Thursday, May 31, 2012

Last Saturday's shogakko yard cleanup and recycle pick-ups

Last Saturday, May 26th, was a bit busy for us. 3 things happening last Saturday. For starters, clean up at the local elementary school was going to happen from 8am-10am, but they got out around 9:45am. Who has to attend? This time around, it was for all 1st graders, 3rd graders and 5th graders. The kids need not show up or they can either way, but you need to have 1 parent show up for you. There is a sheet of paper and you need to cross your name off and check that you indeed showed up. Since we have a 1st grader *and* a 5th grader, still only 1 parent was needed. So Noboru chose to go. Reason being that he has an American lawn mower, can mow the grass quick and fast, he also brought his weed whacker with him as well. So his job was going to be easy. Meanwhile, I did 2 loads of laundry, got them hung outside. Fixed breakfast for Branden and Noah. And the kids club where every kid who is going to elementary school was invited to go to the plaza and play until 11:45am. So, while Noboru was off helping with the schools lawn care, I could also make myself useful and do things here at the house like do the laundry like I said, feed the boys, make sure the boys got dressed and then I dropped them off at the plaza. Where they played games, "fishing" for water balloons, a make- shift bowling game. A whole bunch of games and snacks and prizes to be won. So they had a nice couple hours. I went back home and cleaned up. Noboru came home. I made sure he ate. And then when it was time, the boys called me on their cell and I went and picked them up.

Meanwhile, at 1:10pm, me and the other mom's were to meet at the park in our housing community. We were there to drive around our housing community and pick up all the discarded, newspaper and cans. Noah, and Branden and I drove the MPV (needed the bigger car for carrying the stuff) Anyway so, about 8 of us mother's showed. And we were to drive in sets of 2. Kouki/Kaito's mom was there, Keita's mom and dad and some other man were there, they drove in 1 car. Maybe he was her bil? Anyway, "the Boy next door's" mom has a small car so she rode along in someone else's car. And right away, as soon as I arrived, Genki-kun's mom (who doesn't drive) said, can I ride with you, I said for sure! Branden and Genki went to yochien together, we've known this family and vice versa forever it seems and there's a comfort there. So, yeah no doubt. No awkward weird feeling at all, she speaks not a single word of English but that's completely fine we have never had a problem talking or having a laugh with one another at all. They handed us each a map of our housing community. Broken into 3 colors, the red area, the blue area and the yellow area. Where we live is in the yellow area. They asked...since I live in the yellow zone, would I like to pick up for that area. It was also the smallest and least houses area, so yeah for sure! I said, yes.  So Genki-kun's mom and I were team yellow! Each car got 2 signs for proof we were indeed the picker uppers and not just some random maniacs just stealing their old newspapers and stinky cans ; ) show as we drove from house to house and also into the school lot.  So our teams broke up. The plan was, we pick up, then meet back at the park, then all follow each other to the school.

So the 4 teams all hit the road (2 teams picked up 1 color since there are lots of houses along that route). Noah is strapped into his car seat. Branden is in the backseat, Genki's mom is riding shot gun and I'm driving. We took the 3rd row of seats out the night before so we would have more room. I drove and Branden and Genki's mom got out every pit stop I made on each street. They would run check each house and would be running back to the car with stacks of tied newspapers, magazines, comic books. Cans. The beer cans and soda cans were stinky, I'm telling you right there.  And I am so glad we laid out 2 old blankets on the bottom of the car beforehand to protect the MPV. I'd stop, they'd run, gather and laugh hysterically back to Noah and I. We also had to drive the route twice. Giving everyone a second chance to bring out their stuff. We finished first. We went back to the park and waited. Kouki's mom got there only like 1 minute after us and then the next minivan and next. Finally all the cars met back up at the park and like a small gang of 4 minivans we all followed each other directly to the front of the school. At the school....It was like a drive through. They had a can spot. A paper spot. And so on. We stopped at each spot. Unloaded the car. The folks at the actual school have the hardest job in my opinion. Having done that last year. Noboru described the actual unloading everything, all the dirt and grime, Noboru called it...hell. @_@ And I sort of agree, since I was also there helping. So,  compared to last year my job was easy. Driving, I was as clean as I started. : )  I saw Saya-chan's mom at the school unloading and a bunch of the 5th grade mom's. This was the 5th graders turn with the recycle and another grade also. They had to sort, carry, lug. I greeted her though, since she's my friend. All the teachers, said, hey...Branden's and Noah's mom! and hey Genki's mom! We were like....hey!!!! : ) The teachers were waving at Noah strapped into the car seat. And Branden's teacher patted his head. : ) LOL yes he really did pat his head.  So at least they know, we did our share.  There was a long line of cars and mother's behind us. So we left. Meet up spot back at the park.

