Monday, May 25, 2009

Pizza Hut All-you can eat buffet, new sit down restaurant opened in Chiba, Japan last week, we went!!! And other updates, let's catch up! : )

Sorry you guys again for growing quiet again, it's just now that the weather's turned so gorgeous and beautiful and warm, I am finding it harder and harder to want to sit behind a computer screen. Forgive me. :P Lately, I have been having this preference to just be outside and hanging out in the sunshine, hanging with the family or visiting with friends. So anyways, thought I better update so, we can all catch up with each other and see what everyone's up to!!!! So anyway, last Monday, yup as expected and planned, we did the last bit of staining for the time being. The two projects fully done and 100% complete. We have for now....given up on the new yellow rope. Why? Well because first nothings wrong with our rope now., it's nylon and it's not rotted or anything horrible, we just hoped we could replace it, but, since it's gonna be a bigger pain in the butt then originally thought, it's back burner city for the rope!:P If we find one, we find one, if not, well.....we'll certainly not lose any sleep over it. Know what I mean? :P However we stained the steps along the rope ladder and it dried Monday beautifully. I think you can even see the stain tin sitting near the rope ladder in the pic. :P ha ha ha. Anyway Monday was an hour to 75 minutes of busy cleaning. Blech! Trying to get the house back to normal after a weekend of "no cleaning" See the 2 giant sized fishy blue beach towels hanging on our fence. Well, I washed them and dried them and I have them lying on the couch now. It's good for summer to have a towel material on the couch and with kids around, it protects the couch too, so it's all good. :P
Last Monday was a gorgeous hot day, so I put the couch cushions out in the sun. They got big and fluffy. I also whacked them with the futon stick off and on all day. Did 2 loads of laundry and folded and put away. Did the toilets, washed the shower and bathroom. The laundry room also got a good thorough cleaning. Vacuumed. And was exhausted by that time. Work myself to death all day, err umm no thanks an hour to hour and a half was more then plenty ha ha ha. Ha ha ha. After that, I helped with the staining. Washed up and from 11am for the rest of the day, I took it easy. Oh yeah 20 minutes went to my workout DVD but that was it.
See this sad little table? We got it at a local DIY type place last year, was it last year? Or the year before? Anyway, we will probably restain this as well. We're in no real rush with it though. Also, the nice thing about owning a house. Is you can take your time with things. Houses are always in..."things to do" mode aren't they? Like our first year we moved here, we said the first year we will concentrate on doing up the inside of the house, meaning buying the furniture we like. Etc etc. And that was what we did all year. And then a few years after that, we said, we will do nothing but the backyard, and did the sod and concentrated on that 100%. And this year, our "to do list" was stain the front porch and the playground. And we did. So now we sorta can relax and think, major thing accomplished for the summer, big task outta the way, phew and anything else is just the icing. Kwim? : ) Anyway where was I? Think I sorta got side tracked, forgive me. : ) Oh yes the table, duh! Anyway, "one of our to do list things" is to get some proper furniture for the terrace we have. Not really sure if we want like patio furniture type lounge area like a garden couch type thing or the big American style table with chairs and huge umbrella to eat under type thing. Also, we are unsure if it is more cost effective to buy our patio furniture at Costco in Makuhari or if it would be cheaper for us to get at Home Depot in Guam. The table set I wanted at Home Depot in Guam, was only $500 and that's a good deal for a good set that would last us at least 10 years. And the shipping would be peanuts since we would have it put into the cargo plane. Since hubby works for the airline. I think we paid 60 bucks for all our blinds shipped into the cargo part of the airplane and were talking all windows for the house it was a few hundred pounds weight even. So, dilemma dilemma. Granted not end of the world type stuff granted but it's what our family has been busy talking and debating about lately. The main thing is we want to get it the cheapest way we can. Anyways, guess it's sorta been on our minds. So anyway, not sure if we will get the patio furniture this year or next year but it's definitely on our list. And like I said we're in no real rush. If it waits until next year, no worries. We'll get to it....eventually. :P
The last coat and I believe you can see the tape we taped near the edge of the doorway. All that extra taping and whatnot. Yeah it took forever. It's hard work. Really hard work. Just glad it's done. Phew. Oh and the stain smell faded by Thursday, lol. Phew.
Monday night, we had homemade tostadas. They were so yumm! : )
And another day in the week, I made a slow roasted, pork roast and roasted potatoes and carrots.
