Monday, June 27, 2016

Noah's 5th grade class camping trip...

Immediately the day right after Noah and I got back from Guam. We got back Wednesday June 15th. Early evening. The following morning was Noah's 5th grade class camping trip! That just meant 2 things. #1, I had to make sure Noah was ready 100% and fully packed to go on his camping trip *before* he and I went to Guam. And #2, that airplane better not break down and stuff because we 100% absolutely needed to get back to Japan June 15th or else...Noah would miss his camping trip. So packing ahead of schedule absolutely no problems with that. The airplane being on time and not breaking down was out of our hands though. Needless to say when I heard it was going to be a 1 hour delay. I was nervous as heck... but didn't mind as long as Noah and I made it back to Japan! So glad we arrived in Japan. And Noah was all ready for his camping trip! I snapped a few pics right before I drove him to school at regular time, the morning of his camping trip. In the yellow Spongebob bag was Noah's bath kit/set. Towel... toiletries, chisai towel, scrubby nylon mesh. That sorta thing. A thermos in his hand. And in his stripey bag/backpack, he had to have 2 days worth of underwear, socks, 2 sets of school gym clothes (uniform) and an mini umbrella and raincoat. Handkerchiefs etc. : ) 

I'm sure going to miss you...my little snuggle bunny! But, I know you need to go. Have fun okay!
Noah usually gets 2 new gym shorts and shirts every year. His shirts he will get right before undokai. However the shorts he needed now. Height wise, he needed to switch from his 140cm shorts to these 150cm length shorts. I made sure and bought them a week before his camping trip and our trip to Guam. I cut off all the tags and washed them on the fast/quick wash cycle. Before he wears them. I made sure they were all nicely dried and then I packed them up in his striped backpack. And Noah has 3 gym shirts right now, so that's why I didn't rush right out and replace them. However like I said...I will add 2 new shirts towards undokai. But I did pack Noah 2 freshly cleaned gym shirts and packed them away in his striped backpack too. Also, no snacks of any kind were not allowed. So that was a difference from when Bran had this camping trip. 

Shampoo and conditoner was the Shiseido Super Mild. The Biore face wash and body wash was just bought 1 month before for Bran's Kyoto trip, which is why that particular set has Bran's name on it and not Noah's. But everything else was bought for Noah. Toothbrush kit and a brush for brushing his hair the next day. Inside that Biore kit has a mini nylon mesh for scrubbing your body with in the shower. 

The note said to bring 2 chisai towels, so I made sure to pack them. The note also said to pack 2 handkerchiefs. And so I did that too. And the note also said 2 packs of tissue and I packed those too. The note also said, apron, face mask and bandana for cooking. And sure enough I made sure everything was clean and folded. I had everything packed up the Saturday...a few days before we went to Guam. So, I was a bit busy that weekend before.


The bath kit I kept in the Spongebob bag. And this was everything Noah needed for cooking specifically which is why I placed it all together...which means easier to find and I placed it all in a disposable waterproof bag. I did this with everything I packed for him. The 2 sets of gym clothes were not packed in a ziplock though obviously. They were put into his handmade gym bag. But everything that went together...was indeed lumped together. Just makes things easier for my boys to find. Yes I know, I am freakishly organized. @_@ Hahaha. : )

And the note did ask for everything to have your child's name on it. However... since this is clearly not my first rodeo to to speak. I made sure that yes everything had Noah's name on it. Meanwhile...the limousine bus that brought all the kids home. Made 3 stops in our town the day the 5th graders came back, and it was just a...1 over night trip for what it's worth. All the kids that live in our housing community. Got dropped off at the entrance of our housing community. And another stop and a final stop was at the plaza. Bran and I were waiting for Noah. He had a lot of fun. Noah had a bunch of exciting stories from his camping trip. They sang and danced around the campfire. They ate all their meals together. Went on a long nature walk. They kids made curry on an open fire outside in the great outdoors. They showered and bathed...in a huge community style Japanese style bathing shower area... which is so fun. The tubs are like huge huge hot tubs All the girls showered and bathed together in the girls side and all the boys showered and bathed together. With their teachers supervision of course. They had a ton of fun! 

I made Branden a special meal/dinner the night he got back from Kyoto. And the same for Noah too. I treat them "Even Stevens." So, I made a special meal I know Noah really loves. And I made a great big tray of cheesy gratin potatoes from scratch. Pictured here. 

