Monday, June 15, 2009

The Terminator Salvation, El Torito Mexican restaurant and a few other interesting bits for good measure!!! : )

Noah and his swim friends as they look on at the coach. And listen to him. : )
Aww, Noah is now 3 or 4 levels passed from the starting level/point. So many of the kids are much bigger and older then he is. But he doesn't mind, he thrives in swim class. He really enjoys it a lot.: )
Listening to the coach again.
The bigger boy on the left of Noah, is a good friend of Noah's. They go to the same yochien as well. He's a pink badge though. : )
Friend chit chat!!! The day Noah swims there are actually about 5-6 kids from our same yochien swimming. It's nice because when we walk in, he hears, "Noah-kun...Noah-kun" from his buddies/classmates. And he runs to them and greets them and starts talking and joking with them. It's amazing how well he's adjusted to not only swimming school but also yochien life. : )
And of course Wednesday is also the day Branden swims as well. How is life as a new #6? He likes it. : ) It is a tad more competitive now, lots of emphasis on time and also technique now. Each child is paired with their own swim mate. The coach determines who has the same skill and same speed and level and pairs off that way. This girl down in the pool in this pic next to Branden, has the same speed as Branden and same skill. Obviously they're both #6's. And so each week, since he started as a #6, they do practice after practice and swim lap after lap. And then the last 15 minutes you and your partner must swim against each other. Coach is watching her stop watch and they go back and forth. And race back and forth. Have you ever heard the term...."you've met your match?" , Funny because these 2, are so equally matched it's a tough call who will win 1 round to the next. First round last Wednesday went to Branden, second round totally went to the girl and 3rd time, Branden beat her, but it was by a split split hair, I might even call it a tie to be fair. They are THAT equally matched. And yes they are friends, they do chit chat between taking their turn in the pool. They joke with each other etc. But it's right back to business when they enter the pool. And then they get out and they laugh and smile with each other again.
A very blurry picture of Branden and the girl racing to the end of the pool. Meanwhile some boy behind them, just smoked his partner. I tell ya, watching these kids is amazing, all of them are so good. With everyone being so equally matched one might win one time and lose the next, talk about having to "bring it", each and every week they sure do. These kids swim their hearts out. After swimming Wednesday is when we went to buy our movie tickets for Saturday's Terminator movie. We picked our seats and everything, it was pretty cool. Also, we 4 ran to the 100 yen and bought some scissors and stuff that I would be needing for Friday's "game group" craft work session.
We got back and it was still light outside and so Noboru did some weed spray stuff on our lawn Wednesday while I got supper ready. : )
I didn't want to ruin my scissors from home, so we just bought a pair at the 100 yen. A box cutter type knife and the pair of scissors. And 2 bottles and I was ready for Friday. How did it go? About half of us "games ladies" showed up. And we spent about an hour and a half making purses/bags out of pet bottles. I really enjoyed myself. I had a lot of fun, time seemed to just breeze on by. All of us joking, talking having fun. I thought I made 2 really nice looking purses. I did try my best and I felt proud of my hard work. We also got to choose what games we will work at during the summer festival. Those of us who showed up, got first choice/first pick. Whoever didn't show up on Friday, unfortunately will have to take the games and times leftover. : ( I don't make the rules, that's just what they said. Anyway, Rieko-san and I will be partners and we chose to do the ball toss game together (her son and Branden were classmates at this same yochien, so we both have 2nd grade sons and her daughter Itsuki-chan is a blue badge this year, I've known her daughter since she was a yellow badge and now she's a blue badge, so we're old friends Rieko-san and I and she's known Noah since he was 10 month's old and now he's a red badge, my how time flies, sniff, sniff. : ). And we chose to work the first half of the festival that way we don't have to do the cleanup afterwards. *But*, we will be there beforehand and help set up which is more then fair because setting up is hard work all on it's own as well. I prefer that way anyway. Sorta just get it over with and then enjoy the end of the festival walking around etc. After our games meeting ended Friday, Rieko-san and I went to have lunch together. We went and had tantanmen for lunch it was so delicious! : )
Friday after school, and after the boys came home, Branden went zarigani hunting, crawfish hunting with Genki-kun! They both wanted to practice before next weeks ensoku!!! So, I waved off B and Genki and they went trotting down to the rice fields and down to the canal. Genki caught 2 fish. And Branden caught 1 crawfish and 2 dojo! : ) For those of you that have been reading for a while know that Genki-kun and Branden have been friends since *their* yochien days. And they live in the same housing community and attend the same elementary school and are in the same class together. They have been in the same class together since both were pink badges, blue badges, and first graders and second grader's. LOL. They've been in the same class for 4 years together. It's good they are such great friends after all this time. : ) : )
Branden with his 99 yen bucket, very handy! And 1 tiny crawdad and 2 small dojo, he did release them back the next morning. : )
Saturday from 9:30am to 11:15am. We were at Noah's school for observation day. They sent a note saying beforehand, no cameras and no camcorders allowed at all. This really sucked. : ( I would have loved to take some pictures!!! Branden showed up and Aoi-kun was there since his little sister is a blue badge. Shion-kun showed up too. All these kids were classmates of Branden's when he went to yochien. They played their little hearts out. They still see each other at swim club, but it was good they got to hang out for a few hours at their old school/yochien. I wish I could have snapped a few pictures. : ( Also Noah did great! There was a father and child race and they ran so good, their team won! It was just really cool being there. The school's photographer took pics Saturday, we will buy some and hopefully I can post some then. All the kids had to show up in their gym uniform. So, those yellow shorts and white shirt. Anyway, at 11:15am, the observation day was now finished and we went to have lunch at Coco's. The kids told us...."we haven't been there in 100 years!!!" Noboru and I just smiled at each other, because we actually go on dates there quite a bit.: ) : ) Anyway hubby had the hamburg set, Noah had a kids hamburg set, Branden had the french toast and I had my trusty chicken, cheese and veggie quesadilla and fries and drink bar. : ) : ) By now it was noon, and with the Terminator not even starting until 2pm, we went home. Everyone went to the bathroom. Noah changed clothes from school gym uniform to regular clothes. And at 1pm we left to the movie theater. This is the pic of the boys outside the movie theater. : )
