Monday, August 30, 2010

Spanish Steps (part 2) more pictures

Sam had better photos than me........

I'm not bitter.........just saying.

And my mom will be thrilled that I am in a photo.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Last summer outing - Spanish Steps

So our last Saturday before school started was spent at Spanish Steps with the Gillams.  It is an area on the Navy base that is said to have been a water source for the Spanish settlers in the 1700's.  There are very few "Spanish Steps" left, maybe 5 or 6 stones along the trail that look "step-like".  The rest of the hike down to the water is just a rugged trail.  A couple areas that required some crawling / climbing type skills.  At some point, someone has tied a few ropes to trees to use going up or down.  They are helpful.  The boys all had snorkle gear to take down, so I was left with the job of taking water / snacks.  I decided not to take my big camera...........just cause, more to carry / sand in my nice camera (not good) what if I stumbled and cracked it on something..........Mike would be really annoyed at my clumsy gene at work.

So.........a couple photos at the top of the hike. 

great friends!  Maddy, Zion, Isaac and Ellie

And some really bad photos from my phone from the bottom.

Mike did take his underwater camera, so I will try and talk him into doing a "guest blogger spot" soon and post the fish photos.  

forced photo of Michael who has decided he is "too cool" to pose for a photo by his mother.
If you get a chance, "Google" Spanish Steps Guam.  It really is beautiful.  (again, I'd include a link if I had any idea how to do it..............sorry!)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Familiar Faces - The Gillam Girls

Maddy - just hangin' out!
Almost our entire summer o' fun has involved the Gillam Family.

We were stationed with them in Panama City Beach Florida for just a few months in 2004. They lived behind us there, and we spent many weekends together with them and the Lewis family.

The Gillams and Lewis' both have girls, so it didn't seem a natural fit at first, but all the kids got along beautifully.

Even 6 years later, it is amazing how the kids have just picked up their friendship.

And a big added bonus is that the parents enjoy each others company as well!

Kevin shares Mike's love of the Guam oceans and Sam and I are happy to sit on the shore with snacks and sunscreen while they explore the ocean with the kids!

(*if I knew how to add links - I would add one here from the Gillams blog of Kevin and Mike's "big boy" snorkle trip)

We have also enjoyed sharing birthdays together as well as

the bowling alley,

pizza dinners

and many, many FREE movies on base.

The biggest downside is that I am usually so busy chatting it up with Sam that I don't take many photos.

I do have these few from a park playdate to share........*

*mostly because Sam was at work  :(  and I wasn't talking for a change!~

Maddy and Isaac saving the world
 (they have the deepest conversations for 10 yrs old)

Zion and Ellie (so cute right?)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cosmic Bowling

A bowling alley is
something that almost every military base has.

The boys really like to bowl.

And here in Guam - 
the fact that the AC is blasting is a bonus.

Cosmic bowling?

Even better.

Bowling in the dark with black lights
and things glowing all around.

Fun times!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New School

New parent orientation this week.

The school the boys will go to is named after William McCool -
the astronaut.

They start on the 30th.

They wear uniforms.

Isaac and Zion haven't said much.

Michael is not thrilled.

I secretly think this will make getting out the door every morning easier.

I hope I am right.

Zion is hoping to be in Ellie's class.

They will both be 3rd graders.

Isaac will be in the 5th.

Maddy in the 6th.

And Michael in the 7th. 

I will do the best I can to get pictures next week without completely embarrassing them.  :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

OOG - Monday Mayhem

This just cracks me up!

Caution tape in English and Spanish.

I haven't heard a single person on Guam speaking Spanish.

Lots of Japanese, and other Asian languages,  but not Spanish.  OOG!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pacific War Museum

Happy boys in military vehicles -  not many museums let you climb on the "exhibits".

But in Guam - the term museum is a little more, let's say, "LOOSE"

In most museums, I need to chase the boys around and give them constant corrections (*uh, instructions?)

We were the only people at the museum - and the boys had a blast!  (as you can see)

This was much easier for me emotionally than the visit to the Asan beach.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The War in the Pacific

Other than our military friends that have been stationed in Guam - (*and maybe my history teacher brother)  I suspect that few Americans know what happened on the island of Guam during WWII.

One day after the attack on Pearl Harbor; December 7th, 1941 - bombing began on the island of Guam. 

Two days later, over 5000 Japanese landed on the island.

Greatly outnumbered, less than 500 American military surrendered.

The Japanese occupied the island for 2 1/2 years - and began to prepare for what they knew would eventually come -  the U.S. returning to reclaim the island.

