My imaginary friends.

Colin and Sally are my imaginary friends, telling us about their daily lives in the real world.

Age? I think they said they are in the 5th grade, but it might be the 4th or 6th. They are twins.

Because of new bureaucratic red tape from the US government, Google can't let me make accounts for them. So they'll be posting from my account.

Start here.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Keep Away at the Park

Friday August 9th

We finished unpacking this morning.
Sally and I went to see some friends after we unpacked.
Then we went to the park with our friends' mom and met some more friends.
We played keep-away.
Keep away is like dodgeball, only the other way around.
-- Colin

We had fun at the park.
I missed Japan when we were in America, but now I miss America.
When we came home from the park, Dad had to go to where he works.
So we went with him, too.
Uhm, not our friends, just us.
-- Sally

I guess we should try to explain the game Keep-away?
-- Mom

Ohh-kay. (C&S)

How many played? (M)

Six. Konoka, Shunsuke, Jun, and Yumi. And Sally and me. (C)

Now why are you writing their names? (M)

You and Dad asked their moms and dads if we could. (C)

And they said OK. (S)

And, did you ask your friends, too? (M)

Of course! You were there, too, Mom. (S)

I know. What about our cousins? (M)

Dad said there were too many to ask everybody. (C)

So we just didn't write any names at all. (S)

Okay, back to Keep-away. Did you divide into teams? (M)

Not really. (S)

Sally and Jun and I were "it" first. (C)

"It"? Now, what's "it" mean? (M)

"It" is like "oni" (鬼) in Japanese games. (S)

We were in the middle. (C)

Konoka, Shunsuke, and Yumi ran around us, and they threw the ball to each other. (S)

And we tried to get the ball. (C)

I caught the ball when Konoka tried to throw it to Yumi. (S)

So I went out and Konoka went in. (C)

Then Konoka was it and you were not? (M)

Yeah. Then she threw the ball to Shunsuke, but I grabbed it. So we traded places. (S)

Then Yumi threw the ball too high over Jun, so they traded places. (C)

If you throw too high, you have to be "it"? (M)

Uhm, it depends on who's playing. (C)

Yumi can throw really high. (S)

She's on the basketball team at school. (C)

Okay, I think that explains the rules pretty well. (M)

[Grammar and vocabulary notes -- 文法及び単語の解釈:

  • 「friends' mom」 == 「友人たちのお母さん」
    • friend == 友達、友人(一人)
    • friend's == (つまり、一人)友人の
    • friends == 友人たち(複数)
    • friends' == (つまり、複数)友人たちの
  • keep away == 離れさせる、防御する
  • (backwards == 逆)
  • the other way around == 逆まわり、逆方針
  • miss == 恋しく思う

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Jet Lag

Thursday Evening August 8th

I woke up about seven thirty.
I got up for a drink of water.
Everyone else was asleep,
Mom and Dad, too.
Mom woke up when I started unpacking again.
-- Sally

Dad woke up when Mom opened the fridge.
He said, no cooking.
So we went to a restaurant nearby.
We had oden, rice, and fish.
Oden is like stewed vegetables,
but with meat and other good stuff, too.
-- Colin

Back to Kobe

Thursday Morning August 8th

We got to Kansai International Airport about 4:20 this morning.
It took us three hours to get through customs.
We rode the airport Limousine bus to Sannomiya,
and took a taxi home from there.
I'm tired.

Dad said no trains coming back.
Mom and Dad are still unpacking.
Dad said we could take a long nap after we finished unpacking.
I don't think we are really finished, either,
but Mom said to get some sleep anyway.
-- Colin

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Over Hawaii, Again

Early Wednesday Morning, I think.

It's dark outside and quiet inside.
Well, we can always hear the jet engines.
That's a good thing, Momma says.
I'm going back to sleep.

I'm trying to watch movies. 
But there isn't anything fun to watch.
Listening to music isn't fun, either.
Maybe I should go back to sleep, too.

(I think we are over Hawaii, now. 
But there are clouds below us, so we can't see. -- Dad)

(Get some sleep, Honey. -- Mom)

LA Airport at Night

Late Tuesday Evening, August 6th

We put our bags in lockers,
Then we ate dinner at an airport cafeteria.
We wandered around the airport for an hour.
I think we saw everything.

After that we tried to take naps.
Sleeping on airport benches is no fun.
Our next flight leaves in about an hour or so.
My knees hurt.
I'm so tired.

