Tuesday, April 27, 2010

One Family Under a Groove

It's been three years since we got married and almost 11 since we met. This year had to be the craziest of all, thanks for sticking it out with me.

Your my favorite!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Animal Farm

Whenever we go to the grocery store I always get really excited to find fun new candy to try. These are my new favorites. They're little cookies with animal faces on them.

Monkey face.

Other animal faces include: hippo, cow, cat, bunny, hedgehog, bear and mouse. They're all too cute to decide which one is my favorite.

I think the boxes are sometimes more fun than the candy inside.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Homeward Bound


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Church House Steps

We recently got a new church building, this is not it. This is the building that we used to meet in. It was dirty and cold and had no redeeming qualities.

Here is Peter teaching sunday school in the old building. I really just put this in to again remember how beautiful he looks with that long beard.

This was the bathroom, notice my photo is taken from outside in the hallway from a window that looks into the bathroom.

Here are some of the branch members getting ready to take a photo on our last Sunday in the old building. My favorite little girl isn't in the picture. I have been trying to get her to be my friend for months now, but to no avail. I think this is the month she will finally succumb to my friendship. She kinda looks like Shelly Kesler as a small chubby girl, but Japanese.

This is the new building, isn't it great? I wish we would have had it for more of the winter seasons. It is the first building I have been in here that has double pained windows that keep out the cold.

Its close proximity to McDonalds is nice when church meetings run a little long. Unfortunately, you have to walk right by the chapel windows in order to get there.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Old Australian Crawl

This is our bathtub. I love these Japanese bathtubs. I imagine you were all like me when you were younger and always wanted to fill the tub up to the tippy top and let it flow over the edge. It was as fun as I thought it would be.
Don't be alarmed by the transformer next to the tub that is not what we use to shower. Although, what we do use is almost just as bad.

Ps- Peters beard got to be about 5 inches long, but he recently cut it. It shed all over the tatami floor.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I Want To Break Free

A treat that I never thought too much about but still loved was the KitKat. Japan has taken the KitKat to the next level with its variety of flavors. But in true Japan fashion the flavors are only seasonal, lasting 2 weeks to 2 months. Here Peter has purchased a KitKat out of a vending machine. They come in a glass jar and are really cold, it's great!

Most of the time I can't read the flavors and sometimes have a hard time guessing what it is. Like this one, that to me looks like a mochi ball filled with ground beef. I later learned that its some sort of curry ball. It tasted like peanut butter.

This one was vegetable juice. ITOEN (printed in the bottom right corner)is a veggie juice similar to V8 splash. I didn't really like this one.

Here we were trying mango and Japanese plum drink.

Most recently we have found green tea sakura flavor.
Other flavors we have tried include: apple cider vinegar, lemon vinegar, strawberry, banana, dark chocolate, tart orange, orange, passion fruit & raspberry, flan, maple and rose. They have this one that is called Calpis, it is a very popular drink here in Japan that one is next on my list.

Monday, April 5, 2010

We Belong Among the Wildflowers

Spring is here and the Dangerfords are happy. Finally able to spend some time outside we are taking full advantage of the season. Sakura or cherry blossom season is beautiful here in Japan. The mountains are covered with pale pink and everyone is around. One thing that I love about Japan is their love of the outdoors. I have seen more gaijin (foreigners) in the past 2 days than I have my entire stay here.
Funny story: While visiting a local park at night for the sakura light-up, I was in the restroom washing my hands when a male gaijin walked in. We both stared at each other for a good minute, knowing good and well that the other spoke english. For some reason I couldn't think of what to do, as if he wouldn't understand me if I told him this was the ladies room. It was very strange.

I love looking at Peter from behind.

Marugame castle is one of our favorite spots here in Japan. There are castles everywhere, but this one has beautiful grounds were you could actually sit in the grass. Grass is extremely rare here in Japan. One thing I am really looking forward to when we return home is a picnic in a grassy park with my levi blanket. I really miss my levi blanket.

I love these flowers they are huge and grow on these trees that have no leaves just flowers.

This kid was cracking me up.

Have I been in Japan too long or is walking a cat on a leash strange in the states too?

And check out this all-star in his denim one piece. I could never dream of being as fashionable as Haru here.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Who Am I?

After a feeble attempt of starting this novel while traveling through Southeast Asia over the winter break, I finally made it through the unabridged version of Victor Hugo's literary masterpiece, Les Miserables, yesterday. And despite the fact that I have read some amazing books in my life, I feel like this one now stands alone at the top of my favorite books list. I know it sounds pretentious, but this is a novel that is filled with so many profound life lessons that it will truly inspire you to evaluate and change your life for the better.

Ever since I first heard the music from the play and my cousin Erik gave me a day long ten-year-old's abridgment of the story (Circa 1992) I have wanted to read through this classic, but it has taken me awhile to find an actual interest in taking on a 1,500 page novel. I have always figured that there were so many other great works of literature that something like that was a bad use of my time. I was completely wrong. Now, I am not saying that all long novels are more profound or better written than other, less sizable, novels. All I am saying is that this novel is one that I would encourage anyone to read through. You will run into several hundred pages of historical tangents and question their relevancy, but it will all feel necessary in the end.

Here is a quote from the preface that I believe explains the importance and value of this novel:

"So long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation, which, in the face of civilization, artificially creates hells on earth, and complicates a destiny that is divine, with human fatality; so long as the three problems of the age — the degradation of man by poverty, the ruin of woman by starvation, and the dwarfing of childhood by physical and spiritual night — are not solved; so long as, in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible; in other words, and from a yet more extended point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, books like this cannot be useless."

I have often thought about the value of my literary degree and how it is often only viewed as a steppingstone to something more lucrative, such as law school; but this is the type of novel that shows the true value of what a literary education teaches you about life. My love for literature and my learned ability to analyze the world through a variety of lenses is something I will always be grateful for. I strongly believe the world would be different if more people took the time to sit down and read through an inspiring book, watch a meaningful film, listen to some great music, analyze a beautiful piece of art, or bother with anything with artistic value as opposed to obsess over the kitsch and meaningless stuff the media continually tries to pass off as valuable. That being said, I will now step down from my soapbox.

I encourage you all to go out and read a good book.

- Peter