Sunday, February 25, 2007 obviously, I need to get a life...or something...but...

...Seriously...don't these two look an awful lot alike?!?!?!

I have become a huge fan of Grey's Anatomy...and have found "McSteamy" quite, shall we say...yummy. (He's the one on the right, by the way...)

Anyway...everytime I see a picture of Leonardo from his new movie (which I didn't see, but my friend "the movie queen, Hiroko" said was actually, really good!), I keep thinking that I am seeing Eric Dane ("McSteamy").

I'm not a big fan of Leo's, but....he is looking better and better with age...maybe I will check out that new movie and see if I like him yet as an actor.

Gosh...what ramblings on a Sunday night, huh? Really should get some stuff ready for classes tomorrow...truly hate being unprepared.

Hope you all had a good weekend and that you wake up tomorrow morning (Monday!) ready to "Carpe Diem".

**by the day a few months ago as Issei was leaving for school, I said "Carpe diem, Issei, carpe diem!!" (being the supportive and energetic mother, that I am!!) The look on his face was priceless....trying to figure out what the hell I saying about fish!!! Of course, that look ranks up there with the one I got when I told him one day to "Hold your horses!" "But, Mom...I have no horses!"

I must remember that there are some things we say in English that really are quite funny, if you think about it!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Happy Birthday, Little Man.....

So....this is Issei....9 years ago and just a few hours old. I remember being so incredibly antsy (despite being a bit drugged up!!) to be able to hold him after he was born, but had to wait a bit before that could happen. Issei was born C-section and due to some slight complications (nothing too terribly serious, stress on the "slight") he was in an incubator for a few hours. I remember just watching and listening to him breathe...he seemed so tiny. After waiting, what seemed all my life for him, he was finally here....

...and though he drives me absolutely crazy at times...he is still pretty damn precious to me.

Tonight we celebrated his birthday by going out for sushi...his request because he really wanted to "eat some expensive tuna"!!! Grandma Kozue joined us and we ate some good sushi for a really great price....gotta love those "conveyor belt" sushi places!!! (In Japanese, we say "kaiten sushi"!!) The plates just keep coming and coming and coming!!! :-D

We will be having birthday cake this going to attempt a "cupcake cake"...Aunt Marcia (my "senpai" in the cake decorating world!!) sent me a couple of ideas...if it turns out okay, I'll post a photo or two!!!

Happy Birthday, Issei. We love ya!! :-D

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Oh, yes....Valentine's Day....what a nice memory...

Yes, yes, yes, I is the day after Valentine's Day....I also know that when it comes to this particular "day of love", being in Japan just really sucks. (Sorry, but, I'm about to go on a bit of a rant ..... )

"Why?" you ask.....well....thanks to a chocolate company the day is "celebrated" (and I use that term oh so very lightly!!) differently.
First of in nothing.
Women are the ones buying the gifts....the chocolates, in particular. Not only buying, but many women and girls are making chocolates, cakes, cookies....all in the name of love.
On March 14, we have what they (again...a chocolate company's idea!) have named"White Day", where men are to buy something for the woman who gave them something on Feb. 14th....and it needs to guessed it...white. White chocolate cookies...sox (!)...handkerchief...I even got marshmallows one year!!!

I know....I know....I'm living in Japan...."When in Rome..." yada yada yada!!
I guess I just miss that exciting feeling of wondering what would happen on Valentine's Day...
I was lucky enough, on a few occasions to have really nice boyfriends or just boy friends, who actually put some thought into a was all just pretty romantic. *sigh*

And yes...this year...I bought chocolates for "my boys"...made strawberry Valentine cupcakes for my morning class...and...bought flowers for myself....really nice flowers!!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day....I wish you, fun presents, and lots and lots of hugs and kisses!!!

Monday, February 12, 2007

How would YOU describe a pop tart?!?!

My friend, Kaoru, sent me a "please help me" kind of message the other day....she teaches English in elementary schools and one of the teachers she works with asked her to tell the 6th graders a bit about what life is like for American school kids. Now, Kaoru was in American studying English for awhile, but her experiences at a university would NOT be what the teacher was wanting.....ergo the message to me.

I immediately called my mom.....gave her a list of questions for her to "interview" the most in-the-know kids that I know of----my nephews Bo, Todd and Rafe. I also cut out of the newspaper the lunch and breakfast menus for a couple of schools just to show her what they had to offer.
One morning, PopTarts were on the menu. Kaoru called to ask about that item...."What is a PopTart??"'s not really a flat, hard pastry you put in the has fruit and sometimes frosting.....MAN! I hate questions like this!!!

