Monday, October 21, 2013

Digging it UP!

Today was the Seika Autumn Field Trip. All the classes, with the exception of the oldest, goes sweet potato digging.

This is the third year in a row I have done this - you would think I have it down pat! But, alas, no...

I still forgot my name badge, did not bring Ian's shoes out to change into, etc. I have, however streamlined some things. Minimizing bags was not one of them! Some of the Japanese moms have a tiny bag. And that is it. They manage boots, gloves, shovels, lunches, drinks, etc. and then they put it all in this microscopic bag. I think I need to find myself one of these bags. It would be like being Mary Poppins!!!

As it was, we got dressed to dig

Boots on bottom, aplons on top (we might call them smocks...).

Gloves went on at the field and the digging commenced.

Once done, the kids all receive a gift from Encho Sensei of a roasted sweet potato.

Turns out, Ian's had a HUGE bite taken out of the top when he got his... OK, I may have taken the bite...

This year we came home with a giant bag of theses huge sweet potatoes. Many people (read: Americans) don't love, or even like, these sweet potatoes. However, we do. So I try to scam other people potatoes!

Once the dig is done, we stash out stash under the bus and head to a nearby park for a "picnic". It's BYOB style (bring your own bento). The kids get to run free for a bit and then they gather up to so some taiso. It's various dances that are just so kawaii! It would be inappropriate to say they are cute - it just doesn't consider it Japanese-ness...

Judge for yourselves.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Friday Field Day

In Japan, physical activity is not only valued, a National Holiday surrounds the idea. All the schools organize a Field Day or "Sports Day" of some sort. Many are quite elaborate. All have various competitor games for the kids and, most often, the adults as well.
They divide the school into two teams - red & white. This is usually accomplished by wearing the student's PE cap on its red side or flipping it inside out and showing the white inside.
At Dougie's first Seika Sports Day, I thought he just was wearing his hat inside-out and was semi-mortified at his behavior!
Seika's Sports Day got moved to Sunday last weekend - the same day as Stefan's swim meet. We divide and conquered. Eric went to Sports Day. I went with Stefan.
This last Friday was Hayama's Field Day - a much less elaborate, but super fun day for the kids and parents. Both Stefan and Dougie were on Team White (of course, the one color school shirt we do NOT own!).
They had silly relays holding paper in arm pits and knees, dribbling a ball through (or past... Whoops!) cones,

sack races,

and three-legged races. Dougie and Katrina paired up - once they got warmed up, those two really motored!!

Katrina's mom and I, on the other hand, provided the entertainment!
There was a scavenger hunt and the kids performed a Taibo dance. It was hilarious and AWESOME!

Neither of these boys are likely to be Fred Astaire, but Stefan may be good at break-dancing! Whodathunk?!?
All the kids got medals - necklaces made of candy and chocolate medallions.

All went home with smiles!

After Field Day, we went straight to the bowling alley for a birthday party. Ian and Io (another 4 year old) had a kick bowling. Ian really loved that he got to eat "in a cave"...

It was a long and super fun day!

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Picture Day 10.09.2013

This is how they looked when they left home

I will be very curious how they looked by the time their actual pictures come back!!!

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