Sunday, November 27, 2011

Stream of Consciousness Week in Review

Over the past week I visited two beautiful Japanese sites that are particularly noteworthy in autumn.  Last Saturday was Mino Falls.  It was pouring rain, but our Relief Society had been planning this excursion for weeks, so we went anyway.  We all got soaked, but it really was a lovely little hike and we had a good time.  We also got to try momiji tempura - battered and fried maple leaves.  They tasted like - fried batter.

Wednesday was a holiday, so Bear didn't have school and Mr. Mike took the day off work.  We went with some friends to an arboretum up Rokko Mountain.  It was very crowded, but as we kept hiking up some trails farther out in the park the crowds thinned considerably.  I thoroughly enjoyed the hike, and it is certainly a place I would like to go back to.

Another awesome Japanese climbing structure. 

I couldn't resist giving this one a try.

Bear on the zipline

The kids and Mr. Mike - Bear is resisting having his picture taken.  Resisting in vain!

Handsome kid

Japanese maple in all its autumn glory - and our friends' little boy.

I started to make jam this week, but realized that I didn't have enough sugar.  Beaver was at preschool, I didn't feel like getting in my car, and I figured the exercise would do me good, so I walked down the hill to a little grocery store near the train station to buy some.  I located some bags of what looked like sugar, bought two, and headed home.  I was pretty sure it was sugar, but there must have been a tiny bit of doubt in the back of my mind, because when I got home I tasted it before dumping it in with my strawberries.  Salt!  Can you imagine if I had made my jam with 4 cups of salt?

Yesterday morning Beaver and I were out riding our bikes near our house.  Beaver was quite interested in a patch of pretty flowers.  He wanted to pick one, but was a little daunted by the many insects buzzing around the flowers.  He told me, "Those bugs are eating connector.  'Cause that's what butterflies eat.  They eat connector."

Yesterday evening we enjoyed an excellent Thanksgiving feast with friends.  I missed the Thanksgiving dinner at the clubhouse the week before because Luke came down with a one-evening illness, so I was glad to have another chance.  It was a great time with great friends.  I was having a weird relationship with Thanksgiving this year.  In my mind, Thanksgiving is a harvest celebration, and since I didn't have a garden, I had no harvest.  So, I didn't feel like I had any business having a Thanksgiving.  I'm glad our friends didn't feel the same way.

Lately if Beaver wakes up during the night, he doesn't get up - he just yells from his bed, "Mommy!  Mommy!"  Mike is often not home when the kids go to bed, but I always tell Beaver that when Daddy gets home, he will come and check on him.  So, a few nights ago he awoke at 2:30 in the morning, called for me, asked if Daddy was home, and requested that Daddy come check on him.  His other bedtime ritual is to have me tell him the "story about his day", and sing bedtime songs.  If Mike is home and puts him to bed, he always asks for me to come check on him to sing and tell him about his day.  A couple of nights ago I was surprised when Mike put him to bed and he just went to sleep without asking for me.  3:30 in the morning:  "Mommy!  Mommy!"  I stumbled sleepily to his bedside.  "I want you to sing songs and tell me the story about my day."  Um, a little too late, Sweetie.

Leaf pile!

This shrub in our backyard in blooming - for the second time this year!  Have I mentioned that I love the extended autumn here?  It totally makes up for the hot, miserable month of July.

Tonight we got out our Christmas decorations.  Without the presence of a big Christmas tree, I feel like we have pitifully few Christmas decorations.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Photos of Recent Goings-On

Today at Beaver's preschool the kids made pizza for their Thanksgiving cooking day.  Other moms were there with their cameras, snapping pictures, but I was just hanging out, enjoying myself.  Poor Beaver had to ask me, "Please you can take a picture of me making my pizza?"  Good thing I had my phone with me.

Honestly, we moms were a bit skeptical about how well it was going to work to have a dozen or so preschoolers mixing dough and making pizzas, but the school had it nicely organized and it turned out very cute and fun.  They even had little pizza boxes for the kids to take their pizzas home.  It was interesting to see what kinds of toppings the parents sent.  One little girl had anchovies, capers, and fresh basil leaves, among other things.  Another had sliced, hard boiled egg.  Most of them had corn.  Japanese like corn on pizza.  Beaver will eat nothing on pizza except sausage, pepperoni, and cheese.  Someone offered him corn, and he seemed ready to break down into tears at the horror of the thought.

Cute kids with their pizzas.
Check out Beaver and his little blonde friend next to him.  They were holding hands throughout the photo shoot.

Last Saturday was the annual Food Fair at Bear's school.  It is the only fundraiser they do, and it is a big deal.  It was fun, with lots of food booths selling all sorts of delicious food.  They also had carnival games going on in the school, hosted by the various classes.  Bear's class was doing Bingo, and they all had to take a turn helping to run the game.

Bear had a cub scout activity a couple of weeks ago.  Beaver needs to work on his Japanese peace sign for photos.

I had something else going on, so I didn't go, but Mr. Mike took Beaver to a fish market...

...and a castle.

I took a Japanese cooking class last week, so now I can recognize a few more grocery store items.  Hooray!

And....I think that about sums up our latest happenings.  November is flying right by.  It is still beautiful autumn weather here, so it is hard to realize that we are coming up on December.  Although tonight it was chilly enough that we made a fire in our fireplace and roasted marshmallows.  Time to start thinking about Christmas!