Thursday, March 31, 2011

What I Know For Sure

Eleven years ago yesterday, my second daughter was born.  Weighing nine pounds and having a head circumference in the 95th percentile, saying she tore into this world is putting it mildly.
I’d like to say that this is just a really horrible newborn picture, but I think she really did look this bad.  It only took a few days for her to become much cuter, which was good…..because that’s when the crying started.
 She cried.
And cried.
Then, she cried some more.
Rumor has it, that God doesn't give you more than you can hande.  So really, after about the first four months she stopped crying.
It was my husband who wanted to name her after the Elvis Costello song “Allison”.  I thought it was okay, but I was leaning toward Jessica or Sara.  Of course when she was lying on my chest after that rip-roaring birth, I agreed with him.  Her middle name Eden, is also mine and my mother’s, and my Grandmother’s maiden name.
She has lived in five states and three different countries, has been in a coma and on a Life Flight, and she won’t take off her Converse tennis shoes and her green wool hat.  She only weighs 61 pounds but can swim the 50 meter Freestyle in thirty-eight seconds....which is only 14 seconds off of Michael Phelps' case you didn't know.
For some reason, even though she is not my youngest daughter, she is my baby.  She is the daughter that is most like my husband and that is a good thing….usually.  She is best friends with her older sister and the coolest friend to her younger sister.
I could brag and brag about her all day long on this post, but you get the point.  Happy Birthday Allison Eden!  What I know for sure is, we love you!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Earthquake in Japan

March 11th, 2011 the 5th largest earthquake ever recorded hit our host country of Japan.  Aside from really freaking out my middle daughter, and shaking us all up for a bit our family, is fine.
We’ve been watching and reading for over a week now all the news and information that comes at us in all directions.  We were the first to see horrifying images of people being swept away with their homes by the tsunami, from the Japanese stations.  We get the sensationalistic news from America flashing across the screen in redish-orangish-silver glamour…….JAPAN’S NUCLEAR CRISIS! Finally, our Air Force base shifted immediately into high gear supporting rescue efforts.  Our normal routine is centered around night shifts and volunteer hours, while the base commander continually reassures us of our safety.
It is an understatement to say that people around here are stressed out.  Rumors are flying around base like wildfire.  Everything from, “We are going to run out of toilet paper.” To “be sure to have your kids shower off the radiation after they get home from school.”  I wonder why I have a headache every night before I go to bed?  Oh yeah…..that’s why.
Yesterday the state department announced that VOLUNTARY evacuations out of Japan are being arranged for people who on their own merit want to leave their host country. Our base commander has told us that there is no threat or danger at Yokota. This is just something offered to those that need/want it.  My husband and I have decided to keep our family in Japan for now.  There are no abnormal levels of radiation where we are and we are almost 200 miles away from the nuclear plants.  We trust fully in our base leadership that they will evacuate us immediately if the situation becomes too dangerous.
My hope is that everyone will not stop praying for the thousands of Japanese that have lost loved ones and homes.  Although I may have been known to say on this blog that I didn’t like moving to Japan, there is nothing like an unprecedented natural disaster that brings life into a clearer perspective. In the face of a frightening earthquake, a devastating tsunami, and an unpredictable nuclear situation, the entire country is calm and orderly.  There are no riots or looting.  There aren’t guns and mayhem in the shelters.  As far as I can see, Japan is a model example of how any country should act and respond to such overwhelming adversity. 
I guess what it all comes down to is that in 7 short months, I have started to fall in love with my new home in Japan.
I love the people.

I love learning about the fascinating culture.

I am not sure I will ever understand the language, but I am trying.

The food….ummmm…well, it is mostly good.  Hey….I am trying!!!

Please take a moment out of your day to lift a prayer to all the people in Japan.  If you are able, donate money.  Money is the best way to help the Japanese get exactly what they need.  If you donate “stuff”, the “stuff”, needs to be shipped, stored, sorted, delivered, etc…..just adding more work to the already monumental task of recovery.  Your local Red Cross is a great place to start and you can even donate online.
Finally, I don’t think I am actually physically able to have a blog post end on a serious a note.  I caught this little cartoon that explains the nuclear problem in a funny way.  While I don’t want to make light of the situation I think we can all use a little humor to de-stress.  Plus, you can show it to your kids!!!

American Red Cross Donation Information

For a good source of up to date news….
For information on Yokota Air Force Base……
Yokota Air Force Base Facebook Page