Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas Shopping

Last week I had 3 days holiday, so I decided to get my Christmas shopping done!
For 2 days Mikey, David and I tramped around these massive shopping malls and I came up empty!
I got a few things but not what I wanted!  One problem was the price of stuff, I know that prices are going up but some of the things I saw were just crazy expensive. Another problem was not knowing what to get for the kids!  I did manage to get a few things for Hannah and Christopher but only a book for David and nothing for Mikey!  I still have time but I was hoping to have things done so I can focus more on things here!
We did get the Christmas tree up and most of the decorations out.  David and Christmas trees are not a good mix!  He managed to somehow pull the big tree over on top of him!  Then he made me loose count of the flour I was measuring out!  I got mad so I threw a handful of flour on him.  All good fun .
I'll get some photos tomorrow, no battery in the camera at the moment!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Baking, Cooking and a Broken Water Heater

As the weather cools down I spend a lot of time in the kitchen baking.  This year however I haven't felt up to it until the past week or so!  My seasonal allergies have been extreme and sneezing while baking is not nice!  I didn't do so many halloween cookies for the students so I'll have to make up for it with the Christmas cookies!  The past week I have been baking for the kids.  I made banana chocolate cake, banana coffee muffins (too many black bananas!), snickerdoodles, chocolate pie, apple pie and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. I hope to have chance to bake today and am trying to decided what to make!
One reason I can bake so much is that David has taken over cooking dinner.  He is getting very good, he not only cooks but thinks up the menu and does the shopping. If he cleaned up after that would be perfect!  Last week he made pizza from scratch, nan bread base and homemade topping with a nice light soup and salad.  He cooked up a chicken dish and some fish also.  Most days he has ideas about what to cook, takes a load of pressure off me!
The big problem the past couple of weeks has been the water heater!  Some mornings there was no hot water at all.  Then in the mid morning it would start working only to stop again later!  The worst part was trying to take a shower.  Sometimes the water would be nice and hot then suddenly run cold!  Not nice at all!!!  We called the gas company and they sent somebody who had a look and decided that he had no idea what was wrong.  Another call two days later resulted in a new control which has so far worked.  Somebody is coming on Tuesday to replace the heater and I hope that is the end of the saga!
A few pictures to end with!

When it rained for days on end we let the dog in for a while

David with his fish, he cooked this up very nicely

Chocolate Pie

David's Pizza
Poor Mikey with a bad allergy attack, he spent ages steaming his nose to try and cleat it a bit!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Helping Hand

One the way home from the supermarket last night, Mikey and I , saw an old woman struggling with her bags.  She would take two steps, put her bags down, take two more steps and stop again.  It was dark ( this is after 9o'clock) and very cold.  We both felt sorry for her, so I got out of the car and offered to help her carry her bags for a bit.  I wasn't in a rush and felt that the least I could do was help her get off the dark, narrow road!  I took her bags and asked her which way.  She said she was okay and not to bother but it was obvious that she wasn't okay.  I walked with her a few minutes, chatting, in my bad Japanese, about the weather and how difficult it is to have to walk in the dark.  It felt good to help out.  Until I got back to the car!  Mikey said that according to his friends it is not a good idea to help out.  If something happens to the person while helping out, the person could blame you!  When I thought about this I felt that maybe the old lady thought I was trying to steal her food or that it was too much for her me helping her.  I went to bed feeling really guilty for helping out this old lady.  But then I wondered what kind of society do we live in where wondering if a good dead will come back and bite us stops us from helping out!  What do you think? 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Oh dear

I've become a bad blogger!
The past few weeks I've either been busy or sick or busy and sick!  Finding the time and energy to write has been impossible.
So here is a quick update.
October 18th David, Christopher, Hannah and I went to Fukuoka for a University Fair.  Universities from all over Japan came and set up booths.  It was a chance to see what is out there!  This one problem I have, without language it is difficult to find out things like this.  If Hisao was still here he would be doing all this for me but I have to try and figure things out for myself!  So off to Fukuoka we went.  One of the worst days to use the train.  Besides the University Fair, Softbank Hawks were playing at home and the local soccer team were also at home.  Talk about crowded!  I was amazed at how many kids were at the University Fair, it was crowded. Some people came as families but most kids came with their High School, there must of been at least 40 buses in the parking lot.  We talked to a few places and found a course for Christopher.  We are still cheeking a few places but so far this looks the best!

The front of the train station

Near where the University Fair was held. it was a lovely day.

After that things went down hill for me.  I got hit by really bad allergies!  This happens every year when the seasons change.  But this year was really awful.  One morning I sneezed for over five hours, non stop.  By the end I felt as if my face was going to explode!

The Halloween week was great fun for the kids! Mikey really went all out to make it fun for the kids.  I could hear them laughing and giggling!

Halloween Fun
Another thing that has happened is that both Christopher and Hannah got rewards from school.
Christopher took an English test, part of a competition for all the Commercial High Schools in Saga. He got the first prize! 
Hannah got a reward for her summer homework!

Christopher's medal, it's very heavy!

Hannah's award

And of course the kids love to tease the dog!!

I am sure I've missed out a few things but that is all for now!