Monday, November 27, 2006

The right amount

My family (Father Ed and Mother Leslie, plus the three boys; Jeremy, Jordan, Jonah and their wives Alaina, Rochelle, and Becca plus the Baby Leni Daye PLUS me) I believe are the right amount of weird. Don't get me wrong, we're not like WEIRD WEIRD but we're definitely not your normal American family. We have the family secret dances (which I didn't get to see this trip), the stories that you never want told but then once someone starts them you interrupt to make sure that at least it's told right and the laughter that never ceases.
My family has a done a lot of things wrong yet, mostly a lot of things right. The best thing done yet has been in choosing my sister-in-laws. My brothers met their matches INDEED when they got married. Everytime I hang out with my sisters I'm impressed that they love and "fit" my brothers so well. God knew what He was doing...
Anyway, I posted some pictures of our crazy week together. Prepare to be amazed....
or weirded-out. :)
Our family picture... five of these people do not belong to our family. Hint, one of them was our 16th President.

We celebrate Thanksgivng and Christmas together so that my brothers can be with their in laws on the other holiday. Speaking of crazy things my family does... Jordan and Rochelle received a boot for Christmas from my Dad. (note he's also wearing the gift I made/gave him~ a kit to becoming "The Next Karate Kid"

My Dad sweetly talks to Lenora.

The sisters looking serious.

We took Amtrak down to Springfield for the day to visit and go through the Abraham Lincoln museum. My family always hits up some Lincoln site; though usually it is his family's "Lincoln Log Cabin" (dude, you can churn butter there. You'd go too!)
Jonah and I on the way... we sat in the club car and played eucher. It wasn't until the second or third hand that they realized I was playing only to spend time with them (i'd never played before)! hee hee hee




Stealing Kisses

Rochelle and I tried on a scary Abraham Lincoln mask... I walked up to her with it on and freaked her out. It was hilarious.

Who knew so much cuteness could be contained in such a teeny weeny bundle.

Leni loves the way the beads feel on her neck.

Lenora and I in the car. (p.s. I got my lip pierced). Nora (Leni, Leni Daye, Lenora) says "Peek a boo", "Hi Lewie" (their dog), "Nora", "Hello", and other fun sayings. She is such a cutie. I mean, there is no way to fully describe the cuteness that is her. She's a munchkin. My favorite nickname of hers is "sugar britches" which is what Jonah calls her.
Thanksgiving at the Hansens. Grandma watches as Leah finishes her mashed potatoes. Grandma used to make the entire thanksgiving meal for us but that's not as possible with our growing family. So we help out but she's always looking over our shoulders to make sure we do things right.

My Dad with his Mom and two (of three) of his sisters (Kay, my namesake and Marge)
Some of the cousins played "Cubs Monopoly" yeah... I know, we're obsessed.

Doesn't Lenora look like a little lumberjack in her flannel pjs?
Brotherly Love... I think?

How exciting! Jeremy got his Bears doll. :)
And Jordan got his. Wow, he's REAL excited. He's the offical entertainer, can you tell?
Jonah and his Bears doll.

Check out Lenora's new slippers!
And her new beanie (CUTE!!!)

Rochelle and Alaina at Grandma's.

I don't care if I've already used this photo... she's adorable.
This smile is what follows when she hides herself and plays peekaboo with us.

Apparently Jordan is hungry. (like i said, entertainer!)
Grandma had her usual cooking frenzy. She apologized because she only made us two of her dozens of types of cookies. :) She's funny. She's so feisty!
There you go, the official Schupbach Christmas/Thanksgiving. I am about to board my plane so enjoy the photos and I'll see you in Tokyo.


They tell you, "Home is where your heart is"...
but what they don't tell you is what to do when your heart has no home...

When your heart is traveling to Colorado in a small silver car,
or reading "Olivia Starts a Band" with the girl whose smile will warm me this winter,
when your heart skipped a beat and with a picture in an envelope...
a surprise cup of coffee in the morning.

