Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Typhoon heading our way

So a typhoon is heading towards Japan. The news reports so far say it will be a big one and should get here in the Kanto area sometime Saturday. But you know many times these things get downgraded to just a tropical storm and lose their punch before they hit. And sometimes they get here much slower then expected or much faster then expected. So their arrival is hard to pinpoint. Of course I am hoping for it to lose steam and fizzle out before it gets here. Though just as a precaution, we have taken down our hanging baskets already on the front porch. Taken the blue tarp down from the boys playground. And I have a good 5 days worth of food right now, meats and veg.... and a few cases of drinks (one case of water and one case of straight tea and a few cartons of chorus water, apple and also orange juice and 2 cartons of milk) and fresh fruit and yogurt etc, so we're fine here. We also filled up gas in both the cars.

Hoping it's nothing.... but still preparing a bit, for just in case.

Noah starts school tomorrow and his sweet potato dig and grape picking school field trip with us parents is scheduled for this Saturday, I am wondering if either one will be cancelled or postponed.

Stay safe everyone.

A very strange day of fishing

This happened yesterday morning and it was just so funny, I just have to share this. Before I start this story off. Most of you know, Noboru moved to the US at age 16, he went to Denver, Colorado as an exchange student and lived with an American family until age 18 and at age 18, he moved out on his own and went to university there and that's where/when we met. And he didn't return to Japan to live until he was age 30 or 31 (I forget), and already married with me.

Another point is, Noboru is probably one of the most conservative guys out there. He doesn't tell people, "my wife is American." Actually not that's he's trying to show off nor is he ashamed, again he just doesn't talk about it. That's his private life and he keeps that private. In fact, except for the guys that lived in Hawaii when we did, that personally knew me. The guys he works with that didn't live in Hawaii had no clue his wife was an American at all. A fact we sort of laughed about when we went to "family day" at his work 2-3 years ago. Many were like...Noboru-san, you're wife is American? @_@ These are your kids? @_@ Many gobsmacked people there and again it's just because he doesn't say. It's private as he says. : )

Also one more thing before I tell you about yesterday. As you know, Noboru is not a fashionista. Nope, like I said he hates shopping. Until the clothes are broken or falling off at the seams is when he usually replaces them. So, yeah he doesn't dress to impress whatsoever. That is certainly a true statement. And you know I love him the way he is. : ) Exactly the way he is. Anyway onto the story.... Noboru went fishing by himself yesterday morning. Just up the road in the middle of a huge rice field. But along a creek. Noboru wearing a straw farming hat, lol. His grungiest fishing outfit by his own admission. But he was happy as a clam fishing his morning away. Just then suddenly....a late 20 something Japanese male parks his car and walks over with fishing pole in hand, wearing a very fancy outfit (like something you wouldn't want to get dirty, why did you go fishing wearing that type outfit "outfit") Noboru said the guy had a huge earring in one ear. So, Mr. Fashionable is across the thin canal Noboru is at. And it's pretty clear this guy is just itching to strike up a conversation with Noboru. And regale him with his very American tales. @_@

So the guy starts out with a few feeler questions. Do you live around here? Noboru replied yes I live in this very town just up the road. Yeah I live in such and such city (where Noah's yochien is in) Noboru's reply...that's nice. So he continues fishing. Then here he comes again with more to say. Yeah there used to be not many people who fished here..(wait for it) before I moved to AMERICA. But when I came back from AMERICA now it seems there are so many people fishing here. At that point Noboru said he could tell he clearly wanted to talk about what else...his American experience. So he took the bait and Noboru obliged him and said, "oh you lived in America, wow that's great" Yes, I know...that really is great isn't it. (from here he really goes full throttle and really picks up steam) You know I lived in America for 2YEARS!!!! He was almost waiting for an applause. Noboru 2 years, that's really something. : ) Again just being polite. And no, Noboru really had zero plan to tell him either. He sort of finds it interesting to watch and see people have diarrhea of the mouth (like I like to call it) you know when they just run on and on like they have the shits, albeit the verbal kind! So he says...yes so I lived in Oklahoma for 2YEARS and I fished in AMERICA and they have lakes. Did you know America has so many lakes (well yes Noboru does, but) he just interesting. And smiled. Poor Noboru for being a semi captive audience like that. Noboru said this guy didn't have a single humble bone is his entire body. So he just listened. But again on the outside Noboru is just very polite and listening to all these amazing American stories of this guys! Poor Noboru. : )

So, Noboru starts to pack up some, he now has just 1 fishing rod in left and the rest he's cleaning up. No, again he has no plan to tell Mr. show off he lived there and to be frank about it... way longer then him. But it's okay he's content... he has absolutely nothing to prove, so he's ready to leave. Just then....Noboru's cell phone rings. Guess who called? *ahem* it was me.

