Sunday, October 14, 2012


I have to admit it is kind of strange when I look at the photos we took this week and they all have to do with my birthday!   Usually I think of my birthday as something that comes and goes without much fanfare but apparently this year I was the center of attention at least for this week.

On Monday, the Kikuchis took us out to their favorite restaurant:  the Taikanso Hotel (7th floor) above Matsushima Bay.  Of course, it is full of ambiance and has an incredible view, not to mention the French cuisine!  Here we are:

And as I said the food is incredible.  First the appetizer, four little tidbits that all are amazing:

There are wonderful rolls, cream of pumpkin soup, and the main dish:

Above is Calvin's steak;  I had mini lobster.  Then there is a dessert plate which I guess we didn't get but it had I think four small desserts on it.  You may think there wasn't much food but really after eating it all, you are plenty full.  And I enjoyed it a lot:


My actual birthday was on Tuesday but the celebration began on Sunday when a couple of members gave me gifts:  a really great children's book in Japanese which is, I guess, legend (there is a statue at one of the Tokyo stations dedicated to the dog in this book) and a bagful of other goodies.
Monday we went to the Taikanso.
Then on Tuesday we had English class and I was once again the center of attention as they sang:

I got some wonderful ice cream bars and these delicious pastries:
Through the week, others also remembered me with other gifts.  My favorite was given to me today by a member who drew this picture:
It is a picture of our granddaughter Ramona who was here recently.  Sister Umehara drew this picture from a photo (she loved Ramona's one year photo with her two little teeth in the front).  It is actually a really good likeness of her.
All in all a good week.  We actually did quite a few other things but I guess not much photoworthy.  But this week should produce more--we have a Halloween party and RS activity to mention a few things.  Plus I have some Halloween treats in mind.  (Hint:  I couldn't find that red clear frosting glaze that you use for blood so I put some food coloring in some honey and it worked like a charm!)
I have been thinking lately of the many blessings that I have and how I have never realized that many of them were blessings. 
*  Even though Japan is a modern country, the people we associate with are not wealthy.  In fact, I even took off my engagement ring because NO ONE has a diamond on their finger, let alone one around their neck.  Sometimes I find myself feeling too showy or too prideful in the things I wear or have.
*We watched general conference yesterday and today.  It really struck me as to how blessed we are to listen to a prophet's voice (and the Apostles).  Here you listen to a person who is translating what these General Authorities are saying.  They never get to really know the real voices or their intonations.  Our branch president once asked us if it was scary going to general conference because the Brethren might be so forceful in how they said things.  They never hear the love and concern in their voices.
*I must admit I was looking forward to a new car (a Corolla!) but now the members ooh and aah over it and I find myself feeling a little too showy.
*Last week our RS president said they would like to do a project in January which involves crocheting around fleece.  I had told them about this project (which I had learned in Utah) and that I thought we could get funding from the Church since it would be a service project.  Anyway, we decided we wanted to do around 50 blankets so I emailed the person in charge of humanitarian service in Tokyo and explained what we wanted to do and suggested a dollar amount.  Within 24 hours he wrote back and said it sounded like a wonderful project and we could have double that amount!  The great thing is that now we can provide blankets for all the branch members as well.  It will be such a blessing to do these blankets. We can actually do more than 50 blankets because some of them we will be cutting in fourths and making lap quilts.
*With all the complaining I do about the weather, I am the first to admit that our apartment is very comfortable.  We have a king-size (!) bed with memory foam, heating and air conditioning (not central air or heat but it works non-the-less).  We have a sofa and table and chairs and really all the comforts we need (plus we now have a dryer that works!).
*We have MORE than enough food!  We are given food fairly often but we are also not hurting for food money.  In fact, I am in the process of trying to downsize our food storage.  We have been to Costco three times so you Costco shoppers out there will realize what I mean when I say we need to use up what we have!  We are leaving in less than a year, you know!  Plus the other great gift I got for my birthday was from our kids:  they gave me 90 Balance Bars for my diet!  YES!  Hopefully in a later blog I can tell you how that goes . . . .

1 comment:

  1. Hello!! Sakamoto shimai! and Happy Belated Birthday!! I enjoyed your blog and love those photos! You are a wonderful photographer! I can see how much you love and care about those people in Ishinomaki, and how much you are loves by them !! Korekara mo karad ni ki wo tsukete ganbatte ne!!