Tag Archives: brothers

Down Memory Lane With Our Japanese Family

Most of our family we don’t choose, but friends we do get to choose, and we are so happy to say that some friends become like “family” over time.

Like I said in the last post, we had a visit from our wonderful friends/family the Wakatsukis’, from Japan, this last week.

They were our neighbors at the first house we lived in here in Georgia. We moved here when JJ (now 15) was only three months old, and met them when he was around one.

All five boys are just great buddies and have been for a lifetime!

The original four, left to right (ages are approximate):

Kaoru -4,  Gerrit -3,  Darren -12,  JJ -2

Kaoru was three years old when we met, and is exactly a year and a two days older than Gerrit (now 16). These boys have grown up as “brothers” and even though Kaoru and his parents have long since moved back to Japan, they still come back to spend some time with these “American brothers”! There were a couple of years when Nagisa and Yuji couldn’t make it out, but sent Kaoru alone. They were all so brave to do that!


Me putting him on a plane back to Japan

I do believe this is all of us back in ’02 saying goodbye to them as they moved back to Japan.

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The boys and Kaoru

Many great memories of us all together over the years!


Kaoru & boys on waterfall-best one




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Harrison was still a baby when they moved back, so they have had to watch him grow up through photos and once a year visits.

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Kaoru & Van - game boy play off!!

My oldest, Darren, has been fortunate enough to have made it out to Japan, twice now, since his high school graduation. The first time was a graduation present from Nagisa and Yuji. So, we truly have a special and wonderful relationship with the Wakatsuki family!

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We have watched/listened to Kaoru on the violin from age five to 17, and look forward to many more years of it. The visit this year was short, so no violin was packed. 😦

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We are very proud of our other boy!



We are honored that they spend the time and expense to come visit us every year.

Here are some photos from this years visit:

Our routine visit to Cracker Barrel for Nagisa to get her fried okra. 🙂




A very brief and VERY cold visit to Line Creek.

Boys at Line Creek

Nagisa and Yuji getting to know Peeps.



The boys… my how they’ve grown up!

Nagisa went with me to take my sweet, old girl Jetta (black one) to the vet, and found out that she is wracked with advanced arthritis in her legs. She’s on daily meds. now, and we hope she will be feeling better real soon.


Yuji, Nagisa and I had a fun time in Senoia, Ga one day. If any of you watch the Walking Dead… this is where a lot of the filming happens. Actually, Senoia has been the location of about twenty films and shows. Great little shops and the best coffee!



Eating fried green tomatoes and fried pickles at the Redneck Cafe’.


We said goodbye this morning, and they are on their way back home to Japan. But we look forward to the next visit, and more fun times together.

Thank you for spending your vacation with us Wakatsuki family!

(The cats miss you!!)




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Filed under Our Friends Around the World

Some Sulkers

Sulker. It’s a word… I looked it up! Even though the spell check on here wants to change it… and that makes me uncomfortable… I’m going with – it’s a word, since I couldn’t find the correct spelling of the word I always use for this type of behaviour… and I can’t even tell you what it is… because I found NO spelling of it. WHAT? Does that mean it’s not really a word? I’ve used it for hundreds of years! It rhymes with soap, and starts with an M. Do you use that word? How come I couldn’t find it?

Well, we had a fantastic week with our friends from Japan! They are just like family to us, and the boys spent the three days after they left, sulking. I would occasionally hear, “I miss Kaoru.”, “It just isn’t the same without Kaoru.”, “When is Kaoru coming back? I wish he lived here.”

They love their Japanese brother!

I think he might have been doing a little sulking of his own. Maybe.


Here are some pictures from their last night here. The boys were having a great time goofing off for the camera.

The boys in order of age:

Darren;24, Kaoru;almost 17, Gerrit;almost 16, JJ;14, and Harrison;11

Kaoru wants to be as tall as his brothers!

Kaoru is not only very skilled on the violin, smarter than the average bear, and a good-looking young man, he is also a black belt in Karate.

Harrison kept “poking the bear” to get him to do some of his moves. A very dangerous game of jest indeed! Kaoru was just picking Harrison up here… no Karate moves.

And here they all are in the morning just before we headed to the airport.

They made it safely home and we are so happy that they came out to see us. Thank you Nagisa, for I know it was an effort to travel so many miles. You are amazing! We miss you both and love you all. Looking forward to next time! 😉

Well, although I feel like I’m moving in slow motion these days… I am at least moving forward. eh? So much to do and the days just whiz right on by without checking with me to see if I’m done or not. So aggravating.

But I am happy when I look at these pictures of all the boys enjoying their time together.





Filed under Our Friends Around the World, The boys

50 – But Who’s Counting?

Eddie… don’t worry about me telling the whole world that you just turned 50. It’s okay – really.

Cuz you don’t look it! (or act it!)


Well, he was surprised – and I loved surprising him.

It was WAY worth the trip out to California to see his face when he saw me standing in his kitchen!

I hid behind the island while the rest of my family (except for my little brother) surprised him when he came in from work. Then, when he ran into his bedroom to put his stuff away, I stood up. When he came back in, he hugged our mom and then was coming into the kitchen when he saw me. Surprised face – then his hands covered his face – then he called me a “little faker” with emotion all in his voice – as he came over and hugged-the-beegeebers-out-of-me!!


