2015/12/29

Looking back on my studying English of this year 今年の英語学習を振り返って

My family will leave for Kyusyu to visit my in-law's house today.

This is my last post of this year.

Looking back on my studying of English of this year.

It was hard for me as a mother, a housewife, and a woker, to make time to study English, but it has been enjoyable for me.

My target is to be able to speak English fluently to express my feelings well.

In order to make my dream  come true, I have been working on these challanging tasks:

1. Taking Skype lessons of online English conversation school

2. Writing this blog in English

3. Listening to the NHK radio English conversation programs every day

4. iKnow ( application for remembering vocabularies. I am studying with it in preparation for the  TOEIC test.)

5. Reading some online news written in English

6. Talking to an American frined with Skype

7. Practising listening using the application called TOEIC upgrader

It has been two years since I started studying English.

Thanks especially to the online English school, I think maybe I no longer have trouble with everyday conversation in English now.

But it still takes a long time to write this blog and I often have gramatical mistakes.

I have a lot of unknown vocabularies and expressions to learn.

I often can't express what I want to say and I often feel frustrated.

I felt like I couldn't go on any longer several times.

But thanks to all of you who visited my blog and gave me comments,  I was encouraged a lot.


I wrote that I have dreams in my blog before : http://a-o-j-m.blogspot.jp/2015/10/i-have-dreams.html

I have had the dream since I was a child.

I know this is an endless dream.

Actually, I like my current job very much though I have some complaints.

Since I am experienced in my job and I am blessed with my colleagues and office environment, I am hesitant about changing my job.

I think I don't need to change a job soon.

If I can find a job which I really want to try, I will try to apply for it.

Studying English is my life work.

But all I can do isin keep studying.

I think that English is a tool to communicate with a lot of people.

I might change how to study, but I will keep studying English next year.

I wish you all the best in the coming 2016!


I would like to write today's post in Japanese, too.

It is the first time since I started this blog because I want to leave a note of my feelings now.

( It is not a direct translation, but the meaning is almost same. )



今年の英語学習を振り返って

今年一年英語の勉強を頑張ってきました。

母であり主婦であり労働者である私にとって、英語の勉強時間を作ることは本当に大変でしたが、それもとても楽しいことでした。

私の目標は、「自分の気持ちを英語でスムーズに伝えられるようになること」です。

そのために、以下のことに取り組んできました。

 1.オンライン英会話レッスン

 2.このブログをできるだけ毎日書くこと(時々お休みしていますが・・・。)

 3.NHKのラジオ英会話を毎日聞く

 4.iKnowでの単語増強

 5.ネットの英語ニュース記事を読む

 6.アメリカの友人とスカイプで話す

 7.TOEIC Upgrader を聞く


英語の勉強を始めてから約2年が経ちました。

特にオンライン英会話のレッスンのおかげで、日常会話には困らない程度にはなれているかなぁ・・・と勝手に思っています。(aim talkさん、大変お世話になりました!)

けど、このブログを書くのにはまだかなり時間がかかりますし、しょっちゅう文法的にミスもしてしまいます。

知らない単語や表現については山ほどあります。

言いたいことが言えずに詰まるのはしょっちゅう、そのたびに悔しい思いをします。

何度も何度も挫折を感じ、自分には英語がペラペラしゃべられるようになるなんて、無理なんだ。。。としょっちゅう落ち込んだりもします。

けれど、このブログの読んでくださる方々がいらっしゃり、コメントや励ましの言葉をいただいたりしたことに、私は本当に励まされ、「また頑張ろう!」と思えるようになりました。


以前ブログの記事に、英語を活かした仕事に就きたい!と大それた望みを書いてしまいました。

それは私の子供の頃からの夢なんです。

そして、見果てぬ夢であることも分かっています。

今経験が必要な仕事についていることもあり、また今の仕事の環境や良い同僚に恵まれていることもあり、転職は私にとってリスクが大きく、さらに英語力に大きな不安もあり、挑戦したいことではあるけれどもためらっている、というのが実情です。

また自分のスキルに不安がある今、すぐ転職に踏み切る必要はないとも思っています。

今私にできることは、ただ勉強を続けることだと思います。

英語はコミュニケーションをとる上でのツールでしかなく、さらに仕事ではそれ以上の能力を求められます。

勉強方法は模索しながら変えていくかもしれませんが、来年も勉強をあきらめずに続けていきたいと思っています。

一人の平凡な母親の長い長い日記を読んでくださった皆様、本当にありがとうございます!