Buying Books and Coming to the Airport Again

Tuesday August 6th

When we got back from camping, Grandma June fed us lunch.
Then we packed up again. (C)

Grandpa Bill took Colin and me to the bookstore
while Mom and Dad finished their packing and checked our luggage. (S)

We needed some books about American history and government. (C)

The textbooks we study from in Japan are all about Japan, of course. (S)

And we got some fun books, too. (C)

It's time to go back. (S)

Grandma June and Grandpa Bill brought us to the airport. (S)

We are taking a night flight. (C)

We are all tired! (C & S & M & D)

-- Colin & Sally & Mom & Dad

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Dinosaurs and Camping!

Monday, August 5

It was a long day.
We got up early and went north, to Ogden.
There's a dinosaur museum in Ogden, called Eccles Dinosaur Park.
We saw lots of dinosaurs and ate lunch there.
Well, the dinosaurs were all replicas, of course.
It was very interesting.
-- Sally

Then we went further north, to Honeyville.
There's a hot springs resort there, called Crystal Springs.
We swam all afternoon.
I think I got a little sunburned.
Then we set up a tent at the campsite and had dinner.
We are posting from inside the tent.
-- Colin

Monday, August 5, 2013

Family Decision

Sunday Evening

I watched the Dallas Cowboys beat the Miami Dolphins 24 to 20 this afternoon, too.
American football is very different from soccer. (C)

I helped Mom and Grandma make bread for our flight back to Japan. 
Mom says it's hard to get good whole wheat flour in Japan. (S)

After dinner, Dad turned off the TV. (C)

And Mom asked Grandma to watch the bread in the oven. (S)

Dad asked Sally and me if we would help him finish his thesis. (C)

Mom said we don't have to help him write or draw pictures and graphs. 
But we can listen to him, and ask him questions. (S)

And tell him our opinions. (C)

Dad has to concentrate. (S)

So we'll have to be quiet while he works, sometimes. (C)

And help Mom with the housework. (S)

I think we'll have to do more chores. (C)

If Dad finishes his thesis by November, we can stay in Japan another year. (S)

I think I'd like that. (C)

-- Sally and Colin

Quiet Sunday

Sunday, August 4th

It was a quiet day today.
We met friends at Church and had our meetings.
At home, we read some scriptures as a family.
We watched some American TV, too.
I think I'm forgetting English, a little.
-- Sally

We walked to church today.
Church is very close to Grandma and Grandpa's house.
It took us less than five minutes.
Some people drive, but I don't understand why.
Dad says, maybe it's a habit.
-- Colin

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Family Council

Saturday Evening, August 3rd

Dad called a family council on the way home from the canyon. (C)

We talked while we got cleaned up and put the picnic stuff away. (S)

Dad has a good job teaching English in Japan. (C)

The school wants him to come back next year, too. (S)

But his thesis supervisor says he needs to finish his degree.
A supervisor is a kind of boss, but the school doesn't pay Dad. (C)

I don't really understand what a thesis is. (S)

I don't either. But it's something Dad writes about his research. (C)

I like both Japan and America. I wish we could stay in both places at once! (S)

Me, too. (C)

-- Sally and Colin

Picnic in the Canyon

Saturday August 3rd

This is Millcreek Canyon from above:

View Larger Map

Grandma June drove us up to the Mt. Aire trailhead.
It's about 1.8 miles from the trailhead to the peak of the mountain.
At 0.6 miles per kilometer, that's about 3 kilometers.
It took us two and a half hours to hike up to the top.
We stopped to rest and look around.
I like hiking in the woods.
-- Colin

It's called Millcreek because,
a long time ago, there were lots of mills on the creek --
flour mills and sawmills, I think.
You can see a lot of Salt Lake Valley from the top of Mt. Aire.
But we couldn't see Grandpa's house.
We ate at the top.
I like eating lunch in the mountains.
-- Sally

Saturday, August 3, 2013

"Risky" Games (but no real risk)

Friday Evening, 2nd. Aug.

Dad and Mom got home about four.
Mom says we get to go up the canyon tomorrow!
We had to get food ready for the picnic, so we went shopping.
I had forgotten that American grocery stores are BIG!
Grandpa and Dad and Colin played Risk while Mom and Grandma and I made food.
Risk takes too long to play.
-- Sally

Dad and Grandpa and I helped make food, too!
Risk is a thinking game.
We helped while we thought.
Everyone played Parcheesi after dinner, too.
While we played Risk.
We never finished the game of Risk.
-- Colin

The grocery store we went to:

View Larger Map
(It's as big as a football field.)

