Saturday, September 27, 2008

Getting ready for Fall!!!: )

Friday: Given the distance from where we live way out in the boonies and that of.... the hustle and bustle of Makuhari where Costco is, it's no surprise we only get to go there about 2-3 times a year. It's not really so bad considering there are companies like FBC or the Flying Pig among many others to get American goods from though. But with Fall upon us, we figured it was finally time. Hadn't been all summer, hadn't been there in fact, in so long, that I don't even know when was the last time. Ha ha ha. Anyway, so Friday was the day. Right after Branden gets off school, we would go directly to the big city. This pic was taken right before we left the house, and went to get Branden from school.

And after about for what seemed like an eternity to get there, we made it! Yay! The boys helped us pick our pumpkin for this year! It's tradition in our house to always carve up one!!! : )
We got maybe 2 things upstairs and then quickly went downstairs where the food is located. Got our shopping done really quick and since it was dinner time and we were all starving. We enjoyed a large pepperoni pizza. Free refill sodas, we got good and full and then we loaded the extra/what was left pizza (since it's so big and there were leftovers) and rolled our cart to our minivan and we left. A 2 hour drive later on the regular roads, vs. an hour on the highway. Yet on the highway you have to pay the 2000 yen/think $20 bucks for highway fees. Since we did the slow way getting there, we took the highway home, hmm no wonder we rarely get to go there, it is quite the hastle for us, since we live so far. Anyway we were back happy to be home after all that. : ) Don't even wanna think of how long it was for us round trip. Nuts! : )

Hmm, you'd think a person who gets to go there as few times as we do, we woulda surely stocked up. But we didn't. We got maybe 10 things and that was it. We got this fall wreath though. We have a summer one, and a Christmas one already. But we didn't have a Fall one, this one is cute. It's just a very simple nice wreath with some squash, acorns and leaves. I really like it and will enjoy hanging this every year from now on. : )

We also got a whole roasted chicken for Saturday nights dinner. We figured we could have a simple meal the next day since Saturday is Noah's swimming day! : )

3 packs of bacon, should last until end of November, and then I'll probably order some from Flying Pig. Lean ground beef. Again not a whole lot. But good to just fill up our fridge with. And will be nice to have on hand.

Big box of oatmeal is for all the oatmeal raisin cookies I plan to bake this coming Fall and Winter. Delicious yeast dinner rolls. Half are now hiding in the freezer as we speak. And a whole heck of a lot of cheese.

Chips and dip for movie night/DVD night, and 2 packs of vitamins for the kids. A 3 month supply for both boys (180 vitamins total, so 90 each bottle). Will just reorder the vitamins when we run out in the end of December or whenever.

Soap for the dishwasher.

And Mr. Pumpkin head and that was it. I think we had the least filled cart in the whole place and that's okay. Ha ha ha. We did not mind. We got what we needed! Ha ha ha. : )

Saturday: Here is a pic of Noah at swim school on Saturday, he's doing so well with it, we are really happy he has such a good time there. : )

After swimming class, we went to the local DIY, to look for some flowers for my front hanging baskets, something that is for Fall, is what I was looking for! : )

So many to choose from.

These sorta burnt red looking ones with the bright yellow centers are the ones I chose for my hanging baskets.

My Fall flowers that we got this Saturday!

About to get my flowers set up in their baskets. This shot was taken at the front of my house and obviously that's our very green front yard grass right there.

Taking down my Spring/Summer wreath, see ya next year dear friend, ha ha ha (this actually came from Denver years ago).

And a nice Saturday afternoon spent getting the front of my house ready for Fall! And yes that is my white picket fence proudly standing on the side of the front of our house, lol, I love seeing my white picket fence as I drive up to the house. Always looks so comforting and homey to me. Also in the pic, I took down the bright red summer flowers and have them in the backyard now. So those 4 pots on my porch banister are now gone. It was work in progress mode when I snapped the pic. : )

