Sunday, September 27, 2009

My super short trip to Guam last week! Just stocking up on Halloween stuff, Thanksgiving foods and other goodies.: )

On Sunday, September 20th, Branden and I flew to Guam. Noboru and Noah stayed at home in Japan. Every Spring and every Fall, I try to get myself over to Guam to stock up on some comfort foods. And so with Fall upon us. We started thinking, should we place a fairly large order at FBC. Which is awesome by the way. Or would it make more sense for our family, given our situation to just fly there. What to do.....what to do. So, we made a list. Every thing we would need for Halloween, everything we would need for Thanksgiving. And everything in between. Calculated and determined for our family, it made more sense to just fly there (for us it was just cheaper). Sunday morning, hubby went and checked the flight here at home. It was open that day for the evening flight. And since Noboru had the next day off. He could stay home with Noah since it was Silver week. B and I would go and make the trip and therefore since B is over the age of 6. LOL. We flew first/business class. So that's what we did. Sunday September, 20th. My dad was expecting us and met us at the airport. Anyway, Branden and I caught the 7pm flight. We arrived at about 11:50pm in Guam. Remember Guam is an hour ahead. : ) So Japan time, we arrived at 10:50pm. The flight was awesome. The meal was great. We had the chicken teriyaki, salad, rice, strawberry mousse. The service is amazing. I watched the new movie with Matthew McConaughey, called Ghosts of Girlfriends Past! Loved the movie, it was great by the way. We packed no clothes, nothing extra for ourselves, because this was simply speaking just a shopping, grocery run. No more, no less. I brought empty suitcases and not even a carry on. Just my purse/bag and 2 empty suitcases. B brought an empty backpack with his DS and his games/cards. Nothing else, not even snacks for the airplane. We were just zipping there, zipping back. So didn't need anything. My dad was surely waiting and we jumped into my dad's SUV and we were off to Kmart before I knew it. : )
By now it was past midnight. I'd say about 12:20am. Kmart was pretty dead. Not crowded at all. Which made me happy because I could shop in peace without the store being packed to the gills. I had a very tiny list for Kmart. I got what was on my list and left quickly.
Next was the Payless grocery store at Micronesia Mall. It's open 24 hours, and we knew that, so it was perfect. Got to shop in a quiet store, I had my list. Sure, there were 100's of other things I wanted to get. But space in the suitcase is limited and there's also a weight limit. So, I just stuck to my list. After shopping at Payless, we were done. By now it was 2:00am. We went to Denny's, my dad had an omelet, hashbrown and toast and coffee. Branden had the chicken nuggets and fries. And I had no meal, I just had the mozzarella cheese sticks and marinara for dipping. After that, we headed back to my dad's place. I have my own room there. So, Branden slept for a few hours. I didn't sleep, I just laid down for a bit, then watched TV. I had my dad drop me off at the airport a little early. And we said goodbye. Thanks dad for picking us up and staying awake and for driving us to the store and to Kmart, I really appreciated it. You rock dad. : )
Our flight left at 10am. I was at the airport at 7am. B slept on the bench after I got our tickets and while out suitcases were going through the X-ray machines or whatever. : ) He just laid down for about 5 minutes. Then we went through customs and that was that.
The suitcases before they went into the X-ray machine. And I had to buy that little portable Guam travel bag for a few bucks to hold the cereal and 2 plastic pumpkins. And the Kmart bag held the other 2 pumpkins. : )
At 7am, no crowds.
And at like 7:10 the crowds starting pouring in. Good thing we got our ticket right away, phew. : )
From midnight to 7am, is when we were in Guam and at 10 is when we were on our way back to Japan. Just a few hours and we accomplished so much. We arrived back in Japan at 1pm. And were home by 1:30pm. It was all so fast, lol. At Sunday at 1:30pm I was in Japan and yet on Monday at 1:30pm I was in Japan too. Yet we had that little trip snuck right in there. Definitely the shortest trip to Guam ever for me!!! LOL. Now that I know I can make trips like this, I might pop over there a little more frequently now. Who knows. : )
Just a few breakfast things. Cereal, gotta love that Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch cereal and Lucky Charms. : ) And some toaster waffles.
