Friday, December 14, 2012


The Christmas season is filled with memories.  As I thought about putting up my tree and decorating my apartment, I wondered why I do it.  Not in a frustrated way.  Not because it is annoying or time consuming.  Just pondering as I decorated.

Then I realized, as each ornament was removed from the box, each one brought back memories.  Memories of the people who gave me the ornaments.  Memories of the time of life I was in when I received or bought the ornament.  The place where the ornament was bought.

Here are a few memories from my tree, in no particular order:
(The pictures are a little blurry.  I was in a hurry to take them!)

This is probably my oldest ornament.  I can't remember a Christmas without it on the tree!  My great grandma made it, if I remember correctly.

This ornament is from Sandy, from the year we did the children's musical, "Santa Bowed at Christmas"

I actually don't remember where this came from, but it reminds me of Delora because she collects Santas.

This is from my teaching days.  Wendy gave it to me when she was teaching 3rd grade.

This is from Grandma Reed, I think.  If it isn't, I always think of her when I put it up!

Thanks to Della I have this beautiful nativity ornament from Israel.

The bell from Shonda's and Paul's wedding!

And, a snowman ornament from Shonda and Paul!

A snowflake from Mom to remind me of the year of Shonda's wedding.

And, an angel from Mom.

Even an ornament from Aunt Karen.


South Dakota!

I bought this at the Christmas Shop in Karuizawa.

Another ornament from teaching days, "O Little Town of Bethlehem."

This one is a little hard to see, but it is a snowflake.  I don't exactly remember where it came from, but for some reason it reminds me of my high school buddy, Signe.

Bought in Japan, but it reminds me of Texas!

Made by Phyllis from my home church.

Card from one of my roommates in seminary, Melodee, who is now a missionary in Europe.

And, my cute mouse from Mrs. Westall!

If you made it this far, thanks for sticking around for my walk down memory lane.  Of course, for me the best memories don't have to do with Christmas trees and ornaments, but with celebrating Jesus' birth with my family and friends.  What lovely memories to ponder every year.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Give Thanks 24

I am thankful for my mom!  Sunday is her birthday, and I think this is a good time to celebrate her!

I appreciate my parents and all they have done for me, taught me, helped me through.  I am thankful for how they showed me God's love.

I am thankful for our family.  What a great friend I have in my sister!  I have amazing aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family.

What a blessing it was to have my parents visit me last year.

And, what fun to have my parents and sister and brother in law all visit a few years ago!

Thank you, God, for my family!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Give Thanks 19

I am thankful for music, especially as a way to praise and worship God.  I know I talked about AGC before, however, I am returning to the music theme.  It is such a powerful way to draw people closer to Jesus.  I have so many pictures of different music events I have attended/ participated in over the past year.  (I will try not to post too many!)  (Oops, I posted a lot!)

I, personally, am not such a musical person.  I like to sing and play my clarinet.  My rhythm is not always on.  But, I love to listen and participate in music!  I am thankful for all of the places God has allowed me to participate in worshipping Him through music.

Piano Seminar Concert Fall 2011

Men of Excellence at Spiritual Night

Mom and Yuri lead music at Komyo Church

Amber and Yuri lead music at Komyo Church

Q and McKee + Aichan at Live Gospel Cafe

Choir practicing at Sendai Franklin Graham Festival

Harmonica music at Miyoko's church

Band at Seikai

Yamauchi Mama sings with Kaori san at Ladies' Lunch

VOV at Live Gospel Cafe

Singing down by the riverside!  Hitomi's baptism

Coco shares at Ladies Lunch and Talk at Komyo Church

AGC with Elisabeth and Flat Stanley

AGC concert Fall 2012

Singing at Living Church

Monday, November 12, 2012

Give Thanks 12

I am thankful for the still small voice that encourages me to go places and talk to people.  The introvert in me would prefer not to always be out meeting with and talking to people.  However, even when I think I am going somewhere alone or to be alone, God puts people in my path and it is pretty obvious that He has planned for me to meet them!

In the past year I have taken pictures of two such encounters...

About one year ago I went to USJ because I wanted to see the Christmas show and ride the roller coaster.  Everyone was busy so I went alone.  When I rode the roller coaster I met these three.  Well, two of the three.  The gal in the hat didn't want to ride so I met her after we got off the ride.  Throughout the year we have gotten together again several times!

In August when I went to the beach, this lovely family was staying at the same hotel.  It was their second time to stay there.  They very kindly asked me to join them at the end of dinner, and their daughters even liked me!

I am thankful for these new friends and the variety they bring to my life!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Give Thanks 8

I have been baking this evening and it has reminded me how grateful I am for baking!  I am grateful to my mom for teaching me how to bake and to my grandma for teaching my mom how to bake.  I enjoy getting lost in a new recipe or an old stand-by and creating something delicious.  (There have been times when it wasn't delicious, but that doesn't happen super often!)  I enjoy getting to share what I've made with people-who usually say that they like what I've made...
Here are a few pictures of baking over the past year-well, mostly last year during the Christmas season when my mom was here to bake with me.

I have more pictures than this, but I have to go to bed soon so I stopped hunting! :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Give Thanks 6

I am thankful for four seasons.  Although summer is my favorite season, I love the other seasons as well- as long as I don't have to be outside too long during the winter!  I enjoy the crisp evenings, wearing sweaters but not needing a heavy jacket, and the beautiful leaves of fall.  I love the silence of a freshly fallen snow, sitting under my kotatsu, and drinking hot cocoa during the winter.  The way everything comes back to life and color pops out every where and the fresh smell of spring are wonderful.  Hot, sunny days and hot, starlit nights finally warm me up during the summer.  Here are a few pictures of the seasons from the past year: