Friday, December 31, 2010

Good-bye 2010

Ok, last post!
Good-bye 2010 and HELLO 2011! I have great plans for you!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winter Snow























This morning I took the kids over to my sister's home to play in the snow. They have a great sled and the perfect hill to send the kids down! It was cold but super fun! Here are some pictures! Enjoy!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010 Memories

It was not the gifts or the pretty lights that made this Christmas one of my favorites. Christmas after all isn't about all that stuff anyway. All those things fade from our memory, break or get lost. It's nice for the kids to open fun gifts but I was so happy to see all the drawings and hear all the conversations about Jesus! Kai really realized it was about Jesus and his birth.

We did get the kids one gift. This year our gift to the kids was a "used" Wii we bought from my cousin. Already we have laughed and cheered so much! The boys love the games - bowling, baseball and Mario cart of course. What fun!

Emmi walked across our living room for the first time Christmas morning! So sweet! Her smile was huge! I enjoyed each of the kids in different ways this year. They grow and change so quickly. I'm looking forward to 2011! Our family is in a good place, a peaceful place. Our faith is where it should be, in God. Happy New Year to you all! :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010
















It was a wonderful day!



Christmas eve is celebrated BIG every year at my parents home. Christmas day is always more quiet and relaxed at our own home. We had a nice lunch this afternoon and opened some gifts. We went to the service at our church together this evening.
The kids are in bed now..... waiting on Santa.... :)
Tomorrow will be a glorious day celebrating the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Well my last blog entry was so beautiful and perfect that OF COURSE it had to be followed up with a day like today, complete mommy meltdown! Oh yeah!

When a full-time mother of three young children needs to fill the winter school break days she gets creative. Today I took the kids to Takeshi's work where they got to play on 6 new inflatables! What a great time they had! Kai and Noah ran and jumped for at least 30 min and loved every minute of it. On the way home I took them to McDonalds where they got (the very rare) Happy Meal. Oh what fun already, right? :) Oh just wait, it gets better...

This afternoon the boys played outside for about an hour while Emmi napped. When dinner time came I had made fried rice with veggies and ham. This dinner is not the boys favorite but they still ate well. I decided to let Emmi feed herself since most of it is small and soft - no choking hazards. Well..... she made a huge mess! I knew it but just let her continue since I just resigned to clean it all after dinner. While I was cleaning it all up I got to thinking....hmmm..... where is Emmi at???? I asked Kai and he yelled that she was in the bathroom. Oh crap! There was Emmi sooooo happy playing in the toilet! Ahhh!!! I started screaming "No Emmi No!" and "Who left the toilet seat cover up????!!!??" Both Kai and Noah came in with eyes wide open. I stripped Emmi's clothes and washed her whole arm and hands with soap and warm water. I was still screaming "Boys, you cannot leave the toilet open!" Noah looks up at me and says "Mom, we won't do it again but please stop screaming, my ears hurt." :) Oh I love him!

I got the kids all put in bed and was praying with Kai and Noah. I asked them what they are thankful for and Noah said "My family...". I looked at Kai and asked the question but he wouldn't answer..... silence..... "Well?" I said...... silence........ He was being a b.u.t.t. on purpose. So I asked him to go and sit on the couch and wait for me to come and talk to him.

I walked out and looked at Kai. I said "You know it's almost Christmas and the people who love you are about to give you nice gifts to show their love. If you are not going to be a thankful boy then I'm going to call all those people and tell them to take back their gifts.... you don't need them!" I was mad and he knew it! He started to cry and said "Ok, I'm thankful!" I made him list 5 things that he was thankful for before he could go back to bed. Takeshi walked in around this time and could see on my face I was annoyed. :) Takeshi and I are good team. After I told him about the exchange with Kai he went and talked to him and made sure Kai knew that we loved him!

Oh man, parenting can really take it out of you some days!
I'm thankful for a good husband and grace from our loving God!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Childhood Is Wonderful...


