Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Guthries are (in)famous again...

We are definitely making our mark on the Iwakuni community! Just in the past few week, three of the four Guthries have been featured in base media. Will was selected out of his entire school to be interviewed for a worldwide broadcast about M.C.Perry Elementary School being selected as a Blue Ribbon nominee. Of over 100,000 schools in the nation, M.C. Perry was one of the 200 selected as a nominee. The school and community is very excited about this honor and Will was proud to have been chosen as the "spokesperson." As soon as we have a link for the story, I will post it.

The boys' baseball skills were also on display on base. I am friends with one of the base marketers and she asked me for baseball photos t promote the upcoming youth baseball season. I gave her a disk of my favorites and here is what happened:

Xan was featured in the monthly base magazine of activities, The Preview.

Will is featured on the poster... he ACTUALLY is the poster child for the 2014 youth baseball season.

And I was featured in the Winter 2014 edition of a quarterly magazine that the base produces as a relationship builder between the Americans and the Japanese. Not a great photo of me, but I'll do what I can to grease the wheels with foreign relations.

So, despite our celebrity, we've continued to manage to live normal lives. We celebrated Valentines Day. The kids thank you for all the goodies you sent them. Rodney and I went to a 7-course dinner the base hosted and had a very nice time.

I tried goose liver pate' for the first time and didn't gag, thanks to the raspberry drizzle on it.

And these are the roses Rodney gave me.

He also got me a small camera backpack so I can carry just the essentials. I gave him a baseball stitched with a heart and a gift card to the Exchange. The kids each got gift cards from the Exchange and spent them the next day. I made them each save part of the Valentine's Day money that was sent to them, much to their disappointment, They are saving up their money to buy Skylanders in Okinawa. Our Exchange here doesn't have them.

We still have the cat, who is trying my patience on a regular basis. She is like a teenage daughter, I think, constantly doing things she knows she's not supposed to because it is fun to aggravate me. Like play with my feet, jump on the kitchen counters, interrupt me while I am photographing some scrapbooks, sitting on my desk when she knows she's not allowed on it... you name it. She has also started rejecting her comfy bed on the arm of the sofa for these lovely digs:

That would be the boys' dirty clothes hamper. Rodney said she needs a bath. I said he could bathe her if he liked. I'd rather not be clawed. Oreo loves her Dad... here is a shot to end this with, of them playing chase around the house.

And this one is for Mom... here is how milk is sold at Costco in Japan:

If I go by color, I think the blue one is non-fat, but there isn't any English on the cartons to confirm.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

ABC: Awards, Bamboo and Cats in the family...

I know I haven't been good about posting to this blog. Many of the things that I write about are suitable for public consumption, so I post them to my public blog, which I hope you are following: www.jessicaguthrie.com. Plus, with Facebook easy to post photos to instantaneously, I'll admit I have been lazy about getting those same photos on here.

But here are some of the highlights so far in 2014:

Oreo is not just a cookie...

Yep, we have a cat. We are sill dog people, but since we can't have dogs in the apartment we live in in Japan, we got a cat. The boys are responsible for the daily chores for her and they've done very well. She was born Sept. 1, so she is only a few months old, and, fortunately, has some redeeming "dog" qualities, such as greeting us at the door when we come home. Rodney was the least excited to get a cat, and, of course, he appears to be her favorite Guthrie.

Exceptional Students

As you would expect from Will and Xan, they are doing very well in school. Both received two awards this semester, for academic achievement and for perfect attendance. The perfect attendance is especially significant because the boys are responsible for getting themselves up, dressed, fed, lunches made and to school on time. I'm usually still sleeping and Rodney's left for work. So proud to have such smart, responsible boys!

Xan's teacher, Mrs. Sellers, and the school principal behind the podium. The blond lady is another 2nd grade teacher.
Xan got Super Samurai for his class for Math. There is also a Super Samurai for Reading and then one award for Most Improved in both Match and Reading. Out of 19 kids, he is doing the best in Math. We are very proud of him.

Because I was in Okinawa for Jane Wayne Day, Rodney took these photos and posted them to Facebook in a timely fashion so I could see them. Thank you, dear! Will earned the Principal's Honor Roll, which means he only got one B in both first quarters. We are very proud of him. He was frustrated because he missed the Commander's Award by two percentage points. Learning has occurred...

Bamboo Fun

Also, while I was in Okinawa, the Guthrie boys headed out on a youth cultural trip Feb. 1, galavanting in the winter wonderland of bamboo forests. Luckily, the weather was mild, so they were able to enjoy themselves without freezing. This photos are also courtesy of Rodney.

They made a rice cooker out of a bamboo stalk. Bamboo is naturally hollow, but is closed off in sections where the white lines on it are. Rodney and Will liked the rice dish, Xan didn't even try it.

Rodney was in charge of making a totem pole with faces.

Will learned to carve bamboo - they brought me back a nice bamboo vase and cup.

On the bus on the way to the bamboo forest, about a half hour away.

Much to Rodney's disapproval, they gave Xan a saw. He came back without a scratch, so he must have been fine.

Some other odds and ends

Rodney plans to ref youth basketball this month. Good luck to him...

Rodney's unit had its holiday part Jan. 10 since most of the Marines were in Guam through December. We had fun but there were too many kids under 5 running amok.

Xan's writing is coming along just fine, but I wish he would follow his own advice. Except the dusting the wall part. Where did that come from? And I like how he indirectly blames the cat for the mess.