And done. The flowers in the hanging basket will get thicker and fuller according to my fav flower/plant lady at the DIY. And hopefully by Halloween they will be really thick and nice. And the Fall scarecrow wreath with squash,leaves and acorns is now on my front door. And Mr. Pumpkin head sits in all his Fall time glory! Yes, we are indeed getting ready for Fall around our house! And while Branden rode his bike with his friends and I got all this set up. One of B's friends and classmates asked me, "what are you doing?" but in Japanese of course. I told him nicely and matter of factly, "well, I am getting ready for the Fall and for Halloween", as he oohed and ahhed, as I switched one wreath to the next. And hung up and switched Summer flowers to Fall flowers. The little kid was just like, "wow". Ha ha ha. Next thing I knew, I had about 4 little boys on bikes all stopped and watching. It was so cute. Branden was so proud of his dear ol' mom! Anyway that's how we spent our Friday and Saturday around here! I hope the rest of you are all having a wonderful weekend, wherever you all may be. We have been having an awesome quiet little weekend! Saturday night, we enjoyed our roasted chicken that I whacked in my big oven for about 20 minutes to get hot and crispy. And I made rice a roni and veggie, very simple yummy dinner. We had a nice lazy, restful and relaxing Saturday night. After dinner and showers we all sorta just hung out and watched DVD's in our PJ's, all night until we went to sleep. And today being Sunday. Our plan today? Nothing. Staying home, relaxing. I have a load of school bags and stuff of Branden's, that I have to wash and dry, so he's ready for school tomorrow. But other then that, I will be relaxing and fully enjoying my last day of the weekend.
Have a wonderful weekend you guys! : )

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Our Guam trip! (a bit delayed with posting it, I'm sorry : )

These very few 10-12 pics or so are the only pictures I took on Guam this time you guys. I'm so sorry. It's just, we got to the hotel, and was gonna takes pics and while I like to share pics of the hotel room, because it's a good info share is why. Anyway, since we just did that in July, I said, nah, not this time around. We relaxed, enjoyed ourselves since we landed on Saturday afternoon. We got our SUV and we checked into the hotel. Went swimming for an hour, by then it was about 4:45pm and I said to the boys let's get out of the pool. We headed to the mall, had some dinner cheaply at the food court. Did a bit of shopping since it was way too early to head back to the hotel for the night and then after that we went back to the hotel. Watched TV, caught up on some shows. I watched a new Prison Break and House. Holy crap is House different... a few people are gone. Don't worry I won't say who. But wow! Went to sleep. Sunday morning, felt a bit lazy to drive for breakfast so we had breakfast buffet at Hilton, just a walk downstairs, so that was nice, lol. Went upstairs changed clothes and by 9:30 am we were swimming. I should have brought my old camera for swimming pool pics. However I only brought my new camera and I being a worry wart, I worried that A) it would end up getting wet and be broken (probably wouldn't but yeah I worried about it a lot), and B) I worried that since I was the only parent, meaning no hubby, and my full attention was watching the kids, I worried that someone would make off with my camera. Again, probably not. pool pics at all this time around. Ah well, you all are experts of the Hilton pool by now, lol, just visualize with me if you can. We just honestly rested relaxed and did nothing all day, yup literally all day long. Again, no hubby to help out, and felt too lazy to go ahead to eat lunch someplace else. So we Sunday afternoon, we ordered 2 lunches poolside, they are really big so the boys shared an adults burger and fries. I had a chicken sandwich and fries. Nearing 4pm, we all went upstairs, took showers. And headed to Kmart. Cost u less and then the mall for a cheap food court dinner. Again, it wasn't as if we shopped till we dropped. We lazed until we could laze no more. LOL. And then after that, we did whatever. The pic above is of the boys, not sure which day I took it on. But somewhere between Sat-Mon, ha ha ha. Sorry guys, my brain was on vacation as well obviously. : ) And that pic was taken upstairs at the Micronesia Mall near the food court. : )

Their first thing they had for dinner, was a crispy strip meal. They each had a mashed potato. After they ate that they went for some Taco Bell, same night. Ha ha ha.

Branden ate his mashed potatoes quickly. He loves them! Noah had 3 bites of his and went for the biscuit instead. So, he gave his to B. B quickly finishes Noah's mashed potatoes. Then he said..."mommy can I have your mashed potatoes?" I honestly wanted them, but he's my kid and heck I could get more, so I gave him mine. There you go, a pic of Branden and 3 mashed potatoes. He must be going through a growth spurt. LOL.

They finished the KFC and so since they're growing boys, they also had a bit of Taco Bell as well. B had a taco and some nachos.

And growing boy #2, had an order of nachos. And yup, we changed seats after they had KFC and moved closer to the Taco Bell in the food court, after we ordered. Ha ha ha.

