Monday, July 15, 2013

Summer observation day. Nice teeth award and swimming school pics

Friday, July 5th I went to observation day at our local town elementary school to enjoy watching both Branden and Noah's classes. Last class of the day, type visiting observation day, so I broke up the 50 minute class and did 25 minutes each class. I was there about 7 minutes early. Which gave me time to switch into slippers and put my shoes in a plastic bag and then into my bag. I signed into Noah's class in front of his classroom. And enjoyed the work and pics on the wall outside their class. Noah's hydrangea painting. : )
Noah's class went for a walk among the trees and nature one day. And the pic was hanging here outside his class.
And here another day Noah's class went and everyone made a chain of dandelions pictured here. That's what everyone was holding! Look at that great big smile on Noah! He has such a fun time at our little country school. : )
Noah's work along the wall! : )
Part of growing up a country kid in Japan is catching and keeping zarigani! Or crawfish/crawdads, however you want to call them. Kids have been catching them in their spare time and bringing them to school, back and forth. Yes between picking up my 2 kiddos at the plaza during the week, I also shuttle Noah's zarigani of the day. : ) Hahaha. It's cool! Anyway Noah's class also wrote a paper about country bugs or country animals. More then half the class chose to write about zarigani! : ) Noah wrote about the difference between a girl/female zarigani and a boy/male zarigani. Do they look different is there a size difference, you know that sort of thing. From a 2nd graders perspective. : ) Noah wrote this and drew pics. And each child sat in a chair and had a chair facing them and us parents were to go from chair to chair and hear as many kids reports as we could hear. So, I went to Noah first and so he told me all the info he had and his findings. : ) Aha, I see, I said. : ) Thank you very much! Next I sat down and heard the girl sitting next to Noah and her report! Well done kiddo. Her mom and I are good friends. And then I went to my very good friend Adele's daughter, and heard her speak, she did the same with Noah. : ) And then to Sera, who had both parents there, very cool and they also went to listen to Noah also. : ) Then another little boy who often comes to play at our house he cruises his bike here at least once or twice a week. And of course all the other parents were sitting down in front of Noah hearing him speak also and I did the same. Then I glanced at the clock and saw my time was almost out and I went over to Noah and said, I have to go kiddo. I'm going upstairs to be with Branden now. He smiled and waved me good bye. : )
Took a fast pic of Noah's classroom before heading upstairs. : )
Turns out Branden's class were also giving speeches like how Noah's class was doing downstairs. And as I was walking by the first door, he saw me and smiled really big and I could tell he was wanting me in the classroom, so I sadly had no time to click pics of Branden's work outside his classroom. It's always harder when I split the time up alone. So, hopefully next time I can do a better job with pics, sorry. : ) This was Branden's poster. Wow it was huge. And really good, I thought! : ) The kids in Branden's class wrote their reports on how they felt about their work experience that one day. So Branden wrote his on his experience at the restaurant.
