Saturday, May 16, 2009

A little update from us!!! : ) DIY type stuff and Noah's first ensoku!!!! : )

Sanding, sanding, sanding.
Sorry for the silence around here, we have just been so busy staining the front porch and the boys jungle gym. It's been sorta nuts with the DIY type stuff. And while it's been tons of work, we know the hard work will pay off in the end. In this pic, Noboru was sanding the bench that usually sits on our front porch. After 3 years of sitting on the porch it has been looking weathered. So, it needed to be sanded and refinished. We both worked on that... one afternoon. It was quite a job. :P
Next was the actual porch. Branden helped actually a great deal. He wanted to help and so sand away he did with the sander. It was a very fine soft grade of sand paper. But man it took the 3 of us quite a while to actually sand the entire front porch.
This pic was taken when we finally finished sanding the porch. We started our sanding and staining projects last Friday and now it's 7 or 8 days later and while we are almost done, we aren't completely finished yet. @_@ Yup, And I am trying to get this post put up within the next 50 minutes if not, I have to go and help hubby outside on the jungle gym again today.
This pic was taken when we started with the staining.
We have been using this wood stain. 4 liters have been used so far for the porch and 4 liters have been used so far for the jungle gym. It's a really good stain but the fumes from this, are killer, seriously they are so strong.
And now the front porch is near done. We did 2 coats on the banister and only 1 coat on the actual flooring. So we have to go and redo the floor Monday actually. Especially the high traffic area. But it needed a few days to dry properly and why we went onto the jungle gym. Now the jungle gym is done we will now go back to the porch and finish with 1 last coat. This is the true color of the porch it's like a darker brownish red color.
Another picture of the porch done. However in this pic it looks like a soft brown? This isn't the color it really is. We are quite proud we actually finished this and it came out as well as it did. Because neither hubby or myself ever stained before. We read up on it before we did it but this was our first time. And with taping off the parts we didn't want to get stain on etc, yeah it was a very time consuming project.
And yup, we had to tape up and block entrance to the porch for 2 days because we didn't want anyone to make wet stain footprints. Ha ha ha. This was sorta a hassle for us too, because we have been going through the back patio doors all week. So lugging kids backpacks and such through the backyard and trying *not* to rub against the porch banister and such. Oh yeah. The fun! Ha ha ha. And yup, the mail box pole still needs to be switched. So that project is awaiting us after we finish with the staining project first. : )
Oh and one mystery solved. We've lived in our home here for 3 years. And we have heard bird type noises off and on in bits for 3 years. My husband has seen the mysterious bird in question and I never saw the bird. So for the past 3 years he has been telling me and please don't laugh.:P He has been telling me, "I think we have wild peacocks living near us" oh, pish posh, I thought. "I don't think so honey" I'd say. And for 3 years I have been always been on the lookout for a peacock. I asked, did they have the vibrant beautiful colors? You know the males? He said nope they were the ones without the big fan of feathers, so he thought we had the girl peacocks living near us all this time, lol. And *finally* this week, Noboru was in the kitchen I was in the living room doing a workout DVD. And he said, "come quick it's the peacock" I went flying into the kitchen with camera in hand by the way. Because if this bird has been eluding me for 3 years, this could very well be the "once in a lifetime" type chance to snap his/her pic. So, I peeked through the window and there was this bird with a red head. I snapped 2 pics of the red headed bird. And then I said, "baby I don't think that's a peacock." So, with my DVD now on pause. We spent the next 8 minute searching online for the bird in question. It turns out it was a pheasant. Ha ha ha. That was so funny, the mystery of our last 3 years and the peacock was solved.
The tomato plant. Anyone remember when Branden brought home that small little tomato plant about 2 months ago? Was it 2 month's ago? Remember B said his plant was a girl? Anyway, she has really grown right?
