Sunday, September 18, 2011


We moved into our new place on September 1st which was exactly the time I came down with Hand Foot Mouth Disease. No one else in the family got it. I've been busy unpacking and trying to get settled in all the while dealing with the boys and school. Someone told me once that expat families are busy. I get it now.

The boy's school is nearby; closer than our assigned school in Utah is to our home. It takes us about 10-15 minutes to walk there. We leave around 7:45 to drop Lolo off first. The other two boys continue on to their campus which is a short distance away. It seems that I barely have enough time and energy to do everything I need to do. Meetings, orientations, volunteer committees, after school programs, homework, dinner, park days, hanging out with friends, shopping (my biggest hassle), walking everywhere, figuring out the bus/trains, getting lost, paperwork, church/responsibilities....I need to breathe.

I found a new running partner. Actually I might have found my "Jen" replacement if that is at all possible. She has been such a great friend. Pretty much it's super easy to hang out, we're last minute runners,all we need is an email and off we are. It's perfect. Signing up for our first Japanese marathon...let's see how that goes. I'm in a quilting group and we're making a kimono quilt. We each make 12 squares and we trade. I'm also running the Mexican booth for a fund raiser for the school. We're making tamales, serving chips and salsa, and margaritas. It's a huge event. Unfortunately it's the same weekend that a bunch of people go camping (no church, general conference). Chris and the boys will be going without me. Jealous.

Chris has been called into the Young Men's presidency. Me...den leader for Vy. They start scouts early here. He's so excited he's a scout now. They're thinking about calling Chris to be the assistant scout master........I think it would be fun but seriously....the poor guy barely has enough time in the day to shower and brush his teeth.

Lolo is a popular kid at school..even among the parents..."oh he's so cute" or "he is such a good boy." He seems to be adjusting really, really well. He loves his tennis and golf class.

Vy loves school. "I wish school would never end." I'm so glad. Just downstairs, two girls who are in Vy and Toki's class, make life easier. Walking to school together is so much fun. Vy is taking fencing but he was so disappointed that the swords are foam!

Toki is excelling in Japanese. He has already caught up to his classmate who has been in Japan for 6 years. He is being integrated to the rest of the Japanese class next week. He's making friends, soaring in drama (who would have known), and being the same old, same old...."school is torture. It's the biggest waste of time." And yet he's doing well. I hear less and less that he hates Japan. Bless his heart.

We bought a car a couple of weeks ago. A 1999 Toyota Ipsum. It seats 7 without cargo space and 5 with cargo space. It looks like a wagon but they consider it a mini van. It has 60,000 km (about 38,000 miles). It cost Y200,000 ($2600). It's green. I actually took the boys home today from church and drove back for a meeting. It wasn't bad at all. But then again, I know the route really well. It will be a different story trying to get to Cosco. The steering wheel is on the right side. Everything is flipped...mirrors, signal handle, the side of the road to drive on. It's tricky but it felt good. I haven't driven in a few months. It was freedom and my feet didn't hurt when I came home from church. If you're wondering why cars are so month it needs an may cost an arm and a leg...but it will be good for 2 years. News cars don't have to go through it.

Our home has been rented out for a month now. They have 2 golden retrievers and they smoke: our worst nightmare. It was between them and a registered sex offender. Our neighbor kid (in his 20s) has been tattling on them and basically complaining about the barking and the second hand smoke. He said he would have preferred the sex offender. He bugs me. Inhale away and I hope the dogs keep you awake all night mortgage is being paid.

Cool roller slides

Leaving the onsen(baths)

kids playing with cousins

Boys seeing the apartment after getting home from school on September 1st.