Sunday, December 14, 2008

Our Christmas ham, and some Christmas shopping, and a few other things! : )

Our Christmas ham got here last week! : )

A full sized American spiral sliced ham, yumm, we can barely wait! It's in the freezer and will stay there until a day or two before Christmas and then it will go in the fridge to defrost. : ) A few jars of Prego for fast rushing type meal days. Like Wednesday's. Ha ha ha. A big bag of walnuts for all the winter baking, banana bread and brownies and stuff! And corn tortillas because we might just whip up something during the next 3 weeks or so. And in Japan, the store FBC goes on holiday during Christmas and like the first week of January or so. So, to make sure we don't run out of anything foreign during that time, I have been quietly stock piling a bit. I think we're good now though! Ha ha ha. : )
Last week and this weekend was so awesome! Just quiet simple days being spent at home! And by the time Friday rolled around, we were so ready for the weekend to be here! On Friday, after B got out of school, we ran to the grocery store, got our weeks worth of food, drinks, and everything else you can imagine. And we went home. By now it was dark, but barely 5:20 pm. We all got our comfy clothes on. And after putting all the groceries into the fridge, freezer and pantry. We were pretty much wiped for the day! So, it was an easy peasy dinner for us on Friday. Cheese ravioli, and garlic bread. It was very filling and great! Noboru took a shower with both boys and I showered and soaked in the tub alone, oh yeah so nice!!! We watched TV and just vegged out for the rest of the night in our toasty warm house! : )

Saturday: Since hubby is rarely ever off on an actual Saturday or Sunday and this was one time he actually was off. We decided to head to the mall and do some Christmas shopping!!! However, first stop was at the Wendy's for lunch!
This is the pic at Wendy's in Tsukuba! We had finished our lunch, eaten it, and wrappers had for the most part been thrown away by the time we clicked this pic. Boy's had a 5 piece chicken nugget each and fries each and they shared a medium drink. I had the spicy chicken sandwich combo and Noboru had a gigantic cheeseburger. A double, or triple, and he had a combo. And a 99 yen chili, or whatever. Then we loaded ourselves back into the MPV and headed to the mall.
Tsukuba has about 2 different big malls and this one is new and is the 3rd one, it just opened a few weeks ago! : ) So it was our first time in this mall!

Grandma Mitsuko had given the boys each an ichiman yen gift card for Toys r us! So, 20,000 yen total for the boys. And so we went to the Toys r us on Saturday. The Wall-E toys were the most popular since it's the newest Disney Pixar movie. Many things were selling out. In this pic, you can see Noah was playing with the robot Eva. There were only 2 talking Eva's left. Noah got one! : ) And Branden picked the talking Wall-E! : ) They loved picking out their own pressies from grandma this year! : ) They also got a movie and a DS case, but I'll picture those below someplace. : )

At this mall, as I was riding down the escalator, I saw this....BAD ASS COFFEE. Talk about an attention grabber!!! Ha ha ha! I thought, wow that must be a seriously good cup of coffee, har har har!!! Ha ha ha! Anyway, it certainly gave me a chuckle! : ) And according to the hubby this coffee place is originally from Hawaii? Now we are racking our brains trying to think if we remember it, when we lived there. Hmmm. I don't remember this place, can't say I'd ever forget a name like that, either. : ) Oh well, it caught my attention that's for sure! : )

Outside the mall, there were many trees that were decorated in various different themes and stuff! This one was a banana Christmas tree! Ha ha ha! : )

Only in Japan, could you find a food Christmas tree decked out like this! Ha ha ha! Cute! : )

A country flags tree I thought was cute! : )

A nice little flower tree!

About to enter Kaldi, just needed something for our upcoming Christmas dinner! : )

I know...I know, it might not be bad ass, per say!!! But, I needed a nice normal Christmasy coffee! : ) I had, a gingerbread latte and hubby had a dark cherry Xmas something or other! : )
After leaving the mall, since we were in the city. We stopped off for pizza to take home for our Saturday night's supper!

