Saturday, March 15, 2008

a glimmer of hope, their former selves?

The kids have not really been themselves lately, and I don't blame them - there is a lot going on here. Tim and I try to keep lots of fun things in the schedule for them. We went hiking yesterday with friends, and next week we'll go to Mt Vernon, and have some friends over to play later in the week. But there is no substitute for good old fashioned family reading time. (think: little house style, sans camp fire and fiddle)
Gorgeous weather here yesterday brought us out on the deck for a few hours after our hike. In between the non-characteristic bickering, we got these pictures of the kids.

Here, Simon has a children's book of katakana, and Mia has the hiragana book. Two different Japanese alphabets are used together, but for different categories of speech and writing. I think the katakana is used for slang, and scientific terms, and maybe something else. The hiragana is much simpler and learned first by Japanese school children. Simon knows that the hiragana is easier so that's why he let Mia use that one. Chas has the best command of the kana (symbols) at this point, Simon isn't far behind, and Mia is just concentrating on the phrases and vocabulary.
Yes, Chas is really reading the WSJ. The front story was something about the yen/dollar and the Japanese economy. He read the title, but without a decent explanation from his economically challenged mother, he quickly moved on. I think Tim managed a better explanation, but I am not sure if Chas understood or not.

In other news, we had one shipment of essentials (haha) go out last Wednesday. Believe it or not we were ready about 24 hours ahead of schedule. We had moved about 95% of the stuff into the front room, closest to the door, so the movers were here and gone in less than two hours. They used these giant tri-walled boxes, 5 of them, and then fitted those into larger standard crates. The kids were thrilled to see the size of the boxes. We promised them that they could have them for forts when they are unpacked. It is my understanding that they will go by truck over to California and then be flown to Okinawa. We will take delivery as soon as we have our permanent home, be it on or off base. Our last call to the housing office in Okinawa revealed a zero to 2 months wait for housing.
We now have less than 2 weeks until our next shipment goes, which will take about 2 months, and will go by boat from California. There are less than three weeks till we turn in our keys here and begin traveling to see family.

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