Saturday, March 30, 2013

Yume Club End of Year Celebration - March 2013

This was Lola's second to last "graduation ceremony" at Yume Club.  Unbeknownst to her, her BFFs will all be going to Canadian Academy in the Fall - Yuto, Kohei and Toma.  We hope Sam may still be there with her next year, though (no pressure, Taylors)!

It was amazing to see her both understand and communicate comfortably in Japanese.  She loved to sing and perform and was not shy at all.  She ran over a few times to give us hugs, but always went back to perform with her friends and senseis.

As always, the senseis made great paper decorations and props for their songs and performance.

After watching this about five times with Lola and Maximo, Maximo asked to see his video.  Thanks to YouTube, it was easy to find it!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Another Trip to Oji Zoo

We are on Spring Break this week.  It's about ten degrees too cold for us me to really enjoy being outside.  But for the children... of course we'd do anything ^_^

We went back to Oji Zoo with some friends.  It's super close and cheap, and a great place where I can manage both kids by myself.

A really great thing about Oji Zoo is that it has hundreds (don't quote me on that number) of cherry blossom (sakura) trees.  Even though it's still not peak time in Kobe for cherry blossoms (as many of you know, there is a published cherry blossom forecast), there are still many trees that are in bloom right now.  There are many different varieties, so they all bloom differently.  In many places, including Rokko Island, the sakura trees were planted in a very well thought out way, so different areas have different things blooming for maximum nature enjoyment/viewing.

We had our first picnic of the season under the warm sun and cherry blossoms.

The kids were great and had a fantastic time.  Maximo fell asleep sitting up on the train ride home:

And here's the start of the Spring 2013 photo album.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hey... Stretchy Lady

We are enjoying Spring Break right now.  This is giving me a few extra minutes to enjoy our coffee while the kids watch cartoons in the morning.  I need to spend time this vacation, organizing stuff: winter clothes and photos being most important.

I hope to post a few times this vacation, but I'm now keeping up 4 (I know, this is crazy) blogs.

The kids love to dance.

You'll often here Lola singing, "Shake your bum bum, shake your bum bum, share your bum" (to Ricky Martin's "Shake Your Bon, Bon" tune).  While shaking her rear end  - super cute now... maybe not so super cute when she's 13.

You'll also hear Lola asking for "A.. A... A... A..." or Maximo asking for "Woopum Ganghem Style".

Here it is.  My favorite part is where Maximo is trying to replicate the elevator scene with Lola.

Here's the real one for reference:

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Celebrating Peru in Japan

As most of you know, there are quite a few teachers at Canadian Academy who once worked at our former school, Colegio Roosevelt - the American School in Lima, Peru.  Some of them we worked with before, some worked there before our time.  Among us all there is only one true Peruvian, Carlota, but we all have Peru in our hearts.
Cusqueña beiru and a pisco sour

Carlota introduced us all to a Peruvian restaurant last weekend, called El Trujillanito in Fukae, in Kobe, Japan, which is only a few train stops away from us on Rokko Island.   I didn't want to get my hopes up and just figured it would be a nice night out with a group of friends, especially since Aimee will be leaving us in a couple of weeks.

We were pleasantly surprised.  Although the restaurant was small and the kitchen was made up of a few hot plates and jammed into a bar area of the restaurant, the food was delicious and brought us back to a very special time in our lives.

Since we knew we would be ordering and sharing a lot, we sent our orders to the restaurant on Thursday.  From the clams to the aji de gallina, to the roasted chicken to the lomo saltado to the ceviche right down to the Pisco Sours, everything tasted like it was straight out of Peru and it was DELICIOUS!

Lomo Saltado

 We will definitely be returning to El Trujillanito with our little peruano and japonesa.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Living in Japan Outing: Oji Zoo

Maximo and Anya talking about something big
John had a badminton tournament with his students all day Saturday, so I decided to take the kids out for the day.  I find it a lot easier (usually) than taking them around island or taking them to run errands with me all day.  Despite the bit of pollution blowing in from China, it was GORGEOUS outside.  It was at least 60 degrees F and the sun was shining.

Lola and Sam, walking around hand-in-hand
when we didn't have them strapped into strollers
It's probably the easiest "kid" place for us to access off Rokko Island, as it's only a few stops away.  The Taylors joined us and we checked out the animals, had lunch, rode a couple of rides, then checked out a few more animals.

Maximo and Anya on the swings
It seems like a fairly humane zoo and the animals look healthy.  The cost is only ¥600 per adult (kids middle school age and under are free) so it was truly a bargin, even after buy lunch and a few ride tickets.

Anya and Maximo on the slide
It's supposed to be a "place to go" during cherry blossom season, and you could see the buds on so many trees while we were there.  I'm sure it's so packed full of people, it probably wouldn't be that enjoyable for us, wielding two kids and a stroller.
Max and Anya excited for the gorilla stamp

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Flower and Bird Park Morning Out

This morning we went to the Flower and Bird Park on Port Island.  We wanted to get out as a family, but it was a bit cold to do something comfortably outside (for me, anyways).  As soon as we walked in, it was like walking into Spring.  It had a warm, flower and soil smell - one that brings me back to my childhood, of walking into our green house or Smith's Flower Shop with my parents.

We haven't gone to the Flower and Bird Park since Maximo was about Lola's age.  It was a really nice morning.  We need to remember next time to pack a lunch.  They have a large buffet, but it's a bit too much, and there's plenty of seating under beautiful flowers.

I forgot how nice pictures can look when you use a real camera.  I almost only use my iPhone due to the ease of posting and because I always have it with me.  I need to take out our "real" camera more often.

Here are some pictures of our day:

Daddy getting dive-bombed by birds

Playing "choose which hand" the snack is in"

The rest of the album is here.

More Kid Holidays - Dr. Suess' Birthday

Maximo's amazing tech teacher (and my great geeky-girl colleague, Kae) does so many fun activities with the kids during their tech time each week.  They use the MAC desktops and iPads weekly. It's amazing the tech skills he has at 5.

For Dr. Suess's birthday, she took pictures of the kids in their pajamas in front of a green screen.