Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007 almost over...

It is unreal to me that 2007 is almost over. I can not believe it! Time really really flies when you're having fun. It goes by WAY too fast.

We are finally done with all the crazy schedule that Fall and Christmas brings our way ministry wise. What an incredible blessing it was to go all the places we went and meet all the people we met and do all the things we did. We have the most amazing job in the world! This Fall was the easiest for me in the past several years since Hana is getting so independent. It didn't feel as overwhelming to keep up with all our responsibilities this year although I think we were just as busy as we have been in the past. I am excited, however, to think that at this time next year we will be in the states for a certain VERY special person's wedding! I will not name names, but I gotta thank her for deciding to get married at Christmas. I am going to enjoy being "home" for Christmas for the first time in many years!

Christmas was quite different this year for some reason. Our usual "American" group chose to celebrate on Christmas Eve with dinner together. So Christmas day we had the day all to ourselves. We don't do LOTS of gifts or Santa, so it was pretty low key. We slept in (even Hana!) and got up and had some yummy French toast for breakfast, opened a couple of presents between ourselves and then just took it easy all day. We had friends over for dinner in the evening, but it was a VERY Japanese meal. I am still struggling with what to do with our Christmas as a family. We are always so busy with concerts it is hard for me to make it very special, without putting too much on my plate. I wasn't even able to get decorations out this year. We can't do a big extended family thing because Rocky's brother lives in Osaka and they come back to visit for the New Year (as Christmas isn't a holiday here) and Rocky's Dad always works on Christmas day (since it isn't an official holiday). I'm still trying to figure out what to do for "family traditions" for Christmas time!!!

Now Rocky's brother and his family are in town. It is always fun to have them here. The kids have a blast together, and all the adults really have a great time talking and sharing about all that has happened to us recently. We shared lots of funny stories tonight and we were laughing so hard. It was wonderful. Not to mention the food tonight was AMAZING! I'll have to post pictures later, most of you probably won't think it looks that great... but it was wonderful!

As soon as the in-laws are gone (they leave Jan 1) I don't know what I'm going to do with myself. I feel almost lost at the moment, cause there really isn't anything on our schedule except for some simple chapel services here and there, and some of my Kindergarten English classes and Bible studies. Those things are once a month/twice a month type of the things. And Rocky has plans to start recording a cd. He needs my help in the studio every once-in-a-while, but mostly he can do the recording on his own. I have a LOT of house work to catch up on, organizing to do, and I may get around to some of the "handy-man" jobs around the house that have been waiting for attention. It's going to be interesting to see how useful I can be. I always struggle in the new year with feeling worthwhile after having such a busy schedule then suddenly NOTHING!

Ahhhh, and I bet you all are wondering about my fitness. Well in the midst of all the craziness I was lucky to make it to the gym once or twice a week. BUT the good news is, I haven't gained ANY weight. Even with all the meals that I had no control over and being forced to eat convenience store food or fast food a lot, I've done quite well with portion control and eating as healthy as possible. It's gonna be so nice to get back to cooking our own food so I can control the veggies and fruits we get, and control the oils and fats in our food. And it is going to be wonderful to get back to my normal gym schedule. I still have about a kilo and a half/two kilos to get off! I think I just might get it done.

We have a U.S. tour planned for late Spring/early Summer! We may be stateside for 6-8 weeks! Still working on where we are going to go and what churches we will be in so stay tooned. Right now it looks like we'll possibly be in Arizona... we are going to Colorado FOR SURE... and OF COURSE we are headed to Texas... plus we might even go to Florida! I can not wait to set foot on American soil again, and see my FAMILY! It's been ALMOST two years. I'm aching to hug some necks!!! I can't wait!

Well I'm gonna sign off for now. We have quite a few extra bodies under our roof tonight which means I gotta get up earlier to get myself ready and then fill those tummies before we go out to play tomorrow. It's snowing right now! brrrrrr cold. We are supposed to go to the Aquarium tomorrow to look at the fish cause my little 2 year old nephew loves fish. it's gonna be brrrrrrrrrrrr cold!

Good night and lots of love!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Christmas ALREADY???

I can not believe it is already well into December. Where does the time go?! Well, I haven't even gotten out the Christmas decorations yet, and if I do at this point its going to be like turning around and putting them right back up almost immediately! ugh, time just goes by way too fast.

WE had a great trip to Aomri though and I wanted to share a few photos.

We saw LOTS of this...

ate lots of this...

and drank lots of this...

and did lots of this...

Aomori is very famous for it's apples! Now we know why. I have never tasted such delicious apples in my whole life. And the apple juice!? OH MY! Unbelievable. I will never be able to drink store bought apple juice again. For lunch today I warmed a cup of apple juice in the microwave, oh it was soooooooooo yummy, I was in heaven! No need for any sugar or spices, it was sweet and tart and unbelievable just like that. We will be ordering our apple juice from them from now on! And getting all our apples from there too (although it will be limited to the season of course).

I especially loved the snow though. I love cold weather and snow, and it was beautiful. I wish we could have gone skiing, we are going to make a trip up there again sometime to ski for sure!

Well, I will share more as time goes by, but just thought I would put a little bit of something on my blog today.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Boy did we ever have a Thanksgiving this year. And I thought I wasn't going to get Thanksgiving dinner because we were gonna be gone for some concerts...

We went WAY up north to Aomori-ken for some concerts and it was a blast. We did concerts for LOTS of Thanksgiving dinner parties, I had my fill of turkey and stuffing like you wouldn't believe. and Aomori-ken is famous for it's apples, so the apple pie was AMAZING! I ate WAYYYYYYYYY too much.

It was so fun though and we loved the missionary couple there, and the people in the churches. What a wonderful blessing it was, we didn't want to come home.

Not to mention all of the snow we got to see. Pictures coming soon.

(and Martin if you are reading this, I didn't gain ANY weight at all, can you believe it!?!?!?!? hhahah)

Monday, November 12, 2007


NOT my favorite word. NOT a word I usually use often. but that past couple weeks have been horrible. The cold I was fighting when I posted last turned into a full blow sinus infection that just won't quite! So, needless to say I've had plenty of time to get over being sore, I haven't worked out since my last post, hoping to save my bodies energy for recovering from this infection. Our schedule is about to get crazy, so I do hope I can recover fully.

Not just me, we've all had it, and have all had trouble getting over it. So that's why there isn't much blogging going on around here. And I'm off to bed...

good night

Monday, November 05, 2007

muscle toning=weight GAIN!!!!!!!


well, first of all, an update after yesterday's post. I was presently suprised to wake up this morning with significantly less pain than yesterday. I was moving a bit faster than yesterday but the frustration of not being able to do things with ease was getting to me. By the end of church this morning I was frustrated with EVERYTHING, just plain annoyed because every tiny move hurts and I have to move so slowly! I am so used to doing everything at about 90 mph. Maybe the Lord is telling me to slow down!

By this evening I was feeling good enough to work out and I am glad I did, I feel much better. A WONDERFUL friend from church loaned me a few videos from her Billy's Boot camp DVD set. so even though we got home from a concert tonight well after my gym had closed, I was able to work out here at home. You must be thinking I am crazy for doing another Billy video again, but hey, that is what made me sore, so using those same muscles is gonna make me feel better! AND now that I have some videos in my possession, I CAN MASTER THEM... HAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

Now, about my TITLE.... YES, you read that right. A week worth of muscle toning has equaled about a kilo of weight GAIN! I hate seeing that higher number on the scales but I KNOW it is muscle and not fat, because my clothes fit pretty much the same, if not a bit more loose AND my waist measurement is the same so that means muscle gain, and I can certainly understand why. Monday was my regular gym workout with full body weights, Wed. and Thur. was Pilates and Friday was the DVD. In addition I ate pretty healthy this week, except for LaPaz on Monday, so I am not too upset about the weight gain. We'll see what a few more weeks at this pace does, if the muscle gain will rev up my metabolism and bring my weight back down... Hey, a girl can think positive now!!!

We had a great weekend though, Saturday and Sunday concerts. This week I need to really enjoy and get some house hold stuff and computer stuff done, because the two weeks after that are gonna be down-right CRAZY! EVERY DAY events kinda crazy...

I'm off to bed, still fighting off a cold a little too.

Good night all

Saturday, November 03, 2007

sooooo.... sore

Ok, so since I started working out a year and half ago, I have never been this sore. It is truely possible that I have never been this sore in my whole life. Well, ok maybe after the first day of cheerleading camp every summer in high school it felt something like this... maybe

OUCH, even typing hurts.

Yesterday I went to my friends house and we did a workout to Billy's Boot Camp DVD. I have no idea if this is popular in the states but it is REALLy popular in Japan right now. I felt pretty good during it, I could get through most of the entire workout with just a little rest here and there. It didn't seem THAT bad, I didn't sweat nearly like I do on the elliptical trainer at the gym! And hey, I am in good enough shape to do cardio for anywhere from 30 min to an hour AND lift weights and never get sore doing those. I was pretty tired at the end of the DVD and I knew I'd be feeling it a little bit today, but I feel EVERY muscle in my body today, with every move I make. I am sooooooooo sore. I don't know what about that work out did it, but man it REALLY REALLY makes me want those videos for myself so that I can MASTER them and not get sore! but they are way too expensive!!! LOL, I'm not THAT determined, I think!

