Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween from Chiba, Japan!!! : )

Happy Halloween to all our family and friends, Both real life friends and online friends. Happy Halloween to you all from us here in Chiba, Japan!!! : ) This was taken last night on Thursday, after we took our Mr. Jack o lantern outside to sit rightly proud and all lit up and carved! I love this picture! : )

How did we get to the pic up above? Well, let me back track a bit. Here was the start of our Thursday night carving! Picked up Mr. Jack Pumpkin head up from the genkan where he's sat for the passed few weeks and grabbed our pumpkin carving kits.

Got everything, okay it all looks in order, check, check, check!!! : )

Family all together and ready to partake in the family fun?!!! Yes!

In the booklet there are cut outs or drawing that you can trace over your own pumpkin. Because we are a family with 2 kiddos, we went for an easy pattern that way the boys could jump in and help!

We went with a pretty standard pumpkin face to trace over! We loved it! : )

Here, we taped up the pattern we chose!

I traced half of this and Noboru traced the other half. We let Branden trace the mouth though! He had a ball doing it! : )

Pumpkin guts removal!!! Ha ha ha. Pulling all the strings and seeds out!
Go Noah, go!!! : )

Smile on Branden's face and some pull and tug of the pumpkin's insides meanwhile from Noah! Ha ha ha! : )

What the boys managed to pull and rip out this year! Obviously with the strainer, I set out for some serious seed washing and rinsing. Before salting them and throwing them into the oven! The boys know they did all the work for those pumpkin seeds, that were about to be roasted soon.They felt so proud and happy about it! : )
Nearly done, but seems even the scraper missed a few of those strings. Looks like this pumpkin has the equivalent of spinach between his teeth! Ha ha ha. I went in and scraped those last few dangling strings! : )

No more strings or anything. He's fresh and ready to go!!! He looks so happy doesn't he? A very happy pumpkin for our two boys. Wouldn't want to carve out something too scary now, ha ha ha! : )

The look of accomplishment!!! Ahh they did it! Well, of course mommy and daddy helped too though! They look forward to Halloween every year! : ) I do try to make each holiday special since we do have kids and we do want them to have those wonderful memories that will take them onto adulthood. Memories they will remember fondly for the rest of their lives!!!
Traditions are very important to me, both Japanese ones and American ones! : )

Aha, and now you see, that is indeed how we winded up with the last and first pic of our Happy Halloween 2008! I will be putting this picture into both of the boys scrapbooks, so they will never forget. And I will write up a personal message to each of them. And tell them how wonderful they each did with the pumpkin and such. Awww, yes I am a nerd, so what! Ha ha ha. : )

And we placed him on our wood banister. Where he will sit, probably until Saturday evening. He will be lit on Friday evening as well. : ) And I will indeed have my porch light on, so if anyone wants to come trick or treating at my house, they can! Ha ha ha. I have had a few trick or treaters through out the years, oddly enough. But I will keep my porch light on, until we take a bath Friday evening, just in case. : ) And yes, I did change my flowery hanging baskets yet again last week. It has become like a hobby for me, switching those baskets for the seasonal change. : )
And how Mr. Pumpkin head looks all lit up!!! Yay!!! Oh, I love all the holidays so much. : ) So does the hubster! : )
The seeds got nicely roasted, when we came into the house from taking pics out on our front porch you could totally smell all the lovely roasted pumpkin seeds! Yummm! : )

