Monday, April 27, 2015

Weekend getaway to Guam...

Hi everyone! : ) My blog was quiet over the weekend, because the kids and I popped over to Guam for the weekend! Ahh, it was such a lovely trip. Tropical island, beautiful weather, good food, great company (my dad), a fantastic movie and a little shopping, made for the best weekend in a really long time! When we were in Guam a month earlier, there was a billboard along the street as we were driving to Agana. And it read, "Live the life, that you don't need a vacation from." For me personally that billboard *really* struck a cord with me. It struck a cord with me big time, because as you all know, last year I was a PTA head. My free time didn't belong to me last year. And I personally feel everyone *needs* some down time (where you can just let your hair down, so to speak, sit down, so down time). Meaning time where you can just sit down, you can relax catch your breath, ykwim. Enjoy life, recharge your batteries. You know what I mean. I feel that is so critical for a persons well being. That when, we don't get that. We become stressed out or frazzled and it's completely and totally understandable. Before last year, my life was amazing. I had no huge stress. Life is amazing in the countryside. My kids are good kids. Granted, not angels mind you, but truly good hearts and super well behaved. My husbands my best friend. I adore that man! : ) My dad is a saint...a saint, I tell you, a saint! : ) So before last year...I truly had no complaints. I could zip to Guam every 2-3 months. To restock my pantry or toiletries. I felt happy as could be. Last year though, I could not go to Guam, could not visit with my dad, as much as before. The kids couldn't go there. I had a pantry that ran out of essentials from "home" long ago. Every weekend when it was my time, to take a break and relax, I was in a meeting....yep spending my Saturday and Sunday evenings at a meeting versus being with my family. I felt all last year, like a soda pop bottle that was about to burst. By December and January, I was feeling really grouchy. And just over it. And yeah...I felt like I needed a vacation. Was so thrilled to be relieved from my duty... PTA stuff late March. I literally did a happy dance. Never again...*never again* please don't ever have me be in the PTA or a rep of anything again, have mercy. : ) Anyway, my last trip to Guam last month, was on a Monday and we had the actual handover the day before on that Sunday. So yeah...when we passed that sign on the rode that said..."Live the life, that you don't need a vacation from" Call it timing or what. But I was just really FEELING that sign, feeling that message loud and clear. It really was perfect timing for me. Anyway, long story short. Could Noah be in soccer right now and our weekends be tied up to that every Saturday and Sunday for infinity? You betcha. Could, I have raised my hand and be a rep again this year? Yep. Although, I'd have to be crazy to do so. : ) I keep our schedules simple. There's school. Swimming. Study time at home. And relax time for the kids. I want them to go fishing with their dad and shrimping with him too. They will go shrimping with him in a month or so. Or zarigani hunting with their friends (Noah's looking for zarigani right now as I type, with his bestie). Or we could zip to Guam anytime we want. It's another reason why we chose for Branden not to be in club at JHS. Because JHS is tough already. And the tests are all year long. We just want him to enjoy being a kid, while he's actually still a kid. Well teenager, but you know what I mean, he is still a kid. So yeah, glad our lives are back to normal. Glad last year is over with! Glad our weekends are ours. And glad we have the freedom to choose if we'd like to BBQ outside that weekend, run to a movie or go and visit grandpa. Yes, that sign was a message I could really relate to. And now...my life is back to...a life, that I don't need a vacation from. : ) Considering how insane last year was. I deserve for my life to go back to normal now. Phew. Anyway sorry for the jibber jabber, but I know for some of you, you will get this. : )  I just don't ever want a life, where I spread myself too thin, if you know what I mean. Anyways, after the kids got out of school Friday April 24th, we ran the boys home, Noah grabbed his backpack that I packed for him (clothes, jammies toothbrush) Bran changed from his JHS uniform to regular clothes and grabbed his backpack that I packed for him too. And we left. Noboru dropped us off at the airport. We zipped right through and next thing we boarded the plane. We all watched the newest/latest Night of the Museum movie. Such a great movie! We landed in Guam, 3 hours later, my dad was happily waiting. And we got in his SUV and headed to his condo and we went right to sleep. The next morning, we went and grabbed a breakfast sandwich. And did some quick shopping. 

