The last day of summer vacation

I helped my 6-year-old son to prepare for school last night.

The second semester begins on September 1 at his elementary.

"Look at your communication notebook. Check what you have to bring tomorrow one by one."

I instructed him.

While he was prepareing, I was washing the dishes.

Then I looked at him, he was playing with his 5-year-old sister.

"What are you doing? Do what you have to do first!"

He begun to prepare again in a hurry.

Such conversations continued many times.

Finally, he finished preparing tomorrow's school.

He said,

"Oh, I don't like this. I want to go to school, but I don't want to go to school."

"I could understand your feeling well. As a child, I felt same as you. I feel same even now. I also think that I don't want to go to work after the end of holidays. Maybe all of school students in Japan have the same feeling. "

Acording to the new article which I read the newpaper before, children's suicide often happen on September 1 the most of the year.

And it also said that parents should not give them pressure unconsciously by saying the word like "I don't have to make lunch for you from now on!"

Since I remembered the news, I dared not to say those words and instead I said that I understood his feelings and sympathized with him.

I hope he will enjoy school in second semester again.

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It looks like a party!

Our friend's married couple came to our house and have dinner together yesterday.

The wife is a friend of mine, and the husband is my husband's senior of the company.

We introduced them each other before, then they hit it off right away and got married.

Fortunately, my friend sent a message to me last month that she became pregnant.

I was so glad to hear that.

We decided to give them my maternity dress and our child care goods like a bed for baby, a stroller, and so on.

They were glad to see them.

She said,

"Thank you! We are given too many things."

"Never mind! I will be glad that you use these goods. We will never use them from now on."

I answered.

I am so attached to these baby items.

They make me recall a lot of memories of my children.

So I will be really glad if they use them for their baby.

I prepared dinner for them.

My 5-year-old daughter told me,

"It looks like a party today!"

She likes the word "party".

"Yeah, we are having a party today!"

We had a very enjoyable time.

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Daibutsu is scary!

My children and I went to a college that was exhibiting original images of a famous writer of children's stories yesterday afternoon.

An exhibit of original images of a famous children's stories writer was held there, and we enjoyed looking at them.

On our way home, I asked my children,

"Do you want to go to Daibutsu-sama? "

They answered fast,

"Yeah, of course!"

Daibutsu means "giant Buddha".

The Daibutsu was at the park near the college, so we walked to Daibutsu from the parking.

As we were approaching Daibutsu, it gradually looked bigger and bigger.

I taught them,

"We don't have to clap our hands twice because it is not a Shinto shrine here."

They only put their little hands together and closed their eyes in front of the Daibutsu though they don't understand its meaning.

Actually, its height is 18.79m.
It is taller than the famous Daibutsu in Nara and Kamakura.

As a child, my parents took me and my sister there once.

I remember clealy that it was scary for me because it was too big for a little girl.

I was surprised that it was bigger than I expected because it looked smaller when I saw it from the main road nearby like the photo below.↓

And there were things which further scared me.

They are the two statues of Nio. (the Deva kings)

They are standing at the entrance of many temples in Japan and they serve as the guardians of Buddha.

I was scared of their angry faces.

Especially, look at the photo above.

The sight that Nio and the huge Daibutsu looked down at me sent shivers down my spine.

I remember that I cried so hard and clung to my mother.

I told about the story to my children many times, that's why they are interested in Daibutsu.

My children were also scared of them, not only my 5-year-old daughter but also my 6-year-old son but more so with my daugher who clung to me like how I used to be.

It was funny for me.

"I want to come here again!"

They told me though they were scared of Daibutsu.

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Her last working day

When we were cleaning our office yesterday morning, one of my colleague told me,

"Today is the last day I can work with you. Thank you for everything! "

She will quit her job at the end of August 
because she injured her knees and it's painful for her though we need to be standing while working.

"Time flies. I will miss you."

I answered.

She started working at our company about 2 years ago.

She is very competent and has a lot of knowledge.

She can deal with various problems with our customers, but she never boasts about it.

She is 10 years older than me, but I work at our company longer than her.

I know that there are people who act big just because they are older.

But she never lords it over me.

