Thursday, July 24, 2014

Shave ice, zucchini from the garden, helpful kids and Noah's Ripstik fun!

We've been having shave ice (kakigori) nearly every day since summer break started. We usually use lemon, however, I was really pleasantly surprised to see mango flavored shave ice syrup at the chain store Trial. The usual flavors that can be found most anyplace, are lemon, blue Hawaii, strawberry and melon. But finding mango at a store...this was my first time seeing it... in all my time living here in Japan, so I was pretty happy. I will be going back to Trial and buying a few more bottles. The price was cheap/fair 198 yen or 220 yen something around there. Not a bad price. : ) And the flavor was so freaking good. : )

We have been getting zucchini in our backyard a couple times a week. Like every 2 days or so. It's nice. If you recall, we had bought 2 zucchini plants, but 1 died. So not bad for just 1 plant. Plus we are leaving on vacation soon and I appreciate a low maintenance garden. : ) 

Here he is...

The boys love going outside and picking a fresh zucchini every couple days. In fact we have 1 big one right now that I will have the boys go and get... as soon as I finish this post. : ) 

I don't know if it's just me or maybe I'm just weird... but I honestly really hate coming back from vacation to a dirty or messy house. So, I am really working hard this week to get the downstairs spic and span. And the upstairs clean too. I wet a cleaning rag with hot water put some creamy cleanser (generic 100 yen from Cainz/Beisia) and Branden went out there and kicked butt wiping the chairs super clean because, they do get grimy after a month. So, I appreciated he jumped right in and helped with that.

I had the table cloth already washed and hanging to dry outside in the sun, same for the rug runners, kitchen rugs.

Went outside and soaked the trash can. Noah antibacterial wiped all 3 of the trash can lids. 

I scrubbed/mopped the floor. I also scrubbed the heck out of the entrance way/genkan tiles.

A fresh clean table cloth. 

Perfectly clean tiles in the entry way. Shoes on the opposite side of when you open the door. Behind those 2 doors is a shoe closet. Windex-ed the mirror, dusted the table with pictures and plants. Gain Febreeze and mosquito spray near the door, in case I hear a car door close and a guest is approaching (our street is so super quiet it's noticable when a car goes down our street) or Branden and Noah are going outside to play and need a quick spritz of mosquito spray. : )

Brought the chairs back into the house, put the table back together. We also had Branden's teacher coming to our home Thursday for a conference. So, I just had 1 more reason to make sure it was tidy and ready for visitors. : )

The glasses and coasters waiting on the green counter waiting for the teacher. The teacher said he's 38 years old, he was married late and has an 11 month old baby (his first) he said Branden is an excellent student. He sat facing the backyard and jungle gym, he really enjoyed his visit and he stayed a whole hour, even though he was only to stay 15 minutes. Hahaha. : )  They do not have the conferences at the students house at our elementary school, but the JHS does. So a slight difference between Noah's school and Branden's regarding that. : )

I did take off the plastic table cloth that goes over the linen table cloth... but I did put it back on as soon as he left because, with kids you know how spills and accidents happen. : ) So just safer to put it back on. 

Three spic and span trash cans. That's where my mop usually goes, now it's laying down on the ground behind the trash cans though. 

In the summer it feels nice to lay on these huge beach towels on the couch. And maybe a towelket over at night to watch TV and get snuggly. : ) Ceiling fan going to keep you cool, plus the 24 hour central air is nice (and no bill since we have solar panels). It's hotter than hell outside, so it is nice to be inside and keep cool. : ) I think after we get back from California, I will take my couch stripey cushion covers off and go to the local laundry mat and wash them. The stripey covers unzip for easy cleaning and they haven't been washed in about a year, so they could use it. : ) It's always something...always something. Having a clean house is endless, it truly never ends, no matter how hard I try. But that's okay. : ) 

A quiet kitchen at night, squeaky clean floor. I went in the kitchen for a drink. 1 teacher conference down, 1 more to go. Noah's is on Friday/today 1:30pm at the school. 
The haunted night at the school is this Friday evening/tonight. Plus firework celebration. Since Branden is in JHS, and Noboru's running it, being in the Father's Club, he thought why not invite any JHS kid that would like to help "scare" or help in general and do so. : ) Only 3 or 4 kids would like to, Akira, K (he is the one we have a pic of during last weeks firework thing in our housing community and his little brother K is in Noah's class) Branden and maybe 1 more kid is coming too. Anyway Branden needed a costume. A scary one. And we didn't want to spend buku bucks because... we're just about to go on vacation so as affordable as possible. We went to Don Quijote and they didn't have as much stuff as we hoped for. : ( Also the prices on wigs were 2200 yen/$22 US. No way...for just a 30 minute- 1 hour thing, absurd. However we did buy this super creepy mask...smiling evil looking mask! It was 550-580 yen. And then we hit the Daiso, we purchased this rainbow wig for 200 yen and a tie in the costume section at Daiso. 

