May 28, 2009

To My Dearly Beloved:

How could I forget to mention you!!!
You were (practically) the HIGH POINT of my trip.  (But strangely, the low point for Doug.)
My two hour (too short) shopping spree amongst your beloved familiar isles, Target,will never be forgotten.  We didn't get to visit you until our last day in town, but I feel I made the most of our limited time together.

Doug believes I spent way too much money.  I believe the months of separation made it necessary.  Some of the treasures you provided:

Two really cute new tops and a jacket for me
An automatic pencil sharpener (needed for the kitchen)
Sharpies (which they probably sell at the BX but which I wanted to buy from YOU)
Some baby clothes for gifts (cute and on clearance!!!)
Clothes, socks and undies for the boys
3 bottles of Clean and Clear facial moisturizer
2 Nerf guns for Max and Sam
and much MUCH more!

I really miss you, Target!!!  Please PLEASE come to Northern Japan!  We NEED you here.

With MUCH Love,
(but not Doug)

May 27, 2009

The Rest of the Trip

I've never been one to reinvent the wheel or duplicate effort.  (Read: I'm lazy.)  So now I'd like to refer you to my friend Diane's blog for details on the rest of the trip.  Just pretend I'm a gorgeous brunette who works out everyday and is all toned and healthy and stuff, oh and plus I keep my house clean 'cause I'm actually not lazy.  (You see, we're practically the same person.)
The only minor differences are these:  Doug and I didn't stay at the Hilton.  We stayed at the military owned Hale Koa next door.  (It was actually quite nice!)  We didn't paddle board.  (I'm pretty sure Doug was at the conference which means I was probably taking a nap.)  We didn't pose as statues.  (But I wish we did.)
The rest of the info from her last two posts is (practically) EXACTLY THE SAME!

Now to mention something of extreme importance:  My sunburn has turned into a surprisingly dark tan!!!  Unfortunately, due to the previously mentioned shoddy sunscreen application, I only got sunburned in random places, ie, a large spot in the middle of my chest, two slivers near my armpits, the top of my forehead, and two vertical stripes down my shins.  The rest of me is just a darker shade of pasty.  It sorta looks like I have issues with skin pigmentation.  

Oh well.  I'll take what I can get.  I'm lazy that way.

May 21, 2009

Definitely Day 4 - Last Day on North Shore - Oh, and I'm home now.

It's hard being as attractive as we all are. It's really a burden. Here we are visiting some (un-impressive) ancient sacred ruins. You can tell we were over-awed.

Next stop, the aptly named turtle beach. Where I really did say the following: "Where's the turtle?" Oh, THERE it is!!!  (Leave me alone.  I was looking in the water not two feet away from me on the sand.)
My awesome collection of sea glass and shells.  (And maybe a few pieces of sea plastic and sea garbage.)

A really sexy couple who enjoy long walks on the beach.
(Actually, after this long walk on the beach, I'm going to remove "Likes long walks on the beach" from my on-line dating profile since I found it rather exhausting.)  (The sand was really squishy and our feet were sinking in like two feet with each step!)  (No, I don't really have an on-line dating profile, so nobody panic and call my bishop!)
A few bonus pictures to make you extra jealous.

Now it's time to catch up on the rest of the trip.
(And I was doing so well at first...)

"Whachoo talkin' bout Willis?!"

May 20, 2009

Day 3? It's all a blur...

Based on the pictures, we did lots of stuff this day...

But this is really all I remember:

May 19, 2009

Hawaii Day 2

"Oh silly me! I got knocked down by a wave!" *giggle giggle*"Hey wait! Now I'm being dragged out to sea! Doug...? Anyone...?? A little help here...! Gahhh...!!"


Turns out, SPF 4, shoddily applied, is not adequate for a pasty white goddess such as myself.

Doug claims this has been proven numerous times in the past.

I say "bah".

One of these days, Hawaiian Tropic will come through for me and I WILL get a natural dark tan of the Islands.

One day, day.

May 18, 2009

Getting Out of the Usual and/or Time Travelling to Hawaii.

