Emi’s Halloween Party

I am several posts behind…which only proves to me that we really do too much. A problem that we are currently working on in earnest.

So, I wanted to share a few pictures from Emi’s Halloween parties. 

Emi chose Alice in Wonderland. She loves Alice because she jumps down the rabbit hole and her dress poofs out like an umbrella.

Emi had her first Halloween party at school, but unfortunately parents could not attend. However, I was able to volunteer to bring a treat for the class. I was kind of scratching my head on what to do. Soooo many people where we live are kind of crazy (imo) about what their kids eat….to an extreme…so I had to get creative. I ordered some ice cream cups and decided to draw these faces on them. Sharpies have proven to be my best friend.  

Inside I put watermelon, pineapple, and organic blueberries. The teachers said that the kids loved it!


A few of the goodies in her treat bag. The rubber duck is what we brought. Each child had to bring a small item to hand out for trick-or-treating in class…and the ducks were our contribution.


We also did Halloween themed days in dancing and music class. 


Emi had a great lead up to actual Halloween. She was so excited to get to do more this year….and the nicest part was that she wanted to share everything with Mia. Mia’s post and actual Halloween to follow.

Pumpkin Patch


Hay maze…we let the girls go in alone…and then I panicked and sent Ten in after them.


Emi’s favorite for the past 3 years now.


Vegetarian Yakisoba


The Pumpkin Lady was a sheriff this year.


One of the elementary schools in our town puts on an amazing fall festival each year. There are bouncy houses, fun games, a haunted house, amazing food, and a Lil Tykes village where the littlest kids can play. This is our third year to attend, and we had an awesome time….however, I realized that this festival is actually super expensive. $1 per ticket….and the little, tiny hay maze was 2 tickets…so $4 for about 1 minute of fun. Also, $6 for yakisoba…I don’t know.

Either way, this year the girls had so much fun. They were terrified of the bouncy houses but loved the games. Just a nice day out in New England.

Beach Clean Up

This school year we were fortunate to find a volunteer program for kids aged 4-7. I have been searching for ways to get our kids involved in the community for a long while, and I was so excited to find this group. Unfortunately, Emi will need to wait another 2 years to join.

The above are from the first service project of the year which was a beach cleanup. Ten and Mia spent a good hour and a half making new friends and cleaning up the shore. Mia had a great time, and she has decided to forgo a birthday party this weekend in order to join the next service project. 

This year we will be spending time painting murals, reading to dogs, raising money, and most importantly bringing fun programs to the children’s center in a homeless shelter. Also, I personally get to prepare mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce for 60 people for Thanksgiving, and it will be amazing.

My kids are extremely priveledged…extremely…and I know that. We live among the 1% and are within the 5%. So, I have to find a way to show my kids that it is ok for people to be on government assistance. We need to help buy people food, pay for good education, protect our planet. Heck if it weren’t for foodstamps and Medicaid…I would have suffered a lot as a kid….and here I am now.

So I have to find a way to show my kids that we need to have compassion. We need to serve others. Anyone can struggle and need help. That does not make them lazy or worthless. So, here we are on the beginning of that journey. Wish us luck.

 “Thee lift me and I’ll lift thee, and we’ll ascend together” 

Open House

This past Tuesday, we attended Mia’s open house at school. I definitely love the open house concept more than the Japanese observation day. It is just a much more relaxed setting and the parents and kids can all get to know each other a little better.

Ten got off of work a little earlier than usual, and we drove the 30 min to Mia’s school. I had volunteered to bring a fruit tray, so before leaving the house I washed, cut up, and skewered a bunch of fruit. 

My “fruit tray” for the event. People LOVED it, and the best part was that none of it went to waste. I always try to not bring a huge massive amount, and I try to make it look pretty so people will want to eat it.

For the pumpkin, I drew and colored the face with a sharpie, and right before the event starte we pulled into a parking lot and stuck the fruit into the pumpkin. This guy is still sitting in Mia’s classroom. 🙂

Anyway, the event was very low key. Mia showed us her artwork, played with friends, and then had a sing a long with her music teacher.

Me, Mia, and Emi…Ten took all of the pics this night.

Mia and Emi having a great time with their friend.    
Also, here is a pic of Mia’s scarecrow.

