Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hase-Dera Temple

As we were walking back to the train station, we stumbled upon this temple and were so glad that we did. The Hase-Dera Temple is dedicated to the goddess of mercy, Kannon. The temple grounds contain a whole complex of different houses and building dedicated to different gods and statues. In the main building there is a huge statue (30 feet tall) which has 11 different heads and each face has a different expression depicting Kannon's compassion for all kinds of human suffering (you can't take pictures in there, so I don't have a picture of it--you just have to come see it for yourself). There were several other halls and a little museum here also. Here are pictures of some of the things that we saw.

Ethan making friends with the statue--actually he thought it was his Uncle Aaron--okay, I can see the resemblance!

Ethan and Eric under a shinto gate that leads into a cave where there are things chiseled into the rocks--it was kind of interesting.

This is a massive bronze bell and following Buddhist tradition, the bell is rung 108 times beginning around midnight on Dec. 31 each year to to dispel the 108 sufferings of humanity (I have no clue what the sufferings are).

Kailey and I meditating by one of the meditation gardens--okay, really we needed to sit down and rest!
Ethan hiding near the little bamboo forest--notice the three cute statues in the background.
Ethan learning to pray like the Buddhists.

Trying to find food to feed the koi--thanks Dad, we can't pass a koi pond without Ethan throwing something in it!
Ethan trying to be like his Aunt Brooke (Tolman) and light incense.
This was the Jizo-do Hall and surrounding the hall are thousands of little Jizo stone statues standing in long rows, some wearing bibs or knit caps and festooned with cute charms. The statues are there to comfort the souls of unborn children. I thought this was kind of sad, there were several people lighting candles and incense while saying prayers here.

Some of the statues of unborn children--there were tons of them.
Family picture overlooking the ocean

The Giant Buddha

The first thing we went to go see in Kamakura was the "Great Buddha." This is the second largest bronze Buddha statue in Japan. It was cast in 1252 and originally stood within a big temple, but the temple was washed away in a tsunami so now it just stands outdoors. Besides the Buddha, there really isn't too much else there. You can go inside the Buddha, which Ethan and Eric did and also you can see Buddha's sandals. Here are some pictures:

Ethan doing his lion face
Before you enter any temple you have to wash your hands--this is Ethan's favorite part
Giant Buddha sandals
Eric and Ethan in front of Buddha

Welcome home Japanese submarine!

Monday we took advantage of the holiday and decided to venture out and explore a city nearby called Kamakura which use to be the capital of Japan in the 1200s and is a very historic city with tons of ancient temples and shrines. As we were leaving the base and walking to the train station we were excited to see that a japanese submarine was coming back. It was so fun to watch the submarine come back and pull into port and see all the men standing on top.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Our son...the make-up artist

Tonight Eric took me into the bedroom to show me how to work something on our t.v. and Ethan followed us in. While we were busy Ethan walked into the bathroom. After like 2 minutes we finished and Eric walked in the bathroom to get Ethan and found him standing on the toilet going through my make-up bag....
Then he turned to look at us and we realized he had been a very busy boy (notice the front of his hair also--he needed some mascara there). Eric and I burst out laughing and then started laughing even harder when we heard Ethan say, "I need to do my eyes." The not-funny part was that he had just barely taken a bath and so it took me about 10 minutes of HARD scrubbing to get my cute little boy out from underneath all that make-up (never thought I would say that!) Hopefully he learned his lesson, if not we may have a problem on our hands!

Friday, September 4, 2009

All-American Rejects Concert!!!!

A couple of weeks ago, the All-American Rejects came and performed a free concert here on base. I have to admit I LOVE them and was so excited to go. Eric was out of town, so we went with a friend of ours-Rachel. She also happens to be a JAG and got here about the same time we did. Anyways, the concert was held in the parking lot of the bowling alley and I thought it would be packed, but it really wasn't. We were able to get pretty close. The band was great and put on a phenomenal show and the kids did great. I know, what a nice mom I am taking my 1 year old and 2 year old to their first concert!!! Kailey absolutely loved the music and was dancing away; Ethan had fun, but preferred to sit in the stroller and eat his snacks. The band was pretty funny--their usual concert crowd is teenagers and young adults. Here they had tons of babies in the audience and young kids. They were making jokes about crowd surfing huggies up to the front if a baby had messy pants. In the middle of the concert the lead singer got passed a note and started laughing and he said that this was probably the funniest note he has ever gotten passed while performing. The note said, "someone lost their 2 year old. If you lost your 2 year old please come to the front of the stage." Anyways, they did a great job and we had TONS of fun. I guess later this month the band, Flowrider, is coming. Anyways, another great perk of Japan--we get awesome free concerts!
A little clip of the music. It seems like we are far away, but we actually were pretty close.

Rachel and the kids at the concert.

Kailey and I rockin out!!
Kailey had a little admirer. This little boy couldn't stay away from her!!