Monday, July 25, 2011

5 a day

Unlike the photo,
 I typically blend the water/spinach/banana before the rest of the frozen fruits. 

Summer is smoothie season around here. Remember this here
 I love getting 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in by breakfast time!  

After the Costco trip to the freezer aisle I'm set.
I get my bananas at a local market that sells a huge basket of somewhat brown bananas for 100 yen.  I freeze the ripest of them  for future use in smoothies (or banana chocolate chip muffins). 
I've found the smoothie liquids don't separate as much if you add a banana.

My smoothie recipe changes based on the ingredients available but lately I've been eating a mixture of  . . .
water (or juice)
triple berry mix (frozen)
Tropical blend fruit (pineapple, papaya, strawberry, mango -frozen) 

So good! 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Glimpses: You are what you eat (2)

"if we really are what we eat-then refrigerators are like windows into our souls."
To see a contrast to this photo look here for part 1.
My soul feels very full right now! 

1 & 2 grade teacher/missionary, living with Korean friends |Nara, Japan | 3-person household 
During Summer vacation, a few days after going to Costco and IKEA to do the grocery shopping! 

top shelf: 2 containers of yogurt, 2 pints American cherries, 2 pints cherry tomatoes, variety lettuce,
pork, canned pumpkin,
2nd shelf: yakult drink, 1/2 ruby grapefruit, ice coffee,  seedless red grapes,  cheddar cheese,
3rd shelf: cream cheese frosting, orange juice, apple juice, natto (fermented soy beans), leftover bulgogi (Korean BBQ beef), leftover rice, kimchi, ssam-jang (Korean soybean and chilli pepper paste),
In drawer: Various vegetables
On the door: Japanese sauces, American BBQ sauce, cloudberry jam, vegetable juice, 3.5% milk, Calpis (kakigori or snow cone flavoring), eggs, various sauces and syrups. 

By the way the freezer and lower fruit/vegetable and beverage drawers are full also. I love opening the drawer and finding Chocolate bars and chocolate chips stashed next to the spinach!
Have I raved about the new deep freeze I got from some retiring missionaries?  We did our best to fill that too (with bread products, meats and ice cream) but we have a ways to go.


Lori and Boeun-chan studying at a local cafe. (Photo by Mihwa) 

When studying your second language there is nothing quite as motivating as a trilingual 6 year old. 
Recently as I was trying to figure out the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs, my buddy, Boeun-chan, was studying across the table from me.  She was writing in her journal.  One page is English, one is Korean, another Japanese! Tonight at dinner she was feeling sorry for the fact that I don't know Korean -yet.

In Japanese she basically told me . . .
"It's because you're American and I'm Korean that I know Korean so well. But I can teach you Korean, tomorrow we will start your lessons. Don't worry we can use pretend money so you don't really have to pay me. I'm going to go get ready, ok?" and off she went to prepare for tomorrow's lesson on vowel sounds.

Most of the time she and I speak in Japanese, sometimes we use English.  ("That's silly!" and "Oh, my!" are our favorite phrases.) 

With Mihwa, her Korean mother, she speaks in Japanese when I'm around but switches to Korean when they're alone, when clarification is needed or when the emotions go up or down. With her Korean father she speaks Korean.

 Boeun-chan has been in Japanese pre-schools since she was 3 so Japanese is actually the language she feels most comfortable reading and writing in.  She's just now learning to write Korean in preparation for 1st grade. 

When I speak with Mihwa, it's in Japanese since I don't know Korean and her English is limited.
Relationships make for good language learning motivation.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Housemates and storytelling

I guess you could say I'm an introvert with some extrovert tendencies.

As a person who enjoys time with friends yet tends to lean toward being introverted, I'm learning the joy of having housemates.  I've lived alone for the past 2 years in a house that many would consider very large for a single person in Japan.  Yet because I work in a school, I've come to treasure the quiet solitude I find when I reach home after being with a group of energetic 7 and 8 year olds.

Things have been different around here the last month! June 9th, Mihwa, my Korean friend from Japanese language school, and her 6 year old daughter, Boeun-chan, moved in with me for the summer.
Boeun and Mihwa introduce me to Korean dining!

Me with Boeun-chan in Osaka
 School responsibilities finished June 17th  and summer has kicked into high gear!  My focus for this summer is Japanese language study, through 1 on 1 tutoring as well as through relationships.

UNO! "Can we play everyday?"
While the blog (with no posts in June) could lead readers to believe that nothing has happened in the last month, the opposite is true.  There have been heaps and heaps of adventures, learning, and fun times happening.  My photo-a-day posts abruptly stopped as I needed to adjust online time use due to a new living situation.  I found the stories that I would once share on the blog were often shared with my housemates.
Boeun decides to dust off my stuffed animals and show them some love.

 I'm so grateful for the blessing that it is to have housemates. Mihwa has been a language teacher, cultural mentor, shopping advisor, encourager, exercise partner, and kitchen helper as well as dear friend.  Boeun-chan has been a huge motivator for me linguistically as she speaks 3 languages (Japanese, English and Korean) and brings a the gift of joy and humor to each situation.  I'm exited to see what God has in store for us in the next 3 weeks of their stay.
Lisa, Boeun and Lori

As an additional blessing this week, my friend, Lisa, is visiting for the week from Okinawa, Japan. "My other sister, Lisa" as as I call her. God has been pouring out his love to me through the provision of friendships such as this one and I'm lovin' every minute of it!    Life on the mission field has it's times of loneliness and wondering if there is anyone out there who understands what life here is like - who shares the ups and downs of stories and walks this journey with me.  Lisa is one of the close friends I have that understands what it means to live in Japan, teach third culture kids and share of Jesus' love among a people group that for 99% of people don't know his love.  She understands because she is living here doing that and more!

 Thank you to many who are faithfully checking the blog and hoping for updates.  For those praying for relationships God is pouring out his blessings!

  • Pray for Lisa as she heads back to Okinawa to teach 4th grade while also finishing the last class of her Masters of Education degree.   
  • Pray for Mihwa and Boeun to have their eyes open to the out pouring of Love that God has for them and that they would respond by deciding to follow him. 
  • Pray for me to progress in language learning, that I may have the words to share about God's love. That I may have the wisdom to know what to do and say and the courage to do it even when its hard.  
Double rainbow - encouraging to remember God's promises
after a frustrating day navigating traffic in Osaka and Kobe.