Archive for November, 2008

It’s Beginning to Look A lot Like Christmas

In : General, Posted by on Nov.11, 2008


The holiday season is upon us.  We just have three weekends left before we get on our first trans-Pacific flight in almost 18 months.  I am dreading the flight, but I am looking forward to some time with the family in Houston.  We have our tickets, our passports have some room, and we just booked our rent-a-car.

We put up the Christmas tree up this past weekend.  We aren’t going to be here for Christmas, but I was cleaning out our big closet, and Riley found the Christmas tree box, and then she demanded to put it up, and who am I to turn down a 3 year old?

To help those we love, we have put together some wishlists on  Go here.  There you can search for a wishlist.  You can type in “welbes” in the search box in the upper right hand corner, and then all three of ours should show up.  Riley and Tess share a wishlist.

Here are few more photos of the girls playing around the house.

Kimonos and Colds

In : General, Posted by on Nov.11, 2008



There are a couple of new photos in the Shichi Go San album at the very end, which were kindly donated by Katy.  Also there is a cute one of Suzy and Riley that Katy shared with me.


Giant pandas were handing out balloons.

Yesterday we went into town for Riley’s Shichi Go San ceremony.  We were told to get there two hours before the ceremony in order to get dressed.  So we left the island at 8am, and we arrived at the shrine at 9am.  The first thing that Riley said when we arrived is, “I don’t want to wear a yellow kimono.”   So I spent the next 30 minutes trying to convince her to get dressed.   I didn’t even try to convince her to get her hair and make up done.  What finally ended up working is reading her a Sponge Bob book while the women got her dressed.  She didn’t even know what was happening.  Just goes to show how much she adores Sponge Bob.


Then we headed over to the actual shrine where Katy, Suzy, Todd and Tess met up with us.  We ended up waiting a long time for the ceremony to start because there was a wedding in front of us.  Riley was ready to be out of her kimono, so I bribed her with candy – 1 mini kit kat for each shoe that she wore.  Then they got interested in the wedding and watched that while Tess played with the people dressed up like pandas who were handing out balloons.

The ceremony

Then it was our turn.  All of the kids sat down in the front.  There were three year olds, five year olds, seven year olds, and some one month old babies.  These are all the ages when you visit the shrine.  During the ceremony each child’s name and address is read aloud, and the purpose of the ceremony is to give the children a long life and to drive out the evil spirits.

After the ceremony, you bang a drum the number of years you are.

When we were finished the kids received a toy, and they banged on a drum the number of years they had.  The drum was Riley’s favorite part.  Then Riley and Tess proceeded to eat the candy that Riley was given.  We all desperately looked for a restaurant to eat in, and along the way we lost Tess’s pacifier.  So Todd went to look for it with Tess, and Riley and I ate sushi with Masato, Yuka and Miki.  In the end we found the pacifier and headed for home.

All in all, it was a really neat experience for me, and I hope that Riley liked it, too!  At least she will have the photos to remember the event.  I look forward to doing it again next year with Tess!

Also, here are some photos that Riley took with her camera of the girls playing around the house.