Monday, June 14, 2010

Thursday - Sunday. A new swimming level for Noah, observation day at the yochien for the father's, and 2 more BBQ's and a bit of gardening! : )

Wednesday evening, the boys and I baked some homemade chocolate chip and pecan cookies for my dad (grandpa) for my Father's day gift to him. And Thursday after sending the boys to school and making obento, I headed to do my weekly shopping at Cainz.
After coming home and unloading the groceries from the car into the fridge and pantry. I sat down and wrote out my Father's day card for my dad. Dad, I know you're reading...so please just don't read this part of the post. I want you to be surprised, or at least semi surprised, or okay at least you can "act" surprised, how's that?! ; )
25 homemade cookies and a handwritten card.
I had 11 extra cookies and I thought maybe we could eat them? Hmm that does sound like a pretty delicious thought! But then I thought why not make another person surprised and/or happy. And so, I sent them to my MIL in Osaka instead. So that's just what I did, Thursday afternoon.
Before picking up Noah from yochien on Thursday, I stopped off at the post office and mailed my dad his cookies and card. And I also sent Mitsuko hers as well. I'm glad I mailed my dad's stuff early enough that I am sure he'll get it before Father's Day for sure.
Thursday afternoon and home from school and Kumon...Noah watered the plants. In this pic he's watering one of the 2 zucchini plants.
Noah watering the 2nd zucchini plant.
And dad's corn. Mommy's corn was next! ; ) Noboru and I are sort of having a corn contest. Details on that another time.
And now Noah's watering the cucumber plant! What a very helpful boy! ; )
Friday morning after getting obento made and getting both the boys sent off to school. I raced home to get the house finished off before the weekend. I love my upstairs vacuum! I brought it all the way back from Denver, it's for carpet and really cool looking. ; ) But my downstairs vacuum for flooring not carpet. Ehhhh. My MIL picked it out for me, hence the pink color. However ugly this vacuum is, it is surprisingly powerful and still going strong. Now when it does eventually break, I'll pick out the new one. And the reason she picked it out at all, was because I stood in Hawaii, 2 weeks later then Noboru with B when he was about 1 years old. Meanwhile my MIL was trying to help Noboru by picking out stuff for our house rental. Which sounds nice and it is. But the pink vacuum took me many a years of getting used to. ; ) I vacuumed the 2nd and 1st floor. Swooshed both toilets, did the laundry and hung it outside before the boys even left to school (the laundry part). And then around 10am, I jumped in the shower to clean and scrub it from head to toe (2nd time this week) And then cleaned the sink upstairs in the laundry room and that was it.
Checked on the clothes outside, the dry stuff I brought in.
A few things still outside Friday. Orange shorts inside out. Blue gym shorts to the left of said orange shorts inside out. By 11:30am, I was done Friday. I washed my hands, had lunch and flopped on the couch until 1pm.
Friday, Noah at swim club! And when I saw the coach holding everyone's cards/sheets. I knew they were indeed having a test on Friday. And by the way. All his pink badge and red badge friends left and he was arriving since they swim in the A course. But that's okay, he can play with them at yochien. However there were about 4 blue badges in the B course for Friday. We greeted the blue badge mother's. And they were pretty shocked about Noah being in the B course. They asked, "is he 5 already?" No, I said. One blue badge little girl is a level 16 and the other little blue badge boy is a level 14 same as Noah and I think the other 2 are level 17's. or possibly 18's. Anyway....
The coach picks Noah to test first. I thought, he's the youngest kid, Noah's never tested as a B course before EVER yet they pick him to test first??? @_@ Errr okay. Whatever.
This is Noah's first test in the B course. He had to swim the entire length of the pool like B does. Or else he would fail. Branden looked on, so did Noboru and I did too. Time is not a concern or a factor yet. When he reaches a level 6, I think is when time becomes a huge factor on passing. But for now he has to swim way way longer distances then he did as an A course and his technique pretty much has to be spot on. To be totally honest with you...I REALLY wondered to myself if Noah could really swim THAT length/distance. Because it's quite a distance for anyone. And he's so young and his body is so tiny. I really wondered. But I didn't say anything, I just watched from upstairs through this glass window. Helpless really, I mean what could I do? Nothing. Nothing but watch. And so I did. And I be darned.....Noah made it! Yes he did, that teeny tiny body swam the entire length of the pool. I gave Noah a thumbs up before he jumped in the water. And he went and did his thing. Noboru said, his arms are so straight he's like a robot. Branden agreed. He really does have the most amazing swimming technique it's so clean! When his little hand touched the opposite side of the pool (he's nearing the end in the pic), I knew he made it! Yet again, I wanted to jump up and scream...oh yeah!!! But I did not. I have blogged many a times of wanting to do that before. ; )
And then it was over. Here's Noah and his friend who also goes to the same yochien, but he's a blue badge. ; ) However, you know I've known that beautiful little boy who's down in the pool with Noah since before he was a yellow badge! Yep, his mom has 3 boys! One's a 2nd grader, and then him who's a blue badge now (still can't beleive he grew so big) and another one who's about 2-3 years old. His mom is very very nice and a lovely woman. Always smiling and kind.
Noah and his buddy played after testing. And then they showered/rinsed, sauna-ed and then us mom's were waiting to dress our kids.
I'm so glad Noah has so many good friends at the swim school and in yochien. For a parent, it's truly peace of mind.
#13, we are so proud of you Noah!!! Congratulations baby well done!
Ribbit ribbit, he passed the test!
Noah, you earned it, you worked very hard!
I made chocolate brownies with walnuts Friday in the day during my free time in between my channel surfing time after I cleaned the house. This was a great surprise dessert for the family Friday night. ; )
We came home from swimming school Friday night and started up the BBQ. Friday night's dinner? Cheeseburgers, and 2 chicken teriyaki sandwiches and fries. A simple BBQ was had Friday night. The start of our weekend. Usually I use Japanese teriyaki sauce. But today, I used the American kind with the splash of pineapple juice added with it, it was so yumm! I love this sauce now so much for chicken sandwiches.