Everyone had salads, American style fried pork chops, gratin potatoes, fresh corn on the cob with butter, salt and pepper and for dessert we had some fresh sliced up cantaloupe. I clearly wasn't planning to take pics of the meal hence the pic of an eaten corn on the cob and potatoes missing from the gratin pic. It happens. : )  Noah took a nice hot shower and I immediately threw every clothing item that were inside his bags into the washing machine because all his clothes smelled like camping. LOL. : ) And his backpack aired out the entire day afterwards, outside on the laundry pole to get the campfire scent off. : ) Noah had fun but he was so happy to be home! And we were so happy he was home. We missed him! : )

Friday, June 24, 2016

Last week's trip to Guam...

Noah and I flew to Guam last week. Last Monday evening, June 13th. We stayed 2 nights and we flew back to Japan, June 15th. As soon as both the boys got out of school. Noboru and Branden dropped Noah and I off at Narita airport. I wanted really badly to take Bran with me. However, with being in the 9th grade here in Japan... that means he is in his final year of JHS and he is so insanely crazy busy... he has a huge test now in his final JHS year... every 2 weeks now. And he had one coming up at the time and was so busy with studying. That test has long since been taken mind you. But yep...he just couldn't go with us because of JHS studies. : ( However the bright side is...Noah and I made sure to bring back for Bran a bunch of stuff, he'd surely like. : ) I snapped this picture while Noah and I were at the gate here in Narita. About 3 and a half hours later we had landed in Guam. My dad picked up Noah and I. And we were sleepy so we went right to sleep. Monday night, June 13th we were sleeping in Guam. 

Tuesday morning. We quickly got dressed and ready for the day. And we went and had a quick breakfast sandwich at McDonald's. My favorite breakfast sandwich at McD's. Wish they had these here in Japan but they don't. I like the biscuits, they're so fresh and delicious. 

Just egg, American cheese, crispy bacon and a delicious hot fresh buttery biscuit. Noah and I both had these, my dad had a breakfast burrito. And off we went to do some quick shopping. I had a list and I was checking it twice and also scratching things off the list too.

We went to 2 Cost u Less stores. Think along the lines as Costco, except you don't need a membership and they're a bit smaller in size store-wise but same/similiar products in big sizes. : ) After that we went to 1 of the main grocery stores. Payless (no not the shoe store, lol, it's a chain grocery store in Guam and it's just like Safeway, King Soopers, Kroger, HEB, you know what I mean, the Piggly Wiggly... that type of store, a food store) So after those 3 grocery stores, 2 Cost U less stores and 1 Payless grocery store. We dropped everything off at my dad's condo and we went to lunch. We went to lunch around 12:30pm. 

Guam has practically everything an American living in Japan... could ever want to eat or shop for. They have Chili's. You can see KFC in the background.

Yes, that is an Applebee's. They have Ihop. If you are from Colorado like I am, you will be happy to hear that...they have The Village Inn restaurant which is a chain restaurant originating from Colorado. They are in a few states now, but yes they are native to Colorado. : ) And yes they are in Guam. Guam also has some Hawaiian flavor too...like L&L Drive In and they also have Egg n' Things too. Guam has so much to offer. Coldstone Creamery. Yogurtland. The list goes on.
We however went to Wendy's for lunch. 

Tuesday June 14th and Noah enjoyed his day off of school. He only took 1 day off school because Wednesday the following day was Chiba Day and every child in Chiba prefecture... didn't have school that day. And Monday he attended school.... so Noah only missed 1 day only and that was Tuesday. I'm so glad he could come with me and enjoy a fun time in Guam. 

I had a Monterrey chicken sandwich and I am not a huge fan of fries. When there are other options and so, I picked a baked potato with butter and cheese instead. And that's fine to do that. : ) That's my strawberry lemonade in the background of this pic too. : ) Like I told Noah Tuesday morning we'll be a little busy with running from store to store. However...if we can shop quickly. We will have lunch and then be able to enjoy some relax time in Guam. We quickly shopped at Kmart after we enjoyed some lunch at Wendy's. And after dropping off our stuff from Kmart we went to enjoy the rest of our evening and night in Guam! First stop heading to the movies!

