Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Katharine's Perspective on her New Life in Japan!!

Hello family and friends! 
This is Katharine and this is my first blog post, ever!! We have found ourselves in a good routine that keeps us busy so we have not had a chance to update our blog in awhile. We are overwhelmed and exhausted but for good reasons!! I'll share my perspective with you via pictures with descriptions... 


Family Mart, a local convenience store, is across the street from our apartment building and they have this amazing espresso machine that makes the best 180¥ ($1.80) iced caffe latte that I've ever had. Let's just say that I'm a regular costumer and the ladies not only know us but they give us hugs when we come in. Our days are long & difficult so this is something I look forward to every morning... 


Once I get Hannah out the door (and pray that she makes it to school safely with her walking group) then I gather up all of Abigail's school bags and get the three of us out the door and down the elevator to our bike garage where I load them up on my awesome bicycle. I meet Tamaki and her two beautiful daughters, Misato and Akiho, outside at 8:15am and we ride together to the Nagoya Church Kindergarten which is about a 20-25 minute bike ride. 


After I drop off Abigail I can run errands, do chores, play with Josiah, or I can visit with new friends. This past week I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my new friend, Makiko, and her two boys, Kei and Kyuma. Josiah loves to play at Kyuma's house and I love to visit with Makiko. She speaks very good English which is a huge blessing since I speak very little Japanese! 

 

If they aren't watching Mickey Mouse then they are playing with this amazing Thomas the Train collection... 


Josiah is already picking up Japanese words and he uses them correctly. It's pretty amazing to watch our kids learn and grow in another culture. All three have adjusted with little to no problems whatsoever. Josiah is enjoying the city life with his front row seat on the bike. He calls out every choo-choo train, truck, motorcycle, bus, helicopter, and police/ambulance car that he finds. His excitement is pretty contagious. He is going to think that his name is "kuwaii" which is Japanese for "SO CUTE!!!"!


Once we pick up Abigail from school we head back home just in time to meet Hannah in the lobby of our building. Then the girls have free time while Josiah naps. They spend a lot of time in their new playroom... 


Or with their new friends outside in the courtyard... 


I made my first Japanese meal, kare raisu, this past weekend. It is delicious and pretty easy to make. It's like beef stew over rice with a unique curry flavor. 


When I am at the supermarket, Max Valu, I get so overwhelmed by all of the fish options and other freshly caught (and sometimes alive and wiggling) sea creatures... 



so I just stick with what I know... 


And then I have a giant pile of dishes to clean once we get the kids in bed after we have family time (bible story & prayer time)...


All of our furniture was delivered last week so Matt has been extra busy building things on top of the extreme language learning courses that he is now taking. 


We finally have something to sit on and beds to sleep on so we are starting to feel like we have a home. It is a good feeling and it has helped our kids to settle down a bit. 




So now that everyone is in school our evenings include a lot of: figuring out how to do Hannah's homework and finding friends to translate all the papers they bring home (such as this)...


practicing Japanese, practicing this interesting piano instrument.... 


watching Japanese cartoons with new friends ( Kei and Kyuma)... 


and as soon as these kiddos go to bed, Matt starts studying for hours. 3-4 hours a night. He is taking courses at an intense language school! It is overwhelmingly difficult. I'm so proud of his effort to learn- it is not an easy language!


I am currently obsessed with our view of the sunset every night. It is breathtaking almost every single time. Here are my top three favorites...




And, last but not least... 

Josiah turns 2 years old on Saturday, July 19. And I just can't handle how fast and how big he is growing. He's speaking English and a little bit of Japanese so clearly. He's our earliest talker and he's an absolute sweetheart. He loves to wrestle with his daddy and he plays silly games with his sisters. I'm really impressed by how much he has grown up this last month.  


Thank you for following our journey!! It is a privilege to share our joys, hopes, struggles, and trials with you. We are so thankful for all of the love, support, encouragement, and prayers that we receive on a daily basis. The Lord is most definitely sustaining us through the chaos of transition. It is hard and there are many days in which we are completely overwhelmed, frustrated, and exhausted but He helps us overcome, conquer, and persevere. Our hearts are full with gratitude for the many blessings, big and small, that He gives us to help us in our time of need.... which is, constantly! 


With much love & gratitude, 
Katharine (on behalf of our family)

15 comments:

  1. I'm pretty sure in Japan that last one is known as a "serfie".

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    1. Haha. Yup. Serufii.

      Japanese sentence of the day...

      kanojo ga serufii o totta.
      かのじょがセルフィーをとった。
      She took a selfie.

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  2. Excellent view into life there...thanks for sharing!

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  3. I love reading your blog! Every time it leaves me so encouraged and excited :) And Katharine, you are beautiful!

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  4. Yay! My comment went through!!! I've tried to comment on every post so far and it never worked. Whoop!

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    1. Yeah, the commenting system is a little buggy. Thanks, Google!

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  5. I love following every chapter of your blog. As I always say, you encourage me to keep going through tribulations. May God continue to be with you all.

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  6. Hey! I have also tried to comment on every blog but this is the first time it goes through!!

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  7. I LOVED reading your blog, Katharine! Makes me smile, cuz I love you and your family! Sweet blessings in ridiculous abundance! Mmmmmuah!!!

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  8. I cannot help but be overwhelmed by the Lord's gracious as I read your post! I know not every day or moment is easy, but is it abundantly clear that the Lord has created your family to be in Nagoya and is showering you with favor and grace. You are certainly loved by your Father and missed greatly by your family, but I could not be more encouraged in the Lord by you!

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  9. Thanks for the update, Katherine. Love and prayers are coming at you from your church family in Dallas.

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  10. Katherine! I am so glad to hear from your voice! Andrea and I speak of how inspiring you guys are all the time. The Whitemans are always following and praying! Love your story and Love you guys!

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  11. Love the photo blogs. Keep them coming! I actually make curry rice about every two-three weeks in the cold weather months. Wife absolutely loves it. Did you use Golden Curry? They sell it at most of the grocery stores here in DFW. It's amazing. And your son is totemo kawaii like everyone says.

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  12. Fabulous photographs. God is awesome, and y'all are, too. Seriously.

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  13. Katharine! This was such a treat to read! Thank you for giving us such a wonderful view into your lives! Your family looks great; and it is so wonderful to hear how all is progressing. What a work God is doing!!! Abi really digs Hannah's bunk bed and sends along a boisterous 'hey'!! with love!

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