Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bits from the week!!! : ) (Including Noah's first teacher conference, and Branden's observation day and another BBQ!)

Here's some of the homework Branden, has been working on at the elementary. They are currently learning to tell time. Aww. : ) So not too hard or difficult homework so far and it's good. : )
And Branden knows how to tell time. Remember this clock? I blogged about this clock a few years back, I bought it at Costco Makuhari, when B was in yochien. Reason why I blogged it was because I bought it and it was broke, and you know how far we live from there right? So we returned it and brought it home and again it was broke from right out of the package!!!! 3rd time, we said, no more. And we bought it and opened it up there on the spot to make sure. It was a pain in the backside. Ha ha ha. But he did learn to tell time from that quite easy. He could read digi clocks first, but I wanted him to know the clocks with hands. So he knew how to tell time with the hands, in English already for the past few years of course, but the good part is he got to learn this in the second grade and in Japanese. So now he can read them and explain the time in both languages. And it's helpful to know. : )
Our family has been hooked on these garigarikun soda popsicles for the passed two weeks. They're smooth on the outside and crunchier ice inside. They're so good and only 60 yen at the store nearest us. .
Tuesday night I made chicken chow mein or sara udon if you know the name in Japanese.
Just a bunch of cheap affordable veggies. 70 yen this, 100 yen that, 77 yen that and 15 yen bean sprouts.
Chopped up the veggies and cut the chicken and took off all funky bits off the chicken. And got ready to cook.
Fried up the chicken first with a bit of oil. A slight sprinkling of salt and pepper.
Added the veggies and stirred around too, didn't add anymore oil.
The base for this are inside the crunchy noodle packs. 2 packs per package.
180cc of water per packet. I had 4 packets so used water for 4.
Water mixed with packets. Does this not look like some sad gloopy watery yuck or what? :P But trust me, it looks gorgeous once it boils and thickens. : )
Everything cooked, veggies slightly tender. Ready to add the sad looking liquid and get to boiling.
I let it boil for a good 17-20 minutes on a nice medium heat and I did stir a few times. The last minute or two, or so before it was done simmering, I added 1 spoon of shoyu/soy sauce and 1 half spoon of chili pepper oil for extra flavor and kick, stirred let it boil an extra minute and done. And then it's time to eat.
It's a very simple meal, there's no seafood in here at all. Though I suppose you could add some if you wanted, but we like our chicken chow mein simple. And see, the sauce did thicken up nicely didn't it? : )
My serving. And yes my meal is small, I am still watching what I eat and still walking treadmill daily. I took about 10 days off around the time I went to Guam, I think honestly I got burnt out a bit by it all. But I am back on board and hoping I don't get burnt out by exercise again, we will see. And I'm always pretty honest about it anyway, so we'll see. : )
Wednesday was onigiri day at Noah's yochien. And he took Mickey Mouse onigiri. : ) The seaweed sheets come from the store and they are already precut, so they're easy peasy and they look cute, plus they make Noah happy taking them, so they're good. : )
Close up of Noah's Mickey onigiri! :D
Oh this week, Monday, I kicked butt by majorly cleaning the down stairs. I mean toilets, mopping kitchen floors. Cleaning drawers in the kitchen.Dusting the blinds. Dusting all over downstairs. Getting my windex out and cleaning the big patio windows. And then I cleaned the upstairs toilet and vacuumed the upstairs and that was it for Monday. Tuesday, I vacuumed the downstairs but paid all my attention to the upstairs, cleaned the shower room, laundry room, dusting the blinds for all the bedrooms. Pulled up Branden's bed from where it was and vacuumed under his bed and then put it right back to where it was originally. Moved out his drawers in his closet and vacuumed under there. Noah's room got a big cleaning. 2 loads of laundry and was done for Tuesday regarding cleaning, also cleaned both toilets yet again. Then got the kiddies from school and made the chicken chow mein for Tuesday, phew no wonder no time for blogging this week. Wednesday, I did half downstairs and half upstairs completely 50/50 of cleaning and then made enchiladas, yumm. Thursday, I didn't clean at all, instead it was a sort out the clothes day. I got to the clothes. The kids clothes. I went into the attic and pulled out the 2 boxes in the picture of the 4T stuff for Noah... that used to be B's. And the empty clear box is what I packed all of Branden's size 7's in and a few straggling size 6's. I also put a Post It on top and wrote, "majority size 7's and few size 6's", that way in a few years time when I have long forgot, it will be written down for me. Friday, I did laundry, cleaned toilets and vacuumed and did supper prep.
