Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Presence

Leavin' on a jet plane...

What was your favorite thing you did with Granmie & Pop?

Stefan: The walk to Mikasa with Pop! (He got to be the exclusive leader...)
Ian: Playing the marble runway and rolling the marble down the ramp...

Dougie probably had the most accurate answer. Everything about having Grammie & Pop was wonderful. Yes, even having seven people in our 3-bedroom house. It was a little taste of what it might have been like for Eric growing up!

We were hard pressed to get smiles out the boys today. They went to bed sad. They woke up sad. They drove to the airport sad. They left the airport sad.

Stefan told Eric that he did not want to go to the airport - it hurts too much to say goodbye.

"That hurt is because you love them."

There was a whole lot of love happening!

It is impossible to not have your heart break for your babies as they mourn their grandparents' departure for home.

Ten minutes into the ride home, Ian announced he was no longer sad... I bet he will change his tune when he wakes up tomorrow and the house is very quiet :(

Fifteen minutes into the ride, all three boys had pulled blankets/hats over their heads and the snoring commenced.

Dougie awoke and stated he was still sad. I told him it was okay to be sad - he asked if he would feel like that forever.

"Perhaps. On and off..."

Eric commented that he has felt closer to these boys in the past month than ever. It has been a really special time for him.

It has been a really special time for all of us.

Thank you, Grammie & Pop for the best Christmas presents ever -
your presence!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 3, 2012

Four... Three... Two... One!

Time is flying by - we are in the final countdown!  The amount of trash and dust that has been removed from this house makes me question my cleaning standards.  The state of our house right now?  I could totally live here!  It will last about 45 seconds after the first child wakes up, but for now I am relishing in a tidy, clean, but mainly de-cluttered home.  It is heavenly.

Also not realistic.  Maybe for some.  But, the stress it causes to maintain it makes for bad relations.  It is also not conducive to your kids wanting to have friends over - and then I can't "spy".  So, it bodes well to deal with having a "fun" house vice an orderly one.

It does, however, continue to make me a believer in the "one in - one out" policy.  You get something new - it replaces something old (which makes its way out the door).

While the countdown was a bit on hold, I have been making headway on reorganizing.  And now, I just have one sleep and Grammie and Pop will be here in...

IV     Four     4

寒い Samui!!!  It was c-c-c-c-o-o-o-o-l-l-l-l-l-d-d-d-d this morning - and they let me know it!

III     Three     3

II     Two     2

and   I     One     1   (little angel)

more day!!!!!

And now for the outtakes:

When not shivering and groaning about being cold - Two is really hilarious!

Angelic duty: 

Ian got the angel honors this year

If you look carefully, you can see he is pant less.  He had put his unders back on - inside-out and backwards.  We gave up on the putting his shorts back on!

Aiming to get the top of the tree right up the poor angels...

backside - we have contact!

A job well done (albeit a bit crooked - so appropo!).  "Two!" (Peace?)  No - ONE!

And, it turns out, he is  apprehensive about the shoulder sitting...

I gave it a try after Eric nearly dropped him (source of fear?!?)

Getting the "One" turned out to be a challenge

Friday, November 30, 2012

To Everything There Is A Season: Rikugien Garden, Tokyo

A friend of mine extended an invite to the Rikugien Garden in Tokyo to see the changing of the leaves.  The timing was perfect!  Gina came with Ian and me.  Ian was not seeing it as a priveledge as he woke up whining, started to cry that he wanted to go to school with Dougie and pretty much acted like a three-year-old all day.  Yes, I know - he IS three.  It was so obvious this day...

We saw a kingfisher - the most colorful bird I have yet to see in Japan.  It's turquoise back and tail feathers were a stark contrast to the autumn foliage.

He even caught and ate a fish while we were spying on him

Then flew off and perched over the pond for seconds...

The colors were magnificent

What Gina and I thought were Winter Illumination decorations, turned out to be tree supports!  The supports for the trees were nearly as intricate as the garden themselves.

The boat and boat shed were very serene

 Ian, on the other hand, was not...

We ate dango and drank matcha at the tea house for lunch.

Ian rather enjoyed licking the sticky sweet sauce on the grilled mochi (much like teriyaki).

He then pouted when the sauce covered that luscious lower lip

His impatience for getting it wiped off was showing in his chin...

Rikugien Garden is an exceptional garden.  One that holds treasures in every season.  Autumn in Japan is beautiful.  Life oftentimes passes by without so much as a thought as to what is going on around us.  We become blind to our surroundings, even blind to our circumstances.  This was a day of awakening. Awakening of my senses, my body, my breath...  It was a day to behold the changing of seasons, to rejoice in God's creations  - the circle of life.  Each of these leaves are turning colors and will soon be pushed off their spring and summer's perch on the branch.  The next spring's leaves are forming, swelling with new life and casting off the old.  A cycle of rebirth.

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

VI - Six! Lost & Found

They were so excited to pose - Roman Style (numeral, that is)!

"They" did not include Ian...

He woke up whining and crabby...

Things did not change much - this was the best 'I' we got...

Yesterday, Stefan went to the Zushi Police station to retrieve his lost phone.  Something that never would have happened in the States - because nobody would have turned it in!  We "joke" that misplaced things in Japan are viewed as "LOST" whereas in the States (base included), those items are viewed as "FOUND".  It has been an interesting study in paradigms...

Less than 16 hours later, Stefan extended the study to see if the first time was just a fortunate fluke.  Can the experiment be repeated?!?  Phone is missing again...

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