Thursday, July 30, 2015

Throwback Thursday...

Gee, I sure love Throwback Thursday. And I usually will put 2 pics on, 1 for each of the boys. But since I missed/skipped last week since we were in Hawaii, this weeks TBT, will be a tad extra long. This throwback, takes us back, to February 2007 and our family was off on the tiny tropical island of Saipan (near Guam) Our family has been to Saipan 2 or 3 times. While Guam is the bigger of the 2 islands. Guam is like the "gathering place" island, same as Oahu, versus the other islands, in HI. Same for the Marianas (where Guam and Saipan are located). Guam is the hustle and bustle and has many movie theaters, malls, it's definitely got a stronger American vibe. IHOP, Chili's. Frozen Yogurt, Cinnabon, Eggs N Things. Guam even has L&L Drive in (from Hawaii) There's tons to see and do. Where as Saipan has way fewer places to shop and not much else but beauty and relaxation to offer. And that can sometimes be a good thing. Saipan is perfect for relaxation and no shopping. Guam is where the action is. So when we do choose Saipan, it's with the understanding it will be strictly rest and relaxation. And that's what our family needed back in Feb 2007. : )  Noah was 1 year old and 7 months at the time. So he was just a little fella. : )  Branden was in yochien/kindy.  There's Noboru, papa walking the boys to spend the day in the many many fun pools the PIC (Pacific Islands Club) has to offer.
And another day, while on our way to the buffet for breakfast. We get the gold package while on Saipan and that provides us with breakfast, lunch and dinner at any of the many restaurants they have at the resort. They have a huge buffet, a pizza place, a steak house. Many good choices and a nice size conbini (convenience store) so you really don't need to ever leave the hotel. Although once or twice we did sight see. But the hotel there, is just too much fun to want to leave. : ) Noboru and Bran walking faster and while our toddling Noah was a tad slower, so I always walked last...to sort of "book end" the kids. that way we kept a watchful eye on both kiddos. Not to worry dearest Noah, mama has her eyes on you. I've got your back, kiddo. : )

Noah's always been such a fantastic eater. With pancake bib, saying Breakfast Time. Yes, he was all ready for some breakfast action! Ready to try a few bites of waffle, a tiny silver dollar pancake, some crispy bacon, omelet on request/order, a half of hasbrown (we had them share one). In tiny portions yes, but we wanted him to sample different flavors, eat different fruits, some pastry. Gosh his hair was such a nice light brown color. And his eyebrows were like almost nonexistent. His eyebrows had the faintest outline of eyebrows but the hairs were like an almost blondish color. Noboru used to joke and kid and say...we should color in his eyebrows, hahaha. 
Branden was going to swimming school, however since he wasn't a super swimmer, since he was young, we wanted him in a life vest. Bran played all over and we played with him for days and days. He was the captain and we were his mateys. LOL. 

He went down the slides so many times, climbed on all the crabs and whatnot's daily. Went down the lazy river raft on inner tubes. Bran would crash fast to sleep every night because he played *so* super hard every day. Just too much fun. : ) 
My quiet one, my tender heart... I look at this picture and I remember this moment exactly...exactly. There was a kiddo about the same exact age as Noah and he was crying his head off, about 2 tables away and Noah didn't say anything, but he watched the other kiddo. I could see Noah's facial expression and eyes and he was really trying to figure that kid out. And at first, Noah was wondering if he should join and cry too? He didn't of course. We were waiting for our lunch. And we just spent many hours, since breakfast playing from pool to pool, from slide to slide, lazy river and after all that swimming we were so famished, we were so ready for lunch. So, Bran just sipped his soda and chatted non stop to Noboru and I and Noah just quietly chilled and checked out that very upset kiddo 2 tables away. Noah and that kid played in the toddler pool area, earlier so they were sorta toddler buds for that day, I think Noah was worried. Worried for his bud. Told ya, he's always been a worry wart. : )  Luckily Noah's fascination with the boy in distress... stopped as soon as our lunch arrived at our table.. then his attention diverted to our lunch and back to the happenings at our table. Aww, my little tender heart. : )

Noah and papa, chilling on the lazy river. : )
Family fun. We literally went on this probably 30 times each day, at least. It was just THAT fun.