Yesterday was Sunday.
We got up and went to church as usual.
We came home and had lunch as usual.
Then Doug and I did something UNusual.
We hugged and kissed our kids good bye,
left them with friends,
and went to the airport.

And flew to Tokyo.

And then flew to Hawaii.

Where we arrived at 9 a.m....Sunday morning.
(No. We did not go to church again.)

And now it's Sunday night late here in Hawaii. But it's Monday evening in Japan.
And we're all confused and out of sync.

But still happy to be here because,'s Hawaii.
And not only is it Hawaii, but it's America.

And that means that when Doug roared out of Alamo's parking lot behind the wheel of our sporty red Mustang Convertible, (thank you for the great deal Priceline!) I had no problem cranking the rock station full blast, sticking my feet on the dash, and singing loudly to the music with my hand hanging out the window surfing the air currents.

Something I would never, ever do in Japan...
where I try my best to be civilized and quiet and polite and give a good impression of Americans.

And although we really do love Japan and we love the adventures we're having there...
I also really love America.
I didn't realize just how much I missed it until I got here!
If we had to turn around and go right back I'd be happy because at least I
1) Have eaten some DEEEEEEEE-Licious Sweet Bread French Toast with Mangos, whipped cream and Macadamia nuts on top.

2) Listened to some excellent radio at top volume.
3) Shared a Virgin Pina Colada with Doug
4) Seen and laughed with 3 other awesome couples, all from Doug's residency in Rhode Island. (And with whom we're now sharing a beach house.)
Sometimes unusual is really, really good.

(case in point --->)

May 16, 2009

Gabey Turned TWO!!!

Two weeks ago...

Poor poor poor third child. Due to the fact that he had a horrible head cold, as did his brothers, his original party got cancelled and postponed.
But that doesn't explain why I'm just getting around to blogging about it. 
That would be because of the CAKE. 

On Maxwell's second birthday, he got an awesome Santa cake.
On Sam's second birthday, he got an awesome puppy cake.

But Gabe, Gabe got a box cake in a 9x13. With store bought frosting. It was so pathetic Doug didn't even take a picture of it.  *sigh*

I'll make it up to him next year. I swear on this blog I'll make it up to him next year.

But the poor kid still deserves some recognition, so once again, this stinkin' blog post will have to do:

Some of Gabey's Favorites

Color: The only color he can say is "PoPo" (purple) but still, I'm going to guess red.  Or green.  GREEN!  Final answer.

Food: Bananas. Hands down. He'll eat 5 a day if I let him. In fact, he usually has two with his breakfast.

Parent: "MommyMommyMommyMommyMommyMommyMommyMommyMommy". I judge that shearly by the fact that he says my name more than any other word. All day, every day.

Sibling: I'm going to have to go with "Ahss" (Max) since he still refuses to try saying the name "Sam".

Animal: "GahGee" (Doggy.) What do you suppose the odds are of this kid having a few speech mis-articulations like his big brothers?

Items: Binky and Blanket aka DeeDee and Dee (Dee, by-the-way, is also Drink.)

Book: "Things That Go" by Usbourne

Activities: Jumping on the trampoline with his brothers, wrestling and reading with Daddy, playing at the sink with the water running, tubby time, standing at my feet whining to be picked up.

We sure love you Gabey Baby!

Thanks for being such an adorable kid!

P.S. I'll really really really really miss you while I'm in Hawaii...

A LOT!!!

May 15, 2009


I stood in the front yard sprinkling grass seed on all the bare spots in the lawn and it occured to me:

I'm trying to grow grass in Northern Japan.

I paused and thought about it again.

I'm in Northern Japan and I'm planting grass.

Because I live Northern Japan.

And I'll be here long enough to watch grass grow.

Ten years ago, I had different plans for my life. Plans that did not involve the Military or Japan. 
Then, my plans had only recently started to include a hot blond BYU pre-dental student . But still...I never dreamed my life would turn out this way. In fact, I would have bet heavily against it.

