Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Counting in Japanese


In an effort to master some basics of the language before we move there this summer, my boys (ages 9 and 5) and I are learning Japanese. I am using Rosetta Stone, but think it may be a bit challenging for the kids, so I am teaching them some basics through YouTube videos I am finding. Thanks to the Japanese Society (an organization based out of New York) we are counting in Japanese now. It's actually a pretty simple system. Here is the link to the 5 minute video that has you counting from 1-100. Seriously, we caught on pretty fast! We thought you'd like to give it a try, too...


Monday, January 23, 2012


Scrappy pal Emily shared this on my Facebook page... somehow Basic Grey (one of my favorite manufacturers!) knew I was moving to Japan this summer... and came out with the perfect line to scrapbook my adventures with: Konnichiwa (which means 'hello'). Guess I'll have to stock up on some of it!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Next stop: Japan

Please note: If you are a military family planning to PCS to Iwakuni soon, scroll down to the bottom of this post for some additional posts you may find helpful. (posted Feb. 18, 2014)

Cherry blossom path in Iwakuni.
Documents provided by the military to prepare us for a move overseas, as well as Rosetta Stone for Japanese.

My husband Rodney received orders - to MCAS Iwakuni in Japan! Click on the link the some info about it. We report in July, after being stationed in Pensacola, Florida for 4 years. Iwakuni base is the only Marine Corps base located on mainland Japan. The rest are all located on the island of Okinawa, which is where Rodney was stationed in 2003-2004 while Will and I lived with Rodney's parents in Illinois.

Iwakuni Castle
Map of Japan - note how close we are to Gina's homeland of Korea!
Kintai Bridge in Iwakuni
Arial version of MCAS Iwakuni in 2004. That sandbar-looking area in the bottom left corner is now a new runway.

Rodney is absolutely thrilled to be going back, he loved it there and can't wait to share it with the rest of us. The kids are more excited than I thought they would be. Will wants to see the Pokemon museum in Tokyo and Xan just wanted to make sure that he didn't have to learn Japanese before he went to school there. I am sure we will all have moments of sadness when we leave, but I think we all have the mindset that this will be an adventure! We have gotten Rosetta Stone for Japanese, levels 1-3, so, hopefully, we will have picked up enough Japanese to get ourselves from America to base. As we get more info, we'll let you know. Right now we are busy trying to figure out what to do with our house (sell or rent?) and our cars (must sell, but how and when?).

Meanwhile, I am still working part time for the credit union's marketing department, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and we are launching a new campaign for 2012: The Pen Air Patrol. Click the link to see what my CU life has revolved around for the past 5 months. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I am still teaching two sections of speech, or Basic Communication Skills, for the University of West Florida. I am a lot less nervous this semester and have adjusted the class slightly to better ensure the students actually read the assigned chapters ahead of time. It seems to be working so far.

I am also scheduled to graduate with my master's degree in Strategic Communication and Leadership May 5, provided I finish the three classes I am registered for now. One is a traditional class, meeting in Thursday nights, and we are studying how the media portrays alternative medicine. Since I know very little about this subject, I should learn quite a bit. The second class is new for the school. It is a sort of advertising agency for the different schools and departments within the university, to help them promote the speakers and events they host on campus. I am not sure what I will be doing with that yet, but will hopefully find out next week. And, finally, I will have a capstone project, something I work on individually as the all-encompassing final project. I am not sure what I am going to be doing, but I have some ideas. Hopefully one of them will be approved by the department.

I have no idea how much time I will be able to spend creating, but I surprise myself sometimes, so you never know when you might see something scrappy here. ;)

If you are moving to MCAS Iwakuni from the States, here are some additional posts you may find helpful:

About all the construction happening on MCAS Iwakuni through 2017
Commissary information (prior to the new one to be built in 2015)
My experience with house hunting (on base) 
My first night in Iwakuni
Some of my first observations about the base

Also, on the right-hand side of this blog are other websites that will be helpful to you. Also, if you haven't already, join the Iwakuni Classifieds and Information group on Facebook. While their is sometimes asinine drama on there, there is also a lot of helpful info and resources. If you are on a computer (not a phone or tablet) there is a search function on the top right of the page so you can search key words.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

 These are 8x8 albums with acrylic covers that I made for a friend. She gave them to her family for Christmas. They are each a different theme that she selected to match the families' personalities. It was great to have some time in my scrap studio again, and these got me back in to the scrap swing of things for the gifts I made my family.