Monday, February 23, 2009

The Welcome Party

On Sunday morning, Sae bravely helped me in the toddler nursery at our church. Toddler English is obviously a little bit hard to decipher (sometimes even for us native speakers), but she dove right in, and seemed to enjoy herself. (At least, she says she's willing to go back next week!)
That evening, all of the host families got together for a welcome party and introduced all of our students to the idea of the American "potluck" meal. After eating, the students put on a Japanese culture fair. They bring origami, traditional calligraphy, and games to be able to share a part of their culture with their American families. Below, Monkey waits in line at the calligraphy station. When it was his turn, they patiently showed him how to write his name in katakana - one of the Japanese written languages (there are three, just in case you were wondering!). When they were through, he promptly took the paint brush and proudly painted his name on the English....making just about every young woman at the table giggle. Below, Random plays the Japanese version of Rock, Paper, Scissors with Sensei Odani, the professor who accompanies the students to America. He comes every year, and as we have hosted before, we (and many other families) really enjoy getting to see him again. He and Random struck up a friendship last year, and have picked up right where they left off. In this version of Rock, Paper, Scissors, if you are the "loser" you must try to put on a hat as quickly as you can, before the "winner" bops you on the head with the inflatable hammer.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

She's Here!

Our exchange student arrived today from Japan. She will be with us for 3 1/2 weeks, attending college classes during the day, and returning home to us at night. Here are a few pictures of our first day together:

Waiting at the airport, in the exact spot Mango and Monkey first met their grandparents, just over three years ago!
Twenty-nine host families begin to gather to welcome this year's students to Minnesota!
Is she ever going to get through customs???
Finally, the first students from the group arrive to smiles and cheering from their waiting host families.Our first picture together:

Monday, February 16, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook for 2/16/09

My friend, Liz, has already beat me to this this morning!

FOR TODAY... February 16, 2009
Outside my window... Most of the snow is gone. All that remains is the dirty, gray stuff. The grass is brown, and it all makes me anxious to see some signs of spring.
I am thinking...about a cyber-friend of mine, who is leaving for the Philippines today to go pick up her new son
I am thankful children, even with the difficult issues that arise
From the learning rooms...We are taking the day off as it is President's Day
From the kitchen...Cereal for breakfast, probably sandwiches, chips, and fruit for lunch
I am wearing...jeans, a yellow shirt, and striped socks
I am creating...a knit mitten/hat/scarf set with my oldest daughter, Lily
I am meet some friends from high school, who were youth leaders that I spent alot of time with back then. It's been about 13 years since I last saw them.
I am reading...a series called The Island of Heavenly Daze on my Kindle. I am not sure if I like it yet, but I can't seem to put it down!
I am hoping...that our exchange student arrives safely on Saturday, and that we are ready for her
I am hearing...Clifford on the television and Monkey playing a game on his Leapster
Around the house...Toys and pillows are scattered on the floor; a nebulizer is still sitting out as my husband has not yet fully recovered from his nasty cold
One of my favorite things...Quiet times with God - even if it's only a few stolen moments while I'm in the bathroom
A few plans for the rest of the week: Getting our house ready for Sae, who arrives on Saturday
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

To read others' daybooks, check out the Simple Woman's Daybook blogsite

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mango's Tooth

Mango is not typically what you would call a "tough girl". She is usually very feminine and quite sensitive. But when it comes to loose teeth the girl is one very brave young lady. For the last couple of days, one of her front baby teeth has been sticking out at a bit of an odd angle, even though it wasn't really all that loose. She bumped it while playing tonight, it bled quite a bit, and she decided she wanted it out. She spent quite a bit of time standing in the bathroom working at it, and came out smiling with her tooth still in her mouth, and completely turned sideways. Not sure if that's an improvement from sticking out or not!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Our Week

This past week has been a really long one at our house. Just about everyone in the house, except for me, has gotten sick. Bad winter colds and a houseful of asthmatics just don't mix well.
Monkey's asthma flared up last weekend, which means giving nebs every 4-6 hours around the clock, day after day after day. He later started running a fever and was started on antibiotics. He's feeling better now, but spent much of the week doing this:
On Tuesday, both Random and Seely also started not feeling great. I had to go pick up Seely early from a co-op class he takes, but other than that one day, they have both, so far, seemed to be okay.
Lily started coughing around Wednesday, but managed to stop long enough to help me roll out some cinnamon rolls (that didn't get done until about midnight because I forgot they had to raise 2 hours before baking!)
Wednesday night, DH started getting sick, with the same cough and fever that Monkey had. He's been off of work since then, and even though he's on medicine, he is making a very slow recovery.
Mango has only a slight cough and no fever, so she and I went out for lunch on Saturday, and spent her last Christmas gift card. She purchased some Pixo's, and has been having fun making horse designs. The TV's been on so much this week, with people not feeling well, that even the cat has taken up watching it. (He's watching a MacGyver rerun in the photo.) Ignore the laundry in the background - it's clean, just waiting to be folded!)
And since we've been spending so much time at home, Lily and I are loom knitting a hat, scarf, mitten set for our exchange student who arrives in two weeks. Lily's working on the scarf.

Please say a prayer that everyone will get and stay healthy!

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Several of my blogging friends participate in this. I've always enjoyed reading what they wrote and getting a little glimpse into their lives, so am going to try one of my own.

FOR TODAY: February 2nd, 2009
Outside my window...the sun is shining, the deck is covered with snow, and it's too cold to play outside
I am thinking...about going Denny's tomorrow, because they are supposedly giving every American a free Grand Slam.
I am thankful for...the fact we have enough.
From the learning rooms...all of the usual things. Two of the kids are done for the day. Random is finishing up his math, and Mango is catching up on some reading.
From the kitchen...Leftovers for lunch, and turkey breast with potatoes for supper.
I am wearing...a soft, hooded sweater and old jeans
I am creating... a blog entry (Ha!)
I am BSF tonight.
I am reading...Unshaken by Francine Rivers. It is a fictionalized story of the book of Ruth from the Bible.
I am watch the Bachelor after I get home tonight
I am hearing...The quiet voices of 4 kids playing (a neighbor boy is over), the tap of computer keys as Random does his math, and the dishwasher running from the kitchen
Around the house...are blankets and toys on the floor. (I won't mention the dust bunnies.)
One of my favorite curling up with my Kindle and a soft blanket.
A few plans for the rest of the week: school, lunch out with friends
Here is picture thought I am sharing: If you want to see other daybooks, please check out the Simple Woman's Daybook blog.