These are the DVD's we rented last weekend. Border Town with Jennifer Lopez and Nick and Norah's Infinite Play List. We liked both movies a lot. And yes we did have the DVD's knocked down from 8 rentals a month to now just 4. Eight was just too much for our family. With all the house DIY type projects we have going on and also the ones on the back burner, 8 was just too much for us. I sorta wish they had a 6 DVD rental club, but sadly no. I mean sure we could rent extra but, for us, 4 rentals a month is good enough. We have 2 more DVD's to choose for May, but with the staining project not done yet, maybe they'll have to wait until we're done. : ( Oh well, something to look forward to is good. : )
Mother's day was last Sunday. How was ours, well hubby got me the DVD's I wanted on Amazon and Noah painted a picture of me for Mother's day and gave it to me last Friday, he did that at the yochien. So that was my gift from Noah. And Branden has given me a bracelet. A bracelet made out of wire and with plastic 100 yen beads. Awww. I wore it to the store this week and to the swim school and he was so proud. Bracelet made with wire and plastic beads, from my son, now that's totally my style of bracelet. *smiles* : ) However on Sunday, Mother's Day, I asked the boy's if they'd like to bake some cupcakes with me.
Branden said "nah mom I'm playing my DS game and I'm at a really good part, I can't save it" *shudder* he's growing up, I know. : ( I said okay, it's his Sunday too, I thought, he needs a break too. So, I let him have at his game. And Noah meanwhile is at that "loves helping mom in the kitchen age" so he practically jumped up and down to help me. So in the kitchen we went. I stirred first to make sure there were no lumps. And then passed it off to him. Noah stirred and stirred so well.
I asked him to place the cupcake papers in the tins for me. Just the pink ones I said. So he bypassed the yellow ones and the blue ones. By golly, he's got it, I thought. : )
All done. : )
Sure did smell like strawberry cupcakes in our house last Sunday. Since we just used simple whipped cream as our frosting, we had to make sure those cupcakes were really cooled down. When they were really cool, we together squeezed the cream on top of each cupcake. And then I let him sprinkle the sprinkles. I think he liked sprinkling the sprinkles the best.
They had to be covered and put into the fridge right away since it was whipped cream. The 1 extra, the boy's split and the rest we waited until dessert after dinner was finished. It was a pretty simple low key Mother's day. But a nice one, no complaints from me at all. : )
Monday was spent with the staining from the time the boy's went to school *until* they came home, an all day thing. Tuesday, Hubby finished off the staining, meanwhile I went to the laundry mat and washed the bedding for the 3 beds. The weather forecast said rain for Wednesday, so I wanted to get the bedding washed for the week done before then. With the boys at school and the hubby probably on the front porch doing the staining, I sat meanwhile at the laundry mat Tuesday with a can of iced coffee and flipped through a magazine. Goodness the talk going on about the Twilight cast and the sequel to that. My mouth dropped a few times. The crew is complaining Robert has BO? He does, I thought? But he's so dreamy, surely he can't have BO. Really??? @_@ Sips a few more drinks from my coffee and then threw my blankets into the dryer.
The Twilight stuff still twirling around in my head. Whoops, don't forget my dryer sheets I thought.
And in the dryer they went. And so I sit back down with magazine and coffee, where was I again? Oh yes, back to the Twilight cast. Finishes story. Flips the page a few more times. Wow, Halle Berry's daughter is gorgeous and those blue eyes of hers, absolutely stunning. Flips page a few more times. Aww, Gwen Stefani and hubby and their two kiddos, they seem like such a happy family. I thought. So nice to see Gwen Stefani and her happy family. A few more ohhhs and awws and then the dryer stopped. Put the magazine in my car and the empty coffee can into the trash can. Folded our blankets, went home, made the 3 beds. Folded the load of towels that were just finished in the dryer at home, and did one last load of clothes. Cleaned the toilets. vacuumed. Had lunch. And rested a bit.
