Friday, May 23, 2008

Baking and English

Monday was the next installment of Baking and English at Shan's apartment. Pizza was the food of the day. It was incredibly popular! There were 6 students in the morning and 7 in the afternoon class. My little kitchen/dining area was filled to the brim!

For the crust I used a recipe I have been using for several years from the Wycliffe Cookbook. Although it has yeast in it, there is no wait time for rising-always good when you only have a 2 hour class. I provided all "American" toppings for the pizza-no seafood, potatoes or mayo-except for the corn. I think corn is a good addition!

We also made dessert pizza. This took me back to my Pampered Chef days in Texas. I pulled out a bunch of PC products and demonstrated them. Lots of fun. Once again, the egg slicer was a surprise-so many more uses than just for slicing eggs!

In the afternoon class there was one person who had never come before, a friend of another student. It was fun to add another person to the circle and learn about her. (She came with us 3 days later when we went to see Prince Caspian, too.)

Overall, yet another fun time of baking and chatting!

Miki san had fun with the pizza sauce!

They decided to try all of the toppings, even the black olives.

(There are two more photos I wanted to add but they don't want to upload right now. I will try to add them later!)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Words cannot express

When I got online tonight and looked at my "My Yahoo" page the first headline that jumped out at me was "Daughter of Christian Music Star Killed by Car." Somehow I instinctively knew it was Steven Curtis Chapman. Unfortunately, I was right. Here is just the first sentence of the article...

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The 5-year-old daughter of Grammy-winning Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman was struck and killed Wednesday by a sport utility vehicle driven by her brother, authorities said.

Steven Curtis Chapman's music has been a favorite of mine for many years. I can probably sing most of his albums in my sleep. Then when his family began adopting children from China and started a ministry to aid in adoptions, I became an even bigger fan.

I am certain there are thousands of people praying for this family right now. Please add your prayers, too.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


My mom is the best mom in the world. I know many of you will argue that your mom is better than mine, that is your opinion!

My mom taught my sister and me the best thing in the world, love. Love for God. Love for family. Love for friends. Because of her love for God, I learned the importance of a relationship with our Savior and have chosen that for myself, too. Because of her love for our family, I learned how to stick with my family through thick and thin, in good times and challenging times. Because of her love for friends, I learned that friends are actually family who have a different blood line.
God has blessed me greatly through my mom and my family. I could list hundreds of things my mom has done for me, but really, none can top love!

Thank you, Mom. Thank you, God, for a wonderful mom!

Mother's Day, 2006

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Baking with kids

Today I had a special baking class with three moms and four daughters. Two of the moms are from Gospel choir and one of them is an English teacher at a cram school. We had a great time making sugar cookies and decorating them! The girls had practiced introducing themselves in English, the youngest girl did the best.
(I didn't quite get this picture centered:)

Cutting in the butter turned out to be a lot of fun!

But decorating was the most fun! We used Foodoodle pens and colored icing. They were very creative in their decorating!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Golden Week

Here in Japan the first week of May has several national holidays in a row and so it is called Golden Week, or GW for short. Of course, all of these people with time off from work causes traffic jams and over-crowded trains!

This year I didn't go anywhere for the whole time but did go somewhere different each day. The first holiday is actually April 29th. This year that was the day of our JBC annual retreat day. People from all of the JBC churches gathered together for a day of worship and fellowship. It was a beautiful day!
Here is Elijah enjoying the day...

Then on Saturday, May 3 I went on a one day walk with Mrs. Shindo, from our English Bible class, and her husband. I agreed to go not really knowing what was going to happen, just that it was going to be a long, one day walk. That was correct, but I didn't realize it was going to be hiking through the mountains! I should have known! There are not 36 kilometers of flat land in this part of Japan. Although it was a long hike it was a lot of fun!
The azaleas were blooming beautifully so here I am on the walking path to the station before the hike...

And, some of the people on the one day walk at the beginning on the flat ground...

Our view from our lunch spot...

Mr. and Mrs. Shindo on the train on the way home...

The next GW adventure was on Monday when Paul Ewing, Mitsuru Higashi and I played background music at a coffee house evening for a fellow mission group. The three of us had never played together before so it was quite an adventure just learning to play together! It was the first time in awhile that I had played for such a long time so I took a break on a song to take a picture...

Tuesday was more music. The band "Audacious" from England is touring Asia and the opening concert was in Nagoya. I went to the concert with a group from Tsu, including Serena...