Saturday, October 31, 2009

my microwave "incident"

Last night I decided to make the package of microwave popcorn that one of my students gave me and little did I know that it would lead to this...

oooopps!! I think that my microwave plate must be a replacement or something becuase it's made by Rubbermaid and as my Mom pointed out, Rubbermaid doesn't make microwaves! Apparently it's plastic because I melted a hole in it and when I went to take the bag out of the microwave, it stuck to the tray!

Yet another "only Hillary...." moment! never a dull moment with me in the kitchen as my Mom loves to say! :)

in case you need to smile...

So I tried my best to keep up with all the things that made me smile this week, but it was a little hard! We had our annual Christar Japan conference and I certainly did a lot of smiling and laughing but I can't remember everything! (some of this is before conference though)

-hearing an old Carman song on the radio... it made me remember the good 'ol days of listening to Carman, Petra and Guardian with Dad :)

-having the time to make bacon and eggs for breakfast on a Sunday morning

-pictures of my friend's brand new baby boy :)

-the funny pictures my best friend sends along with her e-mails to let me know how she's feeling that day (excited/overwhelmed, etc)

-telling the church ladies that Bobby and I are dating... their reactions were absolutely priceless and I wish I had of had a video camera! One of them literally almost fainted (because she was so happy!) I'm pretty sure they have the rest of our lives planned out now! I also found out that one of the ladies who had invited me to her home for lunch a couple weeks ago had been wanting to ask me about Bobby but refrained!

-the build up to a story that you know is going to be funny (passionate story tellers make me smile!)

-Grandma Okamoto's reaction to seeing Dorothy again for the first time in 6 months... it almost made me cry!

-Bobby asking me if "I will follow him" is my favorite song! (it came on when we were eating dinner at McDonald's)

-"ganging up on" Dad with Mom and hearing him say "ok guys..."

-understanding a long e-mail all in Japanese and getting a 100% grade from the writer :)

-talking to Jess on Skype (in Argentina) at 3 am because we're never on at the same time!

-Dad's obsessive hockey card collecting

-Yumi's wonderful reaction when I told her Bobby and I were dating (she gave me high 5's and couldn't stop clapping her hands and congratulating me!) Basically, having friends to share life's joys and sorrows with makes me smile :)

-Bobby laughing at how I save every e-mail I get (and how I have so many folders to put them) He thought I should apply that organization to my apartment!

-a week of non stop laughter with my co-workers

-seeing people 'let their hair down' during a retreat... and watching people laugh and joke that you normally only ever see with a straight face

-playing 'Mafia'... my list would be endless if I went into all the details on that one!

-Theresa W asking me if I "lamb-inated" the bookmarks or "llama-nated" them!

-hearing a professional speaker say "stoled" (as in the past tense of steal!)

-starting my day off with a very meanignful note reminding me that I'm beautiful and that I really am a princess because I'm a daughter of the King... and also waking up from a nap the next day to find an encouraging note from my teammates that was slid under my door :)

-Dorothy accidently calling Bobby 'honey'

-getting called an "ugly angel" while playing Uno... (the story is a little long to explain, but it made me smile!)

-home videos of a cute little boy drinking a can of coke while listening to his brother read a story :)

-getting my hair french braided by a co-worker and staying up till 12:15 just chatting with her

-having amazing quiet times while watching the sun rise... (I just have to make note of the fact I was up to watch 4 sunrises in a row!!)

-beautiful wildflowers on the side of the road (big and little)

-coming home to a clean house... yes, Mom (and Bobby)... you were right all along!

-melting my microwave tray when I made microwave popcorn (a blog with pictures coming soon!)

-my Saturday morning kids' English class :)

thanks for all the smiles, God! You are so good to me! :)

Friday, October 30, 2009

How Deep the Father's Love for us....

I've been developing a deep appreciation of hymns lately. I love the depth of the lyrics of hymns and how they just seem to draw you into a spirit of worship...

Although I might have posted this one before, I wanted to share it with you today.

This is one of my favorites (In Christ Alone is still #1 though) and as I heard it on the radio this afternoon, it inspired me to share it with you! :)

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocing voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that helf Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I knoww that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast inJesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom...

