This diary entry is part 26 of 26 in Lily's diary dated 30 - December 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

Happy New Years!!!

You know I forgot to change the banner on this site, it’s said “happy new years” for a whole year.  But…  the great thing about that is, it all came around and now it’s correct again!  Haha!!!  We’ve got lots of people here, and lots of snacks, and a little booze, but that’s just for the adults.  I guess in Japan you have to be 20, but Yuki’s the only one old enough to drink there.  So it’s root beer for us.  I don’t mind!  I like root beer!  But… Japanese people don’t.  They say it tastes like medicine. Yuuko took a sip, and, well… we found something she won’t eat.

Anyway, we have snacks, and ordered pizza, and it’s a party!!! We’re all playing games and waiting for the countdown and eating snacks.  Grace is here and trying to stay up, but she’s already getting droopy eyes, aww.  But we’re gonna let her try!  Allison is here too, with her parents, and she and Grace are having fun trying to stay up.  It’s cute.

I expect we’ll be putting blankets on them soon.

The aidols love Grace!  But everyone does, really.  Minami is playing with her and Marie, it’s cute.  Minami’s doing a little better.  I think she’s just kind of accepting how things are, and she’s looking forward to her audition when she gets back to Japan.  I guess they already have it scheduled and everything.  She told her father and he’s happy for her, though he’s too busy working to talk much, I guess.  He’s on her side, though.

Her mother isn’t too happy with it, but there was a bit of a yelling match on the phone, and, well, she’s doing it anyway.  She says it’s like she lives on her own anyway, if she has to actually live on her own, well, she won’t be taking care of her useless mother anymore.

Japanese people usually don’t say stuff like that.  She must be really annoyed.

I should go.  There’s a card game starting and I want in.

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 25 of 26 in Lily's diary dated 30 - December 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

New years is almost here!  Can you believe it’ll be 2024?

A few years ago, I was wondering if we’d make it to 2024.  But so far I guess we have.

There’s a big eclipse coming in 2024, and I’ll be in the path of totality!!!  Woo!!!

Okay.  So today we went to Lake Travis and did lake stuff.  Dave rented a boat and we went out boating.  It was fun.  I mean, not like it was in Orlando, but it’s still a nice lake, and the Aidols had lots of fun.  I kind of wish there were like an amusement park or something but it is what it is, right?  We stopped at a place on the shore for lunch and Yuuko, of course, pigged out.  At least she’s pretty polite when she’s packing it away, David isn’t as much so.  Hah!!!

They’re taking a lot of pictures.  Hai cheee-zu!

Anyway.  Tomorrow’s our big party.  It’ll be a little less…  chaotic… than our Christmas event, but it’ll still be nice.  Jack is coming over, and Grace too!!!  We got a few of those 2024 cat ear headbands and…  I guess the adults will be boozing it up a bit.  I’m not worried, they’re usually responsible.  I’ve seen Sabby tipsy, but never really drunk.

She got close once…

Given her childhood, I guess I can understand why she doesn’t want to be truly drunk ever again.

Anyway, I guess I should go to bed.  It’ll be busy tomorrow and we’ll be staying up till midnight.  Often in Japan, people visit a shrine for new years, and will also go to see the first sunrise.  We can’t do the first.  We might be able to do the second.  I’ll see what the girls think.

But, if they’re right, and I’m a walking shrine… maybe I’ll let them pray at me.  Just this once.  I can dangle bells from my chest… okay, that’s too far.  Haha!!!

Pray at me.  Not pray to me.  I know what I am, and what I’m not.

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 24 of 26 in Lily's diary dated 30 - December 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

And today was so much FUN!!!!

