Girl (Carla) Meets World

new MOM in japan



not Goodbye

boy does time fly!! it’s already been a week and a half since Sobou left Japan and returned to the states.

we had a good time while she was here. we “rode the premium wind” Shimakaze train, went to the beach, E.G.was born, had a library Day, an aquarium day, got rained on during a local festival, watched hula dancing at said festival, watched E.G. get a blessing at church, ate wonderful food cooked by our church family, relaxed at home, had daily photo shoots with the kids…

what a great month it was!!  thank you for flying over the ocean to see us!! come visit us again!! love you bunches Sobou!!!IMG_2801

just, see you again!!

Fun Day 2 of 2

Mama Chari

so, we are back from the states (about 1 month ago).  sorry I didn’t quite keep up with those journals, but that’s life right!!

mama chari. what’s that? you might ask. it’s a bicycle 🚲 that moms use here in Japan. they have child seats in the front, back, or both!!!  we have finally been able to purchase one with money saved from my once a month English lesson at Kosaka Zion Church.


so we finally have a mama chari!!!! #blessed #thankful

photos with Noah riding coming soon!!


we have arrived!!! The Ashida family is in AMERICA!! For the next 2 weeks we are here to see family and friends. The flight over was not bad. Noah ended up sleeping for about 6 hours (praise the LORD). The other time we were either eating or looking at Mickey Mouse. We brought a few items to keep Noah busy, but didn’t use any of them!IMG_0242

our only trouble on the way here was in Dallas. Our plane was delayed getting into the gate, then we waited for what seemed like eternity to get our bags. Customs was rather quick, however our time was already stretched thin.  We had to take a shuttle to another set of gates then run. But we were still too late. Missed our flight into St. Louis.

since the delay was not our fault, we hot a super discount on a hotel, and an extra day of rest. We enjoyed the time to sleep horizontally and stretch our legs.IMG_0243

we arrive during safely into Lambert on Sunday night and the grandparents were waiting with a nice sign and big smiles! Our luggage had arrived the day before, so there was no wait this time. We were home!

to be continued…

July 29-30


Today as a super duper surprise I went on a field trip with the kids at school to the Zoo!!  it was amazing fun as I haven’t been to a zoo in Japan in quite a while. and being there with 40 odd 4,5, and 6 year olds snakes it even better!!

got to see zebras, giraffes, lions, tigers (no bears)… penguins, monkeys, gorillas, and much more.

while i did enjoy my time i was exhausted when the day was through. But waiting for my train i was greater by this beautiful sky. and the city scape was also quite a sight, though i couldn’t get a photo of it. image

oh well

LED cross

over the weekend the Ashida family took a car drive to Kawanishi city but not entirely for pleasure. for the hubby it was for work as well (or mostly). we drove to a church there that was opening a home for the elderly with a daycare and nursery on the the first floor. on their roof they have a cross and on that cross Itaru was to attach the LED parts that he made.

he had been working on them for the past four months taking his free time in the evenings after work and Saturdays. by Gods grace he was able to finish everything just in time. image

this is the 3rd cross he has made, but it’s the first one i have been able to see up close as he was assembling it and after it was complete. it was a work of art to behold!! not only is the cross a bright beacon shining brightly in darkness, but also up close the workmanship shows his passion and attention to detail.  i’m glad i was able to see it up close and watch as he worked. image

it was also nice to see another church. one that is doing so much for the community. it has a nursery school, international elementary junior and high school, now a home for the elderly, a rehabilitation center for the elderly, and many more ministries that i’m not even aware of. so we must not be discouraged!! God is working in Japan!!image


Hello Everyone!!!  I’ve returned from my three month lazy spell.  i’ve added photos and captions too.  Because I don’t write blog entries so often I’ll add more info on my pictures captions.  That way you can get the same info and I don’t have to write things twice, or gather my thoughts in an organized way….
Today (Nov.9) I had a dance performance in Masuda.  I didn’t get any still shots, but if you click on the YouTube link you can see the whole thing!!  Just like you were there!!  Enjoy!

Part 2 (I know, it’s very late)

