Friday, December 25


Wishing you all a very happy Christmas!

Saturday, December 19

that's it, i'm finished!

with the semester that is.
three intense courses with the top instructors. you know you are in an excellent program when the textbooks are written by the teachers and when the textbooks happen to be the best as well.
that said, man, i am over the moon happy that i am free. for a month! what will i do with myself?
funny, right?
hope you are all as overjoyed as i am right now.

Friday, December 18

schizophrenic weather

this cute little icon is on today's weather forecast.
but the weather is far from cute.

hail, sleet, sunshine, rain, and repeat. within ten minutes.
over and over.

and over.

i think i will need gloves to type soon as i am working on my final paper of the semester and they are a little stiff with the cold.

this calls for hot chocolate. lots of hot chocolate.

i'm about to go pick up sebastian. i wish i had a magic babysitter to poof into my house for fifteen minutes so i could leave my little littles indoors.

oh well. hopefully my boots will fit over my legwarmers because i am not taking my legwarmers off until spring.

first, hot chocolate.

hope you are all warm and snug.

Tuesday, December 8

Join Amnesty International's Global Write-a-thon

Join Amnesty International's Global Write-a-thon
Being involved like this, helping others even in a small way, is what life is about. Please join me in writing letters that do make a difference in the lives of brave people like Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Sunday, December 6

No Place Like Home

As we prepare for yet another move, I think about where it is we are headed next and where it is I ultimately want to be.

I envy those of you born in your perfect place, your true hometown.

The problem with me is that a few years ago, I fell in love. With a city.

But, if you can't be with the one you love... love Nagoya instead.

Nagoya isn't high on the list of tourist destinations in Japan. It is a city built around industry. Toyota, for instance, is based in Nagoya (see Dad, another reason to visit next summer!). For us, though, there are a lot of perks.
An aquarium, a zoo with a roller coaster that is supposedly one of the best in Japan, a Pokemon center, an international airport, a lot of subways that can take us all the way to the Japanese alps, and of course, my new job. I am officially a teacher-nerd now because two perks of Nagoya that make me excited are that there is a university there that concentrates on English as an international language and next year's JALT conference will be in Nagoya.
But another perk? A shinkansen line that will take us to Kyoto in 36 minutes. Yep, that is definitely a perk. For the same price that it takes us to get to Nagasaki on a three plus hour ferry ride.
So there is a lot to love about Nagoya. And excitingly/scarily enough, we'll be there in three months. Yikes. And hurray!

Saturday, December 5


So, turns out that three kids are more than two kids. Who would have thought?

In Japan, women and newborns aren't to leave the house for a month after the birth. So all those kind people who saw me waddling around two weeks ago with a big belly now come up to me with Colette in the sling and asks if she is one or two months old? Then they make some explanation to themselves about how American women are different from Japanese women. Interesting cross-cultural experiences had by both sides.

That sling I mentioned? I made it while I was in labor. Soft blue cord and grey fleece.
It makes life with a newborn and two kids much, much easier.

I've been taking care of business. There is a lot of paperwork to get in order to apply for Colette's passport. A lot.

Five more days of grad classes until I get a month off. During which time I must. study. Japanese.

Six more school days until Sebastian and Jason join me on winter holiday. Then a week later Nagasaki and Fukuoka for that passport of Colette's. Her picture will be so out-dated so quickly. And I thought the boys were young when they got their passports.

It's windy. Terribly so. Houseshaking winds (though to be fair, our house is kinda wimpy so it doesn't take much to shake it). Luckily, today I fit into my jeans. Yes, my size *ahem* jeans that I wore last winter. No more layers of summer dresses over what are actually pajama pants. Womanly elements are returning. Like the desire for a haircut. Which is due in part to the winds. See how the cycle works?

Sebastian keeps himself occupied these days reading. In Japanese. Whole books. Then writing. He's working on English too but Japanese is what he needs first for school. He's excited about Nagoya now. He wants the black backpack, the fancy pencil case. And then there's the music element. He wants to take piano lessons. Then guitar.
And Spanish lessons. He has discovered the joy of learning.

And Nico? Well, he's still our resident mischief maker. There have been some adjustments but the one unfaltering element is his adoration of Colette. "The Colette" as he says. "I want to see The Colette" or "I'm just kissing The Colette". He's very sweet to her (though to the rest of us... not so much, but time will take care of that).

Anyway, Jason is in Nagasaki this weekend and so you know what I have to do. Put my pajamas back on, make rice-cooker brownies, and read about lesson planning, verb groups, and educational policy reform. All with that sweet girl by my side.

Hope you are all well.