Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It Seems She's Not Fooling Around...

Mother Nature is having a little fun with us today...the little snowstorm we woke up to this morning has turned into a full-fledged blizzard, or myetel as the locals would say.  The snow has been falling like mad all day, and the winds sound like they are going to take the house away.  There is about 4-5 inches accumulated so far, but if it keeps up this way, who knows?  A blizzard in the last week of April?  Apparently so.

Spring or Winter? More like Sprinter...

The snow has been melting fast the last couple of weeks.  Almost all of it was gone from our yard, which was under about 3 feet of the white stuff just 3 weeks ago.  The weather has been really great...sunny and highs in the 40s, which after living here through a winter seems pleasant.  Well, it seems Winter won't give up just yet....we woke up to a snowstorm this morning.   Hopefully Spring will be back soon!


I was looking at the blog today and realized that I forgot to put pictures from Easter up.  Most of the pictures didn't turn out that great, but I thought the one of him holding up the egg was cute.  I have also included some pictures of him riding his is like a new toy since he hasn't ever been able to ride it.  The summer in Doha was too hot, and the it was too cold when we moved here in October.  I have heard that the summer months are really nice here....that is if winter will ever let go (see next post).  

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Okhotskoye Beach

Today we went on a trip to Okhotskoye beach to see the swans.  Apparently, they migrate from Japan to mainland Russia with a short stopover in Okhotskoye, which is on the southeast coast of Sakhalin Island.  There were about 25-30 of them, and they got pretty close to the shore. The kids threw bread at them, getting them even closer.  It was fairly cold out there, especially right on the beach.  At one point Adam walked right into the surf, not realizing how cold the water was going to be.  I guess he was remembering our recent trip to Palau, where the water was considerably warmer!!  Lucky for him, his Mom thought ahead and brought an extra set of clothes, for this very reason!

The swans at Okhotskoye

My Russian teacher, Elena

Adam, Colby, and Kelly running from the water

Kate and Amanda posing for a pic


Icy beach....brrr!!

Adam and Mommy

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Term Break

Adam's school is on break for 2 1/2 weeks between terms 2 and 3.  He has spent most of his time playing with our neighbor's kids.  The Community Center in our compound has also opened recently, and we have been going up there and visiting their play areas as well. Here are a few pictures from the past week:

At the Community Center playing with Conner and Kelly

Playing on his Smart Cycle

Welcome Home!

When we returned home from our vacation, this is what our house looked like.  You might wonder what the scaffolding right off the front porch is for?  Well, you aren't the only one.  The explanation I got was to catch the snow falling off our roof, preventing it from hitting us in the head as we stepped off our front porch.  Hmmmmm.......notice the amount of snow actually on my roof.  

Back to Sakhalin

Just a few more pictures from our journey back to Sakhalin...

Shane and Adam on the platform waiting on our train to the airport

Adam and Mommy waiting for their train

A city on the northern/western coast of Japan

The frozen sea is breaking up!  This is Sakhalin island, just south of Yuzhno

Monday, April 6, 2009

Did you know Colonel Sanders was Japanese?

The KFC in Otaru, Japan

Sapporo, Japan

We spent almost half of our vacation in one of our favorite cities:  Sapporo, Japan.  This time, we stayed in the JR Tower at the Sapporo Station.  Our room was on the 32nd floor, so it had great views of the city.  We did a lot of the same things that we did the first time we went to Sapporo:  shopping, eating Japanese food (ramen, gyoza and sushi!) and taking in the sites.  

View of Sapporo from our room

Night view

Shane with Adam at the observation deck of the JR Tower

Amanda and Adam

Adam checking out the view

Finally - after taking about 50 shots, I got a good one!

Day Trip to Otaru

Just some more pictures from our trip to Otaru, Japan...

Amanda by the canal


Family pic at the aquarium


This thing was pretty was a projection, but if you stepped on it or tried to touch a fish, they scattered

Adam and Amanda

Adam posing for a picture

Adam found Nemo

Sealion and Dolphin Show

We took a day trip from Sapporo to Otaru to visit the aquarium there.  It was a pretty little town, and we thought Adam would enjoy the aquarium.  He especially loved the sealion and dolphin show.  It was all in Japanese, but it didn't matter...we could tell what was going on.  The best part was when the sealions bowed when saying "konnichiwa" and "sayonara"!  


Look how well we can balance these balls


Adam watching the show


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Guam, USA

Our stay in Guam was relatively short; we were only there for 2 days.  We arrived at 5:00 am on the first day and went directly to the hotel, hoping that they we give us our room so we could sleep.  Thankfully, they did, and we emerged around 1:00 looking for lunch.  We were excited about being able to visit Guam because of the prospect of eating some American food and doing some shopping at some familiar stores.  

After one meal, we were regretting the American food idea.  We forget how big the portions are! We did get quite a bit of shopping done...we joked that it was our chance to stimulate the U.S. economy for a change!  

Adam with his new toy...a Nintendo DS

The beach in the mid-morning it was packed with people

Adam in the aquarium

Shane and Adam

Adam having his favorite meal: mac and cheese!

Palauan Sunset

More Pictures from Palau

On the balcony at our hotel

Adam playing in the water

Adam and Shane

Amanda and Adam

Family pic at the restaurant

Adam and Daddy at lunch