January


Miessence vitality challenge


Reading for Tim Challies’ reading challenge


Cooking through Jerusalem is going well. This month we finished the veggies, savory pastries, and legumes/grains sections and most of our meat meals were from there.

Ma’amul.


We went to a ryokan for our anniversary. It was my first time driving outside of our city, which was a little nerve-wracking, but Ezra kept all the yen, got the tolls ready, read aloud, and kept my phone with him for our gps, so I wasn’t juggling driving, directions, and money at the same time.


I’m putting the food photos from the ryokan in a food post coming soon. This is part of our suite – then we had a big bathroom and also a dining room with a more Western-height table.

Course 1 of dinner


Our ryokan was in a beautiful little town.

These guys mean they have alcohol… so they must have a lot…


While exploring a park we found a hot spring foot spa, which we enjoyed a lot.

The bottoms of all the pools had different textures you could use to massage your feet.


Ezra in his yukata

We had a private bath in our room, which we had thought was a private open-air hot spring when we booked it… it wasn’t, which was disappointing, but after the foot spa we were ok with it – and it also encouraged us to take the plunge and try the public baths (ONCE…).


S testing out the futons


flowers from E for our anniversary


Bubbles indoors because I hate bundling up to go outside.


We took the train to Yokohama to go to a cat cafe.

S was unsure.


Snow! After the cat cafe we went over to Chinatown for dinner.


She stacks everything these days!


steamed buns


Somewhere in here I lost my wallet. The next day I ran around getting important stuff replaced/cancelled, and reported it to the police. Less than a week later I got a phone call saying it had been turned in and I could go pick it up! Everything was still inside. Only in Japan!


for some reason, cocoa and kombucha really react.


I had my Japanese lesson at my friend’s house, although it was mostly trying to keep the puppy from getting to excited about S, who had mixed feelings about the dog.


S has figured out how to take photos on my phone.


Hot cocoa, ginger chocolate, and some Ballet Magnificat while Ezra was gone for the night.


playtime with Papa.


Aside from the ryokan, one of our highlights this month was a cultural event where we got to try calligraphy, koto, Japanese-style painting, and get dressed up as samurai and in kimonos.


It took them about 30 minutes to do my hair and put on the kimono and all the other layers that go with it!

My arms are drooping as they were exhausted from holding them out while I was getting dressed.


It’s harder than it looks!


Tops with our friend M, who loves S and spoils her.


They often dance before bed.


My wallet back in my hands!


chocolate granola


S’s play space. The chair was bought second hand for a few bucks, and S adores it. I hope to refinish it so it matches the rest of our furniture, and maybe make a cushion for it, but in her mind I think it’s already perfect.

2016 Goal Progress Jerusalem cooking is going strong // I’ve been working on 4 Ferling etudes, but need new reeds badly before I can record anything // we started Tim Challies’ reading challenge and I’ve gotten through quite a few books already, although a lot of them were some I was already partway through. // got through what I hope is the toughest part of editing Love Victorious.

favorite recipes// we cooked so much of Jerusalem that I didn’t cook a lot from online! // gingerbread banana bread // gluten-free grain-free garlic plantain rolls (I used a Japanese sweet potato) // protein-packed cookie dough (or dip)

best of online//  Tolkien’s top 10 tips for writers // These Things (Philippians 4) // Dear Parents with Young Children in Church // Pray for Obama // I had a hard birth // How the Phonograph Changed Music // But are you safe? {TOP PICK THIS MONTH} // The Remedy for Pride // a good review of part-writing // what happens when kids don’t have internet for a whole day // root of fear behind the vaccine debate // terrifying, but important // Nikabrik’s Candidate (Donald Trump) // Freedom in Grief, Not Freedom From Grief // at the ice rink (fun ballet video) // hospital bag essentials around the world // Islam and Christ’s Propitiation // Disappearing Smiles // When Abortion Stopped Making Sense // Slain in the Shadow of the Almighty //

reading of late// E finished reading Princess Bride aloud // I finished Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Openness Unhindered, How Shall Then We Live, Follow Me, and Compassion Without Compromise – all of which I had already been reading.
Some gems from Openness Unhindered (Rosaria Butterfield).
“Temptation is so strong in our lives precisely because it’s not about us. Temptation is an assault by the demonic powers on the rival empire of the Messiah. That’s why conversion to Christ doesn’t diminish the power of temptation – as we often assume – but only rachets it up.” – Russell Moore

“I need the expulsive love of my risen Savior to whisper in my ear that my burgeoning conviction of sin was truer than what my flesh craved.”

“Desire for things God has forbidden are a reflection of how sin has distorted me, not how God has made me.” – Sam Alberry

what brings joy// S “talking” // lots of time off for E // being able to communicate a little bit more in Japanese // 2 years of marriage – especially the way E models God’s unrelenting love

Miss Munchkin// is obsessed with sitting in chairs, playing on our bed, eating off of a fork, and skin. She also stacks everything and eats hummus off of a spoon.

writing// homeschool authors interview // guest post at The Rebelution //

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