Thursday, September 03, 2009

Grandpa's visit to Japan last week! : )

Hi you guys, : ) If you have read my comment section in the last post, I mentioned yesterday having computer problems. We've been having major major computer problems since last Friday evening. So for the past week/7 days basically. Anyway I have about 3-4 posts I need to get posted, I am really behind with it since the computer problems happened last week. I'll blog more about it in another post later today or down below at the end if I can. But for now I wanted to get the post from my dad's visit up at least. : ) Phew, okay where should I start? : ) Well, he did bring some food stuff for us. He's pretty thoughtful that way and we appreciated what he brought big time. : ) Thanks again dad. : ) I think every thing's pretty easy to identify from the picture. Lucky Charms (the boys favorite cereal of the moment) And the cheaper version of Fruit Loops, we don't mind store brand at all, they all taste the same to us. : ) Frozen waffles for when school starts. Frozen burritos because he knows how between school and rushing to Kumon and swim club they have just that couple minutes to grab a quick bite and leave. For that, thanks dad. Bacon, lots of cheese, string cheese, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese. Stuff for enchiladas for winter, not very authentic maybe since the sauce came from a can but they taste pretty good to us. : ) And a big frozen lasagna. Just a few things that he was able to throw in his suitcase and bring us since he was visiting anyway. : )
Oh yeah, these were tucked away under his shirts in his suitcase, and while we found them after I took the pic up above, we left right away and didn't get a chance to picture them until a few hours afterwards. Pepperoni, longhorn cheese and sliced cheese for grilled cheese. Hmm, I think we are officially cheese maniacs now. Gomen, gomen. : )
He ran and played every single day he was here with the boys.
Run Noah, grandpa's right behind you! : )
My dad taking a picture of the boys. He took pictures of them all over the place. At the store, of them in the backyard, of them in the front yard. I was like, okay dad, you can stop taking pictures now. : ) Ha ha ha. But he just loves them dearly. They are his only grandchildren, he has to dote on. I am an only child. So he is really really proud of them. And ps, I think the feeling's sorta mutual. They are just crazy about their grandpa as well.
Grandpa standing by. : )
Dinner time, karaage, rice and broccoli. Just really simple. My dad sat right between the boys and listened to their stories. My dad was listening to B while I clicked this picture. : )
And this is a game, that my mom and dad used to play with me. It's called..."the stretch" I loved this while growing up. And I do this to both boys and even Noboru does this to both boys as well. And when my dad came, he gave them the stretch too. Noah was first. "let's make Noah a little bit taller" wink wink. So my dad grabbed his arms and B grabbed his legs and they pulled like they were pulling salt water taffy. And Noah wiggled and laughed and laughed. Of course they didn't pull too hard but just a bit so he really believes he's getting "the stretch" : )
And of course a few tickles for the road! For good measure!!! : ) And afterwards, he surely felt taller! Ha ha ha. And then, my dad grabbed Branden's arms and I grabbed his legs and we both gave B the stretch. And even he felt taller afterwards. And so there you go....that's our family fun thing that's been in our family since I was a kid. They totally got "the stretch"! : )
Pushing each kiddo on the swings. "higher grandpa, higher" : )
Our backyard BBQ. This was taken last Tuesday. The weather was awesome, it was hot but not humid or steamy type hot. I'd say about 80 degrees F, maybe 83F. A few cool breezes every now and again. We all watched the kids play, while the BBQ baked the potatoes and stuff. It was just really relaxing. Just kicking back out there. Talking. Noboru and my dad were talking about something during this picture. Probably talking about the kids or maybe the grass, who knows. : )
Noah walking around the backyard. : )
My dad is a pretty fun grandpa to the boys, here he is showing them how to shoot rubber bands with your fingers. Just guy type stuff.
Pushing both of his grandsons at the same time. Good grandpa, good good grandpa. : )
Corn was a grilling, potatoes done. Chicken and mushrooms nicely marinated. Meanwhile my dad and the boys are crawling around in the background in this picture just being silly together! : )
See the rice in the background? It's not as vibrant green as it was last month. It's about ready for harvest.
All five of us sat down and enjoyed our family BBQ. It was really great my dad could be here. We were all so happy he was here.
Chicken grilled and, baked or should I say grilled potato, corn on the cob, some kernels were toasty but it made that hot buttery corn on the cob taste even better. Dinner was great. Lots of chatter going on at our house during dinner time. As what a pile of beef in the background.
