Tomorrow morning Owen becomes a first-grader, and spring break for the kids is offically over. It’s been a long spring break – almost four weeks! — between the end of Japanese kindergarten and waiting to start Japanese elementary school. Tonight in putting him to bed I was trying to get our rather non-verbal son to describe how he was feeling about starting school. He said: “I’m really really excited and a little scared too.” (Me too).
These past few weeks we have been regaining our footing in many ways being back in Japan and reestablishing relationships. Here are a few glimpses of highlights of our time this past week.
5. Play-dates on several days. Here are two sisters – H. is a fun friend of Annie’s; Y. is Owen’s special friend. They had a great time playing! We are planning to go to their dad’s yakitori (chicken on a stick) restaurant sometime soon…
4. We have 3 little chefs in our home. And much to the chagrin of all of our Japanese friends, our kids LOVE to lick the batter after making cookies. Of course, we use my Dad’s favorite recipe — Tollhouse Chocolate chip cookies.
3. We went to our favorite Italian restaurant with our house church! We loved the fun and fellowship centered around delicious pasta and bread sticks. It was a temporary farewell for our friend Junko, who will be going to northern Japan with their son to have her baby at her parents. Her husband Hakase has a challenging job and wouldn’t be able to help out with the birth and big brother much, so she will be gone for six months. We’ll miss them!
2. Fellowship and learning with our house church! It was great on Sunday to host house church at our home again. We studied together the crucifixion. What really caught my attention from the passage we read was that the women who followed Jesus to the tomb HAD to wait a whole day before they could do anything because it was the Sabbath. They couldn’t visit the body, or wash away the stains from the crucifixion; or be sure that their Savior was getting a proper burial. They just had to wait. Our friend Scott S talked about Sabbath at our recent retreat, and Eric and I have been trying again to be committed to the right rhythms– work and rest. There are times when it’s hard to rest — it often means waiting to DO something — but it’s still an important part of the rhythms of our lives.
1. On our Sabbath day off (Monday) we laid aside everything and had a picnic and afternoon in a wonderful park. The weather couldn’t have been better — we all came home tired but so happy. Even Molly!