She could have a calm discussion even if I would express a dissenting view with her.

She always taught me kindly when I asked things I didn't know to her, so her existence always let me  feel relieved.

We enjoyed talking together during lunch time.

Since we had a good team work, our company could achieve the increasing of year-on-year sales for five months in a row.

To say the honest, her retirement is a big loss for us, but I hope she will get better.

Our owner has not been able to find a person who will take her place.

That means we will be busy in September.

I really hope that our owner will be able to find a good person like her as soon as possible.

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The damage of the typhoon

There was a phone call from mother-in-law on Wednesday night.

My husband sent his parents grapes for summer gift before, so she thanked us for it.

Then I was so surprised to hear what she told me.

A persimmon tree which was in the garden of their house was fallen down by the strong wind of the typhoon last Tuesday.

They live in Kyushu and the typhoon hit there squarely.

The tree leans against their house, so she said she has to cut down it.

Their house is very old, so I was relieved that the damage of the typhoon was only one.

The power of nature is scary.

I think that we need to become more modest against nature.

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We met Kumamon!

Since I had a day off yesterday, my children and I visited Centrair (the nickname of Chubu Central International Airport) with my mother.

It is located near my parent's house, so we have visited there many times to see the airplanes.

The show event which was sponsored by a local TV station was held there and we could see "Kumamon" for the first time.

Kumamon is one of the most famous and popular "Yuru-chara" in Japan.

"Yuru-chara" stands for "Yurui character"in Japanese meaning "loose character".

Mascots like Kumamon for each of the prefectures have been created by each prefectural government to promote their campaigns to boost the development of the area and local products.

From left, Wolfy is the mascot charactor of local TV station.

Next, Mysterious traveler Fu is the mascot charactor of Chubu Centrair International Airport.

Right one is Kumamon, it is the mascot charactor of Kumamoto prefecture.

I was surprised that adults were more glad to see them than children and they were desperate to take photos of them.

Maybe they would post the photo to their SNS (me too!).

Only a few children joined "Let's dance with Kumamon".

Especially my children didn't want to dance because they were shy.

They wouldn't join in Quiz with Kumamon.

We went to the deck in the middle of the show and enjoyed seeing the arrival and departure of the airplanes for a while.

My children liked it better than Yuru-chara!

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How do you motivate your children?

My children go to the children's music school every Saturday.

In fact, I had been a student of YAMAHA music school more than 30 years and learned playing the Electone.

It was only my hobby and I liked playing the Electone very much.

We bought a new Electone 5 years ago.

My husband and I hoped that my children would want to learn how to play the Electone in the future.

I stopped going to the music school 3 years ago because I started working.

Then my 6-year-old son started going to the children's music school, and my 5-year-old daughter also started 4 months ago.

Basically they need to practise playing the Electone every day.

My daughter likes practising very much, so she is always willing to practise it.

She can play all songs which are in the first music book, so all I have to do is only to look at her practise sometimes.

But it is difficult in my son's case.

He likes music, but he doesn't like practise playing the Electone.

I have always hard time to let him practise it.

It is getting decreasing, but he gets angry with me when he can't play it well.

I also feel frustration but I need to put up with it.

But I sometimes can't bear it, and I also end up getting angry with him.

I really realize that to let children learn something needs patience.

When I told my son to practice the Electone, he said he didn't want to.

I considered what was the best word to let him practice.

"If you practice, I will give you something." → It is meaningless. He is rarely on such kind of suggestions.

"If you don't practice, you must not watch TV." → There is no point in forcing him.

I told him,

"You are becoming able to gradually play that difficult song well. You could play it with both hands well yesterday, right?  If you practice it today again, you will surely be able to play it better than yesterday. Let's start !"

I waited for him to start practicing by himself.

Finally he started practicing and I looked at him in silence (because he will be in bad mood if I point out his misses too much).

I sometimes play it together with him, for example, he plays melody and I play accompaniment.

He had tried to stop going to the music school three times until now because he didn't want to practice it any more and I couldn't put up with his attitude.

But when I asked him,

"Don't you really regret to stop it?"

He said,

"On second thought, I will not stop it."

