Friday, July 29, 2011

Noah's very last Summer festival at the yochien

This is yet another one of the "lasts" we encountered a few weeks ago. Noah's last Summer festival at the yochien. Not his last Summer festival *ever* obviously, because we go to them yearly anyway. Like the one in our housing community that is taking place today for example.: ) But it is indeed Noah's last one, he'll be participating in at the yochien. So another thing comes to a close for him. And that's okay. : ) Anyway...this is the exact game I worked on. I was standing somewhere on the left and working this game at the time...clapping for my son, Noboru took this picture. : ) See my really good friend on the right, clapping for Noah as well. : ) I've got lots of good friends here, and they always keep a watchful and caring eye on Noah and Branden during the festival or anytime we're together really. I look out for all their kids as well. We're all a bunch of caring mother hens and cheerleaders for each others kids basically. : ) I also have a lovely pic of the Jogo-san helping Noah on the whack-a-mole game. It is a nice picture and I'll be putting that one in the scrapbook. : )
Frozen jelly's were perfect on such a hot and steamy day, that this festival was held on. : )
Hot dogs. : )
The snack Noah's holding are so good! We buy those every year, ever since Branden was a student here. In a small way...this was a little sad for me, thinking that this would indeed be the last time ever we'd be partaking at the Summer festival with this yochien. I know...I know onwards and upwards. But still bittersweet you know what I mean?
Aww the fluffy heart sensei. She helped Noah tremendously when he was a yellow badge...sort of like a pre-student student for the first few months before April had begun all those years ago and he became a full fledged red badge. : )
And yes, she's still just as gentle and caring and loving as ever.
Sorry Noboru to take your pic mid chew! : ) The Spongebob bag I had Branden bring along so they could carry all their loot in during the festival.
The kids about to start the Summer dancing.

Hands on your hips....
Wave your hands in the air...and wave 'em like you just don't care! ; ) LOL, anyone remember that old song? Never mind. : )
Aww, anyone see Noboru in the background at the fence? See, I worked the first half of the festival at the games. And father's are also asked to help not just mothers. So, Noboru worked the 2nd half and was a patrol person walking the area outside the school. The school had blocked off the street. With cones and everything. However I think when the music started Noboru wanted to catch a glimpse of his son. : ) Knowing this would be the last of the last of yochien festivals for us. : )
The dancing is always so fun to watch.

Hands on your head like this...just follow what the Yayoi sensei does Noah! : ) The kids actually practice this a few times the week before... so they got it pretty much down by the time of the festival day.
Was this a...make a cute face pose? : ) Yep but the Yayoi sensei did they made one too. : )
Oh my sweet Noah. You've grown so much kiddo!
The original yochien Branden went to...before we moved here. They had a bunch of fancy lanterns that lit up at night and the kids danced under those. But you know what? I like these "lanterns" better. Because the kids get to actually make new ones each year. And the kids always like to point out which ones are theirs. ; )
And all the loot (junk) Noah brought back : )...not even counting all the loot (junk) Branden brought back. : )

2 very cute, very short videos of the last Summer festival for Noah. : )

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My once a year, ladies exam

Every year 3 huge buses come to our town. They're 3 very modern buses. They come to make sure us ladies in Japan stay healthy. This is not the giant health check where they test you from top to bottom and take blood and test for everything. This is simply a pap smear checking and looking to make sure, no one has ovarian cancer, or anything else bad going on down there. And the other 2 buses check the breasts. If you're older and over 40 you will get a mammogram and in 1 bus tests for that. If you're younger and under 40 you'll have an ultrasound type exam on your breasts and be in the ultrasound bus. So 1 bus for pap smears, 1 bus for mammograms and 1 bus for ultrasound type breast exams.They sent all of us ladies in our town a letter 2 month's ago. Last year you could choose from 4 dates. This year we could choose from 3 dates. I picked the date that best fit my schedule and that of the boys school schedule (meaning couldn't book this appointment at say 1pm if Branden or Noah had a half day for example, ykwim : ) So, I picked the day and called the town office and had the date written on our home calender. Anyway, last week, while Branden was at school and Noah had already begun his Summer vacation. Noboru stood home with Noah and I went to my yearly ladies check.

