Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bits from the week and so happy, Friday's here!!!! : )

Tuesday! On Tuesday, the day was gorgeous and too nice to be indoors, so Noah went out in the fenced in and locked backyard and he played up a storm! However when B is at school, he doesn't have anyone to play with! Did that stop Noah? Nope, it sure didn't! Ha ha ha! Remember Castaway with Tom Hanks and his friend the ball, ummm Wilson, right? LOL! Well, that's oddly what Noah did. I was in the house vacuuming the downstairs when I looked out the big patio window and there I saw Noah and his Mr. basketball friend, swinging together on
the swings! At first, I was like....what???? And then it caught my attention and I sat and watched through the window. he had no idea I was watching this and taking pics of this! Boy is he going to be embarrassed when he's older, lol! : ) See? This is Noah swinging with his, umm friend! : )

I wish I woulda got a better picture of this, but as you can see Noah's arms are up and he's gesturing, yup he was in deep conversation with his ball friend! Fwiw, I never had an imaginary friend, never talked to any inanimate object like that before, not even as a child, so I was just bewildered and kept watching. And yes, I know it's normal many kids do this, but B never did, so yeah it was funny to watch! : )

Would you like me to give you a push? Noah reached out to Mr. Ball and.....

And gave him a mighty fine push! Ha ha ha! : )

Branden came home, did his homework quickly Tuesday. And he played from 3:30 pm until the music in our area played at 5pm and it was time for him to come home! We had supper and then for dessert we all had shaved ice! : ) I think I just needed to relax and truly unwind this week, because honestly, I was just mentally fried after taking my drivers thing! So yeah, a nice quiet week was right in order for us! : )

On Wednesday, the hubster was off work! : ) So he stayed home with Noah. Meanwhile I went to the elementary school at 10am and stayed for the whole day! I had lunch with my son. All the parents for the ichinensei showed up, not one was without a parent there for them, everyone brought either a mom, dad, or grandma. : ) Branden was otoban (sp?) that day so he got to serve the food with a few of his friends. Hence the hat! LOL. : )

This is what the kids had for lunch and us too! : ) See the Ultraman cloth that B uses on the right? Ha ha ha.

It's true, I may not be Japanese. I may speak Japanese great some days and some days I can't seem to speak well in Japanese for the life of me, however, I am always there for my son no matter what! I will always show up for whatever is going on at school! I will always do my part (like me and those crazy PTA signs) and he knows that! : ) Today us mom's jumped jump ropes. I love to jump rope. I can also double dutch too! Ha ha ha! : ) Most moms could jump rope fine, but a few just couldn't. And it was cool, it was funny! We all had fun, we were laughing so hard! One mom told another mom, as we were jumping, "what happened to you Mrs, so and so?" She said it just joking about and the mom who was having trouble with the jump rope meanwhile playfully whacked the other mom, it was all in fun! All kids were laughing, it was honestly hilarious! After the jump roping with our kids and the lunch, we all left our kids and went to an extremely boring meeting. Like so boring it nearly put me to sleep type meeting! Ha ha ha. Also you know, for us, Wednesdays mean swimming for our household. So after ichinensei. Branden and I drove home together and we had about 40 minutes to relax before the C swim course started. I fixed Branden a sandwich. Chit chatted with Noah. Noboru meanwhile got things ready for the upcoming BBQ we would be having Wednesday evening. Noboru chopped up the meats, marinated them. Put the potatoes in the BBQ, while we were at swim school, he did it all! What an awesome hubby I have! : ) Then I went to swimming school with both the boys. And I sat and chatted with my friends! My girlfriend Elena, I've mentioned her before. Anyway, she asked me if I passed to get my license, we sat and I told her all my funny silly stories about the license stuff. I told her how nervous I was and we were laughing so hard about it all! Her daughter is in the B course but she stayed 30 minutes to chat with me. She stayed until 5pm. We exchanged cell #'s finally after chatting for a year, on a weekly basis, we finally exchanged numbers. At 5:30 pm, we left the swim school and around 5:45 pm after he got dressed and stuff, we left and headed home! : )

So Wednesday evening, as I am pulling in and parking my car with both my boys. The "boy next doors" mom and grandma walk out towards my Mazda MPV. I greeted them and "konbanwa-ed" them! LOL. And they said, "this is for you, it's tempura, we are having tempura tonight and wanted to give you some" I said...really?/in Japanese of course though. I said, that is really nice and wow it smells so delicious! Thank you, thank you very much! And I bowed and waved and we went into the house! Wow, what awesome neighbors! I think they did that because I gave them some cake the other week, remember? Ha ha ha. I'm so glad I get along with my neighbors so well! And the people from school or swim school. Heck, actually I am so glad I get along with mostly everybody, ha ha ha. : ) It makes life so fun! : )

