Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Well, one of the neighbors, actually a middle school teacher, came over with a gift for each boy :) a couple of nights ago. Now, I felt a bit bad, since we did not have anything planned to give them and they are actually a nice couple. (Ahem - she is a nice person even though she once yelled that she would like to take a rifle and shoot all of the stray cats here in Ikego, and who in the double hockeysticks is feeding the damn things anyway - oops!)
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Somebody found a beautiful watercolor painting that took the letter's of Jenny's name and painted them with birds, colorful flowers and bamboo stalks. It was perfect for her office. Her son Sammy has been a fixture at the shop as well. They are quite strict Baptist actually and also home-school him - he is a sweet and usually quiet little fellow, who will sometimes spend days with us, watching educational DVD's or curled up with some donated books about his latest topic of interest: right now, sharks.
We just had a potluck Christmas lunch and party and with the mix of people we have now, we had an awesome bunch of food: Filipino dishes, Puerto Rican, an awesome coconut flan from Zonie (I don't know where she's from but she speaks Spanish with Brunnie, and most of the time I can understand what they are saying unbeknowst to them - ha ha), a fabulous bunch of desserts along with some ole American classics like baked ham and bean dip.
I was a "secret Santa" for Mari - here she is holding up the table runner I made for her. The rules were that we couldn't spend much on our gifts - they had to be something we bought from the shop or something we made or whatall. Mari has just recently moved here and craving something red, or something Asian-themed for her place.
It was nice to have everyone together at one time, decorate the shop more than usual, and see everyone dressed up a bit - more than the usual jeans and sweatshirts we wear to the shop!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Well, the pictures might be a bit blurry, but I couldn't resist posting them for the Dinosaur and Cookie Grandma! Frankie is such a good and dutiful son. Can you see him in these pics?? It only cost me 500 yen for his services. I must admit he fits the Japanese men's Santa Suit very well. He had a red sack with a present for each child: a glittery Japanese gift bag with three small playdoughs, a Christmas pencil from Vicki, some cute little treats from the moms. They loved it. And, he did admit that he had alot of fun. Dear Gott! What happened to my hair that day?!? Ah, well, the memories...
We made Christmas ornaments from some foam trees I picked up at Michael's when we went back to the States. Some of the Moms helped me set up a table so that 30 kids could each frost and decorate their own sugar cookie in the shape of a tree. Vicki team-taught with me and led them through a "Cake Walk" with pictures from that day's lesson, and the prize was a sticker, which they liked.
Oh, I have fallen in love with this new crafty blog and have just stolen this pic from www.luckybeans.typepad.com I would have asked permission, but you know...that's not how I roll...Anyway, its her pic.
There are some cool things here. First, she and her children cut out the welcome letters and put them on their front door. Can I say, what a great door? The letters are made from the self-adhesive shelf paper, like they have at the NEX. Now, wouldn't that make a cute entry sign on a government house little metal door like ours? I thought so. Now for making the letters look good...another thing to think on...
Ok, then there is the little elf hat made form felt. A person can see how it could be cut out and easily sewn. I don't think my 13 year old or 10 year old would be caught wearing it.
Then the ole 1977 book, the Great Thumbprint Drawing Book. That was in my heyday. I mean, my peak years! I am thinking this would be a great idea for the English class.
Anywhoo, that is the pilfering and commentary for today.
Frankie was the sickest but after some prednisone and albuterol is now back to his old self. Nate has a cough but is just fine for school the last couple of days.
Jose and I have had a bit of runny nose, headache and mild sore throat thing for the last week and a half. Not bad really, just bad enough to go about our normal activities but whine a bit and feel tired. Er, more tired that usual.
Its been a good excuse to curl up on the couch with some coffee, hot tea (Good Earth Original, my favorite and which I can't get here so brought from home - nice, hot and spicy - yum!) and my latest cross stitch.
This one is also all in sepia tones. I might end up going blind from all this brown brown brown! It is from an on line shop, the pattern is of a Dad holding a new baby. So sweet! It looks like a photograph but does not show the Dad's face, so it could be Jose.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Maybe I'm feeling a bit giddy because its my birthday today, but I'm so excited for my English class I can't stand it. We are going to read the story of the Little Gingerbread Man, and if the four tiny little girls in the class seem into it, I have some things ready to act out the story: a neckerchief, bowl and spoon for the little old woman, these pretend felt gingerbread men, a felt pig and horse and cow puppet...the only thing missing is the sly fox....hint hint....
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Ok, so I was on my favorite shopping website, www.etsy.com. when I ordered a crayon caddy for my sweet nephew Peter Henry, with his name sewn on it. I realized that I could probably make my own, so I found a free pattern on line and this material from Swany's, and here it is. I love the ones people make and there are many different variations that I've seen. It actually makes me want one although I haven't colored with crayons in years.
I made this one for Noah, who is three. I modified the pattern so it is thicker and holds a full 24 pack of crayons, plus the glue stick we always need. I made a few mistakes and a person can tell its homemade, but I think Noah would be ok with it. Even if the poor tyke doesn't like to color, he'd better like it!! Anyway, I looked for larger crayons for toddler age but the nex was all out of those.
Then I went nuts and bought some material thinking of the little boys and girls in my English class, some pink with little cakes and candies and berries on it, and some blue with teddy bears having a picnic on it. Now, I don't know what I'll do with that material...
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Its been a long time since he first left, in mid-April I think. I learned that I can read my own sewing machine manual and put thread on the bobbin myself. I learned that it is possible to be a single mom in Japan when you can't read or speak the language, and live across the globe from your family and still be ok.
You can take care of the kids, the house, the car, and the dogs, make friends, volunteer, go out, teach English, have fun and basically have a life.
But having Jose in my life just makes it richer and more fun. He is my best friend and the person who I always want to talk to at the end of the day. He understands me better than anyone. After 15 years of being married, I've discovered that having him around is definitely better than doing this life on my own!
So, when the Turkey came home early and surprised us, the night before Thanksgiving, we were so shocked and excited! All I could do is grab him and hug him. The kids and dogs danced around him and I didn't want to let him go.
Sure, my hair was a mess, the dishes weren't done, I had muddy paw marks on my jeans and the floor could use a sweep, but I couldn't have asked for a better homecoming!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Aw, and I was worried that the kids wouldn't like my pumpkin bread! :) I think that is her fourth and fifth piece!!
Here are some more cuties eating my pumpkin bread. Now, no one has to know it really came from Betty Crocker originally. The important thing is, I slaved over a hot oven for 25-35 minutes.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Little baby bro, I should say. Mee Mee. Little Mee Mee.