So yesterday morning we woke up, and they had a very nice breakfast waiting for us.  You know how in anime where one of the characters takes a bite of food, then exclaims “oishii” in that way that suggests that they just got a tingly in places that you don’t want tinglies in public?  Yuuko did that!  It was funny!!!  But it was delicious.  Robert was working from home, so he went off to his (rather fancy, actually) office and we just did our own thing.  We put on our swimsuits and used the pool for a while, and then hopped into the hot tub.  Mariko said it was like an artificial hot spring.  I guess so.  After that, we got dressed up and went to the arcade, and had a blast playing arcade games.  That’s the one thing Rebecca doesn’t have in her house.  We had lots of fun playing bowling and coin pusher and all the other fun stuff they had.  They did a “test your strength” and Larissa beat all of us.  Combined, I think.  I came closest, though.

We went to a steakhouse for dinner, and got to see Yuuko have a food paroxysm again.  But it really was delicious, and the aidols really enjoyed their steaks.  Then we came back, and we camped out in the big indoor tent again.  No pillow fights this time – Rebecca’s mother still isn’t a big fan of pillow fights.  We got yelled at a bit.  We drove back today, and stopped at Buc-ees again so Yuuko can load up on snacks some more, and now we’re home.  It was a lot of fun and everyone likes Rebecca and her friends.  They got added to the sister rotation and we’ll add them to our video calls when they’re available.

Larissa wanted to show us her horses but we didn’t really have time.  It’s alright, maybe next time.

Sabby’s setting up for our new years party – it’ll be a little less busy than the Christmas party was.  Then on Tuesday we’re taking the aidols to Houston to spend a couple of days with Emiko and her family – Emiko wants a little time with Ai and her friends are just… the more, the merrier.  Emiko will take them to the airport.

Yuki saw her parents off while we were gone.  They had a pretty good time, Yuki showed them some places around Austin, and I guess they had a lot of fun.  They want her to come back to Japan but she’s really afraid to.  And I don’t blame her, I’ve seen how some of her fans act, and they’re the good ones.  But I guess she can’t avoid it eventually.  I’ve kind of made up my mind that when she decides to go back, I’m going with her.  When she steps out of that plane, she needs someone to lean on.  Maybe we’ll hire Larissa to be a bodyguard.  Haha!  Only part kidding though.

I did see her acting a little bit like a baby with her parents though, it was hilarious.  She’s not really embarrassed, though.  She says “If you can’t act a little bit like a baby with your parents, who can you?”  I couldn’t really argue that.

Anyway, I’m tired, and we’ve got some stuff planned for tomorrow, so

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 23 of 26 in Lily's diary dated 30 - December 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

We made it up to Dallas, and we’re at Rebecca’s house now.  It is HUGE.  The one in California wasn’t this big.  Rebecca tells me that Dallas is a lot cheaper than LA (especially in that area), so they were able to get more house.  Wow.  There’s a pool, and a hot tub, and a small movie theater, and even bowling and a tennis court!!!

Everyone’s amazed.  I gotta admit, even me.  I don’t really care about those things but when something’s amazing, it’s amazing.

Anyway, we stopped at the Buc-ees in Temple, and loaded up on snacks.  Everyone got something, but Yuuko pretty much bought the store out.  Haha!!!  They all got a souvenir with a beaver on it.  Anyway, after our pit stop, we finished driving up.  I’d never driven in Dallas by myself before, but with Beth telling me where to turn and get off and slow down and stuff, we made it safely.  Once we entered the metro area, the aidols were so busy looking out the window at all the sights that they forgot to be annoying, so it all worked out.

Rebecca was really happy to see me.  She invited some of her new friends, too.  She’s still friends with her other friends in LA but they don’t see each other as much, so she had to make some new ones too, because of course she did.  There were two girls – One about my age named Larissa, and one a little younger named Becky.  They’re both really nice, kinda down to earth.  Larissa is smaller, and Larissa’s really thick with lots of muscles.  I guess she’s into horses and does a lot of riding and stuff.  You know, a sports-girl.

They’re both down to earth, though.  I guess they’re good for Rebecca because she seems a little more down to earth too.  Like her little bubble in LA has been punctured.  I mean, she’s still got a huge house and lots of money and stuff, but Dallas isn’t full of rich people like Calabasas is, and her school is more… ummm.. diverse is a good word, I suppose.  Doesn’t hurt that Larissa doesn’t take crap and has a bit of a foul mouth, but they seem to be pretty good people.

