Friday, April 8, 2011

November 2010

We've returned back to Japan after our 6 week visit home after the earthquake. I promise I'll blog all about it (probably in like 2013). I meant to get caught up while at home, but that clearly didn't happen. We were just too busy visiting and eating and shopping!
But, now that we are back in Japan, I have the joys of jet lag to deal with. Mallory has been up at 2am the last 2 mornings. Since she's up, I'm up, so I might as well try to catch up!
Here's November 2010 for ya:

I went with Culture Club to visit the home of the former Prime Minister of Japan. It was set in a forested area with a bamboo forest nearby. It was beautiful. Only Suzie and I went on this trip, because every one else chickened out. The day wrapped up with a trip to an onsen, and the other Americans were a bit weirded out by that (yes, you had to get naked in the onsen).

The tree planted by the former Prime Minister and President Ronald Reagan, when he visited Japan.

The bamboo forest
A picture of the Japanese PM and his wife having tea with Pres Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan.
Fish drum outside the house
Shishi dog to keep away the evil spirits
The tea ceremony room
Painting of Mt Fuji by the Japanese PM

After visiting the house, we had a delicious picnic lunch, provided by the Japanese ladies.
Suzie and some of the Japanese ladies at the picnic
The entrance to the onsen. I don't have pics of the inside of course :)

The first weekend in November the base put on an Oktoberfest. We invited Culture Club to join us for German food, beer, music and good times.
Brett and Mallory (and the other families) joined us for the fun.
Her future's so bright, she has to wear shades!
Some of the Culture Club ladies brought their families as well.

I embroidered quite a bit of stuff this month for the craft fair held on base. I had lots of samples and took quite a few orders, which was nice. It got my name out there a bit as well, so that's always a good thing. As you can see, I have a great helper! She's wearing my tape measure, and also a pair of swim goggles. Never know what you'll need while sewing :)
My table at the craft fair

I made tutus for the fair as well and they sold like crazy!

Bandit playing peek a boo in my diaper bag.

Mallory playing music and hanging out in her pj's.
Hey there!
Ok, leave me alone and quit taking pictures. I'm trying to play music here.

For Thanksgiving Brett, Mallory and I went to a popular restaurant around here. It has a Japanese name, but we at Yokota call it "Communist Gyoza". They serve HUGE gyoza of various flavors. Each flavor you order has 5 giant gyoza on a plate. You can order various types like cheese, garlic, mushroom, etc. Each one has a pork stuffing and then the filling of your choice. They are delicious, but you just can't eat all that you order. You only get to order once, and they don't allow to-go or for you to take leftovers with you. It was quite smoky, but not crowded. We ordered 4 kinds, and could only eat about 7 gyoza total. We were stuffed. It wasn't a traditional Thanksgiving meal, but we really enjoyed it.
Dada and Mal waiting for dinner.
Wow- that's a lot of beer you have there Mal!
SOME of our huge gyoza.
Mal and Mama eating gyoza.

Several families on base got together and had a group Thanksgiving meal. It was fun to hang out and chat, plus eat delicious food! We had 1 ham and 2 turkeys.
and LOTS of side dishes!
Mal hanging out with her buddy Max.
Mallory and Max sport their Thanksgiving attire.
Hey there!
Mal's cute turkey hairbow.
After dinner, we got to enjoy an impromptu Taiko Drum performance. Several of the couples at the dinner are involved in Taiko (and were moving soon) and so they all played one last performance for us. It was fun. Mal enjoyed it as well.

The day after Thanksgiving we woke up and spent the day as a family. Mal hung out in her pj's in the kitchen with Bandit.
I made a real Thanksgiving meal for us that day. Mal helped me measure.
Dada raked the leaves outside while Mal watched and cheered him on.
Our family meal:cranberry sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey breast, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and green bean casserole. It all turned out delicious!
Dada carves the turkey. It isn't so hard to do when it's just a small turkey breast.
Mal eating her dinner. While everything was cooking, I also set up our Christmas tree and decorations which you can see in the background.
Dada and Mal having playtime after dinner.
Mal helping me put the leftovers away.
Uh oh, busted!
Wonder what's in here??

I bought a new Christmas wreath at Costco. Mal really liked the box to play in.

The fall leaves in November are beautiful and plentiful around here. These trees are on the way to Mallory's school. They go fully yellow and are gorgeous.
Our front yard gets COVERED in leaves from the neighbor's tree. Nathan and Mallory had fun playing in them one day after playgroup at our house.

I still teach the kid's English class in Nishi-Kokobunji and Mallory joins me. Here she is having a snack.
The kids in the older class, working hard.

Mallory being silly with her hat.

The kids in the younger class, posing for a picture.

The last day of November was lots of fun. I went with some friends to the Bon Jovi concert!! Here's my ticket in Japanese.
The concert was at the Tokyo Dome.

This restaurant was near the Tokyo Dome. I am not sure what they were trying to say here- gotta love the EngRish.

The 6 of us before the concert. Bill and Stacy Eckley, Michelle Pena, Shelley Waldroup, myself and Angela Sartorri. I promise it was full by the time it started. We thought the time on the ticket was when the concert started. It was just the time the doors opened. Oh well, we just went and had a chu-hi and came back before it started.

The man!
Shelley and I, being silly
Angela, me and Shelley
Being silly and "playing" on the Japanese bald heads in front of us.

It was a great show! We had super seats and really enjoyed ourselves. It was a neat experience to see a show in Tokyo.
While I was at the concert, Brett was on a work trip. Our neighbor Bridget watched Mal for us, and took her to the Christmas tree lighting. We are so lucky to have such good friends here!