The 3 kids who went and worked at the restaurant. Genki, Branden and Saya-chan. :  )
Branden watching the chef chop the vegetables before starting to cut them himself. I listened to Branden's report. By the way it is important to note. Though Noah's report downstairs was written in Japanese to give to the fellow parents he gave me my speech in English. And that is cool that he can switch fluidly back and forth. I have only ever spoken English to my kids and I think they would feel super weird speaking to me in any other language. But yeah as Noah was giving me the zarigani talk many parents peeked over at us and smiled. And reason I mention it here under Branden's pic. Is because same thing happened to us also. Branden's speech was also written in Japanese of course. And he had given the talk to many of my mom friends. However, as I sat down for my turn, he didn't even ask me, he just switched to English and told me first thing that happened to him as he entered the restaurant. And the boy (A-kun) and his mom sitting next to us actually stopped talking to turn and watch us @.@) not like in horror or anything bad. But they literally were hugely surprised. When we started speaking. Which is even weirder ummmm, because we have been speaking in English together at school for 6 long years you'd think they were used to it. Ykwim?  I mean my dad even showed up to their observation day (last year?) and clearly we spoke in English. But yeah I guess Branden giving me the whole spiel about the work experience in English and as descriptive as he did, was like a wow moment for them. @.@ Hahaha. And yep, when Noboru went to the father's club meeting (same night as this observation day) and teachers and principal showed up also.... his teacher did remark to Noboru how Branden switched his speech to English and she said she walk by us and heard us and I guess she was impressed. Which is even funnier because we truly didn't mean to impress anyone. or like.... not impress anyone.  Dykwim. I mean we were literally just talking that's truly all. : ) No other meaning or hidden meaning anything behind it...just talking about the restaurant, mother and son, same as all the other parents were doing in the class at that moment except I was speaking in my native language, that's all. @.@ Plain and simple. Then I had about 10 minutes and Branden asked me to go around to some of his friends and hear theirs. I went to a boy who gave his report about being a police officer. : ) Then I left and ran downstairs real quick just in time for Noah's teacher to ask the kids if anyone was happy about something for the day and wanting to share??? lol. : ) Noah raising his hand really big up front in the pic down below in the striped shirt!
Clearly Noah had something he felt pretty important he wanted to say to the class and share.
So Noah stood there and he didn't even know I came back to hear this. He said, "I am so happy my mommy always comes to visit me on school visiting day and that she's really nice, I am so happy she's my mom!"  I was so touched and also so amazed hearing that, from my son. Other mom's could see me listening and 1 mom friend told me, what a wonderful son Noah is. Another mom chimed in and said....."ehhhh he loves you so much" they said, you're lucky. My cheeks felt really red but yeah I was pretty speechless. But very proud of my 2 really good boys. They're growing up to be really good kids, I thought. : ) This pic is of Noah sharing with his class, what he was happy about that day! : )
This was taken June 13th, but it deserves to be put on here. You know how in Japan the school checks kids teeth every April. On top of that, we send our kids to the dentist for regular dental cleanings and check ups on our own, every 6 month's like clock work, And my kids have never had a cavity in their entire lives. Their teeth are straight and white and all around great teeth, however we never paid it much mind or given it any thought. Ykwim, just chalked it up as normal. Something we know in our family and that's that. Well, apparently because Branden is a 6th grader this year and he's never had a single cavity, plus his overall straightness and teeth looks. And well the school dentist that comes once a year. He said our of all the 6th graders Branden has the best teeth. @.@ Okay so what does that mean, right? Well apparently it matters. @.@ For our county about 16-18 schools wide. All best teeth award winners showed up in the city nearest us to get an award and a photo. 1 child was sent per school. Our town school only sent 1 child, Branden. A teacher or representative had to drive Branden down to the city nearest us and because the boys swam that day also, we called the school in advance and said we'd pick him up from the place where the prettiest teeth awards were being given out. @.@  Between you and me, I had never heard of anything like this before in my life. Noboru was also thrown for a loop on this one. : ) So June 13th, Branden got permission from the school to leave at the start of his last class. He was driven by our school lady secretary. They took pics of each school prettiest teeth winners from all 16 or so schools. Anyway thought this award was a little unsual so I had to share it here! Hahaha. So I had to take a snap of the sign stating which floor the kids were on. And sure enough. Here's the sign. Hahaha. : )
Same day as the prettiest teeth/best teeth award was given to Branden. Since they couldn't take the swim school bus that day we took them to swim school and enjoyed watching them. Here's Noah swimming, doing his warm ups in the pool.
Branden is the leader/head swimmer of his swim lane. Since he's fastest on his 2 swim days he swims. And look at him chit chatting all smiley with his friends down there. Having a good ol' time between swim runs. : ) Branden has so many friends at swim school.  : ) He has so many friends at elementary school also. His grades are super. Same with Noah, he's got a ton of friends at school. And lots of friends at swim school also. His grades are amazing. I just really don't have a whole lot else to say about it. : )
Coach giving directions to the head kid. Which is Branden. And he's listening.
