Friday, November 28, 2008

The day after Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! We went to a friend's house and has the whole she-bang with a few of John's co-workers and their families. Its always hard to be away from family during these times, but at least we are not here forever!
The day after we stuffed ourselves silly was a bit of a lazy day. We slept in and then I got a little shopping in. Of course the shopping here is nothing compared to the "Black Friday" extravaganza in the States. Later that evening, we decided to go on our weekly date and try out a new restaurant. We went to an authentic Okinawan restaurant and it was fabulous! The Japanese eat late here, so it is great going to places a little earlier because you get prime spots! We had our own little room with sliding doors that were shut while we were eating, it was so fun! We had a little sushi, some amazing noodle stir fry, shrimp tempura, tuna and avocado salad and of course some hot tea!

I tried to get a picture of the inside, but it was difficult since the room was so small. Check out my good looking (and quite skinny) husband!

We decided to take a little stroll after dinner. We were in "American Village", a touristy area, so the Christmas lights were up and there was plenty to see! Hopefully you remember seeing this ferris wheel from an earlier blog.

We heard a band playing down the street and decided to check them out. It was a local Japanese brass band performing on the street. They were pretty darn good, so I had to take a video. I couldn't get my camera out in time to record them singing "When the Saints Go Marching In", but I got a little bit of them playing it. I added another video on you tube because it was too big to add on here. The videos are both a little dark, but these guys are great!
So now that Thanksgiving is over, its time to start thinking about Christmas! My favorite part of getting into the Christmas spirit is putting up the tree! This year the theme was gold, green and ivory, I think it turned out to be one good looking tree!

I would like to take a moment to recognize those mighty Texas teams who tore it up in football today...the Dallas Cowboys and of course the Texas Longhorns, who destroyed A&M! Hook 'em horns! Ok, now back to the rest...

We really miss all of you and are so sad we cannot celebrate the holidays with you this year, but certainly in years to come! This Christmas we decided to fly up to Tokyo and spend a few days there. We will get to stay in downtown Tokyo and go to Tokyo Disney! We are sooooo excited! I am sure many blogs will some from that trip, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Marine Corps!

Ok, so this is a little overdue, but better late than never! The official birthday of the Marine Corps is November 10th. This year they celebrated the 233rd year of the Marine Corps existence. The USMC birthday is a pretty big deal and is celebrated by the "Marine Corps Birthday Ball", definitely my favorite event of the year! This year we had the opportunity to attend two of them.

We had one for the squadron that John works in, and then a larger one for all of the officers that are a part of the Air Wing his squadron falls under. Forgive me if I have lost you already; military jargon can be quite confusing. Send me an email if you need further explanations!
So, at the squadron ball, John was a member of the ceremony. He was the highest ranking officer in the ceremony, so he called all of the commands. If you attended our wedding, then I am sure you remember hearing some of them. I have no idea what they actually say, occasionally I can get a word or two out of it! I was hoping I would get some pictures from a girl who had one of those crazy expensive cameras. She took some great pictures, but I don't have any of them to post. The flash on my camera isn't so great, so I'm sorry you cannot see John very well in some of these. He looked really good though!

In this picture, he is the one on the right

Since we are celebrating a birthday, there is a ceremonial cake cutting. I love all of the traditions that come with going to things like this. The first piece is given to the guest speaker. Then one is given to the oldest Marine present, he then passes it to the youngest member present.

After the traditional ceremony, guest speaker and dinner, the dancing begins!

Here is John with his Commanding officer (bottom middle) and a few other crazy officers!

As I said before, the second ball we went to was an all officer's ball, and it was huge as evident by this insanely enormous cake!

Here are a few of the officer's wifves of the group John works in. We know how to have a good time!
There are certainly good points and bad points of living the Marine life, and one of the best parts is being a part of a military community and being able to go to events like this. You are reminded of what our military does for us. I am so proud of my husband. I could care less about what is said about the war, I think we should be respectful of all the men and women who sacrifice so much so that we are able to live in such a wonderful country. These service members make so many sacrifices, like being away from their familes, having modern conveniences, and sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice...their lives, just so we have the ability to vote, have the freedom of speech and so many more luxuries many other countries do not have. Living in Japan has definately made me so thankful for the freedoms we have and the abundance of blessing and opportunities we have as Americans. So I would encourage you to please thank a service member for what they do, just shake their hand, smile and say "Thank you". That is all. Maybe say a prayer for those whom you've never even met who are in a war zone. And by all means, give thanks to God for blessing you with the true pleasure it is to be an American.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Casa De Franklin

Our house has been a work in progress since we have moved in. It has been quite the chore making a concrete house look like a home! We had to borrow a hammer drill just to make holes in the walls in order to hang large pictures and curtains. My dad should be so proud in knowing that I used it all by myself! So now that we have all of our furniture and I have painted 3 rooms, I figured it was about time to post some pictures.

Here is our TEENY kitchen. Now if you ever went to our old house in Nevada, and saw my huge, fabulous kitchen, I am sure you know that I had a tear or two in my eye when I saw my new one! When that refrigerator door opens, it almost touches the oven. I keep telling myself "Its only three years out of your life!"

We bought a new plasma TV, so of course it wouldn't fit our old entertainment center, and we decided to buy a new one. This one was way bigger than we had intended to buy, but it is beautiful and quite a steal, so we couldn't pass up this gorgeous Ashley furniture entertainment center. It was delivered last week and we are still getting used to how big it is!

The base of these walls alters paint colors quite a bit, so none of the rooms I painted turned out quite like I had planned, hence the lime green living room accent walls. I was really worried about it being too bright, but once we got the furniture in there, I loved it!
We have a matching coffee table on the way. Hopefully it will be here in the next few weeks!

Our bedroom is pretty small, so we do not have a whole lot in there. Luckily, there is alot of storage built into all of the rooms. As you can see, there are quite a few drawers and shelves built into the wall.

This is one of our guest rooms. This obviously is "my room". John won't let me put all of my dance figurines anywhere else in the house!

While John was gone for a month back to the States, I had alot of time on my hands and decided to re-do his room. I pained it and put all of his special plaques up. And of course a ironing board so he doesn't have to get it out every day!

To go with the "small theme" around here, of course our bathroom is quite small. We have three bathrooms in this house, but only one shower. Luckily one of us is a morning shower person and the other is a night showerer! So be prepared if you come visit to take turns! The other bathrooms look like prison bathrooms, so I didn't even bother taking pictures of them! Haha!

So there you have it; our lovely home. I am finally starting to feel settled and my brain is realizing that this isn't just a long vacation and I will be here for a while!