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Ellie's Kindergarten Carnival

put on their hats that they made just for the evening!

Ellie's carnival hat
Carnival hats! 


Ellie looked SO cute!! Each class sang songs. Ellie's class sang a song about Summer Vacation. I got a bit choked up listening to the words. It said something about how the kids have all grown up since the beginning of the school year, and how they'll miss being with their friends and teachers... but how it will be all okay when they see each other again in September. My heart got sad, because Ellie will not be back in September. As a matter of fact, her life as a Japanese yochien girl will end on July 18th (and she will then start at Christian Academy in Japan in late August). As I watched her sing and dance with all of her friends, I was full of gratitude. Thank you, Lord, for answering our prayers that we started to pray when we were still in California. We prayed that He would guide us to the right school and the right teachers for Ellie. He has answered. We prayed for lots of friends for her, and that she would have a great time. Just look at the pictures!! You can see that He also answered that as well.

Ellie's classmates laughing
Ellie with classmates


After the songs, we were all gathered around the unlit campfire, waiting for the lighting. We about died laughing when Enchoo sensei (the head of kindergarten) came trotting in, dressed as a "fire god"!!! He was in a full toga, with half his upper body exposed (which made the kids... and me, gasp at first, and then giggle!!), with a leafy vine crown and a lit torch. I'm sure he was going after the Greek-god look, but with his white socks and black shoes, he just looked plain funny! But I had to give him credit for doing this in front of such a huge crowd! He loves the kids that much, and wanted it to be memorable for them, I'm sure.

 The principal as a Greek fire god
 The principal was a good sport, but clearly forgot to don his sandals that evening. He did,
however, remember his school nametag, in case he wasn't recognized at the door.


Close-up of principal as Greek fire god
No, this is not the principal's regular attire!


So with much pomp and circumstance, Enchoo sensei passed the fire torch to the representatives from each class. At first he passed on the "fire of beauty," then the "fire of doing right," then the "fire of strength," and finally the "fire of kindness" (the yochien motto). Then each child (accompanied by their teacher) approached the campfire with their torches and lit it in unison.

Four kids with teachers lit the fire
This would never happen in the States!


Everyone surrounded the campfire


The very end was Zack's favorite part that made the whole evening "worth it," in his words. Three dads lit fireworks, and we all got to enjoy the colorful flames spark up. The very last one was called the Niagara Falls, which was quite impressive. Even though it was beautiful, the whole time I kept thinking, "They would NEVER do this in the States at a kindergarten carnival!!" The fire was too close in my opinion, and the sparks were flying near the children due to the wind! I'm such a party pooper. Once a kindergarten teacher, always a kindergarten teacher, I guess. But hey, no one got burned, and we all rode our bikes home tired but really glad for the fun gathering.

 Fireworks close to the kids
 Fireworks close to the kids
Fireworks ended the evening
 Fireworks culminated a very fun evening
Niagara Falls fireworks
Niagara Falls fireworks
Nozomi entered the fun!
Even 40-year-olds can still have fun!

Jeff's Posts


Jeff's column offers a mix of reflections on leadership and fatherhood, as well as news from Asian Access.


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Nozomi's Posts


Nozomi's column contains reflections on motherhood, Japanese culture, and ministry.


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Zack's Posts


Zack's column provides a variety of glimpses into what makes him tick.


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Ellie's Posts


Ellie's column is coming soon...


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