I think that the thing which whether he can continue on practicing the Electone depend on my patience.

I need to keep calm and praise him to let him practise.

And I hope the day he will really enjoy playing it will come someday.

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I can't help being interested

I wrote about our new family members, Japanese rhinoceros beetles in my yesterday's post.

I have never raised insects for a pet when I was a child, so I am interested in the unknown world.

When I woke up at 4am yesterday, I went to see what they were doing at the very beginning.

In fact, I looked forward to seeing them in the early morning because they have nocturnal habits and I thought I would be able to see them moving actively.

They were eating insect jelly together.

They seemed to get along well.

But, when my 6-year-old son woke up at 7am and went to see them, he said,

"Mom! The female is not in the cage!"

"What? It was there when I looked at it in the morning. Didn't it stick to the top of the cage?"

I answered.

"No, it has disappeared!"

Then I had an idea flashed before my mind.

"Maybe is it hiding into soil? It might raise eggs!"

My children were glad to hear my guess.

But I was not sure because we didn't see their copulation not even once.

The female came out from soil yesterday's evening.

I saw them this morning, the female was in the soil again.

Their behaviors are very mysterious for me.

I really can't help being interested in them now though I don't like any insects!

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New members of our family

My children and I went to the ceramic festival which was held in my hometown yesterday.

There were a lot of limited sales corner by many local ceramic shops, associations, and companies, we hanged aroud there.

I bought three rice bowls and five plates.

And my children bought Japanese rhinoceros beetles!

Why did they buy the insect at the ceramic festival?

Because local junior high school booth sold them for Donation of reconstruction assistance of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

It is popular among boys as pets.

Beetles were a thing to catch by oneself in old days,

but to catch them particularly in an urban area become difficult recently .

Therefore beetles are sold well in a shop.

My 6-year-old son chose male, and 5-year-old daughter chose female.

We bought the things which need to grow them at the DIY store.

My children, especially my son was so glad to get them, he watched them for a long time.

They may lay eggs.

If so, my works will increase than now.

Actually, we came to the same festival 2 years ago, and my son wanted to buy goldfishes.

He insisted that he would be sure to take care of them by himself, but he rarely did it after that.

I hope that he will take care of them by himself this time for sure.

Because I don't want to touch them!

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Unforgettable Fireworks

My children and I came to my parent's house to go to the fireworks festival held near my parent's house yesterday.

I wrote about my hometown in past post ( http://a-o-j-m.blogspot.jp/2015/05/my-sweet-hometown.html ), it is famous for its pottery and it is one of the "Six Ancient Kilns of Japan".

And the pottery festival is held this weekend, and the fireworks festival is one of the big attraction of the event.

My children and I looked forward to watching fireworks very much.

I helped my 5-year-old daughter to wear "Yukata dress".

Yukata is like kimono, but it is different.

It is made of cotton and we can wear it easier than kimono.

We usually wear Yukata in summer.

Especially some of women wear yukata at summer festivals.

Yukata dress is the thing which is added small changes to normal yukata for a young child cutely, and it usually has a short hem, and it becomes like a skirt.

My parents saw and phrased her,

"Oh, you are really cute (kawaii)!"

She got shy joyfully.

My 6-year-old son was jealous of her a little because she was like a today's leading role, he teased her saying "She is annoying!" with smiling.

We went to the good place where only local people know for watching fireworks before it started.

It was near the sea and the international airport.

Since it was sunny and windy, we could see the beautiful sunset.

The fireworks were launched more than an average year.

The number of fireworks is proportional to the quality of economy because the fireworks festival is sponsored by the local companies and citizen.

It might be better than usual.

The firework was like a beautiful big picture on the black campus of the sky.

We could see a lot of Star mine than usual.

(*"Star mine" is to put many fireworks together and launch several hundred from dozens of continually and draw one theme. )

We were so excited to hear the lively big launching sounds and moved by its amazing beauty.

My son tried to count how many fireworks launched,

"40, 41, 42, oh, I can't count them, they are too many!"

Since we were near the launching place, we were able to see and feel powerful fireworks.

And we were also able to see a beautiful moon and many airplanes.

