Wednesday, April 30, 2008

American Idol....Dolly Week!!! : )

Okay so the special guest this week for us in Japan, was Dolly Parton (yes we are a few weeks behind you in the US : ). Now, I am not very familiar with Dolly Parton songs at all, so forgive me this week.: ) However, I do like Dolly, I think she's well known for being a sweet kind lady who grew up quite poor, but "made it"....hmm, I like hearing stories like that. : ) The only songs, I'm really familiar with of hers is, Islands in the Stream and 9 to 5 and the "I will always love you". Ha ha ha : ) I also liked her in the movie "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" OMG, that was the name of the movie right? I certainly hope so, because, I felt almost guilty typing that one out, lol. (wink) ; )

Alrighty, first up was Brooke White, the song she sang was Jolene. Randy said it was alright and Simon said it was lacking emotion. What did I think? I wasn't really sure, I was unfamiliar with the song completely, so I had nothing to compare it to. But I wasn't exactly wowed though and I do like Brooke. I think like Simon said, it was sorta lacking emotion a bit. Sorry Brooke, gomen ne~: )

2nd was David Cook, his song choice tonight was Little Sparrow. Simon said, "I'm not going to say it was as good as last weeks, because it wasn't" Yikes! : ) I thought he did a decent job actually.

3rd was Ramiele, her song choice tonight was, "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind", Randy said, 'I wasn't jumping up and down" and then he added "I'd say 6 out of 10" Simon said and this is a sorta semi painful one he threw at her, lol,..."we're not going to remember this in 10 years time" All I can say about that comment from Simon is...Yeouch!!! : )

4th up was Jason Castro, the song he chose tonight was "Travelin' Thru", I have to say that I really loved his performance with this song and again I totally didn't even know this song, but it really suited him" Yeah I thought he did fantastic. Randy was so so on his performance. Paula said she thought it was one of his strongest performances. And Simon said "I don't think you sounded very well"

Carly Smithson, I actually knew the song she was singing yay, ha ha ha and I thought she did a fantastic job with it. Her song choice tonight was "Here You Come Again",Randy loved it and said "I do believe that will be one of the best performances of the night" And Simon said " I thought it was good, didn't think it was great" Then he added and get ready for this one. "I also think you ought to have a word with whoever is dressing you"

6th was David Archuleta, he sang "Smokey Mountain Memories" What did Randy think? He said "David Archuleta is back and I stand corrected that was the best performance of the night" And Simon said "You know I had issues with the song last week, but this week was on the money" I agree, his performance was amazing!!! And I didn't even know the gosh darned tootin' song, lol! But yeah his performance tonight was down right amazing! : )

7th was Kristy Lee Cook. Her song tonight was "Coat of Many Colors" I was semi familiar with this song (think I heard it maybe once or twice) and as she sung the song tonight, I really got the chance to listen to the words of the song, really sad. : ( I actually really enjoyed Kristy's performance, I think we all know she's geared more as a country type singer anyway, so this was her week to shine. What did the judges think? Paula said she looked stunning. And Simon said, "I thought this was pleasant but forgettable" : (

8th was Syesha, Her song choice tonight was "I will always love you" Although this is a Dolly song, I worried she would be compared to Whitney and her version of this. The version Syesha did, first half of the song was the Dolly version, but the last half was the Whitney version. What did Simon think? Simon said, "it was a good, but not a fantastic version of the song"

Last but not least went Michael Johns, sorry I can't give you the title of the song, again I'm just not so familiar with the Dolly Parton songs at all. : ( However, I can say, I really loved his performance tonight and he did a great vocal. What did the judges have to say? Well, Randy said "that was a blazing hot performance" And Simon said "I think that is the best I heard you sing"

Sunday night cuts: Who left?