来年もよいお年をお迎えください!





 
 

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2015/12/28

Happiness depends upon ourselves

We cleaned our house again yesterday, and it was more or less completely cleaned, though I compromised.

I also finished writing New Years cards to my relatives and friends.

I was so tired that I become pessimistic last night.

To tell the truth, I want to stay at home and relax during New Year's holiday with my family because I am usually busy with my work, housework, and taking care of my children, so at least only during the New Year's vacation, I want to relax at home.

My parents in law are very good people, but five days stay at their house is a little long for me.

But they live far from here and they can only see their grandchildren only once a year, so I think it is important that we take them the children to see them.

I believe that it depends on how I see it.

Actually, I have mixed feelings, I am reluctant to visit them, and I also think that it is a rare precious opportunity to thank my parents in law and help them.

I want to become a person who is positive thinking.

I think positive thinking makes my life happier.

I am basically positive, but I often become pessimistic when I am tired.

Since I noticed I was too pessimistic last night, so I slept longer than usual.

Happiness depends upon ourselves.



According to the Chinese zodiac, next year is the year of the monkey.

When we make a draft of the New Year's card, we usually use the illustrations of the zodiac of the year or lucky items like Mt. Fuji, pine, bamboo, plum, seven deities of good luck, and so on.

I tried to make two Japanese-style samples.

 
 
 

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2015/12/27

Major cleanup

Since we will leave for the in-law's house next Tuesday and I will work tomorrow, we had only 2 days for cleaning our house.

Since I took my 5-year-old daughter to her music school lesson yesterday morning, I thought we could start cleaning from the afternoon.

I made Yakishoba (fried noodles) for lunch and  finished it quickly and washed dishes.

But my husband turned on the TV and tried to watch "Star Wars" which had been recorded though our children were still eating.

I keenly know that they stop eating while watching TV.

"What on earth are you doing?

 We have only today and tomorrow for cleaning.

 If you watch this now, we will surely miss the best time for major cleanup.

 Don't you think that it would be a good idea to finish cleaning while it is sunny and warm?

Don't you want to do some year end clean up?

If we clean our house, It will be comfortable.

 I can't clean our house alone.

 I need your help!"

Since I got a little angry, they were surprised and turned off the TV.


I put away the Christmas tree and fan, then washed the bath.

My children joined in cleaning this year.

My 6-year-old son cleaned the balcony and my 5-year-old daughter wiped the wooden parts of the house, then they cleaned the fish tank for gold fish and wiped the chairs together.

I was surprised that they were willing to help us.

Maybe my son is used to cleaning because he needs to clean his school every day, and my daughter also knows that we need to clean our house at the end of the year because she joined in the major cleanup at the nursery school.

We will also clean our house today.

I want to welcome in a comfortable and pleasant New Year.



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2015/12/26

My poor daughter!

My children got up earlier than usual yesterday morning.

They were so glad to get their presents.

I was relieved to see their smiles and I thought my duty finally ended.

Since my husband was on vacation from the previous day, I asked him to pick our 5-year-old daughter up from the nursery school and take her to the park near our house to practise on the kick scooter which she got for a Christmas present.

I guessed that my daughter would want to ride the kick scooter.

I was going to pick our 6-year-old son up from the children's house because I thought he should not go with them.

I could easily guess that he would also want to ride it and he would snatch it from her if he sees that she is riding it.



Unfortunately I needed to work overtime yesterday and I noticed that I couldn't go to the children's house on time.

I called my husband to ask him to pick my son up from the nursery school instead of me.



When I came home, they were not at home and only the light in the living room was on.

My husband's car was there.

I wondered where they were, so I called him.

"We are playing with her kick scooter at the park!"

My son answered his phone.