So he answered it in the only language we speak to each other. Noboru said...hello? Oh hi baby....(more conversation) meanwhile on my end of the conversation, I asked him, what time is he coming home? And the reason I ask is because....I was going to run to the computer shop to get some name tags/labels for Branden for school blah blah blah and does he want to join us for lunch, blah blah blah, I'm thinking ramen shop for lunch blah blah blah. (again I had no idea what just happened, but I am going 100 MPH. And he is replying back 100MPH.) Needless to say, with them fishing on a dead silent rice field, he heard. So Noboru hangs up the phone. (what timing I had right? ) And the guy is so absolutely and completely gobsmacked that he's just like @_@

The guy is now totally taken aback and most definitely wasn't expecting THAT. He asks Noboru.....You speak English??? "Yes, I do." Do you mind...who were you speaking with? "My American wife." Good thing the guy didn't keel right over, right there on the spot. Noboru said the guy was nearly speechless. @_@ Did you ever live in America? Noboru said... Yes for about 15 years. Absolute dead silence. Noboru said the look on that poor guys face at that point was priceless. Again it wasn't Noboru's fault, I called. And it wasn't my fault I called either. I had no idea that guy was there.

So, Noboru left and packed up the MPV and said, very politely... well you have yourself a nice day! : ) And left. The guy still speechless, just waved Noboru a good bye. @_@Anyway just thought some of you would enjoy hearing what happened to Noboru while fishing yesterday.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ribs on the barbie

Well, Saturday my hair appointment at the salon went fine. It was quite a few hours spent there. But I'm glad it's done. While I was at the salon, Noboru took the boys fishing right near our house, so they loved that and I also hear he took them to Mc D's beforehand, so they enjoyed their time with dad while I was getting my hair done.: ) These pics are from Sunday. We bought 4 really huge racks of ribs at a place that oddly/luckily carries them in the small city Noah happens to go to yochien in. We had been talking about buying from there all Summer and haven't so we went in there and bought 4 racks. Noboru has music playing outside by the looks of this pic, and meanwhile Noah was finishing up watching Ultraman on the mini dvd player and Branden came into have alook at something Noah wanted him to see. And Branden was holding his flying UFO type thing.
We had roasted corn, sweet potatoes and regular potatoes plus the ribs. We want our ribs well done, Noboru likes his a little less cooked then we like so that's why his on the far left has that barely put onto the grill look. : )
The bbq sauce.
Just about to get eating! : )
A pretty quiet family Sunday bbq. Oh Summer how we will miss you! ; )

Back to the pool for some last minute, end of Summer fun

Last Friday, we took both Branden and Noah back to the pool to spend the entire day.
Playing in the wave pool.

It was a weekday, so not so crowded.
We brought/packed a picnic lunch with us. Potato salad and macaroni salad, chicken cutlets for sandwiches or to enjoy with tonkatsu sauce and with a rice ball or two, their choice, although everyone picked sandwiches. Fresh grapes, the lettuce in the ziplock bag on the right was for the sandwiches. And Noboru brought 2 mini obentos from the store as well.
We could eat and enjoy watching people splashing. We had a great view.
Clearly I've been in Japan too long. : ) When I first moved here and saw my first potato salad sandwich, I was a little surprised. Good thing I don't mind carbs. : ) Anyway now I love them. So here was my sandwich from the picnic last Friday while at the pool, I had a chicken cutlet sandwich with lettuce and potato salad. It was quite good. : )
Branden enjoying the same thing as me.
And Noah too. : )
Good thing we packed the boys water guns.
Calpis cupcakes and chocolate "marble" cupcakes and lemon Oreos and the chips were for the sandwiches.
Jaws movie theme....Dundundundun. : ) Noah emerges from the water looking for his brother...I meanwhile sit and watch this cat and mouse game play out for a while before we went and played at another pool. : )
Target locked on! Shoot...spray with water. As you can tell from these pics it was a lovely sunny day last Friday. Where we were. Interestingly enough according to the news that evening it was raining buckets in Tokyo. But not where we were obviously. Now...around dinner time after we got home...and already showered and stuff, yes then it started raining near our area in the countryside of Chiba but honestly not a drop before then.
Noah enjoying the sunshine and doing a little back flip tumble thing.
And coming up. Well done Noah.
Aha, a water shootout between father and son! I think Noboru let Branden win. : )
Just relaxing.
This is the pebble beach part. The entire beach area of this pool is small tiny pebbles.
Branden trying to bury Noah! See the rashguard getting covered in pebbles...@_@
Branden about to slide down the octopus slide.
Noah and his green goggles sliding down the octopus slide.
And then next thing you know it was 3:30pm and time for us to leave and head home. It was a very good day! : )
I hope you enjoyed your Summer kiddo! : )