Wrapped in a paper towel, this is what the neighbors gave us! Some of the most tastiest and crunchiest sweet potatoes and pumpkin tempura! I went out in the backyard eating one and the kids each had 1 and ate it too. The neighbor lady was out in her backyard glanced over and sure enough we were munching! I told her how delicious and thanked her again! She waved and said she was happy! Very cool! : )

Noboru overseeing the BBQ. : ) I see sweet potatoes and regular potatoes on the grill besides all that chicken. Other meats went on last. : )

After swimming, they played and played in the backyard and waited for dinner to be done! : )

Noah sliding down with his (as usual) 1 handed BBQ glove! LOL. : )

Check out my zucchini's! Man are they huge now or what? I shoulda shown a pic of how bushy it is and stuff! Shucks! But can you see 3 tiny zucchini already? I'd say in 2 weeks, I will be preparing our first of our zucchini of the season! Yippy! : )

Chicken, bell pepper, mushrooms, pork and beef! We also had sweet potatoes and regular potatoes. : )

My meal! Chicken, marinated peppers and mushrooms and a nice buttery baked potato. Sauce for dipping my meats in. A nice meal to end a busy Wednesday! : )

Kids eating a hearty dinner! Branden had 2 baked potatoes on top of everything else. Noah had a monster sized whole big sweet potato on top of everything else as well! : )

The hubster eating, he also had grilled fish that are pictured near him. It was a nice relaxing dinner! We told Noboru all about our day at the school. The jump rope, the lunch we had. And the boring (a total snoozer) meeting us parents had. Branden talked about swimming and how he gets to see/visit with his friends from yochien at swim club again! He loves that! I told Noboru about Elena and that we exchanged numbers. And then we talked about how blessed we are that our neighbors are so nice! We all agreed and then it was time for shower and bath time! Noboru showered with Branden and I showered with Noah! Noah and I played games in the tub as usual. We made pretend curry, with our bath toys and such! And then we came out, jammies on for everyone. And Noah fell asleep, he had a long fun day. Branden actually fell asleep right around when Noah did. Noboru and I meanwhile, had some chips and dip and watched TV. I think my eyes starting feeling sleepy about 10:50 pm. : )

Thursday, just a day like no other! School for Branden in the day. He walked to school and of course I always pick him up in the afternoons. He went straight to Kumon, he got there at 3:00pm, I told him if he could get all his Kumon finished by 4pm, he could play for an hour, until the music plays and he has to come in. Sure enough he phones me at home at 4:06pm. He said I am all done, do I have time to play? I said sure thing! And I picked him up and he got nearly an hour to play before he came in and we had supper! After supper the boys and I went to Mini Stop and got some ice creams. Sometimes little surprise snacks/treats like this are good! : ) Branden picked the chocolate one and I picked the cheesecake ice cream one. Noah and I shared. We sat in the living room enjoying our ice creams while the tub filled up! This week has just been super quiet and spent close to home. : )

