Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Halloween Fun 2016...

Happy Halloween everyone!!! It's November 1st here already. I know you in the mainland US are having your Halloween trick or treating fun right now! But for us, it's already over! And those of you in Japan, I sure hope you all had a wonderful Halloween too of course! We had an awesome Halloween here at our house! And I have a free hour, so now is my chance to catch up with you all real quick. And let ya'll know how we spent Halloween in our neck of the woods, here in our area of rural Japan! : ) These are the Halloween treats that we brought back from Guam a couple weeks back! I will still be posting our Guam trip. As quickly as I can. : ) But for now...this is the Halloween treats pic. The kids and I were lucky enough to be in Guam and therefore got to pick quite a few bags of American Halloween candy....we each picked our faves and we all are sharing and enjoying it. I have held onto these bags and they have remained unopened until yesterday evening. : ) 
Last week, while I was at Costco, for my weekly shop there. I saw a whole bunch of medium sized Halloween pumpkins. These pumpkins came from the United States. The prices were AMAZING. Super affordable American type prices. And I messaged an American friend of mine who lives in another part of Japan. And she was so happy when I mentioned the pumpkins...that she and her kids drove to her Costco the day after to do her monthly shopping and she texted me that her Costco had these too. And she told me she bought 2 of these for cooking! Which is amazeballs. She made something delicious out of hers! So just a friendly helpful heads up anyway! I didn't buy any of these because, they reached my Costco simply way too late. 5 days before Halloween is a bit late and by that time we already had our pumpkin from another store. I hope next year Costco in Japan gets these wonderful pumpkins earlier in the month. 

198 yen for a pretty good sized pumpkin is a great deal! Especially for us Americans in Japan!

Because if they were too small, they wouldn't have been easy to carve...but these are. So you can tell these are more so... medium sized pumpkins. On the bright side...if anyone wants them for cooking and baking. Maybe you can get a whole bunch... half off by now. And bake and freeze a whole bunch of pies? Who knows. : ) Anyway...hope this helps someone. : )
Halloween is starting to catch on here in Japan. It's not even close...to how we celebrate it in America though. In America, we gave out treats to whoever rang our doorbell. As long as they were in a costume and not too big/old. Hahaha. However here. At least for our housing community. 4th grade kids only knock at fellow 4th grade houses and those mom's organize how many treats. And same for us too. Noah's a 5th grader. And all us 5th grade mom's decided whoever lives in our housing community...we would have Halloween Saturday (trick or treating). And all the week beforehand. The kids while at school would pass along messages through our kids from us mom's. Which kids are trick or treating and which kids are not? Noah said he was. So everyone knew to have a treat waiting for Noah-chan at his classmates house and vice versa for us, we knew who to prepare for. Just like, I knew little K wouldn't be trick or treating. But, I knew for example Naoki-kun would be. And a whole bunch others. I had a round about idea. Also another difference is...in Japan, they don't just give out 1 treat per kid, like how we do in the US. To be fair we do that in the US because we give out candy to about 150 kids and so considering cost... it is wiser to give out 1 treat per kid. Not so here. The first couple years...I would hand out 1 candy per kid (American style). Whoever knocked at my door. And meanwhile they would give Noah a goodie bag. I looked sorta like a cheapskate! @_@ Also...when Noah was in the 1st grade. And his classmates started all this trick or treating stuff. Bran's classmates weren't into it. But Noah's classmates were. So anyways...years ago when Noah was a first grader...besides the fact I was only giving out 1 treat per child. I was happily giving out American Halloween candy! However...the kids weren't really too jazzed or crazy about my candy! @_@ "What's this they'd ask?"It was clear they preferred Japanese treats, instead of ours. And that's okay, I guess. @_@ Deep sigh... deep sigh. So...as they say...live and learn. After a year or two of making "mistakes" I now...make goodie bags. And I now just buy my trick or treaters Japanese treats. Which is fine. And we keep the American treats for my kids and myself. Which is more than fine with us. Also this year Noah received less goodie bags and more a handful of the same thing. Which is totally fine. But...again it's done differently here. : ) 

We made 23 of these goodie bags. 