Branden eating a piece of lettuce before he wrapped his meat and rice in a lettuce leaf. My dad filling Branden's drink. And Noah watching grandpa fill the cup. : )
For dessert after yakiniku we had a choice of the regular garigari or the chocolate garigari. And I have to say, the chocolate garigari taste almost exactly like Fudgesicles. Growing up in the US, and we'd wait for the icecream man and get an icecream. Sometimes I'd get the red,white and blue rocket popsicle or a fudgesicle. Ahhh what awesome memories. Anyway if you grew up in the US and liked fudgesicles, you'll love the chocolate garigari. They're so yummy!
One morning Noboru was at work : ( and so my dad and I took the boys to Coco's for breakfast. We all enjoyed the french toast breakfast sets. My dad thought the drink bar was awesome.
Also my dad was able to enjoy Wednesday swim night. We took both Noah and Branden. We were there for 3 hours. @_@ Noah's in the A course, we sat and enjoyed watching that and then we twiddled our thumbs during the B course and then watched B swim the C course. He waved and waved at Noah when Noah swam. And when B swam, he very proudly watched as he swam against his very nice partner in the water. Typical stuff for me to watch but it was pretty exciting for my dad to get to see. Wednesday night after we came home, I quickly made cream stew. All 5 of us enjoyed cream stew.
Thursday morning, we took my dad back to the airport, wow we had so much fun it seemed like his time here just zipped right by in no time flat. All of us went and saw him off and said goodbye at Narita airport. The kids were very sad to see him leave, even though he talks to them twice a week on Skype like clockwork and he talks to me about every day or every other day on Skype, but it doesn't mean... we still won't miss him heaps and tons and it really is a bummer to say good bye isn't it : (. All of us were a bit sad to see him go. But we had an excellent time with my dad. And so so glad he came to spend sometime with us here in Japan. Thanks for coming dad, and please come to Japan anytime. We miss you dearly already. : )
Little blurb at the end of this post here: So Thursday morning my dad was on his way back to Guam, a short flight. He made it and skyped me when he arrived. Thursday was spent mostly really low key, just at home. For supper we had leftover cream stew. It was just a nice day, Summer vacation was drawing near. And we sorta wanted to be chill, until it was over. Do you know what I mean? : ) Just enjoy the quiet at home. I did get online to check email. Umm what else did I do with the computer Thursday. Oh yeah I placed a small conservative order at Gap/Old Navy for the boys. Picked B a really cool winter jacket in yellow at Gap. A pair of jeans from Old Navy for B, a pair of sweatpants for B. Two long sleeve tops for B and 1 long sleeve for Noah and I think that's it (Noah gets loads of stuff from B that he used to wear that's all nicely packed in a plastic box in the attic and so Noah has stuff already, Branden meanwhile is oldest so he starts from scratch, so that's why it might seem he is getting more stuff, it's all very equal and fair I assure you, lol. Just trying to slowly get the boys ready for Fall and Winter, little by little each month. So last Thursday after my dad left....I thought about blogging about my dad's trip to see us but I was enjoying my time being a lazy bum so I put it off. Friday rolled around. And we sorta were lazy bums again. I did however start to slowly get the boys ready for school/preparation type stuff you know. I did a load of their uniforms (gym uniforms and white dress shirts for Noah's uniform. Ran and picked up some yochien shoes for Noah since his feet grew over the Summer. Picked up some glue and small whatnots for B. And basically other then that, just hung home and got the boys ready for school in bits and pieces. Also, we got an email a week earlier from B's school telling us.... all 2nd graders need red shirts. They need them because of the undokai dance they'll be performing. So, we went online and bought a cheap red tee for B for like 350 yen. Just a plain basic red one like the school asked for. So again just trying to get these last minute things knocked off the list. Even though the boys weren't going to be starting school until September 1st for B and the 2nd for Noah.
