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  • In Japan, April is the time when schools begin their new education year,

  • businesses launch new fiscal years,

  • and the tulips and gardens burst into new life.

  • Yes, the calendar year may begin in January, but Japan's real new year begins in April.

  • [Life in Japan Theme Song]

  • Oh yes! I see it!

  • Already?

  • I said "Oh my goodness, it's so high!" It's so high, look at that!

  • I don't think it works on the grass like that.

  • Hello!

  • Whoa! Whoa, that was fast!

  • We've come to nearby Sakuragaoka park to enjoy one last outing before the new school year begins.

  • These moments are precious to us, as the years come and go like a daffodils, here one day and gone the next.

  • It seems like only yesterday we were sending our kids to Japanese elementary school for the first time.

  • Now this year will be Becca and Anna's last year before Junior High.

  • Anna, are you hanging out?

  • Sofia, are you hanging out with Anna?

  • Yeah

  • Whoa, awesome! Whoa.

  • What is happening out here? Look Daddy!

  • Oh my goodness!

  • Are you having a picnic out here with everyone?

  • Yeah. Really?

  • Yeah with all of the Mario stuff and without Bowser because he's mean.

  • Bowser and King Boo are mean so we didn't... Oh, they didn't get to come?

  • They're sitting this one out, huh?

  • They might steal our food.

  • Oh, I see. OK.

  • Spring is a time of beginnings in Japan.

  • In fact it's been exactly 7 years since we moved to Japan.

  • Oh how times flies when you're having fun.

  • Longest road! (Counting)

  • Hang on... now I have 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

  • Just hold your spiffies.

  • Oh my goodness, mommy's right next to the win. She can taste it.

  • I'm nine points. You're nine points?!

  • Mommy's nine points?

  • Don't get a 7... Get a 7!

  • A seven!!! Oh my goodness!

  • You have so many cards Becca! Oh no!

  • We're going to be late. We are? What time is it?

  • It's like 7:40 (Gasps)

  • We've got to get you off for your first day of school!

  • You could continue it when you get back...

  • I'm going to give you 3- 3! Can you give me one wood?

  • The largest army. Oh, you're getting the largest army.

  • How many points do you have, Becca?

  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

  • I get the longest road and I won!

  • Whoa! Beckster!

  • Oh! And Anna was at nine!

  • 1st day of 6th grade! 1st day of 2nd grade!

  • My 2nd grader!

  • What in the world! Awesome guys.

  • So girls, here we go. The start of another school year.

  • Yes, today we find out what classes you'll be in...

  • What teacher... You're teachers, huh?

  • Becca and Anna, you're last year in Elementary school!

  • This is going to be our last time doing this.

  • Next year, new school.

  • Wow!

  • A FEW HOURS LATER

  • We're home!

  • You guys are back! So we want to know...

  • I have Anna's teacher from last year,

  • And Sarah has my 4th grade teacher,

  • And Anna has the 5th grade 1st class (teacher)

  • Airi's not with you? No.

  • I'm with Ayako, Airi's all by herself.

  • I'm all by myself.

  • Harumu is in Anna's class! Yeah!

  • Alright we're coming to one of our favorite parks in all of Japan: Showa Kinen.

  • Wow!

  • When it comes to flower gardens, the Japanese are in a class all their own.

  • And when the new school year comes, we know it's time for the blooming of the tulips at Showa Kinen.

  • Oh hi! You scared me.

  • They're getting more pictures over there, do you see that?

  • That's so beautiful!

  • So, would this be your favorite time of year here? Yes, definitely.

  • Not the fall, the spring?

  • Oh, the Spring. Although the Fall leaves are awfully pretty...but I prefer the Spring.

  • I would have to agree. The tulip garden at Showa Kinen is second to none, especially on a perfect spring day.

  • Look over there!

  • Taking her photos! (Laughs) Don't bother me!

  • Don't bother you?! Let you focus on your art.