In other news. The garigarikun popsicles we have been eating since I mentioned them a few weeks ago. Are still quite popular here at our house. : ) I think with the warm weather and add all the DIY stuff, we've been doing and with it being so warm lately, that the popsicles have been hitting the spot for us still. And Branden got a free one. See the words on this stick? Atari. If you get these words, it means you get a free one. Branden was the one who got atari, this week. Very cool for B. : )
According to the staining websites it said to be careful because even though the surface looks dry the underneath could still be wet. So that's why we let the porch dry for the week though we were done with the porch Tuesday. Wednesday it did indeed rain. And Thursday we started taking off the handles and the rope ladder down to start with the staining of the jungle gym. Look how weathered it looks in this pic. : (
Hubby and I also made time for 1 morning date this week.: P We sorta needed it, because we have been so physically exhausted this week with being outside and all the sanding and staining we have been doing.
And the staining isn't just all of it. There's always those little tiny things too. The minuscule "to do" type stuff. Like for example, Noah needed new school socks from Nishimatsuya. The ones we bought him when he started in January were looking haggard. And not really quite sure how, but he was getting dark gray stains along the sides of his socks. He said he got them from the slide. But it has been pure hell to get those stains out. Soaking them in Oxy worked in January and February. Using baking soda to boost my detergent, man I've tried everything on those socks. The Spray and Washes and such. And still, come mid April they needed replacing. Put it off because I didn't want him to think things were so easily to be replaced. Mean mommy, I know. : ) And finally this week, I thought I better finally replace them. Especially with the picnic/field trip coming on Friday, I didn't want him running around with horrible socks.
Another usually minucule thing from this week, was with the rainy season coming next month or so. Hubby wanted to buy my little car some new windshield wipers. He replaced them real quick and so glad to have new wipers now for upcoming rainy season.
Thursday, I was knee deep in obento thoughts and Jungle gym parts. As soon as the boys went to school, I quickly went to the store. Got my weekly shopping done. And a few things for the next days ensoku. I have little kid size leisure sheets, geeze about 4 or 5 of them (got most of them from the daiso except the Ultraman one). But our family's bigger leisure sheet couldn't find it for the life of me. I suspect hubby put it near the undokai stuff in the shed last time Branden has his. So, just bought us this new cheap one. I didn't spread it out that big I folded it in half. The obento's might have been generic store brand ones but they still do the job and that's all that matters in my book. I swear I must have went to sleep Thursday night with dreams of ensoku and obento thoughts and worries. ha ha ha. : )
One night this past week, I made a really really good chicken teriyaki and some stiry fry veggie on the side. It was pretty good. Between the staining, the porch and the jungle gym, the Kumon and swim club and regular kids to and fro regular school. It's been a bit of a busy week. Excellent week, just a bit busy. :P
Friday morning rolls around. Alarm rings at 5:30am. I was lying awake in bed since 5:18am though. Thinking, first I gotta get B situated and sent to school first. And then I got to do the obento second. Then wake Noah. Sorta just going through things in my head beforehand. Anyone else ever do this? The curse of a brain that never turns off.:D Ha ha ha. Went downstairs got B up and made his breakfast. He got dressed. And off to walk down the road with boy next door and boy next doors little brother. Met up with Genki and Kouiki too, as he always does. : )
Next started on obento. Had the tunes cranked up in the kitchen. Some Black Eyed Peas, "Boom Boom Pow" and some Lady Gaga, Poker Face playing in the kitchen while I got obento sorted. I kept things pretty simple. The note said. Kids must have his own seperate obento from the parents. So, that is what I did. I made Noah's obento and then mine. I only needed 1 sandwich but visually it didn't look good to have 1 lone sandwich so I made 3, and brought 2 back home where hubby devoured them because he was starving from all the staining of the jungle gym. Yes, I am an obento nerd. :P Karaage, fries and potatoe salad. Ham sandwiches, with letuce tomatoes and provolone cheese. A very good sandwich. Fresh fruit, fresh cut watermelon and some fresh red cherries. Noah had onigiri, a slice of fried ham, karaage, a few fries and some canned orange colored peaches since those are his favorite. :P It honestly was a lot of work Friday morning, I did work really really hard on our lunch. : )
I brought out the drinks from the freezer, Noah's was 3/4 froze but melted before we got there. And mine was only half froze but still cold by lunch. I packed it all up into a wicker lunch basket.
