Archive for December, 2009

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

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From the Pounders’ Family, we would like to say Happy New Year to all of you!

We continue to see the Lord do wonderful things here in Japan, and we are expecting great things in 2010!  Please remember the work here as you pray,  that God will continue to bless and that His Spirit will continue to move in a mighty way!

With Love In Christ Jesus;

The Pounders Family

Ghanaian party, misc., and a special time for our family!

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Hello everyone!! Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and will have a happy New Year!!

Here are some pictures that I would like to share from a Ghanaian Christmas party/family get together. Well, it started out as a family get together with the Ghanaian families in the church and then more and more people got invited, so finally they just about invited the whole church. But it was really fun. I liked it. But there is one problem…some of the people I don’t know.

In this first picture, Haley is on the left and Lisa is on the right holding Alice. I met the guy in the second picture but I don’t remember his name. But I don’t know know the other two ladies.

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And in these pictures, there is pretty much all church people.

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And in this picture, you can see some of the guys pretty engrossed into the Indianapolis 500wii racing game.

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And this is the famous Mt. Fuji, or Fuji-san. And I think the cloud over it looks cool. It almost looks like smoke is coming out of the top, like it’s erupting, but it’s not.

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And this is when we went out to a restaurant called Don Tei with Brother and Sister Yokoyama and Seika. It was absolutely COOL!!!! First, when you walk up to the door, this is what you see. Then after you walk in, you have to take your shoes off and put it into these little locker things.

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And then you get taken back to your table. But your table looks like one of those little floor tables, but when you sit down, you put you feet down into the floor. It is made to be sat in like a Western style table, but the way it’s made, well…you can see in the picture below.

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It was SO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!! And there are only like two different types of things to order; sukiyaki or shabu shabu. And you can get either of them in either beef or pork. And you can choose from three different sizes. So the waitress brings out you little tray with all your meat on it (raw of course as you can see in the picture) and a bowl with vegetables. Oh yeah and like 5 minutes before she brings the food, she comes and turns on the little pot thing on. So after she brings the food out, we all put our food in it and cook it.  And we only cooked a little at a time. We would put in a couple pieces of meat and several of the vegetables. We would let them cook for a few minutes and then we’d take it out and put it in our bowls and eat it while we had some more meat and vegetables cooking. It was SO good!!!!

And yes, those are crutches you see in the back behind me. I have a sort of funny story and then again it’s not so funny.

Well, about two weeks ago, Beck and I were playing boxing on the Wii, and we were into our 6th round and neither of us would die. I was getting tired and I didn’t want to quit. So I was really getting into the game and I had stuck my left leg out straight to the side and bent my right leg forward, in a squat position sort of. Sometime in the last round, my knee popped out the inside, popping toward the floor. so finally I said, “Beck I give up. You win”  then I took off down the stairs. It hurt going down the stairs but I thought, “My knee just popped sideways; of course it’s going to hurt” and I didn’t think anything else about it. Well, about two weeks later, it was just getting worse and I was limping, so Monday, December 28th, my mom called the base hospital and they said they wouldn’t be able to get me an appointment for a week out or more, so the best thing to do was to take me to the urgent care. So that’s what we did. When we got to the hospital, I got back to the room pretty quick. So me and my dad were sitting back there for like 30-45 minutes before the doctor came. My dad and I were going over one of the songs we learned in Japanese and Ghanaian. Then when the doctor came in, she asked me some questions, and honestly, I thought she was going to start laughing when I told her I hurt my knee playing the Wii but she didn’t. So the pushed and pulled and twisted and turned my knee pretty much anyway she could to see it any of the ligaments or tendons were broken or torn. She said that was all good and it is probably just a knee sprain but it is hard to tell right now since it is still swollen and still pretty painful and since I was limping so bad, she gave me the crutches and I have to wear an ace bandage for the swelling. But she said that if it doesn’t get better or if it gets worse, then the meniscus (one of the tendons or ligaments on the inside of the knee) might have gotten moved out of place and she said that can be pretty painful and will bring to light a little bit of a bigger problem. But we are just praying that will not happen!!!

And here us yours’  truly making peanut putter fudge for some little goodie things we were doing for the church. And this is a sight you don’t see TOO often!!! (Beck wanted the pose!!!)

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And here are a couple extra things for everyone.