Stocked up on another party size lasagna and some manicotti. The boys and I ate the manicotti already, we had that for lunch one day this week.
Still have the giant lasagna dad brought us and so, we now have 2 monster lasagnas in the freezer. I am planning to bake one in October and the other one, we'll hold onto and enjoy in November. : )
Pepperoni for pizza making. Now we don't have to worry if we will run out now. Phew. Frozen burritos and corn tortillas for tostada or enchilada making this coming Fall.
Pumpkin pie filling, and we also have 1 other can here at the house, so we have 3 cans of the pumpkin for pie. The evaporated milk for the pies and also need some evaporated milk for that amazing macaroni and cheese recipe I got off the Martha Stewart web site. Can't wait to make that. Chicken gravy and turkey gravy. Stuffing, sure I can make homemade like the rest of us can. But this just makes my life easier and sure I add my own flavorings and stuff in it too. : ) Pumpkin pie spice, already have 1, but worried about running out. Brown gravy and mushroom gravy for meat loaf or roasts I plan to make over the colder month's. Just a few things.
Syrup for waffles or pancakes. I like the buttery flavored one. Ravioli, noodle soup mixes. Puddings and cake mixes.
Some Halloween candy for the boys. Not gobs just a few. And Noboru wanted me to bring 4 of these jack o lantern type pumpkins. You know the kind we carry candy in basically. Anyway he wants to do a decorating/crafting project with this and so, I sure did lug 4 big pumpkin heads to Japan, just for my hubby. : )
We still have half a case of the movie theater popcorn we have at home, so, I just got 18 extra packs, that way we won't run out this Fall. Hopefully. : ) Choco chips for cookies and some M&M baking bits for cookies we will surely be baking this fall. We already have a few packs, but like I said, this is just to make sure we won't run out. Some spicy corn nuts and some hot tamales. : ) Again not gobs of stuff or anything, space was limited like I said, but just got a few things we needed. : )
And the last picture of what B and I lugged back to Japan. This is the stuff that came from Kmart. Yup, things in my cart were teeny tiny at Kmart, Just toilet deodorizer. 3 packs of undies for B. So 6 pairs of undies for Branden now, phew, if your recall, I just threw a whole batch of his outgrown ones. And it was a relief to get him some new ones, in size 8-10. 3 magazines. A pack of tampons, I have a few boxes already, just wanted to stock up, is all. : ) 1 children's fever reducer. Again I already have 3 boxes at home. It's just for peace of mind. Especially with this swine flu going around. Know what I mean. : ) And yes, we are getting our family their flu shots this year, both regular flu shots and H1N1 shots (hopefully) as well. Toothpaste and 1 bottle of body wash and 1 bottle of body scrub. Did I tell you, I had 2 ladies in the body wash aisle talking my ear off. They were Kmart employees and stocking that aisle when I walked in it. I said to Branden, "Branden can you look for something like vanilla or something that says moisturizing" with winter coming no more lemony or citrus body washes for us now. He said okay and started looking and so did I. The lady heard us and steps in a little closer. And she says..."excuse me, are you looking for a vanilla body wash?" I said, yup. And smiled. Then she says, "you know Olay makes a vanilla one now." Hmm friendly lady I thought. And I said really? And she opened it and I smelled it. That smells nice I said. Then she says, we also have 2 other vanilla ones. And so I sniffed, she sniffed, Branden sniffed. So now comes another gal. She walks into the aisle and over hears us all and then says, "oh yeah, try this" She said this coconut body scrub smells fantastic. I am really picky about coconut scents, some smell good... some smell fake. I can't explain it really. But anyway I smelled it and oh my god! It smelled delicious. So, I ended up not getting any body wash with a vanilla scent after all. Doesn't that just figure? I got the St Ives, shea butter and oatmeal one that I love, because it smells divine and I also got the coconut scrub that one lady rec'd because she was right, it did smell fantastic. : ) My dad, was meanwhile walking around Kmart just