Monday, December 17, 2012

Little Artists

I saw this idea on Pinterest and I thought it would be a perfect project for my girls.

I didn't take any in process pictures because I was "supervising" Clara, who has a tendency to color/paint anything but paper. But this was so much fun!

The set up was a little labor intensive. I put masking tape on the heavy paper in the form of their names. Getting the spacing right was tricky. And figuring out curvy letters. Admittedly, this would be easier with a short, angular name (like Lily or Ava, my new cute nieces!).  But the result was totally worth it.

 The girls love painting so I just let them at it (mostly). At first Eleanor just painted the tape because she is a little obsessed with spelling her name. Then I told her she needed to paint the white around it. It helped that Clara finished first and Ellie could see what was going on when I started pulling off her letters. That got Ellie super excited and she then become obsessed with filling in all the white spots.

The end result was fantastic! Eleanor was very proud and immediately wanted to hang it up on her door. I don't know where she got the idea, but she's been dying to hang up her name on her door.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

First Dance Recital

Holy hysterical! When we got there Ellie freaked out at the idea of putting on her costume (which consisted of a carrot pinned on her leotard and two tufts of tulle pinned in her hair), and then just generally didn't want  to do it. But we found her friend Zohie, who held her hand so she walked out with her-sans costume. So the best way to spot her in the following pictures, and requisite video, is to look for the blondie without any pink in her hair.  They danced to some Japanese song the teacher referred to simply as "The bunny dance" and then Winter Wonderland. This was all at the bases' Festival of Trees celebration (at which our ward had a tree that I was in charge of and it turned out quite lovely if I do say so myself).
In the end, she really enjoyed herself. She loves going to her ballet class, even if she has a hard time focusing half the time. And she loves to come home and dance around the house.  She's my girl!

 Find the earless bunny
     Now try and follow the earless bunny around the stage...

A Very Little Randomness

We have been busy being silly at our house. Here is the proof.

Silly with markers. Another reminder that silence always means trouble.

Silly fish poses


Silly dress up

Awesome autumn leaves crowns...

...with silly faces.

Not so silly, but ridiculously awesome. Eleanor wrote her name all by herself.

Silly sleeping sweetheart

Monday, November 19, 2012

Big News

It's just an 11 week ultrasound (or is it 10?). But we've definitely got a wiggly one on the way. Expected opening date is June 12th, 2013. Which is the penultimate day of school. Ben says no big deal, he doesn't need to be there to hand out finals anyway. 
We're excited. I'll be more excited when I'm not nauseous anymore. Because it's constant. But it's all good, it just means the baby is growing, right...

Sunday, November 11, 2012


On Columbus day we threw the girls in the car right after breakfast and took a long, long drive (about 2 hours) along Sagami Harbour (read: the drive was gorgeous)
 The funniest thing were these barrier holders in a construction area. Only in Japan would they make a cute version of that.

Once we were in Hakone (which is a sort of national park/resort area), we first went to the Open Air Museum. It was pricey, but totally worth it. I loved that it was a real museum but still very kid friendly. So here is Ellie and Clara playing in their "Woods of Net" playground.

 This is what it looked like on the outside.

They had a large building dedicated to Picasso that both Ben and I were really excited to see but ended up being a bit disappointing. It had a lot of his pottery in it which was, well, uninspiring. But there were some fun things. I guess it didn't help that it was all curated in Japanese.
Here are a few more of the exhibits we liked.
This is Ellie being a triangle inside all the triangles.
 From the inside of the a large silo like structure that you could go up. I forgot the name...
And Ben in front of a giant buffalo. Because we love Wyoming.

And then we visited what Ellie called "the Ice." And  Ben called really cool tessalations.

I have no idea who is photo bombing back there...

 We had to drag Ellie away from this, but it was way past lunch time.
So we went and grabbed some lunch at a nearby cafe and then hopped on the train to go the the cablecar and ropeway that would take us up a mountain and over some very majestic valleys to Lake Ashi.
 Clara fell asleep waiting to ride on the ropeway. And when we went over the "Valley Greater Boiling" I got incredibly nauseous from the smell of sulfur. Side note: the Japanese people in the car with us kept saying how great it smelled, because it reminded them of an onsen. To me it wreaked of rotten eggs. Though it was really cool to see all the "volcanic" activity below us as fumes plumed from the valley.

That my friends is Mount Fuji from our ropeway car. Every time we take a picture of it we can never do it justice. It was so huge compared to the mountains we were in, which were not small. Huge I tell you, HUGE!
Then we arrived at Lake Ashi were it's apparently tradition to ride the "pirate ship" from one end to the other. So we did. Um...a little anti-climatic.
 It looks so cool you just know it's going to be fun!

But it's just a diesel smelling boat that gets you from one end of the lake to the other with lots of other people,

And this pirate captain who wishes for a better life in Disneyland. Well, Ellie loved it anyhow.
But by the end of this ride I was feeling so unwell that we decided to forgo going to the shrine on the edge of the lake, and took the bus back down to where we parked our car.
Despite my nausea and the lackluster pirate ship, we really did have a great time.
How could you not with these two cuties?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween 2012

I love that everyone in our family loves to get dressed up almost as much as I do. Ben is always a good sport and does great "character roles." Eleanor would were a dress up dress everyday all day if I would let her. And although Clara is only 15 months old, she too loves to dress up, especially if it means she gets to carry a "purse."
So this year Eleanor wanted to be Snow White and couldn't have been more thrilled with how her costume turned out.

 Clara went as Little Red Riding Hood, because I thought she'd love carrying the basket around (which she did)!
 The girls painted little pumpkins and Ben carved our Picasso pumpkin to decorate our Trunk for our ward Trunk or Treat.
 I wish we had taken a better picture of Ben and I, but we went as Bert and Mary Poppins. And in this picture you can't see my awesome hat (which was the trickiest part of my costume to make). Oh well, we had a ton of fun and sang "Chim-chim-cheree" all day, even Ellie.
 Ellie really got the hang of trick or treating this year and kept running ahead of us to go get more treats. She's a riot!

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Epic Family Home Evening on Tithing

As many of you are aware, Eleanor and Clara have done some modeling while we've been here in Japan. Like this
 and this
 Seriously, how cute are our girls!?
So this means that they have earned some money, and it's no small chunk of change. So we finally got all of their "paychecks," cashed them and exchanged the yen for dollars. And then we had the world's most epic FHE lesson on tithing.
Yes, those are Franklins. 
Of couse, they have no understanding of how much money was sitting in front of them. Ellie just liked to count how many there were. And Clara just wanted to grab things.
But we did have a great lesson talking about how much we have been blessed and how we want to give back to Heavenly Father so he can bless and help other people too.
But, they now both have tithing slips to turn in next week. And they both have made more money this year than me.

We also told them how we would save most of the money (like 95%), but they could each pick out a fun thing to buy. And the first thing Ellie shouts out is, "A big shovel!" So later this week we'll go to the 100Yen store and get that big toy shovel and rake that she's been asking for since the beginning of spring. Yeah, we're big spenders over here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Happy Girls

Okay, let's get a closer look because, seriously, could there be two more precious faces on the earth. I think not.

Nothing like some love between sisters. And I don't usually dress my girls matchy-matchy, but I made these dresses and I just love how they turned out. It was also cool that I made them using some super wide eyelet lace that my Grandma Sunny gave me. So they are sort of heirloomish....

Friday, July 27, 2012

So We're on Vacation...

We left Japan mid-June and we are now just less than a week from returning home. I would do a real post, but my parent's computer really seem to get along to well with my computer. In the meantime please enjoy this sweet little face in the Sacred Grove.