I went in, they called my name. They took my blood pressure. The lady told me I have low blood pressure. Granted she said....not too low but low-ish. Alrighty. And then they sent me to bus #1, the papsmear/vaginal check. That went well, didn't take so long.

Next I went to the breast check. I entered the ultrasound breast exam bus. You know...this bus is my favorite. They always play pretty loud 80's music. I've blogged the songs they played the last few years. When I walked in this time last week. The theme to the Breakfast Club was on. And I wondered to myself...wasn't this song playing last year too? : ) Then I wondered...I bet they're using a CD. Then I wondered...who bought the CD...was it the ultrasound tech lady? She seems like the one who picked this music. Yeah...I bet it was her I thought. : ) So, there I was taking off my top and bra covering myself with the navy blue hibiscus towel from the top part of my body. Tan flat front khaki shorts. The song changed and the lady opened up my curtain...please come in, she said in Japanese. It's very dark in the room. The only thing you can really see is the lighted illuminated screen and buttons of the ultrasound machine. I laid down on the bed/exam table. She said...lay down relax and banzai your arms please, lol. : ) And so I did. : )

Aha this was the same lady I've seen for years, I thought to myself. I told her...your hair has grown since last year. Last year it was a a little above your shoulders and a bob. All one length is how I told her in Japanese. She was very happy and surprised I'd remember such a thing. She said..yeah yeah that is right, I grew it out. Yours is a little longer now too. I know, I smiled as she was ultra sounded my first breast. Another 80's song played.

As many of you know, my mom had breast cancer. Beat it. But it totally affected our whole family, we were all so worried, so wanting to help...but also feeling so powerless too, cancer sucks. There's just no other nice way to say it. It was hardest on her. So when the 80's loving ultrasound tech, got to my 2nd breast, she stopped midway. I think knowing my family history it's no wonder, the usually calm me. Could feel my heart now beating out of my chest. I think at that second my blood pressure just went right through the roof. If she finds something..I don't want to know. I thought. Oh no, that's so stupid... of course I would want to know...I'd *need* to know. Of course I'd want to know. As you can tell, I was thinking a thousand different things during this 30 second time frame here! Finding it fastest equals best results, any logical person knows that. I could not even swallow for about a second or two.... I just stood there like a statue. with my hands above my head still.... laying down. I had to know....I would be in freaking limbo land for the next month waiting for results. Are things okay....I just spit it out. Yes...things are fine Mrs. Blank. know my history, so just please always tell me.: ( This time she smiled and said...I just happened to run out of gel. And I needed more. Ohhh. @_@ Huge relief flashes across my face. Phew. : ) Yes, I think I am officially her most nervous patient ever. And for that...I am truly sorry. And I am aware.... I always ask her if things are okay. : ) I know this. I just can't help it.: (

I know this will always be a sore spot with me. The one thing that always scares the absolute heck out of me. And it's understandable why. I like that bus..I like the music and I really like that lady too. But my gosh...never do I ever feel.... as vulnerable as when I am sitting on that examining table.:(

It should take 1 month for all the results to be mailed to my house. The bright side least I go for my yearly check ups. : ) Anyway hopefully the results will be mailed to my house quickly and all will be good news. And I will not have to think about it so much, at least for the next 10-11 months. : ) I still do the monthly checks in the shower though. Just making sure all seems okay. : ) Anyway...long story short, I went for my yearly lady type exam last week. : )

When pigs fly! ; )

Still trying to catch up here. : ) After we got back from Hawaii. We had just about run out of waffles. And also we didn't buy tortilla chips in Hawaii, we could have but didn't want to take up the needed space in a suitcase. So we ordered from the Flying Pig here in Japan. We did however bring the salsa back with us though.
Just 2 things, well I guess 3, if you count the waffles twice since we ordered 2 boxes. But not much is what I mean. : )
It was the last week of school for Noah and Branden the week we got back. I had Branden's weekly regular clothes hanging outside. And Noah's 5 Summer uniform shirts drying on the far right. And in front of the boys swimming towels was Noah's new madras jimbei drying in the breeze. The Summer festival is now over but at the time this was taken it was coming up. And had wanted to wash it and freshen it up before Noah wore it for the first time. : )

