BFF = Beautiful, Fantastic, and Fun  キラキラで すっばらしくて 楽しくて

(2nd graders at my student teaching classroom are into making objects by using the colorful shapes that they used in their math class. This one is a flower, I think... The below is a turtle. They are both beautiful. I think learning through play is the best way to learn.)

I just learned what BFF stands for. BFF = Best Friend Forever. I did not know that.

Well, I am super busy again! It seems that my life is like a river. Sometimes, its flow is pretty mellow, and other times, it gets really fast, almost out of control.

What I learned as I aged for the past couple of years is that everything is going to be all right no matter what. Everything finds its place to fit in in the end. So, I just charge it every single day with my best intentions and with some humor. One day at a time... Then, eventually, I will get "there." No worry...

So, I have not had time to update my blog although there have been many things that I would love to write. When I find more time, I would like to take time to write about them.

For tonight, I want you to know that I am doing well, and my life is BFF, beautiful, fantastic, and fun!

With lots of love,



時々耳にしていた「BFF」。何のことだか知らなかったんだけど。「Best Friend Forever」の頭文字を取ったものだということを、つい最近知った。永遠の友って言う意味だね。







Truths, Love, and Peace 真相と愛と平和

"Yumi Kikuchi's Blog and Podcast" is one of the blogs I occasionally visit.

On my blog, most of the times, I write about my daily life and about thoughts and feelings I find in those every-day life. There is not much distinctive, particular message. On the other hand, Yumi Kikuchi has been vigorously sending information out to people through her blog. I admire her energy and effort. I am interested in politics and world affairs, but I am not so good at writing about them on my blog. I would say that I know my feelings better than other people, so I can take responsibility for what I write about myself. However, when it comes to writing about politics and world affairs, I feel uncomfortable because I don't know enough and have not studied enough like Yumi Kikuchi has done.

But there is one thing I am concerned and am curious about. So, I would like to write about it as my personal opinion as of today. This year is an election year. It is President Bush's last year for this presidency. Personally, I could not agree with what he has done, such as starting the wars in the Middle East and a possible suspicion on 9-11 deceit.

Now, America is in a danger of heading towards recession.
This might become even more serious. That's what media reports. Whether it is media's trick or not, it is fact that the recession's waves are influencing people now. The price of newly built houses dropped dramatically, and the house owners are heavy hearted. One of my friends said, "This is a handiwork of a few hundred people who are super wealthy and care only about themselves. They are trying to collapse the economy and start all over again with a world bank. By dominating the World Bank, they are hoping to control the world." Since I did not know about economics enough, I just listened, but what I thought was that it is important for everyone to really 'see' what is happening beneath the surface and scrutinize."

People in Belgium did a march to ask for the truth in 9-11.

I am also one of people who are suspicious about 9-11. However, I do not agree with the idea of routing the truth out from "bad people" and defeating them. The idea it self does not sound peaceful anymore. However, I still think that seeking truths is important because I do not want to be ignorant and blindly contribute to the power that is turning the world into a sad place.

If the 9-11 was ever a plot, how can we possibly toll a bell at deaths of innocent children and people in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and American troops who believed in their mission to protect the world from bad people? And how Japan can be a real hero after it has been supporting the wars by providing supplies?

As it is written on Yumi Kikuchi's blog, a Japanese councilor (senator) Mr. Yukihisa Fujita questioned the official US 911 on NHK TV (Japan Public Broadcasting Corporation) on January 10, 2008.

I was inspired by his courage to seek the truth and his attitude that cared about children in the war-torn counties.

Mr. Fujita has his own blog and states about his daily work and his opinions about politics there. (It is only written in Japanese, though.)

President Bush used to be a cute baby like we all did. (A photo of President Bush in his mother's arms at age of 1.) I believe that there is no person who had bad thoughts from the moment they were born.

I pray that all of us are led to peace through love.














