Thursday, November 3, 2011

Our own Peter Pan and Tinker Bell

There are days here in Japan that I feel like I'm living in "Never Never Land" like Peter Pan.  We have a great time "playing" each week with our friends and hanging out at the park, eating lunch together, hosting playgroups, going bowling, taking trips off base, watching get the a nutshell, we just plain have fun!  Sometimes, I completely forget that we're in Japan.  So, this year I thought it would be neat for Matthew and Catherine to dress up as Peter Pan and Tinker Bell for Halloween.  It was just a bonus that Peter Pan happens to be a red head too!
The weather forecast on Halloween was to be rainy, but thankfully we woke up to a nice sunny afternoon.  It was windy and chilly, but no rain!  We had planned to meet up with several other families that have children around the same age as Matthew and go trick-or-treating together.  The kids all looked so adorable in their costumes.  And, it was even more precious to see the kids get excited about each other's costumes!  We met at 6pm, once it had gotten dark, and set off in one of the neighborhoods on base.  Here are pictures of the kids waiting in the parking lot to go trick-or-treating.

One of the neat things about Halloween here at Yokota is that you're allowed to sponsor the Japanese on base to trick-or-treat.  The Japanese don't really celebrate Halloween like we do in the USA, but they get so excited to come on base to trick-or-treat with us.  Lots of the spouses, who don't have children, teach English off base to Japanese children and adults.  Typically, those are the kids who are sponsored on base.  I had anticipated that it would be busy with all the kids out during the allotted 6-8pm time slot, but I clearly didn't prepare myself enough.  It was madness!  There were thousands of kids and adults!  A Facebook status from a friend read that she spent at least $150-$200 a year buying candy for the kids because it always went fast.  Several of our friends who were experiencing Halloween here for the first time spent around $30, and they all ran out within the first 30 minutes.  Crazy! 

Overall, it was so fun to watch Matthew walk up to each door and say, "trick-or-treat" in his sweet little voice.  And, then he would always politely say, "thank you" after a piece of candy dropped into his bag.  By about 7:30pm, the excitement caught up with Matthew and he asked if we could go home.  This is definitely turing out to be a big year of memories with Matthew now that he's almost 3 years old!

Happy Halloween 2011!!

Our Little Preschooler

Matthew has been attending a preschool program on base on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9am - 1pm.  He absolutely loves his teacher, who he calls, Mrs. Donna.  She's authorized through the military to run the preschool out of her home.  There are usually only four of them that are there regularly on Tuesday and Thursday, so it's nice that it's a small group.  They go to the park, the indoor swimming pool, do crafts, work on their alphabet, numbers, days of the week and seasons.  It's been a great new thing for Matthew to try and he really looks forward to "school" each week.
A few weeks ago, they took a field trip to the Fire Station during Fire Safety week.  Donna sent us a few pictures that she took of the kids.  Matthew talked about sitting in the fire truck all day long and they even got a neat fire hat to bring home.  He's really into trucks, cars and trains these days, so this field trip was perfect!

Matthew with his friends, Serenity, Chloe, and Kirsten

Driving the Fire Truck!

The kids with Mrs. Donna, the Fireman and the Fire Safety Dog

The week before Halloween, Donna had a little party for the kids and invited all the other Mom's to come join in the fun.  We had food and did a craft with the kids, but Matthew's favorite part was decorating his own pumpkin shaped sugar cookie and then getting to eat it.  I didn't think he would actually eat the entire thing, but he sure did, and he loved it!  I'm so glad I had my camera with me, because he had sprinkles ALL over his face by the time he was done!