Monday, December 29, 2008

Wonder Museum

Inside the Zoo is the Wonder Museum.

It is a lot of fun because everything is "hands on."

Last time we went, Mika slept through it all, so this time was fun!

The smile says it all!


Since we have some time off, we decided to do a few things that we normally cannot.

Of course, the place was packed with all the other people thinking the same thing.

They have a decent selection of animals here: Lions, tiger, bears, monkeys, giraffes, etc. Plus they recently added some elephants.

Probably the highlight was the Petting Zoo.

These "rabbits" were obviously the result of some experiment gone horribly wrong...

The problem was (and this is for almost all zoos) is that the animals look so bored. Most of them sleep or pace their "cells." Oh well, I guess that is the price of education.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone

Have a blessed Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Day 24: Candlelight Service

Christmas Eve.
We used to always go to a candlelight service on Christmas Eve and thought it would be fun for the girls to experience.

The only problem is a late service means a late bedtime which is a problem the next day.
December 25 is not a holiday here, so we all needed to get up the next day for work/school.

Solution: we decided to go to Koza Baptist Church.

They are about 12 minutes away; the service was both early (5:00), and geared towards kids.

It was kind of weird to go to a different church, but still it was nice. We did miss seeing our church family, though.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Day 23: Loving our Neighbor II

Today we delivered the food to someone in our church family.

Hopefully they were blessed. We also want our girls to learn to think about others (all the time, but especially this time of year).

Monday, December 22, 2008

Day 22: Loving our Neighbor I

Today was part 1 of a 2 part event. We were to make something for our neighbor, while the second part was to deliver it to our neighbor.

Our original thought was to make something (like banana bread) for our next door neighbor.

However, we found out that there was another need in our church, so we decided to make a couple dinners instead. Hey, Jesus was very clear that our "neighbor" is not only the ones that are physically close. Besides, we will probably still make the banana bread.

Anyway, tonight the girls made a picture. We will deliver the goods tomorrow.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Day 21: Courtney Fest

Tonight was Camp Courtney's Christmas Fest.
Once a year, Camp Courtney (a military base near our house) opens their gates to the public.

Tons of locals show up to ride the rides, eat American food, and listen to the free music.

We like to go so we can hit the Subway shop.

Anyway this year was fun as the girls were both able to enjoy it. Last year Mika slept the whole time, which was good because she was too small to do anything.

Highlights were the pony rides. (funny story: they gave the girls a half a carrot, so they could feed the ponies... and Emi started eating it!)

Both girls love trains, so the free train ride was a hit.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Birthday Cake

Emi's 4th birthday was on Thursday, but since they made (and ate) Christmas cookies and many other treats at preschool, we decided to wait on the cake.

Plus, this way Auntie Lisa and Baba could join us.

So we had it tonight (Saturday).

Emi received some more presents and enjoyed her cake.

She actually ate that rabbit by the way.

For entertainment the girls did a variety of action songs (Head, shoulders; eency, weency spider; If you're happy).

Good Times!

Mika gives her approval...

Day 20: Respect your Elders

Well today we were supposed to visit Debe's grandmother, who happens to live in a home near us. However, Mika has a cold, so we didn't want to bring her in and share it.

So we had to go to "plan B" (having kids makes you flexible and creative).
Instead we called Dan's father, who we were not able to call earlier.

The whole idea was to respect our elders, which the Bible teaches we need to do.

In our culture today we do not respect our elders enough.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Day 19: The Christmas House

Tonight was a visit to the Christmas House.

Most people do not decorate the outside of their houses for Christmas. There are however, a few exceptions.

In Ishikawa there is a house known as the "Christmas House."
For 11 months it is just a regular house. In December, however, it becomes a cafe all decked out for Christmas.

The pictures don't really do it justice.

Well, people actually travel a couple hours just to gaze at it's brilliance.
It was just a 3 minute car ride for us, so I guess we're lucky!

Also the place of the only public manger scene that I am aware of. (and yes, Emi is holding the cow in her lap)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Day 18: The Christmas Story

Day 18 was the Christmas Story

Well, getting close now; a week away. A good time to refocus on why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.

Emi received some books for her birthday from her dear, loving parents. One of the books was the "Christmas Story." What a coincidence!

Anyway, we went over the story touching again on many things previously talked about (angels, stars, the manger).

Guess Who's Four?

Well Emi had a big birthday today. Four years old!

We had just a small thing at home tonight. Emi got to choose dinner. Nope, not pizza or McDonalds. She wanted grilled cheese and alphabet soup.

Couldn't find the soup, so we made some homemade tomato soup with pasta in it.

The cake will wait until Saturday when Auntie Lisa and Baba (grandma) come over.

Emi got some books from her parents, some puppy dog slippers from her sister and some money from her grandpa and great grandma in the states. (better spend it quick, the dollars value goes lower every day!)

Preschool Cookies

At the girls' preschool they were making cookies today. Actually, the cookies were premade (at our house); they were really just decorating them.

So the younger kids (aged 6 months to 2 years) needed a lot of assistance.

The older kids could kind of do their own thing.

Was a fun day!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Day 17: Wrap, er, unwrap a present

Okay, so the original idea was to "Buy a present" on one day and then to "Wrap a present" on this day. However, this being Japan (the land where they overwrap everything) it was just more convenient to let the helpful store staff wrap for us.

So we changed tonight slightly: let's unwrap something instead.

Now before you jump to the conclusion that we have no self-control, an explanation.
Our church in Hawaii, Honolulu Christian Church, has been really, really supportive of us. They have visited us and continue to support us financially and in prayer.

Also, every year they are faithful to send a Christmas Package (known as THE Package). When the package arrives, it is an exciting time because we know that inside that package is lots of goodies from Hawaii (coffee, mac nuts, etc.)

So tonight was just a blessed time of enjoying opening and reminiscing about days gone by.
Thank you HCC!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Day 16: 星を作る・Make a Star

Tonight we made stars from origami paper.

he star has a prominent part in the Christmas Story.

It was the star that led the Magi to Bethlehem.

Of course, the true "star" of Christmas is Christ.