Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We listen to Broadway online

And Ellie loves dancing to it sometimes. Sorry the video's a little shaky.  I was trying to scoot back to get her whole body, but it didn't work.  Anyway, she's a hoot. 
Also, I realize that technically "Newsies" isn't Broadway, but don't you think it should be!?

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Ellie's a bit of a skinny-minny.  Pants in her "size" are always too big.  Even pants that are 6-9 month are frequently too wide in the waist, though usually a little short.  So I borrowed a friend's sewing machine and have been "fixing" some of her pants.  But I recently bought a pair of women's legging shorts for about $2 and refashioned them into leggings for Ellie.  They fit perfect and are so cute on her (I'm biased, whatever).  I'll definitely go back and buy some more cheap leggings to refashion.
Then I went crazy and cut an old "pre-baby/nursing" shirt and made her a little tunic.
It turned out fine.  There are some things I'd do differently but she's a doll.

I know other moms must run into this problem (I swear that children's clothing manufacturers must think that all babies are little buddhas). Where is a good place to find pants for skinny babies?


We had our first bathroom troublemaking incident the other day.
I realized that it was really quiet in the office, and that Ellie had left the room.  I got and looked around and noticed that I had accidentally left the bathroom door open. I walked in just in time to see her pull a brand new roll of toilet paper out of the toilet. So the toilet paper was quickly relocated, which is especially good since she just figured out how to open doors...

Little Red Backpack

I pulled this little treasure from the trash the other day.  In Japan, the elementary kids all have these adorable, indestructible bags, in lots of different colors.  I saw them while shopping, and they come with a pretty hefty price tag (around $40), so when I saw this cute red one in the trash the other day I saved it from a landfill fate. 
Obviously Eleanor is far too young for a backpack, but because it is so sturdy it works great as a place to put some of her books.  She's recently become enamored with putting things in bags or boxes, so this is perfect.
She loves to sit in her little (salvaged) chair and read her books, especially the Little People book that the McKneely family gave her for her birthday (Thanks!  It's a big hit).
She also recently learned to fold her arms.  She does it all the time...except when it's time to pray.  Oh well, it'll come soon enough.

Monday, September 13, 2010

In Kamakura

On Saturday we went to Kamakura, a very historic city about 30 minutes from us.  It was the seat of government when the first shogun ruled Japan...or something to that effect.  Obviously history is much much more complex than that.  At any rate, we went there to see two things; the Shinto shrine Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū, and the second largest Buddha in Japan.
When we stepped off out of the train station we were greeted by three very enthusiastic Japanese college students.  They belong to an English club at their university in Yokohama and on the weekends come down to Kamakura and offer free tours to English speakers to practice their English.  We accepted their offer and had lots of fun chatting with them and getting to know them, as well as learning a lot from their tour.  They even came to lunch with us.  They were great (two girls and boy, one of the girls was "in training"). 

Here we are at the shrine. It was built in 1063 AD, nearly 1000 years old!  While we were there a traditional Japanese wedding was taking place.  It was really neat to watch the procession with the bride and groom in traditional kimonos following priests playing traditional Japanese instruments.  Being a religious shrine, there is obviously lots of symbolism in the architecture and whatnot.  I won't go into the details, but suffice it to say that the more I learn about world religions the more obvious it is to me that Heavenly Father is watching over everyone and has been since the beginning of time.

That being said, here's the Big Buddha!

He really is quite huge, about 43 feet tall.  Though the most memorable part of our trip to daibutsu (Great Buddha in Japanese), was Ellie getting a pretty good goose-egg when she fell while trying to walk down a ramp. 
Ellie was a trooper, skipping her afternoon nap while we went tromping about Kamakura. Granted, she has the good life...

See what I mean?

Friday, September 10, 2010

At the park

Ellie and I went to a park that is just outside the gate to base.  It's a really lovely park, with lots of gardens and water features, a small amphitheatre shell, and even a water fountain show at night.  But those weren't the coolest part to Ellie.  We waited in the playground area for Ben to get out of school, and Ellie discovered...
DIRT! yeah...

Between the dirt and pushing her stroller around, she was in heaven.

Then Ben got there and showed her how to play with a few of the toys.

Good times all around.

A New Toy!

I'm a big of a scavenger.  So when I saw this sitting in the trash outside, I snatched it.

Here she is reading books.  Usually she like to put things in the seat and then push it around.  Sometimes she actually uses it as a chair.

Japan has little people and BIG bugs!

It's Saturday.  I love Saturday mornings.  Ben made pancakes for breakfast and we were have a grand ole' time.  I went into our "backyard" to spray some bug spray because we had some ants coming in the house (and because I had a crazy spider dream).  And then I look up and see this on the side of our house.
It's a HUGE CENTIPEDE (thing, not sure if it is exactly a centipede, but who cares, it has many legs and it freaked me out)!

I hope this does some justice to the scale of the the thing.  Ben says the length of the body is only about 2-3 inches, but including those nasty long legs it's more like 5.  Might has well have been a foot long by the way I reacted.
Other than this little suprise, we are doing great.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

We Drove in Tokyo...in circles

Yep, we braved driving to Tokyo.  Ben was the navigator and I was the driver, but we still got turned around a lot. But if we hadn't gotten a bit lost, we never would have found this sublime example of Japanglish. 

Really we went there to buy a mattress off someone that was moving.  We survived.  I'd say it's not something we'll do again soon, only we have district conference for church tomorrow and it's up at Yokota Air Force Base.  Which is north of us and a little west of Tokyo.  So we bought a GPS system.  Let's hope it helps.

Besides finding the GasPanic Club, this was the best thing I saw all day.

Ellie and Ben were reading together.
Ben's reading about numbers and Ellie is reading about Jesus...

...and wearing all of her necklaces, which she loves to do.  It's all good.