Saturday, September 26, 2015

Branden's 8th grade undokai (sports day)

Saturday, September 12th was supposed to be Bran's 8th grade undokai, however it was postponed for 1 extra day, so the field could dry out. I think in the end, the JHS making that decision, was a good call. So that meant Saturday, September 12th was the day we could all go and save a spot. The JHS however did not want to give a set time to go and save a spot. So, Noboru swung around once an hour on his scooter. Once at 10am,11am, noon and 1pm and 2pm. At those times, no one was saving a spot, yet. However at 3pm, he LINE messaged me, to take the mini minivan which we already packed the stuff inside and he told me to.... "hurry folks were already there, spots were already saved." So to get there pronto! Which I did. The 4 of us (my dad, Bran and Noah high tailed it there) Most of the front row spots on the white team side, were already spoken for. Luckily for us, we were team red and for the most part, it was wide open. One other family with 2 tents and 1 leisure sheet saved a spot before us. But other then that, it was wide open. 

I really love that the JHS allows us to put our tents right up to the rope. This means only 1 family will need and take up 1 spot. Our elementary school meanwhile, wants the first so many yards... tent free. And that way, just sucks because that essentially means, each family is then forced to hog up 2 spots versus just 1. Why? Because you can't be without a tent the entire 10 hours, because you'd be badly sun burned at the end of the day. Plus counting all the times it has rained, we would need some rain protection. So, yes the way the JHS does things is right and logical and sensible. The way the elementary school does it means. Everyone is essentially now forced to hog 2 spots. It just doesn't make sense at all. This was the only area pictured here.... we used for the JHS and frankly who would need more? We wouldn't. : ) 

See, we most certainly were not the first family. Some family's really want to see and enjoy the undokai from a good view and vantage point, while also some family's don't really care where they sit. I think it just depends on each and every family's personality. As for me, I really enjoy watching the entire undokai. I love seeing all grades do their events and I like getting a good spot. Meanwhile some family's don't really enjoy the undokai and are fast asleep under their tents. Again, it just depends which type of personality you have. : ) Either way is fine. : ) 
Bye spot! See you Sunday! : ) It's very nice to get the spot out of the way and then I could concentrate on the obento. Us mama's have so much obento prep work to do, it's a relief to get the spot the day before. One less thing to worry and stress about. : ) 

Saturday around 3:20pm and heading home. We see Bran's classmate and friend in the distance with his mom, also happy they could save their family a spot. I so appreciate that our local JHS allows this. 
Sunday, September 13th, 2015. Branden's 8th grade field day/sports day!

The 8th grade red team! Yay, go red team! : )

Hello Branny McB! Hello fellow 8th graders! Good luck today, all of you! Have lots of fun! And yes that is Genki standing behind Bran. Yep, the best of friends, since yochien!

At this point, I am so excited to see what the JHS has in store for us today! 

Each team, red and white cheering and pumping up the crowd! I personally do not mind which team wins, but since Bran is team red, I'll root for team red!

What awesome kids! And what a small amount of kids! This is all 3 grades right here (red and white combined)! But we love our tiny town and the size of our school! Rural Japan rocks! 

Bran about to run a race! Good luck kiddo!

And he ran! How did he do? Branden came in second to last place or last place. It was very close and hard for me to tell from where I was sitting. : ) Again though, we all know Branden is a fast swimmer. But he's just not, so fast on land! Hahaha! : ) I told him that morning...Branden just have fun! No worries! : )  The positive out of all this...it was his only major competitive type race all day and it was done and over with, by 9:30am. The rest were just fun type events, that Branden would be involved in for the rest of the day.

Noboru requested, the 2 Saturdays off for both Bran and Noah's sports day. However as luck would have it. Both their sports days were postponed. This meant our family had to do a lot of reshuffling. Our family having to take 2 cars to undokai. Noboru had work Sunday during Bran's undokai from 6am to 2pm. However he woke up at 3am-ish and went to work as usual. He took an emergency vacation half day and left work at 10:30am. And rushed straight to the JHS.  Noboru arrived around 11:25am. Meanwhile we knew Branden had a parent and child event starting at 10am. We sadly knew Noboru would not be able to be there, for him! Not by his choice! It was the 1 day postponement that did that. And as for me, I am the only one in my family who takes pictures. I asked Noboru to take some pictures twice (once at Tokyo Disneyland and once at a yochien undokai) and they turned out *so* unbelievably blurry. So, I have always been the family picture taker. The keeper of all memories via pics! It is a tough job. But, I love it! So, since I can't be in the event *and* take pics at the same time. I couldn't do the event with Branden. Noah is the most sporty in our family but the school apparently vetoed Noah joining Bran! ??? @_@ So, thank goodness my dad was there. Keep in mind, my dad had no idea what the event even looked like until the day of. Me too. We all had zero idea. Luckily it was not really athletic. More so, just balancing a ball between the JHS student and your family member. I can now see why Noah wouldn't have been a good match, because perhaps there would have been a height difference. Anyway, take a look at the pic. The team in front of Branny McB and my dad, lost the ball. We adore that kid! He's such a sweetheart of a kid! And we totally understand them losing the ball. It's hard to keep a ball smooshed between 2 people while moving! We got that 100%. Meanwhile B and my dad gearing up and getting ready for the great ball switch/pass!