Meanwhile all these size 2's and 3's in this picture and about 100 more items went all nicely packed up and went to a coworkers of Noboru's. This man has 2 small son's. Age 2.5 and 1 or something like that. And we gave them a heap of clothes last year. They are a nice family, they can use the stuff and we have no use for them anymore. And it helps us declutter by giving to them and so, it's a win win. Lots of Osk kosh overalls and Gap overalls. two yellow Gap wind breakers and just tons more. Jammies, winter and summer. Anyway glad I decluttered this week. A spring overhaul regarding getting the clothes for the boy's all sorted. Phew!
On the cool side, regarding the 4t stuff, Noah inherited these 2 pairs of summer PJ's size 4 from Branden from Old Navy. Pale yellow surfboard jammies. And the blue ones say Big Surf, lol.
Swim trunks. Gap (blue and white), Old Navy (yellow and navy) and Ralph Lauren (hawaiian style and colors). That used to be Branden's. Now Noah's. LOL.
Branden's ol' favorite funky housepants. They are really cool, were so cheap from Nishimatsuya. Jean look but they're like sweatpants material or some other soft material, they have flared legs and they're capris, lol! And have cargo pockets. They are so funky, lol.
Khaki cargo shorts, size 4T not sure if Mr. skinny butt can wear these this year since he is thin. But if not, next year is fine. LOL.
Cherokee brand means Target, lol. Cheap prices, high quality, I do love Target... anyways size 4's on those khaki cargo shorts.
Osh Kosh overalls size 4 and Osh Kosh short overalls/shortalls, lol. Also size 4. I don't mind reusing my kids stuff at all either. It's good condition stuff. And it's all packed so nicely. It's nice to get to reuse stuff from son to son.
Many hats, many T shirts.
Undies. Noah has his own undies, new undies. But you know, for kids especially they can never have too many undies. So it helps. Thomas, sesame street, Buzz Lightyear.
Even his old junky clunky Ultraman shirts can be worn for around the house type shirts by little brother.
I remember actually buying these shirts from Old Navy years ago. The saying made me laugh, it was so cheeky, I thought!!! It's stuff like this, that I like reusing. It doesn't matter that the shirts were just $5.00 each at the time on sale, it still feels good to reuse them.
Or when Herbie the Love Bug the remake came out (Herbie Fully Loaded). And Branden went gaga for all things VW Bug. And we bought him the DVD's and for Christmas time, I ordered these jammies for him from the Disney Store in the US. How he had to wear these every single night. How he adored them so and how he swore someday when he was older he would buy himself a real VW bug, the newer one. *winks* : ) Now he's not into Herbie anymore and he doesn't even mention wanting a Bug when he grows up anymore, lol. I asked B if he wanted these special jammies saved? He said, nah, give them to Noah. So, little brother inherits them. And we do have about 10-12 items of clothing of Branden's that we have saved special for him for when he's grown, he can have as memory. Plus a clear box of everything special from his yochien days too. Stuff we won't even let Noah wear. And we have a few things saved of Noah's like that too. But was a bit surprised B didn't wanna save these jammies in the special box. But it's okay it was up to him. : )
Wednesday night I made chicken enchiladas and rice. I made them in the day before the kids got out of school and before swim club, so when we got home, I just whacked them in the oven to get warm and we ate. So good and boy were we starving. : )
This was my serving.
Thursday's obento for Noah. He had a fried in a pan Oscar Meyer hot dog, some Kraft mac and cheese and some steamed veggie, because I know how the sensei's love to see veggie in their obentos. @_@. And a mikan jelly. This obento came back empty empty. So did the Mickey onigiri obento. :P
In other news, the farmers have filled up all the rice fields behind our house. I love this season a lot, because with all the water, now we can hear the croaking of frogs all night long. It's so peaceful and tranquil. Not to sound all dorky but it is nice to hear that sound. : )
Croaking all the way to the right. Croaking all the way to the left, croaking, croaking of frogs everywhere.