I had many different types of foods at the food court those few days. However this time around, I had my fav Korean lunch plate. You can have 2 salad sides, and I always ask for double the kimchee. Ha ha ha. I am a kimchee freak, I know. Love it! : )

And here's a different day hence different shirt. Noah had a big slice of pizza.

Branden and his KFC again. LOL and mashed potatoes. I always have to make lot's of mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving because he's such a lover of mashed potatoes and gravy. Ha ha ha. : )
Greasy pizza mouth from pizza and yup, he got an order of nacho chips and cheese. Noah is crazy for nachos. : )

The last thing I had in Guam before we headed to the airport. 2 bean and cheese burritos. B had Subway and Noah had something else, but I forget what.

Japanese tourists ordering from Taco Bell. Now being a people watcher. I love to watch peoples habits. Japanese tourists would make a lap of the food court, to decide what they wanted to eat. And it surprised me that 8 out of 10 times they would wind up at Taco Bell. A few went to Burger King or elsewhere, but most wanted Taco Bell, go figure. I never would have guessed that. But how interesting.

The boys at the Guam airport the day we left back to Japan. : )

First in line to check in. : )
The plane we took to Guam had a mini TV in front of each seat, but the one coming back did not. Oh well, we are covered either way. Whipped out the ol' mini DVD and they were perfectly quiet the entire flight. And doesn't that view out the window nearly look like a fake picture because it's so beautiful? Ha ha ha. When we were in route to Narita the sun was setting and by the time we got to Japan it was pitch dark outside. We arrived around 7:30pm or so. Noboru was at the airport waiting, boy did he miss us a lot! By the size of his smile and his talking a mile a minute, you'd think we were gone for a 100 years, lol. This trip was so relaxing, no pressure to take pics. Just sorta lived in the moment and really got a chance to unwind. I feel completely ready to be in Japan for fall. I got my trip back home out of my system and this trip also helped. I'm happy. : )

Things brought back from Guam. : )

I know, I know. I was clearly not planning on buying a thing while on vacation in Guam. However, in my defense, not that I need to but. After a full days of beach and pool side play and, 4pm hits and you've already been showered. What's there to do? Obviously going to sleep at 4pm, is absolutely out of the question! LOL. So, a trip to the mall, to eat our meal at the food court and then a brief look around was a real no brainer. It wasn't like the #1 thing on our list. But it honestly just happened. Anyways here's what we brought back on our trip. Some/ a few holiday goods. I grew up going Trick or treating every year. That was something I looked forward to every year. Anyway living in Japan, and not on a military base means no trick or treating for my kiddos. : ( Which is fine, we don't mind so much. : ) We do the carving of the big pumpkin every single year, and roasting of seeds every year too. And I buy an assortment of treats for my kids. And we have a nice special dinner at home. Did I make homemade pizza last year? I forget. And we watch kid friendly Halloween movies (like a Charlie Brown Halloween). And when the kids go to sleep, I whip out the Jason from Friday the 13th movie! Ha ha ha, yikes! Anyway, yeah, living in Japan,we make each holiday our own basically. And make our own special family traditions. So anyways....what did we buy? Well, I bought a big bag of 100 treats, all assorted and these are the good treats too, Heath toffee bars, Almond Joy, Whoppers and Reese's, etc. : ) Some carving the pumpkin sets. Some tea lights for lighting said pumpkin. And some stuff for baking Halloween treats with. : ) I try to make each holiday special around here for the boys! I really do my best! : )

As you could see in this pic and the pic above, this book, I have 3 copies of the same book. I bought one copy for my boys and 2 copies for friends who also have kids. It's important to me that, I do always try to bring back something for others as well. : )

And at the back of the book, it talks about, how he thought of Thanksgiving as the "middle child" of holidays. And how it may not be as fancy and sparkly as Halloween or Christmas, however Thanksgiving makes us be thankful and also grateful. I absolutely agreed when I read that. And probably why I look forward to Thanksgiving so much! : ) An excellent book!

