Monday, February 26, 2007

Days off!!!

I totally LOVE Mondays, especially when they are nice and sunny. We took off this morning with Hana in the stroller, went to lunch with Baba (grandma) and then walked over to the park near their house. We spent quite a while just letting Hana run around and play, taking our time, hanging out, playing ball, going down the slide, chasing birds and discovering rocks. Then we headed home (a good 20 minute walk or more) and took it easy this afternoon. It was beautiful and warm outside. What a wonderful day.

I hit the gym this evening but all that running and playing with Hana certainly took something out of me. I could tell a difference. But I did my normal work out.

It was a great day!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bunions and lonliness...

Well, my Mom says that when I was a little girl I had a pair of shoes that I just LOVED and refused to stop wearing them even when they were too little. Because of this, my feet are deformed! HA! Well, what she calls deformed is really just an accelerated case of bunions. Most people have problems with this when they are like in their 60's and 70's. I get the joy of beginning to deal with it in my early 30's. So I went to the Doc today to see if anything can be done to keep it from getting worse. My year of working out dilligently has really bothered especially my left foot, and I just wanted to get ahead of it before it gets out of hand. Well the doctor had no special words of wisdom for me and basically it was a waste of my time and money. But while I was sitting in the waiting area, I witnessed something very interesting about lonliness in this country.

It is very common for the more elderly population to visit a doctors office almost daily in the morning, so they can talk and gossip with their friends in the waiting room. It never ceases to amaze me that they gather and carry on, updating one another on their various ailments, their family members, current politics and so forth. They greet one another with a nan-shalant, "hey there" instead of "fancy meeting you here!" which makes it obvious to us less regular visitors that it is normal for them to meet up like this. Japanese national insurance is very good and medical attention in Japan is relatively inexpensive. Plus doctors humor these folks by prescribing treatments that require them to come to the hospital or clinic often. Things that we would normally be allowed to do ourself at home in the states, Japanese don't or can't do at home, they must go to the doctor. This creates a little culture of people who have made friends at the doctors office and they gather daily or several times a week to hang out. They are pretty lonely I guess.

I had an early morning appointment today so I got to see this daily ritual. A group of ladies were gathered with their little push carts, talking away. I was a little annoyed because I was trying to hear a sermon on my mp3 player through just one ear phone so I could hear when they called my name with the other ear. This proved to be pretty impossible with all that chatter.

The first lady to arrive though, really got my attention. She comes marching in with her little push cart. These little carts are multi-functional, acting as walking support, a miniature wheel barrel for holding their belongings and purchases, and a small seat when needed. She had sticking out of the top of her seat area a large doll, and the doll was talking! This is another recent trend among older aged women in Japan, these talking dolls as companions. They are programmed to respond appropriately to movement, air temperature, and even sometimes what you say. Her doll was one of the largest I'd ever seen and he/she was just a talking away. But that wasn't the most interesting part. What was so eye catching is that she was shamlessly, in public, talking back. She sat down on the waiting bench and turned her little companion around to face her and began talking with her. She'd nuzzle and kiss her, straighten her clothes, brush the dolls "hair" out of her face and so forth. She carried on with this doll until her buddies showed up, much in the same way I would with Hana. It was captivating. She really addored this doll.

What depth of loneliness she must know to need a companion so badly. I sat and prayed for that sweet woman and all the others like her, that they could know their Lord and Savior and the complete peace and comfort that a relationship with Him brings.

Anyone with a chronic medical condition want to come live in Japan as a hospital waiting room relationship bulding missionary?

Friday, February 16, 2007

I broke the house!

There just don't seem to be enough hours in the day to do everything I'd like to do, including keep a more consistent journal on this blog. Sometimes I wish I could either add hours to the day or sleep less or something! Don't we all!!!

I am doing very well though, just busy as ever. Trying to keep up with working out and being a mommy and wife and missionary and cook and maid and driver and friend and on and on, takes so much! But I really enjoy the life the Lord has given us.

