Monday, April 08, 2013

Spring break

In America, March means Spring break, the 1 week off school. Meanwhile for us in Japan, we get off about 2 weeks because it's the end of the school year in March and school begins/began for Branden and Noah April 5th. So a 2 week off period much appreciated. And I frankly am really never sure if I should call it. End of the year break? @_@ You know what I mean.   or maybe "change between grades break." @_@ And again since I'm from America it's always been called Spring break, and since....it is technically Spring here too. I'll just call it Spring break anyway. So....anyway, you all know what I mean anyway though so. ; )  So....having said all that. : ) What did we do for Spring break? Honestly just stayed close to home. Watched lots of TV, had lots of family movie nights with popcorn or chips and salsa or senbei. We played memory game 4 times. Noah loves this game because it's the Spiderman version. ; ) And we played Sorry twice during Spring break (love this game). The shed is 100% done staining wise. And the jungle gym out back is 98% finished too. And the front porch is 100% done. So, nearly done with all that staining work stuff. Oh yes, this picture. One night during Spring break, I watched the interview of Stevie Nicks. Growing up my parents listened to a lot of Fleetwood mac when I was a teeny tiny toddling wee one. : ) So, I just grew up liking their music. I was very interested to know how the band formed. What she thought of being in Fleetwood Mac. It was actually a really cool interview and I'm very glad I caught this on the OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) channel.
She shared a lot of pics during her interview. They showed lots of album covers. Etc. : )
One day during Spring break, Branden and Noah and I went to get some new socks. I replace their socks, every August, every December, every March/Spring break. Every school break basically. And I do sock checks also during the regular year too, and if anything needs replacing any other time, I can always pick up a spare pack of socks, that's fine. I also have a tendency to get socks when I'm in the states or in Guam for the boys too.
I'm still treadmilling like crazy and I needed a new 3 pack of socks. So these were for me.
These are  1 of the couple packs I picked up for Noah. Says 50% off.
T&C surf socks for Noah 50% off  980 was the total, so half off 980 yen, like a little under 500 yen for 3 pair, a pretty good deal. And a 3 pair of pirate socks, I thought were cute. And another 3 pack also. 9 pair total. Plus he still has socks from December, though I threw out any grungy looking ones. lol. : )
Noah's new socks for the new school year.
Branden's socks 40% off 980. This place has nice good quality socks for super cheap.
Branden packs of socks. 2 packs of Nike and 1 pack of Adidas.
Branden's new socks for the new year. And I also went through his sock drawer and threw out any funka-roo socks! That needed replacing. ; )
Picked up Noah this new Nameko cup 30% off, also from the same store I picked up their socks from. And since the boys were already in the car, and with Spring here and warmer weather coming up. I decided to hit Nishimatsuya and the countryside local mall too.
Just a few things for Noah from Nishimatsuya. But, I must say, it felt like we took 100 years in this store in the dressing room. : )
They have the greatest deals. I was looking for 130cm shorts. However I need a slimmer fit 130cm. Not loose or baggy saggy fit clothes, since Noah's a slim frame.
I found and took about 12 pair of shorts into the dressing area with Noah. Thank goodness it was a  weekday and not so crowded. Go figure, since it was Spring break. Most shorts were so baggy or loose fit they looked absurd on Noah's thin frame. Branden helped me a ton and ran the baggy shorts back to where they needed to go. These 3 pair of shorts looked great and perfect for Noah's slim frame. 2 pair of jean shorts. And 1 pair of madras shorts. Noboru saw Noah try them on at home and he said the madras were his favorite on Noah of the 3. I liked all 3. But yeah, it took us a long while but worth it to find what looks best on Noah's body type.
Branden is too tall to get clothes from Nishimatsuya now (not that he's a giant or anything ; ) So we headed to the local country mall in the small city nearest us. They had slim pickings, but we did find 2 cute things for Branden.
1 pair of khaki cargo shorts and 1 pair of jean capris. They're not shorts, they are indeed boy capris. Very cute. If you look at Uniqlo and stuff lots of guys in Japan wear capris. So, yeah very cool for Branden. They're cool. : )
The last of the sweatshirts for Branden and Noah for a long while. Size 12 (xl) and size 8 (M), must be a cloudy day because they're much cuter then this picture looks like.
This is what they look like and I like it because it says Gap on the actual hood and it usually says it on the chest, which is fine too of course. But, I thought it was unusual to have it say Gap on the hood. Plus the color was cool and reminded me of the ocean. : )  So I guess in a nut shell, getting Spring and Summer ready regarding the boys clothes. : )
What else did we do for Spring break, besides trying to get a jump start on Spring/Summer clothing for Branden and Noah. Well, we baked some oatmeal, raisin pecan cookies the first week the boys were on Spring break. They came out so amazing. I want to make them again. : )
Everything mixed up before the pecans.
And ready....
Branden's hands. Both Branden and Noah made these with me. We had a great time making these and it rained that day so the boys couldn't go out and play with their friends this day so it was a good thing to keep us all busy.
Oh okay, so remember how I had bought that 1 Nameko cup right. Well, after going through the kids cups. There were many that needed to be thrown away and replaced. So, since I tossed 3 old Spiderman cups, I had bought at Target about a billion years ago and 2 other cups out as well. They were *that* old. : ) I decided to go back to the shop since the plastic kids character cups were on sale.
So these are the total cups we bought on Spring break. 4 Nameko cups total. 2 for each child. And Spiderman for Noah, since Branden has a One Piece and Spongebob cup like this that's similar. And the Perry....Agent P cup they both will share. Whoever wants to use that one. They were all on sale and I was glad to get rid of some old beyond their years cups and get some new ones and on such a good sale too. : )  Our Ikea kids cups are still in great condition so we kept those kids cups too.
The finished cookies. From scratch... oatmeal raisin pecan cookies.
This is an omelet we had one morning. One morning we each had omelets during Spring break. Folded afterwards of course. Another day we had pancakes... another day we had French toast. Another day we had yogurt and fruit. Just lazy restful weekday mornings. What else....
For the most part, Noboru eats dinner at home, but if his schedule is so, that he can't be home for dinner, I will make him a dinner obento. This is what Noboru had 1 dinner while on Spring break. We also had the same thing here at home, Branden and Noah and I. Chicken cutlet, steamed green beans, macaroni salad, salad and in the blue lid container is vinaigrette. In the white container is rice. Mini tonkatsu sauce and 2 from scratch oatmeal raisin pecan cookies for dessert.
Another day the following week when Noboru needed a dinner at work again, I made him a teriyaki bowl. Okay not technically in a "bowl" lol. But let's not get picky and technical about it. : ) Noboru likes dark meat chicken thighs, so that's how I made his on top of rice and sprinkled with that chili pepper. And a side of macaroni salad. We have macaroni salad at least once a week during Spring and Summer even more sometimes. Okay, let's see, what else did we do during Spring break....