The sky competition of fireworks, moon, sea and airplanes were extremely beautiful.

Actually, I didn't want to go to the fireworks festival recently because it's always crowded and hot.

I worried whether I would not be able to be impressed with fireworks anymore.

The answer was "No", I was deeply impressed with fireworks.

My father also said,

"This year's fireworks were amazing. I was able to see beautiful fireworks with my lovely grandchildren. I am so happy. It will become my unforgettable memory. "

I thought this is the word of his greatest pleasure.

My parents are getting older and older, and the day I have to say good-bye to them will be sure to come someday.

The best memories of the life is like beautiful fireworks disappearing in an instant.

I also will not forget about yesterday.

We stayed overnight and we are going to go to the ceramic festival today.


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Thanks to their favorite anime

My children's favorite animes are broadcasted every Friday evening.

First, "Youkai Watch" is broadcasted from 6:30 to 7:00pm.

Next, "Doraemon" is broadcasted from 7:00 to 7:30pm.

Last, "Kureyon Shin-chan" is broadcasted from 7:30 to 8:00pm.

I usually show them TV with less than one hour a day on weekdays.

Because my 6-year-old son has to do his homework every day, and they need to practise playing the Electone.

 (They go to children's music school every Saturday. The Electone is an electric organ and is a registered trademark of Yamaha Corporation.).

They want to play together and want to draw pictures.

That's why they had better not spend much time only for watching TV.

But it is except Friday.

Friday is special day for them.

They don't have to do homework and practise Electone.

They look forward to watching their favorite anime on TV.

They are absorbed in watching these programs without moving like dolls.

It means I can have free time during the time.

Friday is special not only for them but also for me.

I sometimes watch Doraemon with them, but actually I don't like Youkai Watch and Kureyon Shin-chan very much.

So I took an online English conversation lesson at 6:30pm yesterday and I surfed on the net after that.

Net-surfing sometimes wastes my time, but I sometimes want to spend my time for it.

The meaningless time is necessary for me to relax and to be freed from busy time.

They enjoyed watching their favorite anime, and I enjoyed my precious free time!

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Troubles with friends

When I went to the children's house to pick my 6-year-old son up yesterday evening, one of the teacher came to me and said,

"I am sorry. He was bitten by his friend today."

Anytime they find children's injuries which are caused by their fight, teachers usually apologize to their parents that they could not stop children's fight before either one injured.

According to her, my son and his friend were going to play a game, but his friend insisted the wrong rule of it.

It was only his misunderstanding.

My son insisted the correct rule, but the friend didn't agree it.

He was going to look for another friend who was likely to agree his opinion, but he wasn't there.

So my son told him,

"It serves you right!"

He lost his temper and bit my son.

My son had only a little bite on his arm.

I told teacher,

"So that means he said an unnecessary words, right? I hope he would mellow out a little... "

She made a bitter smile and said,

"But children must not bite someone for whatever reason."

My son seemed that he was not upset for this happening.

He only said,

"I don't like him."

In fact, he was bitten by the same boy 3 years ago.

I thought his friend and my son were basically incompatible.

Then we went to the nursery school to pick my 5-year-old daughter up.

She noticed that a tiny ant was carrying food when she was about to prepare to go home.

She was glad and said,

"Look! A tiny ant is carrying food!"

Her friends came to her and they were watching it for a while.

Suddenly, one of her friend stepped the ant and killed by her finger.

My daughter was so surprised and got mad at her.

She started crying and hit her friend's head many times.

"Stop it!"

I scolded her.

"Why?  What a poor ant!  We must not kill any living things, right?"

I couldn't answer to her.

She was crying and would not move there for a while.

When we find ants inside house, we usually kill them.

But it has also a little life and we don't have to kill them outside house.

Her opinion was right.

But I could only agree her feeling.

We sometimes encounter situations which we can do nothing for them.

I can only say that I hope that my children will become strong mentally to get over difficulties.

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Origami Cranes

Since I had a day off yesterday, my 5-year-old daughter was also absent from nursery school.

So we went to the library in the morning.

Associated with a day of the end of the war of August 15, there was a special display of the books about War and Peace.