So, we are now at the park yet again, 3rd time that day. : ) And we all "job well done" and stuff to each other. And then, they said, we need volunteers for October or November. "Boy Next Door's mom raised her hand, and basically everyone else did. I thought about it....what if I don't volunteer for this and next time I get volunteered to do the unloading at the school.... that part sucks and this part is easy, to me. Yeah...I stood there thinking quickly. What should I answer...and do I really wanna chance it, and not raise my hand and then be sent off to do the hard part. No way! So, I raised my hand also, and Genki's mom said cool and raised her hand and we told them right there...we will partner up next time. So they wrote both our names down already.  Plus we are only required to help once with this and by us helping twice, just looks better for us. Plus there is always that odd chance that they could be short handed next time and if I didn't raise my hand for this I could have been sent to the school. Either way, I am covered. Plus there are people who actually prefer the school such as Saya-chan's mom they just bought a brand new car Alfa Romeo? or something and there's no way she wants cans and old papers in there, which is totally understandable, so yeah some would prefer to work at the school. it's just boils down to personal preference. Where as for me, I prefer to drive. Plus this way nobody could ever say, Branden and Noah's mom didn't help or some sort of stuff like that. Know what I mean.  So that was Saturday. And what did the boys think of Saturday. They loved it. Branden thought picking up the stuff was a blast. @_@ He wants to invite Genki with us next time. : )  So Noboru did his share with helping at the local shogakko last Saturday and so did I. : )
These are just some of the snacks the boys brought back from the kodomo kai last Saturday. They were also given hot dogs, more popcorn and there was another drink also.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Go and have lunch with your ichinensei day

May 17th, was "go and have lunch with your ichinensei day" at our local shogakko/elementary school. This way us as parents can see what the kids are eating in their lunches. Get to know our fellow classroom moms a bit better. And also get to spend some quality time with our kiddo at school. This was something Noah was looking forward to a great deal. See the mini Crest toothpaste in Noah's Mario cup? With surfing Snoopy yellow toothbrush. : )
Two little boys got up to speak.Also notice the alphabet also. The kids at our particular school start English class starting in the first grade. My kids really don't need to "learn" English. Since they speak it fluently and read and write it also. But they do really enjoy English class at their school. And I'm glad our school has it. : )
This was my lunch. We had exactly what the kids had. Also, the note that came a week in advance said for me to bring, my own lunch mat, which I borrowed one of Noah's. Bring my own chopsticks. Bring a mirror and a chisai towel. Reason being they were going to use the pink dental drops to look for plaque or whatnot on the kids teeth. The note also said to bring 232 yen so us adults could pay for our own lunch. Anyway I brought everything with me.
We have those red drops at our home from our dentist. The boys use those once a week anyway, they think they're fun. @_@ So the morning of the lunch and also the day we would be using the drops on our kids, I let Noah use the drops at home that morning before school.  So he got a thorough cleaning that morning. And when it came time for the drop check. He barely had a thing on there, the Yuka-sensei and my new mom friends were like "wow!" lol. Okay, so a slight cheat, I admit. But gee, we did have the drops already at the house beforehand and we do use them anyway, plus with knowing in advance thanks to the note we all got..... about the red drop dental check, no wonder I would have my son use them at home beforehand since we also have them here. Plus in my defense I do send the boys for cleanings every six months like clockwork anyway. And that red stuff really does rock and show kids where they have missed, which is why we buy it for a couple hundred yen each time we see the dentist. Plus, they sell them for cheap at local dentists around here where we live, other moms could have easily equally done the same for all I know. And it wasn't like a test test for crying out loud to begin with. They had their dental checks at the school 2 weeks beforehand anyway and both boys came out totally fine. Anyway, Noah had a great time. And so did all us parents. That blue mirror right there in the picture is my Lilo and Stitch mirror from the Daiso, I bought years ago. It sure came in handy. Anyway we had a great time together, my little ichinensei and I. I had a lot of fun with you Noah! : )

