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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Watching Anna Grow

Took this photo at a studio we took the kids to almost two years ago.
My first born daughter has the advantage and disadvantage of being the first child to go through each developmental stage.  The advantage being that she has her parents full attention and focus, but the disadvantage being that we lack experience in the situation.

These days she is going to school and learning to listen to her teacher`s instructions and many times she forgets her assignments or doesn`t tell us what needs to be brought to school the next day, etc.  She is learning to focus her high energy and learn with by it and after a couple months it seems that she might be doing okay.  Of course all I really know is what she says and what her teacher writes down in her communication log which each student receives.  In Japanese it is called a Ren-Raku-Chou. (連絡帳)The entries are not daily, but are written at the discretion of the teacher when they want to share a concern or let the parents of a child know how things are going or possibly share a story from class about their child.

Apparently Anna`s teacher is quite strict and often doesn`t give her full marks on her assignments or homework.  Anna has a hard time with this being a very temperamental child who strives for perfection.  She cries often when she is not able to meet expectations that she puts on herself.  One time Anna had to practice writing the character よ and got so frustrated that she ran out of the house.  She didn`t return for quite awhile.  My wife became concerned and contacted me, but then Anna suddenly came home.  In fact she returned bearing gifts for everybody.  She had walked down to the market and with her own money gone and bought snacks and chocolate for everybody.  Of course Yumi warned her not to go out like that, but she couldn`t help but be moved that Anna would do something so sweet. She even chose the brand that her sisters and mom like.  It looks like she pays more attention to detail than we realized!

Anna`s grossed out after I caught a crawdad at the park with a stick and some squid for bait. I asked her if she wanted to hold it while I took a picture :)

Anna is showing us more and more that she can learn on her own and that she has a very sweet side behind her rambunctious, energetic, and sometimes harsh personality. I truly pray for her and wish her joy and happiness as she lives out her childhood.  She has endured so much from infancy and now she is growing into a fine little girl.

By the way she lost her two front teeth and it looks like more teeth are loose as well!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Down on the Farm

A cow from Chiba`s famous Mother Farm located in Futsu.

During the end of Golden Week (a week of Japanese holidays at the end of April beginning of May ) we took a trip down south to the Mother Bokujou (farm). The weather was very nice but quite windy. The area is very rural and is on top of a mountain near the end of the Chiba peninsula. The fun part for the kids was being able to touch and handle the animals. They got a chance to milk the cow and hold the bunnies and watch the pig race. But they seemed to enjoy running around and playing in the grass just as much. With everything going on it felt good to go out to the country for awhile and let the kids run free.

With all that is happening we are concerned for the children most of all.  However, giving them a chance to be kids and enjoy the life they are living is still very important.  We don`t want to live in a bubble but we also don`t want to take unneeded risk when it comes to their health.  We are still trying to figure out what the next steps are in adjusting our lifestyle to keep them safe.  It was fun to see them enjoy the country life even if it was just for a day.

Below are some video clips from the day.