Phew its been busy

Wow it has been super busy around here lately.

Lets play catch up for a little bit. The kids and I headed into Hiroshima and enjoyed the Children’s Science Museum. This place was awesome and we will be going again. Completely interactive and FREE!!!! The kids all had so much fun climbing and trying out everything. However we had an adventure when it came to parking. I attempted to park in a large parking structure only to get into the line for compact cars, I drive a very large van. Then I gave up on that and decide I would just find a pay parking on the street. Went great found a spot and everyone unloaded and started walking to the museum. We passed the bank of Hiroshima which Z remembered from our visit to the Peace Memorial. We walked past the A bomb site and made it to the museum, spent a few hours in there having a blast and decided it was time to start heading back and get an early dinner. Walked outside to a drizzle and no umbrellas. Meh no big deal its not raining hard so we start walking back. As we were walking it started to come down a little harder so I decided we would jump over a block and walk down the covered streets until we were even with the van and then it would just be 1-2 block in the rain. Everything was going great we were all laughing that mom forgot the umbrella and discussing what we wanted to eat for dinner. M was trying to convince me to just stop and the Indian food where we were. Then came the discovery that the pin I had dropped when we parked had dropped in the wrong location on the map.

Now were are walking up and down the block that the van is supposed to be on and it starts down pouring. I mean there was nothing dry on any of us, the kids were troopers and all I could do was laugh. Here the four of us are running in and out of covers looking for this huge white van and parking lot that is no where to be found. Japanese people are laughing at us and shaking their heads. Finally after about 30 minutes I remember the bank. I decide lets walk to the bank and backtrack from there since I know we parked on the same street and side. Bam found it! The pin was two blocks over from where the van was. I have no idea why it dropped in the wrong spot but oh well we have great memories. We finally loaded up and I had to turn the heat on to try to dry us all out. We ended up going to CoCo ichibanya for dinner (Japanese curry). It was great and warmed us all up. I think that we were all in bed asleep by 8 that night.

I have had a lot of fun getting vegetables from my little container garden in the back yard here. It was really nice the other day I was making a salad and thinking man I wish I had a cucumber and I was able to just walk in the yard and pick one. I am considering this as my learning year with vegetables (lets be honest I will probably always mess something up). I have been able to share different peppers with the neighbors because I just can’t eat them fast enough.

I splurged and bought a watermelon last weekend, this will be our only watermelon of the summer unless mine decide to actually have fruit. Those of you that have never been to Japan or know the prices for fruits and vegetables are probably really confused by me saying I splurged. My medium watermelon cost $9.51. You better believe I used every bit of that thing. The kids and I ate it chopped up, I made watermelon salsa, watermelon ice tea (we didn’t really care for it that much), I used to rind to start my compost bin. Not on bit of that thing went to waste. I am actually really proud of that.

If you stuck with me to the end thank you. I will be better about posting more often. Don’t forget you can follow my instagram and check out the links I share in previous posts.

First Vegetables

A few days ago I was able to pick my first vegetables, YAY! I didn’t get many but I was super excited for what I did get. Here is a picture of my haul, minus one cucumber, I ate that thing before I could get a picture and it was so good.

First vegetables

I gave a couple of the peppers to a neighbor and then M and J snagged two of the bell peppers and went to town on them before I could stop them. How can you stop a kid eating their vegetables though? Plus look how cute and happy he is.

J chowing down

Today I was most excited because I was prepping a meal for a new mom in out command and I got to use some of my vegetables in the recipe. It wasn’t much but it still made me do a little happy dance. I am still trying to figure out how to add recipes to this so bear with me, I will get some up here. I did use my pressure cooker in my prep yesterday and I can’t tell you how many times that thing has saved me. I tossed in a bag of still slightly frozen chicken breasts with some chicken broth and in 20 minutes they were falling apart as I took them out. I love prepping chicken that way and then it is ready to go for the week. This is the affiliate link to Amazon and this is the exact one that I have.

We also started our next year of school already, I decided to go ahead and start because I knew I wanted to leave plenty of time for day trips and just general time off. This will be our first full year of homeschooling so wish us luck, so far we are doing pretty well but who am I kidding we are only 5 days in. Z has asked to study the history of Japan and who am I to say no. What better time than now for us to do this and take those trips to see the places we are studying and then bonus family time. We have made it to the Kinta Bridge twice now but haven’t been able to stay and explore. First time J man ended up accidentally having his poor little foot closed in the sliding door of our van by yours truly, thankfully nothing was broken just some nasty swelling but we had to leave the bridge to come back to base and have an X-ray taken to be sure and the second time right as we arrived it started raining. I am hoping that we get out there this week. Maybe that will be the next blog post. Let me know your favorite places in Japan or where you want to go in Japan. I love reading your comments. Thank you for the support.


