Thursday, June 09, 2011

Omiyage

The word Omiyage(お土産・pronounced oh-mee-ya-gay) means souvenir or gift . It is customary to present a souvenir to friends or co-workers upon returning from a trip or the gift that one brings when one visits another's home. In casual circumstances, omiyage may be any gift at all, but in an office environment, it's normal to observe certain protocols. 
Omiyage giving is an important element in Japanese culture. Akiko San brings us something each and every week. We try to have things to give back.

When she went to NYC she brought us central park green m/ms. ::grin::

Michael (and recently I) have done this when we travel. Always trying to bring back "some little something" for the family....finding the perfect souvenir becomes part of the fun of traveling.  On our recent trip to the states we constantly kept our eyes open for the "right" gift for Akiko San.

We had talked with her about the Redwoods, and they were hard for her to comprehend. Michael and the kids took photos of the Redwoods and we knew that would be part of the gift.....but what else could we get her? We thought of kites and wind socks from the OR coast....but they seemed a bit too close to Japanese and I didn't want her to think I was hinting "American kites are better".... As a side note the wind sock I bought can't take the Northern Japanese wind. ::snort::

Finally, at a little shop in Old Town Newport, I found exactly what I wanted to buy her. I liked it so much I got myself one. I thought it would be a great touch of cheer in our long Northern winters. I also joked that I didn't want to be the only person in Japan wearing one. Michael and the kids thought it was a great gift too. We bought it......then I wondered....as really Japanese don't like to stand out. I reasoned she could tell her friends, "Look what my crazy American family gave me."

I wish I'd had the video on....she laughed and really loved it. She said it's beautiful and will be perfect for hiking - it certainly should put her grandfather's heart at rest. She'll be easy to spot if she gets lost in the snow. ::snort::  It made me happy to see her response.  And now there will be TWO of us wearing these on cold and windy days. LOL 

Choosing Joy!

©2011 D.R.G.

~Coram Deo~

Living all of life before the face of God...

Pizza Picnics

It is a JOY to my heart to have Zander and Stacia BEG for school.  We raced through table school to get back to Winne the Pooh and Zoology....and READING their I See Sam books to me. I love snuggling on the couch with these two.

They did seem to be a bit more motivated than usual. Our plan was to finish school quickly so we could meet the MOPS moms and kids at the park for pizza. Many of our MOPS moms left on voluntary evac.....so this was the first time for us to be all together since March. It was great fun to see those who could make it again.

The day was bright and sunny. I thought a quick meeting with Anita and Tara would fit in well at the end of the MOPS picnic....and then I'd take the kids to the Base Beach at  Lake Ogawara for a swim. They  rushed through school, packed the park bag, and Arielle and Nolan even decided to join us. Our spirits were high!
All was going according to plan. Nolan was a hit with the pre-school boys. Arielle was reuniting with some of her MOPS kids....I was having a great time with mommies....

Tara arrived and we set about mapping out our needs for our new Children's Ministry Coordinator.  We got a lot done...but alas, it began to sprinkle. Not much....but heavier and heavier...then THUNDER and lightening. Even *I* had to admit it wouldn't be the best idea to go swimming. I love swimming in the ocean during a storm. We are going to MISS not being able to swim in our ocean this year.

A trip to the library for some rainy day movies provided a bit of consolation.

I found another granola recipe to try...and chicken soup is simmering. I'll go make the dumplings and call it dinner....Arielle's request.

Akiko san is coming over tonight. Always a fun time and we've not been able to connect since coming home from the states.

I have no clue what that photo has to do with anything - except I found it when googling for a pizza photo....can you IMAGINE? What is that? I think I need to try to make one....without the bacon, of course....

With the exception of Tuesday, I've kept to my 1 - 2 hour a day on local PWOC boundary...and I'm getting lots done everywhere...at home AND with local PWOC.  Restructuring has been a grand experiment.

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...