Anyways, I will survive and work out another day, but not today OR tomorrow, the thought of it makes me want to cry, truely. Besides we have church and an afternoon concert tomorrow.

So in my bordom this evening since I can't move and can't do anything, I was looking around on youtube and found this amazing video. I can't decide if it is hilarious or awe inspiring! You decide...

Well, I just finished the most painful bath I think I have ever taken, but I am proud of myself. I was going to have Rocky help me, at least wash my hair for me, but I made myself do it. Pain and all! Now -- I am going to bed. Any amount of time spent not moving makes me dread the next time I have to move! I am not looking forward to climbing up the stairs to get in bed, and I am sooooooooooooooo not looking forward to waking up in the morning after not moving all night. OUCH, I really might break down and cry!

here goes nothing...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

If you need a good laugh...

just watch this and it'll make you forget all your worries and stresses and you'll just LAUGH!!!!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Busy as always in the fall...

So it is just the busiest season of the year around here so that is why I haven't posted on my own blog lately.

This is just totally random but I mostly blog for my own sake and I gotta write about this. EVERY night at around 10:30pm the guy next door has a sneezing fit. He's sneezing his head of right now! It totally cracks me up, you can almost set your clock by it. And he sneezes SO loud! I wonder why he sneezes at the same time every night.

So we had dinner with our missionary friends tonight and we took them to our favorite Bolivian restaurant, La Paz! oh it was sooooooooooo yummy! They ended up brining one extra taco to our table and I'm not sure why but I ATE it! It was yummy. But my FAVORITE thing on the menu there, and probably my favorite thing in the whole world is their cheese empanada! I seriously grieve every time I am getting to the last bite. These are the yummiest things you have EVER had! I can't wait to go back.

So anyway, it has been a busy month, and therefor working out has been random. I have only been able to go about twice a week all month. And SO, my one kilo that I finally lost is creeping back on. With that said however, I bought jeans last weak and they were two sizes smaller than the last time I bought! So that rocks, and I am VERY pleased exactly where I am.

Two of my good friends have gotten videos that are popular in Japan right now called Billy's Boot Camp. It is a really intense work out. I've seen the info-mercials on tv and really wanted to order the DVD set, but they are expensive and our DVD player only plays region one DVD's. But anyways, my two friends and I are planning on getting together one night this week and doing the workout together. It should be fun. I am curious to see if I can make it through one workout. It is REALLY intense from what I hear. I wish I had the DVD set.

Well, other than that, it is just concerts and more concerts. And more and more of that over the next couple of months. To think that by this time December we'll be done with this crazy season! ahhhh, I look forward to some R&R and some fun with my little family!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


that is what my scales have said for THREE morning in a row. 61.ZERO

WOW! I am one little bitsy, teeny weensy kilo away from my goal of 60 kilo. I thought I was never gonna make it. I'm almost there. I'm thinking of having a 60 kilo party when I get there! the BIG 6 0 ! Can I be proud of myself? (I hope so, cause I am)

So anyways, today on my way home from taking Hana to preschool I saw one of my gym buddies out on the street hanging out store signs in front of a noodle shop I pass almost daily. So I hollared at him and we talked a minute. Turns out that is his shop. I've passed that shop a hundred or more times in the last year and half since I joined the gym, and never saw him there. Never even noticed there was a noodle shop there. I guess Rocky and I have a new noodle shop to go check out. This is one of the guys I have been building a friendship with in little three to four minute conversations between machines at the gym. He seems like a REALLY nice guy. I hope we can get to know him better. He was going to come to our concert last Saturday night but didn't know what time it started and I had been unable to get a flyer to him. If I'd known this was his shop, I could have taken it by there. Ugh, the timing of these things.

SOOOOOOOOO much going on here right now. We are having a charity concert for the organization that brought Hana to us this month. I have to get the program ready. It has snuck up on me without me realizing it. Poor Sugarpie also has so many projects going at once. I have to give him credit though, he has REALLY learned to juggle it all.

well that is all my random ramblings for the evening. I need to get in bed. Tomorrow IS another day!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Just an update...

My best and biggest news, I am ONE kilo away from my goal!!!!!!! FINALLY!!!!!!!!! I thought I would be stuck at 62 kilo for forever, but I finally got over that hump. I have been weighing right at 61 kilo all this week. I hope to see that SIX ZERO at some point in the next week or two!!!!! When that number pops up on the scale, I may very well dance myself a nice little jig! I finally did it.

It could be the fact that there is something in the air right now that has my allergies so worked up, I can't smell, I'm sneezing constantly and I feel horrible. I've been having one constant major hay fever attach for a couple weeks now (except the days we were in Guam). I had been almost totally allergy free for the past two years since I started taking supplements, but man, SOMETHING is really getting me right now. I hope whatever it is, quites blooming or dies or goes away really soon. ugh!

So since I can't smell or taste anything, maybe that is why I finally lost the next kilo, I don't really care what I'm eating, it all tastes the same!

BUT the good news is, my health is SO improved over before. These supplements have made all the difference in my life, not just is losing weight, but in my overall health (which is why I've been able to lose the weight!). My respiratory system used to be so weak that 2 weeks of allergies would leave me REALLY sick, with a respiratory infection, asthma, the whole works. But I have had NO asthma at all, and the allergy issues have stayed in my nose. Usually the trouble would creap down into my throat and chest quickly. Not anymore! Praise God for HEALTH! I have never been this strong in my whole life, even when I was a teenager and did sports daily. I love it!

Nothing else really that exciting right now for us. Just the basic fall stuff. Weather is finally cooling off I think. Concerts are picking up. And we continue to do our thing!

Love to all!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Back from Guam!!!

We had a blast! but we need a vacation to recover from vacation! The trip back especially was rough, we had to get up 2am to take a shuttle to the airport at 3am to make our 5am flight! WHY in the world they have flights to and from Guam at such crazy hours, I will never know! But it was so fun. Below are some videos. I gotta get to bed, but there will be more details coming soon!

Oh and check out the digital scrap book I made online too, just click here!

Tug of war in the pool

Our resort had tons of fun things to do at the pool. Here is Rocky EASILY beating Baba at tug of war in the pool! Incidentally, I also lost to Rocky EVERY time we played, he's got incredible balance!

Guam Chamorro dancing

The indiginous people of Guam, the Chamorro are making a great effort to preserve their culture. We went to Chamorro Village and enjoyed food and this show. It was awesome!

PIC Guam introduction

This a video of the resort we stayed at. It is in Chinese, but you can see how amazing it was!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Blogging makes a liar out of me...

OK, so in my last post I said the scales haven't moved since January. Well that was sort of A LIE because I did say that when we came back from our summer trip, I had gained about a kilo (but not quite). So I take that back. The scale moved a little bit...

So that kilo, GONE! And a little more actually seemed to have just melted away. I mean it just like fell off in 24 hours or something. Two days ago I was weighing the same and now it is just gone. And I can tell it isn't just like water weight or something, I slimmed down a little. I wonder if this could be the big break to get off this plateau and get the last couple kilo off to meet my all time goal? Which if that never happens, no big deal, but if it did, that'd be cool

I'm trying to figure out what is causing the sudden loss because it is NOT my eating habits. I am not being that careful about sweets. I'm doing fine with portion sizes, but am allowing myself a little more carbs than normal. So who knows? The only thing I can figure out is I added lifting weights on my legs for the last 3 or 4 workouts. Maybe building that muscle is burning more calories? But I heard that one pound gained = 3500 EXTRA calories consumed which means one pound loss means a deficit of 3500 calories, I don't think I'm burning that much extra? ?????

So I was chatting with one of my buddies at the gym tonight and he asked where I'd been lately and I told him. He asked if I gained any and I said yea, and how it just fell off all the sudden. He says the same thing happens to him when he travls, EVEN when he is more physically active while away. His theory, you eat more sweets and salty foods and therefor drink more liquids too when you are not in your normal daily routine. And all that salt makes you retain a good deal of water, plus you do gain a little fat from all the sweets and eating when you aren't hungry, etc. But that is easy to get off, especially the water weight, when you return to your normal routine. hmmmmm, wonder if he is correct? I have no idea, MAYBE it is this...

new fat is easier to get rid of than old fat!?

So anyways, I worked out Monday and was gonna go yesterday but I had like a freak fever yesterday. My allergies have been bothering me a little and that could have been the cause I guess because today I'm fine. But yesterday I felt horrible and slept almost all day. So I didn't go the gym. But I made it tonight and I tore it up on the elliptical. beat my last workout, last time was 500 cal in 35 min, today 510!!! Hey it ain't a lot, but I was pushing myself HARD and it was extra hot in there today for some reason (except the locker room was freezing).

So one of my other buddies asked my why I didn't come yesterday and I told him about the weird fever. He said I had, saboritai-byouki! I'd never heard of that before and I was acting all serious, like what is this disease, is it like a 24 hour flu? And he proceeds to explain that basically it is playing hookey, like a kid when he doesn't want to go to school. I smacked him the arm! Silly guy! A thermometer don't lie MAN!