I have been dying to see this movie. It's called "Me Before You" I have American TV here at my house in Japan. And the reason I mention that... is because I am lucky to get all the commercials and so I have been seeing this commercial a ton and this movie looks so super good and I wanted to see this. The guy in this was the actor who played Finnick in The Hunger Games!!! He's a great actor. Anyway with some movie chocolate bars in my bag. We went to the movies. To enjoy Me Before You! 
Everybody's ticket would have been only $5 US... if we had gone to the movies before 4pm. However, the shopping had to come first. Since that was the reason for going to Guam. Priorities first, relaxing second. So that's okay. The shopping was done. And $2.10 extra won't break the bank. We bought a medium popcorn and a large soda. And went in and got a perfect spot to sit, the 3 of us. 

What did we think of the movie? I loved it! It was SUCH a great movie. If you remember the movie with Julia Roberts a billion years ago called...Dying Young. Then you'll know what this is sorta about. Except cancer isn't involved. This was a very good movie. My dad liked it a lot, Noah liked it a lot. And I honestly cried 2 times during this movie and I laughed out loud along with others in the movie theater... a few times too. I am so glad I got the chance to see this movie. Two thumbs way up for Me Before You!!! 
After the movie, we went out to our favorite Italian restaurant for Tuesday nights dinner. We went to Vitale's of course! : )  Noah had the children's spaghetti and meat sauce. And an iced tea and garlic bread. 

A bit blurry sorry about that, but I see your iced tea without sugar back there. Behind your head. : )

It was a delicious dinner. And I treated my dad to dinner because I wish I could take my dad to dinner on actual Father's Day. However...we had to make do with a few days earlier than Father's Day. So that was good enough. We 3 sat and enjoyed our dinner. We talked about the movie. We talked about what an excellent day we had. We talked about how hard Branden has been studying and what a good boy he is. That sort of stuff. We all went back to my dad's condo. I packed everything that wasn't needing refrigeration basically. And then I jumped in the shower in my bedroom at my dad's condo. He had 2 bathroom/shower rooms. And we all went to sleep. 

Wednesday, we were about to eat these, Noah and I. : )

I was up since 5am Guam time. 4am Japan time, Wednesday June 15th, reason? I don't know I just couldn't sleep. Our flight was at 11am. However, with my Delta app on my phone. It said the flight was delayed. Just a 50 minute delay not a problem, I'll just buy Noah some lunch at the airport and read 1 of my many magazines I am bringing back. : ) However Noah did eat a breakfast biscuit, pictured here. And do did I. 

Hi gorgeous! Love your shirt! Especially with American Independence Day coming up...we must show our American pride! Love it! : )

A snap of out gate info. Yes at the bottom right hand corner it does say Wednesday June 15th. 
Noah was fed. Because of the 1 hour delay, I made sure to buy Noah something to eat at Guam's international airport. I didn't eat anything while at the airport. He picked Jalapeno chicken fries. No they're not potatoes at all. They're chicken strips in a fry shape. Spicy chicken strips. : ) He loved them! : )

We boarded the airplane. And we read the lunch menu and ordered our meal. And relaxed. We are on our way Branny McB and hubster! : )  The 2 of them picked us up at the airport. We dropped everything off at home. And then we went and had dinner afterwards. Not a fancy shmancy dinner just Saizeriya and that was plenty fine with us. : )   

Stuff brought back. Frozen ravioli, stuffed with ricotta.

Pretzels. In case the kids are watching a movie or doing homework and feel like a little snack. 


Crescent rolls 2 of those and Cinnabon cinnamon rolls 3 of those.


Cheese for sandwiches. Because I sure pack a whole lotta lunches now days. : )

What Noah and I brought back to Japan. 

Two enormous huge honkin' sized amounts of granola bars and breakfast biscuits. Both Nature Valley. The ones on the left are peanut butter granola bars. 60 of those! The other are blueberry breakfast biscuits. 18 packs with 4 inside each pack. Yumm! These come from that wholesale place...Cost U Less.  These will be perfect for when we head to the pools or beach this summer.. we can just grab a peanut butter granola bar or some blueberry breakfast biscuits and have a quick morning bite to eat. 

The Chocolate Fudge Pop Tarts came from Payless. The Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ones were like super freakishly cheap at US $1.50 or $1.25 a box and we bought those at Kmart. 

Belvita soft baked breakfast biscuits in banana bread flavor. Am I on a breakfast biscuit and granola kick right now you guys? I think I could be. : ) 

Putting them away in the breakfast shelf. And hello...1 unopened lemonade down below and 1 half full lemonade next to it....