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

#2 start up the “laser!” thoughts on the Tria home laser

Okay if you haven’t seen Austin Powers then you probably didn’t get the title at all. ; ) And fwiw, I think it was actually Frau who was the one who yelled all the orders regarding the laser. ; )

Anyway.... I bought the Tria Home Laser in either December or January. I wanted to use it for a good long while versus just giving a rushed opinion on my thoughts about it. I know people asked me back when I bought it to review it and I haven’t forgotten and when I was asked to review it last night, I think I should. It’s been long enough to test it out.

To me, it feels like a handheld mini blow-dryer. Like a travel sized blow dryer. Except it is heavier then a blow dryer. Because of all the lasery things inside no doubt. Is it too heavy? No. But just something to keep in mind.

Pain factor. I like most people hate pain. And I was a bit afraid, if there would be any pain. First time, I used it, I was wincing my eyes. And nothing. I really did not feel a thing. Granted I use it on level 1, which is the weakest level. They said to start weakest and then gradually go up in levels if you want. I’m personally fine sticking at level 1. : )

I had peach fuzz on my arms, very lightly. And I have used this on my arms once a week then decreased to every 2 weeks and I no longer have any peach fuzz on my arms at all. I have also used it on my toes, you know, girls do get a few straggly hairs there also. Blech to admit. But true for many of us. Anyway, again, every week I would do my toe area and then decreased to every 2 weeks and now I have actually zero hairs on my toe area at all. So for that, I am really happy.

Time. The laser pointer part is small. Think the size of a slightly bigger M&M (plain chocolate not peanut). @_@ You know me, and my descriptions. But honestly most people know and can relate to the size, since most of us have eaten one. So, the size of the laser is small, then it beeps and you can move it to the next spot, then it beeps and then you move it to the next spot. And again and again. It is time consuming, but worth it for me personally. It is also a commitment because you won’t laser it once or twice and be done. It’s not an instant fix. So, you gotta really be there for the long haul. But yes it works.

Battery life. I read on some places the battery doesn’t last long? I disagree. I charge mine fully, say overnight. And when I sit down for about 45 minutes going over 2 arms, I could do both. And I only lost 1 bar of battery doing both arms. So, I didn’t find a short battery life at all.

I have yet to start on my legs, because I wanted to get one body part 100% out of the way first then move on to body part #2. Versus doing half way here, half way there. But you know, each person is different and they can do it all in bits each week if they wanted for sure. I will start my legs this weekend.

Am I glad I personally bought it? Yes. But you know may not be for everyone. : )

You know who’s doing the commercials for the Tria now. That actress from, Saved By the Bell and who was also on Beverly Hills 90210, the last few seasons. Tiffani Amber Thiessan. And according to Kim Kardashian also use this. It was in Instyle magazine and listed as one of her beauty must-haves. hair appointment at the salon today

LOL, the title of this post and my stylist gets all the credit, because she's so awesome. : ) Anyway, like I mentioned last week, it was about that time for me to head to the salon once again. Haven't been there since the last week of February when I was getting my hair done for Noah's graduation.  Anyway, I called last Friday to make the appointment.

My appointment was set for today/Tuesday 10am sharp. I arrived at 9:53am but walked from my car to the building, I got there a minute or two early. Just in time, to hand them my card and sit down.

She asked me, what would I like this time.....I mentioned to her, I am now letting my hair grow out for Summer. My hair grows like a weed anyway. She totally agreed about that and we laughed. : )  Just some long layers as usual, and some, face framing layers around my face. And the super pin straight, thermal hair straighting thing I usually get. I got it cut just below the shoulders at Noah's graduation last week of Feb, about 2 inches below my shoulders so not even that short...... And now it's practically June, and it's hmm how to describe the length of my hair. Okay, if someone were wearing a tube top. (and I don't wear them for the record) anyway, it would be at the top part at the front of the tube top. So top of bra length? Not bra strap, but top of bra cup length. Top of a tube top length. Horrible description, I know. But it's definitely medium length hair. And when they straightened it today it even ended up a bit longer even, you know how hair gets a bit longer when the wave gets taken out of it. So, yeah, it's definitely growing. It's totally pin straight and just very long layers all around and face framing layers also. Think long straight, shiny, simple and extremely easy for me to take care of ( and if it gets too hot this Summer I can throw it into a ponytail or something).

