Sunday, February 9, 2014

While Daddy is gone...

Ok...I'll be honest...there were lots of tears.  :(  But, we did have some fun.  It's been quite a while since we've spent time without Daddy...like, over a year, but we used to do this quite often just before we left the States.  The kids spent the first few days crying at nap time and crying at bedtime.  But, after I gave each of them one of Daddy's shirts to sleep with they were ok.

Daddy must have some kind of hallway repellant, because there are rarely more than a miscellaneous dropped toy in there.  While he was gone it became a toy magnet.  And, it started with this...They were putting on a Kids Bop dance party lesson.  I was above the age limit for the session and was swiftly kicked out after I snapped this quick shot.


We ate a lot of nonsense while Daddy was gone.  Strange combinations like bacon wrapped 'lil smokies and white rice; meatballs (no sauce) with tater tots and edamame; pancakes and more lil smokies; hot dogs and mac and cheese; grilled cheese and mixed veggies; and cereal!  I also made a couple pots of soup to eat since Kris isn't a big soup fan.  Here's my dad's veggie soup.  Turned out yummy!  I didn't really pay attention to the fact that I used up all the frozen veggies we had to make the soup that only I would eat.  Oops!  So, Luckily, I was invited to Costco with a friend the next day.  I stocked up on veggies there.

Here's a shot from one of our walks.  I decided that we would walk in a new direction.  Usually we leave the apartment and head toward either the Lodge area or Daddy's work, sometimes even toward the McDonald's area.  Today, we went off toward where the ships are.  WOW!  I won't do that at 4 pm anymore!  The traffic was insane and people on bikes almost ran over the kids several times.  I tried to find the view of Mt Fuji from over here, but I was in the wrong place, looking in the wrong direction.  :/  This day was a beautiful day to walk.  I think the weather for most of the two weeks Kris was gone was between 50-60 degrees.  This was around a 50 degree day.  We played on the playground for an hour or so and then took a walk.

I've never been in a Costco before coming to Japan.  I just think it's funny how all the carts are lined up next to the food court waiting on their new owners to take them to be neatly packed into the waiting vehicles.  On our first trip here we ate lunch in the store.  Mackenzie had a slice of pizza as big as her head.  Garytt had a footlong hotdog.  I got a bulgogi sandwich thing...it was bulgogi stuffed into the middle of a yummy bread stick.  Oh my!  Soooo delish!  On this trip, we loaded up on yummy fruits and veggies.  I also found bulgogi beef jerky, which is scrumptious!  And, here is the BEST part of the trip....you know those little snack carts on every aisle where they try to get you to buy something they have cooked for you?  Well, one of the carts in the veggie section had asparagus with a little bit of seasoning (sold in a fifty pound pack in the seasoning aisle).

60 degree day at Costco...no jackets required
The asparagus was sliced into skinny nickel sized shapes and then sautéed.  Then, they were pierced with toothpicks and put in little cups.  My friend's 12 year old daughter was with us and she tasted the asparagus first.  Then, Garytt tried it.  Finally, Mackenzie tried it.  And, guess what....the two kids who fall on the floor in I-don't-like-that-food hysterics at the mere mention of asparagus ATE ASPARAGUS!!!!!!  So, of course, I went in and bought a huge bunch of one of my favorite veggies.  I did not buy the special seasonings, but I did look at what was in the pack so I could try it at home.  I tried it that night and they both ate it....of course, I have to serve it with toothpicks.  But, whatever works!

We went to lunch with friends later in the week.  We walked to TGI Friday's out in town.  When we first moved into our apartment I discovered that one of my neighbors, Dawn and her husband Matt, actually grew up twenty minutes from where I grew up!  Dawn and I took the kids out since both of our hubby's were back State-side.  The kids picked the pancake dinner.  Sugar overload!  Wow!  Pancakes, donut, fries, syrup, chocolate syrup, butter, whipped cream, and a small bowl of oranges and pineapples.  The first thing Mackenzie picked up to eat...the lettuce decoration!  Ha!  Garytt tried a new combination...french fries dipped in chocolate syrup.  He loved it.

And, the sugar loved him...when the girls got up to go potty he had a dance party.


As we were leaving one of the waiters started making balloon creations for the kids.  The girls got flower bracelets.
The boys got swords.


After lunch we went to Mikasa park for a couple hours.  The kids had fun on the climbing thing, for some reason I did not get a shot of that.  Then, they started making trails and mountains and volcanoes in the dirt.  As I was talking to Dawn I mentioned that my dad retired from the DE State Police.  She said, "So did my dad!"  Well, turns out, her dad and my dad actually worked together and when Dawn's dad retired my dad took his spot.  Such a small world!

We sure missed Daddy.  The kids have waited in the hallway for him to wake up from naps and they all crowd into the same chair to watch tv at night.  We are incredibly thankful we were able to arrange for him to make it to New York to be with his family, spending time, loving each other, laughing with each other, and crying with each other.  What a blessing that trip was to many.  We are also glad to have him home!