Ahhh, when was the last time we had Pizza Hut? Branden's undokai right? Yeah not since October...much too long! And although, I make my own homemade usually. We were happy to bring home 2 large pepperoni pizzas and 1 large baked order of potato wedges. We preheated the oven! Boys ran upstairs and took like a 5 minutes shower with Noboru. We threw the pizza in the oven. And I jumped in the shower for a 5 min shower too. By the time I got out, the pizza was warmed and ready for munching.
Nice and crispy crust and everything. Yumm! The 4 of us, sat in our jammies eating pizza watching movies on satellite all night on TV! It was a really nice Saturday! And yes, I had the boys call grandma at one of her restaurants and they thanked grandma for the gifts, she asked them what they chose and she ohhed and ahhed and said she was happy they were happy. And that was that. : )

Branden needs obento for Monday. And with it being Sunday, whatever he wanted in his lunch, we would have for supper the day before. So, I gave him a choice, he could have yakitori or karaage, or I could fix him a sandwich in that case we would have something else for Sunday's dinner though. He chose karaage. So, since he was having that for his obento, I did make that for dinner on Sunday. Chicken breasts and the sauce for karaage. I like the karaage sauce, that marinates with the chicken for a while before adding your own flour. It gives a deeper flavor, that I really like. : )

Marinated for an hour. That was long enough. : ) Before adding the flour. : )

Crispy on the outside, a wonderful breading with good flavor and juicy chicken inside, very well marinated!

Sunday's simple easy peasy meal! : ) Rice with a bit of shoyu, steamed buttered, salt and peppered broccoli and some yumm-o karaage! : )
Noboru, and Noah had theirs with some miso soup as well! : )

This is a picture of our Christmas tree that I took last week! Have forgotten to post it up. A few of you have asked me about it, so I will share some pics now before I forget again! Ha ha ha. : ) This is a 6 foot Christmas tree, and we brought it all the way from America when we moved here. It was a gift from my mother, she loves Christmas and bought us this brand new tree before we moved to Japan! The lights are prehung, so every year we don't even have to hang the lights around the tree! : ) It's a stunning tree and it has huge sentimental value to me because my mom picked it out special just for us! : )

Snort, snort, snort! A Christmas piggy ornament! : )
Another lovely.....a gingerbread man! : )
A Dear Santa letter, along with some milk and cookies ornament!

A classic Santa face!!!!

And a peek at our cute little illuminated tree in the genkan area as well as our Christmasy snowman door hanging thingie, see the little snowman hanging on the door back there? I have Christmas touches throughout the entire house! I also have a tiny little Advent tree with ornaments in Branden's room as well! : ) It's hard not to feel in the Christmas spirit at our house, ha ha ha! And our big tree is in the living room, so while we have been watching all these Christmas shows and movies, we have been also having a view of our Christmas tree at the same time! : )

When your ornaments come in a nice wooden crate and they come with an actual certificate of authenticity, it's usually a good sign you have some good quality ornaments! Ha ha ha! *winks* : ) In my family growing up, we always got to pick a new ornament each year! Plus my mom would always buy at least 10 new super nice ones every year anyway. By the time I was in high school we must have had literally 100's and 100's of some of the nicest ornaments around! : ) When I got married, my mother bought me a tree and bought me a few high quality wooden crate fulls of very nice quality ornaments. She started me off, so we could start our own tree! And so, every year we have bought the boys an ornament and as they got bigger say about age 2 or 3, they started picking their own, they now pick their own each and every year! And so the tradition continues!!!! : ) Thanks mom! : ) And yes while I was growing up, we also had a good mix of the homemade ornaments on the tree as well. Like the snowflake I made out of popsicle sticks when I was a little girl!!! : ) Awww! And so, I hope to add some homemade ornaments each year that both Branden and Noah will also make themselves. I look forward to seeing our tree in say 5, 10, and 20, years time! : )

More of the ornaments! That pig ornament for example, was double or triple dipped in the glitter! A very sparkly piggy ornament indeed! : )

Poinsettia lady, ha ha ha! : And mistletoe lady was above! : )

