Sunday, May 06, 2012

Golden Week happenings: Bbq, family board game night, homemade pizza and chicken parmesan, going for walks and playing with clay

Last week was Golden Week for us in Japan. Except for the boys had 2 days of school mixed in, last Tuesday and Wednesday. Last Tuesday with both Branden and Noah at school, Noboru and I decided to spend some quality time together and go out for a walk together. Our housing community is towards the right and up the hill, for this walk we left the housing community and walked the country roads.The rice has been planted in most of the fields now.

Rice fields, rice fields everywhere.
You ever see those bonfire type fires in the inaka. Sometimes they burn weeds, rice stalks etc. But on this day they had bamboo tied and bundled. We can see and smell this from our house. Smells good, just like camping.
The grandma and grandpa farmers in our area are so awesome, I enjoyed walking passed their huge gardens and took a peek at what they are growing this season.

About to hit the bamboo type foresty type area.
Still walking and chatting, greeting people saying good morning as we passed by anyone. 3 farming grandma types were having a snack and a tiny rest near these flowers as we walked passed. Good morning we said and good morning they said back.
And now into our housing community we are now on the home stretch. And only a 35 minute walk. But still 35 minutes is not too shabby either though. : )
During Golden Week it rained twice. No worries we still barbecued anyway. Had the meat sliced and marinated since morning. We were doing something, Kumon? Swimming? Something, I forget now but there was a reason we got such a late start to the Bbq, no matter though not rain, nor the darkness could keep us away from the delicious yakiniku we ate that night.
I had the chicken marinating in one bag in the fridge all day and the beef in another. And of course some veggies also.
Remember that pack of clay I bought the wrong one, before Noah started the first grade? Well one day during Golden Week last week since weather wise, it was so nice and the boys asked to go outside and create some stuff. I said go and have fun kids!
It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Didn't cost a single thing, since we had the clay already by accident, they were enjoying this outside, it was just really a nice way to spend an afternoon. After they made the things they created they painted them. 
Not sure if you can see the rice field has been planted from this pic, but you could for surely see from the walking pics above. Anyway you can hear light croaking and hear water trickling sounds. It's a nice season to live here in the inaka.
Some of our meals during Golden Week. I roasted 2 whole chickens, so this night we had homemade mashed potatoes, roasted chicken, and then we had stuffing and gravy and biscuits. Sure I could have made a green veggie, but this was more then enough for us.
Sweet and sour chicken. We had this with rice.
This is how I buy my pasta these days, fresh and it's pretty delicious. Just takes a few minutes in boiling water.
Chicken Parmesan on top of some fresh pasta. We also had a simple salad with this and a baguette of bread from the bakery that I sliced and with butter. Very filling and so good.
What else did we do for Golden Week. Noboru and I got the flowers planted in the planters for the front porch. Horse trough planters.
Bright beautiful and red.
With our automated watering drip system for flower planters, we don't even need to go out and water them, the timer is set and at the certain time they get watered.
Can't even see the sprinklers from the front. Can't wait until these flowers grow even bigger.
We also planted the hanging baskets but we picked the red flowers off so they can grow back thicker.
Washed the front porch with a brush. Just basically taking care of the house inside and out. Type of stuff.
One night we went out to eat some Chinese food at the Ohsho.
Same night as the Ohsho, we went home had showers real quick and then we played a board game. Sorry! We played 2 rounds.
The boys loved playing this so much! Noboru and I had a blast also.
Picked these up while the boys and I were doing some grocery shopping during Golden Week. This was so good!
So one night after dinner we all had the pancake ice cream sandwiches. and another night after dinner we had shave ice.
Bought a laundry pole from a Sekisui brand one, a good price, was quite happy about the price.  And let's see what else, did we do during Golden Week.....
Saturday, knowing Golden Week was almost over. I made the dough from the morning. And around 4pm, we all had pizza and salads.
Two pizzas that is. Enough for lunch for the next day.
Sliced up and missing pieces already. We had sodas, salad and pizzas and ate as a family.
Sunday morning (yesterday), I had asked the boys if they'd like to come with me on one of my morning walks through the neighborhood. They both said yes. I thought, last day of Golden Week, some quality time with my boys. But you know life never really turns out the way you planned, right? So, Noboru is home, on his lap top, waving us good bye, We are all dressed, teeth brushed. Ready to leave right out the door in 2 seconds and Keita-kun pulls up on his bike. Branden says, my mom, and brother and I are going for a walk. "great" he said, "can I come too?"  Branden comes into the house and says, he wants to come. Okay wasn't the alone time I had in my mind granted. But you know what, my sons have friends, really good friends. And they like me. So, who am I to say, no you can't. : ) So, I came outside and he asked can I come? I said, for sure Kei-chan, let's go! He's a very sweet boy by the way. And so off the 4 of us went. : ) And we were walking down the street here comes the "Jinbei boy" riding a unicycle. he's far away so he nicely shouted, Hi Good morning! I said....Good morning!!! (in Japanese of course) What are you doing, he asked??? Yes it was obvious, but you know kids, so I said....walking, for exercise! : ) Can I come too? Sure, I said, let's go! So, here I was, walking with Branden, Noah, Keita-kun and the "Jinbei Boy". We walked the entire lap around our housing community. I felt almost like the Pied Piper. Anymore kids going to join our walk, you are more then welcome! : ) Anyway so we 5 talked. We walked, one peddled and one unicycled it up! All in all, a pretty fantastic walk, I'd say. Sure it wasn't the walk, I had orginally planned, but hey....honestly no worries! Truly the more the merrier.
In our housing community we have lots and lots of flower lined walk ways. Walking and bike paths. The 5 of us continued our journey through the entire housing community. 1 full lap.
I went into the house after we finished our walk and the 4 boys continued to play outside. I meanwhile pulled out my laundry and put Branden and Noah's inside shoes out to dry. All nice and clean.
Uniforms first row and half of the 2nd row. and shorts and pants, but all jeans from the 2nd load of the day also drying.
Still Sunday, when the lunch bell rang at noon, all the kids went home. Meanwhile Noah was eating pizza and salad, we had a lot left from the night before. That's his pizza to the left, he was still working on it when I clicked the pic. His salad he ate first, that is my salad in the pic.
Branden also had salad and pizza from the night before. It was a good lunch yesterday/Sunday.
After lunch the laundry was all done and dry by 12:30pm, so I said, might as well refreshen those towels. And a a few yellow colored tops also went into the wash with the towels, and they dried up quickly. By 3pm yesterday all the laundry was dried, folded and put away. And I then made some chicken curry for dinner. I put the dishes into the dish washer. Sent the boys to the shower. And I went after they came out. And we all just sorta vegged and watched TV. Enjoying some down time. We didn't do anything huge for Golden Week. But we had a nice quiet Golden Week here at home.
And yes, I am still walking either outside going for my walks, or on my treadmill every single week. I am still doing Wii Zumba, Dance Party and the Jenny McCarthy one. I'm still at it. : ) Anyway, I hope everyone had a nice weekend, and if you are in Japan, I hope you all had a very nice Golden Week.