Monday, October 01, 2012

Shiori's 7th celebration

In Japan, we have celebrate the occasion of your kids turning 3, and your boy turning 5 and your girl turning 7.  This is called Hichi Go San, and literally meaning seven, five, three.

Since Shiori turned 7 this year, we've been wanting to dress her up in a traditional kimono but realizing that her old one (which she wore when she turned 3) was too old.. My mother kindly sent us my sister's old Kimono together with the entire set of hair piece, socks and shoes.

On beautiful Sunday afternoon, we dressed Shiori up, invited few of our friends and had a simple but very nice celebration of her turning 7.

Here are some photos from the occasion, we took some picture of her with cherry blossoms in our backyard too so hopefully I can post those also.








Thursday, September 13, 2012

Little Craft Work


Every since we changed one side of our fence to the newer one, and I was lucky to have kept most of the fencing materials not really sure exactly what I wanted to do with them.

Well soon enough, I decided to make few things to decorate our house...

I've made this shadow box using the old fence woods..


And then made this coat hook by the entrance,


And then made this flower vase..

I think I'd like to make some shelving for the bathroom next.   It's been pretty fun project and it's so nice to be able to recycle what was part of our house before and turn them into something new.

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Evening in Canberra


Some random photo I took during the evening in Canberra.

I happened to be at the War Memorial during the closing ceremony, and I had no idea but every evening, they have closing ceremony with either bagpipe or trumpet played there.  It was actually quite moving, and lucky to have seen it.  I'd like to make it again perhaps when it is slightly warmer.
Bagpiper playing his tune as he enters the hall for the unknown soldiers.
And then later on I took this photo of National Library during sunset...

We get really beautiful sunset here in Canberra.

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Dinner with Shiori's School Friends


Every now and again, we catch up with Shiori's school friends and their parents by going to the local club for a bit of dinner and a nice chat.  It's actually pretty relaxing as kids tend to sit together and entertain eachother, specially Shiori and her friends.. while Saichi will also sit and play with his friends.  Probably lucky that Shiori and two other girls are all in the same class and they all have a little brothers that are same age as Saichi.

Also their parents are one of the first friend we made at Shiori's school.  And it's really nice to get together socially outside of school drop off or pickups.

Kids having a nice time with kids meal and juice.


While parents enjoy having food and chat :)

Shiori and Nagisa, Japanese exchange teacher that came and stay with us for a while.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Going to Footy game

This year I managed to go to two Rugby league game with Shiori and Saichi.. one of Canberra Raiders against New Zealand Warriors and then big game of Brisbane Broncos against Raiders.

It helped that I happened to score season ticket for free..   and also Shiori's friend Hayden and her parents Chantal and Andrew also likes to go and watch games.

As it turned out, Raiders vs Warriors game happened to be a family fun day also and we got to actually go onto the ground and kick ball around.. pretending to score try etc..   it was a great fun :)

Shiori and Hayden cheering for Raiders..


Raiders just scored another try.. it was actually a very good game to watch, quite entertaining and fast paced.  Raiders beat Warriors quite easily.
 And then after the game, we got to walk into the ground.. and just enjoy the field
 Saichi posing in the middle of the ground onto of the NRL logo


And then we went to see Brisbane Broncos game against Riders..

See the difference in the dress code?  Yes it got bit cold..  And Shiori this time was cheering for Broncos with me like a good Ishikawa girl.  Saichi.. on the other hand did really like raiders because they wore green.. and also they liked green pompom on the cheerleader's hand…  
 Saichi said.. I really like that green lump on their hand.  :)
Ah and he also enjoyed playing with his car.

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Stroll in our back yard pine forest





When weather was good.. yes it's been winter here for quite long time now.. so this probably happened good 6 month ago :)  We often like to go on a hike.. or just walk in the pine forest just behind our house.

One day we decided that Shiori and Saichi will bring some sketch book, pens and do some sketches in the nature.. while Amelia and Naghmeh went for a walk.

Just beginning of the trail..
 Finding comfortable stone to sit.. and found some scenery to sketch for Shiori..  Saichi is looking on to see what Shiori is drawing.
 Some serious artist at work.
 She is drawing that rock structure and some trees in the back ground.  Saichi started to play with stick and dirt.

It was quite lovely way to spend weekend afternoon, and now that spring is here, and flower is blooming.  I'm looking forward to go and do it again soon!

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Martijn's Quick Visit to Sydney

Hi long time..  I got way too much things to update and not even sure where I can start.. so there I've been putting it off for long time.. But this I had to share, and share first.

I have been told that my dear ex flatmate from Haifa Martijn will be visiting Sydney for couple of days for conference and he'll be staying with our friend Nag and Payam.   They organised dinner with Martijn and invited few friends that knew him, that would be the only time he'll be free.  Amelia told me about it and since it was during the week, I had to think about it for awhile.  But then I decided that morning that I'll take afternoon off, and travel for 3 hours to Sydney, have dinner together, stay at Naghmeh's and come back the next day into work.

