Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year...

Yup, its just a FEW moments from New Years Day here in Japan.
I wont go into a LONG speech about the YEAR in REVIEW.
We all know it was a crazy wonderful emotional... and exciting year.

I am Excited to start a new one... this is for sure.
I am Sad about a few things: Getting Older (i don't feel 30!), The kids Getting Older! :( (How could i possibly have a 7 yr old? and a 4 yr old? and NO Babies?? Wa!)
I still feel NEWLY married, and i guess that's a GOOD THING, esp. With Ethan and My Anniversary coming up Quickly (2 weeks) ... it will be 11 years Married! WOW! Where did the time go?

I never really cared about the NEW YEAR before, but this year... it's different.
I am FAR AWAY from those i love, and i am OLD NOW (LOL HAHA) and ... my Babies are Big kids! ........
It's all a bit much.
I guess this is why people 'drink' to the New year... hahahahaha

I have a COLD bottle of bubbly in the fridge, but Ethan is SICK AS A DOG... Evan is Sick and Olivia is feeling better... Me? How can i be sick? Mothers are not allowed. So,... maybe i will have a bit of bubbly alone... while on the phone w/ someone... while i play my NEW Fav Game on Wii... Animal Crossing: City Folk.

OK! I hope that was not toooooooooo sappy...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! 2009!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas in Japan

Christmas Day was a BLAST! Evan and Olivia are at PERFECT AGES! :)
Evan was pretty 'sick' for the Whole Day! :(
But, we still had fun anyways.
I am Thankful for SUCH Wonderful Children... and a Awesome Hubbster. :)
God is Good!
(I will write more... but we are all 'sick' now, including me)
Oh, in the last few pic's... there is one of Mel!
And old friend from Sasebo... it was WONDERFUL having him over for Christmas & the day after!

For this entry i decided to make a SlideShow of the Photo's.
Christmas day had a LOT of Photo's... i selected a Few Cute and Funny ones.
Please enjoy by looking here on the blog, or by clicking the Slide link, and Enjoying them Photo by Photo.
:) If you get this blog via E-mail please visit:
by clicking the LINK PROVIDED... and View! :)
ENJOY and plz let me know if this SLIDE SHOW or LINK was not Easy and FUN! :)
I need my Family/Friends FEEDBACK! :) (Via E-mail or comments!)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Well, it's Christmas Eve here in Japan.
The kids are bathing, and Mommy is Wrapping. :)
We are about to open the very 1st gifts of our Christmas! :)
Always one each gift on Christmas Eve before bed.

I just wanted to wish you a Very Merry Christmas!!

We are about to Track Santa at NORAD Track's Santa. The sad news is Olivia & Evan will only be able to see him Start Christmas, as it's Bedtime at 8 pm here.
Oh Well!

:) Again, Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Bit of Cooking

Today i got the itch to do some cooking and baking. I had a lot of fun.
The family did enjoy themselves.
These are the sticky buns i made this morning. It was my 1st time.
One i made in the metal pan (those came out more crisp) and the the rest on my stone. BOTH were cooked Perfectly... just one was darker on the outside.
They were SOOOooo good. Ethan was just Raving, and Oooohing. :)

The Recipe
I used the Same Day Method... and did not add Cinnamon but instead used Walnuts...
Then i topped with Vanilla (cake) Icing. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Just a little bit on the top... it melts, and it HEAVEN!
A perfect Sticky Nut-y Bun!

I made homemade pizza (including the dough) and Olivia got a special Heart Shaped Pizza! How Adorable! I cant believe it turned out so well.

And last night i made Peanut Brittle. It took 2 'oops' batches before i got it right... it's soooooooo good! I am sure glad i tried that recipe! It's Delish!

Of course i still have pie's to make ... and a few other things for Christmas Feast on Thursday. I am Trying to be festive and ... bake and Enjoy these holidays.

