Monday, October 29, 2012

Our family pumpkin carve this year! Jack O' lantern 2012

Saturday afternoon, after haircuts and while the beef stew was a bubbling on the stove we got to work on the pumpkin carve 2012. : )  Here Branden and Noah are taking out all the pumpkin guts (seeds out and stringy bits etc)
Branden helped carve some this year! He carved 1 eyebrow. He did pretty good and next year he wants to carve more of him. He had a great time carving and thought it was easy and fun.
Noboru asked Noah if he'd like to try the other eyebrow. He was very unsure at first. But a lot of pep talks from all of us and he was willing to give it a try.  The 2 videos below are of Noah's first time carving a pumpkin! He completed 1 eyebrow but with help and guidance from Noboru. : )
Then Noboru took over after we all "good job...good job-ed to everyone" everyone felt pretty happy how the pumpkin turned out and happy everyone got a chance to do some carving. And for what it's worth I carved the nose. ; ) But Noboru did the eyes and the mouth.
Branden and Noah with Jack o lantern 2012! And Jack sat outside and we lit the candle Saturday night and Sunday night, we did blow out the candle before bed though each night. He had top honor and sat right in the center of the porch both nights, ha ha ha. Also, Branden's class and the other 5th grade class are having a Halloween party this year. Side note, I wish they would have told us before we made plans, we were given 1 weeks notice. Nobody knew. @_@ Anyway we already have plans and can't change them now. But, Branden did make the medals for whoever wins the best costume contest and other contests. They made 9 or 10 medals for all sorts of different things. : ) Branden is also bringing the Jack o lantern. So I am sure Jack will get oohed and ahhed over by 2 fifth grade classes. So he will be a happy and adored Jack o lantern pumpkin, I'm sure! : )  I'm sure all the teachers will pop in to have a look maybe take a few pics of him. So, he got a good life this little pumpkin.
A peek of our Halloween decorations. We take down our hanging baskets with red flowers for 1 month, always in October and we replace with our glowing Jack o lantern heads. The neighborhood likes them, which makes us happy! A grandma down the street with a very fluffy white dog told us on community yard cleaning a few weeks back, we look forward to your Halloween decorations every year! : ) That made me smile and really happy to hear that! : )
We have a pretty long porch so it's hard to capture all 4 floating Jack o lantern heads at once, but this gives you an idea at least! : ) It does look pretty cool at our house at night during October. : )
I roasted the pumpkin seeds and the boys enjoyed them all weekend.
Saturday night was the Halloween special many of us had been looking forward to. Anyone remember the original Munsters TV show? Anyway, they remade it and called it Mockingbird Lane it was a Saturday special on TV (could have came on Friday for those of you in the mainland US). Jerry O' Connell played Herman Munster pictured on the left. He looked pretty normal compared to the character Fred Gwyyne used to play, he was the original Herman Munster. Lily Munster was played by Portia de Rossi.
For this role Portia was a brunette pictured left in the picture. And Grandpa was on the right. Our family enjoyed this Saturday after dinner and the pumpkin carving earlier.
And this morning, Branden and Noah had to be driven to the front of the school today because of Jack Pumpkin head of course. Noah poor kid had to carry both his stuff and Branden's and Branden meanwhile had to carry Jack.  So just to make sure nobody takes a tumble and the Jack o lantern makes it there in one piece it was just easier for me to drop them off at the front.  Meanwhile, the boys will be getting off school early today, because we are all ready and set to go today, carry-ons are all packed and ready to go, the flight load looks good, so I'll catch up with you all when we get back. Happy Halloween everyone! : )