Anyways, it is so fun to hang out with my buds at the gym. Tonight our local pro-baseball team was on the tube and I just happened to be doing my floor excercises and ending with a stretch when they were in the 7th inning, down by three. We all watched as they scored 5 runs in that one inning and the score became 8 to 6. I had to hit the shower though and didn't see if they won in the end. Gotta go check that. It was fun to watch that string of 5 runs, we were all clapping and hollaring (not something you see often in public in Japan) but there at the gym I guess we are all like a little family. We had people running across the gym to see what we were all so excited about! Ok, so I am easily entertained, but it was fun to watch a little baseball with my gym buds!

Anyways, tomorrow is a long day so I better go to bed. We just finished two days in a row of early morning chapels which has me up an hour earlier than normal, and today I also had to teach kindergarten English twice after chapel. Tomorrow morning I have another kidergarten English class. YAWWWWWWWNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

good night all...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Random stuff...

Well, we have settled back into a routine around here! I have the house fairly clean, I am totally caught up on laundry, and I've been getting some work done on the computer while Hana is at preschool.

We had a fun little Mommy daughter evening tonight. Daddy went to play with a group that does street evangelism every Tuesday, so we had the evening to ourselves, just us girls. It was fun. We had an early dinner of "noonles" as Hana requested. She ate and ate and ate, and even ate Mommy's left overs! Then she chowed on some leftover cucumbers until they were all gone. and she chattered about her day all the while. Evidently there is a boy in her class today, I think it was Taiga-kun she was talking about (I forget cause she names off so many people all the time), anyways, he was crying during nap time. He didn't want to lay down. I asked her if that kept her awake, because she was very sleepy this afternoon so I wondered if her nap had been short today. She said, "No, I already sleeped! I did it at school. Taiga-kun cry cry anyways." I think she was meaning always? I am not sure, but evidently she did sleep!

After dinner we had a fun time in the bath. We caught all the fish, several times. Then we located alphabet letters in English and Japanese. I found a neat way to get her interested in the Japanese alphabet. I make noises as I am drawing the characters, and she just thought that was wonderful. After the bath tonight, she could identify "a" "i" and "wa" and maybe "mu". We'll have to see how well she retains those. She just thought that the noises I make while I trace the character "mu" were hilarious!!!

Then we cuddled on the couch for about 30 minutes before I took her up to bed. It was a fun evening.

so Tuesday is the day the gym is closed, so I didn't workout today. But yesterday I did and it was awesome! I did only 35 minutes on the elliptical but burned over 500. when I first got back from our trip last week I was having a hard time getting up to 400. I pushed myself hard yesterday. And I did total body weights too.

OK, so EVERYBODY is commenting that I lost more weight, and I haven't. I have quite a few people saying that I especially lost weight in my face. The scales have not budged in months. Not since January really. So I am wondering, am I continuing to lose fat and replacing it with muscle. but I'd think I would be able to tell the difference in how my clothes fit, and nothing changing there either. Especially since workouts were so random through the summer, I wouldn't think that would be the case. It is a mystery to me???

Anyways, I am still coutning the days till we go to Guam. I can NOT wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh something random, I think I deleted a message off our answering machine tonight by mistake. When we were having our serious bath session (NOT) the phone rang a couple times. No way I was going to try to come answer it, and leave little munchkin in the tub alone. But we have a new phone and I don't know how to work it, so while trying to listen to the message, I deleted it accidentally! If you called and left us a message tonight, call again! LOL

OK, I am off to bed, preaching at chapel in the morning...

Sunday, September 02, 2007

I am a Mommy!!!

Yesterday was the big party for Hana! Really this is the first time we've gotten to have a really good birthday party where we had lots of people over, had cake and presents and the whole works. It felt a little surreal for me. My dream of being the Mommy is reality. It hit me again yesterday. I really am this precious little girl's Mommy. As she sat in my lap and I helped her open presents, my heart was full of so much joy and awe. This is what I waited for! Moments like that, are the ones I grieved over when we didn't know if we would ever have a child. Yesterday, I was amazed to be throwing a party for my three year old daughter. It is a miracle really! How amazing that we have a child!!! Every child, every life of course is a miracle. But our Hana, she is OUR miracle. I am her MOMMY. Sometimes it seems unbelievable. It is real and so amazing! I just can't put it into words...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Just me junk...

You can ignore this post. This is just my "me" update thing. It'll be random and probably boring. But I enjoy writing stuff down so here goes...

So it was a CRAZY summer! Did I say crazy!? Yep, absolutely CRAZY! But then it always is. We always overbook ourselves, and when we are in the middle of it, it is awesome and a blessing but exhausting and we say we'll never do it to ourselves again, and then we always do! But it was a great summer. I really enjoyed having the girls from Colorado with us again. Then the two week trip was awesome, it has been a while since we've done a trip like that. Hana was AMAZING on that trip. The 9 hour drive home the last day, we only stopped ONCE! one stop in nine hours with a 3 year old. I never imagined it was possible. She's a dream!

So because we were so busy, working out was RANDOM to say the least. I tried my best, but it was tough. I missed almost 3 weeks of working out there at one point do to various reasons, almost always associated with our schedule. Then I got back into it for a couple workouts before going on the long trip. On the trip, I jogged 3 or 4 times (can't remember for sure) in Karuizawa, and boy was that rough on my bod. But I was surviving it, until we got to Nagoya. The first morning in Nagoya, I got up and went jogging and even though nothing seemed off during the run, throughout the rest of the day my left knee kept getting tighter and tighter and pulling in the back. Until I couldn't straighten it and it was hurting to walk around and especially climb steps by the end of the day. So I decided to lay off the running and within about 5 days, thanks to my Joint and Muscle supplement!, it seemed pretty much healed. The last 4 or 5 days it has felt a little bit off, but it doesn't hurt. So I am back on my game...

on Monday I hit the gym again. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, it felt soooooooo good! I went today too. My full regular workout routine! It is awesome.

So I gained about a kilo over the last two months, and should be able to drop that again really quickly. But other than that, all is good in the fitness area of life.

So on Saturday we are having a Birthday/Gotcha day party for Hana. We actually got Hana on the 31st of August, and since we were still out of town on her birthday last week, the 22nd, we decided to combine the two parties. It should be tons of fun! I don't think I am going to be able to make her cake this year so we are going to buy one at Costco. Maybe I'll be able to make a cake next year again! I gotta remember to buy a new cake pan next time I am in the States.

Then lets see, what else is going on. So we are going to GUAM in a couple of weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can not wait. I made the hotel reservations earlier this week. We are staying in a cheap smaller hotel the first night cause we are arriving at 2 a.m. in the morning and it isn't worth it to pay for that first night in the resort place we want to stay in. But the next morning we are going to get up and go shopping and kill time until 3pm when we can check into our resort. PIC Guam. It is sooooooooo awesome. We are staying for 4 nights, and this place is huge, right on the beach, with a waterpark ALSO. There are more than 20 activities to choose from, all included in the stay. We are so excited we can hardly stand it. I can not wait. It has been 4 years since we took a REAL and LONG vacation! It is gonna be so much fun. Rocky's mom is going along too, so we can sneak away one evening and go on a date she says! YIPPEEEE!!!!!!

so other than that, life is truely back to normal. I am so glad. We need a few weeks of this before the fall concert schedule begins. whooooo, I don't want to think about that right now.

I guess that is all for now.

Friday, August 24, 2007

My Daddy...

11 years ago yesterday we lost my Dad to Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS). I can not believe it has been that long. It just dawned on me yesterday on the long drive home from our ministry trip, that yesterday was the anniversary of his passing. I would have written this blog last night, but was too tired to write all my thoughts down then. I thought about him a lot as I was driving my half of the ten hour drive yesterday and most everyone else in the car was sleeping. It brought many smiles to my face as I re-lived so many memories of my precious precious Daddy.

Daddy was a pretty unique guy. The thing I remember most about him is that everyone he knew loved him, and he really made people laugh a lot. At home, he was quieter and more reserved most of the time, but was prone to do something silly now and then or say something hillarious that would leave us all in stitches of laughter. I remember spending hours upon hours sitting on the front porch swing with him most evenings, watching the sun set, or watching a thunderstorm go by. He loved to sit outside in the evenings, and I loved to join him out there.

Daddy had all kinds of funny sayings. Like almost every evening before bed he would come find me and say, "You're gonna look around here in about 37 seconds, and I'll be gone!" I have no idea why, but it was always 37 seconds! That was his way of saying good-night and I love you! ;) When he would tell me that something was about to happen and I wouldn't believe him he'd say, " You just hide and watch!" That little saying threw me for a loop when I was little, I remember always pondering that or even telling him outloud, "but Daddy if I am hiding, how can I watch?" and he'd just laugh. I'll never forget when I finally figured out that it was a joke! He'd also tell me, when he was about to do something that was unique or creative, "I learned this in the Army." I remember always thinking to myself (again, before I figured out it was just a saying of his) that Daddy was in the Air Force and not the Army, so how could he have learned it in the Army? :) He had all kinds of sayings and other little quirks that I will never forget.

I remember he used to call me by two special nick names. One was Marlarilla and the other was Marla Kay Kaddidlehopper Jones Rudd (of course Marla Kay and Rudd were my real name, the other two "middle names" must have just come out of no where somewhere along the way. I now call Hana, Hana Grace Kaddidlehopper Jones Ayatsuka sometimes. She usually cocks her head and looks at me in confusion... ;) Someday I'll tell her about how my Daddy gave me those extra middle names too!