Knowing me, I will totally be whipping up some Halloween cupcakes and these sprinkles came from Macy's and are really cute. And the cupcake holders were also very Halloweeny and cute too. : ) One thing I look forward to about the fall, is the..."Holiday row", we sorta have. Halloween in October, Thanksgiving in November for us Americans and December for Christmas, and of course B's Birthday is in October as well. : ) Ha ha ha. But I love the row of Holidays in the fall. Love it! I love Fall! : )

Side dishes. Again, I know it's the simple stuff, but heck, we are a family who loves the simple stuff. Ha ha ha. Mac and cheese, love that blue box. Great for lunches for the boys. We don't really eat this for dinner, but great for lunch. Side dishes from Knorr and Rice a roni, the Alfredo pasta, the chicken rice a roni and 3 cheese rice. These types of things go great with a roasted chicken, or some southern fried chicken. or maybe a nice baked pork chop. The stuffing, again, I figured an extra couldn't hurt and we have a huge pantry so it all fits nicely in there. Phew. : )
Instant noodle soup. One Fall day, the boys will be playing out in the backyard, and I will call them into the house for some lunch, a grilled cheese sandwich and some noodle soup for them. That'll keep them warm. : ) Hidden valley ranch dressing. 1 bottle of this is for using as dip for dunking our potato chips at Thanksgiving and the other one is for dunking buffalo wings in for whenever. A big huge hunking bottle of garlic salt. This is so necessary in our house for about a billion reasons. Mango. And 2 packets of buffalo wing seasoning. Again not much, but it didn't hurt make a grocery store run. And hey, the store is in the same mall where we ate at the food court at. So we didn't go out of our way or anything at all. : )

I have been wanting to bring back some baking ware for a long time now. However since the hubby is always with, he always makes a face when I mention it. He just says, "ugh it's too heavy baby" and I always say, alright. Two mellow people, who hate to fight, what can you say. LOL. Anyway with the hubby not with us this time. Umm, I got them! Wink, wink!
I got the good stuff. Like it says, commercial bakeware.
When the hubster saw them, he said, " oh you got the pans" Instead of saying something cheeky like, na na na na na and stick out my tongue or blow raspberries at him. LOL, I'd never do that. I just said..."oh umm yeah, turns out they weren't so heavy after all" ( smiles nicely and sincerely at hubby) He said...."Good honey, that's good" : ) 1 loaf pan, 2 more pie pans, 4 personal pan pizza pans, and 1 9x13 cake pan.

I have 1 large cookie baking tray already but I needed another really bad, so I can bake twice the amount of cookies at the same time. This will really speed things up now. Ha ha ha. Now my Christmas cookies won't have to cook on just 1 pan. I really needed this.

5 boxes of yellow cake mix. 2 chocolate frostings. I also have that Halloween frosting in the other pic. 2 more cans of pumpkin for 2 additional pies. Now I have enough for 4 pies. Baking powder for whatever and evaporated milk for the pies. And 2 boxes of brownies. I have a good collection of baking goods in the pantry now. Plenty of Tollhouse choco chips and puddings, etc. Come on Fall, hurry so we can start baking season! : )
A case of movie theater microwave popcorn and a small 3 pack of "blast o butter" popcorn. Dang that's so buttery it practically butters my brains! Ha ha ha. : ) We do eat a lot of popcorn though and I don't think this will be enough to last us through the winter though. Hmm.

Shampoo and conditioner. I like and use the shampoo in Japan no problem. I actually bought the Pantene to use in the hotel but then we didn't. We just used the hotel ones. And I like the green tea scent of the Dove one. I didn't need to buy this though. Hmm. Oh well. It's here. Ha ha ha. : )

Noboru asked me to get him a backpack. He uses a backpack on his back when he takes his motorcycle to work. I found him this big Jansport one at Macy's. And Noah has been asking for a rolling suitcase forever. Branden has the Buzzlight Year one. Noah never had one. We looked for one in Denver and didn't get one. Anyway, we found this Yellow Hummer or whatever rolling suitcase for Noah in Guam this time. It was only $29.99 and we got it at Kmart, go figure.

A quicksilver shirt for B that says Aloha. Superman undies for Noah from Macy's and orange hat too for Noah. And these toddler socks for Noah came from Kmart, I liked that they had an orange pair for boys, lol.

I love the ones with the big "S" ha ha ha. So when he changes at the swim school, he can wear his Superman ones. Ha ha ha.

Books, books and more books. With Branden reading, I buy as many as I can. Note though, that they are the light ones, paper covers so they are light for the luggage. 2 Wall E sticker books 1 for each son, a Spongebob coloring book. And some crayons that are in plastic tubes, so no more broken crayons. Yay. : )

Mags for when the kids go to sleep and I can catch up on all that Hollywood gossip, ha ha ha! : )
For example...Mary Kate (that little girl twin who was on Full House) she has been trying to get close with Nicole Richie's man and baby's daddy! Whoops! And apparently Nicole told her..."back off and stay away from my man!" Yikes!

