Happy Birthday, I.-san!

Last night we helped planned a fun birthday event for our close friend, Mrs. I.. It was her 60th, which is a big year in Japan. Her daughter, our family, and our friends Bobby and Claire went to a nearby Japanese restaurant to celebrate with her and her husband.
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They are like grandparents to our children, attending every family birthday celebration… our kids love them dearly, as do we. There were three things that stood out to us about the party:
1) the laughter. Wherever Mrs. I is, there is fun, and last night was no exception. We laughed SO hard, and so much. Cultural barriers sure break down with laughter. While in the US two weeks ago, I bought I-san’s birthday presents… one of them was some lingerie to keep her young.:) Here she is receiving the lingerie, laughing herself out of the picture:
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2) the cake – it was SO UGLY. Honestly. It looked like a bundt cake baked for the L.A. Lakers that tangled with a fan. It just didn’t work!
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I tried softening my regular icing recipe in the microwave to glaze it on, and it just didn’t glaze- it clumped. No matter what I did. I tried heating the whole cake in the oven, blow-drying it (literally)..scraping it off and reapplying… then I mixxed up more but the butter-yellow color changed to a Halloween-orange…in the end, it wasn’t a cake that I’m proud of. But I guess there are days like that, and hopefully Mrs. Ishida knew that it was baked with a great deal of —
3) LOVE. We love the Ishidas and their daughter so much. The shared joy around the table was clear. We ended up becoming friends with the other party sharing our Japanese-style room, and sharing the extra cake with them (at least it tasted pretty good!)…In the end, everyone was laughing. And as Eric commented later, this interaction probably would not have happened if the room had held only Japanese.
Pray with us for Mr. and Mrs. I and Y.  She is like our sister – eating meals and hanging out with us every week…loving our children… sometimes attending church with us. We pray that she and her parents will know God’s love for them through ours.

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One thought on “Happy Birthday, I.-san!

  1. Oh Sue… the cake wasn’t that bad! I mean… i love the Lakers! and it’s perfect for someone living in Kansai, b/c Kobe Bryant’s name is from the city Kobe.

    I wish i could have been there! I nearly died laughing reading about your gift too. I had no idea you bought her LINGERIE! O MY! I really wish i could have seen her face when she opened it!

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