Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tidbits from our week! : )


Last Friday, right on the date, the backpack for Branden's elementary school, that we ordered, was supposed to be delivered. It indeed got to our home by delivery, right on time! It came nicely packed in the box. Came with a lot of little extras, like protector pads for carrying the backpack. A book bag and even a shoe bag, etc (even though we will use our own handmade bags we bought already, but it was nice they gave them to us). I opened the box and took a good look at the backpack to make sure it was indeed the correct one we ordered, which of course it was. But heck, better to check. Checked for any flaws, and it's flawless, perfect actually and I checked every stitch, every dot of this backpack. And when I was satisfied, I packed it all back into the box and put that box into the brown cardboard box and put it safely into Branden's closet and there it will stay until the new school year begins this coming April. Man, things are coming into place with regards to the first grade. We also got a paper sent to the house. Saying Branden is ready to pass to the first grade. And he will be passing and completing yochien. Noboru told B that he got his "license" in the mail. I like that he termed it that way. And now he can move onto the first grade this coming April. He's very excited! : )

Branden's best friend, Genki-kun went skiing last week, while Branden was in Guam. Genki-kun gave this cute little box of cookies to Branden! He was so happy to get it! We usually give and trade omiyage with Genki-kun's family.

And a few pics of the obento lunches I made for Branden this week. What do we have here? Karaage (I had made karaage the night before, so this was an easy fry up in the morning), french fries, steamed green beans, with some butter, salt and pepper. White rice and some fresh strawberries (my god these were so sweet, I bought 2 packs one for him to take to school for a few days and some for us to eat in the house, we loved these this week!) and a mikan jelly, that's it.

Another day, I made some pizza toast. 2 mini pepperoni pizzas, I made that morning. A toaster oven, toasted hash brown, some steamed green beans. Some more fresh sweet strawberries and a grape jelly.

And thinly sliced sweet honey ham and some good swiss cheese, some miracle whip, made this a fantastic sandwich to send B, to school with that day. I also gave him a small handful of fries and some steamed green beans. 1 mikan and a white peach jelly! : )

On Friday, which is today, I sent Branden to school with this obento! It's an all beef Oscar Meyer hot dog that I pan fried, yumm! Put some ketchup on there. Some Kraft mac and cheese and some steamed brocoli. A mikan and a strawberry jelly! Kept things simple regarding the lunches for my son, as always. But I wanted to get a good variety of meals for him, as well! Every single lunch came back, totally empty! Phew about that! : )