Bowling! This particular game was Noboru, Branden and Noah. Branden won that round.
I would say half of our Spring break weather wise was good and the other half was rainy. So the nice days, of course the boys went outside to play with friends. In fact it feels like Genki-kun rang our door bell every single sunny day we had! Hahaha and no I am not complaining, we like that kiddo a whole lot around here, he's been Branden's pal since yochien. Go-kun and his sister also came to play. They played soccer, their make believe zombie game. Rode their bikes. Also the kids in our area here in the countryside/inaka also play something called "kick base" @_@ Sorta like Baseball but you have to kick the dodge ball type ball to get to each base. But it's hugely popular here. And so they have played "kick base" and all the other crazy games I mentioned up above on every single sunny day they had. Hahaha. And on the rainy days they played Wii or cooked and baked with mom/me. We also had ourselves a  " dance off" the boys and I. Via the Dance Party Wii games. It's so fun! And we also did bowling, played Wii tennis, had Wii archery competitions and also a bike race, lol.
Noah has become such a good bowler.
Branden picked some games for his birthday back in October. And this game was not yet released, but the release date kept being pushed back and back again. Honestly, took so long, we forgot about it. During Spring break, during a rainy day the doorbell rang. Okay it wouldn't be a friend of the boys, we knew since it was really coming down rain wise. It was the mailman. He had something from Amazon.com. We opened it and were seriously happily surprised. Hahaha. So Branden has been playing this one lately also.
2 of my birthday DVD's got here from Amazon.com also. I know Dexter and one more DVD is still on the way. But it will take a month or two still.
The potato plants are growing. They are a little bigger even right now. but this at least gives you an idea. We originally had 7 plants but 1 died so we now have 6 potato plants. I am still keeping you updated. : )
With all the rains we've been getting the frogs are out now! Ribbit ribbit! : )
A smiling partially sun blinded Noah and can you see the water in the fields...
Last week, I waited eagerly for a nice sunny day. And funny because last week was like Monday rainy, Tuesday sunny, Wednesday rainy. It went back and forth nearly every day last week! Hahaha. : ) So, on the first sunny day, I took everything of Branden and Noah's school wise and washed it all! Let it dry out in the sunshine. And the shed is done as you can see. : )
Their seat cushions/earthquake safety thing got all nice and fat in the sun. Their seat covers got nicely washed and hung out to dry. Every gym bag, every shoe bag...every everything, ykwim. Their inside school shoes were nicely washed and dried on the terrace/back patio. Red/white hats.
Water from the rains in the fields behind our house and you can hear tons of frogs out back there.
The boys jungle gym has been restained. All that's left is the back of the rock climbing wall area.

