Oreos for breakfast - only on Christmas morning!
Making Christmas cookies
One of their favorite things - sleeping on the futon in Mom & Dad's room. This has been a common occurrence throughout the winter break.
Bear is waiting to ambush his dad as soon as he walks through the door. Notice the glee on his face.
The kids got these snuggly blankets from Santa Claus. Mike borrowed them for the evening because he was cold.
Mike went back to work for three days after Christmas. The kids and I hung out at home and played the card games they got for Christmas and Scotland Yard, which was our family Christmas game this year. We attempted a visit to a museum, but after driving all the way there and walking through the rain, we discovered that it was closed. Too bad. Mike had the whole week of New Year's off, so we went to a New Year's Eve party at our neighbors Monday night, went downtown for New Year's Day on Tuesday, and joined some friends for a trip to Awaji Island on Wednesday.
A cute flower garden on Awaji.
The fun thing about this family is that they lived less than a mile from us back in Illinois and the kids attended the same school as Bear, but we didn't know them until they came to Japan.
Behind the kids are the whirlpools under Naruto bridge, but they weren't very whirly that day.
A pretty view from the Island.
Thursday we took another ski trip. It was snowing really hard and I was colder than I ever got in Hokkaido, although the actual temperature was warmer. Beaver and I look like we're on an arctic expedition.
Friday we chilled at home and cleaned the house. Today I prepared for primary and Mike and the boys played at the park in our neighborhood. I joined them after awhile and played capture the flag with Bear. Tomorrow is church, and then it's back to school and work on Monday. It's been a nice vacation, and I rather hate to see it end!
One other thing of note: I played a musical number on the piano in Sacrament meeting last week. The counselor in the branch presidency asked me to play, and I told him no, but he didn't believe me. So, I thought about what I might possibly be able to play, and remembered that "Nearer My God to Thee" is one hymn that I can play with minimal mistakes. I looked online and found a version of it that wasn't too difficult and practiced until my family probably never wants to hear the song again, but I got it down well enough to play in Sacrament meeting. Unfortunately, the piano in the chapel locks into quiet mode when the center pedal is pushed down, but I didn't know that. So, I started playing and couldn't figure out why the piano was so quiet. I was hitting the keys as hard as I could just to get it loud enough for the congregation to hear. It's too bad and kind of funny that happened, but I got through the piece pretty well. I feel quite proud of myself because that is something I never thought I could do.