last year we visited gaijin wife and her family while we were staying at the yufuin youth hostel. you can read about it here to refresh your memory. i'll wait. anyway, i didn't think a direct drive to GW's house would take so long, but i never really count on the kids. i swear, we stopped at every other convenience store, which is to say quite often. but we still got to kunimi in the early afternoon. all the kids were there (though ryu was sleeping) and everyone started playing together at once. and soon enough, my kids were begging to go in the pool so they all changed into togs and had a great time splashing around.

it was lovely to see jo again, and to finally meet her kids. they were quiet and were good with the kids. all too soon they had to leave and head for home. i hope to see jo again soon! ryu was up by then and so we juggled bathing kids, preparing dinner (which was basically done by GW, she even slipped the lasagna in the oven when i wasn't looking!) and cracking open our first (ha!) beers....luckily her husband came home and was able to take the baby to the bath. i even got a couple of glimpses of granny k during the day, but i think she may have been avoiding the general mayhem of six preschool children. lol

after dinner and brushing teeth, we put the kidlets down to sleep. i didn't think my three were *ever* going to sleep, they were so excited. they were also going into over-tired zones because they didn't have any naps during the day. but in the end, with endless shifting and changing positions, they dropped off to sleep, one by one. when i joined GW and her husband in the living room, it was only 8pm! no wonder they wouldn't go to sleep! lol anyway, i had far too much to drink, but i don't think i embarrassed myself (too much anyway, and GW is far to gracious to say) and ended up in bed at around midnight.

i woke up in the morning with a killer headache. oops. all the kids were up by 6:20 and although i was pretty useless, GW made a lovely breakfast for them. my kids even managed to eat most of what was on their plates! then GW took her older two to kindy and then we managed to have a lovely morning (as i got over my hangover *shudders and vows never to drink again*) while my three played outside on the awesome playground they have in their beautiful grassy yard. i thought we should leave by noon, though, so that we wouldn't impose GW for lunch, and because it takes so long to get there! we made our thank yous and goodbyes and were on the road. sasha was asleep before we even left kunimi, but hiro and tommy were far too hungry for that. after a quick stop at joyfull we headed home. hiro and tommy slept most of the way home, and we actually made it home before dark!

we would like to thank GW again for being such a gracious hostess and we hope we weren't too much trouble!

(i know that i promised photos, but i didn't take nearly as many as i thought i would. far too busy talking, and holding kittens and babies to think about it!)