First, how many of you know the song, “God Is So Good.” Well, now I know it in 3 languages; English, Ghanaian, and Japanese. They are very simple but very good.

In English for those of you who’ve never heard it before.

God is so good (x3)

He’s so good to me.

In Japanese.

Shu wa subarashi (3x)

Watashi no shu

And in Ghanaian.

O Nyami ye (3x)

Nyami ye ma mi

Also here is the recipe for the peanut butter fudge in case if anyone would like to know.

1 container of vanilla frosting (or you can use chocolate frosting if you want a chocolate peanut butter fudge instead of just peanut butter fudge)

15 oz of peanut butter

Put the frosting in the microwave for one minute. Quickly take out and put peanut butter in for one minute. Once peanut butter is done, quickly take out and stir both together.  Once it is mixed thoroughly, put it in the pan you wish to use. If it takes me a few minutes to get them completely mixed, I’ll stick in back in the microwave for about 5-10 seconds to let it get thin again then I’ll pour it into the pan. And I spray the pan with non-stick spray so it’ll come  out easier. Then you can either just let it sit out or stick it in the fridge to cool. And that’s it; no baking or anything. And it’s AWESOME!!!!

Well, I hope everyone had a great Christmas and hope you will have an awesome New Year!!!

Christmas, Fellowship And…Fish?!?!

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Konnichi wa tomodachi!!!!

How is everyone doing? We are all doing wonderfully and awesomely great!! Here are some pictures from our Christmas service that we had on Sunday, the 20th of December. There are pictures from the international and the Japanese service. And some of the kids from the international congregation put on a play. I don’t have pictures from the actual play, put there are pictures of all the kids in the church anyway.

First of all, I would like to show you how beautiful it is here. Even the sunflowers are out.

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So here are the pictures from Sunday. First, here is little Jeremiah.

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And here is a group picture. Starting from the back left; Brother Logan, Jesse, Lisa, Christine, Bernice, Sally, Joy, Mame (sp), and my dad. Next, starting from left; Haley, Beck, Sister Logan, Zion, Vivi, and me. And the front row, left to right, Michelle, and Jeremiah. We had so much fun!!!

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And here is little newborn baby Peter.

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And this is Lisa’s little 5 month old cousin, Alice. In the second picture, she looks like she’s saying, “Really? Do you have to get my picture? I just woke up.”

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And these were all taken at the Japanese service. Oh yeah, and I have a praise report!!!! We have invited our neighbor and owner of our house, Kamata-san, to church a few times and even two weeks ago, he was playing around and acted like he was going to jump in the van with us. My dad said, “Jump on in, Kamata-san. We’re going to church!!!” But Kamata-san just laughed. So Wednesday I went over and invited Kamata-san to the Christmas program we were having, both the International and the Japanese services. And he said that he didn’t have any plans for Sunday so they would probably come and he would see what Kouhei, his son, wanted to do. So I prayed and prayed, “God, PLEASE let Kamata-san come? PLEASE let Kouhei want to come?” And then we didn’t see them anymore. So after the International service on Sunday, we went down the street to a place called Ito Yokado with Lisa and Bernice. When we pulled back into the church parking lot, I saw this car there and I thought, ” I don’t think that belongs to anyone in the Japanese congregation, but it looks very familiar”. So we pulled into a parking lot and when we get up to the door, this lady is standing there with her son and then I really thought, “Okay, I recognize her from somewhere, but where is it”. Then she says, “Kansashimasu” which means “Praise the Lord” in Nihongo. We replied, “Kansashimasu”. Then the boy reaches out and touches my hand. I look down and he’s in a flight jacket. Then I get really suspicious. I’m thinking, “Who in the Japanese congregation has that much contact with the base to get a flight jacket?” That’s when it hits me…IT’S KOUHEI AND HIS MOM!!!!!! I said, “Kouhei!!!!!” He smiles and says, “Touch?” which is his was of saying tag.  Then his mom says, “Dame (pronounced dahmeh)” which means “which means “no that’s bad”. Then I said, “I wonder where Kamata-san is?” The Kamata-san’s wife pointed over to their car… and what do you know, it was the car that looked SO familiar!!!! And no wonder it looked so familiar. I see it everyday!!! I was so glad Kamata-san was there with his family. So when we got inside after he saw a couple people in the church, and then we went and sat down. Lisa and Bernice were going crazy over Kouhei. They kept saying, “Oh he is so adorable!!!! He is the cutest thing ever!!!!!” They stayed though the whole service. And Mrs. Kamata, or Kamata-san, was listening very intently during the whole service. And Mr. Kamata, or Kamata-san, was taking pictures during the service. And when we got home that night, Kamata-san was pulling in too. So we asked him if they enjoyed the service and he said they all enjoyed it very much. I’m so glad they were able to come!!!!

