Biwa Picking

It was a good year for biwas. We made quite  a few trips with friends to our neighboring tree with buckets in hand to pick the small juicy fruit.

The kids were a big help. I spent most of my time holding the ladder for them.

They have no fear of heights and were great at finding the ripest fruit.

The biwas, also known as loquats, are delicious fresh off the tree and that's exactly how the kids enjoyed them.

Even after giving bags and bags away to neighbors and friends I have buckets of fruit in our fridge. Now I just need to get peeling and chopping to make some biwa jam.

Bear Truck Crepes

The unexpected surprises we find on our excursions into Tokyo are what keep us going back for modeling shoots. When I tell them we're jumping on a train and heading into the city their response is always a gleeful shout. This was done in one hour, Ellie was a pro, so we spent the afternoon exploring the area. CJ was the first to spot the bear truck and of course we had to stop...

What luck, it turned out to be a bakery and crepe truck. The kids sported whip cream smiles:)

Since we were already in the city we stopped for an audition for Bennett and then jumped off the train to grab dinner at Garlic Jo's.

I hadn't been there since before kiddos and it was as garlicky as ever.


EJ was a great big sister and helped her brother with his meal. Life is getting easier.

Christian pointed out how he holds his glass like DaddyO. He's on all our minds.

We got to facetime with him the last few days and it was wonderful seeing his face .

We're thinking of you!

Japanese Family

With DaddyO away for a bit and extended family a continent away, I couldn't be more thankful for my Japanese family.

Our Friday afternoon was spent with the kiddos playing, moms chatting, sharing a delicious dinner, singing happy birthday, and then ofunas for the all.


 So thankful we were brought together!

Pool Opening

I think I know where we will be spending a bit our our time this summer. The kids were quite excited about the pool opening Memorial Day weekend.

Globe Clock

I don't have much time for fun creative projects right now but this one was so quick and easy I just had to do it. We (more like I) have been carrying around a broken globe the last couple moves that I was hoping to find a good use for. With just a cut and a couple screws my globe clock turned out to be the perfect solution. It hangs in our playroom and we tell the time by country now.

Tea and Lemonade Stand

I had a whole day of excursions planned for our Saturday off together but EJ had other plans. "I want to make a tea shop" she told me "let's make one together". After a week of school and running around Tokyo, a tea shop sounded like the perfect afternoon activity.

There were quite a few girls who wanted to join in and they went to work helping EJ design her store front. Our entranceway was the perfect spot to get creative.

In an hour they had two stand to hold their goods.

They decided that they needed to sell more than just tea and branched out to include lemonade, lemon bars and biwas (we had just gone picking).

The girls helped me make these fabulous lemon crumb bars to sell.

Once everything was ready they set up shop outside our building and lured passers-by to buy.

In a couple hours they made enough money to split between themselves. More than just a profit though they learned a multitude of lessons that afternoon. From the business ones we discussed to the interpersonal ones that naturally happen. Not how I originally planned our day but thanks to our creative kiddo there are always great surprises.

Patio Oasis

Our garden patio is my favorite place in our house. Avia spent quite a bit of time getting it in tip top shape for us. Then, a day before she was to leave our neightbors brought over some fabulous wood flooring and solved our slippery tile problem.

 Avia and I were up into the night installing the floor and she got one morning to enjoy the fruit of her labor.

The kids now spend an hour plus each day playing with water and rocks and watering the plants.


Maybe more like watering each other:)

The plants are thriving though and we look forward to tomatoes, blueberries, figs, yuzus and apples this summer and fall.

Thanks Avia for all your help outside!

The Berenstain Bears' Country Cookbook

It was such a treat to receive the Berenstain Bears' Country Cookbook in the mail. Cooking is a family event in our house but it usually entails mom or dad planning the meal and giving the kiddos directions. I was excited to have a cookbook that the kids could flip through and find some recipes to follow on their own. Being big Berenstain Bears' fans made it all the more fun.

The cookbook is exactly what I hoped for. Classic illustrations connected with fun recipes and pictures.

I quickly found one that I had to try and has become part of my cookie repertoire. These honey cookies are delicious adn easy to make; a unique honey taste that is addicting.

As proven by the butter spot on the page...we have made this recipe quite a few times.

It was no surprise that CJ was drawn to the Race Car Cookies.

EJ liked the Mug Brownie.

I also appreciated the Christian references throughout the book. A verse here, a prayer there.

This cookbook made cooking with Brother and Sister Bear so much fun. A perfect companion for any budding chef.

Thomas Nelson provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for this review which I freely give

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