Sunday, December 23, 2012


Awaiting our flight in the funky Peach airlines waiting area

Gazing out the window of the airplane at the snow-capped mountains below, I spotted the peak of Mt. Fuji rising from the clouds in the distance!

We are always surprised by the things you can buy from vending machines in Japan.

Kiroro Resort

Plants vs Zombies was the favorite hotel room activity

The kid's new thermals make great ninja suits.

 There was A LOT of snow.  Three meters according to some reports.

It was also very cold.  Cold enough that I was worried about exposed skin being susceptible to frostbite.  So, we left no skin exposed.

Handsome boy.

Two handsome boys.

Three handsome boys!
(You'll just have to take my word about the one in the middle.)

 I was so impressed with our little Beaver.  He could really ski this year!

Mike's head got cut off a bit, but he and Bear are showing the great powder they found on the backside of the mountain.

Warming up at a grill-your-own meal restaurant.

I was feeling all sorts of anxiety leading up to our trip to Hokkaido.  I always feel anxious before ski trips, though I'm not sure why, and I guess I just had a lot of time to think about this one before it actually happened.  We really had a great time, though.  The resort was fairly small, but it was about perfect for us - with several wide, cruiser runs (so, perfect for me!) - and a nice, family-friendly feeling to it.  And the snow was great.  I was worried about the cold, but as long as we stayed covered up, it was fine.  Beaver loves hotels.  He often tells us that he doesn't want to live in our house anymore and he wants to live in a hotel.  Whenever we go on a trip, he will say that he wants to go back there and live in our hotel again.  So, he's been saying recently that he wants to go back to Hong Kong.  I suppose now it will be back to Hokkiado.  He was so sad when we packed up to check out of the hotel.  He will point out high-rise buildings to me and say, "I want to live in that hotel."  I thought for awhile that he would like to live in a high-rise apartment, so yesterday I asked him if he wanted to live in a tall building in an apartment with lots of rooms like our house, or if he likes hotels because we all stay in the same room.  He said he wants us to all be in the same room.  That would get pretty cozy before too long!

Happy days in Hokkaido!

More Christmas Festivities

We hosted our branch Christmas party at our house.  I roasted my first turkey, which turned out pretty well, and I think that everyone enjoyed the evening.  I was having more fun than it looks like in this picture, and Bear was not actually asleep at the table.

Beaver with our senior missionary elder - one of his favorite people.  He generally refers to him either as "Garth Vader" or "the other Superman" - names that have come of his pretend sword and light saber battles with Elder Dalling after church every Sunday.

And with his other two favorite people - two of the three youth in our branch.  Beaver and Bear were both having a fabulous time wrestling and playing chase with them.  They were the only kids at the party, so they had the teenagers all to themselves.

Bear at his school Christmas production.

Singing "War is Over" with his class.  He looks like such a big kid up there.  Sniff.

Beaver's Preschool Christmas party.  Perhaps you can tell by his expression that he was not very excited to be dressed up as a snowman.  He refused to put on his carrot nose.

But he was pretty happy to get a present!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tis the Season

Merry Christmas!

We had our community Christmas party at the clubhouse last Saturday.  Santa Claus was there to pass out a Christmas gift to each of the children.

Bear got the card game for which he has been asking for months. 

Beaver had been very nervous because he knew Santa would be there and he did not want to have to visit with him.  We assured him that he didn't have to sit on Santa's lap, but Santa was calling them up one by one to get their gifts.  We thought he would be okay if Mike took him, but he was rather terrified and crying. Then, after all the trauma of getting the present, he opened it and said in disappointment, "This is not what I asked for!"  He got a card game, too, but he had written a letter to Santa asking for a toy knight and dragon.  I had to remind him that this was just a small, early Christmas present and he still has a chance of getting the knight and dragon on Christmas.

Bear stayed home from school yesterday because he tripped and twisted his ankle as he was leaving school on Tuesday.  It was still hurting and he was having a hard time walking.  I felt very bad, because I have not been going to pick him up from the bus stop lately.  It has been getting cold and it is easier to just let him walk home with his friend rather than get Beaver bundled up and go to the bus.  So, he had to walk home with his injured foot and then when he got here the door was locked because I had forgotten to unlock it for him.  Poor Bear!  I think his foot will be alright.  He's still limping a bit, but it didn't stop him from avatar-style battling with Beaver and leaping off of our bed last night, so I figured he was okay to go back to school today.  I let Beaver stay home from preschool yesterday since his brother was home, and they played Pokemon so nicely together for much of the day.  I was quite happy with them, especially Bear, since how well they play largely depends on him simply because he is the oldest.  He doesn't always relish that responsibility, but he did very well with it yesterday.

We are hosting our branch Christmas party at our house on Saturday.  We asked people to RSVP since it is at our house so that we would know how many to plan for.  It didn't make much difference.  We have about 6 yeses and 13 maybes, so we still don't know how many to plan for.

I went to the store where I always buy shortening today for the sole purpose of buying shortening only to find that they no longer carry shortening.  I feel betrayed.