Thank you Jesus! :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

a joyful heart :)

My heart is just so full of joy these days! I really enjoy taking time to enjoy the simple things in life and I am still loving making these lists! Sorry they seem to be getting longer and longer, but I can't help but share my smiles! Here's what made me smile this week...

-laughing so hard my stomach hurts

-flowers from a student (I'm so spoiled!!)

-my Dad... especially how he always asks when our next skype date will be :)

-getting myself into a conversation with new visitors to church, only being able to understand two or three words and feeling sooo dumb... but then later when I was in the kitchen with the church ladies, they asked me if I wanted to take the leftover rice home and I understood them so they complimented me on my ability to understand Japanese! (Clearly they did not see my 'deer in the headlights conversation' with the guests earlier!) Oh, the ups and downs of language learning!

-starting my day off with an e-mail full of pictures of the cutest little boy in Winnipeg... Lincoln :)

-getting a new nick name... I'm now known as someone's "little llama" :)

-homemade cards from a very sweet guy :)

-having one of my students try to "sell" Bobby to me by singing his praises

-making chicken noodle soup that turned out to be more noodles than soup... and was eaten with forks!

-microwave popcorn from one of my students (she got it from a friend for her birthday... I think she gave it to me because she probably didn't know what to do with it!)

-the number of comments on my blog skyrocketing in less than an hour... and the llama debate has also been quite entertaining!

-finding out the Bobby's purpose in life is to see how long he can make my smile lists get!

-a zip up hoodie for $10 :)

-getting complimented on my 'white neck' (it's fun to be a red head in a country where white skin is so admired!)

-one of my students showing me her new erasable pen and saying "Wheeee!" as she erased her scribbles!

-stopping by the side of the road to watch a meteor shower with a popsicle and a hot chocolate

-my clumsiness :) (on more than one occasion!)

-being called cute several times in one week... by more than one person :)

-watching a flock of cranes going fishing

-colourful clouds

-passing two high school boys on their bikes... one of them was belting out a song!

-news of God answering prayers :)

-asking one of my students where his favorite place to shop was, and getting the answer of "7-11!!" :P

-(somewhat) spontaneous picnic plans

-discussing what a yellow traffic light really means in two of my English classes... there was a long period of silence and many smiles after I asked them the question. Here in Japan it is more than common for yellow (and even red) lights to be sped through instead of slowed down for!

-watching two cleaning ladies hold a bag in between them as they walked and picked up garbage together (I think you had to be there!)

-Teresa buying me pink grapefruit cream multipurpose cleaner :)

-enjoying a picnic and games with great friends and making new friends on a beautiful fall day

-after another one of Bobby's humble comments that he made about himself, I asked what the Japanese word for 'humble' is... his good friend Taka answered "Bo-bi" (the Japanese pronounciation of Bobby!) which made me smile a lot!!

-fall colours and cool, crisp air

I've certainly had a lot more things that have made me smile this week but I forgot to write them down... not only that, but I think if I compiled a list of all the things that a certain someone has done to make me smile this week, I think his ego might get even more puffed up! :P Just teasing... kind of!

Seriously though, I am beyond blessed and God continues to put a smile on my face each day! I hope I've been able to make you smile today by reading this :) Have a great weekend!

(by the way, I haven't forgotten my promise to post pictures... I still have a lot to post, but things have been a little busy this week and I won't be blogging next week because we have our annual conference! I will post them eventually though!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

my students make me laugh!

Today, as usual, my students made me laugh... or rather they made my face turn a little red!

For some reason, as we were talking about the weekend, someone asked me if I had a 'man' in my life, particularly a Japanese man. I said no, and they sort of chuckled saying that maybe there were only 'older men' around for me.

Then one of them suddenly suggested something about a foreign man... and that led to one of the ladies saying with quite a grin on her face... "What about Bobby sensei?? He cooks, he cleans, he's a good gardener, and he's very smart. What about Bobby sensei?!"

Oh boy... I've gotten myself into a pickle! They seemed to be oblivious that Bobby was in the next room (separated only by a thin curtain!) and they kept asking about what I thought about him.

