Friday, November 18, 2011

Shichi-Go-San (7-5-3) with a Catholic twist

November 15th, is Shichi-go-san for those of us living in Japan. If you'd like to read more about it, here's a link. I explained it when Branden went here and, I think last year as well. Also, quite a few yochien's throughout Japan have little ceremonies at their kindergarten's for the children as well. Our yochien has one too. But ours as you know is a little bit different...with a twist, since it's a Catholic yochien. From left to right, we have our extremely Catholic encho sensei. In the pink cardi is the lovely Yayoi sensei. And on the far right is Noah obviously and 3 of his classmates. After the ceremony was finished the younger classes left back to class and the oldest class remained in the church with us Sakura-gumi parents. This was our last opportunity to take pics of our kids for the 7-5-3 at our yochien. So to make sure everyone got a good pic they took the kids in groups of four. Noah was in the first group. The priest is lovely, I feel like I've known him forever. I'm really going to miss these people when Noah graduates. I really will. Anyway...here's how it began/started...
Knowing this was the last 7 5 3 Noah would have at the yochien we came early. It was to start at 10am and last until 10:30am. But we arrived at 9:30am. The church was open and the priest was already inside. So we went inside. Like 2 seconds after we sat down, someones grandpa and grandma came in and sat down. And then more people shuffled in. Noboru wanted to come and see this since this was Noah's very last one. I understood. We took separate cars since I was heading to Mei-chan's house along with the Jogo-san for our shaon kai meeting afterwards. Anyway....so, us mom's chit chatted before the ceremony started. The mom who sits behind me, cracks me up to no end. She lives in the small city Noah goes to yochien in. However she was born and raised from the tiny town we live in and call home. She loves this town. She gives me more info on this town then I ever knew. : ) She said, did you see our town on TV? I did not, I said...what was it about. Then she told me....did you try the town butcher yet? (she told me about it 2 weeks ago while at swim club) Yes I did, last week in fact! : ) See, she also has a daughter who swims the same day Noah does. And so we chit chat there too. Anyway, she told me 2 weeks ago, that our town has a very good butcher. And to try their miso pork, since I mentioned liking miso pork. She also rec'd their chicken wings. LOL. Anyway, at the church she now told me to try the town bakery. Bakery? I said, I had no idea we even had a bakery in our town!!!! @_@ Are you sure, I asked? She laughed. Where is it at, I asked. Near the clinic she said. Oh...I am going there this week for our influenza shots, I told her. Then Sera's mom came in and sat next to Noboru and I. Before you know it we were all talking up a storm....the kids were at the back of the church by now so we stopped our chatter and began the ceremony. We had a talk about this years flu shot, it seems things are different this year and it was good to get a heads up with talking to my girlfriends about it.

The treat bags that hold the Chitose Ame. Chestnuts with faces on the bags on the right.
See the tiny seats in the front? Those are for the oldest class. They get to sit in the front front. Noah you finally made it to the front row seats baby!!!!

There were no actual pictures allowed during the ceremony this year. Which sort of made me a little bit angry because I would have loved to take pics of the actual ceremony and also the kids sang a lovely shichi go san song. It was so cute. I would have loved to keep that as a family memory. But... the bright side is at least I have these pictures. So that is good enough.
All the kids who took pictures all patiently waited while kids in sets of 4, took their picture with the sensei and the priest. Noah patiently waited. : )
This picture was taken for the yearbook. So, I quickly snapped a picture too.
Wow, you kids got so big! : )

After this, Noboru left and I waved him off. And in the MPV he went. Meanwhile us Sakura-class/blue badge mom's, once again started chatting in the parking lot (about graduation stuff). Then, Mei-chan's mom and the Jogo-san and I all hopped into Mei-chan's mini van, I meanwhile parked my car towards the back of the yochien parking lot and folded my mirrors that way my car wouldn't be in the way, so my tiny red car stood at the yochien all day. So the 3 of us left together the rest knew we were starting the cards that day so they all waved us off...first went to a bakery to get some lunch. A new bakery to me. They bought 3 things each and so I bought 3 things too. I picked, a curry pan, first time I ever saw a curry pan not deep fried, it was good and way healthier, I prefer it not deep fried. And I picked an egg salad. This had great bread but the egg salad wasn't as good as my regular bakery makes it. And I picked one sweet thing, I picked a cream pan. The Jogo-san and I both picked these cream pans. The name said, special original type of cream pan, it looked very different. I loved this. We all took our baked goods to Mei-chan's mom's house. We enjoyed our lunch with plenty of good conversation. And then after we were done with lunch we got right down to business. We got started in on making the invitations. We worked and worked and worked until the yochein was about to let out. So, we all cleaned up and we all hopped into Mei-chan's mom's car and she drove us all to the school. Also, they loved the wrapping paper I brought and we are using it! Which makes me happy I could help. : )

We will be going back to Mei-chan's house on November 22nd to work on the invitation cards again. Hopefully we can finish them. We'd like to get them done before we break for Christmas, for the Winter holidays. Also, they knew Thanksgiving was the 24th, because I mentioned it when we were talking days we were not available. And yep right before we left we all 3 whipped out our calendar/date books and picked the date best that matched us. That date matched the 3 of us best. We will either be bringing obento or we'll buy lunch for ourselves from the bakery that day again. And then get right into our work. It's fun, it's social for me and I have a ball spending time with my friends, the ladies from the yochien.

Meanwhile, Noah continues to have play dates with yochien friends. Next Wednesday, his best friend Hikaru and him will be staying late and do kagai until 3pm because they can play at school together for an extra hour together. And a few of their friends are also doing the same. H's mom, told me last week about it. She said, can Noah do kagai in 2 weeks. Because the swim school is closed this week. So we had to skip a week. I said, for sure! She said, perfect! That way, H, and Noah and R-kun and S-chan can all play at the school run around like maniacs if they want to. And then at 3pm, they will all go to swim club together. So, next/this coming Wednesday play date. The day before Thanksgiving.
Here's the treat bag the sakura class/blue badges received this their final year for 7-5-3.
Noah's. : ) This says Noah. Awww, the last one he will get for 7-5-3 from the school.
And this lovely necklace, they receive these every year and I have all Noah's saved and tucked away and Branden's too.
Close up, so pretty!
These are small, so I will save all these things for Noah in his yochien memory box.
The treat bag also had velcro. Just probably used velcro tape but these details were cute that they added this anyway. : )
Each student received chitose ame (thousand year candy) and Noah gave one to his brother and I thought that was thoughtful. Noah ate the other one.

Anyway this is Noah's final 7-5-3 at the yochien! We love you Noah!!! : )