A Yummy Break おいしい休憩

Huelo Lookout Fruit Stand
フエロ ルックアウト フルーツスタンド

Last Monday, I went to Huelo for a work related reason. Huelo is a remote north shore of Maui. The road starts to get narrower and winding as you enter Huelo. If you keep driving Hana Highway after Huelo, you will eventually get to Hana. In the photo below, the place where the arrow is pointing at is Huelo. (Map is from Google Map)

(Japanese) この前の月曜日、ちょっとフエロの方に仕事の用事があって行ってきました。フエロはマウイの北側の海沿いにある地域の名前です。フエロに入るにあたって道は狭くなり、くねくねしてきます。そのままハナハイウェイを走り続けるとやがてはハナに入ります。下の矢印で指しているところがフエロ。(地図はGoogle Mapから抜粋)

I always saw this Huelo Lookout Fruit Stand whenever I went to Hana, but I had never stopped. So, last Monday, since I had some extra time before my appointment, I stopped by. It's a cute fruit stand decorated with healthy looking fruits. I ordered a banana smoothie and a fruit crape. They were yummy. It sounds like the fruits come from a farm of the owner of the fruit stand.

(Japanese) ハナに行く際、いつもこのフルーツスタンドを目にしては気になっていたのだけど、一度も止まってみたことがありませんでした。なのでこの前の月曜日、お仕事の約束の時間の前にちょっと余裕があったので止まってみることにしたのです。おいしそうなフルーツたちに飾られた黄色い元気いっぱいなフルーツスタンドは遠くから見てもかわいいです。バナナスムージーとフルーツクレープを注文しました。おいしかったよ。どうやら、果物たちはこのフルーツスタンドを経営されている方の果物畑からやってくるそうです。

You can sit and eat at this cute bench with the view below. I enjoyed my five-minute stop and was refreshed before my appointment.

(Japanese) このかわいい屋根つきのベンチに座って、下の写真のような眺めを見ながら休憩したり食べたり出来ます。5分間の休憩を楽しみました。

Huelo Lookout's View
フエロ ルックアウトからの眺め


Seeds Planted 種は植えられた

(Students planted vegetable and herb seeds to sell on a school fund raising day in March.)

This week has been intense in terms of managing time.

I have been working from 7 am to about 9 pm straight (with a lunch and dinner break).
It's been awhile to be this busy. I was enjoying the luxury of having flexibility in my schedule during the winter break, so how all of sudden my life got busy feels like getting in a bath tub without knowing that it's filled up with water, instead of hot water. Surprise!

Working at an elementary school, especially with younger students, sometimes, I even have to time myself a bathroom break. After school is done, I have to carefully plan my errands in order to make them happen. Otherwise, they don't get done.

Despite of the busyness, I am enjoying seeing and working with children every day. Also, I believe that the stress level of trying to juggle all the things gets much lesser the next week once I learn what to expect.

Anyhow, I am doing well. All the "seeds" are planted. I just need to keep taking care of them and loving them!









A Happy Discovery 嬉しい発見

There was a surprising yet happy news.
Loren found a tangerine tree in a vacant lot next to our place! The tree had many, many yellow jewels on it. As Loren and I love fruits, it was such a blessing for us! So, we received a bracket full of tangerines. We shared with our friends, but there were more! I am so grateful and appreciative.

(Japanese) ちょっとビックリでとっても嬉しいことがありました。

Although we live in Hawaii, it gets cold in the early morning and late evening especially in this "winter" season. As I get cold easily, socks are my friends. The floor of the house we live in is tiles, so when I put my feet down when I wake up, it makes my backbone cold. When we went to get gather tangerines, I did not have my socks (because I only have 3 pairs, and all of them were washed), so I borrowed Loren's. The right one is a sock for playing soccer, I think. The left one is Loren's favorite camping sock. For some reason, I could not find their pairs, so I wore mis-matching socks like in the photo :) When I looked down at my feet, I thought it was funny, so I took a photo of it.

