutes chasing bubbles up and down the hill in back of their house.  It was impossible to get a good picture since I was blowing bubbles with one hand and holding Cooper with another hand but it was such a fun time together.