This pic was taken on Thursday. This pic was taken about 5 minutes before Noah's teacher came to our home for a home visit. In Japan usually the teacher will come to your house and visit. Branden was at school at the time. Noah was in the backyard playing in his electric car. And she drove up. She went around to the backyard. Said what a lovely view and backyard we had. We thanked her and she sat at the kitchen table. She said she had nothing negative to say. That he eats all his lunch everyday. The Japanese school lunch he eats just fine and the obento he brings from home he eats just fine too. She said he shares with others, has made a lot of friends, no fights or anything to speak of since he started in January, she basically said they have zero problem with him at all. He's not a trouble making type kid (which was nice to hear). And he hangs with his best pal Chi-chan most of all. We knew that though, we know Chi-chan and he are peas in a pod anyway though : ) Noboru said...."nothing at all???" She said, "nothing at all." Then you could just see....... Pause. There was nothing more to say. Wow, we were happy he is doing so well, we had no idea. So we talked a bit about Noah's field trip coming up next month that all us mom's and probably a few dad's will show up to. What location it would be at. She told us it's the same place where Branden had his field trip at when he went to the yochien. Ahh we said. Noboru has the day off the day Noah has his field trip, pure coincedence though, but Noah and I are going to the field trip with Noriko and her daughter in their car so Noboru won't be going with us and that's fine. I'm actually looking forward to chatting with my fellow yochien mom friends anyway, so. It's good. : )
The boys in the backyard looking in the bucket. What's in that bucket??? It's these country kids...catch of the week!!!! Ha ha ha. Now that Spring is here. The boy's have gone fishing with dad/Noboru once this week and crawdad catching once this week!!!
We had about 4 crawdads/crayfish and 1 small eel (yikes) and some small fish in here. They kept them in there over night and then they released them the next day!
I am even standing behind the table here. But while we eat our meals, we can see the water in the fields and feel at peace. We also have an identical patio window in the living room and can see the field from my computer chair right now too. It's cool. One frog was in the yard the other day while I had the boys' comforters hanging on the fence, he hopped away but he startled me a bit. And I like frogs, I find them so cute, but it was the element of surprise that caught me off guard. : ) I didn't scream, I just said..."hey little guy" :P
And the grass has really grown green hasn't it? We have not watered it even once. But then Japanese grass really doesn't need it. The natural/regular rains we get here and there are enough. Funny......5 weeks ago our grass was 100% yellow. Not a single green grass in the whole yard (which is what Japanese grass normally looks like in winter). And now 5 weeks later and it's about 50% green and still it's 50% yellow still. And we know that. But it is getting lots greener right? Also those nurtients he put on the grass helped us heaps.
Friday after school, Branden brought home a tomato plant. The kids in the 2nd grade were asked to grow it. So this little gal, we've been taking care of since Friday. I plan to repot her in something bigger. I assumed this tomato plant was a guy but B told me this tomato plant is a girl. LOL. So, SHE is going to get repotted this week, ha ha ha.
Also Friday after school, I stopped off at the local country conbini and let the kids get some more blue popsicles. It was a good snack for the kids after school. It was TGIF for Noah, but Branden had school the next day....Saturday. And observation day for us parents.
About 4 lbs of homemade pizza dough sitting there waiting to be rolled out. Yummm! Homemade pizza for us on Friday!!! Woohoo, Friday's rock!!!
The large Costco sized pizza was half pepperoni and mushroom and the other was just pepperoni w/ cheese obviously. :P Kids both just prefer simple pepperoni which is fine. And the 2 personal pans, one was for me, pepperoni, mushroom, green peppers and onions. And duh, I forgot the black olives that were sitting in the fridge. Ugh. : ) And the hubs wanted a thick deep dish with ham and pepperoni and mushrooms. So much pizza for a Friday night meant lots of leftovers the next day. : )
My dinner Friday night, pizza and an iced mango tea. We all watched TV, then the boy's showered with hubby. Meanwhile I showered. The kids zonked out and so the hubster and I watched the DVD rental from Tsutaya called Stepbrothers. With Will Ferrel. OMG! That was hilarious. I was thinking it was gonna be stupid, but it's not stupid at all, it's just flipping hilarious. Laughed so hard I nearly cried!!! Cried, I tell you!!! Noboru was laughing himself to heck as well. A perfect end to Friday night. Stepbrothers, lol. A good movie. Right before bed though, I chopped up a chicken breast and marinated it in the karaage liquid. Why? Because B needed obento for Saturday.