Duck Park

Friday, August 2nd

Mom and Dad had more business downtown this morning.
So we went to the park with Grandma and Grandpa.
It's named after a man that Grandpa knew, named Robert Fitts.
It only takes five minutes to walk there.
We saw some friends there, too.
In the afternoon, we visited our friends.
-- Sally

The park is also called Duck Park, because there are a lot of ducks.
The ducks come to the creek that goes through the park.
It's not as big as Sherwood Park, and there's no place to play baseball.
But it's greener.
The creek is a part of Mill Creek, which isn't big enough to be a river.
I hope we can go on a picnic in Mill Creek Canyon.
-- Colin

Fitts Park:

View Larger Map

Friday, August 2, 2013

Two Temples

Thursday, August 1st

Today we went into the city with Mom and Dad and Grandma and Grandpa.
Grandpa Bill and Grandma June took us shopping while Mom and Dad went into one temple.
We walked around the artificial creek.
I looked at computers.
Sally looked at clothes.
-- Colin

Looking at computers was boring. Looking at clothes was fun.
The creek was too straight. It looks man-made.
We ate yummy cheesecake for lunch when Mom and Dad came back.
Well, the cheesecake was desert.
After lunch, we went to visit another temple, and talked with friends there.
-- Sally

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Wednesday, July 31st

Dad had to go to his school today.
He had to talk with his professor.
Dad is working on his Master's degree in teaching.
A teacher at the college is helping him.
We went with him and walked around the campus.
-- Sally

At the college, we had to wait for Dad for a long time.
So Mom took us for a walk around the school.
We looked at lots of stuff.
We got to see models of dinosaurs at the biology department.
And we got to see a big Foucault pendulum at the physics department.
-- Colin

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Tuesday Evening, July 30th

Well, we said Goodbye to Grandma Michiko and Grandpa Joe this morning.
Then it was about two hours in the air.
Then we said hello to Grandpa Bill and Aunt Harriet at the Salt Lake City Airport.
Now we are in Utah.
We said hello to Grandma June when we got home.
-- Colin

Grandma June was baking bread.
That's why she couldn't meet us at the airport.
The house smelled like fresh bread when we got here.
We ate homemade bread and jam while we talked.
-- Sally

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Oil Museum, and Shakespeare's Theatre

Monday evening, July 29th

Mom took us to the petroleum museum this morning.
I learned a lot about oil and geology.
I learned about it before, in school, 
but seeing it at the museum was more fun.
-- Colin

Grandma took us to see the Globe Theatre in the afternoon.
It's a replica of Shakespeare's original Globe Theatre.
Sometimes she acts in plays there.
We saw the heavens, which are the rooms above the stage.
-- Sally

Monday, July 29, 2013

Family History

Monday Morning, July 29th

I did not know about the internment centers.
Grandpa Joe's mom and dad met when they were teenagers during World War II.
They had to move to Idaho until the war was over because they were Japanese.
It sounds kind of like going to camp.
But they had to stay there for four years.
I have to think about this, because I don't understand.
-- Colin

Grandma Michiko is not Japanese.
I knew that. She has blonde hair.
Her dad was a guard at the Minidoka Relocation Center.
He made friends with Grandpa Joe's parents.
When he got married, his wife admired princess Michiko.
So they named grandma after her.
I have things to think about, too.
-- Sally

Church in Texas

July 28th, Sunday

We filled two pews at Church this morning.
It was fun to sit with all the cousins. 
It was nice to see all of our old friends at Church, too.
(Dad says I can't name names, but, Hi, guys!)
-- Colin

At Church, Grandpa and Grandma gave a talk about family and family history.
After Church, we all came back to their house,
and they told us some more about their lives.
Then it was time to say goodbye to all the cousins.
Everybody has to work tomorrow.
-- Sally

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Family Reunion at the Sand Hills

Saturday, July 27

Uncle Brian and Aunt Kathy came in this morning with four more cousins. (C)

Then we went to the  Monahans Sand Hills for a picnic.
We sand surfed and walked around in the sand dunes. (S)

Uncle Brian's kids brought water bottle rockets,
and we took turns launching and chasing them. (C)

When we got home, we sprayed each other down with the garden hose. (C)

That washed most of the sand out of our clothes.
We got sun-burned. (S)

We're going to bed early tonight. (S)

We're tired, but we had fun. (C)

Sally and Colin

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Games with Grandma and Grandpa

Friday, July 26th (evening)

Aunt Bobbie and Uncle Bob and their kids arrived before dinner. 
So did Uncle Tom and Aunt Samantha and their kids.
Grandpa went out for fish and chips and coleslaw so no one had to cook.
No rice, but lots of whole wheat bread.
It was good eatin'.
-- Colin

