Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Costco run! Elementary school swim team practice for Noah! Roasting chili’s, our first batch and some backyard BBQ yakiniku fun!

Alrighty, you guys, I am officially trying really hard, to get this blog up to date. I am really trying here. : ) So, all of these things happened the first week, we got back from Honolulu, Hawaii. As you know, we got back to Japan, July 26th, it was a Sunday and it was Sunday evening.We were tired but we went to Coco Ichiban for a curry supper and then went home showered and washed that long flight off our bodies. : ) And went right to sleep. Because Noah had swim practice from the next day, plus we were tired from the flight. Also, you know how, when you are about to be gone on vacation from your house for a full week. You try your best, to leave your house with no food that could spoil or go bad, while you're away. You, know what I mean? We did the same thing. We made sure that we left no milk, bread, eggs, veggies or fruits. We basically left the house with not much left in the fridge (unless you count condiments hahaha) So anyway, we all woke up Monday morning. Noah had swim practice starting at 10am so needed to be there around 9:50am. I was awake at 7am here at the house. I woke up, knew we had a house with no food in it. And a child who needed fuel in his body, for swim practice. : ) So, while everyone in the house slept. I went into the sink room, put my hair in a headband. So I could wash my face. I washed my face around 7:05am, brushed my teeth. Went downstairs. heated the hot water pot for a coffee. And put my sunscreen on my face. Put on some primer, concealer, foundation and face powder. Put on some eyebrow mascara. Put on that long last Maybelline eyeliner. A little blush and called it done for that day. Makeup wise. : ) I slapped on a pair of jean shorts, a fitted black tee and those sparkly black Birkenstock type sandals, you know which ones I'm talking about? I just got those at Ross, while in Hawaii. : )  A crossbody bag. Of course I didn't wear shoes in the house but wanted to give ya'll the visual. : ) Woke up the boys. They both shuffled down the stairs. Noboru also woke up. And came downstairs. I meanwhile left to the nearest conbini to get some bread for some toast and they sell fruit there... but it's expensive and I dislike buying fruit at the convenience store yes...because I can buy it half cheaper at a regular grocery store. However in America... we have grocery stores open 24/7. However in Japan, especially here in the inaka (rural Japan) most stores close at 8pm. And won't open until 10am the next morning. So, being stuck between a rock and a hard place...meaning I need food for the kids...and #2 all stores are closed and won't open until it's....way too late and we need to be at swimming, by the time they'd open. So...sometimes...you do... what you can, so I bought, a six slice of bread for toast and 2 expensive bananas. 100 yen for the bananas, can you believe that price for the fruit. Highway robbery for those bananas, versus what I could get at my regular veggie/fruit store...but oh well. : ) It was...what it was for that day. : )  I came back home, Made sure both the boys ate. I also fixed some toast for Noboru, felt bad that's really... all I had to offer. I went and packed Noah's swim bag. I filled his thermos with 1 of the Vitamin Waters, from Hawaii, for that day. Usually it should be tea...but...you know... it's what I had on hand for that day. So we went with it. : ) I threw a huge load of clothes into the washing machine on the regular cycle, before we left to drop off Noah. Bran and I dropped off Noah at the plaza to swim. Swimming started while we were in Hawaii, so he missed 2 or 3 practices. So, they all said..."yay Noah welcome back!!" And Noah was all...thank you!!! Awww. : ) My little shy one. : ) And we drove off...and I gave him a wave. I went back home. Hung the clothes outside. On my laundry poles to dry and wrote our my shopping list. By that time.. it was time to swing around and pick up Noah. Noboru and Bran were with me. Immediately after picking up Noah, we went directly to the cheap meat store. I had also written out my grocery list/weekly menu out already. I was on the ball. We went and picked up a weeks worth of meat cheaply. We had a backyard BBQ planned that week too. Then we went to the cheap veggie & fruit store, which is also the cheap drink store too. And loaded up. We then drove home, dropped off all the food, Noah hopped in the shower to wash that chlorine and pool chemicals off.... and while I was putting that stuff away, I had Noah put his towel and swim trunks in the washer machine on the quick wash. I meanwhile brought all the clothes inside the house because they were dried already. Before we left...I hung Noah's swim towel, swim cap, swimming trunks outside on the laundry poles. We left and headed to Costco. It was dead...not many people. Thank goodness. We grabbed the things we'd needed for the week. And we had lunch there. After lunch we bought 2 huge soft serve ice creams. The boys shared and Noboru and I shared. We then drove home, nice and full from lunch. : ) 

I usually try to take a "cart" pic, but I forgot that day. We had an easy on me...Costco pizza for dinner Monday July 27th. Laundry soap. Biore hand soap far right. Nestea sweet tea. Tons of sliced American cheese perfect for omelets or grilled cheese sammich for lunches for the kids. Finally...finally Costco Inzai gets some Classico pasta sauce. Every other Costco in Japan, because I have asked my friends who shop at different Costcos...and theirs seems to keep theirs always in stock but our Costco... the Chiba New Town one, is often out of it for months! Months, I tell you! @_@ Who is keeping track of the stock of foods at the Costco Inzai? And do they want to hire me instead? Because I'll make sure we never run out! Ha! : ) Best price of Kleenex in Japan is found at Costco, you get twice the amount for the same price as you'd find on half of these amounts at a regular DIY in Japan. Bets price on tissue. Tortillas, and we were about to have pulled pork sandwiches that week and so we bought hamburger buns for the pulled pork sandwiches. 2 huge hunks of Colby/Jack cheese. And I made sure my kiddos, would have breakfast the next day...so I bought those delicious cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing. I told the boys to pick 1 thing from the Costco bakery, for the next days breakfast  and they picked these. : ) After we arrived home, everyone relaxed. And I ran to my regular grocery store in my town. I bought all the weekly things I don't get from my other stores. I picked up a weeks worth of coconut yogurts. Some fresh milk, 2 packs of eggs. And then I came home. The good news is, we were restocked with food. Phew...feels good. Such a relief. : ) 
And the following day. Everyone had some cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Noboru and I, had ours with coffee, the boys had theirs with milk. I filled Noah, a thermos with mugicha and ice. That's tea with no sugar. : ) The kids in our shogakko's/elementary schools... swim team were in deep practice mode. Bran is far left under that tree... next to one of his classmates from JHS. His friend had sports club that day, so his friend is wearing the JHS uniform, gym outfit. : ) 