Betty Crocker, 101 cookie cutters for $11 US. I didn't buy it, but I thought that was a really good deal. : )

Kmart. 

Little Caesars in Kmart. Pizza pizza! : )

We went to see Home. We were an hour early, so we bought our movie tickets and then we walked to the food court in the same mall, where the movie theater is. And we grabbed some lunch. 

Branden had a Philly cheesesteak.

Noah had 2 tacos. Sorry both pics of the kids eating lunch are bad quality pics, blurry and I didn't even give them a chance to prepare for the camera. I just snapped a pic and tucked my camera away as quickly as possible. : )

You know, is 2015 the year for me and Panda Express or what? I seem to be on a Panda Express kick lately. 

Spicy chicken breast and veggies and noodles. After we ate, we went to the movies!

We were the first folks to arrive in that movie, so I could take a quick pic. Noah's holding our gigantic bucket of popcorn, you can see the large sodas, my dad is holding his drink in his hand. We snuck in candy from the grocery store. We were so ready for the movie! I know, I have said it before, but "Sheldon Cooper" from The Big Bang Theory voiced the alien. And the girl in this movie was voiced by Rhianna. The kids and I love the Big Bang Theory, even my dad and Noboru watch it, so we were happy hear "Sheldon" in the movie. 

Yep, we caught the 3pm movie alrighty, Saturday April, 25th!

We did zip to Forever 21 after the movie and I spent a good 45 minutes in there. We then took a nice drive and then after that, we went to dinner. Our last dinner in Guam. Wendy's. We gave the boys a choice. Pizza Hut or Wendy's. Since I make homemade pizza at home often and we also eat Costco pizza for lunch, once in a while. And since Wendy's is all the way in Tokyo. We decided it would be a nice treat to pick Wendy's. So the kids picked Wendy's and I agreed. I had a combo. An Assiago ranch chicken breast sandwich. And instead of fries, I had a cheese potato and for my drink, I had a strawberry lemonade. Branden had a chicken sandwich combo as well. My dad had a cheeseburger and baked potato with cheese combo and Noah had a kids meal with a cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate frosty. We went back to my dad's condo. I packed the suitcase with everything except fridge and freezer stuff obviously. We all took turns showering. And then after that, the kids went to sleep and my dad and I watched the Bruce Jenner Interview. My dad just watched a bit of it, I stayed up and watched the whole thing. It came on in the mainland US on Friday, but since we are a day ahead we caught it Saturday evening. I really enjoyed the interview. I have always loved Bruce Jenner, felt he was an incredible human being, wonderful Olympic athlete. Just by watching him on the Kardashians... how much he loves his family...how easy going he is. Now, my thoughts? For me, he's a hero! For him to have the strength to live, his life as authentically as he can and be the person he wants and needs to be. And to have the courage to do so.  Anyway great interview. I went to sleep. And woke up and we got dressed and ready, we ate and then we came back to my dad's condo and I packed up the perishables at the last minute. And we headed to the airport. My dad dropped us off and we checked in immediately, zipped through the TSA. 

Snapped this picture. I went to the bookstore and purchased 3 magazines. Bought the kids a large drink and we went and sat near the gate. This was yesterday/Sunday.

Yep, Sunday April 26th. Our flight would take off at 12:05pm. We would arrive at 2:25pm. Japan's an hour behind time wise. : ) 

Guam airport has free wifi. So the kids were occupied with their own tablets. I was meanwhile able to Line message Noboru, a pic of us at the gate. And skype messaged my dad and let him know, that all was okay and we were now at the gate. I messaged them both a 2nd time/last time, saying we were just given our boarding passes. We boarded at 11:10am. 