His name is orange…and he has bugs in his boots and a crazy centipede for a mouth…haha. I can hear Mia saying this.

A few quick photos. We really love this school so much and can’t wait for Emi to start next year.

Note: WordPress won’t let me fix a few typos….and didn’t save part of this post…but still posting this little bit :/

Playing Hooky

 I am so trying to publish all of these posts about what we have been up to, but I’m so far behind! Last Wednesday was Yom Kippur so both girls were out of school for the day (and we decided to skip out on gymnastics), so we had an entire day to ourselves! At the very last minute we decided to make a trip to the zoo.

I assure you they were excited.


I have several pictures of Mia measuring her wingspan. She loves to see what kind of bird she is up too…slightly bigger than an owl fyi.


Emi found the nearest lion to ride. She always tries to climb into the animal pens…every time…never fails. So, of course she found a statue to try to ride.

The zoo was all decorated for Halloween, but we enjoyed the pumpkin scarecrows the most. They girls loved The Cat in the Hat.    

Mia’s zombie pose…she has a total thing about zombies right now…she HATES them…but insists on posing like one.


We actually ran into some friends while there and made some new ones. They were having a great time playing Star Wars. Mia and Emi love Star Wars despite having never watched a single movie or animated show about it….It is pretty fun to watch what they come up with.

After spending the morning with our friends, we decided to eat lunch at the zoo and then spend some more time exploring. We would normally pack a lunch but this was a spontaneous trip.

Emi decided on a peanut butter and jelly while Mia had mozarella sticks. They also both ordered a juice. i just had a water. I had drank a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks on the way up and was still feeling pretty full.

Next we were off to the Barn Yard which was decorated in a gory way.  Totally not age appropriate but we made the best of it.

…of course Emi found this.

At the end of the trip, Emi wanted to use some of her otoshidama to buy a toy from the gift shop. It’s her money so, sure why not. She ended up choosing this pink otter to add to her pink animal collection. This girl loves pink.

I love this picture of Emi…and the photobombing Mia.

Mia asked if we could stop by a toy story on the way home to buy a toy too. Sure, no problem. Once again, totally her money. She walked out with a Pikachu figure and Poke Ball. 

We went home extremely exhausted but had spent a very nice day off.

We had visitors…

 So last week, we were able to host Ten’s aunt and uncle from Kobe! They were taking their retirement vacation wich included a few days in NYC, Yellow Stone, Vegas….and honestly I forget where else…but they had a very busy schedule.  

One of the awesome things was…I got a Japanese housewife for a day. I joke with Ten about this all of the time. No, but his aunt spent basically one full day at our house cooking. She loves making onigiri and is planning on opening her own shop when they get back to Japan.

They also spent a lot of time with the girls doing things like playing, doing homework, and reading. The girls are seriously in love with their great uncle. Emi was fairly terrified at first though.

 It was very nice getting to spend some extremely rare time with Ten’s family. It was really good for everyone…but after a week it was also nice to get our space back 😉

The Blaze

I am really falling behind with my blog here (and housework and meal prep and just about everything). Out of town guests at the beginning of the school year can really throw off the schedule!

Anyway, here is our visit to one of our absolute favorite events to attend during Halloween. We also planned a little bit better this year, so that made it a lot more enjoyable. Example: choosing the first time slot of the night was a lot less spooky for the kids and saved us tons of time by not having to deal with traffic. 

Right before entering the event. Mia wanted to tie her hoody around her shoulders like her ballet teacher does…haha


Emi at the first entrance point.


They have so many of these in the little courtyard outside of the food and gift tents…and we took pictures at every single one..I will save you the pain of viewing all of those.


Scary faces…and my extremely round face.


And we begin our walk…


Awesome Frankenstein…


Wedding cake made from carved pumpkins.


This tunnel changed colors to music. Very pretty.


A little Hocus Pocus


We walked over the Pumpkin Zee Bridge 😉


…and each of the girls chose this sucker as their treat for the ride home.


Short and sweet. We just snapped a few pics as we mainly wanted to just enjoy the atmosphere. Can’t wait to do it again next year!

Another fall festival

I think October is a month long fall festival for us, and that is fine because we love them!

Last Sunday, we made a trip to the Japanese School of New York to attend their festival. Mia had such a great time and was able to catch up with so many of her friends. 

