Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Though the mountains be shaken
the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you
will NOT be shaken
my covenant of peace removed,
says the LORD
who has compassion
on you.

Isaiah 54:10

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Turkey Day!

Finding a turkey in the grocery store in Japan just doesn't happen! You have to order it or visit a foreign foods store like Costco or Foreign Buyers Club.

This year I enjoyed Thanksgiving - on Wednesday (it was a national holiday (Labor Thanksgiving Day)  so no school). I'm thankful to be able to enjoy the fellowship of the holiday with friends who've become like family.

^ The turkey (which was so moist!) was prepared by Albert (KCS Principal) and Cecile (5-8 grade teacher), here with their son Altus (12 grader) from South Africa.  

^Chris (hostess, So. California girl, and the new 1 & 2nd grade teacher's aid) is doing the carving.  

^ Here is the feast some foods were traditional American Thanksgiving day foods: mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, cranberries, creamed corn, stuffing (made with wild rice! recipe here)
But other things were more representative of the multicultural gathering: red bean rice (bottom left), chirashizushi (in the square dish), filippino stew (in white bowl, middle of the table), and persimmon. 

^Here's what my plate looked like, the turkey is hiding under the stuffing and potatoes.

After the meal we sang worship songs and shared some things for which we're thankful.
Chris shared about the miracle of her mother (age 81) accepting her need for Jesus as her Savior.
Fifi shared that she came to Japan to help care for her grandparents. She shared the joy of her grandmother starting a relationship with Jesus - just one month before she passed away. 

As there are no football games or parades on TV - We created our own entertainment by playing games.  Spoons was the game enjoyed by the adults . . .

^ AND the kids.  (More kids were upstairs playing video games, Nintendo DS, and legos.
 Fifi, in the 54 t-shirt, is teaching them how to play.)

^And then we had PIE!  Pumpkin, Apple,  and Pecan Pies and cranberry bread plus chocolate cake! 

Last year I made Pumpkin pie - this year
it was my first time to make a pecan pie - it won't be my last! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A few of my favorite things

November 19th marked the 4 year anniversary of my coming to Japan as a career missionary.  I decided it was a milestone that needed to be celebrated. So this summer when I heard that a few other friends were trying to get tickets to see the Sound of Music live musical production in Osaka - I said - "Count me in!  I LOVE musicals!"

Tuesday, Nov. 22, I saw a live production of The Sound of Music in Japanese. 
Since I knew the story well it was easy to follow and a delight to watch! 
It was interesting to hear a new version of Do, Re, Mi, So, Fa, Ra, Shi!
 Do = Donuts, 
Re=Remon (lemon), 
Mi= Minna san (all of us), 
So = Sora (sky),
 Fa =Faito (fight),
 Ra= Rappa (trumpet),
 Shi= Shiawase (happiness)

The theater was decorated with Christmas trees with the most ornate leaf ornaments I've ever seen.

The skyscraper, where the theater was, had a courtyard waterfall decorated with snowmen and Christmas cacti. 

We couldn't resist taking photos by the display. 
 L to R, Yuri, Shan, Dawn, Lori. 
Yumiko was behind the camera.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

This Little Light

Tomorrow will be the last day day at KCS for Mrs. Faerber as teacher's aid.  Her title is teacher's aid but she does much more than that, from giving care to a student when he's ill, to creating treasure hunts at recess, from doing office tasks to taking the garbage to the neighborhood collection sight.  She has served at the school for more than 7 years and her presence will be greatly missed.  She helped in my classroom Monday to Thursday mornings for the past 3 years. I've learned so much from her as her humble serving heart has ministered to me and our students.  Someone once called her an angel with clothes on, the way she shines her light for Jesus positively influences both heart and soul! I'll miss working with you!

Blessings to you, my friend, as you take this next step!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


To celebrate  Eleven Day, on November 11, 2011, we had a party with the students in first and second grade. The kiddos wore clothes that had stripes or numbers on them.
   In math they created at least 11 number problems that had the answer 11.  
For reading we read the book "Interrupting Chicken" for 11 minutes.

For the food, the night before, I made chocolate cupcakes with the help of my friend, Anna.

 Chocolate chip cookies with eleven chips each cookie in the shape of an eleven were also baked.

Because frosting is hard to find in the store and I only had one tiny bag of powered sugar - thus making the frosting impossible - I went with the good-ol-sprinkle-powdered-sugar technique.  

I made the "11" out of a coffee filter then covered the cupcakes with powder. 

We made enough for 1st-6th grade to each get one.
Close to 11:11 AM the first and second graders went around to each class delivering cookies to all the students and teachers.  "HAPPY ELEVEN DAY!" they shouted with glee!

Students brought snacks that they could make into 11.  Here are the pretz, (flavored pretzels) lined up to show the date (This student ate her cookie but didn't want the chocolate chips.)
Other students brought 11 pieces of candy to share or various flavored Pocky sticks (chocolate covered snack sticks).   It was a fun day! 

