Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Shaon kai set up, gearing up for Noah's graduation!

This will be one of Noah's last pics taken with his yochien uniform. I took this on Monday after school. See those 2 scarfs wrapped around his neck? He made them himself! The Yayoi-sensei has been teaching the necho class/blue badges how to knit since mid January. Noah made 2 scarfs and has been wearing them every single day he goes to yochien. He picked bright happy colors and a few of the mom's said they really liked Noah's scarf. : ) I will pack these scarfs away when we get back from our trip. And I can just imagine how happy he'll be pulling these scarfs out of the box when he's older and also seeing this picture. I'll ask him, "do you remember these 2 scarfs?" You know, I bet he will. I really like this picture of Noah. it's got his cool scarf he made himself. You can tell it's winter and cold by him wearing his warm, practical cute tights. I love this picture! This is how I will remember Noah from his yochien years right here. : )
Monday all of us blue badge mom's had to bring in a bag. So that all the kids could pack up every single item from the school. Yesterday, Tuesday Noah brought the entire bag back, filled with everything. The clay, scissors, crayons. Yep, he's almost not a student there anymore. When they hand us all back Noah's name stamp, the stamps that they stamp each bulletin, monthly calendar with, then it'll be for sure.
Noah made this for Girls Day, the entire school makes something whether they're girls or boys. And same for Boy's day, the girls get to make stuff too. So nobody ever left out at this school. : )
None of the yearbook ladies have seen this. Just us shaon kai members. This is the book we had made online especially for her. It is a story about The Yayoi-sensei, our yochien and all the kids. We will ask her to read this book during the graduation party.
The story is about our children. It has their names in it. Personalized.
Here is Noah's name on this page along with a few of the boys. : )
The last page was scrapped/designed. If you only knew how many hours were spent working on every last detail. And a picture of the Yayoi sensei and this graduating class. The Father/priest and the encho sensei. And to the right is an attached note. Nobody knows what's inside but I'll give you a glimpse below. It's a well written note, and it made many of us cry reading it.
It asks, do you remember when we started here? Some of us were crying. It goes into more detail and then it says we won't be seeing you anymore. But we'll never forget you or this yochien. It also said, when they grow up they might grow bigger then her, maybe. ; ) It's just a very touching heart felt letter.
I hope she likes it. I think she will!
March 13th, myself and 4 other mother's met up at the graduation party hall. It's a huge room and it needed decorating. We blew up so many balloons. With hand pumps.
Double sided taped the face plates to the flower petals.
Noah's looks like him. He's as pale as a ghost as you know, or as Noboru calls it..."Noah's "Cullen" pale" (from Twilight). I loved Sakura's-chan's face plate, she did awesome. She put a sakura in her hair on the plate. it just came out so nice.
Keep an open mind here. The effect we are trying for is, they are flowers and the green balloons are grass. And we will have something on top.
The podium where the speakers will speak at.
And the other side. Imagine each plate had to be assembled. Each balloon fill, tied and taped to the wall. The podium decorated. I mean it's not as easy as it looks. The ark is there, but it isn't up yet. Today, Noah has a half day. And after I pick him up, from his last and final day of yochien, we will be heading straight to the shaon kai hall and begin working yet again. I imagine I will be working at the hall all afternoon and then swing and pick up Branden directly afterwards from shogakko.
So yeah, yesterday, from 10am, until 2:30pm I worked on the shaon kai stuff. How did I feel? Honestly? Happy, I worked so hard on this, happy we did so well and happy the kids and sensei's would be enjoying this soon. Excited to see the yearbook teams faces when they see this March 15th. But also felt .... 100% physically exhausted yesterday. The Jogo-san had told me that the blue badges were all staying in kagai yesterday since Tuesday was their last LAST full day. Last day for obento, etc. I said I'd let Noah stay until 3pm. An hour extra. Since I had to also make dinner and get Branden later. However...I get to the yochien and Noah is out in the yochien grounds playing dodge ball with Hikaru and the rest of the boys. I see my little boy running all over with a huge smile on his face. Don't laugh but, in that instant of watching my son run around with huge smile of happiness...I knew...that is why mama has been working so hard for the graduation. I want Noah to feel proud. That mama worked so hard for him and his classmates. To try and give them the best grduation we possibly could!