The kids seam to Really Enjoy all the cooking! :) Ethan too.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Our Gingerbread Family

Evan INSISTED we buy this Gingerbread Man Kit about 2 weeks ago.
He just Could Not Wait ... and asked everyday to make these Gingerbread men.
Tonight, after we watched our Favorite Movie for the holidays "The Polar Express"... we made our Gingerbread Cookies! :) I got some Very Cute pictures... Plz Enjoy!

Mine is the one w/ the ring on her finger... Ethan's is the Mad one, haha... his arm fell off. Evan's is 1/2 eat'n and Olivia's is the one in overall's... haha

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cherished Family Decoration's

So last weekend we did our tree decorating.
We had a great time. Evan Especially had a blast. He [daily] wants to un-decorate the tree and re-decorate it! haha!

Here is our Tree this year.
We did not break out the 'real ornaments' last year, because Ethan was away.
We had a good time looking through all the old and new ones this year....

Here is Olivia with a Very Old Ornament! It was given to Me ... from my Mother YEARS ago.
I love this ornament... and the string is SO close to breaking :( .
Anyways... i thought my Mom would enjoy seeing these pictures of the kids and old family decorations.

Evan, with another old family ornament.

This Angel was made by my Meemaw years ago. She always sat on a shelf... but this year she was given the top of the tree. :) I love her, and every time i look at the tree i think of Meemaw! :) Family is what the holidays are all about!

This is my Family of Reindeer! They were given to me last year from my Mom. She had them for MANY Years... and Actually there is another member... but i don't have another child. :) We will save "her" in case we have another one[baby] one year!
I do love these ... and looking at them reminds me of my years at home.
I cherish my Christmas Items... they bring so many good memories!

Date Night [December)

About the 1st week of our Christmas Break, Ethan went on a Date Night. I don't think i wrote about it... so i will now.

It was a REALLY nice nite. We took the train, walked around different train stops... and just had a BLAST (alone!)
We walked for a long while before choosing. We finally decided on this place. they had a booth available...!!
This is the place we picked... it was a Yakitori place (everything in a stick... w/ lots of beer/drink choices).
This place is all about it's Chicken!

We peek'd in before going for it. It looked SO good!

This place had a English Menu ... like most places here in the 'Greater Tokyo area' do.

The price is for one stick. The 2nd price is with tax included. So if it was 63 yen for one stick... that's About 63 cents depending on the yen rate.

This Japanese Green Pepper ...MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!

This plate includes Green Pepper, Mushrooms and Bacon Wrapped Asparagus!

We both LOVED the Chicken and Onion!

We ordered some 'Garlic'. We thought it would be something different... but it was a head of garlic roasted and served with Miso paste. Mmmmmmm it was so hot and so unexpectedly good!

Ok, one of the reason's we picked this place is because from the window we could see a stack of 'fried flat things' ... and it just looked SOooooooooooooooooo good!
So, at the end of our meal we asked what they were. The lady told us "chicken crackers". We ordered a plate. it came w/ 3... and they were quite big.
They also were not cheap!
Anyways, they were Heavily salt & peppered ... and they were not Crackers... It was "chicken rind's" like.... pork rinds.... but chicken.
So, Chicken Skin... right?
It was CRUNCHY.... and good... but more than one was an overload!

The bill (for anyone interested) was 6,000Y (give or take a few Yen's). That's about 60$.
That included All the 'sticks' we wanted and 3 'drinks' (beer).
Next time we will order what we Loved... We tried a Bunch of 'sticks' ... so our bill was probably higher than normal.

We are trying to do a Date Night Every Month.
The next one is coming up soon as our Anniversary is this weekend.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Santa E-Mail...

If you have kids... this is Awesome! :)
We really got a kick out of this ...and Olivia & Evan did too!
Check it out... Santa REALLY DOES know your kids!

Christmas Favorites!