She spent forever cutting my hair, making sure there was not a split end in sight, making sure everything was perfect and even. The shampoo lady and one who ran the flat iron through my hair twice during my hair straightening process, talked my ears off. : ) And it was very nice. I like the chit chat, I really do. Then a male hairstylist passed by (he must be new, I didn't recognize him but he's so nice too ) .....He said in Japanese, what are you reading? I said , "a gossip magazine." He looked and said, "hey that's Halle Berry. What are they talking about?" he asked...... I said,  she feels the paparazzi are invading her space regarding her daughter and she is upset about it. "ahh I see" he said. And then we both talked about how gorgeous Halle Berry's daughter is for a few minutes before my regular stylist came back. : )  Everyone is just so nice at the salon. They all like to chat and talk. They are all very friendly.  Plus my head got massaged and so did my shoulders.  From 10am to 1:25pm. A super long time to be there, but worth it in the long run.

Anyway, my hair is now done for Summer. Won't have to think about it now and it's going to be easy to take care of. Think I'll head back to the salon, end of August or beginning of September.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

5th grade sewing at the local shogakko, plus planting rice and good eats that Branden’s class makes

At the start of March, it was either first week of March or last week of February, Branden brought home a huge stack of these order forms. At the time, I was busy with Noah's graduation so did not have the time to post this then, but luckily I have the time to now. I recall Branden brought them home on a Thursday and they were due the following Wednesday. That evening, Branden and I looked at them together. What are they? Sewing kits. At our particular school here in Japan, kids start sewing at the start of 5th grade and go all the way through the end of 6th grade. As you can see there are so many to choose from. I see Elmo on this top pic. And a dragon one also.
This T&C Surf is the one Branden wanted. And I agreed. But, we did go through every page and looked at each one carefully together. This one was big and I liked it had the non slip parts to open it or hold it on the sides. I also liked what came inside this particular model, so yeah he made a good choice.
They all come with basically the same thing inside, but this is what came inside Branden's.
They also have baseball sewing kits of your favorite team if that's more your style.
From the Mr. Man show. They also had Spongebob.
Soccer team. Basically not to worry, whatever you like, I am sure you could find a sewing kit that you liked best. So much to choose from. So we wrote the info in the ordering form, placed the money inside and Branden took that to school.  The last week of the 4th grade was when Branden brought his surf one home.
Start of March found me, not only labelling things for Noah and his soon to be ichinensei stuff. I also found myself in the kitchen in between coloring elephants and penguins. : ) Labelling Branden's sewing kit. We ordered this bag for Branden so he can carry his sewing kit it this, this was also available on a school order form, this bag was 300 yen, so it was afforadble. His sewing box fits in here perfectly. So when the kids go from their classroom to the sewing room, he can just carry it in here. Like a messenger type bag. And his name is on this.
Everyone had to order this. Because they will practice on these first.
Branden's sewing kit.
Nice scissors and all things inside.
Close up.
See the circle (do it this way) and the x (don't do it this way ; )
Where they will sew the buttons.
Learning to sew different types of buttons on! Go kids go! : )
Remember the muffins Branden's 4th grade class baked last November?  They have a very thorough "Home EC" at our local elementary school. They start cooking pretty young at our shogakko. By 4th grade they were all cooking and baking up a storm. Though Branden and Noah have been cooking at home with me since they were young toddlers (starting simple of course). I think it's really good for them to be also getting this at elementary school too.

Branden's class also made their own miso. I found this to be impressive. And 2 weeks ago, they made stir fried veggies. 3 weeks ago, they made salad dressing. Every week they are either whipping something up in the huge kitchen classroom that their school has or they're getting their sewing on! : )

Also, yesterday, Branden's class planted the schools rice, in the huge big rice field plots near the school. He brought home a note last Friday, saying, he needed a spare pair of clothes, with underwear also (in case someone were to fall in the field and need a full change). Sandals or Crocs, to walk to the fields from school and they all planted the rice barefoot. They also needed a chisai towel. I made sure I had it all packed up. And yesterday when I picked up Branden. He was so happy. He said how much he loved planting the rice. And that they will now care for this rice and they will eat this rice at their school when it's harvested next Fall. Just like they are eating the rice the class planted last year.The younger grades like Noah's class, are taking care of the schools vegetable garden etc. They all take turns. I really like the elementary school Branden and Noah go in the Japanese countryside, they learn a lot and not just from inside a classroom either. Lots of hands on stuff! Good school, good school. ; )

