27 July, 2013

Post-camping holidays

We've been back eight days now and what have we been doing?

The boys are still on holidays for another month. They start back on the 27th of August, so we're very much in marathon-holiday mode for them.

Unfortunately other people don't have the luxury of such a long break.
I've been:
Part of our prayer/newsletter sent out yesterday.
  • pecking away at the computer, reducing the huge amount of email that I/we received while we were away to something more manageable.
  • gathering the threads of Japan Harvest again, prodding things along there. We've got the summer issue to finish up and get to the printer on Monday. And submissions coming in for the autumn issue also. Not to mention meeting with my executive editor and designer to deal with other issues that have arisen during my absence.
  • getting moving on a new project, a 2nd edition of OMF Japan's 31 Days of Prayer for Japan. This involved a very enjoyable 3 1/2 hours at a downtown coffee shop with my OMF "supervisor".
  • checking on the progress of the OMF Japan 2014 Prayer Calendar
  • writing our family prayer/newsletter
  • baking snacks on a cooler day (though it heated the house up to hot, it was not hot-hot!)
  • Oh, and I've gotten back on the horse: I went to the gym three times
Sound fun? That's just the bigger things...

David's technically on holidays too, but he's had things to do too, like
  • prepare a Sunday School lesson for last Sunday (only to find out when he got there that he didn't have to)
  • iron out some kinks in a sermon he's doing in a couple of weeks for a church who's missionaries will be on holidays
  • sort out a Japan health insurance glitch
  • start the process of getting his Japanese small bus license 
  • prepare for a teaching workshop he's attending in Hong Kong, leaving tomorrow
  • feed the animals left at school
  • get started on reading for his new master's subject
  • answer questions about maths courses at CAJ
  • met up with his OMF "supervisor" over coffee

The boys, though they're on holidays have had responsibilities too:
  • they helped us wash the car on Tuesday (almost in the middle of a thunderstorm)
  • we've continued the washing-up/drying rota that we had going for camping, though it is now washing-up/putting away
  • our eldest is back to washing his own clothes, at least for the duration of the holidays, we'll evaluate after that
  • he's also been "volunteered" to make dinners on Tuesday nights. I taught him how to make Satay Chicken in the Slow Cooker last week
  • memorising (more on that below). 
  • reading: SQUIRT time after lunch has been a surefire winner with little more required from Mum and Dad other than saying it has started and when it will end. Love it!
  • Lego has made a return. Our eldest spent a whole day making a large helicopter of his own design.
CAJ's PTA has a Scripture memorisation programme they do each summer, where they encourage students to memorise 25, 50, 75 or 100 verses of Scripture and the kids who are successful are rewarded significantly with money. Our eldest has earned 10,000 ¥ each summer for the last three years (about A$110 dollars at current exchange rates). 

Both our older boys are doing it this year, so early this week they were very engaged in memorising and our youngest was short on longer-term projects. So we decided to set up our own little incentive programme for him. Our terms are modified a bit: if he memorised 12 or more verses and can recite them on the last day of holidays, we'll pay him 100 ¥ per verse. That's put some fire under him. In two days, he's already memorised five verses.

This isn't the best photo, but this was a family BBQ for karate. It was last
Saturday and a good experience. We met a few people, including a Middle-Eastern
looking fellow from Hastings, England who's living here with his Japanese wife.
During our camping trip I read The Hobbit to the boys while we snuggled in our sleeping bags. That's fired up our nearly 11 y.o. to read the Lord of the Rings. He's almost through the first book in only a week.

We've also watched some movies, The Hobbit, Arthur Christmas (great for cooling down on a hot day), and Superman Returns (2006) we'll watch this afternoon.

Here's David helping out at the BBQ. We ended up having some good conversations
with both these people in the photo.
House looks tidy again too now. Everything's finally been put away and I've even vacuumed. So it's been a pretty productive week, considering that I've not got up before 7.30 or 8am most days!


Meredith said...

This is a great post. I loved reading it and hearing all about your summer holiday life. Shall pray for you all this evening.

Wendy said...

Thanks Meredith!