"It is already dark. Come home early!"



When I was bringing in laundry from the balcony, I heard children's noisy voice from somewhere.

The voice was getting louder, and I noticed that it was my daughter's.

When they came home, she was crying bitterly.

"What happened?"

I asked them.

"She fell down and got hurt!"

My son answered.

She had a bump around her right eyebrow and had scratches on her cheeck, hand, and knee.

"Owie!"

She kept crying.

"Are you OK? Let's put some cream on. Could you ride the kick scooter?"

She answered yes.

"Good for you! Failure teaches success. You will be able to ride it much better soon."

My husband interrupted us.

"No, she didn't fall down while she was riding the kick scooter. She fell down when she was chasing me on our way home."

"What??? Anyway, you should take this calamity as the price of an escape from a greater evil. it could have been worse. I've seen worse. It was good for you that it happened this year than the beginning of the next year."

She cried even more on hearing this.

My words were no comfort to her.

Her bump will become blue today, she will be like "Oiwa-san", who is a famous female ghost in the story called Yotsuya Kaidan written more than 300 years ago, which is one of the most famous ghost stories of Japan.

My poor daughter!


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2015/12/25

Too long holy night

My children and I went to bed at 9pm as usual last night.

As I wrote in my past post, my husband was going to place our children's Christmas presents under the Christmas tree in the living room.

But my 6-year-old son suddenly woke up around 0:30am and checked whether  his present was near his pillow.

Since my husband had not come home yet, he couldn't find his present.

"Santa-san has not come here yet. He might not come today."

He looked so worried and almost cried.

"Don't worry. Santa will surely come. Maybe he is very busy now tdistributing a lot of presents. Go to sleep."

He seemed not to be able to fall asleep easily.

After a while, my husband came home.

My son heard his dad opened the door, he said:

"Dad has come home. If Dad is awake, Santa-san can't come! I can't get a present this year!"

"It will be Okay! It is still 0:30am. The night is long, isn't it? Don't worry. Santa-san will come."

He started crying.

I was so surprised that he believes in Santa purely.

I got up and went to the living room to tell my husband:

"He is still awake and he says that Santa will not come if you are awake. Furthermore, he believes that Santa will place his present near his pillow. Maybe I should place his present near his pillow early in the morning."

I went back to our bedroom.

My son was still awake and said:

"Santa has not come yet because my sister tosses around in bed! Look! She is sleeping in such a strange form!"

He was completely excited.

"I told Dad to go to bed as soon as possible so that Santa will be able to come soon. No worries."

I patted his back kindly.

It took a long time for him to go to sleep.

When I found myself sleeping, it was 2:30pm.

My son was sleeping well.

Since my son might wake up again, I placed his present near his pillow.

Since my husband was still awake in the living room, I told him:

"Please go to bed now. If our son wakes up again and finds his present and he notices that you are still awake,  he will wonder how Santa came into our house!"


My 5-year-old daughter woke up at 4am and she wanted me to go to the washroom.

She said:

"Has Santa-san already come?"

In fact, my husband placed her present under the Christmas tree because it was too big to place near her pillow.

I was worried whether she might notice that her present was not near her pillow, while her brother's was.

But she went back to her bed and fell asleep soon.

I was relieved.

It was a long long night for me.

They are still sleeping now.

I hope they will be glad of their presents.




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2015/12/24

Hasty Santa Claus

I asked my husband to place our children's Christmas presents under the Christmas tree on the night of Christmas Eve. They had been hidden in the closet two days ago.

He doesn't know about my hard efforts as Santa at all.

I obtained the information about what Christmas presents they want.

I searched and bought them on the internet.

I considered how to receive them without being noticed by my children.

I considered where to hide them and decided to hide them in the closet...

He was not concerned with these things at all.

All of this is for our children.

I don't want to shatter their dreams.

But I wanted him to make some effort to carry out Santa duties.

He comes home at midnight every day.

If he places their presents when he comes home, I don't have to get up at midnight.

But I was worried about him a little because he would make an unanticipated mistake.


My anxiety proved right.

When I came in the living room this morning, I found their presents under the tree.

