Monday, November 19, 2012

Bits and pieces

All of this stuff is stuff basically that's been up and we've been up to since we've been back but I haven't had the chance to add these in anywhere yet. : ) Until now. Hmm, a month ago, during one of my walks Noah was pictured riding his bike in an orange tee shirt and orange floppy sun UV blocking hat, he's had forever. And now he's in jeans and a house sweatshirt, just for bumming around in type sweatshirt. Used to be Branden's but not good enough condition to actually cruise to school in, it type sweatshirt but perfect still for cruising our housing community.  Yep this means the weather has definitely gotten cooler. : ) Meanwhile, Branden and I were walking side by side talking.  Two grandpa aged guys were playing tennis.
Coming around the bend. Leaves are definitely changing colors.
Same day as the walk, but Noah switched into sweatpants. Noah played on his tire swing out back. I meanwhile was in the house getting lunch ready but I went outside and snapped this pic, before I went back inside.  Let's see what else....
I love those Oprah Winfrey interviews she has on her OWN channel/network. I try to catch them every week. Sometimes I miss a week or two, if we are not home or watching something else instead.... but I was looking forward to Bette Midler's interview so much! The "Divine Miss M!" I love her! I totally adore this lady! My mom always loved Bette Midler. Beaches, Stella, Hocus Pocus, The First Wives Club, Ruthless People, Big Business, The Stepford Wives (The 2007 one) And I could go on but... the point is, she's hilarious. She's funny she seems really down to earth. And her voice amazing! Like butta!!!! ; ) lol!  So yeah, I had to catch her interview.
They brought up Beaches.  Bette Midler says she still gets people walking up to her, to this very day saying how much that movie meant to them. It means a lot to me too.
She very briefly talked about her daughter, they seem a great mom and daughter pair. Don't they look alike? I thought so. And Oprah showed a clip of when Bette and her daughter were guests on the Oprah show years ago. Oprah asked Bette on this new interview though on the OWN network, "where she is now." Not just physically either. Bette answered, "I'd say I've settled into myself about 60 percent. The other 40 is still struggling."  I liked her answer very much.  Anyway....great interview... really amazing. And btw, fwiw, Bette Midler was born in Hawaii, same as President Obama and Branden. Hahaha : )  Anyway, I thought that was cute...okay moving along....
Branden brought home a bookmark. His sensei really loves making homemade picture bookmarks. And he also makes movies CD's with bunches of pics of his class on them and gives a copy to each of us, of the CD. And he's really cool like that. Anyway his sensei made every student in his class a bookmark from the Halloween party.
The first pic is the group class shot. Branden and the Jinbei Boy were not there. We were in Guam at the time, not sure where the Jinbei Boy was. But you can see who was in the center of this pic. Mr. Jack Pumpkinhead! With hat on and everything! Needless to say they loved him! I think Branden bringing the pumpkin was the right thing to do. I really do.
Branden said the middle pic on every one's bookmark was different. Such as, Saya-chan's had Saya-chan's face on it. And this one has the 2 boys who were absent that day.... and since they are superly duper good friends they danced around while the sensei was taking the picture (and the sensei did say do something zany for the pic and I think it came out good that pic!). Branden and the Jinbei Boy two very good friends.
This bottom pic everyone according to Branden got the same pic with same wording. So same top pic for the whole class and same last pic, this one. And middle pics were depending on whose bookmark it was. This says "Jack o lantern made by (2 kanji that I whited out, our last name) and Branden. So basically it says, Branden made this.  I am so glad they put a candle in Jack. The kids really liked him a lot. And if they decide to have a Halloween party next year, we'd definitely give them another pumpkin if they'd like. : )
Meanwhile...Noah brought home this note. It basically says the first graders and parents will be baking a Christmas cake together. December 19th. As you know our school is really big on "learning how to cook" getting that hands on experience. Learning how to sew and getting that hands on experience. Etc etc. the nature walks, the acorn tops. Our school is huge on "experiencing" things. And the kids start cooking class from the first grade, same as English class.  The note basically says, the cake we are baking with our kids. And if we need any topping or decorations to bring it. So basically long story short..."I better bring everything." Whipped cream fruit, decorations, hahaha. Oh well, it's okay it's for the kids fun and experience. And they did give us a month advance notice, so it's not last minute notice. So after Thanksgiving is over and done, I will get on the...."collecting Xmas cake supplies" lol.  Not too many of course, but I better come prepared. Also, Noah needs an apron and whatnot. Which we have.
Forgot to share this pic. When we were at the movies last week, the milk stand place that sells old -fashioned milk in bottles and soft serve ice cream. Was selling corn soup/potage flavored ice cream. We heard a few months back that the GariGari corn potage was sold out everywhere. I wonder if that's why this place came up with it or not.  Anyway....
Also last week Noboru and I put up the Christmas lights. We did this last Friday. As soon as the boys went to school. We keep them safely in an old suitcase.
It's an all day thing. Which lights are burned out? Pull them out by hand and replaced them.
Taped off the area where the ones needing replacing need to go.
This is a 2 person job! I kept feeding/passing him more lights as he needed them.
Good bye Mr. And Mrs. Scarecrow.  See you next year.
Hello Mr. And Mrs. Clause and Frosty.  I was fluffing his beard (santa), meanwhile making sure Mrs. Clause had her glasses on right.
