Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sunshine and rain, joy and pain...life at Misawa continues!

We continue to stay busy both at work and on the family front.  Lots of things going on since our last update...we last finished with our night at the AF Ball.  Early that afternoon it had started raining, well that rain continued for the next 6 days...almost non-stop.  Typhoon Roke decided to pay a visit to the Misawa area.  The storm was enormous and covered most of Japan for an extended period.  The "eye" of the storm passed through our area on Thursday night, and the winds were down to about 40 mph by the time it got to us, so we made it through fairly unscathed.  The picture below is a satellite photo of the storm:

Also on Thursday the 22nd, we celebrated the life of Big 'T'.  It's hard to believe that it has been two years since Megan's Dad Terry passed away...we talk about him and miss him every day.  So we celebrated his memory as a family with champagne and Peanut M&Ms after dinner...we didn't let the girls have champagne just yet, but they did partake in the M&Ms.  Then we woke up the next morning and had some more champagne while on the phone with Megan's family who were at the cemetery doing the same.

Appropriate picture considering the big game this week

A very busy weekend ensued...on Friday night Jeff and the 35th Comm Squadron had town patrol.  This is a responsibility rotated among all the squadrons...the commander and a few members of the squadron start at 11 pm by walking around the dorms to make sure all is in order (never know what you might find).  Then at 1 a.m. the town patrol accompanies Security Forces off base to walk through the local bars...fortunately this Friday night was quiet.  On Saturday Riley had a homecoming dance.  Riley and her friend Maddy went out to dinner with Megan and Maddy's mom Tara.  Then the girls went to the dance.  They were home by 8:30 or so because "it was boring."  Jeff on the other hand went to Oktoberfest at the club which was not so boring.  After Oktoberfest, and since Riley was home to babysit, Jeff and Megan went downtown with a couple friends.  Our first stop of course was an Irish pub.  The bartender had some serious skills; he poured a Guiness with a shamrock on top formed in the foam.  The pictures below are of homecoming and our night out in Misawa:

Riley and Maddy

Headed to homecoming 2011 at Edgren High School
Homecoming dinner location.

You cook your own food right at the table...very common.

Isn't every day?

This place is all about making sure you have a plan!

Babies are not allowed to smoke or you are not allowed to smoke babies?  Still trying to figure this sign out.

How to ask for a Guiness in Japanese.  One phrase that you should know in many languages. 

There is a shamrock in there if you look closely.

We started Sunday morning by volunteering to man a water station for the base perimeter run.  The Comm Rockers sponsored all the water stations, so we showed up early and passed out water to the 100+ runners on the 8.5 mile run...besides having to wake everyone up early it was a fun event. 

So have you ever been sledding on a sunny, warm, and snowless day?  Neither had we until Sunday.  Some friends told us about a hill in Misawa's Citizen Forestry Park that you can sled down sans snow.  The hill is very steep and is covered in what can only be described as thick plastic bristles...similar to the material used for weed eater line.  So we showed up with our sleds and had a blast.  It took a little convincing to get Delaney to go down, but after one try she didn't want to leave.  We had a couple of minor accidents, but overall it was lots of fun.

Comm Rockers getting ready to pass out water.

The 35 CS Deputy Commander's wife (Tiffany) finished all 8.5 miles pushing a stroller.

The sledding hill at Citizen Park...the picture does not do it justice, it is about an 8% grade.

I don't want to grow up.

Megan's first and only ride...this run ended with a little crash at the end.

Delaney after a lot of convincing.

This dragonfly liked Delaney's brightly colored sweatshirt.

This lake was also located at the park, as well as a big campground.

