This is a story about an international couple raising and home educating three young boys on a small island in Japan, half living in buses, engaged in organic, self-sufficient farming in the middle of a mountain forest while dealing with climate, cultural, and personal challenges. These pages are about pretty much anything and everything all guided by our family motto, Taking Chances, Making Changes, Being Happy. Thank you very much for joining us on our ongoing crazy adventure.

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- An incredibly Nice Day. Today was the actual due date for the baby. Anyway, last night Shai slept for four and a half hours and today was really awake and seemed to be enjoying everything. Akiko and I were able to actually spend some time alone together. After ,she spent a couple hours cutting her hair and pampering herself. I put together our new stroller today which is part of a car seat and baby carrier travel system. Really looking forward to taking little Shai out for a ride. The stroller is kind of like the 4-wheel drive, 4Runner version of strollers. Pretty cool way for the little guy to get around. Tonight I made fish on the BBQ while Akiko and Shai spent time inside and waited for the food to be cooked.
- Another Quiet Day Together. We spent much of the day finishing up a few projects in the house and then enjoyed another weekend BBQ, this time chicken. Really nice temperature at night the last few days and feels good to leave the windows open and get the nighttime breeze. We are pretty much certain about moving to Japan at this point and already getting things ready. Not sure when, but the plan is pretty much set for now anyway.
- Finally in the Groove. Yup, things seem to be settling a bit for us. The cloth diaper system is working perfectly and many of the setting up projects are finished. We are finding a lot more time to relax with the baby. We work out of our home which allows us to spend the entire day working together for the baby now. Really cannot understand what it must be like for single parents who are working full time. Anyway, we are very happy with our situation.
- No More Belly Button Thingy. Today Shai's belly button thingy fell off. It was already loose and kind of getting in the way of his diapers. Anyway, not so interesting for most of you reading this but an event for us.
- Sleeping Day. Today was pretty quiet and relaxing. Shai spent a lot of time sleeping, and um, eating and peeing and pooing.
- 4Runner Stroller and Picnic. We finally took the new 4Runner stroller out for a test run today. We walked all the way to Mission Trails Regional Park and Lake Murray (background), which was about a total 2.5 mile walk. Shai slept through the entire event.
In the afternoon, we went back to Mission Trails Regional Park for a picnic. Shai seemed to like being on the blanket in the grass. He will probably be one of those kids who likes outside stuff.
- Bris. Today Shai went through the Bris, or circumcision ceremony in our home. The service was performed by Dr. Rubenstein, who is a certified Mohel. Brit milah (Hebrew: בְּרִית מִילָה [b'rīt mī'lā], Sephardi pronunciation, berit milah; Ashkenazi pronunciation, bris milah, "covenant of circumcision"; Yiddish, bris) is a religious ceremony within Judaism to welcome infant Jewish boys into a covenant between God and the Children of Israel through ritual circumcision performed by a mohel ("circumciser"). This happens on the eighth day of the child's life unless health reasons or certain specific conditions pertaining to the date, time, and conditions of birth vis-a-vis the Sabbath and/or holidays force a delay, in the presence of family and friends, followed by a celebratory meal (seudat mitzvah).
- Ayumi Finally Meets Shai. My long time and really good friend Ayumi finally was able to meet Shai today. Me and Ayumi saw each other through many tough times and happy times. Much has changed over the years and now Akiko and I will be moving to Japan and Ayumi will be moving out of SD sometime this year. Many good changes coming for everyone within the next few months. Ayumi brought a lot of food and many really nice presents. Thank you again.
- Football Game. Really think this was quite a coincidence. Today was the Hall of Fame football game played in Canton, Ohio. This game is the first preseason game of the season, was televised on national television, and featured the Buffalo Bills who are celebrating their 50th year in the National Football league this year. This was also the first Professional Football game for Shai. Pretty cool.
- Meteor Shower. This mini adventure actually began on the 12th but the pictures were taken today. Anyway, we all went up to the Laguna Mountains, about 45 minutes from San Diego, to watch the annual Perseids meteor shower. Shai slept through the entire trip but Akiko and I were able to enjoy the show. We parked at our favorite spot in the Laguna Campground located in the Cleveland National Forest. We put the tailgate down on the truck and laid back and saw lots of meteors including a few fireballs. It was a really nice experience.
- Fishing Trip. Yup, Shai went fishing for the first time today. He even caught three fish….not really. We were able to land a really nice smelt and two mackerel though. Akiko fried them Teriyaki style using soy sauce and sugar. Really wanted to take Shai fishing at least once before heading off to Japan in a few months.
- Another Fishing Trip. Another fishing trip for Shai but no fish this time. We met a group of our friends out there from San Diego and Buffalo. It was a bit too cool windy but everyone enjoyed seeing each other.
- Really Hot This Week. This week the temperatures climbed to about 100 degrees at our place and was even warmer in surrounding communities. The humidity was around 10 percent much of the day. Needless to say it was not the most comfortable week for the baby. The same conditions are forecast to continue for a few more days but a little cooler. I planned to update this page more over the last few days but it was too hot to be on the computer. You can see a few little fans in the picture which were purchased in Japan a few years ago.
- Baby Shower With Friends. Today was the baby shower for Shai. The hosts of the party were our friends Jim and Linda Timlin who live about a mile from our place. The families knew each other all the way back in Buffalo. The party, food, and games were really nice. A few of our closest friends showed up and spent the afternoon with us.
- Solution For Grumpy Babies. Hey, I can remember running into the living room of my house every time the “Ajax, bum bum, the blue dot cleanser” commercial came on when I was a kid. It seems certain sounds and images can quiet even the grumpiest of babies. For Akiko and I, the following video works 100 percent of the time for Shai. Many of you already know this video but always good for another look. The video is no longer working but pretty sure it was crazy frog.
- Final Fishing Trip Before Japan. Today was the last fishing day for me, Akiko, and little Shai before heading off to Japan. Although we are not planning to leave for a few months, taking the little guy fishing is not easy at this age. Pretty much told Akiko this would be the last time this season. Turned out to be a good finish. A group of bonito were “boiling” off in the distance. I was able to cast directly in the middle of the school and immediately caught the first bonito of the season. Then I was reeling the line in again and caught another. The last fish caught was an undersized bass. We took the bonito home and made a BBQ, drank a bottle of wine, and relaxed. A nice way to finish up fishing for the year.