Friday morning I met up at Noriko's house at 8:30am. And we together drove in her minivan to the park. It was her and her daughter and Noah and I. All grades, yellow badge, red badge, pink badge and blue. They all filed into lines according to class. Here in this pic, the encho sensei is giving a little speech. About 30 father's showed up. And all mom's showed up. I wished Noboru had gone with me. I think he would have enjoyed it. I admit, I missed my husband.: ( Meanwhile he was at home working hard on the jungle gym. : )
There's Noah.
I still can't believe he actually has grown so much he's in school, you guys. I know a lot of you reading remember when he was just a little little baby or before he was born. They really do grow in a blink of an eye.
Noah with the red badge class. : )
Picture taking, they said this picture they were all taking was going to be put into the yearbook when they graduate in a few years. Yes Noah is the one sitting on the sensei's lap. He's known these sensei's since way before he was even in school. :P
Noah on the swing and some of his classmates in the background on the merry go round.
Lunch time, Friday afternoon. I was sitting near Noriko-san, Mayuko-san, Rieko-san, Shion-kun's mama. And a few other nice people. We all enjoyed our lunches we each brought. I had 1 sandwich, nibbled on some karaage and had some potato salad, had a few cherries. The weather was so perfect. I really had a lot of fun.
I bought the Koala cookie party pack the day before at the store. Having gone to these ensoku's before, I know how the kids trade treats with one another. Sorta like trick or treating, except without the costumes. :P Noah passed out those to his friends and he got a huge assortment traded with his friends in return. The kids were all quite happy about trading. Branden has done this quite a few times but this was Noah's first time. He was so happy you guys. : )
Now it was 1pm. And everyone finished their lunches the kids all had a good final play in there for good measure. And the sensei's were calling back our yochien kids back by the mircophone. Time to do an ending excercise, a song and ended with a prayer.
Last picture from Noah's very first ensoku. : )
By now it's 2pm when Noah and I finally get home. Noboru had really done a fantastic job on the jungle gym. He has now done it all except for the rope ladder area. But the rest is now 100% done. The reason the rope ladder part didn't get done is because we want to get new rope, and the DIY store nearest us didn't have rope that was the width we wanted and that was nylon. So, we will have to go and drive to a few other DIY's and look around, hopefully we can find some new nylon yellow rope. So next projects for us after the staining, locate yellow thick nylon rope and do the mailbox stand. Ha ha ha. Oh boy! : )
In other less important news.:P The boys swim suits came. I ordered them to my dad's house and he was kind enough to send them onto us. Branden's last swimsuit was a 6-7, he got it when he was 5 years 9 mos or so, near 6. Had got nearly 2 years usage out of it. And the last 2 times we've gone swimming I noticed it was starting to be outgrown a bit. His new one is a size 8, though he won't be 8 until the last week of October, he'll get good usage from it. Noah's is size 4 and he's so slim, he'll probably be able to wear his forever. Sigh, I do wish he could gain a bit more weight. : ( And he does eat plenty, it just seems weight falls off him as soon as he gains any.
Uv protection is good. I worry about skin cancer and stuff. Worry wart that I am.:P Somebody famous last year, I was watching on TV had skin cancer and was getting treatment for it. I forget who now.
Noah in his swimsuit.
My silly and fun 7 year old. They're both good kids, really good hearts on the both of them.
Anyway, it's now Saturday, hubby is knocking at the patio window at me, so I better either publish this or save this. Ha ha ha. :P We have to put all the parts on the jungle gym back. And then we are off to a couple DIY's in search of a thick yellow rope for the rope ladder. *crosses fingers* I do hope we can find it. Have a lovely weekend everyone! What's our weekend plan? Look for a yellow rope. Wash the boy's school stuff. And try to relax and not think about the staining we will do on this coming Monday! Ha ha ha. Monday morning we will do the very last coat on the front porch, the floor part. Let it dry which means block off the entrance yet again to the porch for a few days. Ha ha ha. And then we should be done. Hopefuly we can finish the staining and get the rope ladder back up too this coming week. And then it's mail box city for us for a bit. Please have a lovely and wonderful weekend you guys!!!!!! : )