Other things, like knowing your diligence to save electricity and gas paid off. We saved about $40.00 this month on our electric bill. Our gas bill reduced by about $30.00. That is $70.00 I can put towards tours or travel!! Brian purchased two laundry rods for me to hang clothes on now that it is warm enough. That is where most of the $40 savings came from. I hang the clothes out until they are mostly dry, then throw them in the dryer for 20 minutes instead of 60 or 80 mins. You should try this and see if it saves you money too!
Of course, if you are a working Mom, I realize that this is difficult. Maybe you can think of other ways to conserve on your utilities. I also refuse to go to the commissary without taking coupons. That savings adds up very quick as well. Brian really appreciates the work I put into planning our shopping and saving money. I think that it contributes to him not minding if I splurge every now and then on an item that is luxury not neccessity. (Okay, maybe a little more than "every now and then".)
I am very happy that I have finished purchasing the items for Hunter's monthly gift box. I know she will really like some of the items I picked up for her. Bryan also found something for her when we were at Fuji Safari Park. I'm sure she'll love that, too!
I have so much to mail out this month. I have a package for my Mom, Hunter, The Pacheco's, Grandma Swan and my sister, Michelle. We are very thankful here that we can use the same postal rates as if we were inside the United States. It would be very, very expensive if we had to send packages through the Japanese mail system.
I am sorry to be missing my nephew, Josiah's 4th birthday. I want to find him some silk pajama's. Apparently, he has decided that GREEN is his favorite color. I will have to find them soon. His sister, Savannah, is looking forward to me sending her a Kimono. They have beautiful, cotton, children's kimono's here. They come in all sorts of prints. I especially like the ones with cherry blossom's on them. A lot of the Japanese and some American's like to wear Kimono's when they go to park's or zoo's. Like Disney Tokyo for example. Because it is like a cotton robe, it is very comfortable to wear when it is hot outside. Yes, even the men wear them. Of course, they have undershirts and underwear or shorts on underneath.
Bryan and I went bowling last night; his favorite past time. He won the first game and I won the second. HA! He's not so good that MOM can't beat him once in a while. He finished his bowling league. See his trophy? He is getting so TALL. A lot of people think he is 14, 15 or 16 now. I wish I could freeze him at this age for a little while. He is growing up too fast for me. I am so proud of the young man he is becoming. He is warm, loving, thoughtful and responsible. (Yes, I know he's my son!) He's been obsessed lately with what he wants to be when he grows up. His latest idea is to become an Orthodontist. I wonder if that has anything to do with him getting braces. Everytime he thinks of a new occupation, he looks it up on the internet to see salaries and information. Yesterday, he said, "Mom, you need to get me a financial advisor!" HA! I asked him why he needs a financial advisor now before he even has a job? He couldn't answer that one, YET.
Michael is also doing very well. He has lost a lot of weight. He has probably dropped 35 pounds or more since we have been in Japan. He is just too busy to eat, I think. He is very proud of himself and so am I. He won't let me buy him any new clothes yet. He has talked off and on about wanting to join the Air Force. He knows he has to lose more weight before he could talk to the recruiters. I'm not sure what I think about that idea. For now, it is good that it is giving him motivation to better himself.
This coming week is a busy one for all of us. Hubby will get home. Bryan is working very hard on his math grade and getting his orthodontic appliance on Tuesday. It is Michael's last week of work at the Home Store on base. He is going to get more English teaching positions. They pay better. I have many miscellaneous errands and meetings to attend. I am also taking a chigri-e class this week. Chigri-e is a Japanese art form. You use torn, very thin, opaque, colored paper to make pictures. This is a very complicated one by a very, very talented artist, Masako van Leijenhorst. The picture I will attempt to make is much simpler. It is of Mount Fuji with cherry blossoms. We will see how it comes out!