Monday, August 29, 2011

Branden's very last day of swimming school

Thursday July 28th was indeed Branden's very last day of swimming school ever. Branden has been in swimming school every single week since he was 4 years old (Noah since age 3), last September or October, before he hit age 9, he reached a level 1. And honestly about 95% of the kids (if not more) who reach a level 1, quit the swimming school after reaching that goal. At the time Branden did not want to stop, he actually loved swimming that much and he is good. So, though his friends had been quiting and dwindling each month (as they also reached their goals) this past year. Even his good friend Keita in January I think is when he finally reached a #1 and quit. What comes after a level 1? I asked myself that same very question too. Competitions. And there was something called an athletic course. The athletic course is like 15,000 or so yen a month. And you must commit yourself to that 110%, you will agree to swim 6 days a week. Monday through Saturday. And if you EVER miss a 1/3 of the month...any month you will be kicked out of the athletic course. You must also buy a pair of competition swim trunks and also a pair of special training swim trunks. And 2 of Branden's friends from yochien are actually in this athletic course. Good friends of ours actually, salt of the earth... nicest folks. Meanwhile we had spoken to the coach about the athletic course a few times since he reached the level 1. She knew we were hesitant. And to be honest the person that was the most hesitant about it was me. If we agreed, our whole life would indeed drastically change, 6 days a week I'd be at the swim club with Branden. And the chance of Noah ever getting to play or ride his bike with his future classmates next April and beyond would probably never ever happen. Any chance or hopes of a normal family life, like we have now.. would all but disappear. What to do? This is a question we struggled answering since last October. Meanwhile Branden swam weekly, racing through the waters making good qualifying times. Great! We are so proud. we want our life to change? And at what cost, the entire family? If you only knew the struggles I had with this...sometimes I thought okay if he's good enough who am I to stop him. Then I started thinking about his travel schedule. Kids in the athletic course travel to different parts of Japan with the chaperone's etc. The financial cost for us parents is high, we must pay those travel costs, hotel costs etc. Like 50,000 yen each time they travel type amount (for food, transportation fees, etc etc). Also, Branden would be gone a couple times a year without us. Could I take that, could he? All Spring he swam in the regular lane with the few and dwindling #1's. While his 2 former yochien classmates swam in the athletic lane.... in the upstairs window many times I'd be thinking what to was hard. In May Branden had been urged by the coaches that a competition was coming in August. Finally we knew we sort of had to make a decision either way, stay or go, swim or quit. In the end of May...Noboru and I finally sat down and talked very seriously about this.... though we have talked about it countless and I do mean countless times beforehand, but this time we knew we had to come to some conclusion...some end resolution.... go ahead or stop, we talked for over an hour at the kitchen table while the boys slept. What are our family goals. What kind of family life do we want ultimately? One run by the swimming club and competition dates. Or one of a quiet family life, free to travel at our leisure and the kids free to play with friends providing homework is done. Swimming 6 days a week? Really? And I think they swim from like 6-8 every night. Or 5:30-8 every night. Good bye family dinners. Again what did we want. The choice when it boiled down to it...we knew already. We finally We do not want that. And yes we also said...well then why didn't we just have him stop last October then. But again it was not an easy decision, by any means. From age 4 to age 9 though he's almost 10 right now. For 5 years and then some, he swam there. As it was Branden wasn't getting home from the D course until nearly 7pm every Monday and Thursday night. So after we made the decison we felt best for our family. A weight or cloud lifted. We..well I spoke to Branden about it at first. He was disappointed he wasn't going to go any further with his swimming. But when I asked all honestly do you really want to swim 6 days a week for the next few years? If not longer? Because if your really want to..for you Branden, I will do it. And I let him think about it. He thought about it for a whole day and night deeply. Noboru and Branden spoke about this too in great lengths. So first week of June we knew we had to decide either way. And we finally all agreed. So, Noboru went to the swim school first week of June and turned in the "quitting" paperwork. He said they were surprised. So since he turned the paperwork in June, his last swim month was July, the end of July. I went the entire month of July to see my son swim. And finally the very last day. It was sort of emotional for me and bittersweet. Feelings of things coming to a close. Coming full circle. So for the last time....for Branden....I sat from the window upstairs and watched Branden take roll call for the very last time which is what this picture is of.
Branden and one of his very good friends. The coaches knew this was his very last day. Noah and I watched from the window.
I watched as he glided through the water. I am so completely proud of Branden and how much he gained from swim school, how much he learned at swim school, how many wonderful skills he learned there. They can never take that away. And we will always love that swim school and Noah still obviously swims for that swim school.
I brought the camcorder. In a way I was embarrassed bringing the camcorder I didn't want people she even video tapes her child at swim school? But then in a way I really didn't care...what anyone else thought, *I knew* this was the very last day he would ever swim at that school. So, what anyone else thought I didn't care. I video taped him for the last time.
It was raining so heavily that night. Branden, Noah and myself all ran into the car. I usually only let my kids get an icecream from the machine when they pass a new level (if Noah passes they'll both get one and if Branden passes they'd both get one, so they used to really look forward to their brother passing : ). So, as we were leaving the swim club, in the genkan of the school, I handed Branden some money for an ice cream. And Noah some for an icecream. They excitedly ran in the pouring rain to get their ice cream. I followed. And then the 3 of us ran to our car, we were drenched, literally drenched from the pouring rain. I said Branden let me take your picture....he said why? I said so I can remember forever what you looked like your very last day of swimming and what you wore. I just want to remember every little thing from this day. So, this is the pic. And now I will forever remember the rain and the fact, he got an icecream and the color of his shirt.... his navy blue and white striped shirt too. This way when the memory fades I'll have this photo as a reminder. : )

