Thursday, August 27, 2015

Visiting special family

One of my favorite pictures of Weston and his Grandma Shar.

Nixon eating a snack with Grandma Shar 

Nixon was really interested in Shars headstone. Cooper wasn't. 

Our family :)

The boys with Grandma and Grandpa Hunt 

The boys with Great Grandma Fuja 

We were able to spend time and visit with a lot of family and friends while we were in the States this summer.
One of my favorite visits was one to the Lehi cemetery where my mom, grandpa and grandma Hunt and great grandma Fuja are buried. The last time we were all there was right before we moved to Japan. The twins were only 3 months old. 
All of the boys admired the headstones and had many questions about these special family members. 
Cooper's middle name is Hunt after my moms maiden name and also my grandpa who passed away only 3 short months before the twins were born. 
Death can be very complex for kids. The boys wondered why Shar had died and couldn't grasp how young she was when she passed. I could tell that Ashton was contemplating everything and had many questions swirling around in his head. They have obviously never met Shar, so for them their grandma Shar is a 25 year old twin of mine. They have only ever seen pictures of her and that was the age she was when she died. 
A few days after we visited the cemetery, we were able to spend some sweet time with my Aunt Kathy and some of my cousins and their cute kids. I was so thankful for the time we spent with them and visit about Shar and tell the boys some fun stories. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Summer-First stop Huntington Beach, California!!

 Checking in and saying goodbye to Tokyo. We had 17 suitcases plus 2 carseats and 2 boosters

We have arrived in LAX! Finally back in the U.S. !
Checking out the beach and boardwalk

Jet lag was real....

Grandma and the boys built a fun train city

Getting warm after a swim

It's time for some whale watching!!

Smores on the beach was a must!

Nerf gun wars with some animal friends

And of course, movie nights with popcorn

Summer started out in Huntington Beach, California!
It was hard saying buy to friends and life in Tokyo, but we had home leave vacation to look forward to.
Grandpa and Grandma Bell picked us (and our truckload of suitcases) up from the airport. 
We had a fun visit with them and stayed very busy. 
Beach, swimming, smores, arcades, movies and much much more! 
We had the best time and the boys were happily exhausted when it was over. 

Our next stop was St. George Utah for a few days with Tommy's siblings. Grandpa and Grandma Bell rented a few houses for all of us to stay in for some quality family time. 
We will post more on that next!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Jarkarta days 1 and 2

At our gate in Japan waiting for our final flight to Indonesia 

Weston has had the hardest time with the sleep deprivation 



Can't even stay awake for a cheeseburger :(

4 AM the morning we arrived

The American club 
Dining room 

Ashton and Weston's room 

Jakarta Intercultural school 

After a day of errands 

Weston, Nixon and Cooper asleep on the car ride home

After 7 weeks of vacation in the states, we made our long journey to Jakarta, Indonesia where we will call home for the next 2-3 years.
Monday morning we woke up at 3:30 to catch our car to the airport at 4:30. 14 suitcases, 6 carry ons, 2 carseats, 2 boosters and then of course the 6 of us piled in the van and headed to catch our flight. 
We had a quick flight to L.A. and then a 3 hour layover. Next was our 10 hour flight to Tokyo. The kids did really well. They napped a bit, played, colored, watched movies and TV and ate. 
Our layover in Japan was suppose to be 3 hours, but we found out that our next flight was delayed, so it stretched to almost a 5 hour layover.
We found a Ramen shop (mcdonalds for the kids) and ate some dinner. 
We found a quiet corner at our terminal and camped out for a few hours. Some of us napped, while others played and watched the airplanes take off. 
Finally, it was time to board and we were all ready for our last leg of our trip. It was 7 more hours to Jakarta and luckily everyone was tired and ready for bed.
We got on the plane and all crashed. I think most of us slept for 5 of the 7 hours. 
When we landed, it was almost 2 A.M. I took the kids to the bathroom while Tommy started to gather our luggage. 
Unfortunately, we noticed that we had a suitcase that looked like ours, but wasn't. We started to panic thinking that everyone on our flight was pretty much gone with their 1 or 2 pieces of luggage and the person who's bag we accidentally grabbed had our luggage and was on their way home.  
Tommy talked with a helpful airport employee who got on the phone right away and made connections with the person who indeed had our bag. By this time it was almost 3 in the morning and our sponsor who was there to meet us and bring us to our house was still waiting patiently. He was very helpful and welcoming.
It was about a 30 minute drive to our house and since it was in the middle of the night, it was hard to see the country.
We got home and unloaded and crashed. I think it was about 4:30 by the time we went to bed-which was ironically the time we left for the airport the day before!

We are staying in temporary housing now while our house gets renovated. Luckily, we are only 2 doors down from our house. We are in a neighborhood that surrounds the American club so our back gate opens right to the pool. 
We got our family membership for the club the day we arrived and are happy with all of the amenities. It also has restaurant with many choices that I'm sure we will be eating at often. 

Yesterday, we checked in at the embassy and then headed to the boys' school to register.
Thankfully we had the embassy driver all day because the traffic is just CRAZY!! Motorcyles, cars, pedestrians everywhere and (what seems like) no rules. Luckily we have hired a driver and will be getting our car today, so I can just sit in the back of my car and leave the driving up to him. 
The boys' new school (Jakarta Intercultural School) was awesome! We got signed up for the bus and given a tour of the campus and classrooms. I am really, really happy with the school. 

Well, we have been busy (and tired). Jet lag sucks and all of the loose ends that we need to tie up are daunting. We are interviewing nannies today and tomorrow so hopefully we can find someone to help us feel settled here.
Once again, the embassy and our sponsors have been really good. They have offered toys, games, their cars and drivers and of course their time to help us get settled. 
There was a casserole and fresh chocolate chip cookies waiting for us in our fridge when we arrived.
It's nice to have an instant community. Even though we don't know many people yet, we feel like we aren't alone and can ask any questions to anyone in the embassy community. 

We are still adjusting and will be for a while, but we are here safe and sound!

Things I didn't expect:
You can't drink the water
You have to wash every fruit and veggie with clorox and rinse with bottle water (this means every leaf of lettuce and then set out to dry)
It is very pretty here. I had heard that it was so dirty (especially coming from Japan) and that I would be shocked. But more that stands out to me is how pretty the trees and growth is. Big trees, palm trees, vines etc.
It's hot but not too hot :)
All the motorcycles and how crazy people drive