So here are the pictures from the eating meeting after church, or maybe you would rather call it fellowship, but that food was su goi (awesome or great)!! Well, some of it I didn’t try but others I did.

Here is a sushi tray. And for those of you in the states, sushi isn’t raw fish. It is vinegar’ed rice, but the Japanese put different things with that rice, whether it be with shrimp or octopus or any other type of fish. And most of them are wrapped in seaweed. Also, we have seen some that have vegetable in them. Those look like there is celery and carrots and maybe something else in the center. Oh and those little orenji just to the right of the middle, are called fish eggs.

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And this little neat contraption is called a takoyaki-ki, which means, “octopus (tako) griller (yaki) machine (ki) or something like that. I know I have the tako and the ki right but I don’t know about the yaki. I forgot Sister Yokoyama’s words that she used for it. Anyway, you take some flour and water and mix it up and then put i some vegetable in it, then… you put a piece of octopus in it. I didn’t get brave enough to try it, but everyone else was eating them up like crazy!!! And my dad tried one and he said it wasn’t too bad at all. Then we went out and got us one later!!

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And this was something. I don’t remember the name though. Actually no one told me, but whatever it was, it was really good!!! Su goi!!!! Awesome!!!! And then the next picture is of some ham maybe and some chicken. Or maybe it’s just chicken and then on the right are some egg rolls or spring rolls. I think spring and egg rolls are the same thing. But I don’t know for sure. Please don’t hold me to that!

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And here is a type of salad thing that someone made with rice noodles (very thin noodles. You can almost see through them) and tomato and I think bell peppers and cucumbers. That was su goi too!!! And in the second picture, you can see some of the okashi (sweets) that were made. On the right you can see my mom’s Rits crackers with peanut butter in the middle dipped in chocolate and peanut butter fudge and in the back you see a bit of some haystacks. In the middle, there are some type of Japanese okashi. I think it might have fruit stuff in the middle. It looks really good!! And then on the left, there are some little cake type things that were made.

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And this is Sister Yokoyama’s mom and dad. Aren’t they kawaii!!! My mom said, “I know I’m not supposed to do this but they are so cute!!!!”

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And here are the CRAZY youth!!! And then baby Alice chewing on a chicken bone.

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And here are all the younger kids sitting on the steps eating. And then my dad and Brother Yokoyama eating.

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And in this picture, there are only a few people I can name but I will try!!

Brother Sato is on the far left and the table; Sister Yokoyama is the third person standing from the left; Brother Arai is leaning over the table on the right; and Enos is standing facing toward the right. That’s all I can think of!! Gomen nasai!!! And then the next picture, I was SOO tired!!! I had gotten up at like 7:30 or 8:00 that morning and then it was like 5:30. But I had been in heels all day and my feet were hurting and…I was just plain ole’ tired!!! So I laid my head over on my mom and Beck snapped this shot!

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And these next pictures might gross some of you out so I guess I would say if you want to take the risk and see it, well…you can’t say I didn’t warn you!!

These were taken at the grocery floor of Tokyu, a store near our house, about 10 minutes walking. And what is funny is that while I was taking pictures, one of the guys behind the counter…chopping heads of fish, said something about shashinand then kind of nodded his head toward me. The other guy looked and started laughing. When I looked up, (I saw all of this out of the corner of my eye) I felt my face get red!!! I was sort of embarrassed that they saw me, but they were laughing. And I guess they know I didn’t speak Japanese because they didn’t try and say anything to me. They just laughed. It was SO funny!!

So here are they pictures. Get ready!! Get set!!! Look at the eyeballs!!!!

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And some squid and then some octopus.

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And some other fish and then some crab legs.

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And if you don’t want your fish touching other fish, buy it  individually packaged. And then some HUGE shrimp.