Hiroshima Castle

We spent Memorial Day Waking up late and discussing the meaning and somber reason for Memorial Day. After a late breakfast we loaded up and headdd to Hiroshima to visit the Hiroshima Castle. 

M really amazed me when she asked to listen to the first recording twice and was very still and paying attention to the screen. There was only two sets of headphones with English translation so I don’t actually know what was said. On the second floor there was an interactive screen and she knew the answer to the first question without hesitation. When I asked her how she knew that she very matter of fact told me “Well I just listened to the headphones.” Oh M I love you and your seriousness about your answers when you are focused.

We climbed all the way to the roof, five floors, doesn’t seem like much but these were very steep stairs and I had the hiking backpack with a J on. My calves are screaming today!

The entrance to the castle grounds has a big building in it that has some history or at least I’m assuming that’s what it is, no English translation was available. The very last room had a large taiko drum that was available to play.


The girls day was made. M was not to sure about the security guard helping her but she said that it was fun after the fact. 

We did a lot of exploring and had a good time. This was a pretty cheap day that really only consisted of parking for 1600 yen and admission for me of 370 yen.

You can see Z in the bottom picture with her kindle taking pictures. She has asked for a camera for her birthday. We think it will be a great gift since she has sleep away camp this summer. If anyone had suggestions for a basic digital camera that is pretty durable let me know.

We had a great day of local history and ended our day with some great ice cream.

Bread, vegetables, homeschool and Scentsy

Today I tried my hand at making bread. I have made bread plenty of times before but I always use the fancy bread machine my parents got me. I decided today would be the day I make it by hand and actually have to do everything versus just adding stuff to the machine. I was hoping the kids would help me make it but they were either playing outside or taking a nap, I chose to not interrupt them. This was a pretty easy recipe I found on Pinterest and it came out pretty good.IMG_0014

My husband Chris is deployed right now so there is a lot of emails going back and forth all day about just everyday shenanigans around the house. Today I couldn’t wait to tell him that the vegetables I have been trying to grow are actually starting to produce. I decided that I would try my hand at container gardening since we are in military housing and will be moving in a few years. We all went to the local store here and just picked out a bunch of different starter plants to give it a try. I am so proud to say that everything is coming along nicely and I actually have small cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and bell peppers. I also have flowers on spaghetti squash, zucchini, and watermelon. I am now requesting that he build me planters when he gets home since I can apparently grow something when I put my mind to it. It is always a running joke that I have a black thumb. My dad is amazing though, that man can grow anything. I am hoping that I can begin to learn his tricks because I need to grow as much as possible so I can keep up with the rate the kids eat.

I have decided that we will homeschool year round because it will just fit in better with the schedule that my husband has. I finally have everything in hands for both of the girls for this upcoming year. I have decided that M will have a two year kindergarten since I just don’t think she is completely ready to do everything but she is to advanced to stick to strictly preschool assignments. She is super happy because her books are brand new, being the younger sister she gets stuck with a lot of hand me downs. Z however has used curriculum that I was able to get for half the price from a friend that had only used about two weeks worth of the lessons. Some time spent erasing all the pencil markings and it is good as new. I am still deciding on beginning our year in June or July, one part is ready to start but the other part of me wants to hold out a little longer. I think that the rainy season will be a big deciding factor in our start time.

I am an Independant Scentsy consultant and I have been doing that for a little over a year. I really enjoy it since I am able to make a small income and still be home with the kids. Well Scentsy launched a new collection named La Habana and it is supposed to be influenced by the vibrancy of Cuba. Well Cuba will always be special to me since that is where Chris and I met so of course I had to buy it. I have had Cafe Cubano warming and it is making my whole house smell amazing! My kids love picking out what scent we will be warming next and telling everyone what their favorite scents are. Both of the girls are very different in their tastes and it is so funny. Z is more of a cafe collection and M is all about the fruity.

Don’t forget to leave me a comment about what you think about this blog.


I have tossed around this idea for a blog for a while I just couldn’t commit. I always had an excuse well really three main ones, those crazy children of mine. The more I thought about this amazing life we get to live and just how far away from home we really are I thought this would be a great idea for all of our family to keep up with us instead of seeing my 50000 status updates. You all know I can’t contain the crazy to one post.

I have named my blog Homesteading Homeschoolers since we are trying to be just that. I hope this shares the joys that we are experiencing and you know with our family there will be disasters and hilarity. Grab a glass of mommy juice or a beer, I don’t judge, sit down and hold on for all of this.

This first post will have nothing to do with the name of the blog, see we are crazy like that. Ok I will mention some things but meh it’s just tidbits.