They don’t speak Japanese though, so I ended up translating for the most part.

They got pizza though, which was a hit with everyone, and after we ate pizza and drank soda, Rebecca took us into the movie room to watch a movie.,  Of course, we chose an anime movie.  Rebecca wasn’t sure, but they were pretty engrossed by the end – it was one of those sad movies and we all cried.  Even Larissa.

So now we’re all camped out in the indoor tent with lots of blankets and pillows, telling stories and chatting.  The language barrier is a little bit of a problem, but we’re working our way through it.  Larissa and Becky are really interested in Japan and they’re asking all sorts of questions, which the aidols are answering with a lot of my help.  And the aidols are curious about high school life here too – I can’t really answer their questions about it because I’ve never gone to high school – I was found when the virus was in full swing and then Sabby took me out to homeschool me.  They were curious about the college classes I’m taking now, though.  We’ll probably go to bed soon.  I’m not sure what they’re planning for tomorrow but I’m sure it’ll be fun.

Maybe Larissa will let us meet her horses, but I’m not sure how that will work.  Ai did enjoy it when we took her riding last year.

Oops, gotta go…  turns out ten girls make for one massive pillow fight.   OW.

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 22 of 26 in Lily's diary dated 30 - December 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

Rebecca asked us if we (meaning me and the Aidols) wanted to come to Dallas for a day to visit.  I thought that was a pretty good idea, and no one else had any objections, so we’re going tomorrow! We’ll stay for one day and come back on Friday.  I think it’ll be fun.  Liz wants to go too, but the other girls have their own things to do, so I guess it’s me, the Aidols, Beth, and Liz.  That’s seven girls.  I think we can fit into the big car…  Sabby said I could take it but to be careful and she told the aidols too to be good and let me drive.  The bowed and said of course.  They’re Japanese!  They can be silly and goofy, but they know when to behave!

We’re all packing up and deciding what to take.  Apparently her house has a big pool and hot tub, so all the swimsuits are coming out.  It’s nice having a rich half sister, haha.

I told the Aidols what pool etiquette is here – it’s a little different from Japan.  I think they understand.  They’d better understand, haha!

Well, I should get some sleep so I’m rested enough to drive.  Liz can drive too if needed but Sabby prefers I do.  None of the Aidols are licensed yet, but that’s alright, I think they prefer to see the sights anyway.  We’ll stop at the Temple buc-ees and let them see one of the biggest gas stations in the country.  Haha!!

And, of course, make sure Yuuko has snacks.  Yuuko needs snacks.

In case you’re wondering, I’m going to spend New Years with Jack.  I don’t mean by ourselves, necessarily, but we’re having a party and he’s invited.  I’m getting my kiss!!! We haven’t spent a lot of time together lately…  but we still chat a lot and it’s okay.  I think we’ll make a little more time after the new year.  There’s been so much going on…  for both of us.  He has to study for his exams and stuff too.

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 21 of 26 in Lily's diary dated 30 - December 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

It was a nice Christmas.

This morning we got up… well, a little early I guess… and sat under the tree opening presents.  Even the Aidols.  Yuki wasn’t around, she spent Christmas Eve with her parents.  Which, of course, is fine.  That’s important.  She did come over with her parents for the Christmas day feast, but more about that later.

The aidols just basically traded trinkets with us, but that’s fine, it’s the thought that counts.  We got Yuuko some snacks, which were gone in pretty short order, Mariko got some new guitar picks, which she appreciated, and we got Minami a printed still of her singing, which she burst out into tears when she saw (don’t ask how we managed to get that done so quickly, but Sabby has her ways).  But they were happy tears.  They gave us all some small stuff too, which was fine.  We didn’t expect anything at all, and like I said, it’s the thought that counts.  We gave Ai a printed still of me sitting in the train with all the girls clustered around me in their cosplay outfits and me looking completely annoyed, and she bust a gut laughing and said it was the best present ever.  We didn’t go overboard this time, but, well, you know.

