i know i know i know

i know! i owe you a blog post. but. it turns out i'm really busy! and, i haven't uploaded all my photos from summer onto flickr. i'm about to go out of town for work, and then i have an AFWJ weekend coming up, but after that! i should be able to do the big catch up. argh! when did life get so hectic??

i have the blogger app for my iphone. i just might try it out this week. just wait! (i'll be going out near mt. fuji. i'll be busy, but if i get a chance, i'll try to write!)

watch this space

hey! remember me? i've been meaning to write for ages, but i've been so busy. i can't believe it's already been more than five months since i last wrote. naughty naughty blogger (illahee). i will have to write some catch up posts to tell you all about our summer. blame facebook. it's so much easier to update there, let me tell you....

sailing in fukuoka

after our trip

you're gonna be shocked, because i am writing about what happened yesterday! 

the other day, a bloggy friend invited me and the family to go sailing.  he is starting a new adventure in fukuoka city, sunset sailing!  we didn't go in the evening, though, we started out in the afternoon, and were probably on the water for about three hours.  it was sooooo amazing!

i was really surprised and gratified that we were invited to go on a cruise.  i guess you could say this is a pre-cruise, because we were not charged for our trip, but i did promise to blog about it, and promote my experience on facebook.

sailboat

we were busy in the morning, otherwise we might have got to the harbor earlier.  but, it's still a bit cold at night, so it's still kinda cold on the water, so afternoon was probably better.  the kids were really nervous about going on a boat, especially sasha, but i'm afraid that i was quite insistent, and forced them to go!  even hiro started shouting after i parked the car (in front of the boat!) that he didn't want to go and that he would wait in the car.

but, we all got on board, put on life jackets and then signed the passenger list.  then it was time to go!  Fu Kyo is a catamaran, so it was very stable and we hardly rocked at all!  none of my family get seasick (as far as i know), but it wasn't a concern yesterday.  the weather was perfect, the sea was so blue, and i took many many pictures!  (i also shared a lot on facebook, i really love updating from my iphone!)

feeling nervous

heading out

suited up

of course, i was in charge of my kids, making sure they didn't run, jump or be obnoxious in general.  after their initial fears, they LOVED it!  so much fun, and they didn't want the cruise to finish!  and today, sasha said she wanted to go on the boat again.  there are three beds on the boat, two (or three?) toilets, and a  lovely central cabin if one wants to sit inside if the weather isn't quite as nice as it was yesterday.  we brought our own snacks and drinks for this promotional cruise, but we were still offered tea and rice cracker snacks.  it was very comfortable!

if  you are in the fukuoka area, or ever visit and have the time, i recommend Fukuoka Sunset Sailing.  you can find information on facebook here in Japanese and here in English.  blog for Fu Kyo is here.   aaaaaand, picture set from our day on flickr!

you can see how much the kids relaxed!

balancing
(i took this picture from inside the cabin.)

there?

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fantastic views of fukuoka from the water!

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fukuoka tower

looking for jellyfish

although she said she hated boats, i think sasha fell in love with sailing.

from the cabin

and me? i hope i get to go again some day soon.

entrance ceremony

sasha's entrance ceremony was on april 11th. it was a cold and windy, but clear, day. it was so cold that they had three very large kerosene heaters in the gym, where the ceremony was held! yoshi and i chose chairs near one of the heaters, it was just so cold!!

hiro had the day off, but tommy had started back to kindergarten the day before. i had lost the paper which told us what time the ceremony started, so we basically left after tommy got on the kindy bus, just a bit before 9am. we were super early, though, because the ceremony wasn't starting until 10! that's all right, though, because we checked out the first grade room, sasha and hiro went upstairs to see the third grade room. eventually they had the gym ready for the ceremony, so we were invited to go in and wait.

as soon as we entered, sasha was paired up with her sixth grade "friend", while the three of us found a place to sit. then hiro basically ran around, talking with his teacher, or his former teacher (now sasha's teacher.)

the entrance ceremony was pretty short in itself, maybe an hour altogether. it was nice. after the ceremony we all went to the first grade room and the kids got their schoolbooks. then there was a bit of an introduction from the teacher, and then we were free to leave.


with a sixth grader friend

sasha's desk

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after lunch, we went to a photo studio for pictures. for sasha and her starting elementary school, and for us to have a family portrait.

