Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Party 2014...

Saturday, December 13th was our housing community's, Christmas party for the kids club. It's for all kids between 1st grade to 6th grade. We had the party at the town plaza. The party was from 10am-11:30am. We yakuin had to be there from 9am. And all mom's who have 6th grade kids were asked to come and help us, as support helpers. : ) The support helpers came at 9:45am. All the presents on the right/farthest back were the presents for the boys. All the presents closest my camera were for the girls. : ) 

Branden came as my helper. : ) He enjoys helping the kids/his friends. Plus he got lots of drinks and snacks for helping, so he was pretty happy. : ) And look who is at the right of the camera...Noah and Lily-chan again. : ) I tell you...they're such good friends! Like peas in a pod! : ) Remember what Noah said...she sharpens his pencils. : ) Hahaha. That still makes me smile, just thinking about that! : ) 

You remember the "telephone game" Where you whisper a sentence or something into some one's ear and they tell the next person and so on and so on and by the time you get to the back of the line/lane...the sentence isn't even remotely what it started out to be?! lol! : ) That's what we played! And because of flu season we used this handmade device to make sure the kids, were all good. : ) 

This is what team yellow heard. From the telephone game. : ) 

This is what team red heard. And yes they all heard the same thing, lol, but the time the story gets passed down the line...stories often change. : ) Oh dear! : )

Team blue...heard something... but then they freaked and realized what they heard was wrong so they rewrote what they heard.  I just happily watched and had a big smile on my face. I had a big smile on my face because... us yakuin had worked so hard and had been planning and meeting since the beginning of October, all about this Christmas party. And just seeing how much fun the kids were having. Seeing them all scratch the phrase out and rewrite it. It was just all so worth it!!! Do you know what I mean, gosh I hope so. Seeing the kids enjoy it. Seeing their faces light up all morning. It just made every thing that us ,yakuin do...worth it! Because I love the kids...I love seeing all their little faces get all happy. And team white wants to beat team blue. And team blue wants to beat team red. And they're really trying so hard (girls are whispering in their friends ears.."I think the message was" THIS, they'd whisper..."no no no that wasn't the message" one would say back. And frankly I don't care who wins...I just love watching all the kids have a blast. Every Saturday that I gave up...being at a meeting. All of it just honestly melts away...seeing their excitement. On this day we realize...this was so worth it! The feeling was so good. We started the day off with a quiz. And I held the agree/true circle sign. And the kids all ran to my side of the room if they agreed with the question. 2 of us ladies were just shaking our signs...come on kids. And they'd run into either the X or O side. There I was holding a great big O sign. : ) All my fellow yakuin were at the back of the room smiling. We had Christmas music playing. Some kids were talking to me in Japanese. Some kids came and talkjed to me in English (good are you? : ) "I'm fine, thank are you?" : ) 
These ladies were our helpers and supporters for that day. And I am so very thankful they came to help! Noah was tossing the ball into our neighbor who lives 2 houses away from us, holding the red basket. : ) Everyone wore Santa hats, which were provided by us yakuin! Though, I wore antlers because I was a reindeer to help Santa deliver presents. : ) The whole mood was festive...all the kids were happy, no kid fights this year. Last year we had 1 great big kid physical fight, between 2 of Noah's classmates last year. We had to break up. This year was cool, the day had a real good vibe. All us mom's gel together real well. All the helpers are so nice. It was just a good day. And plus I knew as soon as we got this day scratched off...our duties for 2014 were done. So Saturday was really positive! Just sit back and enjoy the day, but also knowing full and well that as soon as Saturday's over..we are done yakuin/PTA wise for 2014!!! 

Noah shaking the two 500ml bottles taped together... with tiny bouncy balls inside it. The kids were having a blast. Us mom's were having a blast too. : )

While my fellow VP was outside doing the capsule foam creatures in water game outside with the kids. The rest of us all very quickly set up the room for cake and drinks. We had to pull a whole bunch of tables out, a whole bunch of chairs out. I handled all the drinks and placed them like this. : )  We had Calpis, Milk tea, CC Lemon (which CC Lemon was the kids least picked/chosen drink of the day) Coke and Fanta grape soda. Noah picked a Fanta Grape. 

The kids outside finishing up the sponge animal creatures in water game. Meanwhile like little elves... all us yakuin and helpers rocked it...and I set up many chairs, we all did. We all were working hard. : ) 

Everyone got a slice of cake from 7-11, a tiny spoon to eat with and a Christmas napkin. One of my fellow yakuin works part time at 7-11 and so she ordered all the cakes for our party. So that was so nice of her to do that. : ) 

And all set up. Tables set up, chairs nicely set. The cake we passed around. And the kids were all peeking through the glass doors ready to come inside! : )

We had party poppers! Streamers popped out of them!