Christmas is tomorrow!

I hid them again in hurry.

I couldn't stop laughing because my expectation had come true.

There is a Christmas song called "Hasty Santa Claus" in Japan.

In the lyrics, Santa comes before Christmas, ringing the bells.

I think he is just like the Santa in the song.

I hope that he will finish his duty tonight without mistakes!





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2015/12/23

Furoshiki of December

I wrote that I display Furoshiki at the entrance of my house in my previous post.

( My past post : http://a-o-j-m.blogspot.jp/2015/02/furoshiki-of-february.html )

Furoshiki is a traditional square cloth and it is usually used to wrap something to carry them.

I have twelve Furoshiki drawn with the nice pictures which we can feel the change of the seasons and I replace them once a month.

But I haven't replaced this months Furoshiki even though I had thought that I should have done.

I will need to replace it only 3 days later!

 
 
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2015/12/22

Winter vacation homework nowadays

My 6-year-old son was given his winter vacation homework from his teacher yesterday.

One of them was a booklet called "Fuyuyasumi (Winter Vacation)".

It is a comprehensive homework for elementary school students including Kanji dictation, calculation, book report, crafts, picture diary, and so on.

I had told my son to finish his homework as soon as possible because we will visit the in-law's house for 5 days during the New year's vacation.

On our way home, he told me:

"I can't wait to do my homework!"

He started doing it as soon as we came home.

The booklet was well devised so that children could enjoy it.

For example, I thought it was an clever idea that students paint in a different color depending on a calculation result, allowing the picture of the snowman to be completed.

I also liked that questions included puzzles and Kanji dictation.

He enjoyed doing it and he finished eight pages!


After a while, my son suddenly started playing "Ode to Joy" from the symphony No. 9 (Beethoven) using the keyboard harmonica.

I was surprised that it was also his homework in the booklet!


"Ode to Joy" is one of the seasonal traditions played at the end of the year in Japan.

I thought that it was also a nice homework which taught children about the customs in Japan.

Children learn how to play the keyboard harmonica at elementary school.

When I was an elementary school student, we also had similar homeworl booklet.

But I don't remember such kinds of homework.

It is good for children that they can enjoy doing their homework.


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2015/12/21

A cup of coffee

I went to bed with my children at 8:30pm yesterday.

We usually go to bed about 9pm, but my 6-year-old son had a slight fever yesterday, so we went to bed earlier than usual.

I woke up at 4am today.

Whenever I am not so tired, I wake up at 4am to do housework

: prepare dinner, my lunchbox, and breakfast

  do laundry

  write this blog

  take an online English school

  study for TOEIC test

If I finish preparing our meal, I can have much time to study English.

One of my pleasure is having a cup of coffee during writing my blog and studying English.

I like coffee.

I like the time when I am having a cup of coffee.

It makes me relax and feel gracious.

Now I am having a cup of coffee.

I like the silent moment before my family wake up.

When I woke up this early morning, I touched my son's neck.

It was not hot, so he can maybe go to school today.

My precious alone time will end soon.

I am going to finish having coffee and wake my husband up from now.




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2015/12/20

These songs took me back to my childhood

My 6-year-old son brought back the tool box which he uses at school last Friday because the winter vacation will start from Dec 23rd.

I opened the box to check whether there was something to take out or not yesterday's evening.

Then I found a song book in it.

I had a book like it when I was an elementary school student.

I opened the book.

I could see many good old songs.

"Wow! It takes me back to my childhood!"

I started singing.

Then my 5-year-old daughter also started singing.

"Do you know this song?"

I was surprised and asked her.

"Yeah, I learned it at the nursery school."

My 6-year-old son also started singing with us.

I sang a lot of songs.

There were some new songs which were not on my old song books, but all of them were very famous and popular and you might have heard if you were Japanese.

For example: "The only flower in the world" sung by SMAP, "Boyhood" sung by Yosui Inoue, "Stroll" from the famous movie "My neighbor Totoro"


Since I enjoyed singing very much, I continued singing for more than one hour before I noticed.

My children sometimes sang with me.

My husband was sleeping on the sofa near us, but he didn't wake up though we were singing in loud voices.