He was so precious to me. He had a beautiful tenor voice, although I only heard it about two or three times when I caught him singing loud enough at church and I happened to be sitting beside him. I will never know why he wouldn't sing loud enough for others to hear, but for some reason he wouldn't. He also had a tender heart, that he didn't let show very often. He had a lot of compassion for people. I think he helped people in more ways than I'll ever know, when they really needed someone. His love languages were acts of service and gift giving. He did both of those well.

When I was 12 years old I told Mom and Dad I wanted a diamond ring for Christmas. My Daddy went out and specially picked out a heart shapped ring with a small diamond in it for me. At the time, we really couldn't afford it, and I didn't know that I was asking for something expensive. But Daddy rarely denied me anything I asked for. He spoiled me rotten, and I knew it was his way of saying he loved me! This is just one of the MILLIONS of times he went over and beyond to get me whatever I asked for!

He is missed by so many! I miss him so much too. I wonder what he would have thought of me becoming a missionary, moving all the way to Japan, then marrying Rocky? I wonder what it would be like to see him with Hana, and how sweet he would have been with her. Another little girl to love. Mom says he wanted a little girl so bad when they were having me. They didn't even think about boy names. He was so excited when I was a girl, and he used to come in from working on the tractor all day and just lay me in his lap and watch me for hours, Mom told me. He would have loved his little grand-daughter and spoiled her rotten too!

Daddy's are so precious to their little girls, and mine was so special to me. I wish he hadn't gone so soon, but I was so blessed to have him even for just 22 years, some are not so blessed. Even still, I will always miss him. It is bitter sweet now to celebrate the joy of my sweet daughter's birthday each year, just one day before remembering the loss of my Daddy.

And yet, I realize, if he had not died, I would not have gone through the changes I did in my walk with the Lord that led me to become a missionary which brings me to the life I have now. God works through even the most difficult and painful events in our life, to bring good to those who love Him. The scripture promises that, and He was true to that promise in my life.

But I still miss my Daddy...

Friday, July 13, 2007

A typhoon'z a comin'

figuratively and literally!

Typhoon season is upon us, and we have a whopper headed our way! Right now it is huge, and should hit our area sometime tomorrow. Fortunately it probably won't interfere with any of our schedule and we should be able to sit it out here in the comfort of our little home!

The other "typhoon" headed our way is our schedule. OH MY GOODNESS (as Hana would say) why do we do this to ourselves? I ask myself that every summer and then every fall/Christmas. We just pack our schedule too tight, but there are to many good things to pass up! And we always survive.

So anyways, we have the ballet team in town this coming week (they arrived in Fukuoka last night and we had the honor of having them in our house for the night unexpectedly! that's a cool long story maybe I can blog about some other time). Next week they have concerts, purity seminars, special dinners, and more all around our area. We LOVE LOVE LOVE this group and always look forward to ministering with them. Next week is going to be awesome but busy!

Then we have Bible camp! This will be our third year to do this Bible camp too and we always enjoy it. It almost seems like a little vacation for us but at the same time we enjoy the chance to minister to the students up close, whom we often only get to see from on stage at short chapel services every other month or so.

Then we have a friend's wedding to go to. We'll be visiting some family members and friends too! I'm really looking forward to this.

AND then our great great friends from Oregon are coming to visit. Then Rocky's brother and family are coming to visit. Then we go on a road trip doing concerts on our way up to a missions conference where we'll lead worship. Then we'll do concerts on our way back too!!!

Gosh I feel tired just typing all that out. Here's hoping I can keep a few articles of clothing laundered in the midst of all that. Maybe Hana can get a nap now and then! and MAYBE somewhere in there we'll find a chance to catch our breath, for a least a second??? Hopefully we WON'T find the time to eat too much! LOL

Of course this also means my visits to the gym are going to be few and far between. UGH

but lots of fun stuff to look forward to! I'll check in as often as I can. Keep an eye on the ministry blog for specific prayer requests and updates too (I hope)!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Hana gets a new kitchen...

Well since I got a new kitchen lately I figured it was only fair that the other woman of the house got one also!!! Hahaha

Actually we had a HUGE box left over from Rocky's new office chair and it just kept screaming "Hana's kitchen!!!" at me. So today I just went for it. I MADE her a little kitchen play set out of card board boxes. Once I had it all taped together, it looked so good, I had to go to the 100 yen store to get more supplies to make it look even better. I bought spray paint and a few other accessories. Here are the pictures, in case you are having a hard time imagining how you could make a kitchen out of a card board box!

Here it is from the front! I cut out a small cabinet door under the sink and put another box inside that space to make a cabinet. It is kind of hard to see, but she has two little knobs for lighting her burners on the stove! She needs a third one but I could only find two bottle tops so I need to get another.

This is the sink and a closer look at the cabinet below. I cut out the space for the sink and taped a shoe box down inside it. I spray painted it silver. You can also see that she has a "tile" wall on the back! this is actually some really thin ply wood that I saved YEARS ago from the packaging for a desk or some large piece of furniture that we ordered. I found at the hundred yen store little plastic "tiles". They were just like stickers, and I stuck them onto the ply wood! I also got her a little towel hanger and a wire basket (hanging to the left of the sink) for her sponge and dish soap, etc!

This is her stove top. While putting the box together we ran out of one role of clear packaging tape, so I just sliced that core into three little circles and taped them onto a piece of card board which we affixed to the counter top! I also spray painted this part silver. Her knobs are more visible here, and they actually turn! I put them on with some screws (I don't know the English name) that are similar to molly bolts, but they are metal and they spread out in the back once you start tightening the screw (if that makes any sense).

Just another view from the top!

I'm soooooo proud of her sink knobs too! I found these at the hundred yen store also! Can you believe that? They were not very easy to put on, but they actually turn also. The only thing we lack is a faucet, and I am wracking my brain trying to figure out what to use as a faucet fixture. Suggestions are welcome!

Well if you can't tell, I'm pretty proud of my creation today. She had some fun playing with it this afternoon before it was painted or had the tile backing and knobs attached. Now she needs some little pots and pans and kitchen utensils. We are going to Guam in September and I should be able to find some at Kmart there! In the mean time she is just using some Styrofoam soup storage containers and baby spoons! She loves it anyways. All of her wooden vegetables and cutting boards and wooden knife that we have been "collecting" for her kitchen she would have someday, are over at Baba's so I am going to have to go get those this week! I am so excited for my girl! She's got a new kitchen (and it only cost Mommy about $10 total at the 100 yen store!)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I am STILL a foreigner!

Sometimes I forget that I am a foreigner here in Japan. Daily life feels so much a part of me, understanding everything that goes on around me, being able to read a lot of what is around me, etc. It all just feel so normal. This is my home. So sometimes I really do forget that I am a foreigner. I completely forget that I look different. EVERY once-in-a-while a little kid will stare at me, and I'll remember that you can tell by looking at me that I am not Japanese, but even these occasions can be rare. Then days like today come along and I get a strong reminder.

For some reason, today EVERYTHING around me was screaming "FOREIGNER!!!"

When I took Hana preschool this morning, I was standing near a couple of little two year olds who were playing on the floor and they noticed my toenails. I painted them pink a couple days ago and they dropped all their toys and headed for my toes. They were touching them and looking at each other like, "what is this?". I moved across the room once, and in a few moments again realized that something was still touching my toes. They had followed me and were continuing to observe my toes while I put some more of Hana's things in the proper places for the day. Then as I went to the door of the room to go out, they followed me again and continued to touch my toes. I remember growing up, my pastor's wife Carol telling me about her first Sunday at church in Africa when they were missionaries there. She wore stockings, and all the people in the church were mesmerized and the children wouldn't stop touching her legs (at least I think this is how the story went, that's how I remember it at least). Today in that moment I thought of Carol, and I was laughing to myself. I felt like I was re-living her experience, with these little Japanese kids so mesmerized by my painted toe nails (although that isn't such an uncommon thing here).

Then we made a trip to Costco to get some necessary items and while I was there I heard some comments from people around me about the tall, VERY pale skinned foreigner. No doubt about it, that is me. The only thing is, to be called pale skinned here is a COMPLIMENT! (Those of you who know how hopelessly WHITE I am will understand how much I appreciate that God sent me to Japan to be a missionary, where my hopelessly white skin is admired!!!) *wink, wink*

Then on the way to pick Hana up from pre-school this afternoon, in at least three separate locations I had little old ladies going on and on about the foreigner as they watched me walk by. It is rather amusing because they assume I can not understand what they are saying, and I hear and understand EVERY word!

Anyways, today I was reminded that I am not Japanese. I really forget that I look different here sometimes. I forget that this is not REALLY my country, because on the inside of me it is home! But the outside is still foreign!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Let the summer begin...

Oh, it was HOT and MUGGY today! I just couldn't bring myself to walk Hana to preschool this morning because I was all ready to go speak at chapel and I just knew my make-up would all melt off on the way down to her school (a mile walk). I'm not sure I'm ready for the hot humid summer this year. I always HATE it! I really love spring and fall in Japan. I used to love winter, but I don't enjoy that anymore either. It is rainy season right now too which is not fun either. I loved April and May, they went by way too quickly.

