Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas from Chiba, Japan!!! : )

Merry Christmas to you all, I know for those of you in the US, you will be celebrating it tomorrow. And for us in Japan, we celebrated it today. Since we are a day ahead time wise. : ) So no worries, and no matter what day it is I just wanted to make sure, that those of you reading this, know we wish you all a very happy holiday from our family to you and yours!!! : ) Anyway, before I start in with our Christmas story for 2008. I wanted to tell my dad the Christmas package arrived here safely December 24th in the evening, around 6pm. Reason I'm mentioning it here is because while every other package arrived to us from the US to us here in Japan, my dad's gift didn't make it. We started to worry and then as each day passed, we started to get a bit more worried each day. : ( And so when the mailman on his little mail scooter did not bring the DVD's in the day time, December 24th, I had given up hope, they'd make it before Christmas. Also sorta worried if they got lost or stolen in the mail : ( Emailed my dad and he was very bummed, as well. : ( Yet, as luck would have 6pm, I heard a vehicle pull up. A bit unusual, since we live way out in the country side and our street we live on, is the last row of houses, so I looked on the intercom and sure enough saw a red post delivery minivan!!! Talk about sure delight! I went right out and greeted the mailman!!! So anyway, now dad, you can see in this pic, the DVD's did indeed arrive here safely and we can all breath a big deep sigh of relief. Thanks dad, the kids LOVED all the movies. And thanks for getting me the Dark Knight!!! I loved it! : )

What the boys got from grandpa this year. The boy's received "Kung Fu Panda", that new Dr. Seuss movie, "Horton Hears a Who", "Wall-E", and he also got the boy's the Charlie brown deluxe holiday set of DVD's, with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas and a bonus DVD on there too. This is cool and the kids can now enjoy and watch these every year! And the Christmas comedy pack, with the classic Christmas movies, A Christmas Story (remember that kid who wants that BB gun? This is probably one of my all time favorites! lol) Elf and Christmas Vacation! Christmas Vacation is Noboru's favorite Christmas movie of all time, by the way. : ) Such good movies for the boy's dad! Thanks dad! : ) And thanks for the Dark Knight!

Branden took one more look at the Christmas tree before going to sleep and drifting off to lala land! : )

After the boys went to sleep, I waited until I could hear snores coming from Noah's room and also snores coming from Branden's room. : ) I wrapped all of the DVD's from grandpa for the boy's. Got their Christmas stockings stuffed with small gifts from Santa (wink, wink) LOL. And I placed 1 gift next to each child's bed, it lay there on their night table/light stand near their beds. The 1 gift B got from Santa was a snow globe (courtesy of Tokyo Hands online 1500 yen/ about $15 US, so not too bad: ) And Noah's gift from Santa was a Thomas wallet (about 900 yen, but just knowing they each got a gift from the "big guy" himself made them so happy and thrilled). : ) Besides a few misc. bibbly bobs and treats in their stocking from Santa also.
Branden woke up at 6:30 am, and he woke us all up, saying Santa came, santa came! Noboru woke up immediately. I did too. Noah was in a seriously deep sleep but Branden managed to wake him and when he realized it was Christmas and Santa had came, he bolted out of bed! : ) Here is the first picture I snapped this morning! Messy total bed hair on both of the boys and PJ's too! But it was indeed right when they woke up. : )

Noah opened one present already and was in the middle of opening up some DVD's from grandpa! he said, "a Wall-e DVD'!!!!" They were so excited, the excitement and rush the kids felt was pure magic! Noboru and I both looked on and smiled. Hubby video taped it and I clicked a few pictures from my camera! A few for the scrapbook and a few to share on this blog for my family and friends to enjoy! : )

Noah unwrapping another present! : )