All August it was a much quieter schedule with Branden not swimming twice a week anymore. He's had more free time to ride his bike in the neighborhood with his friends now. I think ultimately we made the right decision for our family. If he'd had been in the athetic course, we wouldn't be as free to travel as we like we do now.

Also in July, we stopped Branden's Japanese/kokugo at Kumon. The reason being his Japanese is up to snuff. His Japanese in on level with his classmates. And after getting nothing but A's and B's in Japanese class at elementary school all these past years. And his sensei at elementary school said during the parent teacher conference, in July because we were considering dropping kokugo/Japanese at Kumon because he really doesn't need it anymore. We could have let him quit maybe in the 2nd grade but he kept him in for a few extra years just to make doubly sure. And we are finally really sure. But we did ask his sensei at elementary school and she said Branden is absolutely doing fine, his kanji is great. So we feel comfortable enough to not let him take Japanese at Kumon anymore either. So July meant for Branden, stopping swimming and stopping the Japanese study at Kumon as well. So although this is Noah's year of "lasts"...July was a month of "lasts" for Branden. : )

Now all of August has been a real breeze for Branden. The only thing he has now is regular elementary school (which has not started yet). And English Kumon. Other then that he is free to play with his friends and be a kid. And I think that's important for kids.

Noah on the other hand is going to swim school once a week and doing Japanese and English at Kumon. But he is preparing for next year when ichinensei starts. Noah is a level 9 in swimming. And he's good, real good at swimming. Anyway just wanted to write this post so Branden can come here and look at it when he's older. : ) We are so proud of you Branden.
Sorry, I know I shared this picture when he received his swimming trophy last year, but since it's all come to an end, you know... it seems right to share this pic again. Branden and his swimming trophy. : )

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Can't believe school starts next week. Also, I'm heading to the hair salon this coming Saturday

Can barely believe a week from now both Branden and Noah will both be in school already. Branden starts next Thursday Sept 1st. And Noah starts Friday Sept 2nd. Noah will have half day though next Friday as usual and then normal schedule that following Monday.

According to the Phinneas and Ferb song, there's a 104 days of Summer vacation (for us in America) but for us in Japan we get, only like 6 weeks? Like 40 days or so give or take? Plus the mountain of homework the elementary school kids get. No wonder Summer seems superly short. We do try every year to try and squeeze in as much out of Summer as we can...and I think that's because of it being such a short amount of actual Summer days off for the kids. : ( Anyway...I think we did and tried our best to give both Branden and Noah a great Summer. And I know Noboru and myself also enjoyed Summer quite a bit ourselves.