I wrote about his happening in yesterday's post, so you can find out why he didn't wake up in such a noisy situation!

After about one hour, my husband finally woke up.

It was already 9pm.

"Did you hear our songs?"

"No, not at all."

He seemed to be sleeping like a log.

"Look at this! You can see many songs which will bring back old memories."

We sang some songs together.

I haven't sung recently though I like singing.

Maybe  I’ve  had a lot on my plate and I haven't had a room in my mind.

I really enjoyed singing yesterday.

It might be important to stop working, studying, and doing housework and enjoy something else once in a while.



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2015/12/19

When on earth will he come home?

My husband attended a year-end party (called "bounenkai" in Japanese) with his coworkers last night.

I asked him not to miss the last train before he left home.


My 5-year-old daughter woke me up at midnight because she wanted me to go to the washroom with her.

I checked the time, it was 2:30am.

My husband hadn't come home yet.

I thought he must have missed the last train.

Furthermore, I noticed that he left his cell phone at home.

I guessed maybe he couldn't call me.

I went back to bed but I was too worried about him to fall asleep again.


He finally came home at 5:45am.

According to him, he fell asleep on the train and he missed the station near our house.

He got off at the second stop.

The station was about 10km away from home.

He looked for a taxi, but he couldn't find one maybe because it was a Friday night.

He had to walk home at midnight.

Yesterday's lowest temperature around here was 3 degrees!

He said:

"It was cold. But since I was walking, I didn't feel so cold. It was nice exercise for me!"

I want him to sleep more in his warm futon (bedding) rather than exercising on cold midnight!

I am a bit tired from a lack of sleep, but I am relieved that he came back safely.

I know he is not a child, but I can't stop worrying in cases like today's situation.



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2015/12/18

師走 Shiwasu ~ only two weeks ~

There is one week until Christmas.

Only one week!

I have prepared my children's presents and had hidden them in the closet not to be found by them.

The lights of Christmas tree are broken, so I need to buy new ones.

I asked my husband to place their presents under the Christmas tree at the night of December 24th.

Santa Claus is almost ready.

But, I have not finised preparing for the New Year.

I already cleaned the washroom and the toilet.

But I have too many other places to clean up.

And I have to write New Years cards.

I will write about 50 cards to my relatives and friends.

I feel restless these days.

In Japan, we also call December "Shiwasu" its traditional month name.

We write Shiwasu in kanji as 師走.

I have heard that there are many origins of the words etymology, but I learned it was because even authoritaive school teachers were so busy in Decemver that they had to run around.

It comes from the meaning of kanji, 師 means teacher and 走 means run.

We have only two weeks, but in other words, we have still two weeks.

If I manage them well, two weeks are long enough to finish all things.

I will do my best for the coming the next year!




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2015/12/17

What do you want to be when you grow up?

My 6-year-old son brought his drawings which he drew in the drawing and crafts class yesterday.

I know I am a doting mother, but continuing from yesterday, I think his drawings are amazing!

In particular, I am  impressed with these two pictures.

In the first picture he drew the Tamaire. Tamaire is one of the sports day events, the children are divided in two groups called the red team and the white team, and they compete to see how many cloth balls they can throw into the basket.
He was in the white team when he played Tamaire last September.

I can see he is throwing the ball seriously.

He drew the red team behind him.

I was surprised that he knew the laws of perspective.



This is an photo of the Tamaire.



The other is this.

He drew a road sweeper.


I am surprised that his way of drawing is similar to my husband's.

My husband is also good at drawing.


My son told me yesterday:

"I want to be a painter.

Recently I am often told by other students that I will be a painter or a cartoonist in the future when they see my drawing."

When I heard his words, I felt it would be his destiny.

My husband also wanted to be a painter and wanted to go to the art university when he was a student.

But his parents disagreed with his hopes because it was costly and they thought it would not be a reliable source of income.

They recommended he should get a job as a company employee for a secure life.

He had to give up his dream.

But now his son has a dream which he used to have.

If my son tells him he wants to go to the art university in the future, I am interested in whether he will agree or disagree.