A pretty simple meal. Pork roast, roasted potatoes and carrots, steamed green beans and crescent rolls. My family gobbled this meal right up. :P
Haven't shown pictures of my kiddos at the swimming school in like forever. So here's some shots! : ) These were taken last Wednesday, Noah swam and also B swam that day too. A long day at swim school perhaps. But, we know how good it is for the boys and how much they love it, so we go and enjoy it. Here's Noah! : )
Go Noah go!!! : )
I am just so proud of you, how much you've grown and how much you've learned in your short 3 years of life!!!! : )
And Branden, you're a really good egg. We are proud of you as well! : )
And here was hubby in the orange shirt on Wednesday watching Branden swim, meanwhile Noah swam already and was back into his school uniform. The pizza dough was at home rising. And we were sorta just taking a load off, while watching Branden.
And on our way home from swim club, we stopped to get more garigarikun popsicles and other various yummy nummy treats. We make a stop every other day for them. Geeze, we've been eating these garigarikuns for so long ne~ I remember mentioning them way back when we had our last BBQ, how time flies! :P Branden had the milk one and we had the blue ones, remember. ha ha ha, and would you believe, I still I don't care for the milk ones, go figure. : ) Branden's favorite flavor is the pineapple garigari. But my favorite is the blue regular one. And Noboru's favorite flavor of garigari is the milk tea kind. Meanwhile Noah likes any flavor. Ha ha ha. He's not picky!!!! : )
When we got home from swim club! The boys went upstairs and unpacked their swim bags right away. Put on their house clothes, B got crackin' on his homework from ninensei right away. And I meanwhile turned on the oven and I chopped veggies, while the hubster rolled the dough out.
Yup, it was a family affair. Everyone pitched in to help, except B, but in his defense, he wanted to help but he was in homework mode.: ( But hubby and Noah pitched right in.
You ever hear, "swimming makes you hungry?" yes it does. The boys were starved when they got home. I don't blame them. Each kiddo munched their own small bag of peanut butter pretzels while we hurried getting dinner into the oven. After hubby rolled the dough. I put the cheese on and Noah did the pepperonis. And we also let him sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on the cinnamon stick we made, just had extra dough is why we made a cinnamon stick. : )
By now the pizza was in the oven. The oven is on 450F it has to be THAT hot so the pizza crust stays crisp and not all soggy. It cooks in 20 minutes flat. So it's quick. Anyway B was done with his homework but he has 1 question that stumped him. Yup still doing the ninensei time clock thing. :P That's what daddy is for, he helped him, explained it to him. Asked him if he "got it" and then asked him, why? Just to double check if B, really did truly get it. Which yes, he did, phew. Done and homework packed in the backpack. And time to eat!!!!
The large one was half pepperoni and half pepperoni with mushroom. And the other one was pepperoni and veggie and the other one was half pepperoni and half veggie with pepperoni.
This was so nice to enjoy with the family last Wednesday night.
My little pepperoni and veggie personal size pizza. Glass of mango tea and lots of ice, sure hit the spot! And a pineapple garigarikun popsicle for us all for dessert Wednesday night.
Thursday, last Thursday after dropping Noah at yochien. I drove me, myself and I to the big grocery store. It's quite a drive but for me, but it's worth making it, because it saves me so much money on my weekly shopping and grocery bill. And then as I was checking out, Mayuko-san was wheeling her cart towards the check out line next to my check out line. We greeted another and were happy to see one another. We also ended up sacking our groceries right next to each other. And chatted while bagging groceries. She is one of my good friends who came to one of our BBQ's last summer. And she is the one who drove us to Costco back in February? Or was it March? And the one we went to the Indian restaurant with. And sat near at ensoku. Anyway she mentioned, why don't we go to Costco again. I was happy she mentioned it. Granted I wasn't going to mention it, I don't mind going to Costco with my hubby. But yes, it is totally funner going with friends. So, yeah she suggested it. And then from there I emailed Noriko-san and said Mayuko-san mentioned us going with her, which she did. And so, I guess the ball is now rolling. And some plan is slowly forming. But I think a Costco trip for us yochien ladies might be happening soon. So then, we wheeled our carts outside, still talking about Costco. And she parked her car near my car and so we chatted while we put out groceries into our own cars and went on our way. I was really happy to run into my friend while at the grocery store Thursday morning. Plus I got my weekly shopping out of the way too, so it was pretty cool. I'm really enjoying my irl friends a lot. They're good people, people I've broken bread with many times and worked with on yochien events, bake sales etc. Really nice ladies and I'm proud to call them all my friends. I know, I'm a sentimental dork, what can I say. It's okay! Sniff, sniff. :P
Kakigori flavors for the popsicles in the plastic tubes. These are the best because you don't have to worry if they melt and get all over your little ones hands or stain their clothes. Because they are encased, it's almost foolproof. Not always, but definitely keeps things much cleaner and that makes me happy. I buy a pack of these every week during summer and keep them in the freezer because when Branden's friends come over to play, I can always offer them one. This way they can get a treat while visiting and it keeps the kids cool while they play.
