Monday, August 20, 2012

Slip N Slide fun, pink lemonade cupcakes and yet another backyard BBQ

If you've been reading this blog for a while you'll know our summer's pretty much consist of pretty much the same stuff every year.... kicking the dreaded homework out first thing. Then the dashi pull, then summer festival where we live. A few visits to water parks but most of our summer consists of hanging in the backyard the boys splashing in their paddling pool, or doing the slip n slide like they do every single year. And how many bbq's so far this year....@_@  holy smokes honestly we've lost count of all the bbq's this year. But many.  Anyway, these pics are from yesterday afternoon. The boys getting their fun on, with the ol' slip n slide!
Noah keeping cool while sliding across the slip n slide.
I also like watching the games they come up with. This one they decided to roll sideways while sliding. Giggles and laughs filled the backyard. Noboru and I both watched and smiled. It's fun watching your boys have such a good time.
What a silly pose Noah! He slid the whole way down like that.
You too....what a silly pose Branden! All the different poses and ways they went across the slide was fun to watch.
Noah dancing or skipping in this picture and Branden about to slide down and Noboru sitting down in the shade and I also sat with him and we enjoyed just watching the boys together! It wasn't too scorching hot outside yesterday either we had a few nice breezes here and there. Just a real simple and totally free way to spend a day just hanging in the backyard. But fun all the same.
What a happy boy!
Noah went down about a million times, with hat, without hat, with goggles, without goggles. About 2 full hours of watching these kiddos.
With boogie board even! Ha ha ha, you name it...they slid down just about every way you can think of. : ) And laughed and laughed the whole day. Which in turn... cracked Noboru and I up to no end.
Then they just laid there for a while and let the water sprinkle on them for a good long while.
Branden cruising along.
Aha make a tunnel with legs...check! Have your brother slide through said legs...check! : ) Go Noah go!!!!
Yay Branden!
No neighbors behind our house for a long ways. A school way off in the background but with it being summer it's dead quiet over there. Just the boys and the backyard and an endless rice field back there.  Alright now.... time to go throw your swimsuit in the washing machine so mommy can wash it on the quick wash and just enough time to dry it outside while we do the cupcakes before the bbq starts.
Swimsuits hung outside and dried in a jiff. Meanwhile we preheated the big oven and whipped up some cupcakes. That pink lemonade frosting was so good.  Perfect for the lemony cupcakes.
I left the middle one plain so they'd look like flowers. We had 2 plates full of these. I had 1 cupcake last night for dessert and I allowed myself one today and that's all I had. The boys and Noboru enjoyed the rest of them though.
The slip n slide dried up nicely along the fence, Noboru then folded it and put it in the shed for another day.
Run Noah! The boys were playing a hybrid game, along the lines of dodgeball where you don't want to be hit by the ball except they wanted to use their American football, a soft Nerf one.
Aha now the tables have been changed I see! Run Branden! Haha. These boys definitely don't lack exercise that's for sure! : )
Do you see the football right near Branden's shoulder? You're out! ; ) Meanwhile the chicken was grilling and we talked outside Noboru and I.  "What a nice summer this has been." "oh yes, I agree" I replied.  "what do you think we'll be doing in Bangkok next week at this time" Hmm, not sure. "there's a 2 hour time difference you know" "yes, yes I know" : ) You know...typical chit chat stuff.
Almost done. Everyone got 2 pieces of teriyaki chicken. Noboru ate 2 for dinner last night, the kids and I each had 1 last night and the other ones we had for lunch this afternoon.
Noboru's  plate was 2 chargrilled thighs and rice and a salad. The boys had potatoes, green beans salads and rice and chicken. Noah ate his salad while waiting for me to plate up the dinner. He always eats his salad first, he loves salad. And the lemonade cupcakes for dessert.
Sorry I didn't give Noah a chance to smile or anything. : )  Sorry Noah. : )
A shy little smile. : )
My dinner from last night. chargrilled teriyaki chicken, potatoes, green beans, rice and salad. And I have to say....this particular chicken looks exactly like Chiba-kun! Nose... head.. feet and the whole thing. I showed the family and they agreed. How funny.
A quick pic before eating. Just really simple laid back days being spent around here in our neck of the woods.  Anyway that was what we were up to yesterday. Today, I did an hour on the treadmill this morning before anyone woke up. And stomach crunches. The boys are playing with some boys from the neighborhood, they're on the front porch right now. Meanwhile, we're having spaghetti and meatballs for supper and a simple salad and 2 fresh baguettes of bread from the bakery. One I'll turn into garlic bread and the other I'll just slice and put butter on. So a choice of bread to go with dinner. Noboru's off today and it's nice that he's home.  Anyway that's it for now. : )

