Sunday, July 17, 2011

Keeping busy

We have been keeping busy with swimming and Japanese lessons.  I feel like I have learned so much at my lessons, but I still can rarely construct a sentence.  It's those pesky particles!  Wa, ga, ni, de.  I don't know which to use when!  My admiration for Mike, William and other missionaries who have learned Japanese has greatly increased.  I can read katakana now.  Katakana is the alphabet the Japanese use to write foreign words.  It is basically all the same sounds as hirigana, the alphabet they use for Japanese words, so why they felt the need for an additional alphabet, I don't know.  It would have been useful to have been able to read katakana a few weeks ago when I accidentally bought drinkable yogurt instead of milk.  Boy, was I surprised when I took my first bite of cereal in the morning.  Bear is also taking lessons.  He can read hirigana, so between the two of us we can get around alright.  Then there is kanji.  I really haven't even attempted that yet.

When we're not occupied with Japanese, we spend a lot of time at the pool.  I told Bear that he couldn't go in the deep end until he could swim across the pool without stopping, thinking that wouldn't happen for awhile.  But, by golly, he did it!  So I had to hold up my end of the deal, even though it makes me a little nervous.  He is doing really well, though, and I'm happy that he can really swim now.  Even Beaver paddles around the pool in his little floating swimming suit.  Pretty much all the other expat families are gone for home leave, so it is pretty much our own private pool right now.  I know, it's a tough life I lead.  Hanging out at the pool, eating at the club, playing bridge on Friday afternoons.  (Just kidding about the bridge.)

Our July 4th celebration in the garage because it was pouring rain outside.

The kids and I took a trip to Oji Zoo last week.  I took the wrong train line and we got rather lost for awhile ("I TOLD you we should have switched trains at Sannomiya!" said Bear).  Thanks to google maps on my iphone (totally worth the money while I am in Japan!) and some texted advice from Mike, we eventually made it to the zoo and had quite a fun day. 

The giant panda was quite a bit smaller than I expected.  I had never seen a real-life panda before.

Bear liked the kangaroos.

I like the red pandas.  Also something I had never seen live before.

They both like the farm/petting zoo area. 

We took a walk around our neighborhood the other night and found a pathway we hadn't explored before.  It led us to a nice view of the ocean.  Bear is pointing to a rainbow that you can't see.

There's the rainbow!  Just a little one.
Kind of makes me wish we had chosen a house with an ocean view.  So pretty!


Fran said...

Wow that panda looks smaller than Beaver!
I wanted to request that you take video of the boys playing in the pool in wide screen so I can look at it when I get home from work in the 110 heat index weather that's coming up this week. Today it literally cooked the geranium I had in a pot. No wonder you don't see many geraniums around here.

christy said...

Ha! Yes pandas are not giant if compared to a bear but they are compared to red pandas or raccoons. I love red pandas too but didn't you ever see the one at Hogle Zoo? Boy an iPhone would have been nice when me and the kids got lost in hong kong. I just got a taxi to take us home. I was very lucky he spoke English and was very nice. Have fun at Disneyland! I hope it's not as crowded as HK was.