Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Back To Normal (?)

Well, we made it back to school today and in the nick of time! I love my boys but two weeks of break.....well, I need it to be OVER! LOL!

Starting today, no more PlayStation2, GameBoyAdvance or PSP (I think that's correct), no sleeping in and no fighting (all right, less fighting!)....PHEW! BUT there was one exception...DH! He has off until tomorrow but I had plans!

I met with one of Japanese SB friends whom I met through a mutual internet friend from Japan. Both ladies are also attending CKU-A in Oakbrook at the end of March. I think she needed a break too! Aurora schools has a different winter break than we do....a week late start so she brought all three of her beautiful kids with her to Archivers - Naperville this morning....they are under the age of 6! We managed to visit for an hour and half before the kids got tired of Blues Clues and Care Bears. It was fun meeting her. Hope to get together on a weekend day so that she can scrap in peace - LOL!

CKU-A Chicago is a weekend of intense scrapbooking...each CKU (Creating Keepsakes University - CK magazine is one of the major SB mags around) has a "theme" (regular CKU, CKU-Masters, CKU-Teachers and now CKU-Albums). I have been waiting and saving since the program started. All I wanted to do was attend one but it had to be close to home. CKU announced that they were going to CT but looking at the date, I knew I couldn't make it. I was moving from NJ to IL - UGH! Once I heard rumors that one will be in Chicago sometime in 2006, I search for some clue to WHERE...found through the CKU message board it was Oakbrook Hills. I called right away! That was back in August of 2005! I am so excited to go! Unfortunately, it will be during the boys' spring break but we were not planning a trip so I was lucky!

I was reading through the CKU-A Chicago message boards and I see the flow of swap postings....AH! which one should I choose?! I'm really leaning towards a few: circle journal (never did one), state goodie bag ($25 worth of stuff that represents your state), CKU album (make 10 6x6 identical LOs) and one from my album track/class (6x6 LO). YIKES! that is in addition to my "homework" for my track which is btw, Junkitz's Element of Style (3 designer teachers & 3 distinct styles) - how KEWL is that?!

Not only was it time to go back to our daily routine, it was also the end of new years holiday as we know in the Japanese sense. We finally finished our traditional Japanese New Year's dishes which is called OSECHI-RYORI (it's a variation of dishes that are eaten during the new year's holiday - till Jan. 3 typically). Long ago, people finished cooking these dishes by new year's eve with the purpose of consuming them for several days without the need to cook. Most of these dishes are packed in stacks of beautiful lacquer boxes (usually 3 boxes high) called JUBAKO. Each dish/type of food has a meaning such as good health, fertility, good harvest, happiness and long life. But now, many purchase these dishes at stores instead of cooking them at home...there are so many dishes to make and many households have two incomes so time is important :0) Me? Well, my DH makes some of the dishes (maybe 3 or 4) and the rest, we buy at MITSUWA store in Arlington Hts. (for those who are not familiar, it is a HUGE Japanese super market with a bakery, food court, bookstore, travel agent, realtor, liquor store and video rental place). I posted a picture of the OSECHI-RYORI.

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