February 27, 2008


Jesse found me a giant Kabocha for only $4. Love that guy.

Break me off a piece of that...

I love chocolate oranges at Christmas time. They're the new Lifesavers Storybook in my stocking (you know, the one thing you can count on being there each Christmas morning). Well Japan just made them better. And made them available year round (I think). At least, if you're in Japan they're available.
"Is that a mikan flavored Kit Kat?" You ask yourself. Why yes, it is. Yum. Yum. Yum. I'm seriously thinking of stocking up to take to the US with us.

February 26, 2008

Piece of Peace

Or Lego Wonderland. Your choice. G and I came across it when we went to Shibuya on a whim. (For any who know the place, you're probably thinking "why would you go there with a small child on a whim? And you're right. It's a crazy, busy place, but not at 10 am in the morning. (It's where Lost in Translation is filmed)) We came back with camera and big sis the day before the exhibition closed. I took a lot of boring closeups of the roofs so that Jesse can study up for his next Lego sculpture. When I first met him, he was putting the finishing touches on a Japanese castle he'd been working on. I decided not to be alarmed. If you're dying to make your own, I can forward you the pictures.

The folks at Lego had an exhibition of famous places made into Legos. My favorite part was the Lego table they had set up in the basement. My kids played for almost an hour before we had to go home. So here are a few of my other favorites.
Mont Saint Michel and Bay in France. It's the first time I've ever seen something in Legos and thought "Hey, I think I'd like to go there. "
A temple in Okinawa. I don't think we've been there, but it's pretty cool looking. And the Taj Mahal. You can click to see close up. The details are fun.

Tim Tams

Have you had these? Why must I go to Japan to eat a delicious Australian cookie? So what if they're 420 yen? Pure Yumminess!

February 24, 2008

Vegetarian Week Update

Da suggested I let you know how our Vegetarian week went. VW as I'll refer to it, also coincided with THE Busiest week I've had in ages. Jesse had something 3 of the 5 weekday nights. Of course we had no idea it was going to be like that when we started. I will admit that Friday night found me and the kids at McDonald's. We were in Shibuya, surrounded by delicious food but the kids would have none of it. Anyway, I'll try and remember what we had this week.

Vegetarian Quiche
Bean Burritos
Garlic Butter Noodles
Black Bean Soup
Lentil Soup
Scalloped Potatoes

We also had some fish and scallops because we had them in the freezer. Jesse abstained, but M attacked the salmon as if she hadn't seen meat in a week. Oh right. She hadn't. Our freezer is actually full of meat that Jesse won't eat. The kids and I will have a meatfest one of these nights when Jesse has a dinner meeting.

I haven't tried any of the recipes that you suggested, but I'm looking forward to trying them out. Jesse is serious about being vegetarian. I like seeing the kids expanding their tastes from just quesadillas. They still aren't convinced that mushrooms are divine. I'll keep trying, though.

Death with Dignity: Letting Your Houseplant Go

Sometimes, a green thumb is a mixed blessing. I don't like to purposefully neglect plants, but sometimes I just have to. They are out of season, they aren't supposed to even be living, but because I'm pretty good with plants, they still live. Though they may not thrive. Take for instance the Christmas poinsettia I bought to decorate during the festivities. I bet that if you had one, yours is dead. As it should be. They are raised in green houses to be pretty for a little while, but not hearty. But ours keeps hanging on. The pot is way too small. I should probably just put it out on the back porch and ignore it for a long time, let it die a quiet dignified death.


Have I posted these guys already? I can't remember if I did, and I'm too lazy to check. M made these guys during our sugar cookie decorating fest. Don't you love the bright colors? The food coloring is in a powder form here, and it is vivid! Let me know if you want me to pick some up for you. It's about $1.50 for each color (red, blue, yellow, and black). Is that cheap? Of course, I have no idea. I've always used the cheap water based ones.

