Monday, November 28, 2011

Some stuff

I wrote a little (okay, a lot) about being LDS in Japan here for my friend Heather's awesome blog Women in the Scriptures.

Fox is taking his Japanese driver's test tomorrow (our Wednesday).  The test is notoriously hard, and he failed the first time he took it a few weeks ago.  Please pray for him!  I take mine in a few weeks--yikes!

Our branch had a Thanksgiving potluck on Sunday. There was turkey and cranberry sauce! I made Larissa's chocolate truffle pie (amaaazing) and pumpkin cheesecake bars from a very rare find of canned pumpkin in the import store! The lunch was awesome.

And I did take Halloween pictures but not many. Here is one from our school's Halloween party (Fox and I were working the cameras). The man on the right is our boss and our friend Janelle on the left is the other teacher.  The other ladies are the sweet school nurses.  Hiroko, the one in the back, also teaches Cash's hiragana class and can often be found jump roping across the playground, even though she is almost 60. She is awesome.

So there is some recent stuff. My mind is all over the place lately, but I'll try to put up more recent pictures soon!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Cosette!

Today is Cosette's 3rd Birthday!!! Happy Birthday, Coco!

On her "birth" birthday:

Age 1:

Age 2:

And now 3 years old!
Cosette, we love you! You are so much fun and bring so much joy to our family!
At 3 years old, you:
--asked for a live elephant for your birthday and also a toy dinosaur.
--love the songs "This is Halloween" and "Superbass"(the clean version!) and sing random pieces from them constantly
--love being around people, playing jokes on them, and messing with them in some way, especially touching hair and faces. Hmmm...
--love to run super fast and yell super loud
--love the movie "Tangled" and anything scary. You constantly reassure us by saying, "I'm not afraid of scary fings"
--can still hold your bladder for like 13 hours overnight, longer than anyone in this family! --constantly compliment people --sleep surrounded by your stuffed animal.
--have favorites that change everyday. Some days you love rice, other than days you hate it. Some days you love your toys, other days you only love Cash's toys. You always have a favorite "cuddly" of the day. This keeps us on our toes!
--love boys, specifically Riku, Sento, Dime, and Holden. I actually don't think I've ever seen you play nicely with any girls.
--love to tell stories. "Remember that one time I saw a snake and then it ate my foot and then I brushed my teeth? The end."

We love you, Coco girl! I think this is the year that you might actually grow hair on the top of your head!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Day in Kobe

We have lived here for almost a year, and I still hadn't gotten off the island (Shikoku). I was definitely having island fever, so on our last day off, we woke up early, drove 5 minutes to the port, and hopped on the 4-hour Jumbo Ferry to Kobe, city famous for its beef. Apparently, massages every day and a diet including beer makes for really tasty cows :) I am kicking myself for not taking a picture of the huge 4-story ferry that includes an arcade, ice cream shop, huge tatami room for sleeping, ladies' room (to keep creepy men away), and a TV room with massage chairs (that was playing the Panthers football game, to Fox's extreme joy!).

Here are the kids on the ferry:

Once we got to Kobe, the Kobe Oji Zoo is just 2 train stops away--and kids are free!  Cosette had never been to a big zoo--and it was about time!

These pics are a bit out of order--sorry! Here is Cosette eating curry (Fox was sneaking a picture of her--if she knows her picture is being taken, she does a crazy face).  Both of our kids can eat their weight in Japanese curry, so it is always a safe bet for lunch!

Cash in the petting area, loving on a huge rabbit:

The main attraction at this zoo is the giant panda. China has been loaning some pandas to Japan in an effort to build friendship between the two countries.

In the koala house:

Cosette loving on a guinea pig:

Fox and the kiddos in Amusement Land:

After the zoo, we walked around in the huge outdoor mall, where I found a water bottle that I had been searching for forever. looks like it is $6.50 in the U.S., and I paid almost $18 here, which was a screaming deal.  Whaaa...oh well, it is helping me get my required 80 ounces of water a day!

We hopped back on the ferry at 8 pm and got back at midnight.  The funny part is that the lights stay on in the ferry's "sleeping room" the entire time, but everyone still managed to sleep (except me--pregnant women on flat tatami floors just doesn't work).
But--it was so good to get off our tiny island for a day, and the kids had so much fun!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

We finally went to the movies in Japan!

Last night, we finally saw a movie in Japan! We watched this:

while drinking these:

How was this magnificent feat possible?!
1.) We live 7 minutes away from a movie theater now, instead of 1 1/2 hours!
2.) We live 7 minutes away from a babysitter now, instead of 1 1/2 hours--thanks, Heather!
3.) Yesterday was November 1st, which means 1st-day-of-the-month movie prices: 1000 yen instead of 1800 yen per ticket! Wednesdays here are Ladies' Days, which means all ladies pay only 1000 yen!
4.) There were some movies playing in English with Japanese subtitles! Movies here are on a different release date, so our options were Cowboys vs. Aliens or Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  I love James Franco (he is awesome--check this article out), so the choice was easy :)

We liked the movie and had such a great time, partly due to the younger guy sitting next to us.  He was smiling and on the edge of his seat the whole time, whispering "Sugoi!" (cool!) excitedly. It was funny.  A random thing is that every single person stayed in the theater until the end of the credits, which were all in English.  I wonder if this is another sign-of-respect part of the culture here?

Tomorrow is a national holiday and we just *might* get off this tiny island and take the ferry to Kobe. If we do, this will be a super exciting week for us!