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the next day was the first day of school for sasha, and she walked to school with hiro. yoshi went along, too, as far as the meeting point for the kids in our neighborhood. even zorro got to go along. now i only have one kid left in kindergarten, and two in elementary school!

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ohanami 2013

ohanami time

ohanami means flower viewing, usually it means looking at cherry blossoms.  people gather together under the cherry trees while they are blooming, usually because the weather is warmer (but it's usually still quite cold, especially if it's cloudy or windy!) and have picnics.  some people will drink, but this year i did a lot of driving, so i didn't!

our first hanami was a bit of a last minute tack-on to an onsen trip we went on.  march 20th was a public holiday (spring equinox) and yoshi booked us into a hotel in the middle of fukuoka prefecture.  the hotel was really lovely, and the onsen was especially nice.  i didn't get to enjoy the onsen as much as i would have liked to though, because the kids were horsing around and hiro hurt himself.  somehow, he locked his knee and couldn't walk.  the kids were very trying that day and i just lost my temper, and forced him to go to bed.  i had to stay with him in the room, so i told sasha and tommy to go with yoshi.  sasha refused to go without me, so she didn't get to go to onsen.  when she finally realized there would be NO bath with mommy, SHE threw a temper tantrum which resulted in HER going to bed, too.  ah, so much fun, so much drama.  the onsen opened early in the morning, though, so she and i got to go to onsen.

after leaving the onsen we went for a bit of a drive.  there were lots of cherry trees near the hotel (which is on a riverside), so i suggested we go to a place i knew of in asakura-city, because i used to live in that area.  first we went to a sakura park, which was ok, but not the place i was thinking about.  we got some tourist information there, and i found what i was thinking about:  akitsuki.  very nice.

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in amagi

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posing with daddy

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our next hanami was with kuri and her kids, at kokura castle in kitakyushu city. it was a cloudy and somewhat cold day, but it was nice to meet up with our friends, and the blossoms were gorgeous!

dripping with blossoms

pretty blossoms

spinning

kokura-jo

kokura-jo and torii

lovely blossoms

our next hanami was with kuri again, this time at uminonakamichi. of course, the kids and i went to the aquarium first.



at the park, we rented bikes and went around that way. there were some gorgeous trees along part of the way.

spring in uminonakamichi

on the bike trail

sakura

our last hanami was with one of my japanese classes. the blossoms were nearly finished, but it was a nice day for a picnic!

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kindergarten graduation -- sasha!

sasha and her teacher

i'm a little lost as to where i am in this whole blogging thing!  so, before i start writing about spring break, i'll write about sasha's graduation.

it's a little weird all the graduations the kids go through before they even hit high school!  mostly i find them annoying and boring and such a waste of time, BUT! there's nothing i can do to get out of them, so....

anyway, sasha finished up her third year of kindergarten in march.  soon she'll be starting first grade!  here are photos to compare:

pretty sasha sasha on her first day of kindergarten

ready for graduation sasha on graduation day

i know just about everyone says this, but i can't believe she's starting elementary school already! time just flies by. *sigh* i couldn't tell if sasha understood that she wouldn't be going to kindy any more.  i guess that because tommy will be in after school care once a week, we'll be going to the kindergarten and she'll see the teachers then.  she didn't even cry on graduation day.  she is getting nervous about elementary school, though!  hopefully she'll have a lovely transition and have a great time at school.

(another comparison, then more photos)

cute!

hiro and sasha

hm...

me and the kids
(this is why i am never in photos, my husband cannot take photos well!!)

sasha and her second year teacher
(sasha and her second year teacher, she will be leaving the school to try to have a baby.)

saying goodbye

valentine's day 2013



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still playing catch up!

so, for valentine's day, we met up with friends at kuri's place.  we all brought food to share, and i brought some cupcakes and sugar cookies to decorate.  the icing i made for the cookies ended up having too much milk (so, we couldn't decorate the cookies), but the cupcakes were a big hit!

as usual, the girls played dress up, and the boys ran around playing with all the toys. i think the kids had a great time!

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decorating together

sasha's cupcake
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