This summer is going to be so busy. Lots of travel in the near future. I do hope I survive. Some our travels are going to include taking trains, and hauling luggage and a 12 kilo "baby" up and down stairs and through train stations! Whooo, I get tired just thinking about it.

But the one GREAT thing about this time of year before the busy summer starts, is that we are usually at home in the evenings which means I get to go work out very regularly! Things are going well in that department. Today is even Tuesday and my gym is closed on Tuesday. Hana was in bed right on time tonight and I didn't have anything to do, so I strapped on my OLD worn out tennis shoes and went for a walk/jog. I was out for almost 30 minutes, I did speed walking for about 15 min and jogging for about 15 min. My shins are already feeling it! but it felt great. This evening is cool and not very humid! It felt really great. I could have gone longer but kept thinking my shins weren't going to hold out. I always had really bad shin splints in High School too. I guess some things never change. One of these days I'm gonna get some awesome jogging shoes and maybe that won't be a problem!

Anyways, I am seeing 61 kilo on the scales EVERY once in a while the last week or so. But only in the morning. I'm not trying to lose more weight, but I am mostly trying to shape my legs more and in that process I am sure I will lose a bit more. Toning my legs is the LAST on my "to do" list and then I'm just going to maintain. I might branch out and try some aerobics classes, or even the pool. I was watching a water aerobics class while on the elliptical last night and it looked really fun. But to try it means I'd need a bathing suite that fits, and a swimming cap. I don't think any of my old bathing suites are going to fit anymore... which means I gotta spend MORE money on clothes. Man, losing weight sure can get expensive!

I wore a size 5 slacks today, comfortably! It is amazing to be back in that size!!! Amazing! I am LONGING for a trip back to the states to go clothes shopping. We are considering using our AA mileage to go to Guam for a vacation. AA has changed their rules and mileage will expire from now on so we have to use ours! Oh I do hope the Guam trip works out. It would be SO fun!

well that was just a ton of rambling cause I am putting off doing other things this evening...

guess I better go do some things!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The mission family...

When you live overseas like this, away from "family" then so many people become your family. All the missionaries are Aunt Jane and Uncle Bob to the kids. The missionaries you serve alongside are like big brothers and sister (ok, someday soon, maybe there will be some younger ones that will feel like my "little" brothers and sisters! but I still seem to be the baby, as I always have been, in the family). This is truely a beautiful thing! This type of family is priceless and precious. Something about sharing the same calling, the same desire to reach the same lost people, sharing the same frustration with a foreign culture, sharing the same joys and struggles with language and cultural barriers, understanding why you pointed to your nose instead of your chest when refering to yourself, or why you can never remember certain English words anymore, being able to throw in foreign words without a pause in the flow of your conversation, sharing a life that is sometimes so impossible to understand for those who've never been "here". It makes being on the field even more of a blessing, and makes it easier.

But the hardest part about it is, missionaries are often in motion. Going home for a year, or 6 months, or so. Moving to another city to start a new ministry or church plant. Leaving the field...

I found out today that some of my mission family members are leaving Japan. We haven't lived very near one another for a long while. We rarely ever see each other. But there is just something about knowing they are in the same country that makes them still feel close. When an ocean seperates you, even though the email still works the same, and the phone can be just as easily picked up, there is just something so distant about that. An ocean. A different country. Another continent. Family...

Japan seems a little lonlier tonight, just thinking about more precious family moving away.

I am so blessed to know some of the most incredible missionaries in the world, who've devoted years of their life to bringing the Gospel to one of the most difficult nations to evanglize in the World. Precious, precious people.

MY family!

Monday, June 18, 2007


I guess sometimes Monday's will be Monday's. You know, the typical "bad day" thing that usually goes with Monday. I usually don't have "Monday's". All my days of the week are basically the same, we don't really have a weekend in our line of work. Sometimes we are busy ALL the time (most of the time this is the case) and sometimes our schedule is random. You just never know. So Monday doesn't usually stand out that much. But today, I had a MONDAY.

My morning went fairly well, but Hana came home from pre-school in a very demanding NEEDY mood. She was impossible to deal with. I knew she needed/wanted attention but even trying to play with her didn't work, she was being rude and ungrateful about EVERYTHING. My solution for this behavior is, if you don't play nice then Mommy doesn't play AT ALL. She could NOT handle me getting up and walking away from our activities when she was being unkind. So we had SEVERAL meltdowns this afternoon. Once Daddy finished up his work and tried to help out he got a dose of the same medicine, and had to deal with a couple of fits too. She was just out of sorts today. Too tired, or something? I don't know, but it left us both really frustrated and we were very glad when bedtime rolled around.

Then my workout was HORRIBLE. I just didn't have the energy today. I had a LOT of carbs yesterday, and I think that is what zapped me. I had some rice AND bread at the cook-out lunch (it was served to me and I felt I had to eat it) and then we decided to treat ourselves to PB&J sandwiches for dinner. I considered just having one piece of bread and folding it in half, but I haven't had a pb&j for YEARS and I REALLY wanted to enjoy a good one, so I did two slices. And this isn't your basic sandwich bread it was the really thick slices. That was way too much bread for me. So even though I ate well today, I think I am still paying for this weekend, and my workout was just crummy. I struggled to finish everything, and only did 35 minutes of cardio. ugh! I did treat myself to a nice time in the sauna and cold pool a couple of times after my shower.

So now I can barely keep my eyelids open! Hopefully a nice long sleep and tomorrow will be a better day!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The weekend!

What a GREAT weekend we had!

Saturday morning I was up and going to prepare for English Circle, and we headed out the door to our friend's house. Well, just Hana and I, Daddy is neck deep in CD production right now, so we left him at home to all his mixing and mastering!!!

English Circle started out as "English preschool" sometime last year when my friend Yukie and I decided we wanted to do some preschool with our kids together. Yukie invited friends, and we had a small group of about 6-8 kids twice a month for some fun time in English. It went well, but the beginning of "real" preschool for some this Spring meant that weekdays were out of the question. So we switched to Saturdays, re-organized our purpose and thoughts, re-named it and started again. Twice a month on Saturdays we get together. There have been few in attendance lately because Saturday isn't the best time for everyone. But this week! WOW! We had 6 "students" and 3 "mini-students" (younger siblings of students). It was a BLAST! I could see the kids have all learned things. They enjoy the activities and it feels so good to be their little "teacher"! We had a great Saturday.

Today was Sunday and it was another great day. Rocky filled the pulpit (it was a BIG pulpit to fill too, literally, that thing was so huge Rocky refused to stand behind it, and I couldn't blame him) for another church in town this morning. Then after the service we headed across town to a church member's house (our own church) for a cook-out. We spent the afternoon feeding our faces and talking non-stop with church friends. I LOVE the people in our church. It was soooooo much fun today!

Now another new week begins. I'm sure there are a lot of things I need to do, but I will sit down and organize my thoughts tomorrow!

NOW for my own fitness journal-ing (this part is probably boring for all of you so you can stop reading if you want!) I just journal this stuff for my own sort of record keeping, self-motivation, accountability kinda reasons. (There are a few people who keep me accountable by mentioning that they read my blog! and that helps keep me in line! *wink wink* you know how you are!)

I've given up on weekends. It is just impossible to find a way to get to the gym in the middle of the day. So I am resigned to waiting until I can buy a decent pair of running shoes and can go for a jog, before I can work out on the weekends. I'm having major shoe issues in Japan right now, but that is another blog!

BUT last week I made it to the gym 3 times, and all three times did my 50 minutes on the elliptical. I did close to 750 calories each time!!!!!!! AND I lifted weights each time. Then on Wednesday the gym was having a special. You can do this body scan thing and it usually cost 1,000 yen but on Wed. it was 100 yen. So I decided to do it! My scores were EXCELLENT! I was so excited. I'd give anything to have these stats from before I started my fitness program last year. My BMI and so forth is right on target. This machine also calculates your body fat percentage, which was right near the bottom of the normal range. I can't read my chart very well cause it is all in Japanese, so I am not sure what all the numbers are. All I know is that the star for that reading falls in a good place! But the most exciting part is the muscle mass. On the little level scale, my star was on the 8 for 1 out of 8!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My arms alone scored an 8 and legs scored a high 6!!!! I was so excited about this. I've been doing simple weights, 3 sets of 10 and some other toning exercises, for over a year now, and it really really shows on this scan.

This machine also scans your internal body fat percentage which is very important. All my reading about weight loss and fitness lately says that they are finding diet without exercise is NOT very effective at removing internal body fat. With diet alone, people can slim down but will retain most of the internal body fat, around your vital organs. So without exercise, you really aren't improving your health adequately. This internal body fat is what leads to disease and is what needs more attention. My internal levels were again on the low end of the "normal" range.

I would give ANYTHING to have these numbers from before I started working out.

All I know is I am feeling GREAT and loving my workouts. I finally found a way to address my feet issues and so am taking care of some toe and ankle pain too. If I had the right shoes, I would be in HEAVEN! I can not find my size in women's shoes in Japan and I refuse to order a pair of shoes online. I want to try them on first! So unless I can get my feet to shrink about 1 cm, I am stuck with my cheapy men's shoes that are too wide, for now.

