Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies Table Our Journey Through the Middle East Giveaway


Publisher's Summary: Tea with Hezbollah combines nail-biting narrative with the texture of rich historical background, as readers join novelist Ted Dekker and his co-author and Middle East expert, Carl Medearis, on a hair-raising journey. They are with them in every rocky cab ride, late-night border crossing, and back-room conversation as they sit down one-on-one with some of the most notorious leaders of the Arab world. These candid discussions with leaders of Hezbollah and Hamas, with muftis, sheikhs, and ayatollahs, with Osama bin Laden’s brothers, reveal these men to be real people with emotions, fears, and hopes of their own. Along the way, Dekker and Medearis discover surprising answers and even more surprising questions that they could not have anticipated—questions that lead straight to the heart of Middle Eastern conflict.

Through powerful narrative Tea With Hezbollah will draw the West into a completely fresh understanding of those we call our enemies and the teaching that dares us to love them. A must read for all who see the looming threat rising in the Middle East.

Author's Bios: Ted Dekker is the author of many nationally bestselling novels, including Bone Man’s Daughters, The Circle Trilogy, Thr3e, and House, which was coauthored by Frank Peretti. His unique style of storytelling has captured the attention of millions worldwide. Visit him at TedDekker.com.

Carl Medearis is the founder and president of International Initiatives, LLC, an organization that promotes cultural, educational, and commercial exchange between the East and the West. He is an advisor on Arab affairs to the members of the U.S. Congress and leaders in international business.

My Thoughts: I try to carefully select the books I will review. I don't want to be obligated to read a book that doesn't interest me. I don't think it is fair to Waterbrook to pick books I won't like and write negative reviews. I am a Ted Dekker fan. Knowing that Muslims and Christians both revere Jesus, Muslims as a prophet and Christians as the Son of God, I found the premise of Tea with Hezbollah fascinating. Two Americans, meeting with leaders of the Muslim world for the sole purpose of asking, "Is it possible to love our enemies as Jesus teaches?" I expected to observe leaders wrestle with the implication of this question. I expected interviews without filters and without political commentary slipping in. I was happy to receive a copy of this book to review and give away.

It's taken me a bit of time to figure out if I like or dislike this book. It was a good read. There were things I liked about the book.

I enjoyed reading the transcripts from the interviews (more on that later).

I found the story of Nicole, the daughter of a Palestinian refugee, which weaves through the narrative, fascinating!

I found the history shared intriguing.

I was bothered by Ted's commentary. I wanted to read the interviews and form my own conclusions. I didn't appreciate comments that sought to instruct me on true Christianity and true Islam. I didn't appreciate phrases such as, "so called war on terror"....why? I can form my own opinion on these issues, that wasn't the purpose of THIS book. I was impatient to reach the insightful interviews and answers of leaders in the Muslim world. By the first interview, I was tired of hearing about the danger of this trip. This slowed the pace of the book and left me bored. I began to feel his repeated emphasis on the danger he was in was silly and whiny. He did not HAVE to make this trip if he believed it to be so dangerous. He was making the trip to write a book and earn money. Fine; don't expect a lot of sympathy from me or kudos for bravery on this front. Many of the world's military are going to that part of the country, facing much more danger and talking much less about the danger. It didn't sit well.

The interviews, as I said, were interesting. I felt, however, they often fell short of delving into the heart of the question, "Is it possible to love your enemies?" Most of the interview was filled with things like, "What makes you laugh," "What is your favorite joke"? I understand the technique, but I WANTED to hear insightful answers. Finally, usually near the end of the interview, Ted would lob his question. Often a soft ball answer was given, and Ted didn't follow up. I didn't see questions that led to wrestling with the question, or insightful sharing. I felt the book fell short of really answering the question, "Is it possible to love your enemies?"

To state it plainly….the parts of this book I loved; I loved. Between the interviews, historical snippets and Nicole cameos, I found myself bored.

I would recommend this book if you are looking for an interesting travelogue, are curious about the interviews with Muslim leaders (some were good and thought provoking - I cry each time I pray to God), or want to know more about the history of this part of the world. If you expect to have the question in the title answered you may be disappointed.

Waterbrook has graciously supplied a copy of this book for me to giveaway. It may help you to know that all the reviews I've read of this book have been positive. YOU may love it. ::snort:: If you would like to win this book, simply leave a comment to enter the drawing. I'll choose a winner after noon JST, Saturday, 6 February. You'll have one week to be sure I have mailing info (which will be destroyed after the book is mailed, I really am NOT building a database ::snort::). If mailing info is not sent to me within a week, I will pick a new winner.
Readers in Japan, or with APO addresses, will be given first priority in this drawing as we OBVIOUSLY don't have all the options of libraries and Christian Bookstores nearby. Also, the monthly "Japanese themed giveaways" will be of little use to Asian residents. If no one from the above categories responds, we'll choose from the other comments. Leave your comments.