Our airplane back to Japan! 
Touch down, Narita airport. We had an extremely long taxi to our gate. I turned my phone on. And I got 4 Line messages from my sister in law. Timing was sorta funny, as soon as I turned my phone on, she sent them. Yesterday was my nephews 1st birthday, so she was telling me, thank you for the Lego. She sent 3 pics, with my nephew and niece and my brother in law playing with said Lego. I replied quickly..."no problem, happy birthday I am so glad he likes them!!!" She need not know, I was on the tarmac taxi-ing to my gate, as I replied. Hahaha. Okay you guys know. But we'll keep that part between us. : ) I did message my dad, letting him know I arrived. Letting Noboru know, I arrived. Noboru, actually was watching and knows just by looking which plane is which one, so as soon as we touched down he said/sent me a Line message..."welcome home" I tell ya, my phone was making alert sounds, like crazy, good thing I had my phone on manner mode. @_@ Hahaha. : ) Messaging with 3 people, the hubster, my dad and my SIL (sister in law) : )

These Narita airport pics were taken with my cellphone. Ahhh, blue and red tail. So basically a red white and blue airplane. American power! Delta! We rolled closer to the Delta area and parked. 

Everyone watching below as our plane parked at the gate as we connected to the jetway.  We deboarded. Went through all the immigration and customs areas, picked up our luggage. And Noboru was smiley waiting for us on the other side. As soon as we went through the international arrival sliding doors, he was there. Kids were starving, Noboru was super starving. I knew it was close to dinner, so we drove to Coco Ichiban curry.
The chicken tenderloin ends May 1st or could be, end of May, but I think it ends May 1st. : ( So to make sure, we enjoyed it once more. Branden had the same as me and Noah had the same too, but a half size. Noboru ordered something else. After dinner we zipped home. 

I only brought 2 empty suitcases with us. Because I am pretty well stocked and this only helped us make sure we remain well stocked. 

Gorgeous Hawaiian cupcake liners.

I'm not taking individual pics this time. So just look close at the pic if you are curious. : ) Pulled pork, a giant sized bottle of seasoning, for pulled pork sandwiches, they are perfect for Summer. Miracle whip, we just bought 1 a month ago, but we eat a lot of sandwiches around here, so we actually superly need the extra Miracle Whip. 2 extra packs of Nutter Butters. 1 extra can of enchilada sauce. 2 extra cans of four cheese pasta sauce. 1 extra Lawry's garlic spread. Marashino cherries, summer and warmer weather means it's time for my pineapple upside down cake. 

We do travel frequently. And I wish Close up made tiny travel size cinnamon toothpastes for travel, but they don't, or else I have never seen one. But this is my 2nd most favorite toothpaste. So, when I saw a travel size, I made sure to get it. Noah wanted to try a S'mores Poptart. When we were at the grocery store, the guy bagging our groceries...when he took a look of the candy, in particular the Chick O Stick..he said to me and smiled..."That's old Skool right there" I smiled and said, "yep you know it!"...lol.Everyone got to buy a chocolate bar or candy for the movie. I decided not to eat mine at the movies but brought mine back to Japan. The gum is for the kids.

A month ago, we bought 3 yellow cake mixes. This time we brought back, 4 yellow cake mixes. So, I now have 7 fresh yellow cake mixes in my pantry now. 2 extra irish creamers for coffee and some Reese's smooth peanut butter. 

6 of those Knorr pasta packets. They make great meals, by adding some cubed chicken breast skillet fried and at the last minute adding some frozen broccoli florets. A basic easy but delicious meal. We use 2 packs per dinner for our family, so bought 6 so we will get 3 meals from these, plus I still have 2 extra from last month, so 4 more of these meals for us coming up. It helps. Every bit helps. : ) A can of salsa for taco or tostada night.

I didn't care for the organic lemonade from Costco. I felt it was very acidy. So, we brought back our summer staple....Country Time lemonade, 2 huge Costco/Cost u less sized ones, 10 and a half pounds worth. Should last the entire summer. I'm not officially going to open one until June 1st though, but just peace of mind knowing we have it. : )

Pop Tarts and pinto beans. 