looking around. Anyway, we got onto the airplane. man those business seats are comfy, they lay down to a bed. Branden slept the whole way back to Japan. And I watched "I love you man" with Paul Rudd. Oh my god, what an amazing movie. Oh yeah, I forget, I saw the movie the Duchess, with Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes, coming back from Hawaii this Summer. Amazing movie as well. I only remember that now because the movie is out or almost coming out on DVD rental for us here in Japan soon. Anyway sorry the Duchess movie got me off point. Ha ha ha. Where was I? Oh yes, so I watched. I Love You Man" And then I ate my meal. And then I went to sleep for about an hour. Next thing you know, I heard the captain making the announcement that we were starting our descent. I woke up. Woke up B. And by now Branden had slept really well. With sleeping 3 hours at my dad's and 3 hours in the plane. He wasn't so tired. I was meanwhile pretty exhausted. : )
Hubby and Noah picked us up and were waiting for us at the airport. I was pretty happy to see them. But then we just saw each other the day before, lol. : ) We got home. Branden's friends were wildly waiting for B to get back, as soon as the MPV pulled up, we had two of his friends come over on their bikes. B jumped on his bike and went to go play until 5pm. I meanwhile unpacked it all. Noboru told me flat out....."I missed you" Noah missed me tons as well. Geeze it was only a day. Not even a full day. Ha ha ha, and yes it was nice to be missed. I took a few pics threw the stuff into the freezer, fridge or wherever it belonged. : ) Hubby defrosted the meat that morning and he had cut all the veggies after I got home and then he prepared the kimchee nabe while I lay on the couch. He told me to lay on the couch though, he knew how tired I was. I was exhausted but happy I went. Noboru was over the moon that I picked up his pumpkin heads. And so that was that. : ) Anyway that's my tale of the shortest trip to Guam....for me anyways. : )

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Decluttering the shed, a Kumon update, and a father and son fishing trip! : )

This post is an update of sorts from the Sunday right after undokai all the way to this past Saturday. Other updates coming soon. But let me get this stuff out of the way real quick. I just don't wanna let it sort of.... snowball into another slew of back blogging posts yet again. Yikes. : )
So anyway where was I? Oh yeah, the day after undokai. It was hot and gorgeous and we were going to put our leisure sheet and umbrella back into the shed right? Well, we sorta just said perfect time to clean out the shed. I mean we were in there already, so why not. So the day after undokai was sorta a "clean the shed" day. Oh yeah it was also the day we went and bought a seat for my bicycle so Noah could sit down and ride on my bike as a passenger. : ) They have really fancy shmancy kids seats in Japan and also basic run of the mill types too. Now personally for me, my main basic form of transportation is my car. Riding my bike is not my primary transportation. If it were I would probably invest more money into a fancy seat perhaps. However since it's just an alternative way of getting around and not used on a daily basis. Just the basic run of the mill seat was fine for us. No fancy shmancy seat needed for us. : ) I did however ask my yochien mom friend's. Yoshiko-san helped me a great deal. She said she uses a metal type seat and she said I should check out what the yochien mom's are using, I thought that was a fantastic idea. So, I did...I looked and they were all using basically the same type of seat. So, I got the same one basically, that they are using too. : ) So, Sunday afternoon, we went to the small country DIY. They had the basic metal seat plus seat cushion for 1900 yen. The price was really fare and about what we wanted to spend. Again it's not my main transportation. Didn't see the need to spend an arm and a leg on a bike seat we will just ride around our town for my exercise and for us to enjoy some bike riding as a family a few times a week.
Now that Fall is upon us, I went and cleaned up their bubble things. Rinsed and dried and put into a ziploc bag the extra wands and stuff and put those into the shed in an easy to find spot.
