Another Name

Joel, with a cheeky grin: "Hey, Mom, your name is Jane Goodall!"

I guess that means I do a lot of chimp-observing every day.

Theo, Again

I had the privilege of going to the Theo Chocolate Factory (the only fair trade and organic chocolate makers in the States so far) this past week with some Japanese homestay students. We chatted about Japanese chocolate and I told them how I used to use Meiji Black to make cakes when we were in Japan. Anyway, I went for the dark chocolates at Theo and the students all loved the sweeter milk types.

Stephen and I are going on a double date coming up soon and guess what? I'm the only one out of the four of us who's been to Theo, so we're headed there. Not that I'm complaining.

Andy's Visit

Our good friend and Matthew's godfather, Andy, came to visit from Japan last week!

In the Works

My writing implement holder.

Lots going on around here the past week: Stephen at a conference, our friend Andy visited, a Theo chocolate factory tour for me with six Japanese college students who are doing a homestay in this area, playdates, hair cut for Joel, a presentation by a Japanese pastor, visits to the library, Time4Learning educational games, sewing cushions for the living room, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Pictures will be coming, but don't hold your breath on when that will be.

And now I must retire. Oyasumi!


Joel, after swallowing a bite of meatball soup at lunch today: "It already went down into my food section!"

Bug Eyed

Matthew, bending over to look at the kitchen floor: "Hello, bug! Oh. It's just a piece of dust."

Akira Sato

I just got home from a three-hour presentation by Akira Sato, the pastor of the church that was closest in proximity to the Fukushima nuclear power plant before the disaster last year.

I'm still trying to get my head and my heart around everything he said and all the emotions I saw in his face and body language. One thing he repeated many times: He feels like he was in a movie, but it was actually real. (His website is here and you can click on the English tab at the top then scroll down to read his blog.)

As I was shaking my head over and over and thinking that it just shouldn't have happened, something struck me. I don't blame anyone for anything and I have absolutely no idea what I would've done in the same situation, but Sato Sensei mentioned that those who left home with nothing (no money, no belongings) and got to high ground were the ones who survived. How much would I try to grab on the way out? And in my tired brain, is any of this even making sense to me even as I type?

Should it make sense? I know from what Sato Sensei said that even now he and his family and friends feel torn between a very deep sadness and a persistent hope.


Matthew, as he was listening to me breathe this morning with a toy stethoscope: "Nope, there is still no sound."

Me: "What?!?"

Matthew: "Well, it is made out of plastic."

Sorry, Tooth Fairy

Everybody's been asking us if the Tooth Fairy's been visiting Matthew.

Our resounding answer: NO!

Matthew already enjoys pulling out his own teeth too much, and yesterday I caught Joel pushing on his teeth with his finger, trying to "make them loose."

So, Miss Tooth Fairy will have to find work elsewhere. Our beans need no incentive whatsoever.


Matthew, tonight at dinner after he pulled out his (fifth!) tooth: "This is the BEST Valentine's Day EVER! I lost another tooth!!!"

And at lunch today as Stephen and I had some roasted cauliflower with our chicken curry, Matthew declared, "I'll try cauliflower when I'"

Honey Talk

Joel helped me make breakfast this morning, and as we sat down to eat...

Joel: "Matthew, I squeezed out the honey for our breakfast. Do you want to say 'thank you' to me?"

Matthew: "No, thank you."

Fun Quotes

Matthew today: "Did you know you have bagpipes inside your body?" [We finally figured out he meant a windpipe.]


At dinner tonight we talked about Valentine's Day and Joel said, "I'm going to go around and give you all a kiss!" [So he did, and then hugs as well for good measure.]

May your day tomorrow (and every day) be full of hugs and kisses.


I recently found out that the Granite Curling Club here in North Seattle has an open house on the first Saturday of every month. Time for a date! I surprised Stephen and planned it all out. We've watched curling quite a few times in Winter Olympics past and I knew we would enjoy trying it for ourselves--what a blast!

Sweep! Sweep hard! Off!

Learned lots of new terms: the circles are the house, there are T lines and hog lines, the ice lane is the sheet, the rock you "throw" is a stone.

Can't wait to try it again, or maybe even join a league!

Enjoy this video we found on YouTube that was actually filmed at the Granite Curling Club right here in Seattle...

A Fly On the Wall Overheard...

...Abigail say to Matthew and Joel: "Guys, don't lose your marbles!"

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Joel, while running around the house this morning: "I'm hunting for rainbows! It's sunny AND rainy inside our house!!!!!!!!!!!"

When She Became a Queen

I love this story of how Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth (it even involves a treehouse!). (Of course, it would've been very bittersweet for the Queen because it was the day her "dear father" passed on.)

Happy Diamond Jubilee!

Too Much Thomas

After dinner tonight, Matthew said to me, "Thank you for being really useful!"


Unrelated to being a really useful engine, the other night Joel said to Stephen, "Daddy, you're really funny. Or not!"

Super Bean Quotes

We've been deep undercover in American culture this evening...

Halfway through the Madonna halftime show of the Super Bowl, Joel sighed and said, "I've enough of watching TV."

And when Madonna got whisked away in a cloud of smoke at the end of her (insane) show, Matthew shouted, "She got exploded!"

The first half of the Super Bowl plus the halftime show have definitely been enough for us (I wasn't even impressed with the bazillion-dollar commercials). Now back to books, trains, games, and fun!

DIY Bean

Apparently every Home Depot in the country has a free workshop for kids the first Saturday of every month, though I'm just now finding out about this. Matthew and I made a wooden box today and brought the supplies and apron home for Joel to make his here. (Joel had been coughing and I knew the lumber dust and chemical smells at H.D. would not be good for him. Anyway, he's getting a bit better now and even managed to make it to a friend's birthday party this afternoon.)

For each project the kids finish, they get a little pin for their apron, and a set of young brothers I saw there today each had at least pins from the past year, maybe more. I can see that happening with our little guys...stay tuned!


Matthew, as he and Joel came into the room where I was: "Mom, we're bringing our trains in here so you can enjoy them!"

Free Museum Night

The first Thursday of every month in Seattle is a free museum day, and in the case of the Museum of Flight, a free evening. So the beans and I headed there at 5 pm today and enjoyed an amazing sunset and view of the Olympics, Cascades, and ginormous Mt. Rainier on the way--I had to make myself focus on I-5!

We hung out in the WWI wing and the beans loved the biplanes and triplanes (and of course the children's section, which was packed).

Realization: free museum night = loooooooooong loo lines.

And completely unrelated, a sweet quote from Matthew recently: "I'm mostly British."


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