Before we set out on this trip, Lilia’s teacher loaded her down with homework. She was supposed to make a calendar for the month of December. This involved writing in the numbers and making a Santa face out of origami for decoration. We did that the first night here, while in the throes of jetlag. She was also supposed to keep a daily record of what time she woke up and went to bed, the weather, and tasks performed. She was then supposed to tape a picture on a chart. Due to jet lag and our irregular schedule, we have not accomplished much there. Lilia has been keeping up with her daily picture diary. Some of the events documented include watching her uncle and grandfather cut down a big dead pine tree, meeting a couple of curious horses while out on a walk, and receiving a glamorous pink Barbie-as-Rapunzel dress for Christmas. She has also been putting a sticker each day in her school calendar to keep track of the passage of time ( which is seemingly especially difficult for deaf kids). I have been doing my best to teach her the finger-spellings of two new words each day, although we’ve fallen behind there, as well. Some words she’s learned to finger-spell over the past week include terebi (TV), kuuki (cookie), hikouki (airplane), uma (horse) and kaminari (thunder and lightning). Lilia’s teacher was very concerned about Japanese Lilia being in an all-English speaking environment (gasp!) for two weeks, but Lilia’s been scribbling away in hiragana. I’m also proud to report that she has been enthusiastic about the English word game Boggle, Jr.