Monday, August 31, 2015

Getting the boys ready to go back to school...

Since we have been back from Hawaii, I have been trying to get the boys ready to go back to school, in small little bits and pieces. Versus having to do things, all in 1 fell swoop.  This picture here was, one of the last of the things, we did to make sure the boys were ready. This last Saturday, August 29th, we left the house, the 4 of us around 9am and at 10am we were in Chiba New Town already parked at the Sports Depot, to buy Noah a new pair of sneakers for school. We walked around the kids shoe section twice and we narrowed it down to 2 pairs we liked. So we had Noah try both of them on. 

The shiny plastic pair to our left is the Adidas pair and were 2,500 yen. And the pair to our right, is Asics and about $10 bucks more expensive. But they were just, way cuter on, then the other pair. 

Noboru, Bran and I voted for this pair! Noah agreed. The bright green Asics side logo. Just a very nice preppy shoe. And we picked a shoe in the next size up with a spare pinch of room to grow. Not too big a space granted, but enough for Noah's toes to be comfy and room to grow. : ) 

We thought these looked really cute on the display, but once on, they just looked cheap and really plastic-y. Sorry, gomen ne~ We all voted no, for this shoe. And so we put it back. Bye shoe...I am sure someone will like you and buy you, so fear not! : ) 

See, they are Asics, it says it on the little paper and they are brand new for the Fall and winter season 2015. Yeah..glad we went with this shoe, for sure. : ) 

We then had Noah try on both shoes, since we got rid of the other shoe. 

Noah liked them. And we did too. And we then went and checked out. This was the day of our housing community's summer festival, so we went and grabbed some lunch at Costco and since it was a weekend it was so packed, we ate our pizza slices in the car and we then drove back to our town for a backyard BBQ and then the summer festival later that night. But very happy knowing we had found and picked Noah's Fall sneakers. : ) 

Yep, the kids Asics division in Japan. 


Done and done! They now sit unworn and waiting in the genkan/entry way for September 1st for Noah to wear them to his first day of school. 
Every year Branden gets 2 new gym shirts and 1 new pair of shorts, to add to what, he already has. Branden's undokai is September 12th or something along those lines and Noah's, is the week after that. Names have been already sewn on his gym uniforms already and so Bran's ready!
New pair of inside shoes for Noah, I purchased these in July. In the size bigger then what he is wearing now. They're just like 300 yen, but I wanted to make sure Noah shows up to the first day of school with a brand new white pair. I just don't want either of the boys looking like raggamuffins. And they have both gotten fresh nice haircuts already too. Last Friday. 
These 2 pair of plaid pants came back last week fresh from the dry cleaners. But...but, the Fall/winter pair I had the length in those let out, by 3cm. The summer pair is the right length now and since Bran will be packing those away in about 3 weeks, it doesn't make sense or cents to have them lengthened too, because frankly...he might outgrow the length of those too, by next summer. So, the length in the summer pants was and is fine. But the Fall pair, I first took to the tailor in July, a day or two after we got back from Hawaii. The tailor is so fast, she had his Fall pants lengthened by the next day, so the next day, I had thrown 3 items of Bran's to the dry cleaners. These 2 pair of plaid pants, pictured got nicely dry cleaned. The dry cleaners take ages to get dry cleaned. They really take forever. So, it is so important to take them to the dry cleaners ASAP, when your JHS students goes on break. 

Not sure, if you can see, but this is 2 pair of plaid pants and 1 blazer. All JHS items for Branden.

I love the little coat of arms, on Branden's JHS blazer button. I'd have to say, out of all the JHS boys uniforms I've seen in Japan, I love our schools JHS's boys uniform best. They're really nice uniforms. : ) 

Three items freshly dry cleaned and one of the pair of pants lengthened at the tailor. But, it's safe to say, Branny Mc B is all ready for his second semester of school this year! New gym uniforms and fresh JHS uniform. He's ready! : ) 

Bran, needed new pens for school. And a new eraser. 

Bran uses mechanical pencils at school, however Noah uses regular pencils, so he needed some new pencil caps. These are pencil caps and if you live in Japan, you'll know or recognize these as a Japanese kids snack here in Japan. So Noah picked these pencil caps. : ) 

In America, you go to Target and buy a 20 pack of pencils that all look the same. Same with buying a huge pack of 30 pair of plain white socks. We're just simpler that way in the US. It's easier for us to do things in 1 fell swoop. Done and done. But...here in Japan, kids want differently designed pencils, and same with the socks. In Japan, we buy socks with stars and maybe socks with squares or circles and in different varying colors to show...these socks are different and not the same pair I wore yesterday. It's hard to understand, if you don't live here. But, yep, Noah enjoyed picking out his different designs for his pencils. And he also picked up this eraser too. That way he can go back to school with new pencils, an eraser and new pencil caps. 