This book is on my 2010 Reading List.

Disclaimer: This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. I receive no payment, other than the book, for posting this review. If you'd like more information, click the link in the sidebar.

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Rosetta Stone Giveaway


How did I miss hearing about this on homeschool blogs or SHS? Are y'all holding out on me? Anyway - it's worth a shot at winning. LOL

Surround your family with language. By taking them there!

Travel to Paris, Madrid and Barcelona with Homeschoolers from all over the United States. Join Rosetta Stone Homeschool, Heart of the Matter and Fusefly on the inaugural Homeschool Language Learning and Networking Trip August 2-11, 2010. Become immersed in new lands, explore history, culture, art and community. And truly speak to the world. For more details visit Rosetta Stone.

Hurry, registration for the trip ends February 15, 2010.

For your chance to win a Rosetta Stone language product, please visit Heart of the Matter.

Entries are being accepted until February 1st.

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Gyudon - Japanese Beef Bowl - English included

Totally enjoying Kim and Jun. We'll put them on a train tomorrow morning. This is a YUMMY dish that she made tonight. We added cornstarch and a bit of Agave Netar. (4人分)
牛細切れ肉...300~350g
玉ネギ...1/2個
青ネギ...2~3本
だし汁...250ml
[合わせ調味料]
酒...大さじ3
みりん...大さじ3
砂糖...大さじ4
しょうゆ...大さじ4
薄口しょうゆ...大さじ1.5
土ショウガ...1片
炊きたてご飯...丼4杯分
一味唐辛子(又は七味唐辛子)...適量

1.牛薄切り肉の場合は3cm長さに切る。玉ネギは縦半分に切り、縦に5mm幅に切る。青ネギは根元を切り落とし、きれいに水洗いし、斜め切りにする。<合わせ調味料>を合わせる。土ショウガは皮をむき、せん切りにする。(*)
2.鍋又は深めのフライパンにだし汁、土ショウガを入れ強火にかけ、煮立ったら<合わせ調味料>を加える。(*)
3.煮立ったら牛肉を加えアクを取り、玉ネギを加える。再び煮立ったら火を弱め、鍋の蓋をして5~6分煮る。(*)
4.青ネギを加えて更に1~2分煮て火を止める。(*)
5.丼にご飯をよそい、(4)を煮汁ごと掛け、お好みで一味又は七味唐辛子を振り掛ける。

さっぱりめの味ですので、こっくり味が好みの方は、砂糖としょうゆを足して下さいね。

※ (*)印のついている工程は、レシピ詳細ページにて写真を見ることができます。

レシピ詳細へ
OK - English Directions - serves 4 people

3/4 lb thin Beef (300 grams)
1/2 Onion
2 or 3 Green Onions
1 C Broth (250 ml)
3 T Japanese Sake/wine
3 T Mirin (sweet wine)
1/4 C Sugar
1/4 C Soy Sauce
1 1/2 T ginger root (raw - 1 piece)

Cut stips of meet into 1 inch pieces
Thinly slice onion
Cut green oinion and wash well
Cut and peel ginger into thin matchsticks
Put broth in a hot fry pan with ginger
When it boils add (sake, mirin, sugar, soy sauce)
When it boils again, add beef.
Skim the foam off.
Add onion.
When it boils again, turn it down and simmer, covered 5 - 6 min (or until tender)
Add green onion and cook 1 -2 min (covered).
Sever over bowls of rice.

*We added corn starch (potato flour used here) and some Agave Nectar is it was a bit too salty. We tripled the beef and doubled the sauce. It was all gone. There were nine of us. Thanks for this recipe, Kim.

Click for more Yummy Eats.
Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Amusing Sign

From 2010-01-02 goodbyes

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.

~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Naturalist, Sharks, Spec Ed question

We have really enjoyed reading The Flower Hunter , by Deborah Kogan Ray this week. Deborah tells the story of William Bartram, America's first naturalist using his journals, maps and drawings. The end of the book has a bibliography, biographical notes and a list of Bartram's plant discoveries. The book also contains an engraving by William Bartram. "Billy's" father, John Bartram, was His Majesty's Botanist to North America, making him America's first Botanist. Benjamin Franklin was a close friend of the family.

If you are studying Colonial America, Botany, or Nature Studies this book would make a great addition to your study. I would imagine American libraries would carry it.