Oh my precious angel baby. Look at that big smile on Noah's face. He would laugh and laugh. A total water baby, right from the start. Both of the boys, total water kids.  All we have ever wanted to do... is be able to provide our 2 boys with the best life we could give, with 2 solid parents and give them as many opportunities and love and our time... as we could give them. And just try and make some awesome memories together, year round. And I think we've done that, because they're good kids, real good kids. We must have done something, right. : )  Anyway that was this weeks Throwback Thursday, from our family, February 2007, in Saipan. : )

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hi you guys, we're back...

 Hi you guys, we're back! : ) It's so nice to be catching up with you all, right now. Let's see, where to start...where to start. We got back from Honolulu, Sunday night, July 26th Japan time. Monday, Noah had swimming at the local elementary school from 10am to 11am and then everyone goes home... but/except the swim team, stays and has practice until noon. At public schools around our area of Japan, from 4th grade to 6th grade if you're fast, they will ask you to be on the school swim team. They could not ask Noah until this year, since he started the 4th grade this April. Branden swam for our elementary school, when he was in elementary school too. Noah didn't raise his hand or apply, just....during regular swimming during PE, before summer break the swimming teachers and head teacher saw Noah swimming. They called a handful of kids from 4th-6th grade over the intercom to go to the gym. And from there... they were asked to join the swim team. Noah brought home a parental consent form, before we left to Hawaii and we asked Noah...most important..."do you want to do it?" If not...no worries. Noah, said he wants to. So, we signed it. He missed the first 2 practices since we were in Hawaii. But he went on this Monday right away.  So...yep, that's what Noah's been up to since we got back. Monday we also went to the regular grocery store and to Costco to fill up the pantry and fridge. Noboru meanwhile...has the haunted night at the school this Friday, July 31st, and he and the Father's Club dad's are preparing for that. The dad's are also thinking about staying the night in the gymnasium Friday night too. Hahaha, if he stays... which I think he should...the dad's will probably have a lot of fun! Branden and I are taking Noah to that, this Friday.

What else...the trip to Honolulu was so nice, you guys. We went to the beach. I took 650 photos? Seriously....that's an awful lot of pics! Hahaha. But then in my defense, I am the keeper of memories. : ) We did see 3 movies...The new Terminator. Inside Out, and the new Minions movie. We bought some stuff, but not tons. We just mostly....relaxed. Spent our days at the beach, eating shrimp twice, going to 3 movies. Just recharging the ol' batteries and enjoying some much needed family time. I barely put the pictures on my external hard drive today. So, I'll get it up and posted. But honestly...I don't think it'll be up for a few days at least. I've just been enjoying my quiet time here at home with the family. Oh guess what...while we were in Honolulu, I made a point...to be unplugged the entire trip. I didn't check my email, not even once the entire week. Didn't get online at all. Noboru checks his mail daily and stuff, even while on vacation, which is fine... but I can honestly go without it. So that was really nice for me. To go on vacation and just concentrate on my kids...and just concentrate on my husband/best friend, does that make sense at all. Hopefully some of you "get that"....or know what I mean. : ) Anyway...so we are back. I'm not moving a whole lot...online, because I'm enjoying my time irl (in real life) with the family at the moment. But I am around. : ) The Honolulu post maybe by Monday? And I might have to break it up in smaller parts/posts...if that's okay with you all too. That's just a little easier on me.  : )

Oh...we had a very nice simple backyard BBQ last night. That was so nice. Everyone had kalbi beef and I had 2 chicken breasts with the same type a sauce. For dessert we had the sweetest fresh cut up pineapple from the store...it was so good...yesterdays pineapple. Hahaha. : ) Anyway...I better end this for now. Just wanted to say...hey and hello! : )

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Honolulu, Hawaii here we come...