Ahh, I used to have that baby seat in front for Noah. I would just use it to ride to the little country store on weekdays with Noah to go and pick up a loaf of bread or an extra carton of milk mid week. It was great for zipping around our tiny town in. And it kept me nice and fit doing my zipping around town by bike versus car. But then Noah outgrew the seat and I was going to get a big boy seat for the back of my bike last year. But then we went to Denver last Fall and yada yada. And next thing you know, we just didn't get the seat. So, my bike went unused for the past year. And it's such a shame because I really do enjoy riding my bike around my town. : ) But this year I was sure, we were gonna get that seat. And so last Sunday hubby was kind enough to switch the seat for me. He took off the baby seat. And put on the big boy seat. : )
Every box and pile you see on the patio in this picture is long gone by now. It was just unneeded stuff. The Thomas train stuff we gave to one of my husband's coworker who has a son who's just crazy for Thomas right now. And yes Noah has a crazy amount of Thomas stuff in his bedroom, in his toy boxes. This was just the excess. We managed to sell 2 car seats on auction. The legos went to my husband's coworker. And whatever didn't go to friends or we couldn't sell on auction which that's our 2nd choice, to friends or family is obviously first choice. Then we just went to the trash center on Monday, last Monday. But it was good we decluttered.
The baby bike seat went to another coworker of my husband's, and it was awesome that someone could use it. Better for us to give to a friend that could put some use to it. Anyway...long story short the day after undokai we spent all afternoon cleaning out the shed. Monday is when 2 friends of Noboru's came while the boys were at school to get what they wanted, like Thomas stuff and legos and whatever was not givable to friends or sellable, we then took to the trash heap. And see my bike? No more baby seat. Ahh. : ( Only a big kiddo seat in the back now. : ) But it has a seat belt, leg and foot rest things and everything, we are really happy about our bike seat and Noah absolutely loves going for bike rides!!!
And totally cleaned up. Decluttered. We do this every 6 month's or so. We do keep things really decluttered in there anyways. But now it's really good. The table we keep on the patio in Summer is in there. The BBQ. My bike stays in there and so do all the kids bikes. Though B was out riding his when I clicked this picture. But every thing's right where we can see it. The Fall wreath is up in the back of the shed and will be put on the front door October 1st. The winter hanging baskets have their bright red flowers in there waiting for their December yearly debut. : ) Everything is so easy to find in there. No overflowing amounts of junk or anything. : )
Hubby mowed the yard on Monday.
I meanwhile cleaned house last Monday. Boy did it need it. House was a freaking disaster. And it usually isn't. But, the last Thursday I went to lunch with friends. Friday before undokai I spent the whole day doing, errands like running to the grocery store, prepping for the undokai meal, blah blah blah. Saturday the undokai. Sunday the shed clean up. By Monday it was 4 long days and boy did the house look like a tornado had hit it inside. So, Monday after doing all what we had to. And running to the recycle center and giving stuff to friends. Though 2 families just came and picked up stuff from our house. So it wasn't really hard. : ) Anyway I spent most of that Monday cleaning. I vacuumed down and upstairs. Cleaned both toilets. Cleaned the shower and laundry room upstairs. Washed every one's sheets at home in the washer at home. Washed a load of clothes. And then prepped for supper. We had ebi furai/fry. Fried shrimp, steam veggies, rice and a salad.
In other news. This is sorta older news but on September 3rd if you check the date on the award, but it's still something I should at least give a shout out about because he does work really hard. Anyway Branden moved to another level in English at the Kumon, he moved to the G level. He is doing so fantastic with his English and his Japanese.
The test he passed was the level F. He passed the test where the star is. The average kid his age in Japan is where the circle is, that's the level B. So, according to this chart and his Kumon instructor Branden is about 3 years ahead of the same age kid doing Kumon in Japan. Meaning most kids age 7 doing English at Kumon are a level B where Branden is a level G. So, we are indeed rightfully pretty proud of him. And just because he has an American mom doesn't mean he automatically will read English or speak English. And yet he does. And he does amazingly well. He speaks like a native and reads at a native level for his age. And I personally do not think he is 3 years ahead. So, no big head here at all. However I do think he is right at the same level as his American 2nd grade peers for sure. He reads books for an 8 year old level no problems at all. And his Japanese is great, his kanji is beautiful. Nice strokes. So anyway.....I haven't updated about his progress at Kumon in forever. So, anyway he's doing good is all I wanted to say. : )
Oh yeah sorry one more thing. : ) The level he is at right now. It's a really really high level. He got this really cool award.

