Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cooking Chronicles: Part 4

Some of these food photos are very old and some are more recent:

Oatmeal Cookies, I never made oatmeal cookies in the states because when I did they turned out awful. But I thought I should try again. 
They actually came out perfect, David loved them!!!
However, this summer I have not been able to make them correctly, we think it has something to do with the humidity. 

I never knew that the Japanese loved curry so much. Our Japanese language teacher brought us some homemade curry. It was very good. 

Curry and Rice
We cook chicken here a lot. A friend gave me this quick and easy sauce to add to chicken when cooking it in the skillet. It was very good. 

I'm not a big soda drinker, but this melon soda is amazing!!

When the students came over from Baiko University, they brought us a cake. It's similar to a round pound cake. They also sell mini ones that you can take with you. 
When David's parents came to visit, one thing I asked his mom to show me was how to make her biscuits from scratch. David raves about them and I knew I needed to learn how to make them for him. This is my first batch by myself after she left and they turned out great!!!

Biscuits cooking

David wanted to try homemade pizza. We usually bought the crust in the states where you just add water and oil, but we tried from scratch here and it was OK.

Making Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

David's mom's famous sugar cookies, which she actually told me this summer was her dad's recipe.
 You may wonder why we eat so much chicken. The staple foods here are fish, rice, and various soups. The whole pieces, boneless chicken breasts are actually the cheapest meat here. We usually buy those. I told a neighbor in our building that I wanted to learn how to cook Japanese food and she said that she would love to teach me. 

Baking here is something that I've been told isn't done much. So for gifts or get togethers I have been bringing cookies or cakes. 

We went for Korean food with a friend!!

Carrot Cheese Cake

A huge nashi (Japanese pear).

Who knew a Kit Kat could be so small.

Stay tuned for a post on how the Japanese make lunches!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Samuel: 10 months

It's December and we can't believe it's almost time for Christmas. We are looking forward to celebrating Samuel's first Christmas in NC with our families. We will leave for the USA on Saturday, December 21st and return to Japan on January 1st. We are thankful for the opportunity to go home for the holiday. 

Samuel has been growing and doing so many fun and exciting things. He is over 31 inches long and weighs almost 24 pounds. He has 2 bottom front teeth and his hair grows so fast. He is climbing onto and up everything he can, free standing, and took his first steps the first week of December and we are excited to see him walk more and more. We hope you enjoy the following photos:

He enjoys his Anpanman book, especially because it has pop up's.

He loves to pull out the pots, pans, towels, and Tupperware's. 

Playing in the kid's area at the mall.

We are excited to take him to a free community center close to our house. It gives him more space and interaction with other kids.

Samuel pushed this little walker around the community center so many times we lost count.
Resting together after a fun day of playing and errands!!

We are extremely thankful and Praise the Lord everyday for a healthy and happy baby boy!!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

English Ministries Update

We are now finished with our third month of the new semester of our English teaching ministries. 

David began with a little bit of a different schedule and some new opportunities to teach English. He will be teaching a business English class through the company of one of the church members. He will also be teaching a Juku class on a class by class need. Juku is a   'cram' school where students choose the subject they want to study. David is helping 2 students currently prepare to take an English language entrance test for college. 

The Pre-School began twice a week in September and has kept us busy. The students have taken a bit of time to adjust to our new schedule but now they are doing well. We still have openings for the April 2014 school year, so please pray with us as potential new families are viewing our school and consider enrolling their child. In Japan, most families decide by the end of November where they will enroll their child for the next school year. 

The Pre-School has a Facebook page that is updated weekly with pictures and videos of our activities. Please click on the link below to view the page. (you don't have to have Facebook to view)

New Beginning Pre-School

Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and words of encouragement as we work in these various English teaching ministries in Japan. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Japanese Langauge

Wow, where to start. I guess learning anything new takes time, but learning Japanese is going to take us a lifetime. To begin there are three different alphabets that we have to learn. The first is called the hiragana. In Japanese there is a letter for every sound, unlike English where some letters make more than one sound. Actually it's a consonant vowel combination. For foreign words, such as our names, there is an alphabet called the katana that is used. 