Yep, it has been decided and yes the odds were not in our favor for California. We watched all Friday... our flight online. Stand by list and such. Saturday was our day of hope. The flight was for evening. And by 9am yesterday breakfast time, we could see, we didn't have a chance in heck to catch last evenings flight. We decided it would be best, not to even "try" to get to Haneda airport yesterday, because why? Because it costs us 5,000 yen to get there on the highway and also include parking. And if we couldn't catch the flight, it would be a wasted $50 US basically. And I do mean we checked hourly, the status. We could get on, but just 3 of our family of 4. Which is nuts. Leaving one of us behind, clearly we'd not leave a child but it means either Noboru or I would go with the kids and the other adult, would have to fight to get on another flight someplace somewhere. It was yesterday that we booked a place in Hawaii after debating over the pros and cons of California or Hawaii. We debated it all day yesterday. Our last chance to get to California was for Sunday/today...the evening flight. It looked great all this week. But by yesterday, Sundays flight to California looked iffy. As in..cutting it close. As in, if 1 or 2 other non revs with a higher priority came to our  LAX flight with a higher seniority we'd be wiped out. The other thing...Hawaii, is a sure thing... this Honolulu flight. Totally open and available sort of calling for us. Come here...come back to Oahu. So we were left anxious yesterday...do we pick the iffy California flight. Do you go with an unsure thing or a sure thing. Granted, California, is where we REALLY want to go. Or do we say to heck with it...and take a sure thing. Therefore no more stress. No more...what ifs. Again time not being on our side either. As in, you have 24 hours... before check in, to cancel the California hotel or you'll be charged. Yes charged. And you need 24 hours advance notice to book a place in Hawaii. So...again time not really being on our side. We needed to decide and we needed to decide yes or no, by Saturday. Gosh were Noboru and I stressed to the max yesterday. We finally thought about it logically. If we put all our eggs in the California basket. We might not end up taking a vacation at all. And that would totally and completely suck. So...yeah...not a gamble we really wanted to take. Granted would it have been lovely if the flight was wide open to California, yes, you betcha. But it just wasn't. However there is a bright side. The bright side is. We now sorta realize... us trying to get to the mainland US from Japan, in summer time as a non rev... just is NEVER gonna happen and we need to understand that and accept that. Phew. Very freeing understanding that. So, if we do want to go to the US mainland from Japan and fly non rev. It best we fly in Fall, or Winter or Spring. We can get there then...and for free. But just not a chance in heck, for us in summer. Lesson learned. And thankfully we didn't have to learn it the *hard way* meaning at the expense of us not getting to go anywhere this year, because we wanted California or nothing. Another bright side is...we admit defeat and we know when we're facing a losing battle here and we move on to plan B quickly, meaning no time to dwell. We were smart to say...you know in all probability California's just not gonna pan out. Let's go for plan B. So, in that respect, we did everything humanly possible... and we did it the right way. Anyway, so we rented ourselves a privately owned condo this time around on Oahu, this time. We're frankly tired of paying the $25 resort fees for staying at a hotel in Waikiki (yes all hotels in Waikiki charge you that for staying there) and paying $25- $35 US for parking per each day (last time one of our hotels charged $25 and the other hotel charged us $35 per day to park at their hotel). Add that on top of your hotel rate and it gets pretty expensive. So...we're staying in a nice little suburb. We have a rental car. And so we're pretty excited. No more stress of...will we get on the flight or won't we. It's done. The good thing is, we're packed and ready. We just have to throw the boogie boards in the 2 big empty suitcases and grab some extra sunscreen and we're all set. Will we like this whole renting a private condo thing? We may, we may not. I'll let ya'll know when we get back. But the place we picked looks gorgeous though! There's a beach 3 minutes from our condo. Plus we'll be hitting lots of different beaches. And shopping, Sephora, Target, Walmart, Nature Republic, Ala Moana Shopping center, here we come. And plus we also just want to relax and bring a packed lunch to the beach and do nothing all day...many of our days... we will spend them like that. Also movies, we have a ton of movies we want to see too. Terminator, Inside Out, Pixels, etc.
Not the vacation we had originally wanted. But, it's the vacation we're fortunate enough... to be able to take.  And we know that.. so for that we have huge appreciation. So we're happy. Happy we are going somewhere for summer break. Plus you all know we're beach people anyway. : ) 

Branden is looking forward to the shrimp.

