Sunday, April 26, 2009

Should I worry?

Today we stopped by Hangin' High to celebrate Morgan's 11th birthday. The kids were using the zipline to fly across the gym. Tyler volunteered for this without coaxing from anyone!

Now, Ryland on the other hand, had no idea what he was getting himself into. I think it freaked him out a little bit. He made it half way there and then decided that this wasn't for him.

Ryland + Mia = Best Friends

Dining Out - A Navy Tradition

We had the privilege of going to our first Dining Out last night. A Dining Out is a formal dinner to support camaraderie among officers' of the command. It's very structured and includes dinner, drinking and skits for entertainment. Every action such as a trip to the restroom is choreographed meaning you must wait until they 'allow' you to take a break. You are not supposed to sit upon entering the room until everyone is standing behind their chair and the Captain and his wife sit down. Before dinner is served there is a 'parading of the beef'. In every command it's different but it usually means that someone or a group people parade the roast or whatever is being served around the room. Well this was done "Guam-style" and a carabao was paraded around the room. And if I didn't know what a carabao does when it gets nervous than I do now. Let's just say, it stunk! It was a very shocking amusing moment. During the night skits are performed, some previously recorded and others live. The different Corps were fined at random times during the night and made to drink from the "grog" which is a nasty concoction made up of anything and everything that they could get there hands on. The spouses were even fined at one point (thanks DALE!) to drink from the grog....guess they didn't want anyone to feel left out! It was a nice night, everyone looked beautiful in their dresses and dapper in their uniforms. I'm lucky to have had the amazing opportunity to attend a traditional Dining Out.

Before the dinner bell rang we lounged around listening to soft music and had free flowing refreshments.
The men looking rather dapper, don't you think? Dale (center) was Mr. Vice President for the evening which means that he had to MC the event. He did such a great job and even sang a "sound of music"-esque song. Job well done, Dale! We were all impressed!
"Parading of the beef"
Medical Service Corps were fined for having a good skit. Here they are drinking the grog in unison. Chris is the seventh one from the left, half hidden.
A special thanks to Dot for letting me steal borrow her pictures and to George Potak for taking a fantastic shots both, group shot inside and outside at sunset!

Landmark goes down

This is for all my Guam friends that have left the island. A COMNAVMAR landmark is being demolished. The lone building that was used for training will soon be taken down. Not sure what they are putting up in it's place but just wanted to pass on a little change to the base you once inhabited! Does anyone of you remember where this is located?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Earth Day at McCool

Last night we went a spaghetti dinner at the base school that benefited Guam's endangered animals. They had different exhibits such as live insects, a fruit bat, a brown tree snake, a Guam rail (aka the KoKo bird-looks like a roadrunner because it has no wings!), starfish, hermit crabs and booths set up explaining the different coral in the area. There was even one exhibit, with two large sea turtles (not living), that Tyler liked because it had baby sea turtles in a jar. We just watched a National Geographic show on baby turtles. He loves anything baby. It was a fun filled, informative night!

Logan with his best bud, Ryan
Tyler admiring the baby sea turtles
Brown tree snake
Logan w/ the fruit bat
Guam rail aka KoKo Bird

Not ready to turn the page

So I haven't been in the mood to update the blog. You want to know the truth? I'm sad. Yep, I said it. As much as I've been in denial, I'm sad. We're closing another chapter in the book of a Navy family. It's not easy to end a chapter. Have you ever read a book where there's always a cliffhanger at the end of each chapter? That's how it kinda feels. You're left saying..."What happens next?". Well I'm trying to read the last few paragraphs (weeks!) slowly. So if I update in spurts you'll understand why.