He was given this key chan for his achievement and good work. He was really proud and we were really proud as well. He works pretty hard. : ) And he and I read books together in English every single night. And Noah enjoys listening to us read. So we read and Noah flips the pages. : )
We have still been renting 4 DVD's every month. We rented the movie, Valkyrie with Tom Cruise back when my dad was here and it was really good. We have also rented the DVD Mirrors with Keifer Sutherland, that was scary! And this time, we rented Ghost Town, it was a cute movie. We also rented, "Burn After Reading" didn't really care for that movie, I'm sorry to say. : ( We have 2 more movies that are coming this week. One is called Seven Pounds and it's with Will Smith. We really love Will Smith movies around here. So, I can't wait for it to get here. : )
Made a little mid week stop to the bakery. Bought some french bread. I made some garlic bread with that because we had spaghetti during the week. And some breads just for munching, some with custard and some with other flavors. : )
Branden's thermos broke while at school. He had a hard plastic one last time. But it got cracked. How it got cracked? You sure got me. : ) Ha ha ha. I did however see a great deal of kids with bigger Thermoses at undokai and metal ones. I think I sorta noticed that since B's had broke that week. So, last week, I went and bought him this metal one. It's just a cheap store no name brand one. Basic but hey...it does the job. : ) It's metal, it's hard and it's solid. I hope this lasts the remainder of his elementary school days but heck. It was only 1200 yen or so. So, even if it doesn't last that long, I won't be too terribly upset. But it seems sturdy so, I think he'll have it for a long while. : )
One of our favorite restaurants Coco's was having a buffet. It's a morning buffet and it's only for a limited time only. One day last week while the boys were both at school, the hubby and I went to try it. What did we think? We honestly didn't really like the buffet all that much. Which is odd since we like that restaurant. So, we'll be back, just not for the buffet. : ) Anyway it was a good morning the hubby and I had though.
And last Friday September 18th, was yet another meeting. A PTA meeting about the upcoming undokai. The yochien undokai. What task everyone will have. I know I will be working the undokai event, where the red hats and white hats compete and try and throw little red or white balls into a basket and whichever team gets the most balls in their basket wins. Noboru and I are working 1 side/team and my good friend, Jogo-san (Yoshiko-san) and her hubby will be working the other teams basket. So, we were sorta having a good chuckle about it at the meeting last Friday. I look forward to working this with my husband and also my good friend and her husband too. : ) Anyway after the meeting all of us that were in the meeting went and picked up our kids downstairs since the meeting was held upstairs. And once we got at home. Noah had these candies in his backpack. So whoever's mom is in the PTA, their child got to bring home some candies. : ) I thought it was really cute. And it makes my son proud that mom always helps out at the school. You know like helps with the summer festival or undokai or bake sale, just anything. I really don't mind helping out at all. It's fun actually. : )
And after school on Friday, the kids were both home and Branden had invited his classmate over. His friend lives a bit far away, and couldn't ride his bike here obviously, there was a distance so that's why his grandpa drove him. So, his grandpa dropped him and his sister off. And he and his sister played with Branden and Noah. And when it was time to go, at 5pm, his grandpa swung back and picked them up. : ) I brought these snacks for the kids out to the patio. So, you see 4 drink cups with oolong tea, popcorn and a little blue bowl with the candies from the PTA. The kids played their hearts out back there. And B had invited him since Tuesday and was looking forward to him coming over all week. The grandpa was driving a white colored K type truck (yellow plate) the farmers use, do you know what I mean? So, he had brought the kids bikes and the kids rode their bikes in the neighborhood. And then they came back, snacked. Played some soccer. Swung on the swings. Rode bikes. Kouiki came over and joined them. And then at 5pm like I said is when the grandpa came back and then Kouiki went home too since it was 5pm. And time for my kids to come inside and eat their dinner. : )
