Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pizza, Pajamas and a Movie

I want to document the rest of our Japan pictures, but that will have to wait until another day.  For now I give you our evening.  Right after church we came home and put on our pajamas.  Pajama day it is!  Ethan made sure I wore mine too.  Nothing like snuggling your kiddos.  Today we finally got to watch the Spy Kids 3-D movie.  This was a movie Ethan picked out at Blockbuster last week.  Little did I know,until we got home, that the 2D version was not included!  He was so excited to watch the movie that he picked out that he watched it anyway. While watching the movie, I checked out pinterest on making homemade 3-D glasses.  So thanks to the dollar store protective glasses and a red and blue sharpie, we were set!

 They're so tough =)
 I wasn't about to miss out on the fun =)
 Oops, you weren't suppose to see this one
 Our "Wow this is the coolest thing ever" faces
 Our movie night was not complete without a little pizza
 In experimenting with ways to get Abby to smile, I told her to think of something that made her happy.  She told me the picture below was her "I'm thinking of a kitty" face
 Ethan took a swing at taking some pics.  He told us to make a party face
 This is our "Don't even think of touching our pizza" face

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Noodles

 When I found out we were going to Japan, I immediately thought about the yummy food we would get to eat.  One thing I thought about was noodles.  I love me some noodles.  In fact, I'm like the lady in Patch Adams who would like to swim in a pool full of noodles.  I'm guessing that doesn't surprise some of you. =) Over here,  ramen is a favorite.  Udon noodles are also d-licious.  Our first meal here in Japan was Ramen.  Eric took us to a place that has become one of his favorite ramen places on his travels here.
 Here is what I had
Abby with her ramen.  They gave the kids forks to use

Udon and upgrading to chopsticks

 I got a noodle!
   If you enlarge this one, you can see the soup goodness dripping down her chin =)
 Trying out the two fisted chopstick method.  Many have tried, but few have mastered 
 Let me eat woman =)
 How many noodles can I cram in there?  A lot! Nummy!
Slurp away.  It is the way to eat noodles in Japan.  I'm still working on my technique

After a rainy walk in Yoyogi park, we were cold and hungry.  Guess what we ate?  More noodles.  Ethan liked his so much, he finished off his broth too.  Not even mom could distract him with the camera.
video
Abby showing off her chopstick skills
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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Parks

One of my priorities when we first got here was searching for parks.  Through some research online.  We found Robot Park.  It is two trains and 4 stops away from our place.  We've been there twice so far and I'm guessing we'll go back one last time before we leave.  Whenever we go to a park, the kids get to interact with some of the local children.  It is so fun to watch. 

This slide is part of several slides in a row
The favorite at this park is the long slide
Abby and one of her friends.  This little girl followed Abby around wherever she went.  They had a lot of fun together.
Sitting on a robot




On the right is a big robot totem pole
Getting some help from her new friend's mom

This park we stumbled upon while on a family walk.  It's about a 10 minute walk from our place.  The favorite here is the rocket slide as well as the space to run around.






Making a few more friends
The girl on the left thought Ethan was SO funny!  They all played chase for quite some time.  Ethan was the chaser of course.  



The kids have also enjoyed chasing the pigeons here.  It started with Ethan and Abby then all the other kids joined in.  
video

Friday, March 30, 2012

Trains!

By our third day I was starting to feel settled in.  I bought some groceries the day before and finished unpacking.  I decided I was ready for the first time the kids and I ride the train alone.  We opted to go visit Eric at work for a nice long lunch (or so we thought).

Getting to the station was easy and I felt confident.  It takes less than 5 minutes to walk to our station from our place.  I was also excited to find out the kids would be free on the train this entire trip!

My Suica card was ready to go. Suica is a magnetic card you put money on and works as cash at many locations in Japan.  It is especially useful for the trains. When traveling by train, the card is swiped to enter the station where you started and again to exit wherever you end (or if you switch lines to a train run by a different company).  That way it knows how much to charge you and who to give the money to.

I swiped my card and went down the stairs to get on our train.  We got on the correct train to Shibuya...so far so good!  Apparently my card did not register back at the first station and when I swiped my card in Shibuya the gate did not open to let me get to the other side.  I had a little moment of panic and texted Eric.  He told me to go to the information window by the gate and I did.  I wasn't sure the worker would understand me, but in faith, I explained what happened.  He did something on his computer and I was through.  Phew.  Just cost us a couple minutes, no biggie.  

The train station by our house
The sign that tells us when our train is coming.  It also shows us in English 

We got on our second train (at Shibuya station) feeling good about being on our way to see Eric.  


At this point I was feeling good.  Except for the slight hiccup with the card swiping, I was doing it!  "I am woman!"

Then about 25-30 minutes into our ride I thought it was a little funny we were not seeing Eric's stop or even the one before it, he had told me to watch for.  So I texted Eric.  I said "we're in Yokohama".  The text I got back said...

 "??? What was your last stop?  I think that is way past me??"

"Well that can't be good", I thought.   At the next stop, we got off.  In the meantime, Eric used a handy internet site and figured out how we could still get to him from where we were (like the lady in the GPS who says "recalculating route").

We would end up at a different train station which was somewhat close to him, and he would walk to meet us.  Sweet Eric took his whole lunch helping his lost family and figuring out where we needed to go.   The train ride back to get closer to him took about 20 minutes.  We got off that train and I was so excited to see Eric.  At this point, we had 20 minutes before he had to get back, so we grabbed a bagel and walked him back to work at a brisk pace (since it was a 20 minute walk away!).  We talked about how next time, I'd be an expert getting back to his work and he showed us where we could relax and catch our breath.  We said goodbye and looked around for a place to eat.

The kids were a little tired and hungry so I let them choose where to eat.  Subway was the winner.

And my choice was Starbucks, although the kids didn't mind either
Happy again!

We took a few minutes while I finished my drink outside and obviously the kids were having a great day.  They got to ride the train for a long time =), see their dad, and get treats.




On the way back home everyone else got off at one of the stops.  A kind man heard the kids saying "Shibuya" (the station we wanted) and came back on the train to motion me across the track to the right train (phew! and thank you God!)  Since then I am happy to report I have gotten on the correct train every single time (though it may have taken a few moments of thinking once or twice!)  ;-)