Tonight, Friday Feb 1st, I am making fried shrimp/ebi fry! I always buy bigger ones for the hubby and me. And easier to hold smaller shrimps for both the boys! Although, yes they could have the big ones sure, but they always like the smaller sized ones, go figure! I also got my big shrimps on sale and they are huge! We can't wait until we eat ebi fry tonight!
Tinier tidbits of the week are going here: )
Things I have watched on TV this week! I saw the last and grand finale of "so you think you can dance" And if you haven't seen the finale, please do not read any further! But, I must say, I loved the grand finale! I am glad how they had some of the last 20 top dancers come back for the finale and get to redo/redance some of the most loved dances from this season. I especially am/was fond of the Hummingbird dance with Hok and Jamie. Also, did anybody hear in real life, Hok and Lacey are really going out? And I was really glad Sabra won! Her personality in my opinion was always fantastic, she was always smiling, so cheerful. I think she gave 100% every performance. And I was just really glad she won! I was also *really* happy to see the new season of Nip/Tuck had started! I watched that this week, as well. And movies, I've seen on the ol' satellite this week, are, Robocop 1 and 2. Benny and Joon (I love this) Aliens, I have seen twice this past week, ha ha ha. And has anybody been watching the Entertainment Tonight episodes they have been showing on the Fox channel? I have seen every single one of them! I loved the one they showed on the Osmond family. The 10 most shocking moments was good too. I've also been watching the George Lopez show on the GLC channel and it just cracks me up that show! I have also been watching the Gilmore Girls off and on, whenever I can catch an episode, I watch it. And I obviously can NOT wait for the new Season of American Idol coming next week to the Fox channel. I will no doubt be watching that show, from beginning to end. Ha ha ha. : )
Also, on Thursday, Jan31st, yesterday rather. I went to lunch with 2 of my Japanese girlfriends to the ANA hotel in Narita. I shoulda took pics, but I didn't : ( They are the 2 funny ladies I went and sang karaoke with, remember them? I went with Kaya-san and Rumi-san. Kaya-san and I are friends because our 2 sons go to the same yochien and same swimming school, plus her personality is very kind, sweet and we have fun hanging out. And Rumi-san and I are friends, because we are neighbors and B will be attending the elementary school her 2 daughters attend. And she's just freaking hilarious. I won't say, who said what but, or in detail what we talked about but we talked about, the topic of breast implants came up and we were dying of laughter about some talks about that. And no, I am all natural with that and would never get them, but the talk was hilarious. Being comfortable in swimwear also came up and I think actual tears of joy or hysterical laughter were coming outta my eyes. We also discussed more serious subjects about educating our children. And I left with the feeling, we are all going through the same thing in one way or another, we all have the same concerns and worries. Regardless if I am American or they are Japanese. We all have concerns and out of love we worry a great deal. And we are all just doing the best we can. So, it was nice. Nice to ponder things like Kumon (how long is enough fo example, and Kaya-san has 2 kids in Kumon at the moment so it was good to get her thoughts and B goes to Kumon too meanwhile Rumi-san does not send her kids there and that's okay too, and she does send her kids to things like English lessons, so it was great to see everyone's opinions and listen and even though we stick with our own ways of parenting and stay true to what each of us believe in and what's best in our own individual cases, it's nice to hear other mother's takes and respect others in their own choices and I loved that we could talk like that, and probably why I enjoy spending time with these 2 ladies so much and why I consider them, real friends) and so on. It was a good day. The food was great, especially the desserts. Also, and maybe I should not mention this but, have any of you reading this, ever seen a woman just flat out, fall flat. I mean totally wipe out? Rest assured it wasn't any of my friends. But, Rumi was getting food, so I don't think she saw. But, as Kaya-san and I were eating lunch and discussing something. All of a sudden this woman, slipped on one of her high heel stilletos, she was wearing a pant suit, thank goodness, she wasn't wearing a skirt. But, she slid and she fell flat on her back, it was loud. It happened so fast and her head actually made a huge thud sound onto the hard cement or tile floor (must have hurt like hell). I wanted to run to her and see if she was okay, that was my first instinct. But again, I didn't wanna make a blunder. So, I looked around, clearly everyone else saw her too. She laid there on the floor for about 10 seconds. She went splat in front of 2 full tables of woman. Nobody got up. To me that was a bit shocking. Perhaps to be fair though, they were trying to not notice, as to not embarass her? I don't know and I often do the wrong thing in situations like this in Japan. So, I just copied what everyone else did and watched but did nothing. She did get up, and she actually walked it off as if nothing had happened. It was like it didn't even happen. And she continued to eat and everything. But the sound of her skull hitting that hard fancy shiny tiling, or whatever it was. It was so loud, her head hitting the tiles. I wondered if she almost needed an ambulance at first. Either way, she might need an MRI, seriously, just to get a look see. She really hit her head hard! Anyway, that was my interesting tidbit from the lunch from yesterday.
I did take B to Kumon twice this week. I also took him swimming on Wednesday and I will be taking him to swimming this evening as well, for the makeup class, he missed while we were in Guam. So, I should be busy all day today and well into the evening.
Also, at our yochien at the moment, a few kids seem to be down with the flu. A few of B's good friends have it. Especially Genki-kun, he's missed the last 2 days of school. And Branden and Genki-kun are seriously best friends, these 2 kids play together every single time after lunch in the playground. They play on the bus together and ride the bus together. They even meet up on their days off. They're as thick as theives, I tell you! Ha ha ha. So glad they will be going to elementary together! So, it was a real bummer for Branden that Genki-kun is sick. I hope he gets well soon for Branden's sake because he truly has been missing his best friend at school these passed few days! : ( On the other hand, my kids have not got sick even once this year. Isn't that weird? I think it's odd. They got sick last year once or twice, but not this year yet. Ha ha ha. Oh well, knocking on wood about that! You watch, now that I say that, it will be my kids next, ha ha ha! Crosses fingers about that. But I hope all the kids get well soon at Branden's school! They are all good sweet kids!
Anyway, I better go in the kitchen now and panko the shrimp and go make the rice and get things prepped for tonights dinner for after swim school! Have a wonderful weekend everyone! : ) Noboru is off today and tomorrow, so, we will be having a nice family type weekend starting this evening. Some DVD's and some board games! Okay, I better motor! Have a good one, you guys!
PS, a tiny grumble grumble! When I got back from Guam, Noboru did not throw out the fruit or bread while I was away. When I got back, there were black old stinky bananas sitting on the green counter. I worried if they'd leak some banana guts or anything but they didn't. And the bread had grown actual mold spores on them. I think Noboru doesn't do much while I am away does he? Ha ha ha! Shakes head and smiles! Sigh! : )
Okay have a good weekend! : )