June's Dairy Queen Blizzard flavor... was the Jurassic World blizzard (2 types of cookie dough)...and the commercials we've been seeing all July, on our cable say...July is brownie batter blizzard flavor. So, wonder if anyone of us will try the July flavor. I know for me, I would like a Peanut Buster parfait. This thing pictured here. Yumm. Anyway, catch up with you all, when we get back. : )

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Throwback Thursday...

This picture is date stamped, July 4th, 2007. Happy Birthday America! Anyway, the time this picture was taken was 1:54pm. So not quite 2 years old for Noah. But awfully close, since his birthday is July 7th. So an almost 2 year old Noah. Just enjoying Guam with his mama, daddy and big brother Branden. : )

My gorgeous and kind Noah.
And Branden's throwback actually has a date and time stamp, this time. May 13th, 2006 and the time was 9:13am. Place, Honolulu, Hawaii. Both the boys always grew up going to Hawaii and/or Guam, some of their earliest memories, is of them spending time there. And always grew up spending time at a beach. Water boys. Beachy boys. : )

Anyway, typhoon update. Nothing here yet. But today was super windy, all day today. A few sprinkles here or there. But no real rain, lasting over 5 minutes to speak of yet. Dinner tonight, buffalo wings (just took them out of the oven), cheesy baked potatoes, corn... (rice if anyone wants) and salads. I'm tired today. I want to get dinner done, dishes into the dishwasher, kids showered (neither kid has homework, thank the lord) and have an early night. : )

Interview...

Tomorrow is trash day. And we had 1 extra trash bag, but Noboru said to me this morning, "I'm going to run to the grocery store, it just opened and I'm gonna grab an extra pack of trash bags, you need anything?" I said, Thanks but I'm good : ) and he left. He came back from the store, with some one's phone number written on a piece of paper and told me "someone needs your help" ...My help? @_@ "Okay, what is it", I asked. So he said let's go to the kitchen, so I can tell you the story. Holy goodness, I thought. So I grab a hot coffee and sit down.

Noboru says, you know when I was fuku kaicho that one year? I said, yes I remember. He said, well, this lady was also a member that year also. He then started to get into the story of today, he said,  he was at the store, with trash bags in hand about to go to the check out line/register. When she appeared with her 3rd year, 9th grade son. She said, "hello I'm sorry to ask this but, your wife is American, right?" Noboru told her in Japanese, "yes, she is" She said, "first, I should probably introduce you to my son" The son greets Noboru and Noboru greets the son. Why wasn't he in school today? I don't know why, anyways back to the story. Anyway, she told Noboru, he goes to a private JHS somewhere. And their school assignment in English class, is to track down a native English speaking foreigner and interview them. She also said, the problem is...at least 95% of the class don't know where they can find a foreigner #1 and #2 would they be willing to be interviewed because not every foreigner would be willing. So many of his classmates have an idea. They will go to Asakusa this weekend and hopefully track down some English speaking foreigners. And hopefully interview them. His mom...the woman in the store doesn't think this idea of a group of the class going to Asakusa will work. For whatever reason she doesn't like the idea. So she's been wracking her brain ever since, apparently. And so she's been asking around town. Do you know any native English speaking foreigners? And finally someone in the housing community told her...you know that guy....(they meant Noboru) who was fuku kaicho 2 years ago...his wife is American. So..as luck would have it. She saw Noboru at the store, while she was with her son. Seriously, you guys what are the odds. And so she asked. She also was quite embarrassed about asking. She told Noboru...I am so sorry to be bothering your wife about this. But...she's our only hope. Something along those lines. @_@ Anyways...so Noboru told her...well... we are about to leave Japan for a bit. But, I can ask her. So, she wrote down her phone number. So Noboru told me..."what do you think?" I told Noboru..." OMG, of course I'll help him!"..."how could I not"