Grandma got out board games and card games.
We played Uno and Pit and Parcheesi and Clue
Colin wanted to play Risk, but everyone is too tired.
It is fun to see all the cousins.
I'm glad Grandma and Grandpa have a big house.
-- Sally

Shopping with the Family

Friday, July 26th

Dad and Mom took us shopping this morning.
Grandma and Grandpa came with us.
Mom bought fresh cinnamon and other spices that are expensive in Japan.
Dad bought lots of fresh pecans.
He likes pecans.
-- Sally

Dad bought shoes, because he can't get size 13 in Japan.
Dad's shoes are size 33 in Japan.
Shoes are easy to take to Japan.
Because of international treaties like TPP and ACTA,
pecans require a lot of red tape for individuals like Dad.
-- Colin

Friday, July 26, 2013

Walking (and Swimming) in an Area

Thursday, July 25th, evening.

Grandpa Joe and Grandma Michiko took us for a walk to the park where we went yesterday.. (S.)

Mom and Dad had to go downtown for some business. (C.)

We walked around the park (S.)

It took us about a half hour. We were not walking fast. (C.)

And Grandpa stopped us and told us about area. (S.)

He said the park is about 540 meters long and 450 meters wide. (C)

Then he said that the park was about a quarter of a square kilometer. (C)

Grandma complained that she didn't want to talk about math. (S.)

But Grandpa explained anyway: 450 times 540 is 243,000 square meters. (S)

A square kilometer is a million square meters. (C)

Then we went swimming. (S)

Grandpa Joe explained the math when we got home. (C)
Colin and Sally

West Texas Is Hot and Dry!

25th of July

It's hot. I'm sweating bullets.
The temperature is 104 in the shade.
That's one hundred four degrees Fahrenheit.
In Celsius degrees, it's forty.
40°C is hot, but 104°F sounds hotter.

Gandma Michiko says it's humid today.
It's about 40%.
I think it's more humid in Kobe.
It's probably close to 65% there.
Either way, we perspire a lot.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 24th at Last!

Finally July 24th

There was a church picnic today at Sherwood Park.
Many of our friends were there.
Some of the adults talked about history.
The first people who came here were pioneers.
We ate lots of watermelon and cantalope.
And we cleaned up after we ate.

The park where we went for the picnic is big.
It takes five minutes to walk across it.
It has a pool with water slides, four baseball fields,
a skateboard park, and a kids' park with a giant prairie dog.
Grandpa says there used to be a prairie dog town there.
It was a kind of mini-zoo with just prairie dogs.
I played a lot today and got tired.

View Larger Map

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Texas Time

Still July 23rd!

Grandpa Joe and Grandma Michiko met us at the airport.
I like my grandparents.
The drive to their home only took a half hour.
But I fell asleep in the car.
Grandma cooked us chili beans and cornbread for dinner.

Grandpa Joe drives a big van.
There was plenty of room for us and our luggage.
Mom and Dad and Grandma and Grandpa are talking in the living room.
Sally and I are going to bed.
It's 9:40 at night here, but it's 11:40 tomorrow morning in Kobe.
Time is so confusing.

Changing Planes in El Paso

Still July 23rd!

I didn't get my nap.
Colin made me wander around the LA terminal with him and Dad.
Mom watched the luggage.
Then we got in another airplane.
Now we are in the El Paso air terminal.

Dad's looking for a good tamales stand.
He says airport food isn't real food,
but he'll try to find something close.
Mom says she wants to see Juarez.
It's noon here, but it's two in the morning in Kobe.

[Grammar and vocabulary notes -- 文法及び単語の解釈

  • El Paso == テキサス州の、メキシコとの境界線にある大都市
  • nap == 昼寝・朝寝など、一眠り
  • make 誰か do 何か == 何かをやらさせる
  • wander == さまよう、うろうろする、歩き回る
  • LA == ロス・アンジェレス市 (Los Angeles)
  • [air] terminal == 空港タミナルビル(飛行機を待つ場所)
  • luggage == 荷物
  • get in == 乗る、中へ乗り込む
  • look for == 探す
  • tamales == トウモロコシの生地にチリビーンズを埋めたみたいな、南アメリカのおいしいお料理
  • stand == 屋台(やたい)、小さいお店
  • Juarez == El Paso の向かい側にあるメキシコの大都市
  • noon == 真昼、正午

(added 2013.11.18)]

Sleepy in the Morning in Los Angeles

23rd July

The airport clocks say it's 6:14 Tuesday morning.
The pilot said we had a tailwind and made good time.
We went back in time.
We're waiting to go through customs.