Pretty crazy but oh well how often do you have chance to catch up with friends from Haifa?  Maritjn and I shared same flat for sometime, before I married Amelia and moved into our own place.  He was MC for our wedding even.  Shiori spend her first year in Haifa and of course she doesn't remember him, but I thought it'll be nice to introduce her to Martijn and show her how big she has become.

So we arrived at around 5:00pm and we started to chat.  Martijn was so happy to meet Shiori again and couldn't' believe how big she has become.  He also has two kids and she showed us their photos and we even got to FaceTime with them and his wife May in Haifa.

Shiori looking at Martijn's kids photos.
later that night, we went out for a nice Iranian Kebab and met up with few more friends.

And then moved onto cafe of course.. Shiori just loved the whole experience.

 Pretty nice spot..  with great company.
Martijn and I ended up staying until late just chatting and catching up with what's happened in our lives.  Felt bad as he had to catch early plane back..   And I made another 3 hours drive back to Canberra.  All in all very spontaneous and fun night.  Great to catch up with old friend and it was great to chat a little with his kids and May in Haifa also.. Wished Amelia and Saichi made it too.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Backyard project... Cubby House

I made promise to Shiori that for her birthday, I'll fix up the little cubby house in the backyard.. well actually I'm not sure what that structure is.. but Shiori and Saichi uses as a cubby house. She got so excited.. and I told her that she can pick the colour, and she wanted to get a letter box so we went to one immediately.. Hmm that was about 5 month ago now.

Well finally I started to work on the cubby house while kids are on holiday in Brisbane..

This is the photo of Cubby house.. before any work was done to it. As you can tell it's pretty bare.. and bits and pieces are falling down.. actually I think it's pretty unsafe to play on it before. Shiori and Saichi liked it enough and it was good that they had to really use their imagination with this.


As you can see.. there are no roof on this it was pretty harsh to play in the sun. or in the rain.



So I started to put some planks together.. and build some kind of enclosed wall. I put roof so that it'll be okay in the rain.. and fixed up some of the missing floor bit. It's pretty hard to fix it up properly since the base structure is quite wonky already. You can see the mail box that Shiori bought.


More close up of the cubby house.. I basically went along bit by bit and just trying to figure it out as I went. At this stage I knew I wanted to have a two windows.. and a door but not exactly sure how to go about it yet.


Found this wooden window blind cheap from nearby recycling centre so got it, I just had to cut the bottom off a bit to fitted in.. I think it worked out quite well.


And this is with the blue door (colour that Shiori picked).


And I put plexi sheet for the window. Not perfect.. and there are gap everywhere but at least it's more of an enclosed room and I think it's somewhat weather tight.


Main thing is that kids love it.. and Shiori wanted to have an opening party to invite some of her friends. :) I hope they'll keep inside nice and tidy.

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Friday, March 02, 2012

Photos from Sophia and Pat's wedding

We attended beautiful wedding of my friend Sophia and Pat at end of January.. and though I took some photos from the wedding.. I recently received copy of some professional ones.. so just wanted to share it here.

I may add my own photos on here also, maybe who knows.







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Thursday, February 02, 2012

Uncle Goose Hiragana blocks

The other day, I discovered this amazing store in Canberra.. the bookstore named Asia Book Room. I went to look for the shop after Amelia telling me how nice it was. Apparently this store holds largest collection of books on Asia in Australia and I can agree. The place just had a really nice vibe, and it contained various books on Asia. It even had some rare old books. We happen to be friend with the lady who works there ( the reason why we went looking for the store). But upon finding it, Amelia quickly joined their book club.

Anyway, this place had lots and lots of Japanese books good for kids, and then I saw a Hiragana Blocks made by Uncle Goose in America. I thought these would be good for Shiori since I'm trying to teach her Hiragana at the moment.

Each of the 32 block includes a puzzle with the map of Japan, and all of Hiragana and Katakana equivalent, numbers, and animals with their english translation. I like selecting bunch of blocks and make Shiori spell some Japanese words much like Boggle. She can only spell simple words and most of them are actually name of animals but I think she is getting better. Saichi just like to collect different animals.



It's a great buy and they are absolutely beautiful to look and touch. Hopefully they'll look after them for long time.



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Monday, January 02, 2012

More photos with Thomas

Again, bit late, but since I promised.. Here are some more photos taken during our trip to the Ipswich railway museum to see Thomas the Tank engine.


Fat Controller entertaining us all

With Lady the magical train

Making train around Thomas


With Donald.



Yup, they had great time and hopefully we'll be back again next year! I wonder if Saichi would be as crazy about Thomas a year from now.. Well I'm sure he will be.

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