The box of Branden's Nissen shorts arrived, Thursday while I was at the store, hubby answered the door and brought the box in. : )
Six simple graphic tees in size 140cm. They were like 3 shirts for 980 yen or something, good deal we thought. 20 pairs of sneaker socks, good deal on those too. And 4 pair of cargo jean shorts. They do have some great deals on kids clothes. : )
The rice is starting to grow and poke through the water now! Cool huh?! :P
The blue tarp back on, the rope ladder stained and up, everything all back to normal.
And now it's finished.
Backyard view of the rice growing. I love to show how it's growing behind our house as well.
Yup, I can see the little seedlings growing right out of the water in this pick. They are short still
but by gosh, they are growing. :P Go rice go!!!! ha ha ha. : )
Just like on Finding Nemo how they said..."just keep swimming" I will cheer on the fields and say...just keep growing, just keep growing, just keep, growing growing, growing" Ha ha ha. :P
Noah riding his bike Thursday after school!!! Branden was meanwhile riding his bike with friends in our housing community that we live! But he came home at 5pm when the song played throughout the neighborhood though. :P
Then Noah went into our shed and pulled out one of the many balls the boys have. He grabbed a basketball.
Happy smiles!!!! : ) I sat outside in the backyard Thursday and enjoyed watching my son ride his bike and bounce his basketball. The simple things like this in life, make me pretty happy. : ) May sound sappy but it's okay, it's totally true. : )
Go on my son, bounce that ball! And I will watch you and cheer you on! He likes me counting the # of times he bounces it. @_@ Ha ha ha. :P
And talk about perfect timing the DVD's came on Friday (afternoon). We rented, "The Day the Earth Stood Still" with Keanu Reeves, sorry to say it wasn't nearly as good as we thought and hoped it would be. : ( And we rented, "What a Girl Wants" With Amanda Bynes and dreamy Colin Firth.: D It's Monday and we've not yet seen it, hopefully Tuesday night.
If you live in Japan, you probably know that in Japan, Pizza Huts are for take out/pick up or for delivery, meaning no sit down restaurants here for Pizza Hut, bummer. That is, until now, and here's a pic of the Pizza Hut sit down restaurant, meaning you can actually sit down and have a meal. In Japan they are calling the sit down Pizza Huts, "Pizza Hut Natural", the first one opened in Japan last Wednesday night. Two co-workers of Noboru's and their family's went the first night it opened for dinner. We would have went the first day with them, but Wednesday is our family swim day, so it wasn't meant to be and Thursday is Kumon day granted B was outta Kumon by 3:45pm and got to play through the neighborhood still, but we planned for Friday. And yup, again Noboru's other coworker went on Thursday and even sent us a pic with his keitei, lol.:P So we went Friday, a day that worked for everyone in our family, the third day it opened, but it's okay it was barely 3 days old when we went. That way we could go relax and eat and see what we thought. Also, they hope this restaurant is sucessful because if so they hope to open 10-20 more Pizza Hut Naturals across Japan. So, not really sure if this is their test restaurant but lucky for me it's in Chiba! If you live in Chiba, please check it out!!!!! : ) Hubby's coworkers said there was a line, the people who went the first day said there was a long line. When we went on Friday there was no line, granted we got there at like 4:30pm so before the dinner rush. And yes there was a small amount of people waiting to be seated when we left. Please keep that in mind. Hope that bit helps. : )
The prices are VERY fair! Especially for a buffet/all you can eat in Japan.
They still had the "new opening flowers" sitting near the entrance!!!
Now, if you are expecting, pan pizzas and the menu to be like what we have at the regular American Pizza Hut, you may be disappointed. *But* if you have lived in Japan for a while and you love Capriccosa type Italian, then you will SURELY *LOVE* this. For real!!!! They make small thin crust hand tossed pizzas, they bake them in a real pizza oven for that gorgeous flavor. They make them small according to everything we've read, because they say they need the pizzas to bake quick and that's understandable. They also have many types of pizza, margerita pizza, curry pizza, all sorts of pizza. And you can order as many as you want but they do ask you not to order more then you can eat. And we ordered slowly, and we ordered only what we could finish and if hungry we ordered more. We wasted nothing.
Here's a pic of the menu.