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dark Shadows

Tuesday was cold and rainy all day and even Tuesday evening. But the plan didn't change. Both Branden and Noah did their homework, right after school.... before the movie. We all ate dinner beforehand also. Printed out the online ticket info we had and presented them to the lady when we arrived at the movies. She in turn gave us regular tickets right away. And we went in and enjoyed the movie.

We had popcorn and drinks. The movie was really good! We laughed so much! When we left the movie theater it was still raining. So we ran to the car. Got inside and went home. Everyone took showers. The boys went first with Noboru. They got their jammies on, brushed their teeth and to dreamland they went. Noah told me at breakfast the next morning, I'm so glad we went to the movies.  What I thought to myself was....I'm glad we brought the boys, it just wouldn't have been the same without them. : )  So anyway, Dark Shadows gets 2 thumbs up from us here. Definitely will make you laugh.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Annular Solar Eclipse

So, the day of the eclipse. We got ready extra fast and made sure the boys left to school earlier then usual. Dropped them off at 6:50am at the plaza (usually drop them off around 7:20am ish). Kouki-kun and little brother Kaito-kun were getting dropped off at the same exact time in the plaza. We waved and the 4 of them ran up the hill to the school. Branden and Noah apparently watched the eclipse together with Branden's friend Yuki-kun and Keita and a handful of other boys (boys from the neighborhood while at school). Also worth to mention, a good bunch had scored free eclipse glasses from the newspaper last week. Yuki-kun included. I told Branden how smart Yuki-kun was. And if I had known which paper that was, we would have done that too. And the rest shared the schools glasses and took turns with those. All grades were outside but siblings gravitated to one another and so they just kept an eye on the kids. The boys really enjoyed seeing the "Ring of Fire" it it's full glory the entire time it was in the sky. They loved it! Said it was absolutely amazing! Also now that they are practicing for undokai and the weather has heated up some, they can now bring their thermos every day now, until undokai, so they can bring their thermos until September to school. 
Our area had lots of big white fluffy clouds that morning but they rolled through quickly. And that made it even better because when the clouds were covering,  I could take a pic.
You can see the corner from the playground tarp on the bottom right hand side of this picture. I tell you it was an amazing thing to get to witness! : ) See the clouds starting to clear at top of this pic?
From about 7:05am to about 7:42am we were outside. Just enjoying. The sun looks crescent shaped in this pic, it was a bit before it completely ringed out in full glory. Our neighbor would shout to us...."isn't it beautiful?" "Yes, it is", we'd happily shout back. We could see it getting more and more aligned. And at one point, when the clouds started to clear to the point where it started to look dangerous for me to chance taking anymore pictures, Noboru suggested I put the camera away and I agreed. I'm sorry but there's just no way I was gonna chance ruining my camera. remember when I was walking a few years back and accidentally dropped it and my original point and shoot broke? @_@ Right before Noah's yochien undokai....good thing I had enough time to order this one from before that undokai all those years ago. Anyway.... yeah....I was afraid I would have killed this camera especially since us in Japan were viewing this in broad daylight, not at sunset. And just too risky for me. Gomen, gomen. But honestly getting to see it first hand with our own eyes and glasses of course ..... it's something we will keep in our memories for a very long time. Hope everyone that is reading this who was in the path, got the chance to enjoy it also. : )

Sunday, May 20, 2012

How my movie date went last Monday and also the movie tickets have been bought and reserved for tomorrow