(Japanese) ハワイと言えども、最近は朝晩が冷え込みます。寒がりの私としては靴下は欠かせません。特にベッドが置かれている部屋の床がタイルなので朝起きて足を下ろす瞬間がヒヤーとしています。みかん狩りに行った日に、自分の靴下(そのときは3足しか持っていないので。でも最近新たに3足買いました)が全部洗濯中だったので、ローレンのを借りました。右が彼がサッカーをしていた頃のサッカーの靴下。左が彼の長年使っているキャンプ用の靴下。何故か一つずつしか見つけれなかったので、ミスマッチな組み合わせですが。ふと足元を見て「あはは、変なのー」と思って面白かったので写真に撮りました。


Organization 整理整頓

Papers, papers, and papers...

The winter break is almost over...
I cannot help to wish there was one more week or at least three more days...

The next Monday will be the first day to be back at my student teaching classroom. I am excited to see the students, though. The university's spring semester will begin, too. This semester will be my last one; I will graduate with a teaching degree in May. During this semester, I will be required to be at my student teaching classroom everyday (Mon - Fry) from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm for about five months. I hope I can wake up every morning...

During this winter break, I was organizing my belongings. I went through everything to divide between what I wanted to keep and what I did not need to keep anymore (even if I wanted to keep.) Then, I was finding places to put things away which I judged to keep. I like to keep my belongings as few as I could, but there are certain items that I cannot let go of, such as textbooks that I look back as I teach and my favorite writers' books. When I first came to Maui, I came with a suitcase and a big backpack. Since then, I got a couple of furniture, like a study desk, a chair, a bookshelf, and a printer. Also, I got some cooking items, such as pans, knives, and a cutting board. I cannot put all of them in one suitcase and a big backpack anymore.

Well, this is the last weekend. I will make a final burst here to get ready for the next week.


My notes from classes I have taken in the past. I refer back to them time to time.






Entering Motherhood お母さんになるにあたって

Today, I was invited to a circle of friends to ritualize my friends' transition to motherhood. She is expecting a baby in the mid of February.

It was a beautiful ceremony. We all sat in a circle and introduced ourselves by telling how we met her and how we perceive her. Then, we individually presented an object to place and leave on her birth altar in addition to an inspirational quote, story, prayer, or a chant to celebrate her journey to become a mother.

I have not been a mother yet, so I do not exactly know what it is like to be one. But I know what it is like to be loved by a mother. It must be a wonderful feeling to be a mother because it was a wonderful feeling to be loved by a mother...

A new life is about to be born. A new mother is about to be made.

I prayed that my friend's new journey as a mother will be healthy and joyous.

As a side story about motherhood, when I was about 6th grader (12 years old), my mother said, "Well, you are a sixth grader now, and that makes me a 12th grader then." She meant that she had been a mother for 12 years (since I was born). She is a 25th grader today. When she told me that, I told her jokingly, "It's not fair that my brother (younger) is raised by a little more experienced mother, but I am the first-born-child, so I am sort of your first trial!" Then, my mother said, "Well, I become a first grader all over again when your brother was born." Then, I thought to myself, "I guess that makes sense because she is raising a whole different human being from the beginning again."

She told me, "As you grow, I grow as a mother, too. Thank you for growing with me."

(Photo above: Willow Tree products by Susan Lordi. I gave this one to my friend.)


(Food afterwards... Everything was so yummy!)









Community Service Day コミュニティサービスデイ

Today, I painted a classroom at an intermediate school on Maui where Loren works. Students came up with this idea of painting some of the classrooms which did not look so great. Loren supported their idea, and he called it as a community service day. We called our friends for help, and many of our friends showed up and helped us painting. His students worked hard, and all the volunteers worked hard, too. We very much appreciated their help. I think working with various kinds of people is fun (different age, occupation, gender, and so on), and a community service work is a good way to bring people together.

First, we taped everything that had potential to get painted but did not want to be painted.

Before this wall was painted (it was light blue color).

First, we need to cut in and paint the between blocks.

Me painting on top of the closet like a monkey.



Loren's friends. They are professional painters.

This photo does not really show, but the wall was painted in light green sage color, and the closet was painted in dark blue. I like these two colors.


A Happy New Year! 明けましておめでとうございます

I humbly express a joyous greeting of a new year to you.
Thank you very much for your support throughout the last year. I pray for your continuous prosperity and our friendship to grow stronger.