Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Premier Designs Jewelry Party: Please Join Us!


You are invited to a Premier Designs Jewelry Party!  Actually, you are invited to THREE (possibly four, one in the works) wonderful accessory parties.  

WHEN: Thursday, February 2nd 9:30 am -- 1 pm (and possibly Sunday, February 5th--let me know if you are interested)
WHERE: here at my house (contact me via FB or tengoku at gmail for my address)
WHAT TO WEAR: my mom (this is her business and livelihood, if you come and purchase, you are supporting a good cause!) will be bringing lots of samples for you to try.  If you wear something simple in a favorite color, it will be easier for you to imagine how different accessories could work in different ways for you.  
  • feel free to bring kids...but please do keep them from breaking the jewelry...
  • we will order your jewelry and hand it to you a week to 10 days after the party
  • if you buy more, you save more: buy 3 and save 30% off your most expensive item, buy 4 and save 40% off your most expensive item, buy 5 and save 50% off your most expensive item!
By the way, the two other parties I mentioned will be at a friends' house in Schaumburg (contact me for her address, see above for my contact info) on Friday, February 3rd 10 am--2 pm and also Saturday, February 4th 10 am--2 pm.  
Hope to see you soon!

日にちと時間: 2月2日木曜日 9:30~1時まで
場所:私の家 (ナイルズの聖マタイ幼稚園から15分)です。
  • 子連れは大丈夫、大歓迎です。
  • 注文制なので、その場でもらえないけど、1週間ー10日後に渡せます.
  • たくさん買う人はお得です!3個買うとその中の一番高い物は30%オフになります。4個買うとその中の一番高い物は40%オフになります。5個買うとその中の一番高い物は50%オフになります!



Monday, January 16, 2012

Week in the Life

If you make it all the way through the list of things that happened to me (us) this past week, likely you'll think I'm complaining.  Perhaps even that I'd be justified to do so.  But I want to report, in advance of the list: by God's grace, that's not the state of my heart.  True, I feel a bit beaten up.  Mostly, and more importantly, I feel grateful.  In all of these happenings, I can see ways I (we) was spared and ways I was rescued.  I'm not in such an advanced state of gratitude to wish for a repeat (Jesus, let the coming week be less eventful!).  Just want to acknowledge publicly that grace has brought me through, and I count that as a great start to a new year. 

*{Monday} Aogu blacked out, fell and bashed his face on our dresser.  But thank God!  He didn't suffer a concussion, and no repeat blackouts in the days since.  Furthermore, he called the doctor and scheduled an appointment for himself.  Which has NEVER happened during the length of our aquaintance....

*{Wednesday} I was given less than an hour's notice of a showing for our house.  Ironically, that morning I had looked around and mentally congratulated myself that the house was in close to showable condition.  HA!  Friends who recently moved in down the street saved my life again by watching the kids so I could--literally--race around the house and try to shape it up.  For my own amusement, let me confess: I dumped the contents of the recycle bin so I would have that receptacle for the dirty dishes, which I stashed in the garage.  It was really my worst clean-up job yet.  So is anyone surprised to hear that although we didn't get an offer, we did get the best feedback we've had so far?!

*{Thursday} SNOW.  Not even many inches, shouldn't have been a big deal around here, only it was, being the first snow we had this winter.  Please note I am not complaining here!  No snow is just fine with me.  Being rear ended was bad.  Realizing my van and the other guy's car were unscathed and the kids barely noticed, well, all of that was a great relief but I was still shaken up.  Must also note that it took me 90 minutes to drive to Koji's bus stop and back instead of the usual 45.  Which caused us to miss Koji's karate....

*{Also Thursday} Figured out that water had been spraying out of our ice maker.  Figured it out because water was dripping into the laundry room.  Future buyers of our home, please don't be disturbed.  We had it fixed right away (forever grateful, Ivan!) and we cleaned up and dried it out lickety split.  I assure you, this is a fine, sound home.  For real.

*{Saturday} Izumi's first tooth fell out (photographic evidence above).  Misaki went poo on the potty for the first time.  We went to the annual New Year's mochi making party at Izumi's school (looking at that post reminded me that it was exactly four years ago we lost Ai-chan, perhaps more about that soon).  I gave up any and all pretense of tolerating mochi and ran out to grab some take out from Pita Inn.  Aogu WON the run in place contest and now has this happy problem: what to buy with a Dick's Sporting Goods $25 gift card?