And they got the ball back between them and shimmy their way down the field to Bran and my dad they did! It's a lot harder then it looks! 

You ever feel like all eyes are on you? Literally... you can see that lady in the background in checkered shirt sun shielding her eyes and looking. Like poor Branny McB and my dad had like a billion eyes all upon them. Man in red shirt in the background, lady in navy with hands on hip. Normally Noboru is Branden's and/or Noah's partner, in things like this. But again with the sports day being 1 day postponed. Sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do. And just roll with it. My dad was a terrific sport. 

Yep, you can just see everyone staring. And yep, Bran and grandpa just lost the ball. Nothing quite says...stress pressure and more stress. Like a billion eyeballs on you, while trying not to drop that ball! Luckily, most folks "know" my dad though. And perhaps and hopefully they all just thought, what a cute hafu teenager and his western/American grandpa. Again would it have been better, if Noboru would have been there for this? Yes of course. But you know...sometimes it is...what it is. All you can do is smile and hope for the best. And have the best attitude about things! They definitely said they felt the love though. People were rooting for them! And that's the positive.

The good news is, they got the ball back and didn't drop it, but the 1 time! And yep now even more people joined the stare, little girl in turquoise, mom in peach shirt. Lady with checkered shirt, had her eyes on them the entire time, same with guy in red shirt and lady in navy with hand on her hip and there were so many many more too.  

I was so proud of the both of you! 

You guys are almost there! Almost to the next team! 

Right on, you guys made it! Good luck next team! 

Faces of relief! They did it! Phew! : )

Bran, grandpa has been attending your undokais since you were in yochien. And dad, thanks for teaming up with Bran for this event! He really needed you, and you were right there, as always! Best grandpa ever! You definitely had his back! No pun intended! : ) 

And another event! 


The weather was so beautiful that day. It was warm, not hot and it had nice breezy wind throughout the day. Not a drop of rain and such a perfect day. 

The team red guys about to pull this tire and the team white guys were also trying to pull the same tire. Think along the lines as....a tug o war! But with a tire! : ) 

Go kids go!

Branden and his girlfriend is far right. Isn't she so pretty! She's a gorgeous girl! Many boys and girls have paired off in JHS in the 8th grade now. However, this is Japan and it's very innocent. They don't meet outside of school. I highly doubt any of these couples have even sneaked or stolen a kiss. If this was America, I would be worried. I watch Teen Mom on MTV, I know what's happening in America. So, I am glad this is Japan and things are kept basically rated G. Or at most PG-13. Branden has never called her house and she had never called ours. But yes, they are a couple. : ) How cute. I love that look that she's giving B. Puppy love for sures! : ) 

I cannot give you her name, but I can give you the biggest hint ever. If you know the 80's group Duran Duran and know the lyrics and name to this song, then you'll know her name. "Her name is....and she dances on the sand. Just like that river twisting through a dusty land." The name of the girl in that song, is the same name.

Mid day cheering.
I love seeing kids just being kids. Kids all smiling and having a good time!

I see you Branny McB.

Bran and girlfriend making googly faces at one another. She's laughing and smiling and so is he. Smiling at one another, in this pic. She's again far right. They seem to get along really well and joke and laugh a lot. Inside joke perhaps here? Hahaha. : ) Is Branden growing up you guys or what. So many of you have watched B grow up, via this blog since he was 3 or 4 years old. : )

Aha, we can see the rope on the ground. You can tell the "tug of war" is happening now!

