Sunday, December 07, 2014

Little Lola is Four!

We've had an action packed day that started with family gifts  - continued with a party with her friends - and is ending with a smorgasboard of leftovers and a playing with all of her new toys.

It was a great day and she's really gotten so big.  I still remember being in Rokko Island Hospital like it was yesterday.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Maximo's First Presentation - Family Book

Maximo has a presentation tomorrow.  He brought his notes home to practice this weekend.  I think this may be the first oral presentation he has ever really done... and it's in Japanese.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saturday, October 25, 2014

7-5-3 Ceremony

Shichi-go-san: 7-5-3




This year, we went to the Ikuta Shrine for the 7-5-3 Ceremony.  七五三 is a traditional rite of passage in Japan for three- and seven-year-old girls and three- and five-year-old boys, held annually on November 15 to celebrate the growth and well-being of young children. (Source: Wikipedia).  Read more about the history here.

We tried to do this our second fall here, but 3 year old Maximo would not cooperate.  We even resorted to bribery with lollipops, but he wouldn't even put the kimono on.  It was beautiful with a big dragon on the back... after about 45 minutes of begging, we finally looked at each other and figured the distress was not worth it and left to find a taxi home.  I was 7 1/2 month pregnant with Lola, so it was a fairly easy decision, as I was not really supposed to be moving around tons.

I was scarred by this event, so we stayed away from the ceremony when Maximo was 5, but figured this year would be perfect since Maximo was 7 and Lola was 3 for a few more months.

It was a beautiful fall day.  The kids were great, especially with the amount of sitting around time between the "dressing" and the actual ceremony.




Saturday, August 30, 2014

Maximo is 7!

Maximo's Birthday dinner at the sushi go round.


We've had a busy 3 weeks back in Japan.

The first week was spent getting over jetlag.

The second week was spent going back to work.

This week was the first full week we had with students... and Maximo's 7th birthday.

Maximo's First Day of 1st Grade & Lola's first day of Pre-K3.

Here are pictures of his birthday party at the bowling alley...  and I've started a new album on the right - our autumn folder.


Maximo is 7 - Birthday Bowling Bash

Saturday, June 14, 2014

June in Lola's Notes

We're getting ready to fly to Savannah in a few hours.  As always, the end of the year has been crazy.  Here's our June through Lola's notes from her daycare.  Enjoy!











Monday, May 19, 2014

Two Fun Videos

It's that time of year, full of events, meetings, writing comments and trying to get outside because it's beautiful!

We are counting down (4 weeks!) until we fly to SAV.

Here are two videos.

The first one of Lola singing her Onigiri (Japanese rice ball and her favorite lunch) Song.

The second one is the 7 inning stretch at a Hanshin Tigers Baseball game!  So much fun.  Lola was a bit sad about not getting her balloon back, though.



Sunday, April 27, 2014

Living in Japan: The Sun

This weekend it seems like we jumped through Spring and started Summer in Kobe.

 The sky is bright blue, the sun is out and it's about 20C (about 70 degrees F).

Yesterday, I went out for my run on the Greenbelt, happy that I didn't have to put on a ton of layers and wanting a little color on my pasty skin.  I put on a tanktop and no sunscreen, knowing I was just going out for a 30 minute run.

I've lived here long enough and have become a bit more modest in my dress, especially in my workout clothes (maybe it's me getting older too), but I was, by far, the most under-dressed person on the Greenbelt (a 5K loop around the residential area of our island).


Yesterday was probably the start for most Japanese people to get out the sun protection gear - enlarged visors, UV sleeves and umbrellas.

While I was soaking up the warmth of the sun (and hopefully a bit of color), everyone else I ran past was totally covered up.

Now, if you've been to Japan, you'll realize that this protection from the sun bodes well for Japanese people.  I have seen octogenarians without a wrinkle on their face.  Frequently, I cannot guess the age of friends, because, well, they just look so young and healthy.

I wish I could have taken photos to really show the contrast between me in my flesh-flashing outfit (which really was just exposing my face and arms) compared to my walking and running compadres on the Greenbelt.  Unfortunately, I couldn't capture this as it would have been disrespectful to take photos of others walking/running by...

I've included some images of the lengths taken to make sure skin is protected in Japan (and these are very common accessories that are frequently seen from now until November).


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