Monday, August 08, 2011

Bits and pieces from Summer break so far!

Here's a picture of Noah cleaning the back patio sliding door one morning. Wiping down any fingers prints or smudges. He's been wiping down the 2 big back patio sliding glass doors every week since going on Summer break. Branden's been vacuuming the stairs for me every week, twice a week by the way. They of course empty the dishwasher every morning together. Noah's always in charge of the shoes in the genkan and to make sure nobody has more then 1 pair out at a time otherwise he puts them into the shoe closet. : ) Good kid...good kid! Branden scours the upstairs toilet once a week for us. And I meanwhile clean the downstairs toilet once daily as it's the most used toilet in the house. : ) And I also swish the toilet upstairs a time or two myself during the week anyway. But in short the kids have been so helpful. They've honestly cut my housework in half. They're always a big help to me when they are home in the day during the Summer. They also help with dinner. Even if it's just a simple task like...getting all the veggies out of the fridge for me for curry one night...at least help is help, you know. And they do love helping. I in return will take them to my favorite tantanmen.... ramen place for lunch..or go and buy them dessert from the local Ministop. You know...just small stuff to say...thanks for all the help. : )

What else...the boys, both had their dental cleanings and check ups at the end of July. They both passed with flying colors and got a good thorough cleaning. So that's also been done. Don't have to think about that for the next 6 month's now, phew. : )
Summer's homework has all been done. Branden was given this packet with 19 pages of work to complete. His last day of school was a Wednesday and so he told us..he would do 5 pages each day. And so Thursday he did 5 pages, and Friday 5 pages, Saturday we flew to Guam but he took his Summer homework packet with him and a pencil box and did 5 pages on the plane ride there. Did 5 pages while we were waiting for the plane back to Narita the following day and so, in short his 19 page Summer homework packet were done like 4 days after Summer vacation had started. I'm glad he's like that with his homework, every year. He also had a 3 page book report to do, he read a book on mineral water...what makes mineral water...mineral water. He found the book interesting and Noboru did too, so they talked about the book and Noboru read it after. And Branden wrote that book report after we got back from Guam in July. He also had 2 diaries this year to write, one he wrote about the trip to Guam right after we got back and the other he saved because he wanted to write it about the Summer festival in our housing community last week. So, he wrote that last week that was the last thing he had to complete. Oh he also had a poster to make and he made one on traffic safety, but he did that in July after we got back from Guam. : ) Here is a look of the type of homework a 4th grader in Japan gets. Thought it might be interesting for those of you that live outside of Japan. : )



Division. Math here goes really slow and very thorough. One of Branden's favorite subjects is math.
Geography. Since August 1st well since the day after the Summer festival in our housing community, when he wrote that last diary. He has felt completely relaxed. All homework done. And for what it's worth...all the kids in the community we live...also seem to all be done too. It's not just Branden. : ) When we were all at the Summer dashi pull that morning many of us parents asked the other mom's...did your kid finish the Summer homework? Everyone said yes. Genki and everyone. We also said yes too because he had everything complete...except he was wanting to save that last diary to write about that particular day and I did mention that as well. But the rest done. Branden still has Kumon homework though. : ) And same for Noah. So, but they love that though.
What else have we been up to? I went and washed all the bedding at the laundry mat last week. The sheets and pillow cases I wash at home twice a week. But the whole thing..comforter and all...I run down every other week.
Still renting 4 DVD's a month from Tsutaya. These were rented the last week of June. WallStreet 2 (sorry too lazy to find the proper title) And the other is Karigurashi no Arietty (The Borrower Arietty). I seriously *loved* the Borrowers books as a child and then the Borrowers movie. And I even loved the cartoon called The Littles. : ) So, I was quite excited to see this movie..... didn't get to see it at the movie theater last Summer when it first came out....but when I saw it was available to rent, I rented it right away. I really enjoyed it quite a lot. I forgot to take pics of the 4 movies we rented in July, but I'll remember to take pics when the ones for August get here.
Summer for us means, we've been keeping ourselves cool with plenty of lemonade.
First week of Summer break for the kids, we had lasagna, salad, they ate theirs first while I was buttering the fresh loaf of bread pictured sliced on the plate in this pic. It was a baguette from the bakery that I sliced and buttered, fresh bread is so good. We also had some very sweet watermelon to enjoy after dinner, also pictured.
Another misc. night. We had a pasta dish, with chicken breast and broccoli. We also had fresh bread sliced from the bakery that night as well. And we have been having fresh watermelon or fresh cantaloupe every week, since it's in season. This particular night we had fresh cantaloupe.
This night of a different week but again still during the break this far, I made chicken parmesan. I dipped in egg first then rolled in Italian style breadcrumbs. Fried in a shallow skillet with olive oil. Then drained really well and baked the chicken with sauce and the final 10 minutes sprinkled with mozzarella cheese.
Placed on top of some pasta. We had yet another fresh crusty loaf of bread from the bakery again. No salads, this night. : )
And about every other week, I make miso pork. Noboru loves this, and so do the kids. So, I make this often. Usually with rice, potato salad and a simple salad to go with. And of course some fresh sweet watermelon for dessert.
Last Friday, we had fajita Friday yet again.
It's so nice to just relax at home in our comfy clothes and enjoy a good meal together.
The grandma next door and family went to Nagano last week, for a few day trip. She said they went to onsen and really enjoyed themselves. She brought us back this. It said..eclair cakes. I know what eclairs are obviously but eclair cakes? I was intrigued. : )
Half filled with chocolate and half filled with cream. These were fantastic. We had these last Friday after we enjoyed the fajitas. : )
What else have we been doing this Summer....well I ordered that book about Jaycee Dugard. And 2 dvd's from Amazon.com.
The book is very good read. Heartbreaking of course, but a well written book nonetheless. She is such a survivor. I wish her nothing but the best, she really deserves it. The other movie...From Prada to Nada. This was a great movie, I'm glad I bought this. And Arthur. I seriously....*loved* the original Arthur movie....with Dudley Moore. The whole..Christopher Cross song "Arthur's theme"....just the whole movie so fantastic. When I saw the previews to this.... I admit I was a little surprised. A bit skeptical. My mom also loved the movie....the original. I asked her back in July on Skype, what did she think of the remake? She said...it's cute but not nearly as good as the original. Not even close. But she said...you should rent it at least. I had been patiently waiting to rent it...but not really knowing how long of a delay that could be for me in Japan. And since I had the Jaycee Dugard book in my cart anyway. I said..you know what...I loved the original...I'd like to see this one. If I lived in the US...I'd had just rented it. And usually I don't just buy any dvd. But considering I did like the original so much...I purchased this one. What did I think? I honestly think.....my mom was right. This is a cute version. But definitely not as good as the original one with Dudley Moore. I am glad I have it though. Anyway there you have it...some of the misc. bits and pieces and things that have also been happening during this fine Summer. ; )