Little girl toothbrushes and little girl books. Hmm, I don't have any girls. Ha ha ha. However, although I seldom say it. I always and I do mean always bring back things for friends. Whether they be, fellow gaijin friends or my Japanese girlfriends. I try to bring stuff for at least 2-3 friends each trip. I wish I could bring more but then we all know how luggage is limited now days. : ( But I do always try my best. Just my small way to say.I like you, I dig you and I thought of you while on my trip. And I appreciate our friendship. Anyway I know it might sound corny or dumb, but there you go. : ) Oh the 2 Spongebob electric toothbrushes were for Branden and Noah but everything else is this picture went to others. : )

A Guam t shirt. Hmm, for all the times we've been to Guam, we have never bought one. Finally this trip I bought this for Branden. It's just for hanging around the house in.

Now you know we basically brought back...not too much clothes or anything from Denver. And I mentioned B only has 2 pair of size 7 pants. Well, this trip, and since we were in the mall eating anyways, I got Branden a pair of size 7 levi's.

And at the Guess kids shop, I also got B this pair of jeans from there as well. I liked the pocket stitching.

Size 7's for my soon to be 7 year old. Now B has 4 pair of jeans, the 2 Gap ones, the 1 Levi's and the 1 Guess. Not bad. Am now looking for maybe 1 pair of cords for him and that will be it for him. Hmm but he does need more long sleeve tops though. : ( Oh well, it's a start.

2 long sleeved tops for B.

A simple pair of Roxy flip flops. I think I could end up needing "flip flops anonymous" soon you guys. I love wearing them too much and buying them.

This is a collectors edition. It's called Robo Armor. And they're for DS lites. It's part of Branden's upcoming birthday present.

When did Branden graduate yochien you guys? That had to have been back in Feb or March? I think March. Anyway, I think I mentioned it to a few of you. But I'll mention it here anyway. The night we went to the graduation party etc. Well that was the last day we ever saw Branden's white DS lite again. Remember how I won it last summer? I blogged it. Anyway, he was very bummed. Really sad and we looked all over the house for it. Searched the car nearly 6 to 7 times way back then, turned the whole house inside out basically and nothing. Called the yakitori restaurant, the karaoke place and nothing! : ( Bluntly speaking it was history! Branden said, he was sorry. : ( He was very sorry. And mentioned maybe he could get another one. I said no, being the big meanie that I am. I said, they are expensive and you need to realize that things do have monetary value and just because we have the means to buy you another one. We won't. And we didn't. It's been over 6 month's now and still nothing. And yeah, when he plays his old big bulky regular DS with his friends, who all have thin rectangular lites. I am sure he has been embarassed for the passed 6 months, yet he never has complained or mentioned a thing, only to say he was again.... so sorry. My dad being the spoiling grandparent he is, wanted to replace it immediately. And I turned him down. Again we coulda replaced it ourselves easily. But, I wanted him to value it. And so now that his birthday is approaching. I felt he suffered (not really suffered but you know what I mean, I hope) long enough. And I got him a new one. The price is now dropped on them by about 50 bucks, which was a nice surprise. And with the robo armor whatever. That will be his big birthday present this year. I think he will cherish it with his whole heart and I am sure he will never lose it again. And, for the record, we weren't overly angry about it. It was an honest accident he lost it. It wasn't intentional. And it was honestly the first thing he's ever lost, like this. But yeah, Branden is so excited to be getting the DS lite for his birthday, he can barely wait. And yup, we are making him wait....wait until October 26th. : ) Oh yeah where was I, the DVD's we got were The Simpson's movie, the new Speedracer, and Baby Mama.

A Mac foundation compact, in NC20. Got this at Duty free shop the day we left back to Japan. It's my staple and have used this for years.... 10 plus years. Great coverage, I love this.

Mac Studio Fix.

Because hotel fridges are so teeny tiny, the day I left, I drove to the far away Payless grocery store, because the one at the mall was out, good thing I drive. And I got, 3 packs of bean and cheese burritos. And 7 packs of stuffed ravioli. The burritos are perfect for a simple and an easy snack and the ravioli are perfect for a quick fast dinner type night. Like a late swimming night for example. : )

Each bag is a bit over a pound, so I have about 7-8 pounds of ravioli. That's a good amount for the fall, I think. Anyway, not too much. Nothing too cool or fab, I know. Just some simple food basics really.