I broke the garage door this week though! When we bought this house our favorite thing was the garage door and the fact that is was remote control, not so common a thing in Japan. We splurged a little on it, when remodeling, in order to have the luxury of not opening the door by hand in the rain and so forth. And my biggest fear has been messing it up, since it was so expensive! Well, I finally did it this week, or should I say it finally HAPPENED. It was sort of my fault and sort of not. I was driving away and I heard the sound of something metal fall. It had been a very windy night and I was leaving early in the morning. When I heard the sound, I look all around the car and couldn't see that I hit anything or that anything in the garage was out of place. As I backed out further in to the street I could see that the were lots of things strewn in the street because of the strong winds, so assumed the metal noise I had heard had come from the street. I hit the garage door button and drove off. Well it turns out that a couple of pieces of metal that had been resting against the wall near the garage door had been knocked over by the wind. And one of them just so happened to fall right into the door railing. So as the garage door came down and hit the piece of metal on one side at the railing, it kept going down on the opposite side only and the whole thing buckled and bent. It was a mess. I was a mess when I found out. I felt so horrible. WHY didn't I get OUT OF THE CAR AND CHECK! If I'd just done that, I'd saved us from this huge headache and who knows how much money. Rocky says when the door finally stopped, the whole house shook and it woke him up! I told him, "I broke the house!" He just laughed. I just knew the whole door was going to have to be replaced and it was going to cost us a thousand or more dollars! I was just SICK the whole day and into the next until a mechanic came to check it. He fixed it! Somehow? I don't know how, but he did, PRAISE GOD! We don't know yet how much they are going to bill us, but hey, it can't be a thousand dollars. He was only out there for like 30 minutes. He banged on some spots, cut away a few bent pieces, and somehow got it all working just like new again! I was so shocked and so thankful! Now I don't ever want to drive away until I have seen the door go safely all the way down! ugh

I always thought Rocky would be the one to break something important in the house! hahaha! He has the gift of breaking things. Really, he'll be the first to admit it. He just picks things up to look at them and they break! But no, it was me! I did it. Maybe my husband's "gift of breaking things" is rubbing off on me! (Sugarpie, when you read this, know that I think your talent for breaking stuff is funny and cute! Well, most of the time I think so... at any rate, you're so precious to me!!! hehehe)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Sweet moments with my little girl...

Tonight Hana had a really hard time going to sleep. Her nap was late today AND she slept long, so she wasn't really ready for bed when we put her down. She was SUCH a good girl, not making any fuss, but after about an hour of talking to herself and rolling around a lot she called for Daddy, he went to tend to her, took her potty and put her back down. A good 45 minutes or more later, after talking to herself, clapping and singing songs to herself to stay entertained, she called out some more. So I went to check on her. I took her to the bathroom again, although she really didn't need to go. I put on my fleece jacket to go upstairs because it is pretty cold up there. She LOVES for me to wrap her up inside my fleece jackets, so instead of putting her right back to bed, I wrapped her up, grabbed blankie and we cuddled and rocked in the rocking chair. What a sweet memorable moment. We talked and talked. Today in preschool we did the creation story so we went back over the things that God made. By the way, God made lions and dogs and bears but he did NOT make giraffes (according to Hana). ;) All the while she kept reminding me she didn't want to go to bed, "Mommy, night night all done!" she would say between each day of creation. I would assure her that Mommy would rock her for a little longer, and we'd cover another day of creation. After we talked about how God made boys and girls, and that includes precious little girls like Hana, she decided it was time to go night night. But not without another night night kiss from Daddy, who I promised to send upstairs for a kiss after I tucked her in. I put her down and had Daddy go give her some kisses and we never heard a peep out of her again (finally more than two hours after bedtime). What a special, precious little Angel!!!!!!! Makes my Mommy heart melt!