Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Festival of Candles and Surprises

We had a blast with date night this week. This past weekend was the Festival of Candles at Tsurugajo, our local castle. We decided it would be fun to go with some other people, so we had a little double date with our friends Steve and LaNae. We weren't quite sure what to expect when we first arrived. The entrance was lined with candles in little huts in the snow. As we approached the inner grounds of the castle, we were amazed at the images that flashed across the side of the castle. There was a projector displaying all sorts of designs. We took a few pictures of them trying to figure out what the display was for. Although we never found out, Aizu is famous for candle making/painting, and we guessed that the designs were those of candles made in Aizu. We followed the rest of the people there to the other side of the castle where many more candles were lit. We took a walk around and were about ready to head out when LaNae suggested we take a different exit. As we continued to new areas, we discovered copper cans that had holes punched into them so that the candles inside of them would glow fancy designs. Although they were made by junior high school students, some of them were pretty extravagant. We had a fun time and were glad we got to experience something unique to the Aizu area.

Thought this one  was pretty interesting. Looks like the head of  a characterized chicken or duck.

Some of our favorite designs of the copper lanterns.

I think the snow flake one was our favorite.

Although you can only see about 20 here, there must have been  close to 200 of them.
As for the rest of the week, I'll highlight a few of the other things that happened with pictures.

This week Emily received a present from one of her students...  Erasers disguised as sushi!

In preparation for Valentine's Day, Emily did a special lesson with her high schoolers and made some valentines. She then sent the 250 valentines her students made to the Kapiolani Medical Center in Hawaii. One of the reasons I love her ; always service oriented. :)

When I got home from meetings today, I came home to a surprise. In Emily's words, Valentine's Day had come early. This was probably the only way she could surprise me with decorations because I usually leave the house after her and get home before her.

The picture doesn't really do it justice... but she had cut out a bunch of hearts and had letters on the back of them to form a secret message. The message led me to the closet where my beloved 6-pack of Dr. Pepper and 2 packs of Tim Tams awaited me. So awesome!

Not only did she surprise me with decorations and Dr. Pepper, but she surprised me with my favorite meal, clam chowder. 

We went over to our Branch President's house the other week and his wife had made this yummy apple pie like dessert. Emily for the recipe and made it with LaNae earlier this week. It was sooo good!

We love getting out and going for walks, even though it can be quite cold sometimes. 
We love you all very much and hope that you are doing well. Have a good Sunday and a Happy Valentine's Day on Tuesday!!!

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