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And then there is some sushi that yours truly tried. And I must admit, only tried. The rice was good but I wasn’t too fond of the seaweed. It left an unpleasant taste in my mouth. But at least I tried it. And I think that I might grow accustomed to the taste if I ate it more often but as of right now, I don’t think I’ll be eating any more of it for a little bit!!!  And I have no clue what was in the first one, but it didn’t look very good. So that part I didn’t try! The third picture is of the second thing I tried. And in it we think there was some salmon or some type of fish, seaweed, and something else that we’re not for sure what it was.

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Well tomodachi, that is all I have for now. Will be putting up another post as soon as I can.

Talk to everyone later and …..MERII KURISUMASU!!!!! MERRY CHRISTSMAS!!!!!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Merry Christmas to all our friends and family!

We would like to say how much we appreciate your prayers and support.  From our family to yours, we hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!  We are thankful to the Lord for what He has done, and we are waiting in anticipation at what He is going to do!  May God richly Bless you and your family as we remind ourselves of the sacrifice our Savior made for us. He is the reason for the season!

May God continue to pour out His blessings and His Spirit during this New Year!

The Pounders’ Family

Interesting Facts About Japan!

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Konnichiwa! (Good Afternoon!)

Hope this finds everyone doing fine!  As you visit our website and see what God is doing in Japan, please leave a comment and tell us what you think.  We enjoy hearing from you.

Here are some interesting facts about Japan.

–Japan Population: (in 2008) 127,704,000

–US Population (in 2008) 304,059,724,

–Population of California (in 2008) 36,756,666

Size of Japan: slightly smaller than the state of California (2008)

Religions: observe both Shinto and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%) There is varying information on the statistics.  One site I found said showed 2% Christianity in 2009.  The stats listed above are from 2008.  Either way, the percentage is very low.

The population of Tokyo alone is over 12 million or about 10% of the total population of Japan.

There are only three missionary families (UPCI) in Japan. This does not include AIM workers or apostolic missionaries from other organizations.  This is a sobering thought when you consider the population.  Please pray for the work in Japan! We are expecting a tremendous harvest in Japan and throughout Asia!  The fields are ready for harvest…but the laborers are few.

We hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The Pounders Family

Sunday December 13, 2009-Baby Dedication

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Hello Everyone!!!

Here are some pictures from church today, Sunday, December 13th, 2009. We had a baby dedication for Brother Paul and Sister Blessing Apedo’s baby, Peter, which is pronounced “pee-tah”.

His full name Apedo Peter Eyram, which is pronounced, “Apehdo Pee-tah Ehram”. And Eyram mean, “God’s Blessings”.  Anyway, here are the pictures from the baby dedication. There are not many but that is okay.

Here is Brother Paul and Sister Blessing.

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And Brother Paul looking down at Peter after my dad gave him a red carnation. “The red represents the Blood of Jesus, as He is the head and the priest of the church, the father is the head and priest of the home, into which the child has come”.

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And Sister Blessing after my dad gave her a white carnation. “This is a symbol of the purity of heart with which you have endowed the home into which this child has come.”

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And my dad holding Peter as he gets the oil to pray for Brother Paul, Sister Blessing, and Peter.

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Brother Paul and Sister Blessing as they are waiting for my dad to come down.

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My dad praying for Peter.

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People are getting pictures and Sister Blessing is looking at her beautiful baby boy.

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And a close up of baby Peter. Isn’t he absolutely adorable and beautiful!!! And gorgeous!!!

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And this one I have to tell you about. I’m over by Sister Blessing and Brother Paul’s niece, Joy, and I’m just watching. Then Sister Blessing says, “Rachel, would you like to hold him?” I was like, “Sure!!!” Then I tried to put my camera in my pocket and it wouldn’t go. Then Joy asked me if I wanted her to take my picture with Peter. I said, “Yes please, if you don’t mind!!” She said, “No of course not!! I don’t mind!!” So I got my picture with baby Peter!!

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Well that is all for now. I’m finally caught up and will be trying to keep up with everything from now on!!

Tama Hills

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Konnichi wa tomodachi!!!!