By now, all the icicle lights were on, 2nd story and 1st story icicle lights. And now we did half of the banister. All the lights worked properly. The final decorating not even started yet. We put decorations and bows on last. But before we did the final decorations we strung the left side. This pic is of the right side. well the left side didn't light! @_@ We checked all the wiring. Keep in mind it's cold outside. Hence the coffee cup in the pic on the banister. I left to get Noah, bring him home and got right back onto the lights helping Noboru. Still not working! So I leave yet again go and get Branden. Bring Branden home. Still not working. At a certain point we gave up. Had dinner. Lights 95% done 5% not done grrrrr!!! So, after showers and Noah fell asleep, Branden was asleep also, Noboru brought the lights that were not working into the house. He switched every single bulb all 100 for that side. And then it worked.  So it took way longer then expected but we got it up.
Pic taken Saturday morning 8am.  You know us moms, even us housewives we sure keep busy all week and work hard Monday through Friday, housework, cooking, dinner prep, laundry etc etc. Just to enjoy that 2 day weekend. That never seems long enough. ; ) But here I was waking up at 5:30am on Saturday too. Got dressed, flat ironed my hair, put my makeup on. Woke up the boys. Made french toast for all 4 of us. There was so many things going on, for the same day.  #1, from 2 weeks beforehand, Branden and the Jinbei Boy and Keita-kun had a going to the movies plan. First time ever for any of them to go to a movie without parents. Noboru dropped off the boys all 3 of them. And another parent was bringing them back. The only time they'd be alone was at the movies. I admit I was a little nervous. I had Branden take his cell. Gave him the whole stranger danger conversation, he's been getting forever since he was in yochien. The whole, you guys go to pee in groups. Don't go by yourself. It was all indeed safe. But me honestly, I was a little nervous. It was his first time. He plays in our neighborhood and stuff of course just fine...  but this was different. I know Branden is responsible, It's not Branden I am worried about.... it's stories though like that little girl in Westminster Colorado who was also 10 who got murdered and dismembered, yeah stories like that is what scare me. It's not that I'm a helicopter parent or I am wanting to stunt his growth etc etc. Or that I don't trust my son. It's none of those factors. My worry comes's the fact this is the day and age of 2012 and there are creeps out there and so yeah I worry. And I think it's a normal feeling as a parent. So yeah I do worry. I wished to drive them myself, to see Branden get to do this for the first time, but I had the recycle thing so I couldn't go. : ) I had the recycle pick ups to do.  And yes he was fine. Totally totally fine. It was me just being cautious and understandably worried. So anyway this is a pic of Noah in yellow sweatshirt running around the center park. Every single mom in the 5th grade "had" to help. No option of saying no, this time. You were required. Spring was optional to help but I helped anyway. Fall you had to, as in no choice. But I volunteered anyway back in Spring to help in Fall anyway. So in all honestly either didn't matter to me, because I volunteered last Spring anyway.
I like this pic because it shows a few different shades of the green trees and some turning yellow. Interesting because the other trees in the area are red and orange already. : )
I really can't go into too much detail. But what I can say is, 2 mother's who live in our housing community who each have a kid in the 5th grade. Are not getting along (the mom's not the kids). Made for a slightly awkward recycling day for them. Thank god I just stay out of all that stuff, stuff like that gives me a headache, I tell you! I am neutral, I keep my mouth shut (that's always the safest way, if you ask me). And so I manage to get along with everyone. Made me thankful Branden is in class #2 (these 2 mom's and their kids are in 5th grade class #1).  Oh yeah also after the recycling part was done...we 5th grade mom's did talk afterwards at the park in the center of our housing community..... that next April, the kids will be 6th graders and we will be making yearbooks as graduation presents for the kids and be hosting a shaon kai party! Anyway, Noah and I drove home in 1 minute, seriously since we were just at the park up the road, the center once at home Noboru told me about how he dropped off the boys at the movies. How happy Branden was...and his friends were going to the movies.  And how Noboru watched them go into the movies then drove away.  Branden went to see "Hotel Transylvania" or "Monster Hotel" how they call it here in Japan. : ) Yes we did see it in Guam but Branden wanted to see a movie with his friends and this was what was playing.
Noah and Noboru and I went to the bakery to get some fresh bread, sliced for Sunday morning breakfast and the baguette for the lasagna we had for dinner that night. And we went to Cocoichi for an early lunch. Branden was at the movie still. Then we got home and Branden got home not too much after we did. I washed my makeup off. Put my hair in a tiny pony tail. But btw, my hair is growing. It's like 1 dot from reaching my shoulders, I think when I get my hair straightened my hair will be like 1 dot below my shoulders. I plan on going to the salon in about 2 weeks or so.  Branden enjoyed his first movie with friends. He had many stories to tell us. They also stopped at MC D's since it was a mall while they were waiting for his friends mom. So all in all a good Saturday. I also enjoyed my Saturday. The boys enjoyed their Saturday too and so did Noboru. And after that, we put the left side of the banister up,  and guess what....the lights worked. Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah!!!! ; )  And we did the final touches on the garland areas o the porch area.

Saturday evening, Noboru went to his Father's Club Meeting.  The Father's Club decided about a month ago for the "Marathon day" they would serve soup to the entire school/students. Miso soup. The Father's Club  is very hands on. They are really involved. And then the PTA wanted to join too. So it's now a joint effort but 90% Father's Club and 10% PTA. But whoever can help will help. Noboru will be there preparing soup from early that day and pouring soup for all the kids after they run. Their marathon is next month and they have started practicing for it, running every day. marathon day will be on a Saturday this year.  I think Noboru said, all kids will be asked to bring their own rice balls/onigiri to go with the soup.  So that's coming up also.

What else, I started my Christmas shopping last week. But more on that later. : )