But here I am!  And I'm happy to be here with my three little boys and hot, not-so-blond anymore, Ped. Dentist husband in Northern Japan. With newly planted grass in the front yard.
(And a huge veggie garden in the side yard planted by afore mentioned hot husband!)

So now please satiate my morbid curiosity...

Are you in a different spot than you imagined ten years ago?

May 11, 2009

More on Mother's Day

Never, never, ever ever in my entire life time full of Sunday's have I ever gotten so many compliments during a single church visit.  Men, women, and children all noticed and complimented my Mother's Day gift from Maxwell!  
(See if you can spot it in the picture below.  Hint:  I'm wearing it around my neck.)He made me a necklace!!!

He found the shell at the beach and then came up with the idea to make it into a necklace--for me--all by himself.   (Doug drilled a small hole in it and hung it from a small copper wire loop.  Then they hung it from string.)Pretty stylin', right?  And definitely a show stopper!  Man, I love that kid! 

Speaking of Mother's Day gifts, Doug got me the book (at my request) "In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms" by Dr. Laura.  I'm only a few pages in, but reading those first few pages last night and this morning, made me feel an additional surge of gratitude for my Mother who was not only a SAHM, but a HOMEMAKER who made our home a nice place to be.  

***Pardon me as I get a little introspective here for a moment:***

It made me want to reevaluate my feelings about homemaking and think of it as more of a blessing than a curse.  I've always been happy that I'm able to be home with my kids.  It's the job I've always wanted.    

But I've never been thrilled with the rest of my job description:  i.e., housekeeping.  Let's face it:  I'm not good at it.  I skip from task to task in my usual easily- distracted way leaving the detritus of half-done chores in my wake.  And cooking tends to give me a back ache so it's not my favorite either.  (Plus, I'm really bad at thinking of WHAT to make for dinner every night.  That's half the battle right there.)  Oh, and did I mention how much I loathe laundry.  I do.  I loathe it.

BUT!  This is the life I've chosen so I need to get my attitude in line.  (And maybe start using my pottery money to hire a Mamasan to help me clean...?)

I remember my mom saying once that it always made her a little sad when her kids were potty trained.  (Me:  "HUH?")  Because she enjoyed being able to ensure that they were always nice and clean and cared for.  Talk about a paradigm shift!  I'd never looked at diaper changing in such a positive light!   But it's true!  Not only is diaper changing time the perfect time to give zerbets, but I can also be sure that my little angel/demon's bottom is in pristine kissable condition when I'm finished.  (Even if it sometimes means wrestling him to the ground, enduring shrill screams, and the use of 58 wipes.) 

Anyway, those are my early morning ponderances (<----possibly a made-up word) for what they're worth.  (Do I hear 25 cents anyone?  A dime?  A nickle?)

So to all you mom's out there, you deserve a Bon-Bon.  And the rest of you, you all have mom's so you may as well have a Bon-Bon too.
Good game. 
Now it's time for me to get back to work.  I have laundry to do.

May 10, 2009

Hey Fae! Whaddaya Say? HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!

I would like to publicly announce that my mom is in fact 
better than your mom!  

Sorry, but it's true.  

Deal with it.

Here are some things I've learned from The Faezerator over the years:

  • The importance of Christ-like service and kindness.  She gives both freely and abundantly.  
  • How to be thrifty, shop for bargains, and clip coupons.
  • "You're skinny enough!  You don't need to exercise!"  (Reiterated throughout high school and college on the rare occasions I tried to start working out regularly.  Although she hasn't mentioned it lately...!)
  • "It takes two to fight."  (Told repeatedly to my sister Jenny and I if we ever tried to tattle on the other person.)
  • How to be a great Hostess--(you over-feed your guests, in case you were wondering...!) even if it was a role she didn't always relish.  (She did all the work while the rest of the family enjoyed the company.)

  • How to make homemade whole wheat bread, cook a turkey, and make Taco Soup Stuff.
  • If you insult someone you have to say three nice things to them to repair the damage to their psyche.
  • Popularity isn't worth it.  (Not worth tears, and definitely not worth the price of Gerbaud Jeans or an Espirit Book Bag.)
  • Doug is a great man, you're lucky to have him, quit picking on him, he's always right!  (She always takes the side of the in-laws, darn her!)  (Of course, I DID know the first part.)