Friday, January 25, 2008

Our time spent with my dad in Guam, at his condo, etc!


These pictures of my dad and my boys, were taken at the Micronesia shopping mall, the first day we got there! We arrived at the airport, my dad picked us up, we went back to dad's condo and dropped off our luggage. I changed clothes and so did the kids and then we went to the mall here, to have lunch. My dad, looking on as Branden takes a sip of his drink, ha ha ha. : )


Both the boys wanted to eat Burger King for lunch. Here's Noah, pulling the pickle out in this pic, he dislikes pickles in his cheeseburgers. Ha ha ha.



This is the aftermath of my lunch, I choose Taco Bell. So many choices of things to eat in Guam, all the things I've missed! : )

Noah back at grandpa's condo. My dad has a gorgeous place. I shoulda took more pictures. He has this killer view, in his living room. Floor to ceiling windows, the view is spectacular. I would watch out that window and see coconut trees and other various types of palm trees. The views is really breathtaking! Two bedroom condo, the rooms are giant sized. My guess would be about a 20 tatami sized bedrooms, and that's each room. But obviously he has no tatami, lol, but it helps give an idea at least. But about that size. Huge bedrooms. Big kitchen with huge counter space. Just a really swell place, my dad lives.


One of the nights at my dad's place we had pizza. The 4 of us watched, "Are you smarter then a 5th grader". We had a lot of fun!


Noah, getting ready to go for another swim at grandpa's pool! At my dad's condo, they have 2 pools. One for adults and one is a kids pool.


Goggles on boys... check!, now let's go!



Boy was my dad happy to have his 2 grandsons to pal around with! The kids kept grandpa on his toes! Ha ha ha! : )


Branden uses these type of kickboards at his swim school. So, he's used to these. This is his, we bring it with us, whenever we head to Guam or Hawaii.


I can see Branden under the water in this pic! Go my little fish, go!!! Ha ha ha! : )


Ride that board Noah-chan! Ha ha ha! : )


Go B, I see you! : )

Canon balls, anyone? Go Branden and make the biggest splash you can! he he he!


Jump!


Whatta splash!


Baby canon ball! Ha ha ha!!! Go Noah!


What a good jump, Noah! : )


Man B, this jump is so big, so large, you look like you are pulling, a Matrix type move!!! Ha ha ha Way to go kiddo! : )


And after days of fun at grandpa's place, it was an early Saturday afternoon and before we knew it, it was time to pick up Noboru. Here's the airport! American flag and Guam flag waving in the breeze. The average temp, while we were there was 85-89 degrees F. It never got below 85F, not even at night. The weather was so nice.


At the airport, while waiting, we looked at the pictures of the soldiers who have died in the war. It was sad to see all the pictures, read their names and to see where they were from and such. Personally, I thought this war was something we shouldn't have gotten into in the first place. So, for me, it was a sad thing to see their faces. They were all so young, just kids really! Anyway, we waited for the hubby and waited around the airport some, that's all! : ) And a good couple first days, spent with grandpa! : )

Saturday, the day my hubby arrived, we checked into the Hilton. haircuts for the boys and Chinese food for dinner!


