November


After struggling to practice oboe for a while, we found that I can do 20 or so minutes after her morning nap. Not enough time for the Vivaldi Concerto I was working on, so I switched to going through the Ferling Etudes – good, fun, challenging, and short enough that I can do one/week, giving me extra motivation to practice. I’m still hoping to find ways to get plugged in musically to the community here, but am not sure yet exactly what that will look like – church? starting a chamber group? Toddler music class?


This kid loves smoothies.

And squashing the squash.


Snapshot of S’s room. Hoping to get more photos of around our house up in the near future, now that it’s actually mostly put together!


S’s doll I made for her birthday. Mei is from My Neighbor Totoro and is a wild, rambunctious personality just like S.


Meeting her shadow


Japanese customer service: a play area for S and coffee for me (I didn’t drink it since I don’t like it) while they took 20 minutes to fix our car.


Playing in puddles


Smartypants.


Her 1 year photos: recreating some detail shots from her first week.


Yabusame – horseback archery


It’s pretty epic.


Meanwhile people were windsurfing.


You know your kid is cute when the Samurai wave. 😉

These kids, though…


Met up with good friends from Dubai in Tokyo (photo credits to Andrew’s camera and tripod)

Shibuya crossing


She brings me books to read her and then scoots into my lap


grilled cheese for a cookoff


Walking on Thanksgiving at a park near us


Memorial to lost seamen


Thanksgiving


Fridge full of leftovers!


She’s figuring out how to put things “in,” which means finding things where they don’t belong…


I always thought she was trying to eat the orange peel… but she’s trying to peel it with her teeth.


I have trouble just working on a few pieces…


Pie & Studio Ghibli (Princes Mononoke)


Grocery shopping Japanese style: the seat is lower down, and you put baskets in your cart (which is really just a frame)

favorite recipes// maple sweetened apple pie // double peanut butter cups // pumpkin cheesecake // caramel pecan pie // beet pesto pizza // paleo crepes // pomegranate jeweled cheese ball // apple-walnut stuffing // carrot peanut soup // rustic chicken with garlic and gravy // how to cook kabocha squash

best of online//  10 Convictions about Labor and Birth From a Christian Worldview // Which Comes First, The Notes or the Music? // “My Spouse is my best friend” // Parenting Means Wrestling Demons // What Christians Just Don’t Get about LGBT Folks // Which Diet is Best? // 5 Movement Habits for a Better Birth // Efficient Practicing for Busy Parents // 31 Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Children // Pixar’s “Up” in real life // Unconquered – WORLD’s Daniel of the Year Award // Is Something Bad Going to Happen Tomorrow?// Christ in You

reading of late// Paul Washer’s “The Gospel’s Power and Message” // Shepherding a Child’s Heart – Tedd Tripp // Compassion Without Compromise – Barr/Citlau // I’ve also been listening to lots of audiobooks, including: Follow Me (David Platt) , Eight Twenty-Eight (Ian and Larissa Murphy), and Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert (Rosaria Butterfield).
Also, we’ve been watching more movies (and Doctor Who). Studio Ghibli films are easier to find over here. Some of the ones we’ve watched recently:
– The Wind Rises
– Kiki’s Delivery Service
– Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
– Princess Mononoke
– Grave of the Fireflies
– The Cat Returns
Of those, we enjoyed The Cat Returns and The Wind Rises (though I watched that one by myself when E was gone) most. Grave of the Fireflies was good, but it’s hard to enjoy it. Unlike most of Studio Ghibli’s other films, it is not fantastical or lighthearted. It’s about a boy and his little sister at the end of WWII and is very gritty and real. A tin of fruit drops plays a big role in the film, and when I found these at the 100¥ store I almost burst into tears.

It’s a good film but be prepared to cry and feel very down afterwards (thankful E suggested I watch To End All Wars while he was gone to put an uplifting spin on the same era). Someone’s comment on Amazon explained it as life as it’s cruelest, and as a portrayal of war for those not involved in the politics of it.

thinking about// the martyrs under the altar are numbered – their deaths are not outside His control // How do we go about daily life after terror attacks? How do we post trivial things? In a sense it shows that the terrorists don’t win. God wins. God always wins // what can be left unsaid in allegory, and what needs to be said in order to avoid heresy // refugees (more on this coming with my Advent posts) // in the darkness of the soul – how big is your God? He is greater than the night //

a thankful list// nursing past a year // being together // warmer days // apple pie // Emmanuel

Miss Munchkin// is getting much more into playing WITH me, which is a lot of fun. She brings me books or hands me the toys she wants me to use and then we play – usually it’s with her ball or some puppets we have. She’s obsessed with my oboe and loves to blow into the top joint when I’ve taken the reed out after practicing.

writing// Javi’s Cafe, 23.

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