As for me...I enjoyed staying up late at night, way after the boys went to sleep. This past week, I've been going to bed between midnight and 1am. Because I've been watching that scary TV show program on the Discovery channel called, "A haunting" they start at 11 and end at 12 and another one starts right afterwards and ends at 1am. With not having to be awake at a freakishly early time like 5:45am. Like during the school year...I've gotten quite used to a more relaxed schedule for sures. : ) I wake up around 7:30-am to 8:30am depending on how tired/sleepy I still am in the mornings but I'm still usually the first one awake, no matter what day of the week or time of year.

I rarely get dressed "dressed". 90% of my days, I am to be found at home with pony tail not a stitching of makeup and a pair of comfy house shorts and a T shirt. Clean pair every day of course...but I don't have anywhere to go anything majorly to do. Which I sort of like. And I like being that low key. I'll switch to regular shorts and a regular shirt when we go do the weekly shopping. But ehhh, with it being Summer I've been on super relax mode.

Now there is less then a week? Less then a week!!! : ) We will try to enjoy it and make use of the tiny bit of time left.

Branden and Noah will be getting haircuts this week in preparation of school next week at the local barber. Meanwhile I have a hair appointment this coming Saturday at the hair salon. For a thermal hair straightening and a hair cut. Not a drastic hair cut.... still keeping it long. Just getting a few of those face framing long choppy layers near my face (as usual, lol). And that's it. I'll be good to go and ready to once again drive from elementary school, to yochien, back home, hang laundry, then to the grocery store...then clean house...prep for dinner and go and do my afternoon pick ups. Swimming school and Kumon runs on those days. @_@ all starts again for me next week. I better enjoy my pampering at the hair salon tomorrow. It'll be the last pampering I get for a good while. : )

Also I've been emailed my work schedule for the month of September. I work only once for the month of September..September 21st. Undokai prep is going on for both schools I work at, so only once. Which is so great for me. Because like I said back in July....I really don't want this job to drastically change my life or anything and working once a month is so seriously absolutely fine. The once a month to up to twice a month is way more then enough for me. I'm very satisfied with my once for September. That way I can concentrate on Branden's September undokai coming up. And Noah's sweet potato dig coming up. Noah's undokai isn't until October. And if I have any yochien duties with the shaon kai/graduation group I am a member of....for next years yochien graduation. To help plan for. I think we were thinking of taste testing a few restaurants this coming Fall, to see which place we'd like to have it at. So this leaves my days open for that. Plus it also leaves me open for going to the movies with my friends or going to lunch with them also, which we like to do too once the kids all go back to school. So yeah this job totally fits for me. : )

Anyway...back to the ol' grind for us starting from next Thursday.: ) Today we are heading back to the pool and we will be taking a picnic lunch with us and the cooler with drinks and some snacks as well. I hope everyone had a really great Summer. : )

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Another yummy backyard bbq

Last Thursday we had yet another backyard bbq. The meat was marinating nicely all day, since morning in the fridge. Noboru fired up the grill when the boys called me from Kumon on their cell. I popped over there in a few minutes. Kumon's basically on the other side of the huge rice field behind our house that runs a few blocks and up a bit, so it's really close. Picked them up. They came home washed their hands put their Kumon bags away and went to play out in the backyard...just kicking the soccer ball around, swinging on swings and a few other things while dinner cooked on the grill. I could smell corn grilling freshly in the husk that smells SO amazing! Marinated grilled meats also smelled equally great and soon it was time to come inside. We had fresh cut watermelon, pasta salad and potato salad that I made a few days earlier when we had buffalo chicken wings. I made a big ( just enough to last 3 days/nights worth) amount of both and we enjoyed both salads for 3 nights during last week. I think last week it started to dawn on us, wow only 2 weeks left of Summer. So we are still trying our best to enjoy it. And if that means bbq right until the very end, well then so be it.... all the better then.: ) We'll definitely enjoy it. And just make the most of it, the best we can. : )

Things brought back from Guam this time.