I would like to share with everyone some pictures from when we went to a military recreation place called Tama Hills. Well first, I will tell you that we went to this place several times before when we were here 7 almost 8 years ago and we always had a blast. So when we got to the office where we check in, my mom and I went to go look around and see what all was the same, and what was different from 7 years ago. We pointed to where we used to sit in the restaurant and were just looking around. Then I went back up there with my dad and Beck, just in time to here, ” Sir, I’m sorry, but I’m afraid we don’t have your reservation.” Beck and I looked at each other and it’s almost like we could just read each other’s thoughts. I was thinking, ” Awe man. She has to be joking. I hope they have a room available” and Beck looked like she was thinking the same thing. Then my dad said, “Well do you have any rooms available at all?” and she said, ” Actually sir, yes we do. We have a standard cabin and the Chief’s cabin available.” The standard cabin was a small cabin and the Chief’s cabin is the awesome cabin. Anyway, so my dad said, “Does the Chief’s cabin have the hot tub?” and she said, “Yes sir it does. would you like that one?”. My dad was like, “Yes ma’am, we’ll take that one. Girls…don’t tell your mom.” We laughed and said, “Okay we won’t!!” Then when we start to go up the hill, my mom says, “Why are you going up to the Chief’s cabin? The other cabins are the other way.” My dad was like, “Maybe they added some of the other cabins up here.” Then, I will admit, that I started laughing and almost spit Snapple peach tea out my mouth. Everyone looked back and was like, “Are you okay? What are you laughing at?” It was funny. Then my mom realized that we had gotten the Chief’s cabin instead. And let me tell you, it was totally AWESOME!!!!! So here are the pictures.

Here is a picture of some apartments that were built on top of a tunnel. Wow. I don’t know if I would want to live in those apartments. I’d be too scared that they’d fall into the tunnel. But at least their built on the support beam of the tunnel. I guess that’s okay. The first picture was taken on the way to Tama and the next two was taken on the way back.

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And here are a couple pictures of the Tama river. And these people really wanted to fish because it was cold that day. I don’t think I would want to be down there in that water.

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And here is our complimentary golf cart. They gave these because some of the roads are too narrow for a vehicle to get through. And I asked my dad if I could drive it but…he had to sign a paper saying that the driver had to have a license. I asked if my expired permit would do even though it was expired, but he said no. Oh well, I tried.

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And here is the front of our cabin. And then the loft where Beck and I slept. These two couches pulled out into beds. This is the American version of the futon.

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And this is the second of the three rooms. And then looking from the top of the stairs going to the loft to the door.

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Then looking at out cute little kitchen table. And then still from the loft, looking across from the table at the couch and coffee table.

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Then our little kitchenette. And in the bathroom, almost everything there was wood, too. Even the toilet seat!!!

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And here is my parents room. And then looking from their room into the living room.

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And Beck posing at the top of the stairs to the loft. And then looking in to one of the rooms from the kitchen. You can see the pantry on the left and the sink/stove on the right.

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And here I’m downstairs looking up toward the loft.

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And going outside,

Here is the left side of the cabin. Well left looking toward the front door from outside. And then our deck that’s almost the same size as the cabin. Oh yeah, and with our hot tub!!

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And Beck. And then there was this big hill next to the cabin and Beck and I went up there and got a picture of the whole cabin. Well, almost the whole cabin.

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And here is what we think might have been a hot spring type thing. And the steps leading up to the places where this was.

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And then Beck posing in the golf cart.

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And here is the other side of the cabin with the van beside it.

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And here is a tree growing sort of above ground. Well most of the roots are above ground. This particular tree is growing on the hill thing next to the cabin, but the hill is made almost entirely concrete or rock and that is what is so cool about the tree. But it will end up like the parable in the Bible where the seed fell on rocky soil. But this is more like soily rock.

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And here are some pictures from when we went out exploring Tama Hills on the golf cart while we were waiting to do something else. I thought these were cool. They are ammunition bunkers and were built during World War II. They had the doors on these closed but there was one for sure that had the doors open. Anyways, these bunkers were built into the side of the mountains because it was a great hiding place. And it provided protection in case Japan was bombed. And in the third picture, you can see the ventilation pipes and it’s hidden by all the vegetation. They were super smart to have built all this the way the did.