One of my Favorite things about the Holidays... is digging the boxes out of the shed with all the Holiday Goodies inside. We love our Christmas Movies in this house. We only bring them out from Thanksgiving Night ~NewYears Day. Then they are packed away again and brought out next year. This makes the Movies Very Special for us (And probably you too!)
I thought i would share our collection...

1st movies: --->(not in any particular order)
*Disney's A Christmas of Enchantment [Olivia's Favorite...she has Quite a Few Fav's!]
*A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie
*Christmas with the Kranks [my favorite]
*Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas
*A FlinstonesChristmas Carol
*Ernest Saves Christmas
*The Muppet Christmas Carol
*The Polar Express [Evan's Favorite, Olivia too... really? It's a FAMILY Favorite!]
*Shrek the Hall's
*It's a Wonderful Life
*The Santa Clause 2
*Babes in Toyland
*Jack Frost
*National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
*A Christmas Story (You'll shoot your eye out) [Ethan's Favorite]
*Dr. Seuss "How the Grinch Stole Christmas
*The Year Without a Santa Claus
*HOME ALONE [The Complete Collection]
*Prancer Returns
--->The Original TV Christmas Classic's --->
-Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
-Frosty the Snowman
-Frost Returns
-Santa Claus is Coming to Town
-The Little Drummer Boy
:) We love our Christmas Movies! Can you tell??

I will do Books Next!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mid-week Update

So, today is Wednesday, and a Rainy one at that!
It's about 45~50 degree's out and yucky out. A Definite Umbrella day!

I have been feeling a bit sick [sore throat] and sore these past 2 days. So today i took Olivia to school a bit late and Evan went right on time. (both about 9 am).
I took some Strong Med's and after both kiddo's were dry & warm inside school i headed out for the day.
I have not gone out alone YET! I always go with a friend... we try and make trips to the base together to save $$ on gas/tolls... or just plain ole' hanging out.
Today i Needed to go out and no one else needed to [in the rain].

I walked to the Jimmuji Station from where i parked and got on headed for Shiori Station. I had some Daiei Shopping. I needed to find something for Olivia's Teacher and ... a few more things for the kids [from Santa].
I did indeed find the perfect card and gift [imo] for Olivia's Teacher and i hope she enjoys it!
For the kids?
I spent about 1/2 my time in the clothing department.
I ended up finding Olivia a Darling Outfit! And Evan ... he got a Cute Shirt. (not sure about pants with him off base just yet.)
I also found some CUTE Sock's and Under-roo's too! :) (We always got some nice Socks and Under's for Christmas! ;) )
While i was in the Toy Section i browsed and browsed and browsed some more. I was having a hard time with Evan's Santa gift this year. He asked for something Very Specific... and it's hard... because there are quite a few ways/choices to go about it. So i had trouble deciding Which one to get. It took a while, but i finally made a decision.
I picked up a few other things... but i had to rush outta there because today is a Early day for the Olivia and i wanted to make sure i got home in time.

So i left about 9:30 am on the train and it takes me about 45 minutes to take the train to the base area. Today though... it ran a bit differently and i made it to the 'mall' at about 10:05!!
I went directly for a Coffee and had a 10 minute sit down... then it was off for shopping.
I shopped till about 12:30 [on the nose] and BOOKED it to the station... (i did not want to be late... and i always leave myself 1 hour to get back.)
All in all... the trains were running Well today (as they always are... haha)! And i caught all the connection's quickly... and was back in Ikego about 1:05 pm. I got everything situated in the car and headed to get Olivia at 1:15 pm.

It was a Enjoyable day along... which is very rare... but i had a lot of fun!

For the rest of the week??
Nothing planned except School for both kids until Friday.
Then it's Winter Break! YEA!!! I am very excited! This means lots of relaxing and sleeping in!
Cooking making, present wrapping... and good family time!
Ethan also starts his Holiday time off on Friday for about 10 days.

