The search for Randoseru (ランドセル)

Back to school shopping.....I remember it well. We went to Hills Department Store and picked out some Garanimals (remember--match the tiger shirt with the tiger pants) that got put on layaway. We got to go to Hartley's and get something great. I remember my first penny loafers that came from Hartley's. The man behind the counter even put a shiny penny in each one.
I loved the pencils and paper and folders and crayons and the smell of new school supplies. Now it is my turn to take my daughter back to school shopping and things have changed. Now, the school sends a detailed list of things that are to go to the classroom. Your child puts it in the 'kitty" and it gets shared with other classmates. The kids don't even get to keep a stash of super sharpened pencils in their desk.
Last year Carson noticed the Japanese children at school carried these wonderful sturdy leather backpacks. (Actually, I noticed too). So I started doing my research and this is what I found.

The Randoseru is given to a child at the start of elementary school and they are built to last through 6th grade or so, but many children will keep them through adulthood. This morning we went to the Japanese bookstore in search of Randoseru. Too bad I told Carson she should have one before I realized they are about 30-50,000 Yen or about 300-500$. Guess we will be sticking with Hello Kitty.............


The Kempens are here. The Kempens are here.

We had 5 days of utter chaos and excitement when our beautiful 5-year-old twin girls and their mama Anne visited. I believe we blew the budget on fun. The highlight of the trip was the Enchanted Forest. Wow. Talk about a place for kids. It was built in the 70s with a storybook fairytale theme. The kids had so much fun. There were kiddy rides, panning for gold, fun caves to go through, fairytale houses.....
For my birthday we hit the walk up waffle window and perused Hawthorne. Everyone under 8 got Totoro and Catbus softies.
Maggie and Rowan taught us the Tarzan song which I can't stop singing. Almost constant fun (except for my bright idea to have all the kids sleep in a little tent in C & S's bedroom).

A visit from the Jacksonville crew.

Wow. I am so far behind. We have been so busy this month. Sharon's brother and family came to P-town for a visit. The week before they were here was a 100+ degree heat wave and then while they were here it was really cool. It even rained.......Now I hear that another heat wave is on the way. We took a trip to Silver Falls and hiked down under a couple of falls. Carson and Sam had so much fun hanging out with Brent and Kenz. It is so fun to get attention from an older cool cousin.
The picture of the hole is the formation that was made from Lava flowing around the trees. The lava hardened and then the trees died and created this hole with fossil like bark imprints inside. Really neat. They are called tree casts.