And then I showed Minami the letter I got from the Japanese talent agency, and she glomphugged me and burst out crying again.  But again, happy tears.  I’m okay with happy tears.  She chattered for a full hour about it before she finally calmed down, and even called her grandparents, who apparently do treat her well enough.  She said she’d tell her father when she sees him.

The feast was, of course, a feast.  Sabby really went overboard, as she always does, and everyone was invited.  It was a full house. There was, of course, all of us, Ai and the aidols, Yuki and her parents, Diana and Crystal and their parents, Jack and his family, Liz and her family, Emiko and her family…  and even some of the people from work, like Katie.  It really was a full house but we made it work.  There was turky and stuffing, and all the traditional things, and enough for everyone too.  It was really close to fifty people, and I really have no idea how we even managed to pull seating off, much less enough food.  But we did.  Helped that people brought food as well, it wasn’t just us.  Some folks were sitting on the arm of the chair, some just lounging against the wall, and David and a couple of the Aidols camped out with his console and were playing games and eating at the same time.  Usually we’d be upset but that was three chairs we didn’t have to set.

I don’t think I need to say that Yuuko downed a lot more than you’d think could fit into that little body, haha.

Anyway, Yuki’s parents seem nice.  They speak very little English but there were enough Japanese speakers there that they were entertained, and Yuki and I could translate as needed.  They seem really proud of her, and seem to regret that Yuki’s experience as an idol was as negative as it was.  But they did see her performance, and they were really pleased with Minami’s performance too.  I said that Minami was really happy to get an audition with a talent agency, and I guess they saw her eyes, because they said she should come and visit sometime.  I guess the house is a little empty without Yuki there.  Awww.

I hope she does.  She could use some good parental figures.

Everyone went home with full stomachs.  It was a good day, with family and friends, and what more could you ask for?

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 20 of 26 in Lily's diary dated 30 - December 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

So…. ummm…  umm.

Today we pretty much holed up.  We went out to get some food for our feast tomorrow, and did a little last minute looking around at all the Christmasey stuff (Wal-Mart was a MESS) and then we came back.  I promised Sabby I’d at least go to church for Christmas Eve – they do a special service and most of it’s with the lights turned down so they won’t know who I am.  The aidols asked me why I was so bent against going to church, so I told them.

They paused for a moment, and then stood up, bowed, and clapped.  I think they would have rung a bell, too, if there’d been one.

“NOT YOU TOO”, I said, a mixture of embarrassed and angry.

“Sumimasen”, Yuuko said, “But we always bow and clap when we’re at a shrine, and from what you just told us, you’re like a walking shrine.”

I deflated.  How can you argue with that logic?  “Well, if you want to toss 500 yen coins at me, I won’t complain…”

They giggled.  Checkmate.  I told them not to do that again because it’s a sore point, but I got what they were trying to say.  And they’d BETTER NOT start hanging prayers from me…

Anyway, they put on one of the cute outfits they’d gotten at the mall, and went to church with us tonight.

It was just the usual Christmas eve celebrations.  You know, with candles, and cheesy music that you’re supposed to sing along to and the pastor talking about how Jesus came to earth and stuff.  I guess it’s pretty enough and it’s a good show but it’s really not all that much.  I looked over at the girls…  Ai, Yuuko, and Mariko were watching the proceedings with interest, but Minami had tears.  She always seems to have tears.

After the service (and I avoided the pastor) we went home to open a few presents.

I won’t go into what everyone bought everyone, because it’s a little boring, but we did put a lot of thought into it, and everyone got a present.  Minami excused herself halfway through though and went up to my room.  I went up after her, and she was sitting up against the wall, sniffling.

“Minami,” I said, “I know it’s private, but you’ve been spending almost this whole trip sobbing.”  I sat down next to her.  “Spill.”


“You know, tell me what’s wrong.”

She sighed and wiped her eyes.  “You have such a nice family.”

“Well, yes, but..”