We have been eating a lot of salads last week. Some simple green salads with goma. And then on Thursday and Friday I made a big salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, avocado, cheese, croutons. Just a really filling type salad. Anyway, last Friday, hubby and the kids had Philly steak sandwiches and baked potatoes and salad. I just used lean beef, and veggies and cheese and put the meat and veg in some baguettes. I used chicken on mine. And had onions and bell peppers and mushrooms when it was done, I melted some cheese on top, toasted the baguette. I didn't have a potato. But dinner was really good last Friday for sures. And blueberry tea with ice. : )
On Saturday September 19th, hubby took Branden fishing. They went all morning and all day, they came back home around 5:30pm, just in time to wash up and have dinner. : ) Anyway they caught lots of black bass. Noah is a bit too little and so he stayed home with me, where he and I went on a very scenic bike ride. : )
This one was enormous that Branden caught all by himself. Noboru said B caught about 6 or 7 fish, they do catch and release for the bass fishing. They really enjoyed their father and son time. Their one on one time like that. : ) Anyway....for us in Japan, it is a 5 day "weekend" no school Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. The kids return to school September 24th. So, it's been sorta awesome just enjoying these past few days. I did *not* tackle Noah's closet yet. However the house is very clean. And hopefully I will tackle his closet this coming week. : )

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Branden's elementary school undokai/sports day!!! : )

Look at the fun on these kids faces. These kids enjoyed undokai rain or shine! They really did. Kouiki's parents were kind enough to make copies for us and so these top 3 pics come from them. : )
All good friends! Branden and on the right of B is Kouiki-kun and on the right of Kouiki is Saya-chan. These kids play at school together, and also on weekends. They're all real good friends these kids.
Out of all the pics for B's undokai this year, this one has got to be my most favorite, because it's of Branden smiling, Kouiki smiling, Saya-chan smiling. It's just like they didn't even notice or care that a camera was there taking their picture. Do you know what I mean. It's just like these little 2nd graders were just having a ball, camera or no camera. Sorry if it sounds dorky but yeah I really enjoyed this picture a lot. : )
Anyway how did it all get started? Well, on Friday, I went and reserved a spot at Branden's elementary school. Most schools in Japan do not let you save a spot beforehand. It's really uncommon to be allowed to do this. However our school does this. I think because it's way way in the countryside maybe. The number of students at this school anyway is so small. Like 40 kids total for the ninensei class and that's counting the 2 classes, of 20 each class. : ) Like average 40 each grade or less. So definitely under 300 kids for the entire school. Way under that actually I'd say by my best guess.... the entire school probably has about 260 kids for the whole school (grades 1-6). And so yeah the student count and family count is quite small for the elementry as a whole. I mean if there were like 2 thousand kids or so there could be a problem with reserving for sures. But at our school even if you waited to the last second to get a spot, you'd still get a good or decent spot. Ha ha ha. : ) Anyway, we called the school Friday afternoon asked what time we could save a spot. The head teacher said, "sure no problem and to come right after class lets out would be fine, somewhere between 4-5pm was okay". At 4:30pm I got there. Nobody was there yet. But about 3 minutes after I parked another mom got there too. We asked if it was okay. They said yes. And so we went and saved our spots.
The boys and I saved this spot. And the woman and her daughter saved that spot over there. All I did was lay down the leisure sheet put the 4 stakes into the ground to keep the sheet down and flat. Went back to the car and laid down the table and the big umbrella lay down on the sheet unfolded and umbrella stand. It didn't take too long. I went home and made supper. Now I could kick back, relax and know at least the spot was there and we didn't have to wake up at an ungodly hour to save the spot since we did it on Friday. Phew, a load off our minds. Noboru was at work while I set up and he was happy I could handle saving our spot no problem. A load off his mind as well. : ) My girlfriend rang my door around 6:45pm Friday and said she just got back from saving their family spot and by then more then 70 spots from her best guess were already saved.

