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.

Comments or questions about this blog?....message me at Facebook.
- A Bunch of Sardines, a Smelt, and No House Pictures. We decided to go fishing again this morning since we were told the sardines were around. We brought home 18 and a little bitty smelt. The sardines are the safest fish for Akiko to eat and very good for you. Anyway, we returned home and apparently the listing agent tried to send about 30 pictures which were not received. Now waiting once again.

- Facebook Post - Hey, I went fishing with Akiko today and she caught a 16” bass. It was really good on the BBQ. More information about the fish and our possible property purchase on my site. Hey, my Japanese studies continue on, this time with a semi-popular movie called "Cyborg She", starring Haruka Ayase.
- Grand Island, New York, Total Fixer - Pictures. The listing agent was finally able to send the interior pictures of the house we want in Grand Island, New York. The house seems to have quite a few issues. It also turns out the tenants are planning to move at the end of August which is a problem for us since we were planning on someone being in the house until Spring which is when we planned to move there. Kind of not looking good for purchasing this property but still hanging in there.
House Information
House Location
- We Painted My Balls. Yup, today we finally got around to painting my balls….um, bonito balls. The bonito season is quickly approaching and we decided to get ready. A couple years ago we caught a lot using bonito balls but last year we caught nothing since the temperatures were not warm enough for the fish to migrate up North. Anyway, for those of you interested in fishing using this method, I plan to post more in the upcoming week.
- Facebook Post - Hey. We are going to be at the Mission Trails Music Fest and Fireworks again this year. Akiko and I plan to be there close to 7:00 pm until the fireworks end sometime around 9:45 pm. More information on my site.
- Fishing, Food, Friends, Fireworks. Akiko and I spent some time fishing along the shores of Lake Murray in Mission Trails Regional Park. Akiko caught a sunfish, one of many caught during our few hours of fishing. Akiko and I made an early dinner of teriyaki chicken, edamame, and BBQ onions. Masako brought potato salad. We met our neighbors Marilyn and Mike at the park. We spent the evening hanging out with long time friends Arlene, Linda, and Jim. Jim brought these cool 3-D glasses.
This turned out to be a pretty fun day. It was free fishing day in California today. Akiko and I went to Mission Trails Park and fished for a few hours. We caught a bunch of small sunfish and threw them all back. In the afternoon, our friend Masako came over for a teriyaki chicken BBQ. Around 6:30 pm we headed to the park again to meet friends, listen to the bands, and watch the fireworks.
Akiko caught a sunfish, one of many caught during our few hours of fishing.
Akiko and I made an early dinner of teriyaki chicken, edamame, and BBQ onions. Masako, on the left, brought potato salad. We met our neighbors Marilyn and Mike at the park.
We spent the evening hanging out with long time friends Arlene, Linda, and Jim.
Jim brought these cool 3-D glasses.
A picture of the band taken through the glasses.
A picture of the band.
- Nothing Special Today. Akiko and I planned a quiet BBQ today, just the two of us..
- OBGYN and Tour. Today Akiko and I went for her appointment with the OBGYN. Everything is coming along normally. After the appointment, we went across the street and took the tour of the facilities where the baby will be born. We were lucky to get a private tour which normally is scheduled for 60 people. The lady who gave us the tour was really nice and gave us the raffle prize which contained a backpack filled with all kinds of good stuff. We filled out all the paperwork and are ready now.
- Updated Pregnancy Pictures. Yup, only a few more weeks from today before the baby is due. Akiko is looking really pregnant now and very happy. We spend a lot of time now outside relaxing and meeting friends.
- Bagels, Shopping and a New Room. Today we met our friend Larry for coffee and bagels. We talked for a few hours and then went shopping. Came home and built a make shift room in the living room to be used for teaching and making videos. Going to try and finish it up this week.
- Update. Kind of been awhile to write an update. Quite honestly with many things seemingly stuck in the middle, really was not feeling like writing anymore. After weeks of getting excited about moving to Grand Island, we finally needed to throw in the towel. It seems the bank is going to take several weeks to make a decision, even on a cash offer. We probably would be able to hang in there and wait but events from yesterday finally made the decision obvious.

While driving on the freeway, our truck totally crapped out on us. The truck is now in the shop and could cost thousands to repair. More importantly, we found out our benefits coverage only lasts until the end of November which we thought was good until next Summer. This changes the entire dynamics of our situation now.

