Shi-Shi or Shi-Sa?

Let me just preface by saying that “back to school” week has been pretty relaxing. Ahhhh-silence is golden. However, I did take the big kids to a Shi-Shi Dog making class. I filled out this random drawing at the Community Center on the Air Base, and I WON!! I love free craft classes. So I was wondering about the whole Shi-Shi versus Shi-Sa name. What is the correct name of these lucky twin lion-pups? I looked it up…

A shisa is a lion originally from China that wards off evil spirits and was initially placed at the entrances to castles, temples, imperial mausoleums and communities. “Sheshi” is a Chinese word meaning lion-dog. The second “shi” is a popular honorific title in China with no specific meaning. As a result, this word is pronounced shisa or shishi in Okinawa’s local dialect.

So I guess either name works for Okinawa. I say Shi-Sa…it’e even on my shirt if you can read it. We had a great time making them…especially since we had the whole room and instructors to ourselves. The Okinawan ladies were real sweet and didn’t speak a lick of English. They were real good with the kids as well.

I also went on yet again…another field trip with JD. Man they have a lot. Actually, I enjoy it. The kids are funny to be around. They do some of the craziest things. We went to Comprehensive Park and did a field day type thing. There five rotations, kickball (talk about old school, I was all over it), basketball, playground, relay races, and soccer (I watched that one…). I am only gonna share a couple pics…my fave is the one of JD in the relay race doing the hula hoop jumprope. That boy’s got some height in his jump. He’s like a dang gazelle :o)


BTW, we are still awaiting word on what is happening with our PCS move. There are people here who are still trying to get the extension paperwork overturned…but we are still moving forward with plans to leave this summer!!

They say if you send out subliminal messages, people can “will” certain things upon themselves. I am trying not to get ahead of myself…but as a woman, that is what we do! We plan, pre-plan, plan some more and research everything known to mankind about our futures. I think I, along with many others, have now mastered this art of the PCS move. It never gets any less anxious though…feel free to send out your very own subliminal messages for TAMPA TAMPA TAMPA!!! Ok I’m done!! Hope you all had a great weekend. Love Ya….

Spring Break…the end!

Well, the time has come that all little children must go back to receiving their education. WOOT WOOT!! I love them of course, but DANG it can be hard to please/entertain a 13 year old a 2 year old at the same time. But we did it and had a fun week all around. Saige got in her sleepovers here and at her friend’s, while Teage fulfilled his eagerness to have outdoor play every single day. JD is so easygoing…except when he complains that he’s missing out on his lego fix. So, the previous post was all about the first few days of Break and this will cover the latter part.

We had a few more stops on our week adventures and one of them was Shuri Castle. The oldest child has already been here on a field trip for school, but it holds a lot of history about Okinawa (specifically the Battle of Okinawa which destroyed most of the castle in 1945) so I thought it was a must that we go as a familia. It was fun and I could feel the historic energy as we sashayed the halls of the biggest Okinawan castle. There were several areas where we could not take pictures and had to walk barefoot, mostly because of the ancient artifacts and conserving the restoration. JD was hilarious…he kept asking the whole way…”Where is the KING?” Of course this was the home to many of the Ryukyu kings centuries ago. But, we finally found the throne, the crown, and the quarters where the royal families lived. It was very regal….

The random tour guide practically cut off Teage’s head in this pic…poor baby :o)

There was a nice mini display of what the castle would have looked like in its day….notice the king…hiding away!

Along the way through the castle, there were podiums where you could get your map stamped and if you received all the stamps you got a reward…JD took that as a mission. He was excited to see that the reward was stickers of all the stamps. So all the kids got their stickering on…

…map complete!!

Our next stop was Kokusai Street. This reminds me a little of NYC where there are just tons of shops/restaurants lining the street complete with the usual peddlers, starving artists, and your occasional photo cutout spot. We all had a blast…Saige brought a friend to this one!! “You gotta have a shopping buddy”, she said!! She’s pretty much right!!

JD ran up and put his cutie face in this one so I immediately snapped and then sissy says…”I’m not putting my head in that slaughtering pig thing”. I didn’t even notice. That is all wrong!!