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2015/12/16

Daikon-chan and Ninjin-chan

My 5-year-old daughter drew a picture of the Japanese radish which I bought 2 days ago.

( My entry from yesterday : http://a-o-j-m.blogspot.jp/2015/12/having-vegetables-sale.html )

According to her, the Japanese radish is a boy and he has a girlfriend.

He also has friends who are carrots.

They seem like boys!

I was so impressed with her imagination!

This is her drawing.

Well done!

 
 
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2015/12/15

Having vegetables sale!

I wrote about the unmanned fruits and vegetables sale stand in my past entry : http://a-o-j-m.blogspot.jp/2014/11/japanese-conscience-unmanned-sale-stand.html

Our neighbour family are farmers and they sometimes open the unmanned fruits and vegetables sale stand near the nursery school.

When I went to the nursery school to pick my 5-year-old daughter up yesterday, she started crying because she was playing with her classmate and she wanted to play with him more.

"Prepare to go home, your mom is waiting for you!"

Her teacher told her.

"I wanted to play with him more!"

She followed me unwillingly while crying.

My 6-year-old son who was waiting for us in the dark car got angry with her and shouted from the window:

"Too late!"

She cried bitterly.

I needed to calm them down.

"Let's go to the vegetable store! Look! There are a lots of mikan (mandarin orange)!  Wow!

These mikan are 100 yen per bag full!

 Do you understand the meaning?

 You can pack as many of these small mandarin oranges in the plastic bag for 100 yen.
 Do you want to try it?"

"It looks fun! I want to try it!"

He stopped getting angry and she stopped crying, and they enjoyed it very much.

The mandarin oranges were very small but sweet and yummy.

My son and I ate six and my daughter ate 3 and she put one into the freezer.

She likes a frozen mandarin orange very much.

"I am going to eat it for breakfast!"

I also bought a cabbage and a big Japanese radish.

In total the mandarin orange and radish were 300 yen.

How reasonable!

I drew the face on the Japanese radish (^.^).




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2015/12/14

A small helper

Since I went to work yesterday, I made Nabe for dinner because it is easy to make.

My 5-year-old daughter came to me and said:

"I want to help you!"

She took her own cooking knife which I bought her previously.

"Could you cut these leaves of Chinese cabbage?"

"Sure!"

She brought the step tool with her because she was too small to reach the counter to cut them on the cutting board.

To tell the truth, I didn't want her to help me because I wanted to finish making dinner as soon as possible.

But since she wanted to help me, I thought I needed to let her do it.

I had already taught how to cut the vegetables previously, but I needed to keep an eye on her yet.

She chopped the Chinese cabbage awkwardly.

"Don't open your left hand. Let your left hand be like a cat's hand!"

It made me more tired than I do it by myself.

"I've done!"

She said cheerfully.

She is interested in cooking and she wants to help me making meals.

"When you grow up, will you make dinner for me?"

"Sure! I will do it!"

In fact, I don't like cooking very much, I think it is my duty.

I hope the day when my daughter can prepare our meals will come in the future!



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2015/12/13

A frightening experience

My family participated in a training session of the disaster prevention for families, held by the city fire station yesterday.

The firefighters showed participants a demonstration of the fire caused from Tempura oil and electricity, and they lectured us on how to extinguish the fire.

We were shown how to use a fire extinguisher and how to evacuate from the smoke of fire, and we tried them in practice.

My 6-year-old son enjoyed these practises very much but my 5-year-old daughter was scared of the fire.

At the end of the training session, we had a rare opportunity to ride the earthquake experience car.




My husband had experienced it once before, but it was the first experience for me and my children.

My daughter had told me that she didn't want to ride it because she was scared of it ever since applying for the training session.

"No! I am scared! I am going to wait for you here."

Since she refused to ride the car consistently, I got into the car with my son and my husband.

There was a room inside the truck and it looked like a dining room of ordinary home.

We experienced a simulated earthquake of magnitude 7 on the Japanese scale, which is the same magnitude as the Great East Japan Earthquake.

It was terrible and fierce.

I had to hold tight to the leg of the desk.

