Thursday, March 31, 2016

Throwback Thursday...

Easter morning, March 2008! Noah was like 2 and a half years old and Bran was 6 and a half. 

Noah just put a jelly bean in his mouth.Yum. : )

I always asked them..."okay show me how many eggs you found!" And they would hold them up and show me! : ) And I would go..."wow you found so many eggs!" : ) Awww. : ) Alright, enough Easter for now. : ) But this was from Easter Sunday way back then. Celebrating Easter is just something...we have always done in our house, here in Japan. The Easter dinner we had from that year/2008 and when we colored the eggs, I showed on a TBT a few weeks ago. : ) 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Easter 2016...

I hope everyone had a nice Easter! Ate plenty of Easter chocolates, colored many eggs. Hid and found many eggs. If you go to mass, hope you enjoyed that. As for where we live, we don't live in a big city or city at all... for that matter... we live in a true rural town. There is zip for churches in my town. However there is 1 Catholic church in the small city nearest us, where my kids used to go to school. However they have no English mass. I went and tried mass once in Japanese there and I felt really stressed out. I knew and said the prayers in English while everyone said them in Japanese. I just felt really lost...and considering church should be a place of comfort...I just felt really out of my element having it be all in Japanese. My nearest English mass would be in Tokyo which...would be a 4 hour round trip from my house. So no thanks. I'm happy that we have American TV here at my house and I can catch a nice Catholic mass in the comfort of my own home, any time I want. So, that's how we roll here at our house. : )  So, I got to enjoy my English mass at home. It was a lovely holiday spent with family and loved ones! We had a nice quiet little Easter here at home. We had gotten back from Guam, just the day before, on Saturday. So we were back from our trip. A fully restocked pantry. And we were all in good cheer over here! A couple day delay. I am sorry. But, with the boys being on Spring break, I am just relaxing and enjoying hanging with my family here at home, therefore haven't been online too much. I do however have 2 big posts to post. Soon-ish, though I'm not in any rush either. Plus the TBT. Easter Sunday, the boys woke to a full Easter basket each. 

We usually color our Easter eggs on Saturday/the day before. However since we were flying in an airplane the day before.... to get back home to Japan. And then unpacked at home and hopped into Olive and drove to Costco to pick up 2 rotisserie chickens. 1 for Easter dinner. Therefore, this year we didn't color our eggs until Easter Sunday. No worries, the boys always look forward to coloring the eggs.

They kept trading colors between the both of them. And Bran was waiting for his eggs to get darker and brighter. His eggs were soaking. : ) And 3 waiting to go and take a dip. : )

Egg-cellent job Noah!

Decoration time.

They both were making spring symbols. And both were making a ladybug. Noah had a chocolate lady bug (pictured) near the crayons that he was using as his model. : )
Branden's really artistic and his came our egg-cellent. Meanwhile Noah's was a great effort. Branden said, "Noah yours looks like... half ladybug half turtle" "Yours has turtle legs" Noah cracked up laughing (pictured here) he doesn't take it personally. I was thinking half lady bug/ half stag beetle? But again an A for effort. And it's all in fun, it's not like we're giving out awards or anything here. : )  By the way this picture just reminded me but seriously though...Noah has the whitest and most straightest teeth!!! He has amazing teeth! Really gorgeous teeth!Straight no gaps. White. Shaped right. Never had a cavity, neither boy has ever had a cavity. Anyways....moving along...

Noah listening to his brother when I snapped this picture.

Branden and Noah's Easter Eggs 2016! : )
Easter dinner. The whole gangs back together again! You can clearly see the 3 of them are clearly cracking up in this picture. We were cracking up, hard ya'll. If you could be a fly on our wall. All the funny and hilarious conversations, you would hear. Again because we just got back the day before. I didn't make... like this whole elaborate meal. Because time just didn't allow for it. However we had a rotisserie chicken, which I did throw in the oven for 45 minutes to reheat and recrisp the skin. It looks darker in this picture but it was tender, juicy and amazing. We had homemade mashed potatoes. Gravy. Broccoli and a big salad from Costco bought the day before. What did I do with the other rotisserie chicken? I made homemade taquitos, the night after. So Monday night and boy.... were they good. I took pics too. : )  Back to Easter dinner, I thought Easter dinner 2016 was a success and not too shabby, considering we just got back the day before. : )

Now all eyes were on Noah, he was speaking and his dad is smiling, so is Bran. we just had a pretty nice dinner, great conversation as always and a nice but simple Easter meal. : )

My plate from Easter dinner 2016! I hope you all had an amazing Easter as well. Oh and by the way, we hid the eggs throughout the downstairs, 3 times this year. Before we turned the eggs into egg salad! Noboru and I hid the eggs in such hard places, that there were 2 eggs the kids could not find. We had to show them, where the 2 missing eggs were hiding.  : ) 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Throwback Thursday...