Here's a few things that are coming up:

  • a Dining Out - I've never been to one before but I'm looking forward to going. It's a semi-formal dinner with the service member in choker whites and spouses dressed in cocktail attire. Somehow I managed to get into a skit that will be shown that night. Heaven help me. I'll try to refrain from hiding under the table since it will probably mess my dress up.
  • a Vow Renewal - Mine. It's been something that I've wanted to do. Renew our vows and dedicate our marriage to God since I have not been married in a church with a Pastor (I don't really count the Pastor at the drive-thru wedding chapel in Vegas if he even was a Pastor. I think he doubled as the 'Elvis' as well.). It's going to be a sunset ceremony at our church. Completely casual. Completely us. There will be music, food and if we're lucky, maybe a little dancing!
  • a trip to Yap - Where is Yap you say? Ever watched Survivor? Well Survivor Micronesia was actually filmed here in Micronesia (which is a group of islands to the south of Guam) and one of the rewards was a trip to Yap for a cultural dance where the women are topless. They actually still practice that custom. No I will not be "doing as the locals do" thank you very much. I'll keep my shirt on. My dear friend, Dot won a trip back in October for two. She decided to take me when her husband graciously stepped down from his ticket! How cool is that! It's sort of our farewell trip.
  • a final packout - Done the day I return from my island getaway. Two days after we say goodbye to our house and three days after that we say goodbye to our island as well as our good friends.

As for tonight...we're going to an Earth Night dinner at the school here on base in support of our lovely planet. We'll see lots of things like a brown tree snake and other animals from Guam as well as learn about ways that we can protect the island and the earth.

Yesterday, a new friend, Beth, had us over for coffee. In the short time that I've known her she has made quite the impression on me. I joined her bible study once but wasn't able to continue with all the preparation I've had to do. It's a shame that I will not get a chance to know her better.

From L-R: Barbara (her lil guy is in the carseat), Beth (holding a baby she was sitting for), Amy w/ Mackenzie, Dot, me, Chantelle and who could miss lil Mia in the center.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's Tyler's turn...

for an ER visit. This morning he took a little spill between the dining room chairs and ended up with a mini gash on his head above his right ear. He was quite brave and endured the placement of two staples without the need of an injection (he just had some topical numbing medication). We were in and out in an hour and made it to church on time. He barely shed a tear. That's my boy. I feel like an old pro now. Maybe the ER needs to come up with some frequent visit benefits....

Friday, April 17, 2009

Underwater World -- Spring Break Day FIVE

Day 5 of spring break was spent watching the fishies..or what Ryland likes to say ISH-EE! Little Mia and her momma, Dot joined us for our outing. We all enjoyed a yummy lunch at my favorite place, Vitale's.

Our last day of spring break was not documented on camera, unfortunately, because I forgot to bring it with us! Chris was able to get the day off and we all celebrated the last day of SB by going to Tarza waterpark. We spent ALL day there, stopped off at Wendy's for dinner and I went out and bought Bedtime Stories (movie with Adam Sandler). It was a really great day all the way through!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Resurrection Day!

Tarague Tide Pools -- Spring Break Day FOUR

Saturday we attended church with the Ramirez family to listen to them sing. What beautiful voices! I keep joking with them and saying that they are Filipino version of the Von Traps of Sound of Music! Then went on a beach trek to Tarague Tide pools. It was awesome! We followed a little path through the woods and came to a beach. I thought to myself, aw, man. The tide is in so there's nothing to see. We started to set up our towels when Chris took a little walk down another path and then came back with great news that the tide pools were a little bit further down the beach. We couldn't see them where we were because shrubbery was blocking our view. When we followed Chris down the other path it opened up to an explorer's wonderland. I was in HEAVEN! Many, many tide pools stretched out before us with lots of little goodies to discover. Chris found an octupus! It was a small one but once it spotted us it hid pretty well. Dani and I with the boys found something strange that looked like a sea snake but acted more like a sea cucumber until it lunged for Ryan's foot. (That nearly made me pee my pants!) There was tons of little crevices, nookies and crannies to explore. It was a great time and my only regret was that I did not find this place sooner. We ate at Bamboo Willies, played some frisbee and called it a day....a really, really great one!