How my movie date went with my girlfriends last Monday! It was awesome! We bought our tickets to Larry Crowne. And then we went into the movie. In Japan, you pick your seats when you buy your tickets. So we found our seats right away and saw the movie. If you haven’t seen the movie or are worried about hearing about it. Don’t finish this paragraph. Spoiler alert. Tom Hanks, plays Larry Crowne. It starts out that he works at a big Target/Kmart/Wal-Mart type of store. He truly seems to enjoy his job. Enjoys his coworkers. It showed them laughing and talking, with many of them. Anyway, 10 minutes into the movie or sooner he gets fired. He gets fired because he has no college education, but did serve 20 years in the Navy. They were very cold about it. They paged him to go to the back. His coworker will probably be picked to be employee of the month! He was excited. And went in the back. They then say....basically you have no college education so you can't advance in the job any further and that’s against our policy type thing. And he gets watery eyes but doesn’t cry. He says....But I thought.....I thought I was going to be employee of the month! Now at that point, you can’t help but feel for him. He’s devastated. And basically that’s what the whole story is about. I won’t give the plot or the ending away. But, at least you get a glimpse of what it is about. It was a thought provoking movie. And I enjoyed this very much. Apparently this movie is already on DVD in America? @_@ Because I mentioned this movie to my dad on Skype last week and he went and rented it. Watched it at his condo and he also seemed to enjoy it. Anyway, after the movie, my friends and I went to Coco’s for lunch. I had the spaghetti lunch set and drink bar. We didn’t know at the time, but 4 mother’s from Noah's graduating class from our yochien, who now have ichinenseis were also at Coco’s. LOL. So, we sat across from them. Noah’s former classmates mom’s basically. Sakura-chan’s mom was there. And a few others. That was fun. Anyway, us 3, Noriko, The Jogo-san and I talked about the Larry Crowne movie at lunch. We also got to catch up how their daughters are doing at school. They asked how Noah is doing. I said, he’s doing fine. And we sat there enjoying our time from 11:45am-ish to about 2:40pm-ish, and then I had to go and get Noah. It takes a bit of time to be to get back to our town. And I went and made sure I was at the plaza by 3pm. So anyway that was my movie date last Monday. : )

Last Friday, May 18th, Noboru and I got online and we ordered our movie tickets to Dark Shadows. First we were going to see this just us 2. But then after watching the boys enjoying the commercials for it so much, I said to Noboru. They should come with us, he agreed. So Tuesday is the cheapest day at our closest movie theater. 1,000 yen each person. Cheap for Japan, but still expensive if you compare it to movie prices in America. We also picked our seats already. We will be going to the 6:15pm showing of Dark Shadows in English, Japanese subtitles. You can also see it dubbed in Japanese if you choose in a different theater. And we will be seated in row G, seats 11,12,13 and 14. We will put Branden and Noah in the 2 center seats and we will be the buffer on the outside. So tomorrow, Noah gets out of school at 3pm. I will pick him up at the plaza, he will come home, go to the restroom. Do his homework as fast as possible. And then at 3:45pm, I will go back to the plaza and get Branden. Bring him home, he’ll go to the restroom. He can do 30 minutes of his homework. I will have dinner made from the afternoon. We will leave the house at 5pm, so they basically have 1 full hour to eat and do homework. Noah has 2 hours, so he has plenty of time. So eat as quickly as possible, homework as quickly as possible. Branden might do some homework whatever's left when he gets home. Anyway that is the plan for tomorrow. Everyone is looking forward to it. I keep asking...what’s Tuesday? The boys say...Dark Shadows.  : ) Anyway, everyone is ready and excited to go to the movies tomorrow.

Two greats recently died. Donna Summer and Robin Gibb (Bee Gees). Very sad.

Anyone hear about John Travolta and what the masseur claimed. Two people came forward. One dropped the lawsuit already. If it’s true or not, I don’t know. And if they lied about this, then shame on them!
As you can see, my walking and keeping fit is still going strong. I walk 1 lap around my housing community in the mornings, that's 20 minutes and 1 lap at 5pm every evening with the boys, that's another 20 minutes. Usually Noah rides his yellow bicycle around with us, while Branden and I briskly walk. So 40 minutes is my daily minimum and it barely takes no time at all. The other night the boys enjoyed our walk so much we did 2 laps in the evening. So my daily for that day was a 60 minute walk. I also will do treadmill, about 3 times a week for about 20-40 minutes, whatever I am in the mood for. And I am still doing my core exercises, 3 times, a week still too, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  I am also thinking when I should head to the salon again. I haven't had a trim since the end of February. I want a trim and a thermal hair straightening again, maybe this week. My hair is really starting to grow out again.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Noah's first ensoku as an ichinensei