The actual buffet part is small. They have sodas and drinks. They have salad, a very small salad bar, real small. they have a lot of Chinese in their buffet which surprised me. And Japanese. They had omelet rice, garlic fried rice, soup, karaage, french fries, garlic bread. I think they are hoping you get filled up on this stuff. We had small salads and the boys shared some fries. But we mainly went for the pasta and pizza. And btw, their goma dressing was fantastic.
This pasta was so good, this one was garlic and tomato. This tasted probably better then the one we get at Cappriciossa and we love theirs, so yeah this is good stuff!!!! And yes the portions are indeed small but that's cool because you can actually try a variety of pastas this way!!!
And this different plate of pasta was spicy, but so good and came with eggplant, this was delicious. We loved spending last Friday night at Pizza Hut!!! : )
Perfect size and so unbelievably good, a wood fired pizza versus a gas pizza, no contest, the flavor was wow!!! Each of our boys had their own pizza, I had my own as well. We enjoyed ourselves last Friday quite a bit!!! :P
Noboru came back with this plate? I asked him, were ya trying to make a face with it? Sorta almost looked like a smiley face. He laughed and it was an accidental face, he said :P. I had 1 sweet potato battered in tempura and the hubby ate the rest.
Noboru on his 2nd serving of pasta now and on his 2nd pizza now. @_@ Hey, we wanted our money's worth!!!! Ha ha ha. And heck, why not enjoy eating out once in a while, right? : )
And we each got our own soft serve with cornflakes, because this is Japan afterall, gotta have those cornflakes in there for good measure, right?! Yumm. :P
And this is a pic of the inside of the restaurant. Noboru joked and said it didn't resemble how American Pizza Huts look like inside at all. And I agree. I like American Pizza Huts *but* you know, I also really like this Pizza Hut Natural as well. Both totally different but both totally good. And the price of 1500 yen or whatever for unlimited pizza and pasta is pretty fair considering the quality and flavor is top notch and delicious and considering this in Japan and things ususally cost about this much anyway. Now for the info in better details. This restaurant is located in Sakura, Chiba. So, I think people in the Funabashi or Makuhari area would have an easy time of getting here. Now for me, it's a pain in the butt, since I live way off in the middle of nowhere!!! Ha ha ha! :P But hubby and I agree we will try to make it down there maybe once every 2-3 month's or so. Anyway hope this information helps someone!!! : )
Saturday morning, we all got a very good sleep, don't think I even got up until 9:30am? Chopped up some potatoes, and chopped some onions, mushrooms and bell peppers for omelet fixings.
The boys split a 3 egg omelet with cheddar. And had potatoes and toast and OJ. Hubby had an omelet with cheddar and mushrooms with potatoes and toast as well but with black coffee. And I had a 1 egg omelet with onions, bell peppers and mushrooms with cheddar. Skillet potatoes and toast and a hot caramel machiatto coffee.
Here's a pic of my simple not fancy breakfast from last Saturday. It was much too nice of a day to be inside or be online. So, we spent most of our day in the backyard. Just kicking back and relaxing. Watching the kids play. And then I got started in on supper.
Cream stew for us on Saturday.
Just chopped and fried up the chicken in a bit of oil when it was 100% cooked, I fried up the veggies, didn't add any other oil. When the onions looked sorta see through. Know what I mean? Is when I started adding water, covering with lid and stuff.
A picture of my boys Saturday afternoon, must have been taken around 3pm or so? The stew was boiling on the stove while I went back outside. Watched them chase each other barefoot on the soft grass. Nothing major going on for us this weekend, that's true, just stayed home, but by George we had ourselves a really awesome weekend. :P
A very low key dinner in our neck of the woods on Saturday!!! Cream stew and rice!!! After supper, we threw the dishes into the dishwasher and we took fast showers, got squeeky clean, jammies on by 7pm, no kidding. Just sorta hanging out. Noah zonked out as usual. And B stayed up until 9pm. And then hubby and I watched American Idol. I think my dad said it's now over in the US? He's biting his tongue and nearly bursting at the seams trying not to tell me how it ends. Anyway for us in Japan... and if you are somewhere actually more delayed then Japan please don't read ahead. :P Anyway, Lil and Anoop left last week and this week, Matt Giraud left. I hate to admit it but I agree with the results so far. Sorry contestants, ha ha ha. : )
Anyway am still walking treadmill about 4 times a week, still clocking in 7,000-10,000 steps. Doing my work out dvd's about 3-4 times a week. Wish it were more, but hey, I'm honest. : ) I wish I were a more dedicated exerciser honestly. Ha ha ha.