I love it so much when Takeshi and I get to take our kids to see something for the first time! Seeing new things through the eyes of your children is a treat! The first trip to the zoo, swimming pool or the first time they taste a lemon. It never gets old watching their face and hearing the laughter!


Tonight we went for the first time to Bellevue to see the "Snowflake Lane" parade. It was a small parade but what was the big show was the amazing drummers! They spread out along the sidewalk and stood up high on a podium and played their drum along with the Christmas music. We stood right in front of one of these drummers! Kai, Noah and Emmi were speechless and motionless! The drummer danced and twirled his drum sticks. He sang and kicked his feet! Emmi wanted to cry but was soon taken in with the event. The boys were in shock! :) It was a Christmas first for them I will always remember, I hope they do too!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

12 sweet years

December 15, 1998 Takeshi and I started dating! These last 12 years have been so full of good memories! I think it's good to look back and remember God's blessings in our life. Here are a few of my favorite:
-2002 we got Married!
-2003 Takeshi graduated from N.W. University
Takeshi started working full time at Arena Sports
2004 Kai was born!
Traveled to Japan with Kai (4 months old) & Kai met Takeshi's sweet grandma who passed away that next May.
2006 We bought our house!
Traveled to Japan with my parents
2007 Noah was born!
2008 Takeshi and I ran our first half marathon! We got healthy!
Took our first road trip to California with Kai and Noah!
Visited Japan with Kai and Noah
2009 Emmi was born!
2010 We remodled our garage into a bedroom and full bath (Thanks to Takeshi's parents!)
Kai started Kindergarten & Noah started preschool

Of all the wonderful things listed above, by far, our 3 children are our greatest blessing!
I love you Takeshi!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fun Day & Funny Story!







This morning I watched Jossy and Judah for 3 hours while Jason took a test and Kathy slept after a night at work. It was a fun morning with all 5 kids! Everyone played so well together. As usual Kai and Jossy had fun together while Noah and Judah raced cars! Kai loves to be the boss and Jossy loves to follow him! She LOVES Kai! They extra few kids made my morning so much easier! Everyone had a buddy - my little buddy was Emmi!



I have two stories about Kai.

You know he eats SO much these days! Wow! So last night before bed he wanted more food to eat. I listed off all that he had eaten and asked him if he REALLY needed more???? He said "Mom, I'm as hungry as an ant eating a pine cone!" So I guess ants have to be especially hungry to eat pine cones so he was willing to eat anything! I gave him some toast. :)


Tonight we had a family night! We drove around some popular neighborhoods and looked at their Christmas lights. Some of the houses looked amazing!!! We had dinner at Red Robin and then went to Ross to buy some toys for the Toys for Tots drive. The kids had fun each picking out a toy to give away. On our way home Kai said something so funny!


He says "Mom I learned something new in school yesterday!"

Me: ok what?

Kai: I learned that the Lion always goes for the neck."
Me: ........ What?
Kai: You know mom, the Lion always goes for the Zebra's neck!"

Me: Um, Kai...... that's a strange thing to say (Takeshi and I just looked at each other)

Kai: Well, my teacher told me the Zebras all stand in a big bunch together so that when the Lion comes he can't tell where the Zerba's neck is.... the Lion gets all dizzy and stuff!"

Me: Hahaha! I guess that's true.... but that's kind of yucky Kai!


He loves learning new facts. I think this one is kind of gross and one that I would have been happy for him to not learn for a few more years but I know he is soaking up information like crazy!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Getting Better

I took Emmi to the doctor yesterday because she was so miserable. She has been fighting the same cold I had for about 10 days now. Poor little baby girl. She had a low fever and did not want me to put her down. Usually she is so independent! The doctor got us in right away! He looked into her right ear and said instantly that it was infected and needed antibiotics.

We drove to the store near our house and I got the medicine. She cried and cried in the store and she kept waving her hand "Bye-bye"! She wanted to go home! :( Last night she slept 13 hours without waking! She woke up today much better.... even smiling again and playing with Noah! I'm thankful she is on the mend.