So, long story short. Noboru phoned her. She's now thrilled beyond belief, she found someone willing to help and so close by, and according to her, the son is relieved, which makes me happy. And so a 9th grade boy, is coming to my house tomorrow at 2pm, to interview me for a few minutes. She also wanted to tell Noboru, that he has his questions already written down. Bless, his little heart. : ) Branden and Noah do not know about this yet. I'll tell them this afternoon. Heck, I just found out today, myself. : ) My boys, get off tomorrow at 11am. They'll just chill out, in the living room while he and I get this interview wrapped up, right quick. : ) It shouldn't take very long and I know they won't mind, it's for a school project. It's legit, hahaha. And the good thing is, he lives in our same housing community, so he will only have a short 2 minute bike ride to my house, from his house. Anyway, no big deal, just wanted to say...interview tomorrow at 2pm. : )

And yes, I bet a few of you are wondering the same thing I thought too....I did think...wait a minute...he's only 1 year older than B? That must mean they went to the same elementary school. The one Noah is going to now. They had to have seen me all these years. At undokai. On observation day. No? Am, I right? I worked at my housing community selling lemonade and hot dogs 1 year. And sold stuff for the yakuin last year, the kids club, at the same summer festival. Yes, I can over think things to death. But whatever the case may be...it doesn't matter. Yes she could have genuinely not known, about me all these years, which I sorta highly doubt. I'm an obvious foreigner. I stick out like a sore thumb unfortunately. Or...you know...she could have just been really shy or nervous about asking. And...probably mulled it over and debated it. And then...now the assignment is almost due. And so...now she has to abandon all shy feelings and just got for it. And her asking in that way...The old..."I did not know..I just found out"...made her feel safer...or better. Does that makes sense. And of course, also maybe she genuinely did not know. But whatever...either way...if it's for a kiddo and he needs help or assistance. I'm down for helping.  Anyway...must stop over thinking things. Will try. Hahaha. : ) Anyway, he's coming over tomorrow. : )

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Good eats. TV Talk, that new Scream TV series on MTV, is so good! Salon visit complete. And an update on our summer vacation plans...

How's everybody doing? I know you guys in the US are already on summer vacation (since June, right?). As for us here in Japan, school is still going, but luckily winding down. For our town, the elementary and JHS, last day of school is this Friday and it's a half day letting out at 11am for both Bran and Noah's schools. So that's the good and positive thing, summer break is so close ya'll... we can almost touch it! We can already feel, just how near it is! : )  How have things been here for us? Pretty good. This is a random pic from a dinner we had this week. You know already, what this is, most likely. : ) I made this a few weeks back too. This is 2 lean blocks of pork, rubbed down with some BBQ rub. Slow baked in the oven one day. While everyone was at school (the kids) or work (Noboru)

It was so tender. I just pulled it apart with 2 forks. And covered in tin foil. Until everyone got home. This time, I did not add any BBQ sauce to it. I think for Noboru, being Japanese the sauce is a bit too overly zesty, which is fine (it doesn't bother him with ribs but this shredded with sauce can be a bit too zesty and intense... though he didn't mention anything and wouldn't...he's just too sweet, I could sorta tell the last time, that it was a tad/pinch zesty for my 3 guys though). And so the BBQ rub was more than enough seasoning and actually I too... prefer it this way and this is perfect for our family. Will be making it this way, from now on. : )