Saturday morning my alarm woke me up at 5:30am. Oh dear goodness, this must be some cruel evil hoax! 5:30am and on a Saturday? Grumble grumble! Ha ha ha. Hey, what gives....and what sorta weekend is this? LOL. grumble grumble a bit more and then by the time I shuffled myself downstairs and had a cup of hot coffee. Cranked up the tunes in the kitchen. It was okay, no more worries. I rolled the marinated chicken in flour and got the oil heated! by 6:05am his obento was finished. Phew! I then made B an omlette with some toast and some OJ. And he got to watch cartoons before heading off to school. School on Saturday, goodness me! : ) But the silver lining is, he doesn't have school this Monday. I still have to take Noah to school Monday though. But it's okay. I seriously don't mind. They're my kids and I love em' and I can handle any schedule these schools throw at me. Ha! :P Wink, wink! : )
What's in Branden's obento??? White rice, homemade karaage, french fries all nicely placed on a lettuce leaf for color. Can't forget the veg. So, green beans and a mini slice of homemade pepperoni pizza from the night before. And in the Thomas tiny container same one Noah uses. Some sliced and diced apple. I also placed a Mrs. Field's oatmeal and walnut cookie on a level of his obento. And I know dessert is not allowed in yochien, except for fruit or mini jellys. But I said to Branden, because last time he took obento to elementary he said 1 kid brought chesecake and someone else brought cookies. So, I said to Branden IF no one brings dessert, then don't eat the cookie just bring it home. BUT if someone else brings dessert and the sensei has no problem with it, then yes, you may eat your cookie. He said, okay and sure thing he brought it back empty, others did bring desserts too. Am I being kept on my toes or what? : ) I'm rolling with it. : ) So he ate the entire lunch. Even the cookie.
I wrapped up his obento in a cloth and packed it nicely in his backpack. : )
Us parents were to show up at 1pm Saturday afternoon for the "observation" part. So from 7am, I went back to bed. I slept until 11am. At 11am, I chopped up the meat and got it all marinated for the BBQ. White breast meat nicely cut up in the biggest container. Dark meat in another container and beef and pork. All marinated nicely in the fridge from 11am to 3pm until we got back from the elementary. It was nicely marinated. We also made the rice. So all was left was to fire up the grill when we got back from the obeservation day Saturday afternoon.
No, the Yuka sensei did not have a sex change, lol.:P This is the math teacher. Half the class is split into 2. And half stays downstairs with Yuka-sensei. And half goes upstairs to the (2) one male and one female teacher. That was Branden in the lime green polo top straight ahead in this picture. They are working on graphs and on telling the time at the moment. And we got to watch that. For every mom that showed, every father also showed. Meaning Saya's chan's mom and dad showed, the girl to the left of Branden, her mom and dad showed. There were a lot of parents on Saturday. I was happy Branden raised his hand about 10 times during class because he knew the answers. Kouiki the boy sitting to the right of B also knew the answers. And a lot more kids did too. Branden likes to raise his hand and he likes school a lot, and has a lot of friends. He was called to answer 2 questions and he got both answers right. I took only 1 pic, this pic. Meanwhile some mom video taped the entire class, the whole hour, lol. No worries though. :D
Now the weekend officially started. Started for us on Saturday!!! Ha ha ha. With a quick change of our clothes. Branden just took off his green polo but kept everything else the same. Noboru chased the kids in the yard. He is such a big kid himself!
Making sure the grill is super hot.
A quick play from Noboru again. I swear he loves playing back there as much as the kids do. He's a good dad. A real good dad. : )
Happy and content kids.