You can see Noah in the green cap. Oh all 4th graders were green caps this year. They switched colors with the ichinensei in June. Anyways....there were only... three 4th graders picked to be on the swim team this year. The kid next to Noah in the blue swim cap, fixing his goggles in this picture is actually a 5th grader. : ) He's a real good swimmer though, lightning speed swimmer. : )

And here they were testing the times (speed, how long does it take you basically)... of each of the kids. That kid behind Noah in the red swim cap, was so slow. I know, I probably shouldn't mention that... but OMG! @_@ Watching paint dry...would have been faster! Like seriously... so super slow. There was also another big/tall kid, not sure if he's a 6th grader or 5th grader... but he could not dive... to save his life.  And he swam slower than freak. When the kids had a swimming relay on the actual swimming competition that day. The 5th grade boy up above (not in this pic, but in the pic above this pic)... the same height as Noah..the one with the blue swim cap, who was adjusting his goggles in the pic up above...he swam superly fast... then it went to Noah 2nd person in the relay...Noah swam at such super speeds...Noah was on fire that day...we were so proud... he was way ahead of all the other teams/schools. And then it went to red cap here (a 6th grader) and he swam so slow...every team was ahead of our school, when he swam.... and then it went to boy who could not dive.. to save his life kid...and he was actually even slower than red cap...didn't think it was physically possible... to get even SLOWER...but yes... it was possible. And put it this way...every team was out of the pool, resting... while...our team... kid who can't dive... didn't even make it to the opposite side of the pool yet. Anyway...it was ....what it was. And they're just kids. We all know that. But wow! Some kids were on the swim team this year... that you had to wonder...how did they even get on the swim team? It boggled the mind. Anyways...I am getting ahead of myself. And shouldn't talk about the actual swimming competition day... quite yet. 

We have a blue cap on the left of Noah and Noah in the green cap and a blue cap on the right of Noah. They are about to go. Noah and the girl on our right. 

The girl in the white cap was swimming with other kids and wasn't swimming with our group of kids. But that's Noah in the water. 

Noah taking the lead over the blue cap! Go Noah go! Go all our kids, go! : ) Yay!
And another day. This time.. they were practicing when the announcer would scream out your name and what school you were representing. They screamed out...Last name...Noah...representing...such and such elementary school. And he had to stand and with his right hand in the air scream ..hai! And the kids practiced and practiced. Also...important to point out. Japanese summers are well known.. for being quite hot. Quite humid. However this summer in particular... was actually so super hot... it was actually record breaking hot. It was like sitting in a wet steam room/sauna... the minute you left your house. Even us standing and watching the kids practice was killer for us parents! You'd arrive to watch the kids practice dry. And you'd leave a sweaty old mess. Nape of your neck all wet with sweat. Unbearably hot. So Noah had swim practice all that week. Which meant... I had to wake up daily and make sure thermos was full of ice and tea. And make sure he ate a decent breakfast before swimming because, you get hungry when you swim nonstop you know. : ) But our week was also mellow and nice. Because we watched cable at home. I caught up on all the vacation laundry rather quickly. And plus my favorite TV show Scream on MTV was getting so good...still is getting good. Teen Mom 2 is getting good. Just getting back into summer mode here at the house. : )
Tada, the first batch of chili, pictured here. I took the chili we picked... into the house and cleaned them up. This was also the day we were going to have a backyard BBQ, so we roasted the chili before we grilled our dinner.

Hi... first batch of chilis ever! I like Hatch's and I also like Big John's too. : )


Chili needs to be roasted. And it smells so good! 

My co-chili roaster

When they're all roasted and blistered and limp, I put them onto a bowl. 

Put a moist paper towel over them for moisture. Just makes them easier to peel. 

Meanwhile, Noboru usually grills the boys meat. However Branden asked, if he could do it that day. And we both said, totally fine. And Noah then asked if he could help too. We said fine, but he needed to be REALLY careful. You know...since he's younger. Great experience for the kids though. 

Don't let it burn boys! The beef cooks quickly, so keep it moving. : ) 

Well done kids! Pictured was the sweetest pineapple we had all summer. It's usually super good and quite sweet anyways... but that day it was even better. We all enjoyed a nice simple meal here at home. These pics were taken July 28th. The day of our first batch of chili's were roasted and a day we had another backyard BBQ. 
We all just enjoyed our family BBQ here at home.  It was nice. : )

The moist paper towel worked, because peeling the skins off the chili, was a breeze. 

First batch tossed into the freezer. : ) We have since roasted a 2nd batch. And will be roasting our 3rd batch this week. : )