Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween from our family here in Chiba, Japan!!! : )

To all of you that celebrate it! I hope for you all to have a wonderful Halloween. This picture was taken this evening however my flash was on and so it looks actually earlier in the day then it was. It was pitch black outside. : ) You can see our carved Jack o' lantern all nicely cut, trying to bring some Halloween cheer to our neighborhood! : )
A couple days ago, the boy's and I carved the pumpkin together. Usually Noboru joins in the fun with the carving but his schedule this week was so, that we cut it without the hubby. However he saw it and thought we did a pretty okay job! : ) In this pic, Noah was pointing to the carving he wished for us to do. I said...."I don't think I have the skill to do that one" : ) A little too elaborate for my carving skills, now Noboru could have done that one no problem. : )
Yup, he wants to cut....that one? Ha ha ha.
Time to scoop out some pumpkin guts! Go kids go, get the seeds out.
Boy did these need a good and thorough washing. :P
Fresh out of the oven, all nicely roasted and salted and placed into this little dish and we munched these Wednesday night.
While munching our pumpkin seeds, the kids and I watched Hocus Pocus. A Halloween movie on the Disney channel. We have been watching kids Halloween movies all week. The Nightmare Before Christmas, etc etc.
Aha, a bit blurry but this pic is really how dark it was tonight when we took the picture. Anyway, I hope everyone has a spook-tacular Halloween!
Kids have had their shower and bath and the popcorn has just been popped, a few Halloween treats to be munched and we will be popping in "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" for the kids, as soon as I publish this. Same as every year! : ) Happy Halloween everyone! : )

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy 8th birthday Branden! : )

Birthday's at our house are always small quiet little family events. Branden's birthday was October 26th, both the kids went to school. And right after they each came home from school, we went right away to the doctors to get their last dose of the flu shot. About 17 people in the waiting room, mostly elderly folks. But we had an appointment and got in and out fairly quick. We went to Capricciosa for Branden's birthday. It's an Italian restaurant here in Japan, but really really delicious. It was dead inside the restaurant, maybe 1 or 2 other sets of customers sitting someplace not even close to where we were sitting. Here is Noboru gesturing with his hands, "you know Branden you used to be THIS small" LOL. He does that to each of the boys for every single birthday.
Our salad and also our bruschetta...
This was really good.
Then the fried rice ball with a melted cheese center.
Pizza
And 1 regular size serving of pasta and 1 extra large serving of pasta. We ate, we talked, we ate some more. We even took the extra spaghetti home, which they nicely wrapped up for us.
They brought out the free cheesecake and ice cream platter. He could have chosen, chocolate cake, pumpkin tart or cheesecake. We had cake at home and will be having pumpkin pie shortly anyway so he wisely went with the cheesecake. The kids enjoyed the ice cream and cheesecake. We meanwhile sipped some coffee and waited. Then headed home. The weather for Branden's birthday, it rained cats and dogs all day and evening. My friend at the yochien earlier that day, told me this was a typhoon. We went home and had our quiet little celebration there.
This is the cake I baked for Branden this year. And just a very small amount of presents. A very simple birthday. : )
We lit the candles and turned out all the lights, sang, and wished him a very happy birthday. He blew out the candles and made a wish!
We had cake and ice cream. Just the 4 of us in the kitchen.
Unwrapping a few gifts. : )
Opening the gift from grandpa. : )
Aww. : )

And that was it. A very nice, but a very quiet family birthday. Happy 8th birthday baby, we sure do love you! : )

Sunday....

Sunday morning the weather was nice, but rain was expected the next day on Monday. So, Sunday morning I just ran to the laundry mat and washed all my bedding for our bed. And I also went up into the attic and pulled out all the fleece warmer type thick blankets out and took them and just washed them all. It wasn't so hard and just threw them all into 1 of the big washers there. Everything fit with room to spare. Went into my car and waited.
The dryer is quite fast and it took no time, these 2 dryers were the ones with my stuff inside. Went home made my bed and then put 1 thick fleece blanket each into Branden's bed, Noah's bed and one into our bed. We enjoyed Sunday just lazing around at home. Well except my laundry mat run I did in the morning. By afternoon, we decided at 3pm we'd go fishing. So we did.
We went along the ocean, right on a wharf and fished. We fished for mackerel but were waiting for sun to set to catch sea bass. The weather was cold, the boys were wearing long johns underneath but it was still pretty cold. Brrr.
There were other people fishing near by and it was nice to chat and ask what they were catching. The people on the left of us, must have been there all day, because they had a big cooler with all that they caught inside.
Everyone enjoyed themselves. And what did we catch? Would you believe we didn't catch a single thing!!! Ha ha ha. Oh well, we did have fun though. : ) Our part of Chiba, the days are still somewhat Indian Summer type days but the nights are starting to cool off, which is why I decided to pull out the thicker blankets. We went home and had leftover nabe. Anyway, that was our Sunday. : )

