« May 2008 | Main | July 2008 »

June 2008 Archives

June 19, 2008

Back from America!

After being home in Tremont for three weeks and hearing from many of you who read my blog, I am renewed in zeal to keep it updated better!

A brief overview of the last month... I was so thankful to be home to help my parents move to Chestnut Place! It was nice to be able to stay there for a few days to kinda say goodbye to the place I called home for nearly 30 years. Mom and Dad are settled into their new place and it already seems like home! I had some time to visit friends and family and get a bit of shopping done--things like shirts (with sleeves wide enough for my arms to fit in!), brownie mixes, stain remover, fabric paints for our ladies meeting, vitamins, rice mixes (can you believe they don't have much wild rice in Japan!?), etc. I missed my hubby terribly, but we were able to talk via Skype at least once a day. He survived on rice and natto (fermented soy beans) and Jana and Marie's cooking! He and his mother and grandfather enjoyed their stops in Washington D.C. and New York before arriving in Tremont. They were able to visit Akihiro's brother in NYC and see the display of the Zero fighter airplane at the Smithsonian. Grandpa said it brought back memories of lots of his comrades who died in WWII. Once they arrived in Tremont, 212 N. Harris turned into a bed and breakfast (well supper and lunch sometimes too!). It was fun to see them relish rice and miso soup and natto for breakfast after American breakfasts for 6 days! We enjoyed visited various family and friends houses and sharing American food, culture, scenery, and hospitality with them. gpa%20on%20mower.JPG
As grandpa had requested, we arranged for him to be able to talk with a soldier who had served in Japan during the war. It was a sobering, yet interesting meeting that we had in the Chestnut Place commons area. It was fun showing him around Peoria and stopping for ice cream on a hot day. We about bought Walmart out of Pepperidge Farm big cookies to take home to his and mom's friends for souveniers! I was a bit concerned about how things would go since Grandpa was diagnosed with prostate cancer with bone mets not too long before this trip, but he did really well--said he received lots of enthusiasm and energy from those kind Americans and their children.gpa%20truck.JPG
He said he didn't want to come home as he liked this wide America, liked the food, and the people were so nice! We had time to learn many things about his life--he would have participated in the Olympics in swimming if the Olympics had not been cancelled due to WWII, he sold natto on his bicycle every morning at 5AM when he was 8 years old, he measured American service people for clothes for a tailoring business, even though he could only say a few sentences of English (if they said something he didn't understand, he would just say, "I'm sorry, I'm tired."), he raised seaweed in the river by their home, etc. kimonos.JPG

We had a fun morning putting the kimonos from our new old house on the girls--they did a good job of walking in those high funny shoes! Akihiro's mom got her first try at mowing our yard--which was growing quite rapidly with all the rain we had gotten. She liked it! They both enjoyed watching the squirrels, rabbits, and birds in our yard. Grandpa said, though, that the best part was watching his grandson get up in front of many people in Tremont church and speak. His mom said she could feel how Tremont church had supported Akihiro and how it was good to see him be able to preach for them. Thanks to all of you who prayed for us!


It was wonderful to spend time with family and friends and speak English to anyone who would listen, but I was ready to come "home." It probably sounds crazy, but I guess it is probably a combination of things--needing routine/normalcy, the emotions of coming back to Tremont, knowing where God has called me to be, etc. I don't know if I will ever not feel the lump in my throat when I start to sing (and understand what I am singing) the beautiful and meaningful hymns with many many people that I know and love. I don't know if I will ever fail to notice the wonder of grabbing the same Bible out of the rack that everyone else does and reading along with the minister.

Tonight as I took a walk along the small river behind our house, I soaked in the sights and sounds and felt very thankful...the sound of the rippling brook with an occasional honking of a duck, the sight of a man sitting on the stone bank with his shoes off reading the newspaper-his bicycle parked a few meters back, a woman taking breaks from her jogging to photograph the many flowers (some pretty weeds too) along the path, feeling the occasional glances at the tall blond foreigner enjoying the evening too, students in uniforms riding their bikes home from after-school activities, people picking up plums from under the trees to make many delicious things, a little granny sitting on the park bench watching the people go by and the sun go down, hearing the passerbyers wonder at the beautiful clouds and sunset as it is reflected in the water under the oriental style bridge with it's lighted lanterns on the end, seeing the slightly obese man trying to work off too many meals of good ramen, thinking about a blessed day at our ladies meeting and God answering my prayer of how I could befriend one of the young moms who has started coming, and thanking God for His goodness and His love.

The hydrangeas are gorgeous now--everything is as green as can be because it is the middle of the rainy season and very humid.

June 21, 2008

An update on Dad

I haven’t reported on my Dad’s condition for a while, so here is a little recap. They did a PET scan after the third chemo and found that the only cancer spots showing were the original lung spot which is pretty small and a spot on his adrenal glad. All of the rest of the spots were gone! Praise the Lord! A follow up brain MRI, though, revealed that the tumors previously treated with the Gamma Knife were gone, but that there were some new spots. He had a second gamma knife procedure last week. This Wednesday he had his fifth chemo and it has been going relatively well—fatigue and hair loss being the main side effect. He has a very good appetite and is starting to gain a little lost weight with his cocktail of raw egg and grape juice drank once a day! (He says it tastes like grape flavored eggnog!) They will do another PET scan after the 6th chemo treatment which will be in 3 weeks. He credits the good news first to God and the prayers of so many, then to chemo, diet, and supplements. Thanks so much for your prayers and support!

June 29, 2008


When I go home and hear of people who often check my blog for updates, I feel a bit guilty when I don't update very often. Nothing too much new here, but I'll give you a few happenings.

We got a new little car to replace the old one that I wrecked. We like it and it gets twice the gas mileage as our van. With gas prices reaching about $6 per gallon (and you think your $4 is bad!) and with all of the miles that we drive each week to church and to work several hours away a few times a week, we decided to get a car that was a little bigger than the previous one so that it would be safe and stable on the highway. Akihiro also researched and found an inexpensive GPS navigation system that speaks English! Yippee! It can even be used on a bicycle or on foot! The map still has things in Japanese, but it is a very big improvement--I don't just push buttons until I get to the screen I want!

I had an invasion of ants in my kitchen and it took almost a week for me to figure out where they were coming from. I am happy to report, though, that they have been found, and the problem rectified! Akihiro thought I was getting a little out of hand when I was saying, "Ah, I see you...prepare to meet thy death!" "Ah, your seconds are numbered, you little booger!", etc. as I smashed them. I also found out that a shot of bleach kills them pretty much instantly--a good thing with a metal countertop and sink area. I did think, though of how the Bible says to observe the ant. They sure are busy little fellers!

I've turned my bathtub into a wash station for some big organizational boxes that I found at our new old house and am getting organized with the extra things I have found at the house. Feels good to have a little extra space.

Tomorrow we go to a showroom to start picking things out for our house--siding, shingles, counters, etc. Depending on how things go, we might not be moved in til next April.

We got word that our book will be in major bookstores in the middle of July! They are already wanting to talk to us about another book--this time a book to help Japanese give English presentations at conferences, etc. I'm not sure how Dr. Do-Something and Nurse Know-It-All will fit in with that, but we'll see.

This week should be pretty busy--babysitting, a Tokyo tour with the Klaus's helper, etc. Loren and Betsy Schrenk from St. Louis will be here this weekend, so we will be helping to take care of them some too.

About June 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Welcome to ITO NEWS in June 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

May 2008 is the previous archive.

July 2008 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.34