Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer break is here! Taco party at home! Homemade pizza from scratch. Kodomokai/Kids Club Fireworks!!! Pics from swimming school...

Last Thursday, July 17th, the last full day both Branden and Noah had school, since Friday was a half day. So, I cruised myself to Costco Thursday morning... I was there first thing as soon as they opened their doors. Just picked up these few items. Lean ground beef for our "let's party schools out dinner!!!" for the next day. Mozzarella cheese for homemade from scratch pizza for Saturdays dinner. And the rotisserie chicken was for Thursday night (swim night) so an easy meal appreciated. And choco croissants, yummm! For last day of school/next day of schools Friday's breakfast (yes please. lol)! : ) Grabbed a slice of pizza and a 60 yen soda with ice, had a drink and refilled before hopping into my car and heading back to Mayberry (my tiny town)

Friday! Both Branden and Noah got out at 11am. I picked them both up (Branden had a lot to lug home and on a bike, I just brought him home in my car, safer and easier)...they got changed and unpacked their stuff and I took them out to McD's for a celebration lunch...school is out for summer...woohoo yahoo and all that good stuff!!!! They had cheeseburgers and fries (Branden 3 cheeseburgers and Noah 2, they are growing boys...and they shared a large fry and a large soda) I had a goma salad and we went home. Summer break for me too...no horrible alarm waking me up at 5:30am every morning Mon-Fri. Yeah love summer break! : ) For supper Friday night we had tacos. The huge pack of ground beef I split into half and put in the freezer. But 1 half we used. I also made chicken tacos as well for myself. The 4 of us had a little taco party here at the house. Just knowing summer break was here...that we could now officially stay up late, wake up late. Just really really appreciated around here. So yippy, we were thrilled. And enjoyed our meal. The kids took showers, we all took turns showering and all ended up enjoying TV in the living room just a very nice Friday, July 18th. : ) 

I've been talking and blogging since 2005 the year...my blog started about how the kids help out around the house. When the kids have break, they help out around the house. I grew up with chores. And my kids have always been the same way. Like I said many many times before, even when they were 3 years old, I'd have them go and tidy the shoes in the genkan, help fold clothes, sure I might have to "refold" them again when they weren't watching of course, but it still gave them a purpose and they grew up always helping around the house. Or I remember buttering their toast or their frozen waffle even...and remembering when I felt they were old enough to start buttering their own. And yeah it looked like they were struggling with that butter knife and I would just patiently watch them try, but they did get the hang of it. : ) I do that to help them....because I love them... so when they are someday in college or uni, they will know how to do all that stuff. : ) Anyway...at age 9 and 12 and on summer break. Same as I blogged last year, one day one will vacuum the downstairs meanwhile the other will vacuum the actual stairs. And the next day they'll switch (I vacuum the upstairs every other day but the downstairs needs it daily). Also every morning they unload the dish washer 50/50 each of them. While I do the rest of the downstairs cleaning myself. They also do homework in the morning first thing after their chores are done. And I am making their breakfast. And from 11am-12 they can play. 12 noon is lunch time, music plays throughout the neighborhood and everything. But at 1pm-5 they can play outside too. Sometimes it's too hot outside and they come inside and play Wii. But mostly Noah rides his ripstick or they play soccer or they ride bikes throughout the neighborhood. We go on "real" vacation soon to California and they won't have a thing to do. : ) Me neither. : ) But for now we're doing regular stuff. : )

Branden was vacuuming the stairs this day, Noah meanwhile vacuumed the heck out of the downstairs. Really and honestly no, the kids being home on summer break doesn't drive me crazy at all... because they help me out a lot around the house or...they're off playing and being typical boys and kids. : ) This is also the season to go and look for beetles outside. : )

Meanwhile, Saturday morning, after I made breakfast and made the homemade pizza dough and let it rest in a big bowl. I did my nails (finger and toe nails) I went for a rosy gold color. I did have 1 accent solid gold sparkly nail. Because all the Yotube beauty vloggers are talking about the accent nail, lol. : ) 

8 of my nails look like this right now. A nice shimmer rose gold color and the tips with the gold glitter. This picture is total crapola... but the nails in real life came out really nice. And 1 accent nail on each hand. So 2 super glittery gold nails. 

This is a slightly better picture than the one up above... but it's still not a great pic but better than the one up above. The nails came out very cute and summery. : ) Very feminine and girly. : )

Saturday's pizzas baking nicely in the big oven. Oh yeah we were supposed to have our housing community fireworks, Saturday, but it rained...like lightning and thunder bolts! @.@ So it was postponed until the next/following day, Sunday, technically evening but you know what I mean. : ) 

We received some omiyage from Kyushu. Ramen. : ) 

Sunday morning after breakfast. I thought, you know what...I think I'm going to bake a pineapple upside down cake. I used 1 can of pineapple. I could have really used 2 more pineapple rings. But you know what...I wasn't about to go and buy a whole other can of pineapple for just 2 rings! That's nuts! I also used a yellow cake mix but...I used the pineapple juice from the can of pineapple as my "water" substitute when I made the cake mix according to the directions. So the cake came out so delicious and pineapple-y!! 

When Noboru came home from work...he said...what is that sweet smell, I smell it from the street/outside. He immediately had 2 slices. : ) That made me happy. Both the kids had 2 slices right away too, I had one slice. Needless to say this cake didn't last very long. : ) Which is so fine...I made it to make them happy in the first place! : ) I did make dinner Sunday. And at 7pm, I had to get myself to the "jinbei boy's" house because the fireworks were starting at 7:30pm!!! I had to help set up! : ) 

A blurry picture of Noah, Sunday evening July 20th at our fireworks celebration for our housing community. This is for elementary school kids only who live in our housing community. I did however bring my own pack of fireworks for Branden because he's still 12 and I know he'd like to light some too. And sure enough 5 other JHS students with younger siblings brought their own packs too. So they could enjoy too. And also younger siblings such as age 4 or 5 don't get fireworks either, so they also brought some for their younger kids too, who aren't quite in elementary school yet. 