Making this 2 times ago, I was worried, should I go and get mini baguettes of bread to make this? But you know what...it's cheaper using hot dog buns and they're so soft and it's actually super delicious this way. Coleslaw bought at KFC, again just makes dinner easier. And some Bush's Baked Beans on the side. Branden had 3 of these sandwiches, Noboru had 4 of them, he loved these! Noah had 1 bbq sammy and extra beans on the side. His tummy tank is just tinier than everyone elses. : )  What else is there.... to talk about real quick. 
I have been cleaning house like a crazy woman. Because, I really hate coming back from vacation to a dirty or dusty house. I know it sounds weird. But I say this every year and those of you that are long time readers know that. I totally prefer clean the house spic and span before we leave and that way when we get back to Japan, we feel happy...to come home to a nice clean house. May sound weird but eh.... it just makes me feel way better. I'd say about right now. The house is just about ready! Oh and that blind duster is a good one and I bought it at the Daiso/100 yen shop. : )

TV talk...I keep wanting to mention this, but I keep forgetting to mention it, each time. I have been loving the new Scream TV show/series on MTV. You know...how when movies become.... spin offs or TV shows, they almost always suck. Well...this one does NOT. This show is on *fleek*. It's actually really good! It just recently started, it's a brand new show and I have been watching it weekly ever since it started. I really like it a lot.

Last Saturday, July 11th at 10am was my hair appointment, I got my hair cut, colored and I got that super hair straightening thing called...the Japanese thermal hair straightener. Took forever at the salon, but in the end it was worth it. Flat irons are used twice during the process and it's super pin straight now. My hair is shiny and all one length at my shoulders. The hair is on point...the hair is indeed on point, ya'll! Just saying. ; ) And I'm just happy... to get it all over and done with... and now I don't have to think about my hair...worry about it... for summer now. And the hair straightening makes it superly easy to take care of. The simple cut alone, also make it even easier to take care of. So one more thing scratched off the list, of things to get done before summer vacation. : )

At the end of each semester each child in elementary school brings back. All their stuff. Paints, crayons, earthquake safety thing/seat cushion. Just everything. Noah has been lugging stuff home all this week. He's already brought home his paints, his shuji/calligraphy stuff. Each day he brings more. He's almost brought everything, I think his last day, he'll bring the seat cushion and inside shoes. : )

I am so sad, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck are indeed getting divorced. Like the cutest couple, ever, am I right. He couldn't have married a sweeter girl. When I heard it at first, I was like...that has.... got to be a lie! It can't be true. They're too cute together...plus they've been together for what...10 years. It's got to be gossip news. An untruth. And then sadly...they said it too. Sigh. Just super sad. : (

An update on our travel plans. #1, there are like 1 or 2 typhoons approaching Japan (I thought there was just 1, Noboru says there's actually 2 different ones coming). OMG, why now right, well the logical answer would be...typhoon season is still trying to cling and hold on! And it's getting hard to know...will they affect our flight. And if so... will it affect our flight in a good way? Meaning all other stand-by passengers got stranded elsewhere and therefore could not make it to the flight, therefore leaving all the seats for us? Or affect us in a bad way...meaning the flights canceled. Or in another bad way...meaning everyone stand-by just moved to our flight? That sort of thing. So...yes...the 1-2 typhoons coming to Japan somewhere between Friday and next week are starting to worry us. Granted since we are on this side of Japan....usually they pummel/hit other parts of Japan first (sorry), so we are just hoping they loose their steam before they get to the Narita area. So the weather...we have been keeping a close eye on the weather. I just wish this typhoon would change directions and save us all in Japan the headache. Hahaha. Many of us are indeed trying to get back to our home countries and this can totally wreck the plans here. Bad typhoon...bad bad! : ) So the typhoon is a worry.  Straight up...it is.

