09 June, 2012

40 hours of intensity

So the last 40 hours have gone by in a bit of a blur. School finished yesterday to a bit of a bang!

Old photo, these are our Australian
friends who visited last year at a
Yakiniku restaurant.
On Thursday night we took the boys out to a Yakiniku restaurant to celebrate the end of another year of school. These Japanese restaurants let you cook your own meat at the table. Very attractive for kids! A lovely hot flame in the middle of the table! This restaurant also had a drink bar and a small salad and dessert bar. Not your cheap family restaurant, but a fun place to have a celebration. We certainly ate a lot of food!

First Grade Party
Yesterday was a half-day of school, typical for a final day before a break at CAJ. I went to the usual PTA Parents in Prayer meeting at 8.30, then filled in time at the library, selecting books for the long summer holidays ahead (kids are allowed to take out 25 books each, a great policy). At 9.45 the Grade One class started their end-of-year celebration, a relatively low-key affair and just down the hall the Grade Threes marked the end of the year with a slide show of photos from the year as well as presentations to the kids and teachers. I dashed between the two, probably spending more time with the Grade Ones because they had food (!!).

Then I had another half and hour for library browsing, and then that had the so-called Elementary Chapel. It turned out to actually be the Grade Five "graduation". Yes, officially finishing elementary and they all filed across the stage getting a certificate.

By 11.30 it was all over, the whole school year was finished. My kids looked like overblown balloons that had been popped. They didn't know what emotion to feel. After being so excited all week (to the point of having trouble eating breakfast in the mornings), they just looked like they had no idea what to do next.

Thankfully I had plans.

One Grade One mum and invited the class to a pot-luck party at her small church just the other side of the train tracks. So many of us trekked over there and had a great time, although the kids were obviously tired and there were quite a number of instances of tears. We stayed there until about 3 and then I decided to quit while I was ahead and we walked home. It was the hottest day we've had yet this year, getting close to 30 degrees, and considering we've still been wearing long-sleeves every now and then, it was a bit shocking.

At 3.40 I fielded a phone call from my boss's wife about the Japan Calendar that I produce every year and which happens to be due about now. We talked for a bit and I got some other bits and pieces of computer work done. Then, all of a sudden it was 5 o'clock and we needed to get showers done and some food on the table. I didn't feel hungry in the least, but the guys had obviously not eaten as much as I had. So we had a kind of serve-your-self dinner with various elements to make your own meatless wraps. I myself had an apple and a small pot of yoghurt!
"Class of 2012", as they say.

Then we headed off to school at 6.30, dropping the younger boys at a nearby apartment to watch Japan thrash Jordan in soccer (as it turns out)! My teenager and I headed into the gym for the graduation and David joined the seniors to guide them into the gym after everyone else was settled. Graduation is kind-of like a wedding: with the graduates and teachers walking in to a processional after the audience is seated. I wrote a bit about American-style graduations here.
The other OMF mums who have
kids at CAJ, all of them boys!

The ceremony was mercifully short and then the fun began with the "reception" — again echoes of a wedding. We didn't get home with our kids until 10pm, though.

This morning I was supposed to meet a group of friends at 10am to farewell a dear friend who's going to work with her family on the other side of the island. I woke up at 9.55! Whoops. Thankfully we were meeting at a restaurant with breakfast food and the restaurant is only an 8 minute walk away! I was a little late, but it worked out okay.

Now I'm stuffed! I still am working on Japan Calendar stuff, and the bigger one, Japan Harvest summer issue. All our content was due to our designer yesterday. We got 95% of it to her, but the last few bits still are dribbling in and it is my experience that it is that last 5% that give you the most grief and takes the most time! So, before my boys finish their after-lunch-time-on-beds (otherwise known as SQUIRT time), I need to get some more work done on this computer.


Evangeline said...

What a day! It was fun to share some of those events with you. CAJ graduation is different from the typical American graduation in that most families in the USA host an open-house reception for their individual child at their own home. I like the community event.

Deb said...

I like that you had plans after school finished. I must remember to do that more often: predict the "what will we do now?" and avoid the crazies with a well-executed plan!

Wendy said...

Really, Evangeline? So they don't get to celebrate with their school friends, that's a bit sad. I guess they have other celebrations with their friends.