In the science world these facts amused us: "Last year, worldwide, 3 people died due to shark attacks; in comparison, 150 people died from coconut strikes, 200 people died due to elephants, and 2 million people died from not washing their hands and contracting bacterial diseases." (Exploring Creation with Zoology p 110) Swimming in the ocean is much safer than eating. ::snort::

Zander had trouble with recalling sounds in, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and so today I simply went to the list of sounds in the front of the book. He nailed them all.....but again had trouble with them in the lesson. In the list there are NO helps - just the letter. I wonder if the arrows, pictures and such distract him? Anyone with a child with sensory issues on the spectrum had experience with this? The good news is that now he's obsessing over learning to read, excited about it, and now we're finally learning to read. I told him he had to finish 1st grade this year. I'm ready to move on. ::snort::

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Wednesday Already?

The pace DID slow down after this weekend.

The Chaplain Spouses started our week with breakfast together, hosted by our Wing Chaplain's Wife. I do wish each chaplain's wife could be blessed with support like Annette, but since we aren't....I'm thrilled God saw fit to give her to us! ::grin::

I worked on and finished two more PORFs for regional travel. It would appear I'm really going to be traveling a lot in the near future. This caused me great angst. I do NOT love looking for airline tickets...and it's only harder when I have no clue when I'll be able to BUY the tickets. I hope I guessed amounts right. I went with the mid-high price tickets, as the cheap ones may be gone when we get approval.

This reminds me that I need to book a ticket for Nate, the GREAT, who is going to watch the kids for a couple of weeks in March.

I started the selection process with our local PWOC board. They requested I help their team.

I wrote a President's Letter for PWOC. Go check out Asia Region's Blog, find a post and leave a comment...even if you aren't PWOC. Tell Lauren what a great job she's done. It's very warm and welcoming. I love my tab....I didn't want "President," because I didn't. ::blush:: So she made me a tab that says, "What's De'Etta Up To?" I keep hoping the answer will be up there one of these days. ::snort::

We've gotten three days of school done, piano lessons, drama and Japanese lessons.

I've loved Polish Pottery for years but couldn't see spending so much for plates. Then Windy and Annette both told me they USE their Polish Pottery and it holds up well. Our BX doesn't often carry it. At the spouse breakfast everyone was talking about the pottery over at the BX. After breakfast I found 4 plates. I was shocked at the price. Renee assured me mismatched is the rage. ::snort:: I decided I'd buy the 4 plates they have and see how they old up. THEN I remembered I had three electric blue plates which haven't broken (3/16).

From 2010-01-27
From 2010-01-27

I baked bread today - *Hamburger Buns for our BBQ Chicken Sandwiches. This is HUGE...baking bread signifies that I'm HOME, I've SETTLED, a new ROUTINE is established (as scattered as it is). ::snort::
From 2010-01-27

*I can't believe the recipe isn't on the blog. I'll have to fix that some day soon. It's a good week....and it's over 1/2 over. OH, an exercise began today...that should make the rest of the week interesting.....and....and....:::drum roll::

My college friend, Kim, and her little girl are coming up this weekend from Tokyo. I can't wait to see them.

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Birthday Photos

I did mention I've gained 20 lbs with the PCS? ::snort:: Here I sport our new Pig Party Hat - Japanese style. The wings - which flap - are a nice addition.
My first Kokechi Doll - I'll have to blog about them.
Now this is a thoughtful gift. Noise Reduction headphones from Zander, Arielle and Jared.

I do have a photo of baby Steven, but I haven't asked if I can post it...

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...
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Such a Good Mommy

I heard a sweet little voice, sing-songing.... "Ah, you're such a precious little baby. You're a cute little bear. Smile for Mommy." And she got a great photo of her babies....though I'm not 100% sure of her methods of keeping the herd together. ::snort::


Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...
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School

This eager student was VERY interested in how the tape runner works, and how to re-thread it. Sherri, maybe I won't have to learn how to thread my own tape runners....even over here. ::snort::



We are back in the saddle again....so completely in the saddle that we worked on our science notebooks. These are their Apologia Learn N Folders. The technique combines lapbooking with notebooking. As I watched the kids work, talk, enjoy.....I contemplated. They are getting older. I can't find file folders. We are playing catch up after our CRAZY move this fall. I thought I'd skip lapbooks this year.

They enjoyed science today. They love science. I don't. I need to enjoy it. All that aside....they love working on the mini-books. This technique will work while we're in Japan. We can make the mini-books, mount them on card stock and slip them into a notebook. It will certainly be easier to store too.

There are several freebies at Live N Learn Press. Maybe we'll find some lit books or such to do too..... Hmmmm....

Yes, I've tamed the Regional and Local PWOC lists enough that I have time to blog and enjoy school again today. I'm learning how to juggle and it's exhilerating. ::snort::

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One Day Way Winner

We have a winner - Roxanne! Please email me with your address and I'll get this right out.