6 cheeseburgers, 1 teriyaki burger and 2 American flavored teriyaki type chicken breasts with melted cheese on top. Noah smelled like a swimming pool during dinner. ; ) And dinner was REALLY quick to make, but then obviously burgers and 2 chicken sandwiches take barely no time at all. And the fries are fast too. Within an hour of coming home from swim school, dinner was done and the boys were soaped up, showered and shampoo-ed! ; ) We watched the DVD "Did you hear about the Morgan's" On dvd as a family, all 4 of us, though Noah zonked out after the first 15 minutes. : ) I actually caught myself starting to doze off in bits here and there on the couch myself. Would open my eyes @_@ I only caught myself dozing off about 3 times. But yeah...waking up early Mon-Fri, for the boys schooling really does take a toll on a mom, you know! By the time the movie was over with, I was more then ready to go to sleep.
Saturday was observation day at the yochien for the father's. Only half of the mom's showed up. But that's only because us mom's had our own weekday observation the week before. I went anyway and I'm glad I did. I was able to get a new print out from the "games" committee captain (one of the ladies I actually went to the Indian restaurant with a week or two ago ; ) for when our next get together is going to be held to start preparing the games for the Summer festival. Meanwhile before the observation day started, they said on the loud speaker....no pictures allowed during observation day. They said it was so we could soak up the fun in the now. @_@ But what I really think it is....is that the school is wanting us to buy the pictures at 100 yen each picture and I think that price is absurd! But now we're all forced to buy the pics if we like it or not because none of us were allowed to take any pics of our own! : ( I did however take this 1 measly pic AFTER observation was over before we left the building/school grounds to walk to our car.
Noah and Branden holding hands. You know Noah is so lucky to have such a protective older brother like Branden. A brother who is never too busy to play with him. Or to cheer him on during an undokai, or swim test, or even like Saturday, when it was a race between the yurigumi's and the baragumi's. I must say, the yurigumi's won every single race except 1 from the baragumi! ; ) We had lots of things to cheer at school about, especially us yurigumi's! ; ) Please don't think it's cheesy but...it really was a bonding experience...even the new class red badge kids. The mom's we really don't know too well yet, we got to bond with them and cheered for their red badge yurigumi's when they raced against the bara class. And the red badge yuri class mom's screamed, whoot and hollared and cheered for Noah and the other pink badges as we beat the baragumi's in a"father and child" race. The whole school was cheering for their teams!!! Yurigumi's versus the baragumi's. Branden and I were like..."Yurigumi ganbare...ganbare!!!!!!" So honestly it was a very bonding fun experience for us all on Saturday and I am pretty glad I went.Us old school yurigumi's bonded with the new yurigumi's and the baragumi's bonded with the new baragumi's. So it was honestly quite cool.
Two very close brothers!!! Also, Branden got a chance to hang out with a few older kids from the yochien from his age and class. There were 2 friends of his that are 2nd graders now but they know B and he knows them really well. And two 3rd graders who also had siblings at the yochien on Saturday. So, I heard lots of "Branden-kun let's play" .....Noah's best friend Hikaru-kun the one he went to ensoku with and climbed up and down the jungle gym down together at the same time. ; ) The one who is now a yurigumi this year. Anyway they're like peas in a pod, Noah and H-kun. Also, H-kun has a 2nd grade brother, a ninensei. And he's a good friend of Branden's actually. When B swam in that Golden week compressed course, H-kun's older brother was actually swimming in it too. So, yeah, these people we see everywhere. At yochien, at swim club, just all over the place. ; ) And they are the family that's going to Guam in August for their 10 year anniversary. So yeah we know this family actually quite well. Their older boy is a friend of B's and Noah and H are like best friends in yochien this year, they're really close.
We went to the barber directly after observation day on Saturday for both the boy's to get a haircut. and then to lunch at Mc Donald's. Headed home, relaxed and then when it was a good time to start dinner, we did. First went on the corn. Who wants a corn on the cob? Hub and Noah said no thanks. And B and I said, yes. Hmm, maybe Noah was just not in the mood for it this time because he loves corn usually.
Pulled the meat that was marinated and chopped since before we headed to the yochien. Noboru also had a ton of beef.
Getting ready to eat....
Grilled veg! Lettuce for wrapping our meat with.
That's a whole lot of chicken!
And only half the amount of beef. The other half was still on the grill.
Like many of us, the weekends are the time, for me to recharge my batteries. Needless to say...this meal with the family...and the BBQ the day before. Definitely hit the spot!
Eating as a family is so important to us.
Branden stuffing up on yakiniku!
Noah taking a drink.
Yes, don't be shy Noah! ; ) You can fit how much rice in your chopsticks? ; )
The way he looks at his food. Always just kills me! It's a look that says..."here I am and I'm gonna eat ya"
Listening to Noboru telling some story.
And then B added to it. So Noah looks towards Branden....
Oh holy goodness mom's taking my picture...cheese! We enjoyed Saturday's BBQ quite a bit. Sure we didn't go out to a fancy restaurant or anything. Though not really our style anyways. But we did stay home and have a really nice BBQ and some good quality time as a family.
Which brings me to Sunday. I had my 2 loads of laundry out and hanging by 7am. I'm usually earlier on the weekdays. But ehh, it was the weekend. I don't care about what time I get it out on the weekend at all. Skillet fried some potatoes, made some omelettes and toast. Juice for the kids and coffee for Noboru and I. I did diddly squat all day Sunday. Just sort of enjoying my last day of the weekend. Both Branden and Noah played with about four 3rd grade boys good friends of Branden's all day long Sunday. And on Saturday after the yochien observation thing and the barber and stuff, B and Noah played outside with about five boys in the neighborhood. Genki-kun included. ; )