The potatoes were in the BBQ grill. And Noboru was playing dodgeball with Branden. Branden plays that at school. And Noboru was/is the self proclaimed dodgeball champ, so he is giving all his pointers and secrets to Branden. I could hear Noboru tell B.....always throw the ball fast and low, fast and low. It's nearly impossible to catch or avoid. The high ones...well anyone can catch those!!!! "I see" said B. He loves passing on his dodgeball words of wisdom to the boy's, lol. Meanwhile I stand there and watch them. Doing their guy bonding stuff. LOL. It's fun and I do dig my family! : )
Only half the amount of meat we had. We had a lot. We have so much that we will have yakiniku leftovers for Sunday night.
Eating, relaxing. The meat was so marinated, so tender. We're all talking and a chatter in the kitchen. The back patio door is open but the screen was closed. We could hear about a zillion frogs croaking, we could hear birds.... lots of them. I am kidding you not it sounded like we were listening to the National Geopgraphic channel or Animal planet yet it was coming from outside. We could smell faint hints of BBQ in the air. was a pretty wicked Saturday if I don't just say so myself. Whoever ate all their food could have a garigarikun popsicle, yumm. Branden finished his plate first and he sat and enjoyed.
This one was a milk flavored one.
Noah was second and Noboru was a close third, plates empty and food all gone, so they got theirs next. I finished mine and had my popsicle last. Then I cleaned off the table while hubby filled up the dishwasher. Meanwhile B ran upstairs and started us our bath. Even though we have a bath button downstairs to start the bath, he wanted to roll the bath cover over it, is why. We closed the door pulled the blinds. And got ready for baths. Noboru and B and then Noah and I. Soapy clean and rinsed and then a nice soak. And then the kids watched a bit of TV and headed to lalaland. Noboru and I watched American Idol at 9pm to 11pm. It was Motown week. And very cool. That's our week in a nut shell, I guess. Nothing huge going on, just regular life stuff. : )

Other tidbits....

TV Talk: I have gotten into a new show on satellite here in Japan called Gossip Girl. It's a really good show. Also, I managed this week to watch the complete season 4 of Grey's Anatomy!!! Such a great season and it ended so cool. I was cheering and happy how the main story line ended!!! And am still loving the Ghost Whisperer!!! I catch the new episodes every Monday night. : ) And as for American Idol. I really like Adam, I sorta am thinking he's going to win this? I also like Danny Gokey, have liked him heaps but his performances lately haven't really blown me away or anything.: ( Sorry to say that. But Adam Lambert he's picking the right songs and everything. I also think the 16 year old rocker Allison is pretty good too. The girl has a great voice. I really liked Megan but man has she been picking some not so great songs lately. : (
So as for now, I am liking Adam and Allison and Anoop. I also sorta dig Lil too. : )

Disney Sea update....between now and the next 10 days we will have already been to Disney Sea. We are sorta getting a bit excited about that a bit.

Dresses , casual dresses...I ordered myself some dresses from Old Navy. 4 dresses and 1 t-shirt and 2 pairs of flip flops. Just sorta getting ready for the warmer weather a bit for myself. They're already been shipped from the mainland US and are on their way to my dad's condo, so we're just sorta waiting. : )

Monday's plan for us here: Branden and I will drop off Noah at yochien and then Branden and Noboru will go and do an hour of crawdad hunting in the day time, in the fresh water canals near our house, since he doesn't have school tomorrow. Because Branden has a regular field trip coming up at the end of the month. However, Yuka-sensei mentioned to us parents on Saturday... that the kids in her class she was taking to hunt for crawfish, so they will also have a mini field trip too country style, where the kids will go to school with nets and stuff, lol. And Noboru wants to teach B how to catch lots of crawfish. He went last week and caught 3 all by himself, but we'd like him to be able to catch like 5 and up if possible and there is a way to catch em' So, Noboru wants to teach him more guy stuff tomorrow in the learning how to catch crawdads. Ha ha ha. Sorta reminds me of the song...."and we'll go fishing in the crawdad hole, honey baby mine" songs name was something like...."Froggy went a courtin'" LOL. :P

I hope you all had a nice weekend and please have a nice week you guys!!! : )