The kids and I bought these 2 weeks ago at the little drugstore in our town. : ) They all have name labels on them that I put on already, the pencils are sharpened and I made sure to pack both the boys pencils bags myself. Just so, I know, what's in there and what's not. I also had Noah sharpen a new red and blue pencil, kids in Japanese elementary schools new red/blue pencils. 

New glue, I always buy Noah a cute glue, but he was insisting to get this glue. He said all his classmates use this brand and he wants to use this brand too. Hey, no problem, I understand that. So, same glue as everyone else...check and check! : ) And I purchased a new gym hat for Noah but he won't be using it until the day of his sports day but, this way...I know it won't be sold out as undokai gets closer. They always sell out in our town, but this way, I bought it last week, so now we have one. : ) I have already tucked this away in Noah's school desk upstairs. 

Some hats you have to sew a name tag on...but this already has the name tag on there...which just makes my life easier. : ) 

I told the boys 2 weeks ago, please go through all your stuff and if you need any new notebook please tell me now or forever hold your peace. Again, in America we use all the same paper for every subject and class. However in Japan, you need a specific different notebook for each subject. How wide are the lines or squares, that type a thing. I also tell my boys even if it's half done, the notebook...let me know and we'll buy a spare NOW. Versus telling me at 7pm that you need a new notebook by the next day. Yes...my kids have done that to me too. And considering our town drugstore closes at 7:30pm, @_@ and the grocery store doesn't carry stuff like this. Again...it just saves me the potential heart attack, to buy them in advance. Also 1 more interesting thing. See the 2 notebooks to the right, they're identical right? Yes they are. Here's the thing. Noah's teacher is very specific in that he wants that type of notebook with those set lines. However the only store in our actual town that sells school supplies does not...let me repeat does NOT carry that notebook. There are 40 kids in Noah's class or somewhere around there. If you should need a replacement you would have to get in your car and drive to the nearest city and buy it. It's only 90 yen for the notebook. But...getting it and tracking it down is the hard part. We did over summer break track said notebook down and knowing how hard it is to find it...I told Noah put 2 of those babies in the cart! We're not even taking the chance of running out of this sucker! Hahaha. I am quite sure, these 2 notebooks on the right will last until winter break. But yes...you have to be *really* careful with the notebooks here. It's not like America, where you just buy notebook paper college ruled or not. And every so often...on the weekend, on Sunday I will often ask the boys...if anyone needs a new school notebook, I can drive you to the store and you can pop inside the drugstore and grab what you need. I do that every so often too. But yep, I think we're all set for now. 

The notebook that's hard to find has lines, the one that our town drugstore sells, only sells the one with cubes/squares. @_@  I am sure it's giving other mom's/parents a hard time too. Anyway...the boys are all ready to start school tomorrow September 1st. We have been waking up at 7am the past week, to hopefully get us ready for tomorrow. Time-wise. But, in all honesty, I think we're all going to be so dead tired tomorrow. I will have to start waking up at 5:30am from tomorrow. Make lunch for Bran tomorrow, he needs a lunch (Noah gets out early tomorrow). However, they both need lunch the next day and so on. And while I have been good about waking up every morning the past 7 days at 7am, I am so not nearly ready, to start waking up at 5:30am. : ( I think it will take a week for us all to get used to the school schedule. And to get back into the swing of things.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Waterpark Summer Family Fun...

Alrighty, we were trying once again to hit the waterpark! The last time, it was obon and the crowds of people were just too much, so we went to the beach instead last week. But we wanted to try for the waterpark one last time and so we made a plan to go exactly 1 week later. Wow what a difference a week makes! Last Thursday, when we went to Costco Chiba New Town during Obon it was so packed that you couldn't get your cart around. However, this time, exactly 7 days since last time we were there, it was just a typical weekday. It was dead, as in no people at all. And the rotisserie chickens were plentiful and not sold out, like they were a week earlier. This picture was taken Thursday August 20th and according to my date and time stamp, this picture was snapped at exactly 10:24am. 

Branden was wearing his school gym uniform because the entire school had cleaning at the JHS from 7:30-9am. And the rest of us were already dressed and ready and we had told Bran, we'd all be at the plaza to pick him up because, we would be hitting Costco immediately after picking him up to grab our picnic lunch stuff. So, after we quickly picked up B we drove to Costco and we were there right as they opened the store, we picked our 3 items, the mozzarella cheese was for a homemade pizza later in the week. Anyway, we 4 all had lunch at Costco. I think, you can see a small snippet of Noboru's hand on the bottom left of this pic. We all quickly ate and headed back to our quiet little town. 

Sorry this picture went sideways. The next morning, I woke up around 6:30am. And I popped the rotisserie chicken into the oven for about 30 minutes to heat it up and recrisp the skin. And then I took it out and sliced it up. And began making the sammys. 

