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Friday, November 22, 2013

Birthday Thank You's

It took us a while to get organized and write our thank you notes from Carli's birthday.  But we finally got our ducks in a row and we got busy!  Carli did such a good job writing, "Thanks!" on each card. 

Ava even got to pitch in and write her name on three of the cards since even she got some gifts on Carli's birthday!

After we wrote on the cards, Ava & Carli made finger print hearts on each card.

Carli wasn't a big fan of the fingerprint hearts and opted to paint a few hearts free hand.  After they all dried, she wrote her name in each card and with Momma's help we wrote our little notes.

Not all perfect but made from the heart!  :) 

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Okinawan Adventures of Little Big Headed Baby: HOME!

Dear Carli & Ava -

I am so very glad to be home with you tonight.  Momma said that you asked from me to post one more letter on the blog for you to read in the morning.  I had a lot of fun in Japan with Momma, Daddy, Grammy & Pa but I was really missing getting to see you!

When we got on the plane in Tokyo to come home you were still sleeping.  It was only 4 in the morning in Texas.  We were on that really big plane until almost 4 in the afternoon...that means we were on one plane for over 12 hours!  I was so excited when the map finally showed that our plane was in Texas!

We didn't have any problems getting off the plane and finding our luggage.  We got in Grammy & Pa's big black car and headed home!  I borrowed ya'lls car seat so the police man wouldn't stop us for me not being a good little big headed baby!

 We got half way home and realized we were really hungry.  Momma said ya'll were eating at Taco Bueno so we stopped and got a bite to eat too.  The Dr. Pepper and cheeseburger were so good!  I really missed not getting to eat those in Japan!

I was so happy when we finally got home.  You had decorated the house so pretty with all your pretty pictures you had colored and cut out!  My favorite though was when I got a great big hug from my Ava-Bo!  I was so happy to see you both!  When it was time for bed, it made me so happy that Ava insisted that I come sleep with her in her bed.  

It sure is good to be home with my two most favorite little girls ever.  I hope that you liked all the pictures I took in Japan for you.  Maybe you will be able to tell all your friends about my adventures in Japan.

I Love You!

Little Big Headed Baby

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

From Japan to Texas - It's good to be home!

Monday morning that girls woke up to find a letter from Hello Kitty.  Actually, Grammy helped Hello Kitty write her letter.  I thought it was really cool.  Hello Kitty originated in Japan, so it was fitting for us to give them a gift from her!  I did not know that Hello Kitty had a twin sister.  If you click on the picture it will make the letter larger and easier to read.


Carli & Ava took their new little friends out for a walk/ride Monday afternoon.  :)

We woke up early Monday morning and got packed to go home.  Apparently our hotel is very popular with the elderly folks that live around the hotel.  At 7 am, the breakfast buffet was packed!  I had my customary french fries, banana, little waffle donuts and orange juice.  :)  The Japanese are super polite and clean ppl.  But when it comes time for them to eat, you best stay out of their way!!

Our hotel was originally a Sheraton built by the Americans after the war.  At some point it was abandoned (perhaps after control of the island went from American to Japanese in 1972), and the hotel became a popular spot for young ppl to come park.  The Japanese couples would simply come and park outside but the Americans from the bases would actually go in the abandoned hotel.  It was rumored to be haunted.

B/c it was an American influenced hotel, the set up was very similar to what we were use to at home.  The beds were suppose to be double beds, but as you can see both of us would not have slept very well on just one bed!

I didn't take a picture of the light switch that was powered by your room key.  It was right in front of the door as you came in and you would stick your room key in it so that the rest of the room had electricity.  When you left your room and took your key, all the electricity would be turned off.

The bathroom was pretty normal.  The mirror had a square heated spot so that it would not fog over when you showered.  They had a fancy little toilet that is pretty common in Japan.  There were a lot of buttons and gadgets on it.  All in Japanese.  Nice.

I really liked the shower b/c instead of simply hot and cold you set the water to a temperature and the water was instantly warm!  No hot then cold shower for us!