So Sweet.

Really, it was nice. I made my big bro happy.

He called me a “faker” because I sent him texts earlier that day teasing him about being an old man and that I wished I could be there to tease him more.

A nice evening.

My two big brothers. And Rick got the whole thing on video!

My mom was also surprised! I popped up to her just a few minutes before Eddie came home! That was fun too! Made her cry. I hadn’t seen any of my family out there, except Rick, for almost three years. And my mom is going blind, so it was real special for her to see me before her sight  is completely gone. I am going to try to get my kids out there soon now too.

Eddie and his step daughter Amanda.

Eddie and his wonderful wife Cindy.

My daddy and his precious partner, Carol!

Sooooo glad I was there to help him celebrate this birthday. It was worth everything I went through to get there to see his face… and know that I almost made him cry! I like to make my brothers cry. hee-hee (doesn’t happen very often!)

Love ya bro.




Filed under Birthdays, Something Special

He’s Gone

And I am SAD.


He promises to come back before another 2 1/2 years go by… but I want him to just stay. Forever.

My boys want him to live with us.

Of course he is welcome here anytime, in any way, shape or form.

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Thanks for the good times Rick!

Love ya.



Filed under In The News

Safe and Sound

My big brother Rick has arrived – after spending the night, Friday night, in the San Fransisco airport – getting on a 6 am flight and flying for 5 hours, (Thus, why I don’t travel much!) he was tired – but here.

Unfortunatly, because he missed the red-eye Friday night, he missed Harrison’s game on Saturday morning. But fortunately, (for Rick) this game was also rained out. So he didn’t miss anything except breakfast at Ihop!! Poor Harrison is wondering if there really is such a thing as a baseball game – or if this is all a big ploy to get him outside playing! Well, if he weren’t already my outside/daredevil/active boy, I might be wondering the same thing!!

We have been having unusual weather. Not too often is it overcast and rainy for so many days in a row. We have had so much rain in just a short amount of time that I am ready to break out the life rafts!!

It is kind’a bumming me out a little right now – not usually, because I LOVE the rain – but I was so looking forward to Rick and I spending some time out by the “pond” trying to figure out it’s design and determine it’s destiny! (I know- it’s all about me.) Yes, he’s only been here two days, and there are more days coming. But they say the rain is here for the whole week. Ugh. I can only hope that they are wrong!

Well, I best get back to my cooking! I sent them all out to a movie so I could make Ramen Noodle Soup.

I got the clams this time to try. I can’t say that I will try one… but I know a couple of the boys who will think it is a wonderful treat!! I’ll have’ta let’cha know on that one!!

Hopeing to get some pictures soon. Keep forgetting to get out the camera. Just enjoying talking with my bro!

He’s a part-time philosopher – part time adventurer – part-time kid and full time brother! 🙂





Filed under Something Special

Another Special Visitor!

Next weekend I get to have a visit from my big brother Rick!

I am so excited.

It has been two and a half years since we’ve seen each other.

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Maybe I’ll get an updated picture of the two of us!




Filed under Something Special

So Much to Post About…

…and so little time to write it!

Wish I had a direct connection from my brain to here. Oh, wait. No, that wouldn’t be good.

Ahhh, never-mind.


Oh, Dave and I got to see Amy Grant in concert last night! Not that Dave was thrilled with seeing it, but he did say he enjoyed it. I thought it was real good.  She is so funny. I did not know that about her. A very good concert with good friends, and it was in an outdoor amphitheater on a beautiful evening. Good times.


Harrison missed baseball practice on Thursday and then the first game this morning (Saturday). He got sick on Wednesday. It started with a  sore throat and then came the gunk and a cough.  He JUST DID THIS.  I am so sick of snot. Oh… and you know it… the little sweetie decided to share with his brothers… so now JJ has it! (He just did this too!) Now I am all over them with garlic, vitamin C, Vicks and my special potion (ya… not really mine… but we call it “mama’s potion”! Mostly just to scare the kids).

I am very bummed that Harrison missed his first game. It took a lot for me to send the email to his coach last night and tell him he wasn’t coming. But if he’s sick – he’s sick. What can I do? The coach was nice and said he understood, and also said that his son – who had the flu all week – would not be their either. No sense in having a relapse. This is true. I will get over it and there will be other games.


Our study on the American Revolution is supposed to end Friday, however, we are not done with our Living Book and are enjoying it very much. The boys asked if we could have another week of this study. I am considering it. It’s been a good study. The other night we made a ground beef type stew (with veggie meat) and then made “fire cakes” to dip in the stew/soup. Fire cakes are bread that the American Soldiers ate during the American Revolution. They are just flour and water (salt if they were lucky) and then cooked over-or in the fire. We cooked ours in the oven. They were fun to eat with our soup, but would get old if that were all we had to eat!


It may be a good thing that Harris couldn’t make his game today, as I have been sick with a migraine. They seem to be making me nauseous more now than they ever did. Eeeuuuwea. No fun. I did make a big pot of chicken noodle soup (with tons of garlic) this afternoon, but proceded to spill an entire bowl of it all over my lap and burn my legs. Idiot. I am going to go take a nap now. I’m just not right. (and no comment from you about that, Eddie.)

Chow all. Life will be back on track tomorrow I am sure.



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Filed under In The News