On a lighter note...... My dear friend Melissa brought me a coffee from Starbucks this morning. We had a wonderful time catching up! Thank God for good friends!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thoughts...

I know that living in America, we are by birth blessed. Most people in this world make less than $500 a month..... and they live on that!

Still, it's no small thing to feed and clothe a family of 5 living on one income.
3 weeks ago I collected a few coupons I had saved and got Kai and new winter coat for only $17!
While that was an amazing deal, I began to notice that the coat was not really as warm or as big as he will most likely need. A few weeks ago the temperature got down to the 20's! His coat is not warm enough for that!

I thought and prayed a secret prayer in my heart. We don't really have the extra $50 it would cost to buy a very nice coat..... I've been thinking on it and praying the only way a mother can. Kind of secret prayers to God. I was content to put layers on him before he went to school. He would have been fine..... but God blessed us!

My neighbor brings Kai home from school each day (I take Kai and her son Garret in the morning). Yesterday when she dropped off Kai she handed me a paper bag. Inside was a nice warm winter coat and matching snow pants! All just Kai's size! I thanked her and she smiled! God is so good! Noah has snow pants but Kai does not. It's looking like it will snow often. Yeah snow pants!

The Bible says that God knows how many hairs we have on our head (cool!). So he must also know and care about our every need. Thank you God!

From: A Thankful & Happy Mom

Monday, December 6, 2010

Noah's Christmas Program







Tonight we got to enjoy Noah's preschool Christmas program!

He sang 4 songs tonight and then we all had cookies after!

Noah was very very excited to have us all attend. He was jumping and laughing so much. All day at home he asked if it was time to go to school yet and sing!

He did great! We are so proud of our "Muffin"!



Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Elf on the Shelf







Takeshi's boss' wife gave us a book and toy elf for our kids.



The story is that the elf is watching you and then reporting to Santa Clause if you are being good! He hides in a new place each morning so you have to find him again! It's a fun Christmas game the boys are really enjoying! Kai and Noah named our elf "Timothy". Emmi sees him hiding in a new spot and points to the elf and screams "Didi". She wants to hold it but the rules say no touching Emmi!






Today Noah said "Mom, his eyes are only looking one way. They don't see me!" I think Noah isn't sure if he is real or not but Kai understands it's just a fun game. :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sick

I kind of feel bad about complaining in my own blog.... but I'm sick!
Its been a long time since I've had a cold this yucky. My nose is constantly running. I've gone through a whole box of tissue in 24 hours. For real, a big box! My sister, mother and friends think I should take some medicine but so far I've been able to avoid it. Why? You might ask. I have not taken medicine (except Ibuprofen or Tylenol) in years! I've always been pregnant or nursing a baby and unable to take anything strong. I've thought that I'll help my body get stronger without all the extra medicine but maybe I'm being stupid. This sucks!

So I'm left to complain on my blog, drink water, and blow my nose. I really hope it goes away soon. Being a mother of 3 is tough when you don't want to move. Takeshi told me today it's not ok for the mom to get sick. The dad or kids can, but not the mom. He said that after he packed Kai a lunch for school and made all the kids' breakfast this morning. :) I appreciate his help while I'm down.

Lalalalala lalalala! That's my sad song for the evening. Off to read I go! Kids are already in bed. I'm thanking God for a 7pm bedtime today! Takeshi is working late.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thank You!
















We got Emmi's birthday gifts in the mail from our family in Japan!





Thank you Baachan, Jiichan and Auntie Nao!





Emmi looks very cute in her house coat, skirt and hat! She loves to wear her pretty hair bows too! Emmi likes to wear pink and dress up pretty!










Takeshi and I think she looks darling!!!!





Enjoy the pictures of her and Kai and Noah!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Emmi's Birthday Party
















This evening we celebrated Emmi's 1st birthday with some family! Emmi had her first cup cake and LOVED it! She got 2 new dolls and some clothes! It was a wonderful evening celebrating Emmi's first year. She is a blessed little lady!