Anything else to add about Spring break? Yes! Tuesday is cheap movie day for our area in Japan. It's 1000 yen/$10 each person. That's still way higher then if we saw a movie in Guam for example at $5/500 yen a person before 4pm. Normal price for a movie ticket near us in Japan is 1800 yen a ticket or something around there. No way. So, I had looked online at the movie schedule and I had planned to take the boys to the movies and see, Jack the Giant Slayer. I figured why not. A very nice online friend recommended it. And plus it's spring break, perfect time to enjoy a movie if you ask me. : ) The schedule said there is 1 showing in English first show of the day. So I told the boys about it. They were very excited. So all that weekend, I kept saying Tuesday we will go to the movie. Our plan was all set. Noboru was out and about with us on the day before/ on Monday and we were near the movie theater. So he said, he'd go and buy the boys and I, our tickets for the next day. Ahh very kind. So, we parked the car at the movies and we bee bopped inside, stood in line. Oh the excitement. Thinking in my head..we're going to the movies tomorrow. Yay! Finally it's our turn in the line, we're next, we say, "hi we'd like to buy 3 tickets for the 1st showing of Jack the Giant Slayer tomorrow morning in English/the subtitled in Japanese one." Okay the man now looks at us like....What the heck! @_@ Okay clearly you can feel something is dreadfully wrong here. He says....we don't have it in English here at all! Thank goodness Noboru had his Nexus 7 with page of the theater opened already. Noboru showed it to the man. And said, but it's listed here. : ) The man was surprised to see it, that we were indeed right also....so the guy apologized and said their site is wrong and they'd take it off right away! But that no it's not available in English at all! He did say, they have Oz the Great and Powerful in 2D in English. Thank you, but we saw that (we really did : ) So we smiled and left. Man talk about leaving the theater feeling totally deflated. Hahaha. Oh well, we tried. : (

Hmm, so the movie didn't pan out as planned. : ( But anything else to add? Well, I took the boys to Mc D's twice during Spring break, we rarely go in Japan since they're at school when I am in the city nearest us, which that's where the nearest MC D's is located. Just for them, none for me. It's because they went with me during the day time on my grocery shopping runs and whatnot and since we were in the area and it was lunch time, twice I just drove to Mc D's. I think I had a curry pan from the bakery one of the days they had Mc D's. They also had bakery stuff on other couple days we went to the store during lunch time also. So all in all, we had a nice quiet Spring break. Slowly getting Spring and Summer ready. Here and there.

Also, over Spring break so I get a keitei email from one of my mom friends from our local shogakko, the day before the kids are supposed to go to the school to greet the teachers and see who is being transferred. The mom who emailed me, she has a boy as old as Branden and a son as old as Noah. So we know each other doubly well. Hahaha. Anyway 1 day during the Spring break all the kids must return for 1 hour to hear which teacher is being transferred out! At our particular school teachers are allowed to stay at our school for 6 years. So the night before she emails me and says "word on the street" or gossip around town is the Yuka-sensei is being transferred out! And that Noah and her son Kaito-kun will have a new 2nd grade teacher! Say what????!!!!! The 4 of us in the living room were in shock! I thanked my friend in email for the heads up! The Yuka-sensei came to our school the year Branden became an ichinensei. She was Branden's ichinensei and ninensei teacher. And then she taught 5th and 6th and then started teaching Noah. I liked that. She was familiar to our family and I thought next year when she leaves our school she will have taught both our sons.Talk about getting the wind knock out of you. We told Noah right away. Yuka-sensei can't be your teacher anymore. He said why? We said because she's going to teach some new kids at another school. : ) Only a handful of us knew beforehand (thank goodness for being in the loop, lol). The next day, from what I gather all the girls in Noah's class were crying. Also, it was announced Branden would be getting a new teacher. @_@ I mean shock shock shock. hahaha. Deep sigh. Branden and Noah had awesome teachers. And I mean Branden's teacher was just the best! He was so freaking cool! Branden's teacher is staying at the school though.

Flash forward to April 5th, opening ceremony day. Who would their new teachers be?!!!! Well that part of the story will have to wait, since this post is just about Spring break.: )