Thursday, December 18, 2014

Last week in pictures...getting a jump start on the Pre-New Year's oosoji (giving the fridge a major clean out, that was so badly needed) and a few other bits thrown in for good measure

One of the things I really love the most about Japan is their idea and tradition of their New year's oosoji (cleaning) to start the New Year off fresh in a nice clean house! That's probably one of my most favorite things about Japan. Well, I do have *many* things I love about Japan. The onsen, the sento (public bath), New year's cleaning, and also in fall and winter, I love curry and beef stew and nabe, mikan and roasted sweet potatoes! I also love all the fresh sweet fruits we get in Japan year round. The bakeries in Japan are in a class all their own, they are truly superb! I love the whole inaka/country side vibe of Japan. The list just goes on. : ) But anyway back to the cleaning. While I won't officially start my pre-New year's cleaning until next week. I did however want to get a jump start on a few specific areas beforehand. Last week for example, I decided to go through the entire fridge and fill up the sink with hot soapy water and dismantle the fridge inside, meaning the different levels and wash them all off. I took everything out of the fridge and put everything on the green counter and the kitchen table. I had music cranked up in the kitchen. A Christmas radio station. I was nearly done taking stuff out of the fridge in this pic...I did take out the baking soda in the purple bowl to keep the fridge deodorized, lol and I took out the Rice a Roni.
Look at this gross disgusting cheese and lunch meat/pepperoni compartment. Hideous!

Debris! I mean like...yikes!!! @_@ Hahaha. : )

A steaming hot soapy wash rag and I wiped and I wiped and I wiped every area down 3 times! And then I rinsed!

At this point, I said...screw it! Take out all the shelves! If we're gonna do this thing...might as well do it up right! ; )

Every shelf out and waiting for a hot soak in the sink. 

Hot soapy sudsy water and some serious scrubbing! End result, squeaky clean fridge! Yay, me...I did all this last week... days before the Kids Club Christmas party! 
The trays and drawer areas, I put some clean paper towel down. 

Welcome to a nice clean fridge, margarine and butter! : ) 

And now putting all things back inside. I did make sure to check for expiration dates etc. Anything old got tossed. This stuff is all new/good. : ) 

And putting things back in the fridge on the right hand side.

Looking good! Looking spic and span clean! It did take an entire morning, but it was so worth it and so very needed! : ) 

Cheese and meat compartment. 

I did buy fresh eggs. : ) The 2 old eggs were tossed.
The same day I cleaned the fridge, I also made chicken and cheese enchiladas. I also made spanish rice with that and we had a simple salad to go with. : ) 

We also had pork chops and rice a roni and some steam veggies last week too. 

Friday, last Friday night I made spaghetti and meat balls. Noboru's schedule that day was he was at work, so he unfortunately couldn't eat with us that night. I usually buy 2 fresh baguettes from the bakery, but since it was just us 3, I only bought 1 baguette for dinner that night. I cut it down the middle and in half. Super easy and spread the Lawry's garlic butter on it. Put it in the toaster oven right before I plated up our dinner. 

I rolled the well seasoned meatballs Friday in the day and put them in the fridge on a plate wrapped with plastic wrap. When the boys were home from school, I quickly boiled some water for pasta. Fried up the meatballs, sliced some fresh mushrooms and bell peppers after the meatballs were cooked. When the veggies were soft, I added the sauce. 

Four cheese. Very mild and good. 

Dinner was super easy last Friday. I knew I had the Christmas kai/party the following day, so I wanted a super easy dinner last Friday, the boys helped me clean up the kitchen after supper. Everyone took turns showering and I blow dried my hair Friday night and enjoyed TV but I did go to bed early last Friday, to be ready for the Christmas party the following day. : )

Last Friday nights supper, this was Noah's serving. He did go back for 3 extra meatballs, he loves the meatballs. : ) Dinner was fantastic, I love talking with my kids... and I mean REALLY talking with them, joking with them and being silly. The fact is...I really love my life here. My kids are at a great and easy age. Plus they're great kids. Helpful kids. I have good friends in my town and in the city nearest me, I love my friends, my friends are awesome. I have a wonderful and loving husband. I have fantastic parents. We all have our health. Sure sometimes with PTA meetings and stuff, I do get tired. I think that just makes me human. : ) Yes, I am looking forward to the kids going on Christmas break. I am looking forward to being able to stay up late, if I want to, to sleep in if I want to also. So yep...it's almost Christmas/winter break and I am looking forward to it. : ) I think we all are. : ) Plus we got that hotel stay coming up after New Year's to see Big Hero 6/Baymax and we're kinda getting excited about that too. : ) 
Sunday, December 14th the day after the Kids Club Christmas party. Noboru had his end of year Christmas party with his coworkers that evening! Anyway...so our whole family slept in Sunday December 14th. I slept in until 7:30am, which is super late for me, but it was so nice. We all had a nice leisurely breakfast at home. We relaxed and hung out. At 5pm, I drove Noboru off at the train station for his party and I did pick him up at the train station at 10:30pm.  As for the kids and I. I ordered some Pizza Hut for the kids and I. The pizzas are buy 1, get one for free. So, I only paid for 1 pizza. And I ordered 1 large baked fries, also on their website there was a coupon for a free german potato. So, since it was free, I added that too. : ) I mean if it's free, why not right? : ) 

The kids and I drove to Narita to pick it up after we dropped off Noboru at 5pm. And brought it home. German potato on the left. And baked fries on the right. 

Two large pepperoni and mushroom pan pizzas. Sunday was awesome and I was so happy because #1...last week was pretty awesome. I was also happy because my fridge is officially no longer disgusting, lol...it is now super clean! : ) And I was also happy... that I totally rocked that Christmas party for the kids and... I am now off my duties until mid January! And I am sorta just enjoying the ..."schools almost out" count down with the kiddos. Christmas presents have been long bought and wrapped. So that's all over and done with. And now we can just concentrate on our family...watching silly but fun Christmas movies like Elf and a Christmas Story. : ) Baking Christmas cookies. Watching the colorful Christmas tree lights every night in the living room and the clear lights glow on our other Christmas tree in the genkan every night too. I love this time of year! : ) If you concentrate on the wonder and good and positive...this time of year is so magical. I love seeing Christmas through my children's eyes. : )

We four have been enjoying hot chocolates with heaping whipped cream almost every evening.  Anyway...that was my week, last week in pictures. : )