Finally, the week ended with joy for some of the Phillips-5 and pain for the others as the Cowboys managed to defeat the Redskins without even scoring a touchdown.  Enough said, that is all for this week...hope to hear from all of you soon.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Busy September

Lots of events keeping the Phillips-5 busy since the last blog update.  The last time we posted was just before Labor Day weekend, which coincidentally was a 4-day weekend for Misawa AB...so we took full advantage of it.  On September 2nd Jeff and Megan met up with all the squadron commanders from the Mission Support Group and a couple from other squadrons for a night on the town.  We kicked it off at Magnums which is a steak house in the officers club...it was definitely no Outback (missing the Bloomin Onion), but it was a good meal and a great way to start the night.  After dinner we headed downtown...fortunately everything is walking distance from the front gate and from our house for that matter.  The first bar we went to was called 'My Place.'  It is an Irish bar that is owned and run by a retired Navy vet, and they try to bring a little taste of America to Misawa.  We hung out there for a couple of hours and then made our way to a bar called Karma's.  Karma's is a hooka bar; they serve drinks and have hookas that can be shared between 2-6 people.  They bring the hookas and different flavored tobaccos right to your table.  We stayed there until around 1 a.m. and then called it a night.  The funny thing was that as we were calling it a night, we ran into some of the younger "Comm Rockers" who were just starting theirs.  The pictures below are from the different places we went to during night time adventure into Misawa.

Our new Irish Pub hangout. (notice the great spelling)

The hooka almost ready to go.

Megan hooka-ing.

After our night out, we took Saturday off to recover and rest up for the Misawa Air Show.  On Sunday the 4th of September Misawa opened its gates for the local populace to come on base, and over 100,000 people from the surrounding towns showed up.  The weather for the airshow was warm and sunny, but extremely windy as the remnants of Typhoon Talas were passing through.  The great thing about the airshow is the fund raising opportunity it gives to the squadron booster clubs.  The Comm Rockers sold funnel cakes and betty crocker cakes...in the end we raised $2,222 for our booster club.  We did take some time to walk around the airshow and check out all the Japanese and American booths and all the different planes.  There were also several different cultural demonstrations.  Overall it was a fun day...Megan got a little too much sun, but she needed it since we haven't been to a beach in a while.  The pictures below are of the Comm Rockers booth and different things around the airshow.
100,000 people waiting in line for the bus ride to the parking area.

Comm Rockers booth.
2 yards of Misawa's finest ale.
The P-5 Girls!
Enjoying a funnel cake.

JASDF Demo Team.

The next couple of weeks were really busy...on Labor Day, Jeff finally took the girls to see Harry Potter VII part 2.  Tuesday the 6th was Delaney's first day of kindergarten.  She is thoroughly loving school so far and is reading non-stop.  Thursday the 8th was the first Airman Leadership School graduation for Jeff and Megan.  It was a nice night out, and a good  night for the 35th Communications Squadron as one of our graduates took home the academic excellence award.  We went to Edgren High School's first home football game, and we also attended as many of the Comm Rockers intramural sporting events as possible.  Softball and soccer playoffs are on going, and bowling and basketball seasons are getting ready to start.  Megan also took the girls to get haircuts for the first time since we arrived...just trims for Riley and Callan, but Delaney got hers cut pretty short.  In the midst of all the craziness and at Megan's persistent urging, we also bought some new furniture.  The pictures below are from the first day of Kindergarten, the new furniture, one of our soccer games, and Delaney's new haircut.

Delaney with her Kindergarten daily binder.

Laney testing the new furniture.

First day of school.

Walking to school in the rain.

P-5 girls at the Comm Rockers soccer game.

Laney's new doo!

Finally, on the 17th we started the day with a series of four earthquakes.  The first and strongest was at 4:30 in the morning, measured at 6.3 about 50 miles from Misawa.  The next 3 were a little weaker and happened over the next 3 hours.  That same day, Jeff and Megan attended the Air Force Ball to celebrate the 64th birthday of our great service.  We had a pre-party at our house for all the MSG squadron commanders and then went to the ball.  Around 600 people were in attendance, and we had about 20 there from the Comm Squadron.  Jeff and some of the other squadron leadership sponsored some Airmen so that they could partake in the event.  The pictures below are of the quake location from the Japanese Meteorological Agency and from the AF Ball.

MSG crew getting ready to go.
Megan, Susan, and Setsuko

Colonel Griffin (the boss) and Misty.

That is all until next week...hope to hear from everyone soon!