Sunday, November 22, 2009

Favorite Pictures From Kyoto

Here are some of my favorite pictures of the 300 or so pictures from our October Kyoto trip. IT was quite a daunting task to get through them and delete the extras. Em even accuses me of deleting some of the pictures she wanted to use, but that is bollocks I do declare.

The Kyoto tower. Seen from a high walkway over Kyoto station, reached by accident after riding 7 "terrifying" (for Em) escalators.
Also in Nara- Kasuga Shrine know for its thousands of lanterns. Really cool to see them lining every path. People donate money to the shrine and get on of these. Kinda like a donors wall.

Nijo Castle

The floors of Nijo Castle. Called nightingale floors, this metal apparatus causes the floor to creak so no one can sneak up and kill the Shogun. (The Shogun was the Military leader while the Emporer was the ultimate Divine leader. It seems this was a common power struggle for Japan. The Shogun had to live in Edo Tokyo while the Emporer lived in Kyoto, while it was the Capital. This castle is the place the Shogun stayed while visiting in Kyoto. It was filled with the most amazing wall paintings and wooden carvings on doors etc.)

Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion)
(Max's piano teacher wrote the name of this temple in Kanji in M's piano book after seeing the pics on facebook)This place was beautiful, but crowded with these fun kids. They loved seeing Gabe, who is on my shoulders right now, and then went crazy when I took out the camera.
The Gion-the district of the Geisha. I was among a group of paparazzi waiting out on this street to catch a glimpse of a geisha unfortunately I didn't see any before we went to see a show where two did perform a dance.

In Nara city is the Todaiji Temple, which houses the largest Bronze Buddha in the world and boy is he big.

This is also where the attack of the "tame" deer happened.
This one was Em's. I was trying to get a good shot but failed. Good work Em!
On the last day we went to Kiyomizu-dera, another Buddhist temple. This was the final thing I wanted to see. It was also in the same district where all the famous Kyotoware, ceramics that proved to be out of our price range. As well as the home of one of the most famous Kyoto potters. Em toured the house while the boys and I played Simon says in the little neighborhoods streets.
The wooden balcony is famous for being built of only wood. Ice cream of course.

Notice the Kyoto tower to the right of the pagoda. I liked having the modern tower with the ancient one.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Put Christ into X-Mas

I was waiting for Max to finish his piano lesson one evening and saw a schedule on a white board. It was a group's meeting schedule. On it was a meeting for a X-mas party. So I wiped the X with my finger and wrote in Christ.

So there!!!!

Ever since being a little kid, no I not still a little kid Em, I have hated seeing X-Mas. The first time I remember seeing it was a sign on I-80 in Fairfield for X-Mas Trees. Ever since I cringe each time I see Christ's name abbreviated as an X. It it the perfect symbol for how far our society is from the true worship of Christ on Christmas.

Well, have a good Christmas, a happy x-ikah, a happy X-zaa, and a merry festivus for the rest of us!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Primary Program

Sunday we had our primary program. It was awesome.

It was filled with equal parts humor, tragedy, drama, and of course some spirituality.

Naturally you had the little boy up there waving at his parents in the back of the chapel the whole time. Then there is the kid who does the drive by with his line: not stopping at the podium, but rather his voice starts out low as he approaches the mic and then then is unintelligible as he brushes by it with his lips and then fades out as he passes. The kid who seems to give his part in a foreign language (this is the majority of them) and one where only every other word is a real word. Those who forgot their lines and then there are the kids who know their line perfectly. Those who have an adorable voice. The little kid who surprises you by knowing his part and saying it clearly at the correct distance from the microphone. The most classic of all was showcased by Max at the beginning.

It was the song "I lived in Heaven." The primary chorister arranged it so that Max and two other 7/8 year old boys to sing the second verse. They were positioned in front of the podium and had even been correctly instructed in how/when to raise and lower the microphone for the second verse. I was seated in the back with the two babies (see Em's blog for explanation as the the acquisition of a second baby, yes Gabe is still a baby.) So I couldn't really see Max up front. Then the music started and there was Max's beautiful monotonic voice singing directly into the mic twice to three times as loud as all the other kids. Everyone was smiling and giggling as they looked backward at me. It got really hot in there for a while as I tried not to laugh at it too. It was very funny. He sounded wonderful though and knew all the words to the song. Eventually the microphone was repositioned but he was still near it and continued to out do the other kids.

It was a great program, spiritual as well as entertaining. I made me miss teaching primary while I listened to all those kids singing about Jesus and eternal families. Children are great.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

We went bowling today because the weather was as gloomy as Em's bowling. Usually she is a good to great bowler, but today she was a little off. We are attributing it to the fetus. We went with our good friends. We had two lanes of kids and one for the adults. I finsihed the game with a Turkey to take the lead! My first one! Alas, the combined spouse score wasn't enough to be the H's and we bought the milkshakes. =(

Em and I also got to go on a date to see "Julie and Julia." No Wes it wasn't my idea and I didn't enjoy it. (I actually did like it but don't tell my friends, I just like cooking and Meryl Streep did such a good job I forgot it was her so I enjoyed it.) (I don't like Meryl Streep). It was funny sitting next to two vegetarians while watching them cook so much meat and debone ducks.

Oh Yeah! We also watched and quoted THREE AMIGOS!!!!!!!!! True Story.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Ride to the Post Office with Sam

Dad after dinner after the Alley's leave can we pwease pwease pwease play Lego Star Wars?

No, I have a meeting tonight with the Branch President.

Oh yeah. He sucks.*


One time at the Halloween Party he spanked my bootie. For no reason.

Was he kidding?


I think he was.


(then a minute later)

Tricking is supposed to happen!

Quote 2

Dad when you went to Jerusalem did you pray and then Jesus came down and you saw him?

No, but I did pray and feel the Holy Ghost.

Well you were more faithful than us.

*Emily would like to state for the record that she does not say "sucks" in front of children.