This evening I changed my profile picture on Facebook. This would normally be insignificant and I wouldn’t think twice about it. However, tonight I had a realization; I was changing from a mountain top 10,000 ft. high, to an ocean depth of 200 ft. That about sums up our life this past year…adventures from the very top, to the very bottom of this beautiful Earth; How blessed are we?!?!
Before the new year we visited Sea Glass beach (we have been there before) to collect some more Sea Glass. The kids had so much fun! (and the adults did too). We got to grow our Sea Glass collection. We also found quite literally a SHACK on the side of the road that sold Soba, so we stopped in for lunch afterwards. Our options were large, or small bowl of Soba :).
PS I can take ZERO credit for the awesome, pictures above. Our amazingly talented friend took those pictures with her professional grade camera and I stole them from her ;).
Pictured below is the Soba shack we ate at. We were taking a complete gamble going in, especially considering we couldn’t read the signs.
There’s no way I could upload all the pictures, or begin to try to remember all the fun things we did while they kids were out for Winter Break. It makes me anxious for Summer Vacation; but here are a few of the pictures we managed to snap (or steal from friends ha!)
We rang in 2017 a few weeks ago with some amazing friends, at our house. We all had an absolute blast!
Normally, we are spending the Holiday season travelling all around Texas to see our friends and family. Although of course we missed everyone, we are daily counting the blessings of our ‘framily’ here. Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year could have easily been a depressing, awful time for our family, but it was filled with so much love and fun.
On the first day of the new year, our family spent some time hiking in the Northern part of the island. The kids were cracking me up; Brooklynn was quite the little adventurer and willingly followed me into some paths that weren’t as well worn as the main path. Blake on the other hand, was NOT having any extra adventures ;). He was shouting at Brooklynn and I that we needed to immediately turn back because it was dangerous. Haha.
The area we hiked is actually a very historical area for the island; it’s called Kunigamiho-Seikai Road and was used between the 15th and 19th century to link Shuri Court (one of the biggest/most historically relevant castles here) to the northern villages. The hike was interesting because there were quite a few caves, and also many tombs, shrines, and a few headstones that have obviously been there for hundreds and hundreds of years. If I’m understanding correctly, there are Chinese headstones and Korean tombs? I’m not familiar enough with the ancient, Ryukyu history to understand why, so I will definitely have to brush up. There were several plaques along the way describing what we were seeing, however I have yet to learn any Kanji, and Google translate was useless this time around.
The next day Garrett left for Vegas so the kids and I have had lots of our own adventures. We spent quite a bit of time with friends at the beach and on the Sea Wall.
The weather has been kind of gross the past week. Very rainy and cloudy. Today it was actually pretty chilly and we got to enjoy some time with our neighbors, around their fire pit this evening.
We’ve had a few ‘firsts’ around here as well; Blake had his first coach pitch, baseball game this past week (he was supposed to have a game this weekend, but it was rained out), Brooklynn lost her first tooth, and the kids got to try their first star fruit, which they were all a huge fan of.
Last weekend we went to a resort to take their glass bottomed boat tour and to see their underwater observatory. There is a big light house looking structure in the middle of the ocean, and you take extremely steep, spiral steps down to the bottom of the ocean floor where you can see the fish in their natural habitat. We all enjoyed feeding and watching the fish.
I know this has been an onslaught of pictures…but before I forget; we went diving with some friends who have an awesome underwater camera and I wanted to share the amazing pictures they took the last time we went diving with them. He got some awesome shots of the octopus we saw, some ‘Nemo’ fish, and a super cool cuttlefish!
I know I thank you all, all of the time for your prayers and support…but they are not empty “thank yous” we are forever grateful and indebted to everyone who has prayed for our family through this adventure. My heart is so overwhelmed with joy and gratitude on a daily basis for this opportunity to have these adventures and live on this side of the world. We are blessed beyond measure in many, many ways. I’m excited to announce our newest adventure has involved me being back at work the past few weeks. I have accepted a position as a 5th grade teacher at the school that Blake and Brooklynn attend. I am thankful to be back doing what God has called me to do. There is nothing that makes me happier, or fills my soul more than being the hands and feet of Jesus to these kids. So please continue to pray for us during this busy season.
As always; we love and miss you all.
❤ The Butlers