Saturday, the day of undokai. We woke up at 6am. I fed the kids and got started in on our obento for undokai. It didn't take too long. I had the chicken marinated the night before. So, it was pretty easy. Just make a salad, clean some grapes, fry up some chicken. Form some rice balls. Since our spot was saved, we didn't have to rush to the school too early. We got there around 8am. It was to start at 9am sharp. Since I lugged everything to the school the day before all Noboru had to do was open the table and open the umbrella. Good team work. LOL. : ) It looked really cloudy. The weather forecaster the night before on the news said, rain showers were a possibility but more then likely it would just be a thick cloud covered day, we don't mind cloudy days at all, we thought. And then my friend that morning at the school told me the forecast did indeed say we'd get rain for sures. : (
So many people saved their spots. No people.... just leisure sheets, ha ha ha. : ) There were lesiure sheets all around the field.
By now it was 9am. It had just started. Red team versus the white team. What color is your hat basically is the team you're on. The hats actually have 1 side red and 1 side white. : ) Branden is a red hat at his elementary school. Noah is a white hat at his yochien. : ) Anyway they brought out the Japanese flag and played the national anthem, it was really nice.
Branden is on the far right of this picture. : )
It seems right off, the 1st graders raced right away and then the 2nd graders went on right afterwards. Here's Branden racing.
Man he ran his heart out. He came in 2nd place. It was such a close race, he lost by a hair but yup he came in 2nd. We cheered him on and told him how proud we were anyway. He really did do a good job.
Now it was sorta like a 3 legged race type race. But this is a race where 2 people slip into this band type thing and run together. The 1st graders ran with the 6th graders and the 2nd graders ran with the 5th graders.
There is Branden and a 5th grader running as fast as they could.
The 1st and 2nd graders went and had a tug of war! All the 1st and 2nd grade red hats versus the 1st and 2nd grade white hats!
Now it was time for the 5th and 6th graders to have a face off, between the red and white team. Or I guess I should call it a "hat off" instead. The object of the game is to knock off your opponents hat. So yup, you are elevated and people carry you all through the field. People meanwhile coming after you and trying to knock your hat off. Meanwhile you are equally trying to knock somebody else's hat off at the same time. This game is so popular, crowds are ohhing, ahhing. Cheering and screaming during this particular match.
It can get to be quite a heated match at that! Look at these 2 battling trying to knock each others hats off. We also have a much milder version of this at our yochien. : )
And then it was time for lunch. All the kids go find their families and have lunch with them. : ) From 12:00 to 12:40 was the kids lunch time. And then they had to get changed into their red shirts afterwards.
Noah and hubby eating. And the rain...I'll get to in a bit.
I'm eating. I had karaage, salad and potato salad.
Branden eating as much and as fast as he could. He had 2 onigiri's. Lots of chicken, and salad. Some cookies. Some grapes.
And then a quick shirt change and he was full and on his way. : )
The older class played the Ponyo theme song on instruments. And the 2nd graders did their Ponyo dance. : )
It was so cute to watch.
B's really good friend in front of him wearing the Champion shirt. He was just at our house last night playing soccer with B actually. : ) And Saya-chan in the red shirt sorta in front of B but in the other row. She was the one in front of the girl in the pink shirt. : ) And "boy next door" on the far left with the lightning bolt on his red shirt. He and B like to play Pokemon DS games together. : ) : )
Now back to the weather. How was the weather at undokai? Honestly the weather was horrible. The weather the day before undokai absolutely gorgeous, the weather the day after undokai like 90 degrees F, so like a hot beautiful Summer day. Yet the day of our undokai was cold and wet. The morning it was just cloud covered. Not a drop of rain. But seriously, it seems right around 9am when undokai started is when the rain also started. And it wasn't like a light sprinkle here and there. It was like a definite medium rain. Not typhoon type rain. And not a mist either. A definite medium steady rain. It rained from 9am to about 10am. And then it stopped. It started up around noon, so it rained during lunch but this rain was more a mist around lunch and it lasted just about 20 minutes. And then it didn't rain again the rest of the day. But the temperature? It was really really cold. I was relieved I brought and packed up some extra clothes that morning and threw them into a Costco bag, a sweatshirt and a raincoat and a pair of jeans for Noah for an emergency. And he totally used and needed them. I was relieved I brought hubby a sweatshirt and myself a black cardigan because towards lunch time I saw hubby put on his sweatshirt and he thanked me and said, "you packed really well", lol, I just smiled. : ) I also packed B a gym sweatshirt which I had to finally have him put it on after the Ponyo dance because it was just THAT freezing cold. It felt like we should have been eating a nice pot of nabe for our undokai lunch instead of the lunches we all packed. Ha ha ha. And all drinking hot coffees and cocoas. It felt like mid November type Chiba weather versus September Chiba weather. It was just the craziest thing.
