Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year 2013!!! Year of the Snake! Heading to Osaka tomorrow

Happy New Year! These are the New Year's cards we sent out this year. I'm sure everyone here in Japan and my dad in Guam and family in the states have received them all by now. So, I can share the cards here now.  The main thing that happened last year, was that Noah started the first grade which is a pretty huge deal in Japan. So that's why the main pic is from Noah's entrance day.  The upper picture, of Branden wearing the aqua blue shirt and Noah in green is from March 2012 at the Ala Moana shopping mall holding that coconut ice cream they had after Noah's graduated yochien and we took a family trip, to Honolulu back in March 2012. And the pic on the right of that, was the pic when we went to Disney Sea in October 2012 for some pre Halloween cheer and were on our way to dinner at Kua Aina Burger. The next pic where they were both in orange that pic on the bottom row is when we were in Guam and the boys were on the balcony. The mid bottom pic is of the boys playing water guns in our backyard. And the other pic is when Noah went trick or treating this year in Guam. So this kind of just gives a lot of our extended family and friends a sneak peek/a glimpse of what we were up to last year.  I sent some of these cards to my yochien mom friends, that are my good friends still and will be forever, I'm sure. I made sure Noah sent them to his former yochien friends, who he swims with still. And to a few of Noah's new classmates. A few to Branden's friends and classmates, such as Genki-kun. All of Noboru's family in Osaka and to uncle Jun/my BIL Jun in Narita City. And so on.
Otoshidama fukuro. Money envelops that kids in Japan receive at New Year's from family members. These are the envelops I picked out to give to our family members here in Japan for this year. I thought The Very Hungry Caterpillar ones are super cute!
Little gold stars or circles to close the envelops.
Happily gave our first one a few days ago. This one went to my niece Mia, in Narita city.
She's such a cutie pie, I made sure she got the gold star! Hahaha. : )
Likewise, Branden and Noah received money envelops in return from uncle Jun. 
Anyway, here's the plan. Tonight our family of 4 is going to have our first pizza of the new year. I'm baking homemade pizza for dinner here at home.  We will enjoy our January 1st today and evening. However tomorrow, January 2nd we will be driving to Osaka to spend time with Noboru's family.  Noboru has a pretty big extended family. And they get together once all of them around New Year's and they go out and eat a meal together! Noboru's cousin is flying in from Okinawa (her and her husband moved there a few years ago) and we're coming in from Chiba. People are coming from all over for this one big huge family meal and some needed family time (they do get together other times of the year, but this is by far the biggest event of the year and everyone tries to attend, we haven't been in ages for New Year's so we're excited). This year everyone is getting together January 2nd for yakiniku at some restaurant. The meet up time is 5pm, January 2nd. So, we will leave Chiba here some time early tomorrow morning. At first Noboru said he wanted to leave at 6am and now today he says according to some news online traffic prediction thing, he now thinks we should leave the house now at 4am. @_@ Goodness that sounds early. Either way though, I'm up for it! So, long story short, tomorrow super early, time still undecided, but we will be driving to Osaka. Noboru put brand new tires on the MPV last week and he cleaned the car 2 days ago so we're pretty much ready already.  We have the otoshidama envelops already to pass out and the boys will more then likely get way too many otoshidama envelops then needed. But most important of all, they'll be happy getting to see and spend time with all their cousins and 2nd cousins and auntie K, and grandma M with all her brothers and sisters and great grandma and all the extended family to spend time with. I'm making an obento early tomorrow morning so we can eat along the way, if we get hungry. And I have drinks in the freezer for tomorrow already. We're staying at a hotel January 2nd night (that's always exciting and fun). And we will be driving back to Chiba the very next day, January 3rd. Is that not the shortest trip ever or what! Hahaha. Oh well, it's for a good reason, Noboru didn't get any extra days off and he really wants to see his family. And I totally understand how important family is, so we need to go even if it's just for a short time.  And uncle Jun can't come to Osaka this year. He has to work. : ( But we're getting together with them January 7th for dinner in Narita city somewhere, we haven't decided where yet. But we know we're getting together though. : )  Anyway just wanted to catch up with you guys! Wishing you all a happy and wonderful New Year!!!