09 February, 2013

About today

The last four Saturdays running have been spent at wrestling meets. Getting up before the sun, driving, sitting and waiting, watching, yelling, congratulating, and driving home. Four Saturdays in a row!

I also baked some "Hundreds and Thousands"
slice for snacks this week.
It has been a great pleasure today to get up way after the sun rose, have a leisurely breakfast (after everyone else), and hear the boys having such a great time just staying home. I don't regret the four Saturdays away. Actually we all enjoyed them, but it did get tiring. The last month has raced past. All of a sudden it is mid-February and we're more than half-way through the school year!

For lunch we went to visit some OMF friends who also have three sons, one of which is in our middle son's class. It was a lovely time. We're so rarely invited into someone else's home here (we take up a lot of room in a Japanese house) that it is an absolute treat whenever it happens.

As is often the case in long discussions with other missionaries, talk turned to the future. Future including upcoming conferences (a big one in Hokkaido for us in June), summer holidays, home assignments (them–middle of this year; us–from the middle of next year), and even longer-term, education of our kids post-school, even retirement.

These discussions are interesting, are often repeated in various forms, and sometimes make me feel uneasy. On the one hand, I have enough things being concerned about what's coming up in the next week or month. On the other hand, these future events need to be thought about and planned for. Aspects of that make me uneasy, however. There are lots of unknowns that I struggle with accepting.

The fun part of the discussion was talking about camping. It amazes me how few missionaries have tried camping in Japan. I'm not sure why, maybe because there is an initial outlay involved plus the challenges of finding camping places (mostly in Japanese resources).

Another interesting part of the discussion was about our two very different types of home assignment. Theirs in Singapore, with a single supporting church in a small country. Ours in enormous Australia with dozens of supporting churches and individuals spread across thousands of kilometres. It makes for very different looking home assignments!

Just now, in the background two boys are wrestling in the lounge room. Thankfully it is mostly panting and giggles I hear. The oven is sizzling with some meatballs, and the heater is blowing out hot air to counter the cold below-5C temperatures outside. Upstairs one boy is showering and his father supervising, but probably also folding clothes that dried outside today in the sunshine.

It's been a good day. How was your Saturday?


Georgia said...

Is Hundreds and Thousands Slice anything like Iced Brownies with Sprinkles?

Glad you've had a relaxing Saturday, and time with friends.

Wendy said...

I'm impressed Georgia. Not "frosted brownies" OMF Japan really did have an impression on you ;-)

Yes, they're alike in that they are chocolate and slice-like. The difference is that this slice has coconut in it. The name of the recipe is actually "Chocolate Fudge Slice", but it was a favourite in my home growing up and "Hundreds and Thousands Slice" was its nickname.

Georgia said...

We always had icing on cakes etc. when I was growing up. Frosting was a word I learned later. I think it may be a regional thing in US English. So hard to remember at my age.

Ken Rolph said...

Icing and frosting are variations on the idea of coating a cake with sugar.

Icing usually sits in a thinner layer and sets harder. It can have colours and flavours in it and be made smooth with a spatula. It is useful as a base for sticking things on. You can break bits of icing off to suck them

Frosting tends to be moister and thicker and softer. You can lick frosting off with your tongue or scoop it with your finger (so long as you don't get caught).

I spent Saturday at a 4 year old birthday party. There was a cake in the form of a freight train on liquorice tracks with icing sides and frosting tops. The wheels were made by freckles and the carriages were full of jellybeans, chocolate lots and other stuff. By 11 am many of the partiers had flaked out and were put to bed.

I spent the afternoon walking on the beach and looking for barnacles on the rock ledges. None of this was what I could have imagined doing at my age when I was your age. It still remains interesting. You can't really look forward to it in detail, but you eventually get there anyway.

Caroline said...

I was looking at the picture of the slice and wondering how you managed to keep enough for snacks during the week! I've got 4 boys (teenagers and one older) and if I make a cake or slice I think I'd have to lock it up to have some left for later.

Wendy said...

Caroline, I only have one teenager so far and I can see how it will become a problem. At present we're generally very strict about how much unhealthy snack food is consumed. But cakes disappear at quite a rate. This slice I cut into 48 pieces, I'd reckon it will last most of the week.

Wendy said...

Ken, interesting definitions. But I've never called anything frosting in my life.

Judie said...

I remember a friend with teenagers who was reading a recipe, then collapsed in gales of laughter. She'd just read, "This slice will last for three weeks in the refrigerator."
When she could talk again, she showed me, & added, "Not in my house!"