We bought 1 large popcorn, plus 2 small popcorns for the boys. And 2 large drinks. 1 very large orange Qoo for the kids and 1 very large coke for us. A lot of people showed up, a lot, a lot. It wasn't packed to the gills, like no seat to spare but it was indeed pretty full..... good thing we got our seats picked out from Wednesday. The Terminator Salvation was great! I won't give any spoilers, but I will just tell you, it was dazzling! It did NOT disappoint at all. And yes they did have Arnold computer graphically added towards the end, at the most edge of our seat type moment. It was so cool!!! Helena Bonham Carter was in this. As was Dallas Howard (Ron's Howard's daughter who I think is really great) we left the theater talking nonstop about the Terminator as we walked all the way to our car and even as we drove to Tsukuba. We loved this movie. : )
After watching Terminator Salvation, Noboru said, "since it's the weekend, let's go enjoy it some more. Let's eat out", he said. So we headed to Tsukuba. For those of you who may not know, Tsukuba is located in Ibaraki prefecture. And it's actually closer for us to drive there, versus driving to places like Makuhari in Chiba. I have mentioned before we live close to Ibaraki prefecture. : )
We went to El Torito in Tsukuba.
We enjoyed 3 appetizers. Kids shared chicken finger appetizers, Noboru had calamari and I chose the nachos appetizer, which is pictured right here. They were so good. : )
I had the fajitas, they came out *sizzling* and they even lit a candle and it fried some more on our table. Ha ha ha. : ) Noah had the kids meal. Noboru had a combination plate and Branden had the chicken enchiladas. We sat and ate and enjoyed our time there for about an hour to an hour and a half. Talking about quite a few things, also about the movie we just saw as well of course and other things too. Between our appetizers, entrees and the 2 baskets of chips and salsa they gave us. We were stuffed. Now, of course always a bit of room leftover for dessert though, right? :P
Wendy's is, right across the street from El Torito, so we just cruised through the drive thru. And picked up some dessert for the drive home. : )
Wendy's drive thru menu in Japanese, very cool. : ) : )
Four, 99 or 100 yen frosties for the drive home. It's a 30 minute drive home on regular roads, not the highway, so not too bad of a drive at all. We got back home, the kids took a fast shower, quick brush of their teeth and right to bed they went, they were exhausted. It was a long day for them. Hubby and I meanwhile enjoyed watching American Idol Saturday night. What a truly awesome Saturday. : )
Sunday was spent at home. And that was fine, after our perfect Saturday, it was good to spend a nice Sunday relaxing. Noboru worked on the grass a bit, he mowed the lawn with our big American lawn mower. And did the edging around the lawn. Branden meanwhile played with Keita-kun all day long! They played DS games on our front porch and then after a while they went and played in the backyard. He stayed at our house playing from 10am to about 4:30pm. He did go home at noon when the lunch bell chimed in our community. But he came back. And yup, I provided snacks and stuff throughout the day as well. Noah meanwhile cruised his bike on our back patio all afternoon.
Sunday, I did vacuum the upstairs and I cleaned the toilet downstairs but mostly just relaxed being a happy lazy bum. : ) I had Noah straighten all the shoes in the genkan, that's his chore he is expected to do. It's not a lot, granted but it does give him 1 task to always do and he is really good at it. : )He checks the shoes everyday. : ) Each of the boys have their own little chores. Not huge chores just little ones. It's good for them. : ) Anyway where was I again? Oh yes, I checked my calendar and saw that today/Monday was a "no school day" for the boys. And that swimming starts this week for Branden. So, I got his swim bag prepared and ready to go. Last week, I had B try on his navy blue swim suit and it was plenty big still. Last year if you check my old blog posts, I bought it in size 140cm. The swimsuits are quite affordable so rebuying is no trouble at all. In Japan for elementary schools, they wear navy blue, the boys and girls. We bought Branden this Adidas one for cheap last year at the Aeon, for like 1500 yen or so? I forget the exact price, but it was a fair price. We bought it in 140cm. It wasn't baggy and it wasn't skin tight, it seemed to be a great fit. I was set to buy him the same thing just a size bigger this year, but had him try on last years one anyway, just in case. And sure enough it fit great still. Not skin tight just perfect. It's 140cm so it's plenty big enough. And the swim cap is an Adidas one size fits all. So, I made my momly decision that yes he can wear it again this season. And I mean, if it was even a pinch too small I woulda replaced it in a heart beat, no problem, but it honestly was perfect. The size regular shorts he wears is 130cm anyway. So this 140 swim shorts are perfect still. I did switch the name label and put, 2nd grade versus first grade. Plus the kids only swim for about 5 weeks. From June 16th to July 20th or whatever when school goes on summer break. So, he can wear it for a mere 4-5 weeks and call it done. Next year he will get the same thing but a bigger size. : ) : )
His towel was freshly washed and dried. I packed it all up into his Spongebob swim bag.
His O'Neil flip flops, we bought for swimming at shogako last year. I think we bought these in 21 or 22cm and they were a pinch big last year, but perfect this year. Name has to be written on everything, and it is, sewn label on his swim cap and swim suit, and sewn on label on his towel. And hand written name on his flip flops. And even his bag is labelled. And next week, I will do this for Noah and get him packed up for his swimming to start at yochien. Except no navy blue regulation swim suit though, at their yochien they can wear any swimsuit : )
All nicely packed and ready to take to school on Tuesday! I was glad I got my son all packed up on Sunday. : ) : )