I'm sleepy.
I watched too many movies on the plane.
Colin says we went back in time.
But good tail winds don't make us faster than light.
Who cares? I'm going to take a nap.

[Grammar and vocabulary notes -- 文法及び単語の解釈
  • airport == 空港
  • pilot == 操縦士(そうじゅうし)、船や飛行機の運転手
  • tailwind == 追い風
  • make good time == 調子よく進む、早く進む
  • go back in time == 時間をさかのぼる
  • customs = 税関(ぜいかん)(荷物を検査して、税金などを決めるところ)
  • faster than light == 光よりも早く、時間をさかのぼるといわれる速度
  • Who cares? == だれが(そんなことに)気がかかる?、気にするもんか?
(added 2013.11.18]

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


July 23rd

There's a break in the clouds and we can see Hawaii beneath us!
I was asleep when Colin woke me up to show them to me.
It's very pretty from up here.
Mom says it looks better up close.

The captain came on the loudspeaker and said we could see the islands.
I can see four, maybe five islands.
They look very small, off to our right.
Dad says maybe he can take us there next year.

[Grammar and vocabulary notes -- 文法及び単語の解釈

  • break == 破れたところ→隙間、開いたところ
  • asleep == 寝ている状態
  • wake 誰か up == 寝ている状態から起こす
  • up close == 近いところに
  • maybe => もしかして
  • off to our right == 私たちが進んでいる道から右側に

(added 2013.11.18)]

Airplanes Are Boring!

July 23rd

We are in the air.
It should be exciting.
It isn't.
It's like riding on a big bus for a long time.
The train was more interesting,
but we all got tired standing up.

We woke up at five in the morning!
Our flight left at 8:30.
Dad said a taxi would be cheaper than the train.
But Mom said the train would be more interesting.
So we all had to carry our luggage through the train stations.
-- Sally

Monday, July 22, 2013

Last Minute Shopping

22nd of July

Mom took us shopping today.
There is always something to buy at the last minute.
We will leave for Texas tomorrow.
We'll spend a week in Texas and a week in Utah.
I'm excited to see our grandparents.

-- Sally

We bought new swimming suits.
Mom says we may go swimming in the US.
Sally and Mom and I packed on Saturday,
so we just checked our bags for things we forgot.
Dad came home early, and we helped him pack.
-- Colin

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Family Is Important.

Sunday, July 21st

We talked about the importance of family at church, today.
Our parents gave us our genes.
I don't understand genes.
But my eyes are blue and my Mom's eyes are blue, too.
-- Sally

Family includes great-grandparents, too,
and cousins and aunts and uncles.
We learn about genes at school.
We learn about what's right and wrong at home.
-- Colin

Saturday, July 20, 2013

First Day of Summer Vacation.

Saturday, 20 July

Today is the first day of summer vacation.
No more school for a whole month and a half.
In America, we would have two and a half months off.
I am soooo excited!
-- Colin

Today we are packing our bags.
We are getting ready to go visit our grandparents in America.
Packing for a trip can be boring.
But I'm looking forward to seeing them.
-- Sally

Answers to the Test Practice Questions

[I went through the questions in class with the children, so I let this post with the answers slide. Sorry about that.]


(1) I'm sorry these are late. I was working on a very difficult math problem for a program I have been working on.

(a) running up (b) looking down
(c) walking over (d) working on

(2) Summer break has begun. How were your last days at school?

(a) slowest days (b) last days
(c) fastest moments (d) last thoughts

(3) Getting ready for a trip is always difficult. Did you help your mother pack up your things to take with you?

(a) pack up (b) put down
(c) sit on (d) set up

(4) It's a long trip. Will you go by train, airplane, bus, or car?

(a) stop by (b) travel through
(c) go by (d) ride beside

More examples:

Mother scolded me for running up the stairs. But running down is more dangerous.

When I looked up at the apartment, I saw Sally looking down at me from the fourth floor.

Coach told me that walking over from school to karate practice is healthier than having Mom drive me over.

I think the days before Christmas are the slowest days of the year. Mom thinks they are the fastest days.

At the finish line are the fastest moments of the race. The seconds before the starting gun are the slowest moments.

After my presentation at school, the teacher asked me if I had any last thoughts about the project. I told everyone that my first thoughts about the project were that I didn't want to do it. But it was fun, after all.

It's hard to put down a good comic book. But we should put it away before we go to bed. Books should be put up on the shelf and toys should go in the toy box.

I like to sit on the saddle of my bicycle when I'm coasting, but I often have to stand up on the peddles when I'm going up a hill.

We set up a portable picnic table before we sat down to lunch. After we finished lunch, we took the table down again and put it away.

