May 17, 2008

Kids Update and The Local Scene

As we've mentioned previously, both kids are absolutely exploding with new knowledge, growth and curiosity. Here's a little update, which will probably be of most interest to the family.

Jacob's current science unit in school has been about the ocean. His class is doing a research project and he has chosen the sea horse to learn more about. We'll let you know what little tidbits we learn. He's been on field trips to the aquarium and to see a 3D IMAX movie about The Ocean Floor.


The unfortunate current events in Asia (Myanmar and China) have led him to ask lots of questions. And we have had some long family discussions about weather, search and rescue, and survival. (Between these two events and Japan being one big fault line has certainly put things in perspective for us.) He understands the tragedy; after seeing the pictures, he asked: "But where are all those people going to live?"

Jacob (who is finally OK with being called Jake now, apparently) also got "in trouble" last week in school for being too affectionate with his little girlfriends. We keep reminding him that kissing is not allowed at school. Well, as long as that's the only report we get from the teacher, we can't really be all that concerned. Who could blame our little Romeo?

In the language arts, Jacob's English reading has now surpassed our weak attempts at reading Japanese. It is both exciting and disheartening that he is sounding out in English better than Mike and Ilena can sound out in Katakana and Hiragana. Worst of all, we can't keep secrets by spelling words out between the grown-ups anymore. Time to learn another language:)

Lauren, who will be four in two short months, continues to amaze us every day. Her pure contentedness with sitting and humming to herself, playing with her dolls, or looking at books is just one of the most relaxing sights to see. It is truly therapeutic to watch her at play. She is a master at UNO, one of our favorite family games. She loves art, and could color (pretty much inside the lines!) for hours. She is quite the little fashionista - she's very opinionated about her outfit choices and how her hair is styled each day. But she still loves a good giggling match while rolling around on the floor with her brother.

We're really all enjoying our day to day life on Rokko Island. Ilena and the kids (and Mike on weekends) have been spending most of their waking moments outside, as this time of year is beautiful (mid 70s and sunny every day). The summer heat and obscene humidity will be here soon enough, we are told, so we're making the most of our days now. Between the playgrounds, baseball, soccer, frisbee, watching the skateboarders in the skate park, and scootering and biking, we are keeping very busy. This weekend, after getting Mike's new (used) bike fixed up by our local neighborhood bike repair man (an older Japanese man who doubles as our dry cleaner!), we took our first family bike ride together.

1 comment:

Matthew J said...

Hi guys! Just wanted to say again how much i enjoy reading about your adventures and how the kids are growing and learning before your eyes. The blog has really shortened the miles for me...Keep it up!