Happy Throwback Thursday everyone! Today's TBT is going to be a cool mix of pics from March 2010. Here is Noah being a typical silly kindy kid, while fishing with his daddy and his brother. This pic was taken in our town. It's the area where the elementary school kids run their "marathon" at every year. 

It's very important for Noah and his brother to spend time with their dad. Boys need to have that male role model growing up, it's so important! Their bonding guy time. Noboru loves fishing, so he takes the kids fishing with him often when it's Noboru's fishing season.

Same day, we had a backyard family BBQ. That's one thing that's great about having your own backyard in rural Japan. The freedom to have a BBQ or freedom to play and run and jump and swing in the privacy of your own backyard any old time you'd like. Just...whatever... you know what I mean, it's so nice. : ) 

We've never let any rain stop us! And boy does a fresh charcoal BBQ smell amazing. 

Eat up kiddos! : ) And tell me all your funny fishing stories. : )

Just a nice simple little family BBQ. 
Another day! In March 2010! Noah had mastered riding his bicycle without training wheels while still in yochien/kindergarten! We let him practice until Summer with Branden's old bike. And after he worked out all the kinks. And had no more spills or drops. We bought Noah a brand new bicycle. But we waited until Summer...because we knew he would be crashing a few times before he got it down 100%. Which was super smart. : )  
Big smiles, Noah loved not having those loud training wheels anymore. : )

Again more fishing for Noboru and sons! : ) This time they went fishing in the small city nearest us. 

The boys getting that "dad and son quality time" : ) I just sat on a nice big fluffy blanket on the grass and observed and I also brought along a tabloid/ magazine. And let Noboru do his own thing with the boys. They fished. They put worms on hooks. They caught fish. Chatted with fellow fisherman, mainly grandpa types near Noboru and the boys. : ) And basically had a great day. : )

Another day captured in March 2010. The boys playing with an Anpanman ball. In our backyard. Just goofing around basically being silly boys. Getting all their kid excess energy out...while outside. : ) 
And another day captured in March 2010. A visit from grandpa. My dad and a smiling Branden.

Noah and grandpa running around like maniacs. And basically having a blast during grandpas visit. The kids absolutely adore my dad. : )

Final pic from today's TBT, my dad walking Noah into our Roman Catholic yochien. The kindergarten Noah and also Bran went to/attended.  And that's basically it really...just a misc, picture collage from March 2010! : )

Update from now: We are packed and ready for Guam already. The kids get out of school today at 11am and go on Spring break from 11am today (for us Americans) and end of the school year (for us in Japan) I call it both ways because I am flexible like that...just depending who I am speaking with. I can't say when we are leaving detail-wise and when we are coming back specifically, just for privacy, ykwim. Not that anyone really cares... but's better to be safe than sorry, if you know what I mean. But we are leaving soon-ish, let's put it that way. And I'll be more specific after we're back and stuff. Bran and Noah are pretty excited. We're going to go to 1 movie while there, we have it narrowed down to Batman VS Superman or Zootopia. We have seen previews to both and they both look like fantastic movies. I think the boys are leaning more towards Batman VS Superman for now. I'll let them decide. : ) I think for us, for our little family of 4... to be able to get away for a few days and just unwind and sorta celebrate being back together again. It's going to be really nice. My dad is ready to see us and hang out with us and we are too. Anything else to add? I had my birthday this week. It was really *really* awesome. Just very laid back and chill. We 4 went out to dinner to celebrate, we had an amazing ice cream birthday cake from Nagano, at home afterwards. Just a nice little quiet family birthday. I love quiet low key birthdays like this. My favorite type of birthday. : )

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The 3rd and 4th week, his and ours. Plenty of good eats. White Day. His end, leaving Atlanta, Georgia and all the local fun things, he did while there...

Ru's arriving today. I'm so glad, you guys! The kids are so glad. He's so glad. We're going out to dinner tonight. Nothing fancy shmancy but we're going to Coco Ichiban Curry because the limited time, hand breaded chicken tenderloin curry is out right now. So that's the family plan! Monday is a holiday here in Japan so the kids don't have school tomorrow. And with Ru coming home, I need to either get this up and posted. Otherwise it will be so super delayed. So now or never basically. : ) Okay this post will be lumped together.... everything we did for week 3 and week 4, his end and our end. On a Sunday, I made a nice pot roast, some mashed potatoes and gravy and we had some green beans as well. It was so yum! : ) I will be making this again, at the kids request. : )  

What have I been watching on TV? Lots! This night it was The Voice. recognize this woman about to sing? You guys "know" her, I am sure of it. : )

How about now? If you thought, Curly Sue! You're right.

She has a voice that blew me and the judges away! 