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Techie Debates

Those who love me best seem to think I would not be happy with a Kindle. I'm torn about it, still thinking after all these months, and so this is most likely an accurate observation. I do love the sensory pleasure of reading...though I'm not so excited about the bottom of my carry on ripping out at airports. ::snort::

I'm on to new techie debates...a mini-notebook or a small laptop? I use our laptop as MY computer. It's got a big screen, I love that for home...but it's HEAVY. I've been eying mini-notebooks.....but again...debating because I'm not sure I'd like a mini for every day use. The girls love their Dell mini-notebook. Mike has found a smaller-than-I-have laptop, probably one size up from a mini, that has 500 GB on the hard drive (I've maxed out my current laptop) and a DVD player....more options than a mini.....still small.....but then do I really WANT small? I mean I wanted it desperately when we were traveling and living in TLF and hauling my big laptop and stack of books back and forth...but now that I'm at home.....

Yes, we will be buying some sort of laptop. It is our understanding Mike can't be patched through to our home phone on DSN lines for moreale calls as we are no longer in America. Therefore, we want to send him with a laptop so we can try to Skype from the rock pile....if, of course, there is Internet connections....which I assume in this day and age is one of the items set up first for official communication purposes. He can't put Skype on an official computer....and this way he can keep up with the blog - which was a HUGE help for his transaction back to family life when he was deployed in 2007. We will be purchasing another laptop....should it be a mini-notebook, a smaller notebook or another BIGGEST-SCREEN-I-CAN-FIND laptop?

Your thoughts?
Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Week/Weekend/Birthday I'll Never Forget

Where to start?

Last week was FULL of taking care of various PWOC Asia things. I had been "on break" while the boys were here, and things had piled up.

A highlight of the week was hosting our weekly Bible study group in our home again. We are still finishing up Beth Moore's, Esther.

I spent a significant amount of time recreating my notes for a 7 hour Inductive Bible Study Workshop. I have no clue what computer ate them....but it is a computer that I no longer own.

Yesterday was the Bible Study Workshop. I realized, as I began, and Mike was making encouraging signs from behind the women, that he'd never heard me speak before. He isn't usually at Women's Bible Studies or Ladies Retreats. He seemed to really enjoy the whole experience and I must say he was the BEST workshop prep team I've ever seen. The day went well.

As the day wore on, I noted that one lady was standing up periodically and getting a bit red in the face, then sitting down and joining back in. I'm observant this way....us teacher types are. ::snort:: Seriously, Tanya went into labor. It became apparent that the contractions were becoming more intense and more frequent. Mike finished the section on Word Studies (which we'd planned anyway) and I walked Tanya over to the hospital. I could have driven her but I knew if they were false pains they'd go away....and they increased. They were 3 - 4 min apart when we reached the hospital. How fun! I got to walk the halls and visit with Tanya. I got to bounce on the birthing balls between a contraction - because she didn't want to. I left when her dh arrived.

Today, I got to hold a darling 9 lb baby boy - born on my birthday. Mike took a photo. I told Tanya this photo will be shown at every workshop from now on - much like Sarah's James observation sheet is currently shown. I'm going to tell everyone at workshops that I expect great things of them during the day - and challenge them to "try to top this"!

We had lunch at the food court. We had ice cream. Arielle played Happy Birthday and everyone else sang.

A package with goodies for all arrived from Mom and Dad.

I got lots of hugs at chapel.

I received gifts and I'll have to show photos of that later.

I got incredibly sweet emails from Jamin and Josiah.

I was able to skype with Krista and Bre.

I spent the past couple of hours downloading the Digital version of our curriculum. I'm EXCITED. We were able to get the DE for only $20 when we ordered the print version. Mike wanted print in case the company ever goes out of business....we'll still have something. Makes sense...but I think we are going to have the best of both worlds.

I started researching the world of Doulas. Tanya says I'd make a good one...and she should know...she watched me bounce on the birthing ball.

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Amusing "Sign"

OK - this is really the logo on a child's snow suit. It was a darling outfit. The logo cracked me up. Can you read it?
From 2010-01-11 mall, bowling


"Every day which plays as happily as it flies about vigorously.He likes various doing things."

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.

~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Need a Laugh?


I've never heard her before but this is just what I needed to start a long day off right. If you read this in the next 10 hours....pray for the kids home alone and Mike and I leading a workshop. I should be back to normal posting by tomorrow.


Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Forgiving Once Again

I recently heard a great illustration of forgiveness. I could do a whole post on what forgiveness is NOT and what it IS....but THAT would be a rabbit trail. The great illustration?

