Saturday, July 16, 2011


What is it about a sunset that just makes one sit back and forget about the busyness of life for a few minutes? The past couple of weeks I have been home at sunset a few times and enjoyed getting to stand out on my veranda watching the sky change color. I am drawn to the veranda like an insect to a bare light bulb on a porch. I have stopped taking pictures. I am afraid the people living in buildings behind mine are going to think I am a peeping tom! But here are a few pictures of sunsets in various places taken in the past couple of years-okay, two places, my balcony and at the state park in my home town! (Although, the picture at the top left is from Nagano Ken!)

Lake Herman State Park, July 2009
(There was lots of mosquito slapping here!)

Lake Herman State Park, September 2009

From Izumi City looking toward Kobe, June 2010

From Izumi City looking toward Kobe, July 2011

Isn't God's handiwork amazing? What a creative, artist God! What a color palette He uses!

Updated: I totally forgot to include a Hawaiian sunset!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ahhh, summer....vacation Part 2

After the wedding my family, parents, sister and bro-in-law, spent another day and a half in Rockford having a good time together-even though I was freezing most of the time!

A little mini-golf time...

Some time at a Japanese garden!

Then my parents and I drove up to Grand Rapids, MI, to visit my おさななじみ!
We had a great time playing, talking and spending time at the beach at Lake Michigan.

Aren't my parents cute?!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


On June 11th my cousin, Julianne married Drew. We had a great weekend celebrating their new life together with family and friends. Although it was cool and rainy most of the weekend, Saturday morning the weather for the wedding was just right.

Here is a timeline of the weekend in pictures...

Thursday night the mothers began preparing the flowers for bouquets and centerpieces (Tim just happened to be in the room when I took the picture, he wasn't helping with flowers, he was helping with something else!)

Friday began with a bridal shower for Julianne-the guys were off having fun somewhere!:)

Julianne got some lovely presents, which Abby wanted to check out...

The guests even got a little something!


Waiting for Julianne...

The final prayer

Okay, a lot happened in between these two pictures...singing, parents, friends and brothers reading scripture and praying, a message, exchanging rings and vows, and lots of smiles!

Then we got to party!

All the Benton relatives

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ahhh, summer....vacation

Thanks to my cousin hosting a wedding in June, I got to take a trip to the US. I did not get to SD or TX, however, I did get to see friends and family from those places!

I spent the first few days in central Illinois with friends from Texas days, my Texas sister and her family! We had a great time making sushi with her Korean and other international friends, chatting, eating all of the foods I love, chatting, watching a little TV, chatting, shopping, and chatting.

Here are a few snapshots from the visit...

Come back for the next installment soon!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ahhh, summer

Today was much cooler than it has been for the past 10 days or so, but summer has arrived here in Japan. It arrived overnight. I am not complaining. Finally, I can find a place where I am not cold! And, with all of the electricity saving ideas going around this summer, maybe not all buildings will be freezing!

Apparently, I am crazy. All of my friends keep telling me that. I like summer, yes, Japanese, hot, humid summer. I am not saying that I don't get hot and sweat like crazy, I am just saying that I don't mind it. I do agree, that feeling sweaty all the time is not necessarily the best feeling in the world. But, it is not the worst, either. I love that when I go running I come home looking like I just stepped out of the shower and feeling like I can conquer the world-well, okay, like I just conquered 5K!

I love eating watermelon and kakigori, shaved ice that is an experience in itself, salads and fresh tomatoes, although I'm not growing my own this year, white peaches and somen, thin, cold noodles served over ice.

I love carrying a fan and a summer sweater with me all the time, trying to stand in the shade of a light pole, finding out that sun umbrellas really are helpful, and riding in the 'mildly air conditioned' train car.

So, as we head into what looks to be a long hot summer, I am going to enjoy myself.

(Soon I will share about my early summer trip which I blame for my not posting in June:)