We left our hotel about 8:30 on Tuesday morning in Okinawa.  We arrived in Dallas at 3:30 PM (that would be 6:30 AM on Wednesday in Okinawa) on Tuesday afternoon.  Not including our 2.5 hr drive home, we traveled 22 hrs today.  We are tired.  :)

Tuesday morning the girls opened their final treasure from us.  More play doh with American maps!

We were so blessed to get to fly first class on our Tokyo to DFW leg of the flight.  Our seats would literally lay flat so you could sleep if you wanted.  The first class rows at one at each window and two in the middle, compared to the 2-5-2 configuration in the back of the plane.  When we first got on the plane we had Bose Noise Canceling headphones waiting for us, a pillow, two blankets and a personal car packet that included toothbrush, toothpaste, lotions, eye mask for sleeping, socks, ear plugs and a pen.   We also were given pajamas.

I was so done tasting new food for a week.  I only picked at the lunch and declined the dinner they offered.  I just wanted a Dr. Pepper and some cheese!!

The flight was fine and we all managed to get some sleep.  It definitely made the flight go by fast.  We were anxious to get home to our girls.  We finally made it home at 7:30.  Naggy & Pappy had helped the girls decorate the house.  They had a fantastic six days while we were gone but we sure did get some pretty awesome hugs when we walked through the door!

Grammy & Pa brought the girls back a Hello Kitty dressed in a Kimono with her fan.  Carli got one with a red kimono and Ava got one with a pink kimono.  Now they have a Japanese Hello Kitty and a Texas Hello Kitty.  I'll have to get a picture with them all when we aren't so sleep deprived!

We bought the girls their own Kimonos and a couple of shirt with their names written in Japanese on the back.  Carli was very eager to try on her Kimono.  Ava was too busy picking on Pa!

That about covers our Japanese adventures!   We are so glad we went and had the wonderful experience of a different culture but we are so glad to be home too!!

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Little Big Headed Baby is Coming Home!

Dear Carli & Ava -

Hey there!  It's me, Little Big Headed Baby!  You won't guess what I did today...I traveled all day and all night long!  I am so ready to be home.  I'm super excited to see you again.  You are going to love what I bought you from Japan.  It is awesome!

I forgot yesterday to show you how big the Dr. Pepper cans were in Okinawa, Japan.  They were even taller than I was!  Can you believe it?

 We got up early Tuesday morning at 6 am to get ready to come home.  Did you know when it was 6 am here in Japan, it was still Monday afternoon there in Texas?  We got up and got all our treasures and things packed up.  Then we went downstairs for breakfast.  The breakfasts here are really different.  They serve salad, french fries and would you believe they had ice cream too?!  Grammy and Daddy had ice cream every morning for breakfast! 

 The hotel we stayed at use to be an American hotel that was abandoned.  Do you know that abandoned means that the ppl just left it.  They didn't stay and take care of it, so it fell apart.  The ppl that live in Okinawa would say that it was haunted with ghosts!  Then about 10 years ago, our business partners bought it and fixed it up very nicely.  Maybe Momma will post more pictures of the hotel later for you to see.  My favorite part of the hotel was the hallway to our room...can you see me?

 We got packed and checked out of our hotel.  It was an hour car ride to the airport.  We were very glad our new friends Silvia and another very pretty lady (I cannot remember her name :( ) came inside the airport with us.  They helped us get through check in and showed us to security.  Without them, we might have been a little late! 

Goodbye Okinawa!!

It took us 2.5 hrs to get to the Tokyo airport.  Tokyo is still in Japan.  This airport was really big!  We did a little more shopping and do you know what we had for lunch?  McDonalds!!  Momma said she does not like McDonalds but that it tasted so good!  :)  They are already getting ready for Christmas here in Japan.  I don't think they celebrate Thanksgiving like we do.  Maybe you should ask your teachers as school why we celebrate Thanksgiving and the Japanese don't.

Before we went through security to go find our airplane we found a Starbucks.  We have Starbucks in Texas too.  This Starbucks had a chocolate chip scone, which was like a big chocolate chip cookie.  Momma and Daddy shared some of their hot chocolate with me too!

