Monday, January 24, 2011


Last week when I was walking to church one day I saw a rainbow walking in front of me! It was a kindergarten/preschool class/es walking somewhere. They were super cute! I thought I should protect their privacy and just took a picture from the back when I was quite far away so that I wouldn't scare the teachers. I did catch up with them before I had to turn, of course, since my legs are a bit longer than theirs! The teacher being the caboose told the kids to say good morning to me-which they did in English. They seemed very excited to be going somewhere. The kids were walking in pairs, just like we always did when I was a kid. Each class/section had a different colored hat, the cause of the rainbow effect. When I was teaching elementary school each class tie-dyed t-shirts, my class's color was purple, when we went on field trips. It sure made it easy to find the kids from your own class quickly!

Anyway, as I was watching them walk down the street I was thinking of that poster, everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten. Besides the stringent academics of kindergarten, we did learn some important lessons. Things like: take a nap every day; always hold hands with your buddy; tell the teacher your tummy hurts right away; take time to read every day; etc.
I loved kindergarten and have a few good memories. Those of you who were there with me will have to let me know if I remember correctly! I think probably my most vivid memory, which is not necessarily a good memory, is when Steve Barker threw up in the classroom. The good thing was that we got an extra recess! I remember laying on our little carpets for nap time. I remember that I got to go to school with my friend, Signe, who then had to go to the rest of elementary school at Garfield. Was that the year we went to the zoo? I remember being scared to death of the 'big' kids, anyone over third grade.

Speaking of third grade, I had a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Thayer. She is retiring this year. Thank you for your commitment to educating children. What a blessing you have been to so many!
What do you remember about kindergarten?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It begins

2011 is off to a great start, finally. Actually, the first week wasn't all that great with a stomach bug keeping me from enjoying the food of the season.

Since then I have been enjoying this new year. All kinds of new ideas floating around in my head. I got to share with the evangelism committee of the JBC about our exciting 2010 and the fun things we hope to do this year at Komyo Christian Church. (Paul was down with the stomach bug that week. We are so grateful to Jonah for passing it around:) Keep watching my blog for new things happening!

Just wanted to give a quick update and share with you how I finished out 2010...

On the 31st I met a friend in Namba for Mexican-yummy!!!!

Then I headed to Ewings for our annual sukiyaki dinner.

This time we were joined by Takahiro and Leilani Endo and Leilani's sister, Marina.
Noah was having a hard time staying still! And, Jonah was... either eating or playing his new DS game!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lots of Thinking

I know, you probably smelled something burning. That was me thinking, the cobwebs being burned out of my head as I thought about various things. As another friend said recently, being sick provides thinking time while you lay in bed/on the couch.

I have several friends who work in Africa, helping orphans, training leaders, teaching community development, etc. I love hearing about how God is working in and through them. Today I watched a video one of those friends posted on his blog. It helped me refocus my attention to what is important.

I get so easily distracted by the world immediately around me. There are things that I need to focus on in that world, to be sure. However, if that is all I focus on, I get tunnel vision and forget there is a big world out there that God created. We are to love our neighbor as ourself. We are to go into ALL the world and share God's love.

I have lived an incredibly blessed life. Have I shared those blessings with others or have I hoarded them for myself?

I have more than I need. Do I share with those in my own backyard, across town, and around the world?

I trust the God who created the universe. Do I trust that where He has placed me right now is His best and for His purpose?

Blessings, provisions, trust. These things have been on my mind. But, they can't stay there. If these thoughts don't move from my mind to my heart and from my heart to action, then they are meaningless, like a clanging cymbal.

I Need Africa
Cari Logan

Check them out and see what your heart tells you!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Well, I guess I should update my blog! I've been informed that it has been a while since I posted anything new. I guess time got away from me in December. Then I got a lovely stomach thing on New Year's day which put me down for the count. So, now I am back into the routine, as much as my life has routine, and thought I'd drag out my pictures and thoughts from December to get you up to speed. So, here it goes....

I had a little Christmas tea time in my apartment with two ladies from my building. I may have mentioned them before. One lady lived in the US with her family for several years and comes to my English class when she can. The other lady lived in China for several years, lives on my floor and helps me with understanding what I should be doing and when here in the building. Also, her daughter who is a university student comes to my place for English class about once a week. These two ladies understand what it is like to try to live in a foreign country, what it is like to try to communicate in a foreign language, and how to speak so that I can understand them! We had a lovely afternoon chatting and decorating Christmas cookies.

At church we had two movie nights and a Kids' Christmas Party one weekend. We had a lot of fun watching movies, playing games, singing songs, and eating more cookies than we've had all year. One unplanned game at the party was, "How many children can Paul put on his back?"!

The month wasn't all work and no play. I did go to Universal Studios Japan (USJ) for a day with a friend. We recently reconnected when I ran into her mother at a local restaurant. A couple of years ago I went with them and a couple other people from our English class to USJ during the Christmas holiday festivities. That was a pretty entertaining day! Anyway, this time it was just Atsumi and me-we rode the roller coaster 3 times! That is my kind of day at an amusement park. USJ obviously has some sort of arrangement with Sanrio because there is a Hello Kitty store.

On the 23rd the Kongo church held their annual Christmas party. This year they invited Kensaku Higashi and his wife to share the music and message. I got to share the kids' story. Many of their English students attended, which was fun for me since I have also taught them! It was a great day of fellowship and music. After that party, I zipped home and jumped on my bike and pedaled down the road to a friends' church for their Christmas concert where some of my friends from AGC were singing in a group called "Now and Ever." A full day of music and fun!

On Christmas eve we had a lovely candlelight service at church, singing carols and reading the story of Jesus' birth from the Bible. What a joy to celebrate our Savior's birth here in Japan. Every year we are allowed to share the true meaning of Christmas with more people. God gives such grace as He pours out His love. I look forward to the plans He has for 2011! I am so thankful for His faithfulness which gives me such hope for the future.