This is a brand new show on the TLC channel. I love this show. It's called Long Lost Family. Someone is adopted and they want to reconnect with their birth parent or the birth parent wants to find the child they put up for adoption. I have watched this since it first began a few weeks ago. My dad is also loving this show too. It's so good! : ) She was looking for her birth mother! And when she saw a picture of her, first thing she said was "I know her!" @_@ They work together at the same hospital. Shocking! Such a great episode. 

This pic says...seeking biological mother. This one was a good one too. 

Noah had a field trip. I made sure I got him all packed up the day before.  Rain was expected even though they were going to be in a bus. But, I packed Noah his raincoat and a foldable/compact umbrella. His little lunch right here, I made fresh that morning. A leisure sheet, even though they ate inside a building. A bag for trash (the notes always ask for that, so the kids bring their own trash home) thermos. Just all his stuff needed. Noah had a lot of fun that day. 

The night of Noah's field trip, we had chili beans. Texas style chili. You know Chili concarne (although our carne/beef was on the side) You see chili toppings here and we all shared a bowl of really sweet strawberries as our dessert that night.

Noah's with beef. Bran's with beef too. 

Mine without beef. 

Every weekend we have a relaxing nice breakfast. Either I make pancakes, french toast, omelettes, bacon or sausage. This day we had omelettes, Saturday. Sunday we had french toast.

Noboru couldn't find my Nars pump. So I ordered it online from the Hankyu (nice Japanese department store) they ship for free to your nearest 7-11. Or you pay to have them ship to your house. I chose to pick up from my nearest 7-11 and loved the free shipping. 

Nars foundation pump from the Hankyu. 

700yen and Nars Sheer Glow, I am waiting for ya! : ) I'm ready. 

Pizza from scratch night. I just love cooking for my family. That way I know what's in it. And how fresh it is. 

I was mid cut, when I thought, "oh crap, I almost forgot to take a pic." : )

White Day goodies. You're supposed to give marshmallows. But, giving marshmallows as a gift meh! I love chocolate covered marshmallows personally and rice krispie treats too, so do my kids. But, we gave some rice krispie treats to some Japanese kids/friends once and they hated them, didn't even finish one. We didn't take it personally. But it did make me weary of ever giving marshmallows as gifts in the future. And as for white chocolate. I absolutely hate white chocolate. Like with a passion. A burning passion. It's not even chocolate!!! And it's overly sweet and basically just disgusting. So, I won't be having my boys give that to any sweet...nice girl. Bleh! So, we went with chocolate. Normal good chocolate. See how good I did! I was all matchy matchy with the Spring bags... lady bug theme. And even bought lady bug chocolates. And I baked brownies. With walnuts. Super yum. 

So cute. Fresh baked delicious brownies and 1 of the cutest lady bug chocolates ever! In a cute little matching bag. : ) Had Noah sign his name on the bottom on the bag, pictured/seen here. 

From Noah. Awww. And Bran gave his sweetie one too. : ) But he said no pics of his. hahaha.

Nope, not sealed with a kiss! Sealed with a lady bug or 3! : ) 

The girls loved them and even the next day, Noah said the girls said, "they were so delicious" 

Packing a lunch one morning. They took cheeseburgers. Potato salad and macaroni salad and fresh fruit. 

Choco banana ice cream cups. These are so cheap at my local store. And the kids and I have been sorta addicted to these for the past 2 weeks. 

I see the Halo commercials on TV all the time. "If you don't have halos, they don't have halos" Those commercials crack us up. Was surprised to see them at my store. I was like, I better buy these for Bran and Noah. They are so sweet and so good. 

Random pic of fruit. I buy fruit twice a week. The kids love fruit, so do I. And I like to keep a lot of it at home. Perfect for snacks or whenever. 
I went to Costco one day while the kids were at school. I was there as soon as they opened. 

Cute spring time cupcakes. Didn't buy any though.

My cart pic. I didn't buy those cupcakes because I had already picked up the requested cookies for the kids and the tiramisu. We had a roasted chicken that night or the night after. I forget. And yep, I brought a slice of pizza home that day for my lunch. : )
Yakiniku bowls, is another thing the kids and I had. Marinated chicken and mushrooms, stir fried in a pan. On top of some rice. We wrapped in lettuce leaves. It was delicious.

Keeping the house clean every day. 

Kitchen mats dried outside while I mopped the kitchen floors. 

Fried pork chop night, simple salad, with cucumbers, lettuce, cheese and some really good Italian dressing.


We had another batch of fresh strawberries after we ate our dinner this night. 

Tostada night. Taco beef.

Homemade refried beans.

Bran and Noah had bean and beef tostadas and I just had bean tostadas. But oh my, were these good. : )

My dad sent me the most wonderful birthday card. The card starts out with, "From the day you were born, I've wanted to give you a wonderful life and protect you from anything I thought could hurt you" "Along the way I've worried a lot, and sometimes I still do-we both know that. But it's only because I love you so much" Aww....just the coolest card..most heartfelt card ever! Thank you dad.