Sunday, August 19, 2012

More Summer fun, what we've been up to this past week

Branden and Noah go back to school first week of September some time. So we still have the rest of this month to enjoy Summer.  What have we been up to? Playing Uno 3 times a week all Summer long. Playing the board game Sorry! Bbq'ing like crazy. Paddling pool in the backyard, slip n slide, water guns. The boys have been bike riding with friends. Just typical kid stuff. : )  This day in this picture, we had a yakiniku type of  bbq out in the backyard again. This sauce is so good to marinate the meat with. And great as a dipping sauce also.
Noboru grilling. And Noah coming back from the rice fields with net in hand. : )
Veggies and the corn on the top level. We've been eating corn almost every night since it's in season and cheap where we live but this night only Branden wanted a corn. Branden loves roasted corn with butter salt and pepper.
A bowl of fresh cantaloupe, a small plate of fresh grapes. Lettuce leaves for wrapping out meat and rice with. Kimchi. Noboru was out grilling his beef.
Hi kiddo, enjoying your summer Noah?
Hi Mr. Dimples. Enjoying your corn, I see. ; )
There's the beef on the other plate.
One fast pic before dinner.
Choco crunch. This is an omiyage (present) from the grandma next door. They went on their Summer vacation to Shizuoka.  Also, 2 Summer's ago they rode in an airplane for the first time and went to Hokkaido, very cool! I was so happy for them! : ) And last year they went to the onsen. She's knows so much about onsen and I often ask her things about onsen. She's my "go to gal" for anything and everything onsen.  She said they had a really good time this year. They went for 2 nights. They took the boys (her grandsons, the boy next door and little brother) to a museum or something and they really enjoyed that. Good for them! I enjoyed hearing her story. She's my good pal the grandma next door. I think she's such an amazing lady.  She has no idea we are going to Thailand but I can't wait to find her something nice from Thailand. Omiyage type gift.
Cucumber crazy! Our 1 plant has been working overtime each day we have about 3-4 of them. We cut them off eat them in salads and whatnot. And the next day more grow. First few weeks they were great. But now to be honest 4 every other day is getting to be a bit much.  Everything in moderation you know.  Lucky for me, the grandma next door is not growing cucumbers this year so I can give half to her. But by now, I'm sure she's as tired of them as we are. : ) Good thing we only planted 1 cucumber plant this season. We will probably pull him out of the ground before heading to Bangkok. We'd hate to come back and have 100 cucumbers waiting for us the size of baseball bats. @_@ Ha ha ha. Okay, okay probably wouldn't happen but wouldn't that be wild if it did. : )  So one more week for Mr. Cucumber plant. The zucchini on the other hand was killed by typhoon 5. So we had better plant more zucchini plants next year. : (
French toast for the boys one morning. I also make them omelets, I also made, them banana pancakes at home, Noboru loved them also! My breakfast for me on the other hand.... usually consists of yogurt and cantaloupe though. Ha ha ha.
Let's see, what else have I been up to since I last blogged. I am slowly slowly getting the boys ready for the upcoming Fall/Autumn weather and Winter weather. I know...it's still Summer outside and all. Honestly yes it does feel weird looking for winter type stuff now but..... I know....I can get the US back to school deals now if I get them early since the kids go to school earlier then we do here. So saving money is 1 big reason why I shop early. And also I want to get the best selection before it all sells out also.  I also only buy when they have 30% off sales. And if you see here, this super winter puffer vest in size xl for Branden. Love the yellow color. Also bought one for Noah also in yellow. And saved a little over $10 bucks per vest, so I felt pretty happy about that and I was glad to get that great yellow color.  I think you can see the top I ordered for both the boys below a pinch, it's so cute.  