Also...the flight itself.  We sort of know by now, which flight is the one, for us to try and catch. The flight we think we have the best chance to get on. As for Friday...straight up, there's no chance for us to catch a flight this Friday, too full. So Friday...forget Friday, Friday for us is out. Also, the flight we are trying to catch, there are 15 available seats in first class. We are like # 6,7,8 and 9 on the stand-by list. Being 6-9 is a bit scary, we've never been that bad of a number on the stand by list. However, there are a lot of older Americans who have been with Delta since Noboru and I were in kindergarten or elementary school, apparently...trying to get on that flight. And so while yes.... they're as old as the Crypt Keeper, they do have the seniority, which is totally fair...but also for us frustrating. So, while these people were hired and already working in the 80's. I was...off riding my Big Wheel in the 80's and collecting Strawberry Shortcake dolls and Noboru was off fishing or collecting Ultraman dolls. @_@  So...what will we do. We will attempt to get to California for 2 days. And we actually might get on those flights. The following day has like 22 seats available in first class. So we do actually have a shot here! Again though..is the typhoon going to make flights delayed and add more stand-bys on our flight?  So we have agreed that the best thing for us to do is...we will spend 2 days trying to fly to California. And again...we might actually get on the flight the first day. Who knows. However though it is always smart to have a plan B. Or back up plan. Our back up plan is this...if we cannot get on the California flight for 2 days. We will then say forget California. It's not California's fault. Hey...no worries, but we also don't want to waste valuable vacation days... sitting at an airport either. So, again we will spend 2 days trying/attempting to get to LA and if that does not happen...we will say no worries. We tried. Best to forget it. And move on. And plan B is...we will go to Honolulu. The Honolulu flight for us is wide *wide* open. And most Americans (stand-by) fly to Hawaii from the mainland US. So not much older folks with higher seniority... to worry about from Japan to Honolulu. And we'd be like #1-4 on the stand by list. So...it wouldn't even be a worry or second thought like..."gee, I hope we get there." We know, Honolulu is a definite. Granted our first choice and hope is for California. But you know...if it wasn't meant to be...at least we have plan B. We have our hotel booked in California already and car...gee, since way over a month ago. And this morning we checked for the availability of our hotel we like in Hawaii and it's available. Again we like to plan ahead and prepare for the worst. So...I think by Saturday or Sunday morning we'll pretty much either be in California or know..if we will have to switch plans and destination. The good news is and I do always believe there is a positive, shorts and tee-shirts and swimsuits can go to either destination. Meaning it's not like we're going to Antarctica and the Caribbean and would have to pack for 2 totally different types of weather....and therefore pack different clothes. I hope we can get to California you guys. And I can't tell really right now...which way things are going to end up. My feelings on stand-by? I still absolutely love it! The fact, we can fly for free. 
Plus we don't have to sit in coach/economy so the seats are very comfortable.  And not have to spend $800 US each... for each of our family of 4 or even $1000 US each... for our family of 4, for airplane tickets. I love that! That just saves us money. Money we can use towards, our hotel, or going to the movies while there, eating out... or on things we plan to purchase at Target or Sephora and whatnot. Knowing we can save such huge amounts of money, by not having to pay for our airfare really helps. I absolutely do not mind flying stand-by at all. We love you Delta, you take good care of your employees, best company to work for. So, nope we do not mind flying stand-by...not at all. I do want us to go to California. But hey...if we can't...saving our family US $3500-$4000 for the flight and going to Honolulu and sitting in paradise for a week...isn't exactly bad either. Which way will the coin land? I honestly don't know. It's Wednesday here in Japan already. And again...we're just trying to keep a close eye on the flight and a close eye on the typhoon. We'd love it if the typhoon would just skip Japan all together. That way we'd have 1 less thing to think about. : )  Anyway that's the update on the flight situation. We're going somewhere, but as to where? We're still unsure, which of the 2 places it will be. 
Dinner tonight, homemade tostadas (beans are done boiling on the stove already, I will mash and fry them after lunch). Alrighty, it's lunch time and that grilled cheese and some sliced dill pickles are calling my name. : ) The house is clean for today and a load of fresh clean towels is flapping in the breeze, heavily clipped on the laundry poles on the back patio, I'll bring them in, after my lunch. I'll catch up with you all again, I'm sure... before we leave. : ) Bye for now. : )  Both the boys get off school at 3:45pm today. : ) The boys and I, will also be going to Guam this summer as well. But after we get back from our main summer vacation. : )