Ramiele left tonight : (

My favorites as of this moment?
David Archuleta
David Cook
Jason Castro

For the girls...
Carly Smithson

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Update shmupdate!!! : ) (Saturday-Wednesday morning, lol)

Thank god for weekends, that's all I have to say! Ha ha ha! So, anyway Saturday was here and omg! We all slept in, until a little after 9:00 am. And since I now wake up at 5:30 am on the weekdays, a bit after 9am, felt like a total dream!: ) So, after we all got a good rest, we all woke up, I was sorta thinking/wanting, bakery goods this morning. So, I left the hubby and the kids at home real quick and I made a quick run to the bakery and picked up some fresh yummy nummy's, lol!!! Melon pans, choco croissants, cream horns, sorta like cream pans but in a different shape. And some almond breads. At home, we all lazed around, kids munched on quite a few of these with some milk. And Noboru and I lazed around munching these with some coffee. Kids went outside and played in the backyard the whole morning and afternoon until it was time for lunch. But mostly they hung out in the backyard playing like crazy maniacs, he he he. Just having fun is all. : ) They slid, they swung, they cart wheeled, they got tuckered out! What did the hubby do? He relaxed and also played with the boys. I did a load of laundry, vacuumed, but other then that, I relaxed on the couch. Ahhh, what a nice way to spend the weekend. : )

For Saturday's dinner, I made some tacos. Both beef and chicken.

Three chicken tacos here. But, I came back for another. Ha ha ha. We all enjoyed supper, then we all showered quickly and got ready for American Idol! Not too exciting I know, but a lovely relaxing Saturday! : )

Sunday, a whole bunch of Branden's friends from elementary school came over to play in the backyard. And then after an hour of playing, they'd all go hop on their bikes, Branden too, and they'd all go riding through the neighborhood and then after 30 minutes, they'd all come back and play in the backyard again. And then after another hour, they'd all go back and hop on their bikes and go riding again. Look at all those different types of blue bikes in the front of our house! Good to have friends though, so I don't mind! : )

Sunday, I didn't have a single thing to do, not even a load of laundry. So, I rested all morning long and watched TV. But in the afternoon, while the boys (all the owners of those bikes in the last pic, lol, plus B), while all the boys played in the backyard, I decided to bake some yeasty dinner rolls myself. I had never made them before, I opened my favorite cookbook for Southern cooking and found a fantastic recipe for dinner rolls and I made them. They were surprisingly easy to make. Hmm. : )

It said to put them in muffin tins. They came out great this way. Next time I might try laying them on a flat baking sheet though, just to try it that way. : )

These made 2 dozen and would you believe they were all gone by the end of the night? : )

Yumm! And do you notice one is missing? Noah ran off with that one, ha ha ha! : )

All done! : )

Oven roasted potatoes and carrots. : )

Pork roast! : )

Not fancy at all. But not so shabby for a Sunday nights dinner! Pork roast, roasted potatoes, carrots, broccoli, rice and some homemade dinner rolls. At 5pm, Branden knows he has to be inside/come home when the music in our area starts to play. He came in, washed up and we all sat down to Sunday nights supper! : )

On Monday Branden had school. However on Tuesday (which was when this picture was taken) he had off/no school. This week is Golden Week in Japan, and he was off Tuesday and then Next Monday and Tuesday he is also off. Don't quote me on those days though, I could be a bit off on the days. : ) Anyways, so Tuesday we hit Chiba New Town. First we hit the outlet mall, which is called Big Hop. In case any of you are wondering the size of this outlet, (hmmm thinking of a good example) this outlet mall is larger then the outlet mall in Makuhari, it's really big here!!! Hope this is helpful info at least.

We primarily went to the outlet mall just for lunch. Ha ha ha. Noboru and Noah had Ringer Hut. And Branden and I had Subway! OMG, the mall was so crowded due to it being Golden Week, and the traffic was horrible. Made us thankful we don't live in a more congested area like we were in on Tuesday. I had a veggie and cheese sandwich. We also ordered some fries from another place in the food court. And oh yeah! Finding a seat to actually eat, was insane. We walked around and around for about 20 minutes before we could get a table/place to eat!! It was nuts! Ha ha ha! : )

We couldn't even get 4 seats facing each other! Again that's how terribly crowded it was! We all had to face a plexiglass thing and people ate on the other side too. Sheesh! But again, we were just lucky we even found a seat at all. And while we ate, we saw people all walking looking for seats too. Sigh.

When Noboru got there, Branden went to my left, and Noboru ate near Noah, since they ate the same thing and B and I got to chat while eating our sandwiches and people watch a bit, it's always interesting to see all the different sorts at a mall.