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tokyo Disneyland Halloween celebration 2009! : )

We woke up at 5am. Yikes can you believe that? I had packed a bag of extra clothes for the kids, just spares which they didn't need, but kept them in the car anyway. Figure better to be safe then sorry. Packed a separate bag for which I kept in the stroller all day long, with their sweatshirts, coats, hats and gloves, the stroller we took and stroller rain cover we kept in the car since the forecast said no chance of rain, which was right, no rain at all. But still better to be safe then sorry, I guess, so glad it was in the car at least. Tickets we had. The kids and I had Mc D's along the way, hubby had some Japanese noodles at a rest area that his friend rec'd and he loved them. We arrived at Disneyland around 8am. We had a very close parking and waited/stood in line at the gates. Once the time came around and it opened, we went in. Here's a picture of the boy's, and behind them is the Disneyland marching band, that were wearing their Halloween colors. It was pretty nice. Didn't stop to listen too long, Noboru already ran off to grab fast pass tickets for the "Pooh Hunny Hunt" yup, not honey, lol. Meanwhile the kids and I made our way to the Haunted Mansion as fast as humanly possible with me pushing the empty stroller (meaning no kid). We got there pretty fast, there was zero wait time. Kids and I went in once since Noboru was not there yet and the ride only takes a few minutes. Then when we exited, we saw Noboru and we rode again still no wait in line. And he did grab the fast pass for the Pooh ride already.
This ride is always switched for Halloween. It becomes the Haunted Nightmare Before Christmas ride. We thought, it was even better this year.
Jack tells his story. Then we get inside the ride.
This is the girl that likes Jack. She was listening to some really spooky/creepy music play on the piano.
This talking head inside the crystal ball is always pretty cool.
See the dinner table down there, ghosts were feasting. And dancing down there. @_@
Thank goodness for fast pass tickets. Oh yeah right after the Haunted Mansion, we ran to Splash Mountain grabbed a fast pass and then headed to the Pooh ride. After going to TDL for so many years, we have our system down, we know how to maneuver and ride the most rides now. We went right through the Pooh ride and didn't wait in line.
The ride, seats 4 each and you're riding in your own pot of honey. See the one in front of us and sorry it's blurry but can you see it spells "hunny" lol, cute. Also, we usually ride 1 parent with 1 child. Perhaps Noah is getting older now, but the lady working on this ride said, your kids can ride together if you'd like. We said...."ohhh okay." Took us by surprise a bit at first, I think. So a few of the rides they rode like that but mostly we still rode 1 parent with 1 kid. But we always stood in the same cart/ride no matter what though. This ride is good because it is very bright and colorful. At one time it bounces when Tigger is around and your bowl of honey, actually bounces up and down and at the end of the ride you smell honey. The wait time, for this ride is always long.
The boys looking around. Enjoying the ride.
There's rabbit. : )
This is the newest ride at Tokyo Disneyland so far. It's the Monster's Inc. ride. We grabbed a fast pass for this before heading off to Splash Mountain, we sure enjoyed this ride a lot. We also bought the kids some dinner place mats at the Monster's Inc. store after we finished this ride. It's one of the kids favorite movies is why.
By now our fast pass time was ready for the Splash Mountain ride. We quickly got on this one. Noah's tall enough to ride so we all can ride.
Splash Mountain is nice because you go down a few times down the mountain one is sorta steep. And between the few falls, there is a lot to see. It basically tells the story of Brer Rabbit.
After Splash Mountain we hopped on the Pirates, the wait time was only 15 minutes though it seemed much less then that. Then after this is when we went on Monster's Inc.
We had 2 buckets of caramel popcorn, 1 bucket of honey popcorn, we brought 3 buckets with us. And when 1 was finished we refilled it with soy sauce/butter popcorn.
We caught a bit of the daytime parade but mostly we were here for the rides. And the night time parade is gorgeous so we mostly waited for the night time parade instead and rode the rides all day and evening.
