Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Noah’s school marathon. Going to the movies with my friend. Baking Christmas cookies with the kids. Happy Holidays everyone...

Sorry ya'll, I have been just enjoying myself here with the family. So have been limiting my online and computer usage lately. The boys went on winter break from school yesterday and won't return to school until January 7th, I think. : ) But, I have a free hour and hopefully I can catch up with everyone here real quick. Before I catch up with you all, I wanted to say that I sincerely hope all of you reading are in good holiday spirits and are doing well. : )  Where did I last leave off? Last Sunday, right... when the kids and I ordered Pizza Hut. Anyway I did forget Sunday in the afternoon besides resting, Noboru did go and vote in the elections here in Japan. The kids and I went with, I think we were going to go to the store to pick up some sodas to go with dinner for later... the pizza dinner later that night. The voting place/spot for our town, they do it at the other elementary school in our town. In Japan, only Japanese nationals are allowed to vote, so Noboru can vote and even though I am a permanent resident here in Japan, I will never have the right to vote, because I'm not Japanese. Which is fine. I vote in the American elections anyways. : ) The mural on the wall in this picture says...hon ki, which sort of means "serious" or perhaps seriously. Anyway if any of you saw half of the phrase in blue on that wall back there and wondered. : ) I think it's more so a message to kids to try their best at sports or perhaps trying their best with their studies. : )  It's a common phrase. : ) I guess I could have whited it out...but I thought the message was cute.

Our one and only town store! Please understand how important and crucial this store is for our town. It is open now, it opened last Wednesday, December 17th. But this was an...almost ready picture. : ) That I snapped. Our family of 4 went to the store the first day it opened in the evening! I think the actual whole town was there! The parking lot was full. There were traffic cops directing traffic. The drugstore that is next store, their parking lot was totally full with folks trying to walk to the actual grocery store. We parked in the back of the drugstore. You could barely roll your cart around the store because it was THAT crowded. They gave all kids free balloons. It was actually a frenzy shopping that first day. It's now cooling off some. But...this store has been a blessing to our town! The prices. The veggies are cheap. The drinks are average. Their deli is cheap. But the meat is high. However, not Tokyo city type prices. So not bad. Good store. : )
The day of Noah's school marathon last Wednesday, December 16th. The teachers had them do some hand exercises and then just squats, to warm up and stretch. 

See those normal people in the background wearing winter coats? It was THAT freezing cold. I wonder how the kids can handle running in 32 degrees F which is 0 C temperatures and yep that was the temps that day. The towns low was 25 F the night before. So yeah it was absurdly FREEZING cold. I was wearing my Uniqlo winter coat and thick Old Navy scarf. It was so cold!

On your mark...get set...go! Good luck Noah and good luck fellow kids! : ) Oh, by the way in case I forget...all white hats are 4th graders and all red hats are 3rd graders.

Noboru watching the kids run the humongous lap around the rice field. And that school perched up in the distance is "our" elementary school. I was looking for red hats in the distance. 
Remember white hats are 4th graders. So we need to count only red hats. And coming round the bend the 2nd red hat I saw was Noah! However see one kid with no hat? He's near that car. He was also a 3rd grader just minus the hat. @_@  So 2nd place, 3rd place....doesn't matter. Noah ran his best and for that I am so proud of him. : ) 

Just finished running the race, coming in 3rd place for the 3rd graders. What a facial expression, lol! But honestly...for just running huge lap around enormous rice field. They ran 1.5km...in actual freezing weather...he can make any sort of facial expression he wants. : ) Good job Noah! : )

Noah's bronze medal! Aww, what a cutie, he tried his best. : ) Proud of you kiddo.
The day after, December 17th, my really good friend and I met at Mister Donut at 11am. Our movie started at 12:30pm. We sat and had a donut and a hot coffee. And then we headed to the movie. We went and saw The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. 

After purchasing some popcorn and a soda, we went into the movie. It was a good movie. I did dislike the ending though. The ending had me going...is this it? That poor elf guy. He loved that elf girl so much... yet she loved the other guy. So while I found it a good movie, I felt like...is this truly how they are ending this? @_@  Noboru got off at 2pm that day so he was able to pick up the kids. I meanwhile, came home and arrived home around 3:15pm. It was nice to get out and hang with my friend for the day and take in a nice movie. : ) 

Dinner last Wednesday. Just a random pic from dinner. I made teriyaki chicken breast for the kids and I and I made teriyaki chicken thigh for Noboru. 

While they do sell teriyaki sauce here, I use yakitori sauce instead because it's sweeter and tastes super good. : )

By 4:30pm we were eating, I preset the rice in the morning. After we ate and I tossed the dishes into the dishwasher. Is when we 4 went to check out the new town grocery store. I bought, a bag of mikan and a bag of potatoes. : ) We went there to just basically check it out. However the whole town had the same exact idea as us. hahaha. : )
I did go ahead and order 2 new face washes, because again in winter my face feels stripped so easily. 

They packed things well and gave me a free sample of foundation. 

I have used this Happy Essential Foam brand before by Etude House and I like this. But I have only ever used the witch hazel one in summer. And that one I love for summer. So, these were cheap...and have high reviews. I picked the only 2 for dry skin. Hyaluronic acid and the other is collagen. They work and were only like $4 bucks each, so I am happy my face isn't all dried out and hurting after I wash it anymore. Phew. So happy relief for my face. : ) And the scent is so light and really good. : )

Another Christmas DVD for the boys came and is already wrapped (while they were at school last week) and now sits under the Christmas tree.

A Christmas card from my dad for the boys arrived last week. 

He sent ichiman-yen for Branden and also ichiman-yen for Noah. And left a cute note that says that, they can pick their own gift. Awww. 

This past most recent Sunday, December 21st, the boys and I baked Christmas cookies. I had made the cookie dough earlier and we rolled them out Sunday. We listened to music. Here is Branden placing a cookie onto one of the baking trays. And see Mr. Potato Head just kicking it with the boys and I? Hahaha. I think Potato Head is happy he's with our family. : )

I love that even though my kids are 9 and 13, for them this cookie making tradition is as important to them as is it to me. : )

About to go into the oven.

And freshly baked Christmas cookies 2014! : ) Anyway, I am not sure, if I will get the chance to blog before Christmas again, I doubt it. : ) So, I wanted to wish you all a very merry Christmas. Happy holidays. : )