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pumpkin ice cream

I hope everyone reading has been enjoying the Fall and the Halloween season. : ) I know we have been. : ) Anyway, this is what we ate yesterday for lunch, Thursday afternoon when Noboru and I went on our lunch date this week. We went to Cocoichi curry.  I had the chicken sasami cutlet curry. Noboru had the keema curry with shrimp. Noboru loved it.  After our lunch and hour long chit chat, Noboru said....I'm really full, but I feel like having some takoyaki. Let's go and you can have some ice cream while I enjoy my takoyaki. Ice cream from Baskin Robbins? Absolutely! I totally said, yes! So we hopped into my little red car and we went to the small mall in the city nearest us. Same city, where Noah's former yochien is located.
Noboru enjoyed his takoyaki. And I enjoyed my small double. It's called a small double or a large double., I went with the small double. 1 scoop of cheesecake ice cream and 1 scoop of pumpkin ice cream. So good! The pumpkin icecream was perfect and very fitting for the Halloween season for sure. Then we headed to the meat store to get some beef for beef stew and some pork for niku jaga.
I think in this pic you can see 5 bikes, there is indeed a bike between Branden's yellow bike and the blue bike. However there were 2 extra bikes closer to the front porch not shown. Just a typical pic of the boys friends here at the house.  So there were 7 bikes total. Two of the bikes were Branden and Noah's. So that left 5 bikes that were friends. 2 of the bikes were ichinensei/1st grade friends of Noah's. And 3 were friends of Branden's.  Noah's friends that came are Naoki-kun and Yamato-kun, they come to our house every single week to play with Noah. They go off collecting bugs together and mantis. They play soccer and bike ride. Or play kori oni and soccer. Branden's friends that came are the Jinbei boy and Genki-kun and Keita (Kei-chan) on this day they had a huge soccer match with everyone at the play area/park on the next block/street. By the way, the Jinbei boy is going to Australia for a few weeks next Summer for an English immersion type thing, he told  Branden he's really scared. I'm sure he'll do just fine. He's such a smart boy and nice boy, he's going to do great! ; )
When my dad asked Branden what he'd like for his birthday this year he said a few DS cards.  He picked 4 DS cards. However 1 is too new still and hasn't come out yet. But it will ship as soon as it is released.
Good thing these were ordered early. Pokemon Black 2. Super Mario Bros. 2, for 3DS and the Angry Birds 3DS. My dad also sent Branden a very nice card.
This says Higashi-yodogawa. This came near grandma's main bento shop in Osaka. : ) Yep grandma Mitsuko also called and asked Branden at the start of October,  what he'd like. He said he'd like to buy something from Guam so she said, is money okay then? That way you can pick what you want? He said thanks grandma. He's going to use some of that money to cover the remaining cost of the 3DS XL. So that's covered completely now.
A little letter from grandma for Branden and an envelop of money for Branden. Not to mention his bike we bought him early that was also for his birthday. Plus he's going to enjoy some things in Guam also. So, I think he did okay. : )
There has been something called a "Fear Fest" all October on the AMC channel. They have been airing all the Friday the 13th movies for 2 days. And they also aired all Halloween movies. This is what this is! This pic is of the original Halloween in this pic. Jamie Lee Curtis is the baby sitter and she is cautiously going into a house. I have been enjoying all these really scary movies all October long after the boys go to bed. Branden and Noah have been enjoying the Charlie Brown Halloween DVD (it's a classic) and The Nightmare Before Christmas and Hocus Pocus. And if you see the words on the left it says The Walking Dead. this has been on TV a lot lately and seems to be popular, I haven't watched it yet.
Yesterday, Friday after school and after Noah's swim school, we went and bought some pizza in Narita. I know we aren't celebrating Branden's birthday until we go to Guam with the cake and all that but, we still wanted to celebrate his special day anyway here quietly. So we ordered 2 large pepperoni and mushroom pan pizzas from Pizza Hut last night.
We had sodas and pizza and just relaxed here at home.
After dinner, the boys  and Noboru went to shower and then they soaked in the tub with this bath powder in it. It smells amazing. Shea butter. I could hear them singing and talking loudly from downstairs. : ) Then I went up...showered and shampooed and scrubbed my body and then I reheated the bath and made it pretty hot and I soaked in there for about 30 minutes. My hands were raisins by the time I came out of the tub. I threw my night gown on and went down stairs with a towel on my head. Went through my emails real fast and turned the computer down early and we just enjoyed TV and some quiet family time. I did blow dry my hair on commercials though. That's it basically. A quiet week for us here.

What's the plan now? Noboru is taking the boys for a haircut today. And next Saturday is when we have our family flu shot appointment. : )  Tonight we're having beef stew. Alrighty, time for the haircut, I'm going with them, since I've got a few errands to do also. Like getting some mushrooms and other veggies for the stew for tonight and some baguettes of bread from the bakery for the stew. We are also carving our pumpkin today/tonight and roasting our pumpkin seeds.  Have a nice weekend. : )

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bits from last week. Homemade tortillas from scratch, homemade banana bread, "date day" with my husband and a few other things