This should have been blogged weeks ago. : ) It's so behind the times now. So, I will disable comments on this. Only because it's an older delayed post. : ) But nothing too major in here anyway. : )

Teaching English

No, not full time and not even part time. I am teaching 2-4 times a month now, I just started in July. Between you and me, I get asked to teach English at least once a week, if not more. It happens to me everywhere I go. If I'm at swimming club. At the yochien. People who live in our housing community...even if I'm just chilling at a Summer festival for example someone is bound to walk up to me and ask me. I don't really mind the question at all. But when Branden was younger for example, I had my hands full taking care of him and that was fine, I absolutely loved doing so, he's my son, I love him to bits. And then when Noah was born 6 years ago, it was just out of the question me teaching, I then had my hands full twice as much, but again it was my pleasure, I love my kids. I was much too busy taking care of the house and my young babies to be out of the house teaching anyone else, other then my own children anything, you know what I mean, I hope. : )

However as some of you know, I did teach elementary school in Denver for a few years before Noboru was tranferred to Hawaii and ultimately to Japan (way before we had kids). And I loved being a teacher of native English speaking kids. It was so much fun for me. I'm just really good with kids. Always have been. I never really thought I'd be good at teaching ESL though. And again with raising little kids of my own all these years it was never an option. However I have many fabulous ESL teacher friends and I do think what they do is amazing and I respect them so. I always feel a kinship to teachers probably because of how I started out in Denver though. : )

Fast forward to now. I started thinking about 6 month's ago, with Noah going to be in elementary next year. I guess I could teach 4 times a month tops. It would be some good extra pocket money for me. I mentioned to Noboru, I might consider doing something like that.

I actually spoke to some of my in real life friends about it first who I trust and can talk things over with and get some of their thoughts. I first spoke to my 2 good friends, the Jogo-san and Noriko-san. We spoke about that at our favorite Indian restaurant in great detail many months ago. And they did give me a lot of information. Keep in mind the Jogo-san has taught English here in Japan for like 10 plus years at different English schools, though she is now working at Narita airport for an airline which will not be named for her privacy, but it's not Delta. And Noriko went to uni to be a lawyer but also taught English here, I think I could be wrong I'd have to ask her. but she speaks amazing, so she could have. They told me how much to charge. Start up fee or no start up fee. Conversation only or conversation plus reading and writing. We covered every topic. I also showed up with tons of questions. Because again I have zero experience teaching in Japan or esl for that matter. I asked, what if a student cancels the day I charge them or not. We went over everything humanly possible. I appreciate knowing they'll always be here for me. Even for something like this, that's a true friendship we have.

The Jogo-san also invited me to her house another day and we went through all her old teaching materials. She let me borrow a stack of the ones I wanted. And I went and photo copied so many lesson plans. Like a few years supply amount of them.

I also spoke to my dear friends Rumi-san and Kaya-san about it too. Rumi has sent her children to English school for years. And so she had a very good perspective there too.

I don't just jump and leap without knowing what I'm jumping into. I'm a planner type person. So, I felt around March-ish I had a really good handle on things. With their help and guidance.

What is my long term plan? My long term plan is to teach out of my home once a week... twice a week tops. Just have a class. For maybe yochien aged kids. And maybe...just maybe a class for elementary kids. I don't have any intention of this being full time or even part time. I honestly don't want to be a teaching business. I think people who do that rock and like I said nothing but respect from me for them. But I just don't think I would want to devote that much time to it. Once a week sure. Every single day. No. I do like my life the way it is now and I don't have any intention for my life to change too drastically, because of me having a job. If that's the case, the job will have to go. And that's what Noboru thinks too. We like the lifestyle we have now.

The one thing still getting me was.... like I said, I feel no nervousness or anything teaching native kids at all. I could pop into any international school or school in the US and go! Feel comfy and in my element.