At the outlet mall, we saw a pair of shoes we liked for Branden, but they didn't have his size so we didn't buy anything at the outlet mall at all. However, our task for today??? Buy Branden 1 or 2 pairs of shoes. He needs a nice proper pair because with a 50 minute walk to school and the 50 minute walk back, he really needs a nice pair, something comfortable and supportive for his foot. Plus the sports is getting a bit more sporty now he's in elementary and again a good pair of shoes were in total need! So, we left the outlet, as I said. And we stopped at an ABC free standing shop. Nope, they didn't have anything we liked except 1 pair but again they didn't have his size. From there we hit the Sports Depot (wait a minute, I think they call it, Depo...sorry) Anyway, at the Sports Depo, we liked these red, white and blue Adidas. And the price was killer! 51% off??? However, as luck would have it, we needed a 20 cm. And they had a 19cm, no way that's too small! They had a 21, and a 22. Nothing more! I suggested we go someplace else. Noboru agreed, however, he said, he wanted to buy Branden the next size up of these. Meaning the 21cm. He said, the price was too good, the savings was too much and he added, he will eventually fit them. So, he said we can hide them in the shoe closet until next fall or winter. I agreed. So, Noboru bought him these. However we still needed to find a 20cm.

So after the Sports Depo. We went to the Aeon/Jusco in the Chiba Newtown. And we went to the ABC shoe store there, they didn't have anything. So, we decided to go back to Sports Depo. LOL, that ever happen to anyone reading this? Return to a store you were just before at? Ha ha ha! However before returning back to Sports Depo, we let the kids play some games. And then after that, we hit the Gap, just got a teeny tiny amount of things. Maybe 3 things only? And then we went back to the shoe store. Btw, the traffic was so horrible it took us nearly 30 minutes to drive back to Sports Depo! Good thing we still had our sense of humor though, lol! : )

We ended up getting Branden 2 pairs of size 20cm sneakers. And I sorta felt badly for Noah. He always seems to get the hand me down sneakers. So, I told Noboru, we should buy Noah a pair of his own. Boy was he happy!!! : ) However, I always have to have them wear the shoes in the store (typical mom stuff), I take a good look, #1, is there a pinch of room to grow? #2,yet at the same time, it's not too big, that it flops off the back, is it? So, here was Noah, I had him pull up his pants, so I could look for slippage in the back. No slippage at all. These were perfect!

Look at that happy smiling face, knowing he too got a new pair of shoes yesterday! Man was he pleased as punch!!! That gave me the biggest tickle! Yes, sometimes it sucks being the youngest and sometimes, I gotta remember to do special things for him like this, once in a while. But man...that smile, was worth it! : )

After the shoe stuff was finished, we started heading home, on our way home though, we stopped off at Saizeriya for dinner! A nice hot cappuccino to start with for me! : )

Saizeriya may be well known for being affordable Italian food, but really good though. Thing I always like is the wall and ceiling murals, like the ones in this picture. : )

Pizza's, pasta dishes. Just a whole lot of food! : )

A hungry family, digging right in there! : )

Nice to get the much needed shoes out of the way! He just honestly *really* needed them with all the walking, he does everyday, poor Branden! : )

Again not much from Gap. Nothing to really sing home about, lol! Just 1 pair of swim wear for Noah, in orange of course! LOL. Wanted some for Branden but the colors for the older boys were, umm, not so good. : ( And we got Branden 2 hats, again with all that walking, under the sun and such, he really needs a nice hat to shield him from the direct sun at very least, poor kid! So hopefully these will help! We got them in 2 nice happy colors too. : ) Again though, not so much! But we're happy what we got! : )

Shoes...this is what B got. 1 pair of Nike trainers in 20cm, Noboru insisted on these because he said they are good walking or running shoes, back and forth to school. I agreed. And we also got him the bright blue with yellow swoosh, in size 20cm too. This way he can have 2 pairs of sneakers to choose between every morning. And the ones on the far right are the 21cm Adidas that are now hiding in the shoe closet, until next fall or winter. I'm just relieved he now has some good comfy shoes to wear for that horribly long walk to school and back. Phew! : )