Does this 3DS game and green Nerf cover look familiar? : ) Yep, it was on auction alrighty. An auction that's long over but this was Branden's 3DS. American version. In English and the games for this could be bought from Amazon.com that ship to Japan. Anyway, Branden had been wanting the new 3DS XL (the American name) LL is the name in Japan. I said, you can have one, but let's sell your 3DS first and that way you can put that money towards your new one. Great idea, Noboru said and Branden thought so too. It sold immediately! Like right away. Like hotcakes and funny because Noboru was thinking it wouldn't have sold at all, go figure. We gave them the Nerf cover, the SD card that came with it, they got it all. And because it's been in that Nerf protector it hasn't a scratch on it and also the film cover over the screen means no scratches anywhere either, it was in like new condition. The person who bought it was really happy with it also.  Left us a really really good review also. So that's all done now. : )
I watched the 3 debates between President Obama and Mitt Romney. This pic was taken from the 2nd debate. Candy Crowley was the moderator for the 2nd debate. I watch her a lot on CNN, I like her.
Obama did so well! I was really pleased! I am also happy that absentee voting for us, Americans living overseas is so much easier for this election 2012! I have never missed a vote since turning 18. And I never plan to either.
Last week, my good friend Rumi had given me this while at the plaza one day while we waited for our sons. She said, I know you like dried fruit, like yuzu. I said...yes, I do. : ) I was really happily surprised she knew that and I appreciated it very much. I enjoyed eating this a lot. They were delicious.
Fall is another time to switch that nylon shower towel for us here in our household. I switch them in Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring. I actually try to switch them every 2 months. But at least I get them every season. So the old ones got thrown in the trash last week. And I switched the boys to these. Branden got the one on the left, a green frog sitting in a tub. Noah got the orange one with a bunny wearing a beret. They didn't have the best selection this time around : ) And I picked bright pink. I also bought Noah some face masks for lunch. They cover their mouths when they serve food. And our particular school lets you use any type or design, because at first I was buying the plain white ones specifically for lunch, but when I attend the observation days since even Branden's days, their classmates use all the character ones, so that's why we do too.
Time for the washing machine to get a through Fall cleaning. The bottle on the right. I start the wash just like regular. Not the fast cycle. And pause it after it swishes a few times. I pause it for an hour. To soak and then un-pause it and run it through once. It takes all build up that washer machines can get. Ours is now Fall ready. I did this last week also. And the thing on the left is for bathtubs. It cleans the reheating thing on tubs. It's super clean now. I did that last week also. We will be taking our first bath of the season tonight. I have the bath powder already. : ) So the tub is Fall and Winter ready now! Woohoo!
Last week, Noboru and I went on our weekly lunch date. We go to lunch during the day once a week. It keeps us focused on us as a couple and I like that. However before our lunch date, he wanted to check out Don Quijote.  I said sure! I tried on some Halloween wigs! Noboru was especially fond of me in the neon pink bob. LOL! We bought curry senbei. He was looking for something related to our wifi. But he didn't find it.
Look at that cold gray sky! @_@ Fall weather right?! We went to the Ohsho in the pic.
After lunch we went to Hanamasa. It's close to the Ohsho and also DonQui.
There's also a Starbucks drive thru right near there also. So we went through the drive thru, ha ha ha.
Caramel machiatto for the both of us. Perfect for a chilly willy day, we headed right home after this and we had about 10 minutes to unpack before we both headed to the shogakko together.
We munched these last weekend during movie night.
Hanamasa stuff. Fries (198 yen for 1 kg) hash browns, Noah loves hash browns, we just throw them in the toaster oven. Green beans and broccoli.
Shrimp. Already peeled and cleaned and stuff.
Size 2L, ha ha ha. We had ebi fry last Saturday, Noboru made it for us, he doesn't cook very often but I enjoy it when he does. : )
The day we had our date, picking up the boys at the plaza. See Noah in his bright orange and yellow raincoat. Branden had his raincoat but didn't wear it because he thought it wasn't raining hard enough, lol. He's on the right with blue long sleeve and yellow soccer gym bag design. You can see some mama's chatting under the covered bicycle area and a grandma wearing pink apron pointing to her grandson in the crowd of kids. And you can also see some rain drops on the windshield.
What is this? It's not pizza dough.
If you guessed tortillas, you are right. : )
These are big plates, same plate that held the chicken cutlet and salad the week before this. This is the 2nd time I've given it a shot of making tortillas. My first try, I blogged about, but maybe that was a few years ago? I think they came out better this time and I realized they are pretty easy and they taste yumm.  Granted if I lived in the US and could buy them easily at the store, I'd definitely buy them and not make them, ha ha ha. And I'll still buy some here in Japan. But....I think I'll also make some too every once in a while.
And a cheese quesadilla with a homemade from scratch tortilla, omg really good.
Bananas for....banana bread also last weekend.
3 loaves, and I saved the biggest and best one for my dad (froze it). We meanwhile enjoyed 2 loaves of banana bread here at the house. : )
We bought 2 whole chickens from Hanamasa also last week that we baked. And we had lots of leftovers and a little rice on a homemade tortilla, add some roasted chicken and some mozzarella cheese on top microwaved with a little salt and pepper. So good. The boys enjoyed this for lunch last Saturday.
Monday afternoon 2:10pm, this Monday. I had chopped the chicken for the gratin, stir fried it./skillet fried it and them added the mushrooms. Added the pasta and sauce. And boiled it up, it thickened. And the gratin was now 98% done. All I had to do was put it into a baking dish and cover for a while. I picked up the boys at 3pm. They came home. And I threw this in the oven and by the time Kumon was over and homework was finished dinner was done.
I did uncover it the last 10 minutes and added some frozen broccoli florets and added some white cheese/pizza type cheese found here in Japan at my local shop. I sliced some fresh baguettes of bread and buttered them and we enjoyed this... this Monday.  Okay so that's just a few bits and pieces from last week and weekend and up until this past Monday. This post stops at October 22nd. : ) Anyway that's what we've been up to. Just hanging home...cooking...eating. having movie night with the family. I've been getting more and more Fall ready. You know, just regular stuff, I guess. : )