On Saturday Evening Ethan and i will have a Date night, and we never do that... so i am Excited! I do think that it might turn into a Shopping Excursion... haha... It will be the last time without the kids before Christmas day!
I hope to have some time alone ... and a bit of fun. :)

We are thinking to take the train to Yakota or Yakota Area on Sunday... but we have not worked out all the details or directions. I hope we can fit in some Fun Home-made trips into our Christmas Vacation.

I am really missing the American Mall's and all the "Last minute deals" of the Disney Store... and Build a Bear... Oh and i am thinking of Target and Toys R Us... (although we do have that store here).
The prices and selection here in Yokosuka ... it's SLIM! We have VERY Little in the way of toys and things.
So, i have gone off base for LOTS of my Christmas Shopping this year... but it's very expensive!
For the past few years i have been trying to Scale back my shopping... because i can get out of control! (haha)... but it seams like living in Japan might be the trick! It's hard to go overboard when there is no "buy one get ones"<--- (DISNEY) and very little selection.

All in All? We are very happy to be settling in and getting in the grove of living overseas again.
We miss our family and friends TERRIBLY... but this Japan Live is a Temporary one, and ... one we may never have again. So, we are trying to make the best of it... and enjoy every moment.

Olivia seams to be growing before our very eyes. She is not only getting bigger... but Older in a way. She is changing everyday. She is Learning so MUCH from school (Her reading is just Blossoming...) and she is into things like Music and Science now!
Evan is just being Evan! He is really learning a lot from going to school 3 days a week. He is also opening himself to Art! He has brought home a few pages these past 2 weeks... and he is proud! I am too, as he is usually not into Art.
He is no longer having issues with his Clothing!!! YEA!!!! Well, i would not call it Issues... He just always wanted to pick his own clothing and would not wear anything 'baby' for a LONG TIME! He has been into having it his way or the highway for about 18 months ... but NOW??? He is having No Problems Wearing anything i buy... and NOTHING is 'baby' anymore!

They are both growing so fast in size too!
Olivia is now a size 7 in jeans and a 7/8 in dresses. (Sometimes 8/10 in things that run small)
She is a 'good' 2 in shoes.
Evan? He is a size 5 in everything ... pants and shirts... and jackets.
He is a size 12.5 in shoes.

This year will be Olivia's last year to fit in Japanese Little Girl sizes. She is a 130 (I think) in a few things... and so of course i have been buying some cute things. She will move up to bigger girls [not soooo cute] sizes here Real soon! :(
She already graduated out of Little Girl shoes ... so we are not able to buy those CUTE As HECK Pink Glittery Shoes ... Oh Well! She wants Croc's and Boots anyways! haha
OK! I have Rambled long enough!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Christmas Party & A Christmas Concert

So, on Monday we were invited to a Christmas Party. Our good friends here in Japan named Tim & Kathleen had their annual work party. It was geared a bit twards kids, and they really thought the children would have fun. So, we skipped school [with permission of course] and headed out on a nice little adventure.

We took the train from Jimmuji to Anjinzuka station it took us one connection and about 20 minutes. Ethan came from Shiori Station [no connections and about 5 minutes] and we all met up. [He went to work that day.]

We got off there and took a nice walk through this quaint little cho [neighborhood]. it was about a 15 minute walk to the dock. Yup... we took a Boat to Tim's work! What a surprise for the children!

Evan having a relaxing boat ride.

Ethan, Olivia & Evan ... riding in front.

There is Mr. Tim as Santa Clause! [hahahaha]

There is Olivia going up for her gift.

There is Olivia being crazy funny! Oh, there is so many things that you can do with your Glasses!

Evan eating all the candy at the table. Boy! There was gooood Japanese/American candy snacks.

And here we fast forward to Today.

Olivia's school took a entire school field trip today. They all loaded up and took a trip to the Yokosuka Base for Caroling for the Ships. Olivia's class was selected to sing on board the USS Stethem. They did a bit of singing [about 10 songs] and they sounded GREAT! I was so proud!

When they were done singing on the back of the ship we sent inside and had hot cocoa and donuts/cookies.