I will never take for granted how much I am loved. For that I am so lucky. So that's... what went on, on our side of the world. Now below is everything Noboru did during week 3 and 4. 
Since he is no longer there, it is okay to say where Ru spent the last month. He was in Atlanta, Georgia.

Now, I can show you all the local food he ate, that I couldn't share before. He ate and loved so much southern cooking. A meatloaf plate. 

Rib plate. With a side of mac and cheese and baked beans.

Ru loved this place and ate here often. 

He really liked this place.

He went to the Delta Museum. The Coca Cola tour, he only sent me one pic while there and in the pic, he's with his coworker, so I can't share the one and only pic of that. But, he went all over. It's just...again, I couldn't mention it, until he had left. 

I love this Delta car! I would love to drive this! : ) 

First class seats, then and now.
He went to this restaurant about 5 times. 

He also went here.

His lasagna.

He ran into Ulta for me.

He picked up the things and before checking out... he snapped this picture and Line messaged me and said is this right? And good thing he does that. Because the CC+ was the wrong one. I wanted the one in the silver box, no worries...but he had picked the one in the pink box. He's so smart to send a pic first before checking out. 

He said...color light, right? I said yep. : )

He found the one in the silver box. 

Double checking the color. And he ran and checked out.  He's quick. And he double checks. And we're talking about a man who cruises his...Crab sauce and ponzu into Joe's Crab he embarrassed taking a pic at Ulta? Nope...not even the slightest bit. Hahaha. : )  
He's got the goodies.
Yep, that's Georgia ya'll! : )

Apparently he and his coworker felt very Japanese food deprived, so they went here. : ) 

One morning, I woke up and he messaged me and sent me this pic. He said, "I was at Home Depot today buying myself something and I saw these REAL keys in a fun print so I bought them for you." I said let's share and I'll have 1 and you have 1.  Nope, he messaged me back and said, "I don't want one, I want you to use both" For our house the dead bolt key and bottom lock. @_@  How cute. And hey...if Ru thinks I need these in my life....okay! I'm game. : ) So soon my house keys will be super cute. : ) 

He also bought me 2 extra magazines. 
Noboru's favorite movie of all time is Driving Miss Daisy. When he first found out he was going to Atlanta. He said matter of factly I am going to the grocery store Piggly Wiggly because that's where Miss Daisy shopped. And so he did. : )  

The Piggly Wiggly. 

The original Chick fil-A restaurant. This is major! And see that teeny tiny red door? Looks like it's for a little person. Well, it's called the Dwarf House. I looked online for reasons why it was called that. Were there a lot of little people from Atlanta? Was the owner a little person? No, he wasn't. But, I really wonder why it is called The Dwarf House. And had that teeny tiny door. For what it's worth. I do watch Little Women Atlanta. There's no connection. But yeah...interesting. 

The original Chick fil-A. And see, it does say Dwarf House. Again, I badly wanted to share this with ya'll but couldn't until after he left Atlanta. 

They have a huge menu of items you can't buy at the average Chick fil-A. Look at Ru's fried okra, corn bread etc. 

We have these signs in Denver too. Same as this car. If you're not from the USA, you're probably thinking...chicken is spelled wrong. Fwiw, cows are writing this message and don't want you to eat them...meaning the cows. So they are hinting to you to eat more chicken. But apparently cows aren't the best spellers. : ) I find these adorable. : )

Ru had nachos. 

He sent me this pic and said see how hot it is? 90 degrees F. That is super hot. 

He went here 3 times. We have these in Colorado too.

This bread looked so good to me.

Noboru and his caesar addiction is so strong. : )

Steak and pilaf.

This last Wednesday they went to Joe's Crab Shack yet again.

This was Ru's. And he messaged me, "this is so Snoop Dogg!" And I was lol-ing! Nice arms Ru and he's not even flexing.  

He is bringing back some more pot roast packets.

At least this time he picked the baked potato. : )  He basically worked hard and had a blast on his time off. 

He messaged me this picture Saturday night Japan time. He was about to walk out of his hotel room for good. He was all packed up.

Ready to fly out of Atlanta. The place he called home for the past month. 

It was very early morning for him. He bought something to eat.

He said, black forrest ham and swiss. He flew to another state first. Which is why I am mentioning now he was in Atlanta, because he is not flying into Japan... on the Atlanta flight at all. So again, just a precaution. 
And this pic was sent from the other state. He boarded that other flight around 4:30am Japan time this morning. And he will be arriving a little before dinner time today/this evening. I'm going to jump in the shower as soon as I post this and get myself ready for my sweetie pies arrival. Thanks to you all... for keeping me company while the hubby was away, I really appreciate it.: )