Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bits and pieces...

This picture should have gone on here, probably 3 posts ago, hahaha. Noboru LINE messaged me this picture the day it happened and instead of putting this picture on my computer, I forgot about this picture until last night. The day after Branden's over night trip with his fellow 8th graders. The 8th graders had the day off of school, on the day after...which was a Tuesday. Since Branden was home and Noboru would be home they made a father & son fishing date. So that's exactly what they did, after Noah had went to school, the 2 of them ate a quick breakfast here and they headed out to spend the morning and early afternoon together fishing. Branden caught this fish, and then released it right back into the canal. They both came back around lunch time. Both looked like they had a blast spending time together. : ) 
Saturdays comfort food night. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and broccoli. We also had gravy.

It was nice that the 4 of us, just sat and enjoyed our dinner. All 4 of us pitched in afterwards to get the kitchen back to normal after cooking. Noah packed away the leftovers. Branden wiped the stove down. Noboru loaded the dishwasher. And since I cooked, I helped here and there, but they did the brunt of the clean up on Saturday. Which was nice.  : ) 

Chicken teriyaki night. Some black pepper and garlic salt, on 1 side only. Noboru had a thigh. 

This was so good. Chicken teriyaki, rice, mushrooms, 3 fries and some broccoli. Family dinners with lots of talk, chatter and stories from the kids and hubby. : )

Obento for Branden and Noah, on Monday. From quite a while back, I started packing them lunch daily. I know what you're thinking...holy crap...say whatttt? @_@ Hahaha. Believe me, in America you can bring a lunch or eat school lunch, you can have lunch anyway you want, however in Japan. At least as far as our school went all these 8 years. It was lunch from school only. It is now no longer like that. Are you shocked? Yes so was I.  Which now...it probably makes sense all the lunch meat buying and whatnot. I don't know where this officially started, but I can only tell you what I know. A boy named D, in Branden's class has had pretty serious allergies with food. Poor D. Since the first grade, D has brought obento about twice a week. Because in Japan you get a monthly lunch menu and so...whenever D's family or mom sees the bad thing, he's allergic to, she'll pack him a lunch, which is very smart. Then when Bran was in the 4th grade or was it the 3rd grade, a boy switched to our school, but in Bran's grade. He's also suffering allergies. And kids in other grades too, not by the hundreds just about 8 kids in the whole school type a number,  so not like a school wide epidemic, I assure you. : ) Hahaha. Noah has 1 kiddo (a girl) in his class, with food allergies as well. And when Bran entered JHS, there was 1 kid from the other school too (a kid we call the professor because he's so super smart, all the kids also call him the professor : ). Isn't this just wild? I don't think any kid, when I was growing up...ever had any food allergies.. At least I don't remember *ever* hearing anything like this before ever. Then there's 2 kids in Noah's class who just plain don't eat the lunch at all. Remember how I mentioned months ago, how many times lunch was being canceled (pack your own lunch day). Well, they finally came up with...you can decide if you'd like to eat the school lunch or bring a packed lunch. However you have to decide by the semester. You can't switch it daily or weekly or monthly. That would drive the lunch ladies crazy. Our town is really super small population wise. And our school population is small too. So what the school board decided was...you will fill out a form every semester, "yes my kid will have school lunch" or "no he or she will bring a packed lunch." Why did I decide to go for the packed lunch? Well, when Branden was in his last year in yochien we asked some friends of ours, Noboru's coworker who lives in our same housing community has 2 older kids. we asked them about the school lunches. Granted they're both from bigger cities originally, the parents. But they both laughed and said...for even them these parents...they'd personally dislike the lunches for our town. Because they are foods (her exact words, she was an exchange student in Florida the mom, so she speaks English) " the lunches are what, most old people would like and love, but not younger kids." Lots of natto. Lots of fish, and I do mean lots of fish. Oden in winter. It's very Japanese taste. And unfortunately, my kids have very western tastebuds. As do I. However I wish they had more flexible taste buds. But for whatever reason they have been ganbatte-ing and trying their best with the school lunch. Many times they will only drink the milk or just eat the white rice. So, I have to make sure I make a huge breakfast for them Mon-Fri. Undokai season worries me most...because they are outside in the hot sun for hours marching and when you have not eaten since breakfast and your stomach's all rumbly, yeah...I worried my kids would faint or something especially skinny Noah. However...I would never mention it to the school. I often picked the boys up...with after school snack in the car. And they'd devour it. : ) So...with the allergy thing happening. And the 2 kids in Noah's class refusing to eat their lunch at all, Noah was not refusing but trying to eat...pick some things but really trying. Like for 3-4 years straight. Poor kids. From what I hear from my friends in Japan living in bigger cities... their school lunches are fantastic and the kids love them. Here it's pickled root vegetables...fish, fish and more fish. How can two 100% Japanese kids (meaning Noah's 2 classmates) hate fish? I have zero idea, different strokes for different folks I suppose. It just goes to show/prove, not all Japanese folks like fish and that's okay. I'm sure not all Americans like cheeseburgers either hahaha. : )  But...maybe because our particular school makes such old fashioned Japanese food, versus what you'd find in a more modern city in Japan....or perhaps kids taste buds are changing or? I really can't explain. However....apparently it was all school wide...not just for my 2 boys classes. This was causing a problem in all grades and all classes. Kids not eating. And on top of that... the kids with allergies bringing lunches (which they had a real medical reason for needing a lunch, I fully agree and think so). Which then snowballed and caused the kids who can't eat/having difficulties eating...their parents then wanted to bring them a lunch too? And apparently this thing snowballed. To an even bigger snowball. @_@ I could hear some buzz, but as I wasn't involved. All we know...is... we all got the note. And I thought about. This is Bran and Noah's chance as well, I guess. Nobody at our school knew...that our kids were also struggling with the lunch. Is it going to be more work for me in the morning? Ummm yeah. But...no worries, though I am tough. I handled making Branden's lunch at yochien for 3 and a half years straight and same for Noah 3 and a half years straight too. And yochien was an option too...we could have had school lunch, if we chose. How did this thing come to be? Apparently because so many kiddos had allergies. The kids who had no allergies had a full reason... but then the kids who were hungry because they didn't eat lunch.... their angry parents then questioned the powers that be...why can't they too bring their kid a lunch? The school officials checked the official rules and what they found was...there was *no* written rule anywhere, that said you must eat the school lunch. It only said...every one has a *right* to lunch. So basically everyone has a right to eat. But since many were not eating (by their own choosing yes, not talking about the allergy kiddos) but...since they did have that right to eat...and since they were not eating the school lunch, that yes you could bring your lunch. But they don't want to be wishy washy.. to the lunch ladies either. Do they make enough school lunch for 100 kids or 200 kids, ykwim. So they came up with...you decide by the semester. My thoughts on this? In America this would be normal...pack a lunch or buy a lunch, your choice, nobody cares, lol. But here...I am really glad our school has come up with the rule of...they just want you to eat. So we signed the forms as did the rest of the 3 schools in our town. And now Bran and Noah bring a lunch from home daily. They say they look forward to lunch time now. They don't have any trouble concentrating in class. They get full tummy's and can concentrate better. And so...good thing for all the kids in our town. Noah says the 2 boys who didn't eat lunch the last 4 years are now eating their mom's packed lunch happily daily. Also, because this is sorta private the kid in question will be nameless...but a bigger plus sized boy, sweetheart of a kid, in Noah's class, his mom was worried the school lunch wasn't enough (quantity wise) for her child, this I heard from the actual mom herself, while at the pick up at the plaza a month or two back, a couple of us mom's were chatting and shooting the breeze, while waiting for our kids and the subject of the lunch issues, was brought up and when she mentioned her worries, I could feel her sense of worry, she's a mother and loves her son, just like we all love our kids. She was the one who introduced herself at the meeting years back to everyone "I am the mother whose kid eats the school lunch, the fastest" Aww, and she's a wonderful lady by the way, really nice : ) Hey, at least she has a sense of humor. And so now... she can pack him a nice bigger lunch, for him and so they're both really happy too, he now bring a home packed lunch to school daily. Who knew...so many folks had their own personal reasons for wanting to pack their own lunch, right. @_@ Hahaha.  Weirdest school ever in Japan? Yes, could be! Hahaha. But also...most open minded school in Japan too. But...interesting and the kids...the kids all get to eat...what they want (sandwich, a handful of their mom's onigiri, salad) and how much they want. Bran says over half of his grade now brings a packed lunch. And Noah says the same, about half his class now bring a lunch from home too. Basically, if your kid has no allergies, and loves the school lunch fantastic. But, if your kid has allergies or just plain dislikes the schools lunch, or if the amount isn't enough...or for whatever reason...fine too. Anyone is more than welcome to bring their own lunch too. Sometimes, I pack up something we had the night before. Sometimes it's sandwich and some fruit on the side. I don't make fabulous glorious lunches, but I pack lunches I know my boys will eat. I no longer have to make a big huge breakfast Mon-Fri...just a light breakfast is fine because I know they'll eat a nice filling lunch from home too. So no more worries. : )