Heard what the coach said and now he's getting ready.
They go back and forth. Meanwhile I watch both Branden and Noah down in the pool. Noboru's next to me with his Aquirius and his Nexus 7. We had planned a day before since we knew we'd be getting out so late we'd go and have dinner at Saizeriya. After they finished their swimming.
The bigger kids lane/row closest to the glass are junior high kids. Branden is starting to think about next year, junior high a little. And he's not sure if he will join this junior high type swim group versus joining a junior high club. Or if he will join a junior high club. He said if he does join a junior high club it will more then likely be soccer. But he still has over a half year to think about it some more. : )  Branden will do fine no matter what he decides to do, because they both have their heads screwed on straight. And they both have us watching and here in case. : )
Swim class time ended and they had about 5 minutes to play. So Noah left his swim lane and jumped in Branden's swim lane. And Branden always looks out for Noah. Always. : ) His friends do too. : )
Kids having a ball! Makes me so happy. : )
This is kind of exciting and deserves to be shown too. This is currently hanging at our swim school. Branden is the 3rd fastest boy in the 6th grade county wide at our swim shcool. Keep in mind again we are talking there are only 2 swimming schools at the city nearest us. Also our swim school serves all county wide, same as the other swim school too though. Like all 16-18 different elementary schools for the whole entire county if you swim and you live in our county you either swim for our swim school or the other one. So about 16-18 other top shogakko school swimmers all go here. And swimming on different days and all that....out of all those kids. Branden is #3. I am very sure #2 and #1 will show up representing their school for the county wide swim meet this summer. And Branden is the best swimmer for our town school. So right now a lot of hope from our town school is on Branden (gulp no pressure no prssure hahaha) (The principal told Noboru this on the Father's club meeting night) he told Noboru, "your son is our best chance this year" : ) So considering all those different schools, all those different swimming on different days he's still in the top 3. So that in itself is something to be proud of. : )  Branden loves swimming though, it's his sport he loves with his whole heart. So he can hardly wait. : )
After swimming school that day we went to Saizeriya. Branden had a pizza and Noah had his own pizza they both also shared a pasta. And they each had the drink bar. Noboru and I shared this pizza and we each had our own pasta as well.
Wet hair for Noah. Because he just finished swim school. : )  I sure do love the both of you boys so much! : )
Yep nice way to wind down that day. A teeth award that day, swim school. Hahaha. It was nice to unwind during dinner and chat and laugh with my family. So we asked Branden... " so what happened during that nice smile award thing by the way", we inquired and had a laugh about it. : )  Yep, we never take things too seriously and definitely keep a good sense of humor. And just be able to roll with things the best we can. : )
Noah has a good little stack of these and I also figured a pic of one at least deserves to be noted and saved here for when he's older... Noah can come back and see this and smile. It said he took a Kanji test and earned 100% on it. Well done kiddo! : ) His Kanji is going great, his math is also fantastic, other subjects as well. His English is great also. Sports are going good. Both Branden and Noah are doing pretty good. Anyway that's what up with the boys school wise lately. : ) That was their Summer observation day before we go on Summer break. Some pics from swimming school and a few other things thrown in for good measure. : ) Thanks for watching the boys grow up via this blog. We really appreciate it as a family. : )

PS, anyone saddened to hear the news about Cory Monteith (from Glee) being found dead in a hotel room in his native Canada. You know, I read a lot of magazine's like People and US Weekly. And stuff. And I read how he has had problems before with drugs even checking himself into a rehab, but I thought he got better, he certainly looked good and happy and many reports seem to say similiar. My first thought when I read this was, I hope it wasn't due to drugs. So, as of right now, I'm not jumping to conclusions or going to assume anything (gee I hope like heck it's not because of drugs). I'm just sad for everyone involved though and wow such a nice guy whose life was cut much too short. And wow weren't he and Lea Michele so in love. So in love! She must be devastated and also his family must be devastated as well, I'm so sorry. He was really talented.