Monday, November 26, 2012

Giving Thanks for the Past Week

Aogu is in Tokyo, and though we miss him, we are thankful that he has work to do!

Our new, kind, God-sent friends the B Family invited us to a bowling and pizza party. The opportunity for the kids to bowl up a storm and eat exceeding amounts of pizza (OK, I did too...) was the perfect Sunday afternoon diversion. Thank you so much, B Family!

This a Japanese style toilet seat cover. The purpose is not sanitation, but rather a warm bottom. Which some may consider as--or even more?!--important than sanitation during a Chicago winter. Even with the blessing of a nicely heated home, that stone cold toilet seat can be a shock to the behind! We are asking Aogu to please purchase a couple of these and bring them back to increase our toilet-sitting comfort.

Here the girls are spending a little time Thanksgiving Day with their aforementioned new "BF," (see the bowing party point above) Mr. C (of the previously mentioned B Family, got that?) at another friends' house. We stopped in for a couple of hours of playing and appetizers.

Koji and Z challenged one another to a few rounds of UNO dice and then headed outside for a quick game of soccer. We had to leave for the next party we were invited to, so we may never know what the White Castle Slider Stuffing tasted like!

Boys Table at the Feast. For better or worse, Koji taught them to spread cranberry sauce on white rolls. I'm pretty sure that much nutritional intake was hindered as a direct result. And I'm pretty sure there was no way around this thought process for Koji when he saw that veritable vat of cranberry sauce: "LOOK AT THAT GIGANTIC DISH OF JAM! MUST SPREAD ON BREAD NOW!"....

Our lovely friend J and her boys, so so kind to include us in their family festivities!

Girl Power!

Our sweet and gracious hostess, Mrs. R, who rarely sat down (until this photo was taken late late in the evening). Misaki, ready to combat you in dress up boots (see below). Mrs. R's daughter, C; it was so fun to get to know her a bit, and a family friend, B.

Don't mess with the wearer of the BOOTS!

Alas, I failed to get photographic evidence of our Friday morning trip to Chuck E. Cheese, but I did mention it in the previous entry, so I think you have the idea. After that, not a great photo, but I do enjoy the view of the Chicago skyline when driving toward it (and then mistakenly into it....someday I'll figure out how to maneuver around here?!) on 94.

Spent some time with our friends the C Family, first at their house, then at Jump Zone and Chipotle. When I explained to Misaki that this sign meant she was the only member of our family allowed in this bouncy house, she was enamoured and we could hardly drag her out. Thankfully, toward the end of our stay there, we did drag her out for several family trips down the Batman slide, which made us laugh hysterically. Now, are you noting that we went to Chuck E.'s AND Jump Zone all in the same day?! My main Energizer Bunny, Koji, actually fell asleep in the car on the way home! And I somehow carried his 65 pound dead weight in the house and into his bed without injuring either of us, only to have him wake up three minutes later saying he needed to use the restroom....

Yesterday morning we spent some time at home. I was NOT feeling energetic but the kids were, so it was very difficult to get them to let me read a magazine (insert less than stellar parenting moment....) but they did eventually. Thanks, kids! In the early afternoon, we were off to make origami ornaments with the L Family for their daughters' memorial tree.

It was amusing, though not genetically surprising, that Koji and Izumi were considered the resident experts of all paper folding. I'm not sure they deserved the amount of adulation they got, but they certainly enjoyed it. I enjoyed the opportunity to disprove a long, firmly held belief: that I am not good at origami. Turns out, I'm not as expert as the kids, but I can hold my own when I'm not trying to do 17 other things at the same time (hm, could this concept perhaps have a more universal application?).

After that, we were off to spend time with another C Family, who had invited us for pizza at their house. They had just set up their Christmas tree, and it smelled so...Christmasy!.... Here the kids are, showing their friend A their new iPad game, Angry Birds Star Wars.

As for today, I can't post it but I got a fine picture of Misaki, dead asleep in her birthday suit after her bath. We went to church, were visited by the B Family (who ate instant ramen with us and didn't complain, they are turning out to be true friends), then the M Family (who treated Koji to a viewing of the Life of Pi in the theatre) and then all the kids took turns in the shower. I told her to put her pajamas on, went off to do something else and then started to wonder why she wasn't coming out of her room. Well, the lure of her Kiki (that's her blankie's name) and her room--note I didn't say bed, she fell asleep right on the floor--was too much and she ended up going to bed for the night, without eating dinner or brushing her teeth, at 5:30 pm.

And so, that was our blessed, full, busy, wonderful four days of Thanksgiving for 2012. To all the friends mentioned, and those who prayed, we are deeply grateful for your care for us. Thank you, God!

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