Below is Samuel's name:

Ku ku,  Sa mu e ru   Pi li po

They take the sounds they normally use from the hiragana but use the katakana to write them. So when we see the katakana we know it's a foreign word. The third alphabet is kanji. I'm not sure it really qualifies as an alphabet, because it's characters used to describe a thought, idea or picture. However, sometimes a kanji can be just one word. 

Below is the chart of hiragana and katakana from our textbook that we study. We learn the sounds using the romaji.

Romaji uses the Roman letters, it helps us learn the sound that goes with each hiragana or katakana. As you can see the Japanese letters can be difficult for us at first to know and read. When we tell some of our Japanese friends that we can't read Japanese they are confused. We tell them that we haven't seen many of the Japanese letters or studied Japanese until we came to Japan. They are given the option to study Korean, Chinese, and English in school, we tell them our options are usually Spanish, German, French, or Latin. In Japan, many business names or buildings have English as well as the Japanese. So the people here are used to seeing some English words and letters. They can pronounce them mostly and read them even if they don't know what they mean. We on the other hand, couldn't read anything at first and we knew what nothing meant. Now that we have been here a year our ears are becoming tuned to the sounds of the Japanese language. When we see words in the hiragana we can read most, but just don't know what they mean because our vocabulary is still very limited. We have focused our efforts on learning the hiragana, and basic conversational phrases. 

We study the letters in rows. Below is a picture of the vowel row and the 'ka' row.

Also a picture of some of the conversational phrases we have learned. 

We have a few tools like the pictures below to help us study. We also have various applications and games on our phones that help us learn and study as well.

We took a break from Japanese classes when we had Samuel and intended to begin them again after we got used to being a family of three. Then when I got sick we decided to wait until I was better. We decided to wait until our August break was over to begin again and are studying as much as our schedules allow right now. We would appreciate your prayers as we make time to study and as we are currently working on Japanese conversation. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Recent Happenings in Photos

Please don't think we have forgotten about updating our blog. With me teaching at the Pre-School 2 full days a week and an even busier schedule for us, we just haven't had the time to update as often as we would like to. We have a few old blogs posts ready to go but this post will show pictures from mid-September until now. Soon we will add a few more posts. But for now we hope you enjoy the photos!!

Saturday, September 21: International Cafe Mexican Theme

This little girl kept coming over to see Samuel during the breaks.
David spoke and presented the Gospel while Tony Haug translated.

Many Japanese in attendance had never seen a piñata. 

Mr. Shimoda had perfect Japanese form.

However, it was one of the parents of my Pre-School student's who broke the piñata and all of the candy came out!!

It was fun to watch the children run over and gather up the candy.

At the end of September we went down to the boardwalk for lunch and a walk around.

The Kanmon Strait and bridge is behind me. 

It's very beautiful here in Shimonoseki and you can see more of the bridge.

Riding the new Ferris Wheel!!

September 30, Stephanie's Birthday!!

Lunch at a local place called 'Jolly Pasta' the thin-crust pizza is really good and more American style than any other restaurant we'd been to in Shimonoseki!!!

David took me to a bakery place and I chose a few yummy pieces of cake for us. 

Birthday flowers.

David sang happy birthday!!

Marcia Haug watched Samuel for a few hours while we got to go for a drive, supper, and walk on the beach at sunset!!

Not on my birthday, but enjoying a birthday supper and yummy American style brownie sundae dessert.
October 7, 2013-Samuel is 8 months old.

Cruising around the mall in this awesome stroller!!
 We were invited to Baiko University by some friends who attend the university to see a Japanese dance.

Watching the dancing!!

All of the shoes left at the entrance. All homes and many places of business require you to take your shoes off when entering. The gym where we watched the dancing was no different. 

Samuel crawling in-between everything!!

David and Samuel attended the sports day for some of his students.

On a walk through the surrounding neighborhoods:

A shrine

Narrow streets

A really small door

Retaining wall

Retaining wall
Bed-head and sleepy face after a nap. 

Celebrating 9 months on November 7 with homemade colored soap foam!!

I don't think it tastes very good!!

New 18 month size sleeper and it just fits him. He's so long!! 

That's all for now :)