And what was underneath all that Christmas paper? Eve!!! Ha ha ha! :D

Branden stacking his remote control helicopter on top of his Wall-E, Christmas morning! Ha ha ha! : ) We try not to overdo the presents at our house too much. Just don't see the need, is why. When I was growing up, I always had tons of presents every year. More then I could ever need or play with, to be honest. And neither Noboru or myself want to over indulge the kids too much. Of course they need that special Christmas magic, but that magic doesn't necessarily need to be store bought you know what I mean? : ) What I want to make sure the kids (Branden and Noah) will mostly remember about their Christmas childhood memories is the big family meals we made, the tons of Christmas movies, we overloaded them on and the overdose of Christmas songs we played for them, ha ha ha!!!! Oh yeah and the Christmas lights and hanging the same ornaments year after year, that's what I want them to remember, the family time and magic of that, is what I mean. Do you know what I mean? LOL, anyways. So, Noboru and I bought the boys 2 gifts each child. Plus the 1 gift from *ahem* Santa. The rest came from all the grandparents (fwiw, my mom gave both the boys a $100 gift card to Old Navy each, 1 for Noah and 1 for B, same as last year, woohoo). So they have a nice simple conservative Christmas every year. And we like it this way. Heavy emphasis on the family time around here. Oh my god, we're like the Griswald's, ha ha ha! You know from Vacation! :D : )

Noah playing grocery store in the middle of unwrapping presents Christmas morning! : )

Noah ringing up some pretend box of curry!

Now Noah's playing with the Eve and Wall-E. They talk just like on the movie, same voices and everything!!! These are really cool!!! : )

Branden watching Wall-E and Eve interact and talk together! : ) Meanwhile hubby was in the background getting the helicopter all set up! : )

We all got dressed, washed all our faces, brushed all our teeth and headed to swimming. We stayed an hour. Debated about going to Coco's for breakfast and decided against it, in the end, and instead we hit the McDonald's drive through and brought home some breakfast. Egg McMuffin combo for me, and Sausage McMuffin combo's for the hubby and both kids. We went home, ate and watched the kids play their hearts out! For over an hour, the boy's played with Branden's remote control helicopter!

Right before take off! Ha ha ha. : )

What did I get from Santa this year? Well, for the most part... the stuff for myself, I am usually pretty quiet about it. But I will share and say, that I got 2 really cool nightgowns from the hubby. And I also got to place an order of books from Amazon for part of my Christmas present from the hubby too. I got a good assortment of books. And I will try to remember to take a pic of the books when they get to Japan, 3 of them shipped last week and 1 still has not shipped yet. So, it will probably take 3 weeks or so to get here if not longer, lol. Since I ordered standard shipping. Ha ha ha. I also got a pair of gorgeous earrings from my mom and some Bath and Body works goodies from mom as well. And the new batman movie called the Dark Knight from my dad, and finally last but not least, I got these headphones from Noboru. I had seen these headphones on Japanese regular TV (not satellite) one morning, about a month or 2 ago. They are supposed to be big buttons. I thought they were so cute! I was watching TV with the hubby at the time and I squealed because I liked them so much, and said how I wanted them. He checked online and they come in white, black, pink and brown. I debated between pink and brown for over a month. And last week, when we were in the mall, after seeing them in person and since I have brown hair anyway. I went for the really cute brown ones, and the button string is gold and they are so cool, I love them! : ) Hubby got a fishing pole and a few other things. Everyone in my family got gift cards from us. : ) And we sent Noboru's mom an assortment of crab, she will love that, she really will! : )

Christmas dinner 2008!!! Everyone had helped pitched in to make something. The boys helped stir the fruit salad and therefore got a bit messy, so they had to switch clothes before we sat down. But they helped and that's what counts, right? :D
Just a simple family Christmas at home! We listened to the Christmas music from the Ipod that played in the kitchen. Yup, I am officially tired of Christmas music. I need another 11 month's to regain my appreciation for it. Ha ha ha. So next year I will be ready again! : ) Pictured, a happy hubby, and 2 happy as can be, boy's!!! : )

From this side of the table you can buttered dinner rolls, a homemade from scratch apple pie, homemade au gratin potatoes (these were delicious) among other things.

A fresh crunchy salad, same hot piping au gratin potatoes, whole spiral sliced baked ham.

And finally from this side of the table you can see, fruit salad, green beans, black olives for sticking on your fingers, yay! And a homemade pumpkin pie! We just kept things simple for the most part.
I hope all of you have, had or will have a wonderful and very Merry Christmas! : ) Now that Christmas dinner has just finished, we will all be jumping in the shower and bath tub (hubs and the boys first, me last so I get to relax a bit : ). And we will be watching DVD's for the rest of the night. Have a good night everyone! And Merry Christmas again! : )