Monday, November 22, 2010







Emmi saw snow for the first time today! Noah wrote his name all by himself for the first time today! It was a big day at the Ushikubo home!
School has already been canceled for tomorrow so looks like it will be another fun snow day for us. Takeshi is even home from work tomorrow! :) Happy me!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls with Noah











This afternoon Noah helped me make some yummy cinnamon rolls! He was a great helper!




He helped pour in the ingredients, stir and he counted how many we made! :)


It was a nice break from folding clothes.....

While we were baking Emmi kept busy by emptying the sand which bag box in the drawer! Oh well.... she was happy!




Monday, November 15, 2010

The Family Turkey!




Today was a nice Monday as a family (except Kai had school 'till 3).


When Kai got home we went to a near by store called the Creation Station. This is a very different store. It has recycled things you can buy for cheap and use in making new things! The kids love it! We have been a few times before!

Last week Kai brought home a paper with a turkey shape on it and directions that our family should decorate and name the turkey together. Kai is supposed to bring the turkey back to school by this Friday. Kai and I started on the turkey over the weekend. Takeshi had to work so we decided to just get started.... Our ideas were not going so well. We collected leaves from the yard and tried to glue them on the bird..... not so good....... then we tried some dry pasta..... that wasn't so good either..... I just gave up and put it up on the counter for another day.


Takeshi helped in Kai's class today and noticed the VERY NICE turkey's that 2 other students had made and brought in. When he came back he had a plan.... a better plan than mommy had!


We all went to the store and bought little colored hands, feathers, eye erasers and pipe cleaners. Takeshi and Kai got to work after dinner.

You would have laughed at how much Takeshi was enjoying the project!!!! He is such a great dad! Kai and Noah helped but Takeshi kinda ran the show..... It made me laugh so hard! He was serious about the family turkey! I REALLY wish I could call his mom and ask what he was like during his early school years.... was he this serious about school projects? By the way it's a pirate turkey named Captain Turk. :)

Truly I love how involved he is. He helped Kai today with his math homework and was very patient with him! He sat with him the whole time.... I usually set Kai up then let him work on it alone. I check in and look it over when he's done. Takeshi works every question with Kai and talks about each math problem!


I'm a blessed lady! I love you Takeshi!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Our Kids

Today was Kai's turn to share in school about his family. He took two pictures, 1 of the 5 of us and 1 photo of Baachan and Jiichan with Kai! He was very excited to tell his friends in class about his brother and sister and his grandparents in Japan! I told him that he needs to explain who Baachan and Jiichan are..... people will not understand those words. Kai said - Mom, they will look at their face and know who they are! They look like me but older!" :)

Noah had his class picture today at school. He picked out his own clothes! He is practicing a song for a Thanksgiving party his class will have in 2 weeks. He was singing in the van on the way home - "Mr. Turkey, Mr. Turkey, nice and fat, nice and fat, we are gonna eat you, we are gonna eat you just like that! :) He is so cute when he sings too! He sings really quiet and slow. :)

Emmi is sick with another cold right now but she is still happy, thankfully! We have stopped giving her formula to drink and have started her on regular whole milk. She likes it! The amount of milk we give her is less so she is eating A LOT! It is almost time to cut her hair. I have to put it up everyday or else she cannot see!

They are all growing so fast! I've been kissing them before I go to bed at night. I watch them sleep and pray for them. Sometimes I even cry because it is just such a special time right now, they are beautiful little people with big hearts!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Laundry Pile Story.


So I don't mind everyone knowing..... it's no secret.... I HATE folding laundry!

I don't mind washing and drying the clothes, it's the folding that I dread.

Usually I wash and dry every day then fold on the 4th day - cause the pile is too big. :)


Today Takeshi helped out in Kai's kindergarten class and heard Kai say something very funny!!!!

Kai's teacher was reading a book about making a pile of fall leaves and jumping into the pile. She was asking the kids to imagine what that sounds like, feels like and so on....

Kai raises his hand and says "Teacher, I have done that before! I like to jump in my mom's BIG pile of laundry!" Takeshi laughed out loud at Kai! Oh man, it makes me hang my head in shame but it's true. There is a pile waiting for me right now!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Fun!
















