Monday, September 29, 2014

Oji Park - A Favorite

Last week we had another national holiday. Unfortunately the husband had to travel on this day. However, we ventured off with some friends who also had husbands working to one of our favorite parks at Oji station. This park is fabulous - lots of playground equipment, beautiful trees and shade, and a few museums as well in the park grounds. You take a small cable car up to the park area from ground level, which the kids always love. We packed lunches and spent a solid three hours there playing. The kids were filthy when we got home, just as they should be, and they went to bed fairly easily that night, as did mama. It was nice to spend the day with other mamas who also had husbands who were working. And it was a beautiful day to be outside.

Mother's Farm, Chiba

A few weeks ago the husband was off work for a national holiday so we decided to rent a car for the day and head to Chiba to visit Mother's Farm. We used it as a field trip for homeschooling and ventured on our way, traveling through a very long tunnel that was built in the ocean! Needless to say, I was very quiet for those 20 minutes in the car as I contemplated being surrounded by water outside the tunnel. It was a beautiful day and the farm is on acres of land in the country. We had a lot of fun, petting animals, watching pigs race, eating tasty ice cream, and riding fair rides. It was hard to believe something like this even exists 80 minutes from Tokyo. It reminded us of a state fair type atmosphere. Probably the highlight of my day was when we came across some rams. We had read in school that the horns on rams are made from fingernails. When Miss M saw the ram, she remembered the book from school and said "Mama, look at his horns. It is made from fingernails. Remember when we read that book about the ram having the bad jam?" At the time, we were in our fourth week of homeschooling so this little tidbit that she remembered was used to encourage me...she is getting something from this school thing at home and is learning! I highly recommend visiting this farm for a fun family activity for those who live in the area.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

September Scrapbook Day, 9/14

This month our scrapbook day fell on a Sunday. I quite enjoy Sundays in Tokyo. Our church does not start until 3 so we usually spend the morning relaxig at home, watching football (in the fall) or basketball (in the winter), and skyping with family back home. This Sunday brought no exception. The kids are growing up so fast...hard to believe how quickly the time goes. Everyone tells you that but you do not believe it while you are in the trenches. I am thankful for the chance to stay home with our kids. It is not always easy and I have plenty of days where I think I want to pull my hair out, but for the most part, it is a blessing and I am grateful. Below are some recent pics of the kids. 

Share the Bread

On Saturday we went to "Share the Bread," and event at our church where we joined the homeless for a picnic bento lunch. Our church has regularly done a bento project where we pass out bento lunches to the homeless at the Imperial palace park. However, this week was a bit different because we wanted to eat with them and enjoy fellowship and conversation with them. Some were quite open to having lunch together while others wanted to eat later. Nonetheless, our kids had fun running around the wide open spaces at the Palace and they brought smiles to the faces of the homeless. It was a nice fall day, a little chilly, and we enjoyed the family bike ride as well. I was grateful for a day outside with the fam and friends from church.

"Art" Exhibit

Today I had my sitter and checked out a cool "art" exhibit in Nihonbashi. It was an exhibit of fish in tanks and with different images the fish looked both big and small, sometimes even doubled. It was really cool and whenever I go to an exhibit like this I am simply amazed by the creators' mind and ability - how someone can make art out of fish in a tank is beyond me. Afterwards my friend and I enjoyed lunch at a French bakery and walked around the orginial Mitsukoshi department store, which was very beautiful and ornate. It was a fun three hours without the kids exploring the city a bit. Whenever I get opportunities like these, I am always thankful to live in such a great city that provides such a variety of art and culture. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Recent Fun

We have been having some fun recently. Mama took a day off and toward the Daikanyama area. It is a very eclectic area with fancy little shops. I found a cute little necklace holder and enjoyed lunch at an Italian cafe with a dear friend. It was a nice piece of respite in the middle of the week for this sometimes weary mama. I also snapped a few pictures of Miss M playing with Teddy Bear counters at homeschool. For the most part we are enjoying homeschool. With everything, we have our days where it is a bit harder than other days, but it is suiting us and our schedule. The hardest part for me is being flexible. Today we were supposed to start reading and phonics, but after a busy weekend I did not prep it in time to start today. I was feeling guilty that I was not ready and was upset with myself for not getting it all done, which means I started the day snapping at everyone who came within ten feet of me. But as my husband said, we homeschool, we can be flexible, and I can supplement it and start tomorrow or next week if I want. So that is what I did - instead of starting the official program, we read through Bob books so I could get a general idea of where Miss M is in reading. She often reads to herself but I never know how much she is reading and how much she has memorized from us reading the stories together. And after a long day for mama today, I think we will do the same thing tomorrow and start the reading program on Thursday. The other pics of the kids' below were from the park adventure. We went to a nearby park and Miss M rode her bike next to mama and K Man on the big bike. She was so proud of herself as was I! I found it funny how she wanted to be buried in the sand like a mermaid and he was fetching her water. Earlier that day he had been playing with her Teddy Bear counters and she wanted them back. I told her to wait a few minutes. She then responded with, "I have an idea." She went and retrieved his favorite bus to play with and he instantly left the teddy bear counters and played with the bus. She happily retrieved her teddy bear counters back. My husband joked that I was running a girl power school trying to teach her how to manipulate boys. So Miss M had her brother doing what she wanted twice in one day. We also went on a Girls Night Out recently with our Community Group girls. We ate some local monja-yaki and enjoyed dessert before heading home. It was a great night of fellowship. Our CG has really grown and we are truly blessed to live life with this special community of believers. God is so good to provide such rich friends.