Well, I think I'm going to go hit the hay!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A new "drink"???

Pepsi Ice Cucumber!

Yes you saw and read that right! a Cucumber flavored drink! they will come up with ANYTHING here. No kidding. I will have to try to post some more of the crazy products we see.

Rocky came home with one today. Ummmm, it actually wasn't bad at all. It definitely smelled like cucumber! It tasted cool and refreshing but I wouldn't want a whole bottle.

Just thought you might find that interesting! (too bad that Hana hates carbonated drinks, she LOVES cucumbers so much she might enjoy this!)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Japan and robots...

This really struck me as quite odd today...

Japanese scientists build robot child

The fact that they built a robot child is not so odd. What is odd to me, the reason why they built it. To study child development??? Um, there are millions of children, REAL, and alive and well out there which a scientist can study to understand their development. I just want to understand HOW a robot is going to give them any form of accurate information on the development of a REAL human child. Is it just me, is this really REALLY crazy?

I wonder how much this says about how Japanese people perceive children? or even real life for that matter?

Friday, June 08, 2007

Another great workout!!!!!!

Ok, so I thought I could never top the other day. My last work out couldn't even compare right!? Well, I topped my best today. I couldn't believe it!

I hit 532 calories at the end of the first 30 min cycle, and by the end of the second cycle had a total of 750!!!!!!!!! I was so excited, one of my little gym buddies asked me what I was grinning about and I told him. He couldn't believe it either. He said, "Where does that energy come from!?"

Today, reaching that mark didn't come as easy as the other day. I never felt like I was pushing myself the other day, today I felt like stopping and had to make myself keep going towards the end. I really didn't think I was going to be able to top the last good one. I'm so thankful for my mp3 player (thanks again sugarpie!!!) because putting on an awesome song gives me the drive to keep going. The music makes such a big difference in my workout too.

I also kept my heart rate in the high intensity zone for almost the whole workout! WOWzers!!!!! somewhere between 85% and 90% the whole time. I'm just a little excited, can ya tell?

Then I found some new muscle toning exercises on the internet so I tried those out today. OUCH! My legs are going to probably be feeling it tomorrow, and my glutes! Switching things up a little sure makes working out more fun though. I need to remember not to get in a rut so I don't lose my motivation again!

I am soooooooooooooooooooo exhausted though, I'm off to bed. I did the sauna after my shower too, boy that'll zap ya. I'm gonna sleep like a rock tonight!

good night

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

More confessions...

Wellllllllllllllll, I haven't been a good girl these past four days. Weekends are always impossible for working out, so you can't count that against me. I sure wish someone would explain to me WHY my gym stays open till midnight on weekdays but closes at 9 on Saturday and at 7 on Sunday! On the days people might actually have leisure time in the evening to workout, they close? UGH! But anyways, Monday, OHHHH Monday...

I crocheted until past 1 a.m. Sunday night (MISTAKE! I'm not as young as I used to be! and I now have an automatic alarm clock that doesn't come with a snooze button, her name is Hana!) Then, when I came to my senses and went to bed, Rocky wasn't feeling so great and was up almost every hour and that kept me half awake all night. Then there was the fire at 5:30 a.m. and that was the end of my "rest" for the night. I was dragging my tail ALL day long on Monday and could NOT bring myself to go workout that evening. All I wanted to do was sleep. Then Tuesdays my gym is CLOSED!!! Go figure! I'm not even going to try to figure that reasoning out...

Soooooo, that brings us to today, and I did NOT want to go workout again. Another one of those situations where I could have easily said, "I'm not going." Something about dinner (or something I ate today) didn't agree very well with me. Could have been the Dr. Pepper I had a lunch, we were in a shopping center that sells them and I just had to treat myself to one!!! Or, it could have been all the carbs I had at dinner. I made some really delicious rice, with a variety of grains in it, and I ate a whole lot more than I normally do. Sugar/carb overload??? after a year of a low sugar/carb diet, that'll do it to ya. So anyways, I did NOT feel like going. And my precious SWEET WONDERFUL husband, rubbed my tummy for a minute and then helped me decide to get out the door. Have I mentioned how wonderful he is lately??? He's so great. He encouraged me to just go and see how it went, and if I didn't feel well after I started working out to come back home. What a precious amazing hubby!!!

so anyways, I went. And it wasn't too bad. I didn't feel too great on my cardio, and only made it 25 minutes. My intensity was pretty high for those 25 minutes, but right at the end I just didn't feel like it would be wise to keep going. As soon as I cooled down a little though, I felt good enough do my normal weight lifting routine.

It really is a day by day process to be healthy and stay in shape. One meal at a time, one choice at a time, every day!

Tomorrow is ANOTHER day!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Excitement at 5:30 a.m. today

At 5:30 a.m. this morning I vaguely was aware that Rocky opened his phone and made a phone call. I quickly fell back asleep, not conscious enough to think about what he was doing at such an hour. Then a few moments later I heard Hana crying and woke up to see that Rocky was GONE! I ran to get Hana and then realized I was hearing emergency vehicles outside. I put two and two together, Rocky always calls a number to see where emergency vehicles are going, so i figured something was going on outside. As I lay back down in our bed with Hana, I could tell that most of the vehicles were fire trucks, and so I assumed Rocky went to check where the fire was. He eventually came back to report that it was just THREE houses down, on OUR block, on OUR side of the STREET! Now to those of you living in more spacious neighborhoods, this may not sound like a big deal, but here on our block, the houses are literally inches apart from each other, if not sharing walls! So that sort of fire is a major big deal! And at such an hour, it is even more alarming.

Praise God, no one was injured!

We were totally OK and our home was completely safe, but the house that caught fire first and both neighboring houses were significantly damaged. I will try to take a picture sometime if I can, if our neighbor doesn't mind his burned home being put on the web.

Just so thankful that our home is safe and so are we today! It made for a crazy day though. Thing calmed down outside about an hour later, and we snoozed for a little while before it was time to get up anyways. All three of us were dragging our tails today, for lack of sleep!

Silly me, I am on a crochet kick right now, and stayed up till 1 a.m. crocheting last night! That didn't help matters at all today. Too tired to do much of anything at all today, except for have a wonderful lunch with a good friend of mine!

Well, I am off to chill out and hopefully get to bed at a more decent hour tonight. Please pray for the people who lost a lot of their belongings today. They have already begun cleaning up, and it is going to be a long road back to normalcy I am sure.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. Philippians 3:7-9

Rocky's message at church this morning was soooooooooo awesome! I loved it, it really hit home for me after the week I had last week with US immigrations! He spoke from those verses above, and I just needed to be reminded of that. Most of all, to be reminded of what is RUBBISH!

I found myself, when talking about Hana's nationality so much this last week, almost in tears sometimes at the thought of getting her "American passport" or her citizenship being "granted". I am very proud to be an American and would love for my children to have that privilege. Growing up in Japan, their connection to my nationality and my country are going to be very removed already so I at least wanted to be able to show them that they are a part of my country too, in their nationality, with a passport or certificate of citizenship.

But this morning I was reminded that IF that is not possible, it is OK because it's all earthly stuff anyways and that's all rubbish compared to knowing Christ. I'd much rather share with my children our citizenship in HEAVEN, than spend time and precious emotional energy worrying about their earthly citizenship. If the Lord makes a way for my kiddos to be American too, then Glory to HIM! But if not, it won't be the end of the world, that is for sure! For all these earthly things are "crap" (as my husband so eloquently put it in his message this morning, LOL) compared to knowing Christ!

and then at the end of Rocky's message I was reminded of the AWE and WONDER of what it means to be seen as righteous in the eyes of God through our faith in Jesus Christ. Sometimes the power of the word righteous just doesn't quite hit home. I tend to read right over or skip the depth of its meaning when it appears in scripture. But righteousness is an unattainable state for human beings (by ourselves). Yet it is gift wrapped and handed to us by the only one who is righteous, for us to simply receive by HIS GRACE. To take in that thought, it is so profound. WHY ME?! This little spoiled rotten child, that throws hissy fits over not getting my way with US immigration, and finds deep embarrassment in spilled milk at McDonald's (of which are the least of my flaws, let me assure you), seen as righteous by GOD HIMSELF!? WOW!!!

I mentioned that a couple weeks back I had a long conversation with a woman after our concert. She was quite hung up on the fact that God would allow a murderer into heaven if he/she just believed on Christ, but someone like her or myself who have never done something so terrible, would not be allowed in if we did not believe. She couldn't wrap her mind around that, she didn't feel that was fare. My response to that was simply, we are not God and we can not say that any one sin is greater than another. Sin, in the eyes of God, is sin. Because He alone is perfect and righteous. And perfect simply means, perfect, I told her. We can not fathom perfect, for we have never seen it really. Could we even imagine a simple white sheet of paper that is PURELY WHITE, with no blemish or flaw, no mark or anything on it? I asked her if she could imagine something like that in her mind. And then imagine that same sheet of paper with only one tiny little bitty black dot on it. I ask her, is the second sheet perfect anymore? Of course it is not. Now take a third sheet of paper and scribble all over it with a heavy black marker. This one too is no longer perfect, but the one with the tiny black dot is no LESS "imperfect" than the heavily colored one. The perfect one is the only one that is perfect.