Friday, May 11th, was Noah's first grade class field trip. The first graders were to go to the Yume Bokujo for the entire day. I packed Noah a lunch. We also had to give Noah 300 yen inside a little envelop for some farm fresh ice cream. The choice of ice cream was, green tea, milk flavor or chocolate chip. Noah picked chocolate chip! So we filled out the form and checked chocolate chip. I remember when Branden had this very same ensoku when he was a first grader, they went to the same exact place. : )
The note said they need no randoseru that day. And I packed what was on the list and placed it into Noah's Mario backpack. His striped orange and yellow raincoat inside a grocery bag. To avoid spillage ykwim, just in case, it was fine but, just had to make sure. I also packed Noah's obento, chopsticks, wet wipe/napkin and a dry napkin. Put it into his obento bag and into the backpack it went. I also packed a spare trash bag for extra trash. And a ziplock bag for his snacks he is to enjoy after he eats his lunch and a few extra to share and trade with his friends. Which he did. I dropped the both of them off at the plaza that morning, and I sat and waved. Took this picture and 2 others. And smiled. And then drove off.
They took a limousine bus to the bokujo. And how they decide to drop off the kids is instead of dropping off the kids at school. And us all going to the school to get our kids. They drop off the kids according to area. For us, all the kids who live in our housing community who are in the first grade were to be dropped off at the entrance of our housing community at 1:50pm. So, I walked through all the flower lined walkways. And left the house at 1:40pm. got there around 1:45pm. And I met up with my fellow mom friends, and 1 grandpa who also went and picked up their kids from there. I was chatting with Kaito/Kouki's mom. Since I've known her longest since our 2 older sons are the same age, so for 5 years we've known each other. Next another mother came and she joined our chit chat. So the 3 of us chit chatted. I saw Lily-chan's mom but she sat far away from everyone, but in her defense she could just be shy, which is okay it takes time to get to know all of us, I know. And a grandpa was siting farther away also.  And then a lady carrying a 2 year old baby also came and picked up her ichinensei and she seemed very nice and friendly. About  9 kids came out of the bus at our stop. So some parents didn't come to pick them up, which is totally fine it was right near their houses anyway.  I waved Kaito-kun and his mom a goodbye and they did the same and then Noah and I walked passed the tennis courts and down the flower lined walkways yet again to our house. Noah came home talking a mile a minute. He had a BLAST! I asked, who did you sit with at lunch? He said, " oh it was great, I sat with my gang." My face! @_@ You have a gang?! Yikes are you sure?, I said!!!! He said, well okay not REALLY a gang.. (I said good! : ).. but I sat with my 5 best guy friends, I always hang out with and we all spread our sheets next to one another and ate near each other. Talked about, our favorite Nintendo DS games. Soccer and swimming and stuff. We all shared snacks too.  We all went and saw the goats together, all the animals together. He just went on and on and on and on. @_@ It makes me happy though Noah's fitting in so well at school.
Play dates! Noah has his ichinensei pals come over to our house. They come over about twice a week. Like clockwork. And it's totally fine in fact it makes me happy they feel comfortable enough to come. Their mom's feel safe that their kids are at my house, which they are. This is Noah and Kaito in this picture. They are becoming superly close friends. Because, #1, their older brothers have been in the same class for like I said, 5 years.  Noah's dad and Kaito's dad are both in the "Father's club" and both us mom's are involved at the shogakko. In fact we are both volunteering next weekend to pick up old newspapers etc in our own cars and bring them to the school. We are both reps for the 5th grade class for our housing community this year. Just very similar type families.  Also, probably the most simplest reason could be....they simply just get along, Noah and Kaito. Plain and simple.  Noah is a very laid back personality and so is Kaito-kun.  I can see them end up becoming best friends, you wait and see. : )  And ohhhh, they both swim. Kaito swims for the rival school, Noah does. But that's okay. That doesn't matter. They are becoming super friends.
This pic was taken from the same day as the pic up above. Branden went outside to play with Kaito and Noah. I brought out some apple juice with ice.  Kaito-kun came inside to use the restroom, which was so cute, he said...."ojamashimasu.", I said dozo. And then when the bell hit 5pm and the music played in the neighborhood I asked Branden and Noah to escort Kaito-kun home. To make sure he was safe. They said his mom was outside gardening and she waved and smiled that Branden and Noah walked him home.
This pic was taken yesterday, on Saturday. Branden in the black shirt. Kaito going on the yellow rope stairs. And Naoki-kun, in the striped shirt on the blue stairs. And Noah's shadow on the grass, he was kicking the soccer ball around and the broom was the divider for both sides. : ) Naoki-kun is also one of Noah's new ichinensei friends and he also lives in our housing community. He also goes to Kumon with Noah. Also another of Noah's ichinensei classmates also attends Kumon with Noah also. So Noah and 2 of his classmates are also going to the same Kumon along with Branden. Which makes sense since it's closest.  So long story short Noah is doing really well at school.  He has a ton of friends. And Noah's first ensoku, a complete success. : )