We haven't really told any Japanese people about us yet so I really wasn't sure how to handle this one. I laughed nervously and joked "ok, let's look at page 60 now!" I didn't exactly want my students to be among the first to know so I didn't tell them we are dating, and I think they were satisfied with their conclusion that when I go back to Canada, I'll be too busy studying to have a boyfriend!

I do have to agree with the student who was trying to 'sell' Bobby to me... he is a very special man of God and I am certainly a very blessed girl! Today we finally remembered to take a picture together and although I would normally think this would be a little cheezy, I wanted to post it because it makes me smile :)

We're pretty cute, hey?! :P

PS- I'm still looking for responses to my "llama" pronounciation poll! I've only gotten one so far!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

smiles, smiles, smiles....

Here you go... it's time for my weekly smile list!

-"warriors don't need air conditioning!"

-a friend that says "oh boy" after every time she yawns

-reminicing about the boys in elementary school who used to try and see how red they could make my face get! (ok, so I get embarassed and/or blush a little easy!)

-chubby baby arm rolls

-kids with long dark eyelashes

-adding a thick blanket to my bed and snuggling down in it before falling asleep

-a complaint that my smile lists are too long to compete with!

-rediscovering an old TV show I used to watch called "Bobby's World"... isn't Youtube grand??

-waking up with twisted blankets... causing me to wonder what in the world do I do in my sleep?!

-our mountain climbing guide (aka Bobby) telling us at EVERY new set of stairs... "just a little further, we're almost there"... and then crossing paths with some climbers on their way down who told us (in the exact same words as Bobby) that we were almost there! (because we had been teasing Bobby for saying it to us so many times, he was pretty thrilled to hear them echo his words!)

-a Japanese man who stood beside whichever one of our group of 5 mountain climbers laughing at us and counting '4' after the photographer counted to 3... watching us switch photographers several times so we could all be in at least one picture. Hmm, this is where most people would say "Can I take a picture for you??" but apparently this man didn't think it was necessary!

-flowers, a homemade Thanksgiving card and a dinner out to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving :)

-the monkeys on the "Planet Earth" DVD we watched that were afraid to get in the water

-the way I am such a 'traffic light keener'... even when I'm on my way home from class at 9pm and there is not a soul in sight, I just can't cross the street on a red light!

-a thoughtful 'Happy Thanksgiving' e-mail from an American co-worker :)

-middle aged Japanese women who wear frilly outfits... literally one of my students had frills from head to toe!

-my Japanese teacher making me say a 'tricky word' (hochikisu, the word for stapler...which every person needs to know right?!) several times in different examples she made up... both of us were laughing every time she did it! It was extra funny to me because I've done the very same thing to my students who struggle with words like "Thursday" and "sore throat"!

-watching a usually very quiet student get excited about something he was talking about with a big smile on his face and hearty laughter

-a very loud and obnoxious "Hello!!" from a high school boy as we passed each other on our bikes

-my sister... this week she made me laugh by saying how much she enjoys starting "letters" (blogs/e-mails/comments, etc) with "Dear ______" (people in the library, etc) I think it's her tone of voice that makes me smile when she said it... guess I can't really convey that on a blog can I?

-McDonald's dinner dates :)

-getting a smile out of a shy Japanese boy after several tries

-my parents giving me permission to tell the world I think they're crazy... apparently they're getting tatoo's this weekend... for real. Yup... they're crazy.

-eating dry frosted flakes as a late night snack :)

-talking to my relatives in Nova Scotia on skype after their Thanksgiving dinner... including a great big "pinch" from Uncle Don!! :P

-finding out that I got my aunt and cousin out of dishes duty because they were talking to me!

-my sister and Bobby communicating through their blogs (and mine)

-inspiring another person to start a smile list!

-using the wrong side of my cheese grater, wondering why the cheese wasn't getting grated! duh!

-discovering that I've been saying the word "llama" wrong all my life! (see my previous post!)

I'm sure there was lots of other things that made me smile this week, but this is all I can remember! thanks for reading... I know I've posted a lot of blogs in the last 2 days! And I've still got more to come!


