Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Kids

Another lazy post... but we're trying to take more videos of the kids because we don't want to forget these little voices and these cute little personalities.

John and Maximo went skiing yesterday:


A little bit of Lola:


An (LONG) interview with Max:

And the beginnings of our SPRING Photo Album:

Spring 2014

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Where are you from?

Maximo is learning about Journeys for his Unit of Inquiry at school.  It has been great, because we have been able to participate in this unit quite a bit.  John went into Maximo's class last week to share with the class his journey to Aomori on the 8th grade ski trip.  They've had a lot of guest speakers who have shared their journeys with them, and they also had a travel agent come in as well.

Next week, they have their final "assessment"/action for the unit.  All the students will be travel agents and I get to be a prospective client.  Where do you think I want to go?  Definitely somewhere warm.

This unit has also opened a lot of discussions lately at our dinner table about journeys and why people take them and we've talked about different places around the world.

Today, Maximo started to scratch off places he's been on the map that Nana sent him.


After scratching off countries he's been to, he said, "Mom, I've been to eight places."

"Eight Countries."

"Yeah, eight countries.  I want to go to all the countries in the world.  I want to go to Antarctica and play with penguins and ski EVERYDAY."

"That sounds like fun, Maximo.  We'll go to a lot of countries together."

"Mom, where's Korea?"

"It's right there, Maximo."

"Yoonseo is from Korea."

"That's cool, Maximo."

"Maximo, where are you from?"

Pause.

"Peru."

"Yes, you were born there, but you aren't Peruvian."

"Are you Japanese?"

"Yes, a little bit."


Friday, February 21, 2014

The Dregs of Winter

It's cold.  We are inundated with work.
Sorry we haven't posted since the first of the year, but I think another (real) post will have to wait a bit longer.

So for now, enjoy snippets of the Little Lemleys.  Lola's getting big so fast, and we haven't been as good at documenting what's going on in her world and Maximo is doing well and becoming more and more independent every day.




We're also regularly posting on Instagram, so can checkout those pictures, too.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy 2014


Hakuba, Japan - In Review


We went to Hakuba (which is part of Nagano Prefecture where Japan has hosted the Winter Olympics twice) for about a week over break.  While I wasn't begging to go skiing for our winter holiday, the moment the kids stepped into the snow, I knew John had made the right decision.

Growing up in Connecticut, I had always been around snow.  Not big beautiful, mountainous, there-is-snow-on the ground for five months kind of snow, but still, I definitely had many experiences in the snow as a kid.

Maximo in lessons using his "idgy widgy" or "pizza maker"

Lola catching snow on her tongue
We find that beach vacations are really easy with the kids, they love to swim and play all day and all four of us are content.  But, with only a tiny annoyance of having to pull a newly potty trained kid out of all of her ski gear, this ski trip maybe was just as easy.

"This is going to be the best day ever"
We stayed at Alpine Ski Chalet which was great for our family.  We always appreciate a place that we can make simple breakfast and/or snacks and a place that the kids can go to sleep and we are not stuck in the dark at 8 pm.  The owner, Kevin, really helped us out in planning for our trip and recommended that we ski at Iimori and take lessons at Hakuba Snow Sports School.  They had MANY English instructors which was great for us.

Maximo took three mornings of lessons and was skiing semi-independently by the end of the three days, John's skiing level improved greatly over the three days.  After the first day of lessons (and my third time skiing), I decided to not put Lola into daycare again and hang out with her and sled and play in the snow.  I really don't love skiing.  It does not come naturally to me and as an (has -been) athlete, it is frustrating.  I don't love the sensation of going down the hill, although it is beautiful.  So, I'll try again some other time when Lola is older and in her own lessons.

