On the Road Travel Tray

We've spent a lot of time in the car these past eight months. Actually, that is probably an understatement. Based on the number of miles we've added to our odometer since DaddyO returned (16,000) with an average mile/minute, then 266 hours would be more precise. Thankfully both kiddos are road warriors, they actually look forward to embarking on road trips. Part of that is due to the fact that they have a lot of fun while in the back seat. 

With our upcoming 40 plus hour drive cross country I wanted to provide them with something new and fun to do while driving and thought a travel tray would be great! Amazon has them for around $25, but why buy one when it's a snap to make one at home?

These blogs gave me some great ideas and I used them to come up with my own system.

Between cleaning, remodeling, and packing, Avia and I made a magnetic travel tray for the kids.

We sized them up in their seats.


And made a pillow and pockets to hold the tray out of an old pillowcase.

We gave the tray a test run on our "short" drive up to PA.  It was a big success with both kids. CJ loved the fact that his cars stayed on his lap.

And his magnetic letters stuck.

Now I just have to start filling up the pockets with goodies for a our "long" trip.

Remembering Their Rooms

With all the moving we do with the Navy, the kids will have a variety of bedrooms before we settle in our "forever" house. I have tried to photograph their rooms in each house so we can look back at their spaces throughout the years and see how they've changed

CJ's room was a pastel green with pink accents everywhere.

She played the most with the dresser that DaddyO turned into a dress-up armoires.

Her princess memorabilia sat on top.

On her bedside table sat her ballerina picture and Jesus Storybook Bible.

On the other was a picture of her and DaddyO and a few of my favorite figurines when I was a child.

Above her dresser, a framed magazine cover of her best friend N at our favorite beach. Avia's hand made doll was ready to be loved and I'll be teaching her how to sew soon on the vintage children's sewing machine.

Barbara the dog cuddled between her pillows ready to dance or sleep. Whatever the occasion brought!

CJ's bedroom came painted and curtained and I wouldn't change the color. It fit in perfectly with our decor.


 In the far corner sat our game dresser with aviator themed items on top.

Of course my Little Aviator people are a favorite of his:)

On his bed sat DaddyO's dog from when he was a boy and a praying bear from aunt and uncle.

Both bedrooms have provided a tranquil setting for the kiddos to play, read, and rest. I cherish all the wonderful times we've spend together here.

On to Japan!

We had a bit of a hunch that an overseas stint may be possible after DaddyO's training in Cali but weren't exactly prepared for how imminent it was. We got news the night before the slate popped that Japan was in our future and sure enough there was DaddyO's name on the list the next day.

geisha and samuri
Our previous three years living in Japan were wonderful. My brother put together this video that gives just a glimpse of our experience.

I always said that I'd like to return with kids. EJ has always loved watching Big Bird in Japan so when I told her we'd be visiting that far away country that "mommy and daddy used to live in" she was excited to be going too.

Now that we're only six months out I started looking through some of my "old" pictures to remember all the things I'd like to do with them. Here is just a few things on my long list:

1. Eat delicious food.

korean bbq
shabu shabu
2. Go biking.

ready to go

3. Ride the trains.

4. Roam around the countryside.

matsumoto castle
5. Climb Mt. Fuji.

6. Visit Japanese friends.

cooking class
luxage english class
7.  Enjoy tea ceremonies.

8. Relax at our neighborhood onsen.

nuddy tuddy buddies
9. View the sakura blossoms.


10. Celebrate festivals.

11. Attend the many squadron events.

change of command
cherry boy and girl
over the hump
12. Go snowboarding.

13. Wear kimonos.

kimono competition
15. Meet up with DaddyO's ship.

hong kong
16. Spend weekends in Tokyo.

17. Welcome DaddyO home.

love him
I know this time around will be a bit different with the little ones to chase around but I can wait to give them a taste of all that Japan has to offer. There is going to be a lot to keep us busy the next two years!

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