The Grand Island move was not supposed to happen for another five years. We pushed the move because of all the family problems and discrimination (Buraku) issues….read the June 24, 2009 post. Anyway, we now are about 90 percent certain to move to Japan and simply purchase the house we want without listening to family thinking. More about this within the next few weeks.
- New Baby Boy. Hi. I am happy to announce Akiko and I became the proud parents of a new baby boy, who was 6 lbs, 8 oz and 20 in long, born July 23, 2009. His name is um, well, Baby Boy Hayman until tomorrow. This is the story about the name. We wanted to be surprised about the sex of the baby. The last ultrasound where we could find out was a few months ago. During the first few months of pregnancy, we were told the baby would be a girl, guesses from us and our friends. As the months went on, everyone changed to thinking it was a boy. We still were pretty sure it would be a girl. We already picked out a girl’s name. Then the baby was born and it turned out to be a boy. We want to incorporate my Jewish heritage in the name and combine with the Japanese culture for Akiko. Since we needed more time, we were unable to sign the birth certificate, much to the dismay of the staff who came to our room after the delivery. Anyway, we are close to a name which will be revealed tomorrow.
I really want to thank my wonderful daughter Valerie for her support and for hanging out with us much of the time after the delivery. I am extremely happy she has a new baby brother.

I also want to thank my family in Japan, Okaachan, Otouchan, and Maikochan for showing so much excitement and happy faces when we did video chat the other night.

I want to thank our wonderful friends Jim and Linda for coming to visit us a couple times after the delivery and for coming to our home and bringing food and really nice and much needed gifts. Although our families go back well over 50 years, from the days in Buffalo, it was only over the last few years all of us became really close. The time Akiko and I spend with them is extremely important to us and their support, advice, and friendship has really helped us through many times. Thank you guys again for all your support. You made the last few days much easier for us.
I want to thank Masako for coming over and spending a few moments with us before she goes to Japan later this week. We can get back to getting together for dinner when you return.

I want to thank Peggy and Mike, who are good friends of Jim and Linda for the wonderful gifts. We also want to thank Paula, one of our new friends from Einstein bagels for adopting us into her family and showing us tons of kindness. Really looking forward to getting back to the bagel shop in the next few weeks.

Much more about us and the baby coming soon.
- Baby Boy Hayman Now Has A Name. Yup, we finally settled on a name. His American name is Steven Maxwell Hayman, with the names being derivations from my Dad and my Grandpa. His Hebrew and Japanese names will be determined at a later date.
- A Few Hours Out Today. Today we went to see my long time friend of over 29 years, physician, and now pediatrician for our baby, Dr. Edward Brantz. He was extremely happy to see all of us. Everything checked out good and the baby is due to be seen again in a couple months. Then we ran into our friends at Marukai and talked for awhile.
- What's in a Name. Yup, our baby has a new name:

Shai Maxwell Hayman

This is the story. Although we like the name Steven, both Akiko and myself were not comfortable with it for some reason. We still kept calling the baby….um….baby instead of his name. Then this morning I was doing more reading about names and realized it totally went against tradition to give the baby any part of my name.

The following is an excerpt from a Jewish website:

One of the most common practices is to name a child to honor a relative. Sephardic Jews name their children freely after both living and deceased relatives. However, Ashkenazim rarely name children after living relatives, based on the belief that this will bring bad luck to both the child and the relative. Traditional superstition held that the Angel of Death may take the child instead of the older family member. For this reason, it's very uncommon to name a child after his living father. You won't find many Juniors among Ashkenazic Jews!

After reading this I realized the name was not suitable for the baby. We found a name a few days ago which we liked. I went back and researched the name and found some really cool information.

The name Shai is an actual Hebrew name which negates the need for us to give the baby both a secular and a Hebrew name. The meaning of Shai in Hebrew is “gift” which he certainly is. The name also translates very easily into Japanese since it ends in a vowel sound. Yup, the baby is going to be called three different names depending on the country and the situation.

Shai (also spelt Sai, occasionally Shay, and in Greek, Psais) was the deification of the concept of fate in Egyptian mythology. As the god of fate, it was said that he determined the span of each man's life, and was present at the judgment of the soul of the deceased.

Anyway, We are very happy with the name.
- The Difference Between Boys and Girls. I really cannot remember my daughter ever peeing on me when she way a baby. Knew baby boys pee and last night was treated to a small spray which traveled quite a distance and landed on my shirt. I was really impressed. Akiko experienced the same thing the other day. Ahhhh, the small things parents can be proud of. Anyway, in the evening Jim and Linda came to see us and we all talked for awhile.