Noah prefers American cheese slices on his sammich versus provolone. Bran meanwhile prefers provolone but he prefers no lettuce. And Noboru prefers dark meat, where as the rest of us prefer white breast meat. And I use provolone on mine and lettuce on mine and anyone is welcome to one of my sandwiches, in my family. : ) But, since I know everyone likes a difference variation, I try to make the way, everyone likes. And it's no trouble at all either...it's just a sandwich. : )

I made Noah 4, of his favorites (he has that smaller tummy tank, we all know hahaha). I made Bran 6 of his favorites and again they can always take one of mine too. And Bran did take one of mine too, which just makes me happy. He's growing and needs it! : )

The posts its, just made it easier to find out whose sandwich is whose. So anyway we pitched our tent and we 4 were just relaxing and talking about which pool we should head to first, when I see a Japanese man walking right towards our tent. Like a direct line, a B line right at us. And I'm just thinking...wow it looks as if, he's walking directly towards our family and our tent. @_@ When about 1 second later it hits me, duh! That's my brother in law, Jun! Nobody in my family sees him, just me and I smile and wave right after I realize, that it's not some random creepy weirdo, but our actual family member. And when I wave Noboru's head turns around as does the boys, wondering who in the heck am I waving at. And then they start smiling and waving too. His wife walks over with their 2 kiddos. My niece Mia is 1 year younger than Noah. And my nephew Koki, just turned 1 in April. My sister in law S, is telling us, "I noticed you guys right away first." Meaning before my brother in law, J did. And we were all laughing. It was a surprise running into them, but we love them! So it was so nice, being there when they were there too! What a coincidence. 

Our tent spot was right here. You can see that is indeed our inner tube thing right there. But can you see across the water, there is a lime green tent sorta towards the left hand side of this picture? That's where my bil and sil and niece and nephew were. You guys know we always pick this same spot every year at the waterpark. And they apparently favor this area too! That man holding the inner tube, was not my brother in law though. 

Anyway, there was Noboru and the boys just relaxing and spending a nice time in this babbling brook type area. 

I love this picture because Noah's just being a kid, not realizing, I snapped this picture. He was looking in the water with his goggles on. Was he wiggling his toes or looking closely at the rocks/stones below or.... : )

Smiles and time for us to just relax and enjoy what's left of our summer.

This was our extended family's tent and spot. : ) 

What, I like about my sister in law and her personality is...it's honestly a lot like mine. She's pretty laid back. But, at the same time she's very organized like I am. And would never forget to bring a chip clip for example. Or her sunscreen or anything really. In that respect her and I are pretty much exactly the same, we're both superly duperly organized and it is interesting that both the brothers married ladies like this. Can you see how, in this pic, she is using that scarf at the back for additional privacy? Very smart but look again, can you see how she packed clips to hold said scarf with? And further to add...she didn't just pick any random colored clip, like say neon pink or anything, but she packed the matching lime green clips to match her tent! You can see the clip on the left hand side of this picture! If you guys have been reading this blog for a long time, you'll probably be laughing because yes that's truly such a Gina thing to do. That's exactly how I'd do it. And apparently that's such an S thing to do too. They brought their cooler as you can see in this picture, and of course, she packed as detailed a lunch as I did. And yes they too, saw my detailed lunch too, complete with post its. Hahaha. And she even added that leisure sheet to the left of their tent and brought her Disneyland bag to carry things with. Which, I brought our Costco bags to carry our things with. So yes..besides the fact, I am western and American and she is Japanese, the 2 brothers picked very similar...both really organized ladies to marry. And that is actually sort of funny! Yet we're both 2 of the most laid back ladies, you'd ever meet too though. So, it's sorta funny, how 2 brothers gravitated towards both really similar personality-wise... types of ladies.

It was a hot day weather-wise but very gray overcast. Which made it nice that the direct sun wasn't beating us down too much. 

The wave pool...

Hi family...

Hugs for both...
I was coming around the corner and coming to the sides to drop off my camera in a wrapped up towel before hitting the wave pool myself.

One last pic. Before I go in the wave pool and enjoy myself too. I see Noah has spotted me. 

Noah enjoying an ice cream. Branden enjoyed an ice cream too. 

My sister in law S, in her black swimsuit, starting to pack things up. 

And you can barely see, in this picture but there is a man in a white tee shirt, sitting on a rock in the left hand side of this picture and that's my brother in law J. They both took turns getting dressed and watching their kiddos. They swung by our tent before leaving and we talked a bit more and then we waved them good bye. It was really nice seeing them. We stayed about 40 minutes longer than they did and then we too, decided it was best to get packed up and head home. 

Noah floating around in one of our inner tubes. : )  Our family went home and we all took turns showering and then we went out to dinner. We were debating between Coco Ichiban curry or our favorite ramen place. Hmm, decisions decisions. : ) 

We went for ramen. I had my usual, tantanmen. It's so delicious always. Friday, August 21st was another wonderful summer day, this time spent at the waterpark, with a nice picnic lunch. Running into uncle Jun and the fam, was such a nice surprise. And then to ramen afterwards. An awesome fun summer day! : )