Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy 2012!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas from Okinawa

Merry Christmas!
 I hope you've been enjoying the blessings God has poured out.

For my holiday, I'm in Okinawa spending time with my friend Lisa Sorley.
Today we enjoyed a stroll down the beach within walking distance from her apartment.
Nothing quite like putting your toes in the sand and Ocean at Christmas time! 

We're having a ton of fun together! 
I have more photos and stories for sharing eventually.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Shadow Drama

At the KCS Christmas program the high school students did a Shadow Drama. They created a stage with the white sheet and light in the background and had students read the story while others acted it out.
The photos and the story from Luke 2 and Matthew 2 (Contemporary English Version) are below.

1About that time Emperor Augustus gave orders for the names of all the people to be listed in record books. [a] 2These first records were made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. [b] 3Everyone had to go to their own hometown to be listed. 4So Joseph had to leave Nazareth in Galilee and go to Bethlehem in Judea. Long ago Bethlehem had been King David's hometown, and Joseph went there because he was from David's family.
 5Mary was engaged to Joseph and traveled with him to Bethlehem. She was soon going to have a baby, 

and while they were there, 7she gave birth to her first-born [c] son. She dressed him in baby clothes [d]and laid him on a bed of hay, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8That night in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were guarding their sheep. 9All at once an angel came down to them from the Lord, and the brightness of the Lord's glory flashed around them. The shepherds were frightened. 10But the angel said, "Don't be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. 11This very day in King David's hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord.12You will know who he is, because you will find him dressed in baby clothes and lying on a bed of hay."

15After the angels had left and gone back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see what the Lord has told us about." 16They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and they saw the baby lying on a bed of hay.
    17When the shepherds saw Jesus, they told his parents what the angel had said about him. 18Everyone listened and was surprised. 19But Mary kept thinking about all this and wondering what it meant.
    20As the shepherds returned to their sheep, they were praising God and saying wonderful things about him. Everything they had seen and heard was just as the angel had said.

 1When Jesus was born in the village of Bethlehem in Judea, Herod was king. During this time some wise men [a] from the east came to Jerusalem 2and said, "Where is the child born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east [b] and have come to worship him." 3When King Herod heard about this, he was worried, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem. 
 4Herod brought together the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses and asked them, "Where will the Messiah be born?"
    5They told him, "He will be born in Bethlehem, just as the prophet wrote,

7Herod secretly called in the wise men and asked them when they had first seen the star. 8He told them, "Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, let me know. I want to go and worship him too."
    9The wise men listened to what the king said and then left.

 And the star they had seen in the east went on ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10They were thrilled and excited to see the star.

 11When the men went into the house and saw the child with Mary, his mother, they knelt down and worshiped him. They took out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh [c] and gave them to him. 12Later they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, and they went back home by another road.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Program Poem

Dec. 20 - The KCS Christmas program had a variety of ways to celebrate
Jesus Birthday with our school community.  

Elementary students sang 2 songs: 
1. All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.

Read a poem, 
and displayed their artwork of the first Christmas
Here is a copy of the poem and some of the 1-2 Grade Artwork.


written by Matthew Monroe in Richland, WA

Twas the night before the first Christmas and all through the stable, 
The animals were keeping as warm as they were able. 

After saying goodnight with baas, neighs and moos, 
They'd just settled down for a long winter's snooze. 

When outside the barn, they heard the latch squeaking 
As the door opened wide, groaning and creaking.

And what did they see by the starlight's bright glow 
But a man and a woman, with a donkey in tow. 

The woman lay down on the straw the man piled, 

And the animals saw she was heavy with child. 

So they drew close around to ward off the chill air 
And drifted to sleep as they kept vigil there. 

They woke with a start at a cry that they heard,    
And saw a miraculous thing had occurred: 
On the hay lay a Baby, brand new to the world, 
his hair still damp, little fingers all curled.

He was wrapped up in rags in His straw manger bed, 
And a luminous halo encircled his head. 
His smile was so peaceful, His eyes held them transfixed 
With feelings of hope, joy, and wonder, all mixed.    
And the love that they felt...if they could share just a part, 
They knew it could change the whole world, heart by heart. 
They heard angels above announcing His birth, 
Singing, "Glory to God and peace on the earth!" 

Shepherds left the fields to come to adore Him, 
Offering gifts and bowing before Him. 

And the animals, too, knelt down in the hay, 
Knowing Love was newborn among them that day.
As you ponder once more the Nativity story, 

may you wonder anew at God's goodness and glory! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Two days before Christmas break KCS reaches out to the neighborhood with various outreaches.
The high school students did ministry at a nursing home.
The middle school brought Christmas greetings to the people living in the homes around the school.
The elementary students went to the Fire Department and Police Department for Christmas caroling and handing out homemade Christmas cards. 
We then went to the post office and bank to deliver more Christmas cards.  

