Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rain....Rain...Rain

After complaining about rain a few weeks ago, I'm really enjoying it this week. It's a great break hot and humid summer. LOL  I LOVE the weather changes in Misawa. Texas seemed like one long summer - with a week or two of winter thrown in.  There were no long, cold, winter nights in TX.....I don't know that we need THIS MUCH change within one season, but there you have it.

Today I spent quite a bit more time on base. I ran to pick up the parking permit and show it to Pass and ID. I haven't a clue WHY, but they wouldn't let the previous owner out-process until I did this. They ASSURED me he'd be able to out-process now.

I visited three locations looking for a spot for our PWOC Fall "Rally".  Not sure we'll settle on that name, maybe. I hadn't realized it would be so hard to find a venue for a chapel event.  The complication is a congregation meets in the chapel on Saturday, so we can't use the chapel facilities as planned. I think it's going to be great, if I can get one of the locations on the North side...wooded, nice views....all in all it will be a blessing.  Although, at this point, none of those spots are open for our dates. I'll keep knocking on doors.  ::snort::

I continue to nurse my aching, itching legs....one swollen. They look better than yesterday....I'm taking Ibuprofen and putting as much Benydryl lotion on as allowed.....


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

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sushi Shrine????

It's so tough learning how to be a Japanese Belle.
From 2010_06_2728 summer fun
I've been wanting to share some comments I've overheard....

Stacia - "There's a lot of tripping and hiccuping in Japan."

Stacia - "You are being totally difficult, Mom!"

Zander, as we stepped out of the car and smelled a the pungent fish fertilizer, "There's a Sushi Shrine nearby!"

Zander - "In the movies Sumo Wrestlers are ok, but in real life, oh boy!"

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

Sunday Sliding

Not a pool in the BX.....and so....we bought a...
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After the kids got it set up, learned HOW to slide, added a bit of dish soap to the surface....it was lots of fun. ::grin::
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Jared opted to stay inside the Inferno aka house and take a nap.

I went to meet our new neighbors and discovered they were the large family from across the hall when we were in the TLF last summer.

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

Another Great Park!

It is our goal to go on a minimum of one family outing a week. This is our attempt to stave off a summer of moping because Michael isn't here to go exploring with us.  We are getting a jump start by participating in the Chapel's Summer Activities.

Last week we had three outings. LOL  This week we started off by following Windy and children to Lake Ogawarako Park.  This park features all sorts of climbing structures.
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Look closely and you'll count 10 children. How I wish the number had been 14.
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This park boasts camping spots and cabins. I wondered about using the location for a spring retreat....They really are cute cabins, all futons...but the squatty potties may well be a deal buster for our ladies. ::snort::

It was a great outing. We ran back to base in time for the older kids to go to Youth Group and for the younger ones and I to enjoy a visit in the park by the chapel. Unfortunately, some strange bug found me....I have GIANT red spots on my legs. I really should take a photo. ::snort::

Today we did school, ran to base and will run back again in a couple of hours for VBS training.

BTW - we scored two ITT trips ($360.00), a balloon bouqet ($25), a photo matted and framed ($60) and a t-shirt ($30)....wonder what July's Deployment Passport will bring. I love our FSS (Force/Family?/ FORCE support Squadron).

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

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tea Time

I found this darling little tea pot at Namdemon in South Korea. I thought it would be a great souvenir.
 
When I got home I read the packaging. ::snort::


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

The weather this week has been absolutely fantastic! We've enjoyed it to the max.....3 picnics, an outside potluck.....and I've been doing LAUNDRY all day to get things dried before the rain starts next week. LOL

Friday was gorgeous. By the time Zander and I got home from our walk, I'd decided to play hooky. Windy agreed. We emailed a few others. Twyla and boys were able to join us.

I was late! In Japan - you IGNORE police with flashing lights. You pull over if they put on the sirens. I noticed the police....in front and behind me....I noticed the flashing lights....I didn't remember that ON THE BASE they have a sort of eclectic set of driving rules...mostly American but Japanese style. Ok now....so...good reminder that I'm only on loan to Japan. ::snort::

I was SO relieved to see the police speed off that I took the wrong turn.....and was looking to figure out how to turn around when we noted a HELICOPTER was cruising right above our van...and finally security forces jumped out into the lane.  I was informed that I couldn't pass. I told her I was trying to find the lake and wanted to do a u-turn. I wasn't allowed to do that either. There was an alarm and alert at Security Hill and we were the first car stopped.....so we watched and wondered....and the fighters began to do some circles...rather low....and I told the children...."Well....maybe the North has done it and we have a front row seat..." but all was well....or you would have heard about it on CNN by now. ::snort::

We finally MADE it to the beach. A few of us got strange sun burns. We all had fun. Zander caught a tadpole.
From 2010_06_25water
We were up bright and early today to get Arielle and Jared to the meeting point for a work day at a Christian retreat center. They were to meet at 6:45. Arielle was the only girl who showed up. She opted to stay home.