How was YOUR week?  Can you relate, from this past week or any other recent time? How is your resolve going for the New Year? 

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Buy This House, Please

Dining Room

Living Room

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom from the opposite side


Second Bedroom

Second Bedroom, other side

and from the other side

Living Room 

Living Room from the other side


Kitchen from the other side

If you don't need a house in Skokie right now, please forward this post to someone who does.  Or pray that someone who does will come along soon.  Thank you!

Friday, January 06, 2012

With Kids: To the Art Institute

Things I learned while on a "field trip" to the Art Institute today:

*Aim for a free day.  If you are a resident of Illinois, that's every weekday between now and February 10th, 2012.  Don't worry, you'll be given an opportunity to donate.  

*I passed on that opportunity.  Any money I would have considered donating was swallowed up by the 25 bucks I paid to park in the Millennium Garage.  Get in to the Millennium Garage before 10 and it's only $14 as long as you exit by 5 pm.  Too bad I got there at 10:42... 

*After you park in the Millennium Garage at 9:58, then you can kill your extra 32 minutes eating "brunch" in your car.  This is so you can avoid eating lunch inside the Art Institute.  Actually, do eat at the AI if you have budgeted to eat at Terzo Piano.  Otherwise,  plan to either eat your fill before you go in or step out at lunch time and re-enter afterwards.  You're not allowed to bring in your own food or drink, and the offerings at the Cafeteria aren't enticing.  

*Budget enough time for the Kids' Room.  It's in the new part of the building, and it's very engaging for kids and adults.  See the bottom of this post for a couple of evidence photos.  

*Taking small children to a fancy art museum is a survivable and even occasionally enjoyable experience, if you bring their sketchbooks and colored pencils and park them in a low traffic corner for awhile.  CL gets all the credit for this one!  Thanks for a great day.

Anyone want to join me?  I'm planning to go again before February 10th so I can put my own tips into practice.

Don't the girls almost look like they're on the bank of the river with everyone else?

As you know, Waterlilies

iPhone bad photo doesn't do this justice, it's really beautiful

And I only wish the idea of taking a separate photo of the details  so I could remember later "what was that painting called?" had occurred to me much earlier....

But I didn't do that for this painting, because we all know what this is, right?

Izumi was excited to find that she and the artist who created two large rock sculptures share the same name!

Chagall windows...can you see the Statue of Liberty?

Missed seeing the real thing, did this puzzle in the Kid's Room instead
Misaki's favorite part of the Kid's Room was the magnetic wall with huge animals to rearrange

We had a great day but S and Misaki suffered a little with missing their nap...if you squint, you can see The Art Institute of Chicago sign in the background

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Jumping Attire

Koji was back to school today, but it was a half day.  So the main event for the day was a couple hours at Pump It Up with friends.  OK, I may have been overdressed for hanging around a bunch of kids bouncing on giant inflatables.  I wouldn't change a thing though--that's how excited I was to get out of the house!

This tunic/dress? is from a teeny shop in Tokyo down the street from my in-laws apartment.  I'm pretty sure it's not the most flattering cut for me, but I still want it to work.  I do think these boots are working though, and that's a victorious feeling since I thrifted them. 

Bonus for today: a glimpse of Misaki in nap mode.  That means blankie (we call it "Kiki" and thumb in position.  Too bad she never did actually get to take a nap today~and with that, I bid you good night.  

pleated poppy

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

One Word for 2012

My name is Jamie Matsuoka, and I'm a heavy blog reader.
Surely more would be going on right here on this blog if I wasn't so busy didnt' waste so much time   didn't invest in reading lots of other blogs.... 

In the midst of all this blog perusing, sometime a year ago or so, I  noticed that some blogs I enjoy very much had something in common: their respective authors were choosing, and/or receiving from God, one word that would represent their year.  Last year I felt like a spectator.  It just didn't occur to me that perhaps I needed a word too.

But this year is, will be, different.  If in no other way than this: I want to hear One Word, and then after that lots of other words around that from Jesus.  I want to be guided by Him in each moment.

Which is why my word is NEAR.