Saturday, January 20, 2007

Japanese cooking class

Friday I went to a Japanese cooking class at Mikako-san's home. She is the one seated in the middle with the white top on. Not only was it fun to see a Japanese home but also to learn how to cook authentic dishes.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Sledding In Bihoku

It seemed like we needed a good winter post. So what could be better than sledding?? O.K. the pictures are a little old. We took them in late October in Bihoku Park. We don’t get much snow here so we make due. This is kind of fun!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Tondo Matsuri

Today we went down to the Japanese public school for Tondo Matsuri, a New Years celebration.

At Tondo, a huge bonfire is made and into it are placed the shimekazari and other new year ornaments. The fire is lit by someone born in the same animal year. As the flames and smoke rise in the sky, the people pray for health and blessing for the coming year.

The exploding bamboo sounds like fireworks.

As the fire dies down a little, children who have been practicing their calligraphy for the new year place examples onto the fire. If they rise into the air with the heat, it indicates success for that child for the new year.

While all this is going on, the people are served a variety of foods. Lengths of green bamboo are filled with sake and placed in the coals to warm, and then served to everyone.

Martin and Keiko are being served Sake.

Amy and Corey try there first Sake!!!

I have to admit, I found it kind of strange to be drinking Sake on the school grounds befor 12:00 on a Sunday???
Hailey got to try some Mochi, a glutinous rice cake in a sweet red bean soup.

Hiroshima Desert Speedway

In the grass down by the river Nathan and I have a secret playground. We call it Hiroshima Desert speedway.

Nice weather for the second week in January!
Nathan grooming one of the jumps.

The soft sand has it’s good and bad points. The deep sand is slow, but it does lessen the damage on the crashes. It gets into everything, so the motors have to be cleaned constantly.
This time the car ended dirty side up.

You can tell this is going to end bad!

Friends in Livonia

We had a chance to stop by and see a few friends in Livonia on the way back to Hiroshima. Wish we could have seen more people. There were many we missed that we would have loved to see. We will try again next year!!!

Nick, Nathan and Tim.
Katie, Ellie, Hailey, and Abbie

New Years in Dowagiac

We spent a quiet night at Grandma Pat and Grandpa Georges. We played a few card games.
What a party animal!!
Hailey had a hard time making it to midnight. In this case you would have thought the Jet lag might help??

Grandma Diane and Grandpa Lou visited earlier in the week. It was nice to see them again.

Uncle Nolan's B-Ball Team

We got a chance to see high school JV basket ball team that Nolan has been coaching. It was a fun change of pace, we had not been to a high school game in a long time. They won!!!

Christmas at Grandma Pat and Grandpa George's

Nolan came up from Indiana, Brian and Amanda came down from Grand Rapids. It is nice to finally get to meet Amanda. We really like her.
Christmas is so much fun!!
Hailey really liked the Chef out fit.

Finally had time to catch up with everyone in Dowagiac.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Christmas with Grandpa Clair and Grandma Sharon

We spent Christmas Eve at Grandpa Clair and Grandma Sharon’s house.

Hailey got to meet up with Grace before the Christmas Eve church service.


The big day in the Magic Kingdom (Jeffito’s playground). It was a wonderful day. The weather was perfect. Hailey learned that she is a roller coaster kid. Now the family can all go on all the rides together.

I think it was really special having my Mom and Chris with us.