My Family Photos

Japanese sports day picture gallery

Written by on October 4, 2009 in My Family Photos, Photo Posts with 1 Comment


Here are a few photos to give you the feel of being at a children’s sports day at a school in Japan. Well, they can’t really capture all the feelings of parents watching the events which range from pride and wonder to boredom and pain. I felt all of these today. When only Reia was participating we were always waiting and waiting for her next event. Today it seemed like our kids were constantly coming up next. They were all very proud of their dances, and Maika was selected for the relay (one of just a few girls in her grade). Mari is actually faster than Maika, but they were on different teams — and Mari happened to be on the team with most of the fastest 1st grade girls.

I haven’t posted any photos of my kids, because I like these shots better. Mostly I shot video of my kids with a scattering of photos in between events.

The highlights of sports days are often the running events. Even though they aren’t supposed to be very competitive, at least not in elementary school, it still works out that way. They also have fun relays, dances, and the older …

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Reia and a dragonfly

Written by on August 20, 2009 in My Family Photos, Notes By The Way, Photo Posts with 3 Comments

Reia and a Dragonfly

She has always liked bugs

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Climbing Mount Fuji photos and story

I climbed Mount Fuji for the 4th time Thursday night. I took a couple of exchange students from Taiwan who showed up completely unprepared. They were wearing fashionable shoes and carrying light jackets. I had some extra gear in the car, but they came late. I had to quickly decide whether to cancel or catch the train. I’m sure they could hear the frustration in my voice as I threatened to call it off, but their desire to go won me over. I called my wife who ran to the station turnstyles with some gloves, hats, and scarves, and we departed.


Climbers outside one of the mountain huts on the way up Mount Fuji

I realized later it was completely my fault. Mostly. I had assumed they would have a clue about hiking and mountains, so I had given them quick instructions over the phone: bring jackets (cold on top), wear sturdy shoes, bring food and water (very expensive to buy on the mountain), and put it all in a backpack. Nothing connected, and the listener didn’t understand the word “backpack” (in English or Japanese).  I should have given them a packing list in advance, and had them meet at …

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Kids kayaking in Nagano, Japan

Written by on July 22, 2009 in My Family Photos, Photo Posts with 0 Comments

I think you’ll enjoy this video. It’s definitely more entertaining than my earlier “kayaking kids” videos. You can see my oldest daughter (Reia, 9) falling out of her kayak twice (blue kayak with bright yellow on bottom). Her friend also takes a spill. Some of the older kids are quite good, and one is on the Japanese Junior National Team. You can see them rolling, etc. Enjoy.

If you have a high speed connection click “HD” for super quality even on a full screen.

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Our kayaking kids in Japan, a fun video

Written by on July 9, 2009 in My Family Photos, Photo Posts with 0 Comments

This is a fun, zippy video of our kids’ kayaking event last weekend. If you click through and watch it in HD on the YouTube site, the quality is amazing (way to go YouTube!). Reia is #11. Her kayak is blue on top and bright yellow on bottom. She flips over a couple of times. Mari and Maika are the youngest ones, so they are riding in plastic kayaks (one yellow and the other green). The kids are really good. They start learning to roll their kayaks in the 4th grade, and one of the boys is on the Japanese Junior team with Olympic dreams. It’s been so fun letting our kids have experiences like this.

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Portraits of Mari and Maika with big hair

Written by on July 3, 2009 in My Family Photos, Photo Posts with 1 Comment


…many believe that it is love that grows, but it is the knowing that grows and love simply expands to contain it.

The Shack, William P. Young, p. 155

Last week Mari and Maika got their hair braided. They wore the braids to school for a couple of days, and then it was time to take them out. The result: big, curly hair. Having been through this before, I naturally grabbed the camera. Maika’s braids came out in the afternoon, so I put her in a patch of sunlight in the tatami room. Mari’s came out at night. I had her stand on the couch near a bright fluorescent lamp hoping for the best. (Mari’s photos look wonderful on their own, but seeing the photos side-by-side the sunlight clearly wins.)

Amazing how they grow up!

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