April has started off to be a great month! Last Saturday (the 4th) was John's birthday, we spent the day doing fun stuff. We started at Cinnabon for breakfast and then went to Japan Day. Lots of people from Misawa set up fun stuff in the high school so that the military folks could experience small pieces of Japan. We attended a tea ceremony, got Annelise's name written in Japanese characters, made a kite, and got lots of info on stuff to do in the surrounding area. I forgot the camera, but we'll go back next year and take lots of pictures. They even had rooms where you could try on samurai armor or a kimono. Most of the rooms were dedicated to Japanese crafts, like braiding (very cool, I tried it), embroidery (a little different than we're used to), several kinds of painting, and working with bonsais. We really enjoyed ourselves and can't wait to use the maps and guidebooks we got to explore the area.
That afternoon, we went to the Misawa Aviation & Science Museum. Misawa was the starting point for the first non-stop trans-Pacific flight, the plane's name was the Miss Veedol. Images of Miss Veedol are everywhere around here, even on the ambulances! The museum houses Miss Veedol half of the year and then it goes to Wenatchee, Washington, for the other half of the year (that's where the flight ended) while a replica hangs out in Misawa. There were also a couple of other replicas and then you move on to the science part of the building, which was the best part. There were all kinds of interactive displays, a spinning room, helicopter and airplane simulators, experiments to help show you the effects of gravity, and many others. Everything was totally interactive and John was like a kid in a candy store, we will definitely be going back. They also had a really great souvenir shop where we got Annelise a small wooden replica of Miss Veedol. We'll probably get one for Kolton for his birthday, I think he'd like it.
Saturday night we had dinner at home, I made brisket, parsley potatoes, and yellow cake with homemade chocolate icing. John was in heaven, he ended up eating brisket for several days afterwards and wouldn't let me freeze the leftovers because he wanted to keep taking them for lunch. Thank goodness for foodnetwork.com, I found a brisket recipe that could be done in the oven with a very flavorful dry rub. I'm pretty impressed with myself and will be making brisket again in a couple of weeks when I host the OSS coffee.
Sunday we went to Mass and then to the parish Easter Basket Celebration. Sandwiches and Popeye's chicken were provided and everyone pitched in with side dishes and desserts. We had lots of fun hanging out with people from church, John said it was the first time he's ever done any kind of fellowship activity after Mass. We'll be joining in again soon for Fr. Christopher's farewell, I just hope it's warm enough for an outside event. The one we went to was inside, but the next one is planned for outdoors. It's definitely warmer here, but even temps in the 50s are too cold for Annelise to be outside for long.
One of the funniest things about the weekend was that we kept seeing Marty and Vanessa on Saturday. Marty and Vanessa are friends of one of my friends from when we lived in Clovis. I met them when I was visiting Jess in San Antonio last Summer, and boy am I glad. We first got together not long after we moved here and have somehow seen them every weekend since! Between base activities, ski trips, and just seeing them in the Commissary, it's very cool to see someone we know as we're out and about. That's the kind of thing that makes Misawa feel like home, and it took a while for that to happen in Clovis.
The excitement has continued this week, on Tuesday Annelise and I walked down to the grocery store for their sale day. On Tuesdays, Yokomachi has a whole section of food for 100 yen. Since they're only about a kilometer away, I popped Annelise into the sling and we went on an excursion. We sat in the cafe area for a while so I could replenish with a croissant and a Coke and then we explored the store. I got some yummy fruit and even found my favorite Snyder's Snacks, garlic prezel pieces! They only had single serving bags that were kind of expensive, but it was a nice treat.
Wednesday I got up early for a 7:10 dentist appointment and John stayed home with Annelise. No cavities, thank goodness! John took the whole day off, which was very nice. Somehow, him being home in the middle of the week was so much more fun than him being home on a Saturday. We really enjoyed ourselves and even got some things done around the house! Annelise also had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday, her 4-month checkup. Annelise now weighs 15 pounds and is almost 26 inches tall! She's in the 55th percentile for her weight and the 75th percentile for her height, but the most impressive part is that she's in the 95th percentile for her head measurement. Annelise takes after her Daddy, she has a big ol' noggin. We have to make sure that the necks of all the clothes we buy are very stretchy or have snaps so that they will fit for a while. Annelise had a big-girl experience at the doctor's office, she had to get a splinter removed. I was taking pics of her with her Easter basket and she got a splinter in her finger. John and I couldn't get it out so we had the nurse take care of it. I held Annelise, John held her arm, and the nurse held her hand to get the splinter out. Annelise cried a little, but she cried even more when the nurse came at her with the band-aid. She thought the whole thing was over and then the nurse grabbed her hand again, so she started screaming! Once the Bugs Bunny band-aid was on, however, she calmed down.
Good news in the family, my baby sister Melisa just got a job for next fall. She's finishing up her bachelor's next month and will be starting her master's in the fall as well as teaching 6th grade math! I'm so proud of her! And Annelise was so excited about the news that she rolled all the way over, from her back to her tummy to her back, the full 360 degrees instead of just 180 and then back again. My sweet girl is so smart!
Check the Shutterfly site for new pics in a couple of days, including one of Annelise with her big-kid band-aid!
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