Sunday, June 22, 2008


Last week I attended the wedding of a friend from Karuizawa basketball days. I hadn't met her husband until that day, but considering he quit his job and moved back to Kariuzawa and found a new job just so he could marry her, I figured he must be a pretty good guy. Seems it is true!

The wedding was held in a wedding chapel at a wedding 'club.' The chapel was a nice simple little wooden building. It was next to the main building, connected by a bridge through the woods. Very Karuizawa.

Although neither of them are Christians a pastor performed the ceremony for them. We sang "Joyful, Joyful" and "What a Friend we have in Jesus." Somehow that has become known as the Christian hymn here in Japan. The friend I was sitting by and I cried when she walked down the aisle with her dad and when the couple was introduced.

Then we headed back to the main building for the reception. We milled around for a few minutes, found our seats and prepared for the toast. Then the couple arrived in lovely kimonos.

And then the food started! The food was amazing! The servings were just the right size so that you could eat everything without having to be rolled out of the building.

Sometime between the fish and the meat course the couple left and returned in their original wedding clothes. Since Yoko likes to eat we were a little concerned because all of her food was just sitting there waiting to be eaten. She was true to form and ate as much as she could as quickly as possible before standing up for the next requirement, a letter to the parents.

The reception ended with the parents standing on one side of the room and the couple on the other side while Yoko read a letter she had written to her parents. As you can imagine, everyone teared up!

But then, her dad made it worse! When the couple walked over with the biggest bunch of flowers I've ever seen and gave them to their moms, Yoko gave the letter to her dad. When he took it from her he grabbed her in the biggest bear hug I've ever seen a Japanese person give and audibly cried. If anyone had survived the reading of the letter without crying, that was the last straw, there was not a dry eye in the place after that!

Then we all rushed home to change clothes for the second party. It was held at the same place-convenient for me-which is unusual. We ate more food, had more drinks-I really liked the blueberry juice!-and played Bingo. We played for some of the best prizes I've ever seen at a bingo game-I got a Starbucks gift card. One gal got an overnight trip to a hot spring, another person got a Disneyland one day passport, and one guy got a Nintendo DS!

Besides all of that, each person got a bag of goodies to take home from the wedding. It included two boxes. One was Karuizawa cheesecake-which didn't have to be refrigerated, a little suspect to me-and the other box was a catalog. You got to go through the catalog and choose what gift you wanted! I chose Japanese pottery:)

It was a fun event! I got to see several friends and meet new people. I also got to go to the candle shop and bagel shop! It was a good trip! (Even if I did come home with a cold!)

Sunday, June 15, 2008


So, I must be the luckiest daughter in the world, well, besides my sister! Not only do I have the best mom in the world, I have the best dad, too! It worked out well for me and my sister that they married each other because that means we have the best parents in the world!

What makes my dad so great? Well, for starters, he taught me about being a child of the King. Through all the challenges we have gone through as a family, he has shown me that faith in God is what gets us through one challenge and into the next. I have seen his faith grow over the years and that, in turn, has strengthened my faith.

On top of that, he gives about the best neck massages around and can talk about anything while helping your body heal. He taught me about basketball, running, how to ride a bike, algebra (which blew me away when I found his high school report card!:), how to change the oil in my car, when to change the oil, how to enjoy music even if the only thing you can play is the radio, and how to cry at sad or happy movies or when saying hello or good-bye.

If your dad is half as cool as mine, then you are also blessed!

Thanks, Dad!

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Last night I went to Karaoke with Mr. and Mrs. Shindo. It has been a long time since I've been to Karaoke. We sang for 4 hours and had a great time! They are both good singers.

In Japan karaoke is a private party. You go to a karaoke center-a building filled with little rooms. Each room contains a couch, coffee table, TV and karaoke machine. There is also a telephone for room service. And, big books listing all the songs you can choose from-thankfully there is a huge list of English songs! There are also Korean, Chinese, and songs from the Philippines available. The English songs included everything from Frank Sinatra to ZZ Top, Disney to Gospel! I stuck to Frank Sinatra era songs, Gospel songs and show tunes.

Mrs. Shindo and I are singing the Carpenters "Top of the World," which is always a favorite.

And, Mr. Shindo singing a song in Japanese that I am pretending to sing.

The one thing I forgot about is that even if no one in your room is smoking you leave smelling like you've smoked six packs of cigarettes! I couldn't wait to get my clothes washed this morning!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Happy Birthday, Joy Chapel!

June 1 I went to Tsu to celebrate Joy Chapel's 11th birthday. I can hardly believe it was 11 years ago when Joy Chapel started.

Joy Chapel is a bilingual worship service, an outreach of the Tsu church. (Tsu is the first city I lived in here in Japan.) As a short term missionary at the time when Joy Chapel started I got to be there at the opening service 11 years ago. We had lots of fun planning for the bilingual services, writing dramas, singing silly songs, learning the theme song, etc, etc!

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures from that time on my computer so I can't include any in this blog. But, I will include some pictures from this year's party...

Here is the 'band' leading in worship.

Tadashi giving his testimony of God's faithfulness. Two of his buddies from university came for the first time.

Yui chan is ready for pizza!