When your heart is the notes you strum on the guitar,
the tears you cried over coffee,
the shawl that fits perfectly like your arms,
the laughter that followed the gleeking in my eye.

My heart is going home to Denver,
Going to school in Pittsburgh,
Learning to drink from a "big girl cup"
Working in a bookstore
Keeping the books straight in a furniture store
And helping children in central Illinois.

My heart is you.

They say, "Home is where the heart is"...

My heart is in a coffeeshop in Takahatafudo
In the laughter that follows the stories from "homeless backpacking"
In the train rides and afternoon lunches
In my garbled Japanese

In the three little kids who never cease to amaze me,
who delight and entertain me.
My heart is in the card games,
the movies,
and the chocolate ice cream that we eat.
In the kitchen that smells good
and the smile that lights her face when her dishes get done.

My heart is in the laughter from the cultural blunders.
My heart is you.

My heart is in Him, who had no home, no bed to lay His head on
My heart is in the One who gives me daily grace to love, learn, and laugh
My heart is in Him who watches and protects those that I can't be with.
My heart is in Him who loved me first and gave His so that I could be with Him...

He is the Reason.
My heart is Him.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Did you order Subway?

I came home to surprise my family and my Dad just sat at the door and stared at me. The deal was that Jordan and Rochelle would come in and ask my Dad where he wanted to eat dinner and then I would follow with Subway. Sorry it's dark but enjoy my Dad's astonished look when he sees me for the first time.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Crazy Weekend

I invited some friends over for the first weekend I was home in Illinois. They surprised me with some pretty interesting gifts. The first gift were the Spiderman masks that Kelli brought me. We went wild with these (especially Kelli and I). We had a deal that whoever took theirs off first had a penalty but unlike Japanese penalty games; Marcus never did his penalty.

I love this picture of Kelli and I... don't I look like a rapper?
Sarah came to visit me from Minnesota... it always catches me off guard how nuts we really are and were in high school but Sarah and I have this great ability to just slip back into the comfort of our friendship. Thanks for coming; although we missed out on the two-man mounts.

So, as you probably know from the previous post, I had jet lag (and still do) unlike anything I've ever known. I was a tad bit hyper at 5:30AM and maybe, kind of, actually I did wake up Kelli by telling her I had found my crown in my "box" downstairs. At 7:30AM my Dad brought home donuts and because I was hyper/bored/alone I decided to take andom photos with the donuts. Don't ask me why...
The second great gift I received was from Sarah... you would never be able to guess it so I will just tell you. She brought me MOUSTACHES!!! Seriously, do I have the best friends ever or what? Who would buy me a moustache? Who does these things? Sarah Gehrman. I had so much fun with the moustache that I wore it around Normal (normal I am not) and only took it off when it started itching me crazy. I was actually grossing myself out when I would itch my nose and pull black hair off of my 'stache. that was a little too gross for me... who likes to shed? Not me!
But then I put it on my steering wheel cause I took it off in the car and forgot it there until my brother Jeremy came in and gave me a tongue lashing for being disgusting. :) Moustaches Rock! Who knew facial hair could be great?
Paul and his twin

I even talked Edwardo into wearing one. I always loved his 'stache as a child and still can't get him to grow a new one (just wait till I teach Leni to beg~ he's toast!) so I asked him to wear this one.
Then Sarah broke out the rotted teeth. Seriously, who does this? Kelli, Sarah and I had a little too much fun with our facial hair (Kelli preferred the soul patch) and nasty teeth.

There was an appropriate amount of snuggling this weekend.
The gang: Paul, Marcus, Kelli, Lindsey, Pepping, Amy Hatcher, and Sarah Gravert
It was a crazy weekend and I was incredibly jet lagged. we had hour long conversations about nothing at all. I don't know how we can do it but it happened. And I managed to giggle through the entire weekend and then sleep through the rest of it.
Thanks for coming people. I love you and can't even express through silly blogger how much I love and appreciate you guys.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Jet Lag Central

I seriously, don't mind jet lag... at all. Ok, so I guess I do mind when I am utterly exhausted and can't keep my peepers open at like 6PM and "they" make you stay awake until 9PM. Anyway, here I am... wide awake in America. That's right, my friends, I said, AMERIKA!

