January in Japan
After we said goodbye to Mimi & Papa our lives were forced to return to "normal" the very next day. Taking a break from school, studying, laundry, cooking, dishes, etc. to visit with them was exactly what we needed... but it was a difficult transition to jump right back into our busy routine while we were still grieving their departure. Many of you prayed for us during this time- thank you for your prayers! The Lord was definitely with us as we grieved and reestablished a healthy rhythm for our family.
Our family spends each day in language school, private school, public school, Japanese lessons at home, making new friends, hanging laundry, hand washing dishes, changing diapers, riding trains, studying Japanese, finding & buying groceries, paying bills, learning to drive on the other side of the car and road, cooking meals, homeschooling kids, reading books, and playing with toys, etc. in a foreign culture and in a foreign language. We are very, very busy and very, very overwhelmed. We are so thankful for your prayers for our family to have endurance, strength, perseverance, humility, and patience with each other and with ourselves.
We have learned so much and we have so much more to learn.
|We watch the sunrise over Nagoya every morning as we gather together for family devotional. Matt is usually awake around 5am to study Japanese so the girls & I get up at 6:30am and cuddle under blankets and read scripture together and pray. We are reading Long Story Short and we highly recommend it if you have older children. You can find it on Amazon by going here.|
|I have a two hour Japanese lesson with Keiko every Tuesday in my home. We are working our way, slowly, through the first Minna no Nihongo textbook. With Keiko's help I am slowly but surely learning to speak a little bit of Japanese!! Praise the Lord!! Keiko is a sister in Christ, a friend, and an incredible teacher. I'm so thankful for her and just about every missionary at CBI can say the same thing! Hannah has a one hour Japanese lesson with Keiko after she gets home from Japanese public school on Tuesday as well. Keiko is teaching Hannah important school words, cultural differences, and how to handle situations that arise in the public school setting. These lessons have been a huge help to Hannah's success in the classroom.|
|Lots of dishes without an actual dishwashing machine means that we wash dishes by hand two, three, four times a day. This is what my sink looks like after dinner.... (every.single.day).|
|This is the girls' "play area" in their room- you can see why it gets cluttered so quickly... and why I have to brace myself every time I walk into their room.|
A typical weekend...
Matt makes pancakes for us every Saturday morning. He has perfected the fluffy pancake recipe! Saturday morning is our only morning of the week in which we get to "sleep in" and relax. We take it easy in our pjs, watch cartoons, and FaceTime with the grandparents. Saturday is our favorite day of the week!
Hannah is an artist and we are learning that she also likes to display her creativity through her outfits... this was what she picked out to wear for church one Sunday morning.
Abigail just wants to wear pink.
We love attending our church, Mustard Seed Christian Church, on Sunday morning. On any given Sunday you will come across about 20 different nationalities! We worship the Lord in Japanese and English- it is beautiful to hear so many different accents sing to the Lord!
We recently sang "God of This City" by Chris Tomlin, it is the cry of our heart for Nagoya. Next time you hear this song- will you pray for Nagoya, Japan?
Josiah- 2 1/2 years old...
|Matt makes pancakes for us every Saturday morning. He has perfected the fluffy pancake recipe! Saturday morning is our only morning of the week in which we get to "sleep in" and relax. We take it easy in our pjs, watch cartoons, and FaceTime with the grandparents. Saturday is our favorite day of the week!|
Josiah- 2 1/2 years old...
Josiah is growing and changing so much! I know that both of our families in Texas are really missing out on some cute and memorable moments. The life of a missionary is such a paradox of emotions. We feel excited to watch him grow & learn but that excitement is always mingled with sadness knowing that his grandparents are missing out on these times. I have tried to capture as much as I can with my camera so that I can share our sweet, loving, joyful, affectionate, silly, & rambunctious two (and a half) year old little boy with our friends and family....
|His Nanna sent him a Lightning McQueen umbrella and rain boots for Christmas. They are, by far, his favorite gifts. He wears his rain boots almost everyday, rain or shine!|
|Making silly faces while looking in the mirror have begun. The kissy face is usually followed by tooting sounds and motor boat noises.... and then spitting.|
|His Nanna also sent him a Lightning McQueen race car driver uniform!! He has a pretty cool Nanna! He watches his sisters dress up every single day so he is pretty excited to have his first official costume!|
Coming of Age Day at the Mall...
Mom, I want a hamster...
|She chose to name her hamster Staples,"because when hamsters bite your finger, it feels like a stapler got you". You might think this is a weird name but as a child I chose to name my hamster, Stitches. She is her mother's daughter for sure!|
|Thank you, Hiroko, for your help in translating the process of adopting our first Japanese pet... Staples the Hamster! Welcome to the family!|
|Hannah is a proud "Hamster Mom" and has done such a good job feeding and taking care of her hamster's every need. Staples is overly loved and receives lots of attention! She's quite a character!|
Praising God for our car...
|Josiah is warm and so much safer in his carseat than strapped on the front of a bicycle. He still points out every train, bus, and motorcycle that he can find!|
| High Farm Burger makes organic beef burgers with local produce! If you are ever in Nagoya, we highly recommend that you check it out! |
Amilia's 3rd Birthday Party at Mitt's Coffee Stand...
|This is Mitsuaki "Mitt" Abe. He owns our favorite local coffee stand in Nagoya called Mitt's Coffee Stand. Matt met him when we first moved to Nagoya on a quest to find the best cup of coffee in the city. Mitt has become a good friend not only to our family but to the Farmer's as well. He opened up his coffee shop after closing hours in order to host Amilia's 3rd birthday party!|
|Many of the new friends that we have made in our community joined us at the party to celebrate the precious life of Amilia. She is an absolute joy. Our family loves her as if she was one of our own.|
|You can learn more about the Farmer Family by visiting their blog here. Serving with them in Japan has been an absolute joy. They love our family well- we are incredibly blessed by all three (soon to be four) of them!|