I almost forgot to add. I went to our former yochien about 3 weeks ago, to pick up the graduation DVD and some pics. From the goodbye curry and the last ensoku. I went while the boys were at school. I went around 11am-ish. It felt a bit weird parking in the parking lot again. Nice still, but different though. I ran into the office and got the DVD and pictures. Chit chatted with the secretary for a few minutes and then left. As I was walking in the school grounds the Yayoi-sensei came running out of the baragumi class. She teaches the bara class now, I guess. : ) She came running out and said...."excuse me"...I turned around and I said and smiled, "ahh Yayoi-sensei. So nice to see you." "How is Noah-kun?", "He is doing just fine" I said. Huge smile, from her, "I knew it" She replied. "Please tell Noah, I said hello".... "I sure will"... I said. And "see you this summer for the summer festival", I said. (Former students are always given an invitation by mail for the year after they graduate.) "I am so glad you all will come", she said. It was lightly raining while we talked and I could hear raindrops on top of my umbrella during our talk. I waved and ran to my car. : )

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The upcoming Annular Eclipse, "Ring Of Fire" prep

I borrowed this pic of the "Ring Of Fire" from this website. This is what it should look like for us in Kanto May 21st.
Here in Japan, if you have a school aged child, you more then likely have heard about the upcoming eclipse. It's coming May 21st and should be visible around 7:32am-7:34am-ish. It should only last a few minutes.  Here is a link from the Daily Yomiuri about it. What makes this one so special is for people living in Kanto it should be a perfect ring, we will get the best view if you live in Kanto this time around. When will it come back if you miss this time? The year 2030, for us in Kanto we will get an off set ring for 2030, but Hokkaido should get a nice view, but not as perfect as a ring as we will get in Kanto this time around though. And after that, 2041 in Nagoya should have a nice eclipse and then after that the year 2074. Perhaps no one reading this will be alive in the year 2074, who knows. : (  So, yeah getting the chance to see it now, is sort of a big deal. Branden and Noah brought home a note from school, saying. Either keep the kids home during the eclipse and bring them to school a bit later then usual meaning after the eclipse, or bring them earlier then the eclipse. For safety reasons they don't want any kids walking during the eclipse in our town. They also asked, if anyone has their own glasses please bring them since they do have glasses at the school, however they worry they might not have enough for all kids. So, Noboru went and bought Branden and Noah a pair, and since they had a deal, 1600 yen for 4 pair, we each ended up with a pair of eclipse glasses.  Now that the eclipse is getting closer, the price went up to 5,000 yen, Which is ridiculous. : (  Anyway glad he got them a few weeks ago.
Each part of Japan will get to see the annular solar eclipse this time. Some will get a better view of it depending what part of Japan you live. Luck of the draw really, since it changes each time. :) Also important to say, is not just Japan can view this. China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Alaska, Southern California and Reno Nevada. New Mexico and Texas. This website had great info on it. It said, if you live in the direct path we'll get a special treat and get to see "The Ring Of Fire" I suddenly feel all "Finding Nemo", saying that. : ) Sorry about that. And, since we live in Kanto, and we will be in the direct path with the best Ring of Fire view, that's why I called this post...prepping for the "Ring of Fire." Let's just hope for all of us, the weather is good that day, no rain would be great. Nice clear skies would be wonderful.
I will not be taking any pics of the eclipse, because all of the news reports say your camera will be damaged if you take a picture of it. I'm not sure if that's true or not. Apparently you need a special lens? But for me, just to be safe then sorry, I won't be taking any pictures from it.  Hope everyone enjoys the upcoming eclipse this coming Monday. : )