And not much for the little Noah Noah : ), he got an identical pair of Nike cortez that his brother has, and that's it, he doesn't have a far walk, so the 1 pair was plenty and they're a size 16cm. : )

Wednesday morning!!! Branden this morning heading off to school, geeze he has one heck of a walk this morning! Hopefully his feet with be nice and comfy for that super long walk though! Have a good day at school today Branden, we love you sweetie!!! : ) And be sure to listen to your teacher, as always! He he he! : ) He will, he's a good kid! : )

Guess who followed him to school this morning? Noboru did! Ha ha ha! Don't tell Branden, okay? Wink! Heck, he worries just as much as I do! : )
Today's plan? Go grocery shopoing and then this evening, I have to take B to his swim class. Anyway, I better motor. Catch you all a bit later! : )
PS, TV Talk: Ugly Betty! It just started here in Japan this past saturday. How did I like it??? I **Loved** it! She's so funny, the show is written oh so well and smart! Had me cracking up so loudly and laughing so freaking hard, I couldn't help it! It's hilarious! Also...
Dexter, second season, is getting so good, had me at the edge of my seat. OMG! Second season is actually better then the first season and that says a lot because the first season was awesome!
Desperate Housewives! this show so much!!! I started watching this when it started here about a month or so ago. I love all the characters. At first I thought maybe the Bree character might be sorta like a stepford, but she's not, I was wrong. She's actualy really got a lot of heart and I am liking her more as I watch the show. Sopranos, have been watching this a lot and I really enjoy it! Speaking of Stepford Wives, anyone catch the new version with Nicole Kidman and Bette Midler, Glenn Close, on sattelite lately? It's been playing, I caught it twice already! LOL. Okay, I gotta run! My American idol update is coming tomorrow, but you know it'll be a good/funny one, I promise, later you guys! : )

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday spent at Disney Sea!!! : )

Well, we had it planned for quite some time now! We had been itching to go to Disney Sea! We chose a day in March, but according to the Disney website that was noted as a very busy, high traffic day. So it was put off until April. We waited and waited and this was the best day that fit our schedule and also was listed on the website as a "not so crowded type day" at Disney Sea. With Noboru off work. We let Branden take a day off school today (now he's in first grade we will try not to do this very often). We did that only because we checked his schedule and it was a day where he wasn't going to miss anything. We would have not ever let him miss, if it was an important day or a day he couldn't make up. We informed the teacher that we had to head to the US Embassy (*cough cough* err okay that was a lie) but better to say then saying, 'we're taking a family day today and heading to Disney Sea", she might not take that so well, ha ha ha. So anyway, we did just that! We got up as if we were heading to school. Except we all left the house and headed to Disney Sea instead! We were there first thing in the morning. It rained as we were driving to Disney from the Narita area. However as we got closer to Disney Sea it wasn't actually raining in that area at all. However we brought raincoats, rainboots, umbrella, rain cover for our stroller, sheesh we even brought the kids' down filled winter coats but left them in the car, basically we were ready for anything. We also brought a spare set of clothes for each of the boys! Anyway, as we walked in, there was a show going on, we walked up and luckily caught a spot right in the front! Hence my pics of Donald and stuff are so clear, and no other people standing in front of my camera or in the way at all. Ha ha ha. It was the Spring Festival, show! It was really cool! : )

This Daisy really knows how to get down and boogie! Ha ha ha! : )

Daisy giving Donald a smoocheroo!!! Yup she planted a wet one on him! Awwww! or, as they say in Japan, chu! : )

The Italian Sea port area...ahhh so gorgeous! We've been to Disney Sea quite a few times and also blogged about both Disney's quite a few times, but it always seems to take my breath away! : )

Noah watching the Spring Carnival, with Pluto, Daisy, Donald, Goofy, Marie, Mickey and Minnie, etc! He loved it, so did Branden! : )

How Mickey ended up on the boat, ....I chalk it up to magic! Yup that ol' Disney magic, alrighty! Ha ha ha! Wink ; ) He was just dancing right in front of us and like...poof, next thing we know, he was gone from there and ended up on a boat! Fantastic show though! And the music was great, I always pay attention to the music! LOL! : )