I found that there were Origami papers there and it was written "Please make a crane freely. Please put it in this box."

(*Origami (paper folding) is one of the traditional Japanese arts. We use square color paper and fold it and make animal, flower, figure, and other various things.)

Some strings of origami cranes were decorated there.

It means it is a plan by the library to make "Senbazuru ( a group of one thousand origami paper cranes held together by strings)" by library users.

Cranes are one of the symbols of longevity in Japan.

And we make thousand origami cranes when we hope that someone (including myself) will recover from diseases, and it is also the symbol of peace.

I asked my children,

"Do you want to try?"

They answered,

"Of course, yes!"

We started making origami cranes together.

I taught them how to make cranes, but it was still too difficult for little children to make a corner delicately.

I needed to help them a lot, but we could finish making it.

I recalled a memory that I visited Canadian elementary school 20 years ago.

I stayed Canada for a month and went to college to study English when I was a university student.

One day, we had an opportunity to visit elementary school and taught how to make origami cranes to students.

They were so interested in origami and tried eagerly, but most of students couldn't make it beautifully.

Both to teach how to make it and fold origami dexterously are very difficult.

Actually I am clumsy, so not good at origami.

But I believe that concentrating on making origami is very enjoyable.

Please try it if you have the chance!

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Making Bento every day

Our usual day started from yesterday.

My husband and I went to work, my 5-year-old daughter went to the nursery school.

But my 6-year-old son is still during summer vacation until the end of August, so he went to children's house.

Since children's house doesn't provide school lunch, I have to make bento (lunch box) for him.

I always make my bento when I go to work, so I need to make two lunch boxes during summer vacation.

I wake up at 4am every day to make dinner, breakfast and bento because I am busy to do other housework and I don't have much time to make dinner after we come home.

I need to finish them quickly because I want time to take online English conversation lessons and write this blog for my study English.

In fact, I don't like cooking.

I think it is my duty.

I really envy those who like cooking.

I guess they are having fun everyday because of the opportunity to do what they want twice or three times a day.

Making bento is to save money for me and it always bothers me.

But my children are looking forward to eating my bento.

I can't make bento which are like elaborate wonderful lunch boxes which are posted on the Internet.

But I consider that how to make bento easily and how to look delicious.

For example, I use red and green lunch boxes for my son and me.

I believe that these colors make bento look delicious.

And I often put cherry tomato and broccoli in bento because of the same reason.

Next, I often use frozen food like croquette, fried chicken, french fry, and so on.

These are my children's favorite foods, and there are some products which can leave them to thaw naturally.

 Lastly, I make extra miso soup and put some of it in a thermos jar for lunch's soup.

I really hope that the day which his school lunch begins will come as soon as possible.

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My best memory during Obon vacation

I asked my family yesterday,

"What is your best memory during Obon vacation?"

We had Obon vacation from 8/10 to 16 ( Strictly speaking, my work started from yesterday).

"My best memory was going to the park! We could feel that autumn will be coming. The wind was blowing comfortably, you were playing actively, and we were looking at you two. That was very comfortable and made me happy."

(I wrote about this in past post "Signs of Autumn " → http://a-o-j-m.blogspot.jp/2015/08/signs-of-autumn.html )

My husband said,

"I agree. It was the only oppotunity that children could play outside."

But our children's opinions were quite different from ours.

My 6-year-old son said,

"Mine is to go to Sushiro!"

My 5-year-old daughter also said,

"Me too! Sushi was yummy! And we watched fireworks from our car!"

I didn't write about this event in my blog.

I went to the hairsalon to have my haircut last Friday.

Since I came back home about 5pm and I couldn't be bothered to make dinner, we went to Sushiro (one of the most popular conveyor belt sushi bar in Japan).

My son looked very hungry, he ate ten plate sushi including desserts.

It was his best record so far.

After we finished dinner, we found the fireworks which were set off from near our city on our way home.

So my husband stopped on the way and watched them for a while.

The best memory of family events is like a report card which children give parents.

Althouh parents spend a lot of money for family event, children often don't remember it.

It might be important for children that all family member is here and enjoy together.

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