I have jet lag and managed to outlast my friends last night. We all sat around and reminisced about the old days and talked about Japan and life.

I'm glad to be back and even more glad to see my family and friends. I called my Grandmas and they were ecstatic to hear that I was back. Oh yeah and my Pops was HYSTERICAL when I surprised him. Both my parents freaked out and started crying so the surprise was successful. My Mom knew I was coming (she found out on accident) but she didn't know when. So I rang the doorbell wearing a ridiculous hat (the kind Japanese people wear when they work in the rice fields) and my Dad just sat there for about 60 seconds which is LONG when you're outside and it's cold... and he just couldn't believe that I was standing on his porch. I'll try to upload the video someday.

Anyway, it's good to be back and good to see everyone. I am pumped to spend some much anticipated time with my dear friends (hooray for college friends, Sarah, and Katie Farka)... but with this silly jet lag. I woke up around 5:30 (went to bed at 1:30AM) and decided to start going through all my old stuff. I found my old crown (and officially crowned myself Homecoming Queen~ although no one is awake so my excitement was short-lived~ ha ha ha) and am wearing it now. I also found old letters from beautiful people like Sara Fitz, Amy Hatcher, Alesha, and more...

I found some old thrift store clothes that didn't fit in my suitcase on the way here... so I brought some clothes home and am hoping I can "exchange" and bring some new things back.

Anyway, I am in Illinois if you want to chat and hang out. But probably, if you are reading this you already knew I was coming and are already here. Yeah for faithful Joanna's blog readers. :) Well, I will post pictures of my family, the BABY, and the ten days here later. But now I am going to make a cup of coffee, grab an old, comfy sweatshirt, and watch the sun rise from my parents roof (which is in the areial picture I included above).

Just praying that I can be an encouragement to my family and my friends.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Taking modesty too far???

I don't know why but I can't sleep at night... or in the morning. I get all my energy at night and in the morning but the afternoons (when all other life is working) I am ready for a nap. I took one today at Starbucks while Mary polished her Japanese. I can't help it. I just get sooo sleepy.

Anyway, the point of this blog is to tell you about a gal I'm getting to know through Blogger. She makes me laugh SO much and I love her blogs. I've never met her but she's amazing.

Anyway, her blog can be reached here

She has a lot of good insight; especially for women and ministry. She is pretty stellar. She likes Chris Thile, theology, and being different and quirky. I really appreciate the lessons I've been learning from her, which she'll never know about.

Anyway, I started looking at her blog around 10PM glad to be going to bed early; when I found some blogs that made me laugh hysertically.

This is one of them from May 12, 2006:

Last night ... or was it early this morning? ... a couple of us over at Craig's blog were scoffing at an article written by a fundamentalist preacher who was getting blue in the face about women wearing pants. According to him, a woman who wears pants
click here to read it for yourself.

Mary and I got a kick out of the article. I hope you enjoy it and learn some new things. I know my sister-in-laws would freak if they read that article so it'll be fun to talk to them about it on Skype some day. :)

There you go, people! She's my new "teacher" on things silly and serious. Now for real, I am off to bed. Oh, yeah and the picture is of some new swimsuits out for women.... I'll be ordering Mary and Kelli one for Christmas. ;)

Ahhh... to see the sunrise (and set)...

You Are Sunrise

You enjoy living a slow, fulfilling life. You enjoy living every moment, no matter how ordinary.
You are a person of reflection and meditation. You start and end every day by looking inward.
Caring and giving, you enjoy making people happy. You're often cooking for friends or buying them gifts.
All in all, you know how to love life for what it is - not for how it should be.