I eat peanut butter for breakfast 5 days a week, plus we make peanut butter cup icecream here often so we needed this huge 2 pack from Cost u less.

Coffee creamer had to happen. From Payless.

Get on the breakfast shelf...coffee creamers. : )

Sharing a little peeky peek. : )

It was just smarter to bring back 5 bags of these. I'm making Wendy's type of chili beans tonight. You know. And I used 1 pack of beans this morning for like I said..the chili beans which we will eat tonight topped with sour cream and chopped and diced onions and shredded cheese. They're boiled and cooked already. Dinner tonight is going to be so good. A nice hearty chili. 

These are always at Kmart. Love these butter noodles. 

I have chocolate frosting at home already. So yellow cake with chocolate frosting can happen for sures. But you know me and you know what summer and those cherries mean! Yep, it means I will be baking...my pineapple upside down cake this summer too. : )

Americans are crazy about peanut butter. It's true. It must be in our DNA or something. Or the way we're wired. And that's quite alright. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich anyone? Peanut butter cup icecream anyone? How about some Reese's Pieces? It's true we love the stuff! So, of course...for me and the kiddos I had to pick up 2 big multi packs of Nutter Butters. Noboru can always have some too. But he's not...in *love* with peanut butter... the way it comes naturally to myself or Bran and Noah. He's most welcome to share anything he wants. But I doubt he'll have any. But anyways...24 packs of Nutter Butters. Branden was *very* excited to see these in the suitcase. He actually saw these and said right on. : )

Again, I actually Line messaged Noboru in the Payless grocery store while in Guam and asked..."honey do you want any Oreos?" He said no thanks, I'm good. Err okay. : ) So, I picked up 2 packs for Bran, 2 packs for Noah and 2 packs for myself. 2 packs of Cinnamon bun for Bran, 2 packs of the same for me and 1 pack of cinnamon bun for Noah and 1 pack of mint for Noah. Clearly both my kids have extremely American tastebuds. Sorrynotsorry! : )  


Buffalo wing powder, this is from Cost u less and so are the Progresso Italian breadcrumbs. And yes that is a picture of chicken parmesan on the canister. : ) These make the best meatballs and also fantastic chicken parmesan. 

Country Time Pink Lemonade. Figured why not try something different. : ) Lemonade of any kind is...perfect in the summer heat. 

BBQ season is upon us. : )

Noboru and Branden lovelove *love* balsamic vinaigrette. They hardcore love it. And with salad season upon us. I tried to get the usual one from Cost u less, they didn't have it this time. Which is fine, I picked this at Payless. I was talking to my dad and Noah in the dressing aisle at Payless. A blonde 20 something was also in the aisle. She smiled at me. I smiled back. I was quietly talking to my dad about looking for a vinaigrette. And the woman in workout outfit, was so nice. And cool she joined my conversation and started saying to me...I spot 1 vinaigrette here and here's 1 more. And next thing you know... we chit chatted for about 2-3 minutes with one another her and I. She just wanted to be helpful. Wow...what a nice lady that morning! : ) May sound nerdy to say, but there IS goodness in the world. And there are good folks out there!

While 2 in my family enjoy a nice vinaigrette. I enjoy a nice thousand island. I also eat the most salad in the house. And so, I bought 2 bottles. These came from Cost u less and they are huge bottles. Which is why the cap says family size. 

Meanwhile, my #1 fave is Italian and it is this one in particular. It has so much cheese and is so good. Noah also likes this Italian and so does Bran. So, 3 of us like this Italian dressing a lot and Noboru has been known to enjoy 1000 Island dressing too. So...again with salad season underway. I was thankful to stock up on more salad dressings. : ) 

Go in there salad dressings. : ) And yes you do see 3 thousand island dressings. One from the last time...we will use them though. We eat salads nearly *every* single day in summer.

With packing 2 lunches for the kids every day, sandwiches happen a lot. So it was nice to be able to pick up 2 big jars of Miracle Whip.

Croutons, cheese and garlic and so good. 

Honey Nut Chex Mix. One for Bran, one for Noah and one for me. Noboru prefers Japanese snacks and that's okay. 

Pudding.

For peanut butter cup icecream.

For family movie night. All these chocolate bars contain peanut butter go figure. : )

Just a last quick little peek. 