So after we climbed down we headed to an "Okashi" shop.  That’s a place where you can get cute little snacks and drink tea or coffee.  I got a "sakura" one to fit the chery blossom season :).  After our snacks and rest we decided to climb up to a big red shrine that was built about halfay up a mountain.  But this path had steps and tories (red shinto gates) lined the entire way up.  Each tori was donated by someone, family, or company, so their names re written on them.  At the top is the red shrine.  I was most surprised by these huge decorations they had made from…  I don’t know.  But they were bundled and twisted, then hung over the entrance to each of the shrines buildings.  So We hung out there for a while, then walked down.  Next was dinner, but we ad no idea where we wanted to go.  We checked out a travel book we had and decided on a place, but when we got there it was closed.  It was about 7 by now, so most of the places were closed.  So we drove around looking for another place from the book, but we couldn’t find it, or it was closed also.  We ended up going to an Italian restaraunt.  It was very nice.  The food was good and they had delicious garlic bread also.  Then, on our way out, after paying, one of the workers comes running out after us and he gave us some cookies!!  It was very nice of them.  Things like that happen quite often here.  People like giving small presents.
On the way home we stopped at an "onsen" or hot spring (yes the naked kind).  It was nice though, especially since we were like only people there.  So we got to soak our achin feet in the hot mineral waters and relax.  Very very nice!!!
Wow!  So that was all one day, in Tsuwano.  The next day Melody and her friends went to Tokyo!  I stayed in Hagi and relaxed (well, sort of).
For the next few days I went to view the cherry blossoms on about 3 occasions with different friends each time.  The first time I went with the pastors wife from the church where I sing in the choir.  We went to Hagi Castle park.  It has more then 300 sakura (cherry blossom) trees.  Beautiful!  So we walked to that place, then drove to the river where sakura trees were planted all along it.  I think it was most beautiful here because of the beautiful blue sky, the sakura, the sound of the river water….   Perfect!  Unfortunately we couldn’t stay there long.  I had a Bell staff b-b-q to go to!!!
The b-b-q was fun!  We had hamburgers with REAL hamberger buns (which I had not seen since i left America) and hotdogs, snacks, salad, coleslaw…  It was nice.  No pics though, I think… sorry.
After that… on April 6th I went to a kimono tea party!  A former Bell teacher came back to Hagi to visit and since she loves kimono her friends set up this get together.  I had never worn a kimon before and I didn’t have one, so the lady that cuts my hair was kind enough to let me borrow one of hers.  At her beauty salon she does weddings so she often dressed women in kimono and does their hair as well.  That’s what she did for me.  And she was great!  She did everything in about 45 minutes.  But man, was it tight!  And all the layers!  There are so many strings to tie things down and wrapping to flatten and smooth stuff out.  Then there’s more wrapping to cover the other wrapping!!  Crazy!  But an great experience nonetheless.  So I went to tea party with my friend Eriko and we talked, I ate a delicous cheese cake, had coffee.  Then we did a pictures outside, came back and had green tea and "okashi" (same as in Tsuwano), played bingo, won some prizes, talked some more, and took more pictures!  It was a beautiful day so we hung out outside for a while.  Good times.
After the tea party I was dead tired, so when I got home I crashed on the couch, kimono and all, and just layed there for a while.  Then, as I layed there I got to thinking…  How am I gonna get this thing off me???  I had NO IDEA how.  There were so many strings, I didn’t know where they were and they were tied behind me….  So I called the pastors wife that I went to look at sakura with and asked if she could help me out.  She happily agreed so I look another walk to their church.  It is close by, so not a big deal.  It was a little wierd though walking through the streets of Hagi with the kimono on.  I stopped by my friends jobs to say Hi too.  They were surprised!!  It was fun. 
So I went to get my kimono taken off.  That was a task.  But we finished, I finally had the weight taken off me, and then we relaxed and had some tea.  That was one crazy day!!  But oh so fun!!!
Wow!  that’s a lot!  I hope ou enjoyed the read!  And you learned a few Japanese words too!

April 08 pics!! A great spring break pt.1

Hello readers!  Sorry it’s been a while since my last post, but here I go again…
April has been a whirlwind  and it only just began.  The month started with Melody’s friends coming to Hagi to visit.  Their first day here I didn’t take any pictures, but we went to ….
The next day, April 1st, we went to a place about 1 hours drive from Hagi called Senjojiki.  It is a place on the top of a mountain that looks out to the Japan Sea.  It was beautiful.  There is a little cafe where we ate lunch.  As you can see from the pics the food was DELICIOUS!!!!  It was by far, the best food I have eaten in Japan in a long time.  I got the chicken cooked with a basalmic sauce that had just a hint of sweetness (just how I like things).  It also came with some delicious bread which is hard to come by in Japan.  For desert i hada cheese cake that had the texisture of a real cake.  I usually like my cheese cakes creamy, but it was still good.  And the caramel cappuchino I had with it was perfect!  After we gorged ourselvs with the good food went outside to a park they had.  There wasa huge rope tower that we climbed and hung from, that was fun.  Thenwe went over to a small zip line they had.  It was a fun time.  The food was good, the park was fun, the view was great (except for the China dust) and the weather wasn’t too bad (just a bit windy).
On the way home we stopped in Nagato which has a lot of great onsens (hot springs) and went to a foot onsen.  It’s a place where the water goes a little over your ankles and you just relax in the warm waters.  I love it and I wish they had one in Hagi, but they don’t…
Then, that night for dinner we went to me and Melody’s favorite eatery,  Rai Rai Tei!  It is a ramen shop.  The food is great and the staff there are really fun and friendly.  The signature thing in their shop is that they yell all the time and greet people very loudly, so it’s exciting.  So we had some good food their too.  I had a summer ramen.  It’s the special right now and it is served cold and has cucumbers, pork, nori (seaweed) and hot spice in it.  The hot spice is a nice touch, since it is cold.  Good idea, whoever thought of it.
The next day we had lunch with our Japanese mother and father Misako and Yasushi.  They are wonderful people who really enjoy life and speaking English  🙂  They help us alot and are just wonderful support for us.  So for lunch Misako made pizza, paella, and a delicous salad that had sweet potatoes in it and some pasta.  Delicious!  ANd for desert she made home made cream puffs.  They were great!  The picture just doesn’t do them justice, but the pic looks good too!!
After lunch we met up with a friend of ours who has a coffee van and we went with her to Tsuwano.  Tsuwano is a place about an hours drive in the opposite direction of Senjojiki.  At Tsuwano we took the chair lift up a mountain to the site of an old castle.  The castle isn’t there anymore, only the foundation of it, but it’s still pretty cool.  Especially since it sat at the top of the mountain.  You can look down and see the entire city.  So we hung out there for bit, took fun pics, raced up the side of one wal, and hiked down the mountain.  It was really funny because we came out an we didn’t know exactly where we were.  Then we had to walk through some people’s backyards to get to the main street.  It was fun  🙂
Well,  it’s bed time for me now.  so i’ll update you all on the rest of the spring break adventure tomorrow.
get excited!!!

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