This year for Halloween Kai was dressed as Spider man, Noah was Thomas the train and little Emmi grace was a Love bug (ladybug). We did some fun trick or treating in the neighborhood around my parents home. The boys got more candy than ever! Takeshi and I are going to hide it all and ration it out over the next year! :) Enjoy the pictures!

Friday, October 29, 2010

11 months old...


Happy 11 month birthday Emmi Grace!

You are my little busy bee! 11 months ago you made me a mom of three!

I love your crazy hair and when you cry when a man walks by.

Your smiles and silly faces make us all laugh!

My favorite time of the day is in the morning. You wake up and say "dadadada".


At 11 months you crawl FAST and enjoy walking with help.

You love the stairs at nana's house but hate it when when save you from falling down them.

Getting your diaper changed is very traumatic for us all. You are getting strong. You twist and roll usually half-way through the diaper change you crawl away naked! Being held down is what you hate most!


We love you Emmi, just the way you are!

Our messy eater, our escape artist, our love bug! You give the BEST hugs! You even pat our back with your tiny little hand while you lay on our shoulder. These past 11 months we have all been blessed by YOU! I love you Emmi girl! We all love you!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Emmi's new chair & Kai's parent/teacher conference


Tonight Emmi was promoted to the big table! :) We strapped on a high chair to one of our dining room table chairs so Emmi can sit at the table with us. She loved it! I think she likes joining in all the eating fun more now. It also sure does make me feel like we have a lot of kids to feed! 5 sitting around the dinner table is FULL. :)


Today at 3:30 Takeshi and I went to Kai's teacher/parent school meeting. Takeshi said it's strange going to one of these meetings for your own child. Last time we went it was when we were the children being discussed. So strange! I totally agree!


Well, Kai is doing really well in school. His teachers said he is excited to learn and doing really well in math and reading/writing! The students all like Kai and he has lots of friends. The only thing they mentioned to work on is adding color and more detail to his drawings. He likes to get the work done and could take a bit more time with the details.... hmmmm..... sounds like mommy! :)

He draws pictures and has started writing in a journal at school. His teachers showed it to us. Oh I cried when I saw what he journals about! One drawing was of 18 months ago when we visited Whistler mountain in Canada. He drew Takeshi and Kai hiking up the mountain together. So sweet! He also drew about missing a friends birthday party because of really bad traffic. It was just so sweet to see life through his young eyes. To see what he thinks about, is sad about, and remembers most. I hope all his parent/teacher conferences go this well!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bad Dreams...

Oh how I wish I could control my children's dreams at night!
My oldest, Kai, gets horrible bad dreams in patches. Sometimes in one week he will wake up 4 nights just shaking and crying. Sometimes he will go 2 weeks and not wake up at all. He is "sleeping" still. We can not really communicate with him while he is in the midst of the dream.

It's always the same situation: He goes to sleep and about 2 hours into sleeping (10pm or so) we hear him in his room crying/talking. We go in and he's sitting in his bed so sweaty and scared. He sometimes talks but it won't make much sense. Sometimes he points to something he sees and gets really worked up about it! His eyes are open but I know he is not awake. After 5 or 10 min. he yawns - this is always the end of it! The yawn ends the bad dream and he actually will calm, relax and talk to you awake and normal. Takeshi and I pray with him every night. This is so strange to us. Noah hasn't really had any bad dreams, just Kai.

Kai is the one with the imagination. He really likes to make up stories and act them out. I'm guessing it might have to do with his little mind not wanting to quiet and rest... ??? I don't know. I just hope Kai grows out of this soon. It is so awful to see him so tortured by fear when he wakes up!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Noah and the Pumpkins!
















Today Noah visited the pumpkin patch with his preschool class!



Takeshi got to attend. They had a tractor ride, saw animals and picked out a perfect pumpkin! The sun was even shining - although it was still pretty cold.


Here are a few pictures of the daddy and Noah fun!