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And here is a picture of a plaque telling about this particular bunker.  Since it’s kind of small, actually it’s really small, I’ll write what it says;

“Three door concrete ammunition bunker. The ammunition bunker on this site was used to produce and store munitions for the Imperial Japanese Army. These industrial facilities were constructed almost entirely out of concrete, with most having one-foot thick walls and arched ceilings for structural support. Windows and doors were made entirely out of heavy gauge steel.  The design and layout for the Second Factory was a significant upgrade over that of the First Factory. By 1940, the pace of the war in Eastern China had dramatically increased and Japan was preparing to launch it’s campaign for dominance in the Pacific. To meet the increased demand for larger, more powerful bombs, both the production and storage capacity of the Second Factory were increased. The linear, assembly line process used at the First Factory was abandoned in favor of several parallel processes arrayed in a circular layout. To accommodate the 500 kg (approximately 1,000 pounds) bombs in production, several three-door ammunition bunkers were constructed.  To address the issue of erosion and flooding, these larger bunkers were built with deep gutters in the concrete wing walls to drain rain water down the hillside.”

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And here is one of the open bunkers. And then my dad standing at attention by one of the door posts.

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And here you can see what the inside looks like. And the next picture, Beck and I were sitting on the back of the golf cart. I thought the trail looked pretty with all the trees lining the side. And look at all the greenery. These were taken December 9th and all, or most, of the vegetation is still green.

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And here is one of the other bunkers. This one is totally concrete. And I forgot to mention it, but on this one and the other two, you can see some vegetation growing on top of the them. Some of it was tree roots growing out and then some of it was just small vines and grass and other things like that growing. But it’s neat how it hid the bunkers. And the second picture is an incinerator, which I just recently found out what they are used for.

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And these next couple pictures are of a munitions elevator. It’s quite cool. And I will write what the plaque said about it.

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And this is looking up into the top of the elevator. They must have covered it up with metal so the rain wouldn’t get in. Then there is my mom, Beck and I standing in front of the elevator. And the neat thing is, on Beck’s camera, the flash didn’t go off, so it looks dark behind us, but on my camera, the flash did go off making it able to see. And in the fourth picture, you will see the blast wall for a munitions storage or something. Below that I will put the writings on the plaque so you will know exactly what it is for.

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“When it was turned over to U.S. Forces at the end of World War II, the Tama Powder Plant included three completed factories (Factory One , Factory Two, and Factory Three), a fourth factory under construction, warehouses, housing areas, a school, a hospital, dormitories, and administrative buildings. To exploit Tama’s dense forest canopy, the 400-acre complex, had to be constructed over mountainous terrain. While the rugged terrain benefited the facility in that it precluded its detection from the air, it also presented significant difficulties in moving  munitions.  The elevator at the end of this access road is one of the three that remain at Tama Service Annex. This particular example is the largest of the three. The entrance to the elevator measures 2.5 meter wide my 2.6 meter high. the other two elevators are located at Factory Three. Workers could transfer heavy materials about 13.5 meters vertically in a safe manner using this electric-powered elevator. The shaft of this elevator is free standing and exposed, unlike the others, which were constructed entirely within the hill. This particular elevator is well concealed by the natural vegetation and slope of the surrounding hillside.  There were three wooden buildings in this small valley that were used for munitions storage and handling. Each building had one thick concrete wall on the side that faced the access road to minimize the effect of an accidental blast. The wooden structures have all been demolished and only one of the three blast walls remains standing.” And that you be the wall that I have shown above!!!

And here are some pictures that can show you exactly how concealed the munitions elevator is. And then you will see yours truly and her sister.

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And this tomodachi, is what I have been wanting to show you!! I need one thing though. DRUM ROLL!!!!!!!


Ok well it might not be that exciting for you, but I went on my first horseback ride. And it was fun!!! Except for when my dad’s horse, who was right in front of mine, went to the bathroom and my horse almost stepped in it. But thankfully I steered it out of the way and it didn’t. I didn’t want the stomach wrenching smell to follow us all the way back to the stable. That would not have been very pleasant!! Well, first you see the stable where they keep all four of their horses and then you will see my mom and then her horse. And we had to wear those helmets. My dad said he wished he would’ve had a cowboy hat instead. Then while we were riding, he turned back to me and said, “We’re burning daylight, pilgrim” with a John Wayne accent. And walking into the stables, my mom said, “Saddle up”…pun intended!!! And just to tell you, this first horse was HUGE!!!!

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Beck getting on her horse.

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And moi on the horse. And then my dad and I on the way back.

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And these were all taken at this absolutely huge outlet mall that we went to that night. And I mean huge!!!!

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And what is this? WHAT?!?! IT’S A WENDY”S SIGN!!!! YES!! Yes this is a Japanese Wendy’s sign.