We had such a nice turn out! : ) Very smoky, but a nice bunch of people showed up. 

That's Branden and Noah and the kiddo closest my camera is a JHS kiddo too and he was also on the swim team last year and his younger brother is in Noah's class. : ) 

I am so glad it didn't rain Sunday...otherwise it would have been cancelled completely. And the kids were so looking forward to this. : )



Just so many kids enjoying themselves. Us yakuin/kids club leaders, walked around with trash bags collected firework package wrappers, you know what I mean. Just any sort of trash we could collect. Making sure all candles were lit. Doing little chit chat with everyone, making sure everyone was having a good time. Etc etc. 

Many people on the left...

Many people on the right...

Here is Noboru in jeans and reddish shirt lighting the fireworks. This was the finale. Small finale, I know. But hey...I think we did okay. : ) If you recall...our housing community usually has a dashi pull, every summer, however the man who keeps the dashi and equipment for that...his wife is gravely ill. And so that was canceled this year and why we decided to do this instead for the kids. : ) It was no dashi pull, I know that...but it was at least something, us mothers/yakuin could whip together... and luckily Noboru came to the rescue to help light the finale/ bigger fireworks. Good guy. : )  

Awww! : ) I thought it was pretty. And everyone clapped and I hoped all the kids had a fun time. Everyone went home. Us yakuin stayed and cleaned as best as we could in pitch darkness. We agreed to come back at 8:30am the next morning/Monday morning and finish cleaning up. We did and the 4 of us cleaned the last bits up Monday morning, July 21st. I came home from cleaning firework remnants then, did my big toilet cleaning and big kitchen clean up Monday, the boys jumped in with vacuuming (so appreciated). And then us 3 hopped in my car and we went to the store after that. Bought the weekly groceries, weekly drinks, weekly fruit, etc. : ) We went home and had lunch, an egg salad sammy and potato chips. We all took an hour rest. I made an early dinner. Because I was taking the boys to swim school Monday evening. I promised to come and watch them. I like to go and watch them swim often over Summer break...when I am not running around like a chicken with her head cut off during summer break like I am when school's in session, so I get to go to swim school and watch the both of them.: ) 
Called the swim school an said that the swim bus wasn't needed that day because I was going to take them myself. They said okay. And upstairs I sat. : ) Branden swimming right here. His swimming is so strong! It flat out awes me. Puts me in awe!

Noah's swimming does as well. Oh my little one...however did you get to be such a little fish!

They just continuously swim back and forth for an hour and a half. How does their heart not explode from all that swimming? I honestly don't know! Fit as a fiddle, they are!!!

Noboru and I are both very strong swimmers. Boogie boarders and stuff ourselves. But our kids blow us away! Their technique, their strength...their speed. I forgot to show you the medals Noah won on his swimming competition, he did bring back 2. I'll share a pic of those this week. 

Leader of the lane is Branden in the yellow cap. The order is by skill level, who swims better and who swims faster! Noah was swimming 4th...but the kid in blue was being out swam by Noah so the coach pointed to blue cap and said you change and so blue cap became #4. And Noah became #3. Not to mention Noah is actually a year or 2 younger than blue cap and the fact Noah is the youngest period...for that swim lane, but yep, he's #3 for that lane now...unless he swims slower this coming Thursday. Noah is pretty competitive with his swimming so I imagine he'll stay 3rd for a while. So #1 and #2 both JHS kids and Noah is a 3rd grader and 3rd place for that lane, hahaha. And nobody messes with Noah because #1 they all know who his brother is and #2, Noah's just a nice kid and they've know him forever, Branden's a nice kid too and they've known him forever too. Noah swimming here... is very important to this swim school...he's just THAT good and for his age group, he's freaking amazing. Which is why this swim school wants him to swim for them when they go against other schools and whatnot. And why our elementary school can't wait for Noah to become a 4th grader and rep for our elementary school too. 

Branden passing out everyone a board for his lane. By the way...the kid in the black cap in the lane behind Branden's lane...that's S...he went to yochien with Branden. He's the leader of that lane, he's a good swimmer, not as good or as fast as Bran, but he is good though. : ) He's a real nice kid though and his mom is very nice too. : ) 

See the paper taped to the board near the coach. These kids don't need swim lessons anymore, because they frankly already know everything needed to know about swimming... hence the trophy and level 1. : ) But this is competitive swimming...which is totally and completely different...a coach watches over you yes... but you have a bunch of stuff to do whatever is taped on that board for that day...swim 50 meters of the butterfly, swim 100 meters of this or 50 meters of that. Or you have a set time to swim it in. This is what Branden and Noah do twice a week...competitive swimming. It's very very intense...your lungs and heart definitely get a workout. Hahaha. They're not just splish splashing around a pool, no sirree Bob! If your times are fast enough...yes they will ask you to compete...which is what happened with Noah. And actually both Branden and Noah were invited and asked to swim and represent for their swim club this summer but the date...is where we will be in California. But yep...competitive swimming course is what they're both doing. : )  It's good for them... because they love it...it keeps them active and fit. They have both been invited to be in the sports course but we haven't done that yet...because that's a 6 day a week commitment. And we do like to travel and have free time too though. 
Two brothers crossing paths...for a brief second. Bran and Noah : ) I smiled every time they did this. Anyway...this is what we've been up to around our neck of the woods...since both Branden and Noah have been on summer break. : )