Any other bits to add? Today is Noah's observation day and also... the emergency drill starting at 2:30-3:30pm wow that's going to be a long drill. Hahaha. I will go to his school around 1pm-ish. To observe Noah's class.

Tomorrow, all 8th graders and their parents must be at the school at 1:30pm and do yard cleanup at the local JHS. Noboru's off work tomorrow, and I have a house to clean... so he will go and cut the grass. I don't have to do that tomorrow, since Noboru's going. Phew, plus I can tackle the house while he takes his weed whacker to the school.  Meanwhile Thursday is my hair cut and color day at the hair salon.

I placed an Amazon US order a few days ago. I picked up quite a few DVD's. Mostly older DVD's from the 80's. But movies that I really love and would like to own. The only new one, I picked up was Fifty Shades of Grey. Hubba hubba, I'm kidding, I'm kidding. What else, I picked up, Blood Vows, the Story of a Mafia Wife, this was a made for TV movie with Joe Penny and Melissa Gilbert. And I remember really liking this movie and it was never for sale. Meaning they didn't make it on DVD. Now they do, so I ordered that. I also ordered, Corrina Corrina with Whoopi Goldberg. Mr. Baseball, Gung Ho (these 2, I owned on VHS and not only do we not have a VHS anymore, lol... I love these 2 movies but I fear someday they will stop making the DVD for these, so I am glad I had the chance to get Mr. Baseball and Gung Ho on DVD.) We own the Giving Tree. And if you've read it...don't you feel sorry for that poor tree. That boy is just awful to the tree! Rotten kid in the Giving Tree book, hahaha. So, I ordered the Taking Tree. I can't wait for it to get here...I hope the tree does better in this version. : ) Hahaha.

It's 75 degrees F outside right now. Branden rode his bike today. For dinner tonight, we're having that chicken broccoli fettuccine meal with some bread and butter on the side. : )  Alrighty, I better motor. I have to start getting myself ready for Noah's observation day today. : )  Have a great day you guys. : )