Quick question...

How do you pronounce the word "llama"??

Do you say it the same way you say the word lamb or do you say it with a laaaa (as in do, re, mi, fa, so, LA, ti...)

I was shocked to find out this week that apparently I've been saying it wrong all my life (according to my teammates as well as and I've been saying it like "lamb"... Now I'm curious to see if this is a Canadian thing or if I'm just crazy! (no witty comments allowed on that one because I know you've got one!)

Please comment and clear this up for me!

I've still got plently of pictures and stories to post, as well as my smile list, but they'll be coming soon...

Friday, October 16, 2009

a happy Thanksgiving :)

I've been meaning to post a blog about my wonderful Thanksgiving, but I just haven't had time recently... not that I do right now, but I'm in 'procrastination mode' at the moment!

My day started off with McDonald's for breakfast with my mentor Teresa and then we did our Bible study. Then she dropped me off at the church where we were all meeting to go on our "Friday Night" "Monday Morning Hike". We ended up with 3 Japanese friends and we opted for the one hour route.

As predicted, I am certainly out of shape, but I managed to keep up with the group. (it might have helped that someone was struggling more than I was) We had a lovely little picnic at the top and Bobby led a short devotional. Then we played a few rounds of "Speed" and International Uno. We took a few pictures and then we headed back down.

My legs were wobbling like crazy and it was quite entertaining every time we stopped...certainly a weird feeling! Someone told me later that in Japanese they say that "your knees are laughing" :) I thought that was cute!

I came home, had a shower and a quick little nap. Then my day got even better :) (This is the part where I get to see how many people actually read my blog...) A handsome gentleman showed up at my door with flowers and a home made Happy Thanksgiving card and invited me to dinner!

I guess it's time to let the "cat out of the bag"... (where does that expression come from anyway?!) Bobby and I are dating now :) When we went camping a few weeks back, we talked about our feelings for each other and now we're focusing on getting to know each other on a deeper level, seeking God's will for our future!
After a lovely dinner together, we headed to Bob and Teresa's for dessert (I made a Reese's Peanut Butter cup cake) and we ended up playing Blitz since it's "my family game" and that's probably what I would have done if I was in Canada :) We finished off the evening with a "Planet Earth" episode. (which was fascinating by the way!)
I was so blessed by my teammates' thoughtfulness and I appreciated their efforts to make it a special day for me... even though I said it wasn't an important day to me!
I've got lots more to blog about and plenty of pictures to post, but I think I'll save them for another time when I feel like putting something off! In the mean time, enjoy these pitures from our hike!

Going up...

Our little picnic at the top... no in between pictures! (Noriko and Mie)
Bobby and Yoko enjoying their lunches... Yes, Bobby who doesn't like fish or seaweed is eating sushi :)
Let the games begin!
The amazing view...
Our picnic spot
The bridge to Oshima... where I went with my first homestay family
The gentleman who politely watched us switch photographers and didn't offer to take one of all of us together... more on that story in this week's smile list!
Bobby humbly enjoying the delicious brownies he made

Down we go!

For some reason I am having some issues with the spacing of this post! Sorry about that!

Oh, and as much as I love getting comments, and want you to comment on this post... do me a favor and don't say "I saw this one coming long ago" because you are certainly not the first one to say that... and to be honest, hearing that kind of drives me crazy for some reason! :P

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Momma!

Today is a special day in the Timmons family... it's my Momma's birthday! I won't mention any numbers though because I might get in big trouble... I may be 23, but I'm still afraid of getting on Mom's bad side! :P
I couldn't be more thankful that on this day, my Momma was born :) I have been so blessed to have her as a mother!
One of the many things that I love about her is that she is always there when I need her, no matter how busy she is. In the last few years, I have finally come to the stage of life when I actually appreciate (and take) her advice and I really appreciate how she always has the answer I'm looking for... whether it's a question like "How do I make chicken noodle soup?" or "which colour shirt should I buy?"

