Saturday, December 1, 2012



So it is true that the most newsworthy news in our family comes from Utah.  First, we have a new granddaughter!  Sorry I don't have a picture (you can blame the new parents and actually I haven't even seen her yet since she was in the nursery when we skyped.   But yes, Tyson and Bethany are the proud new parents of a baby girl!

The little one arrived at around 11:30 a.m. on Friday, November 30.   She already can be deemed as very obedient.  Tyson had rotations in Illinois until Thursday and Bethany was having pains that day.  Tyson must have willed it to be false labor because she waited until Friday when Bethany was induced and only about two hours after getting to the hospital, the baby was born.  I am not sure of her name so I better not say what I think but she came into the world weighing just over six pounds.  All are doing fine!

And earlier this week we found out that we should be having another granddaughter soon!  Ben and Alyssa have gotten their final approval for their adoption--in China!  They are planning on leaving next week and getting their little girl on December 10th.  They have to stay in China until December 22 to do paperwork and fulfill other requirements but then it will be back home with their little girl!  Her name right now is TingTing (which will probably change) and she is just over two years old!  This has been a long time coming so we are very excited!


So back to earth, I can blog about what we are doing here in Japan.  The theme for this week seems to be "cooking."

On Monday we went to the mission home for their monthly family home evening.  It was actually the first time we have been but we chose a good one!  Although it was technically still November, they had a Christmas theme complete with lots of decorations, a Christmas DVD, and good food!  There were about 40 present.  Here are a few photos:

And the best surprise:  homemade cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate for refreshments!

Then at our children's English class we made little gingerbread houses.  It was quite an adventure!

And the finished products:

And then for the really BIG cooking project:  I was asked to do a Relief Society activity on Friday  for lunch and again on Saturday evening (same menu) which was billed as "Christmas Meal in America."  Not sure what that means but at least I got to choose what I wanted to cook!

The menu ended up being cream of chicken vegetable soup, rolls, relish tray, seven-layer Jello, chocolate fondue, and chocolate pudding cake cooked in a rice cooker (with ice cream).  Yes, I know.  It was pretty heavy on the desserts but I wanted to show the rice cooker cake and I knew they would love the fondue.  And yes, they had NEVER had chocolate dipped strawberries!  The pictures tell the story:

One of the good things is that the Japanese love to cook on the table in front of them so they use these small propane burners which are great for demonstrating!  Finished fondue:

And I will admit that the hit of the meals were the rolls!  It seemed that they could not have enough of them!   I did not really give them the recipe but promised that next month maybe we could do a dinner rolls/apple pie demonstration and do the whole thing justice.  Just not enough time this past week to show it all!


And if you haven't already figured it out, whenever the Japanese get together, they MUST take a group photo.  I guess I have dozens of pictures showing that I was REALLY at some activity

For a few weeks I have been wanting a Nativity set that featured Japanese figures.  I have been looking on line and found what I wanted.  The funny things is that this lady sells from her home in:  Salt Lake City!  She works through someone in Japan who makes these figures in Japan but then ships them to Utah and then she ships them wherever she has orders.  I contacted her and she arranged for this set to be sent directly from Tokyo which, of course, was cheaper and faster.  If you are interested, she has more things than just nativity sets, just google Kokeshi Designs.  It is actually fairly tall and the painting and wookwork are all done by hand.
Calvin and I decided to get this for our joint Christmas/anniversary present since it is a little pricey:
We love it and it brings the true meaning of Christmas into our home.

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