Looking back on 2015



She likes her cake

DD1 turned 9!  Our local patissier came up with a brilliant cake.

DD2 had her last kindergarten concert.  They danced; they sang; they did gymnastics, kagura dancing and they donned kimonos in the grand finale.

My brother moved out of Vancouver to the small but beautiful island of Gabriola. He has a house now so I guess they have lots of space for relatives who come to visit from far away countries.


My favorite dog turned 12! and I turned … ahem… a year older too. My best present was a little bundle of “tsukushi sprouts” from DD1 with this message “Happi birsdei. I bringd the spring to you.” She knows I HATE winter so this was a great present for me.


IMGP0137  My baby graduated from preschool! After almost 10 years, it felt like saying goodbye to family.

DH turned a year older on March 11th but, since the big tsunami happened, he keeps low key on his birthday

My parents took a Greyhound from Vancouver to Florida! After a breakdown, lots of great scenery and many days on the road they arrived in the sunshine state.


There was a huge festival at the local shrine. One of the big events for us was the Mikomai Dance. DD1 and the others performed this many times during the festival.  Once was for the ceremony for the new grade one kids. This year DD1 danced for DD2’s blessing ceremony.DSC_3787

It rained for most of the festival so they ended up covering the shrine in plastic and walking around in rubber boots.

NCM_0944  It kept raining when school started too. When DD2 started her first “real” day of school I could not get a picture of her in her uniform. About a week later the sun  finally came out.



As usual, DH cycled 200km in the Iwami Ride while we played around at a nearby mountain park.

We also revisited the archery place. DD1 was only 2 points shy of beating her dad!NCM_0961


DH did a 100km walk. He started at 10 am and about 23 hours later he finished it!



11752463_1440149679648169_4320695554947512656_n  We swam the Takatsu River Marathon. DH was right behind me and someone said “you must be such a happy couple to swim together like that” and all we both thought was “Hell no! I’m not letting him/her beat me!”

Summer holidays started but DD1 and the choir had an important competition a the beginning of August so we didn’t go very far.


DSC_4003    We camped nearby, drove to the competition and met the team there. The kids won first prize and qualified for the regionals. It was the first time their school had done it.


At Obon, several relatives came back to the ancestral home to visit. I expected a boring buddhist ceremony but these folks danced, sang and laughed around the barbeque. The girls have nutty relatives on both sides of the family.

The girls had a weekend riding camp. DD1 is totally smitten by horses and begs us constantly for one.


The kids had their sports day and both girls were on the same team. It made cheering easier. They didn’t win but they seemed to enjoy it.

We officially opened a branch school in the next town. My friend came over to man the fort for us and we took the plunge!


NMS_0060_2  All the family ran the Iwami Airport Marathon. DH (21km) and DD1 (2km) ran separately in their events. DD2 and I were supposed to run the 2km family run together but this was the last I saw her until I crossed the finish line.

We finished October with the school Halloween event. This is our family picture this year.DSC_0119.JPG


DSC_0208  The school concert. It was DD2’s first time. School concerts are pretty simple and the girls did a fine job in their respective roles. DD1 starred as aquarium staff while DD2 starred as a teacher. Here she is with all her “tadpole” classmates.

December  (The month where everything seems to happen).


Here’s to a busy year end.

All the events of the year end began -year end cleaning, Christmas, DD2’s birthday and then a cooking marathon of traditional Japanese osechi.


Using grandpa’s calligraphy tools to do a little homework with big brother

I made 8 dishes this year for the New Year’s feast. DH made the traditional buckwheat noodles too.

Son came home to visit. He stayed 3 nights so his little sisters bonded with him. He helped them do some of their winter homework.

We were fortunate to have had an active healthy 2015. As I sit here and reflect, I am truly grateful.


I pray you all have a happy, healthy and safe 2016 as well.


About MrsMom

Just another Mom but trying my best to raise my two in the outback of Japan
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