Friday, November 28, 2008

Celebration of New Life

Our small group celebrated the joy of a new little life last night. Also, we were able to have some Turkey and pumpkin pie which was a delightful feast. I didn't think we would get to have any turkey at all on Thanksgiving Day. But, thanks to some amazing small group members the turkey was had!! We really enjoy our small group. There are several countries and cultures represented which makes for a lot of fun times. We have people from Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Gabon, the UK, the US, Japan, and Indonesia. We are very thankful for these people and we are thankful for the time we got to spend last night celebrating the birth of little Takudzwa Lesley Njowa. Takudzwa is shona for respected or honored.

Wina and Taku

Wina and Jason gettin some food.

The Bartons, Violet, and Nancy (the mama). And River's on the floor.

Myself with Taku. He is absolutely beautiful!

The group. Minus a few people.

The proud Papa...Diamond.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Past Little Bit

I really wish I was better at this whole blogging thing....sigh. It has been so long since I have told you what we are doing that I have too much to write. So, to try to give you an effecient yet complete version of what we have been up to I bring you my least favorite way of giving information....a bullet list.

"Fun" things we have done this past month or more:
  • Jason and I attended the Tokyo Passion Worship conference here in Tokyo. It was fabulous. The worship was amazing....Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, and David Crowder Band. Mr. Giglio spoke and it was great as well. A funny thing happened at the end of the conference. We were leaving and some of Jason's students spotted him in the lobby and were SO excited to see him that they began screaming! Seriously, you would've thought Jason was a movie star or something! Well, one Western fella did. After the girls gave Jason some room a man came up to Jason and shook his hand saying, "Thanks for the great concert tonight." HAHAHA. Because of the students having such an "over-the-top" reaction some man thought Jason was in one of the bands. It was TOO funny!
  • Jason and I have been able to take some school trips with the grades we work with. Jason went to the western most part of Japan to Nagasaki which is in Kyushu. There Jason saw some really great historical sites. The J3 (Freshman) went to the A-bomb museum. Jason said it was intense and it really got to him and shook him up. I hope to see this museum one day too. I remember feeling a lot of shock after the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN as well as a small exhibit at a Holocaust Museum. I can only imagine Jason felt much of the same or worse. It seemed that way as he described some of things documented as well as hearing a testimony from a woman who was 4 at the time of the bombing. Also, Jason got to see the memorial dedicated to the many Christians that were martyred in that part of Japan. He had a really great time on this trip. I too had fun but my trip was on a little bit of a smaller scale.
  • We have enjoyed this journey of pregnancy! We found out that we are having a baby boy! Let me tell you, he moves A LOT! We can't wait to meet him and hold him in our arms.
  • We voted by absentee.
  • Have added new dinner items to our menu. This was a big feat for us. Not having an oven can be a little limiting and sometimes it's hard to read the labels of some of the food. One new item we love...Tofu Chili! Seriously, so good. I never knew I would/could cook with Tofu.

Fun things about Japan:

  • I have wanted to share this for quite some time but have gone back and forth about it's appropriateness or embarassment factor but what the hey...I really want to tell you about the flushing sound button. The toilets in Japan are fantastic! Heated seats, automatic raising and lowering of toilet seats, and the flushing sound button! I don't know about you but I hate having to go to the "bathroom" when others can hear me. Ladies, you know what I mean. But, with the "flush" button that worry is a thing in the past....or at least waiting for me in America. When you sit down to go you just wave your hand in front of this sensor and then out of a small speaker comes a flushing sound. It's loud enough to cover up anything and also common enough that when present every woman uses it all the time! It's the best. It's a fantatstic invention.
  • The Japanese (for the most part) are a very cautious people. I have noticed this a lot since being pregnant. Many of my co-workers are so sweetly concerned with my activities during pregnancy. When I took the trip with the J1 class I was asked if it was safe for me to ride on the charter bus we were taking. The question took me by suprise but my co-workers weren't put at ease until I received an email from my doctor clearing me for the two-hour bus trip. This is just one example. They are very considerate.

Some "not-so-fun" things:

  • We have to find a new apartment because the one we live in is TOO small for us and a new little baby. We went with our Japanese friend from our small group and ran into some problems. People don't want to rent to foreigners. The real estate agent was very difficult to work with and not exactly nice. That was a frustrating experience. Thankfully our persistent friend strongly encouraged to try one more place and we had a MUCH better experience.
  • I have to make a decision about next year's work situation and I don't feel like I can do that until I find a good day-care and I can't search for the day care until I know where we will be living....sigh. So for these not-so-fun things please pray for us.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 7, 2008

I.O.U.S.A.: The Movie

Please watch this video. It's about 30 minutes long but very informative about the state and condition of our nation's spending.
I.O.U.S.A.: The Movie

Posted using ShareThis

Monday, November 3, 2008

Japan and the Movies

We went to the movies on Saturday this weekend. I love going to the movies and it is a special treat in Japan because it is just so darn expensive. On the first day of the month movie tickets are 1,000 yen. About the equivalent of $10 USD. They regularly run somewhere about $17-$20 USD. So since the first of the month hit on a Saturday we seized our opportunity for some discounted cinema entertainment. Like I said, I love going to the movies and Japan makes that experience even more delightful (despite the high prices). At the movies you can choose between butter popcorn OR carmel popcorn OR you can get both delightful options in a tub with a divider! How cool is that? I get really excited at the smell of caramel corn here in Japan. It's just delicious. Also, when you pre-purchase your tickets you get to pick your seats because there is reserved seating! Could it be any more convenient? No stress about wondering how early to get there to make sure you have a good seat! You can show up 5 minutes before the show starts and have the best seat in the house (provided you booked this seat on the internet or from your cell phone in advance)! Awww....the little things I like about this country.