Any interesting things? Well, we picked our 4 DVD's for June. I somehow forgot to pick them and when I realized, half the month was over, I sat online and picked 4 movies, I had to get my butt in gear regarding those movies. Here is what I picked Sunday afternoon. "Revolutionary Road" with Kate Winslet and Leonardo Dicaprio. Underdog, anyone remember the old cartoon Underdog? LOL. Anyway the new movie was just relased in Japan recently on DVD, so I picked that so the boys can watch it and the whole family could enjoy this. I also picked, the "Boston Strangler" It's a new movie and with David Faustino, the younger brother character on Married With Children. This one obviously the kids won't watch but I wanted to see this. : ) And the last DVD, I chose was a kids film but perhaps more aimed at girls called, Tinkerbell. Anyway, it looked good to me. And I wanted to see it and I thought since it's a kids film, the boy's might enjoy it. Same as, I totally dig little girls who like to play with trucks. I myself used to climb trees! And on the same token I dig boy's who can cook. My kids love watching Jamie Oliver. And I let my boys cook. I don't believe in pigeon holing my kids, just because of gender. And I think they will dig the movie Tinkerbell, as will I. : ) Anyway those are the 4 movies we will be getting in June. They come 2 at a time, anyway I am glad I picked our 4 movies on Sunday. : )

What else is up this week? Hmm not much. : )
American Idol ended for us in Japan! (if you are actually behind us in Japan please don't read ahead) Anyway... Kris won!!! I think he's a nice guy and he'll probably make a nice album. I personally think Adam shoulda won though. But I'm not going to lose any major sleep about it, because I think they'll both end up with great careers the both of them! And they both genuinely seemed like 2 nice guys. So, I'm happy. : ) : )

Tuesday June 16th (tomorrow), is the day Branden starts swimming at the elementary school. Also tomorow/Tuesday the 16th is when I will be meeting Rieko-san at the movies at 10am. We will go and see, Angels and Demons, the sequel to the Davinci Code. As soon as I get both boy's sent to school, I will be driving to the theater and we will meet up there tomorrow morning. And Wednesday is Branden's ensoku/field trip to the fields behind our house. That means I will be making Branden and also Noboru an obento for that. Which means tomorrow after the movie I better go and get some fresh fruit for the ensoku the following day. That's basically all that's going on this week. Have a wonderful week, all of you!!! : )