Ai walked in and sat on her other side.

“Mine… isn’t nice.”


“My father is always out working.  I almost never see him.  My mother spends all her time drinking.  She’s not mean, but she’s useless.  I have to take care of myself, and her, and… ” she sniffled, “yours isn’t like that.  Your parents… they care.”  She pulled her knees up to her and sobbed.  “You don’t have to take care of them.  They take care of you.”

What could I do?  What could I say?  I just rubbed her back and let her cry it out.

“My friends make it better… sometimes,” she said softly.  “But not all the time.”

“What good does it to a man to gain the world, but lose his soul,” I quoted softly.

She nodded.  “I think mine lost his soul a long time ago.”

“I can’t make it better,” I said. “But try to have a little fun, okay?  They’re back in Japan.  We’re your family right now.  Let us be your family.”

She nodded and wiped her eyes.  Ai whispered something in her ear and she nodded.  Then we all went downstairs and finished opening our Christmas eve presents.  We had some good snacks too, and..  it was a warm evening.

And that’s all you really want out of a Christmas eve, right?  A warm evening.

We got something in email today.  I didn’t tell Minami.  But a talent agency in Japan saw the video of her singing, and, well…  she might have a chance to do it professionally.  I’ll wait to tell her until tomorrow.  It’ll be her Christmas present.  You can’t change your parents, but sometimes….  you have to make your own way.  I hope she sees that.

I told Sabby to be extra nice to her from now on.  I didn’t tell her why, but I said she deserves it.

Time for bed.  We open the rest of the presents in the morning.

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 19 of 26 in Lily's diary dated 30 - December 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

So… a lot has happened.

Last night, we all went to the shop so Yuki can do her concert.  Both Yuki and Minami dressed up in identical outfits (she fit into Yuki’s other costume, thank goodness).  We don’t really have a dressing room so they commandeered the back office for a while.  People started coming in pretty early, I was surprised.  There were a few people who came here from Japan just for this concert.  I was…  a little creeped out.  But I guess that kind of dedication is to be admired.

About three quarters of the audience was Japanese.  I mean.. came from Japan Japanese.  The city ought to be thanking us for driving tourism.

Well…  I speak Japanese.  Not well, but at least passably.  I speak Japanese well enough that I had to go up and say a few words and introduce them.  OMG it’s so embarrassing!  I got up on stage, and someone from the back yelled “TRAIN ONEE-CHAN” and everyone stood up and applauded.  I didn’t know what to do!!!  So I just let them sit back down, and I said thank you and got on with the show.  I spoke a little bit about how Yuki and I met and about how she used to be an idol and now she’s a good friend and sister, and then I introduced her and got the heck off the stage.  And she sang and danced her heart out.  She really puts her all into it!  It was nice to see.  If she was faking it, it’s hard to tell.  But I don’t think she was.

Halfway through the concert she introduced Minami, who had been dancing with her through some of her songs.  David turned the lights down to the “solo” setting with just her face lit up, and she sang the most soulful, heartrending song I’d ever heard.  I didn’t even understand all the Japanese and I had tears.  Grown men in the audience were sobbing.  Aww.  That girl can really go places if she wants to.  After she was done, she wiped her face, bowed (to a standing ovation), handed the mic back to Yuki, and went back to the back office.

Ai’s mouth was dropped open, along with Yuuko and Mariko.  I…  went back to the back office.

She was sobbing her heart out.

I just… held her, and the other girls came back too, and we spent pretty much the last half of the show just comforting her.

You know when I said Yuki put her heart into it?  Well, she did.  She sand and danced and the audience was the most important thing to her at that moment.  But Minami…  Yuki put her heart into it.  Minami put everything into it.

Anyway, after she cleaned up, we all came out, just in time for Yuki to pull Minami onto the stage, and both of them bowed.  The audience yelled “ma-ta! ma-ta!” (again! again!) and… damn her.. she pulled me on the stage.  She said that I’d performed concerts with full orchestras and maybe I’d give a short performance for them.