I couldn't ask for a better Mom! I certainly wish I could be with her today (especially so that I could go to Applebee's for dinner with 'the gang'!), but unfortunately there's a great big ocean between us at the moment! But I did get the keener of the day award because I called her at 7:20 before she went to work this morning (one of the advantages of a 14 hour time difference!) to say Happy Birthday!

Mom, I hope you know how special you are to me and how much I love you! I hope you have a fabulous day... you deserve it!

I love you!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!!

I think this offically makes me the ultimate nerd... but this is my way of saying Happy Thanksgiving :) I heated up some of my leftover homemade chicken noodle soup (yes, it's been in the freezer for a while but it's been too hot to eat soup until now!) and I'm pretending it's my turkey dinner so I thought I'd post a picture of my Japanese Thanksgiving experience! and yes, in honour of true Thanksgiving tradition, I completely filled my stomach and ate that whole container of soup!

Since moving away from our extended family in Nova Scotia in 1995, Thanksgiving has never really been an extravagant holiday for my family... but we do enjoy it and make it special in our own way. We usually just have a lazy relaxing day watching movies or playing games and Mom usually makes a turkey dinner with the works. We almost always end up having company over, usually friends from work or church and usually people who can't be with family for Thanksgiving, (Mom figures if you're making that much food you might as well have people to enjoy it with!) which I love...even though I never enjoyed the massive mountain of dishes afterwards! (Although I have to say my Dad is super good about jumping in an helping as soon as we start cleaning up the kitchen)

My ever thoughtful teammates offered to make a special dinner tomorrow, but since they're busy and because Thanksgiving really isn't that important to me, we've come up with some different plans which I am looking forward to!

Tomorrow is actually more than Canadian Thanksgiving for me... it also marks 8 months since my arrival in Japan! I can't believe how fast time is flying! But, I do feel like I've been here forever and like I just arrived at the same time! It's sad to think about the fact that I've only got 3 1/2 months left here now... but I can't dwell on that too much and I need to just enjoy my time here while I can! And besides... at this point I do plan on returning in the next few years!

Speaking of enjoying life here... tomorrow is a national holiday here too so we've made plans for a special "Friday Night" tomorrow. We're going to hike up a mountain and have a little picnic together and maybe play some games! It'll be an adventure I'm sure! and I'm sure I'll quickly find out just how out of shape I really am!

Anyway, let me know what your plans are for Thanksgiving this year! Hopefully the snow hasn't affected your plans too much! (those of you in Saskatchewan and Manitoba!) Send me pictures of the snow!! I saw on the CBC Manitoba website today that you got quite a dump of snow!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Time to smile :)

It's the moment I'm sure you've all been waiting for all week... here's my smile list this week!! :)

-having a productive day

-cool but bright and sunny fall days

-a friends' suggestion to name our "Friday Night" plans to go for a hike on Monday "Monday Morning"!

-the boy that comes to Sunday School every week...he's just so sweet! and being able to 'make conversation' in Japanese with him made me smile too!

-a picnic on the beach including McDonalds chicken nuggets and a mint oreo McFlurry :)

-Grandma Okamoto :) this week she made me laugh when she responded to Bob when he asked her what she thought of the cake I made... we're not sure what she said exactly because she is really hard to understand (she has no teeth!), but she intentionally covered her mouth so that I couldn't see what she was saying and wispered something to him... we got the feeling she didn't like it!

-Japanese kids

-a nice hot shower on a chilly morning!

-Fall :)

-a man practicing his golf swing while waiting in line at a restaurant

-Bobby getting an extra stamp on his point card at the restraurant because the lady thought he was cute!

-gifts from an American including cake and brownie mixes, a Sidekick and even Reese's Peanut Butter cups!

-students acting out words like "busy, tired, hungry, etc.." as their partner asks "are you tired?" etc.... One student was acting out "busy" and her partner asked her if she needed to use the bathroom!!

-my ever quirky students!

-a picture of one of my student's brand new nephew... and getting to meet him when he was 6 days old!

-making plans with one of my students to have her practice her gel nail skills on me!

-hearing the mail man slip something into my mail slot... expecting it to be a bill, but finding out it was a post card from my sister! :)

-the irony of having a class be cancelled due to a possible typhoon... only to wake up to a bright sunny day!

