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.