Around noon we had lunch. We had lunch at the the "Pan Galactic Pizza Port" located in Tomorrowland.
Everyone had a slice and we ordered 2 large sodas and everyone shared the drinks. I also brought into the park, 2 single size jasmine teas because drinks can get quiet expensive in there. And I'm glad I brought some.
I would rec'd if you go to the Pan Galactic Pizza port, you sit upstairs because there is a small animatronic type show. An alien pizza shop is making pizza for delivery in outerspace. Think a type of show sorta like Chuck E Cheese's, but on a way way smaller scale. To get the best view of the show you have to go upstairs, it's very hard to see downstairs. All the kids who were eating loved the show. But totally do go upstairs to get the best view.
See the 3 silver hands pulling and stretching the pizza dough to the left of this picture?
Wall-E and Eve, being part of Disney Pixar where also there. Wonder if they'll ever get around to making a ride. That would be cool.
And by now, we had already rode about 10 rides so far, had lunch, we did have another fast pass but by afternoon the fast pass tickets are like 3 hours from when you get the ticket type stuff. So by now we just rode a whole bunch of misc. rides. We rode the train. Like almost no wait in line. I think it is because we went on a weekday, but also I think it is because Tokyo Disney Sea is hosting their first time ever Halloween celebration this year. We were hoping that would make the crowds less at Disneyland. And it did. This relieved us a lot. Because TDL is usually insane around Halloween, even on a weekday but not this time.
Noah enjoying the trains. B was sitting on the other side of the hubby. They each got the window side, so I couldn't really take a good pic of B since he was sitting way over there. : (
We watched the boat go by, while on the train.
After the train, everyone wanted some fresh fruit. They sell fresh fruit near the train ride. I mentioned it briefly before we got on the train. When we got off, everyone had wanted some. So, we all got 1 pineapple each. 189 yen each, somewhat high but acceptable still.
Man was it sweet. We 4 all munched, threw the wrappers into the trash and then rode another ride.
After a few more rides, we stopped at the Country Bear theater. They always have a great show and this one was a special show, a new one I hadn't seen before. It was about vacation. Usually it's just the bear jamboree. : )
One other show, this was the "Honey I shrunk the kids" show. Us, the audience were shrunk and that was pretty fun. They have English headphones and you can sit in a certain row to use them.
Noah has never driven before, well except for his little electric car at home. Now that he's tall enough, he can ride this now. Last time we just watched Noboru and B. This time he was ready. He did really really well.
There is a thin rail for each lane, so the cars will stay on one track but the kids do have to drive somewhat good otherwise you could risk some possible whip lash. Ha ha ha. Am happy to report no whip lash here. He drove honestly...very good. Pleasantly surprised. Ha ha ha. : )
Branden's been riding on this for many years with Noboru, so he does very well. This is them as they got off their car and were walking out where I stopped to take their picture. : ) By now is when I started feeling a bit chilly. So, I had to dig out every one's sweatshirts from the bag under the stroller.
Ahhh much much better, now that they're in warmer tops. Noboru meanwhile ran himself to the Haunted Mansion real quick to get another fast pass, we meanwhile stayed near the Buzz Lightyear since the fast pass for that was about time and we waited until he ran back. We loved the Buzz ride. Branden reached level 2, I reached level 3 with the shooting. And Noboru beat my score and reached level 4. Drats! Noah meanwhile scored 800 points only so, he had fun but didn't reach any levels or anything. : )
We went to the buffet for dinner. The price is higher here then at the Indian buffet at Disney Sea. But we were hungry and unlimted food and drinks sounded about right at the time. A total miss match of food items on my plate. Karaage, Japanese curry (they had Indian curry, but I opted for the Japanese that night) German potatoes with some yummy onion and cheese type dish, a naan, a butter roll. This serving is all mixed up!!! Ha ha ha. Good grief. : ) Oh and the karaage is all white meat, just in case anyone is wondering. : )
I did redeem myself by having a salad. : )
