Thursday, March 07, 2013

Sun dried blankets, chocolate fondue at school, staining the shed, weekend breakfasts of bacon & eggs and chocolate chip banana pancakes and a few dinners thrown in for good measure

There's always something going on around here at our house. : ) Whether we are getting ready for a trip, planning a trip or having a BBQ. Planting potatoes, taking Noah to swimming class or running the both of them to Kumon or whatever. You know what I mean, hopefully. : ) But yeah there's just always something going on here. And behind all that, there's the usual house cleaning, blanket washing, floor mopping, toilet swooshing and whatnots that always seem to go on here too. Hahaha. So here are a few bits and pieces type post of stuff that's also happened recently. First sunny day, I started with Branden's bedding, he has that blue denim colored polka dotted bedding and I washed all his bedding and hung it outside to dried it all under the sun. You know how in Japan they feel the sun kills all bad things, not sure if it's true or not, but it's something I do here year round on sunny days. Then on this day in this pic, I took all Noah's yellow bedding off, washed it all and then hung it outside to dry. If it was on Noah's bed it got washed. : )
Including Jack. This has been Noah's best and most favorite lovey since he was a teeny tiny baby. Even as a toddler, the only one he would grab for continuously and take with him whevere he went, or grab for a cuddle was always Jack, his yellow golden retriever. I can't even tell you how many countless times Jack has gone to Honolulu, Guam, Denver 3 times, San Francisco and Los Angles, Jack even flew threw MN a handful of times, he's also been to Oregon once, lol, and even Jack has been threw New York City once while we were trying to catch the next flight out to Denver. Jack has been everywhere. And in Noah's 7 year old mind and heart Jack is priceless. : ) And even still, Noah still sleeps with Jack every single night. Every time I pack Noah's Phinneas and Ferb backpack, I can tell you what's inside, besides his pjs, swimsuit and spare clothes, you will always find Jack quietly and carefully tucked away inside ready for his next adventure with Noah. : ) About once a month, I take Jack and throw him into the washing machine ( gomen gomen, sorry Jack!) lol. And he gets super soapy. And because I don't want his eyes to melt off, lol. I don't put him in the dryer. Not sure if they would actually melt off, yk, I'm just saying. ; ) But, yeah I hang Jack out to dry. He gets all nice and fluffy. And I feel better knowing Noah can cuddle a nice and clean Jack. : )
And yes like Buzz Lightyear's foot that spelled out Andy. : ) You can see a very worn name on Jack's label, it has been on there for 7 years. : )
Very old faded and worn label but yes, Jack belongs to Noah. : )
He even got flipped during the day lol. And I remade Noah's bed back to normal, same as I did Branden's the day before. And I placed Jack on Noah's pillow, all nice and fluffy ready for him to get home from the 1st grade.
Meanwhile, Branden and his class all made chocolate fondue last week. Everybody was in charge of bringing something. Branden was supposed to bring 2 plain chocolate bars. 1 girl was in charge of bringing bananas, another strawberry's and someone else, even brought a kiwi. : )  1 boy was in charge of bringing in marshmallows. However, a lot of influenza has been going around Branden's class, though Branden hasn't got it, knock on wood. But, because of  the flu going around, and not knowing who would be there on cooking day and who wouldn't, I sent Branden with the 1 lone banana we had left in the house, hahaha (bought a new bunch later that day) a few spare marshmallows we had in the pantry and some sticks for holding the stuff just in case anyone who was bringing stuff just happened to be absent. Turns out, nobody though was absent that day, but Branden added his banana to the bunch and his marshmallows in the pile too. So no worries. And the sticks he said his class loved and used and the kids also used the sprinkles too. Branden also said 1 little boy brought his mom's fondue chocolate melting thing, so that was cool too. Though I did prep Branden the day before on the whole double boiler way of melting chocolate, lol, but he didn't even need the info as it turns out, lol  : )
I usually buy my laundry detergent by the case. Bought another case. Because I seem to always be doing laundry every single day. I tell ya, it's endless. Hahaha. : )
Every 3 years or so, we restain the shed, jungle gym and front porch. And this is our year. We are starting with the shed first. Noboru was sanding it in this picture. He actually finished sanding it 3 days ago though. And started staining it yesterday already. So these pics are a bit behind. But at least it gives you an idea at least. : )
I'd bring out drinks every hour for him. And lunch of course at lunch time.
I believe when I snapped this pic, Noboru was sanding the side of the shed not facing my camera, facing the fence, where we can't see him. Anyway on that day I also hung our bedding outside to dry and get fat and fluffy in the sun. : )
Yep, there's Japanese on this Gap package. I did order from Gap Japan. They were having a sale so we ordered 1 sweatshirt.
Orange for Noah.  And not to worry, I have ordered 2 massive Gap.com orders with Spring/Summer stuf for both Branden and Noah and they are at my dad's house. I think my dad said one package was 5 or 7 pounds or so. Yikes. hahaha. So they both have stuff waiting there.
You know, weekdays are so rush rush in our household. Weekends are nice to be able to slowly have breakfast as a family and not be in rush mode at all. Saturday morning, I ran to the little bakery in the city nearest us that makes fantastic bread. It was still hot which is why she didn't tie the top of the bread bag. I ran home, made the bacon. And made Branden and Noah some over easy eggs, made Noboru a cheese omelet and myself ...I had over easy eggs. The boys had chocolate milk and Noboru and I had hot coffee. Branden made the toast for everyone on 1 plate we kept in the center of the table. Saturday's breakfast was awesome. We were all stuffed. And it was a nice way to send Noboru out before he got right back on his sanding project on the shed. Meanwhile it was the perfect time to hang blankets and throw a load into the dryer upstairs also. And vacuum. And then just take it easy the rest of the day. The boys played all day Saturday with the boys from the neighborhood. But came in for lunch and then went right back out to play more.