I thought that most of the furniture in my house would fall down.

When the earthquake experience ended, I was stunned by the frightening experience.

My son told me:

"It was fun!"

But it was NOT fun for me.

It was shocking to realize that a lot of people experienced such a terrible earthquake in reality.

Such a situation is considered to be a matter of life and death.

It was a thought-provoking experience for me.



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2015/12/12

Santa's conference

When I take a lunch break, I always enjoy talking with my colleagues while eating the lunchbox.

Our topic during lunch time was how not to be noticed by our children when putting the Christmas presents near their pillows.

Last year, it was hard to place their presents without being noticed by them.

They were so exited and couldn't fall asleep.

 I went and slept first, but I also couldn't sleep because I had to finish my duty.

 Mistakes would be unacceptable because I didn't want to shatter their dreams.

They believe in Santa Claus.

 Then my son noticed the present in midnight and he wanted to get up.

 I had to let him fall asleep again.

 I was so tired!

(Our last year's Christmas Eve : http://a-o-j-m.blogspot.jp/2014/12/merry-christmas-my-son-cant-wait-for.html )

One of my colleagues answered my question.

"You should put their presents under the Christmas tree.

 In my family's case, I told my children that I leave the lights of the Christmas tree on at the night
 of Christmas Eve, so Santa Claus will know where he should put the presents.

 There is a Christmas tree in the living room, so it isn't hard to put them there."

Other colleagues also agreed with her way.

"What a good idea!
 
 My parents used to put presents for me near my pillow, but your way is better than mine.

  It is easy for Santa Claus!"

I also told them how I buy their Christmas presents.

Since I wanted to consider what the best present for them, I ordered them on the internet.

But it is difficult for me to decide how I should revieve them.

When the delivery man comes to our house, my children are interested in what has been sent.

So I used the service for receiving the packages at the convenience store since last year.

It was very convenient, I could get them without being noticed by my children.

The other colleague said she bought presents at the toy store while her children were at school
and stashed them away until Christmas.


All of my colleagues are mothers who have older children than me.

They know a lot of things about children, so I often consult with them about my children.


 

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2015/12/11

Harry Potter

On our way home yesterday evening, I don't remember why, but my 6-year-old son and I were talking about Harry Potter movies.

I like the Harry Potter series.

I read all the books and watched all the movies.

I have thought that I would like my children to read Harry Potter someday, but I also have thought that it's not the time yet because especially my 5-year-old daughter would be scared of "you-know -who".

After dinner, I searched Harry Potter on YouTube, then I found the trailer of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone", so I showed it to my children.

"Wow! The drawings on the wall are moving! It looks fun! I want to watch it!"

My 6-year-old son was so excited to watch the trailer.

In fact, I wanted him to read the book first because he could imagine the scenes in the story before having an image finalized by the movie.

But since I also wanted to watch it after a long interval, we started watching the video.

To my surprise, they were totally absorbed in the story.

Whenever the characters used magic, they were so excited.

My daughter was scared of the three headed dog just a little.

I stopped the video in the middle because it was the time to take a bath.

My son got angey with me.

"Oh, I can't wait to watch the next part! Mom, please tell me what happens next!"

"No way! You should save the best for last!"

Harry's parents were murdered by Voldemort.

I am interested in my children's impression of the movie as a mother.



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2015/12/10

A Beautiful Sunset

I went to my 5-year-old daughter's nursery school yesterday morning for the parents day.

We enjoyed making a Christmas tree using a colored paper together.

After that, we went outdoors and I took part in an interclass relay race.

Some fathers and mothers ran with children, it was exciting!

When the parents day ended, a boy who is my daughter's classmate started crying.

He got sad when he looked at his parents going home.

My daughter didn't cry, but she continued to wave her hands until I disappeared completely from view.


I went to my 6-year-old son's elementary school with him for a conference with his teacher yesterday afternoon.

Since I participated in two events, I was a little tired.

But since my children wanted to play at the park, we went there in the evening.

We came home around 4:30pm.

We could see the beautiful mackerel sky!

"Look! What a beautiful Urokogumo (cirrocumulus)! It is a type of cloud which can be seen in autumn."