But....again I felt really unsure about teaching ESL. Do I have what it takes. And I really thought a lot about it. Not everybody likes it.

So, anyway you know how I shop at all sort of different stores. Anyway, I was at a store saw a sign in English only. Hmm. I mentioned it to Noboru and he said, you know that type of job could be the type of job that you could actually get some experience from. Once you get the hang of it. You can start teaching at home if you want. And if you don't want to, fine too.

So, I went to the interview in June. They said....this job would only be 2-4 times a month. I'm only interested in working that amount anyway, I said, I am a mother of 2 little boys, one is in elementary and one is a nencho in a yochien someplace. The job would only be 2 hours at a time. So 2 hours a week. That sounds like all I'm interested in at for the time being anyway. So we were on the same page with regards to work schedule already. : )

I am also going to be working with a Japanese teacher. They asked me/requested of me 1 thing..... to never speak to the kids in Japanese ever. That's tough for me sometimes. I teach the 3-4 years old class. And then right after I teach the nencho class. It's pretty easy for me. It's 2 hours a week. 1 hour class and then another 1 hour class after that class.

They started me at 3,500 yen an hour. And then emailed me after my first class and said they were happy with what the principal said about me and are paying me 4,000 yen an hour. They also pay me gas and mileage. So, just me going there...I get 8,000 yen for the 2 hours, plus gas and mileage so about 9,000 yen for showing up for 2 hours. Not too shabby. The Japanese teacher plans all the lessons. She calls me 2 days before to confirm with me. The school gives me my schedule a month ahead, if something doesn't gel with my own home schedule or Branden and Noah's school schedule I can email them and tell them...such and such date isn't going to work. And that's fine.

It doesn't interfere with my regular life. At all. And 2 hours a week is not so bad.

I have now taught a total of 4 classes, have taught 2 different days in July. I did email them and told them I would be unavailable during the time I was in Hawaii though and that was fine. And they were thrilled I taught the 2 days. How do I like teaching ESL? I honestly really love it! I love being around the kids. They make me laugh. I guess me teaching kids doesn't matter what their first language...I just really enjoy it.

Last class, I played..."Mrs. Wolf What Time Is It" with them. And I caught some kids to have for lunch! They laughed and I chased them all over. The other class, I had them play Simon Says, I had them, hopping on one foot, patting their head and rubbing their tummy's at the same time. I had them doing all sorts of crazy stuff. They loved it, used English too! And I loved it! Playing with them, made me laugh! I couldn't believe I got paid for that. We also teach them new words, role play etc so they are learning. But it's a lot of fun. And I am really enjoying it.

I am working only once in August. August 9th and then after that I'm free. Noboru will be home with the boys while I'm gone for 2 hours. And I'll have made around another 9,000 yen for August which isn't too bad for barely working at all. So again not heaps of money but a little pocket money for taking my own boys to the movies or out to lunch or whatever. : )

Will I end up loving this job, so much so I keep this job? It is a very easy job and so much fun. Or will I eventually move on and start working at home once a week, because I actually want to start planning my own lessons and stuff. I honestly don't know...can't predict the future and won't even try. Whatever happens, happens. But for right now...I'm working at 2 private hoikuens. : )