I left the class after the ship event [mostly because i was feeling more and more sick]... but the kids headed to the base theatre to interact and listen to the Navy Band!

They played "jingle bell rock" and she loved it!

Olivia was VERY impressed with the Trombone. She wants to be a Trombone player when she grows up ... for now. Evan says "I wanna be a trombone when i grow up toooo" [It might be hard to BE and Instrument. hahaha

Olivia and part of her class singing

More Singing...

Evan and Daddy watching.

From the back of the Stethem we could clearly see the USS GW. It's hard to see the new [to Yokosuka] ship from a place on base... but we had a clear view on the back of the ship. WOW! It's big.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Food Shopping in Zushi Ginza ...

A few days ago i went with a friend to Zushi via the train from Ikego. It's just one stop down at ShinZushi station.
We had a nice time looking around, buying some goodies and of course having coffee.
We will start with Starbucks! :)
I had a Dark Cherry Mocha and it was Delish... with a Holiday Sandwich... which was not. haha.
It was not bad... but it was not something i loved.
I wish i would have bought the Snow Strawberry pictured here, Next Time!

That was a GREAT cup of Coffee!!!!!!! Do you see the little packet to the right? That's a 'wash your hands' packet. Ah! I love Japan!

Here is a basic Dessert Area.
At almost all Food Stores here[in Japan] you will find a NICE Selection of desserts! I don't usually buy these, as they are $$!!!
I will on a Special Occasion though!
I picked these cute little packs of 'chocolate balls' for the kids... im helping Santa...
He should be placing them in the kids stockings on Christmas Eve! :)
At 160Yen [1.60$] a pack... they were just 2 cute to pass up! Click the picture to see the details! :) It's a SMALL bag, but oh so cute!
OH, and i found a hole in the wall 'toy store' on our walk and i helped Santa out[again] with a bit of shopping for Evan.
Don't you just love that at any store[in Japan] they offer FREE gift wrapping?? I do!!! :)
Most of all i love Watching them Fold the paper! They NEVER cut a Thing! It's all folding and a few pieces of Tape! Awesome!

While walking we strolled by a meat counter and this piece caught my eye... look how beautifully marbled! I mean WOW! :) And no... i did not buy this VERY small/thin piece of meat for 12 American dollars! :) It ... alone might feed my hubby! lol
I happened to stumble upon this wonderful Van. They sold Melon Pan Bread... and WOW! Its just so taste-y!
One of my favorite Japanese items is this Mochi Ice cream the box with RED all over... for 250 yen, or 2.50$. It's Mochi (pounded sticky rice) with a ball of vanilla ice cream inside. I remember these from Okinawa Japan when i was soooo young! I enjoyed them while living in Sasebo and here now in Yokosuka! I just wish i could find them stateside so my family and friends back home could try and enjoy! :)
Kitty... this picture is for you... i don't know why i thought of you when i saw these... Oh... Meemaw too...
But,... wouldn't you guys love to Drink "pure beauty"??? I wonder...............
Here's another bakery that had beautiful Holiday Themed Breads and Desserts. SO PRETTY!
No... i did not buy from there. This was a Window shopping trip mostly.
Interesting............................... and i HAVE eat'n this at a Japanese Street Fair. They charcoal grill them... you pick the 'little guy' out with a tooth pick and Chow Down... LOL Textural experience!
This is the open air market where i like to buy my veggies. They people are very nice, and they have really good prices! Remember ... if you want to see a bigger view of the selection/prices... click the pictures.
This is a corner stand sushi place. I will say they had some of the most delish sushi i have had! AND... they were Re-filling Every 3~5 minutes... the Entire stock! Talk about Fresh! They pretty much always have a line.......... AND they are cutting/making it RIGHT THERE! Awesome!
This is us leaving the Ginza [shopping district]. It's a Small Double sided shopping street... it goes quite a ways down. That day i took a lot of photo's of the food... but next time i will focus on the Decor and Things to BUY! :)