January 23, 2008

Everyday Life

Well, its been a bit rainy and gloomy this week weather-wise. The kids are going a little stir-crazy, and are very excited to be starting school next week. (And so is Ilena!!) We watched Mary Poppin's this weekend with the kids when it rained. (Trippier than we ever recall, by the way.) Although the kids have really been playing together with their toys, one of Jacob's favorite things to do is take pictures of Lauren (and pretty much everything else):

(Next, we'll teach him how to focus...)

Now that Ilena and the kids are on bikes, they are using them to get all over Rokko Island. In addition to the regular grocery store, we have been buying lots of great stuff at the 100 Yen Store:

Speak of bikes, Jacob has really taken to his newfound independence on super-safe Rokko Island. The other day, while Lauren was napping, Ilena let him bike to the playground across the street from our apartment. Ilena watched him the whole way. He unlocked his bike, tucked the key away in his zipper pocket, looked both ways when crossing the street, and yelled up "Hi Mom!" when he got there. He was so cautious and careful. Ilena even noticed that he locked his bike upon getting to the playground, while he was playing all of ten feet away. Gotta love that kid. It's quite a shock seeing all of the young school children walking to and from school and going to playgrounds by themselves.

On a separate note, one neat and different thing about Japan is that you can pay any bill you get at any convenience stores. You just walk in, hand them the bill, and hand them the money. No envelopes, no postage, no hassle. We just paid our gas bill at the Lawson's (basically a 7-11 type store, but with sushi and other prepared foods, and no Slurpies or Big Gulps) convenience mart across the street. Many of these stores have English names. The most popular ones around here seem to be Family Mart, Heart-In, and Lawson's.

Finally, we leave you with some fun signage (as you may be able to tell, fun signage abounds here in the Land of the Rising Sun!) from near Mike's work for a clothing store called Grand Back Big & Tall:

Matta ne!


Brian Matteson said...

Keep the pictures coming! They should yield a good fantasy football team name and logo for me next year!

Let's go PATS!


Lisa said...

I love reading this blog...it keeps my workday moving. How's lauren doing with training wheels? And what a big boy Jacob is going across the street by his lonesome! You guys are all growing up so fast in Japan!