Also important to mention, as I drove into the parking lot. I saw my 2 dear friends, Kaya-san (Natsuki's mom) and Rieko-san (Aoi-kun's mom) as I was driving into the parking lot. They had come down to pay respects representing Branden's class/year. Bringing flowers etc. So, I stood and chit chatted with them in the parking lot for about 5 minutes. They're lovely ladies and I consider them friends. They also told me...wow Noah-kun got so big!!!" They were stunned to see him as a blue badge! @_@ : ) : )

So, I wave my 2 friends good bye, thank them for representing Branden's class, and then I walk up to the fence of our yochien and every one's saying, "Noah's-kun's mama" And Noah runs to me and says....."Can I stay for 10 more minutes?" Now what would have been easier for me, would be to just take him home then and get the night started, meaning make dinner then cookie baking etc. But I "got it" This was his *very* last chance to play with these kids at the yochien. The very last time for them all to be together again. So, I asked Hikaru....how long are you staying? 5pm. Then everyone else said, me too, I'm also staying until 5. So, I asked Noah, would you like to also stay until 5pm? He said yes. And so I gave the Ueda (Branden's sensei) 3 extra hundred yen and I left the yochien without Noah. : ) Yes I knew my schedule would be all out of whack last night, but most importantly I knew it was important for Noah to stay and play. So wonky schedule, late dinner, it was okay yesterday. It was Noah's time. His special time. So I left the yochien and then ran and bought Noah a pack of socks, one pair for tomorrow (today) and one pair for graduation.
I swung and picked up Branden. he said, where's Noah? @_@ Since he's always in my back seat. And we have no grandparents or family living near it was a fair question. I told Branden about Noah being at kagai and it being his last chance. Branden said, that's nice, he got to stay and play, I agreed and we swung home, he dropped off his stuff. And we then headed to the store to get something for dinner. I bought stuff to make cream stew later last night. Boring yes, but I needed something quick. And then Branden and I went to the yochien and picked up Noah. We got to the parking lot of the school at 4:50pm. But I did not go in. A grandfather was also picking up his blue badge grandson also. But he also waited. And then a fellow shaon kai member came and parked, we head nodded each other and she also waited in her car. We waited until the last very second, before getting the kids. I didn't exit my car until 5pm and probably crossed the street at 5:01pm. I wanted Noah to get every last second he could. He came out bouncing and happy. I smiled and thanked the sensei and we left. On the drive home, I glanced in my mirror Noah was dead asleep in his car seat. All that play tired him out. I was happy. And I know in my heart him staying until 5pm was the right thing to do. We got home. Branden did homework, Noah changed his clothes. And I started on dinner. As quickly as humanly possible, I got dinner done and made. After dinner, I sent the boys to shower and I baked cookies (the dough I made Sunday, thank goodness I planned ahead with that). Noah watched cartoons in his jammies. And Branden came into the kitchen and helped bake these cookies. We baked them together rolling them out, sprinkles and baking. And then I cleaned up the kitchen. Loaded the dishwasher. Wiped down the counters, the stove. And honestly, I was flat out exhausted. I felt like I was going, going, going full throttle yesterday. Working so hard all day for Noah to have a wonderful graduation party. Working so hard all evening, to make dinner and bake White day cookies. For Branden's friends. Noah's 1 return gift, what I did with that since it is a younger class littler girl. I bought her a beautiful box of marshmallow covered chocolates. They were so cute and since these last few days the younger grades have been off and open for the Sakura gumi only. We gave them to her the last day we saw her.
Each child received pencils, 1 pack of regular pencils and 1 pack of red and blue pencils. They are engraved with each child's name. These are a pretty standard gift that yochien's give their kids here in Japan. Branden's class also did this. But Noah also will receive many more gifts, like the umbrella with his name on it, etc etc. Calendar with all their faces on it. Just, many things.
These are the socks I bought yesterday. So Noah will walk into graduation with a great pair of socks.

All in all. I'm running on fumes right now. I'm working hard. But I am doing this for Noah, just as I did this for Branden and I am also happily doing this for the Yayoi sensei also. I think the hall will end up looking really gorgeous in the end. We certainly deserve it to, we've worked so hard on this and planned this for months and months and month's. We've looked at sketches and ideas and to actually see it for real. It's a wow type feeling.

Us shaon kai members have really come together working tirelessly.We've worked so hard and close together for the last half year. Planning....all the planning for just that 1 day, 1 special day. It will be worth it though I know.

Tomorrow, the actual graduation here's how it's gonna go down. Noboru and I will be at the yochien. As with all the blue badge/Sakura-gumi/nencho parents and children. Upstairs, same as Branden's graduation there is a strict NO pictures allowed policy during the actual graduation ceremony. You can order 3 photos and we'll get them in a few weeks or so. And we did already order them. The shaon kai/graduation party, pictures are totally allowed. So I will be taking a lot from there. I imagine I will cry all the way through the actual graduation which is normal here in Japan. Especially when they sing songs like, 'mother thanks for helping me and all that you did for me during my yochien years" that right there will "get me" right there! We will be wearing ceremony clothes Noboru and I. Noah will be wearing his uniform. Winter uniform. The graduation itself will be formal. the shaon kai will be fun, a blast, tons of smiles and laughs and a few cries when we see that slide show! : )

I will be sure to make a proper post of Noah's graduation after I get back from our trip. So, I will be a bit delayed getting it posted, but it's such an important post to get up, a little delayed will be fine. Okay, I think this is it for now. As I said it's going to be another long day at the shaon kai hall for me today also. : )

Love to you all. : ) PS, I really do need a vacation after all this, right? Ha ha ha. : )