Look at our leisure sheet? That's how every one's leisure sheet ended up looking. And in Japan, we don't put our shoes on our sheets at all, that's a no no. : ) And we never do either. However the mud was everywhere. Everyone around us just started stepping on their own sheets because if they didn't their socks would ended up mud soaked. I held out for a long time until I finally agreed to put my shoes on. It did rain, it was REALLY cold. But if you could see these kids faces and their smiles, they honestly didn't care about the weather...not 1 iota. They were all just so thrilled it was their undokai. Their day to shine. To show us their dance routine and how fast they could run, etc. So because the kids attitudes rocked so much! I think all of us parents had a really good attitude too. Yeah it rained....so what! I'm sure everyone living in Japan will have at least 1 year of their childs schooling sports day where the weather isn't so good. So, it was our turn. Ha ha ha. What can we say. And it probably won't be our last bad weather undokai either. But we all took it in stride. So that's the postive. : )
And now it was the father's club tug of war. Hubby's in that club at the elementary school. So, we got to cheer him on.
Yup Branden was the one wearing this sweatshirt in this pic. Undokai was over in about an hour. But the weather grew even colder. I finally had no choice, but to have him put on his sweatshirt. He said..."oh mom" Ha ha ha. But I said "sorry, but I don't want you catching a cold." And funniest thing.....about 10 minutes after B was wearing one, I saw about 4 other kids starting to wear their sweatshirts too. And one even put on the matching pants, I'm seriously not kidding. Then I told B, "see now you're not the only one now." Ha ha ha. : ) But yeah, I had to...it was honestly really THAT cold that day.
Branden really stretched out this summer huh? He seems to have gotten taller and really thinned out some this summer, not that he needed to be thinned out or anything, lol. He just looks taller and leaner now, he really grew over this Summer, I can see it. Ahh he's growing up, sniff sniff. Genki is right behind B in this pic. His oldest and dearest friend.
And then it was over. From 8am to 3:45pm, it was a whole day thing. Not to mentioned we woke up at 6am. We were cold, tired and sorta ready to go home. : ) All the kids had to carry their own seats out to the field and then at the end of the day they brought them back to their classrooms. : )
And B, putting his chair away. They all had a classroom chat for about 5 minutes. Then they all were free to go home.
All the kids were given this for participating. A school notebook, and some origami paper. I laid the leisure sheet over our fence and rinsed the sheet off with water. All the mud came off right away, hung it over the fence over night to dry and clipped it so it didn't blow away. Noboru put the table into the shed since it was dry and left the umbrella out to dry on the patio until the next day as well. We stayed home all Saturday evening and night. We were sorta tired and ready to just enjoy a night of rest. We had supper and hubby showered and bathed with the boys. Our first hot relaxing bath of the season, ha ha ha. I went in afterward the guys got out. Showered and soaked. Watched TV, had some popcorn. Just sorta kicked back all night. The kids went to sleep and we stayed up watching TV a bit longer.
Next morning, Sunday it was a gorgeous and hot summery type day. What the heck? Ha ha ha. A gorgeous day. We did have a good laugh about the difference in weather between Saturday and Sunday though. The leisure sheet was dry and as good as new. Hard to believe it was a muddy mess the day before, but it really was. Anyway nice and dry to the shed it went. : ) All in all it was a pretty good undokai. 1 undokai down, 2 more to go! : )