[Bonus examples for set up:]
Can you show me how to set up this math problem? I think I can work it out by myself, but setting it up is hard.

When you glue a broken doll back together, you should let the cement set up before you try to move it. Otherwise the bond won't take, and the doll will just fall apart again.

Dad asked Mom to stop by the bookstore and pick him up a book on Japanese grammar. She said she had to go past the bookstore anyway, so she would.

When you go over the mountains north of Kobe, you have to travel through some tunnels whether you go by train or by car.

Colin rode beside his mom and Sally rode beside her dad when they rode on the plane.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Test practice questions

Colin and Sally have to keep their English sharp, since they are living in Japan. So I made up some test questions for the beginning of summer.

Answers will be posted later.

(1) I'm sorry these are late. I was [____________ ___________] a very difficult math problem for a program I have been [____________ ____________]. (2箇所も同じ)

(a) running up                (b) looking down
(c) walking over             (d) working on

(2) Summer break has begun. How were your ___________ ____________ at school?

(a) slowest days                  (b) last days
(c) fastest moments           (d) last thoughts

(3) Getting ready for a trip is always difficult. Did you help your mother __________ ___________ your things to take with you?

(a) pack up                   (b) put down
(c) sit on                      (d) set up

(4) It's a long trip. Will you ___________ ___________ train, airplane, bus, or car?

(a) stop by                   (b) travel through
(c) go by                     (d) ride beside

School's Out for Summer!

19 July, Friday

Today was the last day of school before summer.
We played tag in second period.
I was never it, so I didn't get to chase anyone.
But it was fun.
School's out for summer!
-- Sally

My friends and I played Police and Thief.
It's another kind of tag.
We had fun.
In fourth period, the teachers and principal told us to be careful during summer.
Then we came home.
-- Colin

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cleaning day

Thursday, the 18th of July

Today was cleaning day at school.
We cleaned the classroom in fourth period.
My job was wiping the floor with a rag after the sweeping was done.
Three other students wiped the floor along with me.
I was tired.
We came home after lunch.
-- Sally

It's nice to leave the classroom clean.
My job was cleaning the turtle tank.
My friend helped me.
Another friend tried to sweep my feet up along with the dirt.
The teacher scolded us for playing instead of cleaning.
But we got the classroom very clean!
-- Colin

[Grammar and vocabulary notes -- 文法及び単語の解釈

  • wipe == 拭く
  • rag == 雑巾
  • sweep == ほうきで掃く
  • along with == 一緒に
  • leave == 残す、去る
  • turtle == 亀
  • scold == 叱る、たしなめる
  • get the classroom clean == 教室をきれいにする
(added 2013.10.14)]

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

karate and math

17 July (Wednesday)

At karate practice today, I bought a new ankle brace.
My old one was worn out and falling apart.
The new one fits my foot perfectly.
My foot is much happier, now.
-- Colin

We had our last math test before summer in second period today.
It was too easy, so I was bored.
But I wasn't careful, so I missed a problem.
I was sad.
-- Sally

[Grammar and vocabulary notes -- 文法及び単語の解釈

  • wear == 着古すから引いて、擦り切る(すりきる)、傷む(いたむ)
(added 2013.10.26)]

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Japanese Calligraphy

July 16th (Tuesday)

We practiced Japanese Calligraphy today at school.
Western calligraphy uses a pen with a flat tip.
In Japanese calligraphy, you use a brush, instead.
So the flourishes are different.
I wrote the word, 「必要」, or "hitsu-you".
It means, "necessary".
I think I drew the characters very well!
-- Sally

Japanese calligraphy is called, "sho-dou", 「書道」.
The brush is called, "fude", 「筆」.
There are three kinds of flourishes, tome, harai, and hane.
These are different ways to change or end a stroke.I drew the character, 「麦」.

It's pronounced "mugi", and it means, "wheat".
The flourishes were very difficult, so I was tired.

