The New Normal

 

Happy February!!

I feel as if the past few weeks have been very ‘normal’. After 7 months of living here I suppose we have finally fallen into a bit of a groove. Before I forget I wanted to share the link to a story that Blake wrote. Clearly we need some punctuation and plot development coaching 😉 but his story is super cute and I was very proud of him.

Click Here to go to Blake’s Story

The access code you will need is SNR533.

The resources these kids have access to is phenomenal. I was in the library with a class the other day and Brooklynn’s class was in the computer lab. These 5 and 6 year olds were building fairly intricate Lego animals on some sort of switch board. If they got every single piece in place correctly the animal moves. For example; if they were building a bird and got everything exactly in place, the bird’s wings would begin to flap. SO neat!

Next year, they will be moving to a new school building just up the street and DODEA is fully embracing the idea of the 21st century school. Here is a link that a teacher friend shared with me concerning 21st century schools.

21st Century Schools

Speaking of school, the kids have had quite a few random days off for different reasons, so we’ve had some time to explore the island a little more. Two weeks ago we ventured out to an area called Murasaki Mura, which is a replica of an old Okinawan village. They had animals, Shisa painting, Soba noodle making, herb tea making and SO much more. The kids all painted their own Shisas and we just wandered around for a while to see what the village had to offer.

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This past week Japan celebrated the first day of Spring (in February!!). The festival is called Setsubun and the head of the household throws roasted soybeans (called fuku mame “fortune beans”) either out the door, into a box, or at an Oni (some sort of mystical , demon creature that wears a ‘Jason’ mask). They yell ‘Oni Wa Soto! Fuku wa uchi!” while throwing the beans which translates to “Demons out! Luck in!”. We didn’t see any advertisements for any sort of festivals for this, so we will have to be on the lookout next year.

This past weekend the weather was finally super nice (it’s been overcast and rainy and gloomy the past few weeks) so we spent some much needed time at the beach. It was too cold to get in the water (which still didn’t stop the kids from getting in waist deep) but we picnicked and got to play at the park, and explore the beach and caves around Toguchi beach.

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We have had reservations to go Whale Watching here for the past two weeks and the water hasn’t cooperated with us and the company has had to cancel both days. We’re hoping to make it out, before the season is over.

The kids’ newest obsession lately is Indian curry. They would eat it every day if I would let them. Neither one is a huge fan of Japanese curry, I think it’s just too sweet for them. (Such a flattering picture I know…)

curry

We also had the opportunity this weekend to wander out to an area called Gala where they have a Coral farm. As I’m sure a lot of you are aware the Earth’s coral population has decreased SIGNIFICANTLY the past few years due to environmental factors. This coral farm has began growing coral and then transferring it to the ocean, in hopes that it will continue to grow. It was so neat to educate the kids on how important it is that we take care of our environment, and we are so blessed that we have the freedom and ability to even be worried about factors such as those; because we’re NOT worried about where our next meal, paycheck, or warm place to sleep is coming from.

Just another example of why we are so grateful to be on this side of the world, and that our kids get the experiences they have had here.

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As you can see we’ve stayed busy! Garrett has been doing a ton of traveling and we’ve been planning lots of traveling for the next few months. We are so excited to share those adventures with all of you.

In the meantime, we love and miss you all and are thankful for your continued prayers!!

❤ The Butlers

 

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