On July 21st, 1944 - Americans landed on Asan beach.  

Isaac is crazy, fascinated with WWII history. 

This is Isaac standing on Asan beach where the Marines first came ashore. 

He was thrilled to be here. 

I, on the other hand, felt sick.

The markers, like the one shown below -

did not show a beautiful beach with crystal blue water and white sand.

As I looked around, I thought about 18 year old boys........

those whose moms had just got their prom and graduation pictures developed..........

those who now rode in a small boat toward this same shore........

and watched hundreds of men waiting,

to kill them.

I couldn't decide which would make me feel more afraid.  Riding up to the shore in a boat..........

or getting out of the boat and charging up the beach toward the jungle. 

Not knowing at all what was waiting in the growth.

I can't imagine meeting someone face to face that is considered the enemy......

but in reality, just a young kid himself.

I can't imagine pointing a gun and screaming directions in English - while having a gun pointed at me - and unknown words in Japanese being screamed back.

Isaac at the mouth of a cave
I just can't imagine it as a person.........

as a mother

as a wife

Military life is nothing like it was during WWII.

I am proud to be a Navy wife. 

     I am thankful for those who serve now. 

    I am grateful to those who served in the past.  
   And I don't have words for those who lost their husbands

                                             their sons....... 

                                             anything I can start to think.......

                                              sounds really lame.

   But standing on this beach helps me remember.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A trip to the "POOL"

This place is on base and commonly referred to as the 3 sided-pool.

Can I say, "OOG"??

The boys had a great time here.........but fish don't swim in a pool.

It's still the ocean..........

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Base housing - 1 Rota Street - Santa Rita, Guam 96915

This is our house for the next 22 months.......until June 2012.
Hopefully our furniture will be here later this month or early September.

Taking reservations for the Thornton Bed and Breakfast.

Famous for homemade cinnamon rolls - so make your reservations now!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

true confessions's time for the cold, hard, honest truth.

I LOVE the beach...........

I mean, really, really, the beach.

The ocean.......... I don't really love.

I mean,
I love to see it,
hear it,
stand on the edge of it.............

but I don't love to get IN it.

Especially at the beach house.

Mike feeds the eels at the beach house.

You can stand on the edge and see them come out from the cracks of the rocks to eat.

It TOTALLY creeps me out.

I only get in the ocean at the beach house if I have to.

The thing I will miss most about the beach house???

Sweet right?? 

Friday, August 13, 2010

OOG- will this count as a "real" shower

Yeah - an outside shower, right by the water.......

but they use soap.......

and some of our families members go "FULL MONTY"

so........for now, we count it as a shower.  :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Snorkel boys - night and day

One thing that the boys (*and Mike) will miss about the beach house is the reef.

It is home to many, many creatures, and they snorkel at least 4 times a week.

They have even done "night dives"  (although, they are snorkeling, not diving)

When I see Mike strap a big knive onto his leg before jumping in the ocean,  it takes everything in my heart to say, "HAVE FUN!" 


I did make the rule that he could only take one boy at a time on a night trip.
 (is that fair?)

Mike takes comfort in the fact that he knows the Navy family moving into the beach house -

I think we will still have some access to snorkeling adventures.  :)

Ocean Scavanger Hunt

This is one of the many times the boys were in the ocean last week while Mike was off work. 

The tide was really low, and they didn't need snorkels...... so they had a scavenger hunt.

They found A LOT of blue sea stars - some pin cushion sea stars - crabs - sea urchin and had a great time too! 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Beach House

The beach house has been Mike's home for the last year. 

 It has been a great place for him.                     

 In the middle of nowhere with the ocean for his backyard.   

 Right up his alley.

Although we call it the "beach house" it really is the "REEF" house.........there is no sand / no beach.  
Just rocks / and reef / and critters (*more on that another day)  
If you can see Merizo on the map,  that's where the house is.   

The area that says, "Lockwood Terrace" is part of the base where Mike works.  

The middle of the island is mostly there are no roads that go from Merizo, across the island to the other side.  The only way to get to the base, is to go around the perimeter of the island.  So, it takes a while to get anywhere from the beach house er...........reef house.       

This is the main reason that we are moving to base housing. 

If you can see Santa Rita on the map, that is the housing area that we are moving too.   We will be closer to Mike's office, the boys' school, friends and the base in general (for bowling, or movies, or gas, or groceries).
The beach house was a great vacation spot for Christmas break and for our summer break.

 There will be lots of things we will miss about the beach house.