Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Japanese Culture Night

I figure, you don't go to a fascinating foreign and exotic country, stay for 4 weeks, and then come home and not share with the people you love the wonderful things you learned and experienced, so I presented a Culture Night for our Relief Society. For a touch of decoration and color I used these three paper lanterns and matching table cloths.

The display on this table features a few items with Japanese writing, Kokeshe Dolls, Shisha Dogs, a couple of fans, some pictures, and tools used in making Bento box lunches with a cookbook for ideas.

For me, a trip to an island surrounded by water and beaches truly is paradise! I only went to the beach 4 times but each time I came away with sand. We also gathered shells, coral, bamboo and two bottles filled with water from the East China Sea. After I got home, I found a large jar at Target and layered and labeled the sand, coral and shells inside it so that I could remember which beaches they came from. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the water yet but I'll think of something. I just don't want it to evaporate away!

While the rice was soaking in the kitchen, the sisters visited and did origami. There were paper doll kits and easy instructions for flowers and animals. Between the dolls, origami and food there was plenty to do and lots of yummy things to sample. I bought some purple yams in San Francisco and made them into potato salad. (These yams are grown on Okinawa). I also made brown sugar shortbread cookies. Okinawan brown sugar is unique in it's processing and has more a flavor like grade B maple syrup which is strong and rich. I bought some pure maple sugar to try to imitate the cookies we got on the island. And a local store just down the street from us is owned and run by a Japanese family and they feature an isle of authentic Asian foods so I was able to get some snack cookies and little "jello jigglers" like Isabel had for dessert at Coco's.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Us With Christian ~ and Family!

Paige and Abbie went with us when we took Christian home to Grants Pass, Oregon. From Friday night till Monday morning we had a great time with family except that Paige and Abbie were sick on Sunday and for the trip home. They missed church and playing games on Sunday but that was it. All the "vacation-y" things they did.
There were lots of fun things to do in Grants Pass and here are just some of them!

Berry picking was the first order of the day on Saturday morning. Some of them even made it into a wonderful blackberry cobbler that was to be dessert on Sunday. YUM!
After berry picking we had a picnic lunch at a park, and then we went to The Applegate to play in the river. O, the memories!!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Christian With Us

Sheryl's family has 9 children. Christian is #6 and the only boy after the oldest, North, (who is currently serving a mission almost in our backyard - San Bernardino). So, to have some time away, without all those girls, Christian came to stay with us for 2 1/2 weeks in August. Here are some of the highlights of his visit.
One of the first things we did was mini-golfing with Chandler.
We went to the little town of Exeter, just outside of Visalia, to see the wall murals that adorn the town. There are over 30 of them and most all have hidden pictures within the picture. Fun!
Christian's time here wouldn't be complete without a trip to Aerodog!
He had full run of the TV most of the time he was here and he LOVED it!