Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Last Tuesday: Snow, black ice, teaching and Branden's observation day

The forecast last Monday said Chiba would snow that night. I took the advice, made sure I had a couple days worth of food. But wasn't going to hold my breath too much because I know a lot of the time, it fizzles out and it won't snow. Just get very very close to snowing then falling short. However true to the forecast it did snow. So last Monday, I sent Branden and Noah to school. Noah went to swim club, it was so freezing cold temp wise but not a flake of snow to be had. Branden went to Kumon and no snow. Now it certainly did feel like snow was in the air though. The sky grew gray though it's been gray all week then it grew an almost whitish color. And stayed that way. We drew the blinds around dinner time. The boys took showers and then a bath. I took a shower after. We did the night time books before bed which is always so much fun and the snuggles and cuddles that go with. And as I walked downstairs, Noboru said, big huge snow flakes are falling from the sky. Hmmm, @_@ so I looked out the big sliding window in the living room and sure enough snow was falling. Finally, at last at last! I was happy to see it snow. I look forward to snow all winter long. However this time the timing was just bad. I had work the following day. And wasn't exactly looking forward to driving on sheets of black ice. : ( Anyway, it is, what it is. And it happens when it happens. : ) Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches right? So, Tuesday morning we woke up to this. Pretty typical snow fall for our area in Chiba. Not huge amounts of snow, like how I grew up in Colorado. But still very pretty. I woke up at 5:30am, yep I am now fully adjusted on my morning routine time now. : ) I had a cup of coffee, read my emails. And around 5:50am started breakfast for the boys. Easy cheese omelets and toast. And 1 instant packet each of cinnamon roll oatmeal. They ate at the table, then watched morning cartoons. Branden then went upstairs and got ready for school. I went upstairs did my makeup, my hair and got dressed. I also made an obento for Noah. And made sure he got dressed. Noboru took Branden to school Tuesday morning since I was going to be leaving soon, and I was doing last minute getting Noah ready for yochien things with him. Meanwhile, my teaching partner and I were to meet up at the hoikuen at 9am. It's an hours drive away on a normal day. However because of the snow and Noboru came home saying the roads were all black ice. I left 30 minutes earlier. I left around 7:28am. That way if the roads were bad, or traffic were bad, I wouldn't be late. Here is a pic of Noboru outside last Tuesday morning walking the backyard looking for mole hills. with cup of coffee in hand.
So, I'm now at the hoikuen, I arrived at 8:43am, good thing I did leave early because the roads were black ice for 80% of the way there. On the sunny streets it was starting to melt, but many areas all the way there are shaded. So, I was glad I planned ahead some. So, I am waiting in my car. We usually meet in the parking lot, my teaching partner and I. 9am rolls around and no teaching partner. Hmm. I'm patient. So, I waited in my car with the heater on. 9:05, still no teaching partner. This is not like her. Now I'm starting to worry a litttle. Just then my cell rings, her name shows up. I answer, and she says she's stuck in traffic and will be 10 minutes late. There was a huge car accident up the road. The staff at the school know I'm clearly there and in my car, the parking is right across the street and when they open the curtains upstairs in the auditorium where we teach, to let the sun in, one of the hoikuen teachers waved at me already that morning. : ) I waved back. Anyway she finally got there safe and sound which was nice. We taught both lessons, and I must say we rocked it! I've been teaching at these 2 hoikuens for 6 months now and I love it. I like that I don't have to plan the lessons from scratch (sorry everyone's different but I like the ease this way). I think the lessons are great, very thorough, we teach them tons of things, the kids have a blast, they learn heaps. And leave with huge smiles on their faces. They all know me, the kids, I give them all 5 on the way out, some I give 10. A few of the boys I give them the knuckle hand explosion thing too. LOL. I in all seriousness, have a complete and absolute blast. I guess I just have the right personality to be a kindy English teacher, the kids are so fun to teach! I love it. And the money is excellent. I even get the hoikuen sensei's into it too. One sensei at the other school loves our class so much. She's one of the loudest in the class. : ) when I say something and the class repeats I always hear that particular sensei. I know they enjoy the class too. I may eventually start to teach lessons at my home in the future and then plan the lessons by myself etc and I'm fine with it. But for now, I'm just really enjoying these 2 times a month, lessons we give. It doesn't take too much time and I really do have a ball with it. I like interacting with them.
Anyway after our class, we went to the office and had hot green tea with the principal. This is the school where the principal loves America, has all sorts of books etc and so we talked for a good 45 minutes before leaving. Oh yes, My teaching partner went to South Korea over the Christmas/New Year's vacation. She kindly brought me back this omiyage (presents) red chili pepper seaweed and a face mask made from snails. She said it's all the rage now days. I still haven't used it yet. I just can't wrap my head around putting snail slime on my face yet. Anyway if I try it, I'll let you know. : ) I think though that was very thoughtful of her to bring me something and I thanked her. And I will build up the courage to try it.
It is supposed to leave you with super clear and radiant skin.
Still, Tuesday. Up the hill, Noah and I went to Branden's observation day. It was so cold walking up the hill, the wind went right through you. And wearing my work pants it felt painful, the wind was so strong and cold. But I will be here for you kiddo! And for what it's worth, I would have not worked that day if Branden would have let me know ahead of time. He had the note in his randoseru and didn't show us, and when my work emailed me asking if I was free that day, we checked the calendar and nothing was written down. So, that's why I said yes. 3 days later Branden said, whoops forgot to give you this note and by that time, it was already too late to cancel with the school. So last Tuesday was a busy day for me. Which was fine. As long as I made it to everything I was supposed to do. Then it's all good.

