Tuesday, December 20, 2016


I went to Costco yesterday morning in Chiba New Town/Inzai. This was my cart pic yesterday however I also bought a 3 pack of Vaseline body lotion too. What's in this cart? Just basics. You can see a 2 pack of laundry detergent underneath my cart. Inside my cart, I have some stuff for Christmas dinner. Such as a huge box of potatoes for gratin potatoes for Christmas dinner. The shredded cheese is also for the gratin potatoes too, but we will have tons of cheese left and will definitely use it for other things. : ) A 2 pack of milk. Because with Christmas upon us and holiday baking, I need the milk for stuff like gratin potatoes. And other dishes. Plus cereals and things too. So milk definitely comes in handy. : ) A pack of 8 chicken breasts, again for regular meals. Our spiral ham, that will be for our Christmas dinner. I also purchased ingredients at Besia for my honey pineapple glaze. And a huge honkin nearly 4 liters of ice-cream, it's 1 gallon for us Americans. : ) So a regular standard American size. : ) But, the ice cream is for New Year's not for Christmas. And I am turning the entire gallon of ice-cream, they're in 1/2 gallon containers and 2 of those. But, I'm turning those into peanut butter (with Reese's peanut butter cups) icecream. So that is tucked away for New Year's. : )
Is your skin dry in the winter? OMG! My skin is so freaking dry in winter too, it's crazy! : ) They have been selling this 3 pack at Costco in Japan for ages. It's 2 huge bottles with a pump and a convenient still big... but...something you could pack for trips or something and it has a flip cap. If you needed to travel this could be the one. Every time I go to Costco, I keep thinking...I should get that...but next time. And every next time...I say...next time. : ) This time...I said to myself. Just get it. My legs are dry, my elbows are dry, my hands are dry, my knee caps are dry.  Hahaha. So hopefully this will help. : )

So any new update...what's up. Remember how Bran got the "good call" last Friday. About the Principal's recommendation letter? So anyways, Monday morning. The teacher addresses the class and says. Whoever received a "Principal's recommendation" over the weekend, do not say who you are. Do not tell anyone if you got one. Many of you got them, but many of you didn't get one. And so...December 27th, whoever received a "principal recommendation letter" please come to the school and pick up your letter, it will be printed out and stamped and signed and it will be ready to be picked up over Christmas break on December 27th. Reason is... because we don't want whoever did NOT get one, to see who did get one. This just saves every one's feelings. The entire class just said...hai, we understand. And that was that. So...Branden will be going to the JHS on the 27th to pick up his recommendation letter, I will drive him. Meanwhile...we have already registered Branden to take the entrance exam for the high school. The test is at the actual school of course, but registering for it can be done online now, if you live in Chiba. This is the first year Chiba prefecture is doing online registering. I guess last year and years prior... you would have to go all the way to the school to apply to take the exam in person. From this year if you live in Chiba prefecture you can fill out the entrance exam forms online, from home. So that's awesome. And we did that for Branden already this weekend. Entrance exams cost money 14,000 yen to take the test or 15,000 yen. About $150 US. Just for the test. And then once you get the Principal's recommendation letter etc. You have to mail the forms. With a self addressed envelope folded inside to yourself... so they can mail something back to your house. And there is a specific polite way to write the envelope to the school. A certain specific part... has to be "off set" to show respect and politeness, which we did that to the envelope already and we printed it out already too. : ) So as soon as we receive the  recommendation letter. We will mail it off immediately on December 27th. I will drive Bran to the school on the 27th and I guess that is the day we all see who else received the recommendation too, we will be going straight to the post office afterwards too, to mail it off. But again it must be kept super quiet because the ones who didn't get one...are under enough stress. So, I am glad these are given to the kids over the break. I do think that's a good idea. That way nobody feels awkward or uncomfortable. Does that make sense. And to be blunt about it. America may have gun crime and violence but Japan does have stabbing knife violence. And you often hear in the news that some whacko stabs 20 people randomly. Or last month some student stabbed their classmates. And again...you don't want 1 kid with tons of stress and worry about not getting a recommendation letter to go and stab your kid and the other kids who got one, do you? I don't! So...honestly. I do understand why the JHS wants the kids who received a recommendation letter to pick them up over the winter break. That way it's just safer that way for the kids who received the letter. And at the same time... it also saves the other kids feelings and honestly it just makes me feel better. And that's another reason why I will be driving Branden to the school that day on the 27th. Granted I doubt anyone would hurt anyone. Because I do believe the folks in our town are good and kind. But honestly though...it's just better to be safe than sorry.

What else. Today is Wednesday here. Today is Noah's last full day at elementary school. Tomorrow is his closing ceremony thing. So Noah gets off at 11am tomorrow and then Noah will be officially on Winter break! Branden on the other hand being a 9th grader, final JHS year student. The 9th graders will be staying at school after the closing ceremony and have a regular study day. To prepare for their entrance exams. So after their JHS closing ceremony and the 7th and 8th graders leave and go home. The 9th graders will stay and have a full day of school. Plus tomorrow according to my weather forecast 90% chance of rain tomorrow? Will it happen? Maybe. But either way Bran will be having a lot to lug back from school... so he will be getting a ride. And Noah meanwhile has lugged everything home already. : ) Except his seat cushion, he will bring home tomorrow. : ) So...last day of school for both the boys tomorrow. And then it will be Christmas break for our house. Phew. we all are looking forward to some quiet and relax time here at home. : )

Also first week of January. Not on New Year's but a few days afterwards. Our family will be going to Hakone. We have a hotel reservation and our family is quietly just looking forward to this little over night get away at the hot springs town. We have all been so busy this year. Branden especially with school. Noah with school too. Plus we will be starting our... before New Year's cleaning... after Christmas too. I also have a hair color appointment booked on December 28th. It shouldn't take me too long, maybe just an hour. And heck...that's just maintenance. Basic taking care of myself type stuff. : )

Anything else to add? Umm, Our Christmas ice cream cake is arriving December 23rd. Can't wait! We're having a delicious hearty pork curry here at home tonight. Japanese curry. The kids will be having curry spaghetti and Noboru will have curry and rice. And I'm not sure which way I'll be having mine. : )  OMG, I bought so much meat yesterday at Besia you guys. Just enough to last the week, a full 7 days. Tomorrow night we will be having baked teriyaki chicken leg quarters. With rice and veggies and stuff. It will be so good. Anyways, I want to hurry and post this so I can finish cleaning the house and I also want to bake something for dessert tonight too. Happy holidays everyone. : )