  • To love reading.  Starting in first grade, after being diagnosed with "borderline ADD", I climbed in bed with her every evening to read.  First she read to me, then gradually, I started reading to her.  I went from being a slow reader, to one of the best in the class that year.  Being a good reader is the only thing that made school bearable for ADD-me.
  • To love good music.  I remember many dates to see Symphonies and Operas with her as a kid.  She was also the one who drove Jenny and I to weekly violin lessons, orchestra practices, and recitals.  (Plus, she listened to a LOT of church music which is why I know all the words to every Janice Kapp Perry song ever written--and who sings them.)

  • To love children and find joy in motherhood.  You'll never find someone who loves or nurtures her grand-babies more.  And I know she was the same with me and my siblings.
  • Laughter is the best medicine. 
  • I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!  
  • There's always hope.  (Even after getting breast cancer twice, losing a home, and being divorced.)
  • How to be a great mom!  (I just try to follow her example.)
You're the best Mommy!   I love you lots and lots!!!

May 5, 2009

"Man Plans, God Laughs!"

Ever heard that expression?  

Well, it's very fitting in this situation.

My mom and her new husband John just got their mission call.
They REALLY wanted to go to Argentina.  (Where he served his mission many many MANY years ago.)
They made contact with the Mission President down there who put in a request for them.
They campaigned for Argentina.
They prayed for Argentina.
They PLANNED for Argentina.
And then God laughed...

and He's sending them to...

the Dominican Republic.  

Who says Heavenly Father doesn't have a sense of humor?!?!?!?!?!  (I've always known it...)

They leave in July and will be gone for 18 months working on collecting records for Family History.  (er somethin'.)

(And Doug is going to send me home for their farewell!!!!!!!!!!!!!  To the U.S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He's a keeper, that Doug...)

If you want to see the (second) opening of "The Call", visit the Dahl's at the Call's.
Click HERE!

Congrats MOMMY!!!!  (And John:)

P.S.  Did you watch my movie yet (in the post below) and comment saying how awesome it is???  Huh???

May 4, 2009

Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival

I've been trying to write about our day trip to Hirosaki for a few days now, but when you have approximately 20,326,483 pictures of an event, it's a little daunting to blog about it.  

Enter; my mad video making skillz.  Yeah.  That's right.  I'm so awesome at making videos on my Mac, (which makes it insanely easy) that I spell "skills" with a Z! 

As usual, I've tried to choose rocking music to accompany my movie to make it worth your additional click. 

So enjoy.

(That's an order.)

This movie is dedicated to our good friends "The Effs" who plan awesome trips and then let us tag along!!!

Want more technical information?  Rather than tell you in my own words all about Hirosaki Castle and the surrounding area, I'm going to copy and paste from

Here you go:

"Hirosaki Castle was built in 1611 by the Tsugaru Clan. A three-story castle tower, fortified moats, castle gates and some corner turrets (yagura) survive or were reconstructed. The castle is located in Hirosaki Park, a spacious public park of about 0.6 square kilometers.  The castle's original five-story keep burnt down in 1627 after being struck by lightning. Rebuilt in 1810, the present three-story keep is the only one in the Tohoku region that was not rebuilt in the modern era, amongst only a handful in all of Japan.

Gokoku Shrine
Botanical Garden

Hirosaki Park is one of Japan's most famous cherry blossom spots with several thousand cherry trees. Over a million people visit the park during the sakura matsuri(cherry blossom festival) from April 23 to May 5, when the blossoms are usually in bloom. This coincides with the Golden Week holidays.

Inside Hirosaki Park there are a few other attractions of interest, including the Hirosaki Castle Botanical Garden in the park's southeast corner and Gokoku Shrine, the Aomori branch of Yasukuni Shrine in the north end of of the park. Most of the city's other tourist attractions are also located within walking distance of the park."