Monday, July 25, 2011

The flight back to Japan from Honolulu

Delta kids can not fly in first class, unless they are 6 years or older. Regular paying passengers can, but you know what I mean. With having 2 children. We just never really got the chance of ever being able to sit in first class. Not that we're hoity toity fancy shmancy types anyway. When Noah became 4 years old. Noboru and Branden started to get really antsy. They kept saying 2 more years. Only 2 more years Noah. And then last year when Noah turned 5. Noboru even said it on Noah's 5th birthday...just think next year at this time, you'll finally be able to sit in the bigger seats on the airplane. Poor kid, talk about people waiting with baited breath for Noah to turn 6! ; ) This was honestly the most anticipated birthday of Noah's ever! Everyone practically bursting at the seams for Noah to turn 6. In fact I am not sure if Noah or Noboru was more thrilled the day of his birthday. : ) So much so, Noboru cancelled our original flight back to Japan that was booked before he turned age 6 so it automatically put Noah in economy. But on July 7th Noboru got onto his lap top and booked us a new flight...the Delta system automatically keeps all family and people listed in the system with birthdays so it automatically knew Noah was age 6 and so it listed him in first class. Finally. One heck of a wait...but worth it totally. The seats are so big and fold out to a cocoon type bed. So Noboru and Branden sat together. And Noah being younger and needing me to walk him to the bathroom and probably help to cut his meal, I sat with Noah. Champagne or orange juice while the rest of the airplane boarded. I'm not a drinker, just never have been, so I just had the orange juice. We had a nice meal you could choose, chicken breast, beef or seafood. Choice of dressings etc. And then, the flight attendant came around and asked, if you'd like a strawberry sundae or hot fudge. I said hot fudge please. Poor Noah just sat there gobsmacked.....@_@ She waited for an answer, I said do you want to pick or do you want me to pick? He snapped out of it and fudge please. : ) Then she you want whipped cream and nuts? We both said yes please. So, I sat enjoying my hot fudge sundae and hot coffee watching that new movie with Adam Sandler and Jennifer Anniston. "Just Go With It", I also watched..Unknown with Liam Neeson and The Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon. After that I must have drifted off to sleep for a bit and next thing you know the lady was gently touching my hand asking me if I had wanted breakfast.
Noah looking at all the cutlery they gave him for an icecream sundae. Look mommy they gave me a fork and a knife too. : ) Just don't use them then honey and use the spoon. : ) Noah watched Paul (we saw that at the movies in Guam in March but it's funny), and he also saw, Diary of a Wimpy Kid part 2, Roderick Rules. And watched another movie and I also caught him watching Nickelodeon, Phinneas and Ferb.
Branden and Noboru sat in the seats in front of us. They also had 2 snack areas, with all sorts of fruits, bananas, apples, oranges and chips and nuts all laid out, you could just pick what you wanted. Once while walking back from the bathroom, I picked a banana. And ate it at my seat/bed.
Breakfast was really great. Actually dinner was pretty delicious too. But breakfast was, scrambled egg and cheese on top a wheat english muffin, grilled ham and also some bread on the side with some butter, and a mini jam. And yummy fresh fruit and orange juice and I also had some coffee.
They kept passing us water so we could stay hydrated. : )
Noah eating his breakfast, I didn't use the flash because I didn't want to wake other passengers. : )