Hakuba, to a foreigner living in Japan, is kind of Bizarroland.  There are SO MANY foreigners, especially Australians.  There are many direct flights from Australia straight to Hakuba and it's definitely a destination vacation.  There were many times we didn't even feel like we were in Japan.  There was English everywhere, even taxi drivers spoke good English, everyone around us could actually understand everything we were saying and I only saw chopsticks at one of the restaurants we went to (or they just automatically offered us forks and knives).
Dinner with the Welbes Family every night.
That being said, it was a great family holiday.  John may even convince me to go on another ski holiday while we are living in Japan.  He is taking my place on the middle school ski trip in a few weeks, and I know he's excited about being able to go skiing again soon.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013

Maximo prepared a snack and wrote a letter to Santa this year...


Maximo's note and snack for Santa
He even colored his stocking, so Santa would know which one is his and which one is Lola's.
He also wrote his whole name because there "may be other Maximo's in the world".

I enjoyed baking this month - but now I'm done for a few months!


Opening up her stocking!
 Maximo asked Santa for fruit for his stocking.  This is due to the fact that he doesn't see commercials and has been watching some of our old Christmas specials where good kids get fruit in their stockings.  At least Santa was fancy and brought him a dragonfruit and a persimmon.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Last Week of School 2013

As teachers, this is always a busy week at school.  Luckily at this school, it is not the end of the semester, so we don't have the added chaos of posting final grades and writing comments.

We had birthday parties for Luke at the bowling alley, which was a blast and then a party for Lola for her friends yesterday.




We wanted to show our appreciation to many people at our school who help us through the year.

We had school celebrations - Maximo's Dance Party, Middle School Talent Show, the Hour of Code.


I had to finish my coursework for my Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy course 4 (one more class to go!).  I finished a whole 24 hours before the deadline, but had to put in about 5 hours of work, last night.

Needless to say, it's been busy, and now we can relax with the kids for three weeks.  We'll be spending most of that time, home, in Kobe, but we'll go to Nagano for a ski holiday between Christmas and New Year.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Activities - Snowflake Making


Our snowflakes with an animated snow effect courtesy of Google+

Our snowflake making activity, may have been the most successful one yet!  I think the kids could have sat at the table and cut snowflakes for hours.






Sunday, December 08, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday, Lola!

Lola's birthday gift from her senseis with cards to practice her hiragana.

Dear Lola,
You seem so big and so little at the same time right now.  You are opinionated and often test boundaries in our house.  You love anything you can nurture - dinosaurs, baby dolls, the Christmas ornaments, whatever.  You love TV, even enjoy watching Ninjago and Star Wars, just to get in good with Maximo.


Lola with her new doll & stroller

You absolutely adore Maximo.  Whatever he is doing, you want to do also.  Whatever he has, you want the exact same thing.  When you see him at the end of the day, you rush to him and tell him "I missed you so much"  and give him a kiss and a hug.
Mo & Lo

You are finally starting to eat better.  You are finishing full meals, rather than just surviving on cucumbers, eggs, rice and chips.  I think you are becoming a better eater because you are watching your big brother, and you want dessert after dinner.  When I asked what you wanted for lunch for your birthday, you said "Obento", so that's what you got:
Birthday Obento
 We can't believe you're three.  In the past few weeks, you've pretty much potty trained yourself.  Most days you are extremely easy going and funny.  But, you are strong willed and can totally lose it if we pick the wrong clothes or hairdo for you.  You are easy in a crowd.  You are branching out from your 5 BFFs - Yuto, Kohei, Toma, Sam and Dima and even play with some girls now ^_^.   It's great to watch you interact with your friends and slip in and out between Japanese and English.

First Day Pic & Big 3 year Old


Happy Birthday, Big Girl!  It's going to be a great year - you'll start school next fall and we have some great trips and new experiences on the horizon.

Love,

Mom & Dad

Making a wish!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

'Tis the Season


The weather is now cold.

We've eaten some delicious turkey for Thanksgiving.

...And now it is time to start the holiday cheer at Casa de Los Lemleys.

I've started a new photo album for Winter 2013-2014:  (Here is the completed Fall 2013 folder).

Today, we've also started the Christmas Countdown with Christmas stuffed animals and Snowman pancakes.  Maximo has the extra special treat of the Lego Star Wars Christmas Advent Calendar to open every morning too!