2016 – new year, new possibilities

Wow, it’s the new year already. How in the world?

What have we been up to since I last posted? Well, a lot. Hence the not posting.

Since last time I wrote, we’ve started a new school year (2nd grade and PK), started new sports (transitioned from Karate to Bowling for A and Gymnastics for the littles), made it through a few months of a deployment, and had a couple grand adventures in the way of port calls (Japan with all of us, and Guam as a belated 10th anniversary solo trip while the kids stayed home)!

What’s that, you say? A trip to Japan with all of us? You mean that you had help on the flight, right? Well, no. And it really went amazingly well. So much I’d do it again in a heart beat. With a last minute notice of date AND location change for the port call, we packed up one suitcase with 7 days clothing each, a backpack of goodies for the plane for each kid, and me with a carryon and a giant purse and went to the military air terminal to catch a Space-Available (Space-A) flight. When I say “Space-A,” I mean exactly that. The military has flights around the world daily for mission readiness – either sailors/soldiers being transported, or supplies being delivered. If that plane has some extra room left over then they graciously allow families to take the seats (if there are any… sometimes it’s just a jump seat along the side with space on the floor to lay if you’re so inclined).


Many travelers are more experienced (or better prepared) than I and came equipped with sleeping bags, air mattresses.. you name it. For us? I had an airplane quality blanket and pillow on the ground and that was about it. But, hey, it was better than sleeping sitting up in a jumpseat, right?

So we arrived in Okinawa, Japan, and then had to make our way up to Tokyo. This involved a bit of chaos (again, with Space-A, they don’t hold planes if yours is delayed, and sometimes even if there were originally seats available they have to take them for mission reasons), but we made it on a short commercial hop up to Tokyo, and then began the real grand adventure. While I’ve taken a semester of Japanese at the college level, and I felt I was pretty good at being able to ask where I was/where I needed to go/etc, it’s a whole different world when the signs are written in kanji not kana. And, while the public transportation was amazing, we started to realize the difficulties of travelling as a party of 5 when you needed something like a Taxi. Good thing they aren’t as strict on their seatbelt laws.

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So, in the end, we made it to Yokosuka, we got checked into our hotel, and the next day we found our submariner! Life was pretty good. The subways/trains got easier every time (by the end I was actually recognizing some of the kanji!) and even the kids were pretty adept at “Sumimasen” (excuse me) and “Arigatou Gozaimasu” (thank you).

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“Hai, Karera wa mitsugo desu.” (Yes, they are triplets). Have you ever taken triplets to Japan? Let’s just say – Japanese tourists think they’re amazing as it is when we’re in the US. Go overseas? And you end up with a group of people wanting to take turns with you during the industrial fair.

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Lots of queuing. They got pretty good at it!

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Best part to the kids? Finding the My Little Pony cafe in Tokyo. Yes, it was a real thing. Apparently pop-up cafes are all the rage in Japan, and the month of November it happened to be a My Little Pony cafe. We lucked out that it was pretty close to the military hotel we dropped our bags at, too.

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As for the kids? They had a blast. The trip may have been a tiring one, but we wouldn’t trade it for anything. Till next time, Japan!


Only took a month

to finally post the first day of school pics!

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And because I got his school pics back already, I’ll add that in as well!


The triplets don’t take theirs until the end of the month, so I’ll get those up when I finally get them.


With the birthday excitement last week we didn’t get to mention the big news in Karate! Aiden took his first belt test and is now a yellow stripe in karate!

And, now that they’re 4, the triplets get to start too!

They are very excited to do karate with their big brother!

Has it been almost 4 years?



In my internet browsing tonight for about 3.2 seconds between the children sitting down for one last cartoon before bed, and them deciding it wasn’t interesting enough, I found this fun theme going around the internet:


So, in the time after they went to bed, when I should have been finishing the 4 loads of laundry on the couch, cleaning, or possibly getting things ready for tomorrow, I instead decided to do this:


After almost 4 years of raising them, I feel I’ve deserved to have a little fun with it. And, besides, what’s a little velociraptor going to do if you’re not feeding it fast enough? Bite you? Been there, done that.




… Was the day you learned the benefits of sisters. You already knew how to get Jaina to do chores for you, but today you learned she could do your homework too.


“Jaina, draw this for me,” you said.
“OK!” she said.

Happy Thanksgiving




Happy Thanksgiving! We had a wonderful holiday at home and I think after 9 years of marriage and many recipes, finally found a turkey recipe that is to die for!




