Sunday, November 30, 2008

Two Sore Throats are Better Than One?

Well, Nozomi's lunches got made. Was that already 2 weeks ago? Then last week, she had nothing but tests every day. And a fever, and then a sore throat. She plugged away in spite of feeling awful. Wednesday she had an interview at her first-choice university, and she had no voice - none at all! But now her tests are over, and her voice is nearly mended. She'll get the results of her interview on the 10th of Dec.

Mom got a sore throat, too. I guess I didn't want Nozomi to suffer all alone? See, I can be nice that way.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ganbatte Nozomi!

My senior-in-high-school daughter and I have a deal where I give her a monthly lunch allotment. It's up to her to get her own lunch ready in the morning. If she chooses not to make something at home, then she can use the money I've given her. If she would rather have that money for other spending, then she can take her own lunch.

Well, it works pretty well. The biggest problem has been that I actually don't have cash on hand to give to her, but when I do, I try. It's a disappointment to her, I know, but she seems to understand that there's only so much money to go around.

Here's an extension of that deal. Last week she cut her brother's hair. We used to pay her about half the going rate for that, but this time she offered to barter her services as barber. My task this week is to make her lunches!

I know, I know, most "real" mothers in Japan (I mean Japanese mothers) show their love for their child by making superb boxed lunches. Once in a while I give it a shot, but it is HARD! However, Nozomi is now entering the week of preparing for interviews to get into university. The "Examination Hell" is just around the corner for her. But, she was awarded a chance to enter the university of her choice via recommendation. So, in order for her to put all her energy into preparing for the interview, she asked me to make her lunches this week.

It's time for me to do some menu planning! Here's one link that I've found helpful. Really cool Japanese lunched boxes. And this cook is not even Japanese and has never even lived in Japan (I think). Maybe there's hope for me yet!

Nice fight, Nozomi! I'm rooting for you!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Doing Good Works All the Time?!

Have you ever wondered about how to go about doing good works? Last week I listened to this sermon over and over. It reinforced the whole concept that it is not I, me, who is the one that's really doing the good work. It is Christ in me. Such a burden is lifted when we know that Jesus Christ has finished THE work that God requires. His perfect life fulfilling the Law of God, and His death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins has freed us to work for our neighbor, not for our salvation. Suddenly, moaning and groaning about all the stuff I "have to do" can go. My works are for others, that they might know Christ is their Savior, too!

"Like the sheep at the right hand of Jesus, who asked when they had done all the good works He attributed to them, you, having been knit into the body of Christ on earth, are doing good works all the time without even knowing it. Of course, the stuff that you think is good because you’re a sinner, too, might not be all that good anyway, but as the body of Christ, you are doing good things like yesterday.

"There’s always 144,000 on earth in God’s church doing His work even though it doesn’t look like it. How many do we have here today? Thirty-five? We’ve got 12,000 of a tribe, marshaled together to hear the Word of God, and then as you leave here, sent out, marching out into the world as the church militant. Doing spiritual battle even as you do your regular stuff."

You can hear more at Laughing Martin: Washed in the Blood of the Lamb

Makoto was sick last week

The past week Makoto (15) has been sick. He's big enough that it's not like you have to do everything for him. Still, it's hard to know what to feed him. And just when you thought he was getting over it, his fever would go up again during the night.

One evening he was resting on the sofa. It just happened that Anata and I were nearby. He mumbled something and Anata asked him, "What?"

"Mumba-shumba-hashi-tai," he garbled.

"What was that?"


I had just finished clearing his meal tray away and I thought he might be wondering what I had done with his hashi (chopsticks), since that's the only sound that resembled any word at all. "Your o-hashi?"


"It's okay, Makoto. I already put them away."


"What do you mean?" asked Dad. "Your leg?" Leg is ashi in Japanese, so Anata took a stab at that sound.

"Yeah, ashi ga itai." [My leg hurts.]

"Your leg hurts?" I asked.





"Mae." [Before.]





"Last year? Last year when you were playing baseball?"


Then he came out of it. Funny and freaky. He was looking right at us, but was not seeing us at all. We knew he was sleeping. Later we told him about it and he knew nothing of this interchange at all.

He should be able to go back to school tomorrow. I hope.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Greedy Halloween Memory

Forty years ago, my best friend and I were given permission to go Trick-or-Treating together! We lived several blocks apart in the suburbs of Detroit. We started on my block and worked our way through all the blocks between my house and hers. No paper bags for us that time! We were going for the haul, and we had hefty pillow cases in tow! I don't even remember what costumes we wore, but I do remember how thrilled we were to do this together and to go to so many houses.

We never reached our goal, though. The pillow cases were starting to get heavy. It was getting dark and cold, too! We decided to sit down on the curb for a little while to regain our strength. Then, out of the blue, my dad drove up to us. He was not very happy that we did not reach our goal. My friend's mother was expecting us an hour or so earlier and began to worry.

So go the grand plans of 10 year olds. As punishment I was not allowed to spend that Halloween night at her house. That was not too bad, because I was too pooped. If I had spent the night there, I would have slept! We wouldn't have been able to stay up giggling. The worse punishment was that my dad conviscated my candy! I'm sure he didn't keep all of it. What I did have lasted forever anyway.

What a funa dn silly memory. I look back and marvel that our parents indulged us in our own greediness that way. But, maybe they knew something we didn't. ;-)