Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Noah's last yochien undokai

I think it is fair to say, Noah ended his yochien undokai years on a wonderful and fantastic note! Noah had fun, he was really involved and he did win the huge big relay this year at the end, joint effort for sures, no doubt but he did do amazing on that final winning lap! So, yeah let me get this post started. Here is how the undokai started. Noah (the white hat) and a fellow Sakura-gumi (last year student) kicked off the undokai with a little speech. They both spoke really well and nice and loud, so everyone could hear them.
Go Sakura-gumi!
The first class walk out and walk around.
All in line and about to begin with a prayer.

Then the start of the exercise warm-up! Noah was picked to be one of 2 helpers. He was the white hat person who faced the kids and they followed his movements. Noah did really well with this.
Noah getting the kids to stretch really high! : )
Well done kiddo!
Then they did the ball toss. This is always fun to watch. They were counting each ball and finding out, which team won during this pic.

Now the oldest class would soon get started in on the kumi tate taiso.

Well done Noah!
All of the kids did so well. Between you and me, in tiny small ways that day, I felt a bit sad..."this is the last time we'll be in this gymnasium for a yochien undokai ever." And then in many many ways, I am really ready to move on. I feel it is time. Noah gained so much... learned so much from this yochien. We have met many friends. Friends we will surely keep in touch with. But...this whole driving back and forth thing from city to our town. I'm sort of sick of the commute (it's not close like down the road, it is honestly in a city, all the way from our town twice each day for three long years). And so I am ready. We all are. So, yes, small tinges of sadness on Noah's last undokai. But for the most part...definitely ready to make that next step. So we just tried to enjoy the moment for however fleeting.
Noah's very best friend H on the bottom as well but on the left.
I knew which pompom color Noah would have since I made them, ha ha ha!
Each class gave a performance and this year they did really well.
Aha, this was for the older kids (elementary kids). Mostly older siblings who used to come here. See Branden's friend, laughing with him and pointing out some other kid to Branden? Yep, former classmate. And the little girl in the yellow t-shirt in the background, she was also a classmate of Branden's and now her little sister is a classmate of Noah's. The object of this game, throw balls into the sensei's basket on her back. These kids are so big and fast though, that the poor sensei was running for her life! @_@
Charge kids! And be careful sensei!
Lunch time. Karaage, potato salad. rice balls, meatballs tamagoyaki, shumai, fresh salad and fresh grapes. These were so sweet and no seeds! In fact I've been buying these once a week ever since Noah's undokai. What you missed, was, I worked 3 races. Well technically 2, because one was I presented the new kids who will come here next year with a snack bag. But, I did work 3 events. Noah's race, he did do with 3 other students, I got absolutely no pictures from that and I'll tell you why. I was to work, the pink and red badge races. Sakura-gumi was last. Umm we did practice this at the practice the week before hand. So, I knew after the pink badge class I'd have to run and get ready to take pics of Noah (because holding my camera while doing said job would have broken the poor camera, very jiggly runny type job is why. However so I'm standing there and they called the Sakura class (Noah's class) first! @_@ Ummm. Yeah. I was hoping Noboru would have took a picture but he's only human and he took the footage on the family camcorder and not the digital camera. I wasn't too pleased that the powers that be... pulled a fast one. And I ended up with no picture for that. But you know...sometimes it just doesn't pay to get bent out of shape for stuff like that. The important thing is we all made it to the undokai. And I would get some pics at least, not that particular race granted. However the fact that this switcherooo happened now worried me greatly about the final relay. I wondered what if they switch that one too. If I would have missed that one...yeah I would have been upset. But they didn't, so never mind. : )
After lunch, all the kids traded treats. I bought Noah a huge bags of treats to trade. And boy did he trade them. He got many treats in return.
And now the father's turn. See these 2 friends/pals. This man, loves fishing. Loves it! He's a fishing and yochien friend of Noboru's. They have the same fishing spot. And they both have little boys who are last year sakura-gumi classmates. So, they always have things to chit chat about. Always.
This in where you ride on your dad's back. Piggy back style and you try and pull off the opposing teams hat. The white hats want to pull as many red hats off and vice versa. In Branden's day...nobody ever took Branden's hat and Branden ended up with many of his opposing teams hats. Poor Noah had mighty big shoes to fill. ;P Ha ha ha. Anyway, the good news is Branden still holds the family record on this event, lol... And bright side for Noah is still nobody got Noah's hat! However Noah didn't get any ones hat either though. But it was hilarious to watch.
Kids time to jump on your daddy's backs. Father's don't konk out of gas! Don't get too tired, we are all watching from the sidelines. Ha ha ha.
See Noah's smile? He was so happy doing this! He pulled no hat, but boy did he have himself a blast!
This was Noboru's...don't pull Noah's hat off pose, lol!
They wanted Noah's hat, they did not get it! And Noah wanted her hat, they couldn't get it either! A draw on this one!
And then I went and worked the red and pink badge relay. Crowds were screaming. The tension you could cut with a knife. This last final relay has always been the biggest nail biter at our school. Facts are there are 2 fastest white hats in the last/oldest class. Noah and his best friend H. Thank goodness they don't have to compete against each other! And 2 fastest red hats. We all know who each other are. These 4 have been racing against each other for years. You should see the relay Noah won last year. It was spectacular. Anyway. 2 month's ago, they started trying to decide which white hat would close the relay and which red hat would close. It was decided Noah would carry the white teams hopes of a win, on his final lap. H meanwhile would kick start it for the white team! So H started the relay for the white team and boy he is as FAST as lightning! H can run like the freakin' wind! Giving a nice advantage to the white team. Both teams pretty neck and neck. Then the Jogo-san's daughter a fellow white hat can also run like the wind, she took off like a speeding bullet! Blammo, she ran! The tension growing. You can hear people cheering. It was boiling down to 2 kids! Noah being one of them. @_@ Gah! My poor nerves, were frazzled. Who would win....both boys are just THAT fast. It was anybody's guess.
The 2nd to last people coming towards Noah in the white sash and the other boy. Do you see their faces! That boy in the red sash wanted it badly, his arm stretched out and waiting for the person to get to him, Noah wanted that win badly too though. The heart pounding was pretty extreme at this point. I figured to just take the video. Versus take a pic, so the video of the win is below. My voice is loud on the video, but that is because the microphone is right next to me on the digi cam . In reality in the big room, not so much. Yes you could hear me, but with the mic so close it's like magnified. And it wasn't the case in real life, so just saying.