The Olay 2 red products, that I have used since last month, the Regenerist ones. I love them! I am using them nightly! However they are pricey and so I debated buying 1 extra serum or 1 extra cream. Reason being, we will probably be in America in July for our summer vacation and when I buy these in multiples to stock up, it's cheaper for me, to buy them in the 2 packs at Costco USA. So, I only wanted to buy 1 for now. I asked the kids their thoughts and they both thought the cream. I agreed, so we brought back, 1 extra cream. That is now sitting in the hall closet upstairs. Also, I use Olay daily moisturizer in a cream & black colored bottle. It has niacinimides. And I love it. But I mentioned twice on here, Hot and Flashy (a YouTuber) uses CeraVe PM (she uses a different sunscreen, as do I) so it's her day moisturizer but she uses the PM. I debated buying my Olay day moisturizer, which I love or try out the CeraVe one. That Hot and Flashy uses. I once again, asked my kiddos and they said..if it's well loved, give it a shot. I happened to agree. So, this is my 1 chance of trying the CervaVe moisturizer, I am not using this at night, even though it says PM. : ) 

It says it right on the front of the package, last 2 sentences. I think American women, in general, are really smart about which ingredients are useful, and needed for our faces. And companies know that, so it's easier to just write niacinamide right on the front, because American women are super smart and know this ingredient in particular, we need. If your face is splotchy at all, has redness, uneven skintone, it will even you out. It does a whole bunch of other things too. Great for preventative anti aging. Just like THE ingredient to look for. Again though...I am not telling you all to go and get it. I am just saying...I know this is an "in the know" ingredient for good reason and I am happily using it. : ) Again though if you're 15-29 years old you probably don't need it. But if you're mid 30's and up, you definitely might need to look for some niacinamide. And as always YMMV (your mileage may vary) meaning, what's good for my skin and many others, might not work for you. So, again...I am not suggesting anything. Just saying what I brought back. And what ingredient I am looking for these days. : )

21 mac and cheese. 
An extra huge bag of ricotta stuffed ravioli. Again just anything additional brought back to our home...just helps us in the long run. We have 1 extra left from a month ago too.

2 fairly large bags of 100% real chicken strips, meaning not processed chicken. Can be used for a quick meal or two or lunch or two. : )

Lunch meat. And 2 extra packs of pepperoni for homemade pizza night, we now have 6 packs of pepperoni in the fridge. Again, just every bit helps.

I prefer Oscar Meyer beef hot dogs, but the expiration was a bit too close for my liking (mid May) these Nathan's Famous beef hot dogs. Having gone to the restaurant in Tokyo once before. So, we picked these, since they expire last week of June. So the expiration date was awesome on these, practically 2 month expiration on these. Doubt they'll last that long. I'll let the kids have 1 pack in May and 1 pack we'll save for the month of June. 

Just an extra pack.

Forever 21.

1 bracelet, 2 necklaces. 
This bracelet, is so pretty and bold and cute and at $4.99 US, a steal at that price. 

Really cute!

I forget if this was $2.99 or $3.99. The price was just such a fantastic price. 

A lot of videos, I watch on YouTube so many of the girls are wearing statement necklaces, bigger bolder necklaces. And while Forever 21 had some huge statement pieces. I picked a smaller statement necklace. hahaha. But, it's bold enough for me. The boys said, "this is so cute mom!" : ) I think this was $4.99 or $5.99 US. And no taxes on Guam. Just 3 things and I like that the prices are so affordable, that you can wear the crap out of these all Summer long, and ...meh when summers over, if you're done with the pieces, it wouldn't be the end of the world. Of course I'll keep mine as long as they work, and look good. But yep, the prices were just very fair. : ) I appreciate fair prices. : )

I picked up 3 magazines, these were 2 of them. 

This is the 3rd magazine. : ) Anyway, it's Monday here now. Noah has the day off school, since he went to school on a Saturday a week or two ago. Branden is meanwhile at school. Golden Week is almost here for us in Japan. I am glad the boys and I could pop over to Guam when we could, so perfect timing for us. Anyway that's our Guam trip in a nut shell. : ) As, soon as I publish this, Noah and I will hop in Olive and head to the bakery, cheap meat store and regular grocery store. : )