I spent a bit of time on a ministry call....watched movies...hung laundry...the kids washed the Joy Mobile....
From 2010_06_25water
From 2010_06_25water
We attended a "Fighter Wing Staff Agency" Potluck. It was fun to visit with old friends and meet some new ones. Susie talked to me about hopping. She goes out of here to all over - often. She has 4 young kids. She shared a few tricks with me. She gave me a website to check. She's been to Korea, Kadena, Guam, Alaska, Seattle...all on hops....not the Patriot Express but hops. I am excited to do some research and give it a whirl.

Jared says it will cost a lot in hotels. I may leave Jared in Misawa. ::snort:: I'm going to TX or OR or WHEREVER THE PLANE MAY GO....my babies need an adventure. ::snort::

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

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Stacia Scores!

I had an "unexpectedly adventurous" day. Know what I mean?

I woke up with enough time to do an hour on the elliptical AND a 25 min walk with rip roaring praise music and Kay Arthur on the iPod. LOL  It began to rain during the walk...but that was fine. I thought I had the morning to myself and was enjoying gesturing and singing along to the music - loudly - when a man and his son rode by on their bikes. They must think American's are silly.

I had a MOPS Pizza Party in the park. I had this in Outlook. I had copied the notes about WHERE it was into Outlook calendar. The sun was out when it was time to leave for base. We took off. We could not find the "airplane" park....I called 3 ladies who I thought might be going to MOPS....and whose number I had in my phone.....no one KNEW ABOUT THE EVENT. I began to wonder if I'd dreamed up the whole thing...the park didn't exist, no one knew about this...but I was sure I'd received emails. Finally found the park. The airplane has been removed.

I think the gas gauge on our new van does some strange fluctuations. It seemed to be at 1/2 a tank and by the time we left the park was at E but then was up between 1/4 - 1/2 when I reached the gas station. LOL

I parked, got out, couldn't find the gas tank....it was on the OTHER side of the van...right behind the driver's seat. OK....so I pulled out and around...lady came running out to tell me that the gas station was "one way"....OK....finally ready to fill it up....I did. It overran. I smelled my hand and the ground and it didn't smell like gas. ARGH. I'd just filled the new van with DIESEL....which is what the old van used....this one doesn't. I walked right over to the Pit Stop.

She told me this happens AT LEAST once a week. She guessed I had a Toyota. She says some of their models are gas and some are diesel and folks often do this. She insisted it would take 2 - 3 days to fix it. She went and asked, when I told her the kids were in the car and we live way off base. She said 2 - 3 days - they had appointments.

She was glad I'd not turned it on..but suggested I drive it to the pit stop.  I told her to do that, I'd have to TURN IT ON....I headed over to get kids out of the van.  Five guys followed  and pushed the van to the auto shop. I WISH I'D HAD THE CAMERA. It was funny.  Yes, I noticed the kind smiles and such that were exchanged with our youngest as she got out of the van.

THEN the head mechanic came out and said they'd have it ready in ONE HOUR!!! The lady said, "Oh, 2:30 tomorrow?"

He said, "Today, TODAY."  ::snort::

Meanwhile Jared went to the gym. The other kids and I walked to a Starbucks that isn't a Starbucks and tried a drink called a snow cap. Nice drink.  Turned out fine to have that extra time for a walk and treats.

Post office, BX, Commissary....home.

Dinner out with friends and the onsen...farewells....not my favorite...but it was fitting. Deb was the first one to take me to an onsen....full circle.

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

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ah, Lovely Days

Let's See.......

Monday, I signed the papers to buy our new van. I still have a parking permit and one more trip to Pass and ID to get it totally legal....but I'm insured and driving the new van as of last night.