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And they had a couch store at this mall. There were little coin purses for Y 35,000 or about $350.00. When we saw this, we were like, “Don’t breathe!!! We can’t afford to breathe the air!!!” or “Don’t touch the plastic shelf!!! If it gets a fingerprint on it, we won’t be able to afford to pay to clean it!!!”  But I was able to get these pictures, something from there I could afford!!! And they also had a guard standing at the door!!! WOW!!!

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And almost last but not least, here is Beck playing a video game while I’m watching. And Beck posing outside.

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Okay now last but not least, here are my parents sitting on the porch swing at the cabin. Isn’t that cute?!?!?!?

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Here is the link for the Tama Hills Recreation Area if you want to read about the history of the base:, then click on the “History” link to pull up a PDF file.  The history of the base is very interesting.

Well that is it for now. Sorry this one is SO long!!! I didn’t want to break this into two entries, but I took a lot of pictures while we were at Tama and I wanted to share them with all of you. Gomen nasai!!!!!

Yokosuka Naval Air Station

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Here are some pictures form when we went to Yokosuka Naval Air Station with Brother and Sister Logan and Jeremiah. We had so much fun!!! And although it took about 2 1/2-3 hours to get to Yokosuka, it is only about 45 miles or so away. It only took so long to get there because of the traffic.

Here is the sign at the NEX, or the Navy Exchange.

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And Jeremiah. This was taken after we got into the NEX and he was waking up from his nap that he took on the way to Yokosuka. He has this look like, ” Do I want to act like I’m still asleep or do I want to just get up.” He’s SO cute!!!

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And here are several different kinds of kimonos that are absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!!

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And then Beck standing next to the kimono manikin.

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And here is a samurai statue thing.

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And here is a old man and woman kokeshi doll. Isn’t it kawaii?!?!?

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And here are two women kokeshi doll hashi(chopstick) holders. And then a samurai kokeshi doll.

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And then an old man and woman figurine. They are both drinking tea. Then there are two Japanese glass figurines in kimonos. They are very beautiful.

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And here is a man and a woman glass figurines carrying some wooden buckets on their shoulders. Except their all in glass.

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And here is a nativity set. And it’s actually on base!!!! On government  property!!!!

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And here are some of the ships that we saw come in while we were eating at Chile’s on the water. That would be awesome to have one of those in the states! But we could see the waves coming up onto the edge of the patio of Chile’s.  Brother Logan kept saying, “There must be a storm coming in. Look at those waves!!” They were coming up over the edge of the patio about a foot high or so. Anyway here are the ships we saw coming in. Look at those waves!!! You can also see some of the Navy patrol boats and we thing maybe some battle ships and maybe a crew ship. We think the crew ship was the big blue and white ship. And the little grey ones are the battle ships, well what we think are the battle ships.

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And here is a lighthouse. And then you can see Brother Logan, my dad, and Beck looking at something, probably one of the ships.

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These were taken at Chile’s while we were waiting. Isn’t Jeremiah absolutely so cute?!?!?!?!?! In the secone picture, Jeremiah wanted to get down and sit the way I was sitting while I was taking his picture.

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And here are some more of the ships. The first three are the ones that we thought were the battle ships.

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And here are a couple of the patrol boats.

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My mom thought this might be a cruise ship or something like that.

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And here are some more pictures of Jeremiah. But there is a story behind his face. At Chile’s I pointed to a bird and said, “what’s that Jeremiah” and he said, “where”. So I pointed to the bird and said, “can you say bird?” and he raised his eyebrows and said, “Bird”. It was so funny the way he said it. It’s kind of hard to tell you like this but it was hilarious. So all the way home, we kept saying, “Jeremiah, say bird”. Then after a while, he stopped saying it, so we started saying, “Jeremiah, don’t say bird!! Don’t say it!! Don’t say it!!” Then he would smile and laugh and say, “Bird!!!” By Thursday night, Sister Logan said, “If he says bird one more time, I’ll pack his bag and find your house with a beacon and drop him off!!” It was so funny!! then he looked at her and started to say “Bird” one more time and she said, “Nope, don’t do it. Mommy will tickle you”. Then he laughed and my mom said, “Say chicken”. So he looked at his mom and said, “Chicken!!” We were all laughing!!!

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And I know this is totally off the subject of ships and Jeremiah but this was one nice Mini Cooper!! And it was pretty!!