Santa/the prez! : ) Us 2 VP's were standing back here with gifts. I held the boy gifts and she held the girl gifts. Santa knew already which one of us held, which gifts. : ) Oh, this is a funny story. So, I'll share this story. : )  I am only showing you a pic of her from the back so you can't see who she is really. : ) Anyway she's my real good friend and the mom on the right closest my camera in brown boots and Santa hat, in this pic. She's got a 3rd grade son and a 6th grade daughter. She is one of the head hoikuen mom's and she is the one who invited me to the 3rd grade moms party a few weeks back, so she's super cool you guys and a real nice lady. Anyway, her personality is she's like a comedian she just puts everyone in a real good mood, always cracking jokes and making everyone laugh. Anyway she told us all at the ,yakuin meetings since October..."the gifts I will buy for the Christmas party will be ONLY useful gifts!!!" Everyone way! You're kidding! She said..."no! I'm not kidding I won't buy any gifts unless...they are useful and can be used in daily life!" : ) So each meeting we had she's say the same thing. And many mom's were really thinking...she's pulling our leg. And each week she'd say..."I will be buying tooth brush kits...pillows or underwear!!!" Those were her 3 choices. And again everyone thought. No way, she's got to be pulling our leg!" Right? Wrong!!! The 3rd grade mom party I went to a few weeks back. Anyway we all went to that and in came my yakuin funny mom friend and she brought this gift with beautiful red wrapping paper. It was bigger than most peoples gifts. And I wondered what she brought. And I ended up getting somebody else's gift. the person who unwrapped her gift...unwrapped it and guess what she gave the fellow 3rd grade mom? A pillow! The mom was a tad surprised! But tried to smile best she could. And funny mom turned to me and said..."you know Gina-san...I always tell you I only buy useful gifts ne!!! : ) Anyway, I thought holy smokes she was NOT kidding, she was serious. So all these past few weeks...the other mom's would tease her...and she'd say...I am going to buy the kids useful gifts...pillows for them all... or toothbrushes!!! A few managed to talk her out of the underwear idea. : )  Okay so now that you know that part...I'll tell you the end... after a few paragraphs below. : ) 

Look...the most precious little girl opening up... the make your own bakery eraser kit! And see the Kit Kat taped on the package. : ) So many of the other little girls wanted her make your own eraser bakery kit. I am so glad she received this. And it made me wish I could have found more of those kits. Again seeing their smiles opening the gifts that we picked just....and sorry if it sounds corny but it just gave me such joy. I was beaming from ear to ear...I was so happy. Especially seeing how happy she was getting this! : )  Of course I couldn't show or act like I was the one who gave that to her of course...but when I spotted her open that gift, I watched from afar....and since many were taking pics....I made sure to take a pic just of the gift and her tiny hands....awww, I was so thrilled. Her mom works at my hair salon by the way. They're a real good family. Real nice folks. : ) 

Noah was deciding if he wanted a random gift or one of mom's gifts. I wanted him to get a random gift. Apparently as the kaicho was handing out the gifts in the middle row, Noah spotted the American flag bags and he asked the prez if he could have that one and since she's my good friend, she went over there and gave it to Noah at his request. So Noah knew it was one of mommy's gifts but didn't know which one. He unwrapped it and it was Mr. Potato head. : ) So...we thought that was the last we'd see of Potato Head...apparently not! Welcome back Mr. Potato head. : ) Anyway...back to the pillow story. So the pillows were wrapped and the biggest gifts out of all the gifts. Many of the kids wanted that big the red bag. Not sure how the other kids liked the pillows, they were very useful. But 1 boy...he wanted the biggest gift (not knowing it was a pillow) and the Kaicho gave him one. He unwrapped it and he could not hide his disappointment. : ( He said so loudly...I got this stupid pillow.  Awww. : ( He just left the pillow on the table for the longest time. Everyone else had received...comic books...little cars...gloves...handkerchiefs in certain characters, books. But that 1 specific kid was so troubled about the pillow. He wanted a recount...he wanted a recall...a do over! He let the whole room know about it. Branden even came over to me and said..."mom that boys not happy with his gift"...I told Branden...the reason they want each of us mom's to buy 7 gifts to get a nice mix of different personalities...and end up with different gifts. I reminded Branden Mrs. (last name) always buys useful gifts and you know...that's okay...that's her way and nothing wrong with that. : ) The good thing is the other kids who received the pillows were quiet, not vocal about it, one way or the other. But he was really upset about the whole "Pillow-gate 2014!!!" Just wasn't happy about it at all. : )  Anyway enough pillow talk. : ) Anyway the party was over and done. The kids all left... all the parents came to pick them up. We all waved the kids and parents good bye and we went into the building. We all moved the tables and chairs back. The helpers swept. I took the decorations off the chalk board/white board for Saya-chan's mom to pick up. She was coming back at noon to pick them up. She only has 1 child...Saya-chan in Bran's grade.... but she's very nice and helpful and lent us the Christmas decorations. : )  So I got everything wrapped up nicely to give back to her. We thanked the helpers and they could leave, they were free. Us yakuin had to stay. We had a mini meeting about when to meet in January. I jotted the info down in my calendar. I ran and closed the blinds. Someone turned the heat off, someone turned the lights off. We went outside, Saya-chan's mom was pulling up, I ran to her car and gave her the decorations and bowed and thanked her and stuff. Ran back and us yakuin all otsukaresama deshita-ed each other. We all waved. And Branden and Noah and I hopped into Olive (my black Leaf/car) and we headed home. Hallelujah..I am done. I went home and did my happy dance. Switched from normal clothes to comfy yoga pants, long sleeve Old Navy tee. Went into the sink area upstairs put my hair into a pony tail and washed my make up off with some cleansing cream, then washed my face with some Dove face wash. Side note...the Dove is okay but my face is still feeling super stripped. : ( I think I need to look for a little gentler face wash. Anyway, the kids and I had some lunch. And I took an hour long nap on the couch. I was happy it was over ya'll... but I was also physically exhausted...I mean, I am a flesh and bone human here....I get tired same as everyone else, especially waking up so early. : ) So, an hour snooze recharged my batteries and then I woke up, I felt back to my normal self and I made curry. Made some handmade chicken cutlets. 
Saturday nights dinner. Just a simple, but nice and hearty chicken cutlet curry here at home. Otsukaresama!!! Meaning, job well done...I did it. : )  Anyway that was what we were up to on Saturday December 13th and that's how the Christmas party turned out. : ) It was pretty good. And now all my duties are finished until 2015. : )