The highlight of Monday were packages. Three from Vitacost and one from Michael.
From 2010_06_21 package
Sometimes, when receiving a package, deciphering what is meant for whom can be a challenge....
From 2010_06_21 package
Ah....
From 2010_06_21 package
These hats are awesome. Hint...hint...
From 2010_06_21 package
The bracelets are a big hit too, Michael. Mike reports that children wait to sell these to servicemen "for protection" as they leave the compound. We love them. On a fun aside, we noted Michael recycled a box we'd sent him previously....now we want to see how many times the box can make the trip before Michael is home. LOL
From 2010_06_21 package
Tuesday was the first "Chapel Summer Outing." It wasn't real well attended, but the five moms and children who attended did have fun. This is the only photo that I'll dare to post.
From 2010-06-22 park day
Wednesday - I spent 8 1/2 hours with a group of lovely PWOC leaders. We sought God's face for His unique guidance as we walk out this year's theme, "Shine in the Light of His Glory". I'm very excited by the vision that was birthed. Lots of wonderful words....It is exhilarating to be a part of walking out the message where the sandals meet the sand - on the local level. I'll be teaching a Precept class or two this fall. I also head up a retreat team - we have a couple of them planned. If you're local and want to be on a retreat team - give me a holler. ::snort::

I got home about 6 p.m. and it had been a long day for ME and the CHILDREN at home. We opted for dinner out. Jared remembered Shimoda Mall is 7 min up the road. GREAT food options. The middles had McDonalds. Jared and I had rice/beef/curry....and Stacia wanted, "Gohan Kudasai," (Rice please), which earned her approving pats, smiles and glances. We decided to go see what may be playing at the theater. I hear that attending a movie in Japan is an experience we must do at least once.
From 2010-06-23_shimoda
We saw this on the way to the theater...it was a good omen.
From 2010-06-23_shimoda
Unfortunately, when we asked this movie is going to be in Japanese only. No English subtitles....we'll ask again. They were very sorry. So were we...though it will come to the base...it won't be in 3D and probably won't come until later....of course it will be 1/4th the cost. LOL

video



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

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day 2010

We decided to attend the 0800 service this a.m. It was a great time of worship, receiving the Word, and visiting with fellow-believers after the service. They have breakfast together each week. I love the sense of community sharing together brings to a service.

After church we headed to a park on the North Side of base for Jared's first driving lesson. We logged 35 minutes. Michael usually covers all training until he deems the kids "road ready". This was a bit of a learning curve for both Jared and I....but we did fine.

We headed for the commissary. The kids wanted a picnic on the beach. We called my Dad while we made lunch. We headed for the beach....
From 2010-06-20_fday_stormwatching
It was cloudy.
From 2010-06-20_fday_stormwatching
We have missed the thunderstorms of West TX. Guess what? We had rain, lightening, thunder, wind....Very cool.  Not rolling thunder, but I suspect you have to be in West TX to have ROLLING THUNDER like we had in San Angelo. LOL Still.....impressive. We weren't the only ones parked on the boardwalk watching the ocean in the storm. We were the only ones caught walking on the beach when the storm hit.
From 2010-06-20_fday_stormwatching
We enjoyed our obentos in the car as we watched the storm. Very cool. No one minded too much.
From 2010-06-20_fday_stormwatching
We came home, enjoyed tea and hot chocolate, Skyped a few minutes with Michael and are settling in for movies. We miss our favorite Father....but Skyping is a fair substitute...better than any of our other deployments.....
Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Need a little help?


From 2010-06-18 Life

This sign always makes me smile. I wonder if visiting the Brain Mansion would bring good results for middle aged women with lagging memories?


Last Saturday, Jared took the above photo to the barber. When they asked how he wanted his hair cut, he showed them. ::snort:: The barber is an elderly, Japanese gentleman. Stoic. At the end of the cut, he called another barber over and had Jared show his photo. They both broke into smiles and polite laughter. Jared felt success.

Friday night, we showed the photo to Akikosan. She laughed LOUD and hard...and couldn't stop. Score.
Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Spectacular Saturday



Today seemed like the perfect day to bring out the bubbles. We have a nice long area of grass to enjoy this summer. Our yard, our neighbor decided she needed to go home because her dh is deployed, and then a common area...so lots of grassy area to enjoy....



The neighborhood kids also had a water fight. I thought it was far to cold for such. Tis the season for all banner of critters to begin showing up in various water bottles.....INSIDE my house. I've re-established with Zander that any critter in a bottle IN MY HOUSE, will be thrown away. ::snort::
A neighbor found a mouse. We don't seem to have that trouble. I think the 4 ft rat snake did it's part....but we are fighting these guys.


I spent a part of the afternoon getting to know part of this year's local PWOC board.


Have you ever seen tools on a cake?