February 21, 2008

Paper Dolls from Simplicity

I was just browsing the Simplicity website looking for patterns and found their collection of paper dolls you can print up for FREE!! Click here to have a look. I haven't looked at all of them, but I'm newly inspired to buy some thicker paper. I know a little girl who will love this new toy.

February 20, 2008

Knit me a Scarf

Dorky picture. Cool scarf. Finally finished this 3 hour project just when the weather warms up. $1 for the needles, $2 for the yarn (2 skeins). Cheap, chunky. I should learn how to knit more than a scarf. I'd love to make myself something pretty.

Going for Three (or Four!)

I've been spending a bit of time here. Getting to see some fancy pictures of this and this and this. And maybe soon we'll be getting another of these.

Wish us luck! Hopefully, number 3 gets here around this time next year, or even sooner.

Vegetarian Crustless Quiche

And it tasted good, too.

I Heart Dinner

It was actually dinner for Valentine's Day. Jesse thought it would be fun to make the day special for the girls. Seeing as I hated the day, since I never had a boyfriend and never got anything (except from my mom), I had to agree with his plan. We got out the linen tablecloth, candles and even glasses for the girls. They tried so hard to be good, but G did spill her apple juice. I think it's going to be a great tradition.

February 18, 2008

Welcome, Anne Shirley

Jesse has been reading Anne of Green Gables to M at night. It has become a delightsome romp for all, with many tragical, magical and enchanting bosom, kindred friends. My friend Alison introduced me to the series. Thanks Ali. It is so fun to listen to Jesse reading. Jesse and I laugh at Anne's antics while M is a touch bewildered by it all. She still enjoys it, and I think she has found a kindred spirit in Anne. She'll often say "I have a picture of it in my mind" since there are no illustrations. I am delighted to watch my husband foster a love of reading into our little 6 year old.

What are your favorite books from this young, young adult genre? I'm thinking of Black Beauty and Misty of Chincateague, but I'm afraid they might be too intense. I'd love to make a list so I can look for them at the bookstore. We're reading one every week, so it's hard to keep up.

Call For Recipes-Vegetarian

Jesse has finally persuaded me to commit to one week of vegetarian dinners. I've made lentils and black bean soup, and also a tofu parmigiana which was pretty good. Click the link for the recipe. I'm searching for more recipes and have some ideas, but thought I'd ask my loyal readership for their vegetarian recipes. Vegan is fine, too, especially since cheese is an arm and a leg and cottage cheese will cost you two of each.

Do you have any fabulous vegetarian recipes? I can get most ingredients here, though it may be hard. I'm really hankering for something hearty right now. Ok, I really just want some meat for dinner, but for Thin Man (Jesse), I'm going vegetarian tonight!

February 16, 2008

Scissors, Hairbrushes, Cutlery, etc...

Do you see the common thread? If you were one of my children, it would be obvious. In our home, they all come in families. The Brush family is made of Papa Brush (paddle brush), Mama Brush (small paddle brush), Sister Brush (bristle brush), and Brother Brush (actually a pink comb). They interact, play, fight, and are often put to bed under a scrap of cloth. The Scissor family is similar, though they have twins (matched pair of black handled scissors).

It's sweet but bizarre to see these family groups emerge in the children's play. It's especially apparent in 3 year old G's play. I'm sure if I read up on the psychology of 3 year olds, families and their place in families is very important in their development. It's just so weird to see it vividly displayed on such a regular basis.

February 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday Mom

tutu kay, G just typed that. I love you. I like to see her. Last time we went to the zoo with her and we saw one hippo yawning. Her give us treat afterwards. I love you tutu Kay. I miss you so much. (from G)

Mom, you are so kind to everyone. Thanks for being a great mom and a great friend. We can't wait to see you later this year. We love you.

Happy Valentine's Day

I'm pretty proud of the card I made for Jesse. It's a pop up boingy heart. And it only took 15 minutes or so. He even chuckled when I showed it to him. We got him some fancy Pocky, strawberry and chocolate. We're hoping he shares. The kids wanted candy ice cream cones and since I had eaten their chocolate candies already, I thought that candy ice cream cones would be great. M passed out homemade cards to all the kids in her class.