Here we are handing out cards to the friendly firemen at the fire station.

Heguri - the town where our school is located is a small town and we had beautiful weather for outreach day - which we enjoyed as we walked around the town to deliver the Christmas Greetings. 

Monday, December 19, 2011


First and Second Grade students finished their craft projects  - 
Nativity Scene  made from Toilet Paper Rolls.
(To look back at previous posts CollectionColor and Cut, & Combine)
Mary, Joseph, Jesus, Angel and Stable

Donkey, Sheep, Palm Trees, and Shepherd

3 wise men and their camels

View from above

The perfect nativity set for children - it won't break if dropped
 and can be used to retell the Christmas story over and over again.

Friday, December 16, 2011

In the Kitchen

I've been in the kitchen a lot this week.
Christmas isn't really Christmas without the Harms family recipe of Peppernuts.  
I made it all by myself this year (usually it's a family group project) but I couldn't wait for a box from the states to arrive so I've found the spices and ingredients and reveled in the results! 

December is my month to bring treats to the staff meeting - I made Carmel Pecan Pumpkin pie
I'm trying to challenge myself to make pies - as its a skill I have yet to master.  The crust still needs work but the filling tasted delicious.

For the Worship Team's Wednesday Bible study we had a Christmas party. I made Chili and cornbread for the 7 students who have faithfully dedicated time and energy to leading the school's Chapel each week.  It is such a joy to work with these students - I don't even want to think about the fact that 5 of them will be graduating this year! But I know God has great things in store for them all and look forward to what HE will do in the next 6 months!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tis the season

Tis the season to spend some time in the kitchen!

Dec. 10 was Girl's night.
MN Creamy Wild Rice Soup was on the menu for dinner.
On the schedule was cookie baking! 
Baking cookies with my family is one of my favorite Christmas traditions.  
Since my family is far away I decided to invite my adopted "nieces" to start some new traditions. 
I had prepared 4 different kinds of cookies and extended the table as long as it would go to create some more "counter" space. 
I've been blessed by the mission home where I live and enjoy hosting parties - especially when the guests are junior high girls and the activity is baking cookies they've never before tasted! 
 Five teenagers came to the create cookies in this cookie factory.

We made cut-out sugar cookies. 

Cracked sugar cookies - rolled in green or red sprinkles,

The girls got their hands full of chocolate making Chocolate Crinkles. 

As the Chocolate crinkles cooled the girls frosted and decorated the sugar cookies.
(Note the tiny packages of sprinkles available in Japan!)
I think the girls would have enjoyed simply decorating cookies the WHOLE night. 
Such creativity in this group! 
They didn't hesitate to taste their creations either (note the missing head on the angel).

We tried a recipe of white chocolate and crushed candy canes.  It was a bit soft but tasted great.

Here I am with Chris -who helped me host the event - we're enjoying our hot chocolate while the girls were discovering the thrill of stirring hot chocolate with a candy cane!

Here a sampling of what the girls took home that evening to share with their families.


Part 3: Today we combined the cut out drawings with the toilet paper rolls using our glue sticks.  We are 1 day away from finishing this project.  I'm looking forward to showing the finished project. But also excited to hear the students retell the story of the FIRST Christmas to one another using their finished Nativity scene!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Color & Cut

Step 1 was Collection.
Step 2 of our Christmas art project - Each student colored the 8 papers downloaded from here. 
Even though the pictures are the same the way they colored them allowed for creativity and expression.
Step 3: Students cut out the figures in all 8 pages.
This is going to take a while!
As of today we have 3 and 1/2 pages cut and ready after 1 hour of work.
I'm finding this is great practice in following directions 
-which lines to cut and which lines NOT to cut!
Using scissors  -another important life skill learned in 1st and 2nd grades!
And stick-to-itive-ness - will they be able to see the project through to completion?

Monday, December 12, 2011


Collection - For the past 2 weeks
 students and families at our school have been collecting toilet paper rolls.  

It's been a fun math assignment to have students count how many do we have? 
How many more do we need?

We now have 108 rolls!  Enough to start!
Tuesday we cut and glue the Christmas craft that requires 13 toilet paper rolls per student.
Stay tuned for the finished product. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Following our Sunday service last week there was an afternoon baptism service.
Since the Ikoma/Saidaiji Baptist church is renting a room from a building there is no baptismal.  We were able to go to Asuka Church and use their facilities for the service.

^ Here is the church building 

^The Baptismal - The pastor stands on the left 
and the person being baptized sits in the water on the right. 

^Here are the three who were Baptized. Mr. Takahashi, Momoka (age 8) 
and Mrs. Kimura (Momoka's mom)

 ^ The Baptismal is at the back of the sanctuary
 so everyone turned around and stood up to get a better view.

^ After the service there were snacks served and then we took a group photo. 
Those baptized are the three in center front holding flowers. 
What a blessing to witness this step of faith for these Jesus followers!