We speak English at home, but outside the house everything is Japanese. See what life is like for our kids as we balance Japanese school, private English and music lessons and life and try to make it fun all at the same time. One thing for sure — our daily routine helps us make it work! It’s time for Life in Japan — Kids’ style! Check out the next video in our Life In Japan series.
Since arriving in Japan 4 years ago, we dreamed about recording a live album here in Tokyo in Japanese and English. The right moment came just last summer, and in a very short amount of time we decided to pull the trigger and record the album. This is a behind the scenes look at that recording.
We can’t wait for you to see these music videos — the first ones are coming out soon, so subscribe to our channel for the updates and check back soon! They will be posted on our bands’ channel, Diflen TV, but I will share them here too as well.
Ever wonder what life is like for Americans living in Tokyo? What are our homes like? What are our lifestyles like? What do our kids do? How do we enjoy life in Japan? Is our lifestyle anything like yours? Well no need to wonder any longer, because we are launching a new series of videos focused on American life in the greater Tokyo area. Come along with us and enjoy the ride as our family of six does Life in Japan.
In this first episode, visit our Japanese home — a home that has been modified to fit our needs. We love it here, even if it is completely different than any of our other homes we’ve lived in. Sure, you need to take off your shoes in the entry way, and the toilets and hot water heaters are automated and talk to you, but that’s part of the charm. If you get thirsty, you can can easily pick up something to drink as you head out.
In future episodes we will be showing our typical day (with 4 kids going in all different directions, it’s quite a blur), our typical weekends, getting around in cars and trains and on foot, Japanese stores and interesting quirks of pseudo American/Japanese living. Subscribe to our mailing list to get our news as it comes out.
Lake Yamanaka 山中湖 literally means “Lake (湖) in the Middle (中) of the Mountain (山).” And when you visit Yamanakako you see where it gets it’s name. It’s one of Fuji’s 5 iconic lakes, and it’s right at the base of the mountain. The view is phenomenal. We just recently discovered that around the lake the organization SEND has several cabins available to rent. SEND happens to be the organization my sister Amy works for — what a small world!
This past Christmas we had not only the privilege of having Ruth’s parents stay with us, but also Ruth’s grandpa Joseph Hrubik, who we lovingly refer to as Papa Joe. This amazing 96 year-old made the trek from Virginia to Tokyo to spend his holidays with us. We couldn’t have been more honored! Ruth’s sister Debbie and family also came so that the whole extended family could be together. To celebrate, we took a couple of days to go to the cabins together and make some very special memories. We stocked our cars up with good food and cameras for our time together. We got to see the sights around Fuji, including feeding the local geese and even going on a wild Fuji Safari (more on that in the video). Fuji in the winter is absolutely beautiful, and we got up early one day to watch it turn pink — a phenomenon similar to the sky turning red at dusk or before the dawn. It only happens for a moment — the moment before the sun comes up over the horizon. It was cold, but so worth it!
We took advantage of the time to hear Grandpa’s stories about growing up, about the war, about life in the States and precious stories about Grandma Sarah (who recently passed away). I asked him what the biggest change in technology was throughout the years — and there were many in his lifetime. Of all of the changes in society due to technology, he said the biggest was the smartphone! Wow. Our kids are growing up in a generation where smartphones are normal, but it was barely 10 years ago that the first iPhone came out. Things change fast!
Living so far away from much of our family, it is always so special when we get time together. We are so fortunate to live in the era of the smartphone and internet where people are a short video-call away. But still nothing compares to sitting down to enjoy a big dinner together as a family, reminiscing over Ruth’s great cooking. Ah! I’m already looking forward to our next big get-together!
I am so proud of my wife and our kids! Ruth has been writing little songs that she sings to the kids in the car, out and about and around the house. These are catchy little tunes that have been so fun for us to sing as a family, so we decided to go ahead and produce some of these songs to sing with the kids at church. Ruth recently just began leading our children’s ministries “Paz Kids” at church and this was a great kick off for the types of things we want to do with our kids program here in Japan.
We got several of the kids from our church together and went to a nearby park on a Saturday morning to record them singing and dancing to “Praise the Lord.” We were able to use equipment that New Life Christian Church in Morton donated for us to make these types of videos. There was such a great reaction to this video at church and with our Japanese friends here, we can hardly wait to get more of these out! Thank you for your loving support of our family — these kind of things are possible because you are behind us. God bless you!