By the way...can you tell that collages are my new thing? It's a fun way to get a lot of pictures on here rather than uploading them one at a time. Special thanks to Dot for telling me how to do it!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Boonie Stompin'! -- Spring Break Day THREE

There are many things to do on Guam but you have to select them carefully when you have small children so that's why we went boonie stompin at Asan Beach Park again. We gave a tour to the Ramirez and Simmons families along with a little bit of history from the park. A battle was fought here to take back control of the island and rescue it's people from the Japanese occupation during WWII. Artifacts can still be found on the shore and that was the basis for our mission. Each child was given a baggy to collect all the things they discovered. My plan was to do a little show and tell afterwards with our findings but I was just too exhausted from the hike with Ry on my back and helping Tyler along the way...he's my cautious one. Thank goodness for one of them being cautious, right?!
Some of our findings were:

A leaf from a Breadfruit tree. It's half the size of Logan!

A boonie bee nest. Yikes!

A Hug! Awwww!
A hiding place! A little hermit crab crawled all the way up there.

A breadfruit. You cook it like potatoes. This one is pretty small.
A hand. Tyler, my very cautious boy, was never too far from mommy in case a hermit crab would get him!
A new friend! We found several blue starfish along the way.
A beginning to a comedic acting career. Crazy mer-man Ryan!
A rest. Much needed, might I add.

Bowling -- Spring Break Day TWO

Chris surprised the boys and came home early to take them bowling. The bowling alley had a midnight madness sort of feel at 3 in the afternoon because they turned the lights off, the music up and blacklights on. It was pretty cool!
I have no idea why he keeps flexing in his pictures lately. Guess he wants everyone to know how strong he is!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

USO Movie Day -- Spring Break 09 Day ONE

Yesterday was Logan and Tyler's first day of spring break and we went out for a movie day at the USO. In our household the USO is mentioned pretty much every day. There is always some sort of request put in for going to the USO. Logan loves it and Tyler loves anything that he loves. When I told Logan the night before that he needed to go to bed because we were going to his favorite spot he gave no complaints and quickly complied to my request.

Now here's a funny story. Below is a picture of Dot, me and Glynda. We all met through my blog. I was corresponding to emails from both Dot and Glynda at the same time last year. Both had received orders to Guam and found my blog through research of the island. Dot and I met shortly after her arrival but Glynda and I had lost touch until one fateful day.....Dot met myself and friends at the local aquarium but I was running late. While she was waiting she met Glynda who recognized her through my blog! That moment got me back in touch with Glynda! We did not officially meet until a chance encounter in Macy's several weeks ago. We planned a lunch to get together but one of Glynda's kids were sick and until recently had not made any more plans. Yesterday was our first official "hang time" with her and the kids. It was great and I only wish that we had met sooner since my time on island is now coming to a close.

Kiddos sprawled out and ready to watch Bolt.
Most of the gang...the big boys were playing video games. The little girl next to me was just hanging out with watching Bolt!
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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Easter Egg Hunt 2009

We took the boys to the base Easter egg hunt for some good times. I honestly have never liked them because I feel like it's too easy to lose your kid when he runs off from you to find eggs and then tries to find his way back. Makes me nervous. Don't we teach them to not run off and then give them free rein on egg hunting day? Makes no sense to me but I conformed to the norm. They had a great time accept for when Tyler's egg was stolen right out from under him by another kid. I captured the look he gave him right after. Logan was very successful because he was on the older end of the spectrum. Poor Ty only ended up with 3 eggs but lucky for him that he has an older brother that was willing to share. Ryland couldn't figure out why we had to wait to go get the eggs which made him pretty mad. Once the bunny said go and everyone started running it freaked him out and he started to cry. All in all the boys did enjoy themselves.

This is's usually Ry sleeping with the other two awake!
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Thursday, April 2, 2009

The many faces of Tyler

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We know how to PAR-TAY!

We spent Chris' birthday out and about. We went shopping and to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch. By the end of the day we were both tuckered out so I gave him a choice, I cook enchiladas or we go out to McD's (and use Dot's gift certificates--Thanks DOT!!). He chose the McD's and I saved the enchiladas for lunch the next day. He was pretty much all caked out from the day before so I got him a birthday sundae. I put a candle in it inspite of his disapproval (it was for the kids, really!) and we all sang happy birthday to him.

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