When someone has wronged you, you are like a bank that holds a mortgage. Sometimes the banks will sell that mortgage to another bank. The debtor receives a notice telling him that he is no longer in debt to the original mortgage holder, but to the new bank. He still has a debt, but that debt is payable to the new mortgage holder.

Forgiveness is "selling the debt". That's become a phrase I think of often. When someone unknowingly hurts my feelings, when I have to tell a child something I've said a million times, when Mike misses the laundry hamper with his dirty clothes....."sell the debt"...and believe ME they have ample opportunity to learn the same lesson living with me.

I'm preparing for a Bible Study Workshop that Mike and I will be teaching this weekend. He's asked me to take the lead. I've done many of these workshops in many formats: day long, weekend, 4 week Tuesday a.m. - you get the idea. I'm familiar with the process....but guess what?

This morning as I prepare, I note again the great loss of my OLD BIBLE. It was a New Inductive Study Bible. In MY times of study I'd charted most books of the Bible, written in key words etc.....and when I thought this morning, as I got ready to make the final decision about which book we should use for our hands on exercises,...Titus, Ruth, 2 Thess, Jonah..."Let's see what the main points of each book are." I had a complete brain fart and totally expected to find the books outlined, the chapter themes and key words listed.....but my new Bible is gloriously blank...waiting for me to hit those books again in my times of study.

I have sold that debt.

"Lord, those thieves got a priceless gift. May You allow your Word to
end up where it will be read and appreciated. Your Word won't return void
when it is sent out, regardless of how it was sent. ::snort:: I've sold the debt. It's not my business."

I had a good chuckle when I realized the thieves have a nifty cheat sheet I'd created on the Inductive Study Method which was tucked in my Bible. I found a copy....it doesn't appear to be on my computer.

Yes, I would love your prayers as we prepare for Saturday's day long (0900-1500) workshop.

As for today MOPS, Bible Study and School.

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Armstrongs!!! and PWOC!!!

You should have seen the excitement when the kids saw that our packages were from Armstrongs.
From 2010-01-20
I told them it was GRAIN. Stacia said, "MOM - it's Armstrong your friend, your friend."
From 2010-01-20
Deja, you were the hero. I "never" buy Gummy Bears so YOU must have sent these. ::snort:: I'm glad you told me about the sale. I'll have to remember this in the future. ::snort:: You ARE a friend, thanks for helping me out with my grain issues. ::snort::

Did y'all know that PWOC is like Doritos? You can't eat just one? It's true. I slipped. I let my boundaries slide. I've spent most of the past two days solely on PWOC. That would be fine, if that's what I'd scheduled. But it isn't. Pure and simple....I slipped. My heart is to serve my women and be readily accessible. I realize this is a ministry/job that will never be totally "complete," therefore, I need to have boundaries. The very first one is one that I've had for years....but we lost after moving to Japan. We've gotten into the habit of turning the computer on, "for just a bit," to see if family is around to Skype. If the computer's on, I check email, I research...do you see where this is going? I'm simply going to have to discipline myself to stay the course. It's really not a PWOC thing....it's a me thing. I learned this lesson in Alaska.

No lectures needed....lecture has been self-administered. ::snort::

Mike and I went out tonight with our calendars. This was fun. Well.....the talking and eating part; not so much the calendar part.

I took a bunch of photos and ordered a flat daddy.

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK Jr Day

Mike had MLK Day off. I had forgotten he even HAD a 3 day weekend coming until we didn't go to church on Sunday. I kept wondering why the roads were bothering him enough to stay home. I finally got a clue. The chaplains here rotate on 3 day weekends. They take turns doing all 3 services, so that the other chaplains can have a true 3 day weekend. This sounds like a small thing, but it's the first time in 15 years of military service that we've really benefited from 3 day weekends. Usually, we can't go out of town etc because there is a sermon to finish prepping and a sermon to preach on Sunday. Good on Chapel Team Misawa for taking care of their troops.

Jared wanted to start school. We left him. We had planned to pick up some sleds at Sanwado (none there) or Homac (none there), grab lunch and go to the sledding hill on base. The BX said they've not received sleds yet. We tried Sundays on the way home. They were out of sleds too....but they DID have a big red "snow mover". Mike bought one (they are $45) and we used it to move snow and to sled.

Yeah, when we got home, Mike saw all that snow and we had to dig in...before sledding. We had it clear, but it keeps coming down....and the snow of the roof breaks loose at strange times. The snow mover was put to good use. We miss our snow blower. We have no where to store one, but maybe we'll look for one in the spring/summer when folks are pcsing. We gave ours away when we moved from AK to TX.
This is the tree in the common area (used to sport vending machines)......look how tall the snow is getting. Not a BIG hill, but the kids had fun, learned how to direct the snow mover down a small bump, and we'll look for a true sledding hill shortly....and real SLEDS. All were reminding me yesterday that MY antique sled is in the living room. I thought of it. We USED to use it....the wood is starting to split and it has metal runners....do they use those any more? Is it safe?