Ok I had to do it….

Lastly, “One of these things just doesn’t belong here” LOL LOL LOL!!!

We picked the sunniest day of the whole break (thank goodness we had one) and high-tailed it up to Okuma Beach Resort. We have been there before, but it has some great amenities that we wanted to do again. Gotta love a beach day…

This is all Teagie wanted to do…throw rocks in the ocean!! He wasn’t too big on getting sand all over him…it was cute! And of course we had to go pod racing…

In addition to all the out of school fun…we celebrated Easter on a very low key this year. We did the good old egg hunt (well two of them did…the other one was telling herself she was too big to hunt LOL), ate Thai food and went shopping before heading in early to prepare for a school night’s sleep.



It was a very relaxing day and I have to say the whole week was a fabulous one.

Now, I have some news that just got brought to our attention today at lunch (yes I said at lunch where George and I were minding our business…when a co worker of his walked in and burst my bubble). Our extension to stay here has been officially disapproved!! It made my stomach turn. Not just because it means I have to think about once again packing up my whole life and changing locations…that is part of the job. But mostly because of the kids’ education. It is so hard to make the kids move and ask them to make all new friends and adjust to a new school. It hurts, but I know they will be ok no matter what happens. I am not sure of what will happen now….since it is still so fresh! We have some other options (maybe Tampa…that would be awesome, or Germany would be ideal choices). I just hope we can lock in a location before we are TOLD and placed and in some jacked up state. Let the anxiety begin….

I’ll keep you all posted as I learn new information! Please keep us in your prayers for a good assignment…

Hope everyone else had a great Spring Break, too!!! Love Ya!!

February Update

Well, the Super Bowl has come and gone (great game) and we are finally into the month of February…tax season and Cupid’s day!! Both of which I am like “eh” about. All is well here in the Isla casa as we continue to figure out what the heck is going to transpire with our PCS move. George is still in the hopes of getting Korea, but it is unlikely. The other option is since he will inevitably be getting deployed no matter what…he may try to ask for Kuwait since it is a predominantly safer area to get sent to (I am just guessing, from what I’ve heard). But, I must say that I am leaning more and more towards Germany every day that goes by. I know my family and close friends don’t understand why we would want to stay overseas…well there’s a few reasons. Primarily, it’s the education factor. I am not too keen on getting shipped somewhere in the states where my kids have the odds of being frisked upon entering the school grounds. Also, JD’s services would be in tact and would not have to be reassessed/retested if we continue with DODDs schools. The other factor is opportunity. There are not many chances to “live” in another country and I have to say that it has been one of the best experiences our family has ever had. We have seen and learned so much just from traveling via the military. When it’s over, it’s over. We have to take what opportunities we can before we bid farewell to this lifestyle. Lastly, the money is fabulous. We have banked living here and when it’s time to finally buy our first home, we will be more than ready. The pros just outweigh the cons!! So wish us luck as the months draw closer and that we end up in the best place for our family. Either way, we will make the best of it…we always do!!

On another note, I wanted to update on JD’s medicine trial. He is doing GREAT!! Yes, I said it. I spent over a week trying to find something wrong with it and for it to give me a reason to say “STOP”, but it has been quite the opposite. He leaves my car every morning when I drop him off just as he does when I pick him up…happy and engaged. His appetite has remained the same, his sleep patterns are consistent, and he is doing his homework without prompting. The school has noticed the major differences though…those like completing his work in 1/4 of the time it took him prior to the meds, actively participating in social activities on his own, raising his hand to answer questions in class discussions…etc. The differences are more than they could have ever hoped for and I am blown away. So, you don’t fix what isn’t broken as they say. He is making great strides and George and I will continue to support and encourage that. I am so excited to watch him the next few months left in school. I know he will do wonderful things for himself.

No pics this time, but we will be going to a BBQ today with all my girlfriends and all the peers George works with so I will post about it soon. All I know is I will be having more than one glass of wine!! It has been a long week….

Love to all and as always, thanks for reading….