After we got the rental car/suv rather. And we checked ourselves into the Hilton. Noboru changed clothes (into some shorts) and we went to the Micronesia mall for some beauty treatments. Noah and Branden both got hair cuts at my favorite salon, meanwhile I got an eyebrow wax, and a new hair color. I got a really nice color, by Matrix put in, called, red-red #5, lol. It's about the color of Grace's in the TV show, Will and Grace, ha ha ha, but I love my new hair color, it's fun, it's new for me and I love it. I welcomed that eyebrow wax with open arms, lol, I needed it. I left with amazing brows, we all left there feeling like a million bucks! I was done about just 10 minutes after the boys were, and Noboru kept an eye on the boys, he's so awesome with the kids like that though. After the salon, we all got some snacks for the hotel for later that night and some drinks. And then we went and picked up my dad for dinner. We all headed to our fav Chinese restaurant! In this pic, Noboru was serving my dad a bowl of hot and sour soup. I see and egg foo young there. And some ebi mayo with walnuts and tons more food not pictured.


Stir fry broccoli, pork fried rice and twice fried chicken as well.


You can see the boys haircuts a bit in this pic. And boy were they hungry and ready for dinner! : )


A good hot shower and a thorough teeth brushing for both boys and now a relaxing rest of the night watching TV. So many good shows, we saw in Guam. I saw a new episode of American Idol, a new episode of Bones. I caught a whole bunch of good stuff in the evenings, after we were finished with the day and winding down for the night.


Every night we polished off a different set of snacks in the hotel room. This night, we had chips and dip, dried mango and 2 types of beef jerky. We stocked up the fridge with our drinks, we bought from Kmart. Noboru did an ice run and filled up the ice bucket, so we were all set each and every night! : )

Sunday, one of our days at the beach, doing some snorkeling! : )


On Sunday we got right down to business and made it a beach day! Good thing, we bought these snorkeling sets at Kmart the day before, one is for kids and the other is for adults. And the cute goggles with a seahorse and crab was for Noah, now he has his own pair and doesn't have to borrow a pair of Branden's, ha ha ha. Yup, his very own pair of goggles. Boy was he excited about that! : )


This part of the beach is reserved for Hilton guests and has chairs for us to use along the beach. We usually play along the beach here, as it's more private.


I snorkeled with Branden first. Yup, I went first and we actually took so long snorkeling, that Noboru was so anxious, he told me, he was ready for his turn, ha ha ha. I didn't wanna let that snorkel set go, but I did. Ha ha ha. Oh well, when Noah gets older, we can all go, the entire day together. But with a younger kiddo too, like Noah, one of us always needs to not be snorkeling. In this pic, you can see Noboru and B snorkeling side by side. And there's obviously my dad holding Noah. You can't tell but they were really way out in the ocean. Like way out!


I am glad I took this pic, where I zoomed back a bit. Now you can see, they were way out there! And boy the fish we could see while snorkeling. I saw these fish with like "needle nose pliers type faces." Ha ha ha. They swam actually close to the top of the ocean. And then I saw many colorful fish. And I saw this fish that laid in the sand, looked just like the sand, but I could tell he was indeed, not the sand though, I observed him lay on the ocean floor, so still. It was marvelous to watch this. Branden got to see all the sorts of different types of fish. And he absolutely loved it! I also saw this aggressive fish that went around eating every fish on the bottom of the ocean, he was like a white fish vacuum cleaner and he had whiskers. He was very aggressive, almost like a bully fish, ha ha ha. I observed him for about 10 minutes, I followed him for a while. It was so cool and wicked to get to see all the stuff happening down below. I coulda done that all day, but I had to share the snorkeling set with Noboru. So we took 30 minute turns back and forth throughout the day : )

Fins are best, but crocs are great for this too and they protected all our feet. We made both boys wear them too.

Hi Noboru! And boy, we could not get Branden to leave this beach. Good thing we spent another day on the beach as well. Branden snorkeled all day long.

The water is very clean and very clear! Makes snorkeling so much fun! : )

That's our stuff on the chairs right there! That way we could keep an eye on our stuff the whole time. And it's such a private part of the beach, nobody else was around. Ha ha ha. : )

After a full day at the beach. Dad, went home and got himself showered, he had a date that night with a lady from his church. And we were starved because swimming makes people super hungry. We got a good workout, and were hungry. So, we stopped at KFC for some dinner. I miss KFC in America. Mostly because I miss the side dishes they sell there. In Japan our KFC doesn't sell those types of sides, which is fine, but I do miss them sometimes. I had chicken, original recipe, all white meat meal. Mashed potatoes and mac and cheese as my 2 sides. And the buttered biscuit, I took the top off it already, sorry. I ate it. Ha ha ha. Noah had the popcorn chicken and a corn. He also had some of my sides. And we ended up getting him his own mashed potato too, because he loved it so much.