So, being the 'well-informed' individual that I am, I went to my trusty computer and logged on to there....was more information than I ever thought I needed to know about PopTarts!!! (I had forgotten they can produce some major flames if left in the toaster too long!!! Cool!!)
So.....go to and type in PopTarts....and the next time someone asks you "What is a poptart?", you will be able to answer!!!

(Now, I have this strange craving for a plain, no frosting, strawberry poptart!!!) *smile*

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Mr. Issei's 7-5-3 Pictures... in a post a few down (just in case you are coming back from a long absence) there are pictures of Koji we had taken at a photography studio. Someone mentioned that they wanted to see Issei's (thanks Lauren!) they are!!
One of our friends said that Issei looked like a "company president"!!!
These were taken in November, 2002...he was "almost 5" and Koji was about 6 months old!!

I had to sound like a cliche, but man, has time flown by, or what?!?! Issei is "almost 9" and Koji is 4 and 1/2.....doesn't seem possible!!!

How is it that they are getting older, and yet....I am staying so young?!?!? hahahahahaha.....sniff sniff!! the way...FYI...if at anytime you want to see the pictures bigger, just click on the particular and it should come up in its own screen, a bit bigger!!!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I'm baaaaaccckkkkk.........!!!

.....yes....I am still here....No, I am not sick....Just busy!!! I seriously hadn't realized how much time had passed since I last posted until I got a message from someone saying that though she loved the "apron picture", it was time for something new!!!
Sorry for the delay!!! Did you miss me?!?!?!

Hard to believe that February is already here. I'm sorry...where did January go?!?!
I have picked up a couple new, a family of four kids ages 6-11....they just came back from living in the States for 8 months. Their dad is a Dr. and he was doing some work and study there. It has been so long since I taught anyone under that age of 30....I am realizing that with the "right kids", it really isn't too painful!!! *smile*

I hope that all is going swimmingly with all of you.
Have a great week!!!

Some memories of Dad....

I was going through some of my older picture CDs and found the pictures of when Dad and his wife, Carlene came to Japan....must have been 10 years ago. Kiyoshi and I were laughing, remembering how Daddy would wear his cowbow hat, boots...the whole "I'm from Texas" kind of many people would stop us and ask to take a picture. I jokingly said to one man that it would cost him.....he was actually thinking I was serious!! I'm thinking that we missed out on a great money-making scheme!!!

The picture above was taken at a little yakitori shop...."yakitori" meaning chicken, meat, veggies and whatnot on a stick and then grilled over an open flame!! The guys in the shop got such a kick out of Dad....and vice versa!!

The next picture is Dad and my cousin Vic....this was taken at a Hutches Family Reunion some years ago....I'm thinking they were coming in from visiting the "beer pick-up"!!!
For those of you who knew my dad, I think that you'll agree....this is a "classic" Charles hat, big smile, incredibly starched wranglers, a toothpick in his mouth and his arm on somebody!! (of course, since it was Vic, I would have preferred a headlock...but...!!) *smile*

January marked the first anniversay of Daddy still seems so strange that he's not here anymore....but...I can guarantee that Heaven and all who are there are smiling a bit more and laughing louder since he got there.

"That's Mr. Koji, to you!"

In November, every year, we have a holiday (though not a "national holiday") where we celebrate younger children. All over Japan, 3- and 7-year-old little girls and 5-year-old little boys go to shrines with their families and pray for good health and all-around good luck for them as they grow up. Some wear traditional Japanese kimono or party dresses and suits. Most families will document this event by having a special picture taken....we spent the "big yen" and went to a professional photographer.
Here are three of the pictures we chose...believe me...choosing these was a very difficult process...they must have taken over 50 shots and they were all just great.
I have put all 5 shots into my Albums at the Kodak
Not sure if I remember how you get in....if you go to that site, put in my e-mail address, maybe you can get in....if you are a member, then it should be easy. If you have any problems, just let me know and I'll go ahead and post all of them here!!

When I look at these photos, I just reminds me that he really isn't a "baby" anymore..
....*sniff sniff*!!

Welcome to the world, little angel....

(Wow!! Issei and Koji in a picture without big smiles and/or goofy faces....they must have been really nervous about holding that baby!!!)

My good friend Nobuko and her husband Osamu are proud to announce the arrival of their absolutely precious new baby girl. Her name is Chihiro and she was born on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2007.
We went to the hospital to visit and we all decided that she was just too, terribly cute.

For those who don't know, Nobuko is someone I met on my very first day here in Japan. She was the assistant manager of the language school I was working at and she was also my "life saver"....she helped me in more ways than one to become accustomed to life in Japan and she also helped me realize that life here was good and fun and had lots and lots to offer.

So...from all of us...we want to wish little Miss Chihiro and her mommy and daddy all the will be fun watching her grow Koji really, really thought she was something was "love at first sight"!! *smile*