We can NEVER escape this game. Yo-yo fishing and face painting are the BEST if you ask these two.

We also headed indoors to try our luck at some games.  



Scooping…not sure if that gives you an idea of what this is…but you basically get to scoop up some prizes into a bag.


Raffle time. No win this time, but so much fun.


We spent a lot of time in the courtyard just playing with friends.


It was a really nice event, and seriously not a word of English was to be heard. Ten loved that it was just like a school in Japan…except for in the US. 

In other non festival related events. Chelsea Piers…thank you for creating this giant ball pit….with a trampoline for jumping into it. Childhood dreams right here.

Also, safety kid Emi. She looked so cute in her hat.

Anyway, that’s all for now.

Washington Irving’s Sunnyside

 Last weekend, we made our way toSunnyside  to learn a bit about Washington Irving and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  I LOVE that we live such a short drive from this place. Of course, we read the book to the girls before we went and watched the Disney version of the movie.

Heading down the hill to his house. Such a perfect fall day.


These two were buddies for most of the day.


I love this view! Just as impressive as the first time we saw it last year.

  Unfortunately, no photos are allowed in the home…but it is extremely well preserved. In fact, the study is the most authentic historic room in the country.

Hanging out on Irving’s front porch.


The back of the house.


Taking a stroll through the grounds before we went to watch a shadow puppet show of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.


An ice house.


Is this Mia or Emi? i honestly can’t tell.


Doing a little tree climbing as well. I can’t wait until all of the leaves turn colors in the coming weeks.

Before we watched the puppet show, we also took some time to make a craft. Emi basically played with her chestnut while Mia made a really cute bat.


Finally, in out seats to watch the shadow puppet show. We love old fashioned entertainment.

After the puppet show, we had to head back home. We had to skip the spooky walk again this year. 😦 One of these days we will get to it.

    Sleepy Hollow year 2. Thinking this is the beginning of a tradition.

Fall Festival at a Friend’s School

Saturday after dance class for Mia (and a 40 minute walk for Emi and I with a friend), the girls and I drove 30 minutes to the town over to attend a fall festival at one of Mia’s friend’s school. She also attends a private school, so that meant it would be far less crowded than a public school event….and when I am taking both girls without Ten…that just makes everything a little bit easier.

As soon as we got there, Mia and Emi wanted to go straight to get their faces painted. My kids cannot pass up getting their faces painted, but they want it washed off as soon as they get home.

Mia getting painted while Emi patiently looks at her options.


…and she chose a cheetah…her usual choice.


Emi getting her usual…a variation of a butterfly.


Purple and pink. Her most loved colors.


The girls also got tattoos. Their second most loved festival activity.


They had so many fun activities and big trucks outside, but my kids ended up decorating pumpkins the entire time. They were so excited when they realized that they got to KEEP their pumpkins. 🙂


We did venture outside to grab lunch from a food truck, and we got to see a fire engine spray water. This was pretty neat….but side note…kind of painful to watch. Our town and surrounding towns are experiencing an extreme drought and the water reserves have dropped to 30%. We are actually using water from other towns now….so I was disturbed to see so much water going to waste. It could have been a good lesson in water conservation for the community.

The girls each chose an icecream before we made the half an hour drive back home. Emi decided on Hello Kitty, and Mia went with Spider Man. Considering we three shared an order of fries and chicken strips 2 hours before…it wasn’t going too crazy.   

Anyway, we zoomed home and grabbed a few things and headed to Kumon. It took the girls about an hour to finish their work. I was told that both girls are doing extremely well. Mia can now read at a first grade level (in Japanese).

We were exhausted by the time we were finished. Just done for the day! So, it was great timing when Ten said that he was almost to the train station. Perfect timing. Yes, he had to work on a Satutday….his work hours are so intense recently. But anyway, we decided to meet at one of our favorite local pizza spots to grab an early dinner.


My gigantic salad that I got to go…I ended up having this for two meals…and shared some with Ten. Cajun chicken on a Greek salad…so good.


Also (upside down pic), but Ten brought me home a piece of cake from one of our favorite NYC bakeries. So sweet of him.


S’mores cake…SO. GOOD.

We all went home and showered and soaked in a nice hinoki (Japanese cypress?) bath. Smelled so good and great way to relax.