  • Don't leave me- I'm your child. Leave you in the tulips?

  • I'm your child!

  • Daddy, please, I see a lot of little dogs here... Ah, look at that little puppy!

  • I want you to buy us a dog for Christmas. A dog for Christmas?!

  • Move back a little bit, Sarah.

  • Crazy! They're like upside-down flowers, huh Sarah?

  • It's grass on top and flowers on the bottom.

  • How do they make those? I don't know.

  • Mommy's having fun getting creative with photos.

  • Having a healthy family is a lot of work, especially when there's so much competing for time and attention these days.

  • The ups and downs of life during a pandemic are particularly challenging,

  • but when we look back years later, we'll be thankful for all the time and energy invested in the children;

  • in raising them to be people who make a positive difference in the world.

  • And at the center of that experience is a love that holds the family together.

  • It's a love that only grows deeper and deeper as time moves on.

  • There's some pretty flowers down in here, aren't there?

  • Look- there's still some Sakura hanging on!

  • (Singing) My hands are cold, cold, cold

  • They're turning numb, numb, numb

  • I think I could put together a compilation of the times Ruth was cold here.

  • Give me the frisbee thing! Give me the frisbee thing!

  • Can I throw it right here? Nope, a little bit further...

  • What a big field, huh?

  • And big trees! Oh that tree is just so beautiful!

  • Do you hear the kite up there?

  • Mr Sun wants to come out! Alright ladies, time for a walk through the yellow canola fields.

  • On your tippy-toes! Try to look at mommy!

  • I can't see! Life up Joshua, Becca!

  • Ok!

  • Look at this!

  • Put your head... arms down, Joshua.

  • Everyone go in there and stick your heads out the window.

  • There's a white door over there...

  • And a blue door over here.

  • OK, go stand in the door.

  • We're walking towards our car though, so that's good news, right everybody?

  • Really good news. Really good news?

  • You ready for the car, Beccster? Yeah.

  • Almost all walked out. Almost!

  • Almost all walked out, huh Becca?

  • Well that was a lot of fun. What a nice day to visit.

  • Oh my goodness!

  • Are you getting ready for school?

  • We're going back to youchien (kindergarten). Are you excited to see Aiden?

  • Yeah!

  • Going to your new class? Fun fun fun!

  • Are you all ready? You look ready!

  • Getting into the bike? Whoa!

  • The last year for you to ride in a mamachari, did you know that?

  • The last day?! No, the last year.

  • Once you're past six and you go to elementary school, then no more mamachari.

  • Alright guys! Oh Joshua's even going to zip himself in. Wow!

  • Bye Daddy! Bye, have a great day!

  • And now it's time for me to go get busy at work.

  • Junko, how are you doing?

  • Good, of course!

  • She's a great manager — thanks so much!

  • It's fun being a part with all of you

  • Alright guyswhat do we have going on here today?

  • We are EQing the system.

  • Because it needs EQ!

  • EQ is the secret sauce.

  • What's up?! Oh, what's happening in here guys?

  • Interior decorating.

  • Wow. That's right.

  • Horizontal or vertical?

  • What do you say, Manager?

  • The manager's over there...

  • CEO

  • Director

  • The CEO's over there.

  • CEO

  • It's like the sensation of being on a jet at takeoff!

  • Our team comes together to manage Paz Coffee Shop and Paz Church,

  • and it too is a special family that works great together.

  • Each person has an area of expertise that makes the team stronger and better.

  • OK, well guys, this is looking good!

  • We're going to have a sweet entrance here, right? Yeah, Barnwood.

  • Barnwood, yes!

  • Why don't you watch your mouth?

  • We gotta get some shiplap in here, huh guys?

  • I'm going to wash your mouth out with shiplap.

  • Keep our wallpaper from expanding and contracting.

  • That's right. This is the miracle wallpaper here.

  • Perfect

  • It's super perfect.

  • You guys have been busy!

  • Is this the final