Sunday, February 27, 2011

the latest and the greatest...

Hmmm... well that title implies that there is something awesome to blog about and unfortunately, that's not the case. :(

It's now the last day of February and things here are in coast along mode now - we're all just keepin' on and hangin' in. We are looking forward to Tiffany's arrival on the 11th of March and Deb's on the 14th. Joisan and I have been brainstorming fun things to do with them while they're here. Unfortunately, due to the fact that March break is actually IN March, there will still be plenty of snow and the activities will be a little limited by it. It's quite possible that there will be some downhill and cross country skiing in the works though!

The kids went skiing/snowboarding yesterday and had a great time. It was the third time so far and they probably will have one or two more opportunities to go but we are running out of tickets! Joisan is keen to try going a bit later next time and staying for the night skiing. It looked pretty cool with the mountain all lit up last night when I went to pick them up. I think it would be fun!

Ian was a bit exhausted after his weekend. It was the Yukigassen weekend (the international snowball fight) and Ian was helping Ato-san with his deer burgers. They sold out both days and by the time all was said and done, Ian smelled like grease and felt more than a little exhausted.

Ian and I have both been having trouble sleeping lately and I'm not sure why. Hmmm... could it be that our daughter is heading back to Canada without us in less than four weeks... or that Ian's heading back without me at the end of May... or that we're still holding our collective breath that Taran will finish the school work he needs to do... wait! I know... it's that my mother is having surgery tomorrow. Of all the things I've been distressed about being so far away for (including birthdays and Christmas and the birth of my nephew) - this one is the worst. I would give anything to be able to get on an airplane today and be there for my mother tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

and the beat goes on...

Just over three weeks have passed while I struggled with getting the holiday blogged. Luckily for me, not too much has happened or else it might take another three weeks to get it up here - and where would that put us?!
The last few days with Mum and Aurora here were great! We had a potluck dinner with my adult Eikaiwa classes - awesome food and great company. We went to the onsen at the Mesuite and despite some trepidation Mum and Aurora both relaxed into the naked bathing experience! We all went out for an amazing sushi dinner at Wasabi, my favourite restaurant in Date. We hung out and visited and had a really nice time together. Of course it all ended way too soon and Mum and Aurora flew away on Joisan's birthday (Jan. 21st).
It was a bit of a blow the following week when I had to go back to work, but I survived. I was a bit depressed about the fact that I can't come home until August, but some good friends helped to pull me out. A well timed and bang-on email about saying goodbye to Mum and Aurora really helped (thanks again Kim!) and hearing that another friend is coming for a visit over March break made a big difference too (can't wait to see you Deb!)
On January 30th Ian and Taran participated in the preliminary playoff round of the Yukigassen. It's an international snowball fight. I know I wrote about going to watch the finals last year - but this year some friends of Ian's worked up a team so that he and Taran could experience it. Ian even trained to be a licenced referee. They were pretty stoked after completely dominating their first match but unfortunately, the professionals caught up with them and they lost the next two so they won't be competing in the finals. Ian has contacted the Yukigassen Canada organization though and he may (or may not) be a resource for them in the future!
Joisan and I both wound up taking a week off of work / school when we came down with influenza. We went and got tested and everything. Joisan really enjoyed having the swab stuck up her nose and into her throat - NOT! Her test came back positive and mine came back negative but since I had symptoms too they opted to give me the week to rest. We did a lot of laying around and drinking of liquids and eventually we recovered.
Since then, the most exciting thing that has happened is that Ian and the kids went skiing and snowboarding at Rusutsu. I'm a little anxious for them to go a bit more as we bought some prepaid lift tickets at the beginning of the season and there are still 7 vouchers left and only about 6 weeks to use them! We invested in a board and boots for Taran that we are hoping will be able to be taken back to Canada without too much difficulty.
We are looking forward to some excitement next month when Joisan and I both have a friend coming to visit! Tiffany arrives on the 11th and Deb on the 14th. We're busy making plans and jotting down ideas for things to do when they're here. They will stay until the 23rd (Deb) and the 24th (Tiffany) and Joisan will be heading back with her friend. She has finished the grade 8 BC curriculum and will be heading back to Cowichan so that she can participate in the Steps Ahead dance show. She is sooo looking forward to it! We are still up in the air about exactly when Ian and Taran will be going back but I'm here until August 9th or so. I can already forsee that blog updates in the future will become a countdown of sorts as I look forward to coming home!