From Noah. : )  Oh Japan! So yes...in Japan, I do it this way. And if I lived in America, I'd do the American way. : ) 
Friday after school, we carved our pumpkin and turned him into a Jack O'Lantern!
Branden decided the design this year!

So cute! Excellent job Bran! So from Friday, our Jack O'Lantern sat on the porch. He was waiting for our trick or treaters on Saturday!
Happy Saturday Noah, I mean Mario! Have fun trick or treating with your friends! And hello Jack the Pumpkin Head! You are looking mighty fine today Jack! : ) Mighty fine! ; ) 

You have lots of fun today, okay?! I love you very very much! And you look adorable and like a sweet little 11 year old! Childhood is so fleeting, so enjoy! : )
The trick or treaters who just left my house! All 5th graders! I see a witch sitting on my grass. I see a pirate and I see Noah's jack o lantern bucket on his bike. Yes the kids go trick or treating by bike. : ) Because our housing community is large and the 5th graders live all over.

Hello Mario, I see you with all your friends! : ) What a fun Saturday for the kids in our area!

Noah brought back, these! Rice crackers a plenty. A few treat goodie bags. Coconut sable cookies. He was quite happy with his haul. And most importantly... he had a blast! So bless their little hearts! : )  I made taquitos that night.  Now...flash forward to Monday, actual Halloween in the pics below. : ) 

Monday morning, I packed 2 lunches. Bran rode his bike with his friends to JHS. And Noah got a ride. I came home. Made the pizza dough immediately like before 8am! I then stripped down 3 beds and ran to the laundry mat. I washed all of Noah's bedding, plus I pulled out his fleece blanket to add to his bedding. I washed all of Bran's bedding too and also washed his Fall/Winter fleece blanket too. I washed all my own bedding and also pulled out my winter fleece blanket and basically took 3 beds worth of bedding to the laundry mat. Washed all those nicely. Picked up some mushrooms along the way home and some vanilla icecream and then went home, put the mushrooms in the fridge for the pizza for later that night. Made 3 beds. Vacuumed the downstairs. Swished 2 toilets. And then I baked a yellow cake and roasted some pumpkin seeds. And then at 12:30pm, I was done with the house. I had lunch and then rested the rest of my day. I got so much done in the morning. Went and picked up Noah from school and then we...meaning the kids and I enjoyed our Halloween here at home. Noboru had to work. But...I always make Halloween fun in our house. I always make something special for dinner. Something delicious and yummy. We also watch movies and enjoy our night. 

We had a yellow cake with chocolate frosting and Halloween sprinkles. I picked up a big carton of vanilla ice cream too. We had roasted pumpkin seeds and a whole bunch of American Halloween treats. These are only half of the amount of our treats. The rest are in the pantry. We had a homemade from scratch pizza baking in the oven. And again...with living in Japan, we can't celebrate Halloween the American way. But we do create our own special family Halloween traditions here! And so, I always want them to know...mom made it special for them! : ) 

I love you boys so very much! Love you Branden. Love you Noah! And okay....you too Jack the Pumpkin Head 2016! And you can see...I had Halloween Jack O'Lantern lights on my 2 front windows. And I had the spooky lights and decorations on our house! Clearly an American mom lives in this house! : ) I always try to decorate each season or holiday. : ) 

So cute! I love the holidays so much!

I almost forgot to take a picture of our homemade from scratch pizza. The kids got the large pepperoni pizza and I had a small pepperoni, mushroom, onion and jalapeno pizza (am having some for lunch this afternoon). We ate dinner in the living room. We usually won't do that. But...it was a special night. We watched Halloween movies all night long. Hocus Pocus was on last night!

Cake and ice cream for dessert. And then everyone took turns showering. Then into their pajamas and right back to watch another Halloween movie. And snack on some delicious American Halloween candy and chocolate and watch another Halloween movie. It was a fun night, last night! Hope you all had a really special Halloween too! Much love from our family to you and yours! : )