To fathom that kind of perfection which is basically righteousness, and then know that when God looks at me, that flawlessness is what He sees!? WOW!

I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

Nothing compares to this! What could I gain on this earth that could compare to what HE alone can give me!?

I was listening to a song earlier this week and the lyrics were talking about things that just seem crazy in human thinking...

Why would I spend my life longing for the day that it would end,
Why would I spend my life pointing to another man?
Isn't that crazy?
(and so forth, but then I LOVE the chorus)

I have not been called, to the wisdom of this world
but to a God, whose calling out to me.
and even though the world may think
I'm losing touch with reality,
It would be crazy to choose this world
over eternity! (Mercy Me)

Said perfectly right there, It would be absolutley CRAZY to choose this world over eternity!

This other song has been playing in my head all day since the message this morning...

Knowing you Jesus, Knowing you
There is no greater thing
You're my all, you're the best
You're my joy, my righteousness
And I love you Lord!

Friday, June 01, 2007

HUGE workout tonight!

Oh my goodness I have NO idea where the energy and stamina came from, but I had an AWESOME workout tonight. On the elliptical, I did 725 calories!!!!!!!!!!! 50 minutes! During the first 30 minute cycle I did 528! I just barely made it over 400 on Wendesday. What on earth happened? I don't know but I love it. There are three little meters on my machine, and I don't know what the middle one is counting because I can't read the title on it, but I usually can not keep the number above 170 for very long (it reads something about the rate at which I am running) but today, I staying over 200 for 6 minutes, and kept it above 170 almost the entire workout and I never felt sluggish!!! After the I lifted weights. ahhhhhhhhh, if only every workout could feel like this one. I hope I can keep this up! That last two weeks of upping my cardio to 50 minutes is really making a difference, I can SEE it in my legs and hips! The scales aren't moving, probably cause I'm gaining muscle, but I am now motivated to keep this up!

WAAAAAAAAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I felt like screaming when I ended my run, I wonder what all those around me would have thought if I had hollared out!

Now off to bed, I am sure I am going to sleep VERY WELL!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

How stupid do we look? (and my fitness motivation update)

Ok, so I get most of my news and US info on the net. I watch news clips and read major news webpages often. And recently there has been this one commercial that pops up before many news clips. It is Brooke Sheilds advertising Colgate toothpaste(I think, maybe it's Crest?) and it just floors me what these product companies will try to pass off on us.

The commercial shows Brooke stretching and so forth being fit, and then brushing her teeth. And then she pops up saying, "Can there be a connection between the health of your mouth and the health of your body?" and then mister narrator comes on and says that recent studies have shown that people with gum disease and other oral disease have a higher risk of having such diseases as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Then beautiful Ms. Brooke appears again and says, "If there is a connection then I choose Colgate, my Destist recommended it..." yadah yadah yadah!

HOW STUPID DO WE CONSUMERS LOOK??? They want you to automatically assume that using Colgate is going to help lower your risk of these diseases? DO WE ALL WALK AROUND WITH DUNCE HATS ON??? Come ON people! I mean please. Any person with at least 2% of logic can understand that the connection is, some people who don't take good care of their diets and their bodies MAY also neglect their teeth. Not to mention the fact that, the types of diets that can lead to these diseases probably will also lead to tooth and gum disease. PUH-lease!

Ok, my rant is over. I just get so sick of my intelligence being assaulted every time I watch a commercial. Give me a break!

Anyways, life is going along just fine these days. Except for my extremely embarrasing episode at McDonald's today (which will appear on Hana's blog shortly), I am doing great. Busy but good.

My workouts have been AWESOME this week. I must warn you, I'm gonna brag on myself just a little here cause I have accomplished so much since my little slump recently.

Instead of starting to jog as a new challenge (since I have cheapo OLD outdoor tennies that are like walking on cardboard and would probably cause more harm than good with a jog) I decided to change up my routine at the gym a little. I upped my time on the elliptical by 15 minutes (now up to 50 minutes a session) AND I upped the level too! The first day I just ALMOST reached burning 600 calories, the next time I was over 600 and so on. BUT today, I made it to 660!!!!!!! AND I was trucking it during the first 30 minutes before the first cycle automatically ends (cause the silly machine won't let you do more than 30 min) and I had burned 475 calories by the end of the first cycle. I reset it for more time and topped it off at 660 total! AND (this is the part I love the most) I checked my heart rate 10 min. into the workout and I was in the heavy intensity range for HR already, not to mention I was at 85%!!!!!!! I stayed there for the remaining 40 minutes! WAHOOOOOO, now THAT is what I call a workout!

I payed for it later today though. I had to work out this a.m. because Rocky is out this evening, and I don't usually do morning fitness and it gets to me. I fell asleep watching some TV with Hana this afternoon. But I feel great! I also didn't go to bed until really late last night too.

Which brings me to my other GRIPE for the evening. US IMMIGRATION!!!!!!!! AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! I had to pray for forgiveness last night (for thoughts of strangulation and torture) about 10 times while trying to get some questions answer by USCIS (United States Citizens and Immigration Services). What a joke, what a load of bull honkey that place is! They can't even answer questions about their OWN process! What is that? And they provide you with ONE phone number to call, at which you get a customer service rep who is just typing your questions into the computer and reading you the answer. I can do that on the internet, the reason I am CALLING you is because that information doesn't answer my qeustion! If you ask them a question that their computer won't spit out the answer they tell you that you'll have to contact a community organization that helps with immigration or a lawyer. So if you try to contact any of those people they tell you "because the extremely complex and sensitive nature of information pertaining to immigration visas we can not answer your questions over the phone, you msut appear in person at our office between so-and-so hours and pay $$$$ to get help!" Somebody help me understand. My tax dollars pay for people to NOT answer my questions about immigration at the immigration office so that I can go pay someone else to do it?! What is that all about!??? This is information that should be free and available to anyone, ESPECIALLY an AMERICAN CITIZEN. And they should provide phone numbers to connect you to people who know and understand the process so you can get your questions answered by someone who knows something.

So here is the deal. I am trying to get Hana naturalized as an American citizen. US law says she is entitled to her American Citizenship because she is the child of a US citizen. She has been in our custody for more than two year so I do not need an immigration visa or any other process, she is already MY child in the eyes of the US law, so he should automatically be an American? Right? WRONG! She is already an American, but I have to file some forms, pay a bunch of money, AND appear for an interview in PERSON before they will approve it. AND get this, there is a SPECIFIC application process for the naturalization of children residing overseas but you have to appear in person for the interview, in the US at the USCIS office that handles your case ON DEMAND, when THEY set the appointment. HELLO!? We live overseas, there is a US consulate just 1 1/2 hours from my home. Why do I have to spend thousands of dollars to fly to the US to appear before a US government official when all documentation SHOWS you that my daughter is my daughter and the law already says she has a RIGHT to her US citizenship!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????? OH, did I mention I could strangle somebody?

Anyways, we don't know what to do. Churches schedule their concerts months in advance and advertise for them. If USCIS calls and says we have to come on a certain day, how can we tell a church that has been preparing for months that we have to cancel? And oh I could go on and on. AHH, UGHHH! I have no idea how we are going to pull this off.

In defense of SOME American government offices, I called the US embassy IN JAPAN today and got all my questions answered very kindly a compassionately, to the best of her knowledge, by a very precious young lady named Sarah! God bless her, she was obviously a sister in Christ and she felt my pain about the process and the completely INCOMPETENT USCIS. Dear Lord, bless my precious sister Sarah!

Why did I stay up till almost 2am last night calling US offices someone in Japan could answer my questions?! UGH

Ok, my rant is all done I think. On to other blogs...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I'm here and doing good...

So I haven't had much time on the 'putter lately but I'm here and doing good. I'm sticking with my working out when life allows. Today I couldn't go and won't be able to tomorrow either, if my stinking gym would stay open later on the weekends it would help a little! ugh!

So anyways, we had a neat day today. We attended a memorial service. The amazing pastor I always talk about, Noguchi-sensei, his Mom passed away recently at 102 and 10 months of age! WOW! They were saying today that all her siblings have passed away mostly in their 90's. They have certainly got some longevity genes in that family and I am so thankful, cause I want Noguchi-sensei to be around for a LONG while! Anyways, the service was neat. I got to share about my memories of oba-chan (the term for grandmother, which she so graciously allowed me to call her) and we sang a couple of songs in memory of her. Then this evening we had dinner with the whole family. What a neat legacy she left behind! They are a precious family.

We are sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo busy right now. It is a blessing but I haven't had a quiet day at home in WEEKS! I need to do laundry but we are never home.

Just thought I'd leave a little note. I gotta go get in bed, tomorrow is going to be a long day.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Plum tuckered out!

