Wednesday, February 6, 2013

O hi sashiburi! (It has been a long time!)

These pictures aren't in order, but can tell a little bit of what has been going on with us recently!

Early in January, we enjoyed a visit from Kevin Koch, Kim Ayars, and Tim Schaefer.  We had sukiyaki together on Saturday night, went to the onsen after church on Sunday, and then they toured Akihiro's clinic before continuing on in their travels!

Kotaro came to our home over winter break to study!  He "holed" up in our attic and studied about 10 hours every day.  He is studying for his college entrance exam.  The studying that is required for these Japanese tests is phenomenal!  Kenji and he are good buddies!

We went to Great Grandma Ito's for New Year's holiday.  It was nice to see Masahiro and Eriko Honna again!  We had been to Hong Kong for their wedding last year.!

The new Shioda church is well underway!  This picture is from a while back.  Now the siding is going up.  We have only 3 more Sundays in the old church so are busy trying to get out all the things we want to keep.  Thankfully we are done picking out wallpaper, flooring, etc!  I am looking very much forward to indoor toilets and a baby room on the first floor (our current baby room is up a dark narrow stairway with no handrail).

We enjoyed having Parker Dill's Flat Stanley with us for a while.  Here we are showing him Sky Tree, the highest tower in the world.  It was just finished last summer.  This is the view from Grandma Ito's house.

A view of the newly constructed slope into the new church.  We will have a "real" parking lot this time!!!

New Year's food at the Ito's.

Here is a better picture of Sky Tree.

Look at these cute little guys!  Kenji gets so excited when he sees his big brother!

Akihiro took Tomoki to a train museum about an hour from our home.  They both loved it!

 Back in November, we went back to America for a 12 day visit.  We had lots of good times, but decided that in the future we would go for longer and in the summer.  Jet lag and sickness made for a pretty stressed out mama! Here is U. Jim and Luke
 My family........
 Echo and Kenji
 Indigo and Kenji
 Halo and Kenji with A. Rachel
 Tomoki loved visiting the farms at both John's and Jim's.
 It was great to see cousin Christy again!
Also Willis and Lois Ehnle.  Sitting beside them is our neighbor, Imada-san, who went with us the US.

 Grandma Ito and Tomoki feeding the fish at Ukai.
 We got to meet Wakayama-san, Akihiro's sister's fiance last fall.  They are getting married in May!

Tomoki learned how to use training chopsticks.  See video.

 Love this bib from Akihiro's coworker!

 Tomoki's birthday.  With Great Grandma Ito
 Trains, legos and a big car!

 Tomoki's third birthday party!
 Great Grandma Kimura
 Reading a Bible Story with Papa
 Koshin made this neat An Pan Man Rice Cake for Tomoki!

Right now we are on a little vacation at Fukushima Hawaii Spa Resort with Grandma Ito.  It is an indoor pool and onsen resort.  It snowed yesterday--my first time to see snow on palm trees!

Here are some videos of the boys...

Tomoki and Kenji


Tomoki and Kenji

Tomoki using chopsticks

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Akihiro and Tomoki had a wonderful time at the shuyokai--see group picture below.

 Here's Kenji in his clothes that I found while going through my parents stuff.  I'm pretty sure my brothers wore this when they were babies.  The little plaid pants have rubber lining on them.  The two piece thing, though, wasn't nearly as practical as the onesies we have today, I noticed!
 This bouncy seat (below) from Akito and Marie has been wonderful.  Kenji likes to supervise Tomoki playing and follows us all around with his bright little eyes.  He continues to be a very easy baby--Akihiro's mom said he is just like Akihiro was when he was a baby--content as long as he was fed and slept a lot.  Kenji will really "talk" a lot if spoken to and it is so cute.
 Grandpa Ito and Kenji
  My in-laws happened to be at our house close to my birthday and brought me a cake.  It says "Happy Birthday, Carrie" in Japanese.  Tomoki enjoyed the fruit and the frosting, but not the cake!