Branden's sensei.
We are still talking about sweet potatoes. : )
One of Branden's Winter diary's, hung up with the rest of the classes. These 2 pics are, one of Branden and Noah at the pool area at the Hilton over Christmas and the other is of Branden sliding down the slide. So many mother's came to read this and see his pictures. It was cute. His teacher loved it too.
Another thing to use sweet potatoes for, make stamps out of them.
Top 3 places sweet potatoes come from in Japan. #2 is Chiba and #3 is Ibaraki, and we live right along the border of both, so no wonder we talk tons about sweet potatoes here. : )
Did he grow up or did he grow up? If you've been reading for a while, you'll know this kiddo is Genki-kun! He is such a sweet boy! He went to yochien with Branden. I give him a ride to our housing community at least once a week. He's a very good kid.
I get smiles and waves from all the kids at our local elementary school! They all know me. Know who I am. I'm always nice and friendly, so I always get tons and tons of smiley faces from these kids in return.
The 3rd grade teacher for the #2 class. Also known as my fellow yochien mom friend too. And mom whose gone to Costco with us before. I hope like heck she's Noah's teacher in April! I seriously hope.
And that smiling sensei is the Yuka-sensei, Branden's former 1st and 2nd grade sensei. All the teachers switch classes this year. Who will Noah get this year? Who will Branden get?
Jump rope!

And into the gymnasium Noah and I went.
Hi Branden!
In this door was a haunted house! The Ringu and the Juon and stuff. Lots of scary characters in there!
Branden chatting away. And that was what happened in our neck of the woods last Tuesday. Some snow, some black ice. Teaching 2 classes, picking up Noah, getting the both of us up the hill and into the elementary school we went, then I chit chatted with so many kids, a handful of mom friends and quite a few teachers and most importantly to show up for Branden, he was so happy. Then, Noah and I headed home. I prepped for dinner. Put my sweatpants, sweatshirt on, pony tail in my hair, and then Noah and I went to pick up Branden and bring him home. Branden got started with homework and finished. Meanwhile I finished making supper. Phew, long day...long day. The weather dropped again that night. And I knew I was done teaching for January. I have my schedule for February already and I'm only working 1 day this month. Which again is nice. I'm super busy with the shaon kai at the moment anyway. Plus with taking care of the house and laundry etc. Anyway that was last Tuesday for our family. : )