-Bobby's correction on his quote from last week: "I think my exact words were 'throw up'. " :P

-other people's smile lists... and being part of their list!

-messages from my friend written in Japanese characters, but pronounced into English words! (I think that one only makes sense to me!)

-an e-mail from a friend that was so full of encouragement it made me cry!

-friends that care about you enough to help you with your Japanese homework! (and lovingly correct you... and make you repeat an activity several times so that you aren't just randomly choosing particles, but really understanding the activity!)

-long, long e-mails back and forth with someone I've been friends with for 14 years... hmm I'm beginning to sense that friends are a huge part of my life!

-hearing about one of my students going on a moonlit walk along the beach with his wife when there was a full moon last week :)

-One of my students went to an 'Ecuadorian Festival' and brought us some brochures. We were looking at them when another student came in late... I told him as a joke that this student "went to Ecuador" and everyone laughed. The student who came in late got very excited and said in Japanese "OH! Ecuador!! WOW....... where is Ecuador?" (maybe this is one of those 'you had to be there moments?!)

-making plans for a class trip to Maryland to visit Bobby when he's on furlough

-hearing snippets of the new Christmas CD's from Chris Tomlin and Downhere!

-my parents :)

-going shopping with one of my students and enjoying the "marching band music" playing in one of the stores we were in!

-watching a brand new mother and father (and grandfather, grandmother, and aunt) just stare at their new baby in awe... it almost made me cry!

-getting compliments from Japanese people on my chopstick skills! :)

-early morning fog hovering on the mountains

-watching one of my students try to keep her mother awake during the Bible lesson in my kids' English class this morning!

I know I say this every week, but that's ok... I am just SO blessed and I absolutely love making these lists! It's so good to reflect on what God has given me to put a smile on my face... and make others smile when I do it! Every week I start off thinking that my list will be short, but by Saturday I start worrying that I'm going to bore everyone because I've got such a long list!

God is so good, isn't He?! :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Procrastination at its finest...

So... I might have to confess that when I logged in to Facebook to check my e-mail/notifications today, I looked at this note that a friend had written. I thought it looked like a fun thing to fill out so since I'm putting off studying Japanese at the moment, I thought I'd post it on my blog! Feel free to copy and paste it to your blog and fill it out for yourself too!

****15 YEARS AGO (1994)****
1) How old were you? 8
2) Who were you dating? that word wasn't even in my vocabulary yet!
3) Where did you work? who wants to think about work when they're 8 years old!
4) Where did you live? Truro, Nova Scotia
5) Where did you hang out? my backyard, my friends' house or my second cousin's house
6) Did you wear contacts and/or glasses? nope
7) Who were your best friends? Alicia and Kathy
8) How many tattoos did you have? as if I'd be allowed to have tatoos at 8!
9) How many piercings did you have? none
10) What kind of car did you drive? a good 'ol bicycle! (I remember it had white tires and I used to love coming to sudden stops trying to make white marks on the road!
11) Had you been to a real party? I don't think so
12) Had you had your heart broken? not that I remember
13) Were you Single/taken/Married/Divorced? definitely single!
14) Any Kids? certainly not!

***10 YEARS AGO (1999)***
1) How old were you? 13
2) Who were you dating? no one
3) Where did you work? I babysat... a lot!
4) Where did you live? Caronport, Saskatchewan
5) Where did you hang out? home, my friends' houses, the playground
6) Did you wear contacts and/or glasses? I think I just got glasses when I was 13
7) Who were your best friends? Candace, Deanna, Jamie
8) How many tattoos did you have? none!
9) How many piercings did you have? none
11) Had your heart broken? nothing serious
12) Were you Single/Taken/Married/Divorced? single
13)Any Kids? again, certainly not!
14)What kind of car did you have? a good 'ol bicycle... still!