This little cowgirl is plum tuckered out this evening. Starting yesterday at 10 a.m. drive 5 hours to Nobeoka, set up sound, check into hotel, eat dinner, give concert, fellowship, get back to hotel, bathe Hana-baby, get her to sleep (FINALLY at almost midnight!) try to sleep with Hana snoring (she has a slight cold) and coughing and my pillow smelling like cigarette smoke. 7 a.m. today -- UP with Hana-baby, get ready, eat breakfast, pack up, check out, go to church, do another concert, eat lunch, fellowship, drive back home, eat dinner, bathe Hana-baby, put her to bed (at a much more reasonable 9 o'clock tonight)! I then took a LONG hot bath to try to forget about my crazy day! Family band concerts ware me out anyways, but today, on the way home, Hana was especially hyper in the car and for a while talked NON-stop begging for attention and interaction, for songs on her favorite CD to be repeated OVER and OVER and OVER again, for food, for teetee stops, for "Baba, play you!"(play with me) "Mommy, hold you!" etc., she didn't fall asleep until 4:30 (over 2 hours into the car ride home). Then when we finally got back, she wet her pants on the way home from dinner. Of all the days in the last 9 months since she's been potty trained to have an accident, AND IN her car seat, no less! When we got home, we unloaded, and when bringing the car seat in, there must have been a pool of teetee inside it somewhere and as I swung it around to set it down, I sloshed teetee all over a bunch of stuff! EWWWWWw, GROSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! So I had to clean all that up, tear apart the car seat and put a bunch of things in the wash, wash out the car seat as best I could in the shower, and then clean up the bath tub and run a bath! After the long day we had today I wanted to come home and just chill! NOT! At least Hana was fully entertained by Mommy standing half-clothed in the bath giving her car seat a shower. She thought this was pretty hilarious, unfortunately Mommy did not think ONE BIT of it was funny. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

In the course of all those things, I also messed up on two songs in concert, missed an exit on the express-way coming home (which made us have to go 90 kilometers the long way around) and drank TWO cokes in the last 24 hours. BAD BAD BAD! (I'm really NOT neurotic, or an anal perfectionist, REALLY!)

WHEW, I am sooooooooooooo tired! So anyways, in the midst of ALL that, it was an amazing weekend. I had an awesome opportunity to witness to a woman who is really searching (I'll put that in our newsletter this week over on the ministry blog) AND just really enjoyed the church we were at and the people there.

Now on to another busy week (we have something almost every day this week too).

OH and on a fitness note, as I suspected, no time to work out the past two days, BUT I think all that I went through consititues for some kind of work out! I did do well with eating and food choice except for the two cokes which were for the purpose of keeping me awake on the long drive! I'll hit the gym again tomorrow. I will remain motivated to work out this week! I give myself NO CHOICE.

Friday, May 18, 2007

A new motivator...

Tonight, my sweet hubby played the role of motivator for me. He knows I am struggling with wanting to go work out. So you know what he did? He brought home for me a yummy dessert to have after dinner. He's been talking about bringing me one of these little interesting strawberry-cream puff-short cake-rice dough covered balls for ages, which can only be bought at Kokura train station. Sounds yummy, right?! Only if you are a strange "gaijin" (foreigner) like myself! So anyways, he finally had the chance to bring some home today, and it was indeed delicious by the way. So just HOW does this add up to being a supporter and motivator for working out, you ask? Since I had all that fat and calories for dessert for dinner I could NOT say no to getting my rear up to that gym and burning those calories off! Which I did, to the tune of 10 minutes on the treadmill (waiting for an eliptical trainer to open up) and 35 minutes on the eliptical. Burned over 500 calories there, and lifted weights! Yea for me!!!!!!!!!! Thank you sugarpie, the dessert was yummy AND a GREAT motivator!

It's going to be a long, busy weekend with concerts so I doubt I will get to go back to the gym until Monday.

Interestingly enough, there are two little buddies of mine at the gym who also keep me accountable. When they don't see me at the gym they pick on me and ask me where I was. These two fellows are very devoted to their fitness and have been a great encouragement to me. Telling me they can see how much weight I've lost or that I'm doing good building muscle, etc (and not in a bad way, but purely encouraging and complimentary). I always try to take the chance to get to know them a little better when we are resting between machines and drinking water or stretching. It's not easy to build any kind of meaningful conversation in short little 3 or 4 minutes spurts, but tonight I was able to find out a little more about one guy, and he asked about what I do. It is a start in introducing them to my faith! But I never thought I'd have to figure out a way to evangelize with this pattern, 3 or 4 3-4 minutes relationship building conversations 3-4 times a week! Anyone know any 3-4 evangelism training tools?! There are so many out there, theres gotta be one especially designed for this! ;) just kidding!

Anyways, I continue to get along in this "no motivation" slump I'm in. I refuse to let it get the best of me, and I WILL not go back to the lifestyle or SIZE that I was before. So I will survive one way or another...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

One day down...

Ok, so my confession last night did the trick (at least for today). I hit the gym this morning and did 50 minutes on the eliptical. Yep that's right FIFTY, burned about 600 calories! and it felt great! I am feeling motivated to go again tomorrow. Even though it feels so great to do a workout like that, I so quickly forget the lift it gives me and even the next day am fighting myself mentally about working out again... why?!

I used one of my "tricks" I used to use early on in this lifestyle change I made, I gave myself NO CHOICE. When I first started working out this last year, I knew from past experience if I ever skipped a day, then I'd skip another, and another. So I gave myself NO CHOICE, I had to go workout EVERYDAY. Or if the gym was closed or schedule wouldn't allow it, I got out my little stepper thingy here at home and did that for a while. I read an article by Chris Freytag saying that fitness is commitment, consistency, and convenience - read it here. In her consistency segment, she suggested working out every day, even if it is for only 10 minutes. That was one of the best bits of advice I read about fitness. No questions about it, no matter how much I mentally tried to talk myself out of working out, I told myself I had no choice. It is all so totally mental!

and, it is a day by day process too! I tackled a new mindset, new eating habits, new fitness habits and self-image one day at a time over the last year, and I can't stop that now. Tomorrow will be another day...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Ok, so maybe if I confess it will make it better. I've been bad, REALLY bad! I haven't gone to workout since Friday. Last week I went 3 times, but the week before that I COULDN'T go at all (because of Japanese holidays and our schedule) and somehow that made my motivation go right through the floor. I mean I have NO motivation to go. I'm going tomorrow whether I like it or not! NO QUESTIONS asked, no ifs, ands, or buts about it! Technically I could have gone tonight and I chose not to. BAD BAD me!

Ok, there I feel a little better, now the question is will this motivate me to be a good girl now? For some reason I doubt it. part of the problem is I am totally stalled. I am STUCK at 62 kilo and feeling good, looking pretty good so I'm too comfy here. I wanted to get down a couple more before summer and then be done (of course maintain) but at this rate, I'm gonna be stuck here forever. I can not motivate myself to eat as well as I was over the last year, and I can't bring myself to work out as dilligently as before.

Where'd that motivation go??? COME BACK COME BACK COME BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


That is just WILD! I turned 32 today. I can NOT believe it. I have recently been getting back in touch with a few old High School friends and it seems unreal to me that we graduated 14 years ago! I never thought I would be an adult. I still feel like I'm 16 or so. It amazes me sometimes when I stop and think about the fact that I am a wife and mother and am responsible for my family and a household! Not to mention the ministry that we do. I'm not really this grown up, am I???

I had a wonderful day though. Rocky gave me my birthday present early so I didn't get any presents today, but he did a lot of little things for me all day, he washed the lunch dishes, and took care of some of Hana's little needs, and let me take a nap this afternoon! Plus he took me out to eat at a fancy Italian restaurant for dinner! AND I got to go to the gym tonight for the first time in over a week (because of our schedule and Japanse holidays) so that was a treat too!

I'm so blessed in my short little 32 years of life. I look forward to what the next 32 years holds...

I discovered a nifty little website today call and it is so handy. I wanted to see how many miles I am walking when I take Hana to and from preschool everday now. It turns out I walk one mile round trip, so that is two miles total most days. Not bad I guess. But I decided to map out a "run" if I were to get brave enough to try and start jogging and I am so tempted to go and actually try to jog it. I could run from her to the park over near Rocky's parents house, run through that park and take another route back home and it would be 5 miles. I am stalled on my weight loss right now and really just have about 3 more kilo (6 or so pounds) to lose to reach my final goal. So I am contemplating running as a change of pace to maybe get me motivated again and get my metabolism to change a little. I am still going to the gym but just don't seem as motivated to push myself too hard, and I have relaxed a LOT on my eating. I know from experience that if I throw in a new challenge I'll be more motivated to behave!

Anyways, enough about me. I'm off to blog about my sweet little Hana!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

My Visual DNA...

This was pretty cool, and the profile at the end pretty much nailed me! You should try it, it's fun!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Drum roll please..........................

MY NEW KITCHEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You can NOT imagine how excited I am. It is awesome, sosososososososososo AWESOME!!! I absolutely LOVE the drawer system in the lower cabinets. I got ALL my mixing bowls, serving bowls, strainers, and pyrex baking dishes in ONE drawer! And they are so easy to take back out when I need them, because I can pull them out from above!

My burners LIGHT when I turn the knob!

My sink faucet doesn't fall off every time I turn on the water!

It isn't ugly pugly green anymore! and I have extra counter space, which you can't see all of in the picture but we had our friend extend the counter out to the right where the fridge used to be! You see the beginning of it to the right of the stove. We put some extra counter top on top of one of our newer cabinets we just bought after we married, and it extends all the way to the wall! I feel like I have a brand new house!

What an incredible dream come true for me. Glory to God and praise HIS might name for all the amazing ways He provides for us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!