Ahh Marie, she is one cute little cat, isn't she though? She could dance so well! And she also licked her paws on and off! Ha ha ha! : )

First ride of the morning! The Tower of Terror! *Please insert scary music right now*...dun dun dun!!!!!!!! Umm, joking aside, I think last time we hit Disney Sea, I mentioned that I went on the Tower Of terror and I didn't know it was like a free fall thing! And I actually hate free falls of any kind! Hence you'd never see, me sky diving anytime soon. Or, go bungee jumping anytime soon either! It's no surprise I absolutely hated Tower of Terror! And I vowed to never ride that ride...not ever ever ever! So, today when we got to Disney Sea, my smart husband, asked me once and the look on my face pretty much summed up a big fat "no I don't!!!" ha ha ha. He took Branden and I patiently waited with Noah and let them go! Sorry, you guys, I'm really not lame, I swear! I love all rides, the upside down roller coaster. the log rides, I love Splash Mountain, Jurassic park, anything!!! But free fall rides??? No thanks! Ha ha ha : )

The Tower of Terror! Good name, because I would definitely be in terror, if I had to ride this! Ha ha ha : )

Thought this picture might interesting for you not in Japan. These are just some Japanese school girls! : ) Perhaps they were on a school field trip! : )

Noboru and Branden exiting the Tower of Terror! Dun, dun dun! LOL! : )

Noah recognized them right away and ran to B and walked him back to where I was sitting! : )

Lunch at the NY deli! Yum! After Branden had his lunch he had a raspberry mousse and the cup he got to keep! : ) He split his mousse with Noah though! : )

Noboru had a reuben sandwich and fries! I had the turkey sandwich and fries. And the boys shared a turkey sandwich and a large fry of their own plus the mousse and while walking the boys also shared a NY hot dog outside at the street vendor near the NY deli, someplace! Good lunch! We also had Mc D's breakfast combos along the way, that morning that we ate in the car while driving to Tokyo Disney Sea! And popcorn all day long from different stands. We had caramel, sea salt and strawberry! : )

This is what my lunch looked like! So good, and I know I said it before but.....I love the food at Disney Sea actually better then at Disneyland! : )

Noah's 2 still, won't be 3 until July. But he's already at the age where he can ride all sorts of the Disney Sea rides! He really enjoyed Disney Sea this time! Today he got to ride the Aqua water ride! Last time, he didn't want on it and he just watched, which meant Noboru and I had to take turns going with Branden. However this time, all 4 of us got to ride! Nobody had to sit and wait, so yeah, it was really cool going to Disney Sea this time around now that Noah's growing a bit older! : ) A very blurry picture of Noah and Noboru riding the ride, but since this was Noah's first time, I just wanted to capture it, even a blurry one. : )

The website was right, it was so dead at Disney Sea today and we loved it! We rode every ride at least twice! We rode the water ride, 3 times for example! The Indiana Jone's ride we rode, about 7 or 8 times, I swear! Yeah we rode so many rides today! It didn't rain all day. Maybe a tiny mist once but that lasted only a few minutes. We made our way to the middle eastern port and we had some of the best coconut ice cream on the face of the planet! I know I mentioned it before, but I have to mention it again. And seriously if you guys ever head to Disney Sea, please try this coconut ice cream! It's the best ever! Coconut soft serve, omg! It's heaven!

We each had our own ice cream cone, this stuff is too good to share, ha ha ha! : )

Two boys enjoying their coconut ice cream! I know, I enjoyed mine! Ha ha ha!

I am so glad Branden got to take this picture with Mickey Mouse! Yay! : )

Branden and I rode this about 5 times. And he rode this with Noboru about 2 times! This and the Indiana Jone's ride are my 2 favorite rides at Disney Sea! : )

Noah riding in the submarine! : )

Exiting a ride, about to go and ride another one! : )

Noah riding a ride in the mermaid lagoon area! He rode so many rides this time! He also rode the kids roller coaster. You have to be age 3 to ride, but he's on the tall side, so we just said he was 3 and he got on no problem! He loved it so much, he rode twice! : )

A blurry Branden on the same ride, I just snapped a pic of Noah on! I rode with B! And Noboru rode with Noah! : )

See this green wrist band here?

