Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Skiing the day after Christmas

Guma for skiiing the day after Christmas was Perfect! The weather was beautiful and the slopes and the snow were not overly crowed. It was beautiful!!!
Jacob warming up the slopes!!
Wendy the snow bunny.... ha ha ha!!! I spent most of the time on my hiney!!
Aaron was the pro of the bunch!! Cloe was so brave and amazing as she went down the "beginner" slope. It was really steep and quite a challenge for a first time skiier!!
Preston, Tara Grace and Jacob having fun in the snow

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day in Tokyo

Merry Christmas !!!!
The kids anxiously waiting for the OK to come downstairs ...
Look what Santa brought!!!
We even had our Traditional Christmas day SOUTHERN breakfast...even in Tokyo

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Traditional Christmas Story Party

The Frazier family brought a great Japanese Christmas story to share with us. It was about a boy growing up in Japan. His mother had grown up in the US and so she was introducing her son to Christmas with a bonsai tree and paper cranes. it is called A TREE OF CRANES.
Aaron reading from Luke 2
Not so traditionally at this event, but we ended with a game of SEQUENCE. After a few brief intstructions, here is another family of Sequence lovers!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Break!! Odawara

Odawara Castle~our second castle find. We were on our way to Hakone and saw a sign for a "jo" which we have quickly learned is castle. We got off our trek and made a stop here. It was a really cool stop.
There is the hut outside the castle for us all to pick a samari and samari-et?? outfit and take pictures. It was fun. Aaron makes a great samari warrior, don't you think?? The funniest thing was each of the boys, including Aaron had REAL swords with their get'ups?? That would never happen in the US!!!

Once we made it to Hakone, we went to an Open Air Museum. It was amazing. It was so fun for all of us to play on the "art work" and sculptures. This is called a net castle. You can actually climb up in the net and climb around. The hanging bits are balls inside the netting that you can climb on too. See dont you want to come and visit!! There are some cool things to see.
In the Open Air Museum there is a hot foot bath. This is all from natural springs. It was sooo cold outside, but we stripped our shoes and socks off and enjoyed the 95 degree hot springs. It was great fun in Hakone.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Minami is in our ward here in Tokyo. He is from Tonga. We went to see him practice Sumo at the sumo "stable". We went with the Pappenfuss family. They have 5 childern. All 9 of the kids were absolutely SILENT throughout the entire hour of the practice. We wondered why they aren't that quiet at chruch on Sundays?? You can completely tell the hierarchy with the sumo wrestlers and they all are strickly obedient/subservient to the master trainer. We were just few feet away from the wresters. They yell and slap their legs as they are training. Initially it is really quite intimidating. I will post more pictures from sumo soon...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Aaron's Crazy Office Party

This is at Aaron's office Christmas party. The entire family was invited to come. It was exciting for us bring the whole gang along. Every single minute of the party was planned and organized. It started at exactly 6:30 and ended promptly at 9:30 when the lights were turned up and everyone filed out to collect their coats...just like that.... There were many performances all done by E&Y employees. Some other performances were more "normal" for an office party, but this you see in the pictures was nuts and so of coarse more interesting to share with you!! As you can see a couple from photo there are a couple of the men that stripped down to their undies and one was wearing a crazy afro wig. They had this chorographed dance and all of the "performers" were in was very interesting. Right before 9:30, a group went up on the stage and tossed the boss in the air a few times and everyone called it a night.....It looks like this is a typical Japanese Christmas Office Party??? In general on the streets and in public the Japanese are very reserved, polite and quiet. The tend to dress in very neutral colors, similar to eachother...and typically seem to try to blend in and not to make noise or wear anything that would make them stand out. Perhaps these situations give them the opportunity to be in the spotlight and then they break loose.........or bust a move or loose their pants or heads or who know????

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Happy Bday Preston/Carolling in Shibuya

It was Preston's 11th birthday and a year for a family party. Typically this at the party, fun, maybe a bit better gifts since not as much fun and effort is going into the party. Preston's new friend Timothy is moving away at the end of the school year. So Preston very logically presented his case for Timothy to come over and Leim too of coarse. We had a low key celebration. But I think it was exactly what Preston wanted...
As a church Stake...four wards/congregations of youth were invited to get together and go carolling in one of the busiest train stations in Tokyo. It was really neat event. Remember that Japan is not a Christian society. There are trees and decorations for Christmas, but typically not in celebration of Christ, but simply to be festive and the retailers hope for increased sales as the Asians begin to "celebrate" by buying more and maybe giving a girlfriend or boyfriend a gift. It was explained to me as being a bit like Valentines for the US...a nice holiday for couples to go out and buy gifts...So here are 60 or so mostly non-Asian looking people in a very busy area of Tokyo on a Friday evening singing Christmas carols. It was amazing to watch the reactions of passerbys. Some would take their earphones out of their ears as they passed by just to hear what it was we were doing, some would stop and listen at length, flowers were bought and given to us, some people would just look at us from the corner of their eyes, some would openly smile, but most were really curious to say the least. We were able to share some of the true spirit of Christmas. The missionaries and other Japanese speakers were there. Many of the kids were handing out pamphlets about the church and Christ. It was really fun to see Cloe and some of her friends slowly get over their hesitation about approaching people to hand them a pamphlet to the point that when we decided to wrap it up, they did not want to stop. It was great!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

DISNEY Tokyo Take 2

Aaron just HAD to check Disney off of his list of things to do so here we go to try Disney for a second time. We were told about this web site that we could check the attendance from the prior year. It worked for us!! This was a great time!!! Right from the entrance..........Jacob gets the proper attention from Smee. It was all in all a great Disney experience....a stark contrast from our first visit ....thank goodness!! The boys and I got to ride Space Mountain (several times), Thunder Mountain, and all of us enjoyed the Halloween Haunted House, Pirates of the Carribean (twice!), It's a Small world, was a great time!
Aaron and his most compatible character....
Spinning Tea cups Cloe, Preston and Jacob

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Back to Tokyo

We had a driver and a extra big van pick us up from the airport in Tokyo. As you can see we did a little bit of shopping while in Georgia. We hardly had room to sit in the van with all of the luggage. He was so patient as we loaded our CHRISTMAS tree into the van.....YES...we bought an aritifical, pre lit tree. The real ones are more that $400 in Tokyo and the artificial ones are expensive and not as nice as what we were seeing in the US. We checked into sending it by was $600 to ship. SOOOO we just brought it with us on the plane. It only cost us $100. The airport people did not even blink. It was unbelievably easy....our trip home really could not have gone better. We were prepared for all kinds of problems, but it was perfectly smooth. Even with a Christmas tree in tow.....

Being with Family for Thankgiving was such a treat. We were all feeling a bit homesick. Missing a week and four days of school was a bit of a challenge for the kids upon returning, but it all turned out well. We love Georgia and our friends and family there. It was nice to come back to Tokyo......being away and then comeing back made it feel more like was a good thing for us all...
One of the first events after getting back was Winterfest....a huge school sponsored event. One thing we did was the kimono dressing. This is Tara Grace all made up and ready in her kimono.
The kids are all dressed in age appropriate attire. The kids wear different kimonos and things are tied differently based on their cool.....