I wasn’t ready for that!!! I wasn’t even dressed for it!  I was just wearing my nice “introduce Yuki” clothes!  If I’d known she’d pull that, I’d have worn my gown, or just not shown up!!!

But I sat down at the keyboard and played a short Chopin prelude, and there was more cheering!!!  Someone yelled “You’re the best onee-chan!”  I… blushed.  Dangit.

Anyway, it was a success.

Today, someone had already put a review up on LINE, and they were really complimentary.  Said that Yuki hadn’t lost any of her charm, that Minami was a star in the making, and that train onee-chan could actually play a decent piano!  And they put videos on X and YouTube!  (I wish they hadn’t, we asked them not to.)  They were also complimentary towards the venue, they said it was a little small, but the pastries were delicious and it felt a lot more intimate than other idol performances.

Anyway…  we were all on kind of a high afterwards (Sabby too, she sold a lot of pastries and other merch) and so we went to an iHOP and had a late night dinner.  Minami seemed a bit withdrawn.  That kind of performance has to come from somewhere, and I imagine it takes a lot out of you.  She ate her food but just didn’t seem very happy.  But we didn’t pry.  She was able to smile a little, so it wasn’t like she was a downer or anything, but you could tell she wasn’t really doing alright. Yuki’s parents came with us and seemed content to eat American comfort food and watch all the banter.  They seem nice but didn’t have too much to say.  I guess that’s to be expected, there was a definite language barrier.  They seem proud of her though.

There was a little more sniffling and hugging last night too.

I’m not upset at her.  Not at all.  None of us are.  But we’re worried about her.

I hope Christmas helps, a little.  It’s always nice to spend time with people who care.

With… people who…  ummm….

I think I need to talk to Ai.

Anyway… today, we just took it easy.  Traffic is nuts, everyone’s on edge, so we just took a quiet day and played games and watched anime and stuff.  Yuuko recommended “Love is war”, so we watched the subbed version.  They were rolling on the floor laughing at episode 7, but some of the jokes didn’t make sense.  They explained it.  It was a lot funnier than it seemed.  Chinchin!!!  Haha!!!

We couldn’t watch the whole thing, but got through seasons 1 and 2.

Ok.  Everyone’s asleep in their futons so I’m going to go to bed too.

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 18 of 26 in Lily's diary dated 30 - December 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

The word of the day is… bittersweet, I think.

Ever since I had that thought last, I see things a little differently.  I’m not depressed, but I’m… I’m a little sad.  Every thing that happens, I think this might be the last time it happens like this.  There are so many girls here right now.  We’re all having so much fun, we always have fun.  We go shopping and play games and eat chocolate and tell stories and giggle and say “sharekoube” and…  and then one day I’m going to go to sleep and I’ll wake up and it’ll all be gone.  If I don’t go to Japan for school, I’ll go to school somewhere, and then that will be gone someday too, and…  everything I have, everything I love… it all goes away, someday.

And it all happens so fast, too.  It seems like just yesterday, I was sitting in this room not even knowing my own name, not knowing anything about who I was and how I got here.  I remember the day I was adopted, it was one of the happiest days of my life.  And I’ve had other happy days too, and I’ll have happy days like that in the future.  But every day of happiness requires a sacrifice, right?  Just like my happiness now required a sacrifice.  It’s…  a lot.  Sometimes the sacrifices are a very high price.  Sometimes they’re just little things too.  But they’re always a sacrifice.

Christmas is in a few days.  Hopefully, it’ll be full of fun and laughter with lots of friends and family.  And then it will be over.  And it will be gone.  Maybe next year I’ll be celebrating Christmas at a KFC with new Japanese friends.  Maybe I’ll fly home for Christmas.  Maybe Jack will come visit me.  Maybe a lot of things.  But Christmas as it is now?  It’ll be over.

As many things are already over, and many things will be over in the future.

I can’t really cry right now.  I can’t.  There are too many people here.  I…  it hurts, though.  It really hurts.

Maybe we just enjoy the time we have.

