Thursday, November 19, 2015

Roller Skates

Where did I put my roller skates?

It certainly feels as if I have been on them recently, or, at the very least, should have been on them.  Seems as though everyday, along with the normal happenings, there has been something extra: extra doctor/dentist appointments, extra school events, extra holiday planning for upcoming out reach events, extra... you name it.

Yesterday, while Joshy was at school ALL day (this only happens 2x/week) I made full use of the time.  After dropping him off, I went to one of the stores that opens early (9am) in hopes that they might just have candy canes. (My hope was in vain.)  Then I ran next door to the 100 yen shop which opens at 9:30, to pick up ribbon & tree ornaments for next week's ECS children's classes - they will be making ornament to decorate the ECS tree.  Then I scooted off the my 10:00 preschool class.  After class, I headed to the next city over to see if one of the stores at the mall would have candy canes, cranberry sauce, & sugar sprinkles for cookies... 1 out of 3 isn't the best odds, but at least I came home with candy canes!  Plus I was able to get enough hot chocolate packages to fill in the gap between the 60 packages I got at Costco and the 80 I need to make Snowman Soup for all the ECS students and Sunday School Christmas party treat bags.  (Sure wish I had thought things through a bit better and had gotten a 2nd box of hot chocolate at Costco - it would have been cheaper :/ )  A bit of other fun shopping and it was time to head back to school to pick up Joshy & then Kei.  However, I didn't calculate my time quite right... I realize I was going to be early, so I stopped by the "Swan Pond" for a nice walk.  (The swans should be arriving from Siberia any time now, but alas, only the ducks were around.)  It was so nice to have some time in God's wonderful creation!

Last night, at dinner, Bekah ask if we had any plans for this weekend.  I said, "Thanksgiving outreach is Monday!"  She said, "Yeah, but do we have any plans for the Weekend?"  UMMMM... shopping & cleaning on Saturday, start the baking on Sunday afternoon so that everything will be prepped so that we can finish the rest of the dinner for almost 40 guests on Monday.  Nah, guess it will be a nice quiet weekend, just like the rest of the month has been :P

Friday, November 13, 2015


November 3rd is Culture Day here in Japan.  Translation, there are LOTS of extra school events!

Last Saturday, 7th, was Kei's school's Culture Festival.  Their special projects were put on display and the different classes did a presentation or performance for all to see in the school gym.  Having a crowd of people made Kei very nervous, but she did a good job.



This week it was Joshy's turn to have a special visit day at school.  All the students had their craft & art work displayed in the main hallway, then each class had their own activities in their rooms.  Joshy's class fallowed their normal morning routine with the exception that the teachers did a big story production.  The teachers dressed up, as well as, involving the children in the dramatization of a classic Japanese tale (I'm not sure what the story title is).



Both events were different, but interesting in their own way.  For both, the students and teachers put in a lot of effort to make the events happen.  I am not sure I honestly appreciate them enough, because personally, I am missing having a "normal" Saturday.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Bubba & Junior

I will never forget one of our first Thanksgivings here in Japan.  Back in the days before Costco, before FBC (Foreign Buyers Club) and anything but cases of canned goods, in short before turkey could be found easily.  We had around 30 people coming for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  A friend had offered to special order a turkey from a meat shop.  The day before Thanksgiving my friend delivered a 1kg turkey... ONE Kilogram... 2.2 pounds.  It fit in my hand!  I joked about finding pieces of shell on it O_o   We supplemented, heavily supplemented, the meal with ham that year!

Thankfully, in recent years turkey has become easier to find,

Today, Jerry & I headed to Costco (176 km / 109 miles - 2+ hours and ¥2,700 / $22 one way trip) to pick up turkey and other supplies.  After thinking they didn't have turkey, I actually found that they had large (10+kg /22#) and small (5kg / 11#) birds :)  Last year they only had smaller turkeys.

Meet Bubba... weighing in at 11.42kg /25# and costing a mere ¥6,395 / $52

And Junior... weighing in at 10.98kg / 24# and costing a mere ¥6,149 / $50

Bubba & Junior will be the honored guests on November 23rd when we have our annual Thanksgiving outreach event.  For now they are filling my freezer.

BTW ~Turkey can now be ordered from Costco or FBC, but the cost is higher and there is shipping involved.  In the long run, it is better to make the trip because the pantry can be stocked in the process, too.  AND a trip to Costco doubles as a date :P

Question for you... what does a turkey cost where you live?

Friday, November 6, 2015


We celebrated a birthday this week!
This little guy is now a teenager!!

He has his sisters wrapped around his little finger...

Where HAS the time gone?

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Three years...
Three years ago I started getting into this walking thing.
Three years ago, May, we did our 1st Shiokaza Marathon 12km walk.  
Three years ago I learned about a race site where one can look for upcoming events.
Three years ago I learned about the Koshihikari Run (コシヒカリRUN) & the 8km trekking walk that is part of the event menu.
For three years I have been wanting to take this challenge, well on Sunday we, Jerry & I, finally were able to do it! 

We could not have ask for more perfect weather for a hike in the mountains.


The course was set in 2 parts - 4 km up to a rest spot where we had lunch before winding our way back down.

I am so thankful it was not raining, because it was a steep climb! (Lunch was waiting at the cluster of buildings at the top... I think that is the only thing that got me to climb that last "hill"!)

Lunch was good and the view was amazing.  The break was welcome.

On the trek down we wound our way along a service road while the runners ran DOWN the mountain.  I cannot even imagine walking down the course let alone running down it.  *the picture is NOT one of the steep points even!

It was a hard trek.  I was not in shape to handle it well.  I was ready to give up at several points.  The way down was a constant battle between my mind and my legs.  My mind was saying, just a little bit further, you can finish what you started.  My legs were screaming - Woman you are CRAZY!

Life Lesson - When life gets tough remember that God is able to finish what He started.