We came in cold and tired. We grabbed leftovers. I worked on some PWOC funds things for an upcoming trip. I sent out a few PWOC emails. We read another chapter in Nate Saint. We went to bed tired, sore (some of us) and satisfied.

No children were harmed in the making of this blog post.

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...
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Snow....

is certainly starting to collect around town. This is a huge pile.
This is the pile left at the end of the street.....and falling into our yard, driveway, breaking the farmer's fence...but the snow plow got it off the street! ::snort::
I'm constantly warning kids not to stand near the house. Ice...and BIG drifts of snow that all of a sudden break loose and slide off the tin roofs....maybe they're plastic come to think of it. ::snort:: AnyWHO....we hear a pounding, falling, dropping sound above us and WHAMMO - sheets of snow race off the roof.

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...
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Dear Diary....




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Sunday, January 17, 2010

The One Day Way by Chantel Hobbs

I reveiwed "Never Say Diet" by Chantel Hobbs last year. When I was given the opportunity to review, "The One Day Way," by Chantel, I snatched the chance. Chantel has lost over 200 lbs and KEPT it off! She's the type of person I want to listen to.

Chantel SIMPLIFIES weight loss for us one day at a time. Focus on the change you can make today. Celebrate your success today. If you screw up today, it's not the end of ALL your weight loss goals. Today is just one day! We are challenged to make daily goals (and to celebrate our successes) in the areas of faith, food and fitness.

Chantel includes sections on demolishing past failures and actions that lead to failure, laying a foundation for healthy weight loss, building the structure of a new us/life and concludes with a plan for lasting success. Two sets of Ten Commandments are shared: one for "Weight Loss and for Life," and one on how to "Be Fit For Life". Both are great and simple!!!!

I realized anew, as I read this book, I am GREAT at setting goals....specific weight loss/work out goals for the week, month, quarter, year, but when I no longer live walking distance from the gym, or when I don't meet a weight loss goal - I'm stymied. I'm an all or nothing type person. During this PCS (move) I gained 27 lbs (meaning I have 40 - 50 lbs to lose). Yes, circumstances played a part. I wasn't able to get to the gym six days a week, and my age and thyroid lead to a sluggish metabolism that NEEDS a daily jump start which I didn't provide. My big problem, however, is that I'm an all or nothing sort of person. If I can't work out, what's the point of eating six small meals a day? If I can't bake bread, what's the point of avoiding french fries? I still haven't figured out all the details for a working gym plan. I CAN choose ONE THING to change TODAY. I can do this again tomorrow. A small commitment/change is better than none.

I can also celebrate my daily success - regardless of the scale. I can't FORCE weight loss, I can choose to work out, I can choose to eat small meals, I can choose to learn how food words....and I can do this daily. The One Day Way was the shot in the arm I needed as I begin to make daily, healthy choices once again.

For only $13.59 at Amazon, "The One Day Way" is a great investment in your health. For one lucky reader, this book will be free. I'll make it easy. Simply leave a comment to enter the drawing. I'll draw a winner after noon JST, Saturday, 23 Jan. You'll have one week to be sure I have mailing info (which will be destroyed after the book is mailed, I really am NOT building a database ::snort::). If mailing info is not sent to me within a week, I will pick a new winner. Of course, overseas readers can enter....in my book YOU ALL are overseas. ::snort::



This book is on my 2010 Reading List.

Disclaimer: This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. I receive no payment, other than the book, for posting this review. If you'd like more information, click the link in the sidebar.

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Blogging for Books

Long time readers know this....I blog for books. I blog for Waterbrook Press, Multnomah, Doubleday, Random House and Thomas Nelson. You'll see links in the side bar if you are interested. I've done this for years and have had a great time with it.

The basics? They send me offers, I choose the books I want to review, they send me a book (sometimes with a giveaway book), I read the book and write a review.

Moving to Japan complicated this system. Reviews are ideally posted during a certain week. I have two books to review that both came recently, well past the deadline. The good news is that Waterbrook sent the last book PRIORITY and I have a week to read before posting. ::grin:: Thomas Nelson allows you to choose a book and you pick the next one when you post a review for that one....no time deadlines to meet.

I've noted, over the summer, that publishers aren't giving away quite so many freebie books for bloggers to share.....but hopefully you'll still find the reviews to be helpful.

I used to review EVERY book I read. I found this to be cumbersome in 2009 and quit the practice....but I will review some. I'll always let you know if a book I'm reviewing was a gift from a publisher.