-- Colin

Monday, July 15, 2013

Day of the Sea -- 海の日

Monday, 15 July

Today is Marine Day, a holiday in Japan.
It's called "Umi no Hi" (海の日) in Japanese.
Dad had a day off from work today.
We had a day off from school.
So we went to the beach at Koshien (甲子園) Park and had a picnic.
There is a wildlife preserve nearby.
-- Sally

There were people surfing at the beach.
I wanted to go swimming.
But Dad said it's not a good place to swim.
So I went wading.
I had to be careful of the jellyfish.
Lunch at the beach was delicious.
-- Colin

[Grammar and vocabulary notes -- 文法及び単語の解釈

(added 2013.10.14)]

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Courage and Faith

Sunday, July 14th

In Sunday School, we talked about 勇気 (yuu-ki, or courage).
Sometimes it takes courage to fight.
Sometimes it takes courage to not fight.
Sometimes it takes courage to go to school and take a test.
I think it takes courage to do what is right.
-- Colin

We also talked about 信仰 (shin-kou, or faith) in Sunday School.
Faith is believing, but faith is also doing what you believe.
Faith in the company is why Daddy goes to work.
Faith in my teachers is why I study at school.
Faith in God is why we go to Church.
Faith sometimes takes courage, too.
-- Sally

[Grammar and vocabulary notes -- 文法及び単語の解釈

  • it takes {A} to {B}. == {B}をするに{A}が必要です。
  • do what is right == 正しいことをする
  • do what you believe == 信じる通りものごとをする
  • faith in {A} == {A}を信じる信仰
  • {A} is why {B}. == {B}の理由は{A}です。{A}があるから{B}ができる。
(added 2013.10.02)]

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Lots of fish!

July 13th, Saturday

We went to an aquarium today with Mom and Dad.
Our friends, Haruhiko and Mai and their mom and dad went with us, too.
We saw seals and dolphins and turtles and lots of fish.
There were so many different kinds of fish that I can't remember them all.
I like seals and dolphins the best!
-- Sally

The aquarium we went to is the Suma Aqualife Park.
It was cool inside.
There were eels and water snakes, too.
We watched the dolphin show outside.
It was hot, but we got splashed by the dolphins.
It was very interesting.
-- Colin

Friday, July 12, 2013

Jumping into the pool with our clothes on!

July 12th, Friday

Today was a surprise!
Well, they told us before, so it was not a total surprise.
We practiced swimming in our clothes.
It's for emergencies.
We practiced inflating our school uniforms for floating.
It didn't work very well.
-- Sally

Street clothes are heavy when they are wet.
They drag you down.
And it's hard to move in them, too.
So we couldn't swim a lot.
I wanted to swim more.
-- Colin

[Grammar and vocabulary notes -- 文法及び単語の解釈

  • total surprise == 完全なびっくり、すごい驚き
  • in our clothes == 服を着たまま
  • for emergencies == 緊急や非常・いざという時に備えて
  • inflate == (空気を)吹き込む
  • work == 働く、行う、機能する
  • work well == 巧く行く
  • drag == 引っ張る、引きずる
(added 2013.09.25)]

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kanji are hard!

11 July, Wednesday

We had a 漢字 (kanji, or Chinese characters) test during fourth period.
It was difficult.
筋肉 (kin-niku, or muscle) and 通勤 (tsu-kin, or going to work) were on the test.
I couldn't remember which kin was which.
I was sad.
-- Colin

I like kanji! They are like little pictures.
But I have trouble remembering them, too.
We have to learn about six hundred characters before we finish elementary school.
Kanji are hard, but fun.
-- Sally

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Swimming in English

Wednesday, July 10th

First and second periods today were swimming.
The water was still cool and the sun was not yet hot.
It was nice for swimming.
We practiced a lot, but we also had free swim.
Swimming is lots of fun.
-- Sally

The first thing we did in pool was practice getting in and out safely.
Then we practiced breathing and kicking and the crawl stroke.
Then we swam twenty-five meter laps..
I swam twenty-five meters without stopping!
I was proud of myself.
-- Colin

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

It was very hot today.
We couldn't go outside to play at recess.
It was too hot.
So we played Uno inside.
The card game Uno is popular in Japan.
My friends didn't know that uno is Spanish for 「一」(ichi):
Cero, uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, nueve, diez.
-- Sally--------

零 (rei), 一 (ichi), 二 (ni), 三 (san), 四 (shi), 五 (go), 六 (roku), 七 (shichi), 八 (hachi), 九 (ku), 十 (juu).
So there.
At lunch today, we had beef bacon yaki-niku.
Well, it's not really bacon, of course, since it's beef.
It's sliced thin, like bacon, and barbequed.
We also had leek (nira) soup, rice, milk, and ice cream.
Cold ice cream for a hot day.
There were lots of vegetables and egg in the leek soup.
I liked it all, and I was happy.
-- Colin

Monday, July 8, 2013

Planets and stars and old stories!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Today we went on a school trip to the Kobe Science Museum.
There is a planetarium, there.
We studied about stars and constellations.
The teacher told us about Orihime and Hikoboshi, too.
I learned a lot.
-- Colin

