Winter + Ch, ch, changes…

Konnichiwa!

Today is January 31. And this school year is flying by, as usual. I last left you at Halloween, so I will try to pick up from there. November went by without much happening. We ordered a turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner and hosted a small event this year. Everyone brought something to share and I made the usual Sluder dinner. Those moments of home always make your day better!

 

December was really great! Party with the kids and lots of fun events the last week of school. I themed the week and we did different activities, including dressing up! The staff party was at a restaurant Paul and I realllly love, so that was a great-except Paul was at a basketball tournament with the team and had to miss the party. I honestly don’t think he was too sad about it 🙂 We went to karaoke after and Paul picked me up at 2 am! Thanks babe!

We were very undecided about saying taking a vacation once we got to Georgia-but in the end decided to save money for spring break instead. We enjoyed time at home visiting family and friends, and that really wonderful. New Year’s Eve we drove to Birmingham, AL for a Bassnectar concert-ringing in the new year with Bass and good tunes was a nice change to bar hopping. We had a gorgeous hotel and had the best nights sleep in ages! Heading back to Nagoya was of course filled with mixed emotions. I was ready to go home, but not ready to say goodbye again. I am really glad we went home though.

So the title suggests it’s winter, which it is. And changes, which there will be. We decided to NOT renew my contract at NIS 😦 It was a hard decision and I do love it here in Japan, and at NIS. However, we feel it’s best to try to get closer to home. I of course plan on staying international if I can. The job search has begun officially and I’ve had a couple interviews already. It’s tough trying to find the right school, with the right visa requirements when you have a ‘trailing spouse’ like Paul. He can be contracted to work, but has no teaching experience (not like most schools prefer) so we are trying to find the right place. We are looking at a couple school in South America, Costa Rica, Panama, the Caribbean, and Europe. Recruiting season is well under way, so keep your fingers crossed and send us some warm thoughts, prayers if it’s your thing, and good vibes!

 

January has been pretty quiet. We had a snow day which allowed for some rest the second week we returned from break as well some play time in the snow. I pretty much just stayed in bed and watched movies, read, and watched TV 🙂 We are busy planning our vacations for the coming weekends and breaks…it’s really sinking in that we only have about 20 Saturdays left in Japan! Everything I look at I think…this could be the last time I…or, I will miss this so much…it’s exhausting sometimes. Even things at work are starting to speed up and wind down at the same time. Emails are already coming out to ‘departing’ teachers and my website for selling my stuff has been created already. It’s strange!

Adam Lambert! I am sure you are tired of me raving about him, so I will just leave a couple photos from the concert. It was a great night with great company!

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To get my list completed before we leave, I decided to take an impromptu trip up to Nagano to see some gorgeous snow and some fresh mountain air. Friends were leaving on Friday and coming home Sunday (by car). One of the 3 was taking the train home on Saturday, so I thought…why don’t I take the train up on Saturday, onsen, eat, relax, have some girl time, and drive back with them on Sunday? So, that’s what I did this past weekend. I was going to ski, but I’ve been a bit under the weather this week, so I decided to forgo the skiing, for relaxation. It was a perfect overnight trip. The train provided a beautiful setting while I was working on a few things for the classroom and homework for the class I am taking. They picked me up from the station in Hakuba and off we went. The hotel was cheap, but nice. We shared a room, had free dinner/breakfast with the room, and had a lovely view. Check out the sunrise pictures! Whoa!

Upcoming trips include: Whale watching in Okinawa, Kuala Lumpur, Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, the Terracotta Army, Philippines or…not sure, but water, snorkel/dive, tropics! and then….whew, isn’t that enough!? That takes us to May…so we will see what else we can do. It depends on where our next job is. If we can stay and travel to Australia in June, that would be ideal. Some jobs we are looking at start in mid July…which means we might have to skip home quickly! Change is good! Bring it on 🙂

Until next time-
Sayonara!
K + P