Our trip was primarily focused on relaxation and fun, however given we were in Guam, and the fact good stores are there and plus Guam has no sales tax. We brought back a very small amount of things. Noboru went to Home Depot. It's his favorite store. I think he would love to stay in one for a whole day. He truly loves looking at each and every thing. So, what are these 2 things in this picture? Water sprinklers. Noboru really loved them, so he bought them for the backyard.
These can water the yard in 8 different patterns, he was the most excited about this. This must be a guy thing. Because I wasn't quite as dazzled but it made Noboru very happy, so I was happy it made him happy. That sounds corny but it's true.
The 8 different patterns.
A horse trough planter for the front porch banister, these are going to look gorgeous on the front porch next Spring. These will not be making their debut until next Spring though. : )
One for each side. Plus the hanging baskets we already have on the front porch... it's going to look even prettier next year, can't wait!
Guam cookies for the grandma next door and my teaching partner.
And a small bit of snacks and this and thats that could really help us out this coming Fall.
Yep, that's what all the signs in Guam say...."where America's day begins" : )
Wish wheat wasn't so hard to find or three times the price of regular cheap white bread here in Japan. But, it is what it is. And so....I do try to bring back some bread each visit. 2 loaves of wheat and one sandwich bread of white slices versus that thicker type Texas toast we get for bread here in Japan. Not complaining sure is nice to get some regular bread once in a while. : )
You know regular normal groceries can be bought here in Japan obviously : ) and that's what we do. Meats, veg, grains for the most part obviously.; ) Fruit. But it's sometimes the little things like the snacks that a person can have trouble finding here, I mean unless I were to drive all the way to Costco. Which that's too far plus considering the toll highway fee I'd have to pay. So, it was nice to buy these chips. Maybe one afternoon on a Saturday if the boys are having a sandwich and some corn potage soup, they can also pop open a small bag of these chips and enjoy with them.
For the most part, we eat pancake cereal available here in Japan that we also really like. But heck if given the chance to be able to bring some back, you betcha. I see so many Japanese tourists with boxes of cereal in their carts while shopping, you'd be surprised. Also with beef jerky too and various other things. And one lady had a couple packs of the Spongebob gummy candies in her cart like around 5 packs of them. : ) So we are all stocking up in there, which is nice I'm not doing it all by myself. What did the boys pick? Just these 3 boxes of cereal. All peanut butter based. The Peanut Butter Cap N crunch is my fave. And the boys wanted to try the choco and peanut butter Reese's type which sound good to me too. Again we're not going to open it up until September 1st and open 1 box at a time so it lasts. : ) Just sort of save it for a while. And enjoy it when the weather gets a bit cooler.
Stuff from Cost U Less. Crunchy granola bars on the left. Then the fruit and nut granola bars and the teddy grahams. I should have bought 2 boxes of the Teddy Grahams, now I'm kicking myself for not. : )
Cheez-It were $2 cheaper then the Goldfish we usually buy. And my boys love both so I picked these up, because a $2 savings is still a $2 savings. And more popcorn for movie night. We still have that case of popcorn we brought back last month unopened yet too.
Chocolate pudding cups again to tuck away until Fall really gets in more of a full swing.
Yellow Oreos with chocolate frosting. And minty chocolate cookies. Again these will be good come October or November when it gets super chilly outside. Until then...if we want any cookies we'll enjoy the last of the Summer choco banana flavor available here in Japan, since they're so good. But will be looking forward to puling these out in a month or so.
Thinking about Thanksgiving in November and the pumkpin pies we'll be looking forward to eating so we had to get enough for 2 pies. Again with living in Japan, sometimes I have to stock up when I can. This way if by some freak accident that Guam suddenly had no pumpkin filling closer towards Thanksgiving (wouldn't happen) but I'm just least I'd be okay. And 2 packs of raisins for the boys. And the Carnation evaporated milk cans, 1 can needed for each of the pies. Again thinking ahead for the holidays, just something I'm sort of used to, with living overseas. : )
Again these might come in handy for family movie night in mid fall. Sometimes living overseas, stocking up a bit just has to be done.