Things brought back from Honolulu

Things brought back from Honolulu, this time.
Noah received Diary Of a Wimpy Kid Roderick Rules, dvd for his birthday and 2 DS cards, the new Phinneas and Ferb card and the Sonic collection card (many Sonic games in one card). Noboru got the Resident Evil 4 Wii game for himself to enjoy late at night after the boys go to sleep. We got the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom Wii game, Noboru and the boys play this almost every day for a little bit, they love this. And we got the Wii, Just Dance, and the Zumba. I wanted these 2 to help mix up my daily workouts. And they are so fun! However turns out the family also loves the Just Dance on the Wii.
Reinforced and comfort designed.
The Phinneas and Ferb backpack, well made and also cheap/quite the bargain! $10 US.
Phinneas and Ferb. So hugely popular right now! Noah's backpack.
Branden got this Ben 10 backpack. Ben 10's also a pretty popular cartoon right now, even here in Japan.
Noah has been wanting a wallet for some time. Branden has a Spongebob one. Until now....Noah has been using one of my cheap discarded change purses. He was very happy to get this as one of his birthday presents.
With Noah starting the ichinensei next year, we also got Noah this backpack to use for next year when he has ensoku or something. : ) Video games are pretty popular for a lot of kids in Japan. Well the world over, I guess. : ) And everyone knows who Mario is. And the cute design of this, people will see the overall colors and pattern and know...right away that it's a Mario backpack. Noah's going to fit in really well at elementary school next year, I just know it! ; ) This shop at Ala Moana has all sorts of cool character backpacks, we got the Ben 10 backpack, wallet and Mario backpack from the shop at Ala Moana (backpacks were around $25-ish depending on the one you want). The Phinneas and Ferb we got at Walmart $10 (but selection was limited to 2 styles for boys and 2 different ones for girls). Walmart is within walking distance of Ala Moana mall and hotel.
Cinnamon toothpaste. And kids shampoo for Branden and Noah. These smell so good.
A Costco amount of tampons. @_@
Mrs. Butterworth's and caramel machiatto creamer for coffee.
A big bottle of salsa for like $5 from Costco. 2 generic/store brand cans of enchilada sauce. 2 cans of chili beans. Target brand chili beans, it was cheaper and I don't mind store brand one single bit! : ) And the Kraft bbq sauce on sale at Target for $1 or $1.15 a bottle. So considering the exchange rate about 100 yen a bottle. They had pricier brands for up to $4-5 bucks a bottle, but this is perfectly fine for us. : )
Fajita seasoning packets and buffalo wing packets. Buffalo wing marinade, never tried the sauce from the bottle, we'll see how it goes. Parmesan cheese, 1 packet of chicken flavored rice soup. Never tried this brand curious to try. ; ) And Miracle Whip. I'm frugal for most everything but not the Miracle Whip. My favorite sandwich spread. : )
Rice a Roni, such a rice a roni girl, I am. : ) And pasta side dish helpers, but can also be turned into a main dish if you add chicken and broccoli or something.
Stir in ideas for sure. : )
Yummy strawberry cake mix, whipped cream frosting, can't find whipped cream frosting in Guam, so always stock up on it, in the mainland or Hawaii is fine too, they carry it too, or order from FBC when in a jam. : ) Like if I've run out type thing. Plus the 2 cans I got in California in March, so we have 6 whip cream frostings hiding in the pantry now and with expiration dates that last 2 years so not too bad. Peanut butter toppings for sundaes and chopped up nuts for sundaes too. Yep Summer's here and that means, sundaes, shave ice/kakigori, garigari and more. : ) Oh yeah also picked up sundae sprinkles and I'll also use them for cupcakes.
Reverse Oreos and also, I saw on Target online that they had a limited edition Dairy Queen blizzard flavor of Oreo only sold at Target, we happened to be there at the right time and picked up a bag.
From Costco, we got a big size of Nesquik for chocolate milk for the boys. A big bottle of cinnamon, I like to bake apple pie, apple crumble as you know in Fall and Winter and it was only $2-$2.50 for that big size, so I had to get that. We'll use it, so it won't go to waste. And my favorite Italian dressing. I like this because it's not too overly sour or over vinegary like some Italian dressings can be. This one is full of flavor without over doing the sourness/tartness know what I mean. : ) I hope. : )
Leftover birthday plates and napkins from Noah's birthday. They come with, 20 plates and napkins and since it's just us 4, we can actually use for 5 birthdays. Also picked up, cupcake cups and writing pens for cakes, etc.
I liked these cupcake cups and the cupcake toppers.
Candy for family movie night. Cheap, $1 a box at Target.