We are so proud of you Noah! You did it! When class resumed on the Tuesday. Many of his classmates all said, wow Noah you are so fast. I think he ended his undokai/sports day on a very good note. We did all congratulate both teams though and everyone left feeling really good as they all should have.
Then the medal presentation at the end. The Yayoi-sensei hanging the medals out to her kids. I have all Branden's medals saved in his yochien box and I have all Noah's medals saved in his yochien box.
They then said...today you are all winners!!! That is very important for kids this age. So they all raised their hands and we all clapped and cheered and that was it. The yochien undokai's are now done. Finished finito, the end. I was busy helping out for the 3 jobs I had to do, but I was glad I helped. And I was proud Noboru also helped and did patrols. Which that is what his arm band was, he was wearing in that pic where he was chatting with his fishing buddy. We both helped every year Branden went here. We helped every year Noah went here. I also did the PTA at Branden's shogakko for his ichinensei year. So, I am present. I may not be perfect, and boy do I know I'm not, lol.... but I do try my best.
Final/good bye prayer before the undokai ended for the year of 2011.
This poster was made by Noah's class, the oldest class. This was very popular, many parents were taking pictures of this. Each kid made their hands around it and each child wrote 1 character/piece of the message.
Noah wrote this partiular one. I'll show what he exactly wrote....
Right here. : )
Noah and the lovely Yayoi-sensei! We sure do think the world of you Yayoi-sensei. And we will miss you next year. Hope Noah's sensei next year is as great and as wonderful as you were!

A loose tradition in our family has been to take the boys to the Hard Rock cafe after most of the yochien undokai's we have had. It was started on accident when Branden was in yochien, my mil Mitsuko had joined us for the undokai as did my lovely bil and my equally wonderful sil and niece. We were all a bit hungry afterwards and mostly wanted a good place to chit chat, the loudness of the restaurant made it perfect since Noah was a wee toddler and so was Mia, so we didn't have to worry so much if they were perfectly quiet or not. Before my mil caught her flight. We needed to be in Narita City anyway. I forget who suggested it...Noboru? Jun? Anyway, ever since then most of the yochien undokai's after that, if anyone was still hungry it was to HRC, we went. This year however, Noboru had a flight to catch to Guam. My dad had been expecting him and that is another reason why my dad could not come to the undokai, because that was the day the slingbox would be set up. So, at around 1:30pm, when the yochien undokai finished. We headed home. Unpacked. And that gave Noboru enough time to quickly shower, and before we knew it, we were dropping off Noboru at the train station. Maybe we'll have to switch that traditon to after the shogakko/elementary school undokai meal starting next year who knows. : )

Anyway that was Noah's final yochien undokai. And our final yochien undokai as a family. Onwards and upwards as they say! Thank you for reading and in a small way, sharing with our family, in another one of Noah's lasts. : )