These Hormel complete dinners. You know, after the earthquake in March and when Noboru sent us to Guam before all the dangerous stuff happened and the reactor blew up or leaked and steam puffed out and whatnot. Anyway while we were in Guam in the aftermath... so many Japanese tourists were stocking up on these, I did not mention it at the time but it's true. I mean like putting 20 in their carts at a time type stocking up, probably because they were concerned and worried about the food availablity issue as were many of us. We didn't buy any of these at the time, but if memory serves I brought back a case of chicken cup of noodle? I forget. Anyway getting off track here sorry. I think I was just too much in shock back then. I also saw one*lady with many loaves of bread (could have been 8 loaves) bringing it back to Japan when we were coming back to Japan sitting at the gate same flight as us she was carrying it in a semi-transparent grocery bag to bring on the plane as her carry-on... this was of course after the quake and it was safer to come back. And a man holding as his carry-on a Coleman camping light. I saw many things but I never mentioned those at the time. : ( But anyway...every time, we see people getting these Hormel meals. Even last month tourists were getting more of these. And this time too, they're always in a spot everyone notices them. And again, 2 weeks ago, more people were putting many many in their carts. Tourists speaking Japanese with little kids. Obviously on vacation types like us. Noboru finally know what...we've never had/tried these, get 3 and let's see what they taste like. They are not freezer meals they are safe for on the shelf. If we like them, we'll end up buying a dozen and hiding these in our emergency kit. Hope we will never have to use our emergency kit. Anyway... they also had roast beef dinner with mashed potatoes and other things. Picked up dry mustard for homemade mac and cheese and garlic spread for garlic toast. And roasted chicken seasoning.
Enough for a full Fall and Winter amount of roasted chicken.
Garlic, rosemary, sea salt, onion and more. Yumm.
Generic store brand Irish cream for winter coffees. Still have that caramel machiatto creamer I've been hiding in the food pantry since July when we were in Honolulu. And chocolate frosting for cake baking season.
You know, I am really wishy washy when it comes to deodorant. I really am and I'll be the first to admit it. No brand loyalty whatsoever when it comes to deodorant. Although I am quite fond of Dove. Anyway, My mom is brand loyal to Mitchum, lady's Mitchum. I've tried it and it's not all the labels says to me. Sorry mom. : ) Living in Denver no deodorant has ever konked out on me...not ever!!!! Now living in Japan, I'll tell you I've had a few konk out on me. Sure it does depend on how active I am and such. And I'm not even an overly sweaty person at all. So, for me, I go from brand to brand, never really "loving" one. I've also tried a few other Secret different formulas that I wasn't crazy about either. To be fair that has to be said. And Suave deodorants don't work for me at all. Though I love Suave body washes, lotions etc. Dove works best on me, but again sometimes fails me if it is Summer..... though never fails me in Fall.. Winter or Spring no matter how active I am. So, last month while we were there, I bought 3 different kinds. Again going from brand to brand not really expecting all too much or getting my hopes too high. So, on the morning I was set to teach.... I looked at the 3 deodorants and I said, to myself, I have to work at a hoikuen today. I will be jumping up and down, running round and round for 2 full hours straight, so which deodorant should I push to the limits today? I honestly thought it would fail no matter what. So, I used the Secret Natural Mineral deodorant or whatever it's called. So I applied and got dressed and left the house and to the hoikuen I went. Jumped, played ran all over and 2 full hours later went home. I didn't sweat and the deodorant did NOT konk out at all. And that was August 9th one of the most hottest days, it was like 99-100 degrees F. And I was upstairs obviously heat rises and I was running on a 2nd floor in that extreme heat, wearing work clothes meaning slacks and a top and that deodorant kicked butt! I was so impressed and have since worn it daily and even now, it's still going strong and it's not even once konked out or failed me. I think for right now...I have a favorite deodorant. Not going to say I will be brand loyal forever and ever and ever till the day I die or anything, but I like it for right now and so...I bought 2 extra ones of it. When the Fall hits and it's chilly willy I'll wear the other ones, but I will definitely be rebuying the Secret Natural Mineral one. And the scent of deodorants always get me, I'm really sensitive to scents/fragrances. This smells very light and clean, not too heavy or overly scented at all. Very fresh smelling.
A Transformers lunch bag. If we lived in the US and all the kids in elementary had lunch at 1 set time and place, like if it were in a big cafeteria and they could bring lunch from home, meaning a lunch I prepared.....sure I'd have bought 2 different lunch bags one for Branden and 1 for Noah. However in Japan, they eat school lunch daily but in their own classrooms....also no lunch from home, they eat school lunch. And very very rarely will need obento. And when the 1st graders go on ensoku/field trips for example the 4th graders are mostly likely not. Since they do things by class/grade here. So, odds are Noah would never need this on a day Branden would and vice versa. So only 1 was needed really. They had a choice of a few cool characters and they both agreed on the Transformers one.