Dvd's rentals...I picked and rented the last 2 for June. The Hannah Montana movie as you know. And the last one, I chose was G-Force. It's a kids movie, so we have 2 kids movies coming. The G-Force one isn't released until June 23rd? Or around that date, so we'll have a little wait before the movies can come to us. Which is okay. Released in Japan that is, obviously it's been released in the US on dvd, a long time ago.

Noah's on the birthday count down. Everyday, Noah asks me..."how many more days until my birthday?" @_@ And I say...oh so and so many days. And then he tells Branden and Noboru and myself all day long...."do you know in x number days it will be my birthday?" And then the next day he'll ask all over again and it's started again. Birthday's are so magical for kids his age, aren't they? ; ) And fwiw....Branden and the group of boys were playing on the front porch yesterday, their DS games. And Noah came in and said...."I sure wish my DS wasn't broken mama" I am telling you...hearing that, it nearly broke my heart! And not to mention you know we bought him one for his birthday so actually he has one! He just doesn't *know* he has one. ; )

Today is raining, it was raining buckets around 5am. But is now down to a light drizzle here. What is today's plan? The house is clean and I have a load of laundry in the dryer as I type. ; ) I am going to read my book today. Oprah. I started it last week and am barely on page 30, it's just by the time I actually have the time to sit down and read it...I am so tired that I fall asleep. : ) So, today, I think I'll spend a good hour catching up on my Oprah book. Have a cup of coffee. And maybe prep a bit for dinner. We're having gratin tonight and garlic cheesy bread and salad. Maybe I can butter the bread with garlic butter and wrap it in tin foil at least. Make the salads and stick them in the fridge with plastic wrap. Chop the chicken and stir fry it until done and then that way by the time dinner rolls around, I am pretty much close to done. ; )
Tomorrow/Tuesday the boy's don't have school. According to the note, it's Chiba Day. ; )
My MIL...So when we finally got home Saturday from the yochien and the barber, our home answering machine was blinking. It was my MIL calling about the cookies. I missed her call since we were out, so I called her back. She was SO happy getting those cookies. It made me so happy hearing that. Next time I'll have to bake her a whole batch and send them. I did the right thing by sending them to her. For sure. Don't laugh but...it sort of made my day because it made her day. Do you know what I mean? ; ) Anyway have a great day everyone! : )