A nice little size of roasted salted pumpkin seeds! The four of us munched those up, while we watched TV. And then Noboru and the boys took showers and I followed after they finished. Sure nothing too exciting over here in our little neck of the woods. But, just a nice simple quiet way to celebrate Halloween!!! : ) What will we do today? Actually Friday which is today for us in for Halloween day and evening. We will, just do the usual for our family. We will watch some Halloween kid DVD's. Like the Charlie Brown one, the Dora Halloween one and a few others. Watch the Cartoon Network and Disney channel to watch all the Halloween kid's specials. Have popcorn and Halloween treats tonight. Then take baths and showers and the kids can get a Halloween book read to them. Nothing too elaborate at all. And after the kids go to sleep, Noboru and I will be watching a few scary DVD's, like we do every year. Friday the 13th DVD (with Jason), part 1 or 2. Where they are up at Crystal lake, ahhh scary! LOL. Or maybe Halloween DVD, with that Michael Myers guy, yikes, freak out, that's scary! Or we could throw in the Amityville or the Exorcist or something equally creepy! We will probably only get through 2 scary ones though, so we will have to decide tonight after the boys go to sleep. Ha ha ha. Happy Halloween everyone! And have a wonderful Halloween wherever you all may be! : )
Also, can't forget to say.....I am a big believer in that acts of kindness should never be taken lightly. And I appreciate knowing and having kind people in my life. So, anyway at the swimming school on Wednesday for Branden's lesson, I received 2 wonderful gifts from friends of mine. They've been friends of mine since we all met at yochien where our kids went and graduated from. One was fruit and veggies which she got form her garden, I loved that so much! And another was a Halloween treat!
One of my dearest friend's Rieko-san had given these to me. You know when someone does something kind like this for you. Just because they are nice human beings and souls. It absolutely floored me to be a receiver of a Halloween surprise like this. I was in awe! I truly appreciated this. I thought to know I am really blessed to have good friends in my life like this. Real true, sweet thoughtful good salt of the earth type people! I can't ask for anymore. Then to have good health, good family and wonderful friends. For that, I feel so lucky. And I hope I am a good friend to them in return, I think I am. And I always try to be. : ) Anyway, we are in the midst of planing a bowling day with my 2 friends and that should be sometime in November. Different people then I went bowling with last time. But all lovely friends. : )
And my other friend brought me, a big amount of spinach that she grew all herself. And I know and can appreciate how much work goes into growing something, I've done it myself, I know. So, I thought that was just so special!!! And some fresh kaki from her kaki tree!!! I also have friends with mikan trees etc. So, yeah, I am very fortunate to have good kind loving people in my life! And not all people in this world are like this. Believe me, I know. Ha ha ha. So yeah, I am in a good place in life.

And on Thursday, the old grandpa type across the street. This older gentleman, would you believe literally nobody in the whole neighborhood likes this man. : ( They all say he's a mean old grouch. However, I adore this guy. I can see the good in him and I can see he has a good heart. I think he's just sadly misunderstood. : ( And by gosh, since we moved in, I have chatted with him and his wife. They are really well travelled people. We do exchange omiyage with them. And he always brings me veggie from his big garden. You know, call me optimistic, I don't mind. But, I just think this man has a great heart and people truly don't see the good in him. Oh well, I do! : ) Anyway, on Thursday, as I was parking my car into it's space. Just came back from the flu shots with the family. Anyway, he comes up and brings me these sweet potatoes. I, Ohhhed and I ahhed. I told him how much I love sweet potatoes, he knows since he brings me them every year. But I said it again, to be polite. He smiled this nice old friendly old grandpa type. I told him how healthy those potatoes looked. And I said I will make sweet potato tempura with them. And yes, when I make it, I will bring him back some fresh sweet potato tempura for his kindness. And last year I also gave them some homemade pumpkin pie as well. Ha ha ha. Anyway that is my little story about the man across the street, and I've spoken about him before on here but he's great. Sure I suppose it would be easier to join in the mob mentality of the neighborhood and just not like the poor guy for absolutely no reason! But why? I wouldn't want anyone to unjustly judge me or treat me like that, so I could never do that to another human being either, that's just not my style I guess.: ) And besides, I can make up my own mind if a person is a good person or not. And I can tell if there's a good kind heart in there and make up my own mind. That is the fairest way after all, right? : ) So anyway yeah, a wonderful sweet potato gift from the elderly misunderstood man across the street! They really are so wonderful! And I'm glad I found that out for myself 3 years ago when we moved and built our home here. : ) Aww, yes I know, I am sappy, I am sentimental. What can I say! : ) Anyway you guys.....please have a very Happy Halloween!!! And have a lovely and wonderful weekend as well!!! : )