Hi folks! As usual, when I do at last sit down to do this it's been soooo long I can't even think where or what to begin with.
Life is full... and that's a wonderful blessing,
even in those moments when I have to remind myself of that fact!
June has been no exception to our busy days.
Ian turned 21 the 2nd of this month!!!! Honestly! 21!! No big extravagant celebration. As Ian put it, it's just not a big deal here. In Japan 20 is the "coming of age". I did make him a birthday cake and his Dad and I got to treat him to a yakiniku viking lunch (meaning all-you-can-eat-bbq-it-yourself-buffet with all the trimmings and dessert).
After a stint in Tokyo Ian is back with us in Nagano and back working at the clothing shop, For now...
The 4-6th was the prefecture (state) high school sports tournaments. Tokai Third boys and girls basketball (along with a few other of their sports) are the champs and will be representing Nagano prefecture in the all Japan summer Inter High tournament!! WOOHOO!! Zack will have been a part of that all 3 years of his high school sports! This year it will be held in Okinawa, July 28 - Aug.3, - exciting, huh?! And... E-X-P-E-N-S-I-V-E!!!!
The summer tournament is always high cost and though we understand the concept that they go to a different area every year to try to even out the travel for all, when it goes to Hokkaido, Kyushu or Okinawa it gets pretty crazy. For many reasons. It starts right after summer vacation season begins so all the prices of everything go UP. It's a lose-and-you're-done deal so you really have no idea how long you'll want/need to be there - which when you have to make fight reservations/hotel reservations/daily transportation reservations - is pretty ridiculous, especially when you factor in the cancellation fees you have to pay if you want to duck out early!
So as thrilled as we are that they are going!, in all honesty it's a tad tempered by the hassles and expense. Still, we know God always has a plan and this will be no exception :-)
The Tokai Third High School Basketball Champs!!!! GO TOKAI 3!!!!
With this being a Fri-Sat-Sun tournament, John went Friday while I worked, we both went Saturday and I went Sunday while John worked. I was excited that Ian decided to join me - he rarely gets to watch Zack play. I was even more excited when after the game I got a picture of them together!! Yahoo!! Big event in this Mommee's life!
So here they are... our two baby boys ;-}
This month was also the annual church visit to the cemetery to clean things up a bit, sing some hymns and offer some special prayers. Many of you may remember last year when a young woman in our church here who was suffering severe depression took her life. There was a special visit with her family to their site to remember her. It's been a very difficult road for them and they are doing much for others in this area by ministering through their personal experience.
This month also brought the life celebration days for my Dad, 80 mighty fine years, and our grandson, Charles, 6. Heather, Charles and Will have been hanging out with Granny and Gramps in Texas while Bo's been in rrecruiter's school at Lackland AFB. He's just finished and as always graduated at the top of his class! They'll soon be moving back to Mississippi to be closer to Bo's Dad, who is in the final stages of a long trek against cancer. It's been a really rough road but God has done some amazing works along the way.
John is as busy as ever with all his church related activities, English classes and volunteer time. I'm working (outside of home) more than I have in a good long while. I teach one day a week at an elementary school - about an hour and a half from here - one day at a local high school, and three different classes on Wednesday afternoon/evening/night. For the most part it's being a good experience and God provides many things in ways we never imagine. That, we learn more by the day, is His rule, not exception :-) He is so good!
After much too long a break... John and I have started back to our daily walks with Ebony & Onyx (the two black labs we adopted a couple..3? years ago). Four of our neighborhood friends are walking with us most days and this week one of the lady's 3rd grade son, too. We walk every morning from 5 -6am! (John and I, rain or shine, the others occasionally take a rain day ;-}) Some mornings 4:30 seems to come earlier than others but we are feeling the benefits, as well as few aches and sore muscles here and there, so keeping at it. We get home, shower, do our bible reading, devotionals and prayer time, have breakfast, get the laundry hung out - usually all before 8am! Cool!
This Saturday we're invited to join 4 families - all John's students and neighborhood friends - for an overnite camp-out as a pre-farewell to the Enomoto's. They were our first new neighbors when all the new homes went up in place of the rice fields and he is being transferred back to Tokyo the end of the summer. We'll really miss them and they'll have quite an adjustment back to "big city" life. By the pre-camp discussions/plans this could be quite an experience. John and I get the impression that their ideas and ours on what 'camping out' is could be rather different. Maybe a story in a future post...
I know there's more, but don't want to do an overload!
So take care, be joyful and walk always before God!