Noah's drink was unsweetened Lipton tea, which was fine for both kids. Noboru and I shared a large free refills, Mt. Dew.

Branden had the chicken strip kids meal and a side mashed potatoes too. And a biscuit and some of Noboru's rice.

Noboru had his own meal and even got a single order of nuggets afterwards. Man, was he starved the most or what? Ha ha ha. We all took hot showers, soaped up and soaked in the hot big bath after. It's a separate glass shower from the bath. Nice bath, so we all soaked in that afterwards. And then we all got our comfy clothes on and flopped on the bed, watching TV for a few hours. Then, I mentioned ice cream something or other, must've got stuck in the hubby's mind, because next thing you know, we all got our flippies on and went to the lobby about 11:30 pm and we got some scoops of ice cream for the boys and some icecream cones for Noboru and I, at the cafe in the lobby. And we ate them upstairs in our room and munched a few more snacks and watched TV until we all went to sleep. Such a fun and active day! : )

Lunch at the mall, checking out Home Depot, etc.


The boys walking about the Hilton hotel. : )






I saw this car leaving the Hilton and could not help myself from taking a pic. It's a Colorado license plate. That's my home state. I love Colorado!!! Anyway, so many cars from the mainland moving into Guam. So many military families in Guam from the states and just families moving to Guam in general. I saw 2 Oregon license plates while there as well.


We ate a great deal of our lunches at either the GPO mall, or the Micronesia mall, because it's a cheap meal and everyone can choose from an array of different places in the food court, so for us it made sense. This was my meal from lunch one day, it's from the Korean BBQ, plate lunch place. I had the spicy grilled chicken, white rice, and instead of getting 2 sides, I asked for 2 sides of kimchee instead. I love kimchee. I had a very nice healthy grilled lunch. And so yummy! : )


Noah had nachos from Taco Bell and Burger King as well.












Hi Noah!













Hey kiddo, you are such a little charmer!



We went to my husbands dream spot, next. A home improvement store. Ha ha ha. He just loves DIY stores. And my god, they weren't "whistling Dixie" about this one being big! It was so flippin' big, I couldn't even get the whole store, in 1 shot of my camera! It's a monster sized store. Huge!

Noah zonked out, we took turns holding our sleeping wee, 2 and a half year old.

Noboru was just gaga for so many things. He bought quite a bit from here. He bought the thing in this picture. He was in paradise.

They have so many front doors and patio type doors. We oohed and ahhed looking at them all. In about 20 years, if we ever wanna change something in our home, we now, know where to come. It would definitely be this place.

A beautiful stainless GE fridge. Good fridge, but our fridge we have in Japan, is so much bigger then the GE fridge. It's taller for sure, deeper, more room, it's just bigger. And ultimately why we decided to get the Japanese fridge we have at our home in Japan. We just wanted the biggest fridge we could buy, regardless of where it came from, and Japan it was. Plus ours had a wicked ice maker and we make a ton of ice. Cute GE fridge though. My parents both of them have one like this one in the picture, water dispenser and all, but my mom's is almond and my dad's was/is white. Branden wanted to take a pic with it because he said, "this looks like grandpa's fridge" ha ha ha.


I do like American dishwashers though, and they had some nice ones. But I do prefer the GE one I have though back in Japan.

They had some great stoves, but I love my stove, I have though in my house, but heck if I ever need one, I'll know where to go look now, ha ha ha. : )


Noboru checking out an oven, ha ha ha.

So many lights and ceiling fans.
So many things for kids rooms.

Noboru got some halogen light bulbs for the standing light we bought at Costco in Japan a few years back. One of the sides of the light bulb burnt out about a month ago and he got some more bulbs for it here. We left Home Depot around 1:00 pm. And went back to the hotel and switched clothes and headed out to the beach for some snorkeling, yet again. We snorkeled that day for only a few hours, from about 1:30 pm to about 3:30 pm, however, the kids and I were in the water every single day, including the day Noboru arrived. So we really got a lot of beach and pool time. Anyway, after our couple hours of afternoon snorkeling that day, we went back upstairs, took hot showers and went and had dinner. And then went back to the room to watch a night full of TV shows and eat snacks. We were just so active all day, everyday. But it was a fun type active. : )