Self Assessment

Our family is entering a transitional period in life. We’ve been in Japan for more than two years now (no, really!) and that means that we’re suddenly left with less than a year here. It’s funny how that seems like no time at all – but this will be the last spring that we see the cherry blossoms bloom and watch the petals fall, the last summer that we have bonfires and fireworks at the beach, the last chance to see the festivals and eat the foods we’ve grown to love. I’ve already started grieving. (I don’t think I’ve been this sad to move away from somewhere since I was nine years old.) I love it here so much, that if there was some way to transplant this little patch of Japan a few thousand miles closer to my family, I would want to live here for the rest of my life.

In addition, the end of our assignment here marks the end of Greg’s enlistment, and we’ve decided not to re-enlist. That means that once the military deposits our family back stateside, we can do…anything. We get to choose where we go next, what we do next…anything! (Also, ACK, we have to try and find a job in a job market that has apparently been SMASHED to SMITHEREENS, but we’ll deal with that later.) Greg and I have spent a lot of time talking about what we want in life, what he wants to spend his time doing, life goals, family goals, hopes and dreams and daydreams…and while we don’t have the long term sorted out yet, we do have short term plans. Hey, Arizona! We’re headed your way next year! (Any readers from Arizona? I can’t believe we’re leaving here to go somewhere with deserts and scorpions. AGAIN. Sigh.)

Anyway, talking Greg through a thorough self- assessment has led me on a bit of an introspective path, as well. Who I am. Who I want to be. The wife I want to be. The mother I want to be. What I want to do, and see, and accomplish. I’m still sorting things through, but the one conclusion I’ve reached is that time is slipping by faster than ever before, and so if there’s something I want to do, I need to DO IT and not accept “someday.”

In the last week we’ve:

had pirate ships for lunch

Arrrr, matey!

made muffin-pan melted crayons (do you know how long I’ve wanted to do this?! Since I was a child myself, and I don’t remember ever doing it!)


(Also, some tips. Foil muffin papers work VERY WELL. If you’re using paper muffin liners, and you decide to let the crayons cool down on the stove instead of in the freezer, be aware that melted wax will seep through the paper and get onto your muffin pan. Whoops.)

planted sunflower seeds – man, do they grow quickly!

Check out Charlie's bedhead!

dyed noodles with food coloring and vinegar

We're going to try some more colors another time.

made tasty peanut butter play dough (it’s 1/2 cup peanut butter, about 1/2 cup flour, and about 2 tbsp honey)


(The kids decorated it with other edibles.)

Yup. Good fun.

AND, we went fishing for goldfish with pretzel rods and peanut butter bait.


I don’t know what we’re doing next, but I bet it will be fun!

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  1. bezzie says:

    Oh wow, he’s not going to reup? Now’s the time to start putting feelers out for jobs. What does he do in the AF? Does he like it? Could he find a civilian equivalent? My one little bro who decided not to go career now works for the FAA basically doing exactly what he did for the AF. And he was lucky enough to find that job in AK. It was an old AF buddy that helped him find that job. So connections are good!!!
    Good luck in figuring out where you want to land! (I’m a bit jealous, we’ve got exactly three years before we can “plant”).
    And foodcoloring and VINEGAR! I’ve always used rubbing alcohol. Vinegar’s a much better idea!

  2. Mom says:

    Those boys are so blessed to have a creative involved mom! Parents as Teachers would love you! (and they start at over $12 an hour to go into the home and teach mom’s to do stuff like that!)

  3. Wren says:

    You know there’s a motorcycle repair school a lot closer than Arizona, right? We pass one (in the same building) on the way to the ceramics show every year. Just a thought. (I miss my nephews. One is just not enough.)

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