Ice cream maker! There are so many home appliances I want/wish/dream to bring back with me. But I usually only bring 1 each time. And many times I don't due to space in suitcase issues. : ) I researched icecream makers at Target like crazy. Read all the reviews. I was going to pick the wood old fashion looking kind. Looks like something Aunt Bee and Opie Taylor would churn ice-cream with. However it had the worst reviews. : ( Nearly everyone said the motor died first time they used it. Forget that. No way was I going to devote 1/4 or 1/2 of a suitcase to something that would break. Nope, not gonna happen. So, I picked one with great reviews plus the $30-33 price range I loved too. So, I chose this one. : )
It seems easy to make, and the reviews seemed to echo that as well.
I also liked the shape of them...they look like huge cupcakes! LOL, they do! And they come with 2 bowls so you can make 2 different flavors. And it didn't even take up barely any room in the suitcase. : )
After the 4th, it seems all Summer stuff goes on sale. I'm definitely happy about that. A flip flop towel. I really liked this a lot.
Noboru saw this and he loved it so much, he said. You have to get this. There were only 2 left, he threw 1 in our cart for me. I said...I just picked the flip flop one though. And keep in mind this guy dislikes shopping with a passion...he said...that's okay I'll get you both. @_@ Ummm okay then. And so, that's how I ended up with 2 towels. : )
Heading to the beach or going to the pool towels.
Noboru's 2 tees he picked from Target.
Calendar from Walmart...75 cents or 79 cents, and with living here I sometimes have a tough time keeping up with American holidays so this helps. : ) Undies for me. And Tums for the hub and myself (antacids)
Noboru wants me to put this on my tiny red car. I sorta am on the fence about it. I like having a car with no markings of any kind so it's indistinguishable from any other car like that. So, I haven't made up my mind if I'll use it yet. : )
From Target...
Jersey sheets. Basically tee-shirt soft and feel type sheets.
A new comforter for our bed as well as the sheets up above. I liked these nautical stripes, very preppy and current.
Different shades of blue. But the same basic stripe thing going on.
We've been using this since we returned to Japan from Hawaii. I ran to the laundry mat the day after we returned to give them a quick wash up before putting them on the bed.
And it was a sheet set...set meaning it included the pillow cases as well as the fitted sheet and top sheet.
For the guy who truly hates to shop, he finally got a new pair of Crocs, yay. : ) And the boys for new Jibbitz for their Crocs. 1 Mario each and the other, they'll have to rock paper scissor each other for it and we'll see who gets that. Just until we can get another one. : )
A big bag for me. I liked it because it could be laundered and washed easily. And I liked the Summery feel of it too.
Perry the Platypus tee for Noah (from Phinneas and Ferb) and Ben 10 for Branden.
Sale items from Old Navy. Hats for Branden.
Such a savings.
The 2 hats for Branden. Wow they were such a cheap price and are so cute on. 2 pair for $5 flip flops.
Noboru finally admitted defeat a few months ago and said he was going to finally replace his swim wear and tees and add 2 pair of shorts.
Again, it was just all the sales that seemed to also be happening at the time.
Consider the price paid when considering the exchange rate.
He wasn't just looking for sale stuff, like the whole store was on sale. Made us happy though. : )
See the 75% off sign outside the store?
I like preppy style, just always have. I'm pretty conservative that way. Gap, Old Navy Banana Republic, J Crew type shops totally right up my alley. I found these madras skirts and at 75% off as you can see the sign, this was $5 US or $5.50 in the end each skirt!!! So cheap, Noboru told me...get both colors.
So, I did. 2 very cute madras skirts (very cheap price though yay) and 1 pair of shorts, but these are the newer balloon type style. A lot of ladies are wearing that style here in Japan. And they were on sale, so why not. Noboru told me to go for it.
See the pleat at the top and balloon sort of round shape, are really flattering on some body shapes.
And a madras dress.
And a nude strapless bra to wear with the strapless dress. : )
A conservative pair of green cargo shorts they hit mid thigh so they're not too long and not too short either. And a black dress.
It's a conservative dress, black and has some flowers on one side of the bottom of the dress. Not all over and I like that it's kept really simple. I will wear with black flip flops and a summer weight 3/4 sleeve cardigan.
