Feb 1, 2010


Meet my champion 90 year old Grams

This was her last trip to Disneyland.  Always the trooper!  I daresay she's been to Disneyland more the my sisters...and that is ALOT

Uncle Sammy.  Always the gracious host, we go to California to enjoy Patty's gourmet cooking, beaches, and of course Disneyland

Isn't she pretty?  Grams Grams. 

My Grandma when she graduated college in California.  
Grams totally went to school with THE Jackie Robinson and knew him personally.  
Uncle says Jackie spent a lot of time with the Japanese kids. 

Grandma on her wedding day.  She first married Art Fukushima, who died in Italy in the war.  (again for my posterity's sake)  My gram and her family were sent to the relocation camps.  She doesn't really talk about it much, obviously, it was a terrible thing, but my Grandma is a very STURDY person. She's always and is a very big part of my life.  

People always ask if we speak Japanese (we don't), my mom doesn't but Grams does.  People then proclaim that we aren't really Japanese, even Grams was born in Ogden, but really?  She was sent to camps because she was Japanese...so Japanese?  I think so.
There is a pretty good size Japanese culture in Ogden Utah.  Grandma really does know almost all the Japanese in Ogden.  It's sad to hear about all her friends dying.  It's like the culture is dying.
Her whole family has Japanese names and English Bible Names (hence Christian Japanese).  Her father was a Japanese Christian Pastor and ran away from home when he was young.
We have a lot of Asian Pride as we put it...really why not?  I come from an awesome heritage (on both sides) and love it.

There...my nostalgia is done with. Sigh

Note*  Totally Stolen from Sister Hannah's Blog.  Saves me the trouble though!


Poor, poor neglected blog. The biggest news of the last two weeks? Gram's 90th birthday! It was a celebration of astronomical proportions, as it was also TLT's birthday, who is now one whopping quarter of a century old.

The day started with family photos taken by Cousin Kacey, who is a wicked cool photographer. We got Grandma all did up, as well as the rest of us, and commenced two hours of positionings, lighting, crying, laughing, etc., etc., et cetera. However, we had a few family members missing so Lincoln played the part of Jan and Uncle Scott, who's heads will later be Photoshop-ed in, as well as my Dad's head on Cory's body in our family photo. It was awkward, funny, and amusing.

Baby Julia - cutest baby ever, is she not?
After family pics, we went over to Ruby River in Ogden and party hardied! Props to the two servers who successfully managed to take care of all 35 us.Everyone was here except Jan, who is in Iraq, and my Dad, who had to work that weekend. Even Uncle Kenny flew in from California to be there for his mama! That there projector was playing old family videos from the '50s and '60s when my mom and her siblings were just kids, and some weren't even born yet!
It was a great time! We also put together a book for Grandma with all our favorite stories of her and photos! Everyone read their story to Grandma - there were laughs, tears, and somewhat awkward moments.

After that, everyone headed back over to Gram's house for what else? Sledding, of course! My family is awesome! We have fun no matter where, no matter when! The summer equivalent of sledding? Extreme slip 'n sliding.

Here we have cousin Jordan upside down doing a flip off the jump.Cousin NickIt's kind of hard to tell, but if you look closely you can see that Jordan is flying over Tracey, who was going down the hill straight toward him. What does Jordan do? Well, Jordan being Jordan, he does not just jump out of the way, he jumps over her.Lincoln has been introduced to the Oka ways, and now that him and Tracey are officially engaged, I can say welcome to the fam!
Tradition has it that we end every sledding venture with a train down the hill. Anywhere from 8-12 people, adults and children alike, pile onto 4 or 5 sleds and tubes and go down the hill. It usually ends in disaster, and this time was no different. I have no idea what happened, but it started out okay...
...and then they went down the wrong side of the hill, straight toward the walnut tree, several bushes, and a tomato cage. It ended....badly for the tubes. It was the first and only time these tubes were used - sorry, Auntie Mitsie!After that, it was back inside for some naps, Pizza dinner, and games. See this photo below? Yeah, no big deal. This is pretty much what it's like at Grandma's house. People everywhere - on the beds, on the couches, bodies all over the floor. It's a beautiful thing.So many people that you can hardly move and kind of have to wander from one room to another just to find somewhere to sit. Eventually, you end up cramming your butt between two others on the couch, sitting on someone's lap, or finding a tiny crevass on the floor to lay down on. All the while, Grandma sits in her chair, watching and listening.

The great thing about having a smallish family (in Utah terms - only 9 grandkids) is that we are all really close. We spend every Sunday together, every holiday, and even live with each other! I'm closer with my cousins than a lot of people are with their own siblings, and I love it. I was with my family from 5 pm on Friday until 11 am on Sunday morning. We even spent those two nights together! That much time together and still wanting to hang out? Yeah, I'd say that's pretty awesome.


  1. I love the old pictures of your grandma, how cute. It looks like a fun party too. You guys are always partying!

  2. Your awesome! That was a fun day!