***5 YEARS AGO (2004)***
1) How old were you? 18
2) Who were you dating? no one
3) Where did you work? The Pilgrim Restaurant/gas station
4) Where did you live? Caronport
5) Where did you hang out? my friends' houses, the Pilgrim, the Well
6) Did you wear contacts and/or glasses? glasses
7) Who were your best friends? Nadine, Angela, Dayna, Cassandra, (I actually had a lot of close friends that year!)
8) How many tattoos did you have? still none
9) How many piercings did you have? still none
11) Had your heart broken? again, nothing serious
12) Were you Single/Taken/Married/Divorced? single
13)Any Kids? nope
14)What kind of car did you have? still just a good 'ol bicycle!

****TODAY (2009)****
1) Age? 23
2) Where do you work? I'm a missionary in Japan :)
3) Where do you live? Hirao, Japan
4) Do you wear contacts/glasses? still glasses
5) Do you talk to your old friends? I'm really blessed to still have a few really close friends from High School, so yes, I do!
6) How many piercings do you have? none
7) How many tattoos? none
8) What kind of car do you have? apparently some things just never change... still a good 'ol bicycle... but it's a pretty cool bicycle!
9) Has your heart been broken? boy, this is getting repetitive... nothing serious
10) How many kids? none

how was that for pointless trivia for you?!

typhoon update...

So apparently our area built up a whole lot of drama for nothing... I woke up this morning and you'd never know there was a typhoon threat last night! I haven't heard about the rest of Japan, but we're fine here! And hey, I'm still thankful for my morning off! :)

Don't ask me how the night was because as usual, I slept like a log!

I was talking about it with one of my fellow missionaries and we both said we enjoy the anticipation and things like this that cause people to be cooped up in their homes. It reminds me of blizzards in Canada... and waiting for the news that Day Care is closed! :P Ugh... that's certainly a word I am not looking forward to having back in my vocabulary!! (maybe I should clarify that I mean blizzard, not day care!) I think I need to improve on the timing of my mission trips... leaving in January/February like I did when I went to Africa and came here is great, but coming back in December and January is not so smart! I like winter, but I don't like -40!!!

How do you feel about big storms... and winter?!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Just in case you were wondering what was new and exciting over in my corner of the world... check out this news story!

I think it sounds a little more dramatic than it actually is (in our prefecture anyway) but it's only 9:45pm so who knows what the night will bring. It was really windy all day and now it's raining pretty hard but it doesn't seem to be something to be alarmed about yet!

I wish you could have seen the way everyone was abuzz (is that a word?) about the approaching typhoon! One of my classes wanted to be sure that they finished right on time so that they could go home as soon as possible! (but Bobby and I suspect that was just a ploy to avoid the Bible lesson)

I got a message on my cell phone from one of the ladies in my conversation class that I usually teach on Thursday mornings at a church in a nearby city saying that they wanted to cancel class tomorrow since the typhoon is coming!! I really think they're being dramatic, but I am actually thankful that now I will get to sleep in a little and do some catch up tomorrow. (and now I won't have to ride my bike to and from the train station in the wind and rain!)

Anyway, just thought I'd fill you in on the typhoon anticipation!

Monday, October 5, 2009

So blessed...

Today I got to have a picnic by the ocean and it got me to thinking about the words of a hymn that I've always liked.

The Love of God

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

I looked out at the water and thought about how big the ocean really is, and it made me think about that line about the ocean being full of ink... it gave me another glimpse at just how amazing and unending God's love for us really is.

In church today, we read part of Exodus 34 and verses 6b and 7a really sunk into my heart...

"The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin."

How is it possible that people choose not to accept God's love?! I'm surrounded by people who are hearing about this week after week and it's hard for me to watch them choose just not to respond. I know that God is certainly at work in their hearts though and it makes me want to pray for them more faithfully...Please pray for our students and friends here that have such stubborn hearts.

If only they knew what they were missing out on...

Tonight I am going to sleep with a very happy heart! It's been a wonderful day and I'm sad it's over already. The weather was absolutely beautiful today... bright and sunny, but the coolness of fall was in the air; I got to have a picnic on the beach (eating McDonald's chicken nuggets and a mint Oreo McFlurry!) with excellent company; both church services were encouraging; I had special dinner plans; and... I've had some awesome moments with God today!