Rain coat, Noah's still fits him (that cute yellow and orange striped one)..... plus he inherits that size 7 Curious George one from Branden also.  But this one was so cute in yellow and it's lined and so with the 30% off we got this for him in the next size up. Branden also got this raincoat. in size 12.  Even though Branden is 10 and a half. So he can get about two full years usage from it.  So...yep slowly getting the boys Fall and Winter ready in teeny tiny bits so far.... check.
Playing in the paddling pool in the backyard.  A great way for the boys to keep cool and have some splish splashing fun. I have been going outside with them, and chit chatting with them while they play.
Hi kiddos!
For a paddling pool this is a great size, they have a lot of room to play around.
I made one round pizza and one hand tossed that could fit on the rectangular pan.  A nice crisp crust and just a nice quiet night for us.
Our family goes through so much yogurt in a week, it's not even funny. : ) I personally eat it for breakfast every morning and also have some fresh fruit as a side dish. But the boys love yogurt also.
Branden wanted to make the last pack of peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip bars.
I did allow myself one of these bad boys and boy were they great! Noboru and the boys finished these off quickly!
What else have I been doing since last time. I took every single thing out of the fridge. Wiped everything down. Took out each level/piece of the fridge and washed them in hot soapy water. Dried them and put everything back. Discarded any old or outdated bottles/sauces.
Branden vacuumed the kitchen floor for me, Noah wiped down the baseboards and I mopped the heck out of the kitchen floor with hot soapy water.
The orange clean was from wiping down the tiles, the backsplash behind the stove area.
One squeaky clean kitchen floor. Just a clean kitchen. It  really does seem like an endless job, kitchens in general, they get dirty.... clean it...get dirty again...clean it again. : ) But keeping it clean, I must.  Grumble grumble. : )  But am always happy after it's done.
OMG! Has anybody tried these? You all know the koala cookies right? But these are like soft cake like sandwiches with the most delicious chocolate cream inside.  These were a nice dessert treat that lasted a few days.
What else have we been eating? Just regular stuff, yakisoba, curry, homemade pizza. But this night we had fajitas. With rice, salsa sour cream cheese, lettuce, tortillas.
Chicken breast and onion and bellpeppers for the boys and I. And Noboru prefers dark meat so I made another pan of chicken with thigh meat.
What's this. Jeans. For the upcoming Fall/Winter weather for Branden and Noah. We love the elastic waists they have in Japan. Branden got 3 pair, 2 lighter denim/antique or something like that. And 1 darker denim. And Noah got 1 light color and 1 darker color. With 5 days a week at school, 3 pair is a great start for Branden. and 2 pair is a great start for Noah. Next month, I'll pick up Noah 2 pair and Branden 1 more pair. 4 pair each is more then enough. Again, at least it's a start in the right direction. : ) And heck if we find some jeans in Bangkok that would be terrific too.  Let's see anything else....Oh yes...
Noah tested and reached a level 5 in swimming.  Well done cutie pie. : )
Anything else....we are bbq'ing again today. But today we are having teriyaki chicken on the grill. So that will be tonight's dinner. The boys will either be playing with the paddling pool yet again or the slip n slide yet again.... we'll see what they decide later this afternoon. And I'm making those lemonade cupcakes as soon as I publish this. : )
And yep, I am still working out. In the Fall and Spring I enjoy taking walks outside in the nice fresh air as a way to get my exercise. But with the heat and humidity of Summer outside in Japan and that almost roasting feeling mixed with a pinch of steam room/sauna almost type feeling, I've been using my treadmill for the brunt of my exercise in the coolness of the house. And I also mix in some Zumba and Just Dance when the mood strikes. But at least I'm still at it. Over a year and a half and still at it. Yay me! : )

Alrighty, Noboru is back from his morning of fishing (from just down the road). And I see him wheeling the bbq out. I should probably go outside and say "hi" and see what's up. So that's all for now.