Today Z had a day camp up in the mountains for Girl Scouts. I double checked everything yesterday and said ok we need to be on the road by 730 to get you there on time. We all got up without much fight, well I hit snooze and woke up with a sinus headache but overall we were up. Kids head downstairs to start finding breakfast while I am trying to remember how to operate the coffee maker with this headache and all the noise at this time of day. Everyone finds what they want and proceeded to just take the longest possible to eat a bowl of yogurt. Seriously after 30 minutes M hadn’t eaten a bite and J had spilled most of his. Ok to bad we gotta go, I can’t screw this day up she is counting on me plus I am totally racking up the cool mom points here lately with the purchase of skateboards and ramps (no one has needed a n emergency room run yet). In the van we go, get the gps going, ok we are doing great. Let me run through that checklist one more time, AWESOME we don’t actually have to be on the road until 830 but we are to far into the drive to turn around and I am not going through that fiasco at home. We will just explore.

We make it to where the activities are taking place and doing great, we drive past it and just decide to see whats up here. Nope my motion sickness starts kicking in and the coffee is the last thing I want to drink but we are in the mountains and there are no stores or vending machines (in Japan there are vending machines everywhere) seriously Girl Scouts you picked the one mountain without machines! Ok tell the kids we are going to pull over and they can unbuckle and just hang out in the van, don’t kill each other. Guess what I found the spot with no cell reception, SCORE! Ok it has been long enough at this point and I figure I will just drive really slow and we drop Z off. Well we start driving and all of a sudden from the back I hear Z screaming “Look its a monkey!” No-one else saw this thing but she swears it was there and I really do believe her. We get there and sign her in, do a last-minute check on her stuff. Ok bye!

Start heading back down the mountain with the other two who have decided they don’t actually like each other right now. Ugh mom is turning up the music. Make it back to just about base and remember I need heavy cream for a dinner I am dropping off to a new family tomorrow, commissary has been out for weeks. Ok no problem stop at a local store, been here long enough I have this one down. Great might as well grab some fresh chicken so I don’t have to pull some out of the freezer. Of course you want a snack M, heaven forbid we go into any type of store and you not want a snack or to use the bathroom. Grab something because then I can get a coke and not feel bad for not getting you anything. Pay for our few items and head out to the van, mind you I can see the front gate. “Mom can I have my snack?” M asks. “Of course you can!” Get everyone their snacks and drinks to start driving on base and remember I need stupid disposable pie pans, ugh guess we are stopping at the commissary after all.

Ok we need pie pans and that’s it, in and out we can do this. Dang it the senior class is doing a bake sale. DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT!!!! Phew made it in, grab what we need and start heading out. M wants a lunchable, sure grab one because you don’t know it yet but you are taking a really long nap after that. Grab some sushi for myself because I don’t have to cook that and can lay down too. Awesome only two extra things this time, I did awesome. Head out the door and this baby-faced boy who is taller than me is standing between me and the van which will take me home to the nap that I so desperately want. “Excuse me ma’am. The senior class is having a bake sell to help raise funds….” I have no idea what he said, I fished out two dollars and said this is what I have and no we don’t need any cookies thank you.

Fast forward to time to go get Z and another little girl that I am bringing back. It is bedtime when we start heading up so M and J are super talkative. It is dark because it is almost 8pm. All I am picturing while driving through the dark mountains on these awful roads is the stupid monkey is going to just on my car and I am going to lose it and we are going over the edge. See husband told me this story from a long time ago where a snow monkey jumped on the hood of his car on the way back from snowboarding. This disaster is totally plausible. Of course this is so crazy but I am telling you this is all I thought about the whole trip plus don’t screw up and get in an accident with a kid that isn’t yours in the car. Pick up two very hyper 6-year-old girls and put them in the back seat and back down the mountain we go.

“Guess what Mom?” Z says. Seriously I have no idea. “What sweetheart?” I am really trying but I really want to be in bed watching crap tv and drinking a beer at this point. “We had 4 smores each!” Hey thanks leaders!!!! Non stop talking all the way home. Friend says hey are you even in school because I don’t see you. Z says well we homeschool, it’s so cool. My teacher is driving us home right now. I get to do second grade math and I am really supposed to be doing first grade. Friend asked a couple more questions and then that subject of conversation was over.

We all get home and everyone starts getting ready for bed. I grab that beer I have been dreaming about and some allergy meds (don’t judge you know you do it too). Girls get ready for bed and J is doubled over in pain from constipation so dude needs an enema. Ok we handle that and I am do not afraid to admit it but I totally popped open that beer while waiting for him. All the kids got in bed without issue, we said prayers and now I came to document all of this for you.

If this didn’t get written down nobody would believe me. Until next time readers.