While shopping at the Disney Store at Ala Moana. They had a good size Phinneas and Ferb section and selection. These were sort of pricy. Like $30-35 for a sweatshirt. And even at Gap, I'm willing to buy at the outlet instead if I can get a savings. But the kids really were excited seeing this. And usually I'll go home and think about it. But there was only 1 each in each of their sizes. And given the amount of tourists, it definitely could have been gone. So, I said sure. This was the one splurge thing they got. But I'm still happy they got it for this coming Winter. And they're both a bit baggy and long in the arms now but they'll grow into them. regarding Phinneas and Ferb, in general. This is a really popular cartoon right now. Anyway, in March when I was in Guam and we were getting the boys a pair of Phinneas and Ferb low tops, the lady working there and helping us and checking/ringing us at the counter later said..... by the way for what it's worth, she was not a little kid obviously : ) she was a grown up, a brunette college aged girl and she said...."I love Phinneas and Ferb so much, if they had a pair in my size I'd buy them!" I thought at the I know my little kids like Phinneas and Ferb, but I didn't know it was popular among the uni kids too. : ) So anyway fast forward to now. I'm at the check out at the Disney Store in Honolulu, at the Ala Moana shopping center holding 2 Phinneas and Ferb sweatshirts. Just waiting in line. And then it's my turn. The also uni aged, (blonde) sales lady tells me and the boys...OMG!!! I LOVE Phinneas and Ferb. And then she...and I am not kidding you. Started singing me/us a mix of all the Phinneas and Ferb songs. "My name is Doof and you do what I say ohh ohhh"....and another song and another song, like 5 songs. I mean she had all the songs like memorized. She sang like a paragraph of each song. I didn't quite know what to do at that point. @_@ She truly seemed like a fan of Phinneas and Ferb. I quickly thought to I can take this 1 of 2 ways. #1, she's as crazy as speedo up the buttcheeks guy at the beach the other day. or I can take it as #2...she's just a nice very young bubbly personality type girl who honestly really does love Phinneas and Ferb. I chose #2, And so, I smiled and I told know I had no idea how popular it was. At this point, we had backed up the other people waiting behind us during her P& F remix. But she happily told me...yes it's really hugely popular right now. She honestly made my night she was so nice. She waved us good bye and we left the store. Branden commented outside...he said, she was REALLY nice!!! Noah had to chime in and say...yeah and she knows all the P&F songs!!! Apparently a totally 5 out of 5 stars in his opinion! So, we all loved the check out lady at the Disney Store. She rocked. : )
Phinneas and Ferb sweatshirts. Hanging in closets and waiting for Winter. : )
Bath and Body Works. These are antibacterial hand soaps. From left to right, Kitchen lemon (cuts odors when you're cooking and/or handling raw meats during prep of dinner), Vanilla Berry sorbet (for the upstairs sink area, Sugar lemon fizz (unsure if we'll use this upstairs or downstairs, probably the kitchen), and last but not least, Summer Escape (for the upstairs sink)
Coconut pineapple body wash and coconut passion fruit body wash and the coconut pineapple smelled actually *that* good, I also got the lotion.
From the Dole Plantation we got omiyage for Branden and Noah's sensei's, coaches, Kumon teacher etc. And my dad. : ) Plus the grandma next door. : )
And 2 Dole lights. For Branden and Noah.
Teen Mom ruined their lives? : ( Holy godness, I watch that show. And I was curious what it had to say in there. Also, does anyone know about the Jaycee Dugard story? I'm sure many of you do. See the magazine on the left? This is a very well known case in the US. And let me give you an idea of what her story is. When she was a little girl, she was waiting at the bus stop to catch the school bus one morning. A man and a woman abducted her. Later to find out they used a stun gun on her. What happened to her is honestly a parents worst nightmare and I won't say but I bet you can imagine. She was held captive for 18 long years and when she finally was returned she had, had 2 children with her abductor. Truly a horrific story. Her interview is on Youtube, I watched it on there after reading this magazine.
The boogie board we brought back. Branden has one at home already that he just loves to bits, so this one has become Noah's. : )
The area rug for the living room from Target. It fit in a duffle bag and was counted as one of our check in luggage.

And Branden's DS broke a month ago, Noboru replaced it at Target while there. The DS lite is the last model that can play both American and Japanese cards (think region free dvd and you kwim). The newer ones like the DS i, LL/XL (depending where you buy it the names different) and the new 3DS....only play what country you bought them in. If we bought them an American newer model, they'd never be able to download with their friends...not ever. And that would sorta suck. And if we bought them a Japanese model, they'd never be able to get American cards that would be sad for them too. So, for now...they'll still be using the older yes, but DS lite version because that way they can play both regions. And still download with their friends and stuff here in Japan. Also there is a lot of news about the new 3ds saying about kids eyes turning bad. Because of the 3d feature. Even when Noboru looked at it at Target, he said his eyes hurt after watching the 3d screen for about 5 minutes. So he vetoed that for the time being.