Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Grandma and Grandpa Visit, 2015 edition!!

We were lucky enough to have a few weeks to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa this year in Japan!  First, Grandma came to hangout for a few weeks before Grandpa's arrival.  

She arrived and we jumped right into kid activities.  Grandma was able to catch the last games of the soccer season.


One of the first activities was an American Girl Tea Party, hosted by the base.   We spent a little time with Mackenzie's friends, and their little friends, coloring and eating cookies.  It wasn't quite the "tea party" we anticipated.  But, the girls had fun anyway.

The next week was our first week in two months with no sports activities.  So, what would we do first....uhhh....visit the ER after a misstep between a twirling Mackenzie and a boiling-pot-carrying-Mommy.  :(



The next week started a new chapter of sports for us.    Mackenzie started her first season in volleyball.  She made the cutoff for the 9-11 age group by one day.  So, she is the smallest and least experienced on the team.  But, she has so much fun.  She really enjoyed practicing with Grandma and then having Grandma and Grandpa watch her play.

Garytt's third year in football began on the same night.  He loves this sport!  And, showing off for the grandparents put him in his element!

A frequent happening in our house over the last few weeks:  Game night with Grandma.


Halloween 2015!  It was a Star Wars kind of holiday.


Spending the evening "Using the Force" to find the best candy houses on base!  We were very happy to get to spend the time in character with our besties!

Grandma was able to attend Garytt's karate belt test.  He tested for Brown/White.  A week after the test he got his new belt and joined the Advanced Class.

For Mackenzie's birthday, we decided to take Grandma to the beach to hunt for sea glass...one of Mackenzie's favorite things to do.  Well, I was told there was a beach close by....not so...we walked quite a ways and only found a sea wall.  It was a beautiful day and we had a nice relaxing walk, played in the park for a few minutes, and Skyped with Aunt Tisha and Uncle Clayton.  It was a good day.


The next week we had the kids' birthday pool party.  I'll have to say...celebrating at the pool was great!  I didn't have to organize games or throw up decorations all over the place.   The kids had a blast swimming!  And, I got some amazing underwater pictures from a friend's new camera.  


Totoro for Mackenzie

Minions for Boy
One of my favorite cakes that I've made, so far.  :)

Daddy spent a week in Atsugi for work.  While he was away we set the table for dinner.  After the table was set...one person to each side of the rectangle...I walked over with my drink to find that the kids both scooted their plates near Grandma.  I was waaayyyy at the other end all by myself!  I felt the love!


Part of the way through the week I was able to escape to Atsugi to hang out with the hubs in his nice NGI Suite.  We enjoyed ramen and explored the base a bit.

When I returned I found that Mackenzie acquired new toys from Sierra.  Wow!  Squinky-land!  

A couple weeks later it was time for Grandpa!!!  First up on the agenda...a Boy Scouts shooting day at Tama Hills.  We decided to get a room there the night before so we didn't have to drive through Tokyo at 0600.  Good idea!  The place was HUGE!  We could have fit three families in there!

The kids enjoying a little hot tub time before bed.

Standing still for the Pledge of Allegiance

Best friends just hanging out and shooting guns!  What an awesome day!!!  The sun was shining and it was a great temperature.  If only we made it into the food line a little earlier than we did.

Both boys did great and hit the target with just about every shot!  

Blow Darts.  Garytt was oh so close with this one.  But, not quite.

Sling shots.  I think this was when Mackenzie finally decided she would participate.  Well, she really wanted to do the bow and arrow, but the line was incredibly long and they didn't move through kids very fast.  Mackenzie hit a few targets here.  Boy only tagged three.


The area around the campgrounds is pretty and peaceful...well, when all the screaming boys aren't there.  

Balloon darts and a marshmallow gun

  

A bridge on our drive home.  We all had a great time hanging out at the Boy Scouts' outing.  The kids ran around and shot things...how can you possibly beat that??  

Just before Grandma and Grandpa left, we pulled out all the Christmas decorations and decked the halls!

The finished product.  We only had a few arguments about who was going to hang Morgan's ornaments.  

Our last outing for the trip.  To the beach!  We finally made it out to the beach so that Mackenzie could spend the day hunting for seaglass with Grandma!  Wow, did we find a lot!  Two whole beach towels full!  It was a beautiful day!  The sun was shining, the waves were quiet.  The water was a bit chilly (um..December...) but after ten minutes my feet were numb and I couldn't tell they were cold anymore.  

Sea Creatures. Grandpa found a sea snail and then we spotted some other tentacled thing.

The beach lighthouse and then all the goodies we scored!

One of our last meals was ramen from an actual ramen shop.  I've been here three years and this is the first time I've eaten at a ramen shop.  Wow...tasty!  Even Mackenzie enjoyed a bowl of ramen!


Then, the day came when we had to say goodbye.  We took a little time at the airport to walk around and look at the lights and some beautiful flowers before we hugged and waved to those two special people we were lucky enough to get this time with.   What an amazing visit!  We saw a lot of new things as we explored Kyoto (those posts coming soon), we ate new things, and shared some of our old favorites.  Memories to cherish, for sure!