Since I've come back from Canada I've been trying to write a post that would include all the wonderful aspects of our trip. Needless to say this has been a lesson in futility. There are many unfinished drafts wherein I tried to include all the cute things the girls said or all the illnesses we had between the six of us or my feelings about seeing my family and being home for Christmas and it is just not possible to include all of this in a post. So here are some highlights...
All six of us had a variety of illnesses during the 3-1/2 weeks that we were home. I have not been sick for at least three years (unless you count the fun symptoms related to pregnancy) and I got my first full-blown cold with glands so swollen that I could hardly swallow (although I ate the turkey anyways) at which point the organization of my family totally broke down. I was so out of it I couldn't remember if the kids had eaten. Thank God my mom was paying attention. Sakura even had roseola (we looked it up on the internet) which she graciously passed on to two of her cousins (Sorry Ariana and Felicity!).
International Flight With Four Children:
Busy. The flight to Canada went very well because we flew at night and for the most part the kids slept, ate or watched movies. Natsuki was the easiest. She was totally entertained by all the people on the flight and she smiled for anyone who would take a moment to say hello. The flight back to Japan was another story. This flight was during the day and two hours longer. We were so glad to get home and go to bed.
10 Kids In One House For Five Days:
Good! I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this was less of a problem than I anticipated. The four older children (Jairon, Emi, Ethan & Misaki) played very well together (Emi even learned how to play video games!), Ariana was sick most of the time and Natsuki & Xander were asleep most of the time. The only real drama was between Sakura, Kiara & Felicity but even that was easily resolved and forgotten. Plus I know the kids made some great memories together which was really the point of all this.
Too much fun! As always, I wished that I had more time and money but we maxed out our suitcase space so it worked out just fine. I love shopping in Portland. I really miss Target and Old Navy.
I was wonderful to see old friends whom we haven't see in awhile. Many of their families have grown (like us) so it was fun to parade our kids around and take pictures. Special thanks to Luke & Angela for letting us stay with them. As always, your hospitality really blessed us. And thanks to those of you who had us over for dinner and fellowship.
This is the hardest of all to write. Spending time with my family is always the greatest joy I have when I go home and it is also the greatest sadness when I leave. Japan has become our home but it would be made perfect if my family was here with me. I enjoyed being able to sit in your homes and talk about everything and nothing, watch our kids run around and do silly things, play games, eat and in general be a big family once again. Thank you mom & dad for hosting all of us. Thank you Jon & Maria for being so flexible and taking good care of us in Portland. And Hannah, I'm so glad we could come and visit your cute home on the coast. Thanks for taking care of details that made our Christmas so wonderful. Joel (the Magnificent), thank you for entertaining the children.
I have to say that having four children really changes how much we are able to do on our vacations but they are made more special when seen through your child's eyes.