Since they will be sharing this..I'll just write both of their names on it.... Branden and Noah + last name on the name part. So that way whoever needs it can bring it. : )
The newest Just dance...the Summer party one. This one has such good songs on this, the whole family loves having dance offs to this, lol. And I can't wait for the new Just dance that will come out mid October. : )
Gossip mags. When the boys are asleep. And if Noboru's at work, I'll have a cup of coffee and sit quietly and read a magazine.
Do you know who this is? I thought it was Cher at first...sorry Cher for thinking it was you! : ) I'll give you a hint..."You spin me right round, baby right round like a record, baby right round, round, round" The lead singer from Dead or Alive, Pete Burns! Yes it is, I was really surpsied.: ( Talk about a shocker!
Noboru wanted another water sprinkling kit maybe for the porch again or I am not sure. And he is thinking about putting underground water sprinklers in the backyard next year. It's something he is thinking very deeply about and wants to do. We also needed new numbers for our address on the front of house. We show our address on our house exactly how they do in the US, we've done that since we first built our home. And we also bought new knobs. A few knobs aren't as shiny as they used to be...while some are every bit as shiny and new as they started out with. However switching only half...just didn't sound good, then we'd have mismatched knobs in the house and that would be weird for us. So, we just bought new knobs for the house.
Bras. This ones a t shirt bra, not material like how the bedroom sheets are called t shirt material, these are not t shirt material at all...they say that because you will look great wearing it even if you are wearing something as thin as a tee shirt. Believe me I spoke to that bra lady forever the day I was there. It does give a very nice countour. I was glad I went into Macy's and bought 2 new bras.
And a Bali one. It's full coverage meaning not a demi or half cup. I'm very conservative and don't want half of my girls showing whatsoever at all. Cover the girls 100% thanks. : ) The tag said it had a U strap in back and non slip straps. This was so comfortable. And gave a very nice shape underneath my tops. Neither of these are minimizing bras and neither is a padded thick type bra either, just a nice conservative shape. I also got measured while there and I did that because with losing weight and getting fit, I needed to know my new proper size. And I was glad to get that done. Next time I go to Guam, I'm going to buy myself a whole bunch of Calvin Klein bras and DKNY bras. But this time, I got 2 super nice quality bras and they were like $38 US each bra but the whole department of ladies under garments were on sale, so in the end Noboru paid $14 for the Bali one and $16 for the Maidenform tee shirt bra.
2 bras, as soon as I came home...I washed them and hung dried them outside. : ) Now they're in rotation with my other bras.
Macy's is probably where we shop at the most while on Guam. They have very fair prices, huge variety and good quality.
With Fall coming up, I got a pair of capris. And also to be fair to me...the size of pants I wore last Fall, are far too big. Unwearable by me anymore. So, while I am not buying heaps of clothes. I am buying a few key pieces in my new size for Fall. So basically I am starting from scratch here. So yeah...a new pair of denim capris. These were orginally $69 US. Marked half. And marked down again and on the rack ....the rack said, 40-50% off, I forget what % it said but it was big. We paid $15 for these....I'm not kidding. $15 is all. And no sales tax and I needed them as I said, I am indeed starting from scratch here. And it is a good thing...I am happy I'm fit now and all. But the starting from scratch clothes wise is definitely different. : )
With living in Japan and being at the yochien, I see back pockets on jeans are not just plain. Backpockets can almost take up a life of their own. Patterns of stitching and everything. So, I liked the bling back pocket button.
Tailored fit...they really are a nice classy pair of capris. The fit on these were/are amazingly good. I like how they looked on and the material and quality very nice.
5 points of bling in this pic. With a simple black long sleeve and matching cardi or turtle neck and a nice pair of black flip flops (if it's still Indian Summer type weather) or ballet flats or my low top black converse and either hair long and down or in a high pony tail these are gonna look cute.
2 pair of Levis for Branden. Slowly getting prepared and trying my best at getting a good head start for when the weather turns cold!
I think the final on these was $22. Not $28...everything was "back to school" sales.
And the 3rd pair of jean for Branden, these ones are Guess. Three pair is a good head start at least for Branden.
Two pair of slim fit jeans for Noah in size 6. Again getting ready for Fall and Winter. Will also look through Branden's stuff we have in storage in the attic. And see what we find. : )
I cinched the waist this tiny and they were still baggy.
Levi's as it says...The Skinny. Apparently not enough for Noah though. : )
Noboru also picked up 2 remotes for the ceiling fans in Branden and also in Noah's room. And a 2 zone/area water sprinkler timer. That turns off and on automatically. He sets the time to start watering around 6am or around 8pm at night and it does it.
Grandpa/my dad, wanted to take the boys to the toy store.
Branden picked a Nerf gun and Noah picked a Transformers gun that makes "sounds only" and doesn't shoot anything but he loved it and wanted that. The little boys who live 2 houses down from us, they love toy guns and swords and the likes. And they often play with Branden and Noah. The older one is a 3rd grader and his little brother is 6-7 months younger then Noah so they are pretty similiar in age. But he'll be a year younger, grade wise then Noah. But they love playing with each other. They play pretend things with swords and toy guns so I imagine they'll be playing together quite soon. : ) That's really it....just a few things like roasted chicken seasoning and a few pumpkin pie fillings to stock up on before the Fall baking and cooking season starts. So not so much, but it's a great start at least. : )