Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Few More Things

I really want to share these photos I took at Gorga Monkeys last week. We had a really fun time, even though I injured my knee just in time for the Peachtree. But hey, that's okay because I hurt my ankle today... maybe I'll just enter the wheelchair division... or maybe I'll just stockpile excuses as to why I can't beat the old man (Dad A) in the race... But back to the point, here are some cute photos of G, Iggy, and G's friend of the day Justin - oh, and of course Charkie.

In Knotty Knews, we've put a new pattern up on Knottybirds, and this one is FREE!

Busy Times

There is a lot going on - business, parties, a death in the family, and a celebration about to happen - so let's get right to business.

Most of you know that my aunt Sharon died this past week and her funeral was yesterday. She was my dad's sister-in-law, married to Joe (Joe-Joe as we call him). She was a good mom, encouraging her two sons (my cousins Joey and Tony) to put their education in school and their religious education first. She also taught them the importance of music, and she was a wonderful singer. I always dreaded hearing her sing at funerals, because I knew I couldn't hold back emotion listening to her. And that should be a compliment, because I'm a stone when I want to be. She has always been one of the most gentle, unassuming people I've known, and she always made everyone feel comfortable to be around her. Joey (okay, he's Joe, but I have a hard time with the grown-up version of his name) took care of everything, and although we couldn't afford to go up there, we heard that he did an amazing job at not only the arrangements, but taking care of the entire visiting family.

On to happier news, I went to a baby shower today for Lisa's neighbor, Kyla. She just moved to Georgia this month, so she doesn't know a lot of people yet and, I think, was happy to meet all of us. Being currently without funds, I had to make her something using only materials I had on hand, so here's what I made:

As you have already read, we put the Strong Man up for sale last night, and we've already made a sale! Woot! In case you want to see him, just look at our Etsy shop. And, of course, I found a mistake and had to e-mail her the materials. I hadn't included that in the pattern. Oops! I told her this is the joy of being the first to order the pattern.

Things are moving right along for Jack's and Jen's wedding next Saturday. Jack's friend John was the first to arrive, and Jen's aunt and uncle got here today. Laura arrives tomorrow, and Dad A the day after. From here on out, it's party time!

We haven't stopped working on the Japan photos and videos. It's just taking a long time, and these couple weeks are nuts. Please have patience with us!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Out Of The Shower

I just wanted to share a little bit from the shower today. These are from our camera, so we will post more from Mom's and Jen's cameras later.

The night before, after 5 hours of baking petits fours:

But aren't the results pretty? (Yummy, too!)

The guest of honor and her future mother-in-law:

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

I want to wish a Happy Father's Day to a man who

  • takes his son on adventures,

  • teaches him to appreciate nature,

  • makes sure he is safe and comfortable whether he is at home or far, far away... and that he has Charkie,

  • and whom is adored by his family.

In honor of Matthew, it's Suntory time!

Here are some other dads we love and appreciate very much:

  • P's dad, aka Papa, aka the person who spent his father's day helping us grind a stump
  • M's dad, aka Granddad
  • Nick, aka Papa Nick
  • Grandpa Kranz
  • Our godfathers: Uncle Mark, Grandpa Kranz, and Jack
  • Raul, the newest father
  • Todd, who just had his second
  • Kirk, who has three!
  • our uncles: Bill, Roy, Joe, Pete, David, Paul, Chris, Jim, Wayne, Mark, Casey... did we forget someone? There are a lot.
  • Mark Brocious
  • Joel Driggs
  • and if we didn't mention you, dear reader, then YOU!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Here are the photos of most of the places we stayed. We are only missing photos of Shinjuku Park Hotel, which was a late check-in (midnight) and early check-out (to get to Hotel New Otani). Please to enjoy.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tomodachi (Friends)

Here are some of the friends we made in Japan. One of the best parts of our trip was knowing that wherever we went, we would meet nice people. In fact, we didn't even get to see our college classmate Max or Matt's step-step-brother Todd - everyone we saw there was a new friend.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Check Is This!

In Japan, the signs are much more interesting, even when you don't know what they're trying to say!

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Here are all of the photos of our amazing trip to Tsu on May 16, 2008. If you follow the Picasa link, you can read the story of our day through the captions.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Scene In Japan

We decided to break down the photos from our trip into segments so that you can enjoy them without being overwhelmed. Here are photos of the Japan Scene: things we saw while wandering, from fashion in Himeji to a wedding in Kyoto. Please to enjoy.

To view the photos larger and see the captions, please click on the little Picasa symbol on the bottom right of the little viewer and a link will appear. The captions are helpful.

Had To Share!

We are going through our Japan photos so that we can get albums printed, and this one really stood out. G is reading his brand new book of Japanese folk stories (this one is called "Issun Boshi", or the Inch High Samurai) at a vegetarian/vegan restaurant below the bookstore, which is called The Crayon House.

Posted by Picasa

p.s. This t-shirt, "I Want To Rock," was a huge hit in Japan! All of the young adults thought it was super cool.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


G started reading yesterday. He saw a sign that said "C&M" for a bank, and he couldn't figure out the ampersand, so he tried again with the "Best Buy" sign. He sounded out "!" We were so proud of him! It wasn't sign recognition, we don't think, because we've only been there once since he was born, I think, and he wasn't there with us. Now Starbucks, Target, and Sam's - those he knows! He's read a couple words since then, but that was the first.

Also, on the way home tonight, I said I was a lot tired, and he said he was "short tired," which he explained was the opposite of "big tired" - he was finding a new way to say "a little", so he chose "short." We think it's really neat that he is using synonyms to be clever.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Keepin' Them Coming

Here are a couple of photos and a video we thought you'd like. Maybe if we do a few every day, it won't be so overwhelming. The first two are at Ryokan Sansui in Hiroshima. This lovely proprietress actually let G keep his carp flag! It now hangs in his bedroom as a reminder of that great ryokan.

This next photo was taken at Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, a Shinto holy area in the southeast part of Kyoto. From the second we entered, it really felt like a holy/spiritual place, and it smelled like hinoki cyprus, M's and my favorite smell in the world. We were fortunate to see several rites being performed, although photos are not allowed during the ceremonies. However, if you watch Bad News Bears Go To Japan, you can catch a glimpse of one of the two that we saw. This place is actually in many movies, including more recently, Memoirs of a Geisha (she runs through the torii as a young girl).

And here is a video of G teaching a young Japanese boy how to cleanse himself at the shrine, because, you know, he's an expert... He actually did get it pretty much right, and we think he did it better than probably 99% of tourists would, especially since he remembered to cleanse his mouth, too.

Monday, June 2, 2008

We's Back

Well, it's been tough to get back to life, much less blogging. We took well over 1500 photos, so it will be a little bit before we get them organized enough to share. Thanks to everyone for being interested in our adventure - it was a really big deal for us, and we will be thinking about it every day for years to come.

For starters, here is a cute photo of the Chipster on Miyajima. Behind him is the Seto Inland Sea, where the famous "floating" torii is.

We will be back in business now that we've "broken the seal." Campai!