Going back through my photos on my phone this weekend, to try to reminisce on what had happened over the past few weeks was a little more overwhelming than I thought it would be. We’ve been busy in the best sense of the word. I’m not even the photographer of the family (Garrett does a much better job than me) and I have quite a few exciting photos to share.
This school year has been full of change. At the end of last year I accepted a position teaching third grade at a different school than I had previously been long-term subbing for 5th grade. We debated for a long time on whether to pull my kids over to the school I would be teaching at, and we ultimately decided it would be best logistically for the kids to come with me. We have been SO happy with our decision. Both of the kids have PHENOMONAL teachers. Blake’s teacher is SO tech savvy and has even been gracious enough to meet me at school on Saturdays to help me incorporate even more technology into my classroom. It’s amazing to me how continuously blessed I am by my co-workers, no matter what part of the world I happen to be in.
We worked hard all Summer long, getting my classroom into tip-top shape. I say ‘we’ because Garrett was gracious enough to come up and help organize my library (reorganizing and labeling books from AR to Reading Counts was NOT an easy feat), and hang things that I couldn’t reach to hang. There are two before and after photos below.
The most exciting thing I incorporated this year was a full ‘flexible seating’ classroom. I have always done flexible seating (to an extent) for our Daily 5 rotations but never an entire classroom all day…I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a scary concept, but overall it has been GREAT for the kids and myself.
Enough about school. Along with school starting, so starts the onslaught of the social scene. I’m sure none of this is in correct chronological order; but here goes…
The kids started a week after I went back…
Garrett was so sweet to send me flowers the first day :).
Brooklynn had her first experience at a Japanese dentist. She had a small cavity that needed to be filled. The dentist was awesome, and she did a great job. The picture below made me giggle though when she came out…
They spoiled here with all sorts of goodies from their treasure box afterwards.
Brooklynn also got this idea that she wanted to dye her hair pink. Our neighbor’s daughter had, had a few color extensions tied into her hair so I was really hoping that we were going to be able to get away with the same. However, the extension people weren’t there when we went to have Brooke’s hair done, so I allowed her to go ahead and dye a small piece pink. It turned out cute and has faded fairly quickly.
One of our favorite things to do in Okinawa is to try out all of the different cafes and restaurants around the island. All of the food presentations are always so ‘Kawaii’ (cute), and the café vibes are nothing less than unique. We got to check out a café called ‘Jungalia’ that’s located on the sea wall. The food was okay, but the atmosphere was great. All of the tables were either swings, or on the ground located between pallets. We also found a GREAT new coffee place called Kramps. It’s by far my favorite coffee place we’ve been to. The coffee is great and the food is scrumptious. It actually reminds me a lot of a boutique breakfast place in Norman, Oklahoma. We’ve also been frequenting our favorite ‘Little Greek Kitchen’ for several events over the past few months. The first few times we went to her place, she was located about an hour away on a separate island, in a shipping container with no air conditioning. She has since moved much closer and has a BEAUTIFUL view of the ocean…AND she has air conditioning now! Lastly, just a few nights ago we went to dinner at a ‘new to us’ Sushi-go-’round. The kids had been BEGGING to go to a sushi-go-round and we hadn’t been to a place called “Curazushi” (probably not spelled correctly) where the kids can put their plates in a slot after they’re finished and after every 5 plates, a cartoon comes up on the touch screen and you have the opportunity to win a prize. In the second picture below, Blake is making his selection on the touch screen. His favorite is the Nigri sushi; particularly salmon. Brooklynn always sticks to the rolls and would prefer no fish in her sushi (haha).
Speaking of food. Brooklynn had the opportunity last week to attend a cooking class out in town. She did a great job and had a ton of fun. Normally Blake is our chef in the family but he didn’t want to participate this time and I wasn’t pushing the issue. We’re beginning to get into the ‘I’m too cool phase’ of life (Oh joy!). He has never SAID that, but it’s the VIBE ;).
The past few months have also been full of other fun events like Air Force Ball and one of our dear friends Brad, pinning on Major. Exciting news; Garrett will also be pinning on Major sometime within the next year…it’s actually a pretty humorous story that I know others in the same boat understand, and I will leave for him to explain to the rest of our friends and family ;). We celebrated Garrett’s 31st Birthday this past week (CRAZY!) and the kids of course have been busy playing with their neighborhood friends. They made a lemonade stand a few weeks ago, and the weather has finally cooled down a bit (like there’s a breeze and the high is sometimes only 87, haha).
The weather didn’t really start to cool off any until after the Air Force Ball, but once it did we finally took the kids out to Peace Prayer Memorial Park. It is a memorial, museum and park area dedicated to the memory of all of the soldiers who fought and died in the Battle of Okinawa. The entire experience was interesting and humbling. There were parts that I was ‘iffy’ about bringing the kids through, but ultimately made the decision that it’s important for them to see the atrocities of war and what consequences it brings with it.
A few weekends ago the kids and I got to explore a great resort here called Rizzan Sea Resort (I think?!) we got to enjoy their indoor and outdoor pool and beach area. We also stayed to eat at their buffet. Poor Garrett was working. It’s no secret that things have been quite busy in this half of the globe ;).
I have been BEGGING to go hiking since before school started. But with our busy social schedules, weather, and/or work schedules it has been put to the back burner until this past weekend. It was great timing though, because the weather was perfect and we had a great time. We went to one of our favorite places to hike Ishikawadake, and got to play on the ropes course for a bit too. Garrett and I also had failed attempt numero tres for Blue Cave, haha! There is a beautiful area here called Blue Cave. We have had two failed diving attempts at it (both cancelled due to wave height) and so we decided this time we would try a kayak/snorkel trip with some friends. As you can see, we did get out on the water to kayak for a bit, but then a thunderstorm came in out of nowhere and we had to head back to shore. Honestly it was totally fine though, because there’s a nearby pizza place that everyone rants and raves about and Garrett and I have tried to eat at a few times, but we always end up spending too much time at the nearby beach and never make it back up in time to eat at the pizza place. So we got to finally enjoy our pizza and wine at pizza Enzo with our friends :)! I’m hoping to be able to schedule the Blue Cave excursion sometime in November, if work schedules permit ;).
As you can see, it’s been an awesome and adventure filled few months. We’re looking forward to the next 6 months of travel and family <3. Stay tuned for our next adventures to include, but not limited to; Korea, Taiwan, Bali (again), and a trip back to the states :). Thank you all times a million for your continued prayers and support. We are all so thrilled for this time in our lives, and it wouldn’t be half as enjoyable without our family and friends’ prayers and encouragement.
Until next time,
❤ The Butlers