We enjoyed a visit from Gen Shinozaki and his daughter Momoka--missed you, Eri!  Tomoki warmed up to Momoka pretty well and they played together pretty good.  He is a pretty shy guy and usually won't play with other children, so I was surprised--and pleased!  I've noticed he does better with one other child versus a group.
Momoka loved Kenji.
Tomoki has been a very good big brother.  Once Kenji started being more communicative and "cute", we noticed that he wanted to be held more, fed more, and generally acting like a baby (arrggh!).  He even told me one day that he wanted to be a baby again!  Things are a little better now, but there were a few weeks where my patience was severely tested and most of the time found wanting.  This parenting responsibility, though many times joyful, is not an easy one.  On the joyful side is Tomoki's frequent questions about heaven and God.  The other day when we were working in the garden--he with his road grader (circa Ehnle's children's childhood) and me pulling weeds--he looked up in the sky at a beautiful cloud and said, is that heaven up there?  Other questions include, "Does God and Jesus take ofuro (Japanese bath)"?  He is certain that heaven has a sandbox, puzzles, and toys.  On the lighter side, he likes telling Mama "don't worry, Mama" (usually if he has spilled something on his clothes or something), or if I am frustrated about something not going how I want it to go.  I really do appreciate his advice!  The other thing he says recently is "Mama, say, 'ma, iya'"  I am probably butchering the Japanese of that, but it means, "oh well".  Usually he says this if he wants me to give in and let him do something I have already told him he can't do.  I have said that recently in regards to teeth brushing.  After trying many different things, I have resorted to showing him a short you tube clip of excavators working while I brush his teeth--ma, iya!
My "multi-tasker"--cell phone, eating his snack, and looking at his Shimajiro teethbrushing mirror that says, "Ah, keko ah, ah, ah, ah....shukka, shukka, shukka, ...................." (you get the point).
The toy that comes out everyday, is the "ush".  That is the power shovel.  It can load anything and everything.  Dried kidney beans are a favorite and can be found in any location on the first floor!
Grandma Ito got this cute little "jimbei-san" outfit for Kenji.
Here's a link to a video of our two boys
In other news, Akihiro got an ukulele for his birthday and has mastered This Little Light of Mine in Japanese!

Friday, August 10, 2012

A long overdue post

Sorry to be so belated to post pictures!  I have tried to make it a habit not to be on the computer while  Tomoki is awake, so it has really cut down my computer time because sleep, housework, and Kenji have taken priority!  Tonight, though, my two biggest boys--Akihiro and Tomoki are at the summer fellowship meeting.  They left this morning and come back tomorrow afternoon.  I had a "power day" getting lots done and making phone calls (those are hard to make too now that I have two little distractions!)  Kenji continues to be a very good baby--sleeps a lot--for which I am very thankful!  So different than Tomoki in the sleep department!  I am kinda trying to follow the Baby Whisperer technique and have found it very helpful.  I don't mean any disrespect to my dear departed grandfather Willis, but Kenji Willis definitely takes after one of his namesakes in the volume of his bodily functions!  Anyway, here are some pics and videos--not always in the greatest order. :)

My boys at the clinic

Leaving the clinic after 8 days.  
Tomoki loves to hold Kenji for about 10 seconds and then says, "all done"

Everyone comments on how well Javon holds Kenji!  It's that pediatric nursing!
Kenji loves his bath!
Yumi-chan, Akihiro's cousin, comes to help me out while Akihiro is gone overnight about 2-3 times a month.  She has taught me a lot of good summer Japanese dishes, plays with Tomoki, and holds Kenji.  What a blessing she has been!
Javon brought us a crab from the Tsukiji fish market.  It was delicious, but we decided it was something we will eat more when the kids are bigger--takes too long to eat :)
Another blessing, Yoshida-san, is a lady from the Silver Center, a group of retired people who can be hired for various jobs.  She comes for two hours twice a week for these next couple months.  

We miss Javon!  She returned back to the US, but as the Lord opens doors, she hopes to return.  We also miss her photography.  Here are some links to posts she did with pictures of our family--mostly Kenji!
Trying for that lovely passport picture!  The pictures don't do him justice, though--he's much cuter in real life!  Here I think his hairline looks like Grandpa Willis!!!!!

Koshin is here for a week of his summer vacation.  He is another blessing to us--Tomoki's best friend.  He wasn't sure about holding Kenji, but he did a good job.  He does better just sitting by him and talking to him.

We enjoyed a visit from Dusan, from Serbia.  We had met him 6 years ago when we visited our sister church there.  It was fun to see him drawing pictures with Koshin--he's a graphic designer and Koshin was enthralled!
An old picture, but a cute one.  Tomoki has had a hard time adjusting to sharing Mama with Kenji, but he really loves his little brother and wants to take him everywhere we go.  If Kenji cries, Tomoki asks him why he is crying and looks so concerned. 
A video of Tomoki eating ice cream
A video of a cool bug we found
A video of Tomoki telling about his fishing trip with Papa