Sunday another day to leisurely enjoy our breakfast. We all know Noah and Branden love chocolate chip pancakes and we definitely know I love banana pancakes. So, I made chocolate chip banana pancakes. Just used a normal Japanese pancake mix, but added the banana and chocolate chips after. The boys had milk with their pancakes and Noboru and I again had a nice hot coffee. And we just chilled in the kitchen enjoying our hot fresh chocolate chip banana pancakes this past Sunday. : )
Also, Sunday, I hung out Branden and Noah's pillows, I whacked the pillows with our futon stick all day long. Flipped it a few times too. And that's Noah's orange Gap hoodie he just recently got, hanging outside to dry. Branden and Noah played soccer with Genki and a few others boys from the neighborhood. Then after that, they all played some weird zombie game and shot the appointed zombie with a Nerf (soft sponge bullets and they have a rule no shooting in the face for anyone, lol good rule) Anyway I know they were playing the zombie game, because while I was out whacking the pillows I heard zombie noises coming from the front! Hahaha. : ) And then of course I peeked out the window and thought "oh brother!" ; )
200 yen a bag of 6 apples. Not a bad deal for my area of Japan. I thought, apple crumble here I come!
80 yen a bag for potatoes. I bought 3 bags. Considering this weeks menu we really needed these many this week. Mainly because of the mashed potatoes and beef stew. I also bought 2 weeks worth of meat for the freezer. You would not believe the volume I bought for the price I did. Amazing! 12 chicken strips were 500 yen. Lean roast beef type meat for beef stew. Just really super good deals. 2kg of chicken breast for 500 yen. Like most everything in bulk meat.... was 500 yen. It was weird that day I went to the store that most everything meat was 500 yen in the bigger packages... but the price was right for me. So I grabbed a good amount of meat. It's all in my freezer along with the turkey also. Good thing I have a pretty huge freezer, hahaha. : )
This week, I made chicken strips and mashed potatoes and veggie and I baked a homemade apple crumble/crisp, same day/evening for dinner.
The only pic, I took of the night. We had 12 chicken strips, mashed potatoes, gravy and veggie and a big apple crisp behind. I also fried up 1 huge thigh for Noboru and he had the same thing as us, but he had dark meat since it's his preference. : ) We had this Tuesday.
Wednesday, I made a beef stew, I had the beef in the crock pot all day when I was at the movies yesterday. So, dinner was super easy for me yesterday. And I also preset my rice. So we had a nice hearty beef stew on top of a bed of white rice. I also bought at the bakery on my way home from the Mister Donut with friends, a baguette of bread and I buttered and sliced it up and it was great for dunking in the beef stew. I love Japanese beef stew so much. Yumm. This was last night's dinner.
Is anyone keeping up with the Jodi Arias trial? I am. Every morning, I turn on CNN and I watch what has been happening in court each day. It was a shocking brutal crime.
There are so many TMI things being said, during the Jodi Arias trial. Taped conversations being aired and on this very day, they aired one of their taped conversations, her and her ex-boyfriend the victim. And my goodness. One of the persons on CNN said, "with conversations like these, who needs 50 Shades of Grey." @_@ I was thinking, "boy you aren't kidding!" @_@  Between this case and the whole Oscar Pistorius being charged with premeditated murder in the death of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp. And no, I think both these cases are very different from each other of course. But, wow, just so much news now days. So sad a lot of it. But, I do keep up with the news.
This is my original wreath. Forgive me, but I just had to show her one last time. She was my hydrangea wreath. Starts with H...Hy...hy. So, it was a no brainer for me, when I got her, I named her "Heidi", my hydrangea wreath It just went. She is now safely in the shed. Chilling in a wreath box. : ) Anyway...
This is my new wreath.  Her name is Aretha. A wreath a. Get it?  Okay maybe not, but as long as I get it, that's all what counts. ; ) She's spunky, she's no nonsense. She was only $19.99 as you know, so she's definitely a non putting on airs type of wreath, lol. ; ) And anyway this is my new wreath.  And I like her. A few older type, grandma's and grandpas who walk passed my house  have noticed, "you got a new wreath" it makes me happy they noticed. : ) And no, nothing else I own has a name, lol. Just the wreath. And if you ever named a first car or anything, I'm sure you understand totally. ; )  Anyway, just wanted to get all the bits and pieces stuff posted. Now you're totally up to date with what we've been up to over here. : )  Oh and we're having meatballs and ravioli tonight. In fact, I just mixed the meatball mixture now and have it sitting in the fridge. As soon as I post this, I'll go and fry them up in a little olive oil and then whack them in the oven for a bit. Tonight's Thursday, so the boys have Kumon tonight, they also both get out of school today at 3pm.

Yesterday was the good bye and farewell party for the 6th graders. The 5th graders especially really did a great big send off for them since it will be them next year. But the whole school rallied around them to give them a proper send off and to let them feel the love and that they will be missed. And the mom's of the 6th graders showed up yesterday to enjoy it. Branden is a 5th grader so I wasn't allowed to go, which is why I was at the movies yesterday. Otherwise I woulda been there. : )  Branden was like a reporter type.... conducting all the interviews running all over the gym with a mic. Noah said Branden was so funny and all his friends thought so too.  He was so proud of Branden yesterday. : ) Anyway...hope the 6th graders enjoyed their party. I am wondering when their last day of school will be. Next week sometime, I bet.