Monday, November 28, 2016

My Dad's visit to Japan last week...

Last Tuesday my dad arrived in Japan to be here in time for Thanksgiving and spend some time with us here at home. He brought a few things for us in his carry-on suitcase. 2 boxes of honey cornbread, omg! This is so delicious! I am so grateful for my dad bringing us this cornbread. 1 of these boxes we will use at Christmas for dinner. And the other we can enjoy during Christmas break! See the picture of the slice/pat of butter under the honey, on that box? Just butter that cornbread as soon as it comes out of the oven. Holy goodness, hot buttered cornbread is divine! He also brought 2 different types of extra thick, heavy duty tin foil. Japanese tin foil is so thin, granted I do not mind it one bit! But it was something my dad wanted to bring. : ) The marshmallows and 2 boxes of Rice krispies are for Rice Crispy treats. Smore's Pop Tarts both Branden and Noah love these! : ) You can see a pinch of the 2 turkey pans in the back of this pic. 

Fritos, Cheetos and Jalapeno Cheetos. : )

Magazines. My 2 favorite magazines too. People and In Touch. Reading material is just something I *always* appreciate so much. Magazines, you know just... tabloid gossip Hollywood stuff, I always enjoy reading the fluff...while picking up the kids at the plaza after school. 



Grandpa and Noah doing math homework together. The quality time spent together was just really nice. Branden and Noah love their grandpa *very* much. : ) 
My dad enjoying a hot bowl of ozoni at the town festival on Wednesday. Wednesday was a holiday for us in Japan. Labor Day or something like that for us in Japan. : ) 

Branden about to dig into his kinako mochi. He also had some fries. Noah had a chocolate banana and a few other things too. Noboru was eating and people watching. I was people watching too and talking with my dad and the rest of the family. The festival is always very nice. And it's pretty local. Just locals for the most part. Just a nice relaxing festival. : )
These are what my dad picked and took back with him. A train bowl and a little train dish and a picture of 2 owls on a cute plate. And I love that because they are handmade...they are unique and different. Even if the same kid drew the same picture, they still come out slightly different. I find that so cool. 

These are the 4 plates, small little side dish plates that I picked. They are each one of a kind. I picked a plate with owls and my plate is definitely slightly different than my dad's owl plate. The eyes are different on the owls. So again...we each got a total one of a kind plate. Even though the child drew the same picture, there are slightly differences. And we both really love that about the ones we picked. The Fall tree with different colored leaves and 2 jizo statue under the tree. The baby chick plate, I used at Thanksgiving and placed our green beans on there. : ) These plates are so innocent looking and I love these. : ) I can imagine placing karaage on here or some kobocha on here in Fall. These are very useful plates and very beautiful to me. : ) 

Smart, wise and a thinking owl. : ) And I like that this owl is not a lone owl...he has a friend. : ) 

I loved the branches and the leaves and the smiling faces on the jizo. 

I also picked a bowl. With 3 tulips. And a cloth magnet that now hangs on my fridge. And this tulip bowl....is what held my salad last night at dinner. : ) I love these works of art made my children! And I use them daily! And appreciate them! Like I said, they sell these here at this festival every year. And this year I was surprised that they also sold professional pottery, bowls, cups, plates etc too at a different table and different part/row/area of the festival of course... from an artist and expert with 30 years of experience under their belt. And while their stuff was indeed nice and perfect. I much prefer the children's dishes! : )

This is just so beautiful to me! I love how 1 of the chicks feet are made from thicker black lines while the other chicks foot is thinner lines. So one thick foot and one thinner foot. : ) That just makes me smile every time I see this plate! The fact they tried their very best. And...I love this chick! I think it came out so gorgeous! I would appreciate a plate like this! And I do...which is why I picked it. : ) And even proudly displayed on my Thanksgiving 2016 table! My only wish is...I wish the child who made this...knew how much I appreciated their lovely plate and artwork!: )

I love this plate too, because I like kokeshi dolls. And the happy faces and cute little hair-do on these dolls are just...the best! : )

Of course as you know we had a lovely low key, relaxed Thanksgiving here at home.

Friday morning, after the boys went to school, the 3 of us went to Starbucks in the small city nearest us, to just relax and spend an hour, to an hour and a half talking! And yet another variety of the Starbucks Christmas cups! We have had 3 so far! Different ones. I think there are quite a few different variety cups and I am always excited to see which cup I get. This cup in particular was gorgeous! : ) 

It is always so wonderful to be able to spend time with you dad! I treasure the time we get to spend together! I really *really* do! I love you dad! : )

CM was for me and that's because I had the caramel machiatto. And GB was my dad's because he picked the Gingerbread latte! Yumm! They're both excellent drinks. Noboru was there too and he had a hot American coffee and a donut that he felt was really delicious! It was wonderful that we could just talk and talk and talk. After that... we went to the small mall and went to Seria, which is a 100 yen store. That small mall also has a Daiso too, and both are great. But, I personally find the quality to be much higher at Seria. So, we shopped in there and looked around. And then we looked around the supermarket. And headed to lunch. 
I am my dad's only child. And Branden and Noah are his only grandchildren. So he always has Branden and Noah on his mind. Because well...he's a fantastic grandpa and thinks of them all the time. As we were leaving Starbucks. He said, I am going to buy Branden and Noah each a giant chocolate chip cookie, since they could not be with us today...since they had school. So...that's what he did. : ) 

After we finished looking around Seria. On our way out. My dad said, I know the boys are into those Cokes with bows. They had been making a few since he had arrived and they told grandpa all the hoopla about these special Coke bottles and how all their friends are making the bows on them. And so as we were leaving the mall, my dad quickly grabbed a cart and before I knew it he had thrown 2 Coke's (special Christmas Cokes) into his cart and he also said...look...pear Fanta, they should try this! When the boys came home from school later that afternoon, my dad had placed 1 Starbucks cookie and 1 Coke and 1 Fanta pear on each of their dinner place mats on the table. Grandpa nonchalantly just said...."Oh today I picked up a few things I hoped you like them" The kids were like..."thanks grandpa!" "Grandpa you're the best!"...Sometimes it's just the little things. Like a soda because he was thoughtful...knowing the kids like making the Christmas bows on the bottles. Or just thinking...they deserved a cookie that day. He said because it was Friday. : ) And even just doing some homework. Just the thoughtfulness that he always has and quality time that my dad spent with the boys and me too. Just a wonderful week...well technically 4 nights. An excellent time well spent. : )

Step 1,2 and 3. And see the bow? That's how it should look. : )
After leaving the mall. It was time for some lunch. At our favorite Indian restaurant. I had the kobocha (Japanese pumpkin) curry. 

Our meals also come with a drink. We spent the rest of our afternoon there, enjoying our lunch and conversation on Friday, November 25th.
We watched American Housewife on Friday night. Came on Thursday for those of you in the states. It was the Thanksgiving episode. It was excellent. American Housewife is one of my favorite shows! My dad and I were cracking up so hard over this show!

She says her mom, pictured here. Was a flight attendant back in the day when it was glamorous. And her mom always steals the spotlight from everyone else. And so she showed up in a neck thing and it wasn't even bolted in and yes it was for attention. This was such an excellent funny episode. It was wonderful for all of us to be able to spend a nice relaxing Friday evening with my dad. And Saturday morning he left bright and early to catch his flight. So anyway, that was my dad's trip in a nutshell. : )