We went to see Disney's Ocean tonight. Wow - the message was loud and clear - personally, I think they'd get a better response if they preached a little less and let the stunning photography speak for itself. We've been studying oceans this year, and the nature views WERE breathtaking. I did point out to the kids that all the "pristine ocean" shots from "billions of years ago" were, in fact, filmed last year. ::snort:: I'm that sort of movie goer. Blame it on 26 1/2 years of married life. ::grin::  It was fun to see several families we know at the movies.

We enjoyed another treat that Akiko brought last night. Like miniature Dairy Queen treats.




I worked on grabbing data from an online survey and putting it into a PowerPoint presentation for our upcoming, local board planning meeting.

The other big news of this week is that Jared now has a "driver's permit". He can only drive on base. We have to log 9 hours before he can have a license....so....we hope to start tomorrow.



As we ended the day I suddenly remembered: "I started yogurt 12 hours ago!" ::snort:: Good thing I remembered THAT.


All in all, it's been a very good day. We're missing Michael today....but every day gone is a day closer to being together again.....

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

Friday, June 18, 2010

Busy Week

This week has been FULL and draining.

Lots of ministry catch up to work on this week.

Lots of  long distance calls and emails.

Lots of school.

LOTS OF PAPERWORK! I had no CLUE it would take so much paper to junk an old van and buy a new one. In Japan, every 2 years one must pay for a JCI (inspection) on their vehicle.  Your car needs to be in good working order to get this sticker.  We affectionately call our van,the beast and it was amazing gift to us a year ago.  When it literally began thunking and slamming into DRIVE I knew the transmission was going. It was going to cost as much money to get it to pass the JCI, as it is for me to buy another van that has just passed the JCI and will last us 2 more years.
From 2010-06-18 Life
Did you follow all that? This meant we took the van to the junker and picked up paperwork. I took the license plates, title, junking receipt and various recylcing receipts to the base's Pass and ID.  They gave me "deregistration papers". This is to derigester with the base and with the prefecture.  I thought I could buy the new van and then continue to work on paperwork to junk the old one. BUT I discovered you cannot own more than 2 cars at a time in Japan.

I took that to the insurance company. They did a BUNCH more paper work which was sent to Hachinohe. I was given several more pieces to take to the realtor and the police as I live off base and needed a parking permit. I got maps and stamped pieces of paper and took THAT back to the insurance today. They had more papers from Hachinohe. The plan is that I can take THESE papers back to PASS and ID Monday - with the seller of the new van and he can sign the van over to me....THEN I'll take it all back to the insurance again for some more fun.

On my last stop at the insurance  Stacia was asked if she was an only child. Oh my. She said, "I have 8 brothers and sisters." The lady thought she was wrong.

 I said, "Yes, she does." Oy vey - the chattering and discussion that ensued. I think they were genuinely interested in our lifestyle.

 I answered the questions, we laughed and then she said the thing that made my day, "Do you think so many children are a treasure?"

"Oh, yes!" I told her, "They are all treasures." She agreed.

I had several evening outings this week....farewell season is in full swing.
From 2010-06-18 Life
We had Akikosan over for pizza tonight. She was excited. She brought all sorts of little treats. THIS is one we'll have find again. You mix a little gel/liquid packet with milk and it makes a smoothie/yogurt...not sure how to describe it... dessert. I asked if it could be for breakfast, but Akikosan says, "Only dessert." I'm wondering if a packet of that thrown into yogurt would be good. LOL
From 2010-06-18 Life

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

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Thunderstorm in Afghanistan - Michael

Woohoo! We had a real thunderstorm. Lots of lightning (presumably), lots of thunder and lots of rain! The air actually smells nice outside - it usually either smells of smoke from burning plastics and undefineable debris or you can not smell much of anything because of the dust, but the air will be nice and clear for a few hours, anyway. That is, it will be clear until the locals start burning their trash like they do most nights. -- Michael

Choosing Joy!

©2010 D.R.G.

~Coram Deo~

Living all of life before the face of God...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Misawa Morning


Beautiful, foggy view from my window....love Misawa Mornings.

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Sign from Afghanistan - Michael

 We love finding signs in Japan, made by Japanese, written in English, by people whose native language is not English.  I have discovered the same kind of thing in Afghanistan but with German, French, Italian, Dari and others writing the signs.  Now, I am willing to bet that what this sign is prohibiting is actually not a real problem.  However, if it is a real problem, I do not want to meet the individuals who are struggling with this as an issue in their lives.  I am thinking, though, if you were really wanting to discourage people from smoking, allowing smoking only where it is prohibited by the sign, would significantly decrease all but the truly dedicated smoker's desire to smoke at all. 



Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...
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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Innovative Parking



I'd say this is fairly efficient use of space.....

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