When I think about Orihime and Hikoboshi, it makes me so sad.
They can only meet once a year, and only if the weather is clear.
Colin says it's just like a fairy tale.
But it's still sad!
When we got home, we tried to look through Colin's telescope.
But I couldn't see anything.
Mom says it's late and we have to go to bed.
-- Sally

[Grammar and vocabulary notes -- 文法及び単語の解釈
when (something) == 何にかのとき(時)
only if (something) == 何かの場合だけ
try to (something) == 何かをやってみる
(added 2013.09.12)]

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunday School on Tanabata

7th July, Sunday

It's Tanabata.
Our friends went to shrines and tied wishes to tree branches.
The wishes are written on paper.
We went to Church and studied from the Bible.
But Dad let us visit a shrine after Church.
I tied a wish on a tree branch, too.
-- Sally

In Sunday School, we talked about hypocrisy.
Jesus taught people to do what they believe in.
I don't believe in fairy tales.
But I tied a wish to a tree branch, too.
I felt funny, but Dad says it's okay.
We can respect traditions we don't believe in.
I will study more about Tanabata later.
-- Colin

[Grammar and vocabulary notes -- 文法及び単語の解釈
  • go and study == 行って勉強する
  • let (person) (do something) == 人に何かをやらせる
    • ただし、「やってもいい」、とする。
  • Sunday School: (教会の)日曜学校
  • hypocrisy: 一つのこと言って、違うことをする
  • teach (person) to do (something) == 人に何かをするように教える
  • what (person) (believes in) == 人が信じていること
  • respect: 認める(みとめる)、尊敬(そんけい)する
  • traditions: 伝統、言い伝え、習わし
  • traditions we don't believe in == 信じていない習わしや言い伝え
(added 2013.09.13)]

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Fairy dust.

July 6th, 2013 -- Saturday

We watched Peter Pan today on the DVD player.
Peter is magic.
So is Tinker Bell.
I like Tinker Bell, because she is so cute!
Mom made us watch it in Japanese.
-- Sally

Peter Pan is the hero of Peter Pan.
Dust is dirty, but fairy dust is magic.
I want some of Tinker Bell's fairy dust, so I can fly, too.
I think Peter loved Wendy.
-- Colin

Friday, July 5, 2013

Tag! You're it.

Friday, July 5, 2013

In fifth period today, we had free play on the playground.
I played tag with some friends.
I was "it" once.
It was a lot of fun.
-- Sally

I played dodge-ball with my friends in fifth period.
I hit a player on the other team twice.
It was fun.
But it was hot, too.
-- Colin

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day! (But not in Japan.)

Thursday, the Fourth of July

No fireworks!
"Fireworks" in Japanese is 「花火」 (hana-bi), or "fire flowers".
It's too early for fireworks here.
Fireworks are for O-bon and matsuri.
And we had to go to school on Independence Day!

I was so sad.
-- Colin

We had science in 5th and 6th periods, after lunch.
We studied about flowers, but not fire-flowers.
In Japanese, "pollen" is 「花粉」, pronounced "ka-fun".
Petals are called "hana-bira" (「花びら」).
Hanabira and hanabi are completely different things.
-- Sally

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Octopus for lunch today.

Wednesday 3rd July:

Today's school lunch was octopus, rice, soup, and salad.
Milk, too, of course.
It was good.

I like octopus, and I like milk.
Salad, too, of course.
I served the salad in the lunch line.
The soup was miso soup.
It was good, too.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

concert practice and no pool

Tuesday, July 2nd:

Third and fourth periods today were supposed to be pool.
But it was too cold.
I was so sad. 
So we practiced for the concert, instead.
Then I was happy.

For the concert,
I am playing the recorder
and Sally is playing the keyboard.
I get nervous.
But we all play together,
so no one hears our mistakes.
Practicing together is fun.

[Grammar and vocabulary notes -- 文法及び単語の解釈

  • third == 3番目
  • fourth == 4番め目
  • period == 期間→◯◯時間目
  • were supposed to be ◯◯ == ◯◯だったはず
  • too ◯◯ == ◯◯過ぎる
  • so == それほど→とても
  • so == だから
  • practice == 行う→練習する
  • for the concert == コンサートのために
  • instead == 代わりに
  • then == それで、それから、そのとき
  • be → am/are/is: I am, you are, he/she/it is
  • be playing ◯◯ == ◯◯を吹く(弾く)役になる
  • get nervous == 緊張する
  • all == 皆
  • play together == 一緒に演奏する
  • no one hears == だれも聞きません
  • mistake == 失敗
  • practice together == 一緒に練習する
  • fun == 面白い、楽しい
(added 2014.08.08)]