Friday, April 9, 2010

Migrating URL

OK, I really don't understand much of this, but it sounds like this blog will still exist, but I can no longer add to it after May 1 unless I do a URL migration. Sounds easy, but I have already messed up the blog situation with my Earthwatch blog so I'm not sure I'm going to do it. Just a heads up.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

New Earthwatch URL

It was brought to my attention that I have changed my URL for Earthwatch. I didn't realize I had done that. If you have been having trouble, the problem should be fixed!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Surprise from Japan

On Saturday I received a fun filled package from my friends the Takahashis. They not only sent gifts for me, but for my entire class. Each student was able to choose something after they completed a worksheet. I had to find a fair way to let them choose. They were all salivating over certain items. We recorded a thank you for the Takahashi family, but it's too big to send, so I'm uploading it. We were all dressed for the Colonial Christmas celebration that took place in the afternoon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's been a whole year!

One year ago I was meeting my host family Wataru and Mari Takahashi. We are still in touch and their friendship means a great deal to me! This is the time when people all over Japan visit gardens to view the beautiful hydrangeas. These are pictures they sent of them viewing the hydrangea.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

PTO Spring Dinner

Yesterday was the annual PTO Spring Dinner. They were nice enough to let me have a booth to share my experiences from Japan. I had several items and pictures on display, and I also had a table where people could try to fold an origami goldfish, pick up erasers with chopsticks, or make a little Maneki Neko (beckoning cat). Even one of the Klement's Racing Sausages made a goldfish. Italian did a great job! My helpers Jasmine and Jamie worked very hard all day at the booth. The dinner was a lot of fun and a huge success. Our class sponsored a basket for the auction. One of the moms from my class put it together beautifully. I heard many compliments about it, and it brought a great price.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Candy from Japan

Ever since I got my package from the Takahashi family, the entire class has been wanting to eat the candy. Today we started our Japan booklet, so it was a perfect time to do the taste test. Everyone got two pieces of candy, and I didn't hear any negative feedback. So the candy was all a thumbs up! As you can see from the picture they are all excited about the taste test. Tomorrow I hope to post some video of the class attempting to play a song on the recorder.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Kodomo no hi

Today is Children's Day in Japan. It's really Boys' Day, but they have renamed it Children's Day. The day is very much like Girls'Day with special displays of samurai dolls, special foods, and more recognizable the carp kites or koinobori.
People display the kites high on poles, or other high places, and they represent strength and endurance as the carp can swim upstream even against a waterfall. Mr. Takahashi said there were kites flying all over Japan on that day (they are 15 hour ahead of us). He also sent a picture of the samurai display. My class made koinobori to celebrate the day. We didn't have the special rice cakes wrapped in bamboo or oak leaves. Instead we tried some miso soup and ate more rice. This time everyone got a set of bamboo chopsticks to keep! Thank goodness for the 100 yen store.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Surprise from My Friends!

It's always so much fun to come home and have a card in the mail saying there's a package for me at the post office. It's a pretty good bet it's from my friends, the Takahashis in Japan. My last package was full of many beautiful things from Japan. I've included a photo. Wataru and Mari sent several wonderful items, Yoshino sent some yummy treats, and even Sugao the cat sent some candy! I can't wait to share this with my family tomorrow and my students on Monday! One thing they sent is Sakura wine. It even has cherry blossoms in the bottle. My favorite of all of the items is a set of Japanese paper dolls. They are beautiful! I am so thankful to my friends for sharing these gifts with me, my family, and my students!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sharing Easter with my Host Family

I sent an Easter basket to my host family. I tried to include my favorite Easter candies and some egg dye. They shared the basket with their grandchildren. They also sent pictures of the incredible cherry trees that are in full bloom. Many festivals are held for sakura, the cherry blossoms.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hina Matsuri - Girls' Day

Today was Japanese Girls' Day. Traditionally, girls in Japan invite their friends to a home party and have a good time. People display a set of hina dolls and props in the house, wishing girls' healthy growth and happiness. We ate mochi, drank green tea, and had a display of our dolls with an origami Emperor and Empress on the top tier of our red tiered display.

This is one type of mochi we ate. The pink stands for peach blossoms, the white for snow, and the green for new life. Sweets in the US are much sweeter than those in Japan. The class wasn't really very thrilled with the taste of the mochi, but they gave it a try.