Friday night rolls around. And the boys are long in bed asleep. Noboru and I are cuddling on the couch watching Jon and Kate Plus 8. We watched 3 episodes. And then he said "pause it honey, let me check my email", We both hadn't checked our email since Friday afternoon. Not since Noboru found B's red shirt he needed for undokai. Anyway, as soon as hubby sat in the computer chair, he said the computers restarting itself. "must be an automatic update" he said... I said, "yeah must be." And then it restarted itself like 20 times one right after another. Again and again and again and again. It was like going nuts! We could no longer even access our desktops. It just restarted again and again. We didn't push any button or do anything. Yet the computer was going cuckooo puff, right before our eyes. Jon and Kate DVD, was still paused and popcorn still sat in our popcorn bowl at this point. Hubby tried for about 30 minutes. Putting it into safe mode wouldn't work, nothing did. Finally we just stopped Jon and Kate all together. Talk about putting a damper on a relaxing nice night. :( We went to sleep by now it was way late and nothing could get fixed when we were both tired. The next morning, we woke up and went downstairs and we turned the computer on and it never turned on. No on/power light, nothing. It didn't even restart a hundred times like the night before. By all accounts it was dead. This is the moment when we look at each other and think...."oh shit" He's going through the list of things he needs from the computer, hubby says "my daily schedule is on there" and yada yada and as he is rattling off how many important things he needs off there. I said...."the kids pictures!!!!!" "Yes the pictures" By now, we didn't care about anything else... schedules or anything we just wanted those pictures. For those of you that know us from this blog, you know....yes we as a family do take lots of pictures. I am the family memory keeper, it's my job to take, and keep and store all those lovely memories we take and make. And I do take gobs of pictures. Trying to preserve every memory I can. Once a year, I make a disc copy of every picture I have taken of that year (if you put the disc in the computer it's all organized, 2008 disc, and once it's in, it says Jan, Feb, March. etc etc. January Guam trip is even separated, it's all organized and each disc must have thousand of pictures on there. And I have about 10 discs of our family, some CD's before we had kids and when we were newlyweds. So many when B was a baby, all those are backed up. I am pretty good at backing up memories and saving them in case of something like this happens. However, I was due to burn another disc in October. And therefore I have about 10 month's of pictures of my computer not backed up at all. I know....I know how stupid of me not to back them up more frequently. Believe me, I know that. I have now told myself to burn a disc every month from now on. And I could point fingers at myself all day long and blame myself and say..."Gina why didn't you back up those pictures!!!???" Bottom line though... it wasn't going to get those pictures back any faster by pointing fingers or playing the blame game. From last Friday, I sat and thought about all the memories I might have very well just lost. Gone, finito, lost in space, quite possibly never to be seen again. Moments we could never gain back. Branden's last years undokai, our Thanksgiving last year, our Christmas, and not just holidays just the day to day type pictures too, the smiles at dinner or wave from swim class type pictures. All along the way just poof??? From last Friday, I swear I had a headache that just wouldn't go away. How could I be so careless with the pictures? All those memories captured and frozen in time in a picture. I should have known better. I was so mad at myself. I sat and thought some more. What else did I risk losing? Last January when Noah started school. Noah's official entrance ceremony last April, were those pictures all gone too? The Hawaii pics from this Summer? The Saipan pics, all gone in smoke? Hubby and I had 1 objective and that was to somehow get those pictures. He said to me, if it's the hard drive that crashed the picures are gone. Totally! He checked each thing, and he said the hard drive is running, he took it apart and checked one by one. He checked it all and said it was the motherboard. He was sure, meanwhile I don't know squat diddly about the insides of a computer, so I took his word for it. : ) Our computer is semi old so buying a new replacement motherboard for our model at a shop was out. And buying online at an auction would have been out... but thank god Noboru had his i-pod touch. He was able to get online and get a motherboard. The auction ended Sunday and the guy took an eternity to ship it, we got it Wednesday, so 2 days ago. Noboru thank god took it to his coworkers house Wednesday night. He says his friends a computer nerd and so glad for that. From 5pm to 11:30pm. They spent working on our computer. He said it was our power unit that actually went bad and what caused it to fry the motherboard. He lent us a spare power unit for just temporary. And he also gave, Noboru an external harddrive. Even though we obviously have an internal one. He said it's to make sure if anything ever crashes in the future everything will be saved. Oh and the pictures, his friend was able to retrieve all our family pictures!!!! He also put on the pictures already on the external harddrive and the internal one. So this way they are saved and this makes me breath a huge sigh of relief. And we will be burning the pictures onto a disk as soon as the computer gets fixed. It is not fixed 100% right now at all. It's fixed temporarily. And why temporarily? Because we can't locate the power unit yet for the model our computer is. We've been checking everywhere we can and so far nothing. And when we do locate the power unit the computer will have to be down for a day or two as well. And again trying to get everything back, favorites, and all that stuff again. Errr. We weren't expecting this to happen to the computer that's for sure. And I totally learned my lesson about backing up my pictures. : )