This week has been filled with tons of happy reunions. I have been in seventh heaven every day seeing old friends (and of course being with my parents). I have loved being able to see friends from Japan, Mexico, and Albania so far – I still want to see my friends from other countries while I am home. I realized afresh what a blessing it is to be a multi-cultural sort of person. I think I’ve been like this ever since I can remember; I was always that dorky girl running up to all the international students and offering to help them or take them to the movies. One of my funniest international memories in high school is asking some shy girls from the Ukraine to go bowling and see a movie (“The Brady Bunch Movie”). They had never bowled in their lives and they had no idea what “the Brady Bunch” was but we had fun anyway. Here are some photos of my first week home.


This is a miracle baby!!! My precious Mexican friend Maria gave birth to little Zara in June – she was 2 pounds at birth. Zara was in the hospital for two months before she was released from Pennsylvania Hospital. Zara is healthy and strong and I was so blessed to hold this little one in my arms and thank God for bringing her into our lives.


Zara Sofia Lopez



With my grandmother – sadly my Nana is not doing so well. She doesn’t have Altzheimer’s but she is very forgetful and doesn’t even really know it’s Christmas. It’s been very hard on my family. 😦


Visiting with dear Japanese friends  – it was wonderful to reconnect and see how the kids have grown.


My friends had a little guest staying over that night. I was roaring with laughter to see how five-year old Zoe managed to “use” her chopsticks.


She did it!


Yume had gotten so big and is now perfectly fluent in English.

I am amazed at how wide and huge the U.S. seems, especially the land around homes here. Japanese houses actually are decent-size, I think,  but they have no land, no lawns, no room beyond their home. It feels so cramped! So imagine how they feel when they see houses like this:


Wow, the U.S. is beautiful and so BIG. I loved these photos I took down in Elmer, NJ:




Have a Merry Christmas!