Liz is over tonight, too.  Minami and Yuki are over at the shop with Sabby and David doing a “dress rehearsal” for tomorrow night.  We picked up Yuki’s parents this afternoon, and they had one of her old idol dresses, and it fits Minami pretty well.  I guess..  they’re doing this.  I’ll go tomorrow and cheer everyone on.

David’s really picked up the sound and light stuff, btw.  He’s really good at it.

Like I said, it’s not a big venue.  But it’s sold out.  Yuki’s happy because she can always use spending money.  She’s got some money saved away from her time as an idol but would rather not use it if she can help it.  Don’t blame her.

Love you all!!!  ❤️

This diary entry is part 17 of 26 in Lily's diary dated 30 - December 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

The dam broke, a little last night.  Aww.  I woke up to someone cuddled up to me and sniffling.  It was Minami.  I didn’t know why and she didn’t want to tell me.  But…  I guess sometimes you don’t really need to know.  Eventually she went back to sleep.

It’s funny.  They tell you that Japanese people aren’t really very emotive.  But, they are.  They just have different ways of expressing it.  But at the end of the day, they cry just like we do.  I asked Ai what that was about, and she said that it’s Minami’s story to tell me, but maybe our family is…  a bit much for her, in some ways.

I don’t know how we can be any different, though.  We just are what we are.  Ai said it’s not our fault and we shouldn’t change, that it’s probably good for Minami.  I hope so.

She spent the morning hugging Marie.  Marie didn’t mind at all.  Marie’s all about the hugs.

This may be one situation where Ai can help more than I can, so I guess all we can do is be there if she needs us.  I did ask her if she’s alright.  She said she is, she’s just a little homesick.  I don’t really believe her, but she tried to smile, and, well, I guess that’s all she wrote, for now.  Ai isn’t really her best friend, but she is a friend, and they do know each other pretty well.  Later on in the day they went out for a walk, and she seemed a little happier when they came back, so that’s good.

Yuki asked her if she wanted to sing on Friday night, and she said yes, but she wants to pick a song.  Yuki agreed, and they’ve been huddled together talking about dance moves and stuff for hours, and even commandeered the garage to practice a little.  That’s good, I guess.  Keeps her busy.  I heard the song Minami chose.  It’s not really a happy song.  But… she is pretty competent.  I think she’ll do well.  Sabby’s really supportive – Yuki’s a pro.  If she thinks Minami’s good, then Minami’s good.

We go to the airport tomorrow to pick up Yuki’s parents.  They’re staying in a hotel, though.  That’s good.  We’re full up.  Really.  We’re full up.  We couldn’t really fit more in if we wanted to.

But, for Christmas, that’s a really good problem to have, don’t you think?

We’ll be there for Minami.  Just like we’re there for all of our sisters.

Yuuko made us Japanese food tonight.  Even Yuki was impressed.  Yuuko really knows her way around food.  Girl should be a chef.  No, seriously.  She’s that good.  Sabby’s actually thinking about asking her to teach Baker some stuff – for a fair price, of course.  Diana’s the taco master, but this girl is the tonkatsu master.  You know those big spreads in anime where there are all these different foods like omurice, rolled omelets, shrimp, etc?  Yeah, we had that.  It was amazing.

I think David’s in love, a bit.  Not just because she’s small and cute, but she can cook up a storm.  That ticks most of the boxes for him.  I just coughed and said “You have a girlfriend” and he looked suitably ashamed.  Didn’t stop him from stealing glances though.

This… might be the last Christmas I spend here.  For a while, anyway.

I…  think I know how houkago tea time felt, in episode 20 where they were sitting up against the wall and it finally hit them that they were graduating and would never be together as houkago tea time again.  Just a little.  It’s coming up fast.  It’s really coming up fast.  And there are lot of… lasts coming up this year.  I won’t lie.  It hurts a little.

Okay.  It hurts a lot.  It seems like I was found just yesterday, and had my first Christmas as a Smith, and… and…

No.  I won’t cry.  Not now.

Love you all!!! ❤️