Sunday, woke up at 8am, because it was community clean up day!!!@_@ And would you believe since it rained around 4am and stopped way before 9am, when the clean up was supposed to start. Anyway it was postponed for another Sunday, this coming Sunday. So, with the kids still snoozing, hubby and I enjoyed coffee. Lazed around. Stood in our house clothes/loungewear all day. The boys and I played a board game, called SORRY! And then we just mostly lazed around until dinner. We had lunch and stuff. Had leftover cream stew for supper. Totally lazy Sunday. :P Ha ha ha. And watched Kyle XY all afternoon on the Sci-Fi channel. They were having a marathon and I never have seen that show before but turns out, I really like that show a lot. And we had this bowl of popcorn and watched Kyle XY for hours. So much fun, just vegging out and relaxing taking a much needed break.

Anyway, other tidbits to share???
Well May31st, we will do the community clean up this is the postponed day, oh the joy, oh the fun! not! : )

June 1st is the first day, Noah switches over to the summer uniform. It's been marked on my calendar for the past month. June 1st, June 1st, yochien summer uniform is in effect, for my sons school, it's like stuck in my brain. I better not forget, I better not forget. :P

Visit Noah's school June 4th, I got it marked down already. Observation day for me.

"Daddy's visit the yochien day" on a Saturday, June 13th. I made sure to type that into Noboru's Ipod touch so he has been in the know about that and had taken the day off. For that already. But still it's marked on the ol' calendar on the fridge. Just so I can doubly make sure! :P Observation for the dad's.

Branden's field trip to where we live, lol. June 17th, The rice fields behind our house, the Yuka-sensei is taking B's class. And I am to make him obento for June 17th. Read the note about it?, yes, marked it on the calendar, and everything!!!! And no, karaage for obento *again* lol. He will take either sandwich or yakitori. I have my heels stuck in the ground for this one. And I won't budge and it's not even June yet!!!! Just let the kids ask me for karaage. I know what my answer will be. :P Nope, nope, no no no. ; ) The Yuka-sensei said in our town she feels the best fields to catch crawfish are "such and such" rice fields (there's a little creek near by the fields, the same one we go to.) Which happens to be the fields right behind our house, lol, go figure, I didn't know, sure we go catching there ourselves but I didn't know it was that good. I wonder if I should observe the kids on their field trip from my terrace. Should I wave at B? LOL! Nah that would embaress him. Wouldn't want to do that. :P Since they will have lunch along the rice fields, should I ask them to lunch in our backyard? Nah that would not be roughing it and I think they wanna rough it. Ahh well, I'll at least get a birds eye view of my son all day long, that day!!! Ha ha ha. They also asked for any parental volunteers that would like to tag along. Noboru said he might go with B's class. Since he's into the crawfish guy stuff anyway. Perhaps another dad will tag along as well. Maybe Genki's or Kouiki's dad.
TV Talk, Have lately gotten into Kyle XY, like I said. Am still big into Desperate Housewives, Cold Case, Dexter, Law and Order SVU, Ghost Whisperer, American Idol, Sex and the City. And Gossip Girl. I also catch Martha Stewart whenever I can or Jamie Oliver's cooking program whenever I can on the Food Network too.
In the news....Also, did anyone read this news that happened in New Mexico last week? It's about a mother who suffocated her 3 year old son. Killing a child is horrible enough, but this mother suffocated him, had second thoughts, performed CPR on him, brought him back to life and then changed her mind and suffocated him yet again! What sort of person does this? What was that poor child thinking the last 10 minutes of his little life. This story just makes me so sad! I have a 3 year old little boy myself and I tell you this story bothered me to my very core. It broke my heart, it really honestly did. And I hugged my son so tight and told him how much I loved him after I read this story. I hugged both my sons tighter this day. She said, the reason she killed him was because, and I quote, "she did not want him to grow up with no one caring about him" This story was so heartbreaking to hear. I have since went and looked at his little picture about 10 times.: ( Poor little boy. He didn't deserve that, no child does. Kids are so innocent, they're so good and wonderful. Sigh. Deep breaths. Anyway, sorry but I had to discuss this tragedy because it upset me a great deal. Sigh. I really hate it when people hurt kids. : (
Anyway, with my kids fast asleep in dreamland, it's time for me to enjoy my down time in front of my TV with big fluffy pillow and blankie and get ready for a new Ghost Whipserer to start at 9pm tonight. Have a wonderful week you guys!!! : ) Edited to add, no Ghost Whisperer tonight? It's not on. Bummer! So season 2 ended then, right. Grumble grumble. Aw man, this bites!!! : ( Oh well, I see Titanic just started. Okay have a lovely night and awesome week you guys! Back to the TV, I go! :P