What did you do for Valentine's Day?

Pretty Nikko

Some shots from Nikko and the shrine-a-palooza.

I know this is too centered, just imagine the lantern a smidge more to the right.

How big are your Adenoids?

We spent all of Tuesday morning at the hospital. Everyone's fine, it's just that in Japan, that's where you go to the doctor. Weird, but efficient. At Miss M's going-to-school check-up, they told us to get her adenoids checked out. We've known they were probably enlarged and were on our way to getting them taken care of when we found out we were moving here.

They took x-rays of her head and that girl's tonsils and adenoids are HUMONGOUS!! But, we've never noticed sleep apnea, just a real hard time falling asleep. She is also remarkably free from strep throat and other throat infections. So the decision was up to us. Surgery to remove her adenoids and tonsils or wait it out. If Jesse's knee surgery hadn't been so traumatic, I'd probably go for the surgery, but instead I'm playing super cautious mom. Ninety-nine percent chance we'll do the wait and see approach. There's a good chance they'll get smaller in the next couple of years. Also, in the states, it's an outpatient surgery. Here, it's five days in the hospital. I can't have a kid in the hospital for five days. Misery for all!

So here's to more infection free years ahead and shrinking adenoids! I wish I had the x-rays for our doctor friends to consult!

February 10, 2008

Kanegawa Cabin

We stayed in a beautiful cabin in Kanegawa with our friends and their kids. The kids got along so well, hardly any disagreements. It was fun getting to know people a little better. We've been really blessed to be here with so many cool people. Here are some pics of the kiddies and their friends.

Nikko and Kanegawa, snow

We found some snow in Nikko. We couldn't get the kids to walk because they had to stomp in every snow bank. The walk to the shrines took twice as long as it should have. Here's Miss G posing in the snow somewhere in Nikko. On Saturday, we went sledding at Mt. Hunter. Their mascot is half a hard boiled egg. Let's see if any of our Japanese speaking friends can figure that one out. Maybe I'll send you something cool if you do!

The one of M is posed in the parking lot because Jesse was with her the whole time and I didn't get ONE picture of her sledding. G went down the tubing run by herself. She wouldn't let me sled with her, either. It was a little scary for me, but she was great. She stayed perfectly in the middle, so she never fell out. I hope we go again, because it really was a lot of fun.

February 5, 2008

Happy Birthday!

It's this little sunshine's birthday. My sweet niece KL. She's my baby brother's little girl. Hope your present gets there soon, kiddo! Happy birthday love.


Did you see this article about the tainted Chinese Dumplings on CNN and think of me? Should've. They were in my freezer. Exact same package. Yum.

I'm here!

I have so many things to write about, and haven't had the time to get any of them out. Two of my dearest friends (and relatives) just had birthdays. Happy Birthday to Sienna the delightful youngest sister of my dear Jesse. And to Pam, the best mother in law a girl could ask for.

And if you've been wondering, I'm still making bentos every day for little M. Here's todays creation. You like the police car fishcake? She had rice in the bottom tray. A star, a bear, and a heart shaped onigiri from the dollar store. I love that place. I'm down to the dolphin, penguin and lion toothpicks. They've all gone down the drain or tossed. Unfortunately, they are no longer at the store. I'm sure that when school starts again in April, the selection will be better. Until then, I may have to deign to using wooden toothpicks (gasp!).

February 2, 2008

Snow Day on Sunday

We woke up to this. And it hasn't let up yet. The novelty is fun, though a bit wet. The kids and I went out this morning and made a snowman, one of the biggest we've managed, all of 1 1/2 feet high. The kids are so delightful playing and sliding in the snow. G has co-opted Jesse's Smartwool hat. She is delightful as ever. Though there's not much snow, it looks like church might be canceled. I guess the roads are a bit slick and I suppose people here aren't used to driving on snow. Which may make it dangerous for everyone else on the roads.
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