It isn’t Thanksgiving until Princess Anna shows up to join you 😉




The pumpkin pie tarts were so good you had to lick the filling out, apparently.


After dinner, what should you do? Watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” of course!


Too much excitement for some people, though…


In lieu of traditional Black Friday shopping, we did a Black Friday Fishing Derby instead! Even the triplets got in on the fishing fun. While we didn’t catch anything, we certainly had a good time!







Halloween Fun

So I’ll skip ahead to the fun stuff…  The pictures! We had a blast trick or treating even with a little rain. Such a difference from last year when they wouldn’t really go up by themselves.




Aiden also got to go to the pumpkin patch with his class, and had a lot of fun!



The triplets got to have a fun Fall party in class.




I do miss jeans and boots and hot cider in the chilly fall air, but paradise is quite fun too! It’s hard to believe it’s November when it’s 80 degrees out but we’re enjoying wearing costumes without snow jackets and going on field trips without risk of frost bite!

It’s been a while

I can’t believe it’s been so long. Life is, well, life. School, homework, gymnastics (for the littles) and boy scouts (for Aiden). We stay pretty busy Mon-Fri and try to sneak in family fun on the weekends!

So far we are loving school. All four are at the same school and I could not be more pleased with their teachers or the community.





Boy Scouts is fun (and exhausting) but we’re enjoying the fun meetings so far and looking forward to campouts and more soon!



The littles are enjoying gymnastics each week (even though it’s hot in the gym!!)




That’s about it here. Hard to believe it’s October already! Can’t wait for another holiday season with them.

When you live on an island…

… You have to learn to swim.
Whether you like it or not.

After our first session of swim class we finally have 4 kids who are excited for it (at least at the start of class!). All still “level 1” but they completed more than half of the skills.

Val has surpassed the others and even tries to use her arms to swim.

Aiden will finally bob voluntarily (read: without the instructor dunking him) and tries to swim, which is a HUGE improvement over last year. I’m hoping maybe one more session and he’ll move to level 2.

Jacen and Jaina are really enjoying floating and being pulled through the water (as long as their head doesn’t have to get wet). Overall I’m really impressed and excited for session two!


You just gotta adapt

People ask me all.the.friggin.time…. “How do you do it?!”

It’s simple. We adapt. Constantly. I remember with older brother that we’d finally get in a groove, feel like we understood our roles and how to keep him alive through the day, and then he’d learn something new. First it was rolling. Then crawling. Then walking. You get the picture.

Now multiply that. Times three.

And now imagine them learning cooperation. I’m all for good play skills and life lessons and teaching them how to be team players. And our kids get to learn that early (how many 2 year olds do you know spend 24 hours a day with two other 2 year olds, and a big brother who can teach them all sorts of naughty things??). But they take it to a far greater level. They sit there and work together to climb tables, empty the pantry, open juice boxes… you name it, they can probably work together and figure it out.

So as such, we have to be innovative. And adaptive. And sometimes just down right tricky to keep them alive.

If you ask anyone who comes to my house at least once a month, our furniture moves around. A lot. If you ask my husband, it moves around too much.



First we had cribs. And they were awesome cribs. And then Jaina started learning how to hang from the rail and walk her feet up them. And the others started learning how to do jumping jacks. And pull things off dressers.

So we took off the sides. I’d prefer them playing to learning how to climb out and kill themselves or each other.


And that worked. For a while at least. No more lifting children in and out of bed. They didn’t scream incessantly when they thought it was time to get up (Even if it was 4 am), they just played. It was great.

Until they learned they could do this.


So now, we have game plan #47. Jace has the second half of Aiden’s bunk beds (which was always the plan). We had hoped to tide the girls over with the toddler style beds until we moved, and then get them their new gear on the other side of the country. So we put the cribs up for sale, thinking it’d take a while. They were sold in 24 hours. Drat, there goes that plan.

So we put the mattresses on the floor. Surely that will work!

And we learned, again, that triplets when put together are smarter than a grown adult.

So beds are ordered. Mattresses were bought (Sure, I forget to take a picture of that one, two mattresses on top of a minivan). Quilts that were planned for them just to have will double as blankets on their beds (No, Aiden isn’t left out, his is still in progress). At least it spurred me to finish them sooner than later!


And the moral of this whole story?

I hope our next house is bigger.

EDIT: We finally got the big kid beds in! The girls seem absolutely thrilled. And thank you, Circo, for selling coordinating bedding in Pink/Purple, that wasn’t “too” little girl so they can grow and keep it for a while! (too bad you can’t really see it in the picture because of their Star Wars quilts!)

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