Noah peeking into the wooden box and check out a layer of ornaments! Both the boys helped decorate the tree this year! : )

Tiny toes and little hands helping decorate the tree! We decorated the tree the weekend right after Thanksgiving, first week of December, I think it was! : )

Sunday night, after everyone finished with long hot showers and long hot baths! We threw in our Home Alone DVD, to carry on with some more Christmas movies around here! : )

The mom and dad, were in the airplane and she couldn't get over that feeling that she forgot something at home! Duh! Ha ha ha! And then a few seconds later, she screams....KEVIN!!! Ha ha ha! : )

Kevin about to sled down the stairs! It was a good weekend! Some Christmas shopping out of the way. And yes we still have more to do. Including gifts from Santa, but we have to do that when Branden isn't around. : )

Monday, and it is indeed obento making day! : ) Time to make lunch! Some star shaped pineapple! : )

I wasn't too happy with this obento when I finsihed. It should have been more colorful, but then...Monday's are always the hardest days to wake up for me! So, I didn't do so bad actually! : )
Karaage, steamed broccoli, a slice of ham that I fried on in a pan real quick. And some star shaped pineapple. : ) He also brought hisl eisure sheet (ultraman) and his Cars thermos! : )

In Japan, at yochien, kids use handerchiefs, for wiping their noses with, etc. Slowly but surely, we have been getting things for Noah, bit by bit. And so, he has 4 handkerchiefs so far. : ) A Mickey's Clubhouse one, Thomas, Stitch and Cars. I will sew his name on all of them and wash them so they are soft before he starts school. : ) And so far, he has 4 packs of the plain white undershirts that all the kids in yochien and even in grade school wear. And again, I will sew his name on his undershirts and wash them before he starts school. But yeah, Noah starts school January 9th. And so, I now have less then a month with my baby home with me before he starts school! Sniff, sniff! : ) So besides being busy getting things ready for him to start school. We've also been spending heaps more time together then usual even.

The only thing we picked up at Kaldi on Saturday. Just some mini marshmallows that I will be needing for one of our Christmas dinner side dishes! : )

We bought Noah a pair of gloves for Christmas, they are so cute, so yellow and happy and the little things on each finger, like crab, turtle and fish, he will use these now that he will be starting school soon! : )

These are the things that the boys picked out. Christmas gifts from grandma Mitsuko. Wall-E robot for Branden. Eva robot for Noah! A DS lite box to hold 24 game cartridges. And the DVD Totoro!!! We will wrap these this week. And gifts coming from Denver and California on the way as well! : )
What else should I say???
*Branden seems to be on a major holiday schedule right now until he goes on winter break. Last Friday, his teacher brought his class the DVD movie Chicken Little to watch, so they spent the last end of school watching that movie and eating popcorn at school. He said they had hot cocoa popcorn and curry popcorn. The teacher made the popcorn! : ) She really is an awesome teacher! You can tell she loves kids and loves her job, she's one of those special cool teachers. And today/Monday, Tuesday and Wedneday this week, he gets out at 1:10 pm! So he gets out early these next 3 days. And they even had lunch from home today/obento. So, yeah things are winding down before winter break for sure! And his last day of school is December 22nd and he gets out on that day at like 11am! And will be out of school for about 3 weeks! : ) So that means, a winter break for mom too! : ) Yay, I could use a 3 week break of snoozing in! : )
*In the news....A lady apparantly stalking Paula Abdul commits suicide near her home? What a horrible tragedy all the way around. : ( And can't believe this made the news but....Oprah reveals her weight? Frankly, I love Oprah no matter what her weight though. And the goveror of Illinois might be ousted? Accused of selling Obama's senate seat or something? Yikes, looks like someone's in some mighty hot water!
*Travel plans: At the end of January, we are heading back to Guam. Hub has off 3 days already, so 2 nights are set, but right now, he's trying to get a few more days too. So, we are aiming for 4 nights, but frankly we'd even be happy with 2 nights as is. But will be nice to get a way for a bit, even for just a few days. : )