*In other news: I phoned my hair salon and made a hair appointment for myself for this Sunday! Going in for a cut and a color. You know Katie Holmes, straight sleek bob? Well, I am getting that. No, not getting a posh/Victoria "hair do" at all, hers is just way too short in the back for my liking, can almost see her scalp near the nape of her neck, which is not for me at all. Anyway, I like Katie Holmes classy and feminine bob. I think I want mine to be a pinch longer then Katie's though. But yeah that's what I will be having done this Sunday at noon! : ) A nice straight sleek bob, yay! And my hair right now is *so* long, like mid of my bra hooks type length, is it's going to be a night and day look for me, meaning very different but I can't wait! : )
*Friday, at 10am was my meeting, and I just came back from that now! I had a parent teacher conference with Branden's Kumon teacher! As you know Branden has been taking 2 subjects since last year. Noah and I went to meet her this morning, while Noboru is at work. : ) She speaks to me 70% in English and 30% Japanese. And I speak to her in a hodgepodge of English and Japanese too. So, yes, we had the most interesting conference this morning, ha ha ha. She's nice though and she understands that the stuff I don't know, I say to her in English. Anyways. She said for his Japanese, he is right at the same level as any other Japanese in Japan who is an ichinensei/first grader! So, I was happy and extremely relieved to hear that he is indeed spot on regarding that! Thank god we started him when he was a last year student of yochien. And he has also been taking English reading and writing at Kumon as well for the past year. I seldom discuss his taking English. Not quite sure why, I most certainly have nothing to be ashamed about. Branden is English dominant, he is a native speaker of English, has no unusual accent or anything. And I do read books in English with him (both of them), always have and always will. It's a part of our bedtime ritual that we always look forward to. And you all know, I was indeed an elementary school teacher in Denver. Also, when B was in yochien, I privately completed 2 English preschool and 2 English kindergarten workbooks with him. His reading is good. But last year when I started him on Kumon, for some reason I started thinking.... how if we lived in America. He'd be learning how to read and write at school, in first grade, no big deal, nobody would raise an eyebrow at that. Okay obviously it's learned at home as well, but it is also learned and taught in schools in the US. So, if my kid would be doing writing exercises for example *at school* in the US in first grade, why can't he get that same sorta thing from here in Japan? Why not? What can it hurt? It can't. It can only be to his benefit. So, a year ago when we signed him up for Japanese, we also signed him up for reading and writing English. Obviously he would never need conversation lessons. And as I always say, what works in one family might not work in another. But for us, by B taking English at Kumon, his writing and reading has grown so much! Probably gotten better 100 times over! Every week, he has to learn to read and spell about 8-10 new words. And read a whole lesson which is about 7 pages and he has an English test on this stuff twice a week! So by the end of the year his spelling is awesome! I can go to my son and say...spell "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday" and he can surely spell that, no problem because those were on his spelling *tests* he had last month. When he studies his Kumon the English part, he reads full sentences, "What day do you go swimming? I go swimming on Tuesdays and Fridays" Yes he can read those 2 sentences and he can also write those 2 sentences to you, if you'd like. So yeah, while I rarely talk about how well he reads and writes in English, he really does. So anyway, the teacher just said Branden was right up to snufff with regards to his Japanese. He's completely at first grade level, so he's not behind, but right on schedule with that. And this is the part that shocked me, she said, he is "3 study books away from being junior high level in English". Of course that is junior high level *in Japan*, not America, but yeah, I was still pretty proud, he is that far advanced with regard to his reading and spelling in English! And I like that he studies his English reading and writing with me every week, but he also studies with that Kumon lady every week and she tests him, twice a week. So, on days when I am busy or things get crazy hectic around here, he still has that English reading and writing and test outlet, no matter what, every week! It's always there. Of course we still read books right before bed time for fun. But yeah, I am quite proud of my son today! : ) And personally for me, like I said, *she said*, he was that advanced for Japan standards in English, I didn't. But for me being a native English speaker and having teaching experience in America, I would say my son is at a native English, reading and writing level 1st or *maybe* 2nd grade level. I would say certainly *not* anywhere near a junior high level by any means like the Kumon lady said (or 3 books away even), and we all know that (I took that as total hoopla and thought the levels must be really way off, because he isn't anywhere near that, and I know that). But again, in Japan the levels are different. But either way, Branden's English reading and writing is *pretty darned good* and that makes me proud regardless of the level. As long as he reads at a native Japanese ichinensei level in Japan and writes accordingly, then I am pleased. And likewise, as long as he can also read and write in English as a native English speaker and with reading and writing, at the level of any old average American 1st grader, then I am content both ways! Anyways, yeah she had good stuff to say regarding both the subjects he's taking, so it is all good! No worries with that, phew! : )
* Saturday, tomorrow, we have a small undokai, not like the big undokai we will have in the fall. This will be a short under 2 hour long one. And it will be indoors, so no melting or dying of heat exhaustion for us, ha ha ha! : )
*And then of course Sunday, is my hair appointment. Anyways these are a few things that have been going on in our house lately! : )
* Also, a few of you knew my dad had his condo on the market for the past 6 months. After 2 years of living on Guam, he got sick to death of it. So, he signed the papers and finalized the sale last week, (yet he won't be leaving his place until the agreed upon date, which is on the 2nd week of July, he's already told the phone company to stop service on such and such date, and electric company, etc) So on the 2nd week of July he will indeed be moving back to Denver, Colorado. Now, personally me, I woulda stayed in Guam, but heck it's his retiremnet not mine. If his moving back home makes him happy, then I think he should do it. And now....I got an excuse to go back to Denever yearly now, so yay for me too!!!! Ha ha ha! : ) So no more golfing in Guam. Now he'll be back to skiing in Vail and Aspen and Breckenridge! LOL! How funny! Oh well, the boys and I, will get to go back to Denver every year now to visit grandpa now! Excellent excuse to be there! : ) And now, when I go to Guam for my mini trips, I'll be going as a tourist with no family that lives there anymore, lol. : )
*And now back to Friday!!! Which is this afternon, I will be picking up B and Genki and dropping Genki back at his home. The news said last night that there would be a chance of rain today and I didn't want him to walk, so I offered him a ride round trip today. And so that's why. I got all my cleaning done for the week and now I am just gonna kick back on the couch for the rest of the day and do nothing, ha ha ha! : ) I am going to be making sara udon/chicken chow mein tonight for dinner! Yumm lots of veggies and crunchy noodles. : ) Anyway have a lovely weekend everyone! : )