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And I must ask you this. Why is it that Americans can’t say “Merry Christmas” at stores and other public places but the Japanese can put this up on the side of a mall?

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And last but not least, here is Jeremiah after he fell asleep on the way home. Well, he fell asleep after it took us an hour to get one mile down the road to get off base!! Well at least we have some funny stories to tell!!! But  at least we were able to get on. Sister Logan said she knew of people going down there and having to drive back or do something else because the base was closed for something. Yeah I’m glad we got to get on. And we get to go back in January on the 23 so I can take my SAT. YES!!! Anyway, here is Jeremiah.

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Ok that’s all I have for now. Will get the other entries out as soon as I possibly can!!!

Love and miss y’all!!!

Sunday December 6, 2009

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Konnichi wa!!!

Here are some pictures from Sunday December 6. We had a joint service with the Japanese. That was cool. So here are the pictures!

Here are the praise singers, Sister Ishibashi and Sister Victoria. And then Brother Ishibashi and Brother Daniel. And in the last picture is the guitarist, Yoshiki, Brother and Sister Arai’s son.

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Sister Ishibashi. And then Sister Yokoyama on the piano singing.

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Brother Ishibashi and Brother Daniel again.

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Sister Ishibashi and Sister Victoria.

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Brother Yokoyama and Brother Kwasi. Brother Yokoyama was telling about how him and my dad both felt led to have the joint service and Brother Kwasi was translating for him.

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And this is Brother Yokoyama and my dad. Brother Yokoyama had my dad preach while he translated.

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And Sister Yokoyama on the piano after the service during the alter call.

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And here are the people during alter call. In the third picture, my mom is praying for Sister Jackie. Then in the fourth picture, Sally is praying for one of the girls from the Japanese congregation and Christine is behind them praying in the pink jacket.

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And here are the Japanese youth practising for a Christmas program that their doing.

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And here is Lisa’s little brother, Zion, with Lisa’s fake glasses on. Isn’t he cute?!?!?!

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And these were taken after church at a place called Ito Yokado. We were there with the Yokoyama’s, the Omorefe’s, and the Logan’s. Also Bernice and Christine were there.

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And how many of you knew Kellogg’s were global?!?!? I sure didn’t!!!! Well, they sure are, and here are some of them international Kellogg’s.

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And they had a few others but cereal is cereal!!!

That is all for this entry. Please come back for the next ones!!!!

Church, trees, and Spam.

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

Hello Everyone!!!

Here are some pictures from church Sunday, November 29 and then some I got just out and about.

Here is Sister Victoria and Bernice.

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Brother Daniel and Brother Gyasi (pronounced Jesse) on the drums.

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And my dad preaching.

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Here are some different looking flowers called trumpet flowers.

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And here is a little Scottie that we saw at this huge pet store at the Aeon mall.

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And here are the flowers my dad got for my mom for their 20th wedding anniversary.

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And these were taken on the first of December (same as my parents anniversary) when we went to the Christmas tree lighting on base. And talk about a major flash back. I remember a little about being there 8 years ago when we went, and what was funny was my parents remembered that 8 years ago, I had my hair in a braid just like I did this year. Also, since I was in Girl Scouts 8 years ago, I wore my brown tights, and this year, I wore brown trouser socks. I really didn’t remember what I wore 8 years ago but my mom did and she was like, ” Oh wow Rachel. Talk about a major flashback!!!” But it was fun. And for the people at Lighthouse Church, here is an awesome C.O.W. or church on wheels. It’s so cool looking!!!!! Actually it’s just a truck that the military uses or rents, I don’t know, for things like the tree lighting and other things like that. And in the second picture, you can see a few of the high school band members playing.

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And here’s my mom, Beck, and I.

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And then my mom and dad. AWWWE!!! How cute!!! And it was their anniversary. Oh and after the tree lighting, we went and celebrated their anniversary…with a subway sandwich.

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And here is the tree just seconds after all the kids plugged the cord in. Sorry it’s kind of blurred but then again it looks neat since the lights were moving.

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And for those of you that like spam, here is a Japanese version of spam. They show a small cut of spam on top of a thing of rice with seaweed wrapped around it. Hey actually it sound good!!! I would try it!!!

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Anyway, that is all for this entry. I will be doing more and getting them done as soon as possible.