I had a small slice/square of Stitch cake, this was my favorite from the plate of desserts. The chocolate cake was so rich, I could only have 1, not the second one, too chocolate-y. And a slice of cheescake. They also had a pumpkin mousse and other things as well.
And a second serving. This time I had a Mickey plate. Figured what the heck...live dangerously! LOL. See the left ear? I kept seeing this pumpkin gratin. Didn't get any at first, but thinking.... That sounds delicious. Everytime I went up and got some more food for Noah or myself. Since B gets his own. I would see it. I'd think...I love pumpkin. Love pumpkin pies, cheesecake, or pumpkin bread, anything along those lines. And Japanese pumpkin love that too. In stews, or tempura or what have you. And I do love gratin too. So anyway kept thinking, "gee that sounds great." So before I left, I put a little spoon in the Mickey ear and sat down. Then I tried it. I am sorry to say but yuck. : ( I think it sounded better then it actually was? : ( It just didn't go together. At least not to my tastebuds. I even tried 3 bites. Not wanting to give up, wanting to like it. And then finally throwing in the towel and said, "I guess I just don't like it" ah well, at least I did try.
Here's a picture of the actual buffet.
After eating dinner. We took a few Halloween type pics now that it was dark outside. This picture didn't come out right, because the pumpkin was so illuminated behind B that I could barely make out his face. I even tried switching their seating positions, having them sit more towards the left, didn't work.... so then tried more to the right. And the fact it was actually 2 benches, they couldn't all squeeze in just 1 bench. I tried everything to get a better picture of them with this background yet it still came out.....just not so good. *Plus* I had a small line forming behind me and not wanting to be a hog about the spot and move on and let someone else take a turn taking a pic, I left it as is. After 8 pics, this was the best I could get. : ( Anyway...you get the idea. : )
This picture came out much better. Phew! : )
The night time electrical parade. Look at the float, it's a float with the wicked witches face from Snow White. With wart and all. That was such a cool float. And the actual witch was dancing on top.
Snow white was on after and she looked so pretty!
Monster's Inc float. Best friends, Mike and Sully!!!
Cute little Boo on the back! : )
Buzz!
Nemo!
Taking on the jellies!!!! That was Crush.... umm over 100 year old Crush btw. : ) And the beautiful jelly fish at the back! : )
Noboru and our first born on his shoulders. So B could see. I'm glad he did that. : )
Noah meanwhile was zonked out to the world. He was fast asleep in the stroller. It's sorta funny but, no matter where we are, even TDL, Noah can never stay awake past 8:30pm. It's like he has a tiny clock inside him that just makes him fall asleep. One night last week, during the weekday, it was 8:05pm and Noah asked sweetly, "can I go to sleep now?" I said...of course, sure you're bed time's at 8:30pm but you can go to sleep sooner, I walked him upstairs and went to check on him around 8:19pm and he was fast asleep too. B on the other hand always liked staying awake. Could probably stay awake forever if we let him.
Beauty and the Beast. Beauty and the Beast has always been one of my favorites.
Puff the Magic Dragon. : )
Cinderella, her dressed switched from blue to a dazzling white. It was really cool. They added a lot of new floats to this parade since the last time we were here. We both noticed that.
Zonked out to the world! And that's his wrist band saying he is indeed tall enough. : )
We watched the firework show after the Electrical parade. The fireworks woke up Noah. So we rode a few more rides. We 4 rode Pirates of the Carribean again. And Noboru and Branden rode, something in Tomrrowland, Space Mountain I think. I meanwhile stood with Noah since he's not tall enough for that ride yet.
We stayed until it closed. Our car was one of the first in and our car was one of the last to leave! Man we were at Disneyland literally all day long. : ) That's our white MPV in the background.
The kids 1 thing each, we got them from Tokyo Disneyland. Simple, 450 yen each dinner mats. It has all the character's on them. Celia AKA "schmoopsie-poo" and Mike AKA
"googly bear", LOL! If you've seen the movie, I'm sure you might be laughing, if you haven't seen it, then, probably not. Sorry. : ) Anyway this is what we did last Wednesday, October 21st , we spent it at Tokyo Disneyland. : )