This is so scary...truly disturbing! Hahaha. Noah flat out said, "Branden you look really scary!" Even Branden looked in the mirror and said.."I'm frightening!" Noboru laughed. But yeah we were really creeped out... so I think the kids will get a good scare!!! : ) And he can keep this for next year's event too! : ) Branden will be in 1 dark room, nothing in there except for the 4 hanging pumpkin heads from our house that usually hang on our front porch at Halloween time. When the kids are distracted looking at the glowing pumpkins Branden will make a small noise and they will turn their heads and see this scary face!!! This is going to be so much fun! And I think Branden is such a good sport to offer to do this and help his dad out! : ) Good kid good kid! : )
Noboru went and set up the school last night. Thursday night. With his fellow Father's Club guys, the head teacher, a few guy teachers and the principal. 1 lone stuffed animal sitting in the hall waiting to creep out the kids. : )

I shared pics of Noah's very cool, Japan only special edition Ripstik last month.... however, I forgot to share this pic of his matching helmet. He also got a 3 piece set of protective wear. You all know how nervous I was with Noah having a Ripstik in the first place : ( needless to say, he was going to get safety equipment as well. Better to be safe than sorry. And when I was growing up, a boy my classmate at the Catholic elementary school I went to, he was a little blond Irish American kiddo he looked sorta like Thomas J from My Girl. He was 4 or 5 months older than me. Anyway, he rode on some body's back of their dirt bike. It didn't happen on our street it happened elsewhere. Anyway...long story short, he fell off or something, he was in the hospital. Skull fracture. And he had to wear a doctors helmet to protect his injury/head for a whole year after that. That just always scared me. So...while I might not be a complete nazi about helmets when the boys ride bikes (since we live in inaka-ville...and yes I know they should use it all the time, regardless but...), however with this Ripstik, I just feel better knowing he uses one. 

Noah rides this so well, so smoothly, he's a natural. Which is amazing because if I were to try, I know I'd kill myself for sures! : ) He has the elbow pads (which Noah hates, lol), hand guards (which he loves the hand guards/protectors) and he also has the knee pads which Noah loves too. 

My pale one, smiling and having a good old time. : ) 

Such a gorgeous happy boy! Love you Noah! : )

The knee protectors you really can't see, but I asked Noah to lift his pant leg and show..there they are. : )

Today's plan: teacher conference with Noah's teacher at 1:30pm. Make dinner immediately as soon as I get home after that, early is fine and we can eat it later. Dinner will be chicken parmesan and spaghetti. The haunted school fireworks thing is tonight. Come home have the kids take showers. Finish last minute packing items...though we are 90% packed for California already. time I am free, but I will rest. Saturday evening I will be working the summer festival, we are eating Coco Ichiban curry Saturday night/tomorrow since I'll be busy working the festival all evening, chicken tenderloin curry here we come... this Saturday! : ). Sunday we're leaving. We are debating leaving via Narita or Haneda. Depending on how full the flight is, we might fly to like Portland or Seattle first and connect that is also on the back burner too. Just superly busy these last few days. This might be the last post from me until after we get back form California. We all have Universal Studios on the brain. My list has been written and is done. I am so ready for Target and Sephora. And for lots of good foods, good eats. We have been running on fumes, running around like crazy... this whole past week, so if we can just get through until Sunday...we have made it! And we will be off...taking a break. I never blog while on vacation. I also do apologize that I have like 3 emails I have yet to reply to a few of you reading. I am so so sorry. I am a nice mom, nice wife, good yakuin/PTA leader... but I am a very bad email responder. I truly get an F minus minus on that! : ) I'll respond more than likely when we get back. Things have just been crazy town here. Boy oh boy... do we need this vacation. And boy oh boy.. do we need us some Universal Studios, Transformers ride, Minion ride, etc here we come. : )