And pull and pull as hard a you can! Noboru arrived around this point. : ) 

You all know, I usually make karaage, rice balls, salad, fruit and whatnot. However this time I thought hmmm... I can't imagine eating deep fried karaage twice, 7 days apart. Meaning twice, since both the boys had their undokais 1 week apart this year. So, I thought long and hard and thought... why not make one of the boys picnic lunch, sandwiches instead. That way it's not repetitive or identical, 1 week apart. Meaning the same exact thing 7 days apart. So, I made delicious rotisserie chicken sandwiches, we bought a whole bunch of fresh mango sliced up from Costco. We had Lay's potato chips. And cake for dessert. Using regular bread can get soggy after 3 hours with mayonnaise on it. So the rolls are better, meaning no sogginess at all (like mini sub sandwiches). However, Branden did tell me during lunch, that while it was delicious he said..."mom I'd prefer you not make sandwiches for undokai again, make karaage." Awww. : (  I tried so hard and thought so deeply about not wanting the 2 sports day meals, to be exactly the same, you know what I mean?  So nobody would be sick to death of eating karaage twice in 7 days. However my idea clearly backfired. : ( Alright...sniffle sniffle. I will not make sandwiches anymore...unless of course it is the town undokai. Because less importance is placed upon the town undokai. : ) You try to do a good thing. And it turns out to.... not be as well received, as you hoped. Yes he is a teenager for sures! Oh well, you win some...you lose some! You move on. : )  I on the other hand, really loved my lunch. : ) They all enjoyed it too. : ) 

Poor Noboru, he had been awake so early that morning. But he came to Bran's undokai and even took a half day emergency leave, out of love. : )  See, we love you Branden! And sorry, no more sandwiches for your undokai,  kiddo, I promise. : ) 

Everyone enjoying their lunch. : ) 

An after lunch cheer and dance, first went team red! They have such spirit! Then went team white, they had so much spirit too! After lunch, everyone seems to relax and unwind. Everyone eats a nice lunch and we all know that it's half over. So, it's a nice feeling. 

And all the boys shirtless. Just a heads up, all the boys hate being shirtless. Every single one of them. : ) Hahaha. You know after all... these are the teen years...they all know the girls are all checking them out. It's very stressful for the boys. : ) But most of them, did it with a smile and a good attitude. : ) 

The last event for all the kids, all grades... before the super last event of the day, the relay. I absolutely love this picture! I love this picture because it has Branden and Saya-chan in it. I love this picture because Branden and Saya-chan are real close like brother and sister. He feels like she's a sister. They have known each other since the first grade. She lives in our housing community. She's sweet, she's kind and absolutely adorable. I truly adore this girl so much! She used to come to our house and play since the first grade. She would be on her little pink bicycle with pink floppy sun hat. She would sometimes swim in our paddling pool in the backyard with Bran and a class mate of theirs and a toddling Noah following behind them. Out of every single girl in Branden's class. I dig and like her the most most! She's truly the coolest girl ever! I have seen her grow up through these years and she's so cool, you guys! Such a sweetie pie! I'm sure she thinks of Branden like a brother too. They swam for the same private swim school for years since first grade, all the way to JHS. They caught the same swim bus, except Bran catches it on our side of the park and she catches it on the opposite side of the park. She's such a good egg, a real wonderful girl. Her mom is a very nice lady too. 

I love that Branden is such a happy kid. And gets to dance with his good friends!

And they have now switched partners. But Branden is still joking and smiling and having a grand ol' time. 

Branden and his partner are having a blast! 

Laughing and joking and having a great time together! Branden has a really cool personality, he's just really relaxed...he gets along with everyone. Is very respectful, but friendly to all. If you ever saw the movie Inside Out (title in America) or Inside Head (title in Japan). Branden is definitely, "Joy" 99% of the time. While some folks are mean or snarly or hard to get along with or bullies or trouble makers. Branden's just really easy to get along with. He just never wants any trouble. He's a good kid. : ) 

Looks like fun!

And one of the teachers coming around to take pics of some of the kids. And Branden smiling as big and as widely as he could! Such a good kid! 

You are a good egg Branden and I am so proud of you kiddo! 

Look at Bran and his dance partner having such a blast, they truly have such happy faces! If you were to be on a dance team with one of these groups, you'd definitely want to be on their team. They're just having the best time! And that was it really. It was a wonderful day. After lunch my dad and I walked Noah down to get a shaved ice (kakigori) I also got one, I picked peach, Noah picked peach and green apple. My dad picked a small bag of french fries. 

The red team won! Good for them! Branden was happy! I think both teams were happy though. Because it was an amazing day. Everyone did their best and that's all you could ever really ask for really. : ) We all packed up and headed home. Branden rode his bike, and therefore rode his bike home. We usually go out to yakiniku or someplace super yummy, for our after undokai celebration dinner. However Noboru was exhausted, and he had work the following/next day. And so we 5 went to Coco Ichiban curry house for dinner. We all had curry and drinks and went home. I had been awake since 4:30am. Noboru since 3am. Branden and Noah since 5:50am. It was a *very* long day for all of us. Exhausting for Branden the most out of the 5 of us. We all came home, Branden showered first. Noah second, and we all just took turns. Got on some house clothes and watched TV for the rest of the evening. It was a good, but very long day. Anyway there you have it, Branden's 8th grade sports day! : )