Pa stopped and gave all his Japanese money to the bank and they gave him American money back.  The Japanese money is called the yen.  He had 3114 yen and they gave him about $30 in American money back.  He kept 32 yen.  You should ask Grammy to show you what Japanese money looks like.

After we had lunch, shopped, had a snack and stopped at the bank we went through security and then through customs.  Customs is where they make sure you aren't bringing things out of Japan that you aren't suppose to.  Like if you tried to sneak a puppy dog out of Japan and didn't tell them at customs, they would be really mad at you!  We didn't have a puppy dog so we went right on through.  We got to go to the Admiral's Lounge again which is a very nice waiting room.  Momma worked on her work emails, Daddy caught up on his work too.  Pa took a nap and Grammy  and I played a game on her Kindle. 

Our plane will to take us home in two more hours.  It will take us 12 hrs to get to Dallas.  That means when you wake up we will be on a really big airplane.  And we will still be on the airplane when you are eating lunch. Momma promised we will call you as soon as we got off the airplane to let you know we got back to Texas safe and will be home soon!

I hope you have a great, awesome day at with Naggy and Pappy today!  I am so excited to see you really, really soon!

Love Always,

Little Big Headed Baby

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Monday, November 18, 2013

A Little Meeting, Farming and Shopping!

 Our last full day in Japan started off with an exhibition of the Japanese products that used EM-1.  There were a lot of neat things to look at and a lot of strange things too.  We had a meeting with the partners in South Korea about possibly carrying one of our products in their market.  That was kind of cool.

The Americans are pretty easy to spot!

After the short 2 hrs of meetings and networking we all got ready to go out for a little more sight seeing and a lot of shopping!  This is our TeraGanix group plus our new friend, William from Belize.

I had a chance to run across the street to say Hi/Goodbye to our good friend Shuichi.  He is such a fun guy!  

While Mom waited for me to get back from visiting Shuichi, she found a snail crawling up the hotel sign.  It deserved it's own picture.  :)

Our first stop was to visit the EM Farm, AKA Sunshine Farm.  They grew lettuce, papaya, celery and had some chickens and pigs.  The cool thing about the animals was that they did not stink at all and there were no flies.  

And of coarse I would notice the head growers boots.  They were kind of like the five finger shoes but only for the big toe.  

Here's a better picture of the the grower.  He was a really nice man.  He was explaining that they fed the chickens fermented food scraps from the hotel where we stayed.  They mixed the food scraps with bokashi.  This is also what they would feed the pigs.

Mom and Dad at the Sunshine Farm

Our next stop was an old Okinawan house.  It had a really neat history.  The family who built the house worked for a Lord.  The Lord was summoned by the King (whose castle we visited the second day) to move his castle and family over to this location.  The owners of this house worked for the Lord as a teacher.  When the Lord was overtaken, this family lost their standing in society until one of the men was appointed to a governor like position.  While this house reflects the style of homes for the Okinawans over many centuries it does not reflect the average living standard.  This would be considered a very upper class family.

The Pig sty - which was located less than 25 feet from the kitchen.

 The picture to the right is of the kitchen, which opened to look directly into the horse and cow stalls.  They must have had little horses back in the day! 


After our bit of history and lunch at a famous Okinawan Noodle Restaurant, we were off to find some souvenirs.  I think Keith's most prized find of the day was Dr. Pepper.  We all agreed it tasted pretty good!

Keith described the shopping center we spent four hours in as the Okinawan version of Canton.  There were ally ways, lots of ppl and a lot of crap.  Ha!  But we did find some really awesome stuff that was not crap.  I am pretty excited to show the girls what we got them.


We ended our day at a Japanese Steakhouse.  I was a bit skeptical of any of the restaurants we had been too but this one was by for the best.  The food was awesome and the chef was amazing to watch.  We were glad we decided to go and not bail out to sleep!  It was by far the best food we had had all week.

Our last full day in Okinawa has come to an end.  It has been a lot of fun and we are glad we stepped out of our comfort zone to come experience a new culture.  We are anxious to get back home to see our girls!  One 2 plane rides and 15+ hrs in the sky!

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