I am so blessed and I'm so thankful for my life!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

myspace relationships....

I rarely actually use myspace, but now and then I sign in just for fun...

for some reason, a lot of foreign guys seem to be attracted to my "personality" from my myspace page... I've gotten quite a few funny e-mails from random guys asking me to contact them because they are interested in getting to know me and possibly even marrying me... I got another message today and I just felt the need to share because it made me laugh...

"Hello Sweetie.
How re you doing today..? i hopefully believe you doing just I got to read your profile and i think am pretty much interested in getting to know you more better and please do note am not in here for games or to toy with your emotion all am in here for is to see if i can find a comparable and reasonable woman, Who as the fear of God respect and value a relationship...She must be family oriented type and have a great sense of humor and i promise to treat her right through good and bad times.

Hey Pretty, in a short paragraph can you tell me a little about you. I am interested i mean very much interested in you and i will say your picture and profile caught my attention and i think we posses the same qualities it's going to be of a great interest for both us to get to know each other better than just been chat mate. I do look forward to read from you hope u will add me to your yahoo
am new on here and i dont know how to upload my pictures if we can chatt on my yahoo id i think i will send
some pictures to you and as well as your email address
am from long beach but am bi racial i am in moscow russia trying to get my late fathers inherited funds and am looking to relocate if i find the woman of my life

hoping you are the one for me"

sure buddy... I'm a huge fan of getting to know complete strangers over the internet because you never know, I just might be "the one" for you! Hey, maybe I like the sounds of this "late fathers inherited funds" though!! :P JUST KIDDING! This is one of the first that has actually said anything about me being a Christian though! Makes me wonder how many other people get the very same messages from these people! It made me laugh how he split his e-mail into 2 parts... it almost looks like it's from 2 different people!

Hmmm... as much as I enjoy getting these little boosts to my ego by having people tell me I'm beautiful, I think it's time to change my privacy settings!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

And the smiles just keep coming :)

I'm a little early with my list this week, but since my computer is broken, I don't know when I'll have access to one again... Here's what kept a smile on my face this week...

-getting stuck while saying memory verses with Teresa... saying "...I forget!" only to hear that the next line of the verse was "And do not forget..."

-my big sister... and hearing her say that I'm "growing up so fast"

-the smell of the air after a quick rain shower

-one of my students writing in her journal "Maybe I will be a hangover tomorrow."

-grilled cheese sandwiches galore... can you guess what my default dinner of the week is?!

-hearing about how God answers prayers... and how He's working in other people's hearts :)

-my truly amazing parents

-a new CD in the mail (my prize for being the House FM featured listener!)

-Bobby's comment on a men's plaid shirt in a store... "that has just enough pink in it to make it look like puke!" (don't worry, no one was wearing it! It was just in a display)

-celebrating with a class that finally made it through more than one page in their textbook... usually they talk too much! (but I am able to teach them things as they talk which is fun)

-having doors opened for me :)

-students who flat out tell me they don't like the textbook... (they prefer to just have conversation the whole time... Do you know how hard it is to be the one responsible for keeping a conversation going for a whole hour?!!)

-living in a country with flowers everywhere! I love flowers SOOO much :)

-Lindt chocolates from a student that frequently goes to Costco!

-a grandpa talking away on a cell phone

-the tame little birds at the train station

-listening to stories of how married couples met

-hearing my Japanese teacher tell me that I'm doing good!

-my former youth pastor and his wife calling me "their lil' Hillary"

-adding things (that I've already done) to my to-do list just so I can cross them off :P

-making a healthy dinner with all 4 food groups included! (kind of sad that I don't do that every day!)

-the happy faces my students make when we talk about me coming back to Japan in the future
-learning how to make 'tamago yaki' with Yumi and Teresa

-making up a new casserole recipe

-getting a cozy rainy day where I actually get to stay at home all day

God is sooooo good to me and I really don't think I've gone without a smile on my face for longer than 5 minutes these days! Life would be so boring without smiles and things that make us smile! Don't forget to smile lots today... everyone looks better with a smile on their face! (hmmm how many cheezy sayings can I make up about smiles in one blog?!) :)