"How beautiful!"

My children were so glad to see it.

 I felt healed while looking at it.

I've heard that the day after seeing cirrocumulus, it will be rainy.

The weather forecast said that today will be a rainy day around here.


 
 
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2015/12/08

What do you want for Christmas?

I had a day off yesterday and my 6-year-old son came back from school earlier than usual.

We went to the nursery school to pick my 5-year-old daughter up at 2pm then went to the shopping mall.

We found a rare Christmas event there.

It was to write a message using a small square of paper to Santa Claus and  hang it on the Christmas tree.
It was like Tanabata!

(Tanabata is one of the Japanese traditional costoms. We write our wishes on colorful paper strips and hang them on bamboo leaves on the night of 7th July.)


My 6-year-old son wrote that he wants LaQ bonus sets.

(LaQ is a little block. I wrote about LaQ in my past post : http://a-o-j-m.blogspot.jp/2015/01/japanese-block-laq-is-excellent.html )

My 5-year-old daughter wrote that she wants a kickboard.

Unfortunately, I couldn't read her letter.



"If I can't read your letter, Santa-san also will not be able to read it, and he will not understand what you want."

"I did my best! I want a kickboard!"

They still believe in Santa Claus.

If I can't read her letter, she will not be able to receive the gift she hopes!


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2015/12/07

Incredible fantastic POB ~ Mom takes a day off ~

My husband and I went to Osaka to watch the musical show called Prince of Broadway.

I love watching musicals.

I especially like "the Phantom of the Opera".

When I was a college student, I watched it for the first time in Japan.

It was an electrifying experience for me.

I fell in love with its music, songs, and story.

Since I wanted to watch it again, I worked part-time at the sushi shop and saved money then went to watch the musical again.

I have watched the Phantom of the Opera more than 30 times.

I had been to Toronto to watch it.

Of course I like other musicals like Cats, Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserable, West Side Story...

There are too many!

I have been a fan of Ramin Karimloo since I watched the 25th anniversary DVD.

He played the role of Phantom in the DVD and I thought he was the best Phantom I ever watched.

When I knew he was coming to Japan to perform as Phantom in the musical show called Prince of Broadway, I thought I couldn't miss the rare opportunity and if I missed it, I would surely regret it.

My children and I visited my parents house last Saturday and stayed there overnight.

I asked my parents to take care of them and went to Osaka with my husband yesterday.

It was the first time for us to travel any great distance without our children after we had them.

We met up at Nagoya station and took Shinkansen to Osaka.

It was as if we were back before we got married.

The show was incredible, fantastic, amazing, and wonderful!

I could finally watch Ramin's Phantom.

He sang "the Phantom of the Opera" at the end of the act 1.

"My power over you grows stronger yet"

I have never listened to a singer like Ramin who sings "stronger" raised the interval.

But his part was very short, he only sang until "the Phantom of the Opera is there inside your mind."

"What?  Already? Too short! "

I screamed in my mind.

But I could get absorbed in listening to his beautiful voice sing by "Music of the night".

But the curtain started being closed while he was singing the very last lyrics, "Help me make a music of the night".

I really wanted to listen to the last echo of his voice but I couldn't hear it because the audience started clapping.

"Oh no! Keep quiet! He is still singing!"

It was one of the directions, but I was really disappointed.


But other performers were also extremely talented and attractive.

I was enchanted by Tony Yazbeck's tap dance.

He was an incredible dancer and singer.

"Don't cry for me Argentina" sung by Mariand Torres was extremely persuasive so I listened to her song attentively.

"So What" sung by Nancy Opel was very impressive.

I haven't seen "Cabaret" before but I really enjoyed watching it.

Anyway everybody was so talented and performed extremely well, I was so impressed.

I can't write all my impressions here.

When I watch a musical show, it is as if I were in a completely different world.

Thanks to Prince of Broadway, I had a really great, memorable time.

On my way to my parents house, my husband and I enjoyed chatting together about our impressions of the show.

We usually don't have much time to talk with each other, so it was really a good opportunity for us.

We were able to have a good time, it was like a dream yesterday.




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