See the # 117? To ride the big kid rides! You have to be at least 117cm. And they measure everyone that's a kid. And yes, if you got this green wrist band, it means you are at least 117cm. And since B is past 117cm, he gets to ride, the cool rides like, "the journey to the center of the earth ride" and "the Indiana Jone's ride", etc.

Branden kidding around doing an Ultraman pose! Meanwhile little brother looks at big brother and wants to do *exactly* what he's doing!

And here it is! 2 of their best Ultraman poses! "Meeep, swatcha!".....sorry about the Ultraman noises, lol! : )
For dinner we went to an Indian curry, "all you can eat" buffet! We usually eat at a curry restaurant for dinner but we never saw the buffet before, so we asked how long it's been there. Yes it is new, and according to the woman working there, the other side they decided to turn into an Indian buffet and yes, it's only been open since this month! So it is new! I took a pic for you to see the prices, if interested. 2,300 for adults. Branden's 6 years old so he was only 1,000 yen and Noah was free! Woohoo! If you see the pic, it says they have 7 kinds of curry, salad, rice, tandoori chicken, they had it all basically! And endless amounts of those tasty naan too! : )

Here is a picture of my first serving! I had fried shrimp, those were so good! I had rice, and in my curry bowl, I chose a very spicy chicken curry. Man it was hot! Ha ha ha! The tandoori chicken, was mostly white meat and very lean! Unlimited amounts of naans! I love Indian food, so I was in heaven! I tell ya! In my opinion, the food really is way better at Disney Sea! Damn good actually! We stood here for a very long time and ate ourselves silly! Sorry, just being honest! : ) Ha ha ha! : )

Branden loves Indian food too, and he really ate well! Also, I want to add, the buffet is extremely well stocked. No old cold food! They kept bringing out new stuff, the food was fresh and delicious! They had this great/yummy salad with a yogurt dressing! My gosh, this place was just fantastic!

Noah had meatball curry one time and another curry his second serving. He had naan, tandoori, and the whole bit! : )

Noboru, had these 3 different curries, he had green curry. Keema (sp?) curry, and another curry. Noboru had about 4 servings of food? Man, he was so stuffed!

My second serving! I had more tandoori chicken, naan, rice, and some salad with yogurt dressing!

I started making naan tandoori, wraps, and I topped them off with the yogurt salad! See, how I was making one on my plate in this pic? Ha ha ha! : )

What a good wrap! I tell time I head to Disney Sea, I will *totally* be hitting this curry buffet for dinner! : )

For dessert, we had coconut strawberry cake, and hot coffees! And tapioca pudding and I think they also had mango pudding too! Oh man! Truly the best buffet of Disney Sea! We will be coming back here this summer some time! Yay! : )

Thirty minutes before we left the park, is when it started to rain. We just threw on our raincoats, with our stuffed tummy's, we felt, happy and didn't care about the rain! We had already ridden every single ride in the entire park, quite a few times! And we were now just watching the night time show, before we left and headed home! It was a good show! : )

Beautiful way to end our time at Disney Sea! The show rocked! : )

What we brought back from Disney Sea? I'm afraid to say...not a whole heck of a lot! : ) Ha ha ha, but that's okay! With rainy season coming up! We bought Branden a rain poncho, we figured he might like to wear it to elementary school, he can alternate with the one he already has. And since it's a pancho it will fit his big Japanese backpack too. : ) We bought Noah a rain poncho in size 110cm (he needed a 100cm). And this is weird but they sell raincoats in size 90cm and then jump to 110cm. What the heck? Nope, they do not make a 100cm ones! And Noah already inherited the same one in 90cm from Branden, he has it now. So, we just got him the 110cm instead. Grumble grumble, wish they sold 100cm raincoats. Hmm! : ) And I also got a red medium sized rain poncho for me. Noboru bought me a medium blue one last time. But, I wanted a red one this time around. This way when I drive B to and from school in the rainy season, I'll at least have a red raincoat! Ahh well, nothing too exciting, I suppose, but we went to Disney Sea and we had a fantatsic time! : )