Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I know, it's only the 24th in the U.S., but it's Christmas over here.

Hope you all have a blessed day and don't forget the true meaning for the celebration.

P.S. if you really want to see some pics, click here

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Gingerbread House

Here's a few shots of Debe's homeschool student's project.

It's a gingerbread house.

They don't make them in Japan, so this was a novelty for many people.

Okinawan Custom

There is a custom here in Okinawa for someone's 1st birthday.
You place several items within reach of your little angel.

Usually you use a pen, a book, some rice, money and an abacus.
Whatever they choose is supposed to determine their future fortune.

So, if they go for the pen, they would be smart. If they go for the book they will have a good education. If they go for the rice, they will be well fed. If they go for the money, they will be rich. And if they go for the abacus, they will be good with numbers.

Of course, as Christians, we don't follow any such superstitions. We don't believe that our lives are left up to chance or fate. We believe in a God that is always in control of the situation.

We did this just for fun.
If you'd like to see what Emi chose, you can click here.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Emi's First Birthday

Emi has turned one year old!

She has been such a blessing and joy.

Wow, time sure goes by quickly.

Here are some more pictures

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

English Christmas Party

Well, it's Christmas time.

One of Debe's students wanted to host a Christmas Party.

She is a strong believer and used this party as an opportunity to share her faith.

There were several other Christians there that helped out too!

We sang some Christmas songs in English and Japanese.

We also played a few games.

We all had a lot of fun and food as well.

More pictures here

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

English Class

Is this a Tea Party?

No, this is one of the benefits of having English classes in your home.

Instead of a stuffy classroom, the ladies can enjoy tea or coffee, practice their English, and have a qualified native English speaker (Debe) there to help them out.

We teach about 22 students privately or in groups.
This accomplishes 3 things:
1) it provides a needed service here in Japan (learning English),
2) it allows us to meet many people we might not otherwise meet (we can then invite them to outreach events, later),
3) it provides additional income. After all, Japan is an expensive country to live in.

It's an interesting part of our life.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Peace Park

Today we went to the Okinawa Peace Park.

During World War 2, Okinawa got caught between American bombs and Japanese conscription and delaying tactics (delaying their approach to the Japanese mainland).

This was an interesting museum, though full of sad events.

We went as a fieldtrip for Debe's homeschool student.

and Emi had her first taste of ice cream - Yum!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Japanese Christmas

Happy Holidays!

So it is December and soon Christmas will be upon us.
Japan is no exception. Gift giving and celebrations are a big part of Japanese culture (and I think even more so in Okinawa).

Of course, all the commercialism exists here too.
Unfortunately, you don't hear much about the true meaning of Christmas.

These are some of Dan's 1st grade students.

They are decorating a tree with origami decorations.

We made candy canes, Christmas trees, candles and elfish looking Santas. The Santa's aren't in red because he does not always wear red (that's an American tradition), but mostly it's because I used up all the red on the candy canes.

This was more colorful anyway.

So I figured "Hey origami! It's from Japan. These kids are Japanese, so they will be really good at it...well, not yet anyways.

We had fun though.