Sunday, November 27, 2011

Time keeps on slipping...

Time continues to fly by for the Phillips-5; we can't believe that November is almost over already.  October ended with a TDY to Hawaii for Jeff while the girls celebrated our first Halloween in Japan.  Riley dressed as a nerd, Callan and two of her friends dressed as Ninjas, and Delaney dressed as Supergirl.  Since Megan was on her own, she just left a bowl of candy on the steps, and it was probably gone pretty quickly.  She accompanied Delaney on her trek around the neighborhood, Callan went with her friends and one of their parents, and Riley was on her own with another nerd.  All in all, they had a good time and got more than enough candy.  The base also allows Japanese trick or treaters to come on base which made for a couple hours of mass chaos in the housing area.  Some of our friends went through hundreds of dollars in candy.

The Misawa Ninjas

The Misawa Nerds

Super Delaney - she can talk faster than a speeding bullet!

You will never hear her coming...

Who wouldn't want to give them some candy?

While Jeff was gone, the fighter wing was going through an operational readiness exercise in preparation for an upcoming exercise.  When Jeff returned, he jumped right in and played war with the rest of the airmen.  During that same week, Delaney had her first field trip, and Megan went with her and the rest of the kindergarteners.  The trip was to a marine museum in Hachinohe which is located next to seagull island.  Kabushima (a.k.a. seagull island) is a small, uninhabited gourd-shaped island 0.8 kil ometers in circumference. Every year seagulls migrate to this island in early March and start breeding.  It is the only place you can closely view the seagull’s nests and their caring of baby birds in Japan.  They even hand-out umbrellas when you visit to protect you from the seagull droppings.
Laney's Kindergarten class.

She is about ready to hatch...

Time to spread her wings...

Lunch - the best time of day!

Seagull island.

Then next weekend after the exercise was over, we took a day trip to the Towada Horse Park and visited Hakkoda Panorama Park Golf Links.  It is a highland golf course designed to take advantage of the natural landscape that extends from the foot of the Hakkoda Mountain range.  Park Golf was born at Bobetu town in Hokkaido as Life Sports.  It is an easy game that anyone from children to older people can play.  Players use one club that is a combination between a putter and a short wood and one ball about the size of a pool ball.  The game is a mix of putt-putt and real golf, most of the holes are 50-80 meters long.  There are 36 holes at the park, but the girls were ready to hit the road after 18.

Our golf course...

Swing and a miss...

After this outing, Megan said she might actually try 'normal' golf.

Everybody needs a swing coach.

On the tee box.

Right down the fairway.


Tapping it in for the course the Phillips family!

On the 14th we got our latest family pictures back...see below...

That same week, Callan found out she was selected for, and started participating in Dragon TV at her school.  The students get to make the morning announcements and prepare the information that is shown on the school TV channel.  Callan was very excited to learn how to prepare the lunch menu and display it on TV.

On the 15th, we went to the Misawa Civic Center and watched Tops in Blue.  For those of you that don't already know, Tops in Blue is a traveling entertainment group that represents the Air Force and entertains the troops around the globe.  The group consists of Air Force members that audition and are selected to go on tour for one year.  The theme of the 2011 tour is "Rhythm Nation,"  and it showcased American music through the years.  The highlight of our night as part of the audience was Jeff getting selected to join the show and dance with one of the TIB performers.

On the 17th, we held the squadron Thanksgiving potluck at a place on base called The Grid.  The Grid was originally created for the airmen on the base, but it got little use and is now available for squadron functions.  They have a theater size movie screen, ping pong, pool, air hockey, several large screen TVs with all the different gaming consoles hooked up, a dance floor, and a casino area (no live gaming).  We had about 150 people show up for the lunch, and a good time was had by all...unfortunately we did not take any pictures.

On Friday of that week Jeff and Megan went to 'Fight Night' Misawa style.  Every 4-6 months they bring a full size boxing ring into the club and conduct ~15 3-round boxing matches.  There are a lot of Japanese and American fighters and this particular Fight Night included an MMA match.  The COMM ROCKERS had 3 people fighting, and even had one in the main event.  We went 1-2 on the night with 1 winning by TKO, the next losing in a fairly close match, and our main event fighter taking a pretty good beating...we saw him almost a week later and he was still bruised around the eyes.  In all fairness, the guy he fought looked like Ivan Drago from Rocky IV.

On Monday the 21st we woke up to about 3 inches of snow on the ground.  Throughout the day we got a little over 5 inches, but most of it was gone by noon.  The best part of the morning (for Jeff at least) was getting to watch the Cowboys finish off their season sweep of the Redskins...good times!

This is just the beginning...5 inches down, only 195 to go!

On the 22nd, Megan joined many of the Misawa spouses and decorated the club for the Holidays.  Some of the spouses spent the whole day over there, but the end result was great, and the club looks awesome for the holidays.

On the 23rd Jeff and the 35th Comm Squadron had a commanders call to end the week and kick off the long weekend.  At the commanders call the results of the squadron's Combined Federal Campaign silent auction were announced and they raised over $800 for the Wounded Warriors Fund and a couple other charities.  The item in the silent auction that raised the most money...believe it or not...was Jeff's hair and the privilege of cutting it ALL off.  One of the airman (and possibly several friends) paid $230 to cut off his hair.  Fortunately there was a retired barber in the crowd and saved the day and made sure the end result was an even haircut.  Two of the other officers in the squadron also sacrificed their hair for the good cause.

Did I really volunteer for this?

It is not looking good at this point.

Andre saves the day - he is one of our contractors that just happens to be a retired Navy barber - WHEW!!!

The finished product...I actually might keep it for a while.

That night we hung out with the other MSG commanders at the club and had another great night...even though Jeff's head was a little cold when we sat at the fire pit outside the club.

On Thanksgiving day we got up and got all of our food ready, and then went to the chow hall (a.k.a. dining facility) to serve the Thanksgiving meal to the airmen who live in the dorms.  After that we went around and delivered some holiday treats to some of the Comm Squadron members that had to work on the holiday.  Then we had a quiet family dinner and the girls told us what they were thankful for...Callan - freedom...Delaney - family...Riley - food; and Jeff and Megan are thankful for this wonderful opportunity to lead people and accomplish a mission in support of our great country, and to make some great new friends in the process.

Preparation complete!

Chef Jeff ready for action...the hat really wasn't working.

Half of the MSG CC crew!

Ready to eat - Happy Thanksgiving!

Freedom, Family, and Food ready to go!

On Saturday we attended the Wing Commanders Holiday reception with the other commanders across the base and many leaders from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force and the Misawa community.  There was great food and good times getting to know many of our Japanese counterparts.

The rest of the month will be just as busy...on Tuesday Megan will attend the spouses holiday Tea, and on Wednesday we get to go Watch the Globetrotters at the high school gym.  Jeff has to work the next 12+ days in a row as the Operational Readiness Inspection is coming soon.

That is all for now, hope to hear from all of you soon...

1 comment:

  1. I don't think there is enough beer and string cheese in the fridge!!