Although I admit I was happy when they went outside for recess 
so they could work off some of that sugar!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Much has been going on recently. Each item below could be its own post but to make things simple I'm going lump it into one post so that you know what I've been up to over the last few weeks. 

Thinking about this. . .
“No amount of activity in the King’s service will make up for neglect of the King Himself.” Quote from  R.M. M’Cheyne 
and trying to readjust my focus on Him so I'm not simply going through the motions jumping from one event to the next.

Digging  into the book "erasing hell" by Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle. Spending each Wednesday lunch hour with the 7 member KCS high school worship team discussing this book and it's implications for life.  This is always a highlight of my week, the students are leading it and I leave challenged to dig deeper into the word each week! 

Auditing  the mission books to confirm the accuracy of the field treasurer's work.  I have huge respect for Barb Chapman and the work she's been doing to put the right numbers in the right places!  (No photo - You can use your imagination - me with a big book full of numbers and a calculator.)

Baking pumpkin chocolate cupcakes to be enjoyed with Pumpkin cheesecake Kit Kat bars for October's Girl's Night party at my house - we made Tacos.  Following the pumpkin theme -I made pumpkin stew for my lunch the last week in October.

Traveling with students to Nagai  Botanical Gardens and Osaka Museum of Natural History
The roses were in bloom. 

The cosmos fields were at their peak.

But the students probably enjoyed watching the carp and turtles in the pond the most! The Ocean exhibit was interesting (and free!)- but the students would have been just as happy to watch the live animals near the pond the whole time. 

Giving thanks for the blessings of missionary friends.  Missionary fellowship was at my house in October.

(L to R) sitting: Lori, Anna, Chris,
standing: Shan, Yuri, Jeff, Ed, Barb, Nan, Caleb, Luke, Andrea (Michael is behind the camera)

The Jordan's (with Southern Baptist Conference, IMB) are now packing for retirement so this was our last time to meet as a group with them.  Listening to their stories of God's faithfulness in recent trips to Tohoku and ministry among deaf communities in Japan was an encouragement to me.  

Studying animals in Science class- we had a Reptile named, "Ninja", the tiny turtle who typically lives in the 3rd and 4th grade class, come visit. 
(He's about the size of a 500 yen coin or a US half dollar coin.)

Celebrating the diversity of our school with ethnic wear at Open Mic Night (school talent show).
I'm dressed in an Indian Sari and Ms. Zoripuii is wearing an outfit from Northeastern India. (Her head dress is made with porcupine quills!)
My favorite acts of the evening were when one student did an abacas challenge, the bamboo dances,  and Mr. G's "A day in the life of KCS" (SO Hilarious!).  For the talent show the teacher's final act was dancing to the song マルマルモリモリ

(Karl and Shirley this photo is for you!!)

Discovering what it looks like at a Japanese Fire Station. Students saw "big" fire engines,

and small fire engines (some roads are too narrow for the big engines!)
Students got to try on the gear, too.  

Experiencing the inside of an ambulance  for students was a thrill. (Sorry can't post photos of it)
The photo below is dedicated to my cousin Matt - who is a Firefighter in the states.  This is what the inside of the firehouse looks like - bunk beds and tatami mat floors for sleeping areas.  Sorry to discover there are no dalmatians at the station!

Learning the story of the lost son in first and second grade Bible class.  Trying to help students who are less familiar with English I've found that having the students draw the photos after hearing the story helps them express what they understood of the story. The drawing below by a 2nd grader of the younger son feeding the pigs. (Apparently pigs turn blue if they eat blueberries!) The drawings were used to at the all school chapel on Friday.

Hosting, Anna, a 5th grader at my house while her parents went to a church planting conference in another part of Japan.  She was with me for 4 days - it was fun to be Ms. Harms during the day and Lori when we went away from school. Watching her during her gymnastics practice gave me insight into the after school programs that are a part of life for so many of my students.

Driving the basketball team to their game in Osaka. I'm not coaching this year - thankfully they have someone more qualified.  But I'm helping with the driving and enjoy the conversations along the road. So far the boys have a 1-1 record. They beat KIUA and lost to OIS.

Looking  ahead at next week's schedule - I'd appreciate your prayers for grace and strength to keep focused on HIM.  PTA meeting Monday, Bible study then Staff Meeting Wednesday,  Worship team practice Thursday, Parent Teacher Conferences Thursday and Friday,  Basketball Game in Kobe Saturday,  Church votes on land purchase on Sunday.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gossip Singers

Recent student quote:
In Music class we were studying call and response music and I introduced them to a few gospel songs. 
The next day while listening to the song "Oh Happy Day" with my students, 
a second grade student asked, "Is she a gossip singer, Ms. Harms?"

We sang a few gospel songs but we're not gossip singers.
 Here are some photos taken after the Flower Basket concert.  There were about 25-30 people in the audience, many from a local nursing home.  We had a lovely day - despite the rainy weather outside! 

Life has been very busy lately with school and mission work 
so I haven't been able to post as much as I would like.  
We're into a new quarter at school with new adventures and challenges just around the corner.