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Unexpected Day

We didn't go to church today. It wasn't the weather as much as it was "our Sunday" to be "off". The chaplains here have it worked out so that each 3 day weekend one chaplain takes all 3 services. This means that every 3rd holiday you work all Sunday, but the other two you have a 3 day weekend. It works well. This was our holiday off. I'd forgotten it WAS a holiday - tomorrow.

We relaxed. We slept in. We found our Jesus Stocking!

From 2010-01-17
It's packed away with the CHRISTMAS stuff now for next year. We still haven't found all of Nolan's photo ornaments or my early years Photo Album...but the list of things we're missing is dwindling. ::snort::
From 2010-01-17
We took down Christmas decorations. It was time, I guess. Having a tree covered with photo charms of the children is a GREAT thing, however, it was emotional to pack the older kids away. ::sniff::

Mike and I went for a wintry walk. We dodged Pirates....
From 2010-01-17
...and Robin Hood.
From 2010-01-17

We had dinner. We read another chapter in Nate Saint. It was a good day.

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Nativity 2010

I always leave a bit of Christmas out year round. It's a secret code for me. It's a tangible reminder to celebrate Christ year round. At least that is how it began. I no longer need a reminder; but it's a great conversation starter. ::grin:: Seriously. I can't tell you the number of grown women who work up the nerve to ask why I have a nativity out in June....and the kids never hesitate to ask. I love to explain. It's led to some interesting conversations.

From 2010-01-17
No, this is not the one I left out. ::snort::

In TX, I'd been leaving the complete Willow Tree Nativity out in our entertainment center. I simply don't have that much space here. I thought leaving just the Jesus/Joseph/Mary out would work....and the two angels mean various things as Willow Tree Angels do.....so I liked this.

From 2010-01-17
It fit, it's pretty, it's unobtrusive....but now I'm wondering if it looks too much like the shrine shelves that I see around here in homes. Hmmm....I may have to find another spot.... I want to generate questions, not confusion.


Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Prayer - A Watchman's Duty

"My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct [my prayer] unto thee, and will look up." Ps 5:3 KJV

Those who know me, know that there are few things I like better than to unpack a Scripture, examine it, make it mine, put it neatly back together, apply it, and pass it on. The above verse caught my attention today.

Morning - means MORNING - day break (Strong's 1242)

Lord - We're talking about our self- existing Yehovah, He is that He is (Strong's 3068)

Direct my Prayer Unto Thee - Arak (Strong's 1694) - to arrange, set out, state in order as in a legal case!

Will Look Up - tsaphah (6822) - Ready? This word means to SPY, observe closely, to KEEP WATCH (a military term), enlighten with the eyes. Twenty times in the Old Testament this word is translated "Watchman".

Photobucket

This speaks to me. Watchman - SPY - I've ALWAYS loved mysteries and wanted to be a spy. God is allowing me to be that in the spiritual realm.

A watchman has a responsibility to rise early and present prayer concerns in an intentional, systematic way. There is most likely a place for jello prayers. Being an observant spy for the Lord calls forth more order in my prayer life.

In order for God to "hear my voice at daybreak," I need to BE UP and SPEAKING TO HIM (not blogging, reading email, taking care of PWOC Regional business)....early in the a.m.

I've long held that early hours are the BEST time for me to complete unfinished household tasks, write Bible Study lessons, finish writing projects, get a jump start on the day's activities....a watchman is called to use those hours speaking to our always EXISTENT, Lord.

Two weeks into 2010 and God is starting to speak to me about the path He and I are on this year. I'm to be a conscientious, observant, spiritual spy and watchman.

I think the Holman Christian Study Bible translates this closest to the Hebrew...."At daybreak, Lord, You hear my voice; at daybreak I plead my case to You and watch expectantly."

Still, if we are left with the idea that we nonchalantly pray and then sort of wait to see what may happen...we miss what David is conveying. David is eager, intentional, diligent....He is guarding while he waits to see God at work....

I've really not organized "my musings"....as I have other parts of the blog, but if you'd like to read more musings such as this, click the category by that title in the side bar.

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Amusing Sign

We saw this sign up in Aomori. I'm not sure it's the best marketing for a restaurant.
From 2010-01-08 Sannai-Maruyama Ruins

"Balanced Food - Calorie Mate".

JOSIAH & JAMIN ARE HOME!
Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.

~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Disappointing Day

Today was a sad day. Zander was invited to a birthday party. He's been counting down to the day. In fact, he KNEW it was the day after Josiah left, and it had become somewhat standard for him to ask Josiah how many more days he would be here and then say, "And the next day is John's birthday party."