Sunflower seeds and 3 pounds of Gummi bears. 

July 7th is coming up soon and my 10 year old...my ten-ager will soon be an 11 year old! Not sure which way Noah wants to eat his birthday cake, on which plates. So I picked 2 ways. Traditional birthday plates and napkins or...Star Wars plate and napkins! Super cool either way! I've got you covered either way kiddo. 

A new can opener. This one is so easy to hold and grip and turning it... is a breeze!

Toilet stuff.

Toothpaste.

Okay we all know because I shared it a few years back. Noah has extremely fine hair. If you know the difference between baby fine western people hair and thicker (individual pieces/strands) Asian hair very hard in texture, then you know what I mean. Noah has baby fine western people type hair. And a few years ago he started getting dandruff. Not pounds of dandruff but a few flakes, here and there. I did try the Japanese version just simply called H&S. It worked...meh. It worked yes but not 100% no. Good thing he only had it mildly. However, I started buying the stronger better formula in the US. Which has all sorts of good scents and smells. Unlike in Japan where there is just 1 and with a very meh scent. This one, green apple one... smells fantastic and it works 100% and Noah has never had a problem or a flake at all in years! In fact...I don't even think he remembers he suffered from dandruff at all. He just knows..the shampoo in the bathroom with the green apple on it is his. And that's it. His head always smells delicious. So yep, every 6 months, I buy the enormous sized one and I say I replace it every 6 months or so. I don't have dandruff, neither does Bran nor does Noboru, so this shampoo is only for Noah and we use whatever. Moving on. I watch beauty videos on YouTube... nothing new there. : ) But anyways. One of my favorite people on there. EmilyNoel83. Shared her monthly faves and said this body wash by Dial. She uses it and also has 1 of these in her guest bathroom too. And she said it's called Miracle Oil and has Marula Oil in it, whatever that is. Anyway she says it's a body wash not an oil. Just very gentle on the skin. The thing though...she said every family or friend who stayed at their house actually commented to them...how amazing this smells...how they will be buying their own bottle of this. She also says she loves the way it smells and so does does her lawyer hubby. She said it smells clean, your skin is so soft aftwards. And...I trust Em. I trust her opinion. She has absolutely never steered me wrong. So while in Guam, I made sure it was on my list. And when I went down the body wash aisle in Kmart in Guam, I sniffed it and OMG...this smells so freaking good! Blew me away! I immediately threw it in my cart.  


Deodorant. Deo so we don't get B.O.! LOL. 

Hand soap. Out of all the hand washes they had these seemed to be the best prices. I saw a Marula oil hand soap and thought...you are going in my sink room upstairs! And when I saw the citrus lime with lemon 99% antibacterial...I thought these will go in my kitchen. 

This is currently in my sink room upstairs. Oh my gersh does this smell so good!

Lime with that hint of lemon. And because it's antibacterial, it's hand sanitizer too. But it does foam up and it is a handwash. 

If I just chop some chicken or handle raw meat, I can just get 1 pump and wash my hands really well and feel safe. 

Was everyone and their mama talking about Micellar water last summer or what? First there was Bioderma Micellar water first. Everyone loves that. I have not tried that. They sell it in Japan too though. Then last summer or right before last summer. In the US drugstores they started selling micellar water from drugstore brands. Simple came out with one. I saw a bunch of beauty videos last year, where people seemed to bring it up and either love the micellar water or hate it. I was iffy and so didn't buy any. Then another brand started selling one. Again, I didn't buy one. But...then last month when EmilyNoel83 made that video of her favorites...the same video she talked about the Dial body wash. She brought these wipes up. She said...she wasn't crazy about the Simple micellar water but she actually really likes these wipes. Or was it KathleenLights mentioning the Simple wipes. Now I am wondering. I know for a fact Em rec'd the body wash. But now I am split which one of them rec'd these. Anyways...either 1 of them did. And I paid attention. And I remembered. As I walked through the face cleanser aisle at Kmart in Guam to my surprise...I saw these. I was like...wow! Someone just spoke super highly about these. And I picked up a pack to try. I have since tried 1 of these wipes. And so far so good. I really like them. All my makeup came off and my skin didn't have a greasy residue type of film and it didn't feel dry and parched either. I like these wipes a lot. I will try them a little more and keep you updated. Anyway that's the long and short of my trip to Guam last week! : )