Unfortunately, today was snowy, windy, near white out conditions at time....we estimate somewhere between 10 - 12 inches again...based on the new amounts on the fort, road, and my car. ::snort:: I KNEW the drive was beyond my driving ability. Mike started out with Zander....but they returned. They couldn't see the road. So....we're home bound. Zander was disappointed. We promised to invite John over for cupcakes or cakes and give him his gift. A play date should help to make it up. We missed another birthday this a.m. - Ricky's. BUT we'd not told Stacia about it, so she wasn't sad.

The boys' facebook shows that they are home in TX.

Stacia dons a scarf from Afghanistan and finds a new dancing partner.
From 2010-01-16
Pass the Bomb (13 and up) is a new game we found at the BX. It's HARD but fun. You are given letter combinations and have to come up with words that contain those letters as you pass the bomb. Yes, it explodes. Now I see there is a JR version of the game (5 years and up). Hmmm....
From 2010-01-16
Stacia is our simple chaos factor
From 2010-01-16
After the real game was over we played hot potato with the bomb
From 2010-01-16
We started reading, "Nate Saint:On a Wing and a Prayer," by Janet & Geoff Benge.

The younger ones are watching, "Fancy Pants" (Bob Hope). Jared and Mike are tired from snow shoveling and have called it a night. I'm going to join the kids and try to stay awake through the movie.

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Whole Wheat Popovers

From 2010-01-16
3 large eggs
1 1/2 C milk
1 C whole wheat pastry flour (soft white - but I used Prairie Gold/hard white)
3/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 450*; makes 12; grease muffin pan.

Place all in blender; blend on high speed for 30 seconds.

Pour batter evenly into muffin cups, stirring the batter a couple of times because the flour has a tendency to quickly settle to the bottom of container.

Bake at 450* for 15 minutes.

Turn oven temp to 350* and continue to bake about 20 min longer until golden brown.

Cool 5 minute before removing from pan. Serve immediately.

From Sue Gregg's Soups and Muffins cookbook. These were wonderful. 5 of 7 ate them. LOL This means cornbread is still the favorite but this is a good bet too (and easier to make).

For more yummy recipes check out my index.

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Food....

I have had really good luck with Vitacost. They DO often back order the food items I want, but I always eventually get them. AND I only pay $4.99 an ORDER for PRIORITY shipping (not a box). I'm blessed to have an APO mail box. This is a definite advantage that military members have over expats and missionaries. I am able to order things that Vitacost doesn't ship (like Prairie Gold Wheat Berries) from the co-op in TX......I'm blessed. It took a bit of work, but we are getting most of what we need through local farmer's markets, VitaCost, San Angelo Co-op, and the commissary.

We found these at the post office after we left the airport.

From 2010-01-15
The custom's slips crack me up. "Vitamins". Ummm....they must think we REALLY like our vitamins with the numbers of boxes we get marked this way. ::snort:: Today it was PASTA...REAL SALT and Agave Nectar....not a vitamin in the mix....oh and a bag or two of Barbara's Baked White Cheese Puffs. ::snort::

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.

~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Stacia Stories

You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can't take Texas out of the girl.
From 2010-01-14

Tonight, sensing I needed some loving, she gave me a hug and said, "Mommy, you are wonderful. You're a lovely mother kids' parent."

Mike had a snow shovel and was flinging snow at the girls. Stacia grabbed a snow ball, advanced on Mike and said, "Don't throw it at me, I'm your DAUGHTER!"
From 2010-01-15


JOSIAH & JAMIN ARE FLYING HOME!
Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.

~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Winter Fun

Shots from the past few days.....

The snowplow put all the snow from our street beside our house. We used it well to make the snow walls and igloo....and by today the mountains of snows are slides and sledding hills. ::snort::

From 2010-01-14


From 2010-01-15

From 2010-01-15

From 2010-01-14

From 2010-01-14

From 2010-01-14

Inside the Igloo - it's quite roomy now.

From 2010-01-14

We walked over to feed the ponies, but couldn't reach the farmer to ask. They obviously know what carrots are.

From 2010-01-14

From 2010-01-14

Careful where you step, Zander.

From 2010-01-14

From 2010-01-14

The kids were trying to come up with good teams for them and the Stephey girls to have a snow fight. Mike and Jared were playing a game inside. Nolan wasn't happy with the boy (he and Zander) girl (3 12+ yo girls and Stacia)....I went inside and said the boys needed a bit of help evening up the teams. I believe Arielle suggested I see if Jared would come and play on the boys team. Welll......

From 2010-01-15

From 2010-01-15

From 2010-01-15

I did not participate